Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Running blogs - how and why

Writing this post takes me down memory lane to July 2007 when I started this blog. Wow, in a few months, it will be 2 years old. Crazy. In the blogging world, that makes me a dinosaur.

Side note: should we multiply blogging years by a number to make it more accurate like we do with dog years? 2 years blogging is like 14 years in the same job, or something like that. But I digress...

The how

Anyway, the process of starting a blog was quite easy. I use Blogger.com's templates/web space which is all free and I purchased the domain name from GoDaddy.com. You can link the URL to the blog in the settings and then you're all set.

Also, make sure that you set up your site feed so that people can read your blog through Google Reader through a feed called RSS (Really Simple Syndication). Everything I read on the web starts from Google Reader which uses these feeds. Blogger sets them up for you. Make sure to put an RSS icon on your site as well.

The why

The idea of the web site was to keep me motivated to hit the roads as I went through my three years of law school. I knew that being away from friends and family would make it easy to stop running, and I have to exercise to keep my weight south of a hippo. So, I picked a route from Philadelphia to Los Angeles that I'd "run" over a period of 3 years. It is 2,736 miles (about 900 miles a year).

I could then visualize where I was by mapping my route across the country. (I discussed how here). I've shared the progress along the way and I'm currently in Texas (though actually located in New Hampshire). It's been a very cool way to keep me motivated as I try to reach LA by the time I graduate in May 2010.

And keep me motivated it has. When I started the blog nearly two years ago, I didn't expect to run as much as I have. I've run an ultramarathon, countless 5Ks and 10Ks, 4 or 5 half-marathons, one marathon and I've got another marathon planned for the fall.

Why do I do it? Part of it is self motivation. But a lot of it is being inspired by the people who read this blog and whose blogs I read. They (you) have inspired me to keep pushing myself to run farther and harder and faster.

The content

I was a little worried that I'd have nothing to talk about on this blog and that no one would care to read it. But that hasn't been a problem. It's amazing what types of things come into your head when you're running. I think 80-90% of my topics come from my time on my runs. Some posts are reminiscent of Seinfeld (have you ever noticed that... or what is the deal with this guy...), but others are questions that need answers. And I always get the answers from you.

I've also loved the Runners Lounge Take It and Run Thursday. While not every topic speaks to me, most of them do. And those topics send me down other paths and eventually I've got another post.

A good deal of people talk about non-running things on their blogs, too. What's going on with their family, job, etc. I really enjoy reading it, especially because I've gotten to know them better after reading their blogs through the years. But that's not me.

I'm quite private and I tend to stay almost exclusively in the running mode. Just a preference.


Mel-2nd Chances said...

i never anticipated that blogging would do so much for me (network with other like minded people, be inspired, learn so much about running, make/meet friends, etc. It's been great following your journey!

Marlene said...

Time flies when you're having fun.

When I started up my little blog, I had no idea how much I would get out of it.

It may sound cheesy, but I believe I am changed person as a result of this blog.

Anyway, I've loved being a part of your journey so far and have really appreciated your support & advice.

Erik said...

It's amazing how much you can open up just sitting down at a keyboard, even when your a private person normally.

So very true,


Petraruns said...

I completely agree - blogging has been enormously motivational for me and I have met (virtually and in reality) such great friends through blogging. It has improved my running no end as well..

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