Wednesday, October 26, 2016

First marathon thoughts?

There seems to come a time in the running career of most runners where they begin to think about whether to do a Marathon or not.  I've been sticking with the half marathon distance a couple years but I'm wondering if it may be time to seriously think about trying a full marathon.  Next year happens to be my 40th birthday so it seems like a momentous time for something big.  And I don't think I have anything on the horizon next year that would make it a bad time for training.  But then, of course, I start thinking about which marathon it would be.  Here's a snapshot of my current thoughts.

1. Big city marathon like NYC - I would love to do the NYC marathon.  But is a marathon that huge right for a first timer?  I worry about crowds and difficult logistics.  But if it's going to be a one time thing for me, I'd love for it to be a big bang.  Another con is that it's lottery so no guarantee of that plan working out.  On the other hand, I could go through a charity and add extra meaning to the endeavor at the same time.

2.  Marine Corps Marathon - Our big hometown marathon has the advantage of being local.  It's amazingly well organized and though there would still be crowds and logistics, at least I wouldn't have to add travel to that.  There is still the lottery issue and I worry about beating the bridge since I'm pretty slow.

Marine Corps 10k last year

3.  Richmond - The Richmond Half Marathon was my first half so there would be something cool about having it be my first full marathon too.  It isn't super huge and Richmond is close so the travel would be pretty easy.  There would be no lottery worries.  I could enter early and then it shouldn't be too expensive either.  It's really well organized, great crowd support, in November so very low chance of it being hot.  They also have a generous course time limit.

My first half marathon

4.  Disney - I'm also excited about the thoughts of Disney as my first full marathon.  It would be fun, well organized, and they have a generous course time limit.  But the big con here is that it would be expensive (but again, it would be a belated celebration of my 40th birthday) and I worry that if this is a one and done thing for me, I would regret not choosing a different marathon.

Wine and Dine - my last race at Disney

Of course, before deciding on which marathon I have to be sure that this is something I really want to commit to and make sure I'm not putting the wagon in front of the horse!  But it's always fun to day dream... Any thoughts on first time marathons and which options would be the best?