This week marks my one year blog-iversary. On December 5, 2014, I decided to start a blog, and on December 7, 2014, I published my very first post. I can’t believe it’s been a year, but lots of time, effort, creative thought, photography, and discussion has led to more than 200 posts, dozens of delicious gluten free recipes, and many memories shared in this space. This post is all about the highlights of the past year and my thoughts on what blogging means to me, as well as my hopes for the future of Renaissance Runner Girl.
Written over the course of several days, I went through many drafts – plus about a dozen mugs of apple spice tea and several slices of Pumpkin Apple Spice Loaf with peanut butter to fuel the completion process. There are so many things I want to say and so many events to recap, it’s been tough to pick and choose. So I decided to go with a Then and Now format – highlights of running, recipes, life happenings and random posts, the way they were a year ago and how they are now. I hope you enjoy reading about the journey!
1 Year Ago
When I started this blog, I was in the middle of my third and last year at Columbia Law School. I was taking classes and fit blogging around my student schedule, along with time with family and friends, running, cooking, volunteering with the Junior League, and spending time exploring my city as well as hanging out at favorite haunts like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in Central Park.
I graduated from law school in May and spent part of the summer studying for the bar exam, which I took at the end of July. I celebrated my 24th birthday and spent some time traveling after the exam. And about six weeks ago, I started my first full-time, permanent job as an associate at a big law firm in New York City, which comes with its own learning curve and challenges!
1 Year Ago
At this time last year, I was finally fully back from a summer 2014 hip injury, looking forward to running my second half marathon in Disney World and celebrating my two-year run-iversary at my third half marathon, the 2015 NYC United Airlines Half Marathon. I was contemplating whether to try and run the NYC Marathon through the 9+1 program, and was on the cusp of discovering November Project, which I attended for the first time in February.
I recently finished my fifth half marathon after running the Dumbo Double Dare over the summer, and just completed the last of the 9 races I ran this year (plus my volunteer shift) to qualify for automatic entry to the 2016 NYC Marathon! I also set a PR at that final race, the Race to Deliver 4M, and began to settle into a new running routine. I’ve embraced being an early bird and how that works with running, and how great it is to mix it up sometimes by running without music. I can’t wait to see what the next year adds to my running story.
1 Year Ago
I had been eating completely wheat, tree nut, orange, pineapple, and avocado-free for years before I started this blog, and explaining this laundry list of seemingly strange allergies for nearly as long. I thought blogging would be a good way to share the cooking journey that began for me while I was in college, and that played a big role in my learning to love and savor food after struggling with an eating disorder for much of my young life. I started small, sharing the basic gluten free banana muffin and oatmeal cake recipes that were my first forays into cooking, unsure of whether my simple fish and vegetable dishes were even real recipes I could post.
I’ve shared many gluten free recipes, from my popular Peanut Butter Mug Puff to savory dishes like my Turkey Kale Frittata and Smoked Salmon & Quinoa Quiche, and also begun featuring more dairy free and grain free options like these Apple Cinnamon Flax Muffin Bites and Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I’ve discovered new ingredients by reading other blogs and trying recipes by other bloggers that I never would have been so eager to experiment with, from coconut flour and coconut milk to flaxseed meal and more. And I’m still learning!
1 Year Ago
I spent my undergraduate years at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Before that, I was lucky enough to go all over the world growing up, from London, Paris, and Rome to Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Singapore, and Sydney. But while I was in law school I didn’t do a whole lot of traveling, other than to Chicago to visit my brother who’s in college there and out to San Francisco for the first time, both before my blogging adventure began.
After taking the bar exam, I went back to England to visit my college friends and spent two wonderful weeks hiking in the Lake District with my dear friend Elli, catching up with others in London, and returning to Oxford for the first time since leaving three years ago. I then went to California with my cousin to run the Dumbo Double Dare, and spent a week afterwards exploring San Diego and taking a trip to the Getty Villa in Malibu. Finally, I spent a weekend in Nashville in September with my good friend Lauren. I wouldn’t trade these trips for anything, and there are so many more places on my list!
As you can see, a lot has changed in the past year. There are even more changes than the ones shown, and they’re not the kind you can see on the outside. Instead, they’re changes within me. I’ve become more confident about who I am (something I think I continue to grow into with each passing year) and not shy about talking about running or food even though it took me a long time to consider myself a “real runner” or to share my passion for cooking without embarrasment about my allergies. I no longer consider them limitations, which in and of itself is a big deal. Blogging has been a big part of that and I’ve learned a lot. The community of healthy living bloggers I’ve connected with is amazing, and while you can see many of the blogs I read on my blog roll, what’s even better is how I’ve become real life friends with some and actively engaged in a support network with others. I’ve loved sharing my life here, and while I don’t think numbers matter so much, the fact that in 2015 I’ve had more than 45,000 total views and 15,000 visitors just amazes me. I hope that if you’re reading this, you’ve enjoyed the journey so far and that you’ll stick with me as I keep growing and evolving on Renaissance Runner Girl.
Have you reached your first (or second, third, fourth, fifth…) blog-iversary?
What do you think blogging has taught you?
Any thoughts on what you’ve enjoyed most here on RRG, or what you’d like to see more of?
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