2018 in Blogging

Around the end of the year, I like to reflect on both running and blogging. Typically around this time, I wonder if I want to continue my blog. Is it worth it to renew the $300 platform?

As it’s trended the last few years, blogging is dying.  Podcasts, Instagram, and other social media is taking over.  No one has “time” to read anymore. Not that I need anyone to read my blog.  I don’t have a coaching service or a product to sell, it’s just my life. The way the blog stays afloat is by the occasional sponsored posts as well as the sidebar ads.  To keep the blog running, it does cost about $300 a year.

blogging stats 2018

As you can see from the chart, my blog grew when I started in mid-2010, and then around 2015 began to fade.  Most people refer to quick and easy information now, and Instagram seems to be the platform of choice for race recaps, training, and whatever else. I don’t foresee myself writing long captions on instagram anytime soon.  A picture tells 1000 words, and I like to keep it that way.

I’m not sad or being negative; those are just the facts of blogging and my personal blog.  For me, the days of 1000 views regularly are gone, and that is okay.

So back to Blogging in 2018:

Most viewed posts

Tips for Morning Workouts

Blogging is Dying.

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

I Have a Fall Goal Race

Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22.03)

20 Running Podcasts to Keep You Entertained

What Will Happen in 2019?

I renewed my blog, so, for now, I’ll continue it.  I can’t say for 100% certainty that I see myself blogging through the entire year. I’ve said that every year, but truthfully I never know. Right now, I plan to continue blogging.  Maybe less, or maybe trying to find more sponsored posts to keep it worthwhile to keep going. I’ve thought about just going to newsletter format as well. A newsletter is cheaper and I could still have a record of race recaps and information, I could refer too. still something I’m very much contemplating but it would be a big change and a lot of work to get there.

In short 2018 didn’t change a lot. Blogging is dying. Instagram and podcasts are growing So I guess I don’t know what will happen in 2019.  Something completely new and different could happen in social media too.

Questions for you:

Bloggers and Readers, I would love to hear your thoughts on blogging, social media, and changes.

Double Bridge 15k me running
February Training Log

 Miles Run: 247
Range of Paces: 6:02-9:50-untimed
Workouts: 6
Races: 2
Pensacola Double Bridges 15k (58:48)
Mercedes Half Marathon (1:27.01)

Best Workout:
4X2 mile (12:50, 12:48, 12:48, 12:40)
During February, I didn’t make a lot of my workout paces and intervals.  My two mile workout was the first one I felt successful and that I finally able to make my intervals and feel strong doing so.

Favorite Race:
Easily the Double Bridges Run. Despite the cold and having a rough morning, I was able to feel good during the race.

Double Bridge 15k me running

Thoughts:
February was definitely a grind month. Instead of racing frequently, I got through a lot of quality workouts. I typically post most of them on instagram and you can follow along there.  Not every workout (if any), felt easy and I do feel as though I was pushing out of my comfort zone.

As a whole, I’m happy with the month.  Not every month can be an exciting, PRing month.  I have come to realize as a runner, I am more confident when I race frequently but grind months do pay off later on.

Run Mercedes Half Marathon me

My goal for March is to get back to enjoying the process of running.  I had my fair share of negative (running related) thoughts during February and I’m looking forward to just focusing on the positive.  I’m running Shamrock Half Marathon in about 2 weeks which is one of my favorite!

Posts of the Month:
Thoughts While Working in the Running Store
Living in Alabama
Mr. LOLZ Mercedes Marathon (2:59.45)
Saucony Freedom ISO Shoe Review
Love Yourself
How to Race Well

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

What is your favorite month of the year?

2017 Race Goals
2017 Goals

Now that I’ve finally gotten settled in Alabama, I thought it’s a good time to write out my 2017 goals.  Thinking out loud, it’s better late then never to write down yearly goals

I recapped 2016 here and despite an injury, I PRed in almost every distance.  However, most of those PRs were in the first two months of the year so my PRs are almost a year old. 

So What are My Plans for 2017?

Right now, I don’t have any spring marathon plans.  After running a 20 miler last fall, I realized my body and mind were not ready for marathon training.  I have not completely ruled out a marathon again for the fall but I’ll revisit that topic in 6 months. To be realistic, my chances of running a marathon in 2017 are probably slim too.

My major goal race this year is: April Fools Half Marathon:

It’s not far from home and I enjoy the race.  (I ran it in 2014 and 2016…I would have run it in 2015 but I got married that weekend).  While it’s one of the smaller races I plan to run this year, I like the timing, the atmosphere and the race is well put together. I have nothing but positive things to say about the race which is why I chose it for my Spring Goal Race.

Last year at the April Fools Half in the 50 MPH wind
Last year at the April Fools Half in the 50 MPH wind

But If you follow this blog then you know I love racing.  One race per 6 months doesn’t cut it for me.  The rest of the races will be tuneups.  I will still run hard but I won’t taper for them.  Maybe by some miracle, I’ll PR but honestly probably not.  I like running races for the social aspect and because I enjoy racing versus doing workouts. I don’t run 10,000 races per year expecting to PR…I run 10,000 races a year (or about 40), for the sense of community, atmosphere and seeing friends. Plus, I can. It’s something both my husband and I enjoy doing.

Is running a bunch of races more expensive than doing a workout at home? 

Of course! For me, the experiences outweigh the cost and it’s something I’m willing to pay.  Running is a hobby and racing is something I enjoy.  I like the atmosphere, seeing other runners achieve their goals and being surrounded by people enjoying the same hobby.  We choose to spend money on things we enjoy.  My husband and I both enjoy running and that is one thing we spend money on.

Some races will be done on tired legs or with the intention to do a tempo. 

Some will be raced at “how I feel” on untapered legs. 

There will be more local races added to the schedule but for now this is what we’ve come up:

Tune Up Races:

2/4 Double Bridges 15k (Pensacola)

2/12 Mercedes Half Marathon (Birmingham)

The race falls two months after the Dallas half marathon and will be a good way to feel out how my legs are doing and responding to my coach and new work outs.  It will be a key race to determine the next phase of training for Atlantic City.

3/16 Shamrock Half Marathon (Virginia Beach): Most likely, I will not run as hard as possible but it’s one of my all time favorite races so every year I’m healthy…my runderwear toe the line.

4/1 Phillies 5k (Philadephia)

5/1 Broad Street 10 Miler (Philadelphia)

Of course I’ll hop into local 5ks to support schools and local causes.  I like running local 5ks and it’s about getting out there and being part of a community.  Many people I see at those races are people I’ve helped with shoes, athletes that have come into the store or causes that are important to me.

Those are the major races I have for the next few months.

Questions for you:

Which races are you doing this year?

What is one of your 2017 goals? 

Bettering Yourself with a New Years Resolution
Bettering Yourself with a New Years Resolution

This isn’t the typical New Year’s Resolution post declaring my New Years Resolutions.  I have my own personal resolutions, goals, and dreams I want to achieve in 2017 but that is a post for another day.

This also isn’t the post to say that I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions.

Long term readers know New Year’s resolutions is a topic I’ve written about several times.  I feel strongly about them and believe it’s important to share, most, if not every year. It’s also a reminder for myself!

 

So What is this Post about?

Every year on January 1st many people begin a journey to better themselves.  They create New Year’s Resolutions that include anything from fitness goals, life goals, to work goals or chasing dreams.  The majority of the population makes a resolution or goal they are looking to achieve in the new year.

According to studies, only 8% of people keep with their New Year’s resolutions.  If you think about it, that is still 8% more than last year.  That is over 59 million people who better themselves each year. 

While people make many different resolutions, this post is more about running, fitness and gym related goals.

It is about the people that join a gym each year to achieve their goals. 

It is also about the people judging those that are new to a fitness program. 

Each year I see “in shape” or fitness oriented friends complain about their gyms are crowded on January 1st.  I have even seen posts about how dumb having a New Years Resolution is.  There is everything from how silly new people look at the gym or even photos of people working out for the first time.

Please remember if someone has not given you permission to include their photo on your blog or social media, you shouldn’t.  It is never a good idea.  It is never appropriate to take a photo of someone without their permission, especially to make fun of them. 

I’m indifferent towards people who want to begin a new life on January 1st.  I’m happy for them to make positive changes in their life.  If they want to do it January 1st, great!  If they want to do is June 23…also great! I don’t believe you need to wait until January 1st to make life changes and any calendar date will do but if you start your journey then, so be it!

As a member of a local gym, I can relate that sure, having more people can be an inconvenience because there are fewer machines available.  The reality is everyone at the gym is paying for the same membership.  No one is more entitled to a piece of equipment because you have been a gym member for 1 day or 1000. If a person “getting in your way” annoys you, purchase your own home gym equipment.

Every single person from an elite marathoner to a star quarterback started somewhere.  Who knows where someone started, maybe it was with a New Years Resolution?

Judging someone based on their fitness level is ridiculous.  When people first begin something, they are the most self-conscious.

Personally, I can remember the first time I went to the gym.  I was 18 years old and was nervous the rest of the patrons were judging me.  I tried every machine in the fitness center in 10 minutes.  I had no idea what I was doing.

Gradually I found things that worked for me.  The first few months I was hyper aware of everything and everyone.  I had several thoughts including:

Was that person laughing?  Must be at me…

Are those people chatting? They must be chatting about me…

When I go to a new class such as spin or strength training, I still have those thoughts.

So as you ring in the New Years, remember that a New Years resolution might not be your thing, but some people are trying to better themselves.  Sure, some people might fail, but many will succeed.  I encourage you to think about when you were first beginning your fitness journey and not be upset with others for attempting to begin their fitness journey.

Questions for you:

When did you start your fitness journey?

Do you have a New Years Resolution?

I’m Coming for you Phoenix.

There is less than a week until my second marathon.

To be honest, this race has snuck right up on me.  It feels like yesterday when I began debating if I wanted to make this my goal race (in reality that was 4 months ago). Now it’s less than a week away!  It’s hard to believe that six months ago I was dealing with a stress fracture.

As I limped into work August 22, I knew my fall racing and marathon schedule were out the door.  

Was I done running forever?

No, of course not…but I was done running for at least 2 months.  I rested and recovered the entire two months.  It was an injury and time that I felt no need to strenuously cross train through.  I didn’t want too and I didn’t crave workouts…Looking back I was extremely burnt out and needed the rest.  I didn’t feel pressure to cross train because I wasn’t training for anything.

After completely recovering, I took two months to build up some mileage (smartly).  It was then (3 months ago), I decided maybe I could run another marathon (Why I chose the Phoenix Full).  So here I am now less than a week before the race.  I’m still in denial it is coming up so soon.  With my previous marathon, it felt like months of preparation and weeks of build up.  With Phoenix it feels like…surprise…time to go to this race (although I’ve talked about it a lot).

In less than a week, I toe the line (and bum the line in runderwear) at my first goal race of 2015.

I’m nervous.
I’m excited.
I’m ready.

With any race, people ask goals and racing strategy.  The answer is I honestly don’t know.  

I do know for the Phoenix marathon I want to finish healthy and strong.  I have only raced one full marathon and it was 18 months ago.  I don’t remember what racing that distance is like.  Sure in the last 18 months, I’ve run close to 10 different 20 milers but 20 miles and 26.2 miles aren’t the same.  I would know as I rode the pain train at New York. I might dry heave and collapse after mile 20.

The internet never forgets. 

Mile 13ish

Might as well be happy right?
Might as well be happy right?

Mile 22: Get me out of this place. 

Marathons are so fun!
Marathons are so fun!
Thanks to the famous jewelry designer Erica Sarah for this shot.  #Neverforget the dry heaving at mile 24.
Thanks to the famous jewelry designer Erica Sara for this shot. #Neverforget the dry heaving at mile 24.

My primary goal for any race, especially a marathon is to finish healthy. It always has been my first goal and it always will be.  If I can start and finish a race healthy than I consider it a success.

My B goal is to finish under 3:20. A 3:20 puts me around my PR of 3:17. I’m going into Phoenix much less trained. While the course, the race and logistics are different, it doesn’t make up for less training. I wouldn’t have trained any harder or any more and I am running this racing coming from an injury. A big positive is, I won’t have to be up 7 hours before the race. I also won’t have to travel into a large overwhelming city.  I will be at peace in the morning and be able to relax.

With any goal race, a PR is always the reach and major goal. I do think it’s a huge reach goal for this time but I’ve remained pretty healthy post stress fracture so I don’t think it’s out of reason.  I’ve been smart with my training and rested when I needed too.

In summary, I would like to continue to get comfortable with the full marathon distance.  My main goal is to enjoy myself and finish injury free.  Any time you can finish a race healthy whether it’s a 55 sprint to a marathon is a good day.  I want running to be life long and once race (good or bad) will never define my running.

On any note, I’m coming for you Phoenix with runderwear and racing flats.

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