It takes all kinds

None of my current group of friends nor my family are into running, which makes me the odd duck. It also means none of them really care to hear about me talk about running. They don’t care about the struggle, and the intestinal fortitude required to gut through a tough mile, a cramp, or a huge hill.

That’s part of the reason I set this blog up, as a place to get it all out. Along with that, I also decided I’d try to use Twitter to connect with other runners out there. I set up an account that nobody in my “real” world knows anything about. There are some folks that run a few podcasts I’ve started listening to that are wide open and encourage communication with their listeners, so I started out with them, because that some how felt less creepy.

Also, since I’m training for a half marathon, I decided I’d eavesdrop on the Twittersphere and see what others were saying about the subject. Using one of the Twitter API’s, a little PHP, a little JS, and a cronjob I set up the box you see in the right column. Every 5 minutes there’s a cronjob that runs in the background that pulls the latest 50 “tweets” that contain the words “half” and “marathon”. I’ve gotten pretty good results so far, but since the two words don’t have to be in order I’ve had a few tweets get through that don’t fit the context of the site.

Sorry, that was a tangent. The point of the post is that following what people are saying on Twitter has helped me see that people of varying levels of experience and ability are training for the same thing I am. That’s pretty cool, though I still feel a little creepy adding random strangers to my list of people I’m following. Maybe as I assimilate into the community I’ll start to feel like I belong or maybe some of them will start following me. Until then, I’ll just hope it doesn’t rain all week. Thanks Tropical Story Fay.