Taking it all in
Setting a goal of posting a blog once a month seemed realistic until it wasn't. Everyday, I thought of something new that I wanted or needed to write about. Almost 99% of my writing is based off experiences I've had that were directly or indirectly linked to running. Establishing a blog with Happy Trails Racing seemed like a logical fit. With hopes of giving a platform for my writing and a voice to other writers, I wrote my 1st post after hosting our very 1st race - Sticks n' Stones in 2017.
Having had submitted experiential pieces based on my personal journey for other running publications, I was more than prepared to work with the reasonable and generous deadlines I had set for myself. I knew that once a month was fair and, initially, an easily sustainable schedule.
It was not long before once a month became tedious. I had ideas that I wanted to explore along with many expansive thoughts on the topic, but I heavily struggled to put them into words. My writing that felt foreign and strained as I forced a topic, was quickly deleted. I recognized that didn't need to be posting Pulitzer Prize winning blogs, but I did feel an obligation to have the writing be authentic and genuine.
A writer friend of mine told me this, "you can't write about it until you've lived it. You are in a transitional and growing period of your life. Sit in it. Take it in. Then, once you've fully experienced it and owned it, share it." (S.P.)
Her writing advice resonated with me and it made me think back to all the advice I had received. I have spent a great deal of my time re-building myself based on reflection and the encouragement of others. It is so important to have supportive advice around us - that way when our own voice is pushing us down a destructive path, we have other words to help us see an alternate route. Each morsel of wisdom has reframed my experiences for the better.
Running has been an outlet of self-growth and symbolically represented my developing inner strength. The running advice that I have received has helped me multiple times when I thought I couldn't cross the finish line. I decided to share the 3 best that I have received over the years and hopefully it may inspire you and your running.
"Bite it off in little chunks" - when you find distance or terrain difficult, it can help to visualize the race in parts rather than a whole. "Run aid station to aid station" also applies to this theory. You need to give yourself little victories of accomplishment along the way to celebrating the overall victory of a finish. The more you are suffering, the smaller the "bite" should be. (April and Melanie Boultbee)
"Give it 10 minutes" - you are going to have low moments that sneak in slowly and then seemingly try to shut you down. Take a minute to assess your race, eat some food, take a drink, and reset. You will find that around 10 minutes later that "low" is manageable. You will find yourself feeling better and racing again. (Steven Parke)
"Be patient" - running yourself into the ground off the start is a common mistake. We tend to feel great in the first part of the race and somehow assume that feeling of immortality will sustain itself until the finish line. Running slower and more careful than you would like to, means that you will have your legs left to close successfully. Patience in the first half of the race can help you finish with a better placement/time, but most importantly, you will feel more confident in having the energy and strength to finish strong. (Joe Grant)
I would love to hear from you and what piece of advice helps you be the best you can be!
Happy Trails -