September 2, 2014

Seattle Marathon: To Run or Not To Run?

I keep wondering if I should sign up for the Seattle Marathon on November 30th. Because I signed up for the 10K, I got an e-mail with a $20 discount for any of the Seattle Marathon races (full, half, or 5K). I figured since I paid $30 for a race I didn't attend, this was a great opportunity/deal to sign up for a race with. I spent about an hour looking up Hal Higdon's plans for a marathon with a half marathon thrown in about 8 weeks before, and put the runs in my calendar. I went through the sign-up process just to make sure the discount worked (it did), but didn't sign up quite yet, afraid I was making a rash decision.

So, I decided to tell JW that I was thinking about signing up for the full marathon. He kind of stared at me in disbelief and told me he didn't think it was a good idea. Granted, he's not a runner.. but still, his doubtfulness made me think about it a little bit more.

  • I would achieve my New Year's Resolution of running a 2nd marathon 
  • I would get closer to my New Year's Resolution of running more than 950 miles this year (I won't achieve it unless I train for this marathon, plus 6 miles a day in December... no thank you)
  • I would keep up my running fitness with a set goal in mind through November
  • The $20 deal expired on the 30th at 11:59, and the race is $120.
  • I would have 8 more long-run weekends after Bellingham Bay, plus the 26.2 miles on the 9th weekend 
  • I kind of hate the course
  • Potential injuries
  • Running fatigue
I'm really not sure what I should do. On the one hand, I'm worried about injuries and being disappointed. On the other hand, I feel like it would be an accomplishment no matter how long it took me to run it. Of course, I would want to beat my time of 4:27:53 - but would this be the course to do it?

I know the half marathon course pretty well - for the marathon, as you can see, the split is right after mile 4, and the marathoners basically do their own little out-and-back (two out-and-backs if you're being nitpicky) for almost 14 miles... which is a little repetitive for me. I can only stand watching people run the other way, knowing they're ahead of me, for so long. I had the same problem at the Nike Women's Marathon - that damn out-and-back at the end of the race really killed my motivation. But, maybe it would be difference since the out-and-back is in the middle of the race?

Maybe it would be better to start anew for 2015, choose a course that's flatter and more prone to PRs (Chicago Marathon? California International Marathon?), and train for that specifically instead of tacking it onto the end of half marathon training. The only problem with that is those races have already filled up (being in January) or they won't happen for a while (October 2015).

Some more fast marathon courses I've looked up in addition to Chicago and CIM (I don't own any of these pictures... taken from the race websites):

May 17, 2015
October 2015
September 2015
October 2015
October 2015
November 2015
Or maybe I should just run the Seattle Marathon Half, and keep up my little tradition of attending every year since I've moved here. I'm assuming it'll be even easier, seeing as how we're staying in Seattle for Thanksgiving, as I won't be fatigued from two plane trips within days of the race. I always love local races for that reason - I can sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, not be rushed...

Or maybe I shouldn't run at all after Bellingham Bay.

At this point, the $20 off coupon has expired- the half marathon is $90. I'm feeling pretty fatigued with running lately (I'm writing this blog post and delaying going out and running at this very moment), so I wonder if it would be a mistake to sign up at all? I have until October 15 until the price goes up to $100, so maybe I should just decide then?

How do you decide which races to run?

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