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?
I’ve only recently joined the running blogging community and it’s amazing what a supportive community it is. Especially in the wake of Boston I was just amazed by the outpouring and support of all the people on twitter and blogs. It’s like having a even bigger cheering section and support network!
Concur with all of this. My best friend, Jocelyn, and I actually met through our blogs/twitter and it just so happens that we live down the street! I’ve sometimes wanted to stop blogging but then I remember all of the positives I’ve gained from it – friends, support, motivation, etc.
I read your previous post and think you a) made a courageous decision and b) are glad you figured out potentially what caused it. Its really tough to pull out of a race, especially a marathon. I ran the NYC Marathon in 2011 injured – it was crushing because I had wanted to BQ, had put all this pressure on myself to do it, got injured two weeks before and wasn’t sure what to do, the race was in my city, etc etc. Marathons can be uplifting and oh so heartbreaking.
I’m sorry it happened to you but it will make your BQ next time all the sweeter! Good luck and nice to meet you this weekend (albeit briefly!).
That’s so cool that Jocelyn lived down the street! I remember one of you telling me about that on Saturday (i think? 🙂 ! Thanks for the kind words and it was great meeting you too! Hopefully there will be more fun races like this!
Abby @ Change of Pace
Love this! Although I’ve never met any bloggers, I feel like I know some so well! Seriously, I know you’ll get your BQ. You have the fitness and the drive for it! Did you decide on another marathon?
I bet you will meet some at CdA – Page for sure 🙂
Yes I did decide but I’m keeping it quiet for a bit to help w/ the nerves 🙂 I’ll keep you posted!
Shannon @ Mon Amour
I so badly want to go to a blogger meetup. The people I’ve “met” through blogging and social media have come to be some of the most supportive. You’ll get your BQ soon. Choosing the DNF was definitely the right thing to do
Can we please make our next blogger date ASAP??!??!
Yes! When!? Where? The possibilities are endless!
Hey lady! I’ve been meaning to drop you a note…I just read this post and your race report post, and I’m sorry you had such a rough race. But all that crap that everyone is saying, about how you will smash your next race? It’s true, and you will. You’re a tough cookie and I can’t wait to watch you race to that BQ!
Thank you! Means a lot 🙂 I was due for a bad race right!? Just using this to fuel the fire!!!
Nicole!! This post is so spot on and I 100% agree with every word. I am so, so happy to have met you Eugene!! I can’t wait to read more of your blog and follow your (hopefully short) journey to that BQ that I know you will get!!
Totally agree. Love this blogging community. It makes the training less lonely, and brings so much joy to my running and life. All good juju.
I’m late to the comment party, but totally agree with everything you said! So awesome to have met you and having all the bloggers/twitter friends there helped take the sting out of a less than planned for race. Overall it was a great weekend and despite the results, I had a blast! Can’t wait to watch you achieve your goals- you will certainly get there!!