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Endurance sports joint custody

The Mama mocks me all the time for my decision making because it is both a strength and a weakness. I'm not one to simply choose out of thin air. Whether it's what phone I'm buying or what race I'm doing, I'm more the type to make a "pros" and "cons" chart, research completely...and, rest assured, it will take some time. But I usually enjoy the process. It's not uncommon for her to include in whatever gift she wants to give me some built-in planning time that she knows I'll need/want. It's like enjoying the vacation planning almost as much as laying on the beach. 51 weeks of dreaming about sunshine almost outweighs the one week of sunburn, insect bites, and dehydration in the real sun.

As some of you may recall from previous posts, I've struggled again with my race calendar this season. Last summer was supposed to be a relaxing, light, race-free schedule of one first-time triathlon before I tackled Ironman Wisconsin this September. When signing up for IMWI fell through, I ended up with a fall marathon this October as my primary race and struggled to decide what that meant for triathlete-me. I decided I would do a small, local sprint just to keep my toe in the water. I had one picked out only to see the event cancelled before I could even register.

Friday I was in a state of decision inaction...I had a coupon code to a sprint triathlon 2 hours away. But that race was a month before my marathon and I wasn't sure I was feeling it. I get a club discount for a large local race that would be fun to do, but there are logistical problems that made it unappealing as a "B" race in addition to being overly expensive. I'd already decided my training was going to focus on the fall marathon so when it came down to it I was starting to ask why I was doing a triathlon this year at all.

After a long chat with The Mama about the ins and outs of "for fun" versus training hard and focused to do my absolute best, I came to the sudden (and uncharacteristically quick) choice that I needed a new, firm strategy going forward. Something along the lines of a custody agreement per sport. Something to leave me not feeling adrift in the gray area between being a distance runner and being a triathlete.

I've seen triathlete parents discuss alternating who gets to have the season to do races. One year the mom trains. The next it's the dad. It prevents the chaos of two people trying to juggle kids, work, and a training routine. (I'm lucky that I only juggle 2 of those.) And Friday, the idea hit me that maybe I need a self-imposed version of that for myself. I was putting myself on an every-other-year sport/athlete identity plan.

So, given that I'm already signed up for a fall running race and have been unsure about a triathlon this year, this season becomes the de facto Run Year. It gives me freedom to sign up for less expensive (and more numerous) road races to fill out my calendar and not feel guilty that I'm not doing a triathlon.

Then, next season, I'm a triathlete. Maybe it will be the year I finally do Ironman. Maybe I'll sprinkle together a 70.3 and a collection of shorter races.

Already, I have 2 "run season" races I'm ready to register for today that I'm actually excited about. I'll add them to my Race Calendar tab when I get a chance.