Blerching It

This morning, after a month of nearly no training whatsoever, Gigi and I ran the Beat the Blerch Half Marathon!!!  And we survived.  That may sound a little glib and like a joke, but it’s no joke that I was worried.  We went to Disneyland at a really tough time in our training.  It was really our last chance to train in earnest before the school year and our half-marathon season hit this August-September-October and I haven’t really ran very much at all. That’s partially due to healing, partially to the back-to-school schedule as well as my own, personal apathy.  Have I meantioned that I’ve got a heavy load this year in my classroom???😋 It makes running at the end of the day seem alarmingly unappealing.  Anyhow, this race was fun, even if I wasn’t fully prepared.  Beyond that, I’ve run enough of these 13.1 mile deals now that I can read my body and not fear it any longer.  I know what’s happening, I’m solving puzzles and I know how to coach my way through them now.  It’s nice.  

  • I know when I hit around six miles, I’m good but that’s when I need to eat to keep up my energy.
  • I used an organic oatmeal/applesauce pouch for nutrition, this time, along with the cake, of course, and loved it.  I’m definitely more of a ‘real food on run’ kind of girl more than I’m a gel and gu girl.  It’s nice to know what to buy.  Gigi likes the gu and gel, though, so we grabbed handfuls of the free oatmeal, gu’s, gels and anything else to support our on-run nutrition in the future at the booths afterwards.  I love that they give all that stuff away at runs!  They encouraged us to take 3-4 of everything, so we did and we loaded an entire gallon zip bag with on-run food!
  • When I get to 9 miles I need to eat again.  I ate the other half of the oatmeal and it held me for the rest of the run.
  • Around 11 miles results in cramping.  I start to feel a twinge and need to walk a little bit to shake it out.  I had one in my thighs, my calf and my hip, this time, all on my left side which, incidentally, is also the hip that’s been bothering me lately.
  • The last mile is ridiculously long.  It feels like it’s really 2-3 miles.  Knowing this in advance helps only a little.  It’s brutal.
  • Seeing someone at the finish line is the happiest  thing ever.  Finishing a race is emotional so to have a person there to celebrate with is wonderful.  I absolutely love running with Guinevere and treasure our post-run camradarie.  Today had me crawling all over the car with a Charlie cramp, wearing only my bra and undies, as we were trying to change out of our wet clothes.  I finally realized I couldn’t bend my leg and needed her to dress me.  It was the funniest thing ever and we were dying, which, of course, invited curious looks from passer by.  Of me, sitting half naked in the back seat of my car while Gigi dressed me.  She said, “Mom, we will remember this forever!”  I agree!
  • I bought a belt with pockets in it for food and my car key.  Best.  Purchase.  Ever.  I hadn’t realized how much I worry about losing my key when I run.

{I made this donut creation, but then they didn’t give me a fork to eat it with, so this is about as much as I did with it.  Poor donut didn’t get to live out its destiny in meh belly…  But it was fun to make. 🙂  }

First, off, this is a race for runners who don’t take themselves overly seriously.  We run this race becasue we like to run, but some of us also run because we like to eat, and the Oatmeal run definitely provides.  There’s (ridiculously tasty) cake, Nutella sandwiches (gross), purple drink, gels and big, puffy blerches sitting on couches at each aid station.  Yeti’s, too.  (If you don’t know what a Blerch is, click here.  Even if you know, you should still click because awesome.) I have a tendency to be all business, no matter what the race, and really have to tell myself to enjoy my time if I’m going to do that.  I trucked on past the first aid station, taking just some Nuun electrolytes, but then, at the second aid station, I was like, “What are you doing, Tamarella??  You paid $85 to run out here in the rain.  EAT THE FRICKIN’ CAKE!”  So I did.  And I sat on a couch or two, canoodled with a Blerch, pee’d, ate more cake because that stuff was addictive, drank some water to wash the cake down, I high fived people and elicited a ‘keep up the good work’ from Matt Inman as he passed me (it was a there and back), I walked out any threatening cramps, I looked at the mossy trees….  I just had a good time, blast the finish time.  Which was, quite honestly a PR for slowness for me at around three hours and I ran almost the whole way when I wasn’t sitting on couches chilling with blerches.  Ohmygoodness.  Some training over the last month definitely would have helped. 😂 But it’s ok!

When it was all over, we looked at this chart and wished we ran the marathon.  LOL!  Not really, at all.  But it seems like for all that work I earned more than 7.5 donuts!

Side story: we stopped at Taco Bell for bean burritos on our way home and my car wouldn’t start again.  It was then that our hero boys came to save us with a fresh battery for my car.  It was so nice to see our boys after all that rain and running!


  1. Lesleigh

    Just getting caught up on my reading.
    Loved your race recap!! A race that has cake and donuts…my kind of race! Glad you guys made it through.

  2. Paula

    It sounds like you had a blast. I am not sure I could have done a half without training much. My hat is off to you. I really need to push myself. You show us you can do it if you get your butt out there and just do it.

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