Half or full?

Ok, people.  I need your help.

Tomorrow is the big day.

What day? Pittsburgh Marathon Early Registration Day.

That’s where you come into play.  Last May, I did the Pittsburgh half marathon.  It was my very first half marathon experience, and I finished in 2:09.00.

Quite an accomplishment for myself, though for others that is extremely slow Winking smile.


Now the tough part comes.  I have to decide by tomorrow at midnight whether I want to sign up for the full or the half marathon for next May.  I get a lower registration fee if I sign up tomorrow, and I need to make my decision quickly!

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I need all of the advice I can get.  Do I do the half again to try and get a better time? Do I take on a big challenge and just go for the full?

Can you tell me about your experiences with the half and the full?

For those of you “non-runners” that turned runners and ran/walked either the half or the full, what are your thoughts?

Is my little body capable of 26.2 miles? Will I die?! (<—Not seriously die, but will  I be able to make it?!)




Filed under Exercise, Life, Races

48 responses to “Half or full?

  1. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance

    FULL! I did a half two years ago, then signed up for my first full right after and completed it 8 months later. Although I probably will never do a full ever again (haha), completing it was a life goal that I’ve always wanted to achieve.

    You will NOT die! It IS possible! If I can do it, you can too! (Although I had no time goal, so that’s another story)

  2. I say FULL! And I am saying that because I want to do a full now and knowing you signed up will pump me up as well 🙂

  3. Do what you KNOW you can do and what you WANT to do!!!

  4. Avery Lawson

    I say register for the full…if the training goes well, do it! If the training does NOT go well, you can always switch to the half. You will absolutely be able to make it and what a great accomplishment when you do! Good luck. 🙂

  5. Becky

    Full! You should train with Fleet Feet in the South Hills, their training groups are amazing! Check out their website: http://www.fleetfeetpittsburgh.com

  6. LIsa

    I was in this same situation last year. I was just about to sign up for the half, but one of my friends convinced me to do that full. I had only been running for about 11 months when I registered (and had done two half marathons) and was scared to death. But through training and determination, I crossed the finish line of the FULL Marathon this past May and it was the most incredible feeling ever!! I say go for the full! 🙂

  7. I’m with Avery. You could sign up for the full and then if you decide you just didn’t train enough for it, switch to the half.

  8. Jen T

    I just signed up for the Pgh full (my 1st) after running the half the past 3 years. A full is on my bucket list and being born and raised in Pgh it only feels right!

  9. Lisa

    I’ve never met you…however you need to do what you want and believe you can do. I have only been running a little over a year. I have done 2 halves and really enjoyed each. I just recently completed a full. It took a LOT of time in training, with that said, I do hope to do another someday. If you really want to do it, go for it! You’ll be sooo proud of yourself but know that it is a much bigger committment than a half…if you want to be fully prepared to do well and recover well, that is. If you’ve got good motivation and support and enough time, then consider it. I ran my full to benefit a missionary and that motivation went a looong ways in getting me through the training and the race. I kept a blog throughout my training. Here’s the link if you are interested..I suggest reading from the beginning, in chronological order. http://runningonfaith-stl.blogspot.com

  10. I’m with Avery.

    Pittsburgh was my first half and I’m making the leap to full this December (and May in pittsburgh after that). I think if you’re debating it at all, you’re ready to give it a shot.

    Have fun!

  11. Monica

    I am admittedly a wimp for running in the cold/dark and I am not a fan of treadmills, so training in February/March has been what keeps me from doing the full in Pittsburgh. I’ve done the half the last 3 years, and am planning on doing it again this year. If you can take the cold, I say go for the full!

    On a side note, I’ve done two full marathons (Columbus and Marine Corps) and highly recommend doing your first full in a bigger city because of the atmosphere, crowd, etc. is so supportive.

    Good luck with your decision!

    p.s. We Are!

  12. I’ve never done a full before, but I’m registering for it. Bite the bullet. If you’re toying around with it, then come May you won’t have fun with the half, instead wondering how you’d do with the full. So just do it!

    I’ll see you at the finish line 🙂

  13. Anthony

    I’m a non-runner who did the half-marathon last spring and totally dogged out a 2:16:00 finish time and felt like my body was run over, repeatedly, by a herd of buffalo (kind of like the new england patriots yesterday). I only trained for about 3-4 months running 25-30 miles a week so I know that if I can pick up the intensity and get a solid 10 months of training in I should be ok. With your backround you sound like your much better off than I am. Definitely go for the full marathon.

  14. I never started running until this year and just completed my first 5k. I am going to sign up for the half marathon. With your background and you have the time to train, go for the full.

  15. I’m going to be a big cheerleader and say “DO THE FULL!!”
    But, I’ll have to give you the disclaimer that I too did the half last year as my first half marathon and plan to do the half again this year. My time was much slower than yours (2:33), and I had to walk a few hills. I just cruised through the USAF Half Marathon at 2:27 and felt great running every foot of the race. I plan to do 2 other half marathons this fall, but I’m sticking with the half in the spring in Pittsburgh. I will eventually run the full, but I don’t feel that my knees/legs are strong enough or that I’m fit enough YET to do a full comfortably and be proud of my efforts. I’m planning another year of training well for some half marathons and hoping to get close to times of 2 hours. At that point, I’ll probably step up to the full marathon plate.
    So, my final advice is – do what you feel ready for and comfortable with. If you’re not sure or have physical concerns, just attack the half and plan a full in the fall. If you’re feeling like you’re ready and will enjoy the training (really…the training is tough, so it should be something you WANT to do), then go for it! Either way, you’ll have a great time running through a great city with thousands of other crazy people!

  16. Do the full! If you did the half, challenge yourself just a little more and finish do the full. You can’t do the half again, you already know what to expect. 🙂 Do the full, I know you can do it!

  17. Definitely the full! I also agree with Becky. The folks at Fleet Feet have a great training program. It’s a little costly, but I think worth the investment. It’s great to discover new routes and meet fun new people.

    I originally tweeted that you should train for the full and you can always back off at the split. Forget that! Don’t even get it into your head. You can and will train for the full. I’m only doing the half (doing a full in November and another in March) but it’s the same finish line. See you there.

    Also, it’s only a $10 difference for registration.

  18. May gives you plenty of time to train for the full. Although I have never done with-the training seems to be just an extension of half training. Your runs keep getting longer and longer. I think you are more than capable to train to finish!

  19. Jen

    If physically you can do the half you and train your body to the full…it’s all a mental game. I didn’t start running until I was 27 and just ran my first full marathon at 32 after 3 halfs….you can do it if you want to!

  20. Chasing Fifty

    Sign up for the full. With your competitive background and training discipline from years of swimming, you’ll do great.

  21. I havent completed a full.(bascically because Im extremely scared and dont have three hours to run) But I have done and few halves. I think you can TOTALLY complete a full! you can do it!

  22. Ummm…I did a half in 3 hours! 2 is GREAT! Go for the full! 😀

  23. bob

    always add to the resume. You have a couple of months go for the full

  24. Go for the full if you feel up to it! I love beating my old times but I love a new challenge too and you can totally do it!

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