Gluteus Maximus

the-centurion-in-commandI always think Gluteus Maximus sounds like a Roman Centurion. However, instead of roaming (do you see what I did there – ouch!) I tend to spend most of my day parked on mine in front of a computer screen.  I can’t even claim to sit in a posturally correct manner like some middle aged mannequin from a physio magazine.  I slouch, and I twist, and I lean on my forearms and elbows while I type or mouse.  Then there is that stuff about getting up and walking around every 40 minutes or so. Unfortunately that doesnt happen very often and when it does the only interesting place to walk to is the canteen where there are invariably rolls on square sausage (with extra onions if Mary Ann is on duty because I dont have the heart to say no as she is so keen for me to have them) or I can walk to Asda where they currently have a special offer which is designed by the devil himself, namely a pack of 4 Toffee Crisps for a pound.

So I have a dilemma, do I sit at my desk burning no calories and getting stiff or do I go for a walk to loosen off and consume more calories in the process than I use up doing the walking?

Of course when I get home, what do I do? I spend the evening sitting at a computer keeping up with the world electronically. Yes I will run of course but that burst of activity is followed by sitting/slouching/stretching awkwardly over my machine.

Therein lies my problem. The very personality traits which make me want to run further and faster and which keep me out on the road are the very same traits which make me consume books, blogs and web sites about running/training/physiology/races.  Add to that the social banter of keeping up with my running buddies online and that is even more time spent at the machine.  Oh, and I enjoy nice food and wine and tend to have the same ability to say no to these things as I have to declining a race.

Entrance to Glencoe from Buachaille Etive Mor

Which brings me to the point of this piece. To improve as a runner and to successfully complete the WHW in June I know that I need to make some lifestyle changes.  I need to run more and stretch more and  I need to lose weight. And I am one of those unlucky people who doesnt lose weight by running,  so that doesn’t help.

All of those things involve stepping away from the computer and putting down the wine glass.  Yet life is about balance and I have reached that stage in my life where I feel I have earned the right to the nice things in life to balance the stresses of work and I have earned the right to obsess over my chosen pastime.


I guess I have some choices to make if I am to arrive at the top of the Devil’s Staircase looking better than I do in this picture from 2011’s Devil o’ the Highlands race.

Only its  nearly Christmas and there is wine and chocolate and mince pies and people to catch up with on the computer, the entrants list to mull over on the WHW website and an online training plan to tinker with.

I am beginning to think that running is the easy bit……

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