An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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!

  • mommica

    No advice, just good luck wishes! (And personal feelings of incompetence but hey! That’s what therapists are for.)

  • Pixie

    One step at a time! You WANT this! You KNOW the cause is worthwhile! You CAN do this! It’s the journey….not the destination!!!! And the journey will continue long after 26.2 miles…stay strong!!!!!!!

  • lizardmama

    Awesome cause…you’ll do great! In my experience, running a marathon is waaaay easier than natural childbirth! In fact, while I was in labor with my first child, I screamed at my mid-wife how running a marathon was so much easier! My bit of advice…practice eating and drinking on your long runs so that come race day your body is used to eating and drinking (and then you hopefully won’t poo at mile 18!) 🙂

  • Owlette

    The hardest bit seems to be rounding the corner at Central Park West and 59th St. Exhausted but ALMOST THERE! There’s lots of walking at that point, but the crowd can get the runners back in the zone to cross the finish line running.

    I’ll be there to cheer you and all the runners on. It’s an awesome day, and it’s so much fun to have a runner in it. This year my cousin qualified and is sidelined with an injury, so your team can be “my” runners.

    Headed to a pre-Berlin marathon party this afternoon, and it occurs to me that the universe wants me to start running again. Can I just donate to your team? 😉

  • OwlMoonKLH

    I envy you, Heather! My anxiety disorder keeps me from one of my greatest loves which is running. Maybe the group of jerkbags that attacked me in the park while I was on a run did that. It’s still something I struggle with everyday and I will run again. But anywho… YOU CAN DO THIS! And it’s kind of cool that you’re starting big with 26.2 instead of a half marathon. But I know you can do this, our bodies are capable of so much and this will be an incredible experience for you. Just listen to your trainer and your body when it feels fatigued and you will keep any injuries at bay. Stay hydrated, and you might want to reconsider adding more carbs back into your diet until after the marathon. Oh and if music makes you move, incorporate that into your training with an iPod shuffle. It’s incredible motivator when you have the right playlist and it weighs nothing. 😉 We’re all rooting for you to cross the finish line!

  • writtendad

    You are amazing for doing this! I’m beyond impressed. I started running two to three weeks ago and, though I’m sure I don’t run nearly as much as you do in training, I’m not sure if I cry more before I go running, after I get home, or when I wake up the next morning. In the end, I love the way my body feels, but 26.2?! Holy. Hell.

  • mybottlesup

    BAH! you’ve got this. you’ve kicked the asses of a bunch of other shit. you’ll certainly kick the ass of this marathon.

    (that being said, i’m glad it’s not me. i wish you luck.)

  • berichar

    My unsolicited advice is-when the thought of going on another training run makes you want to stab your eyes out, go for a trail run! It’s my way to reconnect with the joy of running. SLC has such a great (and easily accessible) trail system!

    Good luck!

  • Meet a Mom

    Wow….this really brought me back to when I did the Breast Cancer 3-day. It was such an amazing experience that I will never forget. When you are actually out there doing it, it will feel like NOTHING because when you do something for a cause, every time you start to feel tired or self-doubt, you only have to think about the people you are running/ walking for and the B.S. disappears immediately. If you remember WHY you are doing this, everything will fall into place and you will feel amazing. Remember, every single woman who died from these health related issues would gladly run a marathon if they had the opportunity to – and then remember that you are actually DOING something (the best thing you know how to do) to help prevent that fate from others. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Honestly, like everyone else says, the people who cheer you on are Angels! You will love them more than you can imagine. I’m not going to say good luck, because I know that you do not need luck. Stay focused and stay strong!!!!

  • francabollo

    See Heather run!

    You WILL do it. I did the San Francisco marathon for my first which I was later told to absolutely NOT do as one’s first. Hill after hill after effing hill. I survived and finished. The most amazing thing, though, was running with people who were either geriatric or disabled … often at speeds faster than mine.

  • southmainmuse

    Just don’t run too much too fast and get injured. Then you won’t be able to compete. And if you walk some, it’s not like they can take away your birthday. Good Luck…

  • TeacherinRye

    I trained for 18 weeks for my full. Prior to that, I had run a half. Be diligent, and I think you will be fine! Enjoy it in the moment, because the post-marathon weeks can mess with your head/body. It’s an amazing feeling though, crossing that finish line!!

  • TeacherinRye

    Oh, and go one whole size up in your shoes. If you wear Nikes, especially. They run small. I still lost 5 toenails!

  • oddFrogg

    Oh man, you are FEARLESS. Know that you will have tons of your readers sending you positive energy that day. You Can Do It! I’m inspired to stop putting off walking a 1/2 marathon, then walking a full marathon. Rock on Diva!

  • Failjolesfail

    I just want to warn you about something I DID NOT know was going to happen.

    (BTW, I’ve never run a marathon. But I’m part of the prep team and cheering squad for a dear friend who ran 4 – mostly to combat stress while her fiance was deployed. The last marathon was the MCM, and it was there that I discovered this:)

    All the runners at the beginning of the race over hydrate. And those near the starting line don’t want to lose their place. So as soon as they cross the start line, they have one thing on their mind: gotta take a piss.

    I have never seen so many penises in my life. That sounded wrong. I mean, all the penises I’d seen in my life, individually, combined, did not sum up to the same number I saw in those brief minutes before I got the hell out of there.

    Most of them will get off the road, but they’re not exactly looking to hide in a bush. AVERT YOUR EYES.

  • Islandess

    Heather – I have been reading your blog since before Leta was born. Thought it was time I finally spoke up.

    You know, when I first moved out to Kwajalein, I had never run a marathon before in my life. I ran 6 miles in October, and then got talked into running the full 26.2 in early December. It IS an attainable goal.

    If I could tell you anything, it would be this:

    1.)Make sure you have good shoes.
    2.)Listen to YOUR body.
    3.)Run your race – trying to meet other people’s expectations is more stress than you need to deal with.

    I can’t wait to see/read how it goes!

  • LynnB

    Are you going to be doing all this intense running, plus your regular workouts like spin, while on the Paleo diet? I’d be interested to hear how that goes. I know the reason my friends and I run is to eat (and let’s be honest, drink) whatever the HECK we want after those long runs. I suggest you wolf down a giant cheeseburger and cold beer after the marathon itself.

  • MamaLana

    Good luck! (exclamationpoints bla bla bla) Really Sweete!

  • specialkrispy


    Also, I read “Burns” as a verb in that headline. Ha ha!

  • Rebecca from Texas

    <3 <3!!!! I cannot wait to read posts of your training. My fiance and I have been training for a "4 Seasons" challenge, which requires us to run 1 half marathon in each season. We've accomplished 2, and our next one is in 3 weeks. I am so proud of you for eating this elephant! :)

  • poptart66

    In all the years 10+ that I have followed your website, I have commented less than 5 times. This time it is important. You can absolutely run a marathon, you workout, you are fit, but it is brutal. Most people spend months training for one. The point of the training is simply to prepare your body to be engaged in an activity for that long. Our bodies aren’t meant to do this. And if you’ve never run one before you need to prepare for what will happen. I ran my third marathon last year and was in the best shape ever, set a PR and still I threw up at the finish. There is a great training/running book for women. I don’t know if the other women you will be running with have been training, but I would suggest to sign up for the marathon relay with them. You are still participating, raising money for a good cause, but not killing yourself. I’m not trying to scare you, I just don’t want you to get hurt. Good luck Heather! Force be with you!

  • meghantown

    I’ve run 6 marathons, but none since childbirth. If your post-childbirth bladder is anything like mine, I wish you luck!! In all seriousness – what got me through miles 16-26 was repeatedly thinking to myself the following thoughts: This is one morning of my life and I can do this mofo. Also, when I am done I am going to eat whatever the HELL I want, and also, I’m gonna sit on the couch for the rest of the day and do absolutely nothing.
    You just put one foot in front of the other ’til you get to the end. It helps to have loved ones cheering you on. And Holy God in Heaven when you see the finish line and cross it, you will want to weep with joy. That moment becomes a memory that is totally undescribable. Much like childbirth, you forget the pain but the joy and pride in getting it done stays with you forever! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!

  • bawb23

    Is it wrong for me to be looking forward to your posts about losing toenails? Good luck, Heather!

  • JessicaM

    Hey Hey! I’m supposed to be doing the NYC Marathon this year, too…but have totally been slacking on training. I suppose it’s really not too late!

    I recommend inviting some of your friends to set up a cheering section for you on First Avenue somewhere in the 90s. It’s at about the twenty mile mark, and you’ll really appreciate the support. Once you head back into Manhattan and are coming down Fifth Ave. into the Park, there are so many people that although you’re exhausted, the crowd and adrenaline should carry you the rest of the way.

    A marathon is a 20 mile warm-up with a 10K at the end. 🙂

  • LillyO

    Everybody’s “marathon” is different. You can do this, Dooce! You are an absolute ROCK STAR!

  • mjeremiason

    I pimped my husband out to run a marathon with my sister in Stockholm, Sweden two years ago (she didn’t even ask if I’d run, but said she’d visit us if he would, I was desperate for visitors from home). Get this, she ran with a TORN LABRUM, and record heat for there. I have her on video saying it was her last (did I mention she has 5 kids, and a grand baby?). Guess what? She’ll be running with you in NYC! If you want to laugh after the race, look for the South Dakota woman who’s smiling through her pain and fulfilling a dream! (she can tell you some poop stories, too)

    I’m training for my first 5K – not an exerciser at all. It feels like a marathon, and I’m damn proud that I’m going to pull it off.

    Keep inspiring…

  • Yellaphant

    YOU. GO. GIRL. No worries on this. You will be so distracted and elated by the amazing crowds that they will carry you through this entire experience. Training does suck. It’s a lifestyle forced upon you for a very long time (so in some ways, you’re lucky you only have two months!). But think of all the food you can eat and beer you can drink. And yes, the long runs suck. Because you’re alone. But once you’re in that crowd, man. Just wait. It’ll be amazing.

    Running a marathon was on my bucket list too. I just wanted to do one. And as soon as I crossed the finish line, I was thrilled that I had that one out of the way … I now run two a year.

    You’ll rock it and I bet you’ll even like it.

  • minnesotajen

    i am NOT going to spend this post giving you tips on how to run a marathon, as i THINK that’s been covered already 🙂

    i DO however feel like a stalker. i check-in to read dooce every once in awhile and i believe we once met while i worked as a freelancer at fm. anyway, today i happened to stop by the site and see that you’re training for a marathon. i then proceed to head out my door for a quick run along hudson park… and see you 10 minutes into my run.

    AGH! mind warp as world wide web collides with reality. small world. good luck in november 🙂

  • JoanE

    Heather – I have been a lurker for quite a while, but somehow this spurred me on to comment. YOU GO GIRL!! I know you can do this!!! I do “half marathons” only – but enjoy the running. My friends who do marathons have a system for support. After mile 12 or 15 – they run each mile “for” one of their friends!! So that mile is spent thinking about that person. I have heard that it makes the miles go “easier”!! Celebrate your intense training – and ENJOY!!!
    Thanks so much for all your good posts!!!

  • dailynibbles

    Good luck! I’ve run a few marathons – slowly. It’s a great {albeit intense} experience. You’ll feel so proud about the entire process.

  • paulam

    HEK YEAH YOU CAN DO IT! I ran the New York Marathon for my 40th birthday (7 years ago-yikes) and it was the best gift I could have given myself. Did I love it? NO! I felt terrified for most of the race because of all the people and my fear that I wouldn’t be able to finish. But I did cross that finish line and the sense of accomplishment and “I can do anything” confidence that I gained is priceless.

    TIP: Find some kind of “GU” that you like- it really helps. Don’t drink too much water. Don’t get there too early. Use lots of body glide 🙂

    I’m so excited for you!

  • parismonster

    I’m also running the ING NYC Marathon on Nov. 6th!!!! I hope I get to see you–I want to beat Oprah’s time too!

    My first marathon was last year’s ING NYC marathon (I beat Katie Holmes’ time!!) and I felt the same way about training–I cried tears of amazement/happiness when I ran 15 miles, and also cried tears of frustration after a 40 minute jog. Nothing compares to the actual experience of running the streets of New York though (which is why I’m doing it again). It was, seriously, the most fun experience I’ve ever had in my life. I had my name on my shirt (definitely recommend that!) and the crowds were amazing and supportive the whole course. Perma-grin on my face the whole time. I’m smiling just thinking about it!

    26.2 miles is gonna look good on you! Way to go!

  • Marciadawn

    Pretty long time reader…first time commenter. I’m sure by now you are tired of advice. I run half marathons and have had a hard time finding a nutrient that doesn’t upset my digestion for the rest of the day after a long run. Been using Lara bars and working out great.
    Also, books on iPod. Gets me out there on days I don’t want to go because I want to know what happens next.
    Thanks for your hard work. This is a great cause and you crack me up.

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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