Oh hey, 11 miles, YOU SUCK

I skipped my run today.

I didn’t mean to. I didn’t sleep well the night before, with a three year old kicking me for most of the wee morning hours. The big girls started their day arguing about a lost baby bunny. I usually try to turn on some Sesame Street for them so I can go run, but they demanded breakfast.

I got dressed in my running clothes, ate my peanut butter toast, put on my shoes, then completely broke down when I couldn’t find my armband. I’m talking Claire Danes ugly cry. I may be a wee bit tired. Or PMSing.


I had my last long run on Saturday, and only one word can describe it:


I have a confession: I don’t look forward to long runs. I prepare the  best way I know how, by fueling up with some food, hydrating, dressing in my most comfortable gear, and packing my nerdy little belt with Gu and energy chews. But the whole time I’m thinking I. Don’t Wanna!

Sometimes when I’m prepping for a run, I envision myself flying through it effortlessly. This is rarely the case. Actually, this is never the case.

Saturday I ran a trail that’s near my house. I don’t enjoy running on straightaways, because they never seem to end. I prefer neighborhoods where I can take twists and turns to make things interesting, but I needed a change of scenery, and I knew that a lot of Zooma was going to be on straightaways. My friend Lori runs the trail often and gave me a good starting point and turnarounds to squeeze in 11 miles.

My starting leg of 2 miles was downhill-ish, which was awesome because I was zooming and feeling all I believe I can fly! and stuff.  But then I had to turn around and head back to, and way past, my starting point. Oh, that longest leg had me cursing Lori every step of the way. It was uphill. Against the wind. It was humid. My clothes were sticking to me. I had to pee because I drank too much before starting. The bathroom had no toilet paper. And I was only 2.5 miles in.

Let me tell you, there is no pain like hitting the 2 mile mark and knowing you have 7, 8, 9, or more to go. It’s mentally the hardest part of my run. Once I get past it I’m usually fine and can tune out the mileage (this is what we call foreshadowing), but that 2 mile mark gets me every time, even when I’m not about to pee myself.

But I kept going.

Just before 5 miles I came to a grueling hill right before the next park. More like a ramp. Or MOUNTAIN. I knew it was there. I’d been on the trail before. But damn, and I mean DAMN. I couldn’t make it. I had to stop my first non-pee related stop. Then I stopped again at the park to get water and desperately chug a Gu because ENERGY! GIVE ME ENERGY!!! (Also the tri-berry flavor is mighty tasty.) I cursed everyone hanging out at the picnic tables on this nice day, eating hot dogs and birthday cake. Jerks.

But I kept going.

Then…I hit the wall. My legs were killing me. I had no energy left. My groin hurt (sorry y’all. Real stuff going on here).

I looked at my phone and saw the distance of only 7.34 miles, and I fell apart. I stopped and walked. I tried to tell myself to suck it up, you’ve done this before. But all I really wanted to do was sit on a nearby bench and cry, and then I’d be that girl on the trail who was crying while everyone warily kept their distance because who cries on a trail?

I started listening to the other voice in my head. Why are you doing this to yourself? What makes you think you can do this? You will never be a real runner. Real runners don’t feel pain like this. A real runner could fly through this shit. You suck. Now let’s blow this off and go steal some birthday cake from that 2 year old.

That other voice is a real asshole.

I was going to get to that 11 miles if it killed me, and by the way things were going, it likely would. So I reluctantly kept going.

I finally got back to my starting point and saw my amazing family cheering me on. But holy mother of God I still had a mile to go. So I passed them, and nothing sucks worse than having to pass your end point and come back. Rachel ran a few feet with me, insisting that we hold hands. Knowing that in passing them I would turn around and come back to them was the only thing that got me through that last mile.

And then…it was done.

My legs ached. My face was covered in dried sweat and dust. I hugged my kids and bitched to my husband about how hard it was.

But you did it, he said.


I’m pretty sure I left a part of my soul on that trail, and I can’t say it really got me pumped for Zooma. But I’ll be at the Hyatt Lost Pines on March 23rd, and I’ll cross that finish line making the ugliest, most torturous run face I have. It’ll take massive race day adrenaline and a good old fashioned miracle to get me through.

Who doesn’t love a good miracle?

I run 11 miles and she gets ice cream? That ain’t right.


Join the Conversation


  1. I am nowhere as fast as you Leigh Ann, but I wish we could make a run happen together. I really feel like we would click. I am fairly certain we would have so much to talk about that you wouldn’t even notice the run. It would probably be the slowest run of your life but you might enjoy it more. Regardless, some runs suck (been there done that) but I hope every run doesn’t suck for you.

    I feel like I am trying to pick you up- ha!!!! Pick me pick me Pick me : ).

    1. Lisa! We have opposite schedules, girl. Sometimes I wonder why I decided to do this this year, when clearly it would be easier next year when the big girls are in kinder and the little in preschool. Me no likey getting up super early to run.

      I KNOW I need to slow down in order to make this run better. But when I get started, I just go at a comfortable pace, you know? But then I get discouraged when that pace slows considerably during the run. I’ll try to catch up with you at the race. I’m a wee bit scared of the Zooma hills.

  2. I only did 10 before my first (and only so far) half. And it was INSANE. I feel ya, girl. But races are always different. I have every faith that you will do awesome!

    But yeah, it would have been great to stop for that birthday cake, lol!

    1. I am REALLY hoping for that race day adrenaline. Not so excited about the extremely hilly course though. Thanks so much for your support!

  3. You are AMAZING, Leigh Ann. I’m super lucky if I can get myself past three miles. You are going to rock that half next week, because you are going to FINISH.You will have DONE. IT. I can’t wait to hear all about it!!

    1. Greta, you are doing awesome! Before I started this training I hadn’t run more than 3 miles in years, and never more than 4. I started out at 2, and worked my way up. So don’t sell yourself short! You are doing great!

      Thank you so much for your support. 🙂

  4. My mile is 3. The one I need to get to before I can relax. Unfortunately, it’s the only one I can get to right now while my leg is still bothering me.

    You can do this. And parts of it will probably hurt. And that’s ok, because they hurt you during this 11 mile run, and you still did it. But parts of it? Are going to be amazing. People will cheer, and you will catch someone’s eye and you will feel a place between your adrenaline and your will that knows you trained for this and you are strong enough and will rock all 13.1 miles of this.

    Good luck girl.

  5. I don’t think I can even make it to 2 miles these days, never mind 11.
    So you don’t suck. At all. Far from it.
    Go you, you can do it! Can I pledge Mile 8 when you run? Think of me and my chocolate snacking habit to keep you going? Or just a Malaysian cheering you on halfway around the world?

  6. Go you!! I’m so proud of you for hanging in and working so, so very hard! You’re truly inspiring and will this pain’s butt, for sure! 🙂

  7. Tell that voice to stand up and keep running. She needs a talking to. Because? You can TOTALLY do this. You can! Besides, it wouldn’t be an accomplishment if it was easy.

  8. i’m so proud of you. running is really tough and a hard motivator to keep on going. but you’re looking OH SO FABULOUS and all your hard work is paying off. give yourself a break… but only a quick one! dang that extra motivation to stop. 🙁 a reminder that i need to get back on the bandwagon.

    1. Thanks so much for your support, Miranda! Things like that keep me going when I want to quit. But seriously, I want this to be over already!

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