Archive for October 2013

This, that (and some of the other)   Leave a comment

On Monday it was the final non-track-based track session, this time at PrestonPark. It turned out to be exactly my kind of session! Yippee! 4 x 400, 2 x 700, 4 x 400, 6 x 60 (relay). I love short fast stuff. I especially enjoyed “letting” Rob win in our relay sprint off. It is good to actually be (one of) the best at something for once. I do love sprinting.

On Tuesday I decided to go for a gymming day without an LSR as I knew I had a long one planned for Wednesday with Andy. I started off with Core & Stretch class, then went on the rowing machine for 3k in 17 minutes (I wanted to do more but my bum was unhappy with the rowing machine seat so I aborted at 3k), finishing off with a slow 5k on the treadmill (treadmill running isn’t fun). In the evening I went back to further kill off my flimsy spaghetti arms with kettlebells. A good day of non-running based activity (oh, apart from the running!).

Wednesday was somewhat windy as Andy and I ventured out pre-Arena evening run to log around 7 miles before joining the Arenas for the usual run. Naturally this meant we were doing the longest version which goes to the Marina, up the zig zag and back. The 5 mile drag back from the Marina home saw me flag massively but when I caught up with Andy at the King Alfred I saw that he was in a similar state and we hobbled homewards in the same direction with Rick, Steve, other Andy etc. Overall this run was 15 miles. No wonder I was so knackered especially after last Sunday’s mega run.

Luckily I knew I had Thursday and Friday off as I was having phase two of bum massage on Thursday evening.

On Saturday I wished to do a good parkrun and get back near 20 minutes which has been eluding me for months. Massive fail.

In the afternoon it was the grand opening of the relaid Withdean track featuring a mile race. It was lucky I had asked a few people along to race as otherwise it would only have been me and a few randoms. Thankfully Paul, Jim, Rob and Mark joined me so it wasn’t too empty. I really wanted to run this to test out my spikes on the new track but also hoped I could get close to my last (and only) track mile time of 5.55 I set earlier in the year when my running was somewhat better than it is now. I knew whatever happened I would go through 409 metres (first lap) in around 80 seconds and Lo I heard someone say 81 as I crossed the line for the second lap. I tried to keep my pace up but must have lost it a bit somewhere as I crossed the line in 5.50. However Mike, who was watching, said I looked like I was trying throughout rather than coasting and throwing in a sprint finish in the normal way which is good, especially after the morning when I just gave up at 3k. So a 5 second pb and a good test of the track and my spikes. Jim is currently the Withdean new-track mile record holder having won in 5.17. Paul ran an excellent time of 5.38. I must try and stick with him next time! I enjoyed this run and felt slightly better after the morning’s complete bilge performance.

This morning I went back to the gym as it was almightily windy and I didn’t fancy battling against it along the seafront. Instead I planned to do a 5k row followed by an 8 mile treadmill run at half marathon pace – 7.09mm (13.5kmph). This I did. The row took just over 26 minutes and killed my stupid bum as I suspected. Treadmill running is horrible. Time drags. I somehow managed to make it to an hour when the treadmill decided that was enough (as I thought it might as gym treadmills often have time limit son them) so did the 8 miles I wanted but God it was boring and hard work. I had the treadmill on 2% incline as I hear this mimics outdoor running. I also got rained on a bit and an intermittent cooling breeze/hurricane as I was in front of an open window.

This week I managed 38 miles which is OK what with two full days off and a wind-ruined nonLSR.

Hopefully this coming week I can notch up some more good training sessions. Track is finally back for Mondays and I intend to start doing Thursday’s sessions again having not done one (properly) for a while now. I’m feeling quite positive that I might be able to get back to some good running soon. Even if not being back to track makes me happy so that is a good start.

Swinging, gymming, ouching, running   Leave a comment

As this was only my second week back at kettlebells after many months off I was still taking it gentlyish, though I did go up to 16kg for the double arm swings. I am still, and may always be, rubbish at any single arm thing above the shoulder due to the impossible yet fact of my shoulders being both totally inflexible and massively unstable all at once. No matter! The swinging and stuff is good for me as it works the core and hamstrings which are probably the main runnery bits that need stretching/strengthening. Hopefully it will also give my arms a bit of definition as they have become really feeble and floppy recently. I had to totally abandon the Turkish Get Up as usual as after the lying on the floor in the foetal position I just become frozen and can’t for the life of me get any further than rolling onto my back. Anyway regardless of my failings I am glad I am back at this class as I’m sure it does me good.

On Wednesday I joined Danny at the gym. He went in hard but I didn’t having killed myself off on Tuesday and battling a ridiculous headwind all the way along the seafront to meet him and knowing I had Arena Wednesday evening run to contend with later. The session did remind me that I quite like rowing so I must remember to add it to my repertoire at my own gym. After the gym we went for tea and I spotted this fine product placement.

Well done shelf stacker

Well done shelf stacker

In the evening it was back out for the Arena run. Pete wasn’t there so I set out at a faster pace around 7.30mm with Rob. This didn’t really feel any harder than the 9mm I usually run with Pete so this bodes well for Poppy Half where I (and Rob) want to break 95 minutes. There was an unfortunate incident with a dog causing us to leap around like total girls but otherwise it was an uneventful run albeit good. Another 9 for the bank.

On Thursday I had a massage with Fiona to try and get some of the Bewl Bum out. She made me say ouch about 4 times. I blame Danny as I was telling him how I am always nails and never reveal I’m in pain so natch I totally failed. Actually I think it was because when I arrived the person in front of me was THAT BLOODY DOG from Wednesday. Well his owner was having the massage I suspect but the dog was there. Thus the terror was reignited along with the usual fear of Fiona’s dog so I had no adrenaline left for nailsy non-pain-youching. Anyway the massage was good and I left feeling positive for an improvement in the general bummage. Fiona said I shouldn’t run that evening so I obliged.

On Friday I decided not to go to spin as the massage had bruised bits of me that may not have been happy with the saddle. I did intend to go for a little bum tester joggette but in the end I couldn’t be arsed (cor what a great pun!).

Saturday arrived with the promise of Goodwood League xc. I like this race. 5k in the same place as the relays a few weeks ago. It was exceedingly wet and windy and awful when I arrived extra early having got a lift with Fiona as I had the tent and she had to be there early for her son to run in the junior race. Thankfully the rain had stopped and the wind had dropped (oooo, poetry) by the time our race started.

A good turnout for the ladies

A good turnout for the ladies

I had a plan to go out with Caroline and stay with her for as long as possible. Alas she was already pretty far ahead immediately after the gun but I managed to get close to her and keep with her until the downhill into the forest when suddenly she was miles ahead. Huff. Oh well, I’d stayed with her for around half a mile further than last year so that would have to do. As usual I practically ground to a halt as I began the climb back to the finish field. However I was pleased to cross the line in 20.41 (my time) for the 2.89 miles as I was pretty sure I hadn’t been under 21 minutes here before and lo it was 32 second pb (21.13 last year).

The usual fast finish though alas no one to chase down!

The usual fast finish though alas no one to chase down!

As always I stayed on to watch the men race . There were flipping loads of them!

Men ahoy!

Men ahoy!

Lots of Arenas out too which was good to see. Havong drunk Steve’s tea and eaten Fiona’s muffins it was time to leave having totally failed to see if we’d won anything. I would imagine the ladies won a team prize as they usually do.

Today I went out for a long run managing not only to avoid the various rainstorms that afflicted the day but also to run the longest I’ve ever run. 19 miles. Yikes! Only time will tell if this was a bad idea… I felt fine doing it and had a nice sea spray exfoliation whilst I was at it. This did mean I had to cut the hairband out of my hair (should have cut band not hair in retrospect) when I got home but other than that it was successful run.

50 miles for the week including two full days off.

Roll on next week!

Bunting. Amongst other things.   Leave a comment

I did indeed have a nice steady run with Pete on Wednesday evening. As it was the Marina version of the run I ended up with a good solid 9.5 miles to add to my mileage collection.

On Saturday I was supposed to be helping Rob to a pb but after he had a too-late breakfast and blasted the first k in 3.48 he died. I waited for him anyway as I had said I would and shoved him over the line in front of me in an evil fashion as he had said he would never beat me what with being a gentleman and all. Anyway this parkrun was one for the scrap heap. We then cycled over to Rottingdean (the reason for Rob’s uncharacteristic pre-parkrun breakfasting) for Paul and Robin’s 60/60 birthday run.

Birthday boys bunting demostration

Birthday boys bunting demostration

They have both recently turned 60 so thought it would be good to celebrate this by doing a gentle run over the cliffs (not in a suicidy way you understand) from Rottingdean towards Brighton, turning round after half an hour so everyone arrived back at the same time ready for a buffet lunch at The Coach House. Before we set off Paul and Robin took us down onto the beach for a warm up that included running about on the pebbles, jumping up and down and generally getting knackered. Grapevining whilst holding hands bunting style was definitely the highlight!

Grapevining - bunting style

Grapevining – bunting style

The actual run was a much more sedate affair. 7 miles at 9+ minute miles. A bit of eating and drinking then it was time to cycle home. A good day of gentle exercise (except the killer warm up) and another 10 running miles to add to the log.

The weather had become actual poo by Sunday but I dragged myself out for an LSR (having been shamed into it by Danny and Rob). I managed a soaked, frozen and windswept 13 miles bringing my weekly total to 49 miles. A good start to getting back to the old regime.

This week also got off to a good start with another Hove Lagoon session. This time it was 8x800m. I set off hopeful that I could give this a good go as the reps were just about short enough to suit me. I was pleased to discover I could stick with Andy P, Paul, Pete etc throughout. I completed the 8 pretty consistently and felt strong and fast. Good times! I do like running this sort of session and it is nice to do a bit of faster running (on the flat) once again.

This morning I got up bright and early to get my LSR in before Core & Stretch as last week’s experiment to do it afterwards failed dismally. This was much better, helped by the weather being sunny, cold and not too windy. I set off towards the Marina thinking it was good I was running into a headwind as it would be behind me on the long stretch back to Shoreham Arm but was dismayed to find it was also windy in the opposite direction, in fact more so. Huff. Oh well, it wasn’t stupidly windy and I managed to keep my pace consistent for the whole run except towards the end with the wind behind me (now) and music turned up loud where I sped up a little. All in all I much preferred this run to last Tuesday’s and managed 14 miles in the end. I arrived home with 15 minutes in which to eat some toast, change my clothes then dash off on my bike to Core & Stretch. I discovered (obviously I suppose but I didn’t really think) that I was totally knackered when I got there and became a bit of a laughing fool when I couldn’t really do anything as my legs were totally shot. Ooops! Never mind I’m sure I still got the benefits of the class, along with the honour of being told (as I have in spin often) that Matt and I would be split up if we didn’t stop laughing. I was so very obedient and quiet at school so I seem to be going through the sniggering, chatting stage a mere 20 years too late.

Kettlebells this evening just to kill off any part of me I have not yet destroyed today.

Lewes 10 and then…   Leave a comment

Managed to not really do much last week, well nothing of any interest to write on here (shhh all those who say “do you ever write anything of interest?”).

On Sunday it was the turn of the Lewes Downland 10 miles in my quest for Grand Prix glory. Danny kindly sent me the elevation profile



Hmmmm! Exactly the sort of thing I don’t like. Oh well, bit late to worry about that now as I had already entered. Sunday promised to be a bright sunny day and it didn’t disappoint. In fact it was exceptionally hot for almost mid-October. I knew which girls I needed to finish close to position-wise and saw they were both there. As is my new style these days I made sure I started at the front so I could count my position as girls pass me. As we lined up at the start I hadn’t really grasped I was about to race and was in no way nervous. Then we were off! The first 200 or so metres were downhill so not helpful for a sensible start however we then turned back up the hill so reality and sanity was forced upon us as we trundled our way back up.

Off out into the wilds of the Lewes downs

Off out into the wilds of the Lewes downs

Soon I had been overtaken by 3 girls including the two I needed to finish near to. Luckily Sam (not one of the two) dropped out around mile 2 so I was in third place. As I slid around on a clayey section in my totally unsuitable fastwitches another girl came past me in her more suitable trail shoes. Soon we came to a long downhill section so I made sure I made the most of it knowing there was much evil uphill to come. I had clawed my way back to 3rd but had a feeling I would be overtaken once more before the end and Lo it was true! I wasn’t too worried though. I was aware that I didn’t need to do this race and was in fact highly unlikely to beat my pointage for the other 10 milers I had already done (you need to do at least two 10 milers to be eligible for the GP prize).

After a horrible slog through a never ending forest it was a quick walk up the hill of death. Short but steep. Finally I reached the lovely long downhill finish. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

Downland 10 finish Downland 10 sprint finish

I crossed the line in fourth place in 1.16.07 which seemed acceptable.

After tea and cake with the rest of the Arena posse I saw that I was first v35 so a medal was in the offing.

Whatever is happening on the medal does NOT reflect what actually happened in this race...

Whatever is happening on the medal does NOT reflect what actually happened in this race…

Some weirdness in the timing meant I was given an official time of 1.16.22 even though I know it was 07 as I actually remembered to look at the finishing clock. Rob was most peeved to discover her had had 30 seconds added to his time, though Steve who finished just behind him had been given the right time.

These things aside it was a good race. Except actually I hated every second of it. Oh. Well at least it was a lovely sunny day. Most importantly however is I think I am now Sussex Grand Prix Champion 2013 (overall and v35). Slightly worried that now I’ve written it down it will turn out not to be the case).

Having been totally apathetic and generally out of running mojo for a good few weeks I gave myself a stern talking to and decided as of Monday I would get back to proper training. Ominously (sounds odd to use that with positive connotations but sure it’s still correct) Monday’s session was to be at the Lagoon. Perfect for my comeback. Flat! Bob divulged the whole session at the beginning which was also good as I could (attempt to) pace myself sensibly. The first section was 5 x 1k. I set off at a pace I felt was sustainable for the 5 and turns out in fact I was right (for once). Same can be said for the 400s it seems. My Garmin is pleasingly consistent.


On Tuesday, after Core & Stretch and a horrible lone LSR I went back to kettlebells which I haven’t done for ages having had Three Ashmeigos Evening LSRs instead. I was a bit worried I’d have forgotten everything but turns out it’s just like riding a bike. I did start with lighter weights but found I could use the 12 comfortably which was acceptable. Hopefully soon I’ll be back to heavier ones and have redeveloped my palm calluses (sexy).

This morning I felt no ill effects from the kettlebells which is a little suspicious so I fear I may be in for a healthy dose of DOMS tomorrow. I did however have rather tired legs after my LSR which wasn’t great for spin but I carried on anyway (of course). I was pleased when Joe made the other girls up their resistance to match mine with attendant groaning and noises of not being able to move the pedals.

The Pink Lace Brigade (as Joe took the photo you can't see his)

The Pink Lace Brigade (as Joe took the photo you can’t see his)

This evening is the usual Arena seafront run. Think I’ll take it easy with Pete if he is there.


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