It started with deciding to say yes to a challenge that felt impossibly out of reach, which led me to a beautiful city I’d never seen before and a finish line I never thought it would be possible for me to cross. A week later, I thought, I’ve come this far and learned so much about myself in the process—what if I kept going?

We leave on Friday for Eugene. The marathon is on Sunday. The marathon that I’m running in.

I pushed myself out the door a thousand times when I’d have given anything to stay home. I ran through wind and rain and dark night skies. I ran short, I ran medium, I eventually ran 21 seemingly endless miles, all in the name of preparing my body to endure 26.2. I spent money on tights and fuel belts and energy gels and music and hats and shoes. I got sidelined by painful injuries in my knee and hip and foot. I sometimes ran lonely; I always ran alone.

It’s been the hardest thing I have ever done, this training. A lot of it has been, in a word, miserable. I don’t know if I will ever want to do this sort of thing again.

But here I am, about to run a goddamned marathon. It’s not over yet, but I’ve put in the work to get this far and it is a nearly indescribable feeling. I read a quote once: “Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.” I believe this is true. I believe these last several months of running have forever changed me. Or maybe just revealed what was there all along.

I’ll be thinking of you on Sunday, my friends, you who have helped me out so much with encouraging words and support from afar. Thank you for being such a positive presence in my life. Thank you for the kindnesses you’ve shown me and the advice you’ve shared. It makes a difference.

Now, assuming I don’t black out and die in a pool of my own vomit before I have a chance to make it past the audiobook section of my iPod and into the music, I need what can only be described as the World’s Most Epic Running Playlist, and here’s where you come in: what’s the one song that never fails to revive your flagging spirits, that you’d want piped into your head-holes to help stave off total physical collapse? The request line is OPEN.

JB is out of town for a few days and at first I was kind of dreading the solo gig because children can sense weakness and as soon as you don’t have backup that’s when they move in for the kill, but so far it’s actually been really nice, maybe in part because I’ve been preemptively pelting them with M&Ms before they can complain about, like, having to wear shoes or whatever. That’s right, I’m using sugar as bait and I won’t apologize for it, Jamie Oliver.

I deployed the Shark Parenting Method—never stop moving—to great success yesterday, with a trip to the farm, a picnic, and two epic playground visits, practically twirling my mustache with glee as they ran themselves ragged. Oh ho ho, I thought, everyone’s going to sleep great tonight. (Naturally, Dylan woke up howling at least five times between midnight and 4 AM.)

The first playground was a hit, but the second had this slide that they both wanted to climb backwards, over and over. Riley managed to fall and smash his chin on it and had himself a massive meltdown, and five seconds after I’d wiped the last of his tears away he climbed back up its slippery surface and fell in the exact same manner, and then stood there shrieking “Not again! NOT AGAAAAIN!” while sobbing and carrying on and every parent was sort of eyeballing us and I was stumped as to what sort of reaction I should be having, because I’ll tell you what, it wasn’t exactly sympathy.

Anyway, he was fine, nothing a little chocolate couldn’t fix, and it was the only moment during the weekend when I thought of my husband’s peaceful hotel room and plotted my revenge. I was even unusually ambitious during yesterday’s naptime and decided to mow the lawn—a comical process that involved googling “how to turn on lawn mower”, ripping my arm half out of its socket while reefing on that motherfucking cord only to eventually figure out I’d flooded the engine, determining which of the SEVEN gas cans in the garage (WTF, JB) contained the right gas (luckily, one was helpfully labeled “FOR CHAINSAW ONLY”), and, eventually, some actual mowing, which was kind of rewarding and fun except for the fact that I kept running over fresh piles of dogshit and it took a full sweaty hour to mow the front section which is on a steep tiered hill, but later when we drove home my boy Riley looked out at the newly shorn lawn and said, “Mommy, I’m so proud of you. You did a great job” and I was like, dude, ten thousand M&Ms for you, and hey, should we go back and knock over that stupid piece-of-shit slide?

Video chatting with JB, which was a nice break from Dylan’s nonstop “WHERE DADDY GO?” query, which he especially loves to shout at me while we’re at the playground, over and over and over, to the great interest of other parents.

He’s been playing peekaboo with his sunglasses lately and thinks it’s HILARIOUS. Don’t tell him he doesn’t actually turn invisible when they’re on, okay?

A brief moment of downtime.


Playing Poohsticks.


Yeah, that’s right. I mowed that shit. First one to tell me I missed a spot gets a FedEx’d bag of used toddler diapers.

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