Woke up today with no desire to run my last long distance before SF. Then I opened Instagram and found that most of you had crushed your miles before my alarm went off. Thanks for getting my booty out of bed and helping me crush 9 miles at my 10k pace in beautiful 45-degree weather.
The title of this post might as well be Ran for More than the ‘Gram: Why Social Media is Awesome Motivation for Runners #HighFive. Because that’s how I feel right now. I’m writing this post on Sunday afternoon (to post on Monday) about two hours after finishing my last long run for San Francisco. If you read the caption, you’re already aware that I had no motivation to run 9 miles yesterday. Staying in bed and rewatching Friday Night Lights sounded like a much better idea. But one of the first things I do on Saturday and Sunday mornings is scroll through my Instagram feed to see which of my social media (and in real life) friends have already trained or raced that morning. I’m not an early bird, so there’s usually quite a few posts by 9:30am.
Being that my half is in two weeks and the NYC Marathon is in less than a month, there has been a lot of serious training activity on Instagram over the last few weekends. Most runs over 10 miles. When people share a post-run photo, it always includes the mileage and sometimes includes pace, route, and location watermarked over a view from their run. And the photos always include a very honest caption. Celebrations of feels-like-flying miles. Frustrations from difficult miles. Reflections on scenery, training, family, health. And countdowns until race day. Yesterday, I took the time to soak in some of those captions before slowly eating breakfast, putting on my gear, and heading to the East River. I ran 9 miles at my 10K pace. The kind that assure you that training is paying off.
I hear it all the time, especially working in digital advertising and being a blogger, that social media is like a highlight real. That photos posted online are filtered versions of real life. That people do things “for the ‘Gram.” If you didn’t Instagram it, did it really happen? There is certainly humor and truth in all of those statements, but I think the running photos that I’m talking about are some of the realest in my feed. To a non-runner, these photos could be considered humble brags of how many miles someone can run. For me, these photos are a way to watch my friends train all over the country. And the biggest motivation to get up, lace up, then share my on training photo. I get to celebrate, complain, reflect, and count down with each of my friends before meeting them for race day. There’s something powerful in training to run the same 13.1-mile course with friends who have trained in so many different places and under so many different circumstances. Thank you all for being a constant motivation for me. You know who you are. Can’t wait to let the hard work shine in two weeks!
This Week’s Plan of Attack