the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Twenty six point two

First, this:

Christy Turlington Burns To Run ING New York City Marathon to Increase Awareness and Support for Maternal & Child Health

Joined by a Team of 9 including Influential Mommy Blogger Heather Armstrong and CEO of Lifeway Foods Julie Smolyanksy, the team runs to raise money for Every Mother Counts

NEW YORK- (September 15, 2011)- Fashion icon and women’s health activist, Christy Turlington Burns will participate in the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 6 to raise money and awareness for her non-profit organization, Every Mother Counts.

Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign founded by Turlington Burns in 2010 to increase public awareness of and support for improved maternal and child health. Now in its second year, Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions so that we can take action to improve the lives of families by improving the health of girls and women worldwide.

To put things in to perspective globally, for each of the 16,000 female runners that participated in last year’s marathon, two times the number of women die due to childbirth related causes each month. Hundreds of thousands of women die during pregnancy and childbirth each year, and 90% of these deaths can be prevented if given the proper tools and resources.

“Simply put, we want to run so others don’t have to,” said Turlington Burns. “So often, distance is the biggest barrier to a woman and her family getting the care they need. We hope to not only increase awareness for the cause but to also make that vital connection for people. So many pregnant women live far from health services around the world and that distance does make a difference.”

Turlington Burns tapped fellow maternal health advocates and friends to create a team of ten that will run the marathon. Heather Armstrong, Writer & Creator, dooce (, and Advisor of EMC’s Technology and Media, Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods (, Carlos Quirarte, co-owner The Smile, and Erin Thornton, Executive Director of Every Mother Counts to name a few. The EMC team is set to meet a fundraising goal of $50,000, double the amount ING requires! To support EMC’s Marathon runners, please visit the team fundraising page.

Two weeks ago today I got the invite from Erin Thornton, Executive Director of Every Mother Counts, to run with their team in the ING New York City Marathon.

It takes place on November 6th.

A little bit of math over here, some furious calculations over there, and YEP. That’s less than two months away! Two months to train! What? Have I been running? Yes, if you count running to bed at night so that I hit the pillow and not the floor before I fall asleep. Although, I guess that’s more of a sprint.

So, No! Not at all! Why do you look worried?

I mean, I wasn’t running until two weeks ago, and since then ALL I HAVE BEEN DOING IS RUNNING. Actually, that’s not the truth. I’ve added running to my already crazy workout schedule, so I’m running, taking two spin classes, running some more, working out with weights, running some more, and by then there’s only a few minutes left to cry.

Oh hell yes, there is crying in running.

My trainer used to run a couple of marathons a year, so I asked her if she’d help me put together a plan to tackle this kind of challenge. She contacted a running specialist, a 6’5” super athlete who maybe weighs 100 pounds IF he’s giving a piggy back ride to a seven-year-old, and I’ve met with him twice to get advice on form and pace and cadence. He said his goal for me is to beat Oprah’s best time, and I was like, really? That? How about we aim for not dying.

There goes my ambition again!

I looked at many traditional plans for marathon training, and most of them span a solid four to five months. Since I have only two months I’ve got to make up for lost time, and last Sunday morning I ran ten miles, the longest distance I have ever covered in my life. Afterward I could barely walk BUT I DID IT. And because I’m already working out so much it didn’t take more than a day to recover. Good thing because I had to go to spin class the next morning and cry!

Running a marathon has been on my bucket list for many years, but I’ve always regarded it as some sort of insurmountable task. Herculean. People say that it should be a piece of cake since I had a natural childbirth and um, NO. That lasted only three and half hours and it was INTERVAL TRAINING. This is four to five hours of endurance, and at the end of it you get really chaffed nipples without the cuddly baby!


Like the press release says above, the Every Mother Counts team is trying to raise as much as $50,000 with this marathon to help raise awareness for global maternal health. Christy’s organization does such important work where there is so much work to be done. I couldn’t be more thrilled to join their team as the Technology and Media Advisor and to be taking part in this challenge.

If you’d like to sponsor this cause, you can visit my team page here. Every dollar counts and will help bring women closer to the medical attention they so deserve.

Wish me luck! And! (EXCLAMATION POINT!) Since I know you’re going to give me advice, please don’t tell me that you collapsed at mile 18 with poop in your pants, k? THX!

  • arielsara

    2011/09/16 at 12:15 pm

    You can do it! I’ve run 6, and I am not in nearly as good of shape as you. In a lot of ways you have been training because you take spin class and work out frequently. I imagine the accelerated training period will be really painful and you will curse yourself, Christy, mothers in countries with poor healthcare, and your trainer about 7 billion times a day BUT! You are stubborn, motivated, you care a lot, and you WANT to do this- so you will.

    Marathoning is predominantly mental. You got this.

  • ScooterMarie

    2011/09/16 at 12:16 pm

    Good luck!!!! (lots of exclamation points)

  • picklesalt

    2011/09/16 at 12:17 pm

    You can do it, dude!

    Distance running is such a great way to zone the hell out. Good luck training in such a short amount of time. If you’re barfing alot after your runs, you aren’t doing it right. Learned that one the hard way.

  • The Dalai Mama

    2011/09/16 at 12:19 pm

    You will rock it I’m sure!

    And if it kills you–at least it’s for a really good cause 🙂

  • Missybeme

    2011/09/16 at 12:19 pm

    Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I decided to the Breast Cancer 3-day next year (October 2011) so I understand the training part, but I gave myself a year. Well, mostly because A) I’ve never walked 20 miles in one day and B) I’ve never walked 60 miles in one weekend.

    We can do this! GO DOOCE!

  • Jenni

    2011/09/16 at 12:20 pm

    You will be great! Just don’t fall/puke/or that other horrible thing that happens (I’ve seen pics online…do NOT Google it).

  • sheepdog

    2011/09/16 at 12:25 pm

    You will do great! I’ll be there running my first full marathon! Take an ice bath after your long runs….it sounds awful, but it’s so worth it.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/09/16 at 12:25 pm

    Firstly: Kudos for taking on such a thing.

    Secondly: I ran four miles this morning. When I envision tacking another 22.2 miles onto that run, I envision dying. Slowly and painfully.

  • JWysok

    2011/09/16 at 12:28 pm

    Go, Heather! I live in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and we are the first neighborhood you hit after crossing the Verrazano Bridge. I’m there each year cheering–so I’ll look for you all. Be strong!

  • skradei

    2011/09/16 at 12:29 pm

    You can do it!!

  • yotko

    2011/09/16 at 12:30 pm

    You CAN do this. My 250 pound husband has run 3 (granted, none of them recent.) I’m sure you’ll be the valedictorian of marathoning!

  • MsMegan

    2011/09/16 at 12:32 pm

    Bless your heart. I ran three miles this morning – I’m aiming to up that number a bit when the weather cools down from “I can hear my skin frying” to “Can you chew air?” here in South Florida. But a marathon? That’s good stuff.

    Good luck!

  • missleaving

    2011/09/16 at 12:33 pm

    You are going to be the Valedictorian of marathon running lady!! You’ve got this & then some!!! Have a great run, a great time, and good luck with the fundraising!

  • MM3

    2011/09/16 at 12:35 pm

    Oh girl. I’m going to pray for you. Or hire someone to run behind you pointing a gun at you. Because that’s what it would take for me to run that far. But then again, I’d probably lay down and play dead rather than keep running. p.s. I am kidding about the person w/gun!

    You can totally do this. Nothing like a swift kick in the pants and fast approaching deadline to foster motivation. And all for an amazing cause.

    Run Heather run!

  • crystalsheward

    2011/09/16 at 12:35 pm

    My husband has run 3 or so marathons. He ran the Chicago Marathon twice and I assume it’s similar to the NYC in that there’s going to be a butt-load of people cheering from the sidelines. They’ll keep you going. That’s the reason he loves to run marathons. Just the cheering and the adrenalin and the experience. You’ll make it and probably do better than you think. If he can do it (and mind you he was out of shape and trained minimally whereas you are completely in shape and will train more than he did) you’ll be great! Also, he never pooped his pants. My brother pulled himself over to the side to poop once (in a woods) but they’ve got tons of port-a-johns right after you start running so you’ll be able to drop a load if needed. I don’t foresee you loosing your bodily functions. Break a leg!

  • ChrissyD

    2011/09/16 at 12:38 pm

    Wow, such a short training window…best of luck! I’ll be there at the finish line cheering on my husband. Just please don’t embarrass him by finishing first…he’s been training all year.

    And, whatever you do, don’t google “marathon runner pooping”

  • keelyesch

    2011/09/16 at 12:48 pm

    When I was pregnant I had a woman tell me that she had run a marathon and had a natural child birth, the natural child birth was easier…

  • ireland0619

    2011/09/16 at 12:50 pm

    I’ve run two marathons and they are really fun, exhilarating experiences.

    Everyone will want to give you advice though – some rather amusing and some so weird. But, I will say the best advice I got was from my mom, who has run 5 marathons.

    “You aren’t running 26 miles. That is overwhelming for your mind. Break it down to three races. 13 miles, 7 miles, and 6 miles. So when everyone else is huffing it at mile 18 in misery, you can think “I’ve only got two more miles of this race!””

    I will say, it is cheesy, but a total gamechanger in your race day attitude.

    The other best running quote I repeat a lot to myself when pushing through the wall is…

    “I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” – Mike Fanelli, running club coach

    So, I repeat “head, personality, heart” over and over when it gets hard. It’s a solid mantra.

    Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, there is my unsolicited two cents of advice.

  • mostlymuppet

    2011/09/16 at 12:55 pm

    Running my first 1/2 marathon at the end of October. We can both do it.

    Good luck!

  • Jesscawat

    2011/09/16 at 12:56 pm

    OK, you want to know what it’s gonna be like during that 26.2 go watch this:

    Funniest (and most accurate) thing I’ve ever seen. You might poop your pants watching it though.

    Seriously though…I ran my first marathon last December and I’m running my second in March. If I can do it anyone can.

  • ohturk

    2011/09/16 at 1:14 pm

    I have run 4 marathons, 3 half-marathons, and 2 half ironman races in the last in the last two and a half years. At the end of each of those races I have cried. I find proving to myself that I can do it (and maybe even being able to improve my PR)is a very emotional experience. I can only imagine that running for such a great cause will make the event even more meaningful.

    Good Luck!

  • uvula_envy

    2011/09/16 at 1:16 pm

    I live in New York and usually watch the marathon every year. One thing I suggest is to have your name or Dooce on the front and back of your t-shirt. This way you can have people shouting from the sidelines “Gooooo, Dooce!” My friend who runs marathons says it really helps him especially during the low points of the marathon.

    Good luck. I will be on the lookout for you!

  • tracy

    2011/09/16 at 1:26 pm

    I really wanted to post some sort of snarky comment about continuing to make the rest of look lame compared to your awesomeness, & your whole, “I must bring social awareness & peace to the world!” mission, but instead I’ll just say, DAMN, WOMAN. Good job. Thank you for doing what many of us feel we can’t accomplish, & for proving that YES WE CAN. Money has been donated in my daughter’s name to your team 🙂

    Seeing the strengh in others has a tendency to propel one’s own ass into gear…..not that I’m going to go out & sign up for a marathon, oh HELL NO, but I guarantee you I will finish today believing I’m capable of doing something I didn’t think I would have the personal strength or conviction to do. It’s big, and it will forever change my & my daughter’s life.

    And now that I’ve said I’m going to do it in front of your entire (comment reading) audience, I can’t NOT do it.

    I will keep you posted…..

  • jgn

    2011/09/16 at 1:26 pm

    I’m so excited for you. I’ll be at the starting line of the NY marathon too. My goal is to beat Katie Holms’ time. he, hee
    And thanks for getting me on the Paleo diet. It has totally changed me for the better.

  • Lauren3

    2011/09/16 at 1:30 pm


    Whenever I’m coming back from a running lull and have to get back in shape a bit, I get a song in my head when I start to get tired, and turn myself into a choo choo train.

    Let me try to explain this further…
    The song acts as kind of an engine. I hear it in my head, and match my feet hitting the pavement to the beat of the song, and match my breathing to the lyrics. One thing propels the other. The Strokes work well for this!

    Also (and this will serve your valedictorian personality well), I played lacrosse in high school, and a few times a week we would have to do 5-6 mile runs. If I ever found myself wanting to stop, I would pick someone a few yards ahead and tell myself “Just catch up to Kate” or whoever, and then match her pace.

    So in your case, I guess this would be “Just catch up to Dude with Wedgie” or “Lady with Sweat Stain that looks like Bob Barker,” etc.

    Also, congrats on the EMC posish!

  • bigtrunsny

    2011/09/16 at 1:35 pm

    I’m running the NYC marathon, too! It is also my first marathon, and although I started training a long time ago, I think you have plenty of time. You’ll probably be increasing your long runs by 2 miles every weekend, so you can get to 18 or 20 before your taper. No problem, right? Ha! Good luck!

  • Jenniedee

    2011/09/16 at 2:10 pm

    I ran this race last year and it was incredible. The crowds are incredible and will pull you through. As I rounded a corner about 5K away from the finish line I was faced with about a 500 meter uphill climb I stopped in the middle of the road and burst into tears. A woman jumped out of the crowd and yelled at the top of her lungs “WIPE THOSE TEARS AWAY JENN (my name was on my bib). YOU OWN THIS RACE, GET RUNNING”. I owe my finish to her.
    Good Luck Heather! Can’t wait to read all about your experience.
    PS – beware of the bridges

  • Paulla

    2011/09/16 at 2:12 pm

    That’s awesome! I’m getting ready to WALK my first marathon in 2 weeks. If you’re already doing 10 miles, then you’re well on your way. Someone told me to just add a mile or two to that one long run/walk each week, and it will be fine. You’ve got plenty of time for that.

    Good luck and have fun – the NYC marathon is on my bucket list. What a great way to see the city! 🙂

  • karala

    2011/09/16 at 2:24 pm

    This year, I decided to run a marathon-and-a-half: 39.3 miles in my 39th year. I didn’t have a ton of time to train, but I followed Jeff Galloways run/walk system and I was able to do it. I trained in 3 months.

    The philosophy is simple: build walk breaks into your running to increase stamina. But the difference this made for me MENTALLY was invaluable. I ran for 5 minutes, then walked for 60 seconds for 39 miles. I wore a walk/run timer. When my whole body was in revolt, I could say “I can do this for five minutes. I can do anything for five minutes… I have 2 more minutes, two minutes is nothing.” Then I’d walk for a minute when I could do my relaxation breathing (or take a drink, pee, eat some glucose). Once I hit a good rhythm, it was like a meditation.

    This method is tough if you’re trying to stay with a group, but here is my advice: DON’T TRY TO STICK WITH A GROUP. Like labor, you need to go to a very quiet place inside of yourself where you can listen to your body, find your pace, and go. I find that running with others (unless they’re my support buddy, following my pace) can cause me to run too fast or too slowly.

    Also- I am prone to ‘trots’ so I take an Immodium about an hour before the start, and again at the halfway point.

    What you’re doing is really amazing.

  • Laura Mauk

    2011/09/16 at 2:26 pm

    you can do it! i hiked the Andes for four days and thought I was going to die…it was only slightly easier than having a baby and the first year of being a mom. i bet the marathon is cake compared to motherhood and depression. so you’re good. good luck 🙂

  • stresso

    2011/09/16 at 2:41 pm

    Heather, you rock! Thanks for doing this! Lots of exclamation points

    Baby #2 arrived in May, now back to work, need to figure out how to fit in workouts with everything else.

  • jenwilson

    2011/09/16 at 2:49 pm

    You can do it!! It’s on my bucket list as well. I did a marathon with four friends a couple years ago, but the five of us took turns running – my part being only 1/4 of the total distance. If you can run 10 miles already? You’re golden! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  • subjectivitis

    2011/09/16 at 3:13 pm

    Good luck!

  • TimandMeg

    2011/09/16 at 3:32 pm

    I was just debating whether or not to give up on my 10k goal. Thank you. This was just the kick in the butt I needed. Maybe next year a marathon for me?! Good Luck. You will do great.
    How is the diet affecting your training? I would love to hear more about that.

  • Fruitfly123

    2011/09/16 at 3:38 pm

    Just go ahead and make an in-room massage appointment for after the marathon. Right now. (I worked for these folks years ago, but no longer have a professional interest. I just know they’ll let you book ahead, and they’ll come to you!)

    That way, you’ll have something to look forward to BESIDES the end of the race! Also, massage.

  • 2under2

    2011/09/16 at 3:45 pm

    That is really awesome!!! I’m 5 months pregnant and I just want to be able to train for a 5K to get back in shape after. I was a runner in high school and have aspirations of getting back into it. You can absolutely do this!! We will be cheering for you!!!

  • Sarasnee

    2011/09/16 at 4:21 pm

    Holy hell! People can no longer say you’re not doing anything for this cause. Good luck to you. You are stronger than I.

    We will be here cheering in our desks!

  • luv and kiwi

    2011/09/16 at 4:24 pm

    Wow! Only two months to train?! I’m glad you found a trainer to help…smart lady! I recommend lots and lots of Epson salt baths!

    They really do help!

  • sweetpotatopie

    2011/09/16 at 4:55 pm

    I did NOT poop my pants at mile 18.

    But while training I did memorize the location of every public restroom, porta potty and large bush along my training route. And once, I had to, uh, make a deposit on the grounds of a lovely Episcopal church. If I believed in hell, I’d be going there in a handbasket.

    You can totally do this, and you won’t BELIEVE the high you get right after you cross that finish line. Good luck!!

    PS. The good news is that you will no longer suffer from consipation, I promise.

  • Canadienne29

    2011/09/16 at 5:11 pm

    You will be fine! I went from no-fitness non-runner to half-marathon in just over 2 months, and sounds like you already have a high level of fitness so I imagine that will help.

    Don’t worry about the bathroom thing – there are usually portapotties at every aid station. Practice your hydration and nutrition strategies during your long runs, and whatever you do, don’t try any new food or drink on race days. The only time I ended up with the trots was when I drank a different sport drink during the race (and probably too much of it). If something is going to happen, you’ll probably have some warning time to get to a porta.

    Go Heather!

  • Canadienne29

    2011/09/16 at 5:14 pm

    Oh, and seconding the advice about the massage the day after – at least for me, it makes a HUGE difference in being able to walk well and in recovery time. I’m also a fan of knee-high compression socks but they are quite dorky, so that’s just me – they are also great during recovery. As is alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

  • Meranath

    2011/09/16 at 5:27 pm

    You know, you’re gonna run it… but that doesn’t mean you need to win it. Or run it well. You could totally just limp your butt to the finish line and you’d still be way more awesome than anyone I know.

  • Sarah McDougall

    2011/09/16 at 5:28 pm

    OMG Heather! I just wanted to let you know that I started spinning two weeks ago because I thought if Heather can do it, so can I. Although my butt is starting to go back to where it was 10 years ago, it HASN’T STOPPED HURTING!!!
    However, a marathon is quite a feat. I don’t think I’m going to try that anytime soon. You win.

  • cassidy.stockton

    2011/09/16 at 5:52 pm

    I know you said not to, but you might get a kick out of this post/comic from the Oatmeal. Best of luck, you’ll do awesome- you are a total overachiever. Can’t wait to hear your blow by blow after the fact.

  • TrinaQ

    2011/09/16 at 6:30 pm

    OK. I never comment, but I feel compelled to on two fronts- one, my first marathon was also a spur-of-the-moment thing that I did on about 8 weeks training and did just fine, and two, I have been a women’s running coach for several years now. Please, please, please, find either a local ChiRunning or Pose instructor in your area and learn correct running form from the ground up. It’s about 100 times easier to run with correct form than it is to run “how I was born to run”. Your body will thank you, trust me.

    You can TOTALLY do this- but there’s an easy way and a hard way. Please do the easy way. Oh, and read “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. And agree with Jenn, beware of the bridges!

  • danioz

    2011/09/16 at 7:19 pm

    Wow – what a challenge!
    I follow someone who did it with about the same timeframe and she blogged about it here
    Good luck!

  • mmh

    2011/09/16 at 7:27 pm

    I promise you that natural childbirth is more difficult. And if you (when you) think you cannot finish the race (or even a training run), remember that you birthed a baby and your body is, therefore, amazing. Works for me. Good luck!

  • devoyka

    2011/09/16 at 9:22 pm

    Fellow marathoner, congratulations! You MUST watch this, it’s perfect:

    Godspeed Heather.

  • Anu

    2011/09/16 at 9:28 pm

    You will kick ass!!! I’m certain you will, because you are the valedictorian of everything good. So believe in yourself and just run.

    And seriously, how much more awesome can you get!!! (you know you just opened the gates to one guilt free orgy of !!!! :))

  • dykewife

    2011/09/16 at 9:29 pm

    ok, i get the diet (i started on it a couple of weeks ago). i get the exercising (doing more and will be able to do even more after i have, and heal from, a hernia repair). but a marathon? i admire your chutzpah and wish you tons of luck. the closest i’ve come to a marathon is knowing they’re happening somewhere in the world at any given time.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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