I started writing this as a comment to Audrey, but it was long enough that I thought I’d put it into a real post instead.
I still haven’t picked my marathon, but I’m enjoying everyone’s suggestions. I picked up a copy of Fodor’s Traveling Marathon Guide, so I’ll hopefully look through that and pick a fun place. Choosing my first marathon (hopefully of many!) is a little daunting for me, because I know I’ll always remember my first, and I want it to be extra super special. I may be putting too much pressure on this, but I just want my first time to be an amazing experience.
I would love to do NYC, where all my friends can come cheer me on, but I’ve heard it’s a terrible pick for a first marathon. However, if I travel somewhere, I’d probably be all by my lonesome self, which may not be the best idea just *in case* something goes wrong. I’m thinking about the Country Music Marathon because I absolutely love country music and it makes up a large part of my running playlists, but I don’t know a single person in Nashville. And also, as everyone keeps pointing out, it may be a little too soon for me to be prepared.
On the plus side, the CMM is the weekend after Boston, which would probably be really inspiring. I got word the other day that I’m now officially staffed in Boston until the end of April, and as soon as I heard that, I immediately said I needed Marathon Monday off. So I get to watch the most prestigious marathon in the world! My coworkers are trying to convince me to run as a “bandit”, which is apparently what they call the people who don’t register/qualify but just jump in and run (not necessarily for the whole thing). I’ve had friends do that with smaller NYRR races, but… I wouldn’t feel right about doing that. Especially not for Boston. I’d rather save Boston for when I can someday qualify for it and feel a real sense of accomplishment to even be in the field. With the slow speed at which I run, I will probably never qualify, but a girl can dream, right?
Since I’m not running Boston, my new debate is whether or not to get wasted like half the spectators (including the friends I’ll be with), or be respectfully sober and just enjoy the experience. Either way, if any of you are running Boston, let me know so I can make a sign to cheer for you and perhaps even pick a spot to take your picture and hand you whatever personal supplies you need to keep going. When I watched NYC, I came equipped with some aspirin, power gels, and this numbing stuff (kind of like BenGay) that I got in the packet at a race I did a while ago. I handed them out to my friend Rob who was running, and he was thrilled. It made me feel really good, like I had somehow helped him make his goal, even though I know it was really the long hours of training and not my two minutes of handing him some aspirin :)