Today, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in Washington, D.C. Definitely a worthwhile way to spend $30 and a few hundred calories. I'm not a fast runner by any means, and running in the cold rain was probably not the ideal setting, but it was so worthwhile. I can't explain how much fun the run was, and how great it was to see all the spectators cheering the runners on, especially those in the 11-12 minute mile pack. Thanks to all of them for staying out in the rain to cheer on their friends and family.
That said, I've been re-bitten by the racing bug and am scouring for an enjoyable, inexpensive half marathon in the area. Running is definitely not a cheap hobby. While you don't need a whole lot of special gear, for long runs, technical t-shirts are much more comfortable than cotton t-shirts, and I am happy to pay a premium for good running shoes that keep me from injury. Some people can run in whatever shoes they happen to pick up at a discount store, others of us are the types of runners who do better with shoes designed for specific running forms. My shoes are typically in the $80-$100 range, and I buy 3-4 pair a year. Still cheaper than doctor bills though!
And now I am going to sit on my couch and rest. And enjoy the fact that I don't have to do a training run tomorrow.