Thursday, July 31, 2008
The Photothon is Dead, Long Live the Photothon
The Photothon was an arbitrary exercise of posting as many photos from runs as there are miles in a marathon. It has now been completed and theoretically I can breath a sigh of relief, free from the need to look for photos each time I run. If the task had been irksome I would probably feel like that, but I don't. The whole exercise has increased the pleasure of running and ever so slightly changed my outlook.
No longer is a run a matter of getting out for a set amount of time at a decided level of intensity. There is always a break built in, sometimes two, where I wander around looking for pictures. This has two effects: the first is recovery, which leaves me fresher and allows me to reset my rhythm for the homeward leg; the second is I have an opportunity to enjoy the landscape more fully. As a result a run becomes more of an outing and less of an effort.
I have always believed the full meaning of running comes from trying to improve proficiency whilst feeling part of the particular landscape you are in. Looking for pictures enhances the feeling of landscape, with the short break rebalancing your attitude by forcing you look outwards. In some ways I feel like Jeff Galloway when he discovered he could go further, more comfortably with walk breaks. With me I have discovered that I can make each run seem more of an event by looking for something specific to remember it by
This picture is a good example. It is on the border of woodland and arable land, dense with thistles and bracken, alive with butterflies and bees. I stood still for a period just to watch all the activity, knowing that in a few days it would not be the same.
When it was time to move-on the first few strides were a bit creaky but that soon wore off. The lift to my mood lasted a lot longer.