To the tune of ‘Piano Man’ by Billy Joel…

It’s 5am on a Saturday
And I don’t want to get out of bed
But I know if I stay, that in April, I’ll pay
So I might as well just go instead

You see, that’s when I’m running a marathon
And I want to make sure that it flows
Cos it’s long and it’s hilly
And I know that I’m silly
We all know that I’d much rather doze.

“So go and run long you’re in training, man
Go and run long alright
If you’re not in the mood for a tempo run
Don your mansuit and zip it up tight”

Chaffree underwear is a friend of mine
They keep my thighs red rawness free
But I vas-up my nips or the blood from them drips
And makes a big mess on my tee

This hill! (I believe it is killing me)
As a mile in, I run up its face
Well, I’m sure that I can’t be moving far
Won’t be home til next week at this pace!

Now crawling’s a real possibility
As my legs, they cling on for dear life
And they talk with my head, who is still half in bed
And would like to be there with my wife

And for race day I’m practising fueling
Just water and nil else at all
Yes I’m shunning the drinks full of sugariness
As I’m hoping to not hit ‘the wall’

“So enjoy running long you’re in training, man
Enjoy running long alright
You’ll be getting much stronger and running much longer
So in April you so won’t be all sh..oddy”

It’s a pretty good run for a Saturday
And I manage some seventeen miles
But although, now I’m fine, is tomorrow the time
I’ll experience DOMS (and my piles)?

So my mind turns now to recovery
And although I feel like a beer
I’ll stretch and I’ll stroll and get out the foam roll
And say “This marathon’s yours, do you hear?”

“So enjoy running long you’re in training, man!
And enjoy stretching off, tonight
For you know that you could
Do as much as you should
And stop muscles from feeling all tight.

Sounds like a great band name, right?
Maybe not.

Firstly some grammar…

I chafe. I am chafing. I chafed.
You chafe. You are chafing. You chafed.
We chafe. We are chafing. We chafed.
They chafe. They are chafing. They chafed.
He chafes. He is chafing. He chafed.
She chafes. She is chafing. She chafed.
It chafes. It is chafing. It chafed.

This, on the other hand, is a chiffchaff…

2015/02/img_2273.jpg

It has nothing to do with chafing.

It does ‘chaff‘ however… and indeed ‘chiff‘s (though not necessarily in that order). It is a bird so named due to its call, that sounds a bit like ‘chiffchaff‘.

This post is just about chafing.
It has nothing to do with ‘chaffing’ at all. In fact, I’m not even sure ‘chaffing’ is a word other than my rather contrived use of it, above.
STOP PRESS – quick Google search…
image

So. It is a word…BUT has nothing to do with chafing.
I am fed up with chuffing people referring to chafing as chuffing chaffing! Ok?
Good.
Shall we move on?

I run. I am a runner (It’s ok – I’m not doing the whole grammar thing again!).
And as a runner I have experienced some pretty nasty chafing in my time. It happens. It has happened sometimes when not even running.

Now, I’m not a huge size. That’s all relative, I know. So, yes, probably (definitely) I am officially overweight, and with a BMI of 32, I could do with losing a few pounds, but I genuinely don’t consider myself to be large.
I do admit however, that I have a rugby player’s thighs rather than svelte runner’s legs. You can barely pinch any fat on them (probably the training they get from carting the rest of me around), but they are big and solid. And they rub. Especially on a run. They rub. Especially on a long, sweaty, hot run. They rub.
If I was a caveman, I’d have been famous as the one who discovered fire by rubbing his upper thighs together.

I have experimented in the past with different types of running underwear… cotton / polycotton / Polyamide 82% Elastane 18% /tight / loose / existent / non-existent (sorry…yes), and up until last week I’d have advocated the tight, low-friction option. And there would be plenty of Vaseline.
Let’s face it though, nobody really likes using liberal amounts of Vaseline down there on a cold winter’s morning….well…they might…but I don’t.

Sweating and Chafing Reducing Underwear
Chaffree.com

I was sent some underwear by the above company and was politely informed that I was not required to actually model them myself on here (although if I did then the SUSTYM would have come in very handy).
After I recovered from my exhibitionist disappointment, I agreed simply to write a review instead. So here goes…

They work.

I have now run some long runs of 15 miles plus wearing the men’s boxers…obviously… I had not been sent by any of the women’s knickerboxers or briefs so I couldn’t wear them to test…and I probably wouldn’t have worn them, even if they had been sent, but my guess is that they would work too.

Here’s the long version of the benefits:

-Seamless & Stretchy
-Lightweight, quick drying and machine washable
-Keeps skin cool, dry and comfortable through high performance wicking fabric COOLMAX®
-Latex Free
-Anti Bacterial properties
-Gives relief from sweating and chafing
-Double stitching to strengthen seams
-No irritating labels
-Soft flexible fabric with a second skin feel for minimal movement.
-Sizes Small-3XL
-Short (5″) and Long Leg (7″) Lengths
-Available in 1 (individual) 3 or 5 pack

And here’s the short version:

They were supportive, cool, really comfortable, and prevented thigh fires.

Ha! That will have to be what they use on their ‘customer reviews’ section now.

Now, I don’t want to be all positive and not present a balanced review here, so here’s a couple of negatives:

1) How can a product have ‘double stitching to strengthen seams‘ AND be ‘seamless‘? Ok I’m being pedantic (very unlike me, I know). And to be fair, I know the point is that they certainly feel seamless. Flat. No harsh lines.

2) The company is called ‘Chaffree’ – not ‘Chafefree’.
After everything I said at the beginning, too. I guess I’ll just have to let that one go.

But ultimately, the point is that they work.
It’s true.
What more do you want?
They do the job… and they do it really well. They don’t roll over on the waist band. They keep their shape and they keep me running pain free…well at least pain free from chafing.

They aren’t cheap, at £17 for a single pair (although increased purchases result in decreased unit costs), but you pay for quality and I can honestly say that I will make sure that I have some of these boxers ready for any future long run, including my upcoming marathon.
They are definitely a part of my stock running kit now and I will not be going on another long run unless I’m wearing a pair of these beauties.

Disclaimer thingamy bit: I was sent three pairs of Chaffree boxer shorts free of charge in return for writing a review here, but was under no obligation to be nice about them. This post contains affiliate links.

Less than twelve weeks to go until Huddersfield Hilly* Marathon. So I thought I would at least attempt a weekly round up of training/excuses here.

*It’s not officially called ‘Huddersfield Hilly Marathon’, I just thought I’d mention its hilliness (obviously the correct spelling – based on silly/silliness) in case I have previously failed to mention its hilly/challenging nature.

So…. crunch time! I’ve got to keep serious now…you know me…always serious…
Friday afternoon is also usually crunch time for me as it is when I am at my weakest, motivationally speaking. I need to see if I can avoid the temptation to sustain the last few hours of the week at work by munching at the various boxes of biscuits and chocs that do the rounds. Folks at work know I’m ‘in training’ so they don’t offer me stuff now…which is good….

…but away from their eyes I can be a secret eater. I’m not proud of it. I know I shouldn’t do it. But staying late to finish work an hour after everyone has gone, and knowing that I wasn’t gong to be eating until late this evening due to a tennis awards evening, the box of chocs were all mine.. :-(

Cross with myself for my secret eating, when I returned home from the tennis awards where, incidentally I ate reasonably well (apart from repeated trips to the crisp bowl) I then ate another big packet of crisps very unsecretively. CRUNCH TIME!
Take that secret eating! Ha. That showed you!

* * * * * *

Obviously this was all just a cunning plan to shame me into running extra hard to get that parkrun PB that I publicly proclaimed I would get last week…

I woke this morning (Saturday) and foolishly stood on the scales to assess the damage…
I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d actually lost weight. Go figure. How does that work?
I was spurred on by the knowledge that if I run at the same effort as normal, my reduced weight should mean I’m faster, right?

That’s just what I did, and the results are demonstrated by the following graphic…

image

…by nearly thirty seconds too!

To complete a successful jantastic week, I just need to take it easy with a steady 15 mile run before breakfast tomorrow, now :-/

Before I start, perhaps a disclaimer is in order.
In the process of explaining what SUSTYM is all about, I have included photos of myself.
Photos that some readers may find offensive due to the fact they contain uncensored nipples.
You have been warned.

Based on the original ancient Japanese method of Susatybi (Soo-sa-tie-bee), the Sustym (Suss-tim) is the inevitable new westernised mutation of the process that has dramatically changed my life following its development from that small Japanese coastal village of Poe-Sing many years ago.

I shall first show you the dramatic results produced over a short period in January 2015 alone…

image

image

It is my personal opinion that SUSTYM and SUSATYBI are used far more widely in sports/fitness circles than is currently admitted. I can only guess this is because some people are almost embarrassed by its sheer effectiveness.

It uses processes highly recommended by modern physiotherapists but also contains the wisdom of our elders, fusing them in an easy to apply format that produces the instant results that makes it such a popular method in today’s media culture.

It is applied most effectively (although as mentioned, sometimes tacitly) by nearly all fitness models, but is a method that can also be employed effectively by Joe Public, as can be seen from my photos above.

The easy to follow steps for the original SUSATYBI are as follows:

Stand
Up
Straight
And
Tuck
Your
Belly
In

And more recently for SUSTYM:

Stand
Up
Straight
Tense
Your
Muscles

In case it wasn’t already obvious, the above photos were taken over an elapsed period of approximately 2 minutes just this morning.

Unfortunately, these methods didn’t help me to a parkrun PB, but I blame this on the fact that I arrived at my parkrun venue only to find out it had (quite rightly) been cancelled due to ice so I sped drove safely within the speed limit to the next closest one (ten minutes away) relying on the fact that lots of people were due to receive T-shirts this week. They rarely start bang on 9 o’clock anyway.

I parked up and then had to run half a mile to the start, just in time to join everyone on the first corner of what was a very muddy, occasionally icy, but certainly totally slippy course.

It wasn’t a PB.

I’m sorry for leading you all on, yesterday :-(
But I really was planning on making it so.

Janathon (day 31) and therefore JANATHON – involving no PBs (but at least a parkrun when one might not have happened) and a great SUSTYM for slimming down – DONE!

Tomorrow…

Posted: January 30, 2015 in Janathon, not running, running
Tags: , , ,

There is nothing to read here today. Tune in again tomorrow (Saturday).

I have only 9 miles more to round my January run total up to 100 miles but I have put that to one side in favour of totally kicking some parkrun bottom tomorrow morning.

By this, I mean a long awaited PB.

It is happening.

Tomorrow.

There. I’ve said it. I’m committed.

And tomorrow I shall tell you how I did it… Because obviously I am actually going to do it. Ground breaking new fitness regime to be revealed!

Janathon (day 30) – involving nothing apart from telling you that tomorrow I’m hopefully definitely going to be doing something – done.

When I did the Nottingham half marathon in September, I think it was (probably wrong….too lazy to check), there’s this bit at the end that goes along the river Trent, then doubles back on itself before entering the finishing area with all the spectators and stands. What is, I believe rather grandly referred to these days as ‘the race village’.
Anyway, feeling pretty rubbish doing the river Trent doubling-back bit (to cut a long story short, I had somewhat overestimated my own base fitness level / underestimated the event -click to read the report), I decided to conserve some energy with a bit of a walk before running strong into the ‘race village’.

I am at a similar point with my Janathon blogging. I am hoping for a strong finish (though I don’t know yet what my blogging-sprint-finish is like).

Today, I played tennis for an hour and a half, ran for 4 miles, then this evening ran to the pool, swam for half an hour and ran home.
91 miles covered in January so far but not sure where I’ll fit a run in tomorrow so 100 miles is far (well 9 miles away) from a done deal.

Janathon (day 29) – involving tennis, running, a bit more running, some swimming, and a last bit of more running – done.

Every cloud

Posted: January 28, 2015 in Janathon, Jantastic, Marathon, running
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday, I worked out…

Stop! Hang on…

No.

No I didn’t. That is the problem.
I shall rephrase…

I calculated that if I ran 5 miles a day for the rest of January, I could still make it into the Janathon 100 club, even if my blogging has been a little erratic over this final week.

Unfortunately, shortly after calculating the ‘5 miles a day’ thing, it didn’t take a huge intellectual leap from a mathematical genius such as myself to work out conclude that I could just go to bed and do 10 miles the next day. So that’s what I did…

…well…    …a bit…

The going to bed bit.

Because the next day (today – Wednesday) I had agreed to meet a tennis club member for a set or two at the club after today’s school run.
We warmed up and got two games in before we got massively hailed on…
(…and cue the obligatory photo that never fully conveys how hard and wet and cold it actually was…)

image

The weather looked set in, so we called it a day there, postponed it to tomorrow (when it’ll probably be under a few inches of snow) and I went for that (somewhat wetter than anticipated) run after all. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that.

Not quite enough time for the 10-miler, but I got 9 in at least before nursery pick-up time.

I didn’t enjoy it.

I was tired, I was aching, I wanted to be playing tennis really.

I wondered why I had bothered entering another stupid marathon if I didn’t enjoy running anyway.

And then I thought…”Brilliant! This is close to how I feel towards the end of a really long run, but without the hassle, the pain, the time issues of having actually just run 18 miles or so”. So I convinced myself it was mental training. I needed to keep going, even though I didn’t feel like it, because that’s exactly what I’ll have to do in a few months time, anyway.

Every cloud and all that.

It certainly felt like every cloud that could have passed overhead today, did.

Recovery run

Posted: January 26, 2015 in Janathon, running
Tags: ,

Just a short one…

…what exactly, is supposed to recover during a recovery run?

…as cunning as a cunning fox with a degree in cunning from Cunning University.

Well it isn’t actually all that cunning, but if I just said I have a very average plan it wouldn’t sound as good.
My plan is actually very simple: To get a reasonable sleep tonight (Saturday night), set out all my running stuff to minimise the morning faffage*, and do a long run on Sunday morning thus also minimising the impact my marathon training has on my lovely family.

*’faffage’ – absolutely a word.

[Edit – that was as far as I got with writing yesterday (Saturday) because, in the interest of fulfilling the plan, I went to bed. The following was written on Sunday 25th Jan…]

On Saturday, I played a tennis match. Mixed. 36 tennis games in total against 3 different pairs, where every game counts. We ended up winning 19 games to 17. Phew! Effectively one game in it. The rest of our team did similarly so an overall win for our club. It was at another David Lloyd club so I had fully intended to once again steal a session at the gym while I was there, but time was pushing on and it would have been rather selfish of me to have stayed out much longer :-/
I also did a bit of a core workout session later that evening using the ‘runtastic six-pack’ app (which doesn’t work, by the way – I still don’t have a six-pack).

As for my run this morning… I did indeed wake up. I did indeed get up. I even managed to get the dishwasher and a load of washing on the go before I left the house at 06:30, returning home 2.5 hours and 16 miles later.

Here’s a clip (if it works) from the last few miles – it’s only very short…and not very interesting really…I’m just experimenting… ;-)

Hyperlapse run along Nottingham canal 25.01.2015

A video posted by @notmuchofarunner on

Janathon (days 24 & 25) – incorporating tennis, core stuff, and full on proper actual running and that – Done!

Exercising my excuses

Posted: January 23, 2015 in Janathon, not running
Tags: ,

Given that Janathon is supposed to be ‘a festival of activity and excuses‘, I feel that I have so far tipped the scales towards the ‘activity’ side and have somewhat neglected to provide many excuses.
For that, I apologise and now aim to correct that oversight.

Yesterday, I played football, basketball, and hide & seek with the kids after school. I just couldn’t be bothered to blog about it and was asleep at 21:30 which is super-early for me.

Today, I’m just about bothered enough to blog, but not to do anything else.
I am however exercising my excuses. I haven’t let them out much recently and they could do with stretching their legs.

Janathon (days 22 + 23) – involving exercising but not blogging, and blogging but not exercising (which in my book, evens it all out) – Done.