Sunday, November 2, 2014

I Beat the Blerch in Brecksville!

I didn't get to write about this when I did it because of the Hot Chocolate Giveaway (Congratulations, Erin!), but here is the lowdown on the Blerch:

You know that tempting voice in your head that tells you it's time to give up in mile 6 of your ten-miler?  The voice that tells you that Halloween candy doesn't count because it's so tiny?  The same voice that lulls you back to sleep when your alarm goes off at 5:30 to prep for your Sunday long run? That voice belongs to the Blerch:

He looks like he likes candy, right?
The Blerch is a creation of Matthew Inman, known as The Oatmeal, who is a cartoonist, grammar enthusiast, Nicola Tesla groupie, and runner.  The Oatmeal introduced the Blerch in his book, The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances.  It is a beautiful comic that really captures distance-runners' feelings about the sport and explains why we do what we do.  As soon as I read this book, I had to buy a t-shirt and bumper sticker:

This is the front and back of my t-shirt.
This is my bumper sticker.  Everyone at my job thinks I'm weird, but now that I think about it, that may have little to do with the bumper sticker.  Hmmmm.
We all have a Blerch who lives inside us, and running (or any healthy physical activity) helps us to shut up the Blerch when he wants us to eat cake and sit in front of the computer clicking on mindless games.  Not that I do that. Ahem.

So, when I saw that there was a Beat the Blerch 10k/Half/Full Marathon, I was pumped.  Unfortunately, it sold out in ten minutes, so my dreams of traveling to meet a live Blerch (they chased runners on the course) were completely shot.  Luckily, The Oatmeal sold entries to a virtual race, so I was able to beat the Blerch on my own terms and still get a medal and some cool swag.  My friend/running Peep Jen also entered the race, so we decided to do a 10k together.  First, here is the swag:

Awesome, right?  All this for twenty bucks, plus, there is a mini-Blerch stress ball that I forgot to put in the picture.



Now I have even MORE bumper stickers on my car!  My kids aren't embarrassed AT ALL when I pick them up and their friends see my car.

Jen and I ran in Brecksville Reservation, and it was gorgeous.  The temperature was in the sixties, the leaves were colorful, and we were able to catch up after not seeing each other in a long time.  (Ah, the paths of trail runners and road runners don't often cross.  We must take advantage of the moment when they do.)  Anyway, here is my medal shot:

This is EXACTLY how I look when I beat the Blerch!


Jen and I had a fun time, and she celebrated by giving me some purple deliciousness for my kids (read the book, and you'll understand). Neither one of us drank it because--eww-but my seven-year-old will love it; he'll drink any kind of pop.

If you are into virtual races, this was a good one.  Jen and I are hoping to register for the real race next year where we will Beat the Blerch on his own territory.

Remember, Peeps, it isn't too late to register for the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k in Columbus.  Use my code, TroubleRunHat, to get a free hat with your swag.  I hope to see you there!

Like what you read?  Follow me on Twitter @itibrout.