Should I run a spring marathon?

Over the weekend, this question came to my mind: should I run a spring marathon? As I’m sure most of you readers know, I am training for 4-5 triathlons this summer: 1 Olympic distance, and 3-4 Half Ironman distances. This will obviously consume my whole summer (June-September). Originally, I thought I could do a marathon in the late fall like last year. However, last year I could not recover after my 140.6, and my fall marathon suffered greatly. I don’t really want to waste a registration fee again, so this weekend, John and I were discussing our options. I never considered this before, but perhaps I could run a marathon in the spring before my triathlon season kicks off! The only problem…spring is here…and registration fees are now expensive… Here are my options-I am open to suggestions!

April 6th-Ohio River Road Runner’s Marathon. Perk: it’s super cheap, SUPER flat, and VERY close to my house. Con: it’s only 4 weeks away, and 18 miles is my longest long run so far. I know I could finish it, but my goal would be to get a new PR, and I’m not sure my body would be ready by that point.

April 13th- Athens Marathon. Perk: it’s only a few hours away and looks to be relatively flat. Con: it’s very expensive, and only 5 weeks away.

April 19th-Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon. Perk: it’s only a couple hours away, the price is about as cheap as I would expect being this close to race day ($85), and it’s 6 weeks away, which gives me time for two more longer runs. Con: this is a VERY busy race, and I don’t like crowds. Also, this sounds like a small thing, but I haven’t done a KY marathon yet, and John and I are trying to do all 50 states–he won’t be ready for a spring marathon, so I don’t want to do one in a new state.

May 4th- Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. Perk: it’s quite close to us, is relatively flat (although I’ve heard there’s one killer hill), and almost 2 months away from now. Plenty of time to build up to race distance, while still giving me time to recover before my first triathlon (June 1). Con: SO EXPENSIVE! ($105) Also, this is another very busy race.

There’s another race in Ohio two weeks after the Flying Pig, but that one is just as expensive, so I’m not even listing it as an option….so it looks like those are my choices for the spring.

If I were to do a fall marathon, it looks like I could get one in around my fall break from work (Oct 16-19). There’s a promising one in Greensboro NC and also one in Chattanooga, TN on that weekend. Those would both be great options for John to do with me so that we could add on a new state. Also, that would be at least 5 weeks after my last potential triathlon, so I SHOULD be recovered by then assuming I don’t get injured.

So what do you think? Should I run a spring marathon? Or should I wait until the fall? I’d love to hear your thoughts/advice!


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