Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photo-A-Day Project

In Montpellier Park, Cheltenham, there's a small gallery called The Gardens Gallery - It's a small scale operation that shows local work. They have all sorts displayed in there and if we are ever there we always go and have a look. This Saturday we went in and there was a photography exhibition. The photographer, Zoe Weston, was displaying photographs that she had taken through 2009. Essentially she had taken a photograph every day and was displaying them. It was pretty interesting in patches.
There were some pictures that were very obviously ones where at the end of a day she hadn't photographed anything and so took a picture of her dinner, or the cooker ring. I actually asked her if that was the case and was a little disappointed when she admitted as much really. I guess because if you set out to photograph something every day it will ultimately end up being a lot of the minutiae of life. Simple things that perhaps you see every day. Not everything individually can be a social comment or stunning piece of art. Collectively they are worth more than the sum of their parts.
Personally I was inspired to try it myself so starting on Saturday 19th March I am going to take a picture a day and load it into a picasa album and see what the results look like. I am sure it is harder than it looks to take a picture of something that is useable every day but as a project it's worth a shot (pun intended).
As I am generally always out and about the majority, if not all, of the photo's will be taken using an iPhone 4.
Should be interesting!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Plans and Dreams...

I started to dare to dream yesterday...having been able to run a couple of 3.5 milers without issue i started to consider plans to run longer, not necessarily faster.

There's the Devils Chimney 10k on 16th July, this is run by the club that @stodddy38 runs with, Almost Athletes, so I'll probably do that one. Then on 4th September its the Cheltenham Half Marathon at the Racecourse. Followed a week later by the Cheltenham Triathlon at the Sandford Park Lido. 

So far so good, nice and simple. I won't be competitive and right now i don't want to be. Just getting to the start line will feel great!

2012, however will be different!  
The Gloucester Marathon in January (hopefully with Stoddy), the Mayhill Massacre in February, again with Stoddy who should be completing his 4th Mayhill. The Cotswold Marathon in March, then maybe an ultra. There's a Cardiff 50miler in May, or, drum roll please.......the Cotswold 100miler in June.

I think the 100miles will have to wait for 2013 but next year i definitely want to do a 50miler. I was training for one previously, The Thames Trot, until a change of jobs put the scuppers on that. I know i can do the training mileage and stick to the schedule so i just need to keep fit. Sometimes easier said than done but i am hopeful - i need some good luck right?

So right now it's about continuing the training mileage, watching my form and technique and building slowly. Shorter distances slowly with the end game very much the prize not knocking out a 5k pb in training. 

Tomorrow's "long run" will hopefully be 4 miles in around 35minutes - see what i mean.

Monday, March 7, 2011

....running freely

It's been an up and down couple of weeks for me in my ACL rehab. Three weeks ago I was advised I could start jogging again, I started out with some gentle 1 mile runs building to 2miles pretty quickly but at a very slow pace. I did this a couple of times in the first week and started to get a sharp pain in my left shin. Pain on the inside edge and close to the ankle. I was gutted as this felt like an old injury that I thought the long lay-off would have resolved.
After the Gloucester Marathon in January 2010 I was unable to run as had really bad pain through my shin and ankle, it basically felt like my left ankle was set in concrete - zero flexibility and give. This was incredibly painful for me to run on. 
I started physio which was working but then very quickly ruptured my ACL meaning an enforced lay-off. The silver lining I was expecting was that the 6-9month lay-off would cure me of other issues. Any niggles, my left achilles for example used to get sore would resolve themselves through good old fashioned rest. 
You can therefore imagine how I felt when after 1 week back pavement pounding I was seemingly back where I was 9 months earlier. A fixed ACL but the same old injury. I raised it with my physio's who suggested I get a podiatry referral from my GP to have my gait analysed properly. I did this and have an appointment a week today. I also took the decision to rest from jogging for 2 weeks. 
The results have been startling! I ran a total of 9 miles last week with the longest run being 2.7 miles. I am looking to build to 5km (sorry to mix my units!) at the end of this week. Importantly I have no knee pain and no shin/ankle/achilles pain. What I have also done in this delayed comeback is concentrate on my form. I am focusing on running straight, as opposed to leading with a strong leg, I am also concentrating on a mid/forefoot strike pattern - both are easy to implement when running slow and also when starting almost from scratch.
I have time to start slow and steady with good technique not worrying about pace and performance. There was a quote I read from one of the guys that founded Cervelo that is " enough to get through the forest, slow enough to see the trees..." that quote brilliantly sums up what I, and many many others, love about running. It's great to be back!