The $500 Workout

Last Saturday, I answered the question “how badly do you want to complete a key workout.” Greg and I participated in the Total 200, a bike ride that left Washington DC and ventured into the rolling terrain of Maryland’s farm country. It was a well-supported ride, and provided diversity from our usual rides. More importantly, it provided a way for us to get in 125 miles on our bikes. But it was costly.

See, most of our long bike rides have been done on Fridays so that we can get in the miles while we have fully childcare coverage. Aside from some significant workplace shuffling, it’s fairly easy to do. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option for us last week. Greg was traveling. Our nanny took vacation, and Sasha got out of school early on Friday. So, we had to look to Saturday.

But, here’s where it got complicated: now that we’re closing in on our race date, we’ve begun exhausting our regular, go-to childcare coverage. Greg’s parents were busy with visiting relatives. My mom was out of town. And, again, our nanny was on vacation (so we couldn’t consider trading hours or shifting the schedule). Enter Plan D – our favorite babysitter, Tia. And, it quickly became expensive.

The ride entry fee was $300 ($150 each for Greg and me), which was the bulk of the expenses. The cost of the sitter for 11 hours was $220.  (1 hour before the start, then 8 hours of riding, 1 hour of stops, and 1 hour of finish and packing up the bikes. Yes, 11 hours is right.) Plus, $80 for Uber to pick up our sitter and make sure she could make it to our house at 5 am. So, in total, excluding incidentals, that’s a $500 ride. Ouch.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. We needed the longer ride, and we needed it on that particular weekend on our calendar. Plus, the ride was really well supported, and it was a good foray into riding in bigger groups and better simulating advanced riding. Financially, I *think* I can justify it by saying we spent $22/hour per person to ride. That certainly makes it sound better, and is more in-line with a specialty workout class. But, let’s just say that it was a luxury that we’ll take advantage of on very rare occasions.

Thank goodness we only have 3 more long bike workouts until Placid. Let’s cross our fingers, and protect our checkbooks, by wishing for sunny skies on the next few Fridays.

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About the author

Now a 5-time Ironman finisher, Monique is starting to think that, perhaps, she might actually be an athlete. Triathlons were supposed to be a hobby to alleviate the anxiety of turning 30, but more than a decade later, and after a 5-year hiatus to start a family, she’s hooked again.

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