Where should I do my 1st marathon?

Despite the fact that I’m currently sidelined from 2 mile runs with thigh pain, I think I want to do a 26 point 2 mile run. Now, which one?

First of all, I’m getting married in October. I do not want to be training for a marathon while I’m planning and preparing for a wedding. Two weeks on a honeymoon would majorly interrupt training, too, even though I assume I’d have a killer body for the beach. Those factors rule out any fall/winter 2016 marathons. I don’t want to go right from honeymoon to marathon training, so that rules out Spring 2017 marathons. Since I hate running in the heat, I’ve mostly settled on Fall 2017. FH (Future Husband…though he’ll just be H by that point) mentioned we could combine this with a 1 year anniversary trip, so that opens up my options, location-wise.  Thus, I’ve compiled a list of a wide variety of races to choose from.  Most I can’t register for until fall 2016 anyway, so I have plenty of time to decide.

Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon – November 2017

  • Pros: For starters, VEGAS BABY! Fun environment. It’s at night, so it will be cool out + no sun burns!
  • Cons: I’m not sure if there are any!  I guess that I’ll have to fly there, and there’s a time difference and staying there a few days will be mad expensive.  Nevermind, I found a con.  The marathon cut off is 5 hours.  I’m not really sure at all that I could do this under 5 hours.

Seattle Beat the Blerch Marathon – September 2017

  • Pros: I really want to visit Seattle.  This event seems really relaxed, not competitive.  It’s inspired by a comic strip for fuck’s sake!  There are couches along the way AND cake (yes, there’s motherfucking cake) at every aid station.  AND this one’s course doesn’t close for 7 hours.  That sounds doable.
  • Cons: FH does not want to go to Seattle, because “what’s there to do in Seattle”?  I guess my answer is, “RUN A MARATHON”?  lol  Obvi, there’s flights and jet lag here, as well.

Seattle Marathon – November 2017

  • Pros: Have I mentioned I really want to visit Seattle?  There’s beer at the end.  No cake, though.  But probably more organized than the Beat the Blerch?
  • Cons: “Rolling course with hilly sections”

Vermont City Marathon – May 2017

  • Pros: Only a few hours drive.  Cute town for a long weekend.  Clover shaped course means spectators don’t have to move, but still see you 4 times!
  • Cons: It’s in the spring, so I would have to have a solid base leading up to the wedding, and would have to start training immediately after.  I don’t even know if I’ll have the base by then with how my thigh is.

Upstate New York Wineglass Marathon – Oct. 1, 2017

  • Pros: Driving distance.  Wine!  7 hours to finish.
  • Cons: This is WAY out in NY, so driving distance actually means 6.5 hours.  Upstate NY is not the most exciting destination.

Mount Desert Island Marathon – October 2017

  • Pros: Driving distance (at least more so than NY above…this one is 4.5 hours).  Nice weekend getaway.  8 hour course (plenty of time to die and come back to life!)
  • Cons: I still don’t understand why the name of this island contains the word desert.  Sounds like there are a lot of hills and Mile 25 is the highest point…uhhh…yuck.

Le Marathon Du Medoc – September 2017

  • Pros: France.  Wine.  Cheese.  Is this not the coolest marathon, ever?  And probably beautiful running through the vineyards.
  • Cons: France. Wine. Cheese.  Yes, wine and cheese at the fueling stations sounds awesome, and they have regular gatorade, water, etc. as well.  But, I don’t think I’d stop myself from the wine and cheese, which would probably have some poor results.  I’m also pretty sure I don’t want my first marathon to be overseas.  Jet lag + language barriers would make for a stressful, confusing start for an already anxious me.

Chicago Marathon – October 2017

  • Pros: Iconic marathon.  Easier to get into than Boston.  City that both FH and I really want to visit.
  • Cons: 40,000 runners.  On one hand, it means it’s well organized.  On the other hand, it’s totally overwhelming and much ado about nothing (‘nothing’ being my 5-6 hour run).

San Francisco Marathon – July 2017

  • Pros: Another iconic location.  You get to run through the major neighborhoods and over the Golden Gate Bridge.  That’s pretty fucking cool.
  • Cons: Long flights, time difference, that it’s in JULY.  But I think SF’s weather is a little more even keeled than the rest of the country, no?

There you have it!  My list of possible marathons!!!  Now, I just have to narrow it down.  Honestly, while I like the idea of destination races, I’m leaning towards something closer to home for a few reasons.  1. I might be able to get someone to run it with me if it’s close to home.  2. I may not be up to exploring and doing things afterwards, so that would be a waste of a vacation.  3. What if I don’t finish?  Break my leg?  Pass out?  And we traveled all that way and paid all that money for a trip to the hospital.