Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Running and Blogging...Like Google Search, It's Loading Slow!

"There's no such thing as writer's block for writers whose standards are low enough" - W. Stafford, writer

This morning, on an incredibly humid morning in Birmingham, Alabama, me and my buddy, Moha, went out to Red Mountain and had a very pleasant run for a couple of hours on the trail. No falls. No snakes. Lots of laughs. We met some trail runners we had never met. And, I discovered a new favorite Gu flavor...Chocolate Peanut Butter!!! Yes, even better than plain, old Peanut Butter.

Now, wasn't that interesting? Of course not. One great thing about blogging about running is that you always feel there is something new to say. There's definitely a symbiotic relationship between my workouts and my posts. One inspires the other. And, I have a bunch of thoughts rattling around in my head that I'm sure you're just itching to hear. But hold on a second...maybe you're not itching to hear these rattling thoughts after all. How interested are you in what I think? You have to admit that it's a leap of faith I take every week or so that what I put down will actually hold your interest longer than it takes you to find and hit the Delete button. There is NOT always something new or interesting to say. Every blogger likes to to think he has the hook in every reader that has read his or her mental meandering, but the fact is that that intellectual thunderbolt is not always there for the blogger and boom!'ve lost your readership.

This blog started as way to capture my singular experience as I ran over 3 decades up hill and dale from here to there. Marathons and ultramarathons. Roads and trails. From my young self to my current older self. I didn't want it to be simply a chronicle of my training and racing, but rather a reflection of how running changed my life, how my views of running had changed, and most importantly, how these scattered thoughts might relate to you. Many times I write "It might just be me, but..." and then I get a ton of comments saying, "No, it's me too!". That is always comforting. But, you know, I haven't got a ton of comments yet saying "Yeah, my trail pace has become slower than a slow boat to China too", I'm sure you'll let me know it can't be just me.

Seriously, by shear stats, and word of mouth from my very kind friends and family, I've discovered that many other people relate to the site. I recently checked my traffic and saw that Running With Al has had almost 40,000 page views since I began posting four years ago. It's awfully hard for me to believe that I have 262 subscribers that get RWA delivered to their already crammed mailboxes every week or so. I have readers in all 50 of the United States, and most astoundingly to me, I've had readers in 89 countries. I understand there are about 204 countries in the world, so I guess I have to send a few cold posts to folks in those countries to boost my stats. Yes, I know 90% of these readers don't say "Oh yey, another RWA has arrived" and devour it word for word. Sadly, most readers probably hit that handy Delete button before even opening it, but for those that do read it, I honestly thank you. And just a word that I'm sure is universal...all bloggers are voracious for comments, so please don't hold it in. Let me know what you're thinking. How else do I know you're reading?

Obviously, this week is what is commonly called a blank slate as far as an interesting subject is concerned. Hey, this happens in running and blogging. I love to do both, but each effort is different. Like the song, "Somedays are diamonds, somedays are stone". Thanks for reading.

I'll see you all on the roads and trails - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world"