Running Together

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.

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6 thoughts on “Running Together”

  1. I re-discovered running a couple years ago. (But because of injuries, I didn’t run my first race until this year). I love sharing the struggle with others who understand. When I’m having a hard time completing a run, other runners will wave, smile or even yell out words of encouragement.

    I also like to use MapMyRun.com. I can map trail a head of time and know for sure whether I’m getting in enough miles. I have also learned that video blogging helps. When talked about trouble with my foot falling asleep, people gave me great advice.

    I can’t wait to run my first marathon this December. I’m sure you’ll be hooked too once you run your first 5k. You should try for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in the Spring– it’s a beautiful race. Good luck! (And don’t forget to post pictures!)

  2. Justin, this is awesome! So glad to hear you’re enjoying running! But watch out — it can get addictive! 🙂 (See Kat for exhibit A…lol)

    Does that RunKeeper thing mean you have to run with your iPhone? Isn’t that annoying?

  3. @Jared, we should definitely run together sometime. I’d love to get folks together in DC and go running on a regular basis.

    @Brett, thanks for stopping by. Yeah I can definitely see running getting addictive. Yep, I do run with the iPhone. It’s not too bad. I need to get one of those arm strap things.

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