I have run about 7yrs now & done 5 mara's & found Karrimor clothing to be the only cheap decent running gear about. The tee's & shorts lasted me +3yrs without falling apart. Saying this I have been the really annoyed on the karrimor shoes/staff in SD though, selling shoes indisciminately to people that don't know their gait WILL cause injuries (put a message on SD's Facebook, but it was swiftly removed. I totally relate to some convo's on here, although personally I don't want a springy cushiony trail shoe, more a hard protective one. Anyway, I normally run in brooks gts's, but the trail version is too narrow, asics trabucco gave me blisters, & every other shoe I've tried for the past 6 months didn't feel right. So in desperation tried on several Karrimors & 1 pair felt ok (excel duels?) I'll report back in a week on what they are like.. 5yrs of buying decent trail shoes that STILL weren't right for me is getting beyond a joke!!!
Yeah I wouldn't put any unnecessary pressure on yourself by entering more than one at this stage. Part of the fun of your first marathon is saying "I'm never going through that again!" at the finish line, only to find yourself searching for another one on the internet a week or two after, and getting those twitchy fingers to press enter for your next race.
It's my opinion only, and many people do it differently, but I like to reward my 4 months of focused training with a couple of months after the race without any specific goal. This way I can have some down time and enjoy my runs/spend quality time with the family, whilst recovering for the next marathon schedule.
Been debating this for a few days, then left my entry form at work on Friday so had to wait all weekend to post it. Finally got it posted last night, a gamble I know, but you've gotta be in it to win it (or at least get a place, no chance of winning it! lol)