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Marathon Conundrum


On December 31 I decided that 2011 was going to be the year I would (wo)man-up and run a full marathon. I had talked about it for years–actually since high school. My dad was a hard-core runner back then and ran the Long Island Marathon, Atlantic City MarathonMarine Corps Marathon, New York City Marathon, and the exclusive Boston Marathon (I’m sure I missed one or two in that tally). Quite a few times when my cross-country team was out for a long run, talk would turn to the big 26.2 and if/when we would ever tackle the distance. Inspired by my dad, I was sure that I would… someday. When I returned to running in 2005 the notion started to creep back into my head but I kept ignoring it. Although I ran some long races–half marathons, 20K, 10 miles–I favored 5Ks and shorter road races. I was concerned about the amount of time that goes into marathon training… but mostly I was chicken.

So when I decided that this was finally the year, the only things I needed to do was 1) pick a marathon and 2) not get hurt. After 5 plus months of deliberation, I finally chose the Niagara Falls International Marathon. I had considered Steamtown, Erie, and Rochester but the Niagara Falls was the latest of the group giving me more time to train, and it was a Team Cure event which meant I could raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. It was a win-win and training began.

Then this Tuesday the “Oh crap!” lightbulb went on. I was telling my sister-in-law how participants needed a passport or NYS Enhanced License to run the marathon because it crossed over to Canada. I had thought the course looped back and finished on the American side of the Falls so it was a little odd that American runners needed ID because we weren’t going to stop and get checked at the border during a race. The more I thought about it (and that all brightness emanating from the crap lightbulb) I realized I needed to double-check the race course. And duh!–there it was–the finish line on the Canadian side. So not only did I need to get my passport/enhanced license, but if I wanted anyone to actually be at the finish line when I completed my first marathon they would need a proper identification too. Suddenly the marathon logistics and price tag increased exponentially. After all my research (read: infinite hours spent scrutinizing how could I have missed this? This is an important detail! A deal-breaking detail!

So this is what I need to decide in the next week:

  • Pay off the outstanding tickets that I may or may not have then pay to get an Enhanced License. OR pay to get a passport. The latter would be the cheaper of the two because I may or may not have outstanding parking tickets that cost more than a passport. Either way I would still have to find Brian’s passport, get a letter from Madylin’s dad allowing her to cross the border, and then round-up all the kids’ birth certificates. Kind of a pain in the butt (understatement). Additionally, are race fees plus $140 passport really worth it? Seems self-indulgent when I need to finish painting the house and recarpet the playroom and have visions of a fenced in yard and paving stones in my garden next spring.
  • Choose another October marathon as local as possible, such as the Empire State Marathon in Syracuse and the Century Marathon near Oswego. The Empire Marathon is brand new, cost $95, is 90 minutes away, has an interesting view of the thruway, and features Kathryn Switzer as its keynote speaker and MC. It is one week before the Niagara Falls International Marathon which would not really call for any change in my training plan. The Century Marathon is 4 years old, cost $55, is 90 minutes away, loops twice around a lake, and advertises that it is a small-town race. All of this would immediately appeal to me and make the Century a no brainer. However, it is two weeks earlier than Niagara Falls which would mean I would have to adjust my training plan and cut out 1 or 2 long runs–long runs that I may regret missing come race day.
  • Run the Philadelphia Marathon at the end of November. Pros: Get to run with Sole Sista Sue, have more time to train, visit friends and family (hopefully by that time my new nephew will be here or I will have a very unhappy, very gigantic 44-weeks preggo sister). Cons: Adds 4 more weeks of training onto my current plan which will most likely be in snow since I now live mostly in Canada, costs $125 plus travel expenses, is 4 days before the Buffalo Turkey Trot which is a Team Cure race (Go Team Camryn!!).

Currently I am leaning towards the Century Marathon, but it’s not a done deal. I’ve got some more thinking to do before I make a final decision. Luckily the only race that may fill up is Philadelphia so getting my registration in is not supremely urgent. On the other hand, I need to know what adjustments to training I need to make (if any) and it is nice if someone asks “What marathon are you training for?” I don’t answer “Ummm, a fall one?” I swear that I have spent more time deciding on my debut marathon than I did buying this house.

Wednesday’s Workout:
Ran 4 miles/36:01
Upper Body Weights 30:00
Sit-ups 10:00

Tuesday’s Workout:
Ran 3.3 miles/29:40
P90X X Stretch 57:00

One Comment leave one →
  1. 11/24/2011 8:29 PM

    Praise to God that I was not 44 weeks pregnant.

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