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Posting, publishing, and publicizing your running life isn’t for everyone, but it can keep you accountable and driven

The Running Writer Runner

February 12, 2020

I started seriously running in 2008 and writing about it a few seconds later.

Keeping a blog, building a website, posting all over social media and back again ain’t for everyone. I’ve opened myself to the internet on every possible topic over the years, though much of that is now locked away in private archives, and I’ll be the first to tell anyone, don’t start unless you want it. Need it. Crave it. Don’t start unless you feel a compulsion to write and document it all that won’t go away without the satisfaction of fingers tapping on a keyboard.

As may still be peppered around this site —feets.ca— by the time you are reading these words, this site has had many incarnations, but the latest, the 2020 version, is an accidental resurrection driven by a need to learn a new piece of software.

I needed to learn Drupal for work.

I abhor learning abstractions.

Running is something that is not abstract and something upon which I had written much in the past and could draw on.

This site blossomed from that.

Not everyone is going to have either a twelve year archive of personal running writing from which to pull or an extensive working knowledge of technical content management systems to drive the construction of a site, so let me write this: I started small. My first writing about running isn’t even worth resurrecting from my archives. It was me noting in a sentence in a trivial sort of post about how I’d signed up for a running clinic and that it had made me tired. In other words, just like running is one step at a time, writing about running is one word at a time. How fucking cliche is that?

I honestly hadn’t expected to do much more than putz around with a new version of this site but it has now grown. It is amazing what (not abstract) building of something that is both personally interesting and professionally important can result in. As I stumble through this post — content item number ninety-nine, in fact — it occurs to me that at some point I hit a critical mass and have compelled myself to keep writing, building, and posting.

Would I recommend it?

Again. don’t start unless you mean it.

Putting words out there creates accountability, spurs goal-setting, organizes plans into action, and is just as like to record failures as it does successes. Unlike my previous approaches, I’m not structuring this much like a blog. Drupal is not a blogging platform so much as a website building tool. I’ve gathered up a bunch of articles that seem worthy of reposting —my race reports forming the core of that body of work— which includes things posted at a time in my running career that are worthy enough of adding a date onto. One might fumble through a topic on Winter Running, say, and see some words I wrote recently followed by a couple videos, followed by a post I wrote longer ago. I’m attempting to group and categorize and inter-weave my words into something interesting as well as useful. But just a warning, the useful may come later as I hone and write more.

And with that, I don’t know how much will wind up in each category yet. When it occurs to me to write something, I’ll write it. When it is important to me and I’m thinking on it, I’ll document. If I feel like spending a quiet evening writing a post about writing a running blog — like tonight — it will end up sorted on this page and shared in the appropriate place. And until I’m done learning this tool, things are apt to change and shuffle and focus a little more as time passes.

After twelve years of writing, posting on multiple sites and platforms, the only guarantee I can give is that I won’t stop writing about it until I’m well done running it.