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!”

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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”.

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Joanne
12 years ago

OH jeez. That is a lot of miles and a lot of time with your thoughts. I have never run more than four miles and I am beyond impressed by you. I can’t wait til your marathon, largely because I am not running a step of it!

Chris
Chris
12 years ago

CUUUUUUUUUTTEE!

alomellin
alomellin
12 years ago

That video was awesome. I especially love the look on his face at the end. It was like “I’m REALLY going to be on Yo Gabba Gabba??????”

Becky Mochaface
12 years ago

Freakin cute!

And while I don’t want to say never, I’m pretty sure I will not be running a marathon in my lifetime. So those who have the guts to do, I am in awe. My hat’s off to you.

Angella
12 years ago

MAN, he’s adorable.

I cannot fathom running for 3.5 hours. Even if it was because a bunch of Zombies were after me.

Jessi
12 years ago

Yep, the same thoughts went through my head while training for my marathon. But, you did it no matter what your head was telling you at the time.

pam
pam
12 years ago

Awesome. If you can do 19, you can do 26.

Good luck!

Trish
Trish
12 years ago

You just described EXACTLY what running is (well, okay, was) like for me…and the longest distance I ever did was a 1/2 marathon. What is this elusive runners’ high people speak of? Because I have never, ever experienced it!

June
12 years ago

Hubby Matt walked has walked most of the Appalachian Trail (from GA to VT so far). Although he listened to a lot of radio, he said when you have day after day after day of walking alone, you have to be really comfortable with yourself, who you are, etc, ‘cuz you sure are spending a LOT of time in your head. Plus, you have to wake up every morning and convince yourself to spend another day walking another 10 or 15 miles up and down mountains with a 40-to-60-lb pack, even if your legs and blisters are screaming and your body is fueled by the likes of canned fruit, beef jerky, and peanut butter. Anyway, what I mean to say is that these kind of endurance efforts are not for the mentally weak. Congratulations on keeping on. Keep up the great work!

Katie
12 years ago

Oh my lands, that is a long time to run by yourself. Do you do all your runs on roads and pavement? That could definitely contribute to injuries. Sometimes I run on the grass alongside the sidewalk, it really seems to help prevent aches and pains. Good luck!!!

amy j.
12 years ago

Found your blog via the Twitter fiasco re:Dooce. I’ve found the best moms online due to those “incidents”, lol. You have a new fan thanks to all those that defend Dooce at the drop of a pin.

You have a lovely family. Good luck with your run…I can’t even begin to fathom running that far, on purpose ; ).

Lo
Lo
12 years ago

I quit running in the middle of my planned course today for the first time ever (and it was way less than 19 miles). Thanks for the ass kicking, much needed :)

kalisa
12 years ago

man, your kid is cute.

Kristin C.
12 years ago

Training ALONE is a wonderous and honorable task. For each of marthons I have trained for I have done it along side people who’s company I enjoy. This makes the long hideous hell seem a little less of a death sentance. Alone! Teh! YOU are a FREAK.

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

Reading your posts about running sometimes makes me ache for you. I have a couple of marathons under my belt, but all were done training with a group for long runs. It made it so much easier to train, and have that desire to train (I think, as I trained for a half by myself, but the long runs weren’t, you know, as l-o-n-g). With a group, the courses were set out, hydration/food stations (OK, someone’s trunk of their car) were on the route, and having a group to commiserate with was like manna from heaven. I got tons of advice about running trails, what to do to prevent any pooping situations, and the best place for Mexican food in the city. And I know you can get that from the internet, but from my group, I also learned someone lost his job and needed a nanny for a few short hours to job hunt, who celebrated a cancer survivor anniversary, and that the oldest guy in our group had calf muscles to die for and I loved running behind him, just for the show. The sense that ‘we are all in this together’ really, really helped me.

Liz
Liz
12 years ago

Oooh, yeah, this is the point when you seriously need back up. Having people tag in – even if it’s just for five miles – is the difference between hell and not-so-much-hell.

It’s hard though; I wouldn’t argue that I’m necessarily the best version of myself at the end of these long runs, but man do I appreciate people who can put up with me for them.

Lori
Lori
12 years ago

Congrats on toughing it out. You’ll appreciate that mental toughness during the race when others are fading.

As a veteran of several marathons and Ironmans, I feel your pain. I caught a glimpse of maybe you re-arranged your schedule for this run? Because training with a group makes it much easier. My group puts out water and maps out courses around the city. So you don’t have to run on long, straight trails and amuse yourself. I’m sure you can find one in your city.

Abby
Abby
12 years ago

Yay yay yay! Now that you’re a month away the training will actually relax, and remember this: after the marathon, they will give you a medal and then you are allowed to eat ANYTHING you want. For, like, a week.

Liz
Liz
12 years ago

What, you don’t have scores of friends that can drop whatever they’re doing to join you for a run in the middle of a day? LAME.

ugh, I hear ya. Sucks. Huge.

Zoot
Zoot
12 years ago

Running my marathon two years ago did ONE thing for me: confirm that my ideal long distance race is a HALF-MARATHON. 26.2 is for the damn birds.

Although, I did my training in more urban areas EARLY in the am (before traffic) because it gave me more to look at. Also? I talk to myself when I run. Because I’m mildly insane.

victoria
victoria
12 years ago

Nineteen miles!! Do you remember when you asked here, “What do you do when your underwear scrunches up during a run?”

You asked that question about running less than a year age and today you’re one month away from a marathon!

You’re a badass and your kid is ADORABLE aaaaaaaargh.

Last night my husband explained to me how this simple experiment shoes light is both a wave and a particle as we walked back to our childless house. My life seems so quiet and dull next to yours.

Courtney
Courtney
12 years ago

The alone time in my head is why I can’t swim for exercise anymore. I love being in the water for fun, but swimming laps staring at the pool floor and thinking so much about myself, my day, my swimming, and how fucking HARD it is… man, I couldn’t handle the psychosis. At least with running there is the opportunitiy for audio!

One. More. Month. DO IT!

Antropologa
12 years ago

I love how he’s all, “Wait, I can watch Yo Gabba Gabba?”–that’s just how my kid would react!

As for the running, yeah.

Ness at Drovers Run
12 years ago

Omigosh, did I not just laugh my ass off at your ‘one eye twitch away from drawing a face on my shoe and calling it Wilson’.

*So* funny!

Betsy
Betsy
12 years ago

Looooove that video! What a cutie.

Christine
Christine
12 years ago

Who decided that running 26 miles is the gold standard for human endurance? A few posts back, pre half-marathon you posted about how your runs started out crappy but ended wonderfully. Maybe the length of THOSE runs is your gold standard.

Definitely do this marathon. But afterward, maybe think about whether you were “born to run” shorter distances. Nothing wrong with that. You can make them more challenging by working on speed, running with heavy backpacks, running trails, running on sand, running barefoot–whatever!

K.B.
12 years ago

Love the video here too! My 2.5 year old made me play it 5 times in a row :)

nonsoccermom
12 years ago

I’m training for my first 1/2 marathon, and just thirteen miles seems daunting enough. Go you!!

HalynB
12 years ago

It’s too bad I’m still at the training for 5k stage. I’m not working right now, and I don’t live that far from you. I could totally keep you company, except that I’m incapable of running for more than five minutes at a stretch right now! Just imagine the workout you’d get lugging my ass back to civilization after I dropped dead trying to keep up with you.

You would lug me back, right? Right?

The mental side of this kind of training had never occurred to me til I read this. NOw I’m starting to get a little nervous…not sure I could stand my brain’s company for that long.

Marie Green
12 years ago

Wow, I think about driving 19 miles, and that’s a LONG WAY, and then I think about you out there jogging the ENTIRE WAY. Wow. Wowowwowowowowowow. Way to go! How’s your hip?

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

I hurt just thinking about running 19 miles.

DO THE DILLY!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Yeah… once and done is what my husband said. Now he does stupid freakin’ triathlons, which is a marathon plus a bunch of bike racing and swimming. It never ends with you sporty fools.

christina
12 years ago

Maybe only children make better runners? This is the only part of running that far that sounds not just good, but awesome to me. That trail is lovely too.

sarah
12 years ago

I’m dying! What a cute video. You should post that on YouTube. You could be famous :) Congratulations on training for the marathon. I did a 5K and I KNOW I can’t do anything further than that.

Kate
Kate
12 years ago

Man, that kid is cute. My Charlie LOVES Yo Gabba Gabba, too. Out of nowhere, he’ll sing/shout “Cool tricks! Yeah!” And do a headstand pose or pretend to play a flute with his nose. So proud!!!

Are you able to use music for the marathon? I keep meaning to send you some suggestions from that post in perhaps November asking for running songs. Maybe I will try to find it and add a few ideas. New songs always help a long, dreary run. Keep up the inspiring work!

ElizabethZ
ElizabethZ
12 years ago

19 miles….I can’t even fathom running that – my round trip to work isn’t even that long! You rock.

That video is too cute. Let’s break it dowwwwwnnnn. Yo Gabba Gabba is a great show for preschoolers, lots of good themes/lessons. However, it is a bit creepy at times. Ever see the one w/ Jack Black dressed like DJ Lance? Hilarious.

ALSO – PLEASE FIX THE STIR BOX. It is cutting into your text and driving meeeee crayyyzeeeee. Thank you. :)

jody
12 years ago

There’s a mom at my son’s preschool who has the “26.2” sticker on her car. I admit I think that’s cool (I cannot fathom running a marathon!) Then under that, she has the same size and shape sticker as the 26.2, but this one says “I know I said I’d never do this again…”

You never know.
Either way, you are awesome for sticking with this. You will be great!

amber
12 years ago

NINETEEN MILES!??! Holy crap. As someone younger & without children, to you I say, HOLY CRAP. I’m in awe. I’m not sure whether to greatly admire your stamina/dedication or send a cookie. Maybe both?

Sadly, I’m still running 2.5 miles every other day. And had no intention of pushing myself further. But now you’ve made me feel like a slacker, so…I guess tomorrow it’ll be 3. Thank you.

mrs.notouching
12 years ago

That picture with birds is amazing. And your 19 miles of course. But the kid? That pretty much made my day. Wish I could be your running buddy…

Nicola
Nicola
12 years ago

Did you hear of Eddie Izzard doing this?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2010/mar/05/eddie-izzard-marathon-man-review

You can watch it on this… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00r8zr8/Eddie_Izzard_Marathon_Man_Episode_1/

Maybe it will make you think, just one! easy!

Nicola

Alice
12 years ago

Wow 19miles is AMAZING!!!! You are such an inspiration with your running!

You couldn’t possibly hate running that much right??? If so, how do you motivate yourself to keep going back and continue doing it?

lisa
lisa
12 years ago

I couldnt even fathom running for that long, way to go!! And oh wow- your child is simply adorable!

Shannon  C.
Shannon C.
12 years ago

Oh, you run on my beloved Sammamish River Trail! That’s a great photo of it. Good job on the 19 miles. Dang.

Kami
12 years ago

Woman, you are insane. That sounds horrific. I commend you for pushing through to your goal, but please, once the marathon is over STOP THE MADNESS!!!! Or buy a dog who’d run with you…

lindsay
lindsay
12 years ago

19 might be lonely but it’s super badass. Do this thing!

Trenches of Mommyhood
12 years ago

No crazy headbangin’ music for all those miles??? I think if I were to try to listen to an audiobook while running I wouldn’t be able to hear the words OVER MY HEAVY BREATHING. That’s why I like the loud music. To drown myself out.

(I did 7 miles yesterday and it sucked. So I salute you.)

jen
jen
12 years ago

Yesterday I had an awful 10 miler and I was thinking the whole time how crazy I was and what was the point of it all and ahhhhh. Doing it alone is lonely. But I don’t like running with people and my schedule is too highly unpredictable.

These two runners passed me on the trail and they weren’t even sweating and they totally smoked me. Gah, it was awful. I feel for you. Hang in there.

sheilah
12 years ago

Your boy is soooo cute. But he is soooo gonna hate you when he’s a teenager. Though I guess you can blackmail him (“If you’re not good, I’m gonna email this video to your homies, bro'”).

I admire you for your perseverance, but I so do not get the whole running thing. Myself? I’m a Non-Runner.

karla
karla
12 years ago

THAT is one cute lil Dilly. Hang in there, Marathon Woman.