Archive for March 2014

Running (inspired title don’t you think)   Leave a comment

Having successfully got back to a normal ish week of training I thought I should just continue so off I set for track on Monday evening. I did however find that I was a little bit scared of the track and to counteract this I decided to wear different shoes and lace them up properly. This failed immediately as I had to stop after 200 metres as I had done the laces up so tight my other ankle was too painful. Once I had sorted that out and got over my tendency to drift out to lane 8 to get away from the killer inside edge metal it was time to start the official warm up then on to the session proper. Steve was in charge and set us off on 7 x 1000, broken up into 500m half marathon pace, 300 10k pace, 200 5k pace. As I haven’t been able to keep up with the fast group for months now and taking ankle into consideration I went in Duncan’s group as he is the master of pacing and proper recovery so I knew I would get a good consistent session. The basic tenet was that we needed to have a distinct change of pace at each point and this we did. I just tried to stick with Duncan as much as I could as I trust his pacing skills implicitly. Even when he did the first 500 too fast I knew all would be fine. I enjoyed the session and it was good to test my ankle at differing speeds and find it to be ok.

I was working on Tuesday and Wednesday so didn’t do anything running related though I did manage two chin ups in a row at work which is progress as I used to have to have a rest in between. World’s Strongest Man here I come…

On Thursday I had planned a double day and thus I set off (after a bit of fighting with myself) on a 10 miler. For once the wind was behaving and having had it in my face for the outward leg it was behind me on the way back (somehow it usually manages to be a headwind in both directions). I managed to keep a pretty consistent (for me) pace up throughout, helped by the wind slowing me a bit on the outward leg perhaps. Anyway it was a good run altogether especially after my reluctance to actually go out and do it. In the evening it was off to Hove Park. Steve was taking the session this week and it was another good one. We started with a warm up out to the mini roundabout and back then proceeded to longish tempo sections culminating in a paarlauf sprint relay which is of course my favourite thing ever. A good day’s running.

On Saturday I went to Hove Park for parkrun but was totally out of motivation and everything in fact and dragged myself round in 23 minutes to my worst ever position of 121st. Utter bilge.

A superb photo by Andy to commemorate a superb run by me (yes sarcasm is indeed the lowest form of wit - sorry)

A superb photo by Andy to commemorate a superb run by me (yes sarcasm is indeed the lowest form of wit – sorry)

This morning it was Mel’s Milers 10k. This was the first race in my brief period of speediness last year when I was third female in 41.42. I knew I was nowhere near this kind of form today but just wanted to run it as well as I could after yesterday’s total fail. It is a multi terrain 10k which is mainly flat but does contain some off road sections that I was a little wary of as my ankle is still not back to normal and I feared it might be more easily twistable than usual. The first mile is on road though and I dashed through in a too-fast-as-always 6.30ish. Ooops. As we hit the off road terrain I tried to keep up the effort but inevitably slowed down rather. Having spoken to the osteo on Friday who mentioned having enough carbohydrate to feed the brain I had taken two gels pre-race as a test. Whether psychosomatic or otherwise I definitely felt much more on it in the mind and managed to keep up the effort throughout although it wasn’t leading to anything like my old speeds. Mark caught me (back) up at around 9k and was very helpful in pushing me on for the final k. I know that I lack the mental strength to keep going off my own back but if someone else tells me to I discover in fact I can. Perfect example being Brighton Half and replicated here. I must learn how to listen to myself and keep the work up as obviously I CAN do it. I crossed the line in 43.37 which is two minutes down on last year’s time but I was still reasonably happy with my run and think I will keep up the pre run gels, after all it can’t do any harm. It was a lovely day for a run. Warm, sunny and hardly any wind. Hopefully I have now turned a corner and can start making my way back towards my good running of last summer.

Nice weather, nice run, nice medal

Nice weather, nice run, nice medal

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Track and Failed   8 comments

After a week of almost complete rest (by my standards) I was looking forward to getting back to a full week of training. Off I set to track on Monday looking forward to another good session. The original session was 8 x 700 or somesuch but after the first rep I had already been dropped by my group so Bob told me to stop as it was of no benefit to me. He then set me off following Timmy for as much of his 800 reps as I could manage. This turned out to be 400. I could perhaps have made it to 500 but then I wouldn’t have had enough recovery before the next one so sensibly stuck to 400s. All was going splendidly, I felt I was running well, Bob seemed in agreement so naturally then disaster struck! In my usual mode of being too polite always I decided to jump onto the inside of the track at the end of my 400 so as not to get in the way of the group coming up behind me who were embarking on their second lap. I landed on the metal thing that lines the inside of lane one and totally and utterly twisted my foot and ankle under me. Gaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! I knew immediately that this was NOT GOOD. I felt mightily sick from the actual running however so had to wait a while for that sickness to pass before I could see if any was left for the foot/ankle. It was a little stabby and unstable but after Danny helped me up (thank you Danny) and I hobbled about a bit I decided to see if I could jog it off. It turned out that running on it was OK compared to walking which was not as my heel didn’t really wish to reach the ground. Stopping was a slight problem too but I must have managed as I’m not still running round and round Withdean.

On Tuesday this was the state of affairs

Cankle! Looking like I'd been dredged from a lakebed after having been dead for some time

Cankle! Looking like I’d been dredged from a lakebed after having been dead for some time

I couldn’t even go to Core & Stretch which was most annoying. I was slightly concerned that this had put paid to EVERYTHING but by Wednesday it was much much better and I felt much more confident that in fact all would be well. I went and had it checked over at the insistence of many people who had seen the above photo. I wouldn’t normally but as part of my new foray into being sensible I did. The news was good and fitted with my own view that I had been rather lucky and not actually done any major damage. After massaging the almighty swollen cankle and giving it a good prod the osteo proclaimed me a speedy healer and said I could attempt parkrun on Saturday as long as I was sensible (which is indeed my middle name these days).

So I did. It was Trevor’s 50th birthday parkrun at Hove Park so I got a lift over with Kevin and did the usual ballooning etc. I also made sure I did a warm up to test the ankle. It passed with flying colours. Felt completely fine though the “colours” part was definitely in effect as it was now sporting many bruisey shades

Looking much better - the ankle bone returns

Looking much better – the ankle bone returns

I completed the run at conversational pace with no changes of pace or anything that could have annoyed my ankle and it was completely fine. Phew! In fact I still ran 22.12 which is only a bit slower than some of my recent  uninjured attempts at Preston Park. After some celebratory Trevor cake I went home happy that I seemed to have got away with it ankle wise.

This morning I set out on an LSR feeling quite confident that anklewise all would be well.  As Sod’s law meant I had taken last week off I was seriously lacking any long runs. In fact the last was a failed 10.5 miler on 5th March. Eeeek! Thankfully the weather was OK today and I managed almost 14 flat seafront miles, slightly slower on the way back as it was rather windy, but successful nonetheless. I shall now get back to normal training though not sure where I’ll fit in my long run this coming week. Might be a Friday job.

23 miles for the week which after the panic over not being able to run EVER again that set in briefly on Tuesday I count as a roaring success.

Almost actual resting   Leave a comment

As always I started off my week of rest by going to track. This week was perfect for me: 15 x 200 (100j, 50w, 50 rolling start to the next one). I started off with my normal group but knew I would only be with them for a couple before their faster recoveries left me behind. This was indeed the case. It was fine though as I knew exactly what I wanted to do in this session and felt I would be able to pace myself pretty well as the reps were so short. I made sure I didn’t do my usual thing of doing the first one way too fast thus ruining the rest of my session and I was successful. I feel my reps and recoveries were consistent (or as consistent as I’m ever going to be). Not particularly speedy but consistent.

On Tuesday I was able to go to Core & Stretch having missed a couple of weeks. It was good to be back. Even downward dog didn’t feel so awful. Perhaps having been doing my hamstring and calf stretches helped? Or the few weeks off? Anyway it was a good class as always and I felt suitably stretched and cored by the end. Continuing the sensibleness I didn’t go to kettlebells in the evening and on Wednesday I worked all day so couldn’t do any of the classathon.

I had hoped to be able to go to Hove Park intervals on Thursday evening but thankfully work stepped in and I wasn’t able to. It certainly does help my being sensible this working lark.

I ditched my plan to do a LSR on Friday.

I knew I would be doing Preston Park parkrun on Saturday as it was Rob’s 100th (parkrun not birthday – hard to tell just by looking I know) but only two small runs in a week is probably as close to real rest as I’m ever going to get. Although my run wasn’t particularly good I just about managed to keep all my miles under 7 minutes which is better than recently. It was also my first sustained fastish run as a ventolin-inhaler free woman so I was quite pleased that I was just as bad as with inhaler in terms of breathing. Saves me a prescription charge if nothing else.

From the murky depths arose...

From the murky depths arose… (aka yes sir yes sir, threetea bags full)

11 miles for the week! What’s that if not resting?

Sigh   3 comments

Having run 16 miles on Sunday I wasn’t sure how my legs would fare at track on Monday though I suspected they would be OK as they usually are the day after a long one (later in the week is when it catches up with me). This week’s session was 8 x 700 being pursued by the fastest group who were doing 800s. On the first rep I was overtaken with around 300 metres to go and this turned out to be the case the whole session through. At least I was consistent (assuming they were too). I felt fine during this session and don’t think I dropped off the pace too much at any stage.

On Wednesday I tried to take myself out for a lsr but by now the long Sunday run and track on Monday had caught up with me and I struggled to complete a very slow 10.5 miles. However the weather was perfect so I absorbed some much needed vitamin D if nothing else.

I had decided to double day on Thursday as I wanted to go back to HP intervals in the evening having not been since before Christmas (can’t remember why now). After yesterday’s unsuccessful lsr I once more put my sensibleness into practice and stopped after 6.5 miles even though I had planned to do 10. I was going too slowly and finding it hard so the extra 3.5 would have been pointless. It was really hard to be sensible though and I was fighting with myself the whole way but sense won out in the end (just). I was glad I had managed to be sensible as it meant I was able to give HP a good go in the evening. It was lots of nice short reps and mostly flat and downhill running with a short sharp uphill walk recovery. I really like this session and was glad to be back. Hopefully I can go again this week though I am at work so have to hope I am let off early.

I ran Preston Park parkrun on Saturday but it isn’t worth mentioning. I probably used up all my fast stuff strength on Thursday evening, that along with the cumulative tiredness from the Sunday before and track meant I died after about a mile.

Although I have been trying hard to be sensible I’m not sure I have succeeded even though I have done much less than usual. I feel very tired and uninterested in running. Perhaps I need to stop completely for a bit though I know this will never happen. Perhaps my mojo will miraculously return of its own volition. 30 miles for this week.

Posted 10/03/2014 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

Track. (I love it.)   2 comments

Monday rolled around again as it often does after Sunday which meant it was once again time for track. Having not run on Sunday I should have been perfectly primed for a good session. When Bob uttered the phrase “500 parlauf” I nearly died. Mt favourite session of all time! Yippppppeeeeeeeee!!! (Parlaufs are continuous relays in pairs so in this instance Paul ran 500, then I did and so on and so forth x 12.) Of course I immediately paired myself with Paul, as we are of similar speed over this short distance, before remembering that that meant shorter recovery. However it didn’t matter as it still gave me a good 2 minute rest to jog forward 100 metres before he was with me again for the changeover. After each 4 reps we had a 2.5 minute recovery (for once I could have probably survived without this). 3 sets in all. I felt confident in my ability to do this session and think I managed to stay consistent over all the reps though I note from my Garmin I set off too fast on each of my 500s but this is wholly unsurprising and didn’t ruin the over all consistency of the session. Even when Paul dropped out I just continued, slotting in behind Alan as I had been anyway. All in all HOORAH!

On Wednesday I managed to get an unexpected LSR in having been let off work early. This was good but for the fact that I hadn’t prepared properly eating-wise and I found myself flagging badly back into the wind at around 7 miles. I cut inland to try and lessen the impact but unfortunately I was so hungry I couldn’t manage too drag myself out of the slump so struggled home at over 9mm. Having started way too fast (surprise!) hadn’t helped either I’m sure. 11 miles in the bank was good though as it meant I could then not run on Friday which had been my planned LSR day for the week.

As part of my newfound sensibleness I didn’t run on Thursday or Friday. I knew I had Bexhill League Cross Country on Saturday which was not going to be pleasant rest or no rest. I am just not very good at xc. Fact. However I am persistent and will always do all the league xc races. In this case Caroline was a bit worried the ladies numbers would be a little sparse so I needed to be good. I wasn’t but thankfully quite a few ladies turned out so we were still OK and secured our position as leaders in the senior competition. We had already won gold for the vets before we even reached this final race so that was good and at least one medal was guaranteed for me (upside of persistence, I managed to score for the team in one of the more lightly attended races). The race itself doesn’t really need much explanation. It was very muddy, I am not good in mud. It was quite hilly. I am not much good at hills. It was quite hilly. I ran. I finished. The end.

I always win the clean leg prize.

I always win the clean leg prize.

Happy to have finished. Mud and me are never going to be friends.

Happy to have finished. Mud and me are never going to be friends.

Somehow I not only won a gold for the vets team but for the senior team too in division one AND a bronze for the second division vets team. I’m not complaining!

A small haul for a season's mud hatred.

A small haul for a season’s mud hatred.

An excellent conclusion to the xc season (though not having to run any more of the sodding things for 6 or so months is the greatest prize).

This morning (Sunday) I had planned to join the RunBrighton crew for some of their run. As they were doing 19 miles it wasn’t necessary for me to join them from the start so I meant to slot in with them as they came back from Carats to give me 11 or so miles. As usual I was stupidly early for fear of missing them so added an extra four miles at the start which gave me 16 miles all told when I finished back at the Hilton. Having set off up Basin Road at 9mm I felt I definitely wouldn’t be able to keep with the 8mm group but lo as they came past me and I joined them I discovered I could and it was fine. Chatting to Joe helped and I was surprised to discover we were actually 7.55mm. The last hour for them was a marathon paced section of 7.10mm so once they geared up for this I dropped back and joined the group behind who were doing 8.15mm. This was fine until the wind decided to change direction as we went up the cliffs towards Rottingdean and I began to conk out somewhat. Of course once we turned back towards Brighton on the Undercliff the wind was back to the original direction. Huff. By this stage the 8.15 group had disappeared into the distance but Rob, being a gentleman, stayed back with me. We had a few dicey moments when the sea decided to join us on the path but this was nothing after my Christmas drenching. Although my pace had dropped quite significantly we were still 9mm (ish) at the end and having done 5 or so miles to start with at sub 8 it wasn’t really surprising that I flagged with the additional fact that I haven’t run anywhere near 16 miles for ages and not after a mudfest xc. Those are my reasons.

After some low mileage weeks recently I was glad to have notched up 38 for this one. Cutting out the gym has definitely helped along with work forcing me to rest more. Next week will be a test as I am only in on Tuesday, Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Although I must make hay whilst the sun shines I must not go into old-style overtraining overload.

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