Beat the Blerch

So, true to Kyle and Lindsey form we have decided to run a marathon, despite never having run anything longer than a 5k.  It came about very similarly to how the AT came about, I saw the announcement for the marathon posted online, I told Kyle I thought we should do it, he instantly agreed, we signed up.  But the true story to us running a marathon is much longer than that. The idea of running a marathon first surfaced while we were hiking the AT.  One of a thru-hikers great fears is “how in the sam hill will I keep this banging bod after I no longer hike twenty miles every day”?  That makes us sound kind of shallow… I guess it’s about more than just keeping your banging bod, it’s about feeling confident in your own strength, healthy, powerful, surefooted and steady.  But like I said, that’s easy to do when it’s mandatory to walk somewhere far away every day.  So we began to daydream about running a marathon when our hike was over.  Of course, within a few weeks that had transitioned to a triathlon, but you get the picture.  We thought that if we signed up for some sort of big physical feat then the long-term goal would force us to commit to training and thus, help us stay in good shape.

But of course real life hit and our dream of doing a marathon seemed very far away, until I saw the announcement for The Oatmeal’s marathon, Beat the Blerch.  First of all, you have to understand what The Oatmeal is.  The Oatmeal is one of my favorite online cartoons written by a man who is simultaneously a long distance runner and class-A lazy, internet surfing, procrastinator who loves cake and nutella and binge watching television.  He writes about many things but his comics about long distance running struck a particularly harmonious chord with me because they resonated with my feelings about long distance hiking.  He admits that one of the biggest reasons he loves running is because it allows him to justify, nay live, a sedentary and lazy life on the side.  To read his wonderfully hilarious and painfully close to home comic about long distance running click here.

So I have long loved The Oatmeal and when I saw he was putting on a marathon I was not only intrigued, I kind of felt like fate had intervened in my life and was saying, “Lindsey, this is the one, this is your marathon”.  But it turns out you can’t just decide to do a marathon.  First you must register to do a marathon.  Well actually, a lot of bigger marathons require you to qualify for them first, or enter a lottery and have your name draw, earning you a spot to compete.  Luckily, The Beat the Blerch marathon is only in its first year so it isn’t that big yet, but on the bottom of the information page there was a warning: Registration opens on March 24th, at 9:00AM PST, make sure you sign up early, we are anticipating this to be a popular event and spots may go fast! I wasn’t taking any chances, Kyle and I were both sitting at our computers (he at work and I at home) watching the seconds count down (I actually switched the clock on my computer so that it showed the seconds) to 9:00AM.

The moment the clock struck we were both refreshing our page only to discover the most slowly loading website in the world.  And thus began twenty painful minutes of us typing in information, submitting, slow loading, error pages, going back, refreshing, submitting again, texting each other in a panic, submitting again, hitting back, submitting again, refreshing, refreshing, refreshing until finally… WE MADE IT THROUGH.  And with not a second to spare, the event was full twenty-nine minutes after registration opened.  Reading the frustrated comments on the Facebook page for the marathon I realize how lucky we are to have both been registered.  So many people did the exact same thing we did, started their registration at 9:00 sharp, and could not navigate the tricky dance of refreshing and submitting.  Registration itself was so stressful I ended up feeling like I had already run a marathon!

But fate once again intervened and we are now both entered to compete on September 21st, 2014.  Six months to train and focus on a new long-term goal.  One that we are doing for ourselves and now, also for all those poor bastards who are probably super committed runners but didn’t get registered out of sheer bad luck.  So here’s to our first marathon; I didn’t think we could accomplish anything as badass as hiking 2,285 miles in 2014 but maybe, just maybe, running twenty-six miles will get us close.  If you want to learn more about the marathon then click here!

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As Edward Abbey said, "An indoor life is the next best thing to a premature burial."