Weekly Thought Dump 3: to blog about marathon training, or not to blog…

So, even though I’ve still been updating my blog every week, lately I have been thinking about finally cutting the cord on this thing. Truly, it’s not you – it’s me. To put it bluntly, my blog has started to feel like dead weight in my life. It takes time and energy without really adding to my life anymore. I’m bored with it, and I’m feeling less and less motivated to write these days. I’m running out of ideas for content and whenever I do post something I usually end up thinking, “eh..was it worth it?”. Also, looking at my WordPress followers, a lot of them are minimalism-related and I feel guilty because I really don’t have a lot of minimalism content anymore. Since moving into the house and adjusting, and then spending most of May in a weird slump at the same time, my focus has just been getting by – I haven’t really had the energy to put into new projects or minimalism efforts. That will change eventually, but lately I’ve been thinking that maybe it’s better to blog when I’m actually doing something that I can write about. “Here’s what I WANT to do” and “here’s a new goal I came up with” can only make compelling content for so long.

I’ve gone through several spells of wanting to quit blogging but I never pull the trigger because I still wanted to blog; now, I’ve finally got to the point of feeling like I might as well do it because I’m not sure I’d miss it very much.

But what about marathon training? I thought I definitely wanted to blog about Chicago Marathon training but now I’m not sure. Should I become one of those people who posts weekly training updates and nothing else, because that’s all I’m motivated to write about? Or do I become a Reader/Commenter Only for the blogs I follow?

I’ve trained for and completed three marathons now, and blogged through all of them. It was great, but I don’t know what else I can add this time.  This isn’t going to be some monumental, #goingforgold #chasingmydreams training cycle, which doesn’t mean it’s not worth writing about, just that I’m not sure what the point is now that marathon training is no longer a novel thing for me. Plus, I can’t help wonder how different a marathon training cycle could be if I keep it to myself instead of documenting it on the internet every week. The fact that I have never done that yet is kind of weird, honestly.

Additionally, my blog readership has been in the toilet for months now, even when I write about running, and the majority of the running blogs I used to follow have long since jumped ship. I was reading through the comments I got on my Pittsburgh and Grandma’s race recaps, and half those people aren’t even blogging anymore! That community and network was what made blogging feel worth it. I’ve been trying to find new blogs to follow for the summer, and there are some great ones, but something just doesn’t feel the same anymore. But that’s probably just me projecting my own lack of motivation to blog.

Well, whether I decide to keep blogging or not, I’ll likely still be reading blogs this summer. If you know any good blogs of people who will be training this summer, let me know so I can check them out!

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24 thoughts on “Weekly Thought Dump 3: to blog about marathon training, or not to blog…

  1. I’ve wanted to quit blogging a few times but just take small breaks. I’m also less worried about trying to get a blog post done and posted – it’s less of a priority for me now. BUT, I keep going with it for some reason 🙂

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  2. Sometimes I really wonder why I renewed my domain name in March when I can never find the time/motivation to post. It took me almost two weeks to get a 5k recap up and I suspect there are not too many people interested in reading day after day and week after week of easy runs…which is pretty much all I am going to be doing this summer.

    I’ll miss your posts if you stop blogging, but hopefully we would still stay in touch through social media and email.

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    1. Haven’t decided if I’ll stop yet (I’m thinking maybe I can compromise and just commit to a less-frequent posting schedule), but if I do, I’ll be around! Just not writing.

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  3. I have definitely gone through ups and downs with blogging, I am consistent for awhile and readership grows then I get lazy and feel I have nothing interesting to post about and stop for awhile and when I come back I have to build it all back up. It is like life, we go through ebbs and flows.

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      1. Totally. I tried to do daily and even twice a day and it was way too much. I’ve settled in to a good rythym now which the amount I post but it took time to get the amount I wanted

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  4. I think we all hit those points when blogging seems more like an extra task. I haven’t been writing lately because I just don’t have too much going on. I do find a lot more people read my blog than I think and I’ve had many friends/family tell me they enjoy my posts. When I launched Run Eat Wine Sleep I decided that I would only post when I felt like I had something to say and not just post weekly just for the sake of posting weekly. Some of my favorite blogs only post every few months now, but I find I still really enjoy them. I honestly have stopped reading a lot of the blogs that post just for the sake of posting. I would love to keep up with your training this summer, but I don’t think that you have to post every week. Maybe you can be a minimal blogger… see what I did there? 😉

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    1. Yeah, I’m thinking of just doing every-other-week check-ins from now on. It will be easier on me and I think the content will flow more naturally and be more interesting that way. I’ve never been a fan of blogs with daily or near-daily posting for the sake of posting either. It seems like there are two camps of blog readers: people who like quality content, and people who essentially treat blogging as a social media network.

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  5. I can totally relate. For me it’s lack of time that makes me want to pull the plug. But I think it was you who advised that there’s no rule that says you have to post X times a week and to just post whenever you want to. Selfishly, I do hope you stick around and find a schedule that works for you. You are one of the few bloggers I’d put into the “authentic” category. I’ve quit reading the big bloggers who seem to only exist to increase readership and get free stuff instead of having something interesting to say. You have so many interesting ideas and insights, and your blog has definitely motivated and inspired me many times! For marathon training, if you don’t want to get into the grind of the weekly updates, maybe you could do monthly check-ins/evaluations of your training method? For minimalism, book reviews of good resources would be just as interesting as your own projects. But I understand blogging is a very personal decision, so you do you. You’ll just have to send me long weekly emails if you stop, ha ha!

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    1. Awww thanks Jen! I am actually thinking of just doing every other week check-ins from here on out. I think it will be easier on me that way, as I’ll actually feel like I have something to write about when I check in, and it won’t be as time consuming as trying to post multiple times per week. I’ve never agreed with the practice of posting just for the sake of posting so I don’t know why I now feel so much pressure to do it myself.

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  6. I second Jennifer’s comment. I like your blog because you are authentic. I feel like you do have a lot to offer with marathon training, I don’t feel like one can ever learn enough about the marathon. I completely understand if you stop. My rationale for stopping…hmm, life changes. I feel like with the family changes, and my new caregiver role, there is a lot that I wouldn’t feel comfortable posting about, and it would feel awkward to me. I go back and forth about restarting…who knows!

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    1. Aww thanks Cheryl! I do miss your blog and seeing how your training is going, but I completely understand why you needed to stop. Keeping up a blog is not as easy as it sounds!

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  7. I’d definitely miss your blog because it’s always so relatable. Not only have we often gone through similarly timed ups-and-downs in running, but we bought houses around the same time and you make me want to be a minimalist even though I’m definitely not! 🙂 I’m sure we would stay in touch through social though. Do whatever feels right for you. The blog will still be here if you leave and decide to come back!

    PS: I was looking at old posts from 2013 the other day and noticed that so many of those bloggers have left, and now I’m wondering what they are up to!

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    1. Thanks Kristina! I agree, we do seem to be living parallel lives sometimes! I’m sure we will definitely stay in touch, but I probably won’t be leaving altogether – just cutting back on my posting.

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  8. Oh girl, I feel you! I have thought about shutting down so many times, especially over the last year. I started blogging because I wanted to blog mostly about running, then I kind of morphed into more lifestyle/everyday life blogging (but still with an emphasis on running/fitness). I’ve backed way off the lifestyle stuff, mostly for privacy reasons and because I just don’t feel the need to share all the details of my life and thoughts anymore, and now I’m down to essentially just training and race recaps. On one hand I know that’s probably boring, but on the other hand I like having an account of my past training and races, so that’s why I keep doing it. I do go through phases though, especially when I’m in heavy training mode and every spare minute is precious and hard to come by, when I really resent ever starting my blog and wanting to just shut it down completely. My blogging circle is also virtually nonexistent these days and definitely not what it used to be
    For what it’s worth, I always enjoy your posts, even if they might seem mundane or unoriginal. Honestly at this point I’m not reading running/fitness blogs for original content anyway – maybe I’m in the minority but I just like to see real people talking about their real training and their real struggles and their real triumphs, so as long as you can do that, I’m pretty easy to please.
    (Btw – is there an email address I can use to respond to your comments? Sometimes I’ll reply back to on my blog but I never know if you’ll see if because I don’t think Blogger has a way for you to be notified? It’s also just my personal preference to respond via email!)

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    1. Hey thanks for asking – it’s hgichard@gmail.com. Drop me a line any time! Yeah, there are a lot of blogs that I never get comment notifications (or they go to my spam), so I have to keep checking back to see if the author responded and I don’t always remember to do that.

      It’s funny, I used to not like the cookie-cutter training blogs as much, but now I’d rather see that than yet another post of tips and how-tos. That’s what I like about the running blog world – more people are sharing their own personal journeys and stories instead of just putting out more recycled advice to get readership. It seems kinda hypocritical of me to lament the lack of running bloggers when I’m sitting here saying I want to quit blogging, lol. But I think the fact that so many people have chimed in here to say “yeah, I get it” is indicative of a general trend of blogging being on the decline these days. As a lifelong lover of writing, it makes me sad that writing-based media has fallen out of favor in our culture.

      I’d like to stick around but I don’t think I can hack the weekly recaps this time around. I actually quit doing that midway through my last marathon training cycle because I got tired of how time-consuming they were. But I will try to check in every two weeks or so!

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  9. Oh no! I’m disappointed to read that you might stop blogging. I always enjoy reading your blog and hearing what you’re up to – both in running and in life. Like you, I’ve definitely seen a noticeable decline in running bloggers. It bums me out, because I really love following along as people train, sharing in their ups and downs, and cheering them on virtually as they race. Instagram, which seems to be more highly trafficked these days, just doesn’t have the same level of detail and story telling. But, it seems a bit unfair for me to complain about others stopping blogging when I haven’t blogged in months (and months and months)! I hope that you stick around!

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    1. I’m with you on Instagram. I see so many former running bloggers who basically use Insta as their blog now. It does offer more instant gratification and a wider audience, but I agree that it’s just not as good for storytelling (plus I hate having to read super long captions on pics). As someone who is a general lover of the written word, the trend away from writing and toward podcast/video/bite-sized storytelling is disheartening, but what am I gonna do?

      Anyway, don’t despair, I may not quit blogging! I’ve been thinking about it more and what I will probably do is stick around but cut back on the posting (like, twice a month). I think I will enjoy it more if I only check in when I have lots to update on, instead of feeling pressured to throw together posts when I don’t want to. Thanks so much for your kind words!!!

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      1. Well I’m glad to hear that you are totally going silent. That sounds like a great plan for you and look forward to reading those posts. I’ve been really excited to follow your Chicago training and race and would have been so disappointed if you stopped blogging!

        I totally get the appeal of moving to Instagram. It always surprised me just how long it took me to write my blog posts, even though I stuck to mostly a training-only approach. The think I like about blogs vs. Insta is I feel like I really get to know the person and what’s going on with their training in a blog. Personally, I also loved to look back on my blog and be able to read just how I felt during a certain run/training session. I like to think that things are cyclical and that eventually the trend will shift back towards more detail rather than the bite-sized style their is now.

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  10. I know I’m one of those who kinda fell off – sorry to leave you!! I still love reading your blog though, but having fallen off and canceled my own I can completely understand if you were to stop. I do feel that not blogging about my past experience (especially now that it was finally my big goal race!) took a lot of the pressure off in general. I figured if people didn’t really know what I was doing, I couldn’t disappoint them (even though that’s not really how it goes but I think we all kind of feel like that when we publicize big goals!). However, I did feel weird when it was all over and all of a sudden I didn’t have a forum for a big review of my 4 months of training + the race LOL. It was so hard to condense it all into a little IG post hahaha. But anyways, whether you do or don’t quit blogging, you can always feel free to hit me up if you just want to get out any frustration or celebration! Cheers to training!!

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    1. Thanks Charissa! I have to admit, the idea of keeping a training cycle to myself (for the most part) is really attractive. I know some people who have had some of their best training cycles (like you!) when they didn’t blog about them, and I can’t help wonder if there’s a correlation. Blogging takes so much time and energy that is probably better focused on training/recovery. Anyway, yes, I do hope we continue to stay in touch!

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  11. I have been so hit or miss with blogging for months now. I try to pop in and read because I do genuinely think about people and wonder what they are up to, but i have so much going on in my life I’ve struggled to be regualr with anything. A lot of the stressors are not my story to tell.
    Anyway, I will say I didn’t actually miss writing for awhile and enjoyed training just fine without posting a thing!
    I do miss people though, so I pop in to seee what is up.

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    1. Thanks for popping in Karen! I’ve missed you around here but I totally get it. It seems you are far from the only one who just doesn’t have the time anymore. To be honest, I really do have the time, it’s just that I need/prefer to use it for other things. I could keep up with posting 2-3 times per week if I really wanted to, but I just don’t have that much to say, and I’m really happier using that time for other things. Plus it’s more fun to post when you’ve been gone a while and have more updates, and people seem more eager to read that way too.

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