Archive for September 2015

Wind. Sun. Hills. Flat bits.    Leave a comment

As the track at Withdean is still being resurfaced the Arena committee had planned a 6k race on the seafront starting at the Lagoon, running to the Peace Statue and back. The race would go off in groups sort of like the Adur challenge. This seemed like an excellent idea and indeed it would have been but for the Gits of Weather who had chosen a day of very strong winds and intermittent heavy rain. Luckily we managed to fit the race into a dry patch but it was windy as heck on the homeward stretch. I decided to make the most of the outward leg as I knew whatever I did I would grind to a halt as soon as we turned into the wind at the Peace Statue. I did. Those I was close behind on the way out had now disappeared into the setting sun which was directly at eye level all the way back. Blind and incapable of movement. Excellent. Some time later I arrived back at the finish line.

Wind blur and even colour coordinated with the beach hut

If nothing this was a good tempo run. A massive positive split too I’d imagine.

On Tuesday it was back to the seafront for almost an exact replica of Monday but this time it was Tom’s session of 2 x 3 miles and the weather was much more favourable with hardly any wind. Last time I did this I ran 20.43 then 20.52. This time I managed 20.43 for the first one but this time it felt much easier and I was chatting most of the way which I certainly wasn’t last time. After a 4 minute recovery we were off again. This time there was no chatting as my talking partner was well ahead. However I still felt comfortable and strong and arrived back in 20.21 which was rather surprising but excellent as it didn’t feel any harder than the first one. One of those rare occurrences where everything feels easy.

On Wednesday Rob and I had planned for our usual k rep session but on arriving at Hove Park we discovered neither of us were up for it so Rob sensibly suggested we do a LSR instead which we duly did. 10.5 easy miles. He was right as we had already done two days of racing so we needed a bit of easy/recovery before we got stuck into even faster stuff. I also had work run club in the evening but this week I knew I had to lead a hilly run which was fine as it would be at a very easy pace. As it took longer to get to the hilly but than I thought it turned out not to be that hilly at all and only 3 miles. Perfect to round off an easy day.

Thursday was now rep day so once again Rob and I convened in a dog filled Hove Park. This time there was no escaping it. We MUST rep. I was adamant I was not going to do the first rep too fast yet again. I did. 3.53. Luckily I somehow did the next the same speed, following it with a 3.56 and finishing with a 3.57. This was particularly good as A) I didn’t abandon the session like almost all the others we have done B) There were bloody dogs all over the place C) I had hardly even been able to cycle over due to a serious attack of the feebles. Rob managed his 4 reps all under 4 minutes even though he had to shout at ineffectual dog owners most of the way round. Why don’t dogs go on the grass? Surely they’d prefer it? It was only later that I discovered we were only having 100s recoveries rather than 2 minutes which made me all the more pleased with our dog-hampered times. Rob was right to change Wednesday’s run to an LSR. Good.

I was given an unexpected day off work on Friday so set about doing nothing. It’s hard work resting but I managed it.

The weather was looking good for Prom parkrun and indeed it was sunny and warm with only a minimal breeze (in seafront terms). The trouble with this is no excuses. However I really did have a stupid “lady” stitch thing as I was warming up. I gave it a good jabbing as I jogged about and luckily when the actual run started it went away to be replaced by a normal stitch which is fine as I know how to handle those. As usual I didn’t have any idea how this run would go though I had donned my racing shoes and watch (on countdown from 20 minutes) so a bit of me must have been optimistic. As long as my watch beeps for 20 after the last shelter I know I should be on for sub 21 and this was the case today. 20.46. Still a long way off the Emily-paced 19.47 I managed early in the year but acceptable. Once again as long as I feel like I have made the effort then that’s all that matters at the moment.

28 miles for the week (says Strava).

New road running and other things   Leave a comment

As the track is still being resurfaced I decided to drag poor Rob out on an easy run for his birthday. This must surely have been his best birthday gift ever. Especially as he was hungover. I certainly know how to spoil people. Anyway we managed a very pleasantly paced 7 miles to commemorate his advancing age. 

On Wednesday it was time for k reps in Hove Park. As I’m pretty rested I should have been better at these than recent weeks. I was not. As usual I did the first in a too-fast-for-current-form 3.50. Then 3.58 followed by 4.05. The End. We were supposed to be doing 5 but I was getting far too slow and Rob didn’t feel very well so we abandoned ship (3rd week in a row for me I think). In the evening I ended up running with the slowest lady at Run Club so it was a nice easy 5 miles for me. 

Having run on the seafront on Wednesday I knew it was quite stony as a result of the windinesses of earlier in the week hurling the beach up onto the prom thus I opted to be helpful and run/volunteer at Preston Park parkrun. I arrived early to help set up. Well I arrived at the same time as I always do but helped set up rather than going for a warm up jog. After sheathing the bollards and setting up the finish funnel there was time to chat to some of the folk I’ve abandoned for Hove Prom (parkrun floozy) before the off. I didn’t have anything in mind for this run. At the moment I’m just notching them up for the 250. This was 239. Dammit that parkrun is only once a week. Hurry up! Anyway off I went until I returned as first lady 21 minutes and 18 seconds later. 

Today (Sunday) meant a train trip to Bexhill to run a one off 10k on the yet to open (and in fact still being built) Bexhill to Hastings Link Road. Rob came too. Other than that it seemed to be over 1000 people I’d never heard of (there was an entry list). Once we had passed a queue of people with trolleys outside Aldi waiting to go in I realised Bexhill leisure centre was where the Bexhill cross country starts from. Well duh! Obviously this race was much more pleasant as I love flat and road. The start was pretty narrow so we made sure we were near enough the front to not be trapped.  It was a very warm day so I was grateful that Rob had said we should wear our Arena vests. After the narrowness of the start it was quickly onto the full width of road. 

Plenty of space (No that’s not a high tech watch but a locker key)

It was nice and empty with plenty of room (though I did get cut up a few times still). Some of the road wasn’t surfaced which meant a few bumpy sections and exquisitely loamish bits that I quite liked (though not helpful for speed). Somehow I was first lady which led to amusement as I passed the marshals who radioed back my number. I did feel like I’d better ruddy well stay ahead seeing as that’s who the person announcing at the finish would be expecting. As we crossed paths at the 5k turn I saw the second lady was about 100 metres behind me. Yikes! I knew she’d started a bit behind me so in order to beat her on chip too I needed to get a blinking move on. Luckily after the brief steepish uphill to the turn point it was back the way we came which meant near enough flat with only minor undulations (rather like my front). As I neared the finish I suddenly heard someone shout “Go Nat!” Eeeeek. Hurry! I can’t lose first place in the last 200 metres. I did not. There was then a tense wait to see if I’d really beaten her but even on chip time I was 7 seconds ahead. Thank goodness! After a brief wait Rob arrived and we set off back to the leisure centre to reclaim our bags from a locker (I was wearing the locker key wristband which I kept looking at thinking it was my watch – which I wasn’t wearing). We didn’t want to have to hang around for the prize giving so I have no idea of the beauty and undoubted expense of my trophy but I did collect my finishers horse brass (how apt when running on a new road for motorised vehicles). 

Oooooo brassy!

My official time was 42.50 but I was pleased with my actual racing and quite enjoyed the route. Flat. Fast. Wide. Empty. 

Strava tells me I’ve run 24 miles this week. 

Posted 20/09/2015 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

That’s more Hellingly kit   1 comment

Still having a cold and having almost frozen to death the whole of Sunday after Littlehampton I decided to try and do a bit of resting. I managed two days. 

I fell off the wagon to some k reps in Hove Park with Rob. I’m trying to help him string a good set of sub 4 minute ks together. He managed this himself when I failed to be fast enough on the last two reps so he had to go it alone. I started off ok with 3.51 followed by 3.53. Just scraped 4 minutes for the third then died a true death on the last to roll home in 4.17 after abandoning ship at around 600m. Anyway Rob did what he wanted which was the aim of the session so hip hip hooray to my skillz (ahem…) as a coach. 

In the evening it was off to work for run club. As Jo was back we did a speed session. 8 x sprints of varying distances and perceived efforts. The shortest at 100% and some slightly longer ones at 80/90%. Pure death. Good though. Perhaps. My calves may disagree. 

I rested again on Thursday (couldn’t be bothered to go back out once I returned from work). 

On Friday I felt the need to do something vaguely long so I set off for an 8 mile (Eminem style). I didn’t lose myself in the music nor the moment nor did I own it but I did run approximately 8 miles reasonably easily which was the aim.

Hove Prom was not the place to do parkrun due to ridiculous multidirectional headwinds so off I set to Hove Prom to do parkrun. It took quite some time. 

The main event for the week was Hellingly 10k. I was under no impression I would be any good going on recent evidence. After standing about being quite chilly it was time to get going. After the usual parting of the start line crowds to let through a car at the last minute it was time to set off. Dan had reminded us the course is merely undulating with a mainly downhill last 2k so I was just going to attempt to beat last year’s time, a stunningly uninspiring 45.05. Somewhere around 2k I realised that EVERYTHING WAS GOING REALLY WELL. What the? It’s been so long (if ever in fact) that I have felt so much like I was actually running. I was bouncing along and didn’t even notice how tired I was and how much of a stitch I was managing to keep at bay. I had no watch so had no idea how I was doing but hordes of people weren’t streaming past and I was even overtaking people occasionally. I was taking giant strides which seems to be my natural gait when not crushed by depressive sulks. I even concentrated on picking it up from 5k rather than slowing down until 9k in the usual style. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!! Around 1k from the end I overheard some spectators saying I was 6th women so this spurred me on to keep going. The finish this year was a horrid rutted 100m or so round a tight bend so no sprinting but I tried to pick it up a bit without breaking my ankles.

Thanks to Danny for not knowing I’ve stolen his photo


Trying to speed on a non-speedy surface. Thanks Emma for the photos

I was pleased to discover my time of 43.17 as this is only about 30 seconds slower than my best here which was on the other course which seems like it should be shorter though obviously it wasn’t. I was indeed 6th lady (well counted spectators). I was second v35 and was 58/294 over all. 6/115 ladies. 

The Hellingly massive

Hopefully this run marks the release from the plague of the last few months of a heavy and dragging depressive episode. Bye bye! (Until the next one.)

24 miles for the week (+ 17 gadzillion sneezes).

Posted 13/09/2015 by Isobel Muir in Uncategorized

The good, the bad and the Littlehampton    2 comments

Bank holiday meant no track so I decided to get a steady paced 5 miles done in the morning before work. I have no idea of the speed but I was trying to work at 80% or so effort throughout. I felt like this was a good run so therefore it was.

On Tuesday I balanced Monday’s run with 5 miles at an easy pace as I had Tom’s seafront session to look forward to in the evening. 2 x 3 miles. A session I’ve never done before but exactly the sort of thing I feel I should do (also as these sessions start on the seafront near my house I could do them on my own if I fancied). I decided to go out on the first one with Dave as I knew he would pace it much more sensibly than I would. I looked at my watch at halfway and with half a mile to go just so I would have an idea on the second one if I was on for the same time. I passed halfway on the first one in 10.09. I finished in 20.43. After a 4 minute break I set of again with Dave but reached halfway in 10.29 so tried to speed up slightly on the way back so my two reps would be as close as possible in time. 20.53 so near enough. I liked this session as I felt comfortable for both reps and was pleased with the times.

Wednesday was time for k reps with Rob in Hove Park. Once again there were dogs, dawdlers and divs (Rob and I) in abundance. Also I was still not fast enough so Rob had to overtake me on the last one which he doesn’t like doing being an utter gentleman so I ruined that one for him and thus also ruined his secret hope of doing under 16 minutes for the 4 reps. He did 16.03. Excellent consistency of 4 minutes +\- 2s per kilometre for him.  Mine were a mess: 3.53, 3.57, 4.04, 4.07.

In the evening I took the work run clubbers to do Kenyan hills at Duke’s Mound. Easy enough but still hills.

I had planned to rest on Thursday as I was at work all day so I did. On Friday I meant to do a run but I badly fell off the sanity wagon so did nothing.

On Saturday it was back to Hove Prom after the forced return to Preston Park last week. I was still feeling utterly awful as of Friday. In fact I think I can safely say that I have never wanted to run parkrun less than I did then. It took all my strength just to drag myself out of the house. Horrible. Anyway I managed it. In fact I was surprised with 21.37 as I just wanted to run it consistently and comfortably without putting any strain on my already enfeebled mind. Last week I tried hard for 21.28 at Preston Park. Hopefully this means physically I am over the cold (backed up by heart rate being back to normal at rest after a period of +10 bpm which means you are ill so says science n that).

Enough strength for immaturity on the first lap (thanks Mark)


Less so on the return leg

This morning (Sunday) it was time to try a new race. The Littlehampton 10k. The weather was perfect for running. The course was quite nice in the main though there was a horrible grass bit finished off with a section of pebbles. I was pleased with my effort throughout but not when I discovered my time was bilge. Rob measured the course at 6.3 miles (and he didn’t cut any corners whereas I did a few times) but even with the possible extra couple of minutes my time was unacceptable for the effort I put in. Somehow I was second woman.

I’m bored of myself and this post now so goodbye until next week.

%d bloggers like this: