I’m on Twitter

twitter_001I had been toying with the idea of starting up a Twitter account for a while, but was a little apprehensive about getting sucked into the whole social networking side of things. I’m no luddite when it comes to technology, it’s what I have built my career on, but I was definitely hesitant to get into something I new little about. I dabbled with Facebook a few years back but bailed on it and shut my account down after a couple of months. Although it did enable me to reconnect with a couple of friends that I had lost touch with over the years, I couldn’t see myself using it all that often and got scared off by the privacy issue. I had similar reservations about Twitter, but decided to spend a little time investigating the platform to see if it could really add value to this endeavor. As it turns out, there are quite a few (a slight underestimation) members of the running community active on Twitter these days. And so, with typical zeal but little thought to how I would use it, I jumped right in and setup my own Twitter account: @merunfast.

Like the majority of new converts, my first few tweets were embarrassingly lame but because I had no followers there was nobody around to share in my shame except for myself. My initial thought was to use the account as a way to post regular updates regarding my marathon training, but I was not happy with the style and didn’t feel like counting down to the race date every time I posted. After some poking around the web and observing how other accounts communicated, I settled on a style that I like and plan to stick to. I am also now using the account to reach out to other runners (Bart Yasso & Hal Higdon) and organizations (Philly Marathon & Runner’s World), although obviously have to be careful not to be too eager and get blocked for spamming them.

To get myself started I have identified some active accounts to follow, including some publications and well known marathon runners. I’ll expand this list as I encounter and engage with more interesting parties. As yet I don’t have any followers, but that’s inevitable and will hopefully change over time as I raise my profile by tweeting useful information to the community. The other aspect of Twitter that I quickly learned about is hash tags. Hash tags are essentially keywords that enable grouping of tweets about the same topic. I discovered the #runchat hash tag, which is very active amongst the running community. I have already caught some informative tweets about training and nutrition and will continue to monitor the hash tag and chats on a regular basis.

If you’re active on Twitter and interested in getting regular updates, feel free to follow @merunfast.

Starting Out

starting_out_001For as far back as I can remember, I have been interested in the marathon and those that participate in the great race. I found myself wondering what motivated someone to dedicate all that time and effort to train and prepare for a 26.2 mile run. And not just physically, but also the mental and emotional preparation. A few weeks ago, Jess and I watched the NYC marathon pass through her neighborhood in Brooklyn and then at the finish in Central Park. Watching all those people making their way down the last half mile, seeing the looks on their faces as they caught the first glimpse of the finish line, and the overwhelming joy as they finished, the only thought going through my mind was that “if they could do this then so could I.

Of course, I was under no illusion as to the work that would have to go into this endeavor. It’s not like I could go out and run a marathon then and there. Although I had been running for almost a year, I was only hovering around the 4 mile mark for most of my runs and stepping up to a longer distance was going to take time and preparation. But at that moment I made a promise to myself, just like all the other goals I had set myself in the past, that I would do whatever it took to complete a marathon.

As it stands right now, my only option for the 2012 NYC marathon is the lottery which promises very low odds. I have joined New York Road Runners and will work towards my 9+1 participation for the 2013 marathon, but in the meantime I am looking for other options in the Northeast for late in 2012.

The purpose of this blog is to track my progress, share my experiences, and keep a diary of the highs and lows over the course of the coming year.