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The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
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The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  5,698 Ratings  ·  721 Reviews

"All runners wonder, at some point or another, why we do what we do. Mr. Inman's explanation is the best I've ever seen. And the funniest. Because he is clinically insane."
-Mark Remy, editor at large, Runner's World, author of The Runner's Rule Book

"He runs. He sweats. He heaves. He hates it. He loves it. He runs so hard his toenails fall off. He asks himself, why? Why do
Paperback, 148 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published 2014)
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Sam Quixote
Jul 31, 2014 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
Bah. Running. Exercise. Ugh.

The last (and only!) book I read about long distance running was Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and it was ok – Murakami’s writing always has this strangely Zen/peaceful quality to it. But it basically repeated the same thing over and over: he likes running because it makes him feel good about writing, about his life, about everything.

Matthew Inman’s written a similar book, albeit in comic form, in The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why
Sep 22, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The Oatmeal is the reason why I started running.

This past weekend, on Saturday, September 20, 2014, I took part in the inaugural Beat The Blerch 10k run. I signed up for it back at the beginning of April with my sister and a friend, since we all love The Oatmeal comics and thought it sounded like fun. The problem was that I had never been a runner.
At all.
So, since I didn't want to embarrass myself by having to walk the whole thing, I started training. And now I've actually started to *like
If What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is Haruki Murakami's manifesto of distance running, then The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances is Matthew Inman's. Inman might not be such a well known writer as Murakami, but he is the artist behind the popular online comic: The Oatmeal. He's touched on his running in previous comics, but this is the first time he's attempted to put together a book's worth of material.

Rather than just reprinting a few comics from his collectio
Deborah Markus
Dec 25, 2014 Deborah Markus rated it really liked it
Pardon the half-arsed review, but it's Christmas day and I'm high on chocolate.

This is a great "Oatmeal" book even if you don't run, but it's terrific if you do. It was nice to have independent verification on the fact that running sucks when you first start, and doesn't start to feel good until you've been moving for at least half an hour. After that, the endorphins start kicking in and you can actually start to enjoy yourself.

It also has some great advice for anyone, like:

Don't try to change
Crystal Starr Light
Jan 02, 2016 Crystal Starr Light rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, humor, ebook
Bullet Review:

First book of 2016 was nearly the last of 2015. It was a cheap book through the Kindle Daily Deal and even though my Kindle is "only" the Paperwhite, it still looked decent - more importantly, it was HILARIOUS and oddly enough, encouraging.

May the rest of 2016 bring equally engaging books!
Oct 02, 2014 Rach rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much. I have a love-hate relationship with both running and food, and Matthew Inman, aka the Oatmeal, seems to capture that perfectly.

If I were to mention the parts I liked, I would just be describing this book, page by page. The heart of this book is the Blerch, of course, that fat little cherub that follows you around and tells you you've run far enough, you have earned a nap, have another piece of cake. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, you can read about the Bl
May 24, 2015 elizabeth rated it it was amazing
As a runner, I can say this book is 100% accurate. Running does suck in the beginning, but it's amazing forever after. There is nothing wrong with running to eat, as I do it all the time and I will hear no ill spoken against my tendency to eat large amounts of tater tots after especially strenuous runs. Everything about this book is: yes, I agree, precisely. I run not to lose weight or meet some sort of socially-accepted vanity requirement, but because it feels awesome both during and after. I ...more
David Schaafsma
Dec 27, 2014 David Schaafsma rated it liked it
Shelves: running
I have not been crazy about any of the 3-4 Inman books I've read before, but because I am a runner, and have been for several years, fairly seriously, this is my favorite book I have read from him. He's irreverent and profane about something that usually gets written about with such reverence by such sculpted vegan Buddhist crazies living the unattainable life. Inman is a normal guy, overweight, and yet he has run an ultra marathon for 11 hours, and makes a good case for running in part just ...more
Apr 13, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it
Matthew Inman is obviously a very funny and clever guy and enjoy following the comics he posts on his Facebook. That being said I don't always agree with what his comics are saying. Surely the thing that makes a comedian or commentator great is the realisation that the person is saying what you've thought all along, they just do it in a more articulate and hilarious way that you ever could. With this book on running, Inman nails it for me, parts of this book made me think THIS is why I run and ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Kaitlynn rated it did not like it
Decidedly, painfully unfunny. Low-effort art, minimal text, and jokes that consist of taking whatever item is trendy on the internet and making lolrandom!!1! strings of text. Non-sequiturs are only really funny if you are 5 years old. When it can't come up with a Family Guy-style cutaway that is tailored to the transitory interests of nerds, it relies on tired stereotypes that have been done to death by better writers. Avoid.
Apr 20, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it

This was a pretty funny book with great illustrations. I could relate to a lot of it which was really enjoyable. There were a couple of sections that I didn't really like or get, that didn't seem to quite fit with the rest of the book, but all in all I liked it. I would recommend it to all distance runners... you won't feel so alone or crazy in your running endeavors!
Peter Derk
Oct 16, 2015 Peter Derk rated it liked it
Ah, yes. The reasons behind exercise. Or, as these tales are more commonly known, The Stuff of Nightmares.

Look, nobody wants to hear about why you exercise. Unless you're Matthew Inman and you can draw hilarious pictures. If you're him, then do whatever the hell you want. You make grammar and spelling fun. Ain't nobody like grammar, but you manage it. You're a magnificent basturd.

There was a section in this book that cataloged some of the people who go to gyms. We had fatsos, skinnysos, fitsos,
Jan 02, 2016 Lena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginning Runners
Shelves: overdrive, nonfiction
Earlier this week I was supposed to meet a friend to go over the new restrictive beyond paleo diet her nutritionist gave her, it begins with a five day cleans she had already begun. Unfortunately she had a scheduling conflict and couldn't meet me. I said I'd just work on eating reduction until we could meet. Yesterday, as I read this book I was finishing off a Dominos Fiery Hawaiian pizza; I can merrily eat a whole one in a day. I did not feel bad about this because Thursday I had h
Sep 10, 2014 Michael rated it liked it
Before I started running, I often wondered why people who ran did it. After all, as the old joke goes, you never see a runner smiling widely or looking like they're having much, if any, fun.

Like author Matthew Inman (better known as The Oatmeal from his on-going web-comic), I didn't really understand the appeal of running long distances until I actually got out there and started doing it.

Inman's attempt to explain why he runs long distance is chronicled in The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why
Sumit Singla
Mattheew Inman is clever. I am reasonably clever.

Mattheew Inman is funny. I am reasonably funny.

Mattheew Inman is smart. I am reasonably smart. (Or so I choose to believe)

That's where the similarity ends. While I lead my life enslaved by glowing LED screens, he gets out and runs. He chooses to run from a fat cherubic creature he calls the Blerch and refuses to spend his life on Netflix and bad TV. I choose to feed my blerch and watch the cellulite accumulate around my middle.

With some characteri
Dec 20, 2014 Megasaurus rated it really liked it
I've read the Oatmeal on and off for awhile now. Enough to know that Inman is hilarious. I've already read his online version of The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distance, so when I saw that he was publishing it into a book with even more comics I needed it. My roommate, the ultra-skinny-vegan-friend-who-runs-for-fun, checked it out from the library and handed it to me, with a boys choir singing in the background and the clouds parting to shed light on this book. Or something li ...more
Aug 05, 2016 Remo rated it really liked it
Hoy he batido mi marca en mi primera carrera popular (10 km, derbi de las aficiones de Madrid) y hoy comienzo a comentar libros sobre "correr", porque la crisis de los 40 se me echa encima y tengo que meterme una maratón entre pecho y espalda (o entre pierna y pierna, si no sonara tan mal) lo antes posible.

Este libro une varios cómics sobre running del autor de The Oatmeal, un cómic que alterna la los tests de conducción del mejor automóvil eléctrico con listas sobre cómo saber si tu gato desea
Nov 29, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Do you like The Oatmeal? If your answer is yes, you should read this. As someone who has enjoyed the Oatmeal for a good while, I've meant to read each of the books as they have been released, but I just never get around to it. I'm glad that I finally did.

This book is done in the exact style that makes The Oatmeal enjoyable for me, in terms of humour, writing style, and art style. There were some absolute gems in this book that I will never not find funny. The subject matter is one of the slightl
Travis Duke
Jul 06, 2016 Travis Duke rated it really liked it
An entertaining comic about exercise and controlling your health. The comic art is big and fun and in your face. The story follows Matthew" the oatmeal" on his journey into running. He shares his story and why he started running, it's funny and educational to a point. The jokes are funny and it's easy to relate too because he is honest about exercise. It's hard and painful and will always hurt but the rewards are worth it. I personally run for the same reasons he does, eating and the nirvana... ...more
I love the Oatmeal, and have read nearly every one of his books. Five Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Nose (and other useful guides) still has got to be my favourite, but this one comes in at a close second. I loved getting to know the author better through a series of stories about his running experience. It inspired me to start running myself, which is something that I have wanted to do for a while now but haven't had the motivation to do yet. I definitely think that this one is ...more
Elizabeth A
Sep 18, 2015 Elizabeth A rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, 2015
I gather that the Oatmeal has a Web presence, but he is not someone I knew anything about before picking up this book.

This graphic novel elaborates on the title of the book, and is a fun quick read. If you are looking for a serious running book look elsewhere, but if you think running might be for you, this book has some motivational tips with a fun digression on Japanese giant hornets.
Jul 14, 2016 Gaby rated it it was ok
I've read this book both as a non-runner and as a runner (if my month of jogging counts). It's funny either way, but it's also preachy and self-congratulatory. You'll like this if you're into The Oatmeal.
Kristine Gift
Oct 15, 2014 Kristine Gift rated it it was amazing
A quick, entertaining read that can help you procrastinate from your grad school assignments while you count down the days (3!) until your first marathon; if you are in this situation or any similar situation or just enjoy running and/or comics in general, I highly recommend it.
Jamie Puleo
Jan 02, 2015 Jamie Puleo rated it really liked it
Funny and oddly motivational for all the runners out there! Definitely gave me a boost leading up to my first marathon!
Feb 09, 2015 Madison rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
This book brings life to the thoughts in my head about running. It also inspires me to keep trying and to enjoy the experience. Beware the blerch!
Dec 30, 2015 Burd rated it really liked it
Many a chuckle in this book. As an avid runner, I found his quirky illustrations and off the wall observations about the solitary and somewhat obsessive sport of running totally hilarious.
Apr 30, 2015 Dan rated it it was amazing
You can never go wrong with a Matthew Inman book. This guy is always funny.
Oh, the Oatmeal. Is it possible to not like the Oatmeal? Well, I guess it is because he is irreverent, kind of gross, and uses foul language. But if you have a very good sense of humor and a very high threshold for those types of things, you’d appreciate the Oatmeal. I very much enjoyed The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances. I don’t run long distances and have gotten out of the habit of running short distances, but after reading this graphic novel, I’m ready to lace up my s ...more
TinTin Kalaw
"Being a former fat kid was a motivator as well [...]. It turned me into an active, health-conscious adult, but I also live with the daily fear that I'm on the verge of turning back into a chubby little sad-monster. [...] It's a stupid, pointless worry, but it's a worry that's here to stay."
#RealTalk . My weight and, to an extent, my size has always been an uncomfortable topic for me. It's the source of most of my insecurities. My mind works in an annoying way in which I feel like I am con
Nov 18, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, 2016
I got this book from the library but I must say this book is worthy of being on my bookshelf.
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Matthew Inman (a.k.a. "The Oatmeal") is a Web designer and developer from Seattle, Washington. He has been designing Web sites since the age of 13 and is a seasoned programmer, systems administrator, and online marketer. Matthew launched in 2009.
More about Matthew Inman...

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“Just don't fall into a tanning bed.

These machines are for vapid, narcissistic, idiots who have barren vacuums where their thoughts, fears, and passions should be.

Spending time in a tanning bed will only earn you the appearance and intellect of an inbred baked potato.

Don't be a baked potato.
Be a person.”
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