Today I had to major breakthroughs; one in my running and the other in my drawing.
I came home from teaching to check the mail. I knew there might be a little gem sitting in the package box. Sure enough my new running shoes came in from the Patton’s company, Optimal Run. I carried in all of my bags and the groceries I had picked up on the way home. In my very disciplined way I put all of my groceries away, organized and picked up a few things, all the while with the pretty blue package in my peripheral. Finally, I allowed myself to open the box to find my new running kicks, the Pearl Izumi M3. I quickly donned my running gear and slipped on my new shoes. I had just enough time to take a quick run with Maggie the wonder dog before LP got off the bus from school.
It has been months, perhaps ranging back to the VA Wine Country Half Marathon, when I first noticed a lot of discomfort running, especially on the road. I tend to ignore little aches and pains and in the past when I was younger, this worked just fine. I would get pains, alter a few things, take a few days off and I would be back to new. This did not work this time. I needed some professional help. My hamstring ended up a mess, multiple injuries on my right side landed me in front of the physical therapist with an ashamed smile. My whole right side from my waist down was killing me. Turns out PT’s are awesome and really know what they are doing. TM, my PT, has worked on my flexibility in my calves, foot and hamstrings. She is building up some specific muscles in my hip and seems to be doing a complete overhaul on my core. Most of these areas I knew I needed to work on but she created a customized plan with KHP specific exercises. She quickly fixed my back and hip but my oblique area and my foot were a bit of a mystery. I had pain that seemed to morph from one location to the next but she has calmed most of it down. Last week, TM reduced my appointments down to once a week from twice and gave me the go ahead to try some road running with the stipulation that I had some cushioned footwear to protect my heel. I was not to go crazy and still focus more on the bike and core strengthening but I could run.
This is where Optimal Run stepped in. Originally I was looking to Patton for a similar zero drop minimalist style shoe that I have been wearing for the past 4 years. It never bothered me and I liked the purist idea of minimalist running. My PT, did not want me to go directly to a traditional shoe so the Pearl Izumi M3 was a perfect combination of cushion, stability in a untraditional package. Well, thanks to two awesome individuals, I had my first very short but pain free road run in 5+ months. Wahoo!
My second breakthrough in some ways feels bigger to me. I have been struggling with my Vatican plate. It is a technical perspective drawing that has been plaguing me for months. I typically like to draw in a very organic fluid but controlled fashion. This drawing was controlled but was definitely not fluid or organic. It is all about 2 point perspective and geometry. I started off drawing in my sketch pad and finding the exact geometry by hand was driving me nuts. So I pulled the drawing into illustrator and made a very sterile digital illustration of the building. I transferred it and the image barely took on the linoleum. I could have used a few different approaches to get a better transfer but something in me knew this was not the image I wanted to make. I started every night working in little areas to rebuild the illustration. It felt like a chore, it felt really hard, it felt like I was missing the mark.
Tonight, I forced myself to get over the hump. I sat in front of the photograph and started to loosely draw in the buildings. I completely ignored the faint image from the transfer and began to work. The drawing is a little loose, it is a tad sloppy in areas but I am not worried, that will come together during the carving. What I love is the perspective the real sense of depth in the drawing. What makes me proud is the area that is the most intriguing and rich is the area that I just drew and drew naturally. No added tools just me, the plate and my pencil. So where I gave up on the minimalist idea in my running and brought it back where it should be in my art. I can’t wait to start carving tomorrow.