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After various ailments I was looking forward to getting back to a proper week of training. I started sensibly by waiting for track in the evening. The session was a bit different, well it was normal insofar as it contained various speeds and distances of running. It was (2 x) 1200 easy, 4 x 300 fast, 2 x 600 tempo. 30 seconds between reps and 2 minutes between sets. Rick wasn’t there which meant Tristan was which meant I pretended to be running with him as he got further and further away. All in all I think it was a good session. It was so long ago I’ve forgotten and I didn’t write anything useful down as just writing the session down used up all my energy.

On Tuesday I discovered my right hamstring/buttock was really tight again. Weird as this used to be a left side ailment. I dragged it out for 8.5 miles. That showed it!

Pump on Wednesday seemed to help it. Rick was covering which is excellent as I’ll only be able to go to one of his classes every other week now that he’s given up his Thursday evening class. I went out on Wednesday afternoon for a short recovery run. I can’t remember the last time I ran in the afternoon. Possibly never. It was weird and wrong and I don’t think I like it.

Valentines ping pong! What better way to celebrate my spinsterhood than playing ping pong with a load of married people.

In the evening I decided to go to Tom’s session as I haven’t been for ages as I’ve had bodypump. Turns out trying to do mile reps on the Thursday evening of a hard week back after three weeks of not so much is hard. I managed three but they were quite slow. Consistently so at least.

I rested on Friday.

On Saturday it was the first Arena parkrun series run. It was at Preston Park which has been my recent parkrun of choice. Of course, now it was an official “race” it was going to go terribly. Thus it did. There was a lot of tripping up and angry people and I couldn’t get into a rhythm. Taking into account how much I slowed down throughout I was surprised with my time as it was only about a minute and a half slower than my recent bests. I wasn’t too distraught though as I knew it would happen and I’ve been doing well in concentration for a few months so having a bad day is ok as I know it’s a one off and not a trend.

No team photo to steal so here’s an artist’s impression of Arenas in action

Today (Sunday) I rounded off the week with a slow drag around the shortest hilloop of Hangleton.

About 35 miles for the week and glad to be back on the wagon.

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Posted 17/02/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Snot a good week   Leave a comment

A good start to the week with track on Monday evening. It took a while for my legs to resurrect after Chichester 10k fridgefest. Steve had obviously gone mad as he had set a normal session with 2 WHOLE MINUTES recovery. (5 x ) 400t, 200f, 400t, 200f. Even when my legs weren’t fully over Chichester I still felt strong and speedy (relatively). About halfway through my legs came back to life so I was able to run faster, until they went out of the other side and died again. Luckily there was just enough left in them to tide me over to the end of the session without losing form.

On Tuesday I was fully destroyed so went out for an easy jog.

Wednesday was a double Circle day as Rick was covering Lucie’s morning class so I had to get in there. My legs were somewhat tired from Sunday and Monday. Evening was the usual express vibe. Unfortunately, somewhere in the interim I was struck down by a horrible cold. This meant spin was an utter snotfest. How can some colds not be there then the next second they are fully there? I suppose at least there’s no drawn out warning.

I was then fully deceased for three whole days. So much snot. So many packets of tissues used. So much sinus pain. So much annoyance as I’d only just got over my last cold and now I’ve had three disrupted weeks. Small upside insofar as it makes this blog much shorter! The sinus pain reached a crescendo on Saturday so I couldn’t even contemplate parkrun. However, as the cold started so abruptly, it ceased abruptly. Well not that abruptly as it’s still here now, but there was a brief reprieve on Sunday morning where I felt much better so slotted in an easy treadmill run as I had a MoveGB £1 credit to use. I am now back to full on snotting, although I actually feel a lot better, which is rather annoying as I thought I was over the hump.

A minimal 17.5 miles for the week but as I had three full days off that’s not surprising. Probably a good week to have a cold as it was very windy and wet. Next week looks much better weather-wise so hopefully I shall also be much better so I can make the most of it.

Posted 10/02/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Freezy does it   Leave a comment

Surprisingly track wasn’t iced off this week which was good but also bad because I’d already written it off. Though not completely as I hadn’t done anything earlier in the day. Anyway I’m glad I went. It was utterly freezing but the track surface was fine, though one corner was distinctly colder than all the others. The session was 5 x 1200 with each rep split into 300 easy, 100f, 200e, 200f, 100e, 300 fast (1minute recovery). I can’t really say much more other than that it was good and I felt strong and controlled throughout.

I rested on Tuesday (nobody took me for a drink).

After the massive snowstorms of Tuesday evening it was almost impossible to get to pump on Wednesday morning but I powered through the treacherous 350 metres wearing nothing but my pump clothes with a flasher mac over the top.

Snowmaggedon!!! (Seagull poo to prove I live by the sea [and never wash my windows])

In the evening, once the treachery had diminished to complete invisibility, I set out once again for vibe. This time clutching my spin shoes in addition to the flasher mac.

Thursday was ping pong time again!

Ping pong pirouette

I rested again on Friday.

This meant I was utterly useless at running on Saturday. Also it was utterly freezing. Dragged myself round Preston Park. I had to get that out of the way so that it wouldn’t be the first half of Chichester 10k.

Which was this morning (Sunday). It was SO COLD when Dan and I arrived at 7.45am. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt it that cold without it being windy. I seriously worried for my nose as we started out on a warm up lap of the racing circuit. I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up right at the back at the start like I did when I last did this race but this meant I started a bit too far forward. Three seconds from the start line.

What happens when you start in the elite pen by mistake

I was trundling along at what felt like tempo effort and then DISASTER! A man was shouting out halfway times but they were COMPLETE NONSENSE. I was wearing a watch so could have checked but no, I just believed him even though it would have been ridiculous if true. Basically 2 minutes slower than I’d hoped. Anyway I almost gave up there and then but persevered. Because I’d started too far forward I was being overtaken quite a bit but I tried to remember that was the reason and it wasn’t that I was slowly grinding to a halt. Luckily Michael Miller caught me up with maybe 500 metres to go and told me I mustn’t let him get ahead. This was the perfect kick up the bum I needed and I managed to pick it up significantly. A man shouting to another woman near me helped too as he said if she kept on at this rate she’d be well under 45 minutes. After the halfway man’s nonsense shout of 23.34 I was very pleased to discover this as I was fully expecting 48 minutes or so (even though I felt I was doing ok). I finally crossed the line in 44.14 so a (many) season’s best. Seeing as I’ve only just got below 22 minutes at parkrun and felt totally unprepared for such a “long” race, along with the absolutely freezing air temperature, I was quite pleased with this.

A lowly 16 ish miles for the week but a promising finish.

Posted 03/02/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Stuff in bonce sense   Leave a comment

Track was iced off on Monday so an unexpected, but probably for the best, day off.

On Tuesday I went out for what was supposed to be a long easy run but I discovered my dripping sinus has moved into the solid as concrete stage and my whole head was stuffed. This make breathing almost impossible so I aborted my run after 4 very slow miles.

By Wednesday I felt like I’d run a marathon (I’m guessing, having never actually run one) so didn’t even attempt to run. In the evening I went to vibe as that can be easily modified if necessary. I’m still pretty rubbish at clipping my feet in but am getting a little better and don’t injure myself any more. Bryan had some new disco lights and brought out an excellent sailor/Irish jig tune in place of the usual Greek plate smashing music.

I tried another little jog on Thursday. I thought the exercise might help dislodge the concrete but alas not. I did get slightly further, slightly faster, so progress. It was Rick’s last evening bodypump. Noooooooo!!! He is my absolute favourite. He does do a Thursday morning class I can do instead but it clashes with ping pong so I’ll only be able to do it every other week.

I was still feeling bunged up and groo on Friday so had another full rest day in the hope I’d be ok for parkrun.

I cycled over to Preston Park again. It’s my current favourite for windy days. Strangely this week I was stuck in crowds for a long time whereas the past few times I’ve been, miraculously, in the clear most of the way round. However this may have been a good thing as it meant I couldn’t got too fast at the beginning. Also I probably did well over 5k as I was weaving and going wide all over the place. I felt like I was running well, consistently fast throughout. In fact probably one of my top 10 best runs in terms of focus. My time of 21.27 is exactly what I’ve been running recently (except last week when I had serious sinus pain) so, given the crowding, not feeling 100% and the cold wind I should be pleased. I am pleased but slightly disappointed as I felt faster (somehow 21.27 looks a lot slower than 21.18 when written down). Anyway I haven’t lost anything after my snotty, quieter weeks so hopefully another jump up in pace is round the corner.

Today (Sunday) it was ridiculously windy (and freezing) so I took to the hills of Hangleton for some loops. Somehow the wind was coming from every direction and it was very cold. These runs are about getting out there so I just trundled along trying not to freeze to death or grind to a complete halt in the even windier sections. I threw in a faster last 600 metres or so purely because I was finally on the flat and not into a massive headwind.

A lowly 21 miles for the week but perfectly acceptable given the state of my sinuses.

Posted 27/01/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Insert title here   Leave a comment

Devoid of titular inspiration.

Monday was track as usual but no Rick! What the! However Bob was back so it was a nice easily understandable session with proper recoveries. 5 x 1200 split into 100 jog, 400 fast, 100j, 300f, 100j, 200f, 2 minutes rest. I ended up running with Tristan. Well in the vicinity of him anyway (which could, I suppose, be said about anyone within the track). A pleasing session.

On Tuesday I threw in a longish run. I went a little fast in parts but nothing too untoward.

As Rick (The Circle Rick not Track Rick) is no longer doing Thursday evening pump I went to Lucie’s Wednesday morning class instead. I’ve been before so know she is a good instructor. Her class was full but fine. The trouble with this class is it means vibe in the evening is a struggle for my poor ravaged limbs. I still haven’t got the knack of clipping into the pedals but at least this time I managed not to smash a massive bruise into my buttock, so progress.

Thursday was ping pong day. Hooray! Paul and I had a slight problem when we arrived as we had no ball. After a few rounds of mime pong a ball was found and we were off!

Must learn to actually move, though must also learn not to pirouette/flick leg up etc

I actually won a game against Paul, before everyone else arrived (except Paul. Obviously). Then we played doubles and I have no idea of wins/losses.

I had meant to go to Tom prom on Thursday evening but a horrid cold I’d been brewing for a while finally made itself known and my sinus was too painful and my nostril too drippy to contemplate it. (The cold is firmly lodged only in the left sinus/nostril.)

I went out for an easy run on Friday to see if I could dislodge the sinus doom but no. Why must sinus pain be so, well, painful?

I cycled over to Preston Park on Saturday but it turned out the cold had infiltrated my whole being more than I could tell as it was only evident in my left sinus. Felt really weak and lightheaded so was reasonably pleased to finish in 22.18 as only a month or so ago that would have been my 100% best effort in perfect conditions. Also the weather was freezing, wet and windy so not a day for a good run.

This morning (Sunday) I went out for a gentle 6 miles but bumped into Rob after 2 miles so ended up doing 9 miles. I’ve moved into the solid snot stage now so I found it difficult to breathe but just about managed it.

34 miles for the week (of both running and free-flowing, left nostril only, snot).

Posted 20/01/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

Back (sack n) track   Leave a comment

2019 – the year of unimproved maturity.

Thank goodness we’re back to normal now. I can’t abide Christmas time (mistletoe and whine). To ease myself back into a full training week I went out for an easy run on Monday morning. Found 20p. Hardly the glorious heights of a £10 note but it recouped my outlay on the scales at ping pong. In the evening it was back to track after the break. Due to a combination of factors it went terribly wrong. I don’t know what I did nor how many but I ran and stopped and continued to an overall distance of 7 miles. £2 well spent.

After this debacle I did nothing on Tuesday. Tom’s session was in Hove Park which meant I was able to take Tuesday as a full rest day. When his session is on the prom it is almost impossible to miss.

On Wednesday I was going to do a faster session but due to an annoyingly sore throat and mild cold I decided to just do an easier run. I felt horrid and full of rage so ended up doing a slightly progressive run, but still at a slow pace. In the evening it was off to vibe with new shoes! I got there extra early to check they were the right sort and that I could actually clip myself in/out of the pedals. Turns out my fears I’d be trapped on the bike forever were unfounded as in fact it was trying to get clipped IN that was impossible. Smashed a massive bruise into my hip but finally I was on!

Professional spinster

I definitely need to tweak the positioning of the cleats and Velcro my feet in better but I know they will greatly enhance my vibing. Not least because they look totally cool (ruined by my total uncoolness in not being able to mount the bike). It was disappointing to see so many empty bikes when the class was fully booked and only week two of January. However The Circle will make a good profit from all the fines from those who didn’t cancel. Someone was on my preferred bike so I moved one to the right and thus discovered myself in group one! Heavens above! Actually it was good as they are the whoopiest so my lack of whooping (my new shoes do the whooping for me) was less apparent.

On Thursday I still felt a bit sore throaty so didn’t bother running. I did go to pump in the evening though and discovered the terrible news that Rick won’t be doing that class anymore. Nooooooooo! He will be doing one on Thursday morning so I can still go but it’ll have to be every other week, alternating with ping pong. Bum.

As I didn’t run on Thursday I went out for a short trot on Friday morning. Annoyingly they have built a gate over the end if Shoreham arm. It was open but it had a metal bar across the bottom which is going to trip everyone up continuously. Jumping over it seems dangerous too as the metal-framed doorway is quite low. I think there will already be a sizeable pile of concussed and broken runners lying there. I assume it’s to stop fisherman (though I don’t know why they need to) but it’s ruddy irritating.

Saturday’s wind forecast looked precisely like the lies where it seems it won’t be that windy but is actually a hurricane so I cycled inland to Preston Park. It is very crowded there but now I’m slightly less slow I managed to find space after 800 metres or so. I feel this was one of my best runs ever in terms of concentration and focus. A strong, consistently paced, tempo effort. 21.20 with much less effort than the same times run recently (21.18 run on a windless prom felt much harder and included a faster finish). Let us pray that this improvement continues.

Today (Sunday) I went out for a long, slow, loopy, hilly run. I even went up King George VI twice.

38 miles for the week.

Posted 13/01/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

New Year, New Ditty   Leave a comment

Same level of total hilarity. Do not panic. I am fully clothed.

I saw out the old year by doing nothing.

New Year’s Day means two parkruns. The weather was actually acceptable for once. Not too cold or windy and dry. However everyone on the universe was at the prom. I hate crowds. I got a massive stitch almost immediately (maybe related to crowd anxiety, maybe not). Anyway this meant a regression run to the most spectacular degree.

Though having said that my finishing time of 22.47 was nowhere near as bad as I felt. Onwards to the next one! Even more crowded. Added to being hungry and cold from the wait. Felt a lot better during the run but only 21 seconds faster. I don’t know why I keep doing these. It always seems like a good idea until I get there. But two parkruns in the bag by 11am is as good a start to the year as any I suppose.

On Wednesday I went out for an easy run in the morning. In the evening it was back to vibe. Since I’ve been going the class has never had more than about 15 people but now every single bike was taken. 38! (Because this is a half an hour class everyone thinks it’ll be easy – ha!) I knew this would happen so made sure I got there even earlier than usual so I could get my favourite bike. The thing with a full class is it’s extra hot and sweaty. Let’s see how many there are next week. Strangely the 45 minute class afterwards was reasonably empty.

Thursday saw the return of ping pong. Hooray! More doubles matches, mix and match.

In the evening it was back to bodypump. It seems that New Years resolutioners don’t like this class as it was only a tiny bit fuller than usual. I moved to front and centre in an attempt to stop always going to the same place. Though obviously this will now be my always place. Though the light in the face may mean I’ll have to try a new place next week. At least people don’t keep stepping over me like they used to when I went to the side next to the barbell rack. Maybe I need to wear sunglasses? Wait! The lights have flaps on them so I’ll have to ask Rick if he can fold them up a bit. He’s totally gay so will be disgusted that I’ve even asked.

I didn’t do anything on Friday. Tired myself out with suddenly being faster than I have been for two years and all the extra festive runs/races.

On Saturday it was back to normal parkrun. As it wasn’t windy I went back to the prom. There were pacers from 19 to 30 minutes so another chance to try and stick with the 21 pacer. This one had a dog.

I don’t know why I hate him so much

I managed to stick with him until halfway (precisely 10.30) but then suddenly he was quite far ahead. Luckily the girl in pink, who I now see was just behind me all the way, overtook me in the home straight and dragged me along with her when I may have slipped further behind otherwise. 21.18, so another small improvement.

Rested again today, ready to get back into it properly tomorrow when life returns fully to normal thank the lord.

A measly 18 miles for the week but on purpose.

Posted 06/01/2019 by Isobel Muir in Running

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