The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Love the Oatmeal

It’s not just because of his amazing comic telling us all about the Mantis Shrimp. (for which I have the signed poster hanging up in my bedroom…)

It’s not just because of his amazing comic describing what every runner feels in a colorful, humor filled manner. (I have the Blerch 0.0 sticker on the back of my car….) (and I preordered the running book)

No, it’s not just because of those things, but those things are a major part of it. I just love reading his stuff, and usually I am blown away by how much I can relate to what he says in his comics.

In September there’s a race called “Beat the Blerch” in Washington. I don’t live there, I can’t make it there. I would totally run it if i did, though. I don’t like races… the idea of running with a bunch of people and expectations seems like it will take the fun out of running for me. I run for the quiet. I run for the sake of running, and my anxiety nearly kills me every time I’m expected to do something scheduled. Even in the Tough Mudder, I had side stitch within half a mile of beginning the course just due to stress alone.

I can’t run the Beat the Blerch race because it’s too far away and completely sold out… or can I? They’ve added a VIRTUAL OPTION. Meaning, I can do what I’ve always wanted to do: run a real race BY MYSELF. There won’t be anybody running around me making me feel bad about my slow pace, and there’s no pressure to even finish it. I can run 6 miles or 13. (nope, not ready for a full marathon yet) I can run it on the race day weekend, or even the weekend after. It’s okay… because The Blerch will always be there, ready to be beaten back time and time again.

And also, you get a Blerch stress ball in every race pack. That means every time I get pissed off, I can squeeze his little fat body to my heart’s content.

The Oatmeal is a genius. For his humor, for his insight… he’s a genius.

Blerch on.


Don’t Forget the World Around You

Yes, I love to run. I love to run 2 miles, but I especially love it when I make it all the way to 13. (FTR, I’ve only done this once so far) One thing I got caught up in for a little while was the running hype. The training… the increasing speed times, the keeping a regular schedule and adjusting everything just so so that I’d go farther and faster. Recently, I threw all that out the window. Running for the sake of competition took all the fun out of running. I couldn’t stop and pick a pretty flower for my daughter because it would mess with my lap times. I couldn’t jog leisurely along, just enjoying a beautiful day because I had to go faster.


Fuck that.

I am running… for what? I am running for my mental health. I am running for my physical health. I am running for alone time and fresh air.┬áRunning an 11 minute mile feels just fine to me. Stopping to take pictures is just an added bonus.

Along my favorite running trail there’s one piece of graffiti that I particularly love. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be, and I don’t know if someone even put it there intentionally. I love looking at it, though. I think it’s beautiful. This is just one example of what I love about running.


Do you see that? What does it look like to you?

I think it looks like a woman. A woman in a pretty flared dress, and huge wings coming out of her back. I guess you could say she looks like an angel…

What does it look like to you?