Monday, April 9, 2012

Nuun for me

I'm not sure if you've heard but there's this little race called the Hood to Coast Relay.

It would be understandable if you hadn't heard of it. After all, no one is talking about. nuun-one.

Obviously, we both know that's a lie. The blogosphere has been alive for weeks with chatter about HTC and the three (count them 1-2-3) teams that nuun is sponsoring. To be eligible, you had to be female and a blogger. Just like me.

I was all over it, the mania. The idea of running the race - and running it with women I've read for years - consumed me. I began to work in an excited fury on a concept for my application, compiling photos and figuring out technical things. I even purchased a whistle.

And then reality hit, like a checkbook to the head.

Don't get me wrong. Mark and I are not poor or disparate. We are your average couple who manage to make things work. We have two jobs, eat out, enjoy life as we manage two car payments, two sets of student loans, child care, diapers, formula.

There are good months and bad months, of course. Last month was a bad month. We realized that we couldn't just spend here and spend there and accomplish our financial goals. We were going to have to tighten the reins.

  • The grocery budget was going to go from $100 a week to $80.
  • Monthly allowance was going to be cut $20 per person.
  • We would negotiate (successfully) a lower rate on Internet (we don't have cable).
  • Once we're out of contract, we'll eliminate data plans on our phones.
  • Entertainment money (i.e. dinners out) would be cut $15 a week.
  • And, finally, we would have to cut the amount of money I spent on racing.

There's no denying it: Running races can be expensive. Let's look at my upcoming Martian half-marathon.

Entry fee: $50
Cheap a$$ hotel, 15 minutes from the race: $50
Gas: $25
Kennel, to board Denali: $30
Meals: ~$50
Gu: $3
Post-race M&Ms: $1

Without even blinking, Mark and I will spend close to $200 - the amount of money we'd like to, at minimum, put in savings each month (and thus, are cutting the budget by). This is a race semi-close to us -- nothing like Hood to Coast. And while nuun covers a lot of the cost, there's still airfare, Gu, parking at the airport, airport food (my favorite, seriously) ... and well, you get the picture. I would be spending $400 or more to run a race that seems so free. If I got picked, of course.

So when Mark and I looked over our budget, it was easy to see that I shouldn't put myself in that position - the position of getting picked. I quickly deleted the files I had started for my application and cleared my browser history so I couldn't see the link for the application info. I stopped reading blog posts about the race and resisted the urge to click on twitter links for applications. I tried to eliminate it from my thoughts.

Obviously it didn't work. And so today, the deadline, is a bit bittersweet. It would be nice to apply, to be picked and to run. But, it's nicer to know that I'm doing what's right for me and my family.

I don't tell you this in a "Let's all feel bad for Kim" sort of way. I tell you this in a "Let's be real" sort of way. I think it's so easy to feel like you have to do this race and then this race when you read lots of blogs. It's easy to feel left out when you can't do it or feel jealous when you see people dropping serious cash on Disney marathons or feel like it's all so out of reach.

Someone needs to say it's OK not to do it. It's OK not to join the hoopla because, what really matters, is the run. And all I need to run is me (and my Nikes, an old pair of shorts and a tank).


  1. Me and you both. I thought it sounded awesome, too, but then realized all the financial implications. We could create our own Fort Wayne relay. I'd come down for it! :)

    1. Um, yes! We could even add a diaper dash event :)

  2. Amen sista! That was one huuuuge reason I didn't apply again this yr. I'm doing rock n roll Seattle in June and airfare is going to be around $500 roundtrip. There's no way I could swing that twice in a few months. I always think that there will always be other opportunities to do it again or for other races. Ps Sooo excited for u to be in my neck of the woods this weekend!

  3. OH MY GOD THANK YOU for writing this. This EXACTLY why I'm trying to not even think about applying (unsuccessfully I might add - every time I watch one, I'm a little envious). I just can't put myself and my family in that kind of situation, because if I DID manage to get picked, I'd seriously be screwed.

  4. While we could afford for me to go, I just can't do it to my family this year. I am hoping they will have this opportunity again come next year and then I will submit my application. It IS depressing though skipping out!

  5. With the loss of my job six months ago, we've had to do some downsizing in my household as well. I want to do some many races next year that are an airplane ride away but the husband has limited it to one. I'm hoping to earn a little $$ and save for next year's Disney Princess Half. It's totally ok to skip something because it's best for your family. Next year is another year :)

  6. Awww wish we could have all pitched in a few dollars to help you get to the race. :( But hey sometimes we have to make sacrifices for our families. Sorry, hope you get to participate next year.

  7. I wanted to apply this year, but realized it was the same weekend as my best friend's wedding. So nuun for me either this year. btw, you don't need to wait until you are out f contract to cancel data on your phone. I did it myself earlier this year as I've been trying to consume less and save more. (also, I took the time to search for new car insurance when I was due, I ended up saving about 25 bucks a month by switching providers and maintaining same coverage.)

  8. Sorry it didn't work out for this year, maybe next time!

  9. Sometimes, it sucks to be the responsible grownup, doesn't it? :-) Hope you can find something fun to do that's closer to home!

  10. Racing is so expensive. I just registered for the lottery for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Fran. Um, if I get selected, $175 entry fee...ouch. Not to mention the hotel and airfare.

  11. I totally agree! You really have to prioritize to keep on top of a budget. I will say though, that I'm very disappointed that race fees have skyrocketed in the last few years. It seems very unfair and makes the sport seem exclusive and not for everyone, like it should be. When I first started running them (12 years ago), marathons were around $40 to enter. Now they are like 6 times that. Not cool.

    Maybe this race wasn't meant to be this year, and I certainly think you are doing the responsible thing and opting out. I hope karma comes your way and you get something even better.