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Bloggers convention in Boston

Who’s running the Boston Marathon this year?

Since this is a running blog, I assume most of you are runners. I bet some of you are running Boston this year.

This seems like a great opportunity for some of us to meet in person at The Boston Marathon Expo and have a bloggers convention! Race day we will be split

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up by our start times. It won’t be like the old days when we took the earliest bus we could to Hopkinton and hung out for hours.

I am taking Friday April 18th off. If any of you are interested, I’d love to meet you at the Expo. If this is your first Boston Marathon I’d be happy to show you around a bit and answer questions. The Expo is a lot of fun and they always have freebies.

Even after two years I still feel like a newbie blogger and would love to talk with other bloggers and find out about your experiences.

Run well my friends, and see you in Boston!


Janathon 2014 Completed

Janathon has concluded

Janathon was the first “official challenge” I have engaged in since I started blogging. A few times I’ve set up my own challenges such as blogging every Friday, or three times a week. But I kept these to my self and just did them.

The Janathon Zerotohero challenge was public and required daily blogging and daily exercise. Amazingly, I managed to blog every day for 31 days. Now 32 days. I’ve never done that before. I only managed to exercise for 10 days straight. It is easier to sit down at 10PM and write than it is to change up and go for a run. I decided that a few curls or sit-ups was not going to count.

One day I counted a two mile walk with a little jogging as exercise. For many people a two mile walk would be exercise. My heart rate barely budged on that one. It was a bit of a cheat.

BAA, boston, marathon, running
My 2014 Boston Marathon application has been accepted!


In mid-January I also started my marathon training program. As that program ramped up, it required at least one rest day per week. In order to get that program off on the right foot, I decided not to worry about the Janathon exercise commitment.

Janathon What I learned

I learned that I get about as many likes and comments on re-blogged material as I do on posts that I carefully craft. Professional writers write better than I do, have great graphics with their articles, and know how to write an eye-catching headline.

I’ve discovered sources for quality material that I can use. If I can add my own insight or analysis to this material then I have something to offer my readers. Re-blogging an info-graphic takes very little effort or creativity. Many people do this and their blogs are quite successful.

The popularity of info-graphics and short informative pieces showed me that people are looking for material that is easy to consume and that does not require a big time commitment on their part. People are busy.

I’ve read that 2,000 word articles that are well researched and written are the best way to attract readers and maximize SEO. Who doesn’t like an informative article? We’re all looking for information to help us improve. But most people skim those long articles, I know I do quite often. Who has the time to read 20 of these articles a day?

The writers Craft

Jim Brennan whose blog is Rite 2 Run, sent this note to me recently:

Most writers advise to write every day, even if its throwaway material, just write. It’s like putting in the junk miles. Sometimes it flows, and sometime it doesn’t. You have to keep on writing to find your voice and the good stuff, like when you hit stride. But to write something worthwhile every day is a challenge. Don’t beat yourself up over it if you miss a day, or a week. It’s better to wait until it flows again. And how do you know when you’ve written something worthwhile. Oh, you’ll know.

Jim is a published author and has a great blog that you should check out.

Jim Brennan, running, boston, marathon
Twenty-four Years To Boston by Jim Brennan

I usually write a piece, save it and come back to it. I always edit for brevity and try to keep things short. This isn’t The Economist where a 5,000 word treatise is likely to be read to completion.

I think that writing daily for the past month has helped develop my writing and editing skills. I do enjoy building complex sentences but a short sentence can be a thing of beauty also. Five words can blow your mind, twenty can send you into the recesses of your mind.

Thanks for sticking with me. I don’t always write about running. I ramble on sometimes. I’m not correct all the time and sometimes I’m probably off base. But this is a blog; a writing laboratory. I get to experiment and play with the language. I’m not writing instructions on “How to dismantle an atomic bomb”. It’s all in good fun and hopefully a learning experience for both of us.

Run well my friends!


© 2014 anagelin

Janathon Day 25

Recently I have been posting with out the title “Janathon”

I have been writing every day, but I have not been running or exercising regularly. Writing everyday is a challenge. It is easy to write a blathering stream of consciousness piece that is of no interest to anyone except maybe a psychology major who is avoiding his studies.

I often try to write a day ahead and then go back and edit. I usually find some drivel to remove and I am working on brevity. One night we watched the first episode of Season 3 of

BBC, Sherlock Holms. Dr. Watson
Sherlock Holms I presume?

Sherlock on BBC America. The writing is so good. The dialogue is so quick and dense. And the sentences are often short. After that show I hacked away at a few paragraphs on my blog post before I ran out of steam.

Stephen Colbert recently had Mariel Hemingway and Micheal Chabon on to discuss “Papa’s” life and writing. Hemingway is famous for his writing style which many have imitated but few have mastered.

I’ve read a few Hemingway books and at times I have tried to write in his style. I like clean, efficient sentences. But I also enjoy writing long complex sentences that string together several ideas all in one rant, err sentence: the stream of consciousness style that we all use in conversation quite often.

So, I’m trying to become a better writer by writing and drawing inspiration from the masters. I started this blog because I love running and wanted to share my experiences with others and especially with new runners or those who are thinking about running.

The other reason I started this blog was my passion for writing. While speaking with someone, have you ever started a sentence and realized that you did not know how it was going to end? Depending on the oscillation of your mood as your sentence constructs itself and the reaction from your listener, the end of your sentence is pliable: from the beginning, the end is unknown.

This can lead to interesting and wandering conversations. It can also lead to many faux pas and regrettable utterances sometimes referred to as Freudian slips.

The great thing about writing is that you can scratch out a sentence, paragraph or article, and take it all back if you want. No one has to see what an idiot you are.

Or just tweak, polish or refine your creation. You can add witty asides or references or cut a sentence down to its bare essentials. It’s like working with verbal clay. You shape the sentences, re-shape them or smash it all up and stuff them back into the box for no one else to see.

So while I am not able to run and keep up with the true Janathon, I am having fun getting clay under my nails.

Run well my Friends!


© 2014 anagelin

Janathon Day 15

Janathon Continues

My running is spotty but my writing is consistent. Well, the writing may be spotty as well.

Tuesday night I went to my gym and ran on the treadmill. It was raining out and I have brand new Brooks Adrenaline shoes. I didn’t want to mess them up on the first run; maybe on the second or third run.

I managed to get in 7.76 miles in 65 minutes which comes out to 8:20 average pace, according to Garmin. The treadmill said 8:24, but no one’s handing out medals here. The important thing is that I got in a good sweaty run, over 10K.

Looking at my spreadsheet tonight, I realized I have a race on January 26th. The 19th ANNUAL BOSTON PREP 16 MILER in Derry, NH. I ran this race last year and it was FREEZING. One of my coldest races ever. I upgraded my cold weather gear recently and I’m hoping it wont be quite as cold as last year.

19th Annual Derry 16 miler, Janathon

At this point in time I can run in 30F temps comfortably. A few months ago that would have seemed very cold but that cold snap before Christmas was a good conditioning period for us runners.

Derry is 16 miles and I really don’t have a time goal. It will be my longest run for this training season so far.

Anything around 9 minutes will be okay, but I’ll be pushing for every second I can get under 9. What ever happens, I’ll still get in a challenging long run, which will be good for me.

Run well my Friends!


Runners Turning Green

The Twin Lights Half Marathon In Gloucester had runners turning green, with the help of EcoMovement.

EcoMovement is a Portsmouth, NH based business that provides recycling, composting and trash services to businesses, schools and homes in the Greater Seacoast area of New Hampshire.

At Twin Lights, Rian Bedard of EcoMovement was there to help runners turn green. In the area where runners picked up their after race food and drink, he was there to help runners dispose of their waste in the proper container.

Runners turning green, recycle
Making the right choice with EcoMovement
EcoMovement, ZeroWastenow, runners turning green
Rian Bedard of EcoMovement assists runners dispose of their waste.

You will notice that the bucket for items going to the landfill is the smallest one.

For a race of this size, about 1,000 runners, Rian expected to have two bags of compostable material, probably six bags of recyclable materials and ONE bag of trash!

That’s right. With 1,000 runners and all of their “trash” only one bag would be non-recyclable, non-compostable trash. My neighbors put out more than that every week and there are only four of them!

An Eco Education

This is about as green as a runner and a race can get. All of the plates, utensils, napkins and un-eaten food went into the compost bucket. All plastics and cans went into the recycle bin. Items like PowerGel packets and containers with mixed plastic, foil and paper could not be recycled and had to go into the trash.

Rian said that about half of the people knew exactly what to do and the other half needed some assistance picking the right bucket. No one had any issue participating in the program.

Most people would not think that paper and plastic utensils can be composted. Paper is made of wood and some plastic utensils are now made out of corn starch or other compostable materials. You can buy these utensils in most grocery stores and compost them.

The organizers of Twin Lights gave runners the opportunity to go green and recycle or compost almost all of their waste. I am hopeful that other local race organizers will utilize this service so that runners in their races can go green as well.

EcoMovement offers their services to businesses, schools and residences in the Greater Seacoast area in New Hampshire. They also offer training programs for your company or school so that you can enhance your own recycling and composting programs.

We make choices every day. When a race organizer gives us the opportunity to have ZeroWaste we should take it. When a race organizer sets out barrels clearly marked “Recycles Only” we should be able to know what that means.

As consumers and runners we need to meet the businesses, municipalities and races half way and participate in the programs that they offer. In the grocery store and at the mall we can all make a difference by making better choices.

I salute Twin Lights and Pursuit Racing for providing this service to us runners, and the environment.

Let’s make better choices.

* The only compensation received from EcoMovement was a breath of fresh air!

© 2013 anagelin

My First Blog Post

Well, here I am. With a little encouragement from some friends and colleagues I’ve decided to start a blog about running.

My First Blog Post

I’ve been running for about 9 years, but only in the past few I have considered my self a “runner”. I wasn’t a high school athlete so I never received coaching or training in any sport while in school.

With no training or background, I made a lot of mistakes. I trained when I had a race. If I did not have a number for a race, I went right back to my sedentary lifestyle. After a few years I figured out that this was not going to be a successful long-term strategy.

One of my early lessons was that consistent training is more important than more miles. And that it’s easier to maintain a fitness level than it is to achieve one!

I started running on a whim

The company I worked for was a sponsor of the Boston Marathon and received invitational numbers each year. Some friends at work told me I should put my name into the random drawing for one of the numbers and see what happens. It was a once in a life time opportunity.

I did not get picked in the November 2002 drawing. But in January 2003 we learned that a runner who was training for the Marathon got hurt and had to drop out. I was the lucky guy to get his number. In January.

boston's run to remember,wakefield, half marathon
My First Half

So there I was a fairly in-active 39 year-old guy with a desk job and I just got a number to run the Boston Marathon! My buddies did the best they could to get me up to speed in less than four months.

My first race ever was the Boston’s Run to Remember, a half-marathon in Wakefield, MA. This race now takes place in Boston and Cambridge. Runners in the Boston area use this race to see how ready they are for Boston. I was not ready.

On April 21st 2003 I ran my first marathon after only four months of training. Most experts suggest that you train for six months to a year before attempting to run your first marathon. So, there was one of my early mistakes!

But how do you say no to an opportunity to run the Boston Marathon? I’d watched it on TV and from the side walk before and knew it was a big deal. I figured I may never have this type of opportunity again. I was excited by the thought of doing it and went into it with a great deal of innocence and ignorance.

I finished with a net time of 5:11, and 16,397th out of 17,046 finishers. I was one of the sorry-looking guys that finishes near the end of the race. But I finished.

Boston Marathon Finish Line.1910. Author: Unknown.
Boston Marathon Finish Line.1910. Author: Unknown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I learned a lot that day and the many days since then. With this blog I will share with you what I have learned and hopefully help you start running, keep running or perhaps improve your running.

I’m not an expert or a professional. I’m an average guy like you who decided to start running and now to write about it.

As I said, I made all kinds of mistakes and I hope this blog will help you avoid many of the mistakes I made. There are many ways to get distracted and discouraged with running. My goal is to help you avoid injury and distraction and adopt an active lifestyle that you can live with for many years.

At this point I’m not sure how often I will post. Sometimes I will write about a race that I have coming up or that I’ve just run. Other times I will pass on nuggets of wisdom or discuss articles or books that I’ve read. I have no idea where this will go or how long it will go on.

Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy the ride!