A lesson in stopping

30 Nov 2017 . category: running . Comments

For a long time now I have pushed my self to run further, faster and harder; this year has been the pinnacle of that with some of my heaviest running months and one of my lowest. Resulting in running over 1000miles in a year, an enormous unplanned achievement. But being plagued by persistent injuries of many varieties, I pushed on and didn’t listen to the needs of my body. Hoping and praying, that it wasn’t serious. Amazingly I have survived through, but as the year comes to a close, I’m doing a conservative Advent Running period and slowing down to enjoy time with my dog, Pixel.

After running (and walking) Lisbon marathon I came back with an aim to do Pisa marathon just two months later to be confident in saying I had run a marathon this year. It is incredible how psychologically I had convinced myself that this was my aim for the year and I would push myself to achieve it. But a terrible tumble pushed my multiple times already injured ankle over the top.

A month off, scheduled physiotherapy and taking recovery very slow, I’m carefully getting back into running. But on reflection over the year I can see the clear mistakes I have made. I’m not a professional runner, it is a hobby, marathons are great goals but times are not. My best runs in training were when I wore the GPS watch but actively avoided looking at it. Over 20miles and not caring about pace is lovely especially when you are running down the coast of Italy.

So the plan for next year is to do smaller more frequent goals, recovery permitting. To stop running to a time and to start running to explore and with the awesome people of the running community. It seems a little early to set goals for next year, but a month off running has given me a lot to reflect on.

Run wise!


Stuart James

Researcher (Assistant Professor) in Computer Vision at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). Stuart's research focus is on Visual Reasoning to understand the layout of visual content from Iconography (e.g. Sketches) to 3D Scene understanding and their implications of methods of interaction. He is involved in the coordination and implementation of the MEMEX EU H2020 project for increasing social inclusion with Cultural Heritage. Stuart has previously held PostDoc positions at IIT, University College London (UCL) and the University of Surrey. Also at the University of Surrey Stuart was awarded his PhD. Stuart continues to hold an honorary position at UCL and UCL Digital Humanities and collaborates with researchers across universities and institutes, reviewing and organising workshops.