Archive for June 2012

The Weakest Link. We weren’t!   1 comment

On Wednesday evening it was The Weakest Link, my favourite race of the year! It is a relay where teams of four each run a 2.5k leg and when the lastlegger comes through the team go round again (so the last runner runs 5k straight) as a group. Hence “The Weakest Link”, the team must run as fast as the slowest runner so everyone crosses the line at the same time. My team was made up of (in leg order) me, Jenny, Caroline and Gemma. This was somewhat worrying as Caroline and Gemma are significantly faster than me but as Jenny is of similar speed to me I didn’t feel too anxious. I set off on first leg and charged up the short hill to start. Luckily the nature of the course means that there are plenty of places where you can see who is behind you and I noted the next girl was quite a way behind so I dug in for the duration and managed to come in first girl by a suitable margin. Jenny kept the lead, even extending it so when she passed on to Caroline we knew, barring a disaster, we were on to win. As Caroline passed us I made sure to look out for the next girl and was pleased to see she was at 500 metres behind. Success! This meant me and Jenny could relax as Gemma extended the lead on leg 4 so all we really needed to do was crawl to the finish. As Gemma came through the start we knew victory was almost certainly assured and as we ploughed forever onward I felt quite relaxed. On the home straight we held hands in a show of team spirit and respect for the ethos of the race. As we were one of the earlier finishing teams we could then cheer on the rest of the runners as they streamed through the finish in various states of team togetherness. This race lived up to its billing in my mind as the greatest race on earth, well not quite but one of my top 3 I think. The £10 Jog Shop voucher we each won (as did an invisble fifth runner) didn’t really matter as it was the running that counted. Sounds trite but so true in this case! Image

I’m the one in the red shorts! Heaven knows why I’m holding the voucher like it’s a dangerous species. The shock of actually winning something perhaps?

Tomorrow I go to the complete other end of the running spectrum by doing the off-road Bewl 15 miler. Yikes!

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Posted 30/06/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Running

Back to track and kettlebell progress   Leave a comment

Can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! What have I been up to? Monday was off to track as usual, but what wasn’t usual was that Bob wasn’t there to take the session so it was left to Mark to rally the troops and get the running underway. Off we went! 6 x 800 metres broken down thus: 600 tempo, 200 fast, 100 metre walk recovery, 500t, 300f, (100w); 400t, 400f, (100w); 400t, 400f, (100w); 500t, 300f, (100w); 600t, 200f, 5 minutes rest then a secret (intriguing) to finish with. The reps were hard but our group worked well with Duncan dictating the pace and making sure there was a definite change between the tempo and fast sections of the rep. I was pleased to be able to keep with Duncan for most of it and only slightly dropping off the tempo pace on the last one, but catching up (almost) on the last 200. A few months ago this would have seemed an impossible dream! After a few minutes of hands-on-knees heaving and gasping the surprise was revealed: Charlton (speedy) would be chasing us down. Mark set Charlton off first, then the slower runners, progressively setting us all off until everyone was being pursued by Charlton. The point being to stay ahead of Charlton for as long as possible using whichever tactic seemed appropriate. Naturally I chose the go-slow-until-he-nearly-catches-up-then-hoof-it-for-as-long-as-possible approach. After a couple of slow laps where the stagger was still winding out I had to start actually running. I thought I’d last a few hundred metres but was amazed to find myself still (marginally) ahead 400 metres later. Unfortunately I then found my brain rebelling at the surprise and telling me I couldn’t possibly still be ahead so over the next 100 I slowed until he caught me. Anyway the main thing is if anyone had said I had to tack an 800 metre tempo, 500 fast rep to the end of the 800 session I would not have believed I could do it so full marks to Mark for making it into a game so you didn’t really notice you were still running.

On Tuesday it was back to Core & Stretch in the morning (Alive gym, Castle Street – Brighton). I didn’t run there this time having learnt my lesson last week. Nothing much to report. Did some stretching and tried to give my core some conditioning. It wasn’t happy. In the evening it was off to the gym again, this time for circuits. Matt kept the style the same as last week. Pairs, one doing mat work whilst the other did various things with kettlebells. I was pleased to find myself swinging the 16kg kettlebell quite happily on the double arm swing and managing the 12 on the single and 9 on the snatch. Mr. A. Mazing. Again something I would have laughed at if you’d suggested it to me a few months ago. Things are looking up!

Today was my least favourite thing: Hot yoga. Man how I hate it. I can’t do any of the moves as I’m so inflexible and it’s TOO RUDDY HOT!!!! Only 7 more sessions to go (in a fit of misplaced economy I bought 20 sessions in advance). I can’t even bring myself to write about it. GAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

However this evening is The Weakest Link Relay which is one of my all time favourite races so something to take away the horror of yoga. I’ll explain all and tell you how I got on in my next post as yet again I’ve gone on much more than I meant to. Oops.

Posted 27/06/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Circuit Training, Kettlebells, Running

Unexpected success!   1 comment

Sped off to Lavant with Emily (Proto) to run the Midsummer 5 mile race on Wednesday evening. My expectations were low after already having run 9 hot, hilly miles over the downs in the morning. Thought sub 40 would be a reasonable time considering though joked that sub 35 would be good. The course is run mainly on the Goodwood Motor Racing circuit which meant I had a good chuckle to myself whilst passing signs designed for those travelling at many hundreds of miles an hour at the speed of, well, a runner. Was amazed to complete my first mile in 6.50 and feel good so pushed on wondering when the inevitable slow down would come. It didn’t! Amazingly I came in 5th in 34.42!!!!! Gobsmacked to the max. I wouldn’t have thought I could EVER run this fast and after the morning it seemed even more ridiculous to even contemplate it. For those who are interested (anyone?) here are my split times 6.50, 6.46, 6.57, 7.31, 6.36 (not sure they add up but near enough…). Thursday rolled around which means one thing; Hove Park intervals! Did the usual, up and down, round and round. Felt Wednesday’s exploits in my legs and imagine I was slower than usual but nothing major to report. Limbs etc still in reasonable working order. Supposed to go on a downs cycle on Friday but it was so windy we had to abandon ship before even getting out of my road as it was impossible to control the bike in the gusts so tragically we had to go for lunch instead! Wine and sausages. Hoorah. After this unexpected rest day I felt that parkrun on Saturday would be a good idea. Was very worried to actually run it though as last time I ran I got my pb of 20.35 so feared that I could only disappoint myself. I nervously toed the line with the 400 others who subscribe to this weekly institution. All my times were 6 or so seconds slower than my pb run but all thing considered I was going well. Made the finish in 20.51 which is my 3rd fastest run and only my 4th time in the 20s so pleased. Didn’t feel anywhere near as sick as my pb run and only 16 seconds slower so I could this as a success! Could it be that I will finally go sub 20? This is the holy grail that has eluded me for 5 years but now I feel perhaps it is indeed possible…. Watch this space!

On the way to 20.51 at parkrun!

On the way to 20.51 at parkrun! Strange how there doesn’t seem to be anyone else there even though there were near on 400…

Posted 24/06/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, parkrun, Running

Blogging, Jogging, Dogging (not that kind!)   Leave a comment

Hello again! On Tuesday I decided it would be a great idea to run to my morning Core & Stretch class. It wasn’t. Too hot, too slow, too knackered when I got there. They were having a cake sale. Usually this would be a welcome thing but alas I felt too queasy and had an hour of fauxga to get through. Managed it and ran home but don’t think I’ll be doing that again in a hurry. Cycled back in the evening for circuits where Matt was trying out a new system of working in pairs. And jolly spiffing it was too. Shame there was hardly anyone there what with the England game (I knew it would be 0 – 0 when I got back in time for the second half). Think I’m now getting the swing (geddit?) of kettlebells and was merrily swinging the 12kg which seems ridiculous. Anyway this wasn’t the point of today’s blog so…

Today I went out with Julie (Drake – for those who know who that is…) and her dog for a very hot hour and a half over the downs at Stanmer Park. Nice run, rotund man shouting Jogging! Dogging! the highlight and inspiration for today’s title. Oh dear it seems I didn’t really want to write much other than that. Hmmm…. Oh yes, should explain “Wales Wednesdays”. An elite (pah, not in my case) posse of Arenas have recently returned from a running trip to Wales where we fluked hot summer weather and spent a week running, swimming, playing tennis, football, pool volleyball, Pitch & Putt etc. The plan was to run 10 miles each morning followed by 5 in the evening which I actually failed to do in Wales but have brought the concept home, but only for some Wednesdays. Unfortunately I did find all the running we did in Wales meant a pb at Hove Park (parkrun) so I must continue doing more running to reap the benefit (I vainly hoped the common sense more running = better running wasn’t true as I think I am lazy at heart). Running Midsummer 5 mile race in Chichester this evening. Think it’s going to be rather slow after death by track on Monday followed by today’s exploits.  Eek this has got far too long so I’ll leave now.  Bye!

Posted 20/06/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Circuit Training, Fitness, Running

Track, my old friend   Leave a comment

Monday evening means one thing and one thing only: Track!! Oh how I love it. Especially during summer where we concentrate on speed work. Yesterday was the first true speed session of the year. After a moderately speedy 600 metres to warm up we had to do 3 x 300m fast, followed by 4 x 200m. It seems an awfully long time since I have done anything fast and this was apparent in my rather slow supposedly speedy reps. Ho hum. But I loved it anyway as speed is my absolute favourite sort of running. Give me a fall speed 200 over any sort of long running (anything over a lap of the track). We did two sets of this with 5 minutes rest in between. I spent most of the time hands on knees trying not to be sick but that’s what track is all about.

Next time… Wales Wednesday reaches its second week…

Posted 19/06/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Running

Blogging about jogging! Well running actually…   2 comments

Welcome. My name is Isobel. I am a runner. I am a member of Arena 80 AC running club and will be updating this blog with the weekly goings on of an average club runner. There are so many blogs by olympians and those who do amazing things so this is aimed at normal people with lives who just like to run. I’m not really sure how to start… so a bit about me. I’m 34 and have been a member of Arena for about 4 years (maybe 5?). I run around 4 times a week and also do circuit training and yoga (which I hate). I write a small article each month for the West Hove Directory which aims to get people who don’t currently exercise into sport. I’ll attach the articles I”ve written so far if I can work out how! I hope in time I get into the swing of this and can wow you with the excitement that is my life. OK, it’s not THAT exciting but maybe you will at least be a little more inspired to get out there and get healthier.

 

Posted 17/06/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog

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