This morning I ran with Bennie, a nice easy 2.5 miler down back, nothing special, just a nice run on a beautiful day.
What was surprising was that I didn’t run the Doc & Mardie 5K over in Waterville this morning, which I had planned on doing all summer, it was one of my goal races.
Hell this post should be a Doc & Mardie 5K race recap or even a quick RunLog entry about my Bennie Run, instead it is something else completely.
The truth is that I just “never” got around to putting in the race registration. I know Patrick, the race director pretty well and have volunteered at the Quarry Road Trail Race series with him for the past couple of years. Which also means that I know a lot of the runners who were running the race this morning.
I knew it would be a good time, although running up the hill by Colby, would be a pain-in-the-ass. However, the after-the-race camaraderie of the event would more than make up for the tough course.
However, for some reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to register for this race, yesterday I did a tough long run (which I do not do before a goal race) or even go this morning and just do a race-day registration.
I had plenty of opportunities.
TheWife even asked last night and this morning if I was going and I made up some excuse about having to put the front door back together (which could have waited until I got home), last week I had gone down to Portland to see Meb and didn’t want to do two weekends in a row and best of all – I just didn’t feel like it.
The bottom-line was that I didn’t go run the Doc and Mardie 5K today, even though I planned to and wanted to.
Yeah, my 57th birthday is this week and while it isn’t one of those milestone years – it does mean that I am that much closer to being 60 than 50.
Sure on my birthday I will enjoy the attention, presents (more running stuff), gift cardss (even more running stuff), a chance to carb load (cake, ice cream, etc.) and everything else that goes along with aging another year.
However, it ain’t all peaches and cream.
Getting older after a certain age no matter how you look at it – sucks…
aging changes your life and what you can do.
Although aging/getting older sure as hell is better than being dead, getting old is not always easy or for wimps.
This is not a post where I whine, piss, moan and groan about the vagaries of getting old (oh I might a little) – I am just going to talk about the realities of some things I have experienced as a result of my aging. Hopefully, you chuckle or nod your head along the way.
Affects of Aging
At some point in everyone’s life getting older does not mean you are getting better, it means this:
Yep, a frigging mind map – believe it or not, this is how I think.
Lots of things all convoluted around one central thought and if I don’t put it in something I can visualize, I go off on tangents and down more than a few rabbit holes.
Oh yea – getting back to Aging and getting older – see what I mean, my focus is easily changed, distracted, but that doesn’t have a lot to do with aging, that has more to do with how I have always been. Continue reading “Is Aging Really All That Bad”→
Hey, what in the hell is up with September weather in July, while I LOVE IT for running and sleeping, if this trend continues we will be having frost in late August = not good. Oh well, we just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for us.
I have a feeling that this winter might not be a fun one and you better make sure that the wood box is full and you have gotten your prepaid/lock-in for whatever you use to heat your house done.
This morning’s first run was with Bennie – we both were ready to run!!! Enough so that I wore my GoMebs and started fast and held it for as long as I could.
Running is an important part of my life, but not for the reasons that are obvious:
more leeway in eating what I want
They are important and they are a part of “why” I run.
Running does something for me that no other activity does, it takes me out of comfort zone – a lot.
No, it isn’t about running faster or further either.
Running makes me want to get out and be with other people, go places or do things, I wouldn’t otherwise.
What are you talking about Harold?
Through running I have met people I never would have met otherwise (both people who are relatively famous or those who are less famous, but have become friends), go places (run in Central Park, gone to Runner’s World Headquarters), done things (attended the inaugural Runners World Half Festival as a featured blogger or earned a living writing about running/healthy living for a year).
Those are a few of the things that running has done for me.
Over the past year, it seems that my running has taken a back seat to recovering from a multitude of injuries.
The residual effects of a partially torn left Achilles tendon and Posterior Tibialis on May 28th of last year (yeah last year).
Yeah, this is still bothering me a lot more than I let on after more than a year of working on the damn thing.
Even though I went through a long period of physical therapy, tried Graston therapy last month (which only re-aggravated it) and have done a lot of mobilization, stretching, strengthening routines, nothing seems to actually work to get it so that I can run on it pain-free.
I have lost confidence that this injury will ever allow me to train/run at the levels I want now.
Since I am off the running routine for a bit (one of those freak injuries), I have looked for things to blog about and after reading Mike’s blog today about the Blog Writing Tour, I decided to invite myself into the party :-).
I know, I know it probably is not good form, but…hey this seemed like fun and sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and do it.
I am not great at nominating others, especially if it means that they have to do anything as a result of naming them and since I am a party crasher, I don’t think it would be too cool if I asked even more people to the party, but at the same time the below bloggers are ones that I look forward to their posts and want to share that with you. 😉
Each of these blogs have a special reason to be in my daily reading list, along with Mike’s and so many others. Yeah, I know that if I was doing this correctly I am supposed to give brief write-up on why I read these blogs, but I really believe that you should actually take the time to go to their blog and take a look around yourself to see the great stuff that they write. Besides if I write about why I like these blogs so much, this will be a book, not a blog post :-).
However, if you only have time to read one blog today, I urge you to go to:
Mike’s – Running Around the Bend. Mike writes so much from his heart and is authentic about what he believes in that all of his posts are ones that I want to read. No I don’t always agree 100% with what he says, but I do agree with how he says it and believes in it.
Well here goes my party crashing to the Blog Writing Tour ;-).
Why did I start writing? (slash Why do I write what I do?)
What am I working on?
How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?
How does your writing process work?
Here are my answers to the above questions:
1. Why do I write what I do?
I have blogged since October 2007 and when I left teaching in 2011, I wanted to keep blogging, but didn’t feel staying in the EduBlog community was a the direction I wanted to go, so I looked for a new niche and started over in the running/healthy living niche.
I LOVE TO RUN!
I have run pretty consistently since high school cross-country – yeah more than 40 years ago, with time-outs for a multitude of injuries. Sometimes it seems as though I am a magnet for freak accidents and injuries that are not super serious, but enough to interrupt my running.
Also I have had a serious running shoe addiction since the early 80’s, so I have run in a LOT of different running shoes over the years.
When I left teaching in June 2011, I weighed over 200 pounds — yeah I was very obese, coming off knee surgery that May, had a grey pallor and my wife was afraid that I was headed for a serious medical condition (heart attack, stroke, etc.) and honestly so was I.
Blogging in the running/healthy living community seemed like a natural fit and I decided to write about my journey from being so unhealthy, back to the healthy me that I knew was still in there someplace, by using my running as the primary catalyst to find that guy.
Over the next year, I worked hard to lose the weight, got so I could run consistently, got back to having fun again and stopped worrying so much about my medical issues.
In August of 2012, I was approached to write professionally about my journey and dipped my toes into the professional runblogging/healthy living world. Along the way I met a lot of wonderful people (online and in person) and started a little social media marketing business. During the next year I learned about the “other” side of blogging/writing and how much work running your own business really is – if you want to do it right.
I also found out that being an entrepreneur, wasn’t really what I wanted to do and left the world of social media marketing in August 2013, shut down my old running blog/business and started this blog (if you want to read more about that click here). Not so much because it was a failure, but more that I was not passionate about what I was doing and it was destroying my love for blogging – my blogging was becoming something I had to do versus something I wanted to do.
Since I started over, I am blogging for me again and not worrying about it being a way to earn money, get free stuff to review or pleasing anyone else.
I don’t have to write to somebody else’s standards, the content is much more authentic to who I am – not some ginned-up online persona, who doesn’t say boo, kiss my ass and avoids any real opinions.
Today if I choose to review a product or talk about something that goes against the tide, I do not worry about the effect on my blog stats or how a prospective client might react to my post.
In other words I have the freedom to write about whatever to hell I want on my blog, without looking over my shoulder or being told that I can’t write that or I will lose – whatever.
The other thing is that I write about more than just running, although that is my primary focus, there is much more to my life than what I do as a runner and when I think it might be interesting or pertinent, I add it to my blog.
2. What am I working on?
Presently, I do not have any particular projects or work on the burner, I am retired and enjoying it. I may go back to the world of work at some point, but for now, I am loving life.
I have become a house-husband, take care of our over-active Jack Russell Terrier – Bennie, become the handyman around the house, do things that I am interested in and yes, I run a lot. At least when I am not injured.
That being injured thing is unfortunately, an ongoing theme/problem with me and seems to be what I wrote way too much about over the past year – how to recover (or sometimes how not to recover) from my latest injury.
I guess based on that, I am working on being a small but positive part of the runblogging/healthy living community, becoming a better me and rehabbing myself to become the best runnah this old fart can be in spite of being an injury magnet and sharing my experiences or adventures here.
I would really love to have 12 month period without injury to just see what it is like to be able to run for that long without one.
3. How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?
Yes I am getting to be an old fart, who is closer to 60 than I am 50, with a lot of gray hair on top and I am a guy in what is primarily a woman’s domain. When I went to the inaugural Runner’s World Half Festival as a sponsored blogger, I was the only guy with 30 women bloggers – the joke Bart Y., was it was Harold’s Harem.
So I bring a older guy’s perspective on things.
Yeah I am also one of those famous or infamous Baby Boomers – depending on your point of view.
I write and laugh at myself about the dumb shit that I do or how I am attempting to fix myself an/or get better as an older runner.
I don’t mince words and I write like I talk – you know that language that real people use, not just that artificial shit/drivel that permeates blogs or most other written works. I don’t over do it, but write like I would if I was at a BBQ, where I didn’t want to embarrass TheWife too much.
I have been a runner for way too many years and have made almost every mistake that a recreational runner can make, so I can share a lot of what I have learned or how it was for a recreational runner back in the dark ages.
Unfortunately, I am still over-competitive (which contributes to my injuries), but also suffered/suffers from race anxiety (for 25 years I didn’t race much at all). So my running definitely has not been all successful according to how many measure their running, but it is a part of who I am and have been. Do I wish that I had done some things differently – the answer to that is “don’t we all”.
The other thing is that my blog is also my daily running log – yeah I know you are thinking how frigging boring that will be.
However, I see my daily runs differently than many runners and I write about my daily runs from the perspective that each run is different, has its own story to be told and that we can learn something new about ourselves from every run, even if it is a course we have run hundreds of times.
4. How does your writing process work?
I usually wait until things calm down after supper and sit down in my recliner, open my PC Laptop (nope not a Mac guy – even though one sits collecting dust on my dresser), to prep a blog post.
Depending on how many times I ran (usually Bennie and I do a run and then I do my workout), what kind of run(s) I did and what happened during those runs, it can take me anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours to write a RunBlog post.
My problem is that I tend to hit publish too quickly sometimes and when I read it immediately after publishing (part of what I do with every post), I almost always go back in and edit what I have published again. Not the best way, but it is what I actually do.
I do not use stock photos from online sources very often, due to moving target that online copyright usage can be and do not want to deal with those kind of issues, so I prefer to take my own.
The most important thing is that when I publish, is that I have written the post in my style and voice. It might not be perfect grammatically (I really don’t care, so the grammar police can ignore me now, because I ignore them), but it has to be readable and flow the way that I talk in person.
Yeah, if you are interested I do actually have a writing process, but I rarely follow it, life gets in the way and when I use that process, I feel that the posts seem rather artificial and sterile, but they do come out more polished and at a higher quality.
1. WHY ARE YOU WRITING?
A. When is it due? How much time do you have before you have to submit?
B. Define your purpose and focus
(1) Who are you writing about?
(2) What are you actually writing about?
Be bold – say what you mean, mean what you say!
(3) Why share this, what is the benefit?
(4) How does writing this help the reader or you?
C. Identify your Audience
(1) Who are you writing this for?
(2) What writing style are you using – personal story, narrative, how to, lists, etc.
A. Gather Ideas
(1) Research, Reading and taking Notes
(4) Interviewing/Asking questions
(5) Personal Experience
B. Organize Ideas
(1) Mind Map
3. FIRST DRAFT
A. Go full screen, turn off notifications and TV, video or podcasts
B. Just write – do not judge or think about it – just write
C. No editing, adding photos, formatting, etc.
4. EDIT AND REVISE
A. Does the title grab the reader or is it boring?
B. Strong Introduction? What is your Hook? Does it work?
C. Is the writing focused on one idea or theme and supports what you meant to say.
D. If multiple or unrelated ideas/themes are written about, are there clear transition points?
Decide if you need a separate post for the different ideas.
Look again, if you have multiple themes/ideas, do you need separate posts for each idea?
Just do the separate post – stay focused on one thing!
E. Does what you have written communicate clearly what you intended to your audience?
F. Is what you have written well-organized?
Remember writing a blog post is different from writing a formal paper. Shorter paragraphs (get in – get out).
G. Strong Conclusion? Do you have one? Does it tie the writing together?
H. Add multi-media (think about copyright issues) – use your own stuff when possible.
I. Proofread – use Spellcheck after every revision
(1) Check for errors in grammar
(2) Check for errors in spelling
(3) Check for errors in capitalization and punctuation
(4) Meets my style requirements
(5) Meets Word Count limits
Is it concise! You are too wordy, too often.
Have links back to other posts or blogs that are related.
Check all links to make sure that they work correctly.
5. REPEAT STEP 4 AS MANY TIMES AS NEEDED, BUT AT LEAST TWICE
A. Do something else after each revision for at least 30 minutes (if you have time).
6. Final Copy
Read one more time!
A. Is this a response to someone or another post?
1. Were you pissed when you started this post?
(a) How long has it been since you read/talked/first found out about what you wrote about?
(b) Does it require/need an immediate response?
(c) Will you still feel this way a week from now?
(d) Does your shrilling add value to the conversation or is it simply more noise?
B. Does it meet the requirements for your editorial guidelines or the requirements for guest posting?
C. Is it controversial?
1. Are you ready for negative comments that will be made?
2. Did you know what to hell you are talking about or are you talking out of your ass?
3. Did you double-check your facts?
D. Is it in your voice or the style you have been asked to write?
E. Does it make sense?
F. Do you want your name associated with this post?
or is it a piece of shit that still needs more work – then go back and fix it.
If good to go.
Then go read it again on when it is live on the blog. It is amazing how many errors still get through even after all the above.
That is my official writing process, that I used when I was blogging a lot more seriously, doing a guest post and for when I am doing a series or an informational post.
When writing my daily posts I usually just wing-it: writing, quickly editing, then reading it once and hit publishing.
My daily work may not be as polished, but it is more authentic.
The reality is that
Yeah, I found that healthy guy that was hiding inside of me and now I write about my adventures as an aging runnah who is still and probably will always have a hard time actually accepting that he is getting older.
That being said, I love to share my adventures both running and in other parts of my life on my blog as I attempt to keep that healthy guy around for a lot longer and hope you enjoy some of the journey with me.
Get a grip people! Where is all the negativity coming from?
Over the past few of weeks I have seen too many negative posts that have:
I would never…
I just don’t see why…
I don’t think people should…
Why do others think that they need to…
It isn’t right when…
When people write these words, (along with so many other judgmental comments that discuss what others are doing), they are putting their morals, opinions and how they think others should act/write/blog, while disregarding or belittling other people’s reasons for doing or writing about things they do.
There seems to be a trend lately where some bloggers who I read or have read for a while (I read a few) and for the most part are thoughtful and/or informative in their posts, for some reason get an ant up their whinnie and write or link to a post or multiple posts, that take to task something that is pretty much inane or harmless, ex: whether selfies should be part of a blog post, how boring that photo of what someone ate for lunch or how tiresome it is to read about someone’s daily running activities are, etc.
You know those countless other little things that people should (according to the posts I have read lately) not be writing about or stuff we should not be adding to our blogs.
I went to my Chiropractor today and while he understands runners and our “need” to run – he just happens to be married to one.
However, based on everything that I told him, along what he did and noticed during our 1/2 hour pain-filled and teeth gnawing extravaganza this morning, I am on the shelf until at least next Monday.
Wah, Wah, Wah, I can either piss, moan, groan about not running for the next week or I can suck it up, do what I need to do to keep rehabbing my hamstring and other parts of my legs that need the work.
Knowing me, I will be whining by the end of the week about how much not running sucks and how much I just want to go for a run.
Yeah I know me pretty well, but at the same time, I also know that I will bust my ass to do this rehab correctly, because I do want to run sooner, rather than later, with a repeat performance happening within the next couple of months.
In other words, I will trust that Dr. Lawton’s judgement about what I need to allow my body to heal, is better than my own – after all that is why I am paying him as a medical professional and my track record is less than stellar. 🙂