Dealing with Pushback

I am not a well-known blogger. My page gets a paltry number of daily hits. Although at one point, I did swallow the healthy living blogger kool-aid of doing whatever I could to increase sit traffic, that ill-conceived notion has long passed. I write with a two-fold purpose now: maintain a record for my own personal use – the weekly training recaps fall into this category – and provide a public resource – the race recaps fall into this category.

I want to address the public resource aspect. As the title suggests, I’ve received some pushback lately regarding some of the things I have written regarding the Greenville Track Club. Before I address the pushback aspect, I want to take a step back and explain why I write my race recaps and why I include the details that I do.

I am a planner, a researcher. I am not an impulse shopper. When it comes to pulling the trigger on large dollar itens, I pull up reviews, read the specs, research what others have had to say about the event or item before I click the “buy now” or “register” button. (Oddly enough, I didn’t do that with my car but that ended up working out brilliantly.) When it comes to races, specifically half and full marathons, I do the same sort of research. Although the calendar does play a part, I research the race before registering and then scour any blog reviews and recaps to prepare. In some cases this was supremely helpful. For example, I found out that the Rome Marathon provides actual water bottles at the water stops instead of cups. This helped me make my decision on how to plan hydration. Other times, I ran the race and encountered unexpected things that I wish I had known beforehand so that I could prepare better. In those cases, I went out of my way in my recap to give those details for those who choose to run in the future.

Now to the pushback.

As I discussed before, a slowly building mountain of little things finally tipped the scale, resulting in my decision to decline membership renewal. The hardest part about that for me came in the fact that an organization that I once wholeheartedly supported and loved had declined so far.

I freely admit that in my hurt, I spoke with words that were harsher than necessary. As I have recently learned, those words, in turn, hurt others. For that I apologize. There is a place for constructive criticism but ill-considered words nullify any constructive intent.

With that in mind, I plan to implement a standard (for me) framework for reviewing a race. That way all races that I run and recap, whether they are run by the GTC or others will be evaluated exactly the same way. This will hopefully make the reviews more objective and curb the propensity for nit-picking which is easy for me to do when I have a less than favorable opinion of something.

The framework is as follows:

Registration and packet/bib pick up
Race shirt
Pre-Race/Race Morning amenities
Course
Course support (this includes water stops and course monitors)
Finish line and post-race amenities
Race photography
Social media

Each race, depending on participant size and overall length may not have something to be evaluated on in each category. In that case I will indicate something such as “N/A.”

You may have noticed that I did not address the pushback directly. When I first thought of this post, I intended to but then I took a second look and saw how antagonistic that would be. I do not want that to become my M.O.

I know that the bridges will not be repaired overnight but that’s the direction in which I hope to move.

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