A Recap of 2016 LOLZ Blogging

I’ve been blogging since 2011, and it’s changed a lot.  When I first started blogging, I used to pretty much be able to tell you every running blogger out there.  That’s because there weren’t that many.
Thinking out loud, now with the internet explosion, anyone, and everyone blogs.  That’s not a bad thing, but many blogs get lost in the sea.  Plus with so many different social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, it’s easy to just microblog from those too.

So in 2016 what went on with LOLZ blogging?

Believe it or not, I blogged less in 2016. For the most part, I stopped blogging about my personal life. Maybe I grew up, or maybe I finally realized no one cared what my favorite color was.

I kept my blog focused on running, more gear related posts and of course diners.  Occasionally, I blogged about life too, but it was mostly running related.  It’s not that I don’t have a personal life, but due to my husband’s job, there are a lot of things I can’t share on the internet.  My life does not revolve around running but my running blog pretty much does…

Plus many of my friends don’t run and don’t use a lot of social media, it’s not appropriate for me to post about them via the blog and to be honest, half the time my life isn’t terribly thrilling.  I run, work and come home.

So what happened in the world of LOLZ blogging this year?

Since it’s my primary focus, I recapped running here.

In Actual Blogging:

Number of posts: 276

Most Viewed Posts: 
Asics FuzeX
Losing Toenails: A Runners Rite of Passage? (From 2015)
Dropping 9 minutes from my Half Marathon Time

Top Referrers (Where did people come from?)

Random places on the internet
Twitter
Facebook

blogging referers

Looking Back:

Honestly, I love blogging, and I enjoy it.  I put a lot of time and effort into blogging, and I plan to still keep doing it.  It’s not my full-time job, and I doubt it will ever be.  Due to the nature of social media and how much self-promotion you must do now, it’s very hard for anyone to make a full-time income from blogging.

I promote products that I like and have used.  Personally,  I cannot imagine promoting brands and companies I cannot foster relationships with. Would I like to make more money blogging?  Sure but who wouldn’t…There is a lot of balance with that.

I would be lying if I didn’t say several brands lost my respect as a customer based on bloggers they chose to represent them.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your mindset, there are hundreds if not thousands of bloggers now.  The internet is saturated with bloggers vying to work with brands.

But that is the nature of blogging!  At the end of the day, I’m fortunate enough to shut my computer down and not worry about followers, blogging or the internet because it’s not my full-time job.  I respect people who want to do that, but that is not the lifestyle or career for me.

In 2016, my blog posts, stats, and views went down, and I’m fine with that. In 2017, I predict as a platform blogging will continue to decrease.



blogging stats

Many bloggers will go the route of microblogging on social media platforms versus lengthy blog posts.  I won’t be excluded and I’ll be both amazed and proud of myself if I reach 276 blog posts next year too.

I always find it fascinating to see where people are from so here are some of the top countries!

blogging info

Questions for you:
How has your blog evolved and changed this year?  
What is your favorite social media platform? 

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The Differences of Non-runners and Runners

It may be hard to remember, but there are people in the world that don’t run!  The life of Runners and non-runners is drastically different.  I can remember a time I didn’t run and can relate to all of these.  Thinking out loud, every person, athlete or not, has a routine.

The Differences of Non-runners and Runners

How do runners and non-runners stack up against each other? 

Budget

Non-runners: Non-runners save money for a lot of different things: happy hour, the newest technology or even a great wardrobe.  Whatever if it is, they put away money to do the enjoyable “fun things”.

Runners: We save money for new shoes, new workout clothing and of course races.  Don’t forget the newest GPS watch.  The smaller the watch, the more money it is.  Without these things we can’t do what we love!  Right?

Beauty Routine:

Non-runners: Non-runners know how to make their features look great.  They spend an hour preparing for the day and look flawless every single day. Each outfit is perfect.

Runners: Runners have mastered the ability to shower and put on makeup within 10 minutes.  Did they just workout on the treadmill or are those fashionable leggings? The world may never know…Good thing fashion has evolved into a lot more comfort.

Eating on the Go and Snacking:

Non-Runners: Non-runners can go hours without eating.  Forget to pack a snack? That’s fine, they just hit up the vending machine and are ready to go. 
 Life doesn’t revolve around snacking and being rungry all of the time.  If a meeting goes late, oh well!

Runners: Our non-running friends know us as the vending machine to go.  We have more snacks in our bags than a mini-mall.  Are you craving an apple or a chocolate bar?  We have both.  Runners are never without snacks because you never know when the stomach will start talking.  When Runger hits, you have approximately 5 minutes to get us to the nearest supply of food, or you will see rage that you have never seen before.

Weekends

Non-Runners:  After the work week is over, non-runners often catch up with friends by going out for happy hour or dinner. They have a few drinks, dance and let loose.  Most of Saturday and Sunday is spent relaxing and catching up on other hobbies.

Runners: Runners look forward to the weekend too! It’s either race weekend or long run weekend!  Either way, we are waking up earlier than a weekday.  We spend Friday night cuddled up in PJs, watching a movie and in bed sleeping before 9.

Weekend Brunches:

Non-Runners: Non-runners wake up anywhere between 8 and noon.  After a well-rested sleep, they meet friends at a neighborhood breakfast spot. It doesn’t matter if it’s crowded because nonrunners are just waking up and going out to eat.  They aren’t starving yet.  Of course, our non-running friends look gorgeous and spent a few extra minutes getting ready for brunch. Heck, they might even fill up on mimosas beforehand! No wonder they are so happy waiting hours for a table!

Runners: On the weekend, runners wake up well before the weekday. We get our long runs in and before we know it, it’s time to eat, and we are just trying to make it there on time.  There is nothing more cringeworthy than waiting for brunch after a long run.  A messy bun, somewhat fashionable workout clothing and an old pair of sneakers are our signature brunch look.

Question for you: What is something you do that your “non-running” friends might not understand? 

 

Peters Diner

Last month, Angela and I met at the Peters Diner in Williamstown, NJ. (This is not to be confused with “Two Peters Diner” up north ha), Angela and I have been friends for a long time and hadn’t been able to grab lunch for a while, so it was nice to catch up before she left for the summer.

Old Photo of Angela and I
Old Photo of Angela and I

Atmosphere: A
The outside of the diner is a picture perfect metallic diner.  It’s everything you imagine from a stereotypical diner.

peters diner

Image via here

The inside is just a stereotypical diner. It’s one of the biggest diners I’ve been too, and there were dozens of tables.

Service: B 
The service at Peter’s Diner was decent.  It wasn’t terribly busy, and the food came out quickly, but we could have used more water and beverages.

Coffee: A
Peters diner serves Lacas brewed coffee.  For those not in the northeast region, Lacas is brewed Pennsauken, NJ.  It’s a great local brew and the coffee at Peters was perfect.  The waitress also added lots of whipped cream too.  Diners with Lacas coffee typically can’t go wrong.

Peters Diner Coffee

Food: B
Peters Diner has one of the biggest menus of any diners I’ve been too.  There weren’t a lot of healthy options, but there were plenty of different options.

I ordered the Greek Gyro.  It came with soup too.  I ordered chicken and orzo which was good.  There was definitely more orzo than chicken, but it was good soup.

Peters Diner Soup

When the Gyro came out, it was oozing tzatziki sauce, and it might have been the messiest meal I’ve ever had.  I think half of my gyro ended up on Angela’s plate as I attempted to eat it.  I don’t mind, though. To be honest, I like a lot of dressing on my foods.  Even though it was difficult to eat, my gyro was good, and I was glad I ordered it.

Peters Diner Gryo

I enjoyed the meal, but I wish it were a little easier to eat.  I guess there is no easy way to eat a gyro.

Price: $
For the coffee and gyro, the price was $11 which was a pretty good price.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 
Out of the few diners in the area, Peters Diner is my favorite and I would come back.  It was a good gyro for a diner.  There are hundreds of different menu items so you would never get bored eating.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: B
Food: B 
Price: $5-15
Overall: B 

Questions for you:
What’s the messiest meal you’ve ever eaten?
What’s your favorite lunch item? 

Random Thoughts…

I had a different post for today and then I got sick and didn’t write it. Oh well, I guess…

So it’s a completely random, thinking out loud post.

On Monday around 6:30 pm, I felt extremely fatigued and tired.  The fatigue came on within 30 minutes and by 7:30, I found myself laying in bed.  I slept through the night until 5:30 am on Tuesday.  I thought I would sleep away my migraine. However, that wasn’t the case, and I felt worse on Tuesday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I slept for a total of 30 hours.  Today, Thursday, I am feeling better but not great.  No I haven’t run, and I’m okay with that…I’ve pretty much sat on my bed or slept for the last two days.

For obvious reasons, this week I haven’t been running at all, and I’m okay with it.  I planned to take a short break this summer, and it happened to be sooner versus later.  There is no shame in that.

Speaking of running, what are my plans this Summer and Fall?

I’m currently tossing around different ideas of half marathons in the Fall.  I had thought about committing to a full marathon this fall, but I’m not entirely sure I want too.  I’m happy where I currently am and don’t have any complaints.  Half marathons seem to be my “sweet spot” right now. I have plenty of years to try a marathon again…if I even want too…

This summer, I’ll be running local races.  The only major race I’ll be doing is the Boilermaker 15k in Utica on July 10th.  Knock on wood of course, because everytime I sign up for the Boilermaker I get injured.  There are a lot of local 5-10ks around here this summer so I’ll be running those.  Do I think the hot and humid summer will bring PRs?  No, probably not but I’ll enjoy getting out there and racing.

So what else have I been up too in the last two weeks?

As most people have figured out, my Instagram and Twitter have been more of my daily life updates.  Blogging about life is pretty boring for the most part…go for a run…go to work…go to a diner…something along the lines.  One line social media posts are a bit easier for that.

lauren and I

I went to a wedding last weekend down in Maryland.  Despite the rain, the Bride and Groom had a beautiful day. I didn’t let the rain affect my attitude either.

me umbrella rainy day

Finally here are A Few Recent Posts incase you missed them:

Quick Core Ideas for Runners

Track Meet Mile (5:40)

Bloggers Guilt

As bloggers, we often find guilt of not creating content daily.  Or when we have an off day, it shows through the blog.  Tone can often be misjudged through text and sometimes posts don’t come out as anticipated.

Bloggers Guilt

For running blogs like myself, my blog is a chronicle of my own running, training, and personal life.  It’s filled with the highs of PRs and the lows of bad races or injuries.

But it’s not a full picture of my life.  A blog is not the complete picture of anyone’s life, and it shouldn’t be.

This past month I’ve been in a funk.  It’s included a lot of things such as my personal life, running and blogging.  Thinking out loud, it started around the time of my hamstring injury and continued into a downward spiral from there.  

I found myself asking:

What will I blog about when I’m injured?

What if I skip blogging for weeks?

What if my blog becomes boring and whiny because I’m injured yet again?

Why does it even matter?  No one wakes up thinking: “the first thing I want to do is read blogs.”  If you do, that’s a whole different topic of unhealthy behavior.

Unlike elite athletes, celebrities or professional bloggers, I’m not making a living from LOLZ blog.  My life and means to survive do not come from blogging.  Like any blogger I find myself fearing the lack of content, being “too boring” or criticism for how I’ve chosen to live life.  Just like the comparison trap, it’s something self-inflicted.

My times aren’t going to win the US anything.

My reviews of shoes or diners won’t make or break a company.

And my blog probably isn’t going to provide you any medical advice.

My blog is just a chronicle of my life, the good, the bad and the ugly (like when I thought bangs were a good idea or dyed my hair blonde).

I chose to put my blog and life online, at the end of the day I’m just an ordinary, average person.  Putting anything online opens you up for feedback both positive and negative.

So what’s the point of this post?

It’s a reminder to myself, to anyone that at the end of the day, blogging is blogging.  Your life does not revolve around a single hobby, whether it’s blogging, running or something else.  It’s important not put all of your eggs in one basket.  Comparing yourself to anyone (including yourself) isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Questions for you:
Bloggers: Do you ever feel bloggers guilt?
What is the last thing you felt guilty about?

What’s Going On?

Life…life is going on!

It’s hard to believe it’s now April.  

As usual, I’m boring, working and living the adulthood dream.  My husband and I went on a nice date the other night and even looked appropriate outside of running clothes.  Who knew that could happen?

tim and I

It’s an April miracle!

Last weekend my in-laws came into town for the April Fools half marathon.  My father in law has been running well and wanted to do the April Fools half marathon.  I was so excited to tell you about it, I mischeduled my post for Sunday.  Typical me…not paying attention and failing at blogging.  A lot of humor happened at the half, including him accidently forgetting to sign up for the race, me forgetting racing clothing and of course, like everyone else suffering through the wind.

While it was sunny, it was actually really cold.
While it was sunny, it was actually really cold

The wind knocked down several trees and lights this weekend.  After January and February being nice months, March and the start of April have been rougher, weather wise.

wind atlantic city

Other than that, I haven’t been up to a lot outside of work.  We’ve had a few changes at my job as well as my volunteer work, so I’ve been on the go.  Maybe a little bit too much?  April and May will be the busy season for me.

Running life:

I don’t have any goal races coming up in April.  My primary goal is to become and stay healthy.  My next (major) race will be the Broad Street 10 miler on May 1st.  I’ll jump into 5ks before then but no major races.  The majority of April will be dedicated to running healthy and building a base.

Interesting LOLZ Posts:
Philly Charity 5k  (18:27)
Adidas Boost Review
5 Tips to Running a 5k
Battling Social Anxiety and Depression

I’m writing a few more posts about the runnings store and running in general so if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Questions for you:
What have you been up to lately?
Do you have any goal races (like Boston!) coming up?

Blogging about Blogging

The last 5+ years of blogging have been enjoyable.  I’ve learned a lot about social media, blogging, running and, of course, myself.  Through blogging, I’ve met incredible people and done amazing things.

If that isn’t the most cliché and kissass introduction, I don’t know what is.

Blogging about blogging

Just thinking out loud, like every blogger, I started by blogging for myself.   I never expected to blog five years later, and I never expected to enjoy it as much as I do.

Obviously, I’ve grown as a person since blogging.  I started LOLZ blog as a 20-year-old junior in college. Like any college student, I was confused with life, school, sports and training.  I began blogging as a way to document my personal journey.

As I continued to blog and connect with others, I even had a few readers.  I was no longer blogging just for myself because I had an audience. Whether I knew each individual in real life or not, I had readers.  My tone didn’t change, but it did make me think more about what I said on the internet.  Whether you delete something or not, the internet never forgets.

With or without readers, I blog for myself, but I also blog to share my journey in hopes someone can learn from me (both my success and mistakes).  

In blogging, twitter, facebook and social media in general, people enjoy feedback…that is why we do it.   

Would I blog as much if no one ever commented?  I’m not sure, I could have a personal journal at that point. 

I enjoy blogging, and it’s a fun hobby to have.  Life is too short to do things you don’t like.  Right now I like to blog and run…so I will make time for those hobbies. 

There is a lot more to blogging than write a post and make it public. 

It’s a lot of time, effort and commitment.  I’m far less “active” in the blogging world these days, but even the simple task of writing a post takes time.  Now there are so many platforms to promote and engage readers.  Those platforms were small or didn’t even exist five years ago.  Blogging has also become a huge advertising channel.  Sure it’s great to make money from blogging, but many people seek blogging out as a full-time income versus starting a blog “because they want too”.

Do I think it would be awesome to make more money from LOLZ blog?  Sure, but do I want to promote products every post or promote ANY product I don’t personally try or care for…no.

I don’t want to blog for giveaways, paid reviews and advertisements.  They have their time and place, which is not every post.

Six Lessons I’ve Learned From Blogging:

Not everyone will like you, and that is fine

Many people won’t agree with your training, writing style or for whatever reason they just don’t like you.  That’s fine! In a world where everyone is brought up winning a trophy and taught “you do no wrong”, it’s a harsh reality.  Don’t mistake not agreeing with hating.  Constructive criticism is something I value greatly.  We don’t grow as humans if we are told we are always told we are perfect.

Don’t lie to promote something

Lying to promote yourself, your blog or product is just dumb. What’s the point? As people and bloggers, we are allowed to change our minds about issues, products and life but not every other blog post.

People (and bloggers) grow apart

I’ve grown apart from several blogs I followed.  There are two blogs that were blogging when I began in 2010.  People change and grow, it’s fact of life. There is no need to read every single blog in the “blogging world”.  If a topic doesn’t interest you, then it doesn’t.  I’m sure several readers could care less about diner reviews, and that is fine!  Believe it or not, some locals only care about diners!  I never blog with the expectation that people care about any and every post. Believing that only sets us up for failure.  I don’t read every blog post by every blogger I follow either.

Blogging is not a profitable thing to do.

Unless you want to shill products you don’t care about or sell yourself out for trivial items, it’s not worth it. You aren’t going to become a millionaire from blogging.  To be honest, if you want to be a full-time blogger, you will also have to insert multiple ads, products reviews, and trivial nonsense that you or your readers don’t care about.    I’ve been contacted by several companies to promote things as adult diapers, maxi pads, vitamins that aren’t FDA regulated and even pet products.  None of those products match my blog, so I don’t promote them.  Sure I turned down money, but it’s not worth it to me.

I’m going to use my blog to shill out things that I could care less about.  I’ll promote products I like and my readers could find useful. It’s a big reason I’ve chosen not to be a full-time blogger.  I couldn’t take myself seriously if I turned my personal blog into a billboard for women’s hygiene products or other random junk.  Yes, they are important but not relevant here.

Just because you can use Google, does not make you an expert

If I am looking for an expert medical advice, I will seek someone who is qualified.  I read blogs because they are light hearted and fun.  I don’t read because I expect the blogger to be a medical professional.  Google does not make you as qualified as a nutritionist, dietitian or medical expert.  In this blogging day and age, it seems most bloggers are either a coach, online nutritionist or some sort of life coach.

Every blogger has chosen to omit something from their personal space online

It’s smart.  When reading a blog, you don’t see the full life picture.  For instance, when my husband and I chose to live together a few years ago, it wasn’t as if I woke up and wrote a post titled “I’m moving” and shotgunned a move.  We had discussed it for a while but I didn’t announce it until it was final.

Maybe a person is struggling because they ended a relationship, maybe they are having financial problems, or maybe someone just doesn’t feel like sharing a personal tidbit.  Blogging is a fine line between sharing and oversharing.

I am a part of an important volunteer campaign that I’ve chosen to omit.  Does that make it any less important?  Absolutely not but it isn’t relevant to my blog.

Click to tweet: Don’t overshare.  The Internet never forgets.  

For better or worse blogging has come a long way since 2010.  It’s far more commercialized, and people expect to be compensated for their “time” blogging.  No one is forcing you to blog, and it should be something you actually enjoy.  Don’t start a blog if you think you’re going to become rich, famous or an internet sensation.

In any case, I love to blog, and I’m not going anywhere. 

Questions for you: How long have you been blogging?  How has it changed?