I’m really entertained at the timing of this week’s Tuesday’s on the Run topic as I am on a racecation as this posts. Clearly I’m a fan of “racecations”!
As someone who enjoys Disney races and doesn’t live in Florida or California, racecations are a necessary part of my running life. I tend to do a couple of travel races a year, including my annual drive over to Des Moines and the occasional flight to other races. Even though I have the luxury of being able to afford these trips, costs add up and so I avoid going too often. Between flights, hotels, food and race registration, things get expensive fast! However, the occasional racecation is worth the investment for me for a couple of reasons:
⁃ Making the race a big event can be very motivating! Honestly, I don’t know if I’d be able to mentally motivate myself to run for 6 hours around Omaha. The appeal of making it an event and of running from park to park was so helpful! It also helped that I was coming back to the site of success with my first half marathon (Princess Half Marathon at Disney in 2014).
⁃ Getting away from day to day responsibilities can make it easier to rest mentally and physically before the race. At home, I’d be running errands, doing chores and working up to the last moment.
There are disadvantages too, beyond the cost.
⁃ You’ve got to have everything with you because there’s no running back home for something at the last minute.
⁃ You lose the chance to practice on the course itself, which can be really helpful so that you know what to expect.
⁃ You have to resist the urge to play tourist and tire yourself out before the race. That’s a particular risk with Disney races!
A nice hybrid option I use a lot is to look for races anywhere I’m traveling (like the Jazz Half Marathon this fall). If I’m going somewhere for work or family, might as well take the chance to try a new race while I’m out there anyway. Google your location and dates or check out the running club in the town you’re visiting to find options.
Local races on the weekend have their own charms, beyond being cheaper and more convenient. I’ve found new running trails and met other people in the Omaha running community. A mix of both local and travel races works best for me right now, but who knows what the future will bring. Maybe I’ll be a little old lady with a RV and a full racecation schedule in my retirement. 🙂
Which do you prefer: racecations or running local weekend races?