I Beat the Blerch

1 Oct

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, ladies and gentlemen.

I hope that by my classic opening sentence for a Lollipop Tuesday post, you’ll recognize that I’m alive and well after attempting my first 10K this past weekend, but I suppose that the first thing a ghost writer would do is study my recurring themes and voice and copy it for the sake of consistency so I guess you’ll just never really know if the person blogging from now on is the real Jackie or not. I can’t make that decision for you.

I can, however, tell you that on Sunday morning at approximately 10:30am, my butt cheeks coordinated in perfect and opposing harmony to power me across the finish line of my very first 10K race.

In retrospect, there are a few things wrong with that sentence. Particularly the part about it being a race. I’m sure it was for some people, but the only person I was competing with that morning was the fat girl inside me, telling me to just stop and take a bus to the end. I was prepared for that, which is why I had two shortbread cookies in a tiny plastic baggie in the cup holder of the car, which was parked back at the start line. And since I knew fat Jackie was going to kick in around mile 3, I outsmarted her. She could either walk more than three miles back to the car in shame, or she could finish the less than three miles ahead of her, and then take a complimentary shuttle back to her well-deserved bag of cookies.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being an adult is all about properly leveraging your motivators.

That would be me, pre-race. And Dave. And the friend who challenged me in January to make my 5K resolution into a 10K instead. Let's call him Lord Pickles.

That would be me, pre-race. And Dave. And the friend who challenged me in January to make my 5K resolution into a 10K instead. Let’s call him Skeeter.


Let’s move on to the second inaccuracy in my former sentence: the use of the word “first”. While it’s true that it was my first 10K, I feel uncomfortable about calling it out like that because seriously, I doubt that there will be another. Let’s face it guys: I suck at running. I bitch and I moan and I’m uncomfortable and the only way to get me to do it, really, is to either bully myself into it with embarrassment and fear tactics, or to promise myself some pastries I squirreled away for myself.  There’s a chance that I’ll revisit a 5K now so that I can work on having a less embarrassing pace, but it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to endure this particular kind of pain and suffering again.

What pain and suffering, you say?

At the beginning of a race, I scan the thousands of participants for whom I anticipate will be the weakest in the pack.  These include but are not limited to the old and feeble, the fat and frumpy, and (of course) the children. I then proceed to watch every single person I pegged out for losers pass me as I huff and puff and consider blowing the whole thing off. I spent the entire race alternating between trying to pass a father-son team who ran ahead and then walked until I passed them and then ran ahead again, and an old lady with a fanny pack and a serious hunch who did the same. I very keenly remember trying to chug up a hill in the very first mile and reminding myself to breathe and relax because it was just the beginning as a woman with enormous haunches harnessed her ass power and soared uphill without effort.

They all beat me. Every single one. And in case that wasn’t bad enough, at mile 2.5, I felt a tap on my shoulder and looked to see my boss smiling and leaping ahead. I could have tried to keep pace to rescue what remained of my dignity, but let’s be honest: there was no guaranteeing I was going to make it to the end and it wasn’t a time to get cocky.

So that. That pain and suffering.

The third and final issue I take with the sentence I was too lazy to delete is that it contained the term “opposing harmony”, which I’m pretty sure can’t be a thing. I’ve tried to justify it many times and I suppose there can be an opposing harmony that exists, perhaps, among counterweights, for example, and Paula Abdul and the cartoon cat in Opposites Attract, but there is a better way to describe the way one’s butt cheeks work together than “opposing harmony”.  I’ll blame the ghost writer for that lack of inventiveness…and basically everything terrible written from now until this blog dies a hard and humiliating death, just like the real Jackie did at the 10K on Sunday.

Just kidding.


Seriously though, thanks to everyone who has followed me from the couch to the 5K to the 10K. If you’ve been reading, you know this transition has been far from natural for me but I’m 30 pounds lighter than when some of you first started reading, I’m not out of breath when I walk to the bus stop, and sometimes I’ll even walk to get groceries instead of taking the car. When I was having a really hard time pounding the pavement to a decent pace around the 4.5 mile mark, I thought lovingly of you all and how incredibly humiliated I’d be if I went so public with this and failed horribly.

Which is why the real Jackie couldn’t bear to tell you the truth and instead hired someone to carry the torch of her blog in a sort of veiled semi-serious voice regarding her passing.

Regardless, whatever Jackie is left may have completed her New Year’s Resolution but still has three months left in her Project Fat Ass 365. That’s 90 more days of huffing and puffing and seeing if I can really realize my true goal for the year: to be in the best shape of my life before the late 20’s swallows me in its beefy jowls of doom.

Hey: if I pop in Jillian Michaels now, I might have enough time to burn off all the motivation cookies it took me to train for the 10K. 

By the way, if you’re wondering where the title came from, please go here and read everything on the site. Or maybe don’t because then you’ll never come back to me. It’s okay. I’ll understand.

41 Responses to “I Beat the Blerch”

  1. JustJohn October 1, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    i remember my first 10k. 6 months prior, i had literal nightmares about running. it is, hands-down, the best self-competitive sport. nevertheless, i still ran 10-20 miles/week and still hated my BigGiantBelly™… started my belly project on march 1st of this year. within 2 months was finally happy with not feeling like i failed my own self. thr reddit/keto group was a source of awesome ideas and support. my own story is in my blog fyi.


  2. Ice_Badger October 1, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    😀 as the inspiration for my very own 365 project craziness I am very glad you didn’t die! (yes I am choosing to believe the cover story)

    Congratulations on completing the 10k 😀 you are awesome!

    also 30lbs lighter is awesome…and your fitness levels must be so much better 😀

    Ok…you have 3 months left…you could do insanity…and still have a month left 😀


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:22 am #

      Insanity is absurd. Jillian is enough. Seriously insanity is ABSURD! I’m really amazed by your steadfastness – you’re kicking ass. And yes, my fitness levels are ridiiiiculous in comparison to before. I didn’t realize how much I was dragging until I noticed that I jump when I’m excited and spontaneously run when I’m outside having fun and all sorts of things that had stopped being part of my physical vocabulary.


      • Ice_Badger November 20, 2013 at 2:08 am #

        It is amazing how much of a difference that sort of thing makes! And how much you realise you didn’t do before once you start again (I am dubious about the sensibility of that last sentence…but I have just woken up…)

        I agree insanity is …well…insane! I am sticking to the gym and dancing and suchlike 😀


  3. adventuresinlowvision October 1, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Never underestimate the power of motivational cookies. Or the opposing harmony of butt cheeks in motion. Congrats on finishing the 10K Jackie!


  4. Samantha October 1, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Congratulations on completing the 10K! *throws confetti*

    Honestly, I have always been a genetically terribad runner, so I think what you accomplished is worth being very, very proud of. Especially since you feel better overall from having taken on this project.

    (I smiled at the title of this post, although I couldn’t remember if it was from The Oatmeal or Hyperbole and a Half for a minute. 😦 )

    I should really start running. I have nice, comfortable Nike Frees that I have been wearing to work in blissful comfort, but should actually start using them for what they’re made for 😛


    • mrshornsby October 1, 2013 at 11:23 am #

      Congrats!! I feel the same EXACT way about 5Ks. I hope to brave a 10K next year. And now that I know it’s okay to say it publicly…I will definitely have a motivational cupcake awaiting me! XOXO


      • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:15 am #

        If I achieve nothing else in this life, let it be that people can openly speak about their use of motivational pastries.


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      terribad is an excellent term, thank you for my introduction to it. Also, thank you for the virtual confetti because that should have actually happened. When you run 6 miles, people should celebrate you.

      I won’t becoming a big running advocate or anything, but I do certainly know that you can do at least a little more than you think you can, and that a 5K is a nice big hurdle to measure your progress. It feels really awesome to go from totally blowing at something to crossing a finish line, no matter the time.


  5. Jules October 1, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Woohoo! Congrats on finishing. I knew you could do it.
    What’s next? A half-marathon??

    No working out for a week or two for me though.
    A huge suburban plowed me on my bike commute Friday afternoon.


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:25 am #

      UGH BIKE ACCIDENTS. I’m sorry Jules. It’s been quite some time since I **should** have replied to this comment. Are you better now?

      And nah, I think increasing my pace on a 5K is up next 🙂


  6. ML October 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    😀 so proud of you kiddo.

    I know it’s all “embarrassing” to be a slow runner, but I find this good news because it means I’m not the only one. I always feel like not only could I not possibly keep up with any other runners I know and stay alive, I wouldn’t want to. So there.


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:12 am #

      kiddo *shudder*

      I *can’t* keep up with any other runners I know. Many of them try to be my running buddy but it’s always awkward. When people are looking for a running buddy, they’re looking for someone they can jog and talk with. I’m trying to just gasp for air the whole time. It’s always just so terrible.


  7. thejonathanblog October 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Congratulations on finishing the 10K! I discussed my pain and suffering after completing a race in my school! Not as long as 10 though! Feel free to check it out! 😀


  8. silkpurseproductions October 3, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Congratulations! You should be really proud. This next few months should be a piece of cake for you. (Maybe I shouldn’t have used the “cake” word.)


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:18 am #

      As it turns out, the very next month was full of laziness and debauchery, but I’m back on the wagon. And it’s harrrrd 🙂


  9. pegoleg October 3, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Whoop whoop whoop! I’m so proud of you! You’re inspiring me to get back on that damn treadmill and at least WALK a few miles. Way to go Jackie!!!!!!


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:06 am #

      Why thaaaank you Peg. Your ridiculous amount of weight loss and battle with the family for who could lose more weight was very inspirational 🙂


  10. Leo October 5, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    Great blog, keep up the good work.


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      Why thank you! (said in the style of a dainty southern belle)


  11. mid-life crisis October 5, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Anyone who will run 10k without being chased is a hero in my books!

    When your harmonizing butt cheeks stop clenching, pat yourself on the back….well done!


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:01 am #

      I should have deluded myself into thinking that the people behind me were chasing me. Then again they do a Zombie race where zombies actually chase you and convert you and the idea of that just scares the bejeezus out of me. Maybe I’ll stick to cookies as motivators.

      Thank you so much 😀


  12. Farai October 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    First, it’s amazing you did a marathon and congratulation on finishing it! Second, your post made me laugh! Third, I’m with you, cookies are some of the best rewards! Lol


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 1:00 am #

      Thank you so much but I should definitely note that it was only a 10K, which is a bit over 6 miles and very, very short of a marathon. People run marathons and poo themselves. I did not poo.

      🙂 Thanks for reading!


  13. untouradeux October 9, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Everything in your article is soooo true! And the cookies’ thing, I have to try this to motivate me.. but I’m sure I would eat them all before the race, I simply coudn’t resist to them. Anyway, congrats for your 10km!


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 12:59 am #

      I must admit I had a difficult time leaving them in the car but I thought about what a bummer it would be to run that far and then not even have a cookie waiting for me at the end 😉 thanks so much!!


  14. sophpearl October 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    “Motivation cookies,” I love it! I totally know what you mean about people passing you who you thought would NEVER pass you. I ran cross country in high school, and I was always surprised by the people who would crawl out of the woodwork…but congrats on finishing! Do you think you’ll race again?

    I love your blog, btw! So funny and positive. Thanks for the laugh!



    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      Thanks so much! Actually I do think I’ll do another race. It’s great motivation to stay fit – just knowing I have a date in the future that I’ve committed to run a certain distance and that it’s advertised and I’ve paid the money and that I should go. It’s really rewarding to know that I’ve done it, too. Even though I was slow, and I’m often quick to start telling myself all the reasons I should have/could have done better, I can’t deny that a short time ago I couldn’t walk to the bus stop without being short of breath.

      Cross country – that’s serious stuff. Very cool 🙂


      • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 12:57 am #

        Oh, and re: your blog – it’s totally fine that you haven’t seen avatar, but seriously see Lord of the Rings. It’s just so delicious. But I’m a nerd.


  15. Michael56j October 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Congratulations, Jackie, or whoever you are 🙂
    I have to say that I love your sense of humour and I can’t wait to read more.


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 12:54 am #

      Thank you so very much for reading 🙂 I really appreciate you stopping by


  16. Jacqui O Retro October 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    I felt like I just read my experiences of my first run 2 months ago. I signed up for a 5k, and put a lot of effort into training. Two days before the run, I realised it was a 5 MILE run… which is 8k.. because such ridiculousness happens in Ireland. I almost wept as a 78 year old whipped past me.


    • Jackie November 20, 2013 at 12:54 am #

      That must have been just awful. All that preparation! But have no fear – I’m sure there would have been plenty of 70+ers that would have passed you no matter the distance. They’re crazy fit and I think they do it just so they can run past people half their age (and under) and feel awesome. I kind of hope to be them but I also kind of hope I’m not running when I’m 70 but relaxing on a couch instead. Low impact things. Comforting things. Milk duds, if my teeth are still in.


  17. frontfringe October 29, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Hey, I just stumbled across your blog- and I am so glad that I did!!! Your experience had me smiling, and I could totally relate to you about running!! I do admire your courage to run 10ks- for me, I’m only brave enough to say that I’m NOT brave enough to attempt any kind of running competition in case of losing- but good job!!!

    Recently been going through a tough spot- but your blog cheered me up 🙂 Keep it up


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

      Well thanks! And please, please, please know that there was absolutely no competition on my part with the 10K. I put on the shirt and I jogged. Slowly. Until I fell across the finish line with an embarrassing time but was full of pride from simply completing it. 😉 Thank you so much for stopping by!


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