I received interesting feedback last weekend from my run group about the elements of a successful blog. I was told that one mistake that I’ve made is to link food consumption to exercise, as in two posts I made called A calorie burned is a calories earned for a treat! Click here for post 1 and then post 2. Apparently, I should identify 3-4 themes, and the less congruency between the the themes, the better. Well, I have to say that I don’t really get it.
So I’m told, there is a blogger who did very well by adding to his foreign policy blog, the additional elements of zombies and Salma Hayek-sightings and ended up making more money on his blog than from his job in academia. Until this time, I had not heard of Salma Hayek but now I know that many consider her the sexiest woman on earth. I also know that inexplicably, there are many men interested in zombies. It is possible that the foreign policy blogger may write exceedingly well on those two topics in addition to his main topic but it strikes me that the intention is mainly to draw traffic from search engines to his blog.
Anyhow this did get me thinking about what, in addition to running are my secondary themes are or could be. So there’s food (without the guilt?), organizing/time-management, interesting books/poetry and what else . . . ? I suggested shoes, and got a big no-no, that being still about the running.
When I mentioned time-management I was told that this was still about running. True. I had posted something saying efficiency gains equals more miles. After thinking about this I realized that in fact, I had got the paradigm wrong and in fact the efficiency gains are not about running more miles but about being able to do the others things I enjoy while running more miles. In thinking about the time spent training for a marathon something else occurred to me. When not training for marathon but running to keep fit, I consider running 7 hours a week, the minimum with an hour for weight training and an hour for stretching. In fact, the marathon training is not the total time spent running but the extra time added to the fitness routine.
The extra time is in the range of 3-5 hours a week for the running itself and then a couple of extra hours for additional sleep, while at the peak of training. So in my time accounts book, it is not that much extra time, and of course the key period is about 10 weeks long. At one time, I thought the benefits of marathon training were superfluous however the older I get, and feel that the quality of life that comes from intense training is tremendous.
I kept a journal from age 12 to age 32 – so I do enjoy the discipline of writing a bit about my day. However, I am trying to limit the time spent on this to 15-20 minutes. For me, this means that the entries are mainly anecdotal. It is possible that I am spending less time writing emails as I’m finding that I get very few emails asking how I am. Is that because friends and family are reading my blog? It occurred to me yesterday that balance in our busy lives might involve keeping up with the day to day stuff by visiting friends blogs and then making phone calls or (gasp) writing snail mail letters.
As for the daily run; One of the features of my runs in the last couple days is that I have been listening to The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. The only problem with audio books is that when you hear something that you might normally highlight or underline, well, that is difficult. My husband did find an e-book of the same, and with quite a bit of effort tracked down one passage I thought I might one day want to quote.
I also did 10 x 45 seconds (about 200 meters) fast. For this I switched to my fast-running music which includes Led Zepplin’s, Immigrant Song, Holiday by Green Day, Rasputin by Boney M and I Want to Move It, Move It. I’m back on track for marathon training however it is slowly dawning on me that I am going to be a good deal slower than I had planned. Part of me is thinking I should delay the marathon but I know I want to run one and I think the longer I wait, the harder it will be to get back to it —- We shall see
Was that Salma Hayek I saw go in there?