Archive for July 2012

I’m back (and I’m bad, give you something that you never had)   Leave a comment

Kriss Kross will make you jump jump!

I have returned from camping. Did you miss me? What do you mean “no”. Not quite sure what to write about as I haven’t really done anything. Looking forward to getting back in to the routine from Monday. Did a tiny bit of running in the new Forest. 6.5 miles one morning at 9 minute mile pace and a 12 miler split into many small parts on the hottest day of the year. On Thursday it was back to Hove Park for the usual hills and intervals session. Though actually it wasn’t that usual because as it was so hot we did very short very fast stuff which I am actually good at! (too many actuallies in that sentence) so enjoyed that part of the session. Not so much the parts pre and post. 3 x 200 fast, jog back, 300 fast, jog back. Naturally everyone got way ahead of me on the jog back so I ended up last but I know my fast bits were much faster! One thing I can do is sprint – not superfast, but faster than most of the group. But of course they thrash me in anything endurancy. Was wearing my 80s retro Arena vest (thanks Julie!) as it is so very light and airy. Found that fast running is much better for my bum which has been very painful of late when doing long slow stuff. Calf is still dodgy after getting cramp in it in Wales but doesn’t get worse when running so sod it until something truly disastrous happens. On Friday I went out for a 25 ish mile cycle over the downs with my friend. Definitely felt so much easier as I hadn’t done too much exercise preceding it for once. But will I learn from this and rest more? Of course not! The ride took in lots of nice fresh air and countryside. Also two punctures, one for friend, one for me. Both fixed by friend. I’m such a girl when it comes to stuff like getting the tyre off. Saw Bob (Arena coach) out on his bike too. A good day. Today I set out for parkrun dithering massively as to whether I should run or help but the decision was taken out of my hands as when I arrived I was accosted by Amanda to help as she had a severe dearth of experienced volunteers – lots of enthusiastic newbies though! Not so many people running today strangely. I thought there would be loads fired with motivation after watching the opening ceremony (I think only me and my mother DIDN’T watch it) but no.

Well I’m all set to watch the Olympics full time from now, even moved my laptop to the living room so I can watch and blog at the same time. I hope to have something proper to tell you when I return on Wednesday. Can’t wait to get back to the old routine! Laters. 


Posted 28/07/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Cycling, parkrun, Running

Taper abandonment, yet more stupid weather and annoyance   Leave a comment

Hello! A break form the norm of Wednesday-Sunday blogging. Originally because I was tapering until Wednesday thus had nothing to write about. Now because I remembered I’m going camping tomorrow so thought I would leave you as up to date as possible on my travails.

Resting = bad mood. I hadn’t realised how much not running affects my mood. After four days (except rubbish parkrun) of not doing any exercise I was feeling really horribly irritable and down so decided to break my rest by going to track on with Charlton, Paul and Emily who, like me, had no interest in seeing the Olympic torch pass through Hove (there was no official track session for this reason). The session was 10 x 800m at 2.40 pace but this is well outside my capabilities so I asked Bob (Arena coach) what I should do instead. 2 x 400m, 1 x 800 then finish with more 400s. I still ran with the others just dropping out after 400 as they continued round to 800. I was pleased that I can run a 400 quite comfortably at 80 seconds. In fact for this very short distance I was at the front of the group. Of course this was because they were doing twice the distance and many more reps but pleasing nonetheless. The 800 was supposd to be 2.40 which is almost my race pace but I only managed 2.46. This was because I had just run a too-fast 400 and also because my sleeve was over my watch so I couldn’t see how I was doing per 100m so had lost too much time before I managed to see my watch. I then did some more 400s. Paul decided I should do another 800 at the end. Alas I was knacjered and only managed a RUBBISH 3 minutes. Oops. Never mind. Overall I was just glad to be out and running. I understand rest is important but it really messes with my mind. The only thing worse than running is not running. If I rest I feel awful. If i’m too tired and run I feel awful as I get so angry with myself for being too slow even thoughnI know it’s because I’m too tired. What is the answer? Who knows. I certainly haven’t found it! Did the usual Core & Stretch class on Tuesday but no circuits in evening as I went to watch a football match. As the weather was forecast to be awful on Wednesday I thought sod it and went to yoga knowing it would kill me before Phoenix 10k but not caring as it was due to be so windy the 10k was going to be pointless and rage inducing. Which it was. So so windy on the outward 5k that I could hardly move and breathing was nigh on impossible thus I got a massive stitch. I’m afraid I can’t even describe it as they mere typing of this is making me want to kill. I’m just so thoroughly pissed off with the weather being so horrendous every time I want to amend my 10k pb. I now feel I’ve passed the stage mentally where I was ready to go for a pb so even if my next attempt (Brighton 10k in November) isn’t wind I don’t think I can be bothered. I hope this depressive mindset will pass but at the moment I’m really struggling. At intervals yesterday in Hove Park I was so filled with rage I had to leave immediately to stop me from screaming obscenities at everyone or bursting into tears and generally losing the plot. I can only hope that the weather improves as it is supposed to and I can somehow drag a bit of positivity out of myself.

Posted 20/07/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Running

Rest, rain, rage   2 comments

Hmmm it’s difficult to know what to write today as I’ve been having a scheduled three days off. I want to keep this blog honest as it’s supposed to be a normal runner’s diary of every day life so here goes. I am THOROUGHLY HACKED OFF. The weather. What the heck? Too much rain, too cold, getting fed up with it! I know it’s a traditional English summer but it’s really getting on my nerves. Shoes not drying from one run to the next. Trudging through ankle deep mud when I should be gliding elegantly (ha!) over dry forest trails. Getting bitten by creatures that thrive in humid, soggy conditions. Having to take rest because I am utterly knackered knowing that when I do run again, instead of being rested and fired with enthusiasm my legs ache terribly and I run my slowest parkrun for ages. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..

OK. Let’s try and be a bit more calm about this. Wednesday. Full day’s rest. Good. Didn’t miss running. Thursday. All day at cat shelter and didn’t miss running in the utter downpour that was Thursday afternoon and evening. Definitely didn’t miss hot yoga as I absolutely detest it. Friday. Went to watch Diamond League in the evening with Caroline and Mark. Rather wet but we were togged up in waterproofs and I had my umbrella and an old shower curtain – a rather splendid flash of inspiration on my part (oh so modest!). We can be seen in the background under said shower curtain at 21 minutes 14 seconds on the BBC coverage. Miniscule amount of FAME! This annual fixture is always a good evening (though always soggy). Watching Mo (and everyone else) is inspirational and motivational but doesn’t help me feel any better about my mediocre status as a runner! Throw in a fast 1k rep to the station with rucksack afterwards and a good all round workout.

Roll on Saturday! Three days rest should surely mean a fresh-legged and clear-headed parkrun. No. Slow, painful, legs dead I dragged myself round to a wholly disappointing 21.34. Bilge. Adding to my woes was too much porridge. You know when there’s just a little bit left in the bag that seems silly to save for next time but when added to the bowl tips you over the edge into stitch hell? That was me. Sigh. I was stupidly upset afterwards but have now tried to forget it and remember it’s just a step towards Phoenix 10k on Wednesday that is the goal. I am very worried about writing on here that I am hoping for a pb (wind permitting – seafront course) as I feel this is a massive kiss of death as I am excellent at psyching myself out of races but in the pursuit of honesty I will admit I am looking for a pb and really should be able to get one as two 21.30 5ks would get me one and on recent parkrun (even including yesterdays debacle!) times this is totally doable. Nothing like putting even more pressure on myself to mean a pw is in the offing. Ho hum. The pre 10k taper continues with nothing tomorrow; we’re going to watch the Olympic torch pass through Hove Park, and a very easy 3 mile leg loosener jog on Tuesday. Then D Day. Yikes!

Posted 15/07/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, parkrun, Running

Flagging… but 3 days rest ahoy!   Leave a comment

Against the advice of many I dragged my rapidly deteriorating form to track on Monday as I knew it would be my last track session for a few weeks what with watching the torch relay next Monday and annual Arena camping trip the week after. I started off OK in the session that consisted of 2×600 at 3.40k pace, 100 walk, 3×700 and 3×800 at the same pace. Managed the 600s and the 700s just about but then totally conked in the 800s and dropped way off the pace. My Bewl Bum, exacerbated by Wivelsfield Wobble (wade more like), meant my legs had nothing doing by this stage. This was apparent when I finished the session and everyone else was bent double gasping in the traditional style and I looked as if I had done nothing, which really I had as my limbs were capable of moving only at the speed of the slowest thing ever. This did not bode well for the annual Adur Challenge which was scheduled for the Tuesday. This is Arena 80s almost-10k handicap race that takes place along the shores of the river Adur. This year there was a massive turnout. Woe betide anyone else who might choose to be on the banks between 6.30 and 7.30! We all set off at intervals set by Bob (coach) and soon there was a long string of us making our way round the muddy and bumpy course. Naturally the theory id we should all finish together but alas I knew I was just too danged tired so trudged around gloomily being overtaken far too often and far too early by all and sundry. I did overtake a few people but none of my usuals. I sloped over the line almost 47 minutes (2 minutes slower than Bob’s predicted time – which are usually spot on) later not even mustering a sprint finish (always a sign I’m too tired and not in the mood). The event was a roaring success though with the massive numbers around 40 (usually about 20) and most people having an excellent time. I know it was just that I was too tired after Bewl and all I’ve done recently so I am really looking forward to 3 WHOLE DAYS OFF. This proves how knackered I must be as usually I loathe having to rest. My next scheduled exercise is parkrun on Saturday. Off to watch Diamond League at Crystal Palace on Friday. Hopefully when I next update this blog on Sunday I will be back and fired with enthusiasm!

Posted 11/07/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Running

Yet more running, sogginess and discontent   Leave a comment

On Wednesday evening I went out with the group for the usual downs run. Wasn’t sure how I would fare after all I’d already done up to this point. Set off on a pleasant downhill towards Waterhall feeling OK. Even going up the killer hill on the other side wasn’t too bad. Quite a lot of mud and puddles in the clayey surface up towards the top of the hill so much sliding to be done but trail shoes were helpful in stopping any major sliding or plummeting. Across the field and down towards Saddlescombe Farm we progressed (me, slowly). All was well until we reached the top of the hill up the back side of The Dyke. With just the long gravel drag back to the start to go my legs decided it was time for Bewl, track and circuits to catch up with me and ceased to function so I stumbled back exceedingly slowly. Naturally this did not stop me from going to hot yoga (hate) on Thursday morning and cycling over to Hove Park to attempt the usual interval session. Within a few minutes it became apparent that I was not going to be doing a proper session so me and Pete decided it was just a recovery run and we trundled back and forth for the half hour. On Friday I had A WHOLE DAY OFF. Amazing.

On Saturday I set off for parkrun with no particular goal in mind, just to try and keep consistent in the sub 21s. However when I arrived Duncan sprung on me that he would pace me round as he thought I would never actually do it. This was a good move as I had no chance to back out. We set off at a sensible pace covering the first k in 4.07 (I usually charge through here in around 4 minutes – too fast!). Duncan kept turning back to check I was there so no slacking. Good. I did slow a bit towards the middle as usual but nowhere near as much as I would left to my own devices so once again, thanks Duncan for sacrificing your own run. Shame I didn’t look at my watch as turns out I was only 2 seconds off my pb but no matter as the consistency is there. Hopefully after a much more restful week this coming week I can give it a better go next Saturday, without help! Duncan can have a proper run too.

Today (Sunday) I did the Wivelsfield Wobble. Heaven knows why as I detested it the last time I ran it many years ago (probably as I did Bewl that year too – will I never learn?) and nothing had changed this year. Except it was basically wading through mud this time. I wouldn’t have minded this but yesterday i was bitten by something evil and insecty which has caused my ankle to swell up massively and making my calf and achilles stupidly tight and painful. Unhelpful. On the plus side I ran so badly and slowly I didn’t feel sick at the end so was able to eat some delicious homemade cake. Every cloud…

My latest West Hove Directory article is now on the WHD page. Please have a look.

Posted 08/07/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, parkrun, Running, West Hove Directory

Bewl foolishness and the aftermath   Leave a comment

The weekend got off to a bad start when I decided I should try and miss parkrun. Not just not running it but not even going to the park to help. This was a BAD IDEA. I woke up at 6 anyway and couldn’t get back to sleep and just lay there anxiously waiting for it to be 9.30 thus all over. Silly me. Not going threw me completely and I felt wrong all day. Self inflicted. Spent day being annoyed but thought maybe at least the rest and irritability would come in handy for Bewl 15 miler on Sunday and spur me on to a good run. It didn’t. I didn’t feel at all up for it. This is OK in a race you know will be over in an hour but in this case I knew I’d be out for at least 2 hours even at my absolute best. We set off in cold, gloomy conditions which didn’t help my mood. I seemed to recall the course as flat for the 10 mile portion around Bewl reservoir with the bulk of the hills in the final 5 mile on-road section. I remembered wrong! It was really rather hilly the whole way round the reservoir and not helped by muddy and slippery underfoot conditions. Even when the sun came out and the views over the water could have been scenic it was ruined a; by the fact I was still running and b; by all the tiny flies I kept inhaling, swallowing and smearing all over my face (cap was no help). I was trundling along at around 8 minute miling for the first few miles but kept getting slower and slower and more and more realised that this was not going to be a pleasant run in any respect. Jolly people kept overtaking me and trying to engage me in conversation but I was too annoyed with myself to be much of a conversationalist and also they were gone within seconds as I was moving so slowly! Suffice it to say bu mile 11 I was thoroughly pissed off and had lost the will to live. At 13 miles my legs had ceased to be able to move forwards so I had to adopt a strange leaning forward shuffle. It was now that it decided to chuck it down with rain so I spent the last few miles weeping and cursing but unable to move any faster than the slowest crawl. Crossed the line in 2.13.40. Awful. Definitely one for my never again list. Me looking aggrieved around mile 9.

However one good thing came from this hellish ordeal, I was so angry at my rubbishness that I was on fire at track on Monday. Although I was sceptical that I’d even be able to run I turned up in the teeming rain and joined my usual group. The session was 7 x (700 tempo, 100 jog, 300 fast, 100 jog) continuously. I set off with Duncan as I know he will pace the session well and was surprised to discover that my mind was willing and thus my legs were dragged round at a good clip. This session definitely made up for the Bewl foolishness and I was the only Bewlee who turned up (this doesn’t make me in any way clever!) as the others sensibly rested.

By Tuesday I was definitely suffering from Sunday but dragged myself to Core & Stretch class in the morning where I feebly failed even more so than usual to downward dog myself into flexibility. The class was inexplicably really crowded. Inexplicable in the sense that usually there are about 6 people there and suddenly there were 15 or so. Hopefully this meant Jenny was less likely to spot my knackered quivering form. I went to circuits in the evening too even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to give it much but found that I was OK except right at the end when we had to run round the circle whilst the medicine ball was passed round. Think I had just used up everything running related. Managed to run into the radiator and bash my ankle and failed to get round the circle before the ball.

This morning I did my slowest ever seafront 10 miler and soaked my trainers again in the beautiful July cold and rain that I had just dried from track on Monday (breaking my hairdryer in the process). This evening it’s up on the downs for about 6 or so miles with the group. I shall not be fast!  Another pair of shoes to soak, if indeed they have dried from Bewl.

Posted 04/07/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Circuit Training, Running

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