Archive for October 2014

Insane in the Portslade   1 comment

I thought I’d better get back to the gym after a three week break as I am paranoid I shall lose my leg muscles again. I was pleased to discover I could do everything at the same weight as before so everything is ok. I was less pleased when I arrived at track in the evening and remembered it is difficult to run having been to the gym in the morning. Although I tried I was completely unable to keep with Mark and Rick in the 4 minutes kilometre group. This week we had to do the 1000 in 4 minutes then 2 x 500 in half the time minus 5 seconds so 1.55 in my case. As I couldn’t keep with Mark and Rick I had no idea of my pace except what my watch told me and I don’t think it’s very good on the track. Too many corners and not much real movement in a GPS sense. Bob confirmed this by telling Joel and I at the end that we were too erratic and thus had rendered our session useless. Ooops. Sorry Joel!

On Wednesday I was able to go to the Arena tempo run after last week’s bicycle breaking ruination. I had a plan to run at 7mm again this time with Joe but when it came down to it I just stayed at the back with Andy doing 7.45 – 8mm as he was tapering for Beachy Head marathon on Saturday. Thus it was a pleasant chat-speed run and a good solid 9 miles in the bank all told.

Thursday was a break from the norm with a visit to the wizard in the morning followed by an exercise class in the evening. I had been invited to try Insanity so I would then write about it for the West Hove Directory. Having done most sorts of classes going I thought it can’t be that hard. It was. It was like circuit training but continuous with only a 30 second rest every 4 revolutions of 3 different 30s exercises followed by a minute of “power” moves which seems mainly to be jumping. Obviously I got stuck in with gusto from the off which meant I was well and truly dead by about half way through (25 minutes or so). I began to massively rue thinking it would be a good idea to go to the gym on Monday (and was very glad I hadn’t been this morning). I reached a point where my legs just had nothing left so had to wibble about jellily for the second half. It was an excellent class but doesn’t mix well with gymming and running. Or it didn’t for me anyway. I could tell it was hard as I was already DOMSing before I’d even finished, so technically I suppose that’s just MSing. After crawling home I put my calf sleeves on my upper arms which had taken an almighty beating. Psychosomatic. Addict. Insane. Except there was quite clearly a reason for my all over brokenness.

On Friday I had planned to do a LSR but after the Insanity I had to cut it down to a SSR, partly for recovery, partly because I couldn’t be bothered to drag my sorry form any further.

Saturday meant parkrun. Obviously. I am still trying to make my way back down to sub 20.30 pre Brooks 10k. I managed to knock a tiny bit off my recent times with 20.49. I am hoping that, like the past, if I am consistent for a few weeks then I shall suddenly jump down by 30 seconds or so. The last 4 I have run have been within 7 seconds of each other which is really consistent for me so I’d better pull that sub 20.30 out of the bag soon.

This morning I joined a merry band of fellow Arenas on a LSR. It is so much easier to run with other people. It was stupidly windy in one direction which was still horrible but at least there were others to share the pain. 13 miles at an average 8.47mm, though the middle 8 were sub 8.30 (wind permitting).

All in all this was a good week with a variety of runs and strength things. Somehow I ran 40 miles.

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Insert witty title here   Leave a comment

Welcome. It’s Monday again. In blogland at least. So off I went to track. Once I arrived I heard we were doing the same as last week. Having not been there last week this was unhelpful so I enquired further. 6 x 1000m with 1 minute recoveries. This week it was to be the same but with 45 second recoveries. I hoped I could stick in the 4 minute k group so I joined Mark, Rick … and some others who I can’t remember (sorry people). Mark was nominated as pacer having a watch and some pacing skill. This was a bit mean making him do them all but it’s pointless me doing it. Anyway to cut a long story short he paced us well and all the reps were very close to 4 minutes with the slowest being around 4.07 for the last one. I as quite pleased that I managed to just about keep up. I hear we are doing the same again tomorrow so hopefully I can stick more closely to 4 minutes for each.

On Tuesday I took the opportunity to get a LSR under my belt in a brief window of OK weather. It was still rather windy but I managed to avoid the rain. It was indeed a long slow run. 13 miles.

I had planned to go to the Arena tempo run on Wednesday evening but due to unforeseen pedal-falling-off trauma on the way to work I couldn’t make it. This was slightly annoying but the weather was utterly awful so it wasn’t as much of a disaster as it could have been.

The above did mean that I had three rest days before Goodwood xc on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately this didn’t seem to help. I think I went off too fast then lost the will to live and jogged home like a pathetic sulking goit.

Setting off too fast at Goodwood

Setting off too fast at Goodwood

Loving the xc!

Loving the xc!

Finishing strongly. Anything to get it over with

Finishing strongly. Anything to get it over with.

Thanks to Tom Ulliot for the above photos.

Arenas post race

Arenas post race. Thanks Caroline for the photo.

Today was the turn of the Worthing 10k fun run. I entered this ages ago as I wanted to do a race where even if I wasn’t very good I’d still come relatively near the front. I needed the confidence boost. I had talked Joe into entering too and in fact it was perfect timing for him too as he has had a spell of races not going to plan. After collecting our numbers we went for a warm up to check out the start and finish (the complete opposite of what was on the race map and description). It was really very windy on the outward leg but if it must be windy that is the right way round. I had forgotten that there are always group warm ups at these sort of races. Joe, Andy and I party pooped it which was rather amusing as somehow we were right at the front under the nose of the warm up woman. After this brief torment was over we lined up on the start. The man said those who could run under 41 minutes could start at the front (such was the quality of the field). I started right on the line with Joe as I have been sub 40 (albeit once a loooooong time ago) and knew I would start faster than most anyway. Then it was time! I had set my watch, massively optimistically, to buzz when I strayed from 3.59 – 4.15 minutes per kilometre. After the first k I was already way outside this so I just glanced at my watch from time to time as it was on the average pace screen. As it was infernally windy I was struggling along at around 4.20-25 pace. As I’d started at the front I was able to count my position as ladies flooded past me. Except they didn’t. One girl passed me around 4k. I tried to stick with her but she was too strong into the wind. Once we turned at 5k on a horrible grassy stretch I was able to see there weren’t any ladies close behind so I was pretty confident I could keep second place now the wind was behind me. The lady in front was too far ahead to catch so I just tried not to let the gap grow any bigger. It was utterly boiling on the way back but as there was no wind I was much happier. There was an unmanned water station at around 7k so I hurled a cup over my head. The aim for this race was just to put in 100% effort throughout and I felt I was doing this. Overhearing a spectator saying “that woman is dead” as I passed by 9k was objective proof that I was indeed succeeding. Eyes shut was another indicator. I crossed the line in a rather slow 42.44 but having put in the effort this was irrelevant. I was very pleased. My plan had worked. A confidence building run.

Colecting my ridiculously massive trophy

Colecting my ridiculously massive trophy

The complete haul

The complete haul

Stupidly over-large trophy

Stupidly over-large trophy

In the afternoon I finished off the day with a spot of bouldering with Lydia.

An excellent end to a so-so week. 29 miles in total.

Posted 19/10/2014 by Isobel Muir in Arena 80 AC, Blog, Bouldering, Racing, Running, Track

Wind and rage   Leave a comment

Is it really time to write this sodding blog again already? Sigh.

The weather was stupid on Monday and after having got soaked, frozen and windswept cycling to and from Brighton in the morning I couldn’t face going to track in the evening, so I didn’t.

On Tuesday I felt like the laziest person ever and that I hadn’t run for years (1 day) so I went out for a slow 9. It was still rather windy but dry. I shouldn’t have gone along the seafront really as it would have been less windy but never mind.

I did nothing on Wednesday in the vain hope it might help me on Thursday even though I already knew (had self fulfilling prophecied myself) it was going to be cack.

The weather forecast for Thursday evening was dire with very strong winds and thunder and lightning. I hoped that Gary would be pacing something realistic that I could keep with and luckily Cathy and Dave were looking for around 42 minutes so Gary agreed to pace us.

The hardy souls preparing to do battle with the elements (at this stage just a severe wind)

The hardy souls preparing to do battle with the elements (at this stage just a severe wind)

All was going pretty well (albeit slowly) for the first 9k. I was averaging around 6.50mm and had plans to re-overtake Cathy over the last few laps. God had other ideas. Rumblings of thunder began and lightning appeared on the horizon … getting closer and closer. I knew I was in for an almighty soaking. Most people had already finished but I still had 3 laps to go. As I set off on my 23rd lap a MASSIVE bolt of lightning landed right on the end of my toe. Arg! I don’t normally mind thunder storms but I’m not usually outside surrounded by tall metal posts. I know I am prone to exaggeration (sorry y’all) but this was exceedingly close to death. My ears still don’t feel right now (Saturday afternoon).  The shock of this slowed me right down and then as I started the penultimate lap the rain started. Well it was more like someone had poured a bucket of ice chips over me (I didn’t do the ice bucket challenge so maybe it was karma). I was unamused. Obviously I ploughed on to the end but my pace dropped and I assumed a max sulk. Gary had fled, to save his hair no doubt, and I didn’t blame him in the slightest. I huffed home in a poor 42.45. Though even without this apocalyptic final k I would only have managed about 42.10 anyway. Another run to forget. Though until my ears go back to normal I can’t forget the lightning trauma.

On Friday I went out for a short slow run.

Having (supposedly) attained an average heart rate of 143bpm on Thursday I was told by Emily and Joe that I must aim for 190 at parkrun (this is the sort of average they reach when racing). 145bpm. Fail. Though I ran 6 seconds slower than last time when my average HR was 179 so I have no idea what this means other than my HR isn’t a reflection of my effort. I felt I was trying equally hard today. I think it is my lungs that are failing (and my brain of course). My poor legs have never been tested. Ever. Joe is going to wear my watch next week along with  his to rule out technological failure (though when I ran the consistent 179 a few weeks ago it must have been fine). This has reminded me why I got rid of my HR monitor last time.

One foot off!

One foot off!

My finishing time of 21.00 was originally gloom inducing due to the HR failure but then I realised all my recent runs have been consistently around this time so hopefully I shall knock a big chunk off soon as is (was, seeing as I haven’t done it for over a year) my usual style.

This morning (Sunday) I shunned the offer of the Hickstead Gallop to go out and do a LSR. Thankfully at around 6 miles I suddenly came out of the grip of the quite severe depression that has been dogging me for a week or so and felt normal (though I suppose technically this is not normal). This meant I was able to run better even though actually it makes no external difference it just makes the whole thing more bearable and I actually felt I wanted to do 13 miles when I have been struggling to force myself to do 10 recently. Phew. Long may it continue.

I finished off the week with a solid 39 miles dans le sac.

Too much (too young[old])   3 comments

Monday morning: Gym. Monday evening: Track. Bob was away so Steve was in charge which turned out to be excellent as paarlaufs were on the agenda. 500s and 300s. Six of each. I paired with Rick as he is about the same speed as me (especially on these as I am better at the short stuff). Nothing more to be said really other than I love paarlaufs.

On Tuesday I went MyRiding again. This time I decided to try and keep within the suggested RPM which meant I had to put my resistance down a bit sometimes. I am not very good at making my legs go fast (ditto whilst trying to do fast feet at track). I just about managed to stay in the right zone most of the time. Cycling to and from involves two big up hills so a good workout all told.

The first Wednesday of October meant it was back to the seafront for winter tempo runs. As there is a lot of work being done on the prom by the West Pier we took a different route to the Peace Statue and then all the way along to Carat’s Café. The run was broken up into 3 sections of approximately 2.5 miles each. This was the perfect distance to be able to keep up my effort knowing that there was a brief rest at the end as we regrouped (brief as I was near the back of the group). I was very pleased to discover that I managed the full run at a consistent 4.22(ish)mpkm. Over all this run totalled 9 miles including the jog to and from the start. The gym and LSRs are beginning to kick in I think.

Even though I had run well on Wednesday I thought I had better get out for the planned LSR on Thursday morning anyway. I managed 12.5 miles but I could definitely feel yesterday’s run and it was quite a struggle, especially as I made it too hilly. In the evening I went to the Hove Park session and put in some effort. Unfortunately regardless of effort my legs were shot so even though I felt like I was going fast I obviously wasn’t as I was right at the back. This session was hills hills hills which was excellent as Steve made us do some hills as a warm up. 21 all together. My poor legs.

I rested on Friday but one day wasn’t enough and parkrun rolled around once more to be run on tired legs. This week I decided to go by heart rate as that is after all why I bought a HR watch. I set it to buzz to keep me in the target zone of “speed” which is 80-90% effort, 166 – 187bpm. This I did with an average of 179bpm. Unfortunately this did not equate to a speedy run. 20.50 which was about the same as when I ran last time. I shall attempt to run at a higher heart rate next time though I was already nearing 90% if the technology is to be believed. Oh well, if I explode at least I shall know I tried for once.

Today was the return of the Lewes Downland 10 Mile race though this time I would not be racing it rather just using it as a training run to force myself to do some hills and off road both of which I don’t like. I trotted home a mere 9 minutes slower than last year. I didn’t enjoy any of it bar the last 400 metres downhill on grass but I’m sure it has done me some good. Although currently I just feel knackered.

I must now attempt to rest a bit in preparation for Thursday’s track 10k.

44 miles for the week.

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