First it was the Guttenberg Printing Press then the Internet now Social Media...People love to communicate! And when it comes to innovations in how we communicate, Social Media has certainly changed the world!: One-to-one communication on steroids. Here is an informative time-line showing the history of social media:
At 5:30 am in the morning hearing this Masked Runner pounding up behind you could be a little disconcerting. Fortunately I rarely see any non-runners out on super-cold winter mornings at that hour.
I knew winter was coming. And especially the frigid 'well-below-freezing' wind chills. But I still wasn't ready for the arctic blast that hit Toronto last week. One day clear conditions with temperatures hovering around freezing, the next day a couple of inches of snow but absolutely bone chilling minus double digit temperatures. It was definitely time to break out the deep winter running gear...and add 10 minutes to my run just to get ready. Dressing for cold weather running is certainly a chore and having a place to hang the sweaty post-race gear is a major challenge in our apartment. Just ask Sally! Here's my routine (non-runners stop reading now):
I start with socks from my downhill skiing days. They are fairly thin but provide superior warmth and comfort. Plus they cover my ankles completely which really matters running though deep snow.
Next up is my base layer. I'm particularly fond of the Kombi poly base layer top and bottom. Really thin, super comfortable and un-restrictive leg movements.
I've always liked running in tights so for the winter I have a full-length winter-weight tight. Around freezing I can wear them by themselves but around -10 degrees Celsius I pull them on over the base layer.
For my top, I have an old ski fleece top with a full zipper that goes over the base layer. I like this because it is fitted. Not much bulk to worry about. I top it off with a wind shell with lots or 360 reflection.
On cold days I just wear a heavy poly toque but at the super frigid temps I have a full-head balaclava that goes on first. Ahh...the Balaclava...the Masked Runner! Not particularly attractive but totally effective in keeping my head and neck protected from the wind.
What's the secret to being a great Social Media Marketer? Listening and being responsive top the list and so is being patient. Here are the other 7 that make up the Top 10 qualities and skills of the World's Greatest Social Media Marketer:
Once when someone asked my opinion and I answered even though I didn't know the answer, I was informed that "I was all wet". Since then I've tried to keep my mouth shut when I don't know the answer to something. Getting wet last week was something I did willingly at my local pool though...and I liked it!
Backing up a bit, let me explain why I was in the pool in the first place. Nothing serious but I experienced a slight twinge in my right knee after a run early last week. I iced it as soon as I returned home and applied the Voltarin after my shower. But with Reggae Marathon only a couple of weeks away now and determined not to finish in Last Place in the Reggae Runners Challenge, I decided to hit the local pool for some Water Running to keep in running shape.
Ironic that the first sign I saw upon leaving the Change Room was this No Running sign since that was exactly what I intended to do in the deep end of the pool. A couple of years ago when I had the broken foot I ran in the water to keep up conditioning in the leg muscles used for running. Swimming is good for overall tone along with Elipticals and Stationary Cycles but those don't work the same muscles.
There are two main benefits for getting all wet running in the pool: First, there is absolutely no impact on the muscles. I can push as hard as I want without causing any further injury. Plus the water provides great resistance so I have to work harder. This leads to the second benefit: It's a harder, more intense workout mimicking Intervals.
Like the runner in the photo above, wearing a flotation belt allows you to concentrate on running form that basically imitates regular running on land. Yes it's a little boring...OK make that a lot boring...and swimmers give you a wide berth but it's a great way to stay in running shape while dealing with or recovering from a leg or foot injury.
On a business trip a few years ago I had the opportunity to ask a very knowledgeable Social Media expert this question: "What is Social Media?". His answer was revealing: "Before Social Media, Corporations controlled media channels...what and how information was transmitted to people; Social Media removes that barrier and allows individuals to communicate unfiltered". There is both good and bad in that of course but it has always been this way. Recently I was asked the same question only this time in this context: "What is Social Media Marketing?" I answered with this illustration:
Here's a personal example of why I love Social Media. Recently I had to re-set the 'Service Light' on my wife's car. I Googled it first and found suggestions in various Forums. None were effective. Then I found a Video on YouTube that showed exactly how to do it. But here's the interesting and relevant part: The video itself while it showed the procedure missed one key step. That step was answered by someone who left a comment. That's Social Media.
Like Sisyphus, running stairs is an exercise in repetition: Run up, walk down, repeat. Over and over. Until my quads quiver and my legs feel like jelly. Ahh...the joys of running!
Sisyphus was the guy who had the unenviable and unending task of pushing a rock up a hill, having it roll down and having to push it back up again. This was punishment for him. To the people in the nearby apartments who see me running repetitively up and down the stairs early mornings it must look like I too am being punished!
But although running stairs is punishing, I'm not Sisyphus, I'm not being punished. There is method to my madness of running stairs but 'Shhh...don't tell anyone". You see, in the last two Reggae Runners Challenges (Half Marathon in Toronto a couple of years ago and last year at Reggae Marthon) I took the distinction of coming in last. In both events! And while I put on the 'Happy Face', I was not pleased. It's been nagging at me all this time. This year at Reggae Marathon December 6 I'm determined to end this tradition. Watch out Dan, Larry, Navin, Deb and anyone else in the Reggae Runners Challenge! I'm running stairs!!
So far I have managed to elude the foot injuries that previous experiences with running stairs caused: nasty flare-ups of Plantar Fasciitis. I've had a little twinge in my right knee but a day or so of rest cures that. The good news is that on my regular runs I'm running faster and more efficiently. I'm able to put in a quick burst of speed and recover quickly. Nice.
So thanks Sisyphus for the inspiration to keep running stairs. Last place will be history!
The current topic in Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing in particular is Content. Creation, distribution, sharing; Original and User-generated. And while challenging to measure in terms of hard ROI, Content Marketing via Social Media is growing both in importance and effectiveness. At the heart of Content Marketing is an 'old school' concept: Word-of-Mouth! Amplified many times over by effective use of Social Media.
For Brands and Marketers looking to maximize Content Marketing, three words are key: "Create, Curate, Optimize". Here's an Infographic that does a good job of showing how:
I used to run to win. Not to come in first...I am not an Elite. I set goals: Not last; Top Half Overall; Top 10 in my age group. It was fun for a while and for a couple of years when I competed in Triathalons I expended a lot of energy setting, training and competing to hit those goals. I knew I had gone too far though when one day after making a delicious Pasta meal I referred to the meal as 'Fuel'. Sally was not impressed! She is an excellent cook and the meal was spectacular. So after 30 years I'm back to just running.
Even though I love running some mornings I'm challenged with getting out of my warm bed and heading out for a run. Especially when it's dark, cold and wet. On those mornings I turn to motivation quotes for a pick-me-up.