Archive for April 2014

Nothing to report   1 comment

As this Monday was a bank holiday due to Easter there was no track and having run significantly faster than I have for ages on the treadmill on Sunday I decided to do nothing.

No work on Tuesday meant I was able to go to Core & Stretch which was good as this is the class I really need to keep up. Having not been for about 3 weeks it was hard work and I could feel the loss of my abs of steel. Somehow my shoulders didn’t feel so bad though so I was able to downward dog for the requisite time for once.

Working Wednesday = no running.

Thursday was another double day so I set off on a MSR which turned out to be slightly less S than usual. In the evening when I went to HP I felt the effects of the slightly faster MSR so just did the session as a recovery jog.

Friday = More rest (though no work).

Saturday was a trip to Hove Park parkrun where I ran equally as badly as I have been at Preston Park.

Today I did the Bluebell 10k. I knew I would be truly awful so I made the wise and surprisingly easy decision not to wear my watch. This was good but for the fact that I had no idea how far I had run as I only spotted the 4k marker. Though this may also have been good as if I had known how far I had left to drag myself I may have totally lost the will to live (although I think I already had – sometime early this year). This was possibly the slowest 10k I have ever done. Somewhere around 53 minutes. I was definitely not trying at any stage. Actually I was trying – not to run – just to keep going and not sink to my knees and weep in the middle of the forest. As you may have noticed I have been suffering rather severely with gloom recently (a long recently). I don’t often mention it on here as people seem to prefer me to pretend to be happy(ish) but really it has reached the stage where I can hardly even muster up the energy to survive from day to day so I certainly have none spare for running. I hate being like this and this is a particularly bad episode but hopefully I will miraculously come out of it soon (though I’ve been hoping that for ages and as yet there is no light at the end of the tunnel).

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Posted 27/04/2014 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

Running (unsurprisingly)   Leave a comment

Monday. Track. I was let off work not quite early enough to get home and then go to track so cycled straight there thus arriving over an hour early. I decided I might as well start running. 5 or so miles later a few people began to arrive so I continued my slow jog by-now-exceptionally-long warm up. By the time the session began I had already run over 6 miles. I was also very hungry. The session was 8 x 800, pyramiding from 300t, 500f down to 600t 200f and back up. This would usually be a good session for me but having done such and extensive and slow paced warm up I didn’t have any fast twitch in me and the session turned out to be a recovery jog/track session/long run. I wasn’t particularly bothered by this as by the end I had clocked up 11 miles. I had been testing a watch for work that was supposedly faulty (it wasn’t) so if nothing else it got a good workout.

After Monday’s unintentional long run I wasn’t too worried that my next session would be a double day Thursday. Thus I set off in the morning for a medium distance slow run. It was fine, the weather was good, my pace was reasonably consistent and all was well. It was however very difficult to not go too far. I had an almighty battle with myself to stop at just over 9 miles rather than carrying on to around 13. I just about succeeded by reminding myself I wanted to do the evening session in Hove Park properly and this was less likely if I did a full lsr in the morning. I was glad of my hard fought victory come evening when we set off on 15 x Kenyan hills on the grass at Hove Park. This was followed by a downhill half lap with uphill grass sprint. Then 5 x uphill half laps. Luckily I had coincided with Duncan at this point so we were able to work together to keep going up the wiggly path and through to the end. We finished off with a fast downhill half lap and walked back up the grass to finish. Over all this was a good session and I put the effort in which justified my shortish run in the morning. So I ended up running 13 miles for the day anyway, just in two distinctly different sections.

On Saturday it was Preston Park parkrun’s anniversary so I cycled over in the hope of free cake and to applaud Duncan for being second in the men’s points competition. He was looking smart in a dress shirt and bow tie. I decided I would try and stick with him for the whole run this time rather than hoofing off way too fast then trying (and failing) to keep with him when he inevitably passed. This plan worked excellently up until 3k where we were on for 20.30. Alas I then just totally lost my motivation etc as usual and he continued onwards and I slowed down massively to drag home in a disappointing 21.10.

Although that is probably about the best I’ve done recently. I know what I need to do to improve (other than a brain transplant). I must do some long tempo runs. At the moment I either do 8.30mm paced long runs or short fast stuff like track and HP intervals. I am sorely missing sustained tempo efforts which is what I need. As I have gold membership at my gym and hardly go there any more since starting work I have decided I must go there and do an enforced tempo speed run on the treadmill. Yes it is unutterably boring but I cannot be trusted to push myself or pace myself on the road so this is what I must do. Good for mental strength too.

So off I set in filthsome weather to the gym this morning. I had a plan to do an hour of which 45 minutes would be at 13kmph at least. I set the treadmill to this speed to see what it felt like (treadmill on 2% incline as usual). It felt fine so I immediately changed my plan and decided after a few k at this speed to put it up to 15kmph (20 minute 5k pace) and see how long I could last. I wasn’t that surprised to discover I managed 6k. No matter how much I do actually trust myself that almost everything to do with my recent crapness is brain-related I still chose to believe that it might be something to do with my ankle. This however shows I can do it if the pace is enforced. I know treadmill is not like real running but at least my limbs can move fast enough and my lungs can hack it (didn’t even inhale which would have been a definite no a while ago). Hopefully now I’ve done this I might be able to keep myself going past 3k at the next parkrun. I doubt it though as I know I just can’t care and drag out any form of motivation currently.

I shall take a day off tomorrow I think after a 34 mile week with a good mix of speed, hills and long stuff.

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Christ’s Hospital Hooray   2 comments

Sorry, this post starts as always with Monday’s track session. I was still suffering from whatever the heck was wrong with me on Sunday so embarked upon Monday’s track session without my usual enthusiasm (if I can’t drum up interest for track then something is seriously amiss). The session should have suited me down to the ground as it was 10 x 300f, 100j 200f but I knew I wasn’t up for it so stuck with Duncan as much as possible as I knew then I would at least get in a good, consistent, well paced session. If there was ever such a thing as a recovery track session this was it (also I had nothing to actually recover from).

Alas I was working on Tuesday so yet again I couldn’t go to Core & Stretch. I can feel my core stretching (and not in a good way) as I type.

I planned to do an LSR on Wednesday but was assailed by the inability to do anything at all. I even forgot to buy spinach. A day best forgotten.

On Thursday whatever fog had descended in the preceding days had lifted so I set off on a nice long run of 14 miles. The weather was nice and sunny and not too windy so it was an excellent run apart from a small section where I had to run through the main Brighton seafront bit. Gah! I always make this mistake the first few times it is sunny and vaguely warm. I managed to keep my pavement rage to a minimum and vowed not to make this mistake again (even though obviously I will). Even with this slight obstacle the run was pretty well paced for me. The extra day’s rest and having not actually done anything hard for a while this run felt easier than normal along with the all encompassing gloom having left (in fact this was the main factor).

As I hadn’t done a long run for a while I thought I should do a recovery run on Friday knowing that I had Christ’s Hospital Relays on Saturday. Thus I ran 3.5 miles nice and slowly.

On Saturday morning I watched the Brighton Marathon highlights programme and spotted Rob and I behind some woman called Paula Radcliffe who seemed to be being interviewed and photographed for some reason.

Fame at last! Though almost obscured by some woman

Fame at last! Though almost obscured by some woman

I love Christ’s Hospital Relays as each leg is a mere 2.1 miles and the course is flat and road. This is always one of my top 3 races of the year. A great day out. This year didn’t disappoint. The weather was warm(ish) and dry and not too windy so I was looking forward to putting in a good run as I knew I was in the right frame of mind to get on with it and run well. I even did the full lap as a warm up when usually I bail out after about 500m. I was on first leg for the senior B team and then second leg for the non scoring team. This meant I would have to finish pretty speedily to have time to swap numbers and take over from Fiona who is in no way slow. I think this added pressure helped me speed off like an absolute maniac (no change there) and reached 1 mile in 6.20. Ooops. I continued however and kept the effort up but due to windiness and the inevitable slowing down the second mile was 6.52. Hmmmmm what a surprise, me doing some bad pacing.

Completing leg one

Completing leg one

Anyway I finished my first leg and set Fiona C and Rob to work changing my number over as my fingers never work post run. This complete I had around 20 seconds before Fiona J arrived and I was off on my second leg. I was somewhat pooped ‘tis fair to say. However I was pleased to reach 1 mile in 6.52 and managed to hold the pace reasonably well for a 7.08 second mile. It seems consistency can be found when I start knackered.

Handing over to Fiona C my fellow double legger

Handing over to Fiona C my fellow double legger

I was pleased with my first leg time of 13.28 (although I know I should be sub 13 really) having not run anything even vaguely speedily for a long time and thought my second leg time of 14.22 was OK too considering the miniscule recovery time and stabbing myself panic stricken whilst trying to swap numbers. I was pleased that my two legs were out of the way within half an hour and I could then relax and watch the senior men’s race.

Arena men preparing for world domination

Arena men preparing for world domination

The day was as excellent as I had hoped. We had a good Arena contingent out as usual and it is good to watch people running who I don’t usually see as they are many miles ahead of me.

The full Arena posse (almost)

The full Arena posse (almost)

An excellent finish to the week after an awful start.

The good, the bad and the 10k   1 comment

Having had a good track session in Duncan’s group last week I thought I would go with him again this week, I’m nowhere near in the right shape to stick with the faster group at the moment. This turned out to be an excellent decision as the first part of the session was a timed 1k, something which I would not pace well if left to my own devices. Duncan took us smoothly round in 4.12. 3 x 300 metres later then it was a run-as-far-as-you-can in 4.12 the idea being we should get well past 1k. We managed round 1125m thanks again to Duncan’s pacing. Another 3 x 300 then disaster! Duncan had to pull out as he had a crampy calf. That meant that only Rob and I remained. Of the two of us I am the better pacer (oh dear God). Thus I decided to take the reins and attempt to pace us on the second run-as-far-as-you-can in 4.12. We are both the masters of inconsistent pacing and giving up too easily so it was actually good for me to take up pacing duties as I couldn’t give up and had to be vaguely sensible to try and help Rob. I think it was OK, it felt reasonably fast but even (ish) paced and Rob zoomed past me at the end as he was in charge of timing the 4.12. We went about 1100m this time which was good for our second go and with only my nowhere-near-Duncanesque pacing. As Rob had beaten me in the 4.12 he was to set off 50 m ahead of me and I had to attempt to chase him down. I knew this was doomed as he will always be able to outsprint me as soon as I get anywhere near him and this was indeed the case. In the end he stopped as 600m of this nonsense was plenty as an end to a good session. As I had arrived ridiculously early having come straight from work I ended up doing 8 miles for the evening. The session was excellent though and I was very pleased with my work rate and effort and dragging along of Rob. He worked v hard too which is good as we hope to get down to sub 20 minute parkrunning soon.

On Tuesday I was able to go to Core & Stretch having not been for three weeks. I could definitely tell! Good to be there though. Unfortunately I can’t go again this week but soon I should have Tuesdays off so I can get back to going weekly.

On Wednesday it was the last Prom Run of the winter season so I decided to join the posse as I thought I could throw in a few fast sections to check out my possible shape for Sunday’s 10k. I dragged Rob along with me (poor man). We managed an almost-mile at 7mm pace then I charged off on a kilometre section where I managed 6.20-6.10 mm pace. This was pleasing though of course I know I couldn’t keep it up for more than a mile at the moment but good to know I can still do it. A solid 7.5 miles for the bank.

On Thursday I went to HP. This was a mistake as I was totally knackered from hard runs on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. Sensibility fail though I hadn’t really considered the possibility that I would be tired. Almost immediately I realised the futility of attempting to do the session properly so turned it into a recovery jog with walk sections. Only 4 miles so acceptable as a recovery run.

On Saturday I went to Preston park for parkrun as it was Jacko’s 100th run. The park was gearing up for the Brighton Marathon Mini Mile races so it was interesting to run the course surrounded by barriers and people testing PA systems etc. I was only ever going to take this run easy and jogged home in just under 23 minutes. I hoped this would mean I could do well on Sunday even though I knew really that I wouldn’t as I just don’t really care about racing at the moment.

So today I set off bright and early with Andy to the Brighton Marathon 10k that started at the ungodly time of 8.30am at Preston Park. We met Rob at the baggage trucks then went for a tiny warm up. Somehow as we were hanging around by the start we got ushered together for a photo with the mayor. Andy sprinted over to get in on the action. I think perhaps we were mistaken for speedies as we were standing at the elite start at that point. With absolutely no preamble or warning that I could hear suddenly we were off! As the 10k was obviously just an aside to the marathon there were no k markers and we reached the 2 mile marker after 4 minutes which meant it was of course that of the marathon route. This was OK as obviously I knew this wasn’t two miles but I really think there should have been k markers for the 10kers. They could have been on different coloured card so as not to be mistaken for marathon markers. There was also no information given about well anything really. Must… not…

Anyway I set off too fast as usual and did the first 3 miles in 6.30, 6.40 and 6.59. I then slowed down massively and crawled home in 44.28 which is truly awful. There is no reason for this other than I don’t have any motivation or interest in racing at the moment. It was a shame as the course was good. Wide, empty and plenty of space.

Ummmm where are the other 1399 runners?

Ummmm where are the other 1399 runners?

Although I actually walked across the line and was utterly unimpressed with myself I was just happy to have got the run done and am not dwelling on it as I would have done in the past. I was crap. The End.

Official evidence of rubbishness

Official evidence of rubbishness

At least having finished at the marathon finish we were able to easily mosey over and watch the marathoners running up St James’ Street then coming back from Rottingdeanwards at around 12 miles. Rob managed to photo a few Arenas who were all looking strong. I then walked home all the way along the route to 16 miles where I turned off to confront an ambulance and collapsed runner. There are probably still people out there now but alas I cannot see through the buildings opposite. I know that I shall be cycling through a sea of water bottles and gel wrappers tomorrow though. Actually last year the road sweepers did a good job of unwelding all the detritus and I’m sure they will do the same again this year.

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