In a few short weeks I will complete my third half marathon. It will also be the anniversary of my first half marathon. When friends & family hear this I’m often asked the question, “Do you think you’ll do a full marathon?” The answer is that I’m still undecided.
So what’s holding me back from taking the plunge? It’s not the distance. Quite honestly I have been feeling really strong on my long runs and often feel like I could keep running. While I’m sure I’d be terrified on marathon day, I have confidence that if I trained correctly I could finish strong. A huge factor for me is the time commitment to training.
I love running. I love it. Right now I’m laying in bed looking forward to the fact that my alarm will be waking me at 5 am so I can get an early morning 4 mile run in before work even though I just finished a 5 mile run two hours ago. However, I’m not sure I love it enough to allow it to rule my life. I’ve seen a few training schedules that do seem fairly reasonable, not much more during the week than I’m doing now, but it still seems like so much more when factoring in 2-3 hour Saturday runs. I also have a lot of smaller races I’d like to do this year and I feel like I’d rather focus on enjoying those than worrying about if/how it interferes with training.
I also really like the half marathon distance. It’s long enough to feel challenging, but not so long that I feel depleted when I’m finished. I have watched my distance running improve so much in the past year there is a part of me that wants to keep working and improving my half marathon time. Between May and November 2013 I improved my overall finish time by about 10 minutes and my average pace per mile by about a minute.
For a while I was thinking that fall of 2015 would be my marathon goal. Then I toyed with the idea of just doing it this fall since I’m already in great shape. But now I am back on the fence on if it’s something I’m even truly interested in accomplishing anytime soon. I still have a few weeks to decide if I’m going to go for a full or another half in the fall and a couple of good long runs to give it some more thought.
How/when did you decide to do your first full marathon? What factored into your decision?