For the most part, I pride myself on my frugal-ness. I change my oil despite the fact that it saves a little over $2. I buy groceries from the discount shelf because a can has a ding, or the bananas are a little over ripe. I raise my own rabbits for meat, we have chickens for eggs, we don’t eat fish unless I catch it. I wear my clothes until they have holes in them because they are so threadbare they’re falling apart. Most of it comes down to trying to pay back loans as quick as possible. Sometimes, it takes discipline, but for the most part, I’m not that compulsive of a person, except when it comes to running.
The most expensive part of running is typically shoes, but being an ambassador at SKORA Running, I get some shoes for free, and the ones I don’t get for free come discounted so that takes care of that. How about clothes? Nope, TJ Maxx, baby. So then, we’re left with races. Turns out, people realized they can make a killing of a race and so the price for races has gone up and not looked back. Half-marathons run upwards of $60 plus some kind of online registration fee (even if I send in a check, I pay the registration fee for the registration…), 5ks under $20 are becoming a unique treat. Well, ultra marathons are usually more expensive – unless it’s a Fat Ass and then it’s free. So for the most part, I plan my races based on cost. But that doesn’t stop me from occasionally perusing Ultrasignup.com.
After VT100 (Parts I, II, and III), I decided to just rehab the Achilles and keep my mileage low. There’s a race I’m planning on doing in April, and I told myself that would be my next big event, which meant real training wouldn’t commence until late December giving me a nice off-season. Of course, while rehabbing I started to get bored and decided to really plan out next years races. Bad move.
I directed my browser to Ultrasignup.com punched in my zip code and started eyeballing some races in the area – this probably would have been okay, except I forgot to set the search date for 12/31. So instead of finding races that would start after my off-season, I found some taking place during my off-season.
As I scrolled through, I stumbled across the Joe English 6 Hour Twighlight Challenge. (I’m no Fanboy but anything with the word ‘twighlight’ in it? Sold. Not really, but…) Before I did my first 50 mile run, I followed Joe Fejes’ six-day breakout race at Across the Years and was hooked on timed races. I have an 8 hour penciled in for next August, but that’s so far away, and Joe English was slated for 10/4, and it was less than two hours away. As soon as I saw that the wheels started churning, hard.
Irrationally, I really wanted to do it, rationally, I knew it was best just to heel, besides, my funds for running were nearly depleted. For kick, I cliked on the register link – $30. Holy Hell. $30 for any run is a bargain, let alone an ultra.
I think it was the $30 price tag that sealed the deal. I couldn’t help it. I signed up despite my best interest. Since VT100 I’ve been under 30 miles a week except for the last two (~35); my Achilles is still grumpy about anything quicker than a 7:00 mile.
So as I’m gearing up for Saturday night, I’m starting to get a little excited. Some people wretch at the idea of running a 2.6 mile loop for 6 hours; I can’t wait. I’ve no real goals – I’d like to hit 40 miles, but whatever works works. It’s called a trail, but it’s a groomed horse trail which is grass and gravel and 12 feet wide in all places. 314 feet of elevation change per loop.
So yes, I’m impulsive when it comes to some things. At least it’s cheap. Adventure.