Meeting the Blerch(‘s Creator)

Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) was in town on Friday to sign copies of his new book “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances”, dedicated to comics about running. I went down to Barnes & Noble for the signing. After walking aimlessly around, trying to figure out how to get from the parking garage to the bookstore, I found myself inside an office building that had a back entrance to the store. I noticed a guy sitting outside who looked vaguely familiar. I possibly stared a little too hard because he noticed and said, “Are you going to the signing?” I was slowly realizing that it was Matthew himself and said that I was. “Want me to save an hour of your time and go ahead and sign your book?”

I happily took my book over to him, which he signed and drew a blerch picture in. We talked a little, and then I left to go into the store to await his talk.

Once inside and the shock had worn off, I remembered that I wanted a picture, so I went back out the store and asked if he would mind. He agreed, so I took this selfie.

with the oatmeal, matthew inman

This is biggest I have ever cheesed ever.

He apparently doesn’t allow for photos in the signing line, so I got a bonus! We talked a little more about running and how vegetarianism sounds like a good idea until you realize how much you like meat. I tried to convince him to bring a Beat the Blerch run to Nashville.

Then I went inside and listened to his talk on Charles Darwin.

He was super nice, and I hope he gets the chance to return to Nashville again! (Or that I find myself in a position to make it to a Beat the Blerch in another city.)

I told Jonathan that apparently my top skill in life was randomly running into attractive famous guys while aimlessly wandering around looking for something. (I also met Pekka Rinne while looking for hot chocolate at a Preds game. Now…when am I going to run into Ryan Gosling?) Really not a bad skill to have, I guess.

Beat the Blerch!

I apologize in advance for this stream-of-consciousness post, but I am too excited slash sad to care.

I’ve been a regular reader of The Oatmeal for years. When he published his comic “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances” last July, I was only 6-7 months into running regularly (with a 10k being the longest distance I had gone), but a lot of it resonated with me. Especially the parts about running to eat. Because that is basically what I do. I’ve never ran to lose weight. I run so I can feel less guilty about downing entire pizzas and cakes.

I even bought the running shirt to go along with the comic. And I ran in it when I went to Seattle last fall, which is where Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, lives.

i believe in the blerch shirt

This was not taken in Seattle. This was taken at work. Sometimes I get confused and wear my running clothes other places.

So when he announced that he was publishing a book on running, I was excited. And then I saw that he was holding a race: a 10k, half marathon, and full marathon. And, of course, it was in Seattle. Exactly a year after my last trip.


I’m resolving to use more reaction gifs in my blog.

“Why couldn’t you have done this a year ago??” I lamented, knowing there was no way I could afford another trip out west that soon. Although I did entertain the idea because my best friend lives out there, and I miss her bunches. Then I entertained moving to Seattle because I miss her bunches and everything cool happens out there. (I haven’t ruled that out yet.)

But, no worries, east coasters! In an article on Runner’s World’s website, “next year he hopes to expand the race to the East Coast after this year’s ‘trial run’ to see how well mid-marathon cake goes over.” Oh, did I fail to mention that part? There’s cake and Nutella at every aid station. MY FAVORITE FOOD IS AT EVERY AID STATION. Was this race not meant for me?

By “east coast” they probably mean somewhere that is equally expensive and inconvenient for me to get to here in landlocked Tennessee.

And there’s people in blerch suits chasing you. Which is just all kinds of awesome. This is like the one race that could make me want to train for a half marathon again. (And I’m not saying that lightly. I am very much over half marathons.)

I want a Blerch medal! Registration opens (and, let’s face it, probably closes, as it’s expected to sell out quickly) on Monday. Who wants to pay for me to go to Seattle in September?