OK, I am a total slacker … over the last month I have been nominated for SIX Liebster and other blog awards, and been meaning to do a post about it ever since the first one from Running Boston and Beyond. My initial problem was that I did one of these posts back in February, and felt like I was spent in terms of personal reveals … but now I am ready to give it a go – and these nominations each have plenty of interesting questions so you can learn even MORE stuff you didn’t care about!
Running Boston and Beyond
Let’s start with Kelli from Running Boston and Beyond (and yes, she did run Boston in 2014)! She is a 40-something wife and mom who loves running and her family and has a great blog – definitely check her out!
1.How did you choose your blog name?
I initially had a blog since ~2006 called ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ where I wrote about stuff I couldn’t post on any of the game review sites I wrote for … and had basically zero readers. So when I got serious about running went beyond what I could comfortably write about for Gear Diary, I needed a new outlet. I was getting older but not ‘over the hill’, and my new focus on ‘serious’ running was a different take on a familiar habit – so not really ‘turning the corner’ or ‘changing course’. So more “Running Around the Bend” … and I landed on WordPress rather than Blogger (where I also have an account) because that name was in use on Blogger.
2.What is your favorite thing to write about?
If you read my post ‘mostly the miles are boring’ you know that running isn’t my favorite topic; nor is cooking and eating – again, because I eat pretty much the same things for 12 or so meals every week (breakfasts and weekday lunches).
But if you read this blog even occasionally you know my favorite things in the world are my wife and kids … so writing about stuff we do together is my fave thing in the world.
3.Why did you start blogging?
I started doing ‘game reviews’ back on USENET in the 80s before the web, then started writing for early websites – again gaming opinions. Then as time went on I started writing editorials and other opinion-based stuff – and from there I found the limits and needed to express myself more. Like I said, at first I was basically writing for myself, and left it behind for a few years.
But last year, after ‘becoming a runner’, and having gone through a long running streak, and done it all mostly posting to Facebook with some stuff written for ‘official posts’, I again found the limits (or rather, they were pointed out to me). So I kicked back into my blog, started using that in my comments … and just over 7 months later here we are!
4.What kind of workout makes you feel the best after it is all over?
Running … is there another kind?
5.What is your favorite post workout recovery food?
Smoothies! Seriously – in the cold weather I like water and later some coffee, in the warmth it is water and then something cold like a smoothie. Or homemade peanut butter ‘fudge’ (melt a bit of butter, stir in peanut butter, add some confectionary sugar and chocolate syrup and stick it in the freezer!)
6.What motivates you?
Sounds odd, but love for my wife, for my kids, for my friends, and for myself is what motivates me.
7.What is your “A” race or biggest fitness goal for 2014?
I still want to run an Ultra … but aside from that just PR everything I do (no biggie, right?). But really – if I am still running 5+ miles 5+ days a week by the end of the year I will be incredibly happy.
8.What is your favorite motivational song?
Maybe it is because I saw it in theaters in 1976 when I was 10 … but Bill Conti’s ‘Rocky’ theme still gives me chills. I don’t use music for workouts, though.
9.What is your favorite “fun” thing to do besides run/train/work out?
Aside from stuff with my family (already mentioned), I would say music. I am still finishing setting up my old studio again and re-adapting my song files to the new configuration (which is simultaneously fun and annoying) … but eventually I will share stuff here.
10.If you could give your 16-year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Focus more on being happy, and stop caring what other people (including your family) thinks.
11.Are you going to pass on the torch and nominate 11 fellow bloggers?
Can I ignore this one? Seriously I am not going to for one main reason – I already skipped out on it last time because everyone else had already been nominated. Still true.
The Gluten Free Treadmill
Next we move on to Laura from The Gluten Free Treadmill. Now I am going to embarass Laura by saying that she is absolutely one of the most wonderful people I’ve met since blogging and a truly treasured ‘internet friend’. She writes about powerful and important stuff and we share loads of common thoughts on things. I have loved seeing her site continue to gain traction and followers – well deserved!
1) What is your spirit animal and why?
I have always been the ‘bear’. Solid, strong, even-tempered and ready. I had a teddy bear from when I was in the hospital at 4, and later on Lisa gave me one for when I was traveling. Even though my size is no longer ‘bear-like’, I will always be the bear.
2) What is your happy place?
On the couch with Lisa, drinking coffee or wine. My ‘personal’ place would be out on a run.
3) What is your favorite ethnic cuisine?
Chinese food of all types, from junk at the mall food court to gourmet stuff in a big city to more exotic stuff to things we make at home. Love the flavor profiles and ingredients and pretty much everything about it.
4) What was your favorite food as a kid?
Steak, from an early age.
5) What is your favorite food today?
Hmmm … would have to choose between sweet potato and … yeah, steak.
6) What are you typically doing on a Wednesday at 11:30 AM?
Something related to work … specific to most of the last two months or so on my new project, either at my desk or in our development clean room … likely thinking about lunch!
7) Why do you blog?
Because I have felt the need to express myself in the digital world ever since that was a possibility. I have always found writing a cathartic outlet, yet never had an interest in pursuing it professionally (to the chagrin of my AP English teacher in high school) … so for me blogging was a natural. And more recently I have found less of a desire to do reviews and more desire to ‘do my own thing’.
8) What do you do when not blogging?
Well, my job at Corning keeps me busy about 50 hours per week, and I have a very busy life with Lisa and the boys and the dogs and the cats. Music, video games, house-related stuff and so on take up the rest.
9) What’s the biggest life lesson you’ve learned to date about nutrition/food/health?
Food is fuel. Get rid of the good / bad labels, the ‘meat is murder’ mentality, and just figure out what best fuels the life you want to lead … and stop judging yourself and others.
10) What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned to date about something other than nutrition/food/health?
Honest, open communications is the key to everything – it is more important than talent, intelligence, or looks.
Life Between the Miles
Then I was nominated by one of my more recent blog discoveries, Sara from Life Between the Miles. She is from Massachusetts, recently ran the Boston marathon, is married with a cute little boy, and writes a fun and honest blog I look forward to reading all the time.
1. If you could spend the day with one famous person, who would it be and why?
On the one hand, I would love to get the chance to talk to a whole variety of historical leaders, freedom pioneers, artists and musicians and ground-breaking scientists … but on the other hand I can never choose just one because what I would ultimately want is to understand the person behind the story. I place very little value on ‘fame’ or ‘wealth’ and even less on pure ‘celebrity’, so spending time with a person because they are ‘famous’ has no draw for me.
2. What is an attribute you admire in others?
Honesty. In crowded engineering fields, saying ‘I don’t know’ can be seen as weakness, so people will sometimes pretend to know things they don’t. In my personal life I’ve had many people say things for no reason that are clearly not true (why?). Yeah, for me it all starts with honesty.
3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would be the 3 things you would take with you?
OK, I am assuming Lisa, Danny and Chris is cheating?
4. If money was no object, what would you choose as your career?
I would still be working, but would push the measurement science side harder. When I was younger I thought music store or studio, or book store, or teacher or something … but none of those really appeal to me enough to mitigate the downsides.
5. What is YOUR greatest achievement?
While professionally my direct contributions to the first 1GHz microprocessor technology, or significant work in the development of the technique of Scatterometry for sub-100nm semiconductor measurements are probably my ‘biggies’ … for me it is marrying Lisa, as even having our boys stems from that.
6. Why did you decide to start blogging? *answered in the first group*
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who have no regard for others.
8.What is your favorite pizza toppings?
When I was young I used to get onion, pepper, hamburg and linguica … now I would say just cheese.
9. What is the theme song of your life?
Miles Davis Bitches’ Brew – within that 27 minutes there is everything I love about music; elements of classical, rock, funk, soul, free jazz, fusion and so on.
10. If you had $1,000 that you could spend on anything, what would you spend it on?
Funny thing that as such a techie I am also not very materialistic … so I don’t immediately think about some new gadget. Instead I think about paying off things like the one car payment or working down the mortgage so she the kids are done with college we will be more free to choose our path forward.
But since I should really choose stuff … I would get Lisa some Hoka One Ones to support her ankle and redo her Pandora bracelet so it fit better … and myself some running gear, and the rest for some clothes and shoes for the boys.
She’s Going the Distance
Next the hilarious and sarcastic dude Cori from She’s Going the Distance (yes, like that Cake song). Both she and her fiance Cameron have great blogs I enjoy, and I look forward to reading about their wedding later this year (yes, I am a total sappy romantic type):
1. Do you have a night before or race day ritual that you HAVE to do?
Nothing on the creepy superstitious level, just make sure my crap is ready and try to get some sleep.
2. Do you love your job?
Yes I do … like the line in Real Genius ‘I love solving problems’. Today I helped a young engineer figure out a critical experimenal problem on her project, taught her some statistics and more details about some software. She was super happy and grateful … which makes it all worthwhile!
3. Why did you start blogging? *answered in the first group*
4. What is your favorite running shoe brand?
Right now I am loving Saucony – I’m on Virratas now, but I just saw Amazon clearanced the Kinvara 4s as they prep for the 5! Might have to grab a pair cheap!
5. Ice cream, popsicles or milkshakes?
6. Where’s the last place you traveled?
Glorious Troy, NY! The trip to RPI and my fraternity was worth enduring Troy, as I wrote about the other day!
7. Power song to run or train to?
Music for running?
8. Beach or Mountains?
Beach! We watched one of those ‘house hunter’ shows the other night just because it was all beach houses!
9. Are you afraid of heights?
Not at all – I seek out heights and rollar coasters.
10. Favorite show on tv currently?
I tend to ‘lose track’ of shows fairly easily, so for me it has to be something we all can enjoy. Right now we’re doing Grimm, Castle, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock and Hannibal. The BBC shows are less frequent, and the others we watch on Hulu more often than not due to schedules.
Run Salt Sun
Next came Lauren from Run Salt Sun … or just #mamaSalt, who has gained quite a bit of success both as a speedy runner and a ‘mommy blogger’ – though she is not typical of that breed (thankfully). She has an adorable little girl, and a husband who loves her in spite of her running ‘problem’ 🙂
1) Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
The Count! I was just 3 when Sesame Street launched on PBS (when there were all of a half dozen stations between UHF/VHF), so I mostly know Big Bird, Kermit, etc. But the Count was always a fave.
2) How do you feel about treadmills?
Aren’t those the things they make lab rats run on for experiments?
3) Are you good at math?
My job is as a statistician and metrology (measurement) engineer. Does that answer the question? Ask my family … I torment them with math,
4) What is your favorite brand of running shoe?
5) Coolest celebrity you’ve met?
For me the coolest thing was riding the elevator with jazz guitar legend John Scofield in the late 80s – I was going to see him play that night, so it was cool to chat in the elevator and he was awesome.
Also, at a wedding of one of Lisa’s friends we got to see Chet & Nat – two Boston news icons.
6) What is your dream job?
You know … I really have no idea. I am pretty happy where I am, no desire to move, and get to spend enough time with my family. Seeing so many people try small businesses has shown me that is NOT what I want … and really most of my hobbies I am happy with as hobbies.
7) What is your favorite kind of pie?
Lisa makes a killer apple pie (yes, despite being allergic) with a sugar cookie top-crust. Yeah, probably that.
8) How many brothers and sisters do you have?
I have one of each and I am the middle child (explains a lot, really). Both of my siblings are divorced at this point (within the last few years), and each has had significant heart issues. My brother lives in NJ and my sister in MA.
9) Why did you start blogging? *answered in the first group*
10) Do you take selfies at races?
Sometimes afterwards, but generally I have some part of my crew so they take pictures of me.
And finally Abby from thesecretlifecoachofdc, who is a fun and energetic young blogger with a great philosophy that “all aspects of a healthy lifestyle (fitness, nutrition, social, mental, sleep, etc) are intertwined”. All about balance!
My Questions for My Nominees
1. What are your three favorite things to do in your down time?
– Spend time with my wife and boys.
– Go for a run.
– Make music
2. What is your life motto?
I had one ‘find excess within moderation’ that I liked a lot when I was younger … and while I haven’t ever really been a ‘live by a motto’ person, I still like it.
3. What is your dream job? *answered in the previous group*
4. If you described yourself as a color, what color would you be and why?
A bright vibrant blue … because it is my favorite color, shows energy with a certain coolness, and has higher photon energy than all of those ‘warmer’ colors!
5. If someone wrote a book about your life up until now, what would the title be?
“Why the heck are you contemplating buying this boring story about a happily married, well employed middle-aged family man with no addictions or tragic flaws?”
6. Who would you choose to play you in a movie?
Another weird one – and again no clue. Many people I might have chosen ages ago I feel have aged poorly (James Spader), or are too good looking (George Clooney) and would seem arrogant. I dunno – who would YOU think?
7. If you could be a professional athlete, what sport would you choose to be a pro at?
Running for sure – it used to be basketball but that has lost its allure to me, whereas I would be fine being a pro runner, traveling around meeting other runners, and getting to enjoy all of the incredible races.
8. Who do you look up to the most in life right now?
My wife – she has had to go through many things in her life, yet she approaches every day with bright eyes and an open and loving heart.
9. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
The people – definitely the people. Sure I like writing and reading stories and perspectives and all that – but ultimately it is the people BEHIND the blogs that I find intriguing.
10. What stores do you frequent the most (online or in-person)?
Online I am very much an Amazon person for … well, everything. In the real world I would love to say it was someplace more glamorous or gourmet … but it is Walmart. Because it is close, convenient, and cheap.
11. Favorite book right now?
Fave is always tough … but I am re-reading the Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko. They are translated from Russian and a decent fantasy series. I started re-reading it because the English translation of the latest book is coming out later this year.
Though if I had to choose a singular favorite it would be ‘Cat’s Cradle’ by Kurt Vonnegut. It is a book that I read and re-read, and it always either shows me something different or strikes me differently.
My Final Thoughts
As I finish this I realize how much more useless crap I could talk about – so I started a ‘random facts’ post that I will do some time in the future.
I mentioned that I wasn’t going to nominate anyone – since this cycle started a few months ago I have been reading about all of these different cool things about bloggers. Pretty much everyone has had at least one Liebster post, so I couldn’t find anyone to nominate!
But – if you are reading this and have not done a Liebster post, or you want to do another one … consider THIS your invitation. Here are the rules:
– Pick 10 questions from the ones above.
– Answer them.
– Link back to this post so I can see you’re post.
– Nominate someone if you want.
And that is it! Happy Thursday everyone … we’re getting close to the weekend!