Two years ago today I launched This Runner’s Recipes.
Two years ago, I was freshly removed from graduate school, having successfully defended my thesis and just waiting to graduate with my Master’s degree. Ryan and I were in the final weeks of wedding planning, I had recently been let go from a temporary paralegal job (a job which, in honesty, I was overqualified for), and I had started training for my first half marathon.
I had dabbled in blogging over the course of my college career, including a travel blog during my semester abroad. At this time, I was volunteering as an editor and writer for an ecumenical Christian blog (which I choose to resign from at the end of 2015).I did not want to stop writing after graduate school, and since I was searching for a job and had free time between applications and interviews, writing kept me busy and mentally engaged.
When I was a freshman, my honors college assigned Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own as one of the mandatory texts. Many of my classmates rolled their eyes at this text, but I savored every word, tucked the meaningful quotes in my memory, and revisited the text over the years.
For years, my mind churned upon the imprints that Woolf left upon my mind: to write passionately and write what I want; to use my own wit to earn a living; and that all I need to accomplish this is something – a metaphorical room, if you will – to make my own.
This blog has become a room of my own, in a sense.
So I started a blog, and for serious this time: I purchased my own domain, learned some SEO, set up social media accounts, and published almost daily. Ryan even coded a child theme for the first version of This Runner’s Recipes.
My blog took a few months to come into its own. I had to shed the impersonal academic tone of writing which I had spent six years perfecting. Refining my voice and finding my audience required hard work and immense patience, especially over the first 8 months.
As I’m sure many of you can relate, those first several posts are like elementary school photos or that first college essay. They make me cringe a bit, knowing what I know now, but I also save them because they remain an important part of the journey.
Originally, This Runner’s Recipes was intended to be a 50/50 split of recipes and running – hence the name. I soon found that, while I enjoyed creating recipes, I didn’t like creating several a week (I’m a rather routine and boring eater) nor was I particularly creative with food photography.
Beyond that, more I read, ran, and wrote about running, the more I wanted to write about it. And thus This Runner’s Recipes, while still featuring recipes, organically grew into a website about the science and details of training and racing, nutrition, and the joy of running.
You write what you know, right? But it’s not just about what I know – it’s about what others want to know.
The Jesuits have a foundational idea about being a man/woman for others. Not that you lose sight of your identity or fail to take care of yourself – not in the least – but that your actions and work strive to improve the lives, in some way or another, of others, while also personally fulfilling you.
You could be an engineer, who spends hours over precise measurements to provide buildings, household items, and life-saving tools for others. You could be a comedian, who is a man/woman for others because you make them laugh and brighten their days.
And so that’s what I continually strive for with This Runner’s Recipes; yes, it is my blog and I do share my training. But I strive to be a woman, blogger, and running coach for others by providing valuable information, by encouraging you in your running, and by helping you thrive in the sport.
I couldn’t have started or continued this blog without Ryan. He literally set up the first website for me, he supported me when I was making absolutely zero money, and he’s been incredibly supportive and encouraging throughout the whole process. He’s pushed me to stay true to my own voice and opinions, even when I’m nervous about publishing a post. He diligently reads each post, each word I write, and gives his honest feedback. And, he listens to me babble about running, my own training, and coaching all the time. So thank you, Ryan, for keeping this blog going.
Over the past two years, my blog has become so much more than merely my blog. Like running, writing is a solitary act that flourishes into a communal experience.
Blogging has also provided me with the amazing opportunity to make friends with others, people who I would have not otherwise met (since many of these friends live thousands of miles away!). I am continually amazed by and grateful for how supportive of a community blogging is.
And so I also humbly and deeply thank you all, whether you read daily or simply stumbled upon a post of mine on social media. Thank you for reading, for commenting, and for sharing posts.
What topics would you like to see covered in the next year?
If you blog, why did you start blogging?