September 28 is finally here. I’m writing this post on my phone in a bed in a rented house in Bellingham, Washington for the Bellingham Bay Marathon. My goal is sub-4.
If you asked me just one week ago (and my physical therapist did!) I’d have told you everything felt good, knock on wood. No bad foot pain (that’s why I’m currently in PT – though my foot itself is fine and the pain comes from elsewhere), my neck feels fine, my rib hasn’t bothered me in a long time. I even thought just last week how it was amazing just how much my neck felt normal again.
Things can change in a week and not only does my neck not feel normal, it feels exactly like it did during my injured time where I couldn’t run or Refine for months.
There are a few contributing factors. None matter. What matters is trying not to stress about this and trying to run just as fast – even if it hurts.
I’m better trained than I’ve ever been in my life. My legs feel good. After a difficult start to the week, my stomach feels OK (I’ve have a chronic GI illness since 2007).
I’m running a marathon in a beautiful place on a gorgeous day. My husband, brother, sister in law and 21-month-old-nephew will be cheering for me. I’m with my family.
Goal or no goal (but I REALLY hope goal!), tomorrow will be a good day to run a marathon.
Well. I haven’t blogged in three weeks – right before I started my new job. And as week after week goes by and I fall further behind in writing my weekly Bellingham Bay Marathon training posts, the thought becomes more and more overwhelming.
When I started this blog in November, 2007, my life was very different. This blog was very different. I was very different. And even up until a few months ago, I had blog goals and plans and found a new theme and installed a new theme and felt really fucking proud of myself for doing all that. And I still am. But my goals are not the same.
Right now, I care about running and marathon training. I care about spending as much time as possible with my husband and my puppy. I care about taking my puppy to his therapy dog assignments. I care about binge watching Revenge (or, in the past, 90210, Party Down, Childrens Hospital, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Arrested Development, Scandal, Breaking Bad, Sex and the City and a number of other shows that have glued me and Andy to the couch for absurd amounts of time). I care about cuddling my sweet, funny puppy and even though you couldn’t tell by looking at it, I do kinda care about finishing organizing the new apartment we moved into. In June.
When I get home from work after an hour (on a good day) drive, I am exhausted. All I want is to collapse on the couch – and that’s just on days I don’t have evening appointments or commitments. I wake up at 4:45 to run (and this is after asking Coach Abby to change my weekday runs so none are longer than an hour), and on days I don’t run, I want to sleep. My weekends are for relaxing, family, laziness and whatever else we do. I don’t want to spend my precious free time blogging unless it is TRULY what I want to do. And usually, it isn’t.
And it’s hard to really, fully enjoy doing these things I care about when I have THE BLOG hanging over me. Feeling like I “have” to blog this week or getting stressed that I will fall behind. And the pictures. The pictures take SO LONG to upload and format and blah blah blah. Meh.
Larry and his ears
I’m not quitting this blog. But I am changing how it fits into my life. I will absolutely write race recaps (I LOVE being able to go back and read those because I’d never remember most of my racing experiences if I didn’t write it all) and anything else that I want to blog, only when I really want to blog it. I have two big races coming up:
I am SO EXCITED about these races and I want to document these experiences. At Bellingham, a weekend with my family, racing in a new state, attempting to break that 4:00 barrier and my first marathon as a Oiselle team runner. In NYC, getting redemption on a race I never finished, getting the real NYCM experience, wearing my Aunt Dale’s name on my American Cancer Society Team DetermiNation singlet, running for a cause greater than me or my goals.
JackRabbit Battle of Brooklyn 10 Miler with Ashley Runningbun
And I will. But I won’t let myself ever feel stressed about this blog again. Growing an audience isn’t my goal. Writing regularly isn’t my goal. Taking an hour to get a few pictures in is a waste of my time. Worrying about the right tags, SEO metadata, categories – exhausting.
Not worth it for me. This blog is for me. It exists so I can have an account of my experiences, so I don’t forget them. I am all about nostalgia (if you follow me on Twitter you’re probably sick of all my Timehop tweets by now).
Having a blog feeds right into that – I can bring myself back to any race and remember what it was like to be there. That’s not stopping – at least, not for the big races. I love my race recap page because it lays out just how far I’ve come – in both running and blogging. And if reading my blog resonates with you, or helps you, or makes you happy or angry or whatever – good. This blog is for me and it is also a way for me to connect with you, with others who care about the same things.
Anyway, I’m just here to say that I am so glad I was able to recap my weekly marathon training for 11 weeks, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be continuing with the last 8 weeks. The last time I ran a marathon but didn’t blog about every detail, I was publicly accused of not training. I assure you that wasn’t the case then and it most certainly isn’t the case now, when I am working harder than I ever have because I chose an aggressive goal. I feel like I am naturally slower than many people who try to run a marathon in under 4:00, so I’m giving training everything I have – but I don’t need to write about it to prove it happened.
And if you enjoy following my training, or want proof, or whatever, I log it all on dailymile – so you can check me out there at any time.
This blog has brought countless opportunities (and wonderful friends) to my life and I am so grateful and happy for that. But I’m OK without those opportunities. I am at the point where I like the brands I like and don’t want to try and review new things. I like working out at Refine. I like wearing Oiselle. I like drinking Ultima. I like Injinji socks and Hoka shoes and no, I do not want to try your sneakers/socks/workout class.
Breaking in the marathon Hokas!
And that is OK. I don’t want new opportunities, I just want to share the big races, the injuries, the whatever-else-I-truly-want-to-blog-about-without-a-schedule. And if I disappear for months at a time, that’s fine too. Enough rambling. I’ve got one month to goal-marathon day. I’ve got work to do!
Thanks for reading for this long and I hope you stick around because I do love this community. And I post often on Twitter and Instagram because that doesn’t take up any time, so you can always keep up with my training and Jersey City things and puppy cuteness and all there. Because I should have been cleaning/organizing this whole time but even this one post took fucking FOREVER.
Me and Andy at Van Vorst Disco Night in Jersey City – I learned the hustle!
TL;DR – I will blog when I want to but not all the time, and I won’t get stressed anymore. But I will always blog the big races because nostalgia.