Archive for January 2015

Fartlekcellence   Leave a comment

As the weather was very very cold on Monday I feared would track would be iced off so I decided to make the most of a day off and do NOTHING. How very odd. The track session was moved to Preston Park but I find it a little too dark and slippery and didn’t want to risk falling over.

Due to the high likelihood of the lack of track on Monday I had already planned to do a 800m track reps session with Rob on Tuesday. Unfortunately some massive goit decided it would snow in the environs of the track and Rob’s house. As there was not a flake here I was unaware of this until Rob texted me. Harumph. After much phoning and checking and the like I thought I’d just go and do a fartlek session on the seafront as everything was completely normal and unsnowed upon here. It was merely a case of choosing which one I wanted to do. I decided on listening to an interval playlist thing that Rob had given me ages ago. I remembered being unable to get my legs to go fast enough to keep up with it last time so thought it was time to give it another go. Also it was only 44 minutes long. I still found that I couldn’t get my legs to go fast enough when he told me but I think this might have been in part to too much concentrating. I sped up and slowed down when prompted. I think I missed a sprint section when someone phoned but otherwise I did as I was told. I was pleased with this run and it was good to do something different (though I wanted to do the “different” of the 800 session [also I’m not very good at changing my plans at short notice]).

I have just realised through writing this that I did another interval session on Thursday. This time it was a session Emily kindly shared with me as something she does. It consisted of 4 minutes easy, 20 minutes steady. 6 x 1 minute fast with 1 minute recovery. 20 minutes steady, 4 easy. I followed this precisely except it took me 7.5 minutes of easy to get home. I very much enjoyed this session and was quite pleased with my guessing of when a minute was up (except the one rep where I looked at my watch after 8 seconds). I think this was my favourite and the best session I’ve done for ages. Having sensible weather helped. Cold but no wind for once. I was wearing far too many layers though and overheated almost immediately.

Here is my weekend’s running in photos:





Posted 25/01/2015 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

Weather woes   Leave a comment

Variety is the spice of life so let me start yet again with Monday’s session. The weather was rather horrible, strong winds and rain, though after the warm up it settled down a bit so it was merely wet and just-about-acceptably windy. This meant we didn’t go Ricki Lake cray like last time cheering each other on and being all emotional but that’s probably a good thing as that night could never be repeated which such brilliance as the first time. Again my plan was to stick to Rick through thick and thin (me thick he thin). The session was (2 x) 600 tempo, 600 fast, 1m rest, 600 fast. 1 min rest. Ditto with 500s. We completed our first tempo stretch a little bit too fast so Mark slowed us down on the next one to make sure we had the requisite change of pace from tempo to fast. This meant it was a nice, reasonably comfortable session. Our fast bits were around the same speed as the group above (we ran a bit of ours just behind them when they were a lap or so ahead) but our tempo sections were considerably slower. Anyway over all this was a good sensibly-hard paced (by Rick) session.

The weather was being horrendous and windy again so being at work on Tuesday and Wednesday wasn’t too bad because I wouldn’t really have been able to run properly anyway.

On Thursday I knew I needed to get out for a long run even though the weather was still forecast to be hideous. Thankfully Rob was up for a long one too so I would not have to face the weather alone (also it meant I wouldn’t just hide at home). He very gentlemanly ran further up Old Shoreham Road to meet me to equalise our headwind running. In fact the wind was nowhere near as bad as I feared and it wasn’t that cold either so the run was much more pleasant than expected. We made sure the only seafront section was wind behind. After collecting a parcel from North Road sorting office we proceeded back to Preston Park where Rob made off with his sweaty parcel (bad idea to put it in his armpit whilst sorting out watch. Jiffy bags shed their outer coating fulsomely when moistened it transpires and parkrun 100 jackets are like magnets to it). This run felt really slow but was in fact normal LSR speed which must signal progress? I racked up 13 miles for this run and even the Old Shoreham Road slog home alone wasn’t too windy.

Alas I had agreed to run the vets xc at Lancing on Saturday. I don’t usually mind Lancing but it has always been dry in the past and this time it was anything but. Definitely a race for spikes I thought, but no! Even with spikes I couldn’t get any grip. It was possibly the worst 4 miles ever. Sliding all over the place on every step, I couldn’t negotiate any of the myriad tight corners so kept crashing through the course tape/into trees and managed to plummet elegantly down the hill on the last lap (though I blame Jeanette for that as she did it on the first lap with such grace and elegance I was compelled to copy her). Horrendous. 32.12 for 4 miles should give you an idea (it is very hilly too). A race best forgotten.

Stupid running

Stupid running

Back view of stupid running

Back view of stupid running

The runners

The runners

Today it was off once again with the Sunday crew. This time we started at Hove Park to follow Trevor’s “impossible to get lost” route to Stanmer Park and back.

Greenies pre run

Greenies pre run

I don’t think a single person bar Trevor actually went completely the right way. Thankfully the route I followed (thanks to my Guide-Rob) was close enough so I ended up doing 12ish miles (the planned route was billed at 12.5). Some people (Mark and Kevin) ended up doing 14 so I’m glad I didn’t go with them! My legs were rather knackered from yesterday but the worst was my intercostals/ribs which felt like I’d done a serious core workout (or been punched repeatedly) – which of course I had courtesy of the 32.12 minutes of slipping and sliding on Saturday. The average pace was 8.30mm which was perfect. We did throw in a 7.17 mile down Carden Avenue as half pace practice (though far too slow as we need to do 6.52s for a dream sub 1.30). I also added a solo what-felt-very-fast section down King George VI (only around 500m) but was probably only 7mm at best. After two cups of tea and a bakewell tart (thanks Dorian) at Hove Park café I came home to thaw out and see I had run a paltry 34 miles for the week. I blame the weather though of course my lack of motivation is a larger factor. Though two runs of 12+ miles is fine so really I should just shut it.

Windy indeedy (windeedy?)   Leave a comment

Finally normality returned so it was off to track. Having not been putting in sufficient effort in recent months at track I contemplated moving up a group but decided it would be better to put in the effort in my usual group to get an idea of whether moving up would be helpful or detrimental. Rick was having the same quandary so we decided to stay way we were but work hard. I know that Rick always does so my plan was to stick with him through thick and thin. This I did even when we started losing others (they didn’t die – just dropped off a bit) towards the end of the session. It was my kind of thing with reasonably short reps. (3 x) 300 tempo, 300 fast. 400t, 400f. 500t, 500f with 1 minute between reps and 2 minutes between sets. A good start to working hard at track.

On Tuesday I wanted to do a LSR but I felt rather drained, probably as a consequence of a faster than normal 10 miles on Sunday followed by a proper track session on Monday, and on the cusp of a cold therefore only managing a SSR of 5 miles.

Thankfully the cold never really emerged but I developed some marvellous mouth ulcers suggesting I was indeed run down.

I meant to run on Saturday but it was so windy cycling would have meant certain death. Or at least an unpleasant and exceedingly dangerous ride. Stupid weather.

Today (Sunday) it was another group run with Trevor and Danny. Trevor was able to run this week but alas Danny could not after a freak buttock disaster left him only able to cycle very gingerly. This did however mean I have these marvellous photographs of Rob and I leading the pack on the outward leg towards Peacehaven.

Leaders of the pack (two feet on)

Leaders of the pack (two feet on)

Perfect four way running-form synchronicity

Perfect four way running-form synchronicity

Due to the continued annoyingness of the weather we zoomed the first 5.5 miles at around 8mm then turned round and basically ground to a halt as we faced the full force of the wind. After a brief wrong turn onto a nudist beach (thankfully nude free), and a long old slog we arrived back at the start point with a solid 11 miles in the bag. The windiness on the way back meant probably around 14 miles effort wise. But effort doesn’t count in the mileage tally so a mere 22 miles for the week.

Posted 11/01/2015 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

New Year. Still running   Leave a comment

Still “Christmas”. Still no track. So I thought I’d go out at midday in the sunshine for a LSR. Fool! I had completely forgotten (as I do every year) that everyone in the known universe is out for a walk with their unruly dogs and children on scooters. This meant I kept having to change my planned route to try and avoid them but then I lost count of my miles and abandoned ship after 10 or so. Apart from the severe pavement rage the run was fine and carried out in nice sunny but cold weather without too much wind. A solid start to the week.

On Tuesday Danny had assembled a small posse for a LSR, sensibly starting at 9am to avoid a repeat of yesterday. Rob and Steve B were glad when I joined them along Old Shoreham Road as it appeared that Danny had been going somewhat speedier than the advertised 8.15mm. Being a lady thus incapable of such speeds we slowed down to a reasonable 8.20ish. Alas I was still harbouring some residual rage from Monday’s run which I maturely took out on Rob. He left us at the Peace Statue (hopefully not as a result of my meanness) so I continued onwards with Danny and Steve to The Level where they departed and I slogged up New England Hill and back home along the frosty pavements of Hove. I am pretty sure this run was around 14 miles yet I wasn’t out long enough for it to have been. I think this is due to the weird way time works around the festive season.

Thursday heralded the start of 2015 and another parkrun. Preston Park this time as is becoming tradition (year 2). The weather was much much better than both last year and last week’s Preston Park parkrun. The wind was blowing in a more helpful direction this time and it was nowhere near as cold. Plenty of Hove folk had come over as there was no run at Hove Park. This meant I could step back from the start line as people were actually on it for once. The run itself was successful. I felt like I was exerting a consistent 80% or so effort. I was a little surprised when I crossed the line in 20.31 as I wasn’t putting in anywhere near the effort I was last week when I ran a paltry 21.04. As Tara was there we bagged an Arena 1st and 2nd (Alan and Joe managed a 2nd and 3rd for the men). She thrashed me with a PB of 20.02. I was pleased with this run.

On Saturday it was back to Preston Park for normal parkrun. Alas this time I wasn’t so good and rolled in in 21.10. This was, however, much quicker than I thought and as I wasn’t really putting in much effort I should be pleased. Obviously I wasn’t though! The weather was diabolically rainy and cold so that probably didn’t help either after cycling there and arriving frozen and soaked.

This morning (Sunday) I set out early with Rick and Ivan to get 5 miles in before joining Trevor and the rest of the group to do a 10 mile loop to Shoreham and back.

The group pre run and some photos showing our great speed (or Trevor is just rubbish at taking photos)

The group pre run and some photos showing our great speed (or Trevor is just rubbish at taking photos)



I was somewhat knackered by the last few miles but it turned out we were running close to 8mm whilst chatting which would explain it! Good to see I can do it though.

47 miles for the week. Or 74 if my numerically dyslexic fingers got their way.

Posted 04/01/2015 by Isobel Muir in Arena 80 AC, Blog, parkrun, Running

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