Two years ago today I launched This Runner’s Recipes.
Two years ago, I was freshly removed from graduate school, having successfully defended my thesis and just waiting to graduate with my Master’s degree. Ryan and I were in the final weeks of wedding planning, I had recently been let go from a temporary paralegal job (a job which, in honesty, I was overqualified for), and I had started training for my first half marathon.
I had dabbled in blogging over the course of my college career, including a travel blog during my semester abroad. At this time, I was volunteering as an editor and writer for an ecumenical Christian blog (which I choose to resign from at the end of 2015).I did not want to stop writing after graduate school, and since I was searching for a job and had free time between applications and interviews, writing kept me busy and mentally engaged.
When I was a freshman, my honors college assigned Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own as one of the mandatory texts. Many of my classmates rolled their eyes at this text, but I savored every word, tucked the meaningful quotes in my memory, and revisited the text over the years.
For years, my mind churned upon the imprints that Woolf left upon my mind: to write passionately and write what I want; to use my own wit to earn a living; and that all I need to accomplish this is something – a metaphorical room, if you will – to make my own.
This blog has become a room of my own, in a sense.
So I started a blog, and for serious this time: I purchased my own domain, learned some SEO, set up social media accounts, and published almost daily. Ryan even coded a child theme for the first version of This Runner’s Recipes.
My blog took a few months to come into its own. I had to shed the impersonal academic tone of writing which I had spent six years perfecting. Refining my voice and finding my audience required hard work and immense patience, especially over the first 8 months.
As I’m sure many of you can relate, those first several posts are like elementary school photos or that first college essay. They make me cringe a bit, knowing what I know now, but I also save them because they remain an important part of the journey.
Originally, This Runner’s Recipes was intended to be a 50/50 split of recipes and running – hence the name. I soon found that, while I enjoyed creating recipes, I didn’t like creating several a week (I’m a rather routine and boring eater) nor was I particularly creative with food photography.
Beyond that, more I read, ran, and wrote about running, the more I wanted to write about it. And thus This Runner’s Recipes, while still featuring recipes, organically grew into a website about the science and details of training and racing, nutrition, and the joy of running.
You write what you know, right? But it’s not just about what I know – it’s about what others want to know.
The Jesuits have a foundational idea about being a man/woman for others. Not that you lose sight of your identity or fail to take care of yourself – not in the least – but that your actions and work strive to improve the lives, in some way or another, of others, while also personally fulfilling you.
You could be an engineer, who spends hours over precise measurements to provide buildings, household items, and life-saving tools for others. You could be a comedian, who is a man/woman for others because you make them laugh and brighten their days.
And so that’s what I continually strive for with This Runner’s Recipes; yes, it is my blog and I do share my training. But I strive to be a woman, blogger, and running coach for others by providing valuable information, by encouraging you in your running, and by helping you thrive in the sport.
I couldn’t have started or continued this blog without Ryan. He literally set up the first website for me, he supported me when I was making absolutely zero money, and he’s been incredibly supportive and encouraging throughout the whole process. He’s pushed me to stay true to my own voice and opinions, even when I’m nervous about publishing a post. He diligently reads each post, each word I write, and gives his honest feedback. And, he listens to me babble about running, my own training, and coaching all the time. So thank you, Ryan, for keeping this blog going.
Over the past two years, my blog has become so much more than merely my blog. Like running, writing is a solitary act that flourishes into a communal experience.
Blogging has also provided me with the amazing opportunity to make friends with others, people who I would have not otherwise met (since many of these friends live thousands of miles away!). I am continually amazed by and grateful for how supportive of a community blogging is.
And so I also humbly and deeply thank you all, whether you read daily or simply stumbled upon a post of mine on social media. Thank you for reading, for commenting, and for sharing posts.
What topics would you like to see covered in the next year?
If you blog, why did you start blogging?
Congrats on 2 years! I remember the first time I visited your blog I was immediately impressed, even though I think it was still somewhat new. I could tell that you were so knowledgable about the topics you wrote about but also honest and real. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next year of blogging takes you!
Thank you, Lisa! I think you were one of my first engaged commenters, so thank you especially for all the support and conversation!
I am so glad I found your blog. happy blog anniversary! it really does evolve over time and I find it fun to look back to see what I was writing, eating and doing at various times over the last few years.
Thank you! I’m so glad I found your blog!
We’ve discussed this before, but I started blogging as a way to find myself again and to tell my story. You have done an incredible, incredible job with this blog–from photography to writing to the information that you convey–you have SO much to be proud of! Happy Blogiversary, Laura!
Thank you so much, Susie! Blogging is a fantastic way to share one’s story and connect with others on their stories!
Ryan sounds like a winner! Happy Blogiversary!
Thank you! He sure is – that’s why I married him!
I love this, Laura! Congrats on two years. You’ve come a long way in just two years!! So glad we could meet through blogging!
Thank you, Laura! I’m so glad that we could meet through blogging as well!
Happy blogiversary! I definitely know what I started out planning to blog about and what I do now has drastically changed. I still have some figuring out to do with my direction, it’s a never ending process I think.
Thank you! It is a never-ending process – and I think that’s what’s great about it, blogging grows with us through all the ebbs and flows of life.
So cool. You’re an excellent writer, and deserve all the success. Which topics would I like to see covered in the next year? How chocolate for breakfast can prolong my life and take time off my marathon PR.
Thank you, Suzy! I think chocolate for breakfast can be good. I mean dark chocolate has so much iron and magnesium in it!
Love that I have had the pleasure to meet you and begin to get to know you in person. Every morning (well…Monday – Friday) your blog is one of the first things I pull up to read when I get to work. It is evident in your writing that you have a passion for this. You provide phenomenal insight and perspective to everything you share with us. I do think my favorite posts to read are about your hiking adventures. Keep ’em comin’!!! 🙂
Thank you, Aimee! I’m glad to hear that you enjoy the hiking posts so much! 🙂
Congrats on the blogiversary!!
I love your blog! It’s one of my favorites. I always look forward to your posts because they are so well written and thoughtful but also engaging – the topics you write about are so interesting!
I think it’s natural for a blog to evolve over time. Being the TV junkie that I am, I think of it like a TV sitcom – if you watch the first season of any sitcom it always feels different than later seasons, as the actors and writers are still trying to get comfortable and and feel everything out, and in subsequent seasons it has a much stronger sense of identity.
I first started blogging because I love to write and I wanted an outlet/hobby for that. I had this grand vision for what I wanted it to be but eventually I decided to just go with whatever I felt like writing about – sometimes that means a lot of running posts, sometimes other life-y stuff. If people don’t like it, whatever, there are plenty of blogs out there for them to read. I didn’t anticipate forming so many great blog friendships over these past couple years – it’s been the sweetest surprise of the whole journey.
Thank you, Hanna! Oh I love your point about evolving – we’re re-watching Supernatural and I love seeing how the show evolves over the seasons. The friendships really have been the best surprise!
Congrats on 2 years of blogging! Isn’t it fun to look back at your posts (especially the early ones) and cringe? But it’s also cool to see the progression. I’m glad I’ve got to know you and look forward to meeting you in person in a few short weeks! 🙂
Thank you! I’m glad I’ve gotten to know you through blogging and I look forward to meeting you in person as well – Rise Run Retreat is coming so soon! 🙂
I had no idea that your blog has only existed for 2 years! I think I probably started following soon after you began, and it’s always seemed so professional. The content is great. I’m still figuring out my blog; right now it’s basically just a recap of marathon training, but I’d like it to become more. Congratulations on 2 years! 🙂
Oh thank you – both for the compliment and for reading for all these years! 🙂
Congrats on 2 years of blogging! I love your blog so keep it up! 🙂
Thank you so much, Kristen!
Woohoo! Congrats on two years! I find that the blog is a constantly evolving work in progress!
Congrats on your anniversary! I really enjoyed reading the story behind your blog. I totally agree – having also done a Masters and writing a lot for work it takes a bit to get your own personal writing style down and not make it overly formal.
Your passion for running and sharing knowledge is always clear in your posts! I started blogging again because I really just love running, exploring, and sharing my adventures. One of my favourite things to do is give people advice on things to do, eat, and see when they travel somewhere… so I love sharing my own travel experiences!
Thank you! I love all the photos you share from your adventures and travel.