When I decided to coach my son’s soccer team, I looked at the dates carefully as coaching is a 14 week commitment and it’s twice a week. I knew that the spring would be difficult as I had other things going on; from June through the rest of the summer, I have more flexibility with my time. My only real need in terms of coaching was making sure that my obligations to the team were over before I would be running the Quebec City Marathon, my marathon of choice for the fall. I diligently counted the weeks of soccer from start to finish and – perfect! Soccer ends the week before Quebec.
I don’t need to marathon in the fall. I BQ’d in Chicago last October and I plan to run Boston. My goals in and out of a fall marathon are to build a stronger mileage base and improve my BQ time. Running in August makes perfect sense as I won’t have to deal with high mileage during the craziness of back to school and registration for Boston is at the beginning of September. The Quebec City Marathon, which has been on my bucket list for years and years, is August 28th.
Hubby and I started to plan a mini-holiday to Quebec City and the province with the boys, possibly travelling into the maritimes. We looked into accommodations. Training was going well. Then, one evening, when going over the snack schedule for soccer, I thought twice.
“Um….why is Festival Day on the 27th?” I wondered. Looking again, I saw that we are scheduled to play on the week before Quebec City. How is that possible? I went back to the calendar and counted 14 weeks again. “The last week ends on the 20th! I don’t get it!” I looked at the calendar again, carefully. The players have a week off at the beginning of August! Why didn’t I realize that? Ugh! There is no way that I can coach on the 27th and get to Quebec City on time to pick up my race kit. Even if we play the first game and I fly, timing would be dicey.
I contemplated not going to the last two games of the season, our weekly game and the Festival Day event. But I always teach my boys that when you make a commitment to do something, you follow through with it to the end. Volunteer work is no different. I made a commitment to my team and the soccer club that I would coach the boys for the season. Had the marathon date been in the middle of the season, I might take off a game. But at the end of the season, it’s a different story. It would look like I quit or gave up on the team. How can I not coach for almost 4 months and, then, not be at their final game? Even if some of the boys don’t see it that way, what kind of message am I sending them? Is it okay for a coach to miss the final game and your trophy day? Not really. So, I am not going to run Quebec City. As I often tell other running friends when they have their own race conflicts, there is always another marathon.
So now the hunt for a fall marathon begins and there are only two conditions; it has to be in Canada, and it needs to be before the end of October. I’ve narrowed it down to Run Victoria (B.C.), Scotiabank Toronto, and Prince Edward Island. Before the end of July, I hope to have worked through the logistics and will register. Meanwhile, my training continues as I work towards building my base and bettering my BQ time.