Should I run a marathon?

I’ve been mulling over running a marathon for the last two years. I gained entry to the NYC Marathon for 2015 through a program called 9+1. (How it works: In a calendar year, you run 9 races hosted by the NYC Marathon sponsor organization the New York Road Runners and you volunteer at one too.) Since I sprained my ankle and didn’t run in 2015, I was able to defer guaranteed entry status to 2016, but I sprained my ankle AGAIN December 2015, so I didn’t feel confident committing to the race (which you’re required to do very early in the year).

But now, I am mostly fine. I get the normal aches and pains that come with running and working out often, but I haven’t had a significant injury (knock on all of the wood) since December. So I’m giving thought to signing up for a marathon. But I’m just not sure.

Should I do it? What should I consider before signing up? I can run NYC in 2017 (I’m doing 9+1 again this year to keep the option open!), but I’m also interested in running a flatter marathon as my first (maybe Philly? Chicago? A random one?)

Here is my initial thinking, and I would love your two cents!


  • Huge sense of accomplishment (you know, when its over)
  • Opportunity to have a whole new experience with running
  • If I run the NYC Marathon I can experience my city in a new way
  • Join a pretty cool club (of marathoners, I assume they have celebratory hats?)
  • Setting a really hard goal is character building
  • I have no reason not to (i.e. not injured, don’t have another big obligation)
  • Be a part of something really special/emotional/wonderful (the marathon itself)


  • Training takes over your life/weekend
  • I gain weight when I run long distances (am one carb-loving hungry runner)
  • Other tough workouts take a backseat since I can’t be “too sore to run”
  • The emotional ups and downs of a “good run” or “bad run” suck
  • Lots of waking up early

Have you run a marathon? Would you recommend it?

For kicks, here is Matt’s  NYC Marathon story.


  1. healthyhappierbear
    June 6, 2016 / 10:37 am

    I highly recommend Philly as it’s close enough and a wonderful course and very well organized!

    • Nicole
      June 6, 2016 / 10:39 am

      Thank you! Is it meant to be hilly? The real question is…should i run one at all? Is it always worth it to you after? Do you like training?

  2. Jonathan Silverman
    June 6, 2016 / 10:59 am


    You know you want one of these cool celebratory hats…

    Jonathan Silverman
    American Century Investments

  3. giannanicole22
    June 8, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    I’ve done NYC twice, Chicago, NJ and Miami…just signed up for Philly this year after what will be a 2 year hiatus.

    If you are willing to make some sacrifices then I say go for it! NYC is obviously awesome but god the logistics just suck (as in waiting around for hours prior to racing). Chicago logistically is so easy and nice and flat. Weather can still be warm. I choose Philly over a couple others I was looking at (Indy Monumental and Richmond) for the later November date and mostly flat course (apparently a couple early miles with a hill). And the best part of running in NYC is the large community to tap into to train! NYRR hosts long runs, there is summer streets…lots of opportunitites to unite with others during training.

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