Last Sunday, I asked George his thoughts about going with me to Virginia Beach next Labor Day weekend for the Virginia Beack Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. I asked so early because I'd gotten an email saying they were allowing $30 off the registration fee through Nov. 30. He said it was up to me whether or not to go ahead and sign up, but that he didn't know if he wanted to spend Labor Day weekend in Virginia Beach.
That's had me thinking about road races and travel, and how it impacts my budget, our vacation time, and my training time. Truth of the matter is that I'm still a back-of-the-packer, in all the distances I've raced so far. So, is it a good investment for me to travel somewhere overnight just to run in a race where I'll be in the last 5-10% of finishers? It depends on how interesting the location is, whether or not George's being there is important to me (local races not so much, but I'd want his companionship on a weekend getaway), how much money and time it would take to travel and stay somewhere comfortably, and how I'd expect to do.
In the big scheme of things, where would I love to travel to to compete in a race? The New York City and Boston Marathons come to mind, as do Disney World's full and half marathons. Otherwise, perhaps I need to focus my attention on being a better runner first. At 45, I'll never win any races, but would love to be an age group placer in time. There are a respectable number of races within driving distance of where I live, though I wish there were more 10Ks half marathons around.
I'm thinking about starting a budget line item (or maybe a money jar) for race travels, and see how the money adds up. Meanwhile, after December's festive 5Ks, I plan to start my Saturday long runs again in preparation for the Coach Bubba 20K in February. The Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon is scheduled for March, but online registration isn't available yet. We'll see how the winter/spring schedule shapes up, and decide on the Virginia Beach trip a little later. Maybe I'll save up for Disney instead!