Run Mom Run Happy

My thoughts on being a mom, runner, wannabe health nut, and everything else.

Running a Marathon: Should I or Shouldn’t I?

on January 11, 2016

I have ran a marathon in the past.  I have planned to run others.  It didn’t work out.  Now I am debating my running plans for the upcoming year.  I want to run another marathon, I think, but I also don’t want to set myself up for more disappointment.

There are very few things that are guaranteed in life, so not planning on doing something because it may not work out is dumb.  I realize this.

AIRFORCEMAR

New medal and yummy beer? Yes please!

*After my first marathon in 2014.  (That beer was excellent.)

There are, however, both real pros and cons to training for and completing a marathon….

CONS

  1. Training for a marathon takes up a very large chunk of time and is a very big commitment.  There will be activities or events that may not be able to be participated in or attended.  (Yes, training can be bent.  It can’t be disregarded.)
  2. It’s expensive to run an official marathon.  For a “cheap” sport, running can sure be pricey!  Entry, accommodations, shoes, etc., it all adds up.
  3. There are some risks to your health.  Despite this delightful, tongue-in-cheek risk guide from Runner’s World, running a marathon does put a significant stress on your body.  Does that mean running a marathon is bad for your health?  Absolutely not, it just means that training for and completing a marathon can have health repercussions.  Doctor opinions and study results vary greatly on how running long distances can affect joints, heart health, and life expectancy.  (After reading a ton of contradictory research, my official opinion is that of a confused shrug.)

PROS

  1.  Training for and completing a marathon is a big accomplishment.  Working towards a goal provides a sense of purpose, and when you reach your goal of crossing the finish line, it can be very fulfilling.  Running a marathon is a big deal!
  2.  Running can be extremely personalized.  While it takes a lot of time to train, it can be done at multiple places at any time of the day.  You can run your own pace.  Road running?  Trail running?  It is all completely up to you.  Training for and completing a marathon is open to everyone.
  3.  Running provides a wide range of health benefits, both mentally and physically.  Training for and running a marathon extends a person’s endurance by leaps and bounds.
  4. My own personal biggest PRO for running a marathon?  It’s fun!  The running community is fantastic, full of tons of amazing, inspiring people.  Depending on what you enjoy, there is a race to fit your wants.  Amazing scenery?  Check.  Tons of bands?  Yup.  Crowd support filled with motivating signs?  You bet.

Should you run a marathon?

That’s completely up to you and whether the pros or cons weigh more heavily in your life.

Should I run a marathon?

I definitely think so!  With every decision, there is always the chance to be disappointed.  Not doing something I want to do because I’m worried that it may not work out is silly.  Next decision to make?  Which one should I do!

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4 responses to “Running a Marathon: Should I or Shouldn’t I?

  1. I’m in the same boat! I’m leaning toward shouldn’t… But hmmmmmm?! Haha Good Luck to you 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      Thank you! (I’m still not 100% – I won’t consider it a done deal until I’ve signed up.) Hope, whether you stay on shouldn’t or change to should, that you are happy with your decision!

  2. kristenk says:

    This is me right now too! I’ve never run one, but kind of want Philly 2016 to be my first. I’m so nervous to make a decision though!

  3. Hey! Just found your blog while looking for reviews of the Air Force Marathon!! Since it is semi local, I want to know as much as possible! I know that I am ready to run a full this fall and you have plenty of running left this year to do another one!! 🙂

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