or should I go now?!?! (yes, I’m back to song lyrics for titles, thank you The Clash!)
It’s no secret (well, at least to me) that I want to run a race in Europe. I’ve not been to the continent (gasp!), only the UK and Asia, and this is beginning to bother me more and more. Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis thing, maybe it’s a “if not now, when?” thing, maybe it’s just a travel bug, but honestly, I spend a good amount of time dreaming this dream. I surf for airline tickets, hotels, and city maps to find all the ‘must-see’ sights. The object of my affections: the Mizuno half-marathon in Amsterdam on Oct. 20. A few weeks ago, even the NYTimes noted Amsterdam as one of the top 46 places in the world to visit. A close second: the Brussels Marathon/Half Marathon on Oct. 6.
But then over the weekend at the potluck party, my relay team captain mentioned wanted me on his Reach the Beach NJ team, coincidentally scheduled for that same weekend. I LOVED doing RTB, NJ, and I LOVE running with this team. It’s. too. much. fun! And I want to do it again. Even at the expense of losing a chance to travel to Europe this fall.
So this weekend, I put on my google goggles, and spent a considerable amount of time looking for other races that would be close enough to Amsterdam and at a different time of year. And I found two: a 10 miler in Antwerp (April 21), and a 15k in Brugges (May 5). I’m not so concerned that neither of these is a half marathon–in fact, the distances are probably more conducive to international travel and sight-seeing–but I am concerned about going it alone.
Which surprises me. I’m a social person, but I like spending time alone. As a parent, and full-time worker, and active 46 yr old, I have got people around me ALL. THE. TIME. Solitude is a precious commodity. But for some reason, I don’t want to go on this trip by myself. I’m not necessarily looking for someone to cheer me on at whichever race I choose (although that would be nice), I think it’s just having someone to share the experience of exploring a different country.
Probably at this point, many of you are thinking “well, duh, bring the Mister.” It’s not that simple. For the two of us to sneak away, we’ve got to arrange childcare, make meals in advance, schedule simultaneous vacation time, etc. If we’re going to go through all that effort, it’s going to be for one helluva trip that will be a lot longer than what I’m planning. Plus, he’s been to Europe before (for his karate) and I kinda wanna do my own thing, too. Selfish, yeah maybe. But that’s why we work (as a couple)–we get that about each other.
So back to my conundrum. Do I stay, or do I go? I’m leaning towards the Brugges race, and traveling to Amsterdam. Do I go it alone? Or do I try to
strong-arm convince a friend (or two or even three) to join me? It’s sorta short notice. But then again, I am fun on the bus. Five or six days alone won’t kill me, but I really think a trip like this would be more fun with company. Anyone out there interested?