Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Choosing Your First Marathon

Today's Workout:
6 mile run

Hello friends and happy hump day!
So, Fall season is rolling around and there's a ton of marathons to choose from. There's the Chicago Marathon, New York City Marathon, Philadelphia Marathon, Palm Beach Marathon, etc. Are you thinking of running your first marathon this season? If you are, you probably have a ton of questions and concerns about doing it.
First, let me tell you why you should run a marathon:
1. Marathons are like festivals. Since growing in popularity, cities all around the world are treating marathons like a huge celebration. They are a ton of fun!
2. Marathons are a bucket list item. More and more people are putting marathons on their to do list because they are a huge accomplishment in people's lives. Running is a testament of one's dedication and motivation to do something great!
3. Many marathons take place in different cities across the US and around the globe. Running in a marathon gives people the opportunity to travel and explore the world.
4. It totally rocks! Running a marathon is challenging and fun. It's simply an amazing experience.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your 1st Marathon:
1. Timing.
During what season will the marathon take place? How will the weather be? At what time does the race begin. For example, when I decided to run the Las Vegas Marathon, I totally kicked myself in the butt afterwards because I didn't like (a) the weather (it was hot as hell) and (b) the race started at 3pm (that's way to late! That's why it felt so hot!!).
2. Travel.
Are you willing to pay for traveling expenses to run a marathon in a different city or country? Do you have enough money for the total costs of the race and for traveling expenses? Are you familiar with that city's terrain and weather? Are you okay with feeling stressed out because you are in a new city, trying new food and running in a different environment? Traveling to a race may be costly and stressful. If you're okay with the costs, and with the fact that you will be running in a brand new place, then I say go for it.
3. Staying local.
Do you prefer to stay in your hometown for a marathon? Do you feel more comfortable running in a familiar environment? Do you rather stay local so your friends and family can join in on the fun? There's many pros to staying local. For example, there's minimal costs incurred, familiarity with the environment, and your family and friends can see you run your first race. On the other hand, the con to staying local is that you have already seen your city while you run, so the scenery won't be new to you. If you're okay with that, then perhaps staying local is the option for you.
4. Big or Small.
Do you prefer a glamorous and huge race like the New York City Marathon or do you prefer something smaller like the Albany, GA Marathon? Bigger races are more crowded and they may be very methodical to get into the starting line like the Boston Marathon, whereas, smaller races are less crowded and easier to maneuver yourself to the front of the line. Also, there's more fans in bigger races than in smaller ones, which may be important to some runners because the fans motivate the runners throughout the race.
5. Course.
Do you prefer a straight race without hills, loops or turns? Or do you prefer a hilly course near the ocean? Do you enjoy going bridges and feeling the wind in your face? Choosing a race because of its course is important to some people. Some runners prefer a scenic and easy course, while other runners may opt for a more difficult course that includes high hills, bridges, loops, etc.
As for me, I enjoy running a race during the Fall season when the weather is about 40 to 50 degrees. I like an early morning race that starts at about 6:30 am. I enjoy traveling to races, as long as, I have enough time to get over the jet lag. I love exploring different places, so racing in a different environment typically doesn't make me apprehensive. I enjoy running in local races too because "it's my stomping grounds" as I like to call it. I enjoy running with my fellow community runners and I like that my whole family can watch me race. I also enjoy running in big races. The glamour and crowded streets totally hypes me up. The fans are very important to me because they motivate me to run faster. As for the type of course I choose, it all depends on what my goals are for that race. If I want to improve my time (PR), then I'll choose a race that's relatively flat. If I'm wanting a challenge and time is not that important, then I'll choose a race that's more difficult.
What will be your first marathon? If you have already ran a marathon, which one has been your favorite?
Gratitude Journal: I am grateful that I have felt so amazing throughout my pregnancy.
Quote: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." -Eleanor Roosevelt
Positive Affirmation: Life is a joy and it's filled with love. 
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  1. All good things to take into consideration! I'll be running my first full marathon in Jan. The Rock n' Roll Arizona! I can't wait!

    1. That's fantastic Lindsay! Good luck. I hope you enjoy it. =)

  2. The California Int Marathon (CIM) was my first. The weather and crowd support were awesome... but my favorite has to be the Big Sur Int Marathon. There are so many iconic moments throughout the race (taiko drummers before Hurricane Point, man playing grand piano at half marathon mark, strawberries at mile 21, etc). Plus, it's beautiful to run along the Pacific coast the whole time!

    1. My girlfriends told me about Big Sur. They said it was beautiful too. Maybe I'm going to have to put it on my to do list! Thanks for sharing. =)

  3. I'll be running my 4th on Sunday, the Santa Rosa Marathon, which had the highest percentage of BQers last year, but so far the Eugene Marathon has been my favorite. I ran CIM last year in practically hurricane conditions, so I wasn't exactly crazy about it, but hopefully this year will change my mind! :)

    1. Where's the Eugene Marathon? I feel skeptical about marathons in the west coast because of the jet lag. When I ran Vegas, I was so exhausted, which made my experience not the greatest =/. Thanks for sharing. =)