7 Reasons I Ditched Facebook to Become a Better Runner

Just one of my many rants! I know everyone lives for FB, so don’t take it personally: this is just my experience speaking.

Every time I meet someone, one of the first questions I get is, “Why aren’t you on Facebook?”

Over a year ago, I was a social media junkie: totally addicted to communicating via FB, made new “friends” (all 800+ of ’em!) via Facebook, my training business grew through Facebook. I thought it was awesome.

Until I realized what a problem Facebook had created in my running! I ditched it a few times, and that would last all of 2 weeks until I would reactivate it. Finally, I got the nerve up to totally pull the plug and completely and permanently delete it all- actually a required 14 day process!

My issues with running/Facebook mixing:

1.) I trained like other people trained. One of the most annoying aspects of social media is the constant feed of “I ran ____ with _____ in _____.” That’s great and all, except that constant bombardment of mileage and times made me think I should be doing something similar. Sometimes I would think about other’s splits and training, and think I should do more. Or sometimes I would read posts and think, “Dang. I’m doing way too much.” I rarely would base my training solely off what I deemed my body perfectly capable of. If it wasn’t for ditching Facebook, I never would have had the guts to train at over 100 miles a week, and never would have known that my body was able to handle it, because I would have thought it was weird based off other people’s training views. It took breaking away from constant mileage feeds to find my own happy mileage.

2.I raced what everyone else raced. who’s doing what? Can I handle that distance? Who will be there? Will it be fun? Racing was more of a social thing for me, and I picked my distances based on what other people were racing. Even little marathons: I would go to them if everyone else was doing it regardless of if it fit into my current training cycle. I really enjoyed this year having no idea what anyone else was doing, and signing up for things that I felt like I wanted to try.

2.)I listened to what people I didn’t care about had to say about me and my training. In 2010, I made the mistake of thinking that a large group of runners liked me, when in actuality- they talked major major smack about me behind my back- LIKE HIGH SCHOOL! awesome. Before I realized these people totally sucked: I would let them criticize me on facebook while I started increasing mileage and training. Some women even wrote me personal messages discouraging me and lecturing me- people I didn’t even know. I was so fed up with always being bombarded by stupid people, and I was letting them get to me… Until I realized I had the ability to pull the plug on them.:)

3.)I invested time in other runners I really didn’t know, and less time in runners I really did know. Long emails, chats, comments- they make you feel like you know a runner- but really you don’t. If you’ve never met them face to face- you really dont know a dang thang about em. Everyone puts their best foot forward on Facebook- so until you see the deep dark side of a person- you can’t say you KNOW them. For me- when I finally ditched the FB scene- I got calls from local runners wanting to hit the trails together to catch up: and i wasn’t invested in my fake friends- so that was cool.

4.)It was too competitive. 2010 brought a very competitive Brooks sponsorship race series-all of us were competing against one another in various states for some amazing gear and $1000’s in deals & packages and ALL OF US WERE FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK. The competition was quickly taken off the courses, and “inadvertently” placed into status updates, pictures, and race time boastings. It became hard not to play the let’s compare game- “Wait. THAT chick ran a 1:24 half? Come on Ashley get your game together….Okay now get off Facebook and sleep its 4am.” STUPID. Let me say that again. ((((STUPID!!)))
I am not her. She is not me. We are not each other. End of story. (Easily accessible competition is not good for an already competitive woman.)

5.)Nobody cares. And if they did. They would really tell you. if you really think that the 400+ people that sent you a happy birthday message, or the 50 people that liked your “I won a 5k!” status actually really care about YOU.. Well..you’re wrong. Hit delete and see how many of those people get in touch with you outside of Facebook to congratulate you on your running accomplishments. Since ditching Facebook, I have kept in touch with probably 10-20 people, and only 5 that I actually talk to weekly! And surprise- those people call me after my races to check on me! I see lots of runners at races, and we catch up, and then go our own ways again.and that’s good enough for me. not everyone deserves to be inside your personal running world.

6.)I’m an individual. I loathe being anything like anyone else! So this one’s easy… Everyone else loves it? I should probably hate it. [Which will probably lead to my next post on why I’m seriously considering a 200+ for my next race] too many young chicks do hundreds now. Interesting fact: I was the 3rd youngest girl to do a hundred in the entire USA in 2010. Funny, huh? Especially considering I’m a mother of 2. Now that’s not the case anymore as far as I know- not just because im getting older- haha. I liked ultra running because it made me feel different- not many young moms could swing this stuff. If I saw all the crap on Facebook about everyone else doing it- I probably would start to dislike 100s. I’m the same with music. I’m a huge music buff- but when I hear a song I downloaded 6 months ago getting played on mainstream radio- I wont listen to it anymore. It’s stupid. But it’s how I am. I just really cherish my Ashleyness.

7.)injury nazis have full access on Facebook! These people would drive me up the wall. Any time I would say something about a minor ache or pain- I would get some long drawn out message about why I am overtraining, running too much, and too young to realize all of the above. Man. SHUT UP! seriously.
If I listened to half the crap people said or advised- I wouldn’t run. Period! Especially with this past experience at ancient oaks with the bad hip injury- I was getting it bad enough without Internet interaction.. I can only imagine how insane it would’ve been with FB.

I’m a lone wolf by nature, and I’m glad I ditched Facebook so long ago because that helped me find my lone wolf status again.

I run with people I genuinely care about. I have no use for a running partner that doesn’t mean anything to me. When I want to talk to someone I pick up a phone and call, shoot a personal email, or meet them for lunch. Period. No phony friends from facbook please.

I’m faster now and I can run really freakin far. Doubt I ever would’ve pushed myself this hard had I been facing a daily plate of critics, kiss ups, and fake friends. I push myself so hard because I want to. I don’t have to hear anyone’s smack except my family’s and friends.. And they know me well enough not to voice it now;):);)

8 Replies to “7 Reasons I Ditched Facebook to Become a Better Runner”

  1. The world is better off without the false realm that is social media, or self media. When people are taking hours out of their reality to tell fake friends every meaningless and self-centered detail of their life, how much can they really be living? It’s a sad fact that now people are more satisfied by the volume of “likes” or “comments” and attention in the false realm rather than spending quality time in real relationships in reality.

  2. Hey Ashley I love your article and it’s so fake-ing’ true I’m not a FB junkie it actually annoys me but I choose to stay on because I live in another Country Part time and it’s a great way for me to stay connected w/my REAL family and REAL friends…I’ve learned not to post anything about my training/running or anything else that would allow envious or jealousy and actually I’ve learned how to piss many of them off and that is by posting a lot of politics which really seems to PISS many of them off and than…I post about Faith, God and Life, funny thing is when you post positive stuff the ppl who can’t stand you don’t even click “LIKE” but I know they’re still out there scavenging around…but I’m hopeful that maybe some of God’s words will inspire them too!!!
    Anyways, I just wanted to say Hi and I love your article and GOOD luck on all your races, train as hard as your body and mind will allow you and than some and always stay true to who you are 🙂 God’s Blessings to you

  3. “I was so fed up with always being bombarded by stupid people”

    That’s the only reason I needed to ditch it.

  4. Have you noticed the new meme that FB people are trying to spread? ‘Only weirdos aren’t on Facebook.” Please – it makes me despise the new fake, ANTI-social media dweebs even more. I ditched FB because while I always used to be curious what people were thinking – after being on FB I got over it. It turns out what I suspected was true: people are only thinking of themselves and it is super boring.

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