plantar fasciitis , which I appear to have developed over the past couple of weeks. I've been getting pain in my heel after a run, and it's always much worse first thing in the morning getting out of bed. Just lately it's been getting worse and today I haven't been able to put weight on my left foot. I've been limping my way around all day and my foot is swollen.
This condition is a big blow, as it will spoil my training for the Coventry Half Marathon, which takes place the first weekend in October. I was due to do a 10 mile run tomorrow morning, but have had to cancel that and rest. I guess I have been doing too much, too soon. Until the middle of July I was running 3-4 miles about 3-4 times a week. Then I did a 6 mile on 22nd July and the following week 7 miles, then 8 miles, then 9 last week. In between I was doing two 5-6 mile runs. Clearly I overdid it.
My writing has been going slightly better, thank goodness. I entered the Write-Invite Competition for the first time last week. It was nerve-wracking, as the competition is live. You wait until the clock on the site shows 5.30pm (every Saturday evening), then pay your entry fee via Paypal, choose one of three themes, then write your piece in the space provided on the website. You have until 6pm that same evening to complete your story, add a title, edit and proofread. I was sweating profusely by 5.55pm! Once your entry has been sent, you wait until the following Wednesday at 5.30pm when the shortlist is posted. The participants then have to vote on the top three stories. I'm delighted to announce that my story was in the top three! I was over the moon, as it's the first short story competition I've entered in about two years. The overall winner receives £50, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
The beauty of this competition and the main reason I entered is that you are under pressure to write a complete short story in a short space of time. This really focuses the mind. It works for me, because I have great difficulty in starting writing each day. I knew that by 6pm on Saturday I'd have a more or less complete short story that I could then go on to expand and edit, if I wished to do so.
I've been reading William Trevor's collection of short stories for the past couple of weeks. I read one, maybe two each day. I recommend every writer of short stories to read his work, if they haven't already done so. I have learned so much. Not every story is to my taste, but I love his attention to detail. His characters are so well drawn and we discover things about them they didn't know themselves.
Tomorrow I'm off to Lincolnshire for the weekend with my nine-year-old daughter. Wish me luck!
Interview with womag legend Clare Cooper
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