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Inner Visual

Saturday @9:00 a.m 24 June 2017

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Glutes. It's one of those things I've heard lots of runners, athletes and wannabe athletes talk about as I scoff and think 'Pfff they're obviously not warming up enough and now they're moaning on about injury.” Well not anymore. The famous glutes, or gluteal muscles struck hard about two weeks ago, to the point where i knew I needed a bit of help.

I had been feeling a bit funny on my right hip for some time, and noticed that during long runs, my bottom started to feel very 'hard' in the cheeks. I could imagine drivers on the hard shoulder seeing a Kim Kardashian lookalike from the rear as I ran along, I became so aware of my ever strengthening hazlenut cracking buns. However, as I was to discover, this pain is caused by the 'glutes'.

I had my first physio session which instantly nailed the sight of the problem. Physiotherapists are amazing people and they work they do with recovering patients, whether sports, medical and accidental injury related, is phenomenal. The physio was quick to ask about my job and how much time I spend in the car each week. I do a two hour round-trip daily and sit quite a bit in studio. Obviously while I've been putting all the focus on running as exercise, it's important to remember that the stuff we do when not running can cause problems too.

There is a certain muscle in the lower abdomen (cannot remember the name of it) that can become quite troublesome if the body stays in a sitting position for long periods of time on a regular basis. The physio gave it a little prod. AGHHH you could hear me scream at the top of the Comeraghs. Anyway, we worked out that my hip issue is being caused by the glutes and so I had a wonderful session of what was really a painful but helpful massage on my bottom for an hour. It's quite tickly too so I found myself in the strange scenario of lying on the physio bed with lots of snorting and giggling. It's not quite the Hot Stone Massage with sounds of the ocean that I'm used to on my girlie spa weekends but ooh it did the job big style.

I was given a few exercises to do, which was two weeks ago and not a niggle or hard bottom cheeks since. I really don't know how Kim Kardashian does it going around with that all day. The bottom line is (boom boom) if you feel a niggle and a continuing pain or pull somehwhere as a result of your running, get it seen to. There are so many sports specialist physios out there who can literally nip a small problem in the bud. It's better to get these things seen early, they often don't go away on their own. I always thought physios were for 'professional athletes' but we all have the same muscle and bone structure and we can all get injured in the same way.

Half Marathon

I decided to take part in a half marathon that was being staged in the South East at the end of April. It was a last minute decision, and I skipped an 18 mile run as a result (not that that influnced my decision in any way!!) Even at this stage, I always get a bit nervous (and cranky) on the morning of a run. I fuelled up on three Weetabix and coffee which did the job for energy. With WVM in mind, playing around with your food is so important. I'm trying to recreate 'marathon morning' for every run I do – eating three hours beforehand, taking in the same amount of water the day before and morning of. If it's working at this stage on your long runs, then don't change. I always do my long runs on a Thursday afternoon, but if it's possible I would recommend doing one or two of them at 9am (the exact time that you will leave the start line of WVM.) Also, nutrition on the morning is important, but don't forget about your food intake for the two days previous, especially if you are food sensitive atall. Uncomfortable trapped wind from that cabbage, constipation from too much stodge, or the opposite (!) can have a massive impact on your running. I intend to keep it plain and simple in the kitchen from Thursday June 25th.

Back to the half marathon, I did a time of 1.59 which smashed a few seconds of my 2 hour target. The organisers had the route marked in kilometres which threw me a little, but other than that, I managed to take a nice pace and felt quite comfortable overall. It was a great confidence booster in fact, to do the half without any issues and even though my long runs have hit the twenties, it feels great to take part in an organised run at this stage in training.

The major lesson learned however, was in the clothing department. You'd think I know this stuff, but for some reason, I ran in the short shorts and pink top (see picture). This would be fine if I had athletes thighs and skinny little arms but clearly this is not the case (again, see picture.) I didn't really feel it on the run, but as soon as moving, I realised the error of my ways. Ire. Chaffing. Call it what you will. OUCH! Two thighs rubbing raw flesh together for 13 miles with no lubricant to protect the skin is HELL. It was the same under my arms and under the rim of my sports bra. Lots of cuts and raw skin and walking like John Wayne into the nearest supermarket for some bandages and Caldesene powder (last used for the children's nappy rash.) Honestly, I missed a few runs on my training plan because of a stupid wardrobe error. It was a week before my skin healed over, but thankfully I've learned a costly lesson. Oh how the mammies at the school gates stared at me as I waded into town to collect Jack. Just try walking without letting your thighs touch for a week! Vaseline and the right clothing are a runners best friend and it's wise to practise wearing your Marathon clothes on a few of those long runs over the next six weeks.

Six Weeks – How did that Happen!

Hard to believe that there's just over six weeks to go and it's make or break time for a lot of runners. Maybe you're on the fence about whether you'll actually do the quarter marathon, or the half, or even feel you're ready for the full. Register. As soon as you register it becomes real and you'll find those runners slipping onto your feet more frequently on these lovely evenings.

Speaking of runners, it's time to get another pair for myself, which I've been advised to break in and then put away for marathon day. My gait analysis back in January recommended my current runners – Adidas Boost. However, with the niggles over my glutes and hip issue I'm inclined to want to get back to Asics, so I hope it's not going to cause any problems on the day.

My schedule has been really busy every weekend for the past while, which isn't ideal when long runs reach their peak. It's communion season with friends and family so lots of Saturdays have been spent celebrating, not to mention the Take That gig (my God that Howard fella is hot for 47) and general get-togethers every weekend. However, 'll be making my training plan a whole let easier for myself lifestyle-wise in about two weeks ….but can't say anything for the moment!!

Thanks by the way to everyone who got onto me with some tips re nutritions and training exercises. My email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like to share your running advice.

Well done again to all the Waterford athletes who competed in London last month. I believe the Tramore Bluewall had a great turnout and a real buzz on the evening and best of luck to everyone running the Faithlegg 5 mile this weekend.

Until next time, happy running. Keep eating well, keep drinking (water) and keep going. It will all be worth it. Oh, and don't forget the Vaseline!

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