Tuesday, September 21

Running and blogging: a metaphor

Remember that time I ran really far?

Remember when running and I had a lover's quarrel, I broke up with it for awhile and then we reconnected?

It was along that 3 mile trail that I found myself again, so it only seemed fitting that my last run in Boston be along the same trail.

While I was running, my blog was on my mind. Over the weekend, Quarterlife Quandary was featured on the front homepage of Boston.com . It was an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful for; my statistics and "blog hits" were off the charts. I went from having less than 100 a day to over 700. So you can imagine my disappointment and frustration when yesterday rolled around and the hits went from the weekend deluge back to their normal slow trickle.

One of the reasons I love running is because it's fantastically cathartic; I work out so many issues as my feet pound the pavement. My wallet and waistline are grateful as well. Sometimes, I swear the macaroni and cheese hides from me when it sees me coming because it knows it's about to meet its ultimate demise.

As I made my way long the path, I thought about a run I went on last week.

When I set out along the path, snaking my way along the water, I spotted a guy in bright yellow shorts running 100 yards ahead of me. Immediately I decided I wanted to catch him. There is something about running that turns this nice quiet girl into this competitive sweaty beast on a mission (okay that is a bit of a stretch, I'm not really known for being quiet, but to be honest I'm not really known for being particularly sweaty or beasty either- at least I hope not)

Tried as I might, I could not catch him. I looked down at my Garmin at one point and realized I was at a 7:15 pace and I was only in the first mile. There was NO way I could keep that pace up for the 5 mile run I had planned, I'd be found dead on a park bench before that would happen (The headline would read: Extremely red-faced, overly sweaty, yet still dashingly beautiful girl found passed out from exhaustion on park bench wearing awesome hot pink shoes. What are you laughing at? It would). As he rounded the corner and those yellow shorts sped out of sight, I had a decision to make. Was I completing his run or my own?

I took a breath and slowed down, this was my run and no one else's. If I spent all my time chasing someone else's goals, where would I be? The parallel between this situation and my blog suddenly dawned on me...my blog is mine and no one else's. I write what I want and it makes me happy. When I started this blog it wasn't to have 700 hits a day, it was to strengthen my writing and allow me to express myself and I temporarily lost sight of that. As I obsessively checked my stats this weekend, I was chasing the yellow shorts again. (it was baaaaad. like every 10 minutes, no actually like every 2 minutes if we are being honest here...I may or may not have woken up at 4 am just to check the stats )

So I am stopping myself. I'll get there slowly. I didn't wake up one morning and happen to run 13 miles, just like I won't wake up tomorrow and have 700 blog hits. It's a process and it takes time and work and really, what does it matter anyway? The guy in yellow shorts will never care about my PRs and distance records and there aren't usually fans on the sidelines cheering me on during my training runs. (wouldn't that be fantastic though? a group of eager beavers just screaming my name?!) But that hasn't stopped me yet. In fact, yesterday I ran my best 5k time I've ever had:

Now, unfortunately, the immature part of myself wants to find yellow shorts guy and shout "dude, let's go! I'll beat you this time!" but that would totally defeat the point of this whole post now wouldn't it?

* sigh * I guess change takes time.


Lizzy said...

Love this post!!! I went to a with Tina from Carrots n Cake and she linked my blog from hers and I got tons of hits that day and then it all went away. But that's okay. I write for me and because its become a passion of mine, if someone likes it great. I found your blog from Rachel's and its great! I'm also in the Boston area!!! Look forward to reading more : )

Marie said...

thanks Lizzy!

Becca said...

What a great lesson learned! I had a lot of traffic this weekend from your blog! Thanks! I can't wait to hear about your adventures in London! Safe travels!!!!!

Lizzy said...

"to a" was supposed to be a dinner.

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