How to Start a Running Blog: Tips from a Running Principal
Yes, I’m a running principal. Running and writing are two things that I truly enjoy, so writing a running blog simply makes sense.
The Sky is the Limit
My experience as a runner has me excited to discuss everything from choosing a training plan to selecting running shoes, how to dress for a below zero run to what to eat pre long run; how to rehab an injury to dynamic warm-up to prevent injury; the pros and cons of carrying your own hydration and fuel, and everything in between.
The Journey Begins
My journey as a runner began in high school when I decided to join the track team. The coach was my favorite math teacher, there were cute boys on the team and my friends had all joined track. So I was in.
I would love to say that something magical clicked inside of me while circling the oval, but that would not be true. I circled the oval and jumped some hurdles and threw an occasional discus but running failed to become a defining item for me until much later.
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Throughout my college years, I occasionally laced up my shoes and ran. I didn’t run far and I didn’t run fast but somewhere between high school track and adulthood, I realized that heading outside on my own could be therapeutic. Cathartic. Relaxing.
Somewhere in the middle of all the “noise that is life,” running became my zen space.
Flash forward to my first teaching job. I was hired to teach in a rural school and that school needed a track coach. “Yes, I have some track experience,” I said flippantly. And so I was hired. It’s interesting how small things can forever change our lives.
Life: Like an Oval
They say life is cyclical. I started out coaching varsity track and field, then left it as my own children expressed other interests. I coached girls’ swimming (speaking of swimming….it’s some GREAT cross training!) then cross country, advised a youth running club, and went back full circle to junior high track. I have coached sprints, relays, mid-distance and distance, and the high school cross country world of the 5K.
Throughout this journey, I have read everything I could get my hands on technique, diet, breathing, apparel, training theory, training plans. The list goes on and on.
The Love Affair
That’s where it started: my love affair with running. Looping the track with high school kids, discussing their day and life and school and home and everything in between. We ran and we laughed and somewhere in the middle of all of it, I realized that I walked off the track more relaxed.
As I guided and mentored, researched theory and planned practices, inspired and taught, as I helped mold those young runners I, too, became a runner.
Mentoring Adult Runners
Realizing I had a passion for creating race plans and writing workouts led me to share that with some dynamic women runners. A virtual coach for a woman on the other side of the country, technology allows me to send workouts and share data. She can send me videos and photos, as well as using technology like Facetime to share information in real-time. After finding success and personal improvement at distances from the 5K to the half-marathon, I started writing training plans for women in my running group. Although you can easily find a training template online, I find most people have goals and running preferences that require a more personalized approach.
Somewhere in the middle of my twenty-five years of coaching, I began my journey as a serious distance runner. What does that mean? Too many people think that being serious is about time or mileage. I respectfully disagree. If you run and it’s important to you and you make time to do it on a consistent basis, you’re serious.
Throughout this I set a goal for myself: to run in every state. So far I have completed some exciting events in amazing cities including Mayor’s in Anchorage Alaska, Dick’s The Pittsburgh Marathon, Disney Tinkerbell and Princess (on both coasts!). The walls of my Pain Cave are decorated with medals hung on running medal racks. Sometimes I win an age level award which is satisfying but, usually, the satisfaction is simply taking the journey.
I have tried many brands of shoes (everything from Reebok to Nike to Brooks) and different ways to carry my own hydration (vests and handheld devices). Although I have many kinds I have worn and tried, I have favorite socks and shorts and sports bras, and I am excited to share my personal choices and the journey to find helps me feel successful and comfortable!
Fueling the Run
Fueling my way through 26.2 led me to explore any kind of fuel imaginable! From “real food” like cheese crackers to Honey Stingers to chewable cubes, it takes a lot of calories to survive that many hours of exercise.
Forget Motivation, Stay Disciplined!
I keep myself motivated in a multitude of ways. I co-organize a local 5K and listen to our participants on what they find enjoyable about an event. I am an admin in a local She Runs This Town group. I create in-person and online activities to motivate and engage our participants, both local and virtual.
As I work my way through this journey, I have found that engaging people into my passion has helped fuel MY passion in ways I never imagined possible.
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Running Bingo, Tutu Runs, and Goal Setting
What do these things all have in common? These are all ways I help to inspire and motivate people online and in person. If you are less than inspired by your own running, I think I can help you regain that sparkle! As a person who truly loves running with a passion for writing, my hope is that my running blog will inspire others to run, maybe gain some fitness, and have fun along the way.