Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Annual Race Budget

With all of the talk about marathons for 2012 already going on over here, I’m left in a little bit of a tizzy regarding the moolah.  If I get in to the New York City Marathon, I will be spending some serious coin on the flight out there, race fee, and some fun money to enjoy the sites/take Susan out for drinks and food for housing me.  J  As I’m currently bored in taper-town, I’m scouting out other races to put on my schedule for the spring, but am a bit hesitant.
Do any of you give yourself an annual budget for races?  And stick to it??
I have a spreadsheet of all the races I consider for the upcoming year.  One of the columns is the race fee, so I could easily see how much I spend on races from year to year.  And my running log has a place for the cost of the shoe, so I’m able to tally up that total as well.  Throw in gas for road trips to not-so-local races, hotel stays, and flights….. and this can be a freakin’ expensive obsession “hobby.”  And this is completely ignoring the fact that most times I see running clothes in kelly green I’m forced to snatch them up! 
Being the credit counselor that I am, I’m half tempted to do some tallying and set a budget for 2012, but the tallying part frightens me a bit, even though I didn’t make any major race trips for 2011.  Running and racing is the one thing that I spend money on outside of my living expenses.  I don’t really want to have to put a cap on the races that I do, but maybe I should.
For past years, I’ve had some unspoken rules that I’ve adhered to.  If I do a fall and spring marathon, one has to be local or drivable.  I’ve lucked out and shared the gas costs and hotel costs with Megan for a lot of these races.  Usually the destination race doubles as a vacation (ie:  Vegassssssss shenanigans and Dallas to see my fam).  I usually don’t give too much thought to half marathons because the price is fairly cheap, and they are usually pretty local.  I think the smaller races, 5ks and 10ks can get me in to trouble.  $30 every other weekend can really add up (not that I raced that frequently in 2011, but 2010 I sure did)!  One rule that I loosely imposed for gas reasons is that I wouldn’t spend more time driving to a race than I would on the race course.   
Are there any other suggestions that have worked?  Keep in mind I make peanuts at my non-profit job, and am going to school full time as well so the “go get another job you whiny ding dong!” suggestion is not applicable at this time
Do running sugar daddies exist?!??! :P
I ran 5 miles this morning with zero pain.  So my mini-freak out has passed.  I think I was probably be overly cautious with the 2 rest days, but when you break as much as I do, it doesn't hurt to be cautious.  11 days til Philly!


Myron said...

i admit i have a pretty good budget, but i'm a cheapskate, so: - book hotels online cheap, really shop, really dig deep into discounts then call the hotel and try to drill them down even more - take a lot of food along or grocery shop

Heather said...

Pick what's really important to you - if you get into New York via lottery, having a great, amazing trip to NYC is probably worth sacrificing on the races for the rest of the year.

Susan said...

You race a lot more than me (and NYRR can be on the cheaper side, relatively...half marathon for $23!), so I don't totally have words of wisdom. However, I think we should employ Jason as our running sugar daddy. Coach/sugar daddy? Why not? I hope he doesn't read this...

Steeple Creeper said...

Bahahaha.... Jase as your running sugar daddy.... :-P

This is something I've been thinking about and stressing about quite a lot lately since everything race-related was taken care of for me in college and now I'm on my own. For track season, I've realized I'm going to have to pay for pretty much everything, but since track is my main focus I'm okay with that. But, at least until I'm fast enough for SERIOUS prize money rather than these $50 checks I've been winning lately, I've decided that I'll only do road races that will comp my entry and where I can split lodging costs with someone. Still, I think I'll be very poor very soon.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I still read each and every post, I just SUCK at commenting on them.
I think what you have been doing is great. You have created Scarves for PRs to help fund your racing, you stay local a lot, and you car pool when you can. If it makes you happy and you are not going into debt because of it then I say just keep it up.. no need to total the cost up for the year. That will only make it less enjoyable!
Keep being awesome, pretty lady! Can't wait to read about Philly!

Glenn Jones said...

We are lucky that running is our sport of choice. We could be skiers - $100 bucks a weekend plus gas....