On Blogging As An Average Runner

If you feel like my writing lately has been littered with descriptions of random, seemingly unrelated events, you would be correct. Today is no exception. Please don’t leave, I promise I have a point today YAY.

A few months ago I was talking with a couple new friends (who didn’t know about my blog) and one of them said “sometimes I want to start a fitness blog but (insert boyfriend’s name here) thinks it’s lame and a waste of time and that people who post about their workouts are narcissistic.”

Well, okay then.

I didn’t even say a word. And I hate that I didn’t.

Minus Twitter, I don’t really talk or post about my blog openly. Even though I love running and writing, I’ve kept quiet when it comes to people I know in real life. Some people are very vocal and incapable of practicing restraint when it comes to sharing their feelings, so, I’ve avoided the subject. Other people are extremely supportive and loving but feelings of vulnerability always stopped me.

I’d rather have strangers know everything about me than people who actually know me. Which totally makes sense. (LIES.) I wonder about my “non-running friends” who follow me on social media. The first time someone googled my full name and “Kara Runs” I was like OH MY GOD THEY’VE FOUND ME WHAT A DISASTER. When I think about people “finding me out”, I get all antsy and itchy like I’m laying in a pile of hay. And no one likes to lay in a pile of hay. (<—You can take the girl out of Iowa…but she’ll still reference random farm things.)

iowa farm

Yes that’s a BlackBerry in my hand. AKA this photo is very old.

The good news for the people who hate this kind of thing is that my body is all like “you’re 30 and you need lots of warming up and then still you can only run approximately 5 miles depending on what day it is. Good luck when you’re 60, LOLZ…” so I’m not posting too much on social media. Congrats, you get to enjoy lots of beach pictures.

But then I started thinking about it a little harder. You know, the psychology of it all. I’m randomly interested in psychology lately.

You know what I do when I’m lacking motivation on a Saturday morning?

(pause for dramatic effect. everyone loves dramatic writing amiright?)

I scroll through Twitter and read about people’s long runs. I look on Instagram to find inspiring words of wisdom. I read blog posts. Its strangely therapeutic to me when there’s someone else feeling what I’m feeling or doing something I want to do and sharing their experiences. I don’t care how fast you are, whether you struggled or excelled, whether its your first or 1,000th time running. Just being out there getting it done is inspiring to me.

When I decided I was going to jump into this blogging thing 5 years ago, all I knew is that I liked reading other runners’ blogs and wanted a place to write in my own voice.

mean girls army pants and flip flops meme

I was also unemployed and bored. #smalldetails

But I could never shake the fact that I’m completely average when it comes to running. I’m not the fastest or strongest or most motivated. When I see people – who aren’t as outwardly obsessed with running as I am – go out and run a 3:10 marathon, I’m like:

not fair gif

I’m encouraged by other people, no matter their speed or level…but why am I so harsh on myself? I truly didn’t think anyone would ever read what I wrote because in my head, I wasn’t good enough to have value. Both with writing and running. Because of that fear, I actively tried to hide my blog from friends for a long time. I used to actually cut my head off in photos (JUST IN PHOTOS SILLY DON’T WORRY) so people I knew didn’t discover me. But I still strangely hoped everyone else would read and ultimately see how sports and fitness can positively change your life, even in the tiniest ways and even for average runners like me.

So, my deep question is: WTF? The slightly harsher New Yorker in me knows this is a bullshit reason to hide, so, why am I still hiding?

Like high schoolers learn these days, everything stays on the internet and there’s no way to really hide. Nothing is secretive and if you think it should be a secret, you probz shouldn’t be posting about it on a blog. I apparently didn’t learn this in high school, probably because “the internet” back then was Prodigy and Encarta and the snake game, which reminds me I totally need to go find an app for that because it was my favorite.

WEST HIGH XC 4 LIFE

In attempts to answer my own question, I think about the advice I’d give to people who ask me about starting a blog. Or what I say to people who worry about the opinions of others. “WHO THE F CARES.” Let the haters judge you. This is your world. If you can bring value to someone (and yes, you CAN, no matter who you are) then you owe it to those people to do so. And the ones who don’t like it can A) stop reading and unfollow and B) re-read A.

haters gonna hate runner gif

At the end of the day, I’m consistent (errr when not injured) and knowledgeable and I work hard. I LOVE running and writing about it. I’ve had a few people tell me they started running because I inspired them a teensy bit, or that I eased their fears about tackling their first Ironman. That makes me unbelievably happy. It’s humbling.

running in culver city california

I’m making a point to no longer censor myself because I’m worried about what people might think. And no offense, but if you feel inclined to judge, well, you can just ride your high horse off into the sunset and suck it. (It’s okay to say that because I said “no offense”.)

I’m excited to move forward. As excited as if Amy Schumer herself showed up at my apartment each week with a supply of wine ready to run next to me and tell me jokes during long runs. (We’ll drink the wine after.) THAT’S ALOT OF EXCITEMENT.

For now, shoutout to my strangers-turned-friends who I’ve met through blogging. You help me remember exactly why I set out to write, and because of you, I feel less vulnerable and more confident than ever. Slowly but surely, you’ve help me blocked out the negativity and be a little truer to myself (as cheesy as that sounds).

Imagine that.

What do you struggle with when it comes to blogging? How do you move past it?

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!
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17 Comments

  1. March 31, 2016 / 1:01 am

    Oh Kara I’m so with you! I hate telling new people about my blog because I’m always worried about what they will think. So I’m also more comfortable with strangers knowing about me. But I love writing my blog and I love having an outlet for my average workouts and things. And I’m pretty sure as long as you begin with no offense you say whatever you want!! Rock that blog woman!

    • March 31, 2016 / 4:35 pm

      I’m glad it’s not just me! But your blog is awesome and you should own it – it does feel great to do so!

  2. March 31, 2016 / 3:28 am

    I just had a similar conversation with myself ( am I crazy) about not sharing my blog with people I know. I would rather strangers read it then accept negative comments from friends and family. My blog is all over the place but it’s my little place. I write as a way to release what I’m thinking. I just started in January, also unemployed and feeling depressed. Still unemployed at the moment but finally feeling better I’m proud of the space. So who gives a you know what if I am blogging. It’s for no one to judge. I relate on many levels with this post. Thank you for writing what I was thinking.

    P.S. Keep sharing the amazing scenery on Snapchat!! I enjoy it.

    • March 31, 2016 / 4:37 pm

      No you’re not crazy! I’ve been having that convo with myself for like 5 years, haha. I realized I was just speculating and the people who I care about and who care about me are going to be supportive no matter what. I think your writing it great so keep at it, girl! It takes a lot of time and a lot of work but it’s totally worth it if writing makes you happy. And glad you love the SnapChat! :)

  3. Katie Sheets
    March 31, 2016 / 3:48 am

    I love this Kara!! You are so amazing and should ALWAYS keep doin you! Xoxox!

    • March 31, 2016 / 5:29 pm

      YOU are amazing, girl! Thank you so much for reading and for the kind words :)

  4. March 31, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    Girl. You did an Ironman. ABOVE AVERAGE.

    • March 31, 2016 / 5:41 pm

      Haha thanks, I appreciate the sentiment. I just truly believe ANYONE can do that as long as they want it bad enough! Just takes a lot of determination :)

  5. March 31, 2016 / 7:36 pm

    I can totally relate on so many levels. I blogged privately (minus twitter) for awhile because it felt super vulnerable and I feel like there can be this weird connotation around blogging — like people think of live journal and whining about why doesn’t my crush love me back. I still don’t share every post to my personal Facebook, but talk about it openly with people. I do still freeze up sometimes when I run into a friend from high school I haven’t seen in awhile and they say “I Love your blog!” because it’s like wow you know all this weird intimate stuff about me now.

    Despite how awkward those interactions make me feel, and the fact that I’m sure some friends from high school and college have unfollowed me because they were sick of hearing about marathon training, it’s so worth it for me. I’m grateful for the awesome bloggers I’ve connected with, the companies I’ve partnered with, the jobs it’s lead to and the outlet is has given me.

    Awkward but totally worth it.

    • April 1, 2016 / 11:40 pm

      YES about the weird connotation. I always feel weird talking about “blogging” because I know to some people it seems so…lame? I guess? Haha. But I think it’s more accepted these days (although who really cares, right?!). Those interactions are totally awkward but I agree it’s 100% worth it. Especially the friends it helps us make!

  6. April 1, 2016 / 11:27 pm

    I love this (and hate that you kept it from me for such a looong time). I usually feel the exact same things and then tell myself, like you, who the fuck cares? Because it’s true.

    The only thing that

    • April 1, 2016 / 11:41 pm

      Haha it was hard to keep it from you! I should have just told you because I knew you’d understand and would never judge! I MISS YOU!

  7. April 3, 2016 / 2:25 am

    Yes! All of those things! I totally feel the same way about people I know reading my blog. It’s like I’m ashamed to fess up to it, but at the same time, I can’t figure out why! They already know I’m obsessed with running (though again, we know I’m mediocre at it and so so slow) and fitness so I don’t know why I feel like I have to hide it from them, but I do feel SO much more comfortable with strangers reading my story and inner-most thoughts (or recipes) that I share online for the whole world to see. So glad it’s not just me!

    • April 12, 2016 / 4:10 am

      Hi Christine! Thanks so much for sharing – it’s nice to know I’m not alone in these feelings :) Although I do have to say, I feel a MILLION times better now that its all out in the open. I feel such a huge weight lifted. Try it when you’re ready! xo

  8. April 10, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    My blog was “secret” (i.e., not linked with my very unique last name) for years and after I did interviews with my full name that linked to my blog, I was always terrified my coworkers would find it / read it / etc. Not that I write anything bad, but you just never know. Fortunately, I’ve found that most people now know that I blog, and they don’t care. I’m sure they read some posts, but more likely they read one or two and then forgot about it. (Which is totally awesome!)

    I will note that my brother once posted on Facebook that people who write blogs are narcissists, not knowing that I had one. OUCH! I think it says more about liking to write, and yourself being an easy topic, than your level of self-involvement.

    • April 12, 2016 / 4:13 am

      Same – I’ve been so diligent about not linking it to my last name! And just like you, not because of anything I write. That’s so funny about your brother! Did you ever address it with him? Also, THANK YOU for that last sentence – makes me feel so much better when you put it that way! So true.

      • April 12, 2016 / 1:36 pm

        I never brought it up to him – I assume it was a passing thought for him and that when (if?) he found out I had a blog, he didn’t realize his prior gaffe.

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