I use social media regularly to let everyone, whether they're interested or not, know what training, races etc I've got planned. I blog, I talk about running. So is it for attention?
I don't perceive myself as a particularly popular person, I was always one of 'the invisible' children at school, not bright enough to be top of the class, not troublesome, I went, did what was asked of me and went home again. Also my social skills were and still aren't amazing, being in large groups of people is uncomfortable. There is always that worry I'll say something stupid and so I tend to keep quiet. It takes me a long time to really be comfortable enough to open up to people. I'm not the life and soul of the party so I always assume if I'm not around I'm not missed. I'm not writing all this for approval or for anyone to tell me I'm wrong. I'm 42 and have got used to and accepted the person I am and I'm mostly happy with that.
So how does this all fit in to the original question. Do I run ultramarathons to get attention... I'm not going to say I don't like the attention, but I like it in that it is usually by way of giving me support for whatever crazy challenge I've got myself into!
But surely ultrarunning by it's nature is an anti social hobby, I am more than happy to go to bed early on a Saturday night, get up early on a Sunday morning and spend several hours running around the countryside by myself. I enjoy the solitude, the thought that no one knows where I am, the peace and quiet. Even during a race, especially an ultra I often find myself running for many hours alone. I am happy alone, conversation doesn't always come easily. So hours alone with just the odd horse or cow to talk to is ok.
I will always be grateful and amazed by the support I receive from friends and family for my endeavours and long may it continue, but if there were no Facebook, Twitter or blogging, if no one was interested in my running would I still run ultramarathons? Well that's an easy question to answer...
Yes, of course I would, there are still so many races to do, places to explore and distances to see if I can conquer...
Happy running xx