the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Attention all runners and those who want to be

Hahahaha! Oh man! Remember that one time I ran the NYC Marathon in 2011 and broke every bone in my body, including my ankle at mile 22? I didn’t reveal that in the account that I wrote because I don’t know? It’s a weird thing to admit to people because you sound either rip-fucking insane or like an egotistical asshole: “I broke my ankle at mile 22 of the NYC marathon and I still managed to finish it. I also eat maggot-infested shark brains and won Miss Universe three years in a row but turned down the crown because the diamonds they use don’t require that anyone die while they’re being mined. BLEGH.”

You can read about that experience here: part one, part two, part three. Yes, three parts. Because I am dramatic as fuck.

Welp! I’ve run two marathons since then, several half marathons before and during training. And if you were to ask my honest opinion—despite destroying my body that first time and then destroying my mind the second time around—I’d whisper, “You must do it.” And then I’d stick my wet finger in your ear because you’d leaned in close to hear what I had to say, and I can’t have anyone being earnest around these parts.


Running a marathon, especially one in a city like New York or Boston or Chicago, is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s unlike anything you will ever do or endure or behold. What it teaches you about yourself and about other human beings—YES, others especially. You don’t think it would because it’s such a solo experience, but pain like that opens your eyes to other people where other experiences simply cannot. And not just in a I WANT TO CHOKE YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS IF YOU DON’T STOP SAYING ENCOURAGING THINGS AT MILE 19 sort of way.

And running for a cause? It doesn’t get better or more meaningful. I have four wet fingers in my ear having just said that. You’re welcome.

Yesterday I found out that Every Mother Counts has 15 spots left in the 2017 NYC Marathon. I ran with Team EMC that first time in NYC and then again in Tanzania, San Francisco, and Chicago (I wasn’t supposed to run the Chicago marathon because I hadn’t trained but I showed up and did it anyway, SEE? I am not rip-fucking insane!), and the reason I keep going back to a sport that so obviously disagrees with me is the almost literary connection between distance and the physical barriers so many mothers face around the world when it comes to basic healthcare:

One woman dies every two minutes bringing life into the world and up to 98% of these deaths are preventable? Many times, distance and lack of transportation prevent women from reaching lifesaving maternity care. Every Mother Counts runs to raise awareness and funds that help women reach the maternal healthcare they need during pregnancy and childbirth.

You can find out more at

If you’d like a post in this year’s NYC Marathon on November 5th, email teamemc at Ever team member gets access to:


I won’t be running it this year—ALTHOUGH I AM TEMPTED—because of some Other Very Important Major Developments In My Life That Need Attention, and I can’t give proper attention to those things if I’m running an average of 20-30 miles a week. Also, my mother would murder me. Straight up, she’d show up to my house and bludgeon me with a hardback copy of The Book of Mormon. And I am not about to walk up to the judgment bar of God with THAT on my record. Let God judge me for the lesbian porn on my iPad. I’d rather flunk out of Heaven that way.

But this is your chance to do NYC if you’ve ever had the dream of doing it, and you’d be raising money for an incredible organization.

You should do it. The story you will have to tell after, that alone. That alone is worth it. And the crowds in Central Park as you’re finishing those last two miles? I can show up and tell them to shut up on your behalf. I’d do that for you. (You will very much more than anything in this world want them to shut up and they won’t, this is fair warning.)









  • Josey

    2017/08/10 at 9:27 am

    Wow, what an incredibly opportunity! Maybe some year I’ll try to do this, but I’d need some major improvements in my time before I attempt that! Running my second half this weekend (after swearing last year after my first that I’d never do it again), and it really is addicting for a variety of reasons. I loved your race recaps so much when you first wrote them! It definitely inspired me to give it a shot.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2017/08/10 at 9:52 am

    You definitely have to be prepared for something like this. I did not train properly in 2011—I didn’t have the time to, I only found out I was running it less than two months out—which is why I suffered so many injuries. When I ran the Boston last year I followed the training plan down to the letter and my body loved me for it (my brain, not so much).

    Thanks for the kind words about my recaps. I just reread them and I’m laughing remembering all the crazy feelings I had during those five hours. What a trip!

  • Josey

    2017/08/10 at 10:10 am

    Yeah, I definitely followed a training program for both halfs, but last year I did the cross-training much more religiously so I was in much better shape going into the race (excuses excuses this year, oops). I still figure I went from not being able to run one mile to being able to run 10 miles last weekend in 2 hours, so I’m a heck of a lot better off than when I started 3 months ago, right? 🙂 Also, you broke your fucking ankle and neglected to include that in your story? What is wrong with you, woman?! LOL

  • Michael Mathews

    2017/08/10 at 4:21 pm

    I can’t run but I’ve walked several halfs now. You really need to find a training plan and follow it. The only two problems I’ve had are plantar fasciitis (I still did the event because I’d already paid for the entry and airfare at that point), and some mild heat exhaustion in Chicago because I do not experience Chicago summer heat where I live, so I really had no idea that I need to double or triple my fluid and electrolyte intake.

  • Michael Mathews

    2017/08/10 at 4:22 pm

    Even though your body sometimes feels like it is falling apart, the mental aspect is so hard to understand until you’ve done one. My first half kicked my butt (no injuries, but a genuine bonk). I learned so much and did great on the next one.

  • Jonathan

    2017/08/10 at 4:39 pm

    I’m kind of on the wrong side of the world to do any of those marathons, but I DO need to get back into running. I ran regularly for several years before we had children, but then used the excuse of “not having enough time” to stop. And it WAS an excuse. I miss those early morning runs on my own – through the middle of town, seeing the town wake up around me, and thinking non stop about “how far is left?”.

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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