My favorite thing about running is racing. Races are the point in your season that allow you to test your fitness. They tell you where you are physically, what you need to work on and they’re just so much fun. On top of that, there are so many different distances: 1,500, 5K, 4 milers, 10k, 1/2 marathons, marathons, 50k, 50 milers and 100 milers. You have so many options to push your body and test your limits. Races occur almost every weekend. You could literally sign up for a race every Saturday or Sunday if your heart so desired. It’s overwhelming and exciting all at the same time.
I mean there is nothing quite like being at a race. There are hundreds of people there to enjoy the same pain, exhaustion and endorphin pumping feeling as you are. Everyone is on a runner’s high. Adrenaline seeping through your skin. The excitement and nervousness is thrilling and inspiring. In my opinion, you’re on cloud 9. Races are so emotional. There’s literally blood, sweat and tears as well as hugs, jumps and smiles. There is no better feeling than all the feelings at once, with hundreds of other people. It’s quite incredible and it’s also why my wallet is empty.
Seriously, I am obsessed with racing that I have signed up for about two or more races a month. I’ve had to hold my self back from others. Now I’ve come to the point where my wallet is screaming at me. These $30 to $100 plus races are quite a lot on my budget. Maybe I’m the only one thinking this and maybe I’m not. But I signed up for so many races, I’m like “oh shit, my rent.” (I have never missed a payment for anything, by the way.) I am by no means struggling, but maybe signing up for all these races at once was a bit much. My question is how do you race on a budget? I mean the early bird special only lasts for a short period of time. I need to jump on that train before I miss it. What about the races that sell out? I totally missed the SeaWheeze race entry, and I was bummed. They all seem so fun. Temecula Country Half Marathon relay with wine and cheese afterward? Please, count me in.
I also have a tendency to get an email for a race and sign up. If I’m free on a weekend, you know I’m gonna fill my free time up with a race. I am definitely capable of paying bills and living my life to my standards, but there are so many races. My issue is I just want to do them all. Seriously. It’s probably why I am also so overwhelmed. I want to train for a half marathon. I am currently in an XC season with a local running club. I want to sign up for races because I want to. I also want to buy more running clothes, so I can stop running in cotton, but that’s a whole other topic.
Basically, I need to take a step back, reassess my racing addiction and map out a plan. I set so many goals for myself that I might explode from too many options. It’s like if I don’t fail this one, don’t worry I have 20 more coming my way. But you can’t do that. I start focusing on so many other things, that I forget about the 5k race I have coming. “Crap, my speed work.” We already know I’m a space cadet, so what I really need to do is narrow my focus. I need to finish out this XC season and then start really training for my half marathon. I need to map out my races for a few months and decide when and what I need to race in order to help me train/stay on track for the the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January.
Once you have mapped out some races, there are some simple tips to budget your extra spending money on races.
- Find smaller, local races. They tend to be cheaper.
- Pay attention to coupon codes or Groupon. They’re emailed to me constantly (I follow race event pages on social media as well)
- Get the early bird special. A half marathon can go from $80 to $130 plus really quickly.
- Map them out in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy entry fees back to back to back. (Spread fees out over paychecks)
I know its only October, but I am already mapping my race season out 2016, which I’m sure most people are. I want to buy an entry fee every pay check or so. Sometimes I get the early bird special, but sometimes I don’t. But it’s OK, sometimes you have to bite the bullet. I mean you could spend a $100 easily going out to the bar on a Saturday night (or at least I could, “Shots, for everyone!!). So in perspective the money is going to a good cause: your health. Also, like I have mentioned before, you meet so many awesome people in the mean time. So, unless you’re rich, have no bills, get free race entries because you’re like totally awesome or only spend your money on running (I love concerts and travelling just as much!) then hopefully these tips help you too!
Tuesday- 6 miles in La Jolla (Hilly and I was so thirstaayyy the whole time, where is fall?!)
Wednesday- 5 miles
Thursday – 1 hour boot camp & 3 miles with Christina (Yay, new running friends!)
Friday- 3 miles (had major stomach pains)
Saturday- 6 miles total: 1 mile warm up, 5k- 19:36 (3rd in my age group, won a beer mug!) and 2 mile cool down.
Sunday- Off (naturally, meh :/)
My mileage has been really low lately. I need to step up my game. Time to follow that plan!
Is there anyone else with a racing addiction?
How do you budget your race plans/running?
How often do you race?