Archive for May 2015

Post Minehead taper intentions   2 comments

I had planned my week post hills hills hills and off-road off-road off-road to contain only a couple of tempo runs and a few k reps as advised by Bob. Immediate failure as I went out on Monday morning to join Rob on his LSR “for a bit” and ended up doing around 10 miles. I felt completely fine whilst running and my legs didn’t feel tired or highly at all yet when I returned home both my knees decided it was enough. Perhaps it was just due to the solidness (and flatness) of road after so much off-road? Whatever it was my knees, especially my right, were very unhappy. However this did mean Tuesday was a day off as my right knee wouldn’t even let me walk on it. I thought this was the end. But, as is so often the case, by Wednesday it was almost back to normal. I went out in the morning to do a test run of 6 x 1 minute just to make sure my knees could take it. They could so I set off for RN Run Club in the evening confident that I could actually run. Naturally as Bob had said no hills Jo had planned a hill session. However by the time we reached the Weakest Link zig zag we only had time to sprint up it three times. This we did. At least this proved my knee was fine and that I can still drag these old legs into a sprint.

On Thursday morning I went for a leg massage which I haven’t had for years so I was very surprised to discover everything was only as tight as always and there were no extra specially awful bits over and above what you’d expect for a serial non-stretcher. In the evening I havered over what session to do but plumped for the Arena Hove Park session. Having not been for absolutely ages I was pleased to discover that I got on ok with the first set of reps, up and down the bench to playground stretch. Unfortunately on the next set my knee decided to be weird again which meant the next reps were overshadowed by knee-breakage panic. Of course I didn’t stop running and thankfully the knee held up enough to get me to the end.
To be on the safe side and trying to remember I was supposed to be resting a bit I didn’t run on Friday.

Of course I ran parkrun on Saturday. It was supposed to be one of the two 20 minute tempo runs Bob had prescribed so dragging my knackered form home in 21 minutes was perfect (I shan’t mention I was trying really hard and only managed this). Looking at the average pace it was perfect but of course I didn’t run it evenly, rather, slowing down after 3k.

Here I am still sticking with Rick. Shortly afterwards he drew well away from me, and I was overtaken by Terry (in red) by the end. (Thank you very much Mark Brocklehurst for letting me use the photo!)

I took Sunday as a rest day but still notched up 26 miles for the week which was a little more than I meant but hey ho. I’ll try again next week.

Arena 80 Minehead trip – The Return   3 comments

Basically this happened. Again.

https://imfithove.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/annual-arena-running-trip-minehead/

Only managed a paltry 76 ish miles this time though.

Here are some photos of various outings.

Wimbleball Lake. This run was almost as horrible as last year, but the weather was better thankfully.

Wimbleball Lake. This run was almost as horrible as last year but the weather was better, thankfully.

Starting the Bath canal run in horrible rain...

Starting the Bath canal run in horrible rain…

... which had gone within the first mile to leave a nice sunny day

… which had gone within the first mile to leave a nice sunny day to complete the 13 mile route

Another pitch and putt course and another chance to be utterly rubbish

Another pitch and putt course (still in Bath) and another chance to be utterly rubbish

The two teams unite at the end. Improvement from last year as a storming second last and no need to use the 10 shot maximum

The two teams unite at the end. Improvement from last year as a storming second last and no need to use the 10 shot maximum

After the descent of Dunkery Beacon. Photobombed by a horse

After the descent of Dunkery Beacon. Photobombed by a horse…

... fittingly as the afternoon meant my first ride on a horse (specially sourced from the other stable)

… fittingly as the afternoon meant my first ride on a horse (specially sourced from the other stable)

On the way to Tarr Steps (avoiding fording the river)

On the way to Tarr Steps (avoiding fording the river)

A brief distraction from the (un)serious business of running

A brief distraction from the (un)serious business of running

Getting stuck in to the Minehead vibe with a spot of crazy golf

Getting stuck in to the Minehead vibe with a spot of crazy golf

Ahoy there ship mates!

Ahoy there ship mates!

Julian cueing up to beat the train

Julian cueing up to beat the train

Walking up Bob's Hill unintentionally recreating The Evolution of Man

Walking up Bob’s Hill unintentionally recreating The Evolution of Man

Another successful holiday. Who knows what awaits us next year…

Posted 24/05/2015 by Isobel Muir in Arena 80 AC, Blog, Running

More haste less ings   Leave a comment

Not much to report this time after writing this on Monday last week and then resting.

On Friday I went out for a small jog just to test my massively bruised and painful balls. Of my big toes! Jeez. Anyway they passed.

On Saturday I went to Preston Park parkrun just to jog it in preparation for the Hastings 5 mile race. Also to collect my champagne which I won for being 3rd female over the three races last weekend. Thank you to Mal for collecting it. After not downing the whole bottle in a fit of recklessness it was time to jog round. An easy 23 minutes.

Third female over the course of the Mid Sussex Marathon weekend

Third female over the course of the Mid Sussex Marathon weekend

Today I headed over to Hastings for a 5 mile race. I haven’t done many 5 mile flat road races so I decided a pb might be on the cards. The only race I could think of that was similar was the Midsummer 5 that I ran in 2013 (bloody 2013) where I clocked 34.42. This should have been an easy time to beat so a reasonable target given that I am still mainly knackered from last weekend’s endeavours. After arriving courtesy of Dan (thank you) to a misty cold seafront I was pleased when the mist lifted and the sun arrived around half an hour before the race started. I had decided to dress for May regardless of the weather so it was the first time in just a vest without hundreds of under-layers. I had brought my visor too so I donned that for extra blinkers. Soon enough it was time to go.  

Preston Park parkrun take note

I managed to stick with Caroline, Vicky and Emma for about 60 metres before they disappeared into the unknown. Which soon became known as a wee-smelling promenade archway. It was very slippery, probably from them vainly trying to hose away the wee. After what seemed like days I passed the 1 mile marker. Oh dear. This was going to be a loooooooooong race. Many people were passing me. Many more did. I passed a few. Ali told me to “come on” as she passed and I managed to keep vaguely with her for the remaining 2 or so miles. I don’t know why but this race seemed to go on and on and on. The mile markers were at least 2 miles apart. Finally I reached the end. Couldn’t even muster a sprint finish and forgot to look at the finish clock. Rob texted me my finish time before I’d even seen it and I discovered it was 34.20 (a 22 second pb). This didn’t seem very good but then Caroline reminded me that I had just done the threekend. She said it was amazing I’d actually managed to get out and do it. This made me feel a bit better. Also it means I have a really soft pb to smash next time I do a 5 mile road race.

All medals seem mediocre after last week's

All medals seem mediocre after last week’s

Only 17 miles for the week but I don’t feel any better for it.

3000m track race tomorrow.

Posted 10/05/2015 by Isobel Muir in Arena 80 AC, parkrun, Racing, Running

My first marathon (sort of)   1 comment

On Monday I had planned to do track as normal but in the course of arranging my lift with Steve I discovered Pete was doing The Cooper Test before the session so I thought I might as well do it too. I set off on a 10 minute warm up with Pete which meant it was faster than I would do on my own. After a minute or so recovery it was time for the 12 minutes. I knew this meant I should travel further than 3000m (4 minute kilometres). Pete said he did 3050 on his first attempt 5 weeks previously so I hoped I could get at least that far. My plan was to attempt to keep with Pete for as long as I could and when he inevitably began to draw away I would try and keep the gap as small as possible. After an 80 second first lap I was a bit worried I would flag terribly but I managed to keep with Pete for a while longer before he began to pull away. I just tried to keep up as well as I could but he was far too strong and I dropped behind. However I kept going as much as I could and many hours (approx 6 minutes) later I could finally stop. Pete was around 100m ahead of me but luckily that was because he ran much further than his first attempt. 3190m this time. I managed 3090 so perfectly acceptable. Because The Cooper Test is obviously designed for “normal” people I was always going to be in the “Excellent” category as anything over 2500m is classed thus. 57.79 is what the calculator said my V02 max is. My super speedy/fit running friends are all on about 60 so I’m not doing too badly. Pete and I tried to join the normal session but bailed out almost immediately due to knackeredness. An excellent start to my supposed rest week!

I did then rest fully until Saturday when it was time to embark on the first race in the Sussex Marathon Weekend series. Last year Rob suggested we sign up for the full weekend this year so I immediately did. He did not and has since become injured anyway. So I had to go it alone. Well not alone obviously. Mal and Dean were in for the long haul too. Having never run the East Grinstead 10 miler before I had no idea what it would be like. I decided to read a few reviews just to see if I needed trail shoes and discovered that it was described as off-road with challenging hills. No! All the things I dislike most. I had just foolishly assumed all the races would be similar to the Hayward’s Heath 10 miler on Sunday which I have done a few times. Anyway I arrived in East Grinstead in a freezing mist. May you say? Pah! Dean informed me the race was indeed very hilly and off-road. Oh goody! In the freezing cold too. With a strong and icy wind. Spiffing. I had decided to wear my Speedcross. Mainly to clean Lancing xc off them. They were filthy. Mal was disgusted. Time passed, and after avoiding the group warm up, it was time to start the marathon journey… and what a start! It was truly horrible. I had forgotten just how hard I find this type of course. Almost entirely off road with most of it run on horribly uneven fields and forest tracks. It being dry was good but also bad as it was ankle breakingly rutted. I spent a large proportion on my own wending along forest paths with no idea where I was or if I was going in the right direction. There were stiles and gates and low hanging branches and all kinds of obstacles to overcome. 10 miles is a long way. I totally ground to a halt aound 8 miles. If I’d been wearing a Garmin it would have auto paused. A man who had been a good 200m behind me caught me up and urged me to keep going so I really tried to keep with him for the last stretch. I did manage to pick it up a bit but positively stumbled over the line. Race one done! 1.17.16.

Still standing. Just about...

Still standing. Just about…

The first part of the pie

The first part of the pie

Sunday dawned horribly rainily. I wasn’t so worried about this run (Hayward’s Heath 10 miler) as I’ve done it before on many an occasion and know it is nowhere nearly as horrible as East Grinstead but the weather was a shame as all the other years it has been sunny. I had a distinct suspicion the run would be rather hard after yesterday as I found that my quads and calves and hips and buttocks were totally destroyed from EG. Serves me right for never doing any off road or hills in training (well really it serves me right for signing up for such a foolish endeavour in the first place [thanks Rob]). The start is a nice downhill road section (for around 400m).

Looking good (50m after the start on a downhill road section). Thanks Jemma for unknowingly letting me steal your photo

Looking good (50m after the start on a downhill road section). Thanks Jemma for unknowingly letting me steal your photo

Running was difficult. Stiff legs and shattered quads. But still preferable to yesterday what with it being predominantly road (even though hilly). I didn’t feel like I could really get going until around 6 miles and then by 8 miles my hip flexors had almost totally cramped up so I had to adopt an interesting shuffle (alas not a totally speedy Al “The Shuffle” Silvester style one). I was slightly concerned that I might have to actually stop and try and stretch them out somehow but luckily they never tipped over the edge into full you-must-stop-now cramping. Some time, what felt like many hours, later I finally made it into the park for the last downhill to the finish. I was quite surprised to see that I had finished in 1.15.53 which, by no means fast, was acceptable taking into account the state of my legs and blistered feet (I mean really, who gets blisters in this day and age?).

The pie nears completion

The pie nears completion

I spent the afternoon feeling more tired than I can ever recall and seriously doubted my ability to be able to complete the trio.

However this morning (Monday) I felt much much better and the SUN WAS SHINING! May had finally arrived. I wasn’t under any illusion that today’s Burgess Hill 10k was going to be any easier for being shorter as I knew it was off road and hilly (again). Sunshine is a marvellous thing though so I wasn’t worried and knew I would complete the three races then never have to do them ever again.

Only 6.2 miles between me and eternal glory (aka death)

Only 6.2 miles between me and eternal glory (aka death)

When the announcer told the amassed runners on the start line that the runners in green had already covered 20 miles it sunk in a bit why I was so very shattered so I almost gave myself a break. Then it was time to set off on the way to 26.2 mile glory. The course was very twisty and lumpy on rutted off road again but this one wasn’t anywhere near as hilly as Saturday (or Sunday). It did seem to go on forever but it was a nice sunny day and the end was (metaphorically) in sight. When the end was literally in sight I decided to see if I could dig out a sprint finish. It was probably only around 50m but I was pleased to finish the whole ruddy thing in my traditional style. 47.14. I am so pleased I need never do this again!

The sprint of relief!

The sprint of relief! Thanks again to Jemma

So close to never having to do the bloody thing again!

So close to never having to do the bloody thing again!

My “marathon” time was 3.20.23 (though I don’t have my official over-all time yet). I’ll never be doing an actual marathon in this time, or indeed in any, so this will have to do.

The final portion of the pie

The final portion of the pie

The complete pie

The complete pie

The complete pie in all its glory! Alas I can't wear it as it will fall apart. A medal any rapper would be proud to wear.

The complete pie in all its glory! Alas I can’t wear it as it will fall apart. A medal any rapper would be proud to wear.

I may now sleep for a week.

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