This past weekend I ran a 5K race, my first in almost two years. As I’ve been training for this race (and keep in mind my definition of training is three weekly runs between 2-3 miles each) I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my blog-related goals. One day as I passed my favorite running landmark, a pair of emus, it occurred to me there are some strikingly similarities (to me) between running a 5K and accomplishing your blog-related goals.
These are my observations, broken down mile for mile, of course.
5K: We’re off! It’s quick and exciting, and everyone has a running watch but me. I have no idea what my pace is, but I feel good, I think. I check in with myself a dozen times and try to settle into a pace that I can maintain.
Starting a blog can be the same, right? You’ve kicked your jitters, signed up, and have taken off! In the beginning you might compare yourself to others. You notice other blogs have custom designs, cool features, and tons of comments. During mile one, it’s important to remember you are running your own race. After all, everyone is in a different place, has different goals, and varying levels of experience. It isn’t an even playing field, so focusing on anything other than your own improvement doesn’t do much good.
5K: Before I know it, it’s the second mile. I have the same momentum I began with, but I need to work harder to stay focused. I’ve never run this route before and there is so much to look at it! If I’m not careful, it’s easy for me to lose focus.
Once you start a blog, it’s possible to lose focus. I sure did. For awhile I didn’t know which topics I wanted to write about or which aspect of my blog to focus on. I still struggle with this issue as I have a very limited amount of time to work on my blog. The key to my success is staying focused and working on one blog-related goal at a time.
5K: “Just keep going!” One of the many things I said to myself in the final mile of the 5K. There were two people ahead of me that I could see, probably 200 and 400 yards ahead. One of them kept looking back at me to see where I was. I felt like yelling “I’m not going to catch you!” but I didn’t want to expend the energy. Then, I thought about attempting to chase them down, but reminded myself I was “running my own race”. Before I knew it I was at the final turn and speeding across the finish line. I was done! 5K completed!
I consider my blogging mile 3 to be anything (a post, page , or project) I need to finish. Chances are I’ve started out strong, had to re-focus a few times, and then I’m ready to cruise into the homestretch and finish strong. Not that it’s that simple, just like in finishing the final mile of race I find myself pushing hard to wrap up blog posts sometimes. I have to tell myself to just keep going!
5K: Based on my training times, I expected to finish my 5K between 26 and 27 minutes. During my run I felt strong and consistent so I thought for sure that I’d finish in under 27 minutes. Well, I didn’t! My finish time was 29:46, ouch! However, since I felt so great during my run, I decided to be happy with my results. And, bonus! I came home with a prize! Because the 1st place finisher in my age division was an overall winner, the prize for my age division went to the 2nd place person, aka ME!
In blogging, results often vary. You write a post you are sure will gain lots of attention or comments and…nothing! Or, you throw something together and it turns out to be wildly popular. In running and in blogging I’ve learned not to expect certain results and to enjoy the unexpected ones.
Those are some similarities I’ve drawn between running my 5K race and accomplishing my blog-related goals. What similarities do you draw between blogging and another activity?