Let see if I could answer this in one blog post. I have been hinting here and there.
First off, why do I blog? Not in any particular order, here below:
1. curiosity of WP and blogging as a whole because I never really put myself out there. I do have a Livejournal and a Tumblr but that never really take off, probably lack of community or weird community that didn’t align with me. WP has a good attraction. I see it is working. Some day, I wish to revive my LJ or my tumblr and sync them together.
2. A memory dump. I have short term memory. I want to jot down something I can look back on. It is a project. More on this.
3. I want to share with like minded people. I took up running and I started to follow other runners. I want to contribute my 2-cent. In a sense it is my community. When people read my stuff and comment on my posts, it makes me feel appreciated of the time spent writing them. It generates a feedback loop, which is a very good feeling. Running is my passion the last few years and I can’t stop talking about it day and night. WP is a platform I encountered many other runners who blog about their races. Running/write about my runs is one primary reason for this blog as stated in my tagline, and my profile. It is every where on my site in big neon sign.
4. The life project and keeping myself on track. I started this blog with a goal to remake myself. It has been very hard. Change is never easy. Change means to do something different from what I am currently doing. I wrote several blog posts about transformation. Somehow I want to go from Point A to Point B. This blog serves as a manifesto for that. It is a learning process. I don’t have all the answers. Some answers maybe, and even with the part I do know, it is very hard. I have seen where I took one step forward and two steps back. There are a lot distractions in life. I constantly go from one thing to another. Having this here, and looking at it from time to time reminds me this is what I am aiming for and this is how I see progress.
5. A place to rant and trying a new idea and/or seeking inputs. In writing things down, I go through a mental process of evaluating my ideas. It slow down my thinking process. Many of my trips started out as a blog post here. I lay out my plan and my evaluation afterward. Occasionally people commented on my posts and it helps me to think more about it.
6. A place to show off myself of course. I impress myself from time to time. Many things I did, might not be impressive at the time, but after a while, I look back and I am kind of amazed that I did all that. For example, I set a PR (personal best) on a 5k run one summer, and at the time I thought that was not much and I would break it in no time, however, that record has been standing for three years. And looking back, I am amazed that was me back then. I have some of my fans who think I am awesome. I am, but I like that feeling too to be an ‘expert’ at something.
7. A tool to communicate. This is obvious. All writing is meant to be read. I started running to impress my lady. And I was certain that she would like to read this and be impressed by it. So it is really is for my woman. Unfortunately, she doesn’t read it. Also many (if not all the) people I care about, you can say in the (my) real world, don’t read my stuff. But I have a steady stream of virtural or online followers who I never met in real life (face to face) who do read my stuff, so I am very happy.
8. Making friends. It ties everything together. I saw some blogs that been around for many years like 5-6 years and the author is fairy consistent in putting out a post every month, yet it has no follower. Only the author know about the site visitor statistics. My point is some author like to write something, regardless it is being read it or not. It seems sad. My blog might be like that too. However, I had couple readers who are actively engage in my posting and it really brings this goal across. Writing is meant to be read and talk about. More than that it builds friendship whether near or far. There is a dynamic. There are people who care about if the quarantine is driving me crazy. There are things I read on here (WP) that really touch my heart.
I wanted to write this post for a long time. I think I might have done one but I am too lazy to go back to check. That is one of my complaints of WP or blog, that you don’t remember what you wrote and it is difficult to find out. If it is a repetition, I apologize. I repeat myself a lot and tend to forget about what I wrote or didn’t write.
Second point: Why did I run?
The answer is simple. woman and passion. I originally planned this to be a separate posting. Until a reader asked me about it while this blog was being prepared. The answer is pretty much the same, so I decided to combine it to one.
A woman got me into running of course, but then I found my true love through her. I haven’t gone to bed without thinking or talking about it – day and night it is on my mind and that has been for the past four years.
The woman I was dating at the time ran marathons. It was natural or so I thought for me to run as well. I loved it the first time I did it. In my mind I was good at it. I still think I am pretty good. My time is decent. It is not the fastest but people would love to do what I can do. Of course I based my time off her time. At that point I didn’t know or realize guys usually are a bit better than women physically. It was not a surprise I could run faster than her. In no time, I was outdoing her. I am naturally an overachiever. But still my aim was to impress her. I think she was impressed! She is the only woman I know who listened to me talk about my race and not get bored and I went on and on 24-7. And you can tell, I was not putting her to sleep with my talk. Many do have their eyes gazed over if I go into it for too long. Hence, I started blogging instead of talking to people about it.
Today, I have done more marathons than I can count with my hands or toes (well almost). I think I did 17-18 to date, not including the ultras or virtual races. I looked at it and I feel pretty impressed. I remember I was at a marathon finish not long ago (NCR Marathon) and got on a bus to take me back to the starting line. I talked with woman who also just finished and waiting to get back to the start where we had our cars parked. She told me she has done something between 26 or 34 marathons. I had only done about 4 including the one I just did at the time. In my mind, I was wondering when would I be like that. I was floored by her at that time because she was the first person I met who done ridculously a lot of marathons (at that time anything more than the fingers on hands is a lot). She blew my boat out the water. Now looking back, I am not that far behind her. She was telling me she only started a few years ago. It was unbelievable.
I still run hoping to impress ladies, misguided as it may be. Guys are weird, I tell you or is it just me. I do feel proud of my ability. I am running farther and farther each year (with a goal one day soon I might cross the continent on foot). I think that is very impressive. If I think rationally though, it is difficult to impress the public about running. Maybe impress is the wrong word – more like get them to feel the passion about it.
Many in the general public cannot really relate to running. To most a 3 mile is same as a 13 mile or a 26 mile (a marathon) because it is incomprehensible since not a lot can run even a mile. At first I thought that was an exception. I went on a hike with this lady once (a hike by the public definition, now a day a hike for me has to be 20+ miles). Afterward, she wanted to run. I think my talk of running was rubbing off me to her. So we ran. It was maybe even less of a quarter mile in she was out of breath (as if she was about to be passed out). I was – stunt. What did I do! She was not running at my speed. I slowed down myself even at the very beginning. Any way, since then I realize I have an ability to run that some people don’t. This point was made clearly to me last summer when I got Lyme disease and couldn’t do any physical activity at all. I imagine now everyone in the public have something like Lyme disease that prevents them from running and enjoying it. That is the key, enjoying. Most people think of running as suffering.
So whether 1 mile or 10 mile or a marathon, they are all tough distances to the public. I always joke about that a marathon is like a 5k vs versa. In a sense yes. A marathon could be as easy as a 5K and a 5K is as hard a marathon. One mile is just tough for one who has not done it yet and if they try think ya 26 times of that, it is impossible to do that.
I have a friend who I hike with from time to time. She understands mile and stuff better than me, because she can innately tell you how far a mile is (I can’t do it without a gps watch). She is surprised that I can’t tell how far a mile is even after all these years. She said she just does. Yet if I say I will be running 50 miles or 26 miles this weekend, there is still a disconnect of not understand immediately what that means because she hasn’t run that distance before. I sense the glazed look from her. The crazyness she think I am in. But if I tell her I am hiking 26-50 miles over the weekend, then she gets it. She knows I will be having a heaven of a time. She would say sweet. Enjoy yourself out there, but she won’t say that if I say I am going out to run such and such miles.
While I talked about running with her, it was like reading from a dictionary. She can define all the terms and stuff but she has no functional understanding about them. Running is not her thing and it was not translatable to her from her hiking experience. That’s ok. That was the reason I have the blog. It captures the feeling that I hope can be lasting memorial of a run or a race that she can understand.
When you like something so much, you want the people around to get it too!
I probably could create a big list of reasons why I run like why I blog. Almost each post I have is a reason why I am doing it. The list mirrors the above why do I blog — which now you know is to share why I run. Ha.
Meta: crazy dangerous undo function in WP app can delete the content of an unpublished post. There is no undo of the undo (redo doesn’t work). Don’t play around with the undo function in the app. I can’t stand the web version either. (Sorry again for those who received this twice)