Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Social MEdia is Not all about Me

In my Social Media Sunday posts, this has been a recurring theme: Social MEdia is not all about ME.

It just means that I try to remember that most people really don't care about me, they care about themselves. I don't mean this in a negative way, it is human nature. We are generally self-centered. All of us.

So I try to approach social media by keeping the ME out of it as much as possible. Social XXdia. Sure, I want you to follow me, I want you to share my posts, I love when you retweet, and adore when you comment, but I understand that you are probably just wanting me to do all those things for you too. I try to give on social media more than I take...and this has been an effective strategy for me.

So when I spent most of the day yesterday asking you to vote for me in BioSkin's FB contest for Favorite Running Blogger, I sort of broke my own rule on social media. I was on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram basically screaming ME ME ME ME ME ME. VOTE FOR ME! PLEASE.

I did that because I really (really!) would love it you would vote for me (cash and prizes are at stake) and I had to make it about me because that is the only way to get votes, but I kind of forgot to ask you what I could do for you in return.  I asked you to do me a favor and many of you were kind and gracious enough to vote, but how can I return the favor?

If I win this contest, I will receive Bioskin products, which I will pass on to you in a blog giveaway! I love my Bioskin calf sleeves, they are the best (tightest) compression sleeves I've ever worn. I know you'll love them too.

Whether I win or not, at the end of the contest I also plan to do a Facebook shout out for the blogs that that supported me.

What else can I do for you? Like your Facebook page? Share your tweet? I'd love to return the favor for your support. Let me know in the comments, on Twitter @gealenders, or on my Running with Ollie Facebook page. I want to help support you, as you have helped support me.

I would be so honored if you would vote for me in Bio Skin Favorite Running FB contest and please let me know how I can return the favor.

VOTE HERE You can vote once a day until June 30th. You rock!

Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vote for Me in the Favorite Running Blog Contest

Hi, Friends! Calling in all favors! Remember when I did a product review of Bio Skin calf sleeves a couple of months ago?  I am excited to be included as one of only four blogs to be nominated for Favorite Running Blog on Bio Skin's Facebook page. 

Would you do me a personal favor and click over there and vote for me and my little blog? I will be eternally grateful, or at least grateful for the next few days. (Kidding! Forever in your debt!) You can vote once per day until the contest ends on 06/30 at midnight.

If I win, I'll do a BioSkin Giveaway on my blog. What do you say? Will you vote for me? (End of begging.)

Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jim Carrey Made Me Quit My Job

Well, not really. But the Jim Carrey commencement speech video that has been circulating on social media really got stuck in my head. It is worth the watch, it is just a minute long.

Why am I failing at what I don't love and not really even trying to do what I love? It's a thought I haven't been able to get out of my head ever since I saw the video.

I have a great job. I have a nice boss with a stable company, that has good ownership, who treats their people right. I earn a nice salary. When I get paid once a month, I put 50% of my paycheck into savings. I know what you are thinking, "What's the problem you big crybaby?"

The stress. The travel. The job. Everyone has a different definition of success. Some people want big houses and fancy cars. I want freedom and comfort. Sure, I want to pay the bills without struggle, but I'd rather drive a paid-off car and live in a small comfortable house with no debt.

My definition of success is the ability to enjoy a simple life. Sure, I want to work. Of course. I need a purpose, but not to the detriment of my sanity.

The problem is not the company. It's not the people, but the job itself wears me thin. Even though it is a great position that most anyone would be lucky to have, it is not a good match for my personality. While a challenging job can be an opportunity to grow and become a better person, it can also eat away at you when it is a daily struggle. I'm sure someone else could take this job and thrive on the pressure, but I feel like I am losing a part of myself as a person. What happened to that enthusiastic go-getter? I get a little further away from her every single day that I sit in that cubicle. I need a break. I need to reset.

It is the ultimate breakup: It's not you, it's me. 

When the stress began to manifest itself in a physical way, I knew I had to make a change. It suddenly wasn't worth it. I put in my two weeks notice, which I am still in the process of working out, so this all feels surreal.

I have been working full-time for nearly twenty years and this is the first time I have ever left a job without having another one lined up. It feels so irresponsible. I am the level-headed responsible one in the family. We both can't be care-free.

I am fortunate enough to be in a position where we have low bills, big savings, and little debt. My husband owns a small security alarm business in the DFW area (if you need help with home security, let us know!). We will have to cut back on the frivolous spending and watch our outgoing money much closer, but we can swing this for awhile. I just need a break, then I think I will be ready to tackle the next chapter in my life.

Why am I not doing what I love? What do I love? I fully realize I cannot replace my full time income writing a blog or running races, but I can use some of the skills that come naturally to me to find something that is more suited to my personality. I want need to get out of a cubicle, out of corporate America. I need to be active and pursue my dreams. But can you follow your dreams when you are not exactly sure what those dreams look like?

Now that I will have some free time on my hands, I am going to really focus on getting that personal training certification that I have been yapping about for so long. I am not even sure that this is the path that I ultimately want to follow, but it is a step in the right direction. I don't know what life has in store for me next. It is both exciting and terrifying. With my 40th birthday just three months away, one might accuse me of having a midlife crisis. Suddenly my personal happiness is more important than money. If that is my crisis, I'm OK with it.

So maybe Jim Carrey didn't make me quit my job, but his speech may have been the video that broke the camel's back.

p.s. One last thing and please know that I mean this in the nicest way possible. I am just trying to head off what I suspect could be coming next after a post like this one. Please do not read this blog post and see it as an opportunity to invite me to join your sales network. I am not interested in selling wraps or shakes. I realize that some people have success in these things and I wish you prosperity with it, but it is not for me at this time. Thank you for understanding.

Have you ever quit your job without another one lined up? Do you have any life advice or encouragement for me? Or am I crazy and irresponsible?

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, June 20, 2014

Furry Friday Feature: Meet Jeannine & Fergus

Hi, friends! Welcome to another addition of your favorite monthly series, Furry Friday Feature. Once a month on a Friday, I feature a runner and their favorite four-legged running partner, because everyone likes to look at pictures of cute pooches!
This month I am excited to introduce you to Jeannine and Fergus!

Jeannine, Fergus (and friend, Bella) after an 8K run.

Fergus and his monkey friend.
Take it away Jeannine!

My name is Jeannine Ritchot, and my blog is called "Herd in the 'Hood" a nod to my herding dog, Fergus.

Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner
What can I say about Mr. Fergus. This neurotic 3-year-old Australian shepherd/border collie mix is my best pal and a natural born athlete. With his long legs, boundless energy, and love of being outdoors, he is such a great running partner. Plus he has a loud bark to boot, which he uses to keep his girl human safe when we run together in the early morning! When he's not running, he's showing off at a flyball or agility class, or playing hide and seek with his favorite toy, Mr. Monkey.

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?

Hands down, the Arboretum, a lovely green space in the heart of Ottawa, Canada. As soon as we get there, I let him off leash so that he can chew on every stick, pee on every tree, and herd all the other dogs, while I get to take in the wonderful view. Our favorite time of year to be there is in the fall, when the trees have changed their colors. It's our favorite spot on earth!

Have you ever raced with your dog?

No. But I have also never raced. I run for the pure love of running. And to spend quality time with myself and my best pal. I don't want to share that with anyone else, least of all a big racing crowd!

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud!

The first time that I broke 55 minutes for a 10k was a big day for me. It's not super fast, but it's super fast for a girl like me with really short legs! Fergus was with me for this victory! I credit him for not having to pee on this run!

What Important Running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?
I blogged about this once. I used to compete really hard with myself, and every run was really just about getting in a better time than my previous run. And then Fergus came into my life. And he'd sometimes have to stop to pee, or to sniff, or to jump in the river to go for a swim. It used to bother me that he was "slowing me down." But then I realized that he was teaching me a lesson - to savour the moments that make you the happiest rather than try to rush through them at record speed. When I look down and see his ears back, his snout up so he doesn't miss a smell, and a big goofy grin on his face, I know that it doesn't matter if I run the fastest or the slowest time I've ever run. What matters is enjoying the moment. I love him for teaching me this lesson!

Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?
People often ask me how I stay so motivated to run so regularly - 3 times a week, rain or shine, winter or summer. I tell them it's because I have a Fergus. We've run in freezing rain, -40F temperatures, miserable winds, you name it. I figure that if he doesn't let these things stop him from getting outside to enjoy life, neither should I!

Thanks Jeannine and Fergus for sharing your story! You can follow Jeannine on her blog Herd in the Hood or follow on Twitter @OttawaJay.

If you're a runner who would like to be featured with your favorite furry four-legged running partner just fill out this form to be considered for a future Furry Friday feature. (Bonus points if you can say that five times fast.)

If you want to check out some other great running dog blogs, check out Top Dog Running Blogs (spoiler alert: clicking on link will lead to cute pictures of running dogs).

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Father's Day Gift Ideas

I can't believe it is June already! Where has this year gone? Are we really already half way through 2014? In a few short months we will be talking about Halloween, then Thanksgiving...then Christmas? I'm not ready. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's take the holidays as they come. This month we will be celebrating those awesome dads in our lives.

Last year I wrote a Father's Day gift idea post, so I thought it would be appropriate to share it for this month's Throwback Thursday. No need to reinvent the wheel, right? 

I hope you will click over and check out my Father's Day Post: Gift Ideas for a Runner Dad

In honor of Throwback Thursday, when I share a post from the archives that you may have missed the first time around, I'd also like to share one of my favorite Throwback pics of me and my Daddy.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Throwback Father's Day Post: Gift Ideas for a Runner Dad

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

photo credit: San Diego Shooter via photopin cc

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5 Ways to Celebrate National Running Day #RunningDay

Wednesday June 4th is National Running Day! I've written about some of the silly holidays that are floating around, but National Running Day? This is a real holiday. It is a day for us runners to declare our love for running, as if we don't talk about it enough, right?

Everyone can play. Whether you've been running for years or if you just now decided that National Running Day is perfect day to take up running, you can check out to see some of the ways you can celebrate National Running Day.
I run for so many reasons that I couldn't possibly sum it up on one badge!

5 Ways to Celebrate National Running Day:

  1. Find a local group run, or if you can't find one in your town, create your own by visiting the National Running Day website.
  2. Connect with National Running Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be a part of all the celebrations. Use hashtag #runningday to participate online.
  3. Run for your favorite charity through Charity Miles. (You can do this every day, not just on National Running Day!)
  4. Customize a National Running Day badge and bib
  5. I can't think of a better way to celebrate National Running Day than by simply hitting the pavement. 

Speaking of holidays, I am still pushing for National Hug a Blogger day.

How are you celebrating National Running Day? Why do you run?

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Come Grow with Me! My Black Thumb

I have a black thumb. I've killed just about everything I've ever tried to grow. Good thing I don't have kids. Growing kids is probably hard.

My best friend and neighbor showed me the vegetable garden she planted a few weeks ago in her back yard and it looked so awesome that I wanted to try to grow one of my own! I had visions of picking tomatoes off of thriving vines and making salads right from my own garden! If she could do it, then I could too, right? Why not?

It's been a few years since I've tried, so I just felt like I needed to give it a shot and see if my thumb was still black. I have fond memories of my mother tending a vegetable garden in the back yard of our Pittsburgh home when I was growing up. This was something I wanted to do! Hubby is always down for a home project, so we were off to Home Depot to get inspired.

Hubby is in charge of pushing the cart.
We ended up choosing tomatoes, even though the guy told us we were a little late in the season for tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, and jalapenos.

We were feeling pretty good about our selections and I sent a text to my friend about it on the car ride home.

No wonder I kill everything. All of a sudden, I was feeling a little bit in over my head. But Ollie is clearly excited, so we forged forward with our plans.

Our house was built in the 50s, it has either an old well that has been filled in, or a faux well (we're not sure which one) in the back yard. Basically, it is a brick enclosure that we use for a fire pit in the cooler seasons. We decided to dig it out and turn it into our summer vegetable garden.

Ollie is just rolling with excitement!

I am excited about my first real vegetable garden. Let's hope something grows and my black thumb will turn green. Any tips from experienced gardeners for a newbie like me? Have you ever tried to grow a vegetable garden?

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...