A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Runner's Lounge: Take it and Run Thursday

Every Thursday Runner's Lounge asks a question about some aspect of running. This week's?

Running Blogs - How and Why? Most of our TIaRT participants are also running bloggers - it's a way for them to talk about and think about their running. But we also know that about half of the runners in the Lounge aren't bloggers and many are interested in getting started but not sure how to get started, why to do it or how it can help their running. Share your tips for how you use your blog to help your running. Talk about how/why you started, what keeps you blogging and how you use it to keep you running.

I've been keeping an online journal via Livejournal since 2001 so I wasn't exactly new to the blogging scene. However, Livejournal allows you the option of filtering posts so that only a certain audience could see them. A few years ago I started a "health filter" as part of my account. I knew that not everyone who read my journal was interested in my trips to the gym or my attempt at losing 10 pounds or my running (once I started). Plus, the health filter function on Livejournal didn't allow for people without an account to read it. I thought that having a more public blog would help my non-Livejournal family and friends keep up with me. A few of my friends on Livejournal started blogs on Blogger (this website) in order to talk about just their running. I thought it was a great idea but wanted an actual reason to start one, not just start one out of the blue.

So, when January rolled around and I realized it was time to start my half-marathon training, I decided to start this blog. Originally I had no idea how often I was going to post but I knew I wanted to start each entry with a picture of some kind. Do you have any idea how many hours I've killed searching for pictures? Anyway, it turned out that I liked updating about each of my runs (so, three to four times a week) and the occasional cross-training post. Sure, sometimes it's difficult to think of things to write, but I do it anyway.

I'm not the best writer out there. Seriously, there are so many GREAT blogs (both running and non-running related) that I could never compete. But I love sharing my ups and downs with people. I don't get a lot of comments (even though I like them. Hint hint) but I know that people who don't comment are reading anyway.

As I posted in the Runner's Lounge forum, blogging keeping me accountable. It keeps me honest. It helps me make sure I did those runs and did them as well as I could.

Who knew it would give me something to think about while running? I mean, what better time to compose a blog entry about running than when you're running?

Who knew it would introduce me to so many new people who have been nothing but encouraging? Who knew it would let my friends and family get a glimpse into a part of my life they barely understand?

My running blog is my first "theme" blog. I thought it would be difficult. Turns out it's not.

However, I will say that sometimes I think blogging about my running can be detrimental. I feel accountable not only to myself but to my readers. If I skip a run or have a bad run I feel like I'm letting all of us down. I am my own worst critic, though.

Overall, I love writing about my life online. I love sharing it. I love getting feedback. I don't have a lot of people in my every day "real" life that understand my running so I truly appreciate the online community support.


Jamie said...

Found you through another blog and just started reading and really enjoy your blog. Blogging keeps me accountable too :)

Anonymous said...

I like your picture thing, I've started grabbing pictures for mine sometimes. Also so the link to the entry on Facebook has a picture to go with it! Hahahah.

kilax said...

You totally hit it with that last paragraph (okay, ALL, but especially the last) when you said people in "real" life don't get it. It is only recently that I have discovered the awesome running community! And even though my blog is not ALL about running, I love it with other runners leave comments or helpful advice or input.

And like you, I also think about it while I am running. I realized last night, as I was thinking about some food issues, that running is a really good time to think about things, if I can force myself to. I was having a hard time with that before.

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