These are a few of my Favorite Things

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What I Blog About When I Blog About Running

I've been sitting on the idea of starting this blog for a while.  Running is something I do for a lot of reasons.  I like the fresh air in my lungs and the Vitamin D on my shoulders.  I appreciate the opportunity to get away from the rushed business of work and other obligations, and take a long slow distance run at my own pace.  I enjoy the unique way to explore the world around me.  But was running something that I wanted to worry about documenting, cataloguing, and sharing with others?

Like David Letterman, Buzzfeed, and the narrator of High Fidelity before me, I love making a good list.  The more I thought about it, there were a number of compelling reasons to stop simply going out for runs and start also writing about it.

The Momma and I after the Pittsburgh YMCA's Turkey Trot - November 2013

1. The Camaradarie - 
As I got more involved with the Running community, something magical started to happen.   I started to find supporters and allies in all corners of the Internet.  People I've never met before, who live time-zones away, started sharing helpful tips or encouraging words on my Instagram feed.  I found the Running community to be chock-full of these quirky, friendly, fun organizations, such as Nerd Herd Running who sponsors, among other things, highly-themed virtual runs to raise money for young adults with cancer.  For every new race or new distance, there was a wealth of knowledge out there on everything from pacing to selecting the perfect running outfit or costume.  The more places I exist on this world wide web, the more chances I get to make these connections.

Finishing my first marathon in Pittsburgh - May 2013

2. The Accountability -
Two marathons into my running career, I'm still far slower than I'd like to be at that distance.  I want to break 5 hours.  Then I want to break 4:30.  Certainly dedication to training and purposeful speed work are going to be my greatest allies in this battle, but there's also something to be said about putting a goal in writing.  If you put that goal online, it will be there forever, for people to hop in the WayBack Machine to read even years after it's written or deleted.  Similarly, if I have a goal to raise funds or recruit volunteers for a race, this is where that commitment can forever live.
There exists a career where I can just sit on this beach with the dog and write about what I see, right?

3. The Experience -
I have a dream of the perfect job.  The husband, dog, and I live in an Airstream or a Winnebago and we travel the world, sitting out in the sun, eating, drinking, without a care in the world.  Of course, to fund this lifestyle, I write about my travels.  While I'd love to one day make a vocation out of writing about my adventures, I know that the path to a writing career is the same as the one to Carnegie Hall or the Boston Marathon.  I can't get away with out the practice.

And, last but not least:
Donning my Marathon and Goofy Challenge medals at the Swag capital of the world, Walt Disney World - Jan 2014 

4. The Swag -
Hear me out.  I know that I'm not gonna start blogging and instantly score a free race entry to the New York Marathon or a complimentary pair of Newtons.  But I also know that the Running community is one that knows the power of word-of-mouth endorsement.  I know that, if I am diligent and resourceful as a blogger, I could have the opportunity to test drive new gear, taste new energy supplements, or be invited to run, dine, and converse with other bloggers.  I love getting to experience new races or play with new gadgets, and it would be amazing to talk about those with others!

So why do you blog?  Why do you run?  Hopefully I'll make some new friends, earn some new PR's, gain some experience, and score some swag on this new journey.  Run along with me!