Archive for June 2015

Running. Yes. Imaginative title. No   Leave a comment

This week started, as (almost) every other, with a track session. This one was based on 1000m reps so certainly not my favourite. The session in full: (4 x) 300t, 30s, 300t, 30s, 1000m, 90s. Each 1000 was supposed to be faster than the one before. A good start. 3.59 followed by 3.57. Then I failed and dropped behind to around 4.05 perhaps. Never mind. It was a nice summer evening and only moderately windy. 

Tuesday was a slow, 10 mile run with Rob. In preparation for a seafront speed endurance session. We could do 3 or 4 2.5k reps. I managed three: 10.28, 10.38 and 10.22 (approx 4.10 per k). These were acceptable as my current speeds for 5/10k aren’t very fast. This session was hard but I stuck with it and it was good to do some longer speed endurance stuff as I never would on my own. 

It was the day of The Weakest Link Relay on Wednesday. This is one of my favourite events of the year and usually has a large Arena turnout. This year was no different, fielding 10 full teams. 

 The Weakest Link – providing website header photos since 2013
As has been the case the last few years the teams were made up of people of all abilities. Mark had an excellent 4 tier system for team selection. My team was made up of Sarah, Jenny, me, Dorian. 



Another excellent evening in the company of many blue-vested colleagues.

Preston Park parkrun was my next run. I had no plan but decided when Rick passed me in the early stages to just try and stick with him. A perfectly placed Alan (marshalling near the lower bollards) urged me to catch Rick back up when I let him get a little ahead of me just past 2k. As Jeanette passed a bit later she was my secondary target as she was also using Rick as a pacer. Although my time was an underwhelming 21.08 I was pleased that I managed to keep with Rick and didn’t just let him go as I most often do. 

This morning (Sunday) I went out to Shoreham Arm in my old Fastwitches to have a go at a bit of Holly-style forefoot running. I think I might have spent too much time going up and down rather than forward on the return leg into the wind but I did feel like it would be better for my weird fat-feeling-on-occasion (but not painful) post-Withdean ankle. I shall try and concentrate on spending less time on my heels in future runs. If nothing else it might help distract me from my unacceptable current race times.

About 30 miles for the week.


Posted 28/06/2015 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

Still going   Leave a comment

After a lot of running last week of which only one lot was any good (vet’s league) I was still feeling quite tired and uninspired but I dragged myself off to track any. Well actually I asked Steve for a lift so that I would definitely go. I did.  It was another session that under normal circumstances I would have enjoyed and been reasonably good at; 200 and 300 reps. Alas I was too tired and uninspired so once again it was just a case of running round, speeding up a bit and slowing down (a lot) when the session dictated. Ho hum. It was a pleasant warm evening though so nice to be out. 

Tuesday dawned and it was still warm and quite fine so a perfect day to set out on an LSR with my partner in long and slow. This time we were trying hard to be very slow indeed after Rob had been listening to a podcast about most people doing everything too fast and their easy not being easy enough. It was quite hard work to stay very slow and it made it even more apparent how crap my pacing skills are as I felt we had sped up but in fact we hadn’t at all. The trouble with running really slowly is it takes ages to get anywhere but I was in pleasant company so it wasn’t a chore. After a slight accidental detour of my doing it turned out to be a 12 mile run. As the pace was very easy this wasn’t at all troubling for me but I felt a bit bad because I know Rob is struggling with a heel injury. Anyway it was fine and he survived the extra few miles. 

In the evening I planned to run Tom’s 5 mile race on the seafront as it starts very near my house so seemed rude to not go over and see what happened. Perfect excuse if it did go wrong; 12 miles in the morning. There was a good turnout as you can see. 

Getting ready for the off. An almost perfect evening for running.

Having looked at Tom’s excellent map I was happy I knew where I was going and where the turnaround points were. Soon enough the race began! I found myself overtaking people I wasn’t expecting to on recent evidence so felt that at last perhaps a good run was in the offing. As we turned at the King Alfred I still felt strong and even though it was quite windy I knew I’d be able to keep battling and was looking forward to the wind being behind on the return two miles along Basin Road. On the way up Basin Road there was a group of people on bikes dressed as Batman, Robin, various other super heroes and Father Christmas. Goodness knows what they were doing. I didn’t let them distract me for too long. Soon enough I reached the Carat’s Cafe turn so it was just a 2 mile stretch with the wind behind back to the finish. I was wearing my watch as requested by Tom, so he could cross check people’s times if anything went wrong with the official timers, but I hadn’t looked at it at any stage as it would have been pointless as it’s just a stopwatch and I had no idea where the mile markers would have been. I stopped it when I crossed the finish line but didn’t look at it for ages. When I remembered I was pleased to see 33.32 (I guessed 33.30 official as I waited until I had crossed the line to stop it). My previous pb, from the recent Hastings 5 miler, was 34.30 or something so around a minute off. This was very pleasing. I waited for everyone else to finish then jogged home as it was getting a bit chilly. I didn’t realise there were prizes until Mark phoned to ask if I’d like red or white wine for being first lady! The official time was indeed 33.30 and the course was definitely 5 miles so a great success especially given the morning’s 12 miler. Those extra seconds of slowness per mile paying off.

 Wednesday was a nice slow jog with RN Run Club. 

I didn’t run parkrun as it was a different course, which was very hilly and bumpy and horrible looking, due to an event in the park. I took the opportunity to get another volunteer in the bag. 

On Sunday it was off to Heathfield for their 10k. This course is not one of my favourites. A nice mainly downhill first 5k followed by much undulating then a very uphill return. I won this in 2013 (when else?) but this was obviously not going to happen this time. My main aim for this race was to not give up, sulk or any of the other things I tend to do that are unhelpful. The start was possibly the most ridiculous ever. After a lengthy talk about possible stray dogs and mud the man said I’ll count you down, then preceded … from 10! As he neared 1 (quite some time later) he slowed down then when he finally reached one he said “Let’s race!” Everyone had already gone by then. Heaven knows when the timer started the clock. This start kept us laughing on the charge down the hill. The downhill kept coming which was good but also not good knowing we had to ascend (some of) it again later. I tried to make sure I didn’t slip into a lull, or worse, start giving up. I am pleased to report I didn’t. I did inevitably slow down in the second half but made sure I kept the effort up. I was overtaken by a few people but overtook some myself so I obviously wasn’t slowing down any more than most people. As I failed to manage a sprint finish I remembered to look at the finish clock as I crossed the line. Except there wasn’t one. So I had absolutely no idea of my time. Al estimated 43 minutes as I agreed. Wrong! 45.16. Oh. This course is around two minutes slower than a flat 10k but jeez. Never mind. Somehow I had still come fifth lady and first in my age group so it was time to hang around to collect my prize. We whiled away the time eating cake and drinking tea. 


I suppose Tuesday took something out of me and I did what I aimed to do ie not sulk so I shall count this as a successful step on the road back to 2013 stylings. 

30 miles for the week (mostly on Tuesday). 

Posted 21/06/2015 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

Much running. Some good. Some not.   Leave a comment

On Monday I was totally pooped after Worthing (even though my run was utter bilge) and I only managed what could be referred to as a recovery track session. Emily managed to take one photo where I looked like I was running. Pretty good going as not sure I really was at any stage.

The session was a mix of 200s and 300s which I’d usually be pretty good at but not today! So I shall move on…

Tuesday heralded a MSR with Rob. 10 miles of pleasant (ly compressed) company in unpleasant swirling winds. 

Wednesday meant part two of vets league. Yeeeees! Off to Worthing we set in the venga bus (Joe’s car). Somehow we had 12 whole people doing this one and I had a real life, actual, bona fide scoring relay team! I’m getting ahead of myself though. First I had the 200 to contend with. Due to a ridiculously strong headwind on the home straight I knew a fast time was out of the question and the girl who always beats me was there so I just thought come home in second as that’s where I should be and don’t worry about what was bound to be an awful time. I was in lane one which is perfect as I love the inside lane as I can chase from the start. Obviously I did a standing start. Too old and inflexible to get up from a crouch start.  

Before hitting the wind

The first 50 metres was good as I’d already overtaken a few runners but then bang, the wind was afoot and I ground to a halt. Of course everyone else did too so it was a battle against the wind for the last 100 metres or so. Somehow as we neared the finish I drew level with, then overtook, the girl who has beaten me every single time we’ve raced. OM actual G! 

I had decided due to my enduring tiredness, the utter windiness and because I wanted to do the long jump properly, not to do the 800 or 3000. This meant I could do all three of my jumps without having to intersperse an 800 between jump one and two. I always want to have a 4 on the start of my jump so 3 metres 99 for the first was not so good. However on jump two I sailed out to 4.16 somehow so was very pleased. On my third jump I tried a new tack of jumping whilst simultaneously spectating the 800. This was unsuccessful and I sort of face planted into the sand for 3m 82. However not having run the 800 paid off as I won the long jump too.

Next there was a nice break where I didn’t run the 3000. It was good to be able to watch the men’s race especially as there were Arenas aplenty.

The last event of the night dawned. The 4×400 relay. I was overexcited just from having a scoring team for the first time but also had a sneaky suspicion that we could win.

Joe has captured the whole thing beautifully 


Katherine on first leg hands over to Jenny  


Jenny storms home to hand over to Lesley



I power home, eyes shut of course, to claim Arena victory by quite some margin

Win we did! Everyone smashed their legs meaning by the time the baton reached me there was no way we could lose. Struggling towards the line with zonked legs I was so pleased to have had such an enjoyable and successful evening, regardless of the killer wind.

 The full complement of Arena oldies

 On Thursday and Friday I went out for gentle runs to try and remove sprinters stiffness from legs. Failed.
Thus on Saturday I was not very good at parkrun. Somehow, once again, Emily made it look like I was running. Thanks Emily!

However my fellow Wednesday run clubbers did very well with Jo and Sarah running their first and Megan already on her second. Only a year or so until their 50 t shirts!

Runners Need Run Club posse post run

Today it was time to marshall the annual Arena Hove Park races. It was in turns cold, wet, sunny and warm. 

 Hi vis Arena posse 
I wasn’t idle however and after my duties were done I went climbing. Having not been for months I was very out of practice and couldn’t stand up on the duck due to fear of heights but it was nice to be doing something that wasn’t running even if rather badly. I have somehow bruised the back of hand but am otherwise unscathed over and above the usual bouldering related usually-unused muscle aches.

A busy week. 29 miles of running, an hour or so of climbing and a spot of marshalling.

Posted 14/06/2015 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

No mojo no mug   2 comments

As I had somewhat failed with my post-Minehead taper I decided to try and redeem myself this week with a bit more rest. I managed not to do anything on Monday and Tuesday. I had to run on Wednesday with work but luckily we came to the consensus that we’d just do an update easy run and thus we did. Maybe 4 miles at 10+ minute miling. This felt nice and easy but made my knees feel much worse. But my knees can eff off. 

On Thursday I decided I needed to do a tempo run to test my 10k pace. This is did quite successfully with a 20.50 5k. Though in retrospect it was probably too fast and I used up all my mental strength (practically non-existent at the best of times) so there would be none left for Sunday. 

I did nothing on Friday then on Saturday I volunteered at parkrun in case not running it would make a difference on Saturday (I know it doesn’t but one must try new things from time to time). However I did go out in the evening to do 6 x 1 minute fast/strides/10k pace. I discovered that Wish Park is perfect for this. Takes 5 minutes to jog there, the long side takes near enough 1 minute to run, the short sides can be the 1 minute jog recovery and staying on the southside many I escaped the worst of the wind (my one attempt on the north side proved this as it was very much more windy). 

On Sunday it was time for Worthing 10k. Although I had gone through the motions of preparing for this race I knew deep down it was going to be rubbish. I have no desire to race at the moment and as everyone knows if you don’t care it’s almost impossible to be your best. However I wanted another mug as last year’s Worthing mug is my favourite.

The weather was almost perfect for me. Though a little bit too windy. 



Finally I reached the end AND THERE WAS NO MUG! Just another medal to throw in the cupboard. 

15 miles for the week. 

Posted 07/06/2015 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

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