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Now that I decided to sign up for my first half marathon my dilemma is which one to choose!  I am contemplating a more fluffy half marathon like a Diva or Disney type half marathon which focuses more on being fun, less stress regarding a specific time limit and just do my best.  OR choosing a half marathon that is considered a more “legit” (for lack of a better description) one that I am not only proud to say I ran 13.1 miles, but I ran “The San Francisco Half Marathon!”

OK, so here are my reasons for each and I need some feedback from serious, experienced runners.  I am not walking it, or settling for 16 minute miles.. I am taking this serious and plan to really train for it as such.  But, I am not sure how realistic I am being.  So here it goes…

If I choose the Diva Half Marathon in San Francisco its in June and gives me approximately 8 months to train.  It’s less pressure to get it done within a certain amount of time, it’s flat as a pancake course, its fun, it gives blinged out medals, champagne and roses at the finish line, it’s mostly women so it could feel empowering and fun.

If I choose the San Francisco Half/Full Marathon it’s seen as a real, legitimate course and does have a time limit.  I won’t get an official finisher medal if I don’t complete the first half marathon within 3 hours.  If they don’t think you will finish within 3 hours you will be asked to move to the sidewalk and won’t be considered an official finisher!  It takes place in July and gives me roughly 9 months to train. It crosses the Golden Gate Bridge in BOTH directions and how often does anyone get a chance to run in the street of the Golden Gate Bridge?! Right?  So here is where I lean towards… my personality tends to want to take the more legitimate (I know its subjective, as well as I recognize running ANY distance is legitimate) but my psyche does make a differential between the two types. I tend to like the idea of having to train harder and the embarrassment of being asked to step to the sidewalk would mortify me.  I can’t let that happen!  I think if I am going to train that hard to finish a goal such as that it needs to be more of a substance win and not fluffy.  I tend to be a bit on the overachiever side and like finishing things above the standard.  But, running isn’t easy.  I have to be committed and train my ass off.  There are hills, it’s not flat.

I know finishing in under 3 hours isn’t an impossible feat.  Many people do it.  But, I am worried if its a bit unrealistic for me to do it.  I would have to keep a 12 minute pace, which isn’t impossible, but I have to keep it for 13.1 miles.  I can run that pace now, but the longest I have kept it up is 6 miles.  I guess, if I run hills, and follow the a strict training plan and really want to pull this off I can.  I am just having a little hesitancy as the fear of not finishing it in the allotted time would be like standing naked in front of a classroom or something.  I would just die.  Maybe, the fear of that is enough to motivate me!

Has anyone been at this stage in their running and questioned their ability?  How did it turn out?  I am kind of starting to cringe at the thought of my first half marathon being the pink feathered boa and tiara marathon.  I probably already know my own answer, but would love to hear any feed back.  If you haven’t followed the blog from the beginning, I have improved my 5K time easily by 4 minutes since my last 5k.  I am improving with each month for sure.  What do you runners think?