About a month ago, my really good friend Kat asked if I wanted to join her and some friends in running the Army 10 mile race here in Washington, DC. I laughed because it feels like the last time that I ran was in middle school when I ran the mile for the President’s Physical Fitness Award challenge.
We talked and agreed that a 5k might be more my speed considering that I am such the running nube. So… I signed up for a 5k that’s at the end of October.
All of a sudden it hit me. I actually had to start running. Hahaha…
After going out a couple of times, I realized that I wanted something that’d help me track my progress. I had heard about the iPhone app RunKeeper. There was a free version so I thought I’d give it a try.
RunKeeper uses the iPhone’s GPS to track your route on a map, your speed, minutes per mile, and all kinds of other data goodies. When you’re done with your run, you just hit “Save Trip” and it will upload all of the data to the Web and you can check out all the details on their Web site. It’s great.
For me, the best feature by far has been that you can share your run with your friends. They use Facebook Connect and Twitter Connect so that the run can be automatically posted to these sites. They use AddThis for sharing to everywhere else. :-) (Disclosure: I work on AddThis.)
By sharing my runs with my friends, I ended up finding myself amidst a number of different communities, all of which were SUPER supportive of what I was doing…
One was existing runners. All of a sudden, all of my friends who actively run came out and were talking with me about techniques, tips, and tricks. It’s awesome.
Secondly, I’ve met all kinds of folks who like me may not be at their peak of physical fitness and had thought about running but had never had the encouragement to do it. By sharing my journey with running with the world, I’ve been able to be an encouragement to those who wouldn’t have otherwise run. It’s pretty cool.
As demonstrated by the movie We Live In Public, putting your life online can go too far and be detrimental. I think my experiences with putting my running journey online shows the positives of living in public. It helps us to connect and form community with like minded people. That community been a source of great encouragement and motivation for me and I’ve been able to help be an encouragement and motivation for others.
I definitely believe that part of being human is that you live in community with others. How much better would the world be if we were honest with those in our community about where we struggle. It would show us all the great opportunities we have to lift each other up.