Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reader appreciation day

This past weekend after the Westside 10-Miler I had the opportunity to do something that I haven't ever done before and meet up with a reader of my blog in real life!  I have met people off the internet plenty of times (both through online dating and through Instagram) and have become friends with a few blog readers over the years that I now text with, talk with regularly, and consider to be friends -- but have never had the opportunity to meet up with anyone before in real life that I've met through the blog.  Earlier this year marked one of the most amazing things ever that happened and I still regret not being able to meet with Christina in real life after she made an amazing sign for me and came and cheered during Chicago Marathon (still chokes me up to think about.)   So when a reader named Jen reached out and let me know she was going to be in Atlanta, I absolutely jumped on the opportunity to find the time to meet up.

This past weekend was back-to-back with things going on.  I had three different holiday parties on Friday night, was hosting my own on Saturday, had a race to run, holiday shopping and prep to do, AND had a friend staying with me from out of town.  So I didn't have a huge window of availability, BUT I knew I was going to make it work.

Luckily, Jen was kind enough to allow me to meet up with her in my nastiness after running 10 miles of hills in the sun.  (Sorry about that...)

I picked her up from downtown Atlanta and took her over to a little bakery and french coffee place in West Midtown where they have cozy couches and delicious full fat coffee drinks.  The coffee that I managed to get in my mouth (I spilled half of it all over me) was delicious, and even more awesome was getting the chance to just sit and chat with Jen.

The vain part of me was curious how long she had been reading and where she had originally found my blog.  I knew that it was some time that she has been reading because I've been seeing her comments for a long time.  But I was so surprised and excited and honored when she said it has been since early 2013 that she's been reading, since before I had ever even run my first half marathon!

Back in the day, Runs for Cookies linked out to a post I did from her Motivational Monday series that drove a lot of traffic to my page (it still is one of the top referring domains.)  And again, this was before I had ever even run my first half marathon!!  It totally boggles my mind that I have come all this way in my running and it means the WORLD to me that people like Jen have been with me through the whole journey.

It was so nice to chat with her and learn more about her.  As a blog reader, she has a pretty good indication of what is going on in my life as I write about running, fitness, my day to day life, friends, family, etc.  However there is SO much that I don't write about... such as dating, what's really going on with friends and family, work, etc.  So it was nice to be able to share a little more context around some of my life that I only touch upon from the outside with the blog.

Jen is super interesting and inspiring to me as she came to Atlanta with a friend to run a half marathon and finished it, even though she got sick while here!  I love that she took an adventurous road trip with a friend, reached out to me, and was so independent and warm and welcoming.  I can't explain enough how cool it was for me to get to know her and to have the experience of meeting someone "in real life" that I has been a reader online for so long.

Most of the time when I write this, I don't know what sorts of reactions I am going to get.  And I don't know if what I am writing is actually resonating with anyone.  I just sort of throw a lot of emotions and thoughts and words out into space and hope it sticks with some of you.  I love all my friends and readers who reach out to me whether it is through comments here, on Facebook, text messages, etc.

Just knowing that you are out there and are listening/reading makes me feel alive.  A simple e-mail from Google Blogger saying there is a new comment on the blog is enough to make my day.  So getting to meet a reader and now friend and be able to have a 2-way conversation and interact meant so much.

To Jen, thank you for reaching out and for making the time to meet up with me while you were in Atlanta.  Thank you for reading and for commenting! Christina, for making that sign and cheering for me in Chicago with your boyfriend and now being a friend to me, THANK YOU.  Thank you to Malory, who I think of as the first person to ever have read my blog that I didn't actually know.  I'll never forget seeing your message on Twitter wishing me luck on the Nashville Half Marathon and thinking, "Huh?!?! Someone out there reads this!?"

Thank you to Kimmy for always reaching out to me letting me know she is reading on the blog and on our other blogger friends blog comment sections.  Thank you to Polly and Heather who recently used my blog as a goodnight story hour while on vacation. Thank you to my mom and Grampy and Armelle and everyone else who I know reads this from afar even though you don't always comment.

Reader appreciation is not something I cover all the time I guess, but I think the end of the year is a great time to point it out and say from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.  For making me feel relevant.  For making me feel heard, feel loved, and feel bigger than my little day to day life in Atlanta or Albany or whereever I am around the world at that moment.

Your time and YOU are appreciated.  Happy holidays!


  1. LOVE YOU! Thanks for the shout out xoxoxo :)

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  3. It's important that you know that you make a difference in our lives. I've seen you grow so much as a runner and a person over the past two years. You continue to inspire me to do the same. Thank you for inviting me into your city (and your life)!

  4. You are too sweet! It was great cheering you on - I'd do it all over again. One day we'll have to plan ahead and actually meet one another! totally posted this on my birthday, so reading it gives me warm-fuzzy birthday feels all over again. Thank you!!!