50,000 Views

 

Wow, who would have thought it. My little running blog, started more as a personal reminder of my own running exploits than anything else, has now surpassed 50,000 views since I started recording stats back in mid 2012. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by. I hope you found what you were looking for.

2015 should hopefully see a return to ultra running for me again and there will no doubt be many more experiences to blog about. I’m not back to full ultra training yet but that’s not far off and I have high hopes that 2015 will be the year of the PB :o)

Website Refresh

A lot has happened since www.pixelscotland.com was first registered as a domain way back in 2005. The choice of domain name reflected my love of Scotland and an involvement in web design. However, as a web site, www.pixelscotland.com was little more than a playground where I dabbled with the latest web technologies. Until, that is, I found a real purpose for the site, centred around ultramarathon running, and started to grow the site accordingly.

Initially, I started blogging about my running and writing race reports but, in time, this was expanded to include all things running related, from product reviews, to race information, to routes and galleries.

And then, in February 2013, my son Harris was born, impacting considerably on all aspects of our lives. Without a doubt, it’s the best thing ever to have happened to me and I love parenthood. However, long gone are the days when I can ‘nip out’ for a 4-5 hour training run. Some days it’s all I can do to even exercise at all, such are the constraints on my time and, from a high of 7 ultramarathons in 2012, I was reduced to just 1 in 2013, a figure I hope to match, time permitting, in 2014!

Running still plays a huge part in my life and, hopefully, this will rub off on Harris. Realistically however, my running goals for 2014 will be to work on my barefoot running, my overall running form, and to try and turn the clock back and attain PBs at 10k, 1/2 marathon and possibly even marathon distance – definitely more family friendly distances with regard to the required training.

What I have found this past year is that I am now returning to activities that I loved prior to becoming all consumed in ultramarathon training, namely walking and cycling. Both are considerably more family friendly as it’s much easier to involve the family in these activities, whether it be baby wearing out walking and/or towing a Croozer trailer while out cycling.

With the change in lifestyle, I feel that it is appropriate for www.pixelscotland.com to also undergo a bit of a refresh and, as such, the new look web site will be expanded to include not only running, but walking and cycling as well. I hope to continue the review section of the web site and, indeed, am open to reviewing walking and/or cycling products as well as running ones. In time I also hope to expand considerably on the gallery and routes sections of the website.

I decided to start afresh rather than just port the old website across in its entirety. I’ve painfully gone through each and every post, updating where required, and attempting to bring a more visual element to the site.

I hope you like the new design and direction of www.pixelscotland.com. As with every web site, it’s continually a work in progress.

I decided to start with a bang, so the leading item on the new look www.pixelscotland.com is my interview with ultra legend and The North Face athlete Jez Bragg, and also a gallery of images taken of Jez on his recent Te Araroa trail expedition. All images are © Damiano Levati.

Enjoy! :o)

20,000 Views

Just a quick post to say thanks for all the views. The www.pixelscotland.com website hit the 20,000 views mark on 22nd April. I started recording website statistics back in June 2012 and the site appears to be increasing in popularity each month. So, thanks for dropping by, and if you have any suggested improvements, ideas, gear for review, anything basically, please do drop me an email info@pixelscotland.com.

Blogging Stats & Thoughts

It had never crossed my mind to blog about my races. Back in July/August of 2011 I first came across The Running Bug and I started blogging for them, with my first introductory post going live on 20th September 2011.

I was asked about traffic to my blog recently and, on the basis of this, thought I would do some homework to see just how busy each of my blogs are.

From 1st January 2012 to 10th August 2012 my Running Bug blog, ‘Aim high, anything is possible’, has been viewed a massive 12,332 times. Since I started blogging, back on 20th September, the blog has been viewed 18,063 times.

That’s massive. I am totally blown away by the scale.

My own site, www.pixelscotland.com has far less exposure but it has steadily grown, especially since it was added to the West Highland Way Race list of blogs. Average stats for pixelscotland are now around 1000 hits a month and growing.

The funny thing is, when I decided to start blogging, it was more for me than for anyone else. I wanted to record how my races went. How I felt. What worked. What didn’t! What equipment I was using, and so forth. Knowing just how forgetful I can be, I wanted some kind of record of everything, and especially the ultras, that I could point any future offspring at and say, ‘I did that’ (I can just image the look of disbelief on their faces now!).

I didn’t think for a second that anyone else would find it remotely interesting.

So, for everyone who does read my blogs, thanks for taking the time to stop by. I hope you like what you read and that you come back again.

Happy running

Post #whwrace Blues & Some Positive Blog Stats

It’s been a tough week since completing the West Highland Way Race. Thanks to severe night sweats, going through 1 set of sheets and 2 sleeping bags per night on average!, I have yet to have a fully uninterrupted nights sleep and I think that this is partially responsible for my slightly lower than usual mood. Apparently night sweats can be brought on by extreme exercise so I suspect that they will pass soon enough. What will probably take longer to pass is the slightly deflated feeling from having completed my ‘A’ race of the season.

I compared the West Highland Way Race to Christmas in a previous post, citing a long buildup followed by the event itself and then, all too soon, it’s gone, done, over. Little did I realise at the time just how apt this analogy would be.

One week ago today I was in Glasgow, getting ready for the 1am start to the West Highland Way Race in what was described by one blogger as apocalyptic weather conditions. This quickly became one of (if not THE) toughest weekends of my life, running some 40 miles further than I had ever run previously. That perhaps doesn’t sound that much but I can testify that running almost twice as far as before does not equate to twice as hard – I don’t think I could possibly quantify exactly how tough it was last weekend.

Fast forward a week and I am largely recovered, bar some stiffness in the ankles and right knee and am even contemplating heading out for a run of sorts tomorrow.

Fortunately the cankles have now gone! It was not a good look for me.

On a positive note, the stats for my personal blog http://www.pixelscotland.com/ have gone through the roof this month. With the addition of reviews, race reports etc. etc. to my long neglected site, I had noticed a steady increase in hits but this month has been something else!

I also received word from The Running Bug that my blog was the 4th highest viewed blog in the first 6 months of the year with some 5,500 hits. This has taken a considerable boost as views of my WHW Race Report, ‘Against All Odds‘, have added approx 800 more hits at the time of writing.

So, 3 weeks to go to the next event, the 40 mile Clyde Stride. By all accounts, given the exertions of the West Highland Way Race, this could prove far tougher than I might expect. I have completed it once before, in 2011. I wasn’t in peak condition having come back from 2 weeks in Menorca, where it was just too hot to run as far as I might have liked for training! Only time will tell how I get on this year but I will be disappointed if I don’t take at least something off of last years time.

After that, it’s back to the West Highland Way, for The The Devil O’ The Highlands, from Tyndrum to Fort William and then, finally, off to Speyside for The Speyside Way Race.

Happy running.