Diastasis Recti / abdominal separation / mummy tummy

Hello!

Firstly, I am sorry that my blog posts are a bit few & far between lately :)

Busy times means that this blog takes a while to get around to updating sometimes- but when I feel passionate about a subject I would like to write about, eventually I will :)

After I had my twins 8 years ago, my abdominals separated to an extent that the physiotherapist said he doubted they would ever knit back together.

Why a check for DRA (Diastasis Recti Abdominis) is not routinely performed at the 6-week postnatal check I am not sure- but I like to check any postnatal 1:1 students for this, before beginning an exercise routine with them.

diastasis recti (more…)

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Equinox24 2017- my 140km race highlights :-)

So my race story starts 5 days before, when I woke up with a tickle in my throat. I had three days of feeling rough as. I think the combination of stress with the logistics (taking my mum and kids) combined with the psychological pressure of a new distance (which I never seem to cope well with) just got to me. That and in all honesty having just not been going to bed early enough and resting efficiently enough recently.

So I took three days before the race off work, rested, then felt slightly better so decided to race. I threw a random bunch of stuff together (which I thought was “adequately labelled” ;) ). Looking at a big pile of stuff in the hallway the night before the race- stuff every where, I looked at my mum and said- this is not how Kilian Jornet prepares for a race. Mum said “And does he have children? No.” (more…)

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Grim Reaper experience (the clue is in the name) 70 miles

Curiously, immediately after the race I was feeling unsure about the upcoming race in Sept which this one was part of training for…

However, by the time I got into my bed two hours later, I could not wait to do it all again. I reckon all the springboards, ahem I mean, people I spoke with along the way, have probably also signed up for their next one by now or are thinking about which one to do.

I messaged my friend when I got into bed and said- “why is it that you brain goes arrghhh that hurt like hell! Let’s do another one?” and he replied- “endorphins”.

lake (more…)

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Feel better, look taller & slimmer in 1 second…

As you are reading this note, where is you head in relation to your spine? Is your electronic device held in front of your face, or is your head forward of your spine?

The head comprises 8% of total body mass.  It weighs  10 to 11 pounds with no hair (4.5 to 5 kg), yet every inch your head goes forward is an extra 10 lbs (4.5kgs) of weight on your neck.

No matter how well you eat, if you train, if you keep your stress levels in check, this is something we all tend to do more often than not. Everyone.

Look sideways at yourself in a mirror, if your ear is not in line with your shoulder and your hip, then as this article discusses, this can be a sign of forward head posture (FHP). (more…)

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Malta’s toughest race: Gozo Hellfire 55k.

Creaming up, for the third time
Pre-race. Creaming up, for the third time

“I don’t know if I can finish. But that’s the point. I don’t want to enter a race I know I can finish. I want a challenge and to see how I measure up. To try something I don’t know I can finish: that excites me.”

me race start carmel
Probo one of only times you’ll see me next to Carlos (white t-shirt) in a race scenario ;) He won, I did not

me finish
Happiest I’ve ever been (when not on morphine)

 

I wrote this the a few days after: “I have a feeling now like being in love, or having had a baby, without that anxiety and trepidation that I’m somehow going to mess it all up. No matter what happens now, I’ve completed an ultra and nothing can take that away.”

 

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The course of true love never did run smooth: Minimalism to Maximalism: pt1

Sorry guys, a new post has been long overdue! I have had a wicked summer so far! Mainly packed with entertaining the little ones.  However, now I sit in France alone in a beautiful huge Chalet, I have three days to catch up on some writing before I head to Chamonix for the UTMB festivities, so here goes.

On to the title of this post; I love running.  I know many don’t, and I felt that way for 19 years.  I would miss a bus rather than run for one, honestly.  Then something clicked after that first half-marathon I hadn’t trained for.  Ali and Hannah, the unlikely athletesI knew I could push beyond discomfort, and actually find pleasure in doing so, and this forever changed me.  The comfort zone is a trap, and true happiness lies beyond this.  This is a valuable lesson which changes the way one lives, a lesson I hope my kids will grow to understand.

 

I never intended to be a minimalist purist in terms of running shoe.  I hadn’t read Born to Run (the book that started the minimalist trend) when I started running in sandals.  

 This is a story about how I ran in sandals for 3 and a bit years, how I found it and where my thoughts lie now.  (I hope this story is useful).

PS- those nike cortez ‘fashion’ trainers stood me well for running for years until someone told me I needed a ‘proper’ running shoe ->

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The course of love never did run smooth: Minimalism to Maximalism: pt2.

I waited patiently in Sportlink in Norwich, whilst a slurry of beat-up bodies sought out new shoes to fix their running woes.  Is running this bad? This addictive? I thought, as a man spoke of his recent back operation, a woman of her chronic knee pain, and veteran athlete Neil Featherby said if he had stopped running when a doctor had told him to… Well, Neil just laughed. Are we really that worse off than the general population, I wondered?  I see many broken down, beaten-up bodies in my Yoga classes, and rarely are these due to sporting injuries. Most often the body is rebelling in later life against a sedentary/ indoor lifestyle.

I don’t run to look better, I don’t run to make my body feel better.  I run, like with Yoga, primarily for my mind.  However, my body needs to be kept in tune to allow me to continue experiencing the benefits. There is no benefit in ignoring niggles that persist beyond a few months.  This is why I was here, hoping a change in footwear may help my back and prevent me further damaging my knee.  Maybe my back problems were exacerbated by running, maybe barefoot running caused my knee injury, maybe it was under-training, maybe barefoot running affected these injuries for the better, or for the worse.  Maybe it was pregnancy that damaged my back and the problem would have arisen anyway (as the back specialists said), maybe running presented the problem earlier than I would have otherwise become aware.  Maybe the accident was a coincidence and the problem was underlying.  This is all speculation, but I knew I needed some changes, regardless of the cause.

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13 differences between the Good Friday Night 30k Run 2014/15

pic30 k in less than 3 hours.  I was happy, as it took 1 hr 17 to do the first 10k.  I was seriously deflated, why had it taken me so long?  I did my calculations and thought there was no chance of finishing sub-3hrs as I had planned.  Here I will sum up the main differenced between my ‘performance’ this and last year.

1) I had less sleep than before last year’s, I got about an hour, the night of it, but less sleep in the previous week’s also.

2) Definitely felt a lot stronger than last year, especially on the hills , got a faster time. Probably the compression socks’ psychosomatic effect :)

3) Didn’t feel sore during or afterwards. Possible the compression socks’ psychosomatic effect ;)

4) Lunas were more comfy with socks for the night run, as was only about 17/18oC.  Will still wear them without for summer running.

5) I left Mellieha Church at 130am, so arrived about 420am in Senglea.  Then waited until 6am for a bus :’( I was wearing shorts and ran in a vest.  I had a long sleeved top and a foil blanket with me, but had to borrow a bin bag and push some arm and head holes in it.

6) NO TEA!!! NO TEA at the end!!! I drank a bit of hot water and squeezed a bit of orange in it (contemplated dropping a salted caramel gel in and giving it a stir, thought that might taste tea-like, then I thought better of it).  Then I burnt my tongue.  Disaster.  A very many people offered to bring me a coffee as I crouched by the church shivering, looking like a bedraggled Euroland Christmas fairy (white bin-bag dress and shimmery foil DHL blanket-skirt), wearing a hydration pack on top, and of course, long socks and sandals.  Nice.  I was just starring at everyone speaking in Maltese as I tried to work out whether I was even in the right place for buses.

Knowing that if I had had a coffee, rather than going to sleep I’d get home and write about a million far-too-intricate for a 4-yr old egg-hunt clues, I declined.

7) Just a bit not so greatly organised.  Did I mention no tea, and no buses? Here’s last year’s report (more…)

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Non-Yoga for back pain

Yoga for bad backWhen someone knows you have a legal qualification, conversations with friends and acquaintances sometimes start a bit like this, “So I have this parking ticket from Birmingham…” or “can I ask you about the Law as regards my neighbour’s cats…” 

As a Yoga teacher, conversations go, more often, exactly like this like this, “I have this pain in my back, can you recommend some stretches to help me?”.

And I love to help, but it is tricky to give what they are asking for. I’ve done short sequences for everyone from my boyfriend, to my brother, to my friends.

Ones they can roll out of bed and do, ones they can do at the desk at work, single-pose sequences…  But I’m pretty sure none of them really do them… And I understand completely why.  They are busy.  Everyone’s busy.  That is why their backs hurt. And truth be told,  5 mins of Yoga a day will help, but there’s some other stuff I believe will help more.  Such as: (more…)

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