I ran 19 miles yesterday. NIIINETEEEEN. MIIIIIILES. I wish I had something uplifting to say about that, like how empowered I felt at the end or how refreshing it was to be alone with my thoughts for so long and how I experienced many personal revelations as a result, but . . . no. It was exactly as hideous as it sounds, except maybe for the part where it rained like hell for twenty minutes because that was a little bit worse.

There are many things to hate about running that far but I think the part that’s even harder than the physical torment is the mental dreariness. Audiobooks help a little bit, but the vast majority of my brain is dedicated, the entire time, to broadcasting how much what I’m doing sucks and how good it would feel to stop and walk and maybe call a fucking cab, so I have to engage in this epic 3.5+ hour battle of telling myself to just keep going and while I do feel there’s a lot of benefit that comes from toughing out a hard situation by mile 16 or so it all just seems like INSANITY.

Plus, it was so lonely and desolate on the trail yesterday I felt about one eye-twitch away from drawing a face on my shoe and naming it Wilson. I’m not too proud to tell you I chased these geese, shouting “Don’t leave me! Don’t LEEAAAVE MEEEE!”


Never say never, I guess, but I can’t imagine doing this kind of training again. One and done is my current marathon motto, if I make it to May’s race in one piece. Which isn’t necessarily a sure bet, judging by how I had to start the day by snorting eight rails of ground-up Advil.

In completely unrelated topics, here is a video of my child, and a mesmerizing, if brief, background vocal performance of “The Hustle”.


55 Responses to “19 is the loneliest number”

  1. Karl on April 5th, 2010 7:50 pm

    Yeah, 19 is a lot. When I am up to speed (which am not at the moment) I can piss on 11 or 12 and forget I did them the next day, but 19 is serious stuff. I can’t say if people make it better, because all the other distance runners I know are faster than me, so running alone is a plus. Ahem.

    I guess the one word that might help at this stage is “Taper.”

    PS the kid is hilariously cute, and the vocalist has a clue about pitch which is more than I can say for some “Idol” contestants!

  2. Anon on April 6th, 2010 7:46 am

    Great job! The marathon itself will be easier than running 19 miles by yourself – because you won’t be by yourself. I’ve trained for marathons by myself and with groups. Groups are definitely preferable if only for the 18-21 mile runs. But you’re done with that now – the taper is on, right?! Good luck.

    Love the dancing Dylan!

  3. BC on April 8th, 2010 7:42 am

    You know what? After your marathon, you could perhaps think about joining a trail race. They range from distances such as 5k to ultras like 50k. Go for middle distances like 25-30k. I’d love to take part in one, but where I live, I’d probably die from heat exhaustion and get bitten by a thousand mosquitoes before even the first 10k!

  4. Cara on April 20th, 2010 10:51 pm

    Gah. I know I’m a few weeks late, but I remember those days! I did my longest trek on that very trail – 18 miles from UW to Red Hook and it was hell. It was at that point I considered just jumping into the slough and ending it all.

    But no! I didn’t! And I finished the marathon! And now I can say that I’ve done a marathon and so I never have to do another one again.

    You’re almost there. Good luck!!

  5. Jean Cegla on October 18th, 2010 3:46 am

    Useful information. Great post, great share.

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