Races Only or New Material?
June 22, 2012 13 Comments
When I started this blog in November 2010 (though it technically started as a series of Facebook “Notes” in January of that year), I did so with the intention of keeping the material consistent: detailed race recaps, and little else. I wanted to do that because that’s how I like my websites. I like them for one reason and so I follow or visit them for that reason alone. In fact, that’s how I am with most of the running blogs out there – I will rarely read or comment on a post that isn’t specifically related to a race because that’s what I care about. I know that runners (maybe more than most) have layers to them – hang-ups, dreams, frustrations and desires – and they want the world to know about them. Most of the time, these underlying currents fuel their mileage.
Call me an ogre, but I don’t always read those posts (and yes, I recognize the irony of writing this post in the first place). However inspirational or poetic as these stories might be, I’m more drawn to tales of the struggle to get through a specific distance. Very often these parallel battles make their way into the race-day narrative and that, I think, is the perfect balance. For the purposes of my blog specifically, I felt like adding anything else besides race recaps would dilute the content. As a fan of consistency, I like the idea that anyone following me knows that a post from me means a detailed story of a long distance race and little else. So any anecdotes of my athletic origins or subtexts on running would be made manifest in races themselves.
However, a few months ago I broke that commitment by doing a product review for Motorola, mostly because I felt obligated to do so. I felt like Jerry in the Seinfeld episode “the Soup” where he receives a free Armani suit from an annoying comedian and then spends the episode being guilted into buying him a “meal,” the exact definition of which is nebulous and therefore hilarious (“I gave you a free Armani suit and you give me soup?”). Don’t get me wrong, if companies deem me enough of a Connector (to borrow a term from Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point) to send care packages full of running freebies, I will review them ‘till kingdom come. Wait a minute, did I just sell out?
Anyway, I digress.
I’ve been successful at keeping this blog interesting by lining up a lot of races in a short period of time. However, there will definitely come a time where I find myself with months between running events. By no means do I assume that there’s a huge audience out there glued to their computers, waiting for my meandering recollections. If two months go by and I don’t post a recap, literally nothing about anything changes. So this is mostly just about me, wanting to write because I love writing.
That’s when I got the idea. Perhaps my site can expand to other realms of the running universe, revolving always around reviewing something. As it stands right now, I’m focusing strictly on races, the people that put them together and those I meet along the way. But would it kill or damage the “point” of this project of mine by adding some book reviews? I recognize that it’s a slippery slope. It started with the MOTOACTV review, now I’m thinking of adding books, and soon I’ll decide to be a celebrity news aggregator, relegating my 50-states stories to a tiny footnote in the corner, where it will get lost or worse, forgotten.
That is not my intention. As of this writing, I have averaged a mere 1.4 posts per month, which is hardly a productive (or proactive) endeavor. With that tiny number in mind, I am thinking of increasing that average to a still meager 1.8 or, hell, let’s go crazy, 2 posts per month. I would largely stick to books that talk directly to the sport of running long distances and how they helped or supplemented my race experiences.
But first, I’d like to know what you think. Should dans-marathon.com stick to its guns and review only races? Or should I garnish the experience with my thoughts on some running books? I promise I won’t be insulted or offended if you say I should stick to just races. After all, I mentioned my affinity for consistency earlier, so we’d see eye to eye in that regard. But I’m sure I’ll get one or two thoughts on this (mostly because most posts where the author asks for comments, he/she usually ends with very few responses), so whatever you say might be the only opinion I get. Watch your wording.
And now that I think about it, this post is largely aimed at the people I would affectionately call my “regular” readers. That’s right, all four
thousand of you. After all, who else would reach the end of such a boring post? Even I wouldn’t have even clicked on this if I were browsing through my reader. Is this is what happens when everyone at work takes summer hours but me?
Ok, I’ll end this here as my mind is clearly falling apart. I demand that you tell me your thoughts.