Time to    7 comments

I’m taking time away from blogging as after four years it’s time for a break. Thank you to those who have read my posts over the years. 

Posted 11/09/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Resting   2 comments

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday -Rest

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest (parkrun volunteer)

Sunday – Rest

Weekly mileage 0. 

Posted 04/09/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Going, going, gone   1 comment

Prepare for brevity:

Monday – 7 miles exceptionally slowly + 6 x 15s fast.

Tuesday – 30 minutes easy followed by 20 minutes steady.

Wednesday – “track” session at Preston Park. Hot. Slow.

Thursday – Rest.

Friday – 20 minutes out, 18 minutes back.

Saturday – succumbed to the tiredness that has been creeping up on me for weeks but that I stupidly ignored as usual until I couldn’t even jog without wheezing death and feeling like I’d raced a marathon the day before (not that I know what that would feel like but I’m too tired to think of my own analogy).

I am now going to attempt to rest – properly rest – for at least a week which, if I succeed, will be the longest I’ve ever rested from running without having been forced to by illness/injury. I have almost finished day one…

I look forward to next week’s blog entry which should read “did nothing at all”.

Posted 28/08/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Not quite an Olympian    Leave a comment

This week I was tapering for Tom’s track 5000 on Thursday. 

Monday = rest day.
Tuesday was another go at the straight diagonals. I still have absolutely no speed but it went as well as the last one. 

On Wednesday it was a nice easy 25 minutes plus 4 x 15s strides to prepare me for the 5000. 

Well prepared physically I arrived at Withdean, knowing that my race was the third of three. This doesn’t suit me as too much time to think about it though also too many other races to watch instead of doing a proper warm up. I did do more than before the 10000 (nil) but I think I need to do about 3 miles really to be ready. I have never done this and realistically never will. Having watched the two faster races it was then our turn. I had been contemplating various plans but once the race started I stuck to none of them. I found myself at the front for the first lap or so and went through 1k in 4.02 which is too fast for my current 5k times. 

Unintentionally at the front


Later on I got boxed for a bit which I couldn’t bear (this type of close proximity to others is something I can’t stand when in one of my bad brain phases). Unfortunately in this race I didn’t do anything right. In the 10000 I had a (single) solid plan which I stuck too and I was pleased with my run. This time I had a hundred plans, stuck to none of them, became annoyed with myself and ran badly. Under the circumstances I suppose 21.15 isn’t too bad as that’s all I’ve managed in recent parkruns but I really wanted to get something with a 20 on the front for confidence purposes. 

An olympian in style only AFTER the race

As the forecast for Saturday was for extremely strong winds I chose to go inland to Preston Park to take my chances with the incoming Thai food festival. I felt like I went out strongly but as I passed 2k in 8.48 I realised I must have actually been totally knackered as that is sloooooooooow and I was trying. 

This photo has been sped up


Anyway it didn’t get any better as I made it back to the finish. Afterwards I had to do 8 x 45s fast. After a dodgy start I managed maybe 4 acceptable ones before I totally died and struggled on the last two. Rob was helping me which meant they were much better than they would have been if I’d attempted them alone. The pace was that whichI’d need to sustain to run 18.30 for 5k which has always been my dream. Hahahahahaha. Oh dear. At least the 5k warm up meant I felt ready for about 4 of the 8 speed reps. 

Today (Sunday) was back to the hilly Hangleton loop. As of tomorrow I’m starting a 12 week marathon training plan (no marathon!) as I feel the only way I can become faster is with higher mileage. I really hoped this wasn’t the case but having done a few months of structured training to no avail I’m going to have to accept it. So now I’m going to do everything slowly (except specific speed work obviously) and rack up my mileage and hopefully get back a bit of speed. Really I know it’s down to confidence of which I have none but until I miraculously attain some self belief or sense of worth I’ll try doing the training that worked in the past. 

Posted 21/08/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

And again   Leave a comment

Restful restful Monday.

Followed by steady Tuesday. Well five minutes easy followed by 25 steady. 

On Wednesday I was supposed to be running the diagonals of a football pitch but there were none drawn on and where they would be the grass was far too lumpy so I made my own seafront version thanks to a suggestion from Richard (who was also who told me that there were no pitches drawn on and the grass was too lumpy). So it was basically 130 metre sprint followed by 70 metre jog recovery solidly for ten minutes (with a ten minute warm up and cool down). I discovered I have no sprint. So I ran as fast as I could. Which wasn’t very fast. But I did it.

On Thursday I was supposed to be doing a 35 minute steady run but something was seriously telling me not to. I couldn’t say what or why but it was there and part of this is learning to listen to my body, even if it’s emitting an unknown something that must be obeyed. 

By Friday the feeling had left and I was looking forward to doing my track session. However as my partner in track was recovering from tooth removal I didn’t want to drag myself all the way over to Withdean, especially if the “thing” from yesterday was suddenly going to appear so I adapted the session to the seafront. It was supposed to be (3x) 400, 300, 200 off 1 minute with a lap jog between sets. So I did (3x) 80 seconds, 60, 40 with 3 minutes between sets. I still felt like I had absolutely nothing in the way of speed but, as with all my current sessions, I’m supposed to be developing speed endurance so the speed was still much faster than I’d ever actually be able to run a 5 or 10k. 

parkrunday. Prom this time. Once again I managed to stick with the 21 pacer until halfway then dropped off a bit in the second half. 

An acceptable start

Finishing badly


The extra excitement this time was I had to do 6 x 45s fast off 1 minute after I finished. I probably had a minute’s rest whilst I collected my token and got scanned. I did my first couple with the wind behind, then a couple into the wind,mother Amanda asked me to run her in so I had a longer break before finishing off with two more, one into and one with the wind. By the last couple I felt like I could actually run. Only four miles too late! 

Today (Sunday) I finished the week with an easy hour. 

26 miles for the week (due to missing Thursday). 

Posted 14/08/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Including something that wasn’t running   Leave a comment

As I was tapering for the 10000 on Thursday I had a session on Monday this week instead of the usual rest day. 10 minutes warm up followed by 8 x 1 minute fast (1 minute jog) then 10 minutes cool down. I felt a bit tired but nothing too traumatic. 

Tuesday was the rest day this time. So I did.

Wednesday was 25 minutes easy with 5 x 15s strides to finish. 

Then it was finally time. Tom’s track 10000. After my good run at Phoenix I hoped I’d be able to replicate it. As there wouldn’t be mile markers I decided to split the race into three sections of effort. 13 minutes steady, 13 minutes faster, the rest faster still. Obviously this meant wearing a watch, but it’s only a stopwatch so wouldn’t give me any idea of pace or anything. 

Ready for the off


I settled in to a pace which felt comfortable, then picked up the effort after 13 minutes, then again at 26 minutes. Soon enough I was running on my own. This was fine though and I just kept concentrating and ticking off the laps. 


I had no idea where I was lap-wise so just kept going. Finally I heard the bell. Alas it was for the person just behind me! Eeek. Having got this far without being lapped I tried to push on a bit more and I managed not to be lapped. Phew! Thus it was now my last lap. Even though I was wearing a watch I hadn’t looked at it other than at 13 and 26 minutes and the lap clock kept switching to screensaver so I had no idea of my time. Because I was quite pleased with my run (in terms of concentrating and sticking to my plan) I did a full on sprint finish for the last 100 metres or so. This did little to help my time and I crossed the line in 43.06. 

Luckily Emily was my lap counter so I was able to see my splits after the race.

Alas I’m not Mark O’Gara


I think this is the most consistent I’ve ever been! Also shows how putting in more effort as you get more tired doesn’t lead to an increase in pace (or not in this case anyway). I could easily berate myself for my not so fast time but I’ve decided not to as I ran how I wanted, stuck to my plan and concentrated all the way round. At the moment I’m practicing a style of racing so the time isn’t really relevant. 

On Friday it was back on it but with a revised run of 35 easy (scheduled steady pace). I suppose due to Thursday the easy pace was a little quicker than usual at 7.55mm for the 4.5 miles.

Due to Pride on Saturday the usual crew went over to Eastbourne to do their parkrun. It was a hot day. The course is run round a lake with a small lap on lumpy grass at the start and finish. I knew I wouldn’t be able to drum up any pace after Thursday so just wanted to do the run at a steady/tempo/consistent pace. I was a bit behind the 22 pacer the whole way round and finished in 22.23 which was ok. 

parkrun posse: me, Rob, Mal and Dean


This morning (Sunday) I was scheduled to do a hilly long run but Rob had won two free places for Spin City so instead I had to do a 40 minute steady run before the class at 10am. 

Here is Rob’s sweat patch


A slightly lower mileage overall due to the spin but a good mix of activities over the week and still 27 miles dans le sack.

Posted 07/08/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Still at it   Leave a comment

Monday was supposed to be a rest day. Which it was. Until 7pm where I embarked upon a new style of vet’s league. Instead of my usuals I chose three field events I’ve never done before. First was the triple jump. Arg! My brain! I am not very co-ordinated and trying to string the hop, step and jump together was very difficult. I discovered it was slightly easier if my “run up” consisted of four or five slow motion steps. I still panicked mid way through my third jump but completed it legally and reached the sand. I was very pleased with my 7.67 as I thought I’d manage three no jumps. I even managed to jump off the board. Must be a combination of it just being a drawn on line and my run up being non existent.

Foot on the board! Thanks Bob for capturing this once in a lifetime phenomenon

Looking quite proper. Note the closest bottle to the sand. My “walk up” start marker


After the mental strain of this it was off to the javelin. This was no less stressful. Another three step “run up” followed by a not very elegant hurling. 

Please note the unconventional “perpendicular” style due to throwing like a tennis ball. Thanks again to Bob for capturing this moment of excellence


Once again I was pleased with my almighty 11m 66cm. Watch out Fatima! The winner was a mere 10m further. Pah! 

Finally it was time for the high jump. I was most worried about this as doing it wrong could cause great injury unlike the others. Luckily a very helpful lady told me the rules and helped me try out a few scissor kick practice jumps. Thankfully there are no photos of this. I managed to clear 1m 10m. Please measure it and laugh fulsomely. The kind lady said I could have easily cleared 1.15 but by this stage it was too scary so I after three failures (and being laughed at) I scurried away in humiliation. I finished the evening by running first leg (200m) in the medley relay which was fun and another first as I haven’t run first leg before so was a bit worried I wouldn’t be able to  catch Lesley to pass the baton but thankfully it was ok. All in all it was a good evening and I’m pleased I tried some different events. 

Back to business on Tuesday. The set run was 45 minutes steady. Having learnt from my too fast steady last week I made sure I started sensibly. Luckily the weather was ok with some breeze, but not a hurricane. A perfectly acceptable 7.30mm average and 5.5 miles.

Wednesday was supposed to be a track session but the track was being used so Preston Park once more. We used the same 400m section as last week but this time the session was a continuous 20 x 200 with 200 jog recovery. After having made a rough guess at 200m we set off. It turned out one was was around 10 metres too long and the other 10 too short (though in fact later I discovered the 400 itself was ten metres too long). It didn’t matter as we were keeping to the same 400 stretch through out so each direction/segment was run and jogged both ways so it equalled out in the end. The main thing was to make sure each 200 was consistent with itself. This meant I was running an average of 42s for the “short” and 51s for the “long” and Rob a second or so faster for each. They were all within a few seconds of each other and still within 20 minute 5k pace which was the aim so a success. So all in all it was 5miles of continuous running which I learnt later was to get me primed (or pruned as autocorrect would have it) for the 10000 next Thursday. 

Thursday was a simple 60 minutes easy. 

On Friday I made sure I didn’t repeat last Friday’s far too fast run and strides. An easy 35 minutes followed by 5 x 15s strides. 

For prom parkrun I had planned to run with the 21 pacer then try and speed up. I managed this perfectly apart from the fact that at halfway I slowed down. 

This morning (Sunday) I decided to do my 75 minute run on the flat of the seafront as a break from the usual hilly route. There were loads of runners out and I ran with Dave (on his bike) for a bit who’d just finished a ride with his friend. Even the weather was behaving so this was a pleasant finish to another training week. 

Posted 31/07/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

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