Greetings from Minnesota. The temperatures have warmed up today – it’s almost 20 degrees – but the sky has decided to snow. And I think that’s enough talk about the weather.
For the last, oh, maybe the last year or so, I have been entertaining the idea of running a marathon. [insert perplexed/scared face here] It’s definitely a serious undertaking, but there are so many reasons bouncing around in my brain about why I want to do it.
Pros (and other thoughts)
- I like to run; I figure that will be helpful 🙂
- I’ve been running consistently again for a few years. (as opposed to running during my college years which might mean an 8-miler on a nice afternoon followed by no running for 2 weeks.)
- I’ve done 2 half marathons and hope to do more, but I want to tackle the challenge and feel the sense of accomplishment of a full marathon.
- I feel close to God when I run (especially outside). I can pray, think and even relax if it’s an easy run.
- I’m plenty busy, but I figure I will only get busier as time goes on. (Besides, we don’t have kids yet, and I’ve always said I will run my first marathon before having kids.)
- It would be a great way to raise money for a cause important to me if I can work it out.
- I’ve been doing enough speed work over the past year that I think there’s hope I would cross the finish line in a respectable time (or at least before they close it)!
- During 2010 I have been (relatively) injury free.
- I’m thinking a late spring marathon. It’s a better option for me because summer and fall are way busier times at the farm, and I could more easily fit in training over the winter/spring.
- Who am I kidding, I want to be able to tell people I finished a marathon 😉
Okay, so there’s at least a few decent reasons to run a marathon in 2011. Now let’s look at the other side…
Cons (and other thoughts)
- My free time and running schedule are really more conducive to training for shorter races.
- I could or should be able to get a big half marathon PR if I just stepped up my training moderately. (and I still wouldn’t be running as much as marathon training.)
- I definitely think I’ll have a higher chance of injury from increasing my miles. I can manage this risk with good planning, but it’s still there.
- I don’t want to “put all my eggs in one basket” so to speak. If I train and plan for the marathon and then can’t run it because of injury, illness, an emergency, etc I don’t think I’ll deal very well. I realize this sounds whiny and like I’m afraid to try because I might fail, and I suppose that’s a little bit of the truth.
- Part of me feels bad if I spend too much time running. I could do more things with husband, friends and family, have a cleaner house, or get ahead on things at the farm instead of marathon training. I think I currently have a healthy balance, especially because I really do a lot of my running early in the morning or over my lunch hour, but I worry that a marathon would be a rather selfish activity. Would it be fair to my husband and family and the cows and calves I care for everyday?
- Shorter races are tough in their own right, and I could work my tail off forever just lowering my 5K or 10K times. A person can set goals, train, and achieve at any race distance.
- Aside from an entry fee and travel, I have a feeling more miles will mean costs for shoes, clothing, and even groceries (think powerade and gu in bulk) will add up more quickly.
Ok, that’s enough philosophy. At the end of the day it might logically make more sense to focus on shorter distances, but… I still want to run a marathon someday. Someday might never come unless I make definite plans.
The race I mainly have my eye on… drumroll please…
I suppose the real reason I’m writing this long, rambling post is because I kinda need to decide soon so I can start training. Knowing myself, I’ll probably loosely start training and getting consistent with my long runs for the next few months.
I’ll put off making a final decision as long as possible so I’m not locked in if something major comes up. I’m sure it would work out way better if I could just find a compelling reason NOW to either sign up and start marathon training or decide against it and focus on a half marathon or even 10K.
I need your wisdom ladies! Share your own experience, and if you have a direct response to any of my pro or con thoughts please comment.
If you’ve done a marathon, what were your reasons for deciding to run your first?