Two weeks in one   3 comments

Many many moons ago it was Monday the 13th of May. I had just broken my toe and everyone said I mustn’t run on it and that I would be out of action for six weeks so I thought I’d give it a test by running to drop off my key to the cat feeder. Thank goodness I did as it turned out to be fine. Completely fine. I don’t understand how but it was.

All style but no substance

So off I went to track. I thought the toe may not like the faster pace or cornering but once again not a peep. The session was 800, 30s, 4 x 300 (100 jog) 2 minute walk x 3. It was so long ago now I can’t remember if I was any good. I think possibly not.

On Tuesday I didn’t do anything and hummed and haaaa’d about going to Tom’s session on the evening. I decided to but it was the wrong decision. I managed one (of 4) of the 2500m reps at a slow pace, dragged myself round another then gave up as I was too slow and useless. However as I passed Brigitte’s group on the way home I stopped for a bit and discovered they were doing 6 x 2 minutes fast. I gatecrashed the last three to make me feel like I’d done something.

Wednesday was long run day. I started out slowly and got slower and then MIGRAINE. Thankfully I only had 1.5 miles to go which I had to run with major holes in my vision. It was awful and I knew I’d have to go straight to bed when I got home and would have to face being sick with nothing at all in my stomach. It explained why I’d been so bad at running on Monday and Tuesday though. This also explains why I didn’t write a post pre-holiday as I was still suffering badly from migraine hangover.

I didn’t go to pump on Thursday but did try ping pong. I wasn’t as bad as I thought even though I couldn’t see and kept having to sit down.

I rested on Friday as I knew I HAD to be alive enough to endure 5 hours in a minibus on Saturday as it was time for the Arena running holiday. I still couldn’t read so it was a long and horrible day.

Thankfully I was ok on Saturday and managed the minibus journey. I still felt weird and couldn’t see properly. Everything was still disjointed and weird. It’s still not right now so I’m going to do a quick recap of the holiday in photos.

Cats, massive hills, a reservoir or 3, Brixham harbour arm tempo and sprints on the fort path = 52 holiday miles. Not enough time to do an excellent mountain bike trail. I think I should become a mountain biker as I much preferred it to the running.

Another perfect weather week.

Tried to do parkrun on my return. It could have gone either way. Died. Sub 20 effort for 24 minutes.

If I can ever see properly again I’ll write you a proper post. Until then I’ll bid you adieu.

Posted 26/05/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Life is a rollercoaster… SHUT UP!   Leave a comment

Things started, as they so often do, with Monday evening track. Oh wait, no they didn’t! It was a bank holiday so I went to track in the morning instead and continued my mile pace training with 5 x 500m @ 1.52 (6mm pace – 2 min recovery). I just about managed it but it was a lot colder and windier than my 400s version a few weeks earlier and this was off the back of a 13 miler on Sunday so I was still reasonably pleased. I wanted to do a mile time trial too which I did but it was rubbish. Left too long a gap, got in the way of the sprinters, there were children. Meh.

On Tuesday I continued my new regime of proper long runs with another 13 miler. I managed to chafe the tops of my ears and anger my longest toes but otherwise nothing to report.

As I actually did a decent long run on Tuesday I decided to only do vibe on Wednesday. The only trouble with not running in the morning is that it’s impossible not to kill oneself in vibe (though quite a lot of the other participants don’t seem to have this problem).

Thursday was once more the double of PUMPPING. Bodypump followed immediately by ping pong. Why must the best things always be at the same time? We are all a lot better at ping pong now. Neal was even able to break out his proper spin shots. A great mix of skill and no skill. I actually laughed until I cried which is a very rare occurrence indeed.

On Friday I knew I needed to run off the LSR/vibe/pump DOMS (my poor ruined legs). I did 2 x 8 minutes effort (thanks coach). So destroyed from pump but by the second effort section I could just about move and was just about ok with just sneaking under 7mm pace. These sessions are for effort practice so I mustn’t be too concerned with the pace as long as I know I tried properly throughout and focused on form.

It was the Arena parkrun series trip to Bevendean on Saturday but I’d already decided not to go as I wanted to test out my pace on a flat course and the wind looked kind enough for prom.

8am Saturday I was going about my usual routine. Drinking tea, getting dressed BREAKING MY TOE ON THE BATHROOM DOOR. I went to parkrun anyway in denial. Forgot my barcode. Had to wear my biggest shoes to get my toe in which ruined my colour coordination. So very annoyed with self. I still ran as fast as I have recently (not very). I had hoped to be faster but cornering was difficult so I had to adopt a sort of hop shuffle.

No action shot (possibly because no action)

I had planned to do another long run today (Sunday) to reach 40 miles for the week and the start of my 98357th comeback but the toe had really blossomed so I didn’t. *insert paragraphs of rue and swearing here*

Perfect timing to ruin vets league and the Arena running holiday.

Posted 12/05/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Surprisingly I did some running   Leave a comment

Aren’t you bored of me yet? I certainly am. Anyway I did some more running so here it is.

A normal track session this week, sandwiched between bank holidays. It sounded terrible when Jenny said it would be 9 x 700 metres but actually it was fine. The 700 was broken into 400 tempo with 300 quicker, with a 100 walk before setting off again. It was a good session and I managed to keep in the vicinity of Tristan. Paul was back after a long injury layoff so also ran with us for the first 5 reps before retiring sensibly.

On Tuesday I wanted to do a long run at a slightly faster pace than I have been. It morphed into a progressive tempo-ish effort 8 miles. Pleasing as I wouldn’t have thought I could do that at present.

I discovered Bryan wasn’t doing vibe on Wednesday so took the opportunity to have a rest day.

Thursday was a day for no running but much cross training. Paul had organised an off-week table tennis session and kindly started it half an hour later so I could fit in bodypump beforehand. Sod’s Law means my two favourite things of the week are on at exactly the same time but this minor alteration means I can do Rick pump then dash over to ping ping and only miss the first 15 minutes or so. However it also means I am utterly broken and can hardly move my squat-ravaged legs nor lift the bat. Naturally this makes absolutely no difference to my mad skillz. This time I managed to hit the ball over the bar and shocked a poor woman chopping onions in the kitchen when I went to retrieve it. Having crammed everything into a few hours I then did nothing until Friday where I did a small pre-parkrun loosener of 10 minutes easy, 10 minutes effort, 10 minutes easy. It was terrible but that’s what it’s for. Best to get it out before parkrun rather than during.

Val offered me a lift to Lancing, which I hadn’t done before, and as it was reasonably windy I thought it was a good time to give it a go. It starts with a brief back and forth on some lumpy grass but then goes up onto the path and out towards Shoreham. It was quite windy but I thought it would be ok as the wind would be behind when we turned. It was not. However I stuck with the plan I had developed at the beginning which was to attempt to catch a woman in blue who was 20 or so metres ahead. I only caught her with around 150 to go but mission accomplished. I was pleased with the run even though the time was mediocre at best. I’m blaming the grass and bi-directional headwind (nothing to do with my woeful lack of proper long runs). I even helped Val do the token sorting afterwards and managed not to knock the tokens all over the cafe. A successful morning’s work.

Today (Sunday) I finally addressed the aforementioned woeful lack of proper long runs and did 13 miles in the seafront in solidarity with Val who was doing the somewhat more challenging Three Forts half. I must now continue with these proper long runs and regain my 2013 speeds.

A much better 35 miles for the week. The minimum weekly mileage line (set at 30) in my running diary was finally breached.

Posted 05/05/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Sweet sixteen   Leave a comment

As it was Easter bank holiday Monday there was no evening track session. The weather forecast was excellent however. As Rob is now a sprinter he was going to track in the morning for some specialised coaching so I thought I could get my session done first then watch him trashing his way through the myriad drills and warm up of a sprinter (I used to be in this very sprint group approximately 16 years ago). Thus I arrived at a freezing, windy, mist-enshrouded track at 9.30am. I had decided that I wanted to do a short session based on my target mile pace of 5.59. This meant I should complete 400 metres in 90s. 85, 86, 87, 86, 86. Surprised myself! It was precisely the correct level of difficulty. Go me! I then watched Rob for a mere 2.5 hours as he went through the interminable sprint warm up process. Thankfully the weather was excellent by now so it was great to sit in the sun, my session finished, and watch someone else in action.

Keep off the grass

On Tuesday I meant to do a long run but these days I’m terrible at actually doing anything long. 7 miles in a mildly and unintentional progression.

Wednesday was the first of the Preston Park Magic Mile series. Alas the weather was terrible after the spoils of Monday. Freezing and thrashing rain. Much of the route was like a river. However I was still pleased with my run considering. Also it gave me an official time to work from. 6.30 official time. 6.18 GPS mile. Much better than I envisaged. Onwards! Just before entering the river for the first time

As I had missed vibe on Wednesday evening I decided to go for the full 45 minute version on Thursday morning. Which I did, then immediately cycled over to table tennis. Paul laughed until he cried. Again. He loves it. As do I.

I then rested for two whole days. Saturday was because it was stupidly windy. I had planned to sneak in parkrun before my mother came to visit but it would have been totally pointless as we discovered when we tried to walk a few hundred metres to find somewhere for lunch. Boundary Road wind tunnel.

This morning (Sunday) I tried to up my mile pace training by too much at once, by increasing 100% to attempt 3 minutes at 6mm pace. Failed. I managed two but had to cut the last two down to 2 minutes. I thought this might be the case but thought I should try something and maybe fail rather than do something I know I could have completed. I tried hard not to keep reminding myself of the days when I could do 13 minutes at that pace. Double fail.

A paltry 16 miles for the week but I was pleased with my sessions and intend to do higher mileage in the coming week as the forecast is a lot less windy.

Posted 28/04/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

A brief glimpse of summer   Leave a comment

Once again the week started on Monday with track. A simple session of 8 x 800 with 1 minute recovery. Each rep was 500 tempo followed by 300 fast. A good session where I ran with Tristan. Well “with” might be a bit optimistic but he was within the vicinity.

On Tuesday I wanted to do a long run but only managed 7 miles due to general decrepitude.

Thus I didn’t do anything until vibe on Wednesday evening. I took it nice and easy … until the last track where I accidentally went mad and undid all my good work. Oops.

I compounded this by going to Rick’s pump class, which I haven’t been to for ages. I stuck to my new plan of going lighter for squats. This meant I did them much more properly (is that an acceptable sentence?) and they were utterly ruined. I loved it.

The weather was nice and hot and sunny on Friday so I took my ravaged quads out for a bit of a(n attempted) loosener. Arg! My legs haven’t been so ruined since I became pump years ago. Goes to show the value of an excellent teacher.

Mark had offered me a lift to Littlehampton for parkrun on Saturday. It is an excellent location for a parkrun, except it being so exposed that the northerly wind had nothing to stop it flaying us to death in both directions. Thankfully it wasn’t too freezing. I felt I ran well even though my time was slow. A combination of bi-directional headwind, absolutely mullered quads and the course being longer than my usuals. I returned to Hove and immediately felt like going running so off I set again into another hot, sunny day.

Today (Sunday) I rested as I hadn’t for about 11 days. Tsk.

Somehow still managed a just about acceptable 26 miles.

I know this is rather short and uninteresting but I’m feeling fine and looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow.

Posted 21/04/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Onwards   Leave a comment

Finally, after weeks of sickness then a migraine, I felt better and ready to get some proper training under my belt. Propitiously track was a session perfectly tailored to me. (5x) 500f, 100j, 400f, 100j, 300f, 2 minutes. It was the best track session I’ve done for years and I felt like my old (2013) self again. Not as fast of course but I felt PROPER for the first time in many many years. A great start to the week.

On Tuesday I just did BODYPUMP™️. I’ve discovered the secret is to do squats with a lighter weight than you would naturally choose. They are still hard (because legs already knackered from running) but it means you can carry on running the day after whereas before they would be too destroyed to be able to do anything worthwhile for days.

I proved this by doing a hard treadmill session on Wednesday morning. What I am lacking most, other than speed endurance, is the strength of mind to keep pushing even when I think I can’t so that was what this session was for. 3 x 9 minutes at 6.45(ish) mile pace. It was just the right amount of hard. Possibly the first time I got my £7.20 worth.

In the evening I went to vibe. As I didn’t go the week before I went overboard with Bryan-love and destroyed myself but it was so worth it.

Thursday morning was the relaxing and splendid ping pong time.

Ping and indeed pong

In the evening I went to Tom’s prom session. It was 8 x 500. As I’d done a lot of proper stuff already earlier in the week I took it steady and just ran my future target 5k pace (back to sub 20 one day I hope). Kept it consistent over the reps and didn’t kill myself.

I rested on Friday.

On Saturday I wanted to try and do 21.30 at prom parkrun and hoped there would be someone pacing. Lo! I arrived to find TJ in the 22 pacer bib. Perfect! I planned to run with him to halfway then try to push on in the second half. Double perfection! Tristan “natural ultra runner” Sharp was there too and was happy to help me in the second half. I am pleased to report that it was a success! 21.27. Next stop 20.59.

Today (Sunday) was the BM10k. Let us never speak of it again.

Thanks Marc for making it look like I ran

25 miles for the week but a lot of good sessions. I think next week will be higher volume but lower intensity.

Posted 14/04/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Back on track   Leave a comment

On Monday. As usual. Steve had gone all imaginative with his session today.

Mind bending in the extreme

Basically we ran 400f, 400j continuously for 30 minutes. All my “fast” 400s were around 95 seconds. Not fast, but consistent so a success.

I went to BODYPUMP™️ on Tuesday. It was half term so was rammed. It was also a new release and everything nowadays has to contain everything so it had too much cardio. I just want pure strength like it used to be.

On Wednesday I went to #runantalk but it was just me and Brigitte. This was fine for me but poor Brigitte had full, undiluted Isoblabber for half an hour. Lucky her!

Thursday was ruined by a full on migraine. Absolute hell. Friday was also wiped out with recovery.

Thankfully I was alive enough to go to Christ’s Hospital Relays on Saturday and the two days of no running probably did my legs good. The course had changed for this year and was fully contained within the grounds. I really liked the new course and felt I ran well. Started sensibly, consistent pace throughout. I was in the over 40 C team on first leg so was pleased to get my bit out of the way first. Unfortunately the weather was horribly cold and windy so I couldn’t stay to watch the men’s races.

Today (Sunday) I went out for a long run with Rob. A pleasant way to round off the week. A slightly reduced mileage week due to the illness but in general things are ticking along nicely.

Posted 07/04/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

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