I overthink pretty much everything.

So picking a fall marathon is a huge decision.

I’m not even 100 percent sure I want to/should do one. Marathons are expensive, and right now we’re very focused on paying down debt. The financial planner in my head is telling me to scrap the idea of a fall marathon altogether.

But … I had so much fun the last time around … and I feel like I have lots of room for improvement.

If I did do a fall marathon, these are the ones I’m looking at, in order of their date:

  • Chicago: Oct 13, $175. Did it last year and loved the experience. Would LOVE to do it again. But the cost is significant. (It’s a World Marathon Major through 29 neighborhoods in the third largest city in the country, and they’ve proven almost every year that they can put on a quality event – the cost is justified in my opinion.) And in a perfect world, I’d like something later in the season, for weather reasons. Maybe I wait a couple years before doing Chicago again.
  • Detroit: Oct 20, $80. Run in two countries! Plus I have a couple college friends who live in the area, so there is a very good chance I wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel. 
  • Monumental (Indianapolis): Nov 2, $80. I’ve heard good things about this race, from many runners.
  • Madison: Nov 10, price TBA. This used to be a spring marathon, but after last year’s crazy warm spring, they moved it to a fall marathon. The date is perfect though – late enough that I wouldn’t stress about the weather, and my really long training runs (over 15 miles) would be after Labor Day.

Genevieve and I are looking at these together, as she wants to do a half marathon this fall, and with the exception of Chicago, these all offer that option. That would also mean we could share the cost of gas and a hotel room (otherwise, footing those costs myself, I may as well just do Chicago).

Me and Gen

Genevieve and me after the Sunburst Half Marathon last June. This was a great race. Maybe I’ll do the Sunburst Marathon some year. So many marathons, so little time.

Right now we are leaning toward Detroit or Madison. Obviously we want to wait until details for the Madison Marathon & Half are posted before we decide anything. We have some time, as I don’t think any of these will sell out anytime soon (other than Chicago), and we have at least two months before any of the prices go up.

Are there any other “local” fall marathon & half combos that we missed? I know there are also options in the Chicago burbs (Fox Valley and Prairie State), as well as Grand Rapids, Columbus, and another option in Indianapolis in October. And Milwaukee Lakefront doesn’t have a half marathon.

Of course, do I really want to do a marathon this year? I probably need to think through that part first. Like I said. I overthink things. (Because I’m pretty sure as soon as this publishes, I’m going to get a bunch of comments encouraging me to do a fall marathon, heck, there’s still time to do a spring one … but this spring is all about my goal half and then Ragnar.) But, my long, loooong term goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. (Or at least … keep improving.) Should I work on getting faster at the half marathon distance before tackling another full? Or just … enjoy the ride? Stop overthinking? (NEVER!!)