In a moment of weakness (read: travel fatigue coupled with birthday brain), I signed up for my first marathon.
It seems everyone these days is signing up for an obstacle course race, or a triathlon, or a marathon, so what makes me say it was a “moment of weakness”? Well, let me count the ways…
1) I have always been very adamant that I would never run a marathon.
There goes that!
2) At the risk of sounding like I have a drinking problem: marathon training is dedicated and hard, which means seriously cutting back on social events that revolve around cocktails.
Until you’ve lived on an island and have come to realize just how much of your life you spend in bars, you really can’t understand how difficult this is. Drinking is truly the Official Sport of the Islands.
Allow me to give you a simple example of why this is a real challenge for me. Here is a snippet of my calendar from just the other week:
Thursday: business lunch = 2 beer lunch
Thursday: business networking = wine tasting
Friday: networking golf event = 1 beer for every stroke over par (And yes, I suck at golf.)
Saturday: client boat trip = painkillers at Soggy Dollar/BBC’s at Cooper/champers at CocoMaya. Not my boat, not my itinerary – I’m just there to drink along the ride!
Sunday day: baby shower = brief liver respite
Sunday night: dinner party hosted by yours truly = wines (What is the plural of wine? Wines seems like a good guess…)
I’m sure you can see where this is going. Cutting out social events involving drinking quickly cuts out your social opportunities altogether. And yes, I’ll be the first to admit, you can do all of these things without drinking, but then you have to constantly defend that you are not, in fact, pregnant!
3) I live on an island.
Roads? Crappy at best. Showers? Not always guaranteed, particularly in this record drought we’ve been experiencing. Hills? More than any reasonable training plans dictate. Daylight hours? A very tiny window between Too Hot to Run o’clock and Too Dark to Run hour. Access to proper training gear? Ha!
4) Sweat, sweat, sweat!
It is the Caribbean and yes, it is indeed warm on most days of the year. But now, it is summer which means that warm turns to HOT, and the fabulous trade winds that make my island a sailing mecca during the “winter” months have died a thousand deaths. Those two factors equate to sweating like you’ve never sweat before. Of course, the peak of my training is now centered during these next dreadfully hot months, so I have to just embrace the sweat. I have fully mastered the regular everyday survival skills of beating the island sweat lifestyle, but this is a whole new ball game.
– – –
As much as I doubt my decision to participate on a daily basis (even more so as I write this litany of legitimate complaints), it is too late now to even consider pulling out. Everyone near and dear to me has been told that I’m training for this beast, and so, if for ego alone, I must do it.
In the event that you, too, have a moment of weakness and decide that you want to tackle your first marathon while living on a tropical rock, my suggestion is that you embrace the denial of pregnancy, the lead time associated with ordering training gear, and most importantly, welcome the sweaty, sweaty mess that you will be.
After all, there is a post-marathon party to get to – and you’ll certainly be ready for a stiff drink at that point!
Want to stay connected to the Land of Coconuts?
We'll send you island mail, fresh from the tropics each week.