The Comeback Kid … Maybe

The Marine Corps Marathon in 2011 was my first marathon and probably my absolute favorite race to date. I had no expectations for a finish time so it was simply about finishing the race and having fun out on the course. My DNF at the NJ Marathon in 2012 was humbling and downright depressing. Torn between swearing off the 26.2 distance and pulling the trigger on a redemption race, the registration bug got me and I was in for Philly that fall. Training started off really well but halfway through I was feeling burnt out and even the thought of running long was daunting. I half-assed training in the back half and it showed one million percent in miles 13-26 along Kelly Drive. And that was it, I swore off marathons until I got my shit together. I even went and put this bold statement out there: I would like my half PR to be under 2 hours before registering for another full marathon. Yeah, I’m not there yet. Might have even backpedaled and became slower in the process. [<— that takes talent] But I did follow it up with this: I’m shelving the 26.2 distance until 2014. Technically I left myself a loophole to make my comeback this year.

Not exactly sure what to do at this point. Do I continue focusing on getting faster for 13.1 or do I go for the gold by registering for a fall marathon? To make the decision more painful [and annoying] all of my top options are lotteries:

    • I’d love to run Chicago in October with these two and maybe this girl, but I recently [ahem, yesterday] committed to Ragnar Trail Relay Hill Country the following weekend so that’s probably not a good idea.
    • Marine Corps Marathon would be fantastic to experience again but after reviewing my budget for that trip in 2011, it doesn’t seem financially feasible.
    • And finally, the New York City Marathon, which is astronomically priced but has been on my bucket list pretty much since I started running. Although this would probably be the easiest on the wallet as a whole AND I’d be able to spend some time with my family in November.

Okay, it basically boils down to me entering the lottery for NYCM. But … what if I don’t get in? Do I say screw it, I wasn’t meant to run a marathon this year? Do I then enter the lottery for Houston in January 2015? (If I could get into Houston outright this would undoubtedly be my #1 choice for the full.) Or do I resolve to only run half marathons this year?

I don’t know what to do. Please help.

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  1. I’m reaallllly tempted for Houston as my second marathon for the season. It’s far enough away from Chicago that I could probably afford it and the flight plus I probably wouldn’t have to take a much vacation. I just wish it was sooner in the season because I have to keep up training between Oct and Jan, which I don’t know that I can do. It’s probably gonna end up being Space Coast in Nov. *barf*

  2. Well, I obviously vote for Chicago, Ragnar be damned! Besides, that’s a relay. Couldn’t they just give you the shorter legs? Yeah they could! 😀

    I would invite you to stay with me in DC (not weird), but I live in the world’s tiniest apartment, and you need to be comfy pre-marathon. As for NYC, we know that I *almost* ran it before it was canceled, and once I got there, it felt incredibly overwhelming. Like, get up at 3:45 in the morning and be bussed to the start only to wait in the cold for 2 hours for the start to actually begin. Then again, I have no other experience, so maybe it would have been fine and just sounds like a total nightmare.

  3. You could always run Wineglass Marathon in New York with me on October 5th. It’s net downhill and they give you wine glasses and champagne. Bonus…wine country, where you can spend some extra days doing some tastings!
    Chelsea recently posted…Deep in the Cold of TexasMy Profile

  4. I think you should focus on the half distance. Totally less daunting, but will build confidence! Then focus on the marathon for next year? It’s so easy to half ass marathon training. I’ve done that every time except my first. But the bug is addictive! I think if you focus on your half goal, then return to the marathon full steam ahead, you might be more successful w/ the marathon!

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  6. Soooo I just put in for NYCM. I figure my odds of getting in are… low, but I also figured it was worth a shot. So I think you should enter. Yes the fees are ridiculously high, but I also look at it as a one-time marathon. I prefer the half myself, and every year I tell myself not to register for a full… and then I do. Last year it was Chicago (which I also HIGHLY recommend – it’s an amazing race!).
    Kristine recently posted…Austin – Day 2!My Profile

    • I really really want to, but between the race entry (and the IRS stealing all of my would-be tax return dollars) and travel expenses, NYCM is somewhat a reach for this year. That race is definitely on my running bucket list … someday 🙂

      Best of luck to you in the lottery, I hope you get in!!

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