Archive for March 2013

Crikey what a lot of running!   1 comment

As it was the last seafront run of the winter season Pete and I decided to run even more easily than usual to take in the scenery for the last time in 6 months. We set off around 10 minutes earlier than everyone else. Naturally this didn’t stop most of them tearing past us before we got to the Peace Statue to regroup. After running all the way home there was another 9 to add to the bank.

Having run so easily on Wednesday I felt confident that I could give Hove Park a good go. I ran there as I had planned to meet Danny afterwards as he continued his long run. It’s only a few miles to the park so I took it steadily. Of course I still got there far too early so did a lap of the park giving me 3 miles before the session even started. Due to it being almost spring (in time if not weather) we were able to do the session on the inner paths of the park parallel to the pavement. We started off with some quite horrible long drags up to the highest point of the park and back but these got progressively shorter until we were doing nice short distances which I can actually do reasonably speedily. I felt good and bouncy. It is definitely by doing Wednesday slowly that Thursday is more enjoyable and easier. Obviously this makes complete sense but it’s taken a while to sink in. I met Danny and we carried on back towards Shoreham where I peeled off home and he continued forever onwards on yet another of his long runs.

On Friday there was a quiet Rat Run with only Trevor, Danny and I. It was a short one encompassing one mega steep hill and two carparks (one of which contained 17 levels of up and back down). It was only a short one overall of about 8 miles.

Then came Saturday which I had been looking forward to for ages. Christ’s Hospital Road Relays! A 3 per team relay with each flat, road leg being a mere 2 miles. Perfect. The past years have been freakishly hot so naturally this year it was freezing with the odd snow flurry. Thankfully I managed to snag first leg. I had a plan to try and follow Caroline as I should be able to keep up with her for something this short. However I also didn’t want to go off too fast and blow up so I positioned myself near the back on the start line so forcibly slow myself down. This sort of worked although I did get annoyed that I was trapped behind slower runners and started doing a bit of weaving until I saw sense and stayed slower as planned. Once we got to the road (after about 500 metres) I started picking up my pace. I could still see Caroline and Mark was not too far ahead so I decided to try and slowly reel him in whilst still keeping Caroline in view (lucky I’ve got good eyesite!). I finally overtook Mark around half a mile from the end in the arches that span the buildings in the courtyard of the school. I could still see Caroline too hopefully not more than 100 or so metres ahead. I picked up my pace again for the final stretch and was still overtaking people all the way to the line. No idea about time as I wasn’t wearing a watch but hopefully a pb (13.40). I’m hoping for as close to 13 as possible. I was pleased with this run as I concentrated and pushed throughout and felt strong and bouncy. I didn’t do anything stupid (after the first few seconds of path rage at the start). Of course I still feel that I could have improved by pushing a little bit harder and going for home sooner but this would be the case even if I broke the speed of light  so overall I am happy with this run, especially in the horrible weather. Having been first leg it meant everything was over with early so then I could relax and watch everyone else in action. Though having said that I totally failed to see my team mates Anne and Charlie running. Useless! When the men’s race got underway Charlie and I spent the time spectating from the arches and the changeover point, walking between the two trying to stay warm.

(Some of) the Christ's Hospital relay team members

(Some of) the Christ’s Hospital relay team members

I really enjoyed the day out even though it was ruddy freezing. Still no result, naturally, as I would like to know if I did as well as I felt I did. Impatience.

Today I decided it would be a good idea to go to Crawley and do the 800. I talked Trevor into coming along with me to do the 3000. The thing about track is it should be done on a lovely warm day and today was anything but! We arrived much later than I would normally so I managed about 4 x 100m strides and it was time to go. Having not run an 8 for around 6 months I had no idea about my pace but by then we were off. I reached 400 in around 1.15, then died until about 600 in the traditional style then picked it up to finish in around 2.38 (Trevor failed to start the stopwatch).  Literally 5 minutes later we lined up for the 3k. I was completely knackered still and got many odd looks from those who had just seen me finish the 800 and others who probably wondered why I looked so dead BEFORE the race even started. Anyway off we set. Within a lap or so I was thoroughly alone at the back as I suspected. I was however only lapped by two people and only once so I was quite pleased. I had to do the whole last lap on my own but didn’t care and was pleased to cross the line in around 12.31. Not a record breaking time by any means but acceptable seeing as I was running literally minutes after killing myself in the 800. All in all I couldn’t really care less about my crapness and this is massive progress which I must credit almost entirely to Trevor and Danny who have somehow totally changed my running mindset in one fell swoop. They must be some sort of wizards. Or perhaps I’m just finally learning to lighten up. Whatever it is it is good and about time!

Trevor refuelling after a cold 3k in Crawley

Trevor refuelling after a cold 3k in Crawley

Running, rolling, resting   1 comment

I was a bit dubious on Monday that track would be on as it was infernally freezing (oxymoron) again. However when we arrived there was a slightly warmer and less windy microclimate down on the track. After my usual mile warm up I joined the official warm up for another lap. Bob then set us off on an 1100 warm up. Then the session proper begun. The first section was 3 x 800 with 400 tempo and 400 faster with 100 jog between the 800s. We were doing the slower 400s in around 1.35 and the faster ones around 8 seconds quicker. Not particularly speedy but comfortable and a good difference between the tempo and fast sections. The second part of the session was much more to my liking, 6 x 500 fast. No idea what times I was doing but felt I was consistent (not least because I stuck with Rick for all of them). I felt bouncy and strong and finished the 6 without too much trouble. They say you should always finish a session knowing you could have done more so that is what I aimed for. I think I love my fastwitches.

I think shoes that aren’t based on white are the way forward, not least because they don’t match anything so I don’t have the usual colour coordination conundrum. Having said that I’ve had to ditch my strict matching protocol anyway as I’ve been wearing the hideous grey and orange leggings for months due to the persistent cold.

I had a busy day planned on Tuesday (which was made busier by the unexpected addition of a meeting at the cat shelter where I work). In the morning I had booked an appointment at the gym to get a routine done for my arms as I have now replaced kettlebell class with another run. Toby told me that I wouldn’t be able to support my weight after he’d finished with me which was a slight problem as I then had him covering the core & Stretch class and I know he is hardcore in everything so it was going to be exceptionally hard. After showing me a variety of arm-death machines and making me rep to failure I had half an hour in which to regain the use of my arms before the class began. I used this time wisely by buying another pair of pyjamas.

Primark's finest!

Primark’s finest!

Toby covering Core & Stretch was as hardcore as I suspected. Not the more relaxing experience Jenny provides. On dead arms is was particularly torturous but I managed it by telling myself I might as well destroy myself completely on the same day. In fact that had been the plan all along. Start by killing off the arms then finish my legs off in the evening.

The evening drew in and it was time to complete Destroy Isobel day. Tuesday’s new run consists of me joining Danny in the middle of his long run, doing several steadily paced miles then throwing in a fast mile at the end along Basin Road. Danny had managed to destroy himself in advance by doing two back to back long and fast runs so he left me to do the mile on my own. This was fine though as I was feeling good in the preceding miles and knew that for once I was going to run to the standard I should always run at. I hared off down the road feeling good, fast, bouncy and filled with determination to complete the just-over-a-mile distance to the bright light (this is an actual bright light mounted on a post, not some kind of transcendental running enlightenment attained by speedy running). As I neared the end a girl on a bike came past and shouted “Wow, awesome” (looks like you were right Danny) at me which made me laugh as I wasn’t that good! Nice to be appreciated though. I felt like I could have continued on past the light all the way to the end of the road but stopped at the light in the spirit of what I said earlier about stopping knowing you could have done more. Each week I must try and do the same distance at a consistent speed until I feel confident I can do the same pace no matter how crap I feel on the day. I reckon I was running around 6.20 pace but no idea really as no watch. Last week I struggled massively and still managed 6.34 therefore I am quite confident this run was much much better. Regardless of whether it actually was it felt superb which is surely what is important. Just need to work how to replicate this when it matters in a race. No use doing it on a training run with no-one (discounting girl on bicycle) to see or benefit from it. I will try and resurrect the feeling at Christ’s Hospital on Saturday as that is the perfect place to replicate it. A road relay of 2.1 miles. Massive thanks to Danny for dragging his broken self out and putting me through my paces. I think this run in combination with Monday’s track session is going to work well in (finally) propelling me to sub 20 5k glory.

Having done two good sessions back to back on Monday and Tuesday I decided to rest this morning, do some rolling and go out for an easy run with the Arena posse later ready to smash out a good session tomorrow evening in HovePark.


Still freezing   Leave a comment

On Wednesday evening it was back out for the usual Arena run. Pete was back after having been trapped by the census woman last week so we headed out early to stop the speedies having to wait quite so long at the Peace Statue. Even having done this everyone else came absolutely haring past us at various points. After regrouping at the Peace Statue we continued towards the pier, having picked up Danny on his bike, Kevin (and Trevor for a while until he got bored by our slowness). All in all it was another nice and easy 9 for me. A good run to ease out the legs a bit after spin in the morning.

On Thursday I hoped for a good HovePark session. I met Andy and Charlie before the start and we went off for a little warm up. Unfortunately we somehow timed it wrong and ended up missing the start of the session! Ooops. Mark set us off in pursuit of the rest of the group. Being so far behind certainly motivated me to push even though Charlie and Andy got away from  me pretty quickly. Having at no stage got back in contact with the group we finished off with some short half moon loops. Mark (quite rightly) said it was made for me and that he wanted to see me catching people on the fast bit but alas I was diametrically opposite everyone thus never had a chance to catch anyone. Huff. It was probably quite good that I had to work on my own and I did feel like I worked hard although my legs (and the rest of me [thanks insomnia]) felt pretty tired. Another good session under my belt.

On Friday it was time for Trevor’s early Rat Run, rearranged from Easter Friday due to Rats having family and or racing commitments. In the end only the hardy/foolish turned up aka Trevor, Kevin, Rob, Danny and I. The weather was pretty awful as we have come to expect on a Rat Run night (or any other night for that matter). We set off straight up a rather steep hill and I immediately became a wheezing goit. Turning a corner into another hill and strong head wind did not help matters. Trevor then took us onto the golf course which would have been an interesting run if it weren’t for the awful weather and impending dark causing me a serious sense of humour failure. After running 9 holes Trevor took pity on us and we left the golf course back onto solid ground. Thankfully the weather eased up bit as we continued on the pavements. Rob had to leave us to deliver a teddy bear to a child (one of his I hasten to add…) whilst we continued on to the traditional pub stop. This pub was distinctly buidery. Not sure how comfortable Danny, Trevor and Kevin felt as we entered but within moments Kevin and Trevor were chatting to a swarthy builder type, showing off their calf muscles, trainers etc and generally getting on fine. After this brief pit stop we set off towards home, well The Sportsman at Withdean, this being a Rat Run we took a detour to do a little fast rep round the cycle track at PrestonPark. Danny shot off like a beast with me, Trevor and Kevin trailing in his wake. I nearly collided with a man dressed all in black in the black night, managed to avoid him, then nearly got mown down by his dog. I climbed up Trevor in terror, totally forgetting about Kevin who is even more scared of dogs. I can only assume he survived as we all regrouped at the end unscathed. From there it was only about half a mile back to the start and the promise of a carvery.

Rat runners (without Danny - always escaping by taking the photo) post run pre carvery

Rat runners (without Danny – always escaping by taking the photo) post run pre carvery

The run was around 9 miles all told. A nice evening out with the Rats, even with my slight sense of humour failure. Sorry fellow Rats.

The plan was to do parkrun on Saturday but having arrived already soaked and frozen I bailed out and just spectated. This was probably a good move anyway as I have done a full week of running. I was totally fed up with the weather and my rampant insomnia so if I had run it would only have added another element of annoyance to my already fraught mind. Having thawed out slightly in the café I cycled home to thaw out fully and relax and try and regain a sense of perspective and calm down.

This morning I went out for a run on the seafront to make up for missing parkrun. Thought I’d do the old faithful to the marina and back but bumped into Danny by the West Pier which was the perfect excuse to turn round and run back homewards as he continued his long run so I only did 5, which was plenty as it is still absolutely freezing and there is an arctic wind afoot. Helped a man put the front bumper on his car which had fallen of in the M&S car park then reached home to thaw out yet again.

I hear this weather is set to continue until at least the end of the week. Oh joy!

A change to the old routine   1 comment

Ended up running around 5 miles with Kevin at the end of the Littlehampton run on Sunday. He was, unsurprisingly, totally dead when I met him around 5 miles from the end so I tried to encourage him onwards. He made it to the end to complete his longest ever run of 20.9 miles. Well done! I can’t even imagine doing that far. Bewl’s evil 15 miles is well over enough for me and I’m not doing that again! For me this was just a nice, slow and easy 5 miler to round off the week.

On Monday it was off to track once again. I was looking forward to it after the snow madness having meant it was off last week. Also the session was being taken by Robin which would make a change from Bob, Mark or Steve. Perhaps because he was taking the whole session he made the warm up a little easier than his usual. No cross lane sprinting, hopping, lunging etc thankfully. The session itself consisted of a tempo 800 followed by a 900 in the same time after a minutes rest x 4 with 2 minutes between sets. We completed our first 800 in a pretty sedentary 3.32 and managed the 900 in 3.31 thanks to perfect pacing by Rick. We upped the pace (accidentally, by getting sucked into following a slightly faster group) on the next rep and completed the 800 in 3.25. Thankfully with Rick’s skillz we came in spot on on the 900 too. Fired with confidence we proceeded to complete the last 2 reps in 3.26 and 3.25 respectively with our 900s a second or so under. Basically we nailed it! All thanks to Rick’s perfect pacing. I felt particularly bouncy and OK. I think I shall credit my new Fastwitches (racing trainers). It was an enjoyable session so thanks Robin (and Rick) for making it so.

Tuesday dawned quite sunnily so I set off to Core & Stretch a few layers down. Not enough though as I was boiling by the time I got to the gym. Think the skiing mittens with gloves underneath were overkill. I enjoyed the class more than usual even though I did have a brief spell of annoyance at the stupid painful crapness of my shoulders. Jenny talked to me afterwards about how I should think of cutting my shoulders some slack as constantly pushing them won’t help. This is a familiar talking to that I get about everything I do. Too much, too hard. I am getting a bit better at not doing this hence doing Wednesday’s run at a very easy pace but my natural tendency is still to punish myself. Ho hum. Progress is slow and steady though.

In the evening instead of going to kettlebells I joined Danny in the middle of his long run as he promised to drag me on a fast mile at the end to practice holding a faster pace on tired legs. We were running just over 8 minute miling until he upped it to 6.30 pace. The plan was to do the whole 1.5 miles of Basin Road but I was flagging slightly so he took pity on me and we just did a mile. I managed 6.34 which is OK but room for improvement. Each time we will increase the distance until I can do the full 1.5 ish miles at that speed then keep increasing it until I can do it forever! Well, at least for a 5k and possibly a 10k (dreams can come true in the words of Gabrielle etc etc). Danny then continued on with his run and I went home puffed but pleased that I had managed the faster mile. I need someone to make me try. Hopefully soon I will be able to motivate myself but at the moment I still need external motivation and as Danny is Mr Motivator for #TeamSmashingItIn2013 he seemed the perfect choice!

This morning I was excited as Jeff was covering Joe’s spin class and I haven’t done a Jeff class for a while as he does Friday usually. He always throws in some interesting stuff and odd music and makes you work to the point of death (and beyond on occasion). We set off straight into sprints, hill climbs, hill sprints, hovers, more climbs, sprints and a spell of backwards including sprints and climbs. As the hour drew to an end I was pretty much battered of leg but in a good way. I might have to revise my exercise regime again. Swapping Tuesday kettlebells for a run (am getting an arm gym routine sorted next week to compensate) and moving spin to Friday are my immediate thoughts but who knows what else might appeal? I think it is good to mix things up a bit as I can get stuck doing the same thing week in week out for years (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Good to try new combinations though. I shall see what happens!

Woeful weather, more running   Leave a comment

Pulling on my leggings once more on Wednesday evening I set out slowly for the King Alfred to meet up with the Arena crew. There was no Pete so I settled in with Trevor, Kevin and Rob for a slow, easy chattable run. We discovered Danny at the Peace Statue and he joined our merry troupe of slowies onwards to the pier. On the way back to the King Alfred we were joined by Steve. A rare occurrence as he is invariably racing with the speedies at the front. Having done the run on Tuesday and wanting to have strength left for Thursday (ie I was feeling lazy) I got a lift home with Steve so the run was 7.5 miles in the end. A nice little joggette.

Went back to normal and cycled to HovePark for the interval session in the evening. I felt like I attacked the session well and put in the effort. My running felt quite efficient and bouncy though not sure if it translated into speed. We started with a few longish intervals which didn’t suit me but I kept up the effort as Bob had promised that the session was easier in the second half. For once this turned out to be the case! He set us off on some nice short small loops containing tempo-into-fast sections of a couple of hundred metres. Perfect! I followed Rob for the first few. He has quite a turn of speed for someone with such marathon-ravaged feet. I decided on the last short fast bit to overtake him so he could follow me as I’d be following him thus far. Fairs fair and all that… Anyway overall I was pleased with my running even though I still didn’t feel totally back to tip top condition with vestiges of cold still present.

Friday brought with it the promise of a total rest day. Aaaahhhhh, bliss. I did a bit of rolling (foam, not forward or pastry) but my legs felt pretty good and I didn’t find any particular bits that needed attention. I went out to buy a new mattress as mine is exceedingly old and lumpy and creaky. I was quite scared by the memory foam ones. Weird weird weird. Felt like I was being sucked into it never to escape. In the end, after trying various combinations I conceded that memory foam is not for me and went for a nice firm pocket sprung one.

Having seen the forecast for Saturday I arranged for Kevin and Trevor to pick me up on their way in to parkrun as the thought of cycling there in the freezing cold rain and major northerly winds didn’t fill me with joy. In retrospect I should have cycled as Kevin lost his marbles and started driving as if we were off to Eastbourne again! We managed to get back on track and reached the park in the end after a merry tour around the streets of Brighton and Hove. The weather lived up the hype. We had a battle erecting the finish funnel in the gale force arctic winds.

Trevor and Danny trying to shelter from the horrible weather. Blurred photo courtesy of Kevin and his frozen fingers.

Trevor and Danny trying to shelter from the horrible weather. Blurred photo courtesy of Kevin and his frozen fingers.

As this was the St Patrick’s day run we were doing it in reverse which meant we had to build the finish funnel on the grass which was far from ideal. We tried to make it so you only had a few steps on the deadly mud but I knew this wouldn’t stop many people sliding over (many people did. The worst incident occurring when a rogue puppy sped across the finish line taking out a swathe of runners). We lined up on the main path by the tree facing the wrong way. Those not in the know were mightily confused by this and the fact they were surrounded by people dressed in green and wearing various giant green Guinness hats etc (yes Danny, Trevor and John Doc I’m talking about you). Off we sped! Within a few metres a girl slid over whilst foolishly going for an overtaking manoeuvre on the grass. She got up and carried on, now carrying an extra ton or so of mud down her right hand side. She didn’t seem too concerned. That’s the spirit! I started way too far back which meant a slow start, which was fine except that it means a slow time is on the cards. I wasn’t too bothered by this as I didn’t feel a good time would have been on the cards anyway what with the weather. I just wanted to finally run it in reverse whilst feeling vaguely normal (for one reason or another these reverse runs have always fallen on times when I have been awful). Naturally for the first time ever the wind was favourable to push us up the hill, as we were running down it this week. I felt rather bouncy and up on my toes and that I was running  efficiently, however I wasn’t going very fast. Neither was anyone else it seemed as I was ahead of various people who are usually ahead of me. Regardless of the slowness of my run I was pleased as my legs felt good and springy. I ended up with a pretty standard 21.23 and was 4th woman.

Today I am going to run out to Shoreham and meet the marathon training crew who have taken the train out to Littlehampton and are running back so their long run of 20 or so miles. I’ll probably do around 6. A nice and easy end to my running week.

Blizzard disruption   Leave a comment

Monday morning dawned to a massive blizzard. The forecast was for snow from noon so I was quite surprised to open the blinds to a covering of snow on cars and a swirling and pretty substantial (for Hove) snow storm. This made my walk to the cat shelter interesting. The blizzardy conditions continued apace all day which meant that track was called off. This was a good thing anyway as I was still suffering with a hot and snotty cold so enforced rest was welcomed.

I was hopeful that Tuesday would be snow free enough for me to get Core & Stretch in the morning. It wasn’t. There were a good few inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing horizontally. Undeterred I togged up in as many layers as humanly possible, earflaps and hood battened down tight and set off walking in my Salomons. I gave my self an hour and a half (just to be on the safe side). As the snow was fresh it wasn’t slippery and I got to Brighton in around 40 minutes. As I was thus very early I decided to buy some new pyjamas. Does that count as cross training? Probably not though the walking must have done me so me good. Anyway I arrived at the class and found 6 other hardy souls had also made it. Jenny tailored the class to focus mainly on hamstring stretches, especially for me and my ruined runners legs (which are officially not ruined). After various warrior stances, stretches and much downward dogging we moved on to core work and the usual myriad sit ups. We finished with a bit of bridge which my hip flexors still dislike greatly. Managed to do one leg raise with each leg though which is progress (crap progress but progress none the less). Having put all my layers back on I stepped outside to discover there was now bright sunshine and hardly a flake of snow left on the pavements or roads. Most odd. A freezing wind still scythed viciously through my earflaps, however it was no longer accompanied by snowflakes.

Deciding that I didn’t have the requisite concentration or strength for kettlebells (still feeling the effects of stupid cold with attendant snot stuffed, hot, heavy and droopy head) I went out for a run. Mostly the roads were clear though there were some icy stretches. There was only one minor slip so I shall credit all the Tuesday core work for helping my proprioception and ability to remain upright.

Today there were only a few reminders of the blizzardy beginning to the week, a melted snowman on Hove Lawns or a bit of icy slush on the road in shaded areas. So I cycled to spin as usual. I got there early as per so chose myself a bike that I don’t think I’ve tried before. Number 10. It was temperamental with regards to its resistance knob having no relation to the resistance of the bike. Standard. Anyway the class itself was the usual mix of sprints, hill climbs and hovers but this time Joe had the difficulty that for some reason the lyrics to his soundtrack had disappeared just leaving him with the music when all his cues are lyric based. Slight problem! He battled on regardless and it didn’t impact on the ease or otherwise of the class. I found it hard as always especially having not been for a couple of weeks and having stupid painful sinuses. I did the traditional thing of having my resistance too high too early on the final climb thus not being able to increase the last 6 or so times he asked. Ooops. It was with wibbly legs that I finally dismounted and then remounted my own bike to head home for a well deserved lunch.

Later I shall be out again for the usual Arena run. Looks like my winter leggings will be on again. Weird to think that last Wednesday I had my shorts on thinking spring had finally sprung. How silly of me.

Snot funny!   Leave a comment

Tootled along merrily with Pete on Wednesday evening. The weather was still warm and not windy so I donned some shorts. Must take the opportunity when presented. I hate wearing leggings which is a shame as I have been for months and months and months it seems. I am so glad I discovered the secret to long running is doing it really slowly. Chatting to Pete helps too as we have many similar views on things from cats to books to the meaning of being a team! 9 miles in the bag.

On Thursday I thought I’d try running to the park doing the interval session then running home. It’s only a few miles to the park so perhaps it wasn’t that that meant my session wasn’t very good. It wasn’t though! As it was still vaguely not pitch black Bob sent us on various shortish half loops on the inner path. Perhaps it was just because we haven’t done them for a while I got my pacing wrong. Oh and I decided to stick with Caroline on the first one to see what it’s like to run with an international. Too bloody fast, that’s what it’s like! This may explain my failure to bomb the rest of the session. No matter. Met Danny at the end of the session and he ran back with me as he continued his long run. I notched up around 11 miles all told but he went onwards in the mad style of one training for a marathon. As he is.

On Friday I had a sports massage with Becky from RawTherapy who gave me legs a good seeing to. She informed me they were in great condition which was pretty surprising as they do get a serious battering from me day in day out.

Legs: Officially in "great condition"

Legs: Officially in “great condition”

I was looking forward to giving parkrun a good thrashing on Saturday unfortunately I had the worst nights sleep ever on Friday. In fact hardly any sleeping was done at all. Not sure what was going on but I knew it put paid to parkrun brilliance. Also as I ate my porridge at 5.30 it had all been digested by the time it came to run. Foolishly decided a few star mix wouldn’t hurt. Oh how I rued this when I crashed and burned with a massive stitch at 3k! Up until then I wasn’t doing too badly with 4.04 ks. Oh well, another one to add to the best forgotten basket! Actually it was still 21.33 which I would have snapped up last year.

I spent the afternoon sneezing and snotting like a loon so perhaps that explained the world’s crappest nights sleep.

Today the sneezing continues apace. How is it possible to produce so much snot and what is the point? Oh well. Goes some way to explaining the lacklustre nature of this blog post. Brain full of hot snot. Sorry. Hopefully back with witty tales of running marvellousness on Wednesday.

I shall leave you with that pleasant image!

Thank goodness for the return of normality!   Leave a comment

As Monday dawned I was relieved that is was back to normal training wise after my not very successful week of rest (2 training sessions, one race – oops). The track was nice and clean and totally unfrozen but as we had been forced by ice to do 300s for the past few weeks Bob set us the sort of session I dread. After an 800 warm up we ran a tempo 500 which we were to use as a basis for ten remainder of the session. Natch we did it way too fast (1.55) which meant when we had do 1500 at the same pace (5.45) we failed dismally. We knocked out the first in a too slow 5.54 and then adjusted our time to 6 minutes as we had three more of the sodding things to do. This was more realistic time and we did the remaining three in 5.58, 6.03 and 6.01. This was acceptable especially after the first one practically killing us off. I was so glad to be back running that I was only slightly disappointed to be doing reps I dislike. Happy days.

On Tuesday it was back to Core & Stretch. It was just as hard as always and we seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time in downward dog but I think I’d just blocked it from my mind having not been there last week. I’m sure it must have been good for me actually doing a bit of stretching but it certainly didn’t feel like it at the time! Still can’t do single leg shoulder bridge. My hip flexors are too knackered. Fact.

In the evening it was back for more punishment in the form of kettlebells. Actually it was quite enjoyable. The kettlebell bits that is. The other stuff that involves too much leg is not so good. I do enough leg stuff that I’m only at kettlebells to get my arms involved. Luckily there is another runner there who has the same problem and as we use the same sort of weights (though he goes way heavier on most exercises) we ended up next to each other on the mats so I was pleased to see him struggling with the lunges and squats etc too. I wibbled my way to the end making sure my swinging was good even if the rest was a little feeble. Double coring is quite hard core (arf!) but as I do nothing ab related any other day it is good to cram it all into one painful day.

This morning I went out for an easy 4 miler as the weather has finally decided to behave itself. I was still wearing two long sleeved tops but had to take my gloves off. Spring has most definitely sprung (it may not last but must make the most of it whilst it’s here). Going out again later for the usual 9, nice and easy. Tomorrow will be Hove Park intervals. I feel like I haven’t been for ages even though I know I only missed one week pre-Lancing. Looking forward to it! Thank goodness for the return to normality.

Not wholly successful…   Leave a comment

Well that didn’t quite work! Due to impending madness I set out for the Wednesday evening Arena run just to do it nice and slowly, hopefully with Pete. He was there but was surprised to see me as I had told him and everyone else that I wouldn’t be there as I was “definitely resting after tonight” (track). Oops. I know I’m crap as resting but seriously, not even managing two full days? Useless. However I didn’t get a massive cold as I had feared so I wasn’t totally stupid (ahem…). Anyway the run was fine. A nice easy pace having a grumble about the stupidity of running with Pete as we are wont to do. So a gentle 9 in the bank to assuage the encroaching mental breakdown.

I didn’t have any trouble missing Thursday in HovePark as Bob would have had something to say if I’d been there as we had Lancing on Saturday. Also got bitten hard by a cat in the morning (not mine) and my hand was a red swollen painful object that would have been unamused being shoved in a glove and forced to cycle and run. On Friday I was supposed to be having a pre-Lancing massage but unfortunately I had to postpone it due to having to have a tetanus injection post-cat bite.

On Saturday I set off to help at parkrun. It was still completely freezing. Will it ever warm up? Fed up of having to wear hundreds of layers day in day out even in the house. Anyway I went and luckily was given a position on the funnel which meant I didn’t have to take my giant mittens off. It didn’t get any warmer though so I set off for Lancing wearing many layers of running wear. I now have 3 sets of ear flaps so at least I could wear a different buff even though the poor long leggings were out once again.

My poor overworked leggings (they match my gloves though)

My poor overworked leggings (they match my gloves though)

Thanks to Danny giving me a good talking to about the pointlessness of getting massively and overly nervous and anxious I was feeling fine and actually didn’t really click I was racing until I was starting up the evil hill of doom. I always know that this race is for me all about caning the mile or so downhill so I didn’t worry  too much about my snails pace on the uphill. Naturally Bob was standing at the top of the field hill taking photos but thankfully I haven’t seen one of those pictures (yet) so here is one of me about to break into major windmilling mode on the way back down.


About to unleash the speed demon

About to unleash the speed demon

I felt like I was running super fast for the whole downhill but it is quite likely it just seemed that way in comparison to the slooooooow ascent. Anyway I reached the end and felt OK about my run. Next was discover whether I had won anything as part of a team. There was a bit of confusion as to who (if anyone) I would score for what with being a senior for 2 races and a vet for 2. Turns out I scored for the vets team so now have another medal and my first cross country team shield to add to the jiffy bag stuffed under all my shoes in the cupboard.

Caroline and I collecting the vets team prize

Caroline and I collecting the vets team prize

The other medal is for scoring for the team as part of last year’s 10k challenge.

Cross country vets team medal and shield and Sussex 10k challange medal for last year

Cross country vets team medal and shield and Sussex 10k challange medal for last year

All in all a good cross country season.

Today I went to Eastbourne to spectate at the half marathon. Nice day out though it was STILL freezing.

Looking forward to getting back to normal training as of tomorrow.

%d bloggers like this: