Archive for March 2015

Fog on the (start) line   Leave a comment

Once more it was Monday so once more it was track. Bob was back and the session was as follows: (4x) 500f, 100j, 500f, 100j, 500f, 90s rest. I think we were doing roughly 1.50 for the 500s. I wanted to keep with Paul if possible and I did manage so that was good and a successful outing. I felt strong on this session but realise it is my sort of session (short reps) so I must keep this up during less pleasant sessions such as 1200 reps (though hopefully there shan’t be many more of those as we move into warm (when?) weather training.

I had decided this week would be a slight taper week after being so rubbish on Saturday and resting on Sunday. Tuesday has become a routine rest day recently so this week was no different. However on Wednesday I didn’t have time to do my usual LSR in the morning so I just did an easy 5 miler in the evening with a few reps of Duke’s Mound. On Thursday I rested yet again and then became worried I might have forgotten to run so went out for another easy five on Friday morning just to remind them in preparation for parkrun. Once I returned I found a message from Emily saying she had to do a marathon pace run of half an hour on Saturday so would I like her to pace me to 19.45 for parkrun? Yes! Although this was a most scary notion I knew I must take the opportunity to be paced by The Protovator.

Thus I found myself cacking it on the start line at Preston Park in a dense fog (literal not metaphorical). I had told Emily that she may shout at me as much as she liked but I managed to keep up with her for around 3.5k before I really started to feel like hurling and dropped off the pace. She immediately started spurring me on, reminding me that I’ve trained for this and that I can breathe AFTER the run. Although (I learnt later) I had dropped the pace a little towards the end it was only marginal and I crossed the line in 19.47 (Emily was pacing 19.45) as Emily continued to complete her half an hour at marathon pace. Those lost two seconds were entirely my fault. However I have finally set a true course record by ONE WHOLE SECOND!

parkrun progression (except I removed last week's crap one)

parkrun progression (except I removed last week’s crap one)

Officially my pb was 20.06 (until I ran 20.05, then 19.57 during the past few weeks) but I knew I’d run 19.48 at the dress rehearsal 2 years ago (my first sub 20 ever) and really wanted it to be official. Now it is. Thanks and credit completely to Emily pacer extraordinaire. It was really hard. Not sure I’ve run that hard ever but proves I can. Now I just need to be able to make myself exert that much effort without having someone else make me do it.

This morning (Sunday) it was time for Mel’s Milers 10k. The previous occasions I have done this race it has been dry, warm and sunny. Not so this year. It had been raining quite severely but thankfully this had eased when we got to the start but it was still stupidly windy and quite cold for this time of year. Soon enough it was time to go go go! So we did. Almost immediately turning into a hurricane that continued pretty much continuously for the first 2k in the grounds of Christ’s Hospital school. I thought well at least it will be behind us on the way back. No! My plan was to attempt to stay with Caroline for as long as possible. This went awry around 2.5k where she first began drawing away from me, however I was still close enough until 6k where she got away from me a bit more. I drew back to her around 8k but then she got away from me for good and ended up finishing 40 seconds ahead. I was still pleased with my run as I didn’t feel I dropped off concentration or effort wise anywhere near as much as I often do. I had to speed up a bit when we ran through the housing estate as I needed to follow the man in front as I didn’t know where I was going. I gave myself a stern talking to (out loud – luckily there was no-one near) from 8k onwards and managed to drag myself onwards. As I neared the finish I thought I might be on for a course pb even though the course was different. I was NOT. Thus the course must have been longer (along with wetter and windier) as I was a minute behind even though I ran much better (I felt). Thankfully everyone else was a minute or so down so I let myself off.

Always a nice medal from Mel

Always a nice medal from Mel

This year I was 5th lady out of 138 and 29th out of 306 over all. A pleasing weekend’s running.

I must get back to full training next week especially as the week after looks busy and I can’t taper again.

Only 25 miles for the week but including three hard sessions.

Cold   Leave a comment

It was another rather cold evening at the track on Monday. Withdean seems to have its own climate at least a few degrees colder than in balmy Hove-On-Sea. Thankfully it wasn’t too windy though. Mark was in charge of the session today and it was another based on 800s. This time it was 8 x 800 – 100t, 300f, 100j, 300f with one minute recovery between 800s. As always I tried to stick with Rick as he always paces these things well (or better than me at least). This week I actually managed to tire my legs out by the 7th rep. Usually my lungs (and mind) conk out long before my legs get a look in so that was progress (of some sort…).

Tuesday has become an official rest day. I could have gone out for a recovery run but decided to let the first part of Wednesday’s LSR have that honour. It did. Although Wednesday was quite sunny it was still utterly freezing. I do wish spring would hurry up. I’m getting fed up of it being so cold. Luckily I had the company of Rob so at least I wasn’t alone and he wasn’t even wearing gloves! I am nowhere near that brave. Anyway, after having got stuck at the lock gates for the second week running, we notched up another 11 slow and easy miles.

In the evening I added another 5 easy miles whilst taking Run Club.

On Thursday I decide to do a tempo 7 miler. I think I might have gone out too fast not realising that I was wind assisted. Once I turned into the wind I slowed down but tried to keep up the effort. As I am watchless I don’t know what pace I was running but have a sneaky suspicion it may have been faster than it should have been. Never mind. A accidental midweek solo race once in a while cant do much harm…

… but I think it did.

On Saturday as I set off for Preston Park with a plan to cement my sub 20 I discovered I could hardly even cycle. So weak and energyless. I had to put my bike in the lowest gear for the hill up to Dyke Road. I haven’t had to do that since the great feebleness of early 2014. I finally reached the park and discovered it was utterly freezing and windy AGAIN. I was still completely oblivious to the signs and it wasn’t until I started running that I realised I was totally knackered. Oh. I battled on of course but even using all my effort I got slower and slower and slower. Many years later I crossed the line to record a time a mere two minutes slower than last week. Never mind. I have been doing lots of proper training recently so perhaps it is time for a little rest and a mini taper week.

Bearing that in mind (but mainly because I couldn’t face going out into the stupid cold AGAIN) I didn’t run this (Sunday morning). Hopefully with this extra rest day I shall be back fired with enthusiasm, and energy, ready for another good track session tomorrow.

32 miles for the week.

Posted 22/03/2015 by Isobel Muir in Arena 80 AC, Blog, parkrun, Running, Track

Spring has not sprung, though I did (a bit)   Leave a comment

I’m afraid there’s no way to start this but the inevitable. So here goes… Monday it was off to track for some more speed(ish) work. I arrived too early again and was perturbed to find a load of police in the car park and the lower gate open. However I made it into the stadium without being arrested so all was well. I was then further perturbed when I saw there was a film crew on the back straight. Obviously they wanted more after my scintillating post-half commentary. This made me self conscious as I jogged round and round on my own warming up before anyone else arrived. Soon enough though more people arrived. This week’s session was 8 x 800 – the first one run at a reasonable pace – followed by the remaining 7 moving back about ten metres each time but to be run in the same time. My group, this week consisting of Paul, Rick, Dorian and Pete, did our first one way too slowly (except Paul) which meant all our others were faster but thus they were a reasonable speed. This was a hard session but good and I felt that I had worked hard but keeping it consistent which is always the plan.

I have yet to see any of this session on TV so a good evening all round.

Tuesday = Rest day.

Wednesday dawned sunnily but with a stiff (snigger) wind blowing in the opposite direction to normal which made it extra freezing as well as perturbing. It didn’t stop me having a very pleasantly uncompressed LSR with Rob. As I wanted to check out some distance markers for the evening’s run club we went a little further along the seafront than normal which meant I clocked up around 13 miles by the time I got back home, wind assisted for once.

In the evening I sent my group off to do some longish reps whilst I went with the run/walk lady so it was a nice little recovery run for me bringing me up to around 18 miles for the day.

On Thursday I had planned to do 4 x 1 mile reps at Hove Park so after much procrastination anticipating the horridness to come I set off. I noted immediately that there were a lot of school children there. Arg! Luckily though they were almost completely confined to the grass so I was safe to proceed. It didn’t even seem as doggish and crowded as last time so only one rep was disrupted by canine interference. Last time I did this session I averaged 6.24 so I was amazed when I ran 6.07, 6.07, 6.08, 6.08. Not just by the speed but the consistency. Good grief.

Another rest day on Friday meant I was ready to go for sub 20 FOR THE GADZILLIONTH TIME on Saturday. For some reason after reading the weather forecast which said 2 degrees I massively underdressed for the cycling over to Preston Park so was summarily freezing when I arrived. After a bit of a warm up it was once again time to run. So we bally well did! The wind seemed to have changed direction again and was rather cold. Even more reason to run faster to stay warm and get back into my coat. For some reason I had decided to wear my watch (just a stop watch) but I didn’t look at it once so I shan’t do that again. I set off at what I hoped was sub 20 pace knowing that there were plenty of people around who I need to be near to get sub 20. Jacob came up next to me around 1.5k and said I was pacing him. I alas could not respond as I was already knackered. He kept with me, or I with him, for a while until he pulled away from me. I tried to keep with him, then Jim when he went past but I wasn’t able to on this occasion. I felt I worked much harder this time, maybe because of the freezingness and the wind, but in fact I only knocked 8 seconds off last week’s time. However this meant I ran 19.57. Oh my God! Finally, a mere year and a half or so later I’m back in the 19s! Just…

positive parkrun progression

positive parkrun progression

I rounded off the week with a steady 7 miles at what I’m guessing was around 7.20-30 pace. It was once again rather windy but this time I OVERdressed to make up for Saturday.

42 miles for the week.

Posted 15/03/2015 by Isobel Muir in Arena 80 AC, Blog, parkrun, Racing, Track

Running (yes I know)   Leave a comment

Another Monday. More track. This week Mark was taking the session. He set us off on a series of 800m. 8 to be precise. Starting with 600t, 200f. 500t, 300f. 400t, 400f. 300t, 500f with 2 minutes rest in between. The last 4 x 800m were 200t, 600f with the same rest in between. Having not just run a half this session went much better than last week. I managed to keep with Caroline throughout which is my current aim at track. Pleasing.

Tuesday seems to be a rest day at the moment due to work (and my laziness in not getting up early enough to run before or making myself go out afterwards).

Wednesday was the usual LSR. This week it was another nice, slow and easy 11 miles with Rob. I tend to let the long run slide which is no good at all as it needs to be a staple of my running week so I am determined to keep it going. This was made much easier by recruiting the company of Rob. Lonesome LSRs are the worst. This was not though so it was excellent. As the half is out of the way 11 miles is plenty.

In the evening I had to unexpectedly take both parts of the running club which meant I had to attempt to marshall everyone from a complete beginner run-walker to a full on speedy Boost-loving fartlekking intermediate. This involved much sprinting back and forth checking I hadn’t lost anyone (I had) along with some slow jogging, walking and faster running. Frazzling. Around 5 miles all told.

Another rest on Thursday. Slacker.

On Friday, Wednesday evening’s panic-stricken sprints had caught up with me so I just took myself out for a short and easy jog to prepare myself for parkrun.

I am really trying to get back to the glory months of 2013 when I was running sub 20s each week at parkrun. I haven’t run one since then so it was time I stopped being so rubbish and just bloody well got on with it. The weather was behaving itself more than recently so there was no excuse not to give it a good go. Of course I have many excuses I could bombard you with but that is the old me and the fact remains that whatever the excuse I just need to run as fast as I can. I know whether I’ve tried or not and that is all that counts. This week seemed to be exceptionally busy (perhaps because the weather was more pleasant) and I had to do a lot of weaving and even had to stop at one point as I couldn’t get past the 5 or 6 abreast people I was trying to lap. The marshalls were making a valiant attempt to keep the lapped runners to the left but it was not very successful. Anyway I did the best I could but unfortunately I crossed the line in 20.05 so the blasted sub 20 still eludes me. However this is the fastest I have run for a long time so I must take this as a positive and hurry up and get back to where I was in 2013 then onwards to pastures new.

Sunday was nice and sunny and only quite windy so I set off on an as-I-felt 7 miler. I felt OK in fact and think I was running around 7.45/8 minute mile pace. I bumped into Trevor and fellow greenies at Shoreham Arm which must have been due to the fact I was wearing my green t shirt too in solidarity as the runs are getting a bit long for me now seeing as I’m not actually doing the marathon. I accidentally dragged Trevor from his target pace of 9mm as I discovered when he said we had just run a 7.45 mile. This was fine for me but probably not so good for him nearing the end of 16 ish miles.

This week has been good in terms of quality not quantity and a good balance of runs. 35 miles or so.

Zzzz   Leave a comment

On Monday I was still feeling fine and was looking forward to getting back to track. I got there and set off merrily on the first set of five of these: 300f, 100j, 400f, 100j, 300f. However after the second set I realised I was in fact completely knackered so the last 3 sets were much slower in the company of Pete who was taking it easy. Even though I couldn’t run as hard as I wished I was pleased to have got out and at least attempted the session.

Tuesday was a planned rest day.

Wednesday is my newly appointed long run day. As the half is now out of the way the long runs don’t really need to exceed 12 miles. Today I gathered up Rob for a nice slow easy run after the weekend’s exertions. It was very pleasant to jog along the seafront where not long ago we were charging at full speed. No effort expended this time. Around 11 miles at just under 9 minute mile pace. Perfect.

In the evening it was off to work Run Club. This evening I had two attendees whom I wanted to do lamppost fartleks. However one was suffering calf trouble after having run the half so I jogged gently with her whilst my other lady fartlekked with gay abandon up and down the seafront. So this ended up as another nice easy jog of around 5 miles. Perfect post half double recovery day.

Thursday was another well earnt rest day.

On Friday I wanted to try and ready my legs for an assault on sub 20 at Preston Park parkrun on Saturday so I took myself out for 6 x 1 minute fast sandwiched between two twenty minute steady runs. It was a little windy for 4 of the fast minutes but I went by effort anyway what with not having a GPS watch any more.

Saturday dawned with some truly horrible weather. Really cold and windy and a horrible bone chilling drizzle. I was still determined to try though and this I duly did. To no avail alas. I was just tired from last Sunday which of course wasn’t surprising. I did try but it only led to 20.32. However this is about what I’ve been running recently so to do this in horrible conditions and just after a half must be a sign that when conditions are favourable I can get back sub 20 where I belong.

Why don't I ever look like I'm running? Many thanks to Mark for letting me use the photo!

Why don’t I ever look like I’m running?
Many thanks to Mark for letting me use the photo!

I finished off the week with climbing on Saturday afternoon. Having not been since before Christmas I had regained my fear of heights so had to spend a bit of time hyperventilating near the top before getting back into the swing of it. There shall be some achy arms ahoy in the next few days!

32 ish miles for the week.

Posted 01/03/2015 by Isobel Muir in Arena 80 AC, Blog, Brighton & Hove

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