Art can be transformative when artists take an active role in what ultimately is an ongoing creative process. If you’re still copying others or repeating your own early successes, you’re not growing. It’s difficult to recognize when your creative work is derivative of the limited influences closest to you, unless you make moves toward expanding your frame of reference. Seek feedback from other artists. Take ownership of your tastes by studying the greats, even those whose work may not align perfectly with your own interests, and most certainly those whose work stands as a direct affront to the meaning and purpose you search for through your creative endeavors. The smaller your frame of reference, the more likely you are to endlessly repeat what you already know, which ultimately is merely yourself. Self-indulgence is a tricky thing, because it super-charges the ego, but it does absolutely nothing for growth.
This time last year I could not have imagined that I’d be training for a half marathon and running in winter weather. The first pic is from a trail running event at Chestnut Ridge and the second is from half and full marathon training with Fleet Feet. My first time running 9 miles.
Much has happened in the 6 months since I started my running journey. I had a scare with a knee injury early on. Thankfully it turned out to be just a minor setback. After completing Fleet Feet’s Learn to 5k program, I began preparing for their 2.0 program which trains runners for distances of up to 5 miles. By the time the program started, I was already running 5 miles comfortably, so I decided to move up to 3.0 instead and we worked toward an 8 mile goal. My knee pain still kicks in from time to time at the longer distances, but I’ve learned to keep an eye on it and apply preventative measures.
My current distance PR is 8.6 miles and my fastest 5k pace is around 9:15. Since starting, I’ve run in 4 races including a half marathon relay. I’ve discovered the joy of trail running, conquered my fear of running in cold weather, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and about life in general.
I hemmed and hawed about what to do next and I’ve finally decided to sign up for Fleet Feet’s HFM program which consists of various training levels that prepare runners for Half and Full marathon races. The program begins next week. I’ll be starting at the beginner level and my goal is to run the Buffalo Half in May. Unfortunately, I have a lot of work travel coming up in the next few weeks, which means I’ll miss out on some training, but I’m determined to stay on track.
When you’re new to something like running there are a hundred firsts to look forward to and to celebrate when you achieve them, through challenges, setbacks and all. I am extremely grateful to those close to me who have supported me and who are truly happy for my joy.
These shots are from my run Friday evening at Stiglmeier Park. The fact that I stopped all along the way to take pictures means it was a leisurely run for me. I haven’t wanted to overdo it, so I’ve been working my way back slowly. I also ran with my running group on Tuesday, my running buddy on Thursday and with group again on Saturday morning. All with NO KNEE PAIN! On Saturday, we did 6 intervals of 7 minutes running 30 seconds walking and, much to my surprise, I stayed right on pace in spite of feeling behind on my cardio due to the time out for my Knee. I’m so glad to be back to working on my goal. The September 4th 5k is once again in my sights. I can’t speak highly enough of the benefits of Physical Therapy.