Well, first the bad news.
I found out that the daycare we want to move Buster to probably won't have a spot available until next year. We've been on the wait list for a while and I'd been hoping for the fall, but that was apparently wishful thinking on my part. So until then we're with the daycare he has now - which is EXCELLENT and we love his teachers and he's making friends there - but it costs so very much, more than we can afford. And by now we've run through the extra funds from the tax refund and The Dude's bonus, so times are going to be very tight for a while.
We started looking at some expenses we'd been planning on, to see what we can cut out, and we've decided not to sign up for the Chicago Half Marathon, which we'd been planning on running together. This made me very sad, and I worried that I would end up dropping the training I've been doing - all geared towards running a half, and which I've been loving. Speedwork, tempo, and long runs, oh my! So clearly I needed to find something to motivate me in the same way as the Chicago Half.
(And yes, I realize that given the current economic climate, and the other ways we'll need to cut back in the next half year, this is really a luxury problem. But it's my blog, and if I choose to obsess about races and running, that's my prerogative.)
And so, I've come up with (drumroll please)...
The First Annual Buster Brown Celebration Fun Run!
To be honest, this will actually be the second year of it. The Dude was signed up to run the Chicago Half last year, thinking it would be a couple of weeks still before I went into labor (I really had been counting on going past my due date). But I started pre-labor the week before, so by the time that Sunday rolled around it was clear I could go into labor at any time. We didn't want him to be so far away from me (the race is on the opposite end of the city from us), and I wasn't feeling comfortable enough to head down there, so instead he plotted out a half-marathon course in our neighborhood with a couple of loops that kept him near the house and ran that instead.
It was CRAZY rain that whole weekend. The Dude's path took him along the Chicago River for a time, which had started to spill over onto the banks. He came home and told me he'd seen two crabs while running - at first I thought he meant people dressed up in crab outfits (you see some wacky things in this city), and then I thought he had been hallucinating. But no, the rain had forced some river crabs out of their burrows or whatever it is they live in, and they'd been on the running path, waving their claws at him. Quite a memorable run.
(And I stayed home and tried to get my notes in order for work, since I had by then realized I was not going back into the office before this babe was born.)
So it seems fitting that instead of the Chicago Half we create our own run instead, to honor our hard work as parents, and celebrate our amazing little boy.
~ No swag (t-shirt, finisher's medal, gear bag, etc.).
~ No aid/rest stations.
~ No official time.
~ We don't have to run on Lake Shore Drive (easily the most unappealing thing to me about the Chicago Half) but can make up own own - shaded - route.
~ We don't have to travel down to Hyde Park just to find no parking once we're there, or pay another $20 for the shuttle from downtown.
~ We won't have to get up at 5:00 a.m. and then drop Buster at someone's house way early in the morning - it'll be a lot easier to get convince someone to babysit for him this way.
I think I will have to insist on at least getting a t-shirt out of this deal - maybe I'll design something with a crab on it.
I had been thinking of calling it the Buster Brown 13.1 Mile Celebration Fun Run, just for the absurdity of labeling a half-marathon a "fun run," but I've gotten really attached to the idea of doing a run every year in celebration of Buster's birthday, and I think I want to be flexible about the length of it - maybe next year we'll do it with Buster! And I'm not pushing him 13+ miles in a stroller, no matter how light-weight it might be.
Here's to running as a family!