(Don’t just) do it for the ‘gram

I run for the medals and Instagram pictures.

Granted, I also do it because I can, as a physical celebration of the blessing good health and being able-bodied is. The love of a solid challenge is part of the reason, as well as developing a camaraderie with complete strangers. I rarely see any of them again once the race is done, but there’s still a bond formed from the distance, early rise time and fresh chafe marks.

But on a very superficial level, I run for the medals and Instagram pictures.

Last Sunday I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k as my end of the year “what the hell” race. If Indy was a disaster then HC15k would be a morale booster, but it actually turned out to be a fun run where I held the same race pace from the Columbus Half Marathon.

To celebrate that one I jumped in the Hot Cocoa Hot Tub with my medal at the post-race party. A teenager behind me decided against getting in because it was muddy and she was wearing white shoes. I told her it wasn’t too bad in there, but this was before I got home and started laundry. Mud was all over my leggings and back, as well as caked in my shoes.

That was probably the grossest I’ve ever been after a race. Still fun though.

I regret nothing here.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. I put in an easy four miles while the smart people were home watching the Ohio State-Michigan game. Late fall is hands down my favorite time of year to run. I don’t feel like I have to get up to beat the humidity the same way I do in July or August, but at the same time I don’t have ice in January to worry about tripping on (which I’m already feeling anxious about. Ugh.)

I can run in either morning or afternoon. Downtown is peaceful and fairly quiet at either time, and thankfully there’s not too many people outside so if I want to stop and stage a running photo for Instagram, I can and nobody will care.

Or at least they’ll be gracious enough to not say anything.

Columbus Commons has the tree up, and I originally thought it would be a good idea to set up my phone to get a picture of me jumping for joy in front of a beautiful Christmas tree. You know, to communicate running and Christmas and OMG, so blissfully happy on social media. In theory this sounded good. In practice:

1.) I am not a flattering jumper. Looking back at those pictures I’m convinced an elephant would make a softer landing.

2.) The open-mouthed “camera” smile is not actually a smile for me. You know that smile MLM ladies do, of their mouths open with teeth on display that looks a little creepy but simultaneously works? Mine looks like I just broke a bone or realized the fart wasn’t actually a fart.

3.) The ground around the tree was muddy. I didn’t get hurt thankfully, but when I landed I slid a little and felt it in my right ankle.

So the Columbus Commons Christmas tree idea was a no-go and I continued running to the Scioto Mile. I was able to get my phone set up and took some back view running shots I could make nice for Instagram, which I uploaded once I got home.

This morning I woke up thinking about yesterday and I had to laugh at my own ridiculousness.

Social media is a fun outlet for me. I can play with filters and angles when taking pictures of objects and cityscapes, and thus take my already-beautiful city and turn it into my own masterpiece. Writing on here is also fun, as is running and exercising and reading. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing any of it.

Do I expect to be Instagram famous? No.

“So,” I asked myself, “who cares about angles and setting up pictures for the ‘gram? Why would that even matter?”

On a deep level it doesn’t. But at that superficial level, if my social media presence is going to center on my identity as a runner, then I don’t want the stank face being the one that gets uploaded.

So with that being said, I’m going to leave you all with the heavily filtered picture from yesterday. Because why not.

May your running this week be strong, fast and ultimately happy.

Your friend,

Allison, also known as The Broad Running Broad

Does this filter make my legs look not as pasty?

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