I’ve had this tiny space of the internet here for a little over 2 years now. My blog (and the twitter account I opened at the same time) began solely to document my experience going through the home fitness program P90X while also training for my first marathon, but it has evolved over time. When I first started writing, only a few people listened. My posts were focused mostly on describing P90X – the workouts, the nutrition program, and ultimately my results.
As time went on, I started to open up more and share more of my personal life. The more I opened up, the more people seemed to read. Ironically, I found, it wasn’t really the information about running, working out, or nutrition, that people wanted – they wanted to get to know a person who was going through something that either they were also going through or were curious about attempting. I started to notice I had regular readers (via their comments or tweets) and I got feedback from readers that I was inspiring them to achieve their own goals. Over that first six months or so, writing this blog started to mean much more to me than just a creative outlet for me to document my experience and keep me on track – it become a way to connect with others, build relationships, and enter a community.
Never have I been so happy to have started this blog than I was this weekend. My Eugene marathon race weekend was a true testament to how incredible the “virtual” running community is. This weekend I strengthened my friendship with Page, a fellow blogger who I bonded over the inter webs via over our lack of cycling (and triathlon) experience while we both trained for our first Ironman (Page is doing Ironman CdA- check out her blog!). I also got to meet a few of the bloggers whose blogs I’ve been reading for months or even a year or two (Sweaty Emily, SarahOuaL, Jocelyn , EnduroTwerd/Megan, fellow San Diegan Patty, and ALMOST met Sarah) as well as met a whole crew of bloggers/runners that I didn’t follow on Twitter and/or read their blogs previous to this weekend (including Lora who I met on the plane, Courtney who I met at the expo, Corey who offered amazing support post-non-BQ, and SO many others!).
Despite having an absolutely worst case scenario thing happen to me at Eugene (although a big part of me thinks worst case would have been to continue the race, finish and then have to recover and train all over so this wasn’t 100% worst case), the weekend was AWESOME! No matter how odd it may feel at first to meet someone in real life that you semi feel like you are stalking because you read their blog and know more about their life than half their friends and family, it is totally worth it to introduce yourself. All of the bloggers I met were so down to earth, so real, and SO nice. Like crazy nice. Everyone was in such a great mood at the shake out run and expo – everyone so pumped to achieve their goals, whether it be a BQ, PR or a “training run” (ahem, Page). At the post race party, everyone was so excited for those that did achieve their goals and so supportive or those that didn’t.
The best thing about the running blogger (or just running period) community is that they are so accepting. Everyone is competing against themselves, not each other (somewhat unlike triathlon where people are hunting each other down using the age printed on the back of their fellow athlete’s calves as honing devices- albeit I still think people are supportive its just a bit more competitive with one another). People are so happy for each other’s accomplishments and are sympathetic for their failures. Nearly every single person I talked to about my race experience had a story to share – We’ve all been there. Bad races happen. The amazing tweets people sent me with words of reassurance and encouragement after the race were even more numerous than the ones I received after I achieve my goal of completing an Ironman. I read every message and every message made me happier and stronger. It helped with my healing tremendously.
But this weekend was just an example of how awesome and supportive the running community is. The incredible response to the Boston Marathon tragedy is a great example of how runners have each other’s backs. The running community as a whole mourned the tragedy together and then rose up together to support those that were affected directly as well as help heal all of us who weren’t directly involved but felt the sting of betrayal that day.
This weekend fueled my fire to get back out there and get that Boston Qualifier. I want to toe that start line in Hopkinton with all of my incredible fellow runners and run side by side with them for 26.2 miles before crossing the most famous of all marathon finish lines. If it’s not in 2014, then it’ll be another year, but I will get there.
Last, THANK YOU to all the Twitter followers, readers, blogger/runner friends, real life friends and family who have cheered me on over the last two years as I’ve attempted, achieved and failed at my goals. Your support means everything to me.
And, if you ever see me at a race, on the road, in the airport, or on the streets – say hi!
Have you ever met a fellow blogger IRL? Do you feel the twitter and blogging community for runners is a positive, supportive one?