My 2019 as a blogging runner

The year is coming to an end and I’ve been thinking about the past year. The year I created this blog, ran my first races and I pushed boundaries further as I thought possible. This year has been an incredible journey and in this post I will take you back to my highlights of 2019 as a runner and as a blogger. 

My first training plan

In January of this year I started my first training plan. I wanted to run faster and started a Garmin Coach 5K plan. It was the first time I tried a real training plan and it has completely changed my running. I loved that someone else (or, you know, something else) was planning my workouts and putting everything I needed to successfully do them on my watch. It was just easy and comfortable. My determination to become a better running did the rest.
To complete my training plan in the best way I was going to run my first race. I had signed up for one specific race already a few times, but never actually ran it, the half marathon in Eindhoven due to various reasons. I learned a lot when I ran my first 5K race on April 13, mostly that I still had a lot to learn regarding pacing. Since my first race I’ve also ran my second and third race this year and I’m slowly improving! The best part though is that I really enjoy running races. It gives me a goal, something to train for and pushes me to go faster and further as before. 

My running progress

I’ve started the year focusing on improving my 5K time. Before the year started my best 5K time was 42:23 min. During the training plan I improved my best time four times ending with me running my goal time in my first 5K race. 

18-01-2019: 41:29
28-02-2019: 39:32
07-03-2019: 38:38
13-04-2019: 34:59 – 5K at JP Balki Event

In 2019 I ran faster as my 2018 PB 40 times! 

After the 5K I focused on longer distances, meaning it was time to break some 10K PB’s. On January 1st my 10K best time was 1:31:36. In 2019 I improved my time four times of which my fastest 10K run was during a 15K bridge race. 

22-04-2019: 1:26:43
09-06-2019: 1:21:09
13-10-2019: 1:17:37 – 10K at Marathon Eindhoven
08-12-2019: 1:15:14 – 15K at Bruggenloop Rotterdam

In 2019 I ran faster as my 2018 PB 15 times!

I would say this is some very good progress. I know there is room for a new 5K PB, but right now I’m training for my first half marathon, I will find a race for a new attempt after my half marathon. My 10K PB will be challenged during my next 10K race on January 5th. There should be some room for improvement here as well since my current best time was run during a 15K race with bridges.

The setbacks

The year 2019 is also another year that didn’t go by without injuries. I managed to pick up an injury on my foot somewhere after my 5K race in April and this impacted my training during the summer a lot. I have purposely not talked a lot about the cause and treatment of my injury in my blogs, because I don’t want to ‘inspire’ anyone to follow the same course of treatment just because they read it here. Go see a doctor. That’s also why my foot injury will remain a ‘foot injury’. 

Unfortunately this injury prevented me from training properly for what should’ve been my first half marathon on October 13 in Eindhoven. I had not been able to run far enough, I simply was not prepared. So, I made the smart decision, changed the distance for the race and ran my first 10K race instead. I have since started my half marathon training for a race in the beginning of 2020 and gaining confidence I’ll finally make it to the start of my first half marathon. 

My blog 

I created this blog in January 2019. I’ve always loved writing, but didn’t know how to put that to good use. The idea of starting a blog had been with me for a while, but I needed a subject, a way to stand out between all the blogs that already exist. While researching other blogs I also found lots of blogs that hadn’t received an update in months or even years. Usually one of the last posts would be “I know it’s been a while, but I’m back!”. That made me a little sad and even though I’m just starting out, I don’t want it to end this way. So, I hereby promise that if I need a break, temporary or indefinitely, I’ll let you know. For now I have published 63 articles in the last year, excluding this one. That averages a little above one article per week. 

In the last months the number of views and users on my website have gradually increased from 1.600 views and 700 users per month in the beginning of the year to 15K views and 7K users per month now. I found a way to stand out in the crowd. 

Through Amazon Affiliates I’ve made $ 55,55. There are several Amazon links throughout this website and if you use these links to make a purchase at Amazon, they will pay me a small percentage of that purchase. Throughout the year there were about three sales done through one of these links, so I wasn’t really expecting anything from this. Then Black Friday sales started and I saw a huge increase with many sales in just a few days. The main purchase done: a Garmin watch. So far it only works for Amazon US purchases, so that’s something I should be working on. 

Hosting costs alone are already about € 80,- a year and there are a few other costs, so I’m really not making any money. I could put up ads, but I don’t want disruptive ads on my blog as they annoy me when I’m reading stuff online. 

The socials

Something I really enjoy about writing this blog is being in contact with my readers. Through the comments on my blogs, through Instagram, my Facebook page or my Facebook group I can easily connect with readers and fellow runners. I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram, but it’s starting to go more and more towards love at the moment. I enjoy taking pictures on my runs and sharing them, but I try to steer clear of the whole follow/follow-back/unfollow dynamic that seems to be going on there. 

Garmin Coach Runners Community 

I created the Garmin Coach Runners Community on Facebook because I felt the need to talk to other people doing Garmin Coach plans and I saw in the comment sections of my blog posts that other people had the same need. Garmin had updated the Garmin Coach plans and added 10K and half marathon plans and a lot of people were trying them out. The people in this group understand how the plans work, what it’s like to see your confidence level increase or decrease and how tough certain workouts can be. 

When I created this group I had no idea of the support I’d be getting back from the people in the group. Everyone is really supportive and just amazing towards each other. We post our workouts, share our successes and struggles and understand everyone is working towards their own goals without judgement. It really has become a community and I love being a part of it! 

Looking forward

I have lots of big plans for 2020 that I’m not going to share yet, right now my main focus is to finish my first half marathon on February 9!

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