Run for your Life!!...and Blog

Wassup! I'm Kelechi B and welcome to A place where I share tips, stories and write about what I've learned and what I'm learning about living a #boss life. And by #boss life, I mean living up to your fullest potential. Doing what you want to do. Working towards your dreams in the best, most common-sense way possible.

I wanted today to be more of a welcome post, since it is LAUNCH DAY!!!!! *song and dance* And I was going to keep it short and sweet and start with my normal content on Monday, but God has a way of changing my plans, especially when I'm running.

Now I haven't run in months, but I love running because I always get the best ideas then I'm on the trail. It's like all the gunk that clouds my mind during the week gets washed away with endorphins and dehydration lol Anyway, I always find a way to relate running to any aspect of my life, and it just so happens that B_outLoud is the most important aspect of my life today. Aaaand WHILE I WAS RUNNING, these tips on blogging and how they relate to running, kept popping into my head. No, I'm not a blogger who blogs about blogging, but I really wrote this for myself and I know it can help someone else. Sooo here it is:

1. Don't run on an empty stomach

Anybody who runs probably knows how if feels to run hungry. It's not cute and it's not comfortable. Being hungry is uncomfortable enough, then you want to add strenuous activity to that? Stop. I like to eat a light snack 30 minutes before I run. That way it's not sitting at the top of my stomach when I'm outside and my stomach doesn't eat itself either. And just like it's better not to run on E, it's also in your best interest not to blog on E either. Maybe you write on the fly and like the spontaneity of it all. That's fine. But I like to think-after all my months and years of researching this- that it's better to have a loose plan, if anything. Have a few topics in mind that way even if it's not outlined to the T, there's still a foundation to work with. *Got a lot of letters in this thing lol*

2. It's important to stretch

Some people argue that it's better to stretch before you run, after you run or both. I like to do both, for extra insurance. To me, I know that as soon as I'm finished stretching I am good to go. I already put on my workout clothes. I made it to the trail. My muscles are all warmed up. There's nothing else for me to do BUT run. Now, if you have to do a little desk stretching before you hit the keyboard, go for it. Just know that, you're already there. You have a topic in mind. Possibly did some research. Got a title and images ready (at least in your mind). All you have to do now is type.

3. Pace yourself starting out

We've all heard that phrase "it's a marathon, not a sprint." Well, yes, life is a marathon. I don't like to go full force when I start out on a run, because I run for distance. One of my goals is to run a 1/2 marathon one the near-distant future. If I don't have the energy to sprint the entire run, believe me I won't! It's better to build up speed than to exhaust yourself on the first mile. You'll go a lot longer and a lot farther. The same with blogging. If you don't have 50 GOOD posts to crank out in the first month, don't just crank out anything. I'd rather read 5 good posts in a month, than 50 "wth" posts. You feel me? There's no point in putting something out there everyday if it's not your best. Start moderate and build as you go. 2-3 posts a week, or once a week if that's how you want to play it. Now, if you DO have it in you, go for it!

4. Try to remember to breathe

Breathing and running go hand in hand. Breathing properly and running, who knows? There are so many experts that say it's better to use this technique, or that technique. But for me, I try to stay true to what works for me and my body. So I'll set out to run, start using my breathing technique, no problem. But maybe around mile 1 and 1/2, I start to forget and wonder why I'm out of breath, struggling for air. My mind wanders when I run, so it's hard to focus on breathing and my wandering thoughts at the same time. But it takes practice. Since I've been out the game for a while, it'll take a good minute before my breathing technique is second-nature. Just like there a lot of back-to-basic techniques we learned when it comes to writing & blogging, sometimes when you get excited and get a groove going, it all goes out the window. That's why there's an edit button. Nobody's perfect.

5. Keep looking ahead...not down

I have been told time and time again that it's important to look forward when running. Looking ahead instead of down helps you see where you're going and pushes you even more to get there. I'm still trying to get this part right, because when I keep looking down, the run feels longer and my goal distance seems further and further away. But when I look ahead, I know how far I'm going to go. I see more clearly and I am able to set goals with a clearer perspective. When you focus more on what's ahead of you, and what's ahead FOR you, you are able to set goals to help you get there in the most efficient way.

6. Stop watching the clock

Part of looking ahead also means not looking at your tracking device-the thing that tells you how far you've run, and how fast. I use the Runkeeper app on my phone to track all of my runs. I turn it on, then silence it so I don't hear it or look at it every 5 seconds. It's a distraction and it takes the joy out of running when you're looking at your tracking app every 5 seconds. News flash: you're 5 seconds away from where you were last time. So when you start writing, checking stats and accounts everyday will only psyche you out. Yes, it's important to keep track of everything, but once a week or once a month is better in the beginning. That way you can see how far you've gone, pat yourself on the back, and set new goals to how far you want to go. 

7. Even if you feel alone, know that you're not.

It's hard for me to run with a buddy because not all of my friends are running fanatics and we don't live near each other anymore. But I like running alone. Running helps me clear my head and it's just easier to do that when I'm not talking to the person next to me. BUT...BUT...even though I run alone, it never really feels like I am alone. There is a running community out there that is super encouraging. People love to wave "hello" when they pass other runners. I remember one day I was on a run and I ran into this guy who runs plenty of marathons. He caught up to me, we chatted for a few minutes-still running. He told me stories of where he's traveled to run and gave me some tips. Then he was on his merry way. He may have lost a few minutes (if he was timing himself) to slow down and talk with me, but he did it because he wanted to. I didn't need him to hold my hand through my entire run, but our 5 minute talk really meant a lot. That's what it's like in the blog community. Yes, I'm new to it, but I've already learned some a lot from new and seasoned bloggers. Even if you don't have a buddy and you feel alone, know that you're not. There is always someone who wants to help. I joined a few facebook groups, twitter chats and this AWESOME AWESOME blogging course, and now I feel like I have friends going through this with me.

8. Don't compare.

Easier said than done. When I set my mind on starting B_outloud, I started researching blogs and bloggers and I felt myself getting discouraged. Granted, this was over the course of over a year. I've talked myself out of and into blogging more times than I can count. Everyone else was just so much better. They had a better website, a better name (this was before I came up with B_outloud, mind you), better graphics, etc. But when I'm running, I don't see it like that. There are old people who run faster than me and I don't think twice about it. I know that they have been doing it longer and more consistently than I have. And I also know that one day, I'll be as fast as them if I keep doing and don't stop. The way I see it, as long as I can see the backs of their shirt, I'm not that far off from where they are. So why can't I relate that same mentality to blogging? Because I'm imperfect. But I am trying. Those awesome blogs I read and follow, they all started somewhere. Probably where I am. But they kept going and didn't give up, even if the magic wasn't there all the time. That's why they have all those followers, and the quality content, and so many other things to offer. They stuck with it.

9. Don't Stop Moving

Going along with that last tip, every time I stop running-due to work, the weather or whatever excuse I came up with-I find it harder and harder to get back into it.

I feel like a newbie when I hit the trail after months and months of hiatus. If I had found a way to keep going consistently when I started-back in 2013-I would have been running FULL marathons by now. But I let life-I mean, excuses-get in the way. And here I am, struggling to breathe and run 3 miles lol it's real out here. But I made a commitment to not stop and to keep the momentum and I did it! And now that I have invested so much in this blog, it only makes sense to see how far I can take it. But it won't go anywhere if I quit. I'm not saying I won't get discouraged, or I'll have all the time to do it. But if I really want it-and because I do-I'll make time for it. I'll fight through discouragement.

10. Gun it if you want it

I learned this when I ran track in high school. Even if you set a pace in the beginning of the race, give it your all on that last leg or lap. As hard as it may be, it is okay to push yourself to your limit, especially during those last 10-15 seconds. That way, you'll finish faster, maybe improve your time a little and feel better because you pushed yourself beyond what you thought you could do. Just when you thought it was over, you realized you still had some juice left. If there's an idea that's just sitting in your head, share it. You may not think you have it in you to speak on it, maybe because there are other bloggers who are more qualified or nobody will take you seriously. Blah Blah blah...share it. You don't know what you have in you until you let it out.

*Bonus Tip* If you run, you're a runner!

When I decided that I wanted to run for myself, I called myself a runner. Even though I quit Track & Field my junior year. I still had the urge to run. I admired people I saw running on the streets and wished I could just run like them, but I was a runner before I hit the trail for the first time in years. So I'm at the point where I'm struggling to call myself a blogger. I feel like I can't use that title until I've proved to MYSELF that I will commit to it. Is that crazy? Even if all I think about is blogging ideas, resources, designs, graphics...? I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but today, I am a blogger!

And those, my friends, are the thoughts that came to me THIS MORNING on my run. And I'm excited to see where else I can go. Leave a comment, introduce yourself, offer tips or advice on the site or this post, if you have any. I look forward to being in this world with you. Follow the social media links below and see what other craziness I'm into. Until next time...