I can't believe that I have been blogging for a year now! I wish I could go back and see the very first versions of my blog, which I am sure were crude and dull. But as I come across amazing blogs and test new template features, I constantly change and adapt the layout.
I started blogging last summer because all of my races were blurring together. I wanted a way to remember each race and its unique features. I was writing the blog for myself with my mom being my only other reader. As the year progressed, I slowly started coming across other runners and triathletes who blogged and I started improving my blog's layout as a result. I started researching the blogging networks that they were involved in, and I picked a few to join myself. It was when I became a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador that I realized I was entering this whole other world of social networking. All of the bloggers also had a Facebook page, Twitter account, etc., etc., etc. for their blog. I thought I was hip and trendy just for having a blog, but suddenly I felt behind the curve. Within a week I created a Facebook page for my blog too. What is great about social networking is that you help each other get more visibility by liking each others pages, sharing posts, and featuring other bloggers on your pages and in your blog. It is so great to be connected to and supported virtually by other runners around the country and even the world!
At this point, I try to balance blogging with the rest of my life, which is always busy. So many other bloggers post more frequently, have giveaways, and maintain every social media account possible for their blog, but that just isn't me. I don't want to get burnt out because I am at the point where I enjoy my time blogging, but don't want it to take over my life. I REALLY love promoting Midwestern races because I feel like we have a lot to offer here and I want to encourage runners from other parts of the country and the world to visit the Midwest for a race. I also LOVE volunteering at races and want to promote that opportunity, since runners wouldn't even be able to complete the race without the volunteers.
In the right column of my blog as you scroll down, you will see the "Other Runners I chase" list. These were the original running blogs I came across. I learned so much from their blogs, through email and private message exchanges with them. So although I frequently check multiple blogs and come across more and more each week, I have to give these blogs kudos for inspiring me.
As I look forward to what the next year holds for my blog, I can't really set any goals or even imagine what will happen by July 2015 because I never pictured my blog "going public" as it did this year. I do look forward to continuing to network with other bloggers and hopefully have the opportunity to meet some of them face-to-face.
So if you are reading this post, thank you for reading my blog this year. I wish you the best of luck in your running, walking, biking, hiking, volunteering, etc. adventures. As far as running goes, if you don't think you can do it, let me assure you that if I can do it, you can do it too! But even if running isn't for you, be active in whatever way suits your body and schedule. Volunteer at a race if you get the chance, because it is just as rewarding as running the race. You may not walk away with a medal for volunteering, but you walk away with a unique experience, hopefully a few "thank yous", and the knowledge that the runners couldn't be there without YOU!
Have a great week!