About that blogging hiatus.

It’s been a couple of months since my last post. Anyone who read either of my last two posts probably saw the hiatus coming, or at least wouldn’t be surprised by my blogging absenteeism.

In summary, I’d been struggling to try to train for the Paris Marathon fighting a stubborn case of ITB Syndrome. I’d seen some signs of improvement, then the injury came back with a vengeance. As my training derailed throughout the month of February, every long run ended up being abandoned because I couldn’t bend my knee without that signature stabbing feeling on the outside of my knee. And I just didn’t want to make myself miserable by reliving the whole experience just to write a blog post. So I stayed away from blogging, and I think it was a good thing.

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Alter G selfie from an 8 mile run – one of the longest I finished without having to stop.

Into March, training improved a little bit. I figured out how to loosen up and stretch out the ITB area when it locked up during a run. What this meant was that I’d run 6-10 miles at an easy pace, then once it started, I’d have to repeat the cycle of running and stretching until I finished, sometimes every third of a mile. Even though my training improved again in March, I never ran more than 16 miles, and then only once. I never ran more than 11 or 12 miles without having to stop to stretch. I knew I was way undertrained for Paris. I seriously contemplated bagging the marathon and just enjoying a vacation.

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I did enjoy SOME of my runs this training cycle.

In the middle of all that, some other things happened:

  • I got a new job. This was totally unexpected; I loved my old job! A former colleague – one of my favorites – reached out to me about a position in her group. My initial reaction was to “just hear them out,” but the more I learned, the more it turned into something I couldn’t turn down. I joined the Assurance Risk Management group at a global accounting firm, which basically entails doing all kinds of things to help the firm’s professionals perform the highest quality audits.
  • I got into the NYC Marathon lottery. So that was unexpected. And not great timing given how Paris training went. I’m keeping an open mind about running this year vs. deferring to 2017…going to wait until I get back into the swing of warm-weather running before making any decisions.
  • I let running be “just running” and let it go when I wasn’t training. I have a tendency to get a little obsessive about whatever “big thing” I have going on – this was definitely the case during my last marathon cycle. This go-round, I generally did whatever training-thing I had on the calendar, then went about the rest of my life without much thought of training (or lack thereof). I hosted a brunch shower for my friend Britt the day after one spectacularly bad attempt at a long run. I finally got to feed people my breakfast pizza!
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    There was food too.

     

Beyond all that, I voted in the primary, tweeted nearly every debate, got a charcoal grill, made a bunch of new recipes, and played with friends’ kids. Truth is, playing with babies is a great way to chill out after the worst of possible training runs.

Then I went to Paris, ran/jogged/walked a marathon, and spent two weeks gallivanting around Europe. I’ll get to the Paris recap soon enough, but I felt like writing a catch-up post before diving into all that.

Congrats to all of you who finished London and Boston and did other cool things while I was away!

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Blogging Imposter Syndrome

Sometimes I scroll through my social media feeds – Twitter and Pinterest in particular – and I read all these voices that I think are telling me that I’m not a “good blogger.”

How to set and stick to a content calendar (what’s that? I have a full-time job, a social life, and a training schedule. Oh, and I prioritize my relaxation time. So I post whenever I have time.)

5 Photography tips for bloggers (summary: buy a $500 camera, then do these 5 things)

8 Essential Plugins for your blog! (I’m using such a basic version of WordPress that I couldn’t even use plugins if I wanted to)

Are you making these blogging mistakes? (based on the above, I’m sure reading this post would convince me that my entire blog is a mistake. **scrolls along without reading**)

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image via bloggersideas.com

My intention isn’t to be critical of this advice; instead, I’m criticizing my reaction to seeing it. I’m glad there are resources out there to help those who are looking for it. (There’s some really shit advice out there too.) Through some of these pieces, I’ve learned more about the behind-the-scenes of blogging than I knew when I spontaneously decided to get a WordPress account and an $8 domain (or however much it was).

I maintain this blog partially because I like spending time reflecting on training/life, and mostly because I love the little blogging community I’ve come to know over the last year and a half. I haven’t tried to make money from my blog, and I kind of giggle whenever I do happen to look at my blog’s stats. (It’s not a big following, folks.)

In retrospect, I realize I’ve dismissed myself as being a completely unappealing blogger because I don’t have a fancy camera, or post everything I ate every any Wednesday, or have fancy plugins.

If I’m going to be really honest here – because why not – I created my blog’s header in MS Paint. I lined up the pixels and centered everything with the OCD tendencies precision that could only be expected from a CPA or engineer. I can only imagine the collective sighs of blogging-advice-givers out there on the interwebz.

All of this to say, I was shocked when I received an email from the founder of the blog reader Feedspot notifying me that their panelist had selected my blog as one of their top 100 running blogs.

Imposter syndrome set in immediately. This list is probably total garbage, I thought. There’s no way I’d be included in a list of proper bloggers.

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Pretty please don’t let this become a viral meme. THX.

But as it turns out, I recognized a lot of the bloggers on the list. Bloggers who I enjoy reading. Bloggers who probably have 100x my following.

I went back to the imposter syndrome drawing board, brainstorming reasons why my crappy little blog could have snuck its way into this list of pretty good and popular running bloggers.

A few moments later, I stopped myself. I still can’t tell you why Racing Oprah was included, and I don’t care anymore. I’m sure there are dozens of blogs not on that list that would have been just as deserving as mine (resists urge to say “more deserving”). It’s nice to be recognized, but it’s far more satisfying to be blogging with the mindset I’ve had the last year and a half: as genuinely as I can, and enjoying the process.

Looking into the blogs on this list has also introduced me to some new blogs I didn’t know about before. I’m motivated to start doing a few things differently with my blog, like joining a linkup or two that I’ve found through the blogs on the list. Y’know, whenever it fits into my schedule.

I’m not going to shell out for a camera that costs more than my TV, or start having a sponsor for every post. But having the spotlight cast on my own blogging imposter syndrome – and moving beyond it – is going to help me enjoy my little corner of the Internet more than I ever have before.

A good friend once taught me an important lesson: it’s important to show gratitude for compliments, but ESPECIALLY the ones you don’t feel you deserve. No time like the present to follow that advice.

Thank you, Feedspot, for including my blog in your list. You accumulated a damn good list of blogs, and I’m honored to be a part of it.


 

If you have a blog or have had a blog in the past: why did you start your blog? What do you like/dislike about blogging? 

Have you ever felt imposter syndrome? Every now and then, or struggle with it regularly?

(I struggle with it regularly, and in several aspects of my life. It’s 100x easier to tell yourself, “snap out of it, you work hard and do well” than it is to actually feel that way.)