Archive for November 2014

Some long, some short, some hilly   Leave a comment

Oh what a difference a week makes. Track this time was freezing, bleak and not fun. I was scared I was going to slip over on the icy section even though Bob had tailored the session to make this a slower paced 200m. I did around 8 faster 200s on the non-slippery part but my right calf was unhappy, probably as a consequence of Plumpton on the preceding Saturday, so I bailed out after this. How very sensible of me.

I knew the tweaky calf was because I was doing fastish 200s so I felt confident that I would be fine for a long one on Tuesday. It was a fine day indeed for it was the return of The Three Ashmeigos. Rob, Danny and I. None of us were actually wearing Ashmeis but The Two Karrimors and the Thorloer doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Anyway whatever we were called it meant I managed 14 miles in pleasant(ly compressed) company, the middle 8 at a faster pace than I could ever manage on my own. Around 8.15mm. Thanks to Danny for setting the pace.

On Wednesday I thought it was time I went to the Arena tempo run. I knew Rick was going so at least there would be someone I could just about keep up with. The forecast was for a dry evening with light winds. Lie! It started off generally dank and with a light minge (as my mother called that sort of drizzly/misty rain – bloody northerners) but this soon turned into proper rain. Very soggy indeed. Also rather windy in both directions. Again. Not a particularly great run but a tempoish section through the middle and 8.5 miles over all to add to the bank.

Thursday was another long run. Turns out I was knackered. Dragged Rob on a very slow run averaging 9mm. He was only doing a short one so nice and easy for him. I ended up doing 12 miles ruing the tempo run of the night before. A good block of three runs though. It all helps (probably).

The next thing I knew it was time for parkrun again. I set my watch to race myself from last week. I lost. Or last week’s me won perhaps? I was pleased to reasch 2k in 7.58. First time under 8 minutes for ages. It obviously didn’t help though as I ended up running 20.30. This was fine though and I a blaming the youth who started talking to me with 500m to go for my lost 11 or so seconds. He was telling me how easy it was as I was expiring. He then took off pretending to be an aeroplane for the last 50m or so. Huff. Anyway it was OK and as long as I remain consistent ( anything within 20 seconds of myself is consistent in my book) all is well.

Today it was the Crowborough 10k. I was always just going to use it as enforced hell (Freudian typo) training and the chance to run through a ford twice. This I duly did finishing in 49 dead.

I then went climbing. I was feeling brave/reckless and although I wasn’t particularly good I gave it a go and managed to smash the living heck out of my elbows and knees and even managed to headbuttt the duck twice which I have never done before.

The Duck. Pure Evil.

The Duck. Pure Evil.

I also slid gracefully down the slab and managed some interesting landing manoeuvres, one involving an involuntary miniature cartwheel/arab spring. Despite being minutely concussed it was good and a fitting ending to the day.

49 miles for the week.

Posted 30/11/2014 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

I’d just like to thank God…   Leave a comment

Howdy y’all! As is tradition I shall start with Monday and our track session. This Monday however was not traditional though we couldn’t have known what was to come as we set off on a session of 8 -12 x 500 parlaufs. I was in the 11 sets groups and partnered with Mark. The weather was really unpleasant. Very cold and really really raining. It wasn’t windy though so thank heaven for small mercies. As you know I love parlaufs (not so much 300s) so I set off with a vengeance, though a sensible vengeance. Mark went first which I hadn’t realised meant I got the short cut recovery. This wasn’t planned, I set him off first as I trusted him to count the 11. (Which of course meant I counted all mine easily.) Anyway to cut a long story short we were all infected by some weird bad-weather-related madness where we all began cheering each other on and getting all American and emotional. It was brilliant! I think this may well have been my favourite session ever! I neither know nor care how well I ran. Well I’d imagine, as fired with Arena-love and madness.

On Wednesday I had planned a long run but felt like I might wimp out so enlisted the support of Danny who was going out early. I ran with him for the middle 8 miles which meant I managed a much more pleasant than on my lonesome 13 miles. Thanks Danny!

On Wednesday I did something similar but with a hill or two and the company of Rob for the middle 5 miles. This meant another pleasant long run with two large hills in the bag.

I knew that I was on for a good parkrun this week so I set off for Preston Park with a spring in my step – or whatever the cycling equivalent is. As always there was no-one anywhere near the start line so I started smack bang in the middle of it. I managed to get Jacob to join me but otherwise everyone was a good metre or so back. I’m not really fast enough to be there but as no-one else will go there I think stuff it they’ll just have to run over me. This week however I was still in second place after 300 metres and I hadn’t even gone out too fast. Very odd. Of course I was then overtaken by many people but still felt I was on for a good time. Rick shot past me after around 500 metres in a reversal of our usual positions. I caught him up at about 3k and managed to get ahead. I had set my watch to keep me in the “sprint” zone 188+ but didn’t get into it once. I kept up the effort throughout though and stormed (ish) home in 20.19 which is a considerable improvement on anything (barring track 5000) I’ve done this year. All the long runs kicking in I think.

In the afternoon it was time for my undoubted worst race of the year. Plumpton xc. This race is held in the grounds of Plumpton Agricultural College and is a total mud/bog/cow poo fest of hellish proportions.

IMG_5457-0.JPGThanks Mike for this excellent photo

However as I was still fired with post-parkrun pleasedness I set off, determined to actually run the ruddy thing. Usually I just sulk my way round like a massive immature goit which means it takes even longer and I end up consumed with rage. I started quite far back which meant once it cleared a bit I was overtaking people all the way which was good. Although it was still horrible, boggy, wet, long lumpy grass, electric fences, unexpected hay bales, seeing the leader 500m ahead, I didn’t mind it at all. Good lord! I have truly gone insane! Hooray! The new course was well over 5k and took flipping ages to finish even putting in full effort. 26.16 by my watch. I managed to out “sprint” someone on the home straight. Quite a feat as it is uphill and boggy as hell. I think I may have resembled a cartoon character as I windmilled ineffectually. Though I managed to overtake her so it must have been in some way effective.

The Ladies Team

The Ladies Team

An excellent day over all even though everything now smells of cow.

Shoes of poo and socks of bog

Shoes of poo and socks of bog

This morning (Sunday) it was out again bright and early for yet another LSR. Rick picked me up at 7.30 and we gathered up Neil en route to meeting Danny and Gary, then Steve B then Mike then finally Rob who was a late arrival just before Rick and I peeled off to make our run a solid 10 miler.

An excellent week over all. 48 miles.

Posted 23/11/2014 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

A teensy bit of running   1 comment

So it was that I found myself once again at the track. This week the marvel that is Marc Bonaldi was back from holiday so I had a jolly time warming up with him as he regaled me with tales from his travels. We then had to survive Robin’s hardcore warm up regime that involves too much sprinting, bending down and springing back up for my liking. Finally it was time for the session proper. This week’s track session was a slight permutation on last week. This time it was 600m with 30s rest then 800m at the same speed as the 600 but with a fast 200 tacked on the end. As always Rick took on the pacing duties. Once again he was excellent and consistently brought us home in 2.30 for the 600s and 3.15 for the 800s. I didn’t do as well as last week but did manage to stay vaguely in touch throughout so a good session over all.

I then rested for 4 days due to a combination of work getting in the way and the development of a cold that made me feel too feeble to get out for a run.

On Saturday I wanted to get a good confidence building parkrun under my belt to set me up for Sunday but unfortunately this did not happen at all. I was testing out some new socks which fell down as soon as I started my warm up jog. This was most annoying. However this turned out to be the least of my worries as when I began to run properly I developed a massive stitch which scuppered any hopes I had of a good time or good run of any sort. After the world’s greatest positive split I practically walked home in 22.35. One to forget.

parkrun splits

The one up side to the parkrun stitch failure was that I had expended no energy so arrived at the Brighton 10k on Sunday well rested after many days off in the week. I had developed a rather sore throat/sinuses and drippy nose but I felt it was more an annoyance than something that would slow me down. I had absolutely no plan and hadn’t even thought about the race other than a vague sense that if I did under 43 minutes I would be pleased. My watch was set simply to give me my k splits with the front screen showing my average pace. As this race is always very crowded it took 35 seconds to cross the start line. This time I remembered to start my watch as I crossed the start line not on Go or at a random point in between. The start was slow as always but this time I tried to keep sensible and not waste energy or become enraged with trying to weave. After the turn at 1.5k ish I started to push on a bit when space allowed. The weather was perfect for running and I was actually running rather well (not so much in speed but in calmness and brain-cooperation). Time was passing reasonably well and soon I was on the way back to the finish line.

Looking like an actual runner

Looking like an actual runner. Thanks Sam for taking a usable photo! 

Excellent consistency (for me) and sub 7s all the way!

Excellent consistency (for me) and sub 7s all the way!

Having remembered to check how long it had taken to cross the start line (around 35 seconds) I had forgotten by the time I reached the finish so thought I had done worse than I really had. I looked at my watch and was surprised to see 42.05 residing there. I crossed my fingers for 41.59 as the official chip time.

Success!

Success!

On the way home I bumped into Daz who was running the Brighton marathon route as he wasn’t able to run it at the time due to injury. It was good for him to run on the closed off 10k route as it made it seem more like the real thing. He had gathered Andy W (who had just finished the 10k) and Stephen Whitehurst to run with him. I cycled along with them for a bit until they turned up Grand Avenue to follow the correct marathon route.

Andy and I giving Daz a bit of support on his marathon journey

Andy and I giving Daz a bit of support on his marathon journey. Roads closed and cones out for the true marathon effect

Although I only managed a lowly 17 miles for the week it ended on a positive note. Onwards and upwards from here please.

Oh! I also went climbing this afternoon and finally cracked the upside down dog’s bum that had be thwarting me for weeks. Managed quite a few new greens too. Splendid.

Posted 16/11/2014 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

Miles and boom   Leave a comment

Monday Monday, so good to me. This week at least. It was time for track again. I hoped we wouldn’t be doing more permutations on 1k reps and thankfully we weren’t. Though the thought of 12 x 600m didn’t particularly fill me with joy either. However I tried to stick with Rick in the time honoured tradition. He paced us with great precision as always, completing each rep in 2.20 (approx 3.50k pace). As we only had 30 seconds rest this was quite a hard session but I managed to keep with Rick throughout and towards the end felt stronger and went slightly ahead with Kerry. Our group started with around 10 members but by the last 5 or so it had dwindled to 4. I was pleased with my session. Excellent consistency (thanks to Rick) and I was able to speed up a bit for the last few reps (no silly business though).

On Wednesday the Arena tempo run turned into a slowish too long run after Steve and I went back to find some runners who had told him not to wait for them and had thus gone a different way meaning we ran an extra 1.5 miles which made 10.5 for the evening. I was so knackered I got a lift home with Steve for the last 100 metres. It started off as normal, though as it was fireworks night there was a lot of booming and crashing and general jump-inducing unexpected noises and lights.

It had been my plan to do a LSR on Thursday but after Wednesday evening I bailed out at 9 miles.

Saturday was my 200th parkrun and I was determined to get closer to 20.30. I did not. Well actually I did. By nine whole seconds. 20.40. Blast! I had set my watch to try and keep myself in the “speed” HR zone. Unfortunately I only managed to be here for around 75% of the run with the rest falling in the  “endure” zone below. I don’t know how to push myself more. Practice I suppose. I don’t feel like I am about to expire (because I am obviously not) yet still can’t override the other part of my mind that is happy in the comfortable(ish) zone.  At least this time my average HR was lower for a faster time. 20.40 with HR mainly in the 160s compared to 20.56 with an average HR of 179 a few months ago.

Happy 200th!

Happy 200th!

This morning it was out with some of the Arena posse for another long one. The weather was good for once so the run to just past the Marina and back was ok with no wind or rain. Luckily Rick was out to stay at a sensible speed and keep me going in the last few miles where I had somewhat conked out. Just under thirteen miles for 43 total for the week.

Running. Raining. Ruling.   Leave a comment

I’m going to break with tradition and start with Monday’s run. This week was once again a session based on 1000m reps. 7 x 1k with 1 minute recovery. Having not been to the gym in the morning I felt confident that I could stick more closely to the 4 minute target throughout this time. It seems I was successful. Mark and Rick paced the first five and I did the last two. My watch said I was doing 3.56 pace though I think I might have been going a bit fast but I kept the pace (whatever it was). On the last one my watch lost the plot and said we were doing 3.27 k pace which was obviously utter tosh so I had to try and keep up whatever pace I was actually doing for the whole rep. I did. I should imagine it was consistent with the rest as everyone else was around and about as before. Anyway I felt fine and didn’t think I petered out in the last few like last week.

Tuesday brought with it an 11 mile hilly LSR. Splendid. Though as it was solo it felt like I was getting nowhere and it took forever.

On Wednesday I had ideas of doing a medium distance run in the morning then the Arena tempo in the evening. Then I saw sense and didn’t. Instead I hoped to be able to pull a more tempo-ish tempo run out of the bag in the evening. Luckily the group consisted of no-one tapering or taking it easy (except the speedies whose taking it easy is still faster than my tempo pace) so it meant I was able to stick with Simon, Rick and Steve (not Steve) for the majority. Rick took us out for a very speedy mile from the King Alfred to the Peace Statue, sub 7, which was good.

The average pace for the whole thing was 4.46 minute ks but this included my slow jog there and back so I think the actual tempo part (6 miles) was around 7-7.30mm. Sorry for the mix of metric and imperial!

On Thursday I set out for a flat LSR. Felt pretty good and time not quite as draggy as Tuesday. I did my usual seafront course which is 13 miles.

Saturday meant a special parkrun. Joe’s 50th run but more importantly Emily and I decided to dress as cats.

Cat #1

Cat #1

Cat #2

Cat #2

Preston Park is not into dressing up so we knew we’d be alone. When we arrived I saw someone dressed as Where’s Wally but this turned out to be Sevenoaks Running Club. Oops. I had optimistically and stupidly set my watch to race the track 5k I did a while ago where I actually ran properly for once and finished in 20.10. There were too many people in the way and I soon lost the will to live so then had to endure my watch telling me I was being massively beaten by my former self. Though it gave up pretty quickly and remained silent until it buzzed around 400m from the end to signify that my former self had finished. Through a combination of reasons I slouched home in a crap 21.26. At least my HR monitor worked this week to cement the fact I obviously hadn’t tried very hard. Average 160bpm.

This morning I set off with Rick to join the Arena posse for another LSR. It was rather windy and wet and I am feeling quite tired after a week of two LSRs.

A nice panorama from Shoreham Arm (thanks Joe for letting me steal and use your photo without your permission)

A nice panorama from Shoreham Arm (thanks Joe for letting me steal and use your photo without your permission)

Arena posse looking disheveled after the wave in the above panorama breached the arm and drowned them

Arena posse looking disheveled after the wave in the above panorama breached the arm and drowned them (thanks again to an unwitting Joe)

It was a nice run (apart from the running part) with a good group. Rick and I bailed at the Lagoon on the way back which still gave us just under 10 which was plenty for me taking me to 52 miles for the week.

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