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six years.

Six years ago today, I made an entrance into the blog world with a race recap of my second marathon, the 2008 Chicago Marathon (aka “the time is was so hot they cancelled the marathon).


I blogged a little, got caught up in nursing school, then kicked it off with fairly frequent blogging in 2009.  I got my first comment (!!) in January 2009 – someone was interested in what was I saying.  Looking back at what I used to write is so interesting, as my posts were often short with a little recap about my run.  I’m assuming that I based my blogging style off of what other bloggers were doing at the time, and I don’t know many people who blog without making each post seem like something special.  I certainly don’t blog unless I actually think I have something to say rather than just recapping a run.  Admittedly, I kind of miss that – I don’t always have major news or advice, but I’ve always loved running and I feel like that comes out in my writing.

Sometimes people ask why I started a blog.  I usually answer with something along the lines of, “I found other running blogs and thought it was cool how they seemed to have an online community…and it’s great to talk about running with other people!”  This is all true…I didn’t know any blogs when I trained for my first marathon, so I consulted my one friend who had run a marathon (hi Katie!) and read the Runner’s World forums.  But the blog…if you want specifics, I secretly admired the friendship that Aron and Jen seemed to have through running and blogging.  (I still have girl crushes on both of them.)  I saw them commenting on each others’ blogs and it seemed like an awesome support group.  How amazing is it that you can have relationships with other people who do what you do, without actually knowing them?  I wanted that. 

Looking at my early comments (and therefore the blogs I started reading – that was the only way I knew to find other people…comment on their blogs, they read yours, you find more people in their comments…etc, etc!), I’ve been “blog friends” with a few people since almost the beginning.  Kim (from ilaxSTUDIO), Sarah (from the SHU box), Mica (at Micapie).  It’s crazy to me that I’ve “known” these people for almost six years, and I probably know more about their lives than one would ever imagine for having next met.

Throughout the years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many bloggers.  As a shy introvert, meeting new people isn’t my really thing – I never know what to say and fear feeling stupid, so I just don’t talk.  Meeting people after having formed a connection through blogging (or now Twitter, too) is so much easier.  I’ve had meals with random people.  Flew to California for a girls’ weekend at Big Sur.  Stayed with Erika in Minneapolis.  Jeri came and visited me for a week.  I came to New York knowing no one, but met people through blogging/twitter.  Found people who also wanted to run the Berlin Marathon…so we did.

I’ve often thought about stopping my blog.  It’s obvious to anyone who reads that I haven’t been blogging much anymore.  Blogging is not my job, nor do I ever want it to be.  As I mentioned above, I used to simply love to recap my runs.  To write about whatever was on my running mind – I’m not even sure where it all came from.  The blog world seems to have become much more promotional – who can you get to read your blog?  What products will reach out to you?  I’ve always said I’d rather have five best friends than twenty acquaintances, so I don’t really feel a need to “grow my readership.”  The number of comments I receive has always gone up and down, although looking back at older posts, I can’t believe how many comments I used to get!  (I mean, I think 10-15 is a lot…there’s that.)  Most of the people who used to read seem to have moved away from the blog world, which is totally fine…seeing as I’ve thought about doing it myself.

But something stops me from, well, stopping.  Although fewer and far between these days, I still like putting words down, even if I’m the only one who reads it.  Some of my writing is better than others (take that, high school English teacher who told me I wouldn’t get into college!  [but seriously, that happened]), some posts are deeper than others.  I don’t know what direction I would like to take this blog.  I have a lot of running experience – would people be interested in my words of wisdom?  Do I have something unique to contribute?  Do I just want to talk about my daily runs?  Dive into topics in the running world?  What about nursing?  I have so much to say about the nursing/medical, but I get nervous about how much I can say about my career.

So basically, I have no idea where I want to take this, but I don’t plan on going anywhere quite yet.  Blogging over the past six years has introduced me to so many people and experiences.  It has followed me through nursing school graduation to my first job and living on my own and then moving up to New York.  I started blogging to build relationships with other people who run – I love that aspect of blogging, and I love that other people let me have a glimpse into their lives.  Thank you to those who have been with me through any part of the last six years. I still find it amazing that anyone wants to read what I have to say, and I certainly appreciate it.  I don’t know where I’m heading or how long my little part of the internet will be around, but thank you for bringing my little blogging dream to life.


10 2014

highlights of new york and home!

Why hello!  It is Friday and I suppose that would be exciting, but I’m working Saturday and Sunday…sooooooo nevermind, weekend!  However, last week (and weekend!) were quite the obvious since I had a week of vacation and put it to good use.  My mom came to visit for about five days, then we headed back to Chicago together for about another five days.  Hooray!

There were stressful times (more on that later…), there were really fun times.  My mom is good at doing things that aren’t OMG NEW YORK, but still highlight what the city has to offer.  Our thing to do this time was to go a knitting shop and have a mother-daughter learn to knit day.  Well, my mom knows how to knit, so maybe it was more of a “teach Susan how to knit” day.  We headed over to Knitty City on the Upper West Side and asked the ladies who work there to help us.  They were great!  They recommended a pattern and a type of yarn that would be good for a newbie and got me started.

Well on my way!

They have a ton of yarn and are really helpful.  Although they have classes, you can also walk in and sit at their “knitting table,” and they’ll help you if you have any problems.  Or people just come in to knit with friends.  The place was busy – lots of people coming in for yarn.  And they have a dog who wanders around the store…and we met a 91 year old woman who still lives on her own.  She was a sassy New Yorker, which I suppose is fair at age 91!  I picked up knitting fairly quickly (with some help!), and if you fast forward a few days, you get this:

image Finished product!

Let me know if anyone wants to do more knitting with me – it’s fun and winter is coming!

Other highlights in New York including visiting the Today Show, which my mom loves to do when she comes to the city.  It’s crazy how close you can be (HI MATT LAUER!), but you can’t really hear anything they’re saying.  All the hosts seem so genuine when they move around and talk to the crowd, and I’m impressed with how calm and collected they are.  I suppose that’s why they’re on national television and the rest of us aren’t…

Good morning!!

We were most likely on TV at some point, but I forgot to record it before leaving so I guess we’ll never know!  Afterward, Mom and I walked down to Eataly to sip some cappucinos (with a pastry for me – no gluten free options for Mom!).  We hung around Eataly long enough for the marketplace to open…after grabbing some pasta, tomato sauce, and fancy Italian drinks to make dinner later, we had a meat and cheese plate for lunch.  It was deeeeeeeelicious!  And perfect for sharing.  The couple next to us was on a six week tour of Canada and the US.  Their next stop was New Orleans – such good food there, I was a little jealous.

Another highlight was lunch with my 93 year old great aunt – she has quite the background and always has stories to tell.  She lectured me on how relationships must have balance and that things start to go south when that balance stays…unbalanced.  Of course, my mother later told me she’d been married four times…oops.  But otherwise, she’s 93 and still living on her own!  She would love to work, but apparently no one will hire a 93 year old, so she just writes code for her stock trading program all day.  haha.

After a delayed flight and a cab ride from a Somalian who was shocked to learn that we actually know where Somalia is (and that I’ve been to east Africa…), it was good to be home.  I got to spend plenty of time with my Katies, and we had some serious catching up to do!  Bonus points since the catching up involved some of my suburban favorites (Baker’s Square, Buffalo Wild Wings), and of course sitting in my driveway in Katie’s car for an hour.  The usual.  Another perk of being home is having this guy follow you around everywhere:

coffeejax Coffee with Jax.

Jax is my parents’ dog…he’s 12 pounds of glory and just wants to be loved.  By everyone.  He loves sitting on your lap and will sleep at your feet or cuddle up next to you.  I want to steal him and bring him to NYC.

We also spent an afternoon going to the pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins.  For some reason, I remember cleaning out the pumpkin being a much harder and more time consuming task when I was little, but it was quite painless this time around.

Pumpkin patch with Dad!

And, of course, the finished product.  I opted for a scarier approach while my Dad did a little more silly:

image Hooray for Halloween!

And to leave you with the glory of fall, the tree in my parents’ front yard is on fire.

image And it’s winning at fall.

When I’m home, I sometimes wonder why I ever left…but the New York adventures are also quite fun, and it makes coming home a little more special.  I’ll be heading back for Christmas, so that picture will be snow covered!

To add to the list…what “off the tourist path” things do you like to do in NYC?

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10 2014