For much of the past year, I have felt disconnected from the running world. I've had so many more downs than ups since I fell apart at the Richmond Marathon. Without diving into it too much, before this weekend I found myself glad I've given myself this break.
No pressure, no major goals, no thinking about running other than doing enough to not get too far off track, no getting wrapped up in what other people were doing.
After my experience this weekend at the Runner's World Festival, though, I know that it's time for change. In my mind I've been ready to make some changes, but I haven't pushed myself enough to take action.
It's time to refresh my goals. Really refresh them. And be realistic about them. And be harder on myself as I get closer to them.
I can get into all that later, as this post really isn't about me. It's about this group of 20 people over the weekend who have help me realize I need a new path.
As a full disclaimer, Runner's World paid for my trip to Bethlehem, Pa., and treated 20 of us bloggers to an experience like no other.
While the swag was nice, the experience of meeting so many people I knew by blog name or Twitter name only is what made this weekend truly special.
It's easy to say that this weekend is the moment where I fell back in love with running, but I won't know if that's true for another month or so. Like any good relationship, it's going to take time to figure that part out.
As I think about how I want to really sum up the weekend, I have trouble finding the right words. Fellow blogger and #fitblog founder Katy (who was the inspiration for starting #runchat) said it best in her post:
From the Runner’s World staff and editors to the volunteers to the passionate sponsors who seemed truly excited to meet and work with us, this weekend affected me deeply. Thank you is not enough ...
For those of who blog regularly or enjoy conversations on Twitter, I have to blunt with you: don't hide behind your phones or computer screens.
Go to races. Socialize. Meet other people you think you know so well. You'll be rewarded with experiences that will change you forever.
As for the actual running this weekend? I'll save that unexpected story for later in the week.
A huge thanks goes out to sponsors who provided gear or other information directly to the bloggers at the Runner's World Festival: Altra, Running Skirts, Ortholite, Icon Fitness, Bondi Band, Injinji, PRO Compression, SPIBelt, The Stick, Wild Planet, Belvita, Deer Park Water (Nestle), Run Donna, and Bermuda Marathon.