Making Financial Plans for What's Important
Runners are sometimes obsessive. My team has a calendar, my teammates each have their own calendars. A couple of them shared their calendars with me recently and my boss (and teammate) even printed a blank one for the year so I could have a separate race calendar. I honestly believed the calendar I use to book clients, write down appointments, holidays, birthdays, etc... was good enough. Silly me. I already know I don't have the same intense drive that most of my teammates have. I'm organized, I push myself and I really enjoy the atmosphere of an event but I'm behind in my compulsion comparatively speaking. Looking at my friend's calendars I took a moment to pause wondering if I'm a slacker. Nope. Just different. My finances dictate how many races, the location, whether or not the kids can come.
And they're OFF!!! Keeping things local keeps cost down. I used to want to do every race within a 2-hour radius of my house. Now, I really look at the races and determine my entry based on where, how much, and if it's a good match for me. I've gotten picky. Not because I'm a running snob but because I've given away bags of race t-shirts I don't wear and I've decided it's quality over quantity.
Since the half marathon is my favorite distance, I almost never do a 5K. Over the course of a year, it's a lot of money for not much run. I'd rather volunteer for those races and be in the environment from that perspective. Anything under six miles I generally just run on my own. This is strictly about more bang for my buck. Also, my kids run this distance and it's nice when they get to be the center of the running attention. I do maybe one 10K a year. I like this distance. It's enough mileage that I enjoy running it in a group. If there were more of them, I'd jump on the bandwagon. When I make my race calendar, I first add the races that are my "A" races. The ones I really, really want to do.
This year it was Running With The Bears and my first triathlon in Vegas - the Irongirl. This is where I wanted my time and money to count and both involved some amount of travel. I also do my coach's series. It's a series of 3 and I can choose the 5K, 10K, or half marathon. They're spread out, local, and fun since I know most everyone. The kids volunteer and run an aid station for at least one of these every year. (this year so far they've run two aid stations which I love, love, love!!!). Five races in a year just from my top two and my coach. Already that's a great race schedule. After that, races come up and I decide on a per-time basis.
Family and finances are the first two considerations as well as training and interference with my A list races. I've bowed out of a few this year and others are on my waiting list. But there is something to be said for making financial plans for what's important. On the remainder of this year's docket is my coach's race - Reno 5000 #3 in the series Sept 8. I did the half marathon, the 10K, and now the half marathon again. September 28th I revisit Taylorsville for a weekend with the girls and a 12-mile race. Irongirl is at the end of October. Big news on the training front is my entry into the Napa Marathon in March. In the past, I trained for two marathons and ended up not running either. I marathon trained with my team last winter up to 17 miles. The great thing about this race is that most of my team will be going. The training is so much easier among friends especially in the cold. Misery loves company!! Already that's an A list race for me in 2014 as well as Running with the Bears in August. See guys...... I'm compulsive too!