Friday Free-For-All – 05/08/15

FFFA (1)

I officially registered the domain “darlinrae.com.” I love my little blog, and I felt like it was the right time to make things a little more official. I’ve never intended to make this a “serious” blog or make money from it, but it just feels nice to remove the “wordpress” from the name, and I plan to spiff a few things up to have a more cohesive theme going on.

Tomorrow is my birthday! And it should be another good one. I have the VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k in the morning (it’s not too late to make a last-minute donation here!), and then we’ll be having my 4th annual Cinco de Mayo-themed birthday party.

And last but not least… we got an apartment! It’s small, but very clean and cool. It’s in a converted elementary school building, so it’s got huge windows and vaulted ceilings! It’s also a 10 minute walk from my office, and very close to the bike path, the lake, the beach, and great shops and restaurants. We sign our lease on Monday, and move in June first! We are so excited to have our own place again after almost two years of having room mates or living with our parents.

Who’s got some tips for apartment decorating on a budget?

Happy Blogiversary to Darlin’ Rae

Exactly one year ago, I was sitting at my parents’ house. I don’t remember how it came up, or why, but I decided I was going to run a half marathon. And I started this blog to document my training.

First ever race medal!

In one short year, so much has happened! I ran my first half marathon. I made a bunch of amazing friends, and Team Can-Am was born. I’ve formed phenomenal relationships with fun, athletic, talented people all over the world. And I became a runner. I can’t wait to see what this next year of running and blogging brings 🙂

Many thanks to all of my readers and friends out there. I couldn’t do it without you!

Blog World Tour

So a few weeks ago, right in the midst of holiday craziness, my lovely accountabilibuddy and fellow member of Team Can-Am, Kim, tagged me to participate in the Blogging World Tour.  Yes, yes, I know it sounds fancy, but really, it’s not.  It’s just me giving you a little sneak peak into what’s going on with my obviously very focused and organized blog-writing process (HA!).

Step 1 is Acknowledging the blogger/blog that invited you to the Blog Tour:

Kim is hilarious and awesome.  She loves margaritas almost as much as I do, and she has a lovely Wonder Mutt named Calypso.  If you don’t already follow her and would like a daily dose of hilarity, go check her out at Black Dog Runs Disney.

And now I get to answer some questions that supposedly will give you some secret info about how and why I blog.

What am I working on?

Regarding this blog, I’m striving for consistency.  I started out blogging 7 days a week, which was too much.  I backed off to whenever I felt like it (except weekends), which was not enough structure.  These days I’m just aiming for at least Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and if more than that happens, awesome!  I’m also trying to write posts or at least start drafts as ideas occur to me, with the goal of having one or two posts ready to go when I hit a spell of writer’s block or get super busy, and also keep a list of topics to write about so that I don’t get stuck.

In life, I’m working really hard on paying off my student loans so Ben and I can buy a house and start a family within the next five years.  This is hard, because I spend money like nobody’s business.  To me, budget is a four-letter word, and bonus time means paying off my credit card.

How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?

I’m gonna be 100% honest here and say that I don’t really think it does.  I don’t think I have a terribly distinctive “voice” (maybe another blog thing to work on?), and I don’t think my content is all that unique in the world of running/fitness blogs.  And really, I’m OK with that.  I didn’t start this blog as a money-making enterprise, and my goal is not to generate income or get the most follows or shares or likes.  In fact, I’m happy that my blog is relatively small, because I’m able to focus on quality interactions with the limited number of followers/commenters I have.  So maybe that makes my work unique?  I don’t know…

Why do I write what I do?

Mostly because Ben doesn’t understand my running talk.  I’m sort of joking, but it’s true.  My “real life” friends and family aren’t runners, so they don’t really understand a lot of what I talk about when I talk about running.  They don’t understand my enthusiasm for good socks, or the devastating effects of runger (OK, maybe Ben understands that one, poor guy!), or exactly how much being sidelined with an injury sucks.  But here, I can write about how I’m feeling and what’s going on, and instead of glassy-eyed stares or stupid questions like “Why can’t you just go on the elliptical instead?”, I get commiseration, camaraderie, advice, and support.  I write to share my feelings and build a community with like-minded people.

How does my writing process work?

Other than my regular weekly posts, Manic Monday and Friday Free-For-All, there isn’t really a schedule.  I often get ideas for posts in totally random places–in the car, watching TV, or at the gym.  I try to jot the ideas down where possible, or make a mental note, and then flesh out the posts later, usually on the day I post them.  Yeah, there’s not a whole lot of planning ahead around here.  And then after most of the words have come out, I proof-read and edit the crap out of the post.  I know that some people are more along the feeling of, “Well, it’s more authentic or natural if I just write and post as-is,” but I’m way too Type A for that.  I’m a grammar enthusiast to a fault, and I put a lot of thought into word choice, phrasing, transitions, and punctuation.  I guess that’s what comes from being a theater major and an English minor.  After proof-reading a post several times, I will then do a preview of what the post will look like, and proof-read again.  It’s amazing how different a post can read and look when it’s in your actual blog layout rather than draft format.

So there you have it, an insider’s look at the super secret and effective blogging life of Rae.  And now, I’m supposed to tag someone (multiple someones?) to do a blog process tour of their own.  Since all of my accountabilibuddies have already been tagged, I’m going to nominate my friends Dana and Amy, of Slow and Steady(ish) and Let’s Go Running.

How do you stay organized with your blog posting?

Are you a proof-reader, or do you shoot from the hip and post as-is?

Liebster Award!

How exciting!  Abby, The Secret Life Coach of DC, has nominated me for a Liebster Award!  I’m very excited because she’s one of the first Running/Healthy Lifestyle blogs I found when I started this blog, and she’s fantastic.  So, thank you, thank you, thank you for the nomination!  I have to say, I’ve really been enjoying this round of Liebster awards, because it’s led me to some awesome blogs!

LA1

What is it and how does it work?

The Liebster Award is intended to help you discover exciting new blogs, and also to help generate followers for newer blogs.  There are a few rules to follow:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you (thanks again, Abby!)
  2. Answer the 11 questions they came up with
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers
  4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Tag your nominees and notify them

Here are my answers to Abby’s questions:

1. What are your three favorite things to do in your down time?

I love reading, watching TV, and doing my nails.  I repaint them all the time and love finding new colors and designs

2. What is your life motto?

“It will all work out somehow.”  Maybe not the way you want it to or the way you expect it to, but things usually come together, especially if you work hard toward something.

3. What is your dream job?

I grew up thinking that I wanted to be a Broadway performer.  And sure, if somebody approached me right now and said, “Hey, we want you to star in our new show on Broadway,” I’d probably go for it.  But barring that unlikely scenario, it’s too much work and too much pain for not enough payoff.  These days I’m actually thinking I’d like to be some kind of fitness instructor/personal trainer/yoga teacher or something like that.  But I pretty much have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

4. If you described yourself as a color, what color would you be and why?

Orange, which is also my favorite color.  Overall it’s a bright, happy color.  It has a broad range of shades , and I feel like I can be any of those shades–cool, calm and chic pumpkin, or loud and annoying neon–it just depends on the day. 

5. If someone wrote a book about your life up until now, what would the title be?

What a great question!  Too bad I don’t have a clever answer.  Ummm…  Beer Burps?  Yeah, that’s right, I burp.  A lot. Loud and long.  Especially when drinking beer.  Which is often.

6. Who would you choose to play you in a movie?

Toughie.  Someone sort of awkward and goofy, like Emma Stone, would be awesome.  That whole “Pocket Full of Sunshine” scene in Easy A is pretty much me.

easy-a-pocket-full-of-sunshine-o

7. If you could be a professional athlete, what sport would you choose to be a pro at?

Volleyball.  I freakin’ love volleyball.  And to be outside on the beach 🙂

8. Who do you look up to the most in life right now?

I know this is cliche, but probably my mother.  She is a free spirit who is fearlessly proud to be herself, a wonderful mother, and a loving wife.  Sometimes I’m embarrassed by her kookie ways, but I love that she is so honest about who she is and doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks, and I can always count on her for good advice.

9. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

I just love the supportive community I’ve found.  I’m a total running newb, but I can always find information and get answers to my questions here.  

10. What stores do you frequent the most (online or in-person)?

TargetTargetTargetTargetTargetTargetTargetTargetTarget.  It’s a good thing I don’t live near one anymore…

11. Favorite book right now?

I got The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury for Christmas and it sort of blew me away.  If you even remotely like Sci-Fi, get it.  Seriously.  It will make you think.

My Nominations

I tried really hard to nominate blogs that haven’t been nominated yet, or with not a lot of followers, but I’m sure some of you have been nominated in the meantime (Greg!).

My Questions:

  1. What’s your dream vacation destination?
  2. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  3. Do you have siblings?  How many?
  4. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  5. What is your one can’t-live-without piece of running gear/equipment/clothing?
  6. Have you ever traveled outside your home country?  If not, where do you want most to go?
  7. If you won the Powerball jackpot, what’s the first thing you’d do or buy?
  8. What’s your favorite season?
  9. If you could change your name, would you?  What would you change it to?
  10. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
  11. What are 3 things you’re scared of?

Whee, that was fun!  I hope all of my nominees have fun answering their questions–it was tough thinking up 11 questions that didn’t pull too much from other Liebster nominations I’ve seen.  Please go check out their blogs–I think you’ll like what you see.  And feel free to answer a question or two in the comments!