Home > On Running > An Open Farewell to ChicRunner.com

An Open Farewell to ChicRunner.com

Dear Danica, 

I was super stoked to find your blog and it’s been tons of fun reading your posts on booty shorts and other useful products.  You share such amazing tips, like curling your hair with a straightening iron (who knew?) and adding a dab of snazz to a race singlet with a bedazzler (such a clever idea!). 

I’ve cheered you in races you’ve already run when, days later, you’ve posted the recap.  And while I admit to worrying you’ll skin a knee or worse, tear a meniscus while texting at a sub-9 minute per mile clip, I do love all the candid race photos on your site.  Those jazz hands from Long Beach? Hilarious. 

But here’s the thing, Danica.  We are not of the same tribe.  On the surface we seem right for each other. After all, we are both women runners who write about our sport.  But I’m torn by the nearly thirty year gap between us.  Each time I visit chicrunner.com I’m like that creepy mom peeking at her daughter’s Facebook page.  I have a desperate sense of being in the wrong place. 

I know our relationship was short-lived and I’m sorry.  I hope you believe me when I say it’s not you, it’s me.  I’m just struggling to make a real connection. 

This same thing happened to me at Borders the other day when I pulled Run Like A Mother off the shelf.  It’s a newly-released running guide for women written by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, two runner-mom-wife-professional women balancing their lives with equanimity and grace.  Like you, the authors give great advice but it’s just not right for me. No husband, no kids and few cares, I could run all day long if my arthritic-prone back would allow it. 

Ah yes, arthritis.  That brings me to what I’ve wanted to tell you all along.  I have a new blog crush.  Her name is Ellison and she also writes about our sport at OldGalRunning.blogspot.com.  She runs, she reads (major big bonus) and she’s over 50!  Seth Godin was right when he said we’re all looking to make a connection with others who share our ideas, experiences and desires. When we find that, we find our tribe—that place that, when you go there, they want to take you in. 

I’m not forlorn for leaving you—I’m ready for this change. Ellison gets my need for afternoon naps and doesn’t wince when I say menopause out loud.  We are both age-defying athletes with something to prove.  Getting older does have its benefits—just ask Paula Radcliffe.  An aging runner not-yet 40, she said “things like mental strength and endurance, if anything, get better with age.”  And she’s right.  Did I tell you Ellison qualified for Boston at 48 during her very first marathon, ever? (Don’t hang your head, Danica–you will get there, too. And probably while you’re still in your 20’s, I bet.) 

Old runners read great literature. Follow the reading list of oldgalrunning.blogspot.com for more great reads

Anyway, this is not a permanent good-bye.  I’ll still follow you on Twitter and nod a hello at race expos, should we ever meet.  But for now, I gotta run. 



  1. September 1, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Not many people could write an article using the words “stoked,” “bedazzler”, “grace” and “arthritic-prone” that would appeal to 20- and 50-somethings with a marketing segmentation lesson woven in. Now that’s talent. I love it.

    • Shelly Roberts
      September 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks, Denese. It’s a tongue-in-cheek commentary, of sorts, on finding your tribe online. ChicRunner.com is actually a terrific blog–Danica is full of wide-eyed wonder about the world in general and it’s fun to read her perspective on running (and booty shorts). What I love about blogging is that it gives us access to so many viewpoints on the world. It’s a prism that can blind us though. Hard to find what really resonates with our own hearts sometimes. But when you find it (eg. oldgalrunning.blogspot.com) it’s a beautiful thing.

  2. September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Great post, Shelly. I love the stand you’re taking for women of our age – we have the drive, the desire and maybe not the bodies to sustain us as long as before. But dammit – we have experience and crave more out of life! Your quote from Seth Godin about Tribes really hit home for me – and how important it is to find yours – whether it’s in person or in cyberspace.

    Thanks, too, for the chuckle. Well done!


    • Shelly Roberts
      September 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Lis. I was really going for satire so glad it made you laugh. The subtext is that while we can appreciate our differences, what we all really want is to connect with people more like our own selves. It’s human nature–and dog nature, too. I once read a dog whisperer-type columnist write that while dogs love their people, what they really crave is the company of other dogs. My two pups prove this theory every time we visit Bark Park.

      • September 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm

        Oh, if this were only true with my Katie. She loves her brother, but that’s about it. Oh, and the little poodle named Baron that walks by our house occasionally. 🙂 Honestly, I’m not sure she realizes she’s a dog. Plus, she and her brother were raised by a cat. Which makes some things interesting – like Katie’s penchant for sitting ON TABLES. (Really.)

      • Shelly Roberts
        September 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm

        Ha! Katie sounds very “special.” 🙂

  3. September 1, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Shelly! I’m blushing! or maybe it’s just a hot flash. Either way, excellent post even without the mention. (Which I thank you for!) I love the tongue-in-cheek humor and had several good belly laughs.

    Yes, our tribe is increasing. I look foward to getting and giving tips on running At A Certain Age.

    And, Danica – what can I say? Some chicks just dig crows feet and mottled hands.

    • Shelly Roberts
      September 1, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      Danica will do just fine without the likes of me. She’s fun, irreverent and adorable. And maybe that’s really it. I can be irreverent (oh boy!), but those adorable days are well behind me. Lead me away from delusions of my former self, Ellison, and into a world that welcomes the wrinkled.

  4. itsleisa
    September 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    What a fun post. And thanks for the phrase “blog crush.” Like a teenager girl, I have about 100 blog crushes. And thanks for the insight into what it’s like to really find your tribe. You’re one! : D

    • Shelly Roberts
      September 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      Welcome to the tribe of the curious-minded. I’m thinking we need an anthem. So far this ditty by Barry Manilow comes to mind: “All the time I thought there’s only me/Crazy in a way that no one else could be/I can’t believe that you were somewhere, too/Thinking all the time there’s only you.” Corny, I know. The thing I do love about the blog and twittersphere is that it allows likeminded people to connect. It’s helped me discover that I’m not so crazy after all. Cheers!

  1. September 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm

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