It’s my blogaversary!  One year ago today I hit “publish” on my very first blog post.  I had no idea what I was doing or where it was going to go.  I started this blog as a way to track my thoughts and experiences through training for my first marathon.  I never expected anyone other than myself, and perhaps my mom, to read it.  I never expected to enjoy it as much as I do.  I also never expected that it would eventually include a lot of vegan cooking!  At that time I was a freshly minted vegetarian and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing in the kitchen.  I just ran with it (pun not intended, but hey, why not?) and my blog grew along with me.

What I’ve learned about blogging

  • You don’t have to post something every day.  Taking the time to write something that’s worth reading is better than posting something just for the sake of having something new that day.
  • Write for yourself, not others.
  • Getting readers takes time.  You can’t worry about it or try to force it.
  • A good camera and an apartment/house with natural light are things that can’t be imitated. (And unfortunately I don’t have good lighting in my apartment.  Sorry for all the bad food pictures.  My parents did get me a sweet camera though!  So I’m halfway there!)

What I’ve learned about food

  • Food is good great! It’s not something to be feared.  Eating a ridiculously low number of calories per day doesn’t mean you “succeeded.”  It means you denied your body the fuel it needs to function properly and be healthy and strong.
  • Vegan food is awesome.
  • The more invested I became in my food choices, the more I enjoyed cooking and experimenting with my food.
  • Going vegan (or vegetarian) doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.
  • The farmers market is a wonderful place.
  • Everything is more fun when you’re cooking for friends and/or family.

What I’ve learned about running/lifting/swimming

  • A little bit of strength training goes a long way.
  • Taking your time and training properly really will keep the injuries away!
  • Born to Run is an awesome book.  Go read it.  Now.  Are you reading it yet?
  • Swimming is HARD!  But really fun!
  • I absolutely love to run.  Once I get myself going, that is.
  • It is really, REALLY hard to get out of a slump.  But it’s totally worth it.
  • I DO NOT do morning workouts.  I’ve tried.  It’s not pretty.  I really need to get better at this.
  • As long as I have my Friends DVDs, I can run on a treadmill forever.
  • Once you develop a decent base, running is mostly mental.
  • I haven’t done triathlons yet, but I already know some day I will.  And eventually I want to do an Ironman.
  • Races are a ton of fun.  You can’t re-create that atmosphere on your own.  If you have the funds to register, I highly recommend trying out a race or two!  You’ll be hooked before you know it!
  • My Garmin Forerunner 305 is AWESOME.
  • With enough time, and perseverance, anyone can run a marathon.  ANYONE.

What I’ve learned about myself

  • My body is capable of amazing things.
  • I can do anything I set my mind to.
  • I love cooking!  And I’m actually a good cook!  Who knew??
  • I love teaching people about health and fitness.  I also love coaching people in running.  It makes me so happy to see them achieve something they didn’t think they could do (run farther or faster, etc.).

So what did I do this past year?

  • Trained for and ran my first marathon (as well as a half marathon).
  • Went vegetarian, and then eventually vegan.
  • Got really into cooking.
  • Decided to go back to school (while still working full time) to get my Ph.D.

What’s the plan for this coming year?

  • Beginning in January, I’ll be working on my Ph.D!  This will require me to spend lots of time in New Zealand every year for fieldwork (Oh, darn!  :-))
  • Training for my second marathon, as well as helping my running partner, Chelsea, train for her first one.
  • Complete another half marathon.
  • Possibly complete my first ultra, a 50 miler.  We’ll see about that one.  I don’t know if I’m going to have enough time to train with all the Ph.D. stuff.  But I’m hopeful!
  • Incorporate swimming and lifting into my training.  I really want to improve my swimming because I’d like to start trying out some triathlons.
  • Buy a house!!!  We’ll start looking again (we tried before but decided to wait) this spring.

It’s been a fun (and fast) year!  I’ve loved blogging and reading everyone else’s blogs.  I’ve found a lot of inspiration in the blog world and I’m looking forward to a great second year!

Thanks for reading!