As I drove home from Sunday’s inaugural Write This Run event I was full of regret. Did I regret going to Write This Run? Not at all, my regret was lots of little regrets: I hadn’t spoken to this person or that person. I had neglected to take more pictures. That I didn’t chat to Liz and Laura more (although I think they were run off their feet) and that I didn’t give more people hugs!
I’ve been blogging on and off for 3 years. I started off my blogging journey with a parenting blog but it never felt like quite the right fit for me. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the bones of my children but I never felt right about sharing it with the world. Running Mum had sat on the sidelines for a while and a few months ago, despite being injured, I deleted the parenting blog and decided to have a real crack at my running blog. This I have no regrets about doing.
Since dedicating my blog life to my running blog I have had my eyes opened to a wonderful community of people. People who are just as passionate about running as I am. A running community that throughout my injury sent me well wishes and lovely messages encouraging me not to give up. On Sunday I got to meet some of these people in real life, and even though it’s always nervy meeting strangers off the internet, there was no anti-climax. Everyone I met in the room at Write This Run was as genuine, warm and friendly as I thought they would be. Write this Run itself was a fantastic day and I learned new things but also had some things confirmed to me that I think I already knew, back there in the recesses of my subconscious.
Phillipa Moore who writes super blog Skinny Latte Strikes Back talked about being honest and having integrity. I found myself nodding along in agreement as I’ve always tried to be honest on this blog and being dishonest here never made sense. A bit like lying about your 5k PB, you’re always going to get found out so why lie?
She also spoke about content and that having good content will bring people back. This has always been a concern of mine as I’ve never quite believed that I have good content and that readers would want to come and read my blog. It still amazes me when I have comments. So content may be something that I need to continue to work on i.e. blog about something other than being injured, I mean come on, BOOOOORING!
PR stuff and stats still boggle me and I was glad that so many other bloggers, including Phillipa, stated that they really don’t worry about hits or back links or how many people have read something. It still comes back to content and blogging with honesty and integrity. Blogging and the idea that you get free stuff still feels weird to me. I still don’t feel confident approaching PR’s so I was really glad that there are bloggers out there who don’t take this approach to their sites.
Rhalou Allerhand glitter disco pant wearer and runner blogger extraordinaire had me in absolute stitches as she decribed her journey from porn hack to running magazine goddess. I have followed Rhalou on Twitter for ages and ages and we had a very all too brief chat towards the end of the day. The girl should write a book about her running adventures in the mountains and one regret of the day is that I didn’t give her the hug that I should have done. Next time Rhalou!
Kevin Betts AKA 52 Marathon Man spoke to us about his running journey with such passion and humour that I was thrown from laughter to tears and back again. His talk resonated with me on such a personal level that I had to gulp down some rather large sobs as I remembered one of the main reasons that I started running again. Depression hit my husband so hard and has affected our family in so many ways that running became my coping mechanism and a source of strength for me. It was refreshing to hear someone talk about such an important yet taboo subject in such a candid way.
From a professional point of view I was thrilled to listen to both Donna DeWick and Karen Weir. It was inspirational to listen to Donna and how she went from a diagnosis that for some individuals would have meant the end of all physical exertion to Paratriathlete. Classifying Para-athletes is something that I would like to do as a Physiotherapist so it was a real privilege to get an insight into Donna’s life as an athlete.
Karen’s talk gave me a real buzz and I may have felt a bit smug as she confirmed for me what I firmly believe: we don’t have to go barefoot if we don’t want to. (Yes, in your face barefoot preachers! Too much?) I thought her talk about the technical aspects were excellent and put across in such a way that a beginner could easily take up running with her tips.
There were of course other great speakers and to round off a fantastic line up we were presented with Scott Overall, Team GB Olympic Marathon runner. He gave a very relaxed talk about his running history: from a kid at a local school competing in cross country, training with Mo Farah as a junior right through to the Olympics last year. He also gave us an insight into his plans for this season, which will see him make a return to the track. Scott’s talk made me all nostalgic about the Feltham Arena track which shut down many years ago (er what legacy *cough*) and I was lucky enough to catch him for a very brief chat about Feltham and our old coaches.
Following Scott’s talk we got the chance to follow the Olympian round the grounds on a 5k run. I’m sure some of us *looks at Cat Simpson* could have kept up with him but a group of us stuck together and had a really nice chat while we ran, being watched by the deer who were clearly wondering what the humans were up to. During this run I yelled ‘Flake and Cake’ at poor Claire. She must have wondered who this nutter was shouting her blog name at her but I’d spied her all day and it finally came to me who she was *dur*.
This ended our day at Write This Run. I drove up the mile long track from the golf club to the main road but as I did I stopped and gave Laura from Life Laura London a lift to the gate as it was tipping down with rain. We had a very quick chat and as she jumped out all the little regrets started. I wish I’d got to chat to Laura and so many other people. Write This Run was a brilliant day and it made me keen for more running and I was left craving more events like this.
A huge thank you to Liz and Laura who had this idea, without them we wouldn’t have been brought together. I hope that the next person Liz stalks in Bushy is my hero Sonia O’ Sullivan. She’s a regular at Bushy Parkrun *hint hint, nudge nudge*.
It was a pleasure to meet and chat to the people that I did and I really hope we can meet up at another running/blogger event. I felt a bit sad hugging Cat and Mrs B goodbye but I was equally as happy to have met them. It really was a great day and I know that we all left inspired and for me a renewed enthusiasm for running and blogging.
Find more information about future Write This Run events at http://www.writethisrun.co.uk! Go, do it now UK people!