Thursday, 18 August 2011

Running Injury and Writing Competition Success

This isn't a photo of me running (I wish!). In fact, I won't be running for a few days due to 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!


JO said...

Have a great weekend, Jo - time with daughters is precious (though we don't always know it at the time.)

Sorry to hear about the ankle - not much fun, especially when it scuppers plans like this.

But the short story success must be great compensation. Tho I'm not tempted - my stories tend to swim around in my head for along time before they make it to the computer - the thought of being presented with a subject and asked to write a story in half an hour is enough to bring on a fit of the vapours - so very well done if you can do it!

AliB said...

Great achievement in the writing comp - sounds totally scary.Hope you are soon fit again. I take my hat off to anyone who can run more than 100 yards!

Oldrightie said...

Often referred to as policeman's heel! Well was when they walked around! Mrs OR suffered and the blame nearly always lies with footwear. Modern trainer fibres rupture under their surface coating, invisibly. They can look fine when actually much of the cushion support has failed. Same with squash. Heavy training or running usually needs new trainers every two or three months! Expensive ones suffer as much as cheaper. Hope that helps.
very well done on the writing front, Jo. JKR look out!

Jo said...

I read about the Policeman's Heel, OR. Didn't know Mrs OR suffered. Yes, I wonder about modern trainers. You pay a fortune and still they let you down!

Jo, OR and AliB: I'm still reeling from being in the top three in this competition and it has made me hungry for more success. The fact that I wrote the story in less than 30 minutes makes the success taste even sweeter (that was a requirement of the competition).

I'm hoping the enforced rest will help and that I can do a mini run next week!

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about your injury, but have a great weekend.

Jo said...

Thanks, Carole Anne! I'm sure I will.

Anonymous said...

Shame about the heel. Can ruin the motivation and be quite frustrating when you're desperate to get on the track! Hope it heals soon.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Must try that comp, Jo. It sounds like great fun - even if it's a bit pressurised. Congratulations on making the top three and fingers crossed for more success.

trump said...

Id like to invite you folks to come to Amish Stories for a recipe for "Famous Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Cinnamon Buns" along with a book signing schedule for Amish fiction writer Wanda Brunstetter for Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as a contest to meet her. I hope everyone so far is having a great weekend. Thanks everyone. Richard from Amish Stories.