Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It's my Blogaversary!!!!

Taking the Long Way Home is 3 years old!

Today's Tuesday's on the Run topic is "how different are you since you started blogging?" and since it really is my Blogaversary, I thought it might fun to take a look back at the blog and how far I've come!




Some 3 years and 500-odd posts later, I'm still here! A lot of blogs have come and gone in the three years that I've been at this. Before I was a blogger, I was a lurker...like many of you who read what I write. I know you're out there. Google Analytics tells me who you are:



There's more data--lots more--but it probably wouldn't be as interesting to you as it is to me. Bottom line, I love that you read what I write. And I love that you come back for more.

My first post was titled The Gift of Running. I had no clue what I was doing. No pictures and sparse prose, I told my story. I think there have been a few posts with the same title since then. That has not changed for me. I still believe running is a gift. My feelings for running and the people it has brought into my life still run deep.

For a long time, I didn't tell anyone that I was a blogger. I was really self-conscious, and I didn't want anyone I knew in real life to read what I wrote. Over time, I've "come out" and the response to that has been mostly positive. The biggest disappointment is that my family--my husband and my sisters--don't read my blog. Since they aren't runners, I have to let that go. I'm so glad I have my sole sisters.

Most of my posts aren't planned. The toughest posts are the ones I wrote for Deb Runs' Wednesday Word. Deb gave us a word and I always tried to tie the word into something along with running. Most of the time, I think I was pretty successful. My most popular Wednesday Word Post was 10 Tips to Get You Through A Tough Run, which I wrote based on the word prompt "stability". It was a stretch but I made it work.


I do a lot of self-talk in my blog posts, in case you haven't noticed. Mental toughness is a weakness of mine, and a good majority of my posts are pep talks to myself. Marathon training always seems to bring this out in me. I read everything I write a million times, to double check spelling and grammar, and to make sure I don't sound negative in my posts. Through all my injuries, my mama dramas, and my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, I tried hard to keep it positive. You all stuck with me, so I think I succeeded here.


One thing I vowed when I started this blog was to be true to my voice and that has not changed. I've been goofy, and I've been raw. Maybe I've scared some people off. I'm sorry/not sorry for that. Maybe sharing my stories will make other people realize they aren't alone. I learned from the master. I'm not the trailblazer here. Beth at Shut Up and Run made it ok to talk about anything. I don't want to be gross but shit happens and thankfully some of us aren't afraid to talk about that, among other things.

http://www.takinglongwayhome.com/2016/09/i-have-no-shame.html
I won't lie, when I first started blogging, I was sucked in by all the opportunities. Ambassadorships, sponsors...I wanted it all! It took until last year for me to realize that I didn't want it all. There's a lot of responsibility that comes with repping a brand, although some require more than others. There are some ambassadorships I wouldn't mind, but I still don't get how some bloggers get them (hello, ASICS) and some of us don't...even though we've been loyal to said brand for almost 20 years. I guess it really is a numbers game.

http://www.takinglongwayhome.com/2016/11/product-review-mizuno-cold-weather-gear.html
I also won't lie that I still get a huge thrill when a brand asks me to review a product. I don't want to be THAT blogger who does only product reviews, but how fun is it to get something to try and review? And to host a giveaway? I don't review every product I'm offered. Some products or books just don't fit my blog. Since I don't love reading product reviews, the challenge is to make those posts interesting, and I think I've learned how to do that. I hope.

http://www.takinglongwayhome.com/2016/10/you-might-be-runportunist.html
So have I changed much as a blogger over the past 3 years? I'm sure I have. I've learned a ton. But overall, I've stayed true to my mission, which was to always put out good content. I love to write and I try hard to write posts that are interesting, positive, and mostly humorous. I think you get a pretty good sense of who I am through my posts.

My favorite post? That's a tough one. I love my race recaps. My runfession posts (we have one coming up this Friday) are always fun to write. My book reviews have been fun, especially the ones where the authors have participated.

http://www.takinglongwayhome.com/2016/10/runfessions-october-edition.html
I also set out to connect with other runners, and that has been a huge success. It still amazes me that when I meet a fellow running blogger for the first time, it's like we've known each other forever.

Even though I was a runner for many years before I became a blogger, I've learned a lot about running through my blogging journey. I thought I'd run out of things to write about--after all, how much can you say about running?--but as it turns out, life keeps things interesting. Thanks to all the seasoned bloggers out there for all the advice and help. And to my readers, thanks for sticking with me. It's been a fun ride, and I'm looking forward to keeping things going.

Any favorite posts that stick with you? Any topics you'd like to see me tackle in the future?

I'm linking up with Erica, Marcia, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run. This week's topic happens to be: how have you changed as a blogger? Perfect timing!


111 comments :

  1. Congrats on your blogaversary! I love how you stay true to your voice throughout this blog, it's so refreshing!

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    1. I like reading blogs where I feel like the author is talking to me, the reader. Sometimes I read posts and it feels like the blogger is just phoning it in or writing to make the sponsor happy. I think there's a way to do all that but still make it fun to read. I'm glad you enjoy reading it!

      PS We still have to meet!

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  2. Congrats on your blogiversary! Love those demographic stats! Where on Google Analytics did you find them??

    Also - I think you do a great job of working in sponsored posts and product reviews without making your blog feel too salesy. I still remember your Mizuno winter running shirt post - it was snarky funny (which I loved) and I'm still thinking about trying the shirt.

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    1. In GA, under the reporting tab, to the left are a bunch of categories. Click on audience, then demographics, and you get all kinds of fun data!

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  3. Happy blogoversary! Maybe when I've been blogging as long as Marcia or Darlene, I'll feel that I won't have anything left to say . . . doubtful. That's part of the beauty of making your blog more about you and what you love, rather than just one subject.

    I don't get many opportunities to review stuff. :( No matter how many times I've applied for some of the Sweat Pink opportunities -- and I only apply for ones that really appeal to me -- nada. zip. zilch.

    And yet sometimes cool stuff still falls into my lap, and yes, of course free stuff is always cool -- not gonna lie.

    You should be somewhat thankful your family doesn't read your blog -- since my husband does, sometimes I have to filter myself. Sometimes we actually sort of communicate through my posts, too!

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    1. Oh, see if my family read my blog I still wouldn't filter it! I send some posts to my mom, but those are the ones that aren't so "raw". She's pretty proper and would be mortified if she read "I have no shame"!

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  4. Happy Blogiversary! I'm glad you raised you hand those years ago and alerted me to the fact that we were practically neighbors!

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    1. I talk about that all the time--how close we live and how we would never have gotten to know each other if it weren't for the blogging!! One of the biggest gifts this blog has given me is your friendship. <3 Lucy and Ethel, Thelma and Louise...

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  5. Happy Blogiversary! I'm glad you started blogging - it's great to have the voice of an experienced runner on the net. Interesting how your approach to blogging has changed - like you, I used to want to get more running sponsorships, but that really didn't happen for me...and when I switched from wearing Brooks shoes to Hokas, I was glad that I wasn't tied to one company after all. Plus, I suspect you and I are off most running company's radar due to our advanced (HAHA) age. //rolleyes//

    Oh - my husband still doesn't read my blog, so you've got company with that.

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    1. Marcia and I talk about ageism all the time. Yep, when sponsors ask for your age, it's the kiss of death...

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  6. Congrats on 3 years!!! It is strange how many blogs come and go, but I'm glad we've connected!!! I love how honest your blog is and your true passion for running-- it reminds me how much I love it too. Also I totally get it with being disappointed when people don't read it. I have a few girlfriends who don't even bother and it annoys me too. :-)

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    1. I'm glad we've connected too! I've upped my fashion game thanks to you! <3

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  7. Happy Blogiversary! It's hard to believe that you've been doing this for only 3 years! I am a huge fan of your blog (and I'm not the only one, clearly!), you're a great writer and I've enjoyed following every step of your journey! I know what you mean when you say that all of the opportunities can be exciting as a blogger, but sometimes it gets to be a bit too much. Here's to many more years of Taking the Long Way Home!

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    1. I'm so glad we've connected through our blogs! It was fun to see you finally meet the marathon this year. I'm looking forward to more.

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  8. Congrats! I really enjoy reading, as a fellow blogger and runner. I'm a couple years behind you as far as my blogging journey so it's encouraging to know the journey can keep going and develop along the way!

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    1. Your blog looks so polished, I didn't realize you were relatively new to this! It's a fun thing, this blogging...

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  9. Happy Blogoversary! Agree that it seems like you've been at this much longer than 3 years! When I first started blogging I tried to get people I knew IRL to read my blog and it felt like pulling teeth. I realized later that they didn't care to read it because they didn't run or weren't into blogs (or both). Anyway, it's much more fun having readers who are genuinely into running read and comment on my blog and I can read and comment on theirs! Anyway, here's to many more years of your blog!

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    1. I've really enjoyed having you along for the ride/run--I really appreciate your analysis of races and results. I hope we get to reconnect in March over a beer...

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  10. Happy blogoversary and hope you have many more. Love reading your posts and even more, enjoyed meeting you in the flesh. That wouldn't have happened if you didn't blog. Hope we have future meetings.

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    1. Blogging has brought so many amazing people into my life! Meeting you and all the other #holottafun bloggers was epic.

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  11. Happy Blogaversary! I think I've only been reading for about a year, but I really enjoyed your posts.

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    1. I'm so glad we connected through the blog!

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  12. Happy Writing Day! I'm not huge into sponsorships or ambassadorships and stuff and in fact I made a decision to not have any ads on my website at all. It's a personal decision and whatever floats your/our boats! I'm certainly with you on the whole topic of poo. Poo is inevitable and it's funny. We should talk about it often.

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    1. I do talk about poo all day long in my job. I think that's why it comes so easily to me...

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  13. Happy Blogaversary! I appreciate your honesty and your humor! also that you will go and the small blogs, like mine, Thanks! Also thank you for keeping the product reviews to those that you truly use and enjoy! the list of blogs I stopped following because they started with "So and so sent me this to try out for a free review"... is long... ugh!

    I do not tell my family about my blog, Roger once told me that running blogs were dumb, so I told him he was never allowed to read mine. But I think of the blog as my space to talk and rant about whatever I want.

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    1. I often say that my blog is really my public journal and I'm just glad people read it! Glad we connected!

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  14. I love your blog. I think it's good to limit sponsorships. While I don't think this would ever happen to you I've seen some bloggers that I initially really enjoyed fall into the trap of just promoting items or faking an image when they might be really struggling through issues (this happens more with weight loss blogs). I'd so much rather hear about the up's and down's. Keep on keeping it real!

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    1. We see a lot of those product review bloggers, don't we? I will always keep mine interesting...

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  15. Happy Blogiversary! I'm so happy that we found each other somehow/someway over the course of the years. Swirlgear maybe? I feel like we started blogging for similar reasons--to tell a story, connect, and sure, to have some fun with some great benefits. I think that each year of blogging, I go full circle--I start with my mission, I get swayed by certain opportunities, and then I return to what started me in the first place.
    And you know I self-talk through my blog. Probably more than I should. Ooops. #sorrynotsorry
    Looking forward to many more amazing posts from you, and I hope, many more runs.

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    1. I'm so glad we connected. We seem to live somewhat parallel lives!

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  16. I've really enjoyed getting to know you through your blog over the past six months. I like your style, your honesty, and your relateability. (I don't think that's a real word). Oh, and the photos! Congrats on sticking with blogging for 3 years.

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    1. I'm really glad you reached out to me and asked me to review your book! You are such an inspiration!

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  17. Congrats on 3 years! I went through the same stages of 'I want it all' with blogging sponsorships and opportunities to "no thanks- unless it's really awesome."
    Race recaps, training recaps, runfessions ... those are all some of my favorite posts too!

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    1. It's been so much fun getting to know you (and I'm so envious of your speed)!

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  18. Happy third birthday! I've told you before but you know you were the first blogger to leave me a comment on my blog! Yup!
    I could use a course in Google analytics I'm sure there are all kinds of stuff I could learn about the people who read my blog. That's all great info but in the end you have to do like you do and write what you like to write about.
    Seems like when I try to reach out to companies and all I get no where then I am quiet and they seek me out. A lot are not a good fit but at least someone is out there reading right!

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    1. How could I not comment? You could just feel the southern hospitality coming through on your very first post. I am SO glad blogging brought you into my life!

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  19. Happy blogaversary! Yours is by far one of my favorite blogs. It doesn't matter if you're positive or negative -- you're real and I think that's what matters most. I try to be positive most of the time too and sometimes I feel like the "real" part gets lost in translation. And I tooooootally feel you on the ambassadorships. I have such mixed feelings!

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    1. I think you're pretty real as well! I'm so looking forward to meeting you at Grandmas!

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  20. Congratulations! I am a newbie to your readership -- but so glad to have found you. Love your blog ... keep it up!

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  21. Congrats on 3 years! I am so glad I found your blog. I love that you are always so honest and real!

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  22. Happy Blogaversary!!!! I love your posts that are REAL and RAW. You know what I don't think I've seen from you? A day in the life post! I am such a nosy person... would love to see something like that. But if it's not your thing, I understand!

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    1. I know, I've considered a day in the life...but I don't know if I"d be violating HIPAA!

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    2. I do it without violating! Usually it involves glossing over the work part.

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  23. You are one of my absolute favorite bloggers! I use Bloglovin' to keep track, and when I see a new post from you, I am always sure to read it first! I think you are very positive on here, even with the challenges you have chosen to write about! Keep up the great work!

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  24. Hey, thanks for the shout out and happy blogaversary!!! You've come a long way and just keep doing what you are doing!

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    1. I bow down to you--you've paved the way for so many of us who can't hold it in!!

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  25. I have so loved connecting with you these past few years! Yours was one of the first blogs that I started reading. I do love your honesty and your genuineness and also your humbleness. Keep on doing what you do! Happy blogaversary. :)

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    1. Thank you! I need to make a trip out to DC to meet you and your awesome crew!

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  26. Congrats on 3 years! I've only been reading for a couple of months, but I've enjoyed adding you to my list of regular. :-)

    I've been blogging since 2006, but I often feel like such a newbie! Though I probably don't give myself enough credit.

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    1. I'm so glad we've connected! I can't believe I hadn't followed you before!

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  27. Congrats on the blog!! I always enjoy what you write :) That - we are just meeting BUT we know ALL kinds of stuff about each other is funny! Nothing like it lol
    I like to keep it real in my posts, but I do struggle with how deep do I want to go. I am currently in a shut down phase, I am just not sure what I want from blogging, but I am going to go check my blogiversary date now lol! That may be an occasion to post for.
    Oh, a shoe ambassadorship would be soooooo nice.

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    1. I am so glad we met through our blogs and IRL. You are exactly how I pictured you from reading your blog--sweet and fun!

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  28. I'm so glad I found your blog. Your honesty and sense of humor drew me in. I actually like product reviews if they're relevant -- and honest!

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    1. I'm glad we found each other. Last weekend Marcia and I were talking about the bloggers we want to meet and you were tops on our list!

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  29. My 2 year blogiversary just passed....my husband still reads all my posts, but my sisters are hit or miss depending on what is going on in their lives, and interestingly so are many of my good friends.... but I think that's because they know me and see me and actually talk to me, so they know about a lot of what I write about... and truth be told, it gets to be a lot for people to follow consistently.... but what you mention about connecting to the running community, I think that's what's most important.... and that I think you have accomplished amazingly !

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    1. I'm so glad I was able to connect with you through this blog...I keep thinking about all the amazing people this journey has brought into my life!

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  30. Happy blogiversary Wendy! I'll be 3 years in April! I too didn't tell anyone that I blogged at first (sometimes I still don't) and my husband doesn't read my blog unless I have him proofread. :p Least I have my sister. You are a great writer and I enjoy following your blog. It's also so cool that me and Sherry got to meet you due to blogging!

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    1. I love that you and your sister both blog and I still laugh that it took me SO long to put that all together! LOL. Glad we got to meet!

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  31. Happy blog-o-versary!!! I'm so happy I found you out here and you know I just love your raw honesty. Something that definitely resonated with me is the repping and ambassadorships. I totally wanted them ALL when I first started and now? I'm super selective b/c, like you said, it's hard work and I have to really LOVE a product to become and ambassador.
    I hope you're celebrating tonight!!

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    1. Haha! It was a good excuse for a post to thank everyone who's come along with me on my journey. I'm so grateful for all the amazing runners that have come into my life through this little page.

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  32. Congrats soul sister! I am glad we found each other! Your honesty all comes thru your posts and that is the best part of you! Keep it up! No one I work with knows I am a blogger, they already think I am insane the morning I run 4 miles before coming to work, explain the blogging world? I'll pass! My hubby doesn't read either- I know what you are talking about! :) Keep writing sister- Asics will find us soon!

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    1. Right? We need to send out a signal or something!

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  33. OK now you've made me wonder how old mine is. As each year passes I consider ending it and then I look back and see how far it has come xoxo

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    1. I know, mine is just a baby blog compared to a lot of you! Thanks for blazing the trail and making it ok to be unapologetically me!

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  34. You know how much I love your blog, love you. Your honesty and your ability to put it all out there [I love that you "have not shame!] is your greatest asset. What good would it serve, either you or your readers, if you focused only on the good. Sharing the down times makes us sisters in this great sport and also in the rest of our lives. Your authentic voice makes your readers feel as though they know you as a friend and confidant.
    I envy all those readers who have met you in person (Insert love emoticon here).
    Best of all, you have a true gift for writing. I hope some day that you parlay that into a book. It would be a treasure.
    Congratulations on three years. I wish you many more.

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    1. You are just too kind. I hope some day we get to meet in real life!!

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  35. Happy Blogoversary! I'm so glad I found your blog. I truly appreciate your honest voice and have loved getting to know you.

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    1. Back at you! This blog has brought so many amazing people into my life! <3

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  36. Congrats! This is wonderful I think 3 years of blogging is a big accomplishment. Fun to look back also. I hope you continue for more years to come.

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    1. It was fun to look back! I hope to keep it going.

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  37. Happy 3rd Blogaversary! Love your blog! Even though I'm not currently running much while going through chemo, I still love reading about running because it makes me that much more determined to kick this breast cancer's @ss so I can get back out there myself!

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    1. Yes! You need to get back out there! Sending healing vibes your way.

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  38. Happy Blogaversry! I've been reading your blog from nearly the start (I think?) and have always loved your "real" or "raw" posts...I don't think we have to be positive or chipper all the time, but more so REAL and that you are. <3

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    1. You have been here since the beginning! And you're right...we don't or can't always be chipper...but it sure helps!

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  39. Happy 3 years!!! Keep it up :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm still thinking about those cupcakes!

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  40. Happy Blogaversary!!! I think yesterday was my blogaversary, too...but I totally didn't think about it LOL I meant to write a similar post (for Tuesdays on the Run), but my work load was almost to the moon and back (hello, no one usually covers for me when I'm MIA, so yeah) and I've had a serious brain fog of mucus and phlegm (it's been w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.l). #excuses But, I had such a great weekend!

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    1. I don't normally think about any anniversaries, but hey, Marcia put it out there, so why not? IT was kind of fun to look back...

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  41. Happy Blogaversary. I have had to really back off the offers for products and sponsorships too over the years. Fun to do some you really like though! Keep up the great blogging.

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  42. Happy Blogaversary!!!! 3 years is a great accomplishment!

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  43. Happy blogaversary!!
    I really enjoy how creative you've been with the weekly word posts - more creative than I could be!

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    1. It's been a stretch, but I've had fun with it!

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  44. Happy Blogaversary! I absolutely love your blog and the way you write. I'm so glad you stuck with it in time for me to read it :)

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    1. I'm glad you found me! I enjoy your posts too!

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  45. Happy Blogiversary! Blogging hasn't changed me much since I've been doing it off and on for a couple years. I just enjoy writing and sharing my stories. I enjoy reading too!

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  46. Happy blogaversary! I'm coming up on my fourth next week! I've loved your Wednesday Word posts and have to say that you've tied the word into your running beautifully over the course of almost two years of it being a weekly word prompt. Hope to see you next week for derail.

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  47. Yay! Congratulations! That is amazing, I've been going since 2012 but I'm polar opposite to how I am now, so I feel like my blog really kicked off in 2014. Onward and upward!

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  48. I think I used to blog nearly every day, I don't devote nearly as much time to blogging as I used to, I used to get sucked in to all the free things, I get so many offers to review things and be an ambassador for things, I only pick the things I LOVE now. There are so many more linkups now then there was when I started and seems like less giveaways. Love your blog and glad I found it, hope someday we can meet up :)

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    1. I think I need to trek out west to run on the prairie! I'd love to meet you!

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  49. Happy Blogiversary! I just love reading your blog and that we are now sole sisters! :) My husband reads my blog, but teases me about it - even though I do secretly think he thinks it's cool.

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    1. I think we are sole sisters--after Grandma's we will be sole sisters in real life!

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    2. Awwwe! Hey I just read the comment from anonymous a few posts down - How sweet is that! :) Should put a HUGE smile on your face. WTG!

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    3. It sure did! Actually all the comments made me smile! I love our little blogging world!

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  50. Happy Blogiversary! Mines tomorrow!!! As far as Asics ambassadorship goes, I think I just I got lucky! I'm glad for blogging because it allowed me to meet so many different people both iRL and virtually! Hoping to actually meet you one of these days!

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    1. If nothing else, we will meet at Key West next January!

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  51. Congrats on 3 years that is awesome.
    I will be hitting 4 soon and it is so funny to look back at those first posts and see how much we have grown and learned over the years.

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    1. It took me a while to figure it all out and yet, I'm still learning. But it's been a fun journey!

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  52. Long-time lurker, never commented before... busted by your Google Analytics!! :-) I think you are a great writer and you do such a good job of coming up with interesting topics. I also personally admire you because you are older than me, but a faster and better runner and way stronger. You are a BAMF but are not afraid to show your vulnerable side. It makes for always-interesting blog reading.

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    1. Haha--glad I was able to out you, even if it was just for this one post! Thanks for reading and for sticking with me! Never let your age define what you can do...

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  53. Happy Blogiversary Wendy!! I've followed you from the very beginning and you have blossomed so much as a blogger! I definitely look up to you and although I'm not commenting as much, if at all anymore, know that I'm still reading and a loyal fan!! Cheers!! XOXOX

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    1. You were one of the first bloggers I followed and I sure miss your blog!!! XOXO

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