Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Friday, January 17, 2020

60 Blog Prompts for Runners

We've all been there. Sitting down to compose a post, staring at a blank screen, and just not feeling creative. Maybe you've drawn a complete blank.

It's also that time of year where we don't have a lot going on. It's winter and for most of us, race season hasn't started yet. It just feels so...empty.

You could just skip posting...but if you're like most runners, you're a bit compulsive and you like to stick to a posting schedule. What to do?

Don't despair! I'm here for you! I've got a handy dandy list of 60 topics that you can flush out fully into the blog post of your choice. I hope you find something here that you can write about!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Is Blogging Dying? 6 Reasons I'm Not Quitting

Is blogging dying?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've been writing this blog for over 5 years and I've seen a lot of blogs come and go. Participation in blog linkups, as well as online link threads, is down. From my own perspective, when I review my stats, my blog views are down. What's going on? Is it worth to keep blogging?

Social media and mobile platforms have taken control. Over the past couple of years, Instagram has exploded, reaching its highest number of users ever. I've noticed a trend of users posting more than a statement with their photos, some even posting race recaps or several paragraphs of dialogue. So while fewer people are blogging, it seems that they've taken their thoughts over to Instagram. With a 2100 word per post limit, you can write a mini-blog post on Instagram.

I get it. Instagram is quick and easy. Everyone is busy and overscheduled. Sitting down and writing a blog post takes preparation and time. Reading blogs? Who's got time for that?

I'm not ready to give it up yet, though. Here are my reasons for sticking with blogging.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

My Blog Post Went Viral and I Freaked Out

A few weeks ago, I published a sponsored post for Great Lakes Gelatin collagen protein. Sponsored posts don't often get a lot of traffic. Most blog readers recognize sponsored posts for what they are, advertising. I don't do sponsored posts very often but when I do, I try to make the posts about a relevant topic that ties into the product. At least that's the kind of sponsored posts I like to read.

I didn't name the product in the title, again, hoping to prevent people from not reading the post. Instead, I came up with what I thought was a clever title, In Pursuit of Happy Joints. After all, the product is supposed to reduce inflammation and I have rheumatoid arthritis.

After publication, I shared the post on all my social media accounts, as I do with all my blog posts. I participate in a couple of blogging groups and shared it there as well. I would have been happy with 500 views. A few days after I posted, I got those 500 views.

Then something extraordinary happened. The post went viral.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Best of the Blog: 2017 Year in Review

I'm an end of the year recap, "best of/worst of" list junkie. Aren't we all? I like to watch the best movies, read the best books--there's a certain security in knowing that I've made educated choices. Do you feel this way?

I don't always agree with the "best of/worst of" choices, though. Most popular doesn't always mean the best. I like what I like and I don't really care for Star Wars. There, I've said it. Sometimes my favorites are a little obscure.

That includes here on the blog. I do love data, and for the purposes of this post, I scoured Google Analytics (GA) to find my most popular posts of the year. I don't always agree that my most popular posts are my best posts. GA tells a different story of what people like to read. Actually, I was somewhat surprised to see some of the blog posts that were in the top 10.

Here are my thoughts on some of my most popular posts as well as some of my thoughts about this year in blogging.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

10 Tips to Strengthen Your Writing Muscle and Compose Amazing Blog Posts

I love to write. If I could make a living by writing, I'd quit my day job in a heartbeat. For now, I'm happy to have my little piece of the internet and that I have people who read what I write. Readers tell me that they enjoy my posts, and I wanted to share some of the tips that I use to make my blog posts shine. Keep in mind that I'm no expert. Just my two cents.

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!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016: The Year in Numbers

Happy New Year!

Wow. Can you believe it's the start of the new year? 2016 was a tumultuous year for many of us. You probably know how my year ended. I'm looking forward to the fresh start that the new year promises.

But it wouldn't be the new year without the yearly rewind! Because this is a running blog, I'm going to rewind my year in running! I've already recapped my year in bling. Today's post is all about the numbers. I'm also going to review the goals I set a year ago at this time. On Wednesday, I'll share my goals for 2017.

I was fairly surprised when I added up my miles for the year! So close to my yearly goal of hitting 1000 miles! That made me super happy. How did I do with the rest of my goals?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Runfessions for September

It's the end of September--can you believe it? But that can only mean one thing, right? I mean besides pumpkin everything. The end of the month means it's time for Runfessions, that monthly clearing of the conscience, hosted by Marcia's Healthy Slice. Have you runfessed lately? It feels great and there's no penance.

You would think that after my most recent runfession, I'd have nothing left to share. I thought about saving that story for this post, but it was like diarrhea. I just couldn't hold it in.

Have no fear. There's plenty more where that came from. The runfessional is open..

Runfessions for September

Friday, January 29, 2016

Runfessions for January

It's time once again for that monthly confessional, hosted by my friend Marcia at Marcia's Healthy Slice. You know you want to bare is your chance to share. Come on in, the water's fine...

What you see isn't always what you get....
So you all know that I'm participating in SweatPink's #flexandflow yoga challenge. Every day, the ladies at SP post the pose of the day and participants not only strike a pose, but they also have to present it creatively. I've had a blast channelling my creative side here. Yep, nurse practitioner by day, creative yogi by night. But I have to runfess is that sometimes there are many takes before I get "the shot". When I use the timer on my phone, I have only 10 seconds to set up the pose. It doesn't always fall into place in time. The camera catches it all!

Like this:
This is what you saw. Headstand. With a beautiful sunrise.
And this:
What you didn't see. Actually, no one saw it hopefully. I was alone in the park. Whew.
And ouch. This one made my sons laugh out loud.
But it was on sale....
I must runfess that since the holidays I have been buying ALL THE THINGS. Last week, I was meeting my friend Sara for lunch and...oh, how interesting...Athleta is right next to the restaurant we chose. They just happened to have 20% off all the sale items. And I just happened to have a coupon. The prices were irresistible and I couldn't help myself. I'd call it therapy, except that I also bought a few things from REI earlier in the week. 

A blogger in real life...
I have to runfess that it's always a little awkward when a random stranger tells me they read my blog. This time, it happened last week, while I was in line at Whole Foods. The woman in front of me was talking to the cashier about a half marathon she was supposed to run in Florida that was cancelled due to storms. Of course, anytime I hear someone talking about running, my ears perk up. My Mrs Kravitz powers kicked in and I eavesdropped. When she turned to me and told me she reads my blog, I was, of course, thrilled because yay, someone reads my blog, and simultaneously embarrassed because oh no, someone reads my blog! We chatted and it turns out she lives very close to me. I told her to drop me a line so we can meet up for a run. Hi, Alicia! Thank you!

I runfess that I've been giving the brand ambassador thing a lot of thought. One of the brands that I worked with in the past upped the ante for their ambassadors this year. They developed a kit that ambassadors were required to purchase, which included compression socks and a shirt. The new requirements were for ambassadors to wear the shirt and socks for races and training photos. I'm always honored to be chosen as a brand ambassador, and I understand that we have to represent the brand in exchange for discounts on products and other perks. I'm happy to promote the products and share product reviews and discounts on social media. But the requirement to purchase the kit and wear it to every race bothered me. A lot. Shouldn't they be providing the kit? Sadly, I've parted ways with that company. 

News you can use....
I runfess that on my nightstand, I have a stack of Runner's World and Running Times from July to present. Between my niece's Girl Scout magazine sale and my CARA membership, I think I'm subscribed through 2017. I need to get through the pile before the next issue comes. Yesterday, I read the December issue of Runner's World and besides the usual array of running articles, I learned a few new things:
-Did you know that smoking marijuana is a "thing" for many long distance runners? Apparently the natural endocannabinoids aren't enough for that runner's high...nope, these runners toke up on the run. For nausea control and that chill vibe, apparently. That might be the only way you'd see me running an ultra distance. But if you want to try pot running with a shorter distance, the 420 Games might be for you. It's a 4.2 mile run. Brownies at the finish.
-The best shoe for you? Is the one that fits. A large retrospective study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that the best running shoe for a runner is the one that is the most comfortable. And there you go. Advice you can take to the road. Oh, and maximalist shoes are a "thing" now. And "bounce" shoes. 
-Finally, I learned that RBF (resting bitch face) is also a thing in running (RBF) as well. Explains why often I don't get runners waving back at me. Apparently, this is how I look most often: 

I'm not having a bad run. It's just my RBF.
What do you have to runfess? Any brand ambassadors that are required to sport logo gear for races? Ever been recognized by a random stranger who knows you from social media? Any great buys from holiday sales you want to share? Running bitch face anyone? 

Besides linking up with Marcia, I'm also linking this post with the DC Trifecta for Friday Five. Head over to Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia's blogs to see what everyone is sharing today.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Loving/Not Loving/Winning

I could think of no better way to wrap up what has been a hellacious week than to try to put a humorous spin on things. You know me. Always trying to make light. The only thing I can say about this week is that things can't get much worse, right? Or can they?

You know what? Don't answer that. I do have 2 teenage sons, after all. And none of my grief this week has come from them. For that, I am grateful.

Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, I'm on a beach somewhere exotic, counting my winnings from the $1,000,000,000 Powerball drawing. That's a lot of zeros. Buh-bye.

Oh, wait. I'm still here. Crap! That means it rolled over. I'll win next week.


So hey! I got to ride with this guy, virtually. Let's talk about what I'm loving, not loving, and winning..
Your perky instructor on the GCN.
Loving: riding my trusty Trek bike indoors on the trainer. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I've been able to enjoy some fun rides in Italy, France, and Australia.
Not loving: The interval/spin class that I did on Saturday was interrupted 3 times by ads. Seriously annoying. Who puts ads in the middle of a workout video? The ads aren't even targeted for this audience. Ads for whiskey? HIV testing? Too bad, because this was a great workout/ride and there are a ton of them on the GCN channel on YouTube. I thought I found my every ride right here. This was GREAT. Except for the damn ads. Even the soundtrack was good. Guess I'll have to suck it up and ride with my phone in hand so I can skip the ads.
Winning: For all of my rides, I wore my heart rate monitor and got myself in my training zone, guaranteeing an effective alternative to running.

Loving: The new look of my blog. I'm sure I'll keep tweaking things. But for now, I'm satisfied.
Not loving: The
Winning: Comment moderation has helped keep most of the spam for my eyes only. Some of the comments are so bad, they're entertaining. But most don't even make sense. Some robot out there's got my number.

Loving: Time off my feet and use of my night splint has reduced my PF pain significantly.
Not loving: That I still have some pain.
Winning: I reached out to Align Footwear to see if they would let me trial their orthotics. They came yesterday and I'll be testing them once I'm back on the road. Stay tuned for a review.

#oofos #feeturesPFcompressionsleeve #snoga #wheelpose #thesearenottheofficialhashtags
Loving: SweatPink has started a new daily yoga pose challenge on Instagram for January and February. You know I love me some yoga. I did this last year and it was fun to get creative with the poses. I was also able to hook a couple of friends into doing yoga, and now they've outdone me, continuing on a daily streak going on a year now. So proud. Like a mom.
Not lovingAll the hashtags required to participate for prizes. Seems like I'm always forgetting one of them. I'll never win! #toomanyhashtags #andthehashtagsarecumbersomelikethisone
Winning: I get to do yoga. #yogaeverydamnday #yesthisisoneofthehashtags

Loving: Remember those men's Vans I was sent by mistake instead of the boots I ordered? I finally returned them to the Amazon marketplace vendor. After many painful phone calls to Amazon customer service, shipping was reimbursed by Amazon.
Not loving: The vendor called me to tell me he sent me a prepaid shipping label. I never got it. He asked me to remove my claim on Amazon. I told him I would do that when he refunded my money. Stay tuned...
Winning: I found the boots half price on another website.

Loving: Betabrand. On recommendation from 2 of my colleagues, I bought a pair of these "dress" yoga pants. OMG. Stretchy, comfy, and stylish. The quality is top notch.
Not loving: The price. But there are coupons and discounts if you refer a friend. I reached out to the company and they don't partner with bloggers.
Winning: Wearing yoga pants to work.

So much win! 

How was your week? Any wins you want to share? Keeping it all positive!

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap. By now, they are done running the WDW Marathon! Be sure to head over to their pages to link up and/or check out all the posts. And CONGRATULATE them both on completing their first marathons!