Archive for July 2014

Running out   Leave a comment

I was supposed to have visited my sister at the weekend but an unexpected lightning induced migraine on Saturday morning put paid to that along with parkrun. I went bouldering on Sunday when I should have been taking part in an off road 10k in The Tarrant Valley. At least it was some form of exercise as I felt like I hadn’t done anything for ages (mainly because I hadn’t).

Having been unable to go away at the weekend it meant that I could change my gym visit to Monday. I explained to Matt what I wanted to achieve (getting my thigh muscles back which have disappeared of late) and what sorts of things I felt like I would actually do for longer than a few weeks and he set me up with the following (from memory so I might have missed something out):


Leg press. Leg Extension.

Things with Weights:

Lunges. Hip Raises. Calf Raises.


Squat Jumps. Single Leg Squats.

Matt made me do plenty of each to make sure I was doing them properly and/or to make me unable to descend the stairs later (who makes the changing rooms at a gym two floors up?)

Although it didn’t occur to me at the time (clever clogs) having done that in the morning probably explained why I was pretty terrible at track in the evening (along with migraine ‘hangover’). The session was (2 x) 1k tempo, 1 min, 1k fast, 1 min, 4 x 300. It was very hot as well but normally I would have at least been able to pull something out of the bag for the 300s but alas it was not to be today.

Feeling suitably buoyed with enthusiasm to redevelop thighs of steel I decided I would go to the gym before work on Tuesday to get stuck in to my new regime. I thought it would be a good idea to leave my favourite machine ‘til last. The leg press. It was not as by the time I had done everything else I was unable to complete even one rep on the specified weight (220lbs) and even when I took it down three notches I still couldn’t budge it so I had to conclude I was a fool (an easy conclusion for me of course) and that saving the best for last doesn’t work in this instance.

As I am still off running I thought I would rest on Wednesday morning as I was going bouldering with my work colleagues in the evening so needed to have a bit of leg left so I didn’t end up floundering atop the duck for the whole night (obviously I was bound to be beached whaling it up there at some stage). It was exceptionally busy. I managed my first mint (on the duck) and did a few others I hadn’t managed before so it was a successful evening over all even though really hot and full (of annoying, thoughtless and downright dangerous unattended children).

On Thursday I made the brilliant decision to go for an easy run at midday in the 28 degree sunshine. I don’t mind doing a bit of easy running for fitness but I have no desire to race or put any effort in. This run was rather too hot though and I can’t say I enjoyed any of it. I’m hoping if I don’t do much running I might suddenly rediscover the desire to do it. It hasn’t happened yet… I chose to run earlier as I was going bouldering with Lydia in the evening as a change from HP Intervals. An annoying hip flexor (can’t blame it after all that gymming and bouldering) meant I couldn’t do a few things but I knew that it was because of that rather than defaulting to my historical mode of it being ‘because I’m rubbish’.

Friday meant another trip to the gym before work and this time I made sure I did the leg press first and managed to do the requisite 3 x 8 reps at the specified weight. I then tried to space the thighy things out a bit by interspersing them with the calf raises, hip raises etc. This worked as I managed to do everything I was supposed to and even got the bar down off the stand this time without assistance (though I couldn’t move the other one down to hold on to whilst single leg squatting but this isn’t so important as I just balanced by holding on to the sides of machines instead).

On Saturday I jogged Preston Park parkrun with Joe (until he sped off to overtake Duncan – they are fighting for first place in the points competition) and Rob which was pleasant. In the afternoon I went bouldering with Lydia and managed a few more mints. As usual I didn’t take in to account the new gym regime and the fact I’d already been bouldering three times so got a bit annoyed that I felt so tired and weak.

Today I have watched two Commonwealth Games marathons and shall be watching the track stuff this afternoon whilst allowing my poor hammered limbs to recover a bit.

Running (early)   2 comments

Monday as always meant track. This week it was the dreaded 800s. As soon as Bob says 800 I want to sprint from the track never to return. Of course I didn’t do this but wept internally as Bob told us we would be doing 8 x 800. After setting the pace on the first 800 we then had to do this again for the remaining 7 reps but each time starting approximately 10 metres further back. Due to the beauty of my Garmin and its inability to time stuff I have no idea if we were successful at any stage. Once again I ended up running with Mal having dropped off the back of the faster group pretty early on. Mal is just being polite as he could easily have stuck with them throughout. Anyway I tried to keep with him but as he was keeping with me it probably wasn’t that telling. We kept gathering and dropping people each rep finishing with Mal storming ahead on the last rep with Rob (who joined us just for this rep) and I trailing behind (though I ended up trailing behind Rob too).

I didn’t do anything on Tuesday as I knew I had Phoenix 10k on Wednesday evening. I did it. The end. Oh sorry, this is supposed to be a blog so I suppose I have to tell you what I did. I hoped I might be able to run around 42 minutes as at Worthing though I already knew this wasn’t going to happen. I’m really not motivated to race and haven’t done any speed endurance specific training so it could only really ever had ended this way. I started off reasonably well and made it to around 4k in 40 minute(ish) pace.

Approx a k before I totally ground to a halt

Approx a k before I totally ground to a halt

Alas from then on I got progressively slower and couldn’t find any motivation or enthusiasm to try and speed up again. Tara caught me at around 8k so I stayed with her to the finish making sure we drew (on gun time at least).

Stalking Tara to the line

Stalking Tara to the line

Tara got a pb which had nothing to do with me but perhaps I shall pretend it did Rob-style to make me feel better for my utterly rubbish performance.

A small selection of Arenas post race. Only I look like I have just run a marathon on the sun.

A small selection of Arenas post race. Only I look like I have just run a marathon on the sun.

On Thursday I tried to do Hove Park intervals properly but discovered almost immediately that I had no strength so it rapidly turned into a jog with even slower jog recovery sections.

At the moment I have no desire to do any sort of racing. I do still want to run, not least because it helps keeps me nearer to sanity, but I have no motivation to push myself. I still get annoyed at being so much slower than last year but can’t seem to drag myself out of this pit of despond to do anything about it. Actually that is a lie as I think in part my slowness is down to not having been to the gym for ages and having lost a lot thigh and calf muscle. My eating has been bad recently too after a spell of unidentified nausea and loss of appetite. I am aware of what I need to do though so I shall get on the case. I have booked a programme update at the gym next Friday where I shall ask for leg exercises galore. I need my thigh muscles back! Not least because when I try and put things on my thighs when sitting down they fall through. I used to think I wasn’t to be a slim endurance runner type but now I am (well not the actual running part of course) I don’t want to be. Stupid grass.



Running (late)   Leave a comment

Monday. Track. 4 x (3 x 500). I think I ran pretty consistently though I did get split off from Caroline and the speedier group so I can’t have been that consistent… anyway it was an acceptable session.

On Tuesday I went for the traditional (not sure it counts as tradition yet as I’ve only done it a few times) 3 x King George VI. I met Rob at Hove Park so hopefully between us we managed to pace the three ascents more evenly as I tend to get progressively slower each time. I seem to recall it was a pleasant sunny day. I definitely recall falling over like a clumsy fool on the way down Woodland Drive. I somehow managed to graze the top of my right shoulder so it must have been quite a good plummet. As I was in good company this run was less horrible than usual, probably helped by not going so fast (not fast but too fast) up the hill the first time as I would unintentionally if I were on my own.

On Wednesday it was time for vet’s league again. Yippee! This time I decided I wouldn’t do a long run in the morning and also that I would forgo the 5000 on the track in the evening so I could relax a bit knowing I wouldn’t have to do the long jump practically simultaneously. Luckily the weather was quite pleasant again, sunny and warm and not stupidly windy like the first event. The first event was the 800 metres. Although there was a time a few years ago when I was reasonably OK at this distance I am now not and this ended up just being a jog all the way round. Oh well. A nice little warm up for the 200. I love the 200 but alas I am not even any good at that either at the moment due mainly to my recent accidental weight aka muscle loss. I used to have good strong thighs but they are a bit weedy at present. I enjoyed it anyway and was in my usual position of second after the speedy B&H lady. Next it was on to the long jump. I was looking forward to doing this without the panic of wondering if I should attempt to jump before or after the 5000. I actually got my toe on the board for the first time ever!

Photograhic evidence of my toe actually touching the board!

Photograhic evidence of my toe actually touching the board!


Having a little sit down

Having a little sit down

Relief after 2cm victory (over the lady standing behind me)

Relief after 2cm victory (over the lady standing behind me)

Thanks to Emily for letting me steal her photos without her knowledge.

It helped as I managed 4.05 which is my only foray into 4 metre territory this year (my best distance was 4.27 last year even way behind the board – again this year’s lack of thigh muscles). My next two jumps were progressively shorter but luckily I just won as the person in second place jumped 4.03 on her last jump. Close!

Lastly it was the 4 x 200 relay. I only had to drag one unknown into my relay team this time. A man named Neil that Trevor had met earlier in the 200. He led off my non-scoring team, passing to Emily (way too young), on to Tara and then to me (not for the glory leg but so I don’t have the anxiety of having to pass on the baton). I felt like I ran much much better in this than the individual 200, helped by the rolling start. I closed down on the leader but she was so far ahead she still won by a good 20 metres, though I reckon I caught up around 50. Loved this race!

As we actually had a miniature team of 3 WHOLE ladies we even ended up 4th out of 5 in the team standings. Happy days.

On Thursday I made my usual mistake of thinking I’d be able to do the Hove Park intervals session in the evening. It immediately became obvious I could not so I just turned it into a little recovery jog. The joys of advancing age.

Having learnt my lesson (briefly) I decided I would do Preston Park parkrun on my way to work on Saturday as a second recovery jog so set out with the aim of jogging the whole thing which I did in 23 minutes dead.

Like Craig David (or was it God?) I chilled on Sunday. Except actually I went to work.

Meh   Leave a comment

Track attack! Well actually it was just normal but I felt I needed to get your attention. Obviously this week could never be as good as last week but I made sure I went in the group with Caroline as she is who I shall always try and keep with. The session this time was (3 x) 900, 700, 500, 300 with the last 300 of each rep being fast. Our group was massive for some strange reason so Caroline, Emily and I started a bit after the main bulk of the group so as not to get stuck (actually I was fine anyway as I was somewhat off the back but it meant more elbow room for Caroline and Emily). Although I wasn’t very close to Caroline at any stage I didn’t get significantly further behind as the reps progressed so success (perhaps).

On Tuesday I decided it was hill time again. This time it was 2 x King George and one time Millers Road for 11 miles altogether. I think the answer is combining the hills and long in one. Purely because I don’t really like either of these sorts of runs so it kills two birds with one stone.

Thursday was a break from the norm where I went out for a tempo 5 miler in the afternoon so I could watch Diamond League in the evening. I’d done enough hills on Tuesday so when I discovered that I had missed Kenyan Hills at Hove Park it was not a great loss.

I thought I should attempt to see if my legs could go fast on Friday as I don’t think they have for a long time so I went out for a short run with two (approx 1k) fast sections … which turned out not to be very fast.

On Saturday I wished to replicate last week’s successful parkrun but did not.

Hopefully next week shall start off better than this one ended.

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