Archive for July 2013

Oh arse and other mojoless moanings   Leave a comment

On Thursday Danny invited me to go along with him to a mile rep session in Hove Park with some of the Brighton & Hovians. I haven’t done this session for many years so I was (sort of) looking forward to it to see how much I have knocked off my time. I was running around 6.40s the last time and was hoping to get down to nearer 6 now. I knew I had no hope of going with Danny or Mark but hoped Fiona, Jason and Sean might be within sight. Mark thought Sean would be about my speed as he runs around 6.10 so I decided to try and stick with him for the first rep at least. After a brief warm up it was time! Danny and Mark were soon a distant memory as they charged off at 5.20 pace. Bye. I managed to keep up a reasonable pace and didn’t drop too far behind Fiona and Jason. I finished with Sean in around 6.03 which was better than I expected so I was pleased and hoped I could replicate it on the next reps. I did! Well on the third I slipped to 6.08 but that was good enough. I then extracted Rob from the Arena session that had just started so we could do a long run (I have since realised it wasn’t his long run day but he didn’t mention it – gentleman). I had already done about 7 miles so we headed off towards Shoreham as normal but cut back a little earlier than on Tuesday. It was an enjoyable steady run on yet another balmy evening. Another sweaty one. Overall I did 13 miles.

On Friday it was my third spin class of the week. Another hot one. I decided to wear my more hardcore hairband as my bouffant is getting really unruly these days. It failed me! I tried to get it out of the sweaty wigginess and it snapped so I had to cast it aside mid way through and do the rest of the class with a curtain of soggy flappage in my face. It was interesting to use a bike where the gears actually work (instructor’s bike with phone holder thingy that Jeff doesn’t use). Hannah was a bit late so I nicked it before she got there! Jeff decided to do double tabataing as usual. Sigh. Hannah and I were most unamused but this of course had no effect other than to make Jeff use us each as pacers for the sprint sections. I am crap as sprinting on a bike so it was easy to beat the pace I set but no-one has a chance in hell against speed-legs James. Another good class and I survived the triple. Next week might be just the Tuesday morning as racing Wednesday evening and feeling massively tired and knackered so need to ease up a bit.

On Saturday I tried to run parkrun but was useless.

Today I went to race Trailblazer but was even more useless.


Danny, Holly, me and Rob pre-race

Danny did well coming home third and Rob knocked a massive two and a half minutes off his time from last year.

I definitely need to rest. I shall try and do less this coming week then I’m off camping so hopefully it will be easier to rest and come back fired with enthusiasm, less knackered and generally full of mojo and smashingitoncemoreness.

Spin FTW   Leave a comment

Failed. Decided I couldn’t hack not running for a fourth day so joined the Sunday posse for a nice flat seafront 10. The bum wasn’t too happy but it just about managed it.

On Monday it was off to Preston Park for another hot alternative track session. Once again it turned into a recovery run pretty swiftly. This time it wasn’t due to bum pain but rather I just didn’t have the necessary whatever to keep up a good pace so I ended up jogging round with Rob who was using the session as a recovery run after having already been out in the morning.

I had decided that this week I would do all three spin classes at my gym which meant getting up at 6am on Tuesday so I had plenty of time for my porridge to digest before the class at 8.45. It was another hot and humid morning and the class was madly hardcore. It was possibly the sweatiest I have ever been. Everyone was dripping everywhere like absolute steaming loons. I really enjoyed this class and think it shall now become a weekly occurrence. After going home and having a shower to try and cool down it was time to go back for Core & Stretch. A new man has recently joined who is about as useless as me flexibility-wise so we spent a large proportion of the class sniggering at our inability to do things that other people seemed to do with ease. Luckily the class incorporated the three stretches I am supposed to do for my bum so I didn’t have to force myself to do them later at home.

In the evening it was time for the usual LSR. Danny didn’t join us as he is also afflicted with bum wrongness. So Rob and I set off on the traditional Shoreham bound route. It was another mightily humid evening so it wasn’t long before I (and Rob) were utterly drenched in sweat once more. I think between us we could hydrate the whole third world using that Unicef invention. It was an enjoyable run though and I ended up doing just under 13 so another good chunk for the mileage bank. LSR.

Today it was back to the gym for spin number two of the week. The class was full today for no apparent reason. It is often pretty empty then from time to time it is rammed for no discernible reason. Anyway it was a good class, not quite as sweaty as yesterday but near enough. My legs were a bit tired after yesterday’s activities but carried me through without too much trouble. I had however forgotten to take my inhaler so was a bit of a wheezing fool by the end but I survived and my sweat didn’t reach the floor this time unlike yesterday.

Spin number three happens on Friday morning.

Phoenix 10k amongst other things   2 comments

On Monday I went to Preston Park but the prescribed interval session turned into a 3 mile recovery jog for me as I was totally broken.

Tuesday was Core & Stretch as usual. Rob, Danny and I had already agreed we wouldn’t do the usual long run on Tuesday evening in preparation for Phoenix 10k on Wednesday. I hoped this rest and Monday’s aborted effort would mean I’d be ready for action on Wednesday.

I wasn’t. Yes it was hot but that wasn’t really the problem. I just didn’t really feel up for it and I knew my bum wasn’t going to like it. I even felt really nervous which I haven’t done before a race for ages.

Some of the Arena contingent pre race

Some of the Arena contingent pre race

Anyway I lined up knowing I just had to try and that we were liable to win the team prize as long as the three of us (Caroline, Emily and I) crossed the line. After drenching my cap and hair under the seafront shower, having seen that a sodden Caroline had done similar but to her whole self, we lined up. I optimistically entered the sub 40 section at the front. I planned to try once more to stick with Caroline for as long as possible. I think I managed around 3.5k again (a la Worthing) before she began drawing away however this time I felt myself slipping back more than at Worthing. I suppose the heat was a factor even though I don’t mind it but with stupid bum ache and general not-feeling-up-for-it-ness it was hard to keep going. My Garmin had given up telling me I was behind pace by this stage (I had set the virtual pacer for 6.15mm). I reached 5k in 19.56. At around 6k Mark Halls passed who was pacing sub 40 so that was it. Oh dear. I just had nothing left to give but dragged myself onwards knowing I was in third place and needed to try and keep it not only for the prize but because I wanted to do as well as I could for the team. As I passed marshalls on the home stretch I listened out for the shout of fourth lady but didn’t hear it. There were a few dodgy moments when ladylike breathing crept up behind me but thankfully it was always a man!

Always eyes shut! But two feet off.

Always eyes shut! But two feet off.

Anyway to cut a long story short I crossed the line in a not very pleasing 40.51 and third woman (Garmin stats) I was quite disappointed for a while but then realised it was still my second fastest 10k and the weather had slowed most people down to a certain extent (apart from Rob but that’s because he is not yet running to his full potential – but he got an excellent new pb and will soon be smashing it) and I haven’t felt this unenthused for a race for ages when before it was every time. As Caroline suspected we did win the team prize as Caroline was second, I was third and Emily was seventh so Caroline and I waited for the prize giving. Emily had run home by this point!

Collecting the team prize - unfortunately Emily had already gone home

Collecting the team prize – unfortunately Emily had already gone home


I also got a prize for 3rd woman of £15 which added to the £10 we each got for the team prize gave me a £10+ profit for the evening (I also collected my Adur Challenge winnings of £25 – bonus!). Not so bad for a race where I really wasn’t feeling it. Another good Arena turn out too. FULL RESULTS


I rested on Thursday as my bum was truly broken still and I must learn to be sensible. I went to spectate at Hove Park. It was really hot so I didn’t feel at all like I wanted to join in. Well done Rob though for getting stuck in after Wednesday.

Today I went to spin in the hope it would do my legs some good. Luckily it was mainly sprints today which suited me as it wasn’t too strenuous on my poor dead muscles and crampy calf. It was however exceedingly hot.

I have decided to not do any running until Monday to give my bum a bit of a chance to recover.

I hope you’re sitting comfortably. It’s a long one!   Leave a comment

Wednesday evening was the last vets league track and field event of the season (boo) held at Lewes. As usual I wanted to do all the track events, in this case it was the 800, 200, 5000 and 4 x 200 relay, along with the long jump. It was a lovely warm evening and not too windy (but still quite windy). The first event was the 800. At this stage, as always I was wondering what I had got myself in for. The thought of running the 800 was not appealing but before I knew it it was time and we were off.

Leading the 800

Leading the 800

I was ahead in the first 100 metres but was quite prepared for people to start hurtling past me at any time. They didn’t. Someone came up on my shoulder with around 200 to go but I knew this wouldn’t pose a problem as I always go for the sprint finish around this point. So it was victory albeit with a mediocre time of 2.38. As this is a team event for points I wasn’t too bothered. Also I know my 800 pacing is still terrible. To get a good time I would need to do more focussed training and at the moment I wasn’t to concentrate on longer stuff. This track business is just for fun as I love it.

Next was the 200. This is my favourite distance (favourite by no means means I’m any good at it). Once again I managed to sweet talk my way to an inside lane, 2 in this case. I wasn’t alone in doing a standing start either. For once I concentrated on running across the bend in the proper fashion and came into the home straight in second place closing down on the speed merchant in first place. The times were 29.4 for her and 29.7 for me. I was very pleased with this as I haven’t broken 30 seconds for going on a decade and a sub 30s was one of my track targets for the year. Not having a mad headwind down the home straight helped.

No time to waste though as the long jump was next. I had decided to give up on my usual run up measure as it always left me miles behind the board instead employing Donald to help me. Evie was also doing the long jump so we three went down to the pit to try and nail our run ups. No matter what I did I ended up jumping from at least 20cms behind the board but this is an improvement on my past 50+cms. As I had the 5000 I asked if I could do my 3 jumps all at once first. The marshall kindly obliged so I knocked out three jumps back to back. 4.13, 4.20, 4.24 (ish). I was very pleased with these as one of my targets for the year was a 4+ long jump as I knew I could do it if I jumped from anywhere near the board.

I love this photo! Thanks Lee.

I love this photo! Thanks Lee.

I heard later that I may have won this event! Happy days!

There was no time to revel in my glory though as I had to change my shoes and sprint over to the start of the 5000. I was mightily knackered by this stage but had optimistically set the virtual pacer on my Garmin for 6.15mm which would bring me home in 19.20. As the laps ticked by I slipped off the pace a little (unsurprisingly) but was still on for sub 20. I totally failed to keep a watch on the lap counter and was surprised to hear the bell. This slightly spoilt my plan to wind up through the last few laps! Never mind. I managed to keep close to the two people in front of me and managed to overtake one with 100 to go and one on the line. I even made an involuntary grunt. Oh dear. Anyway this meant I was second after Caroline as the girl who had been in second had dropped out. My time was 19.48 which I was relatively happy with considering. 5000m Lewes vets league.


The last event of the evening was the 4 x 200 relay. Once more the dream team of Jenny, Caroline, Evie and I took to the track. I had put myself on last leg. Not for glory but so I didn’t have to pass the baton on to anyone! Perks of being Team Captain. After having dropped the baton last time Caroline was determined not to and lo!

A beautiful changeover!

A beautiful changeover!

A beautiful changeover from Jenny to Caroline. Then from Caroline to Evie and on to me. Brighton & Hove having gone for a front loaded team were caught by Evie on leg three so I only had one person ahead of me on last leg. I knew I would catch her as I am pretty confident of my sprint speed in comparison to non sprinters so I passed her on the apex of the bend coming into the home straight. Victory was ours once more!

The men looked to be doing well too with Lee and Trevor in the discus and javelin, Paul in the 800 and Danny smashing it in the 5000. I didn’t get to watch them much due to my doing everything but what I did see looked good.

A small but perfectly formed vets team

A small but perfectly formed vets team

I am so glad I have finally reached the hallowed age of 35 so can participate in vets league events. I love them so much. This is exactly the kind of thing summer evenings are made for. Low key, pretty unserious, good times in the sunshine with a bunch of like minded souls. Unfortunately this was the last meeting for this season but roll on Track Season 2014!

After the overexcitement of Wednesday evening I wasn’t that confident about how I would run on Thursday’s Adur Challenge. This is Arena’s annual club handicap race. An almost-10k on the banks of the Adur. I knew I would have quite a hard handicap after my recent successes but wasn’t too bothered. I just wanted to run acceptably to myself. It was another lovely evening. As I set off I realised my watch was still set on 6.15mm virtual pacer. Oopsy. Thankfully it gave up telling me I was behind pace after a mile or so. I was steadily passing people all the way round which was nice and was only passed by one person (I think) about 800m from the end. Managed to pull my hamstring whilst climbing inelegantly over a stile. Bob told me later that I had won £5 for being 1st senior and £15 for 1st woman across the line (or vice versa) which was a nice surprise. My time was 41.26 which was OK as this isn’t a speedy course what with the stiles and bumpy and grassy terrain. Adur Challenge.


Arenas on the Adur

Arenas on the Adur

Another good turnout.

On Friday I went to spin (twice in a week? What the?). Luckily it was mainly sprints so not as hardcore for my poor destroyed limbs. Also not as hot as Wednesday.

On Saturday I was totally knackered so managed to not do parkrun, volunteering instead.

This morning I went out with Stephen and Andy P on a long slow run over towards Rottingdean then back along the seafront. This is the first time I’ve ever stopped before home and walked the last bit (only a couple of hundred metres) due to stupid Bewl bum. Still did 13.1 miles though. LSR. Now looking forward to an afternoon watching athletics.

Hot hot hot   Leave a comment

I am so glad I didn’t run Bewl. It was so hot just spectating I was amazed more people didn’t die. None did to my knowledge.

The Arena Team before setting off on an extremely hot 15 miles

The Arena Team before setting off on an extremely hot 15 miles

Strangely though on Monday I had serious Bewl bum again. Must just be being in the vicinity that does it. Anyway it didn’t stop me from going to PrestonPark for alternative track training on Monday as I’ve had it for so long I just get on with it as best I can and hope that one day it miraculously disappears and I can run with two fully working legs. It was a hot evening yet there was a logic defying head wind in both directions along the bottom straight to help keep us cool. My Garmin was being a dick and refused to find a signal even after being switched on and off a few times and around 20 minutes in which to lock on to the satellite. It finally found it after we had done a warm up rep of 0.6 of a mile (thanks Emily for filling me in on the missing distance). We then set off on 10 x alternate short and long uphills with jog down recovery. Having not run on Sunday I was feeling quite strong and managed to keep up a goodish pace on the hills and throughout the rest of the session which consisted of some longer and shorter fast bits on the flat. Bob let those who are running vets league tonight off the last few reps which was good. I was pleased with my running. Nice to feel a bit fresher for a change. Preston Park track session.


On Tuesday I went to Core & Stretch as per. Jenny was feeling generous to those with shoulder and wrist troubles which meant slightly fewer planks and downward dogs than usual though we still seemed to spend too much time doing them. Then again any time spend in downward dog is too much for me. At the end we did some hip and buttock stretches which are just what I need for Bewl bum (probably) but I couldn’t do the one everyone else was doing so had to lie in pigeon whilst everyone else was sitting up. Arse. Quite literally.

As evening rolled round it was still mightily hot but the time had come to go out for the usual LSR with Rob and Danny. Having worded a text ambiguously (pitfalls of modern telecommunications) I had disastrously made it seem like I wanted to run hills so Danny had thought up a lovely route with much uphill in the first half. Rob was unamused. He was even less so when he discovered he couldn’t breathe. After struggling on for about 8 miles he bailed out so me and Danny continued to the seafront where he then peeled off for home dragging his mojoless self and dodgy hip with him. I sped up a little for the last few miles home mainly because my bum was a painfest so I wanted to get the run over with ASAP. I was glad I went out for the run though and it’s another 13 for the bank. Long. Slow. Hilly. Hot.


This morning I decided spin would be a good idea to try and help loosen out my bum and legs ready for vets league this evening. Alas I had not bargained on it being absolutely boiling in the studio. The heat made the class even harder than usual. By the end we were all made purely of sweat and death. Thanks though to Joe for looking even sweatier than I by virtue of his grey vest!

It seems to be clouding over now so hopefully this evening’s vets league activities will be pleasantly warm rather than yet another sweatbox.

The early blog catches the … something…   Leave a comment

After a Wednesday off (sort of, off running at least…) it was soon time to head off to Hove Park for the usual interval session. This week Bob was back and he set us off for 10 x green light hills to start. I don’t mind these as I know my hill running form is good (so says Bob) and as the reps are short, around 100 metres, it is easy to put the effort in knowing you have a nice 100 metre downhill jog to recoup ready for the next one. The worst bit is cresting the hill on the final rep and having to make your way back to Bob at the bench to learn what the next part of the session has in store. In this case it was 12 x Kenyan hills on the grass. These aren’t so bad as the intensity throughout remains the same and they should be steady (eg if it takes 30 seconds to run up it should take 30 seconds to run down) so you not are not puffing and blowing like the big bad wolf. Of course if we were actually Kenyans we’d be doing way way more than 12 but even that few takes time so by the time we had finished there was just time to do 3 small half loops as a wind down, warm down type thing.

Friday was a full rest day and I was hopeful that after this and a quieter week of running distance-wise (letting my Bewl bum subside to bearable levels) I would be able to get back to sub 20 at parkrun.

Saturday dawned sunny, bright and hot hot hot. I had decided that on this run I would use my Garmin’s virtual pacer setting to try and help me not lose time during the middle section of the run where I usually come undone. I know that I will always set off too fast but the main problem comes when I don’t realise how much my pace has dropped off during the middle mile or so. I hoped the pacer would spur me on with its incessant beeping. I set it to 6.20mm which would bring me in at 19.45 which would be a good improvement on my recent 20.10ishes. As the morning was warm I had failed to do a warm up but was feeling OK on the start line. We were off! I felt quite comfortable for the first k and reached 1k in 3.50 which seems to be my default setting regardless of what speed I think I’m running or my perceived effort. However when I reached one mile and my Garmin told me my first mile was 6.06 I was rather surprised as last week it was 6.14 which was too fast! Oops. So much for the pacer. It beeped to tell me I was ahead of pace but I didn’t look at my actual pace whilst I was running so didn’t realise how far ahead. Oh well, it was done so I continued. At each k time shout I was still on for sub 20 so I just tried to keep on pushing. My watch told me I was behind pace – I wish it was more insistent, it’s rather too polite. I was expecting much beeping but I suppose it can’t be too noisy as it would drive others mad. Anyway to cut a long story short I came in at 19.48 so spot on with average pace of 6.20 but of course it wasn’t run beautifully consistently like that! Garmin stats 


The main thing is I am back in the 19s which is good for confidence (thank you Danny for encouraging me to do this [albeit from afar as he ran Preston Park today] ). Perhaps if I set my watch for a faster pace next time, even though I didn’t look at the actual pacing whilst running, the little bits of information “behind pace”, “on pace” and “ahead of pace” will help keep me from unintentionally and unknowingly slowing down through the middle. Something to try anyway.

Tomorrow I am going to spectate at Bewl 15 (hence the early post). As you can see by the name this is what originally destroyed my buttock so racing it would not be a good idea. LSRs should be just that, SLOW so I’ll stick to running these sorts of distances steadily in training and race the shorter distances, except when it’s half season of course!

Posted 06/07/2013 by Isobel Muir in Blog, Brighton & Hove, parkrun, Racing, Running

New things. Running. Stuff…   Leave a comment

It was the last track session for 12 weeks (at least) as Withdean is being relaid so we were graced with a lovely sunny evening. Bob was back and set us the session of 3x (2×300, 1×500, 2×300) with 100 jog/walk recovery between reps and 5 minutes between sets. I set off with my group but found their recovery jog too fast and their fast bits too slow so after the first set I made my own sub group of me and Emily. Now I have a Garmin Forerunner 10 I could see my fast bits were around 5 minute miling which seems acceptable.

Finally joining the modern age!

Finally joining the modern age!

Track session

I quite enjoyed the session but feel sad now that there will be no more track for many months. We will still be training on Mondays but will alternate Preston Park, Hove Park and the seafront.

On Tuesday I went to Core & Stretch in the morning as usual. A new stretch using the band was good for my Bewl Bum but I still can’t do single leg bridges with my flimsy and knackered hip flexors.

In the evening it was once again out with Rob and Danny for our long slow run. This week Danny had a hilly route around Patcham in mind to put Rob through his paces as the new boy. Rob made the mistake of voicing what he thought the run would entail which meant Danny changed it and added some even more hellish hills. Having said that I am not averse to hills these days (further proof of my descent into running madness) though I did find it hard this time due to the severity of my Bewl Bum.

Long Slow Hilly Run

I managed a good solid 12.5 miles overall.

This morning I went to spin as I’m can’t make it on Friday thinking I’d just use it as a nice bit of recovery cross training. This went out of the window when Jeff told us that as it is the Tour de France we would be emulating it by doing a 40 minute continuous stand-up climb with sprints. Oh dear God! Actually after the horror had subsided I enjoyed the class and didn’t find it as awful as I had envisaged. Yes it was hard but no worse than usual.

After class I moseyed on up to The Jog Shop to spend my £40 voucher I won for coming 3rd at Worthing 10k.

New shoooooes!

New shoooooes!


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