It Won’t Kill You

s6 8 31 03 14 02 22 It Wont Kill YouYou might feel like it will, but it won’t. Apparently you’ll pass out first. Or be forced by your burning muscles and creaky knee to stop. Oh our bodies and the ways they remind us we’re getting older…

This month is the second time I will be linking up with Amanda of The Lady Okie for the monthly Runners Tell All linkup. This month the prompt was to share a bad race or training experience, and what you learned from it. Amanda’s story is pretty priceless (hint: it involves poop).

Mine is nothing near so dramatic (thankfully!). Alyson of Starting Over at the Dirty Thirty shared her battle with her IT Band, which is something to which I can relate. I experienced the same annoying setback and pain the first time I trained for a half marathon. It wasn’t pretty.

But as for a bad race or training experience, I’d have to say I haven’t really had one. Not because I’m super human perfect or anything, I assure you! More because I haven’t in fact run in too many races. So, I haven’t really trained for anything. Now that’s not entirely true… I did train for that half marathon I already mentioned. But that was for a personal goal – I never even entered an event (how crazy am I???). My other race experience was the Run For Your Lives zombie run outside of Atlanta in 2012. That was fun, but a HUGE rainstorm had passed through the area the night before, turning the outside course into pure mud. It took me an hour and a half to complete a 5k. Yep, you read that correctly. And I was in the middle of the pack (and no, I didn’t “survive”). That was an experience. I entered a 10k race in Melbourne, Australia as well. But, due to that pesky IT Band and a rather grumpy hip pinch, I forfeited my entry. I did go 10k that day, but mostly because I covered a lot of ground walking from brunch to the park to the bar to another bar… you get the idea. Sunday Funday, no racing involved.

I do have another event coming up (a real one). I will be running a half marathon in Napa and Sonoma Valleys (as you may have heard me mention before). This time, I am following a proper training plan. Making sure to keep my quads, calves and IT Band loosey-goosey, and crossing my fingers there won’t be a massive storm on race day. So you could say I learned from past mistakes, although I still have no control over the weather. Working on that one.

RUNNERSTELLALL14button It Wont Kill You
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Pop Art & Typography

Poison Ivy 1 Pop Art & Typography        Andy Warhol 1 Pop Art & Typography

Andy Warhol 2 Pop Art & Typography        Poison Ivy 2 Pop Art & Typography

Typography can be fun. It’s more than Times New Roman or Helvetica (although I am quite a fan of experimenting with that classically modern font). Pictured above is my very own “Pop Art” take on using typography in art. Inspired by the famous Andy Warhol. His is the portrait in the top right and bottom left corners. The female is Uma Thurman. The type says “andy warhol” and “poison ivy” respectively (if you click on an image you can see it at a larger size, and actually see the words).

Pop Art is an art movement that aimed to really challenge the definition of art. It occurred in Britain and the United States in the 1950s, and included names such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and, of course, Andy Warhol. These artists pushed the boundaries of fine art, often by including elements of commercialism and pop culture in their works. This act blurred the lines between art and advertising, joining the two worlds to create works that straddled the two realms. For example, Warhol’s famous Campbell Soup cans.

Personally, I love this art movement. The pop art scene start in England first, and the time it made it over to the States it was the late 1950s. Which means, it was in full swing for much of the 60s. It was during this time that Warhol founded his studio in New York City, known as “The Factory”. This was THE place to see and be seen. People flocked to this place, including creative types of all sorts – artists, writers, musicians, celebrities. This was the hub of it all.

Of course, this was 50 years ago now… The Factory no longer exists. In the fashion of true progress, Warhol moved his iconic studio when the building was torn down to become an apartment building. Oh, progress…

But pop art is still incredibly popular today. I love it because it ignores the established standard and throws acceptance to the wind. I created the above posters based on a brief to use typography to create images in an unconventional way. What better way than through an art movement that thrived on unconventional?

Page Decoration Pop Art & Typography

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A Conversation with Robert Wareham, Photographer

robert wareham A Conversation with Robert Wareham, PhotographerAre you familiar with The Life Project yet? This is the latest venture of blogger and photographer Robert Wareham. And it’s fabulous. I’ve been following Robert since his “Chap on the Chelsea Omnibus” days, and have watched him grow and find his identity in the blogosphere. Based on the quality of work and the obvious passion for his craft and subject matter, I’d say he’s now hit the bull’s eye.

On The Life Project blog, Robert has chosen to adhere to more of a photo journaling approach. His posts start out with his own reflections and impressions of a place, followed by stunning images that he took himself. All in black and white. The choice to pair monochromatic photographs with brief descriptions makes a powerful impact, and he is already making waves. I for one absolutely love it. I was dying to know more, and as we’ve been in contact through our respective blogs, he was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Can you tell us a bit of your background? Where you are from and how you got to where you are today?

Well I grew up in the beautiful Hampshire countryside and lived there my entire life until I moved to London. I moved to the big city to study Law at university. I graduated, qualified, and now work and live in the city. I’ve made some big plans for this year, life and travel plans, but as I’m contracted nothing can really happen regarding them until September, which means I’ll have to keep them under wraps until then. I will, of course, share them over on my blog as soon as I can.

Girl Climbs Bridge A Conversation with Robert Wareham, Photographer The House That Overlooks the Lake

Your new blog, The Life Project, has taken a completely new direction from your previous sites. Can you explain your inspiration and concept behind this new venture?

Well, to be honest, I feel I lost my way with my previous blogs. I was a newbie blogger with absolutely no idea what I was doing. I wanted my blogs to be about photography, primarily travel photography, but I didn’t think anybody would be interested in “my holiday snaps”. I didn’t think my photographs were good enough to be the focus of a blog and so I tried to include other aspects. I encompassed other things I enjoy – cooking (recipes), eating (restaurant reviews), travel (mostly tips) – the list goes on. I thought this would make my blog worth reading, it would give something back to those who read it. Perhaps it did, I hope it did, but I got bored of that. It wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Photography is what I love and you wouldn’t believe how happy I am when somebody leaves a comment just to say “beautiful photographs” or “great work”. It reminds me that I can just do what I love, take and share photographs, and connect with people by doing that.

View From Beauty Peak A Conversation with Robert Wareham, Photographer Guilin, China

When did you first start gravitating towards photography?

My first experience with photography was when I was in school, aged about 13. We made pinhole cameras and developed our photographs in the dark room. Since that day I’ve always had a love of photography, particularly film and black and white photography. But I only began taking photography more seriously about a year ago. Before 2013 I’d never really attempted anything more than “holiday snaps”.

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Death by Sprints

s5 97 13 04 14 21 24 Death by SprintsSprints… sure, they were fun when we were kids. Remember that feeling? Breaking out at top speed, the wind at your back, racing your friend across the field. Exhilarating. When you’re 6…

Now that we’re all presumably on the other side of kindergarten, things are different. The only time you see that burst of speed is when you make that mad dash for the last slice of pizza. A worthy cause, to be sure.

So what happened exactly to suck all the fun out of these bursts of energy? When did that start to look more like work than pleasure? Sedentary lifestyle, for one thing. And the inherent affection for repose that accompanies such. It happens. Welcome to the world of adulthood. Yay…

If you spend any time on the internet looking at health topics, or do any reading about fitness, you have probably stumbled across the term HIIT – high intensity interval training. The most effective way to work out, as rumor has it. There’s a whole bunch of science and research to support various health claims. But the benefits of short periods of high intensity output are proven. And yes, even for distance athletes.

Beginners who train for half marathons and marathons usually go about it by keeping a “slow and steady wins the race” mentality. When I trained for my first half, I definitely took the “if I can walk it, I can run it” approach. So run I did. At the same steady pace, building up to 2 hours. But that was it. Throw a sprint or a hill in my direction, I was done for.

This time, I’ve made sure to avoid that pitfall. My Run the Edge training program has been really good about that as well. It encourages strategically timed changes of pace, which in my opinion conditions your body better than staying at the same boring pace the entire time. And, as I’ve already noted, I have been doing hills. In the form of bridges. And more bridges.

While I may not be running flat out to the top of that hill, my body is definitely working harder. And that’s the whole point of HIIT in the first place. More output for shorter periods of time, better results. And you know what? It works!! I’m very proud to say that after a few weeks of running those bridges, my pace for a mile on flat ground has dropped by an entire minute!

When I first started training for my race in Napa Valley, I was running at a pace of around 10:00 or 10:20 per mile. After my first month of training following my program, adding in hills, and one recovery week, my pace is down to 9:00 per mile, on average. Not too shabby!! My longest distance is just over 4 miles, so still a bit to go on that front. But, the progress is there. And that feels fabulous!

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*This post was written in partnership with Destination Races Wine Country Half Marathon Series. All thoughts and opinions expressed are purely my own. For more information, please visit Race to Wine Country.





8 Hours in Los Angeles

Los Angeles. I have only visited this city on two occasions – once for a long layover en route to Australia, and another this past January. That first stay only lasted about 6 hours. The second, a long weekend. The impression left was the same each time: Los Angeles is a huge place. And so diverse! My recent trip left little time for idle pursuits, but we did have one day to explore. I know very little about the city itself, so I’ll leave you with a photographic journal of that day.

opera fountain 8 Hours in Los Angeles

fountain 8 Hours in Los Angeles

walt disney concert hall 8 Hours in Los Angeles

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