When I began ultra running, a handful of years ago, it became a point of contention between my husband and myself. So many hours dedicated to running, early mornings, sometimes overnight, races that were to places that had no interesting vacation appeal, and often with people my husband didn’t know well.
He often lamented, “where does this fit into OUR life, how does this make US more connected?” I had thrown myself headlong into the sport and with vise like mental determination I was putting forth every extra spare moment into running, or lifting, or going to the mountains.
The answer was, it wasn’t.
I also think this is not uncommon for ultra running families. Sometimes compromise is hard, sometimes figuring out how to include your family into your sport is difficult. We already have jobs that keep us apart most of the day, now we are planning weekend/week long trips that keep us emotionally disconnected? That’s always a recipe for disaster.
We are both very stubborn, and at some point we got so annoyed with each other that we would just shut down whenever it came to race planning. That was 4 years ago, and I have learned a lot since then.
Now to get where I’m going with this….
This winter I got shut out of the Western States 100 lottery, then then Hardrock 100 Lottery, so I put in for CCC, a 100k that runs around Mt Blanc in Europe, and I GOT IN!! I was thrilled and terrified all at the same time. Thrilled and terrified are my favorite emotions when I sign up for a race, they are like my race peanutbutter and Jelly combination; If I’m both terrified and excited than its for sure a good race that I am looking forward to.
My husband had agreed to me putting in my name for the lottery, but when I got in I realized he had done so with hesitation, (and probably figured my lottery bad luck would continue anyway.)
He tried to act excited, I tried to pretend that my excitement could carry the both of us to Europe in August. I came to realize that wasn’t the case. So I readjusted my head, and thought, how can I pick a schedule that would include him.
So what have I learned in the last 4 years? Compromise!!! What is the point of being excited for a race when the person that I love is miserable thinking about the time and the travel and not being about to do the touristy things we’d like to do while in Europe. I looked at how much time and money going to Europe would cost; the race plus our one year vacation, and proposed instead of one big expensive trip we could have a few less expensive trips in the US.
This made for a very happy husband.
So instead of Europe here is my 2017 schedule:
- Cruel Jewel 50 May GA–my birthday weekend we will go with friends
- HardRock 100 trip (I am not in the race, but will be there to watch, and volunteer) CO
- Waldo 100k OR- our best friend from college, my cousin, and his aunt will figure into this trip
- Javalina 100K AZ-plus a trip back to UofA where we met
This schedule makes me just as excited as a trip to Europe and Drew is happy and included as well; total WIN-WIN!!
Now my races won’t just be about me. When we are at Waldo we can visit our west coast family that we see so rarely. When we go to Javalina we can visit Tuscon, where we met in college. Drew has wanted to go back for a visit for several years now.
Now the answer to the question, “how does this benefit US,” has changed from, “its my race-come along for the ride-” to “lets do something fun as a family and have an US” vacation. A little running for me, and family and vacationing for him!