Running

Vaseline

I was going to create this post a couple of days ago, but then Prince Philip suddenly shuffled off this mortal coil and that news seemed to wade into my writing unbidden but overriding.

Prior to my knowledge of the Royal demise, on Friday morning, I was steeling myself for the prospect of reaching double figures. I’d got quite close a few times but this was going to be the day when that little barrier would break.

the number 10
(Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com)

The process for me began with the porridge about two hours before. Then, while getting changed, I pulled out my trusty tub of Vaseline.

Now before you jump to any salacious speculation, I mainly use it on my feet before the start of a big run or walk. ‘Big’, for me, constitutes any mileage getting into double digits and so slathering on that Vaseline (other brands of petroleum jelly are available) was my way of saying to myself that today I’d reach my ten miles.

I can’t actually remember when or where I was given this tip but it has served me very well. I’ve done two marathons, loads of half marathons, and the Coast to Coast walk, all without getting a single blister. So a Gold Star tip if ever there was one.

It has obviously been quite a while (probably around a year and half now) since I was last running these kinds of lengths, as I had forgotten that my tub was nearly empty. Just enough to cake it on this time, and perhaps the next, but I definitely need to buy another one soon. However, I had enough for this run so there were no excuses.

Whether you’re a super pro-athlete or doing the Couch to 5K, you will always have psychological hurdles. These are specific to you and how your mind works. And the methods to overcoming those hurdles are also specific to you.

What works for me (sometimes) is a bit of a talking to. Mainly in my head but occasionally it slips out into audible speech. It can be a little embarrassing sometimes but keeps people away, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

I told myself that I was ready. That the time it took was of no concern and if I walked a bit on any uphills, that was okay too. But I would keep going until I reached my ten.

And I did!

A map and statistics of my 10 mile run
A 10 mile canter around the neighbourhood

And I actually had a bit more in the tank to take the final mile or so at a gallop, which bodes well for the next level up. Plus my feet ended up feeling very moisturised.