NaBloPoMo’13: Day 5, My Blerch

Every week on Tuesday mornings, I get up at 5:15, like I always do, feed the cat, like I always do, pack my car, like I always do. But, on Tuesdays, different from any other weekday, I get into a pair of compression capris and a loose tee so I can be at the gym 39 miles away by 7:00 in the morning.

I’ve been doing some iteration of personal training one day a week for about two years now. I’m glad for the consistency of it: there were times where the only fitness I would get in a week was my once-a-week training with my trainer. There’s just something about paying someone to make you show up that makes you show up.

Charlie’s gotten very into running in the past year, and he loves it as his sport. I, however, no matter how I tried, could not get into running. Even after my Capital City Commit to be Fit 5K declaration, I just can’t do it. I prefer to lift. I’d much rather get cut up from squats, dead lifts, and planks-with-rows than from pounding 26 miles of pavement in a weekend.

Did I mention that my parents got a rowing machine because of the one they saw on House of Cards ? Did I also mention that I am totally jealous and trying to sell my recumbent bike, janky elliptical machine, plasma and eggs to get a rowing machine of my own?  I’d sit and row for hours  over running.

Back to weight training. Over two years, it has made a big difference: there is definition in my arms, legs, calves and back that weren’t there before. Even when I was horseback riding, even when I was at my willowiest from working retail. Charlie had his arm around me the other day and commented, “Wow, you can tell your arms are really strong,” and I was pretty tickled.  The funny thing is that I weigh more now  than I did when I was at my “heaviest” when I graduated college, but I look trimmer (short of the diet soda goo around my midsection, but I’m still holding on to some addictions). Clearly, and I knew this was true, muscle weighs more than fat.

In recent months, I’m on a new medication that has really helped me jump start my motivation for fitness, and I’ve been working out on my lunch hour almost every weekday for about two months. Instead of having to wake up any earlier, or get home any later, how convenient is it to just wander down one floor, bang out a workout, and walk back up a flight of stairs? I plan on taking my workouts up a notch in the next few weeks and making the sure commitment to get to the gym on weekend mornings while Charlie is out running with his club.​

I’m enjoying turning into a gym rat. I never thought I’d say that.

River Run 2013

Charlie’s been running for about as long as he’s been on his fitness regime. He started with basic 5Ks, but when he saw the awesome medals that the Capital City Half Marathon handed out for their quarter- and half-marathon finishers, he began training for longer runs. For a while, a knee sensitivity had him sidelined, only planning running a quarter marathon at his longest clip.

Being the competitive family his is, when Charlie saw Ada registering, running, and placing in half-marathons, Charlie wanted to do the same. He spent the better part of 6 months strengthening his knee so that he could run in the 2013 River Run.


Being a huge fan of Matthew Inman’s The Oatmeal, of course he related to The terrible and wonderful reasons I run long distances. I think he can relate to “Part 2: The Feeding,” (you haven’t seen what he can do to Fourthmeal), I relate to “Part 4: Vanity” (more on that at a later date), but he feels he relates most to “Part 1: The Blerch.”

When Matt listed his Blerch shirts available for sale in the store, I had to get one for Charlie. There was some doubt as to whether it would arrive on time, but Hermes himself smiled on us, and I had it hanging on the banister of the stairs as a surprise when he came home from the away football game for the high school.

I thought there would be a couple of people running with Blerch shirts, but as far as I could tell, Charlie was the only one. I really hope it was entertaining for anyone keeping pace behind him during the race.

The night before the race, Charlie wanted to get waterproof earphones. The ones he normally used (janky ones that came with his phone, I think) would get covered in sweat and cut out, crackle, and generally sucked. I thought it was kind of neat to peruse the running-specific training equipment. Part of the reason I took up golf (which I eventually abandoned because, boring), was for the super cute clothing.

I enjoyed picking my way around compression sleeves, toe-socks specifically for running, and sports-geared ear buds. We ended up picking out a pair of Yurbuds. They were $30, and the only thing different between them and regular ear buds is a silicone sleeve that goes into your ear. That said, I’m not one to quibble if they work (and they did). Now, I’m saving pennies to get a pair of the women-specific ones, which is great, because I have tiny ears and have been athletic-taping my ear buds in when doing cardio.

Both Charlie and Ada ran in the half marathon. Ada’s live-in ladyfriend and her sister, the third brother and his wife, their mom (my mother-in-law) , and I sent them off at the beginning of the run, and waited for them to cross the finish line about 2-ish hours later.


I’ve been to a couple of Charlie’s races, and I always get lucky as hell at my placement at the finish line for being able to see him finish.  I get my spot early and park it until I see him finish. This is probably why people find me boring at get-togethers: I’m a park-and-partier, seldom leaving my seat to mingle.

Aside from Charlie and Ada being my favorite finishers, one gentleman got down on his stomach on the finish line and log-rolled himself across. I did not get a picture, but I wish I had.

Ada crossed the finish line first. No surprise: his stride is longer, he got the tall genes.


Shortly after the 2-hour mark, Charlie crossed too, mugging for the official camera.



I’m also kind of a jerk: I had Charlie grab me a bagel from behind the corrals reserved for the runners because I’d missed breakfast. I did not plan ahead.

All in all, both Charlie and Ada had a good run, and I was able to get a rare non-Chandler’d picture of Charlie. I’ll be printing it, framing it, and putting it on the mantle.



After spending the rest of the day at Charlie’s parents’ house, Charlie started looking up the 2014 Capital City Half Marathon. Apparently, the half-marathon bug only burrowed deeper.

And because I like shiny neckwear and dislike being the odd man out, I said that I’d do the 5K portion of the race.

I guess I better get to training, then.