Archive for December 2015

Merry Christ … must run    Leave a comment

After a mileage-filled week last week I found it hard to get started at track on Monday evening (indeed I was mainly there for the post-session mulled wine). The session was 10 x 600, speeding up every 200 metres. Rick decided we should each lead two reps as he always ends up pacing the whole thing. This meant that I ruined my first one by going too fast. Or too fast for the rest of the group. Oops. On my next one Rick reined me in. Thanks Rick! The changing of the leader was good as it meant we had a variety of styles, though all similar in overall time. My legs didn’t really ease off until rep 5 or so after the hard week last week but the session still felt ok and I didn’t get too left behind at any time. A nice plastic cup or two of mulled wine finished off the evening perfectly. 

As Craig David said: I rested on Tuesday (it should have been Tom’s handicap 5k but 50mph wind and rain put paid to that). 

On Wednesday Rob and I set out for the usual LSR, plans afoot to add more and different styled ones in the new year pre half marathons (him). Today was the traditional 10 miles. In the evening I ventured forth to the Arena evening tempo run. This has become a fast boys race since I used to do it a year or so ago so I made sure Steve was aware I was going so he could run slowly with me so I didn’t slow everyone else down. When I arrived it was just Steve, Jim, Dorian, Paul and I. I told them they could go without me but in the spirit of gentlemanliness they stayed back with me for most of it, only slipping ahead a few times. I wanted to do a fast bit from the lagoon to peace statue which I certainly did. Average 6.42 for three miles but supposedly a 6.05 in there (unlikely) so maybe actually two miles at around 6.20. I took it reasonably easy from peace statue to pier but the pace increased all the way back to the King Alfred making the overall average pace 6.56 so a lot of speediness must have occurred. I was thoroughly dead by the end and Steve even had to drive me the last 200 metres home. Jeeeeeeeeeeez. It’s what I need though. 

I tried to go for a recovery jog on Thursday but the incessant wind and Christmas dawdlers in my way made it a rage infused shuffle instead. 3 miles done.

On Friday there was something called Christmas which meant we got an extra scoring parkrun. This year it was at Preston Park. Thankfully it was very mild, though still windy. I set myself the target of sub 21. Well I set it a while ago. I’m not the spontaneous sort. 4.12 per k. Not that I have a gps watch or anything or even look at the stopwatch I do have. Anyway I tried my hardest and managed 20.51 and First Lady. Gone are the days of full effort reaping sub 20. Though hopefully by knocking off realistic increments each time I can work my way back there and beyond. 

As Saturday was Saturday there was another parkrun and I went to Preston Park again because the traditional Boxing Day race was on afterwards. Because I was knackered after Wednesday plus Friday’s parkrun I only managed 21.12 at parkrun then rued my decision to do the Boxing Day race as I was totally shattered but I dragged myself round the full 5.4 miles, being overtaken by Stephen Ferroni after a mere two and a half laps. I was quite surprised that my average pace was 7.33 as I hardly felt I was moving. I then had to go to work. Zzzzzzz. 

Today I had a rest. Yay! Though I did have to go to work. Boo. 

Tomorrow I shall rest again.

36 miles for the week. 

Posted 27/12/2015 by Isobel Muir in Running

The most runderful time of the year    Leave a comment

Monday morning brought with it a change from the normal. An LSR. Crazy hey? Not at all. The LSR King was going to the dentist in the afternoon so wouldn’t be able to go to track so I thought it might be good to get an LSR in in the morning so he would have done something even if the dentist turned out to be The End. Anyway we just did the usual. 10 miles in the sack nice and early. I then decided to go to track which I haven’t done for ages. It was very mild and not windy so no chance it would be called off. I got a lift with Steve which meant we arrived very early so I ended up doing a few miles just as a warm up. The session itself was 2 x 800 + 300 with 30s between the 800s and 300 and 60s after the 300. There were four of these, dropping the longer reps down by 100 each time. After the morning LSR it took until the middle of the session for my legs to get into it. Though I still managed to keep with Rick enough to say I was in his group throughout. 

On Tuesday I had to go into work early so didn’t get a chance to run in the morning but knew I had an 8 miler to look forward to in the evening. It was a pretty miserable evening. Wet, windy and very stony on the prom. Once I arrived I heard there was a 10 mile option that Cathy was going to do. Aiming for 7.15mm. I decided to see if I could go with her. It sounded pretty hard work (having run the Brighton half in 6.48mm in February still doesn’t seem real) but it’s not something I’d ever do on my own so I had to take the opportunity as it presented itself. Good grief it was hard work but I managed to complete the 10 in 1.13.45 which was 7.22 average. It felt harder than Brighton. Or perhaps equally hard as Brighton was a long time ago so maybe I’ve forgotten. Even though it was 30s per mile slower. Hmmmmm. I don’t know whether this is good or bad. Let’s be positive and say it’s good to remember that I can put in the effort (even if currently it’s not that fast). 

I took myself out for a true recovery run on Wednesday morning as I had something proper to recover from. Not even 3 very slow miles. In the evening it was RN Run Club which I feared might totally kill me off as it would be sprints. It was. I lived. 

Another LSR on Thursday morning meant I’d already done my usual weekly mileage. I was feeling fine though. I think the trick for me is to take loads of vitamin and iron tablets all the time as I seem to burn through them at great speed. This was a little tricky to start with as I’m very obedient so found it hard to defy the “one a day” instructions (which most people don’t even read).

I thought I’d better rest on Friday. Even though I didn’t want to.

On Saturday it was time for the Arena superseries age graded parkrun. To have any chance of winning I would need to run around 17 minutes. No. So I didn’t bother running at all. A pleasant jog surrounded by Arenas was the order of the day. 

The LSRers go short


Don’t know who everyone else is looking at

 On Sunday it was time for one last LSR with my trusty sidekick. This brought me up to 55 miles for the week and he 33 or so miles which for a week of mostly not running and resting his heel is pretty good. 

Now I (think I’ve) got my iron/vitamin balance under control and am feeling strong and don’t seem (fingers crossed) to be catching a cold every five seconds I hope to able to continue higher mileage weeks. 40 ish miles should be doable and sensible and hopefully enough to help to me on to 2013 speeds and beyond.

Posted 20/12/2015 by Isobel Muir in Running

Mostly eating   Leave a comment

I have been rubbish at going to track recently and this week was no different.

I tried to make up for it by going out for a 5 mile run in the morning on Tuesday before heading off to Hove Park for the dreaded 3 x 2 mile reps. It was only normally windy rather than the hurricane that beset us the first time so I was pleased to have knocked off 30s or so on each rep. 13.50, 13.50, 13.56. Much more consistent too. 

On Wednesday LSRob was having heel troubles so I had to attempt a long run on my own. Abject failure. Made it to Hove Park and dragged myself round but then couldn’t be bothered any more so slumped home for a paltry, slow and unpleasant 5 miles. Rubbish. I made up for it in the evening by getting the bus into town for work Christmas dinner, scoffing it, then returning home on the bus. Fat times.

I managed a much better though hellishly windy 5 miler to Shoreham Arm on Thursday morning. The wind meant the outward slog was 2.5 minutes slower than the return. Round about 8mm average I think. Oh and I was in fear of being swept away by the angry sea. Must learn that wind and sea equals possible danger. Also having just read The Kraken Wakes was probably not a great idea. However, I lived!

On Thursday evening it was back to Hove Park for 3 x 1 mile. The weather was horribly wet and windy for the first rep but cleared up a bit for the next two. The “mile” turned out to be 0.97 but we managed to talk Tom into doing the same route each time so we could compare our times. I managed 6.26, 6.17 and 6.19 off two minute recoveries. I think this was approximately 6.35mm. Anyway no matter the real time as I felt quite strong and as my times were quite consistent and speedier after the first wind hindered one. 

After the Arena Christmas dinner on Friday I slightly rued my decision to offer to run/scan at Preston Park. However I set off like I meant business. Joe sped past me with buggy and hangover before the first cone turn. 

Rob volunteering with Bollard Cat. Thanks Danny for the photo

My socks decided to fall down under my foot within the first 2k. This is a new and unwelcome issue. Same socks and shoes as always so why suddenly the inability to stay put? Harumph. Anyway this did not distract me from task of hurrying to the finish so I could take up my scanning position. I arrived in 26th place then having donned my coat and high vis I was ready! As I didn’t have a watch I didn’t know my time but with the help of Duncan made a guess at 21 ish. Much later after scanning and tea drinking my result text arrived telling me I had run 20.51. I was pleased with this as I had felt consistent and strong all the way round without totally killing myself. 

This morning I had planned (to fail) to do a lone LSR. I was then called into work early which meant I had a reason to only do a fast 5. So I did. Well not that fast. I felt like I was working quite hard though which was the point. 

32 miles (of eating mostly) in the bank.

Posted 13/12/2015 by Isobel Muir in Running

Milestones and miles of stones   2 comments

Once again I didn’t go to track because I wanted to do Tuesday’s session justice (also I was at work until too late to get there and it was horrendously windy). 

Thus I found myself on an extremely stony and windy prom in the dark with my fellow insaniacs (and a small film crew from the British Heart Foundation). Tom had changed the usual 1 mile route into a shorter back and forth to break up the major headwind, try and avoid the stoniest sections and give the film crew more opportunity to capture us zipping by. Due to the stoniness there was only a thin strip of runnable prom which made it interesting once the group had spread out with the four-straights route. One needed to keep ones eyes open to avoid crashes (lampposts were also seemingly leaping out unexpectedly too). The wind and my tendency to have my eyes shut when working hard made this somewhat fraught. Yet I live! Anyway I was pleased to record the following times for the mile (actually around 5 seconds or so over a mile from all the Garmin beepings): 6.33, 6.34, 6.33, 6.39, 6.46, 6.46. Approx 2.5 minutes recovery. The wind picked up on the last few reps (or that’s what we’re telling ourselves anyway). I was pleased with these reps given the underfoot conditions and the quite horrid headwind. Turns out we were “too fit” to appear in the BHF video but luckily they’d brought their own ringer to run past the camera a few times.

On Wednesday it was off out for the usual LSR. I was somewhat broken from Tuesday but managed it with the help of my trusty running companion. It was probably windy but I’ve forgotten already. Anyway 11 in the bag.

As I didn’t do anything on Thursday I felt I should on Friday. I discovered  however that I was feeling feeble and only managed a slow and knackering 3 miles. Nice weather for once though. Sunny and not windy. The prom was still stony as heck, cementing the wisdom of having decided earlier in the week to move my 250th parkrun to Preston Park. 

So finally, after 8 years, it was time to do my 250th parkrun. I should really have done it at Hove Park as that’s where it all started but I couldn’t face the crowding and my road rage. Prom was too stoned and windy so Preston Park it was. I had decided to dress as a cat for the occasion and Rob presented me with a beautiful hand-crafted 250 badge so I was ready for action.  

Even Bob was fooled it looks so professional


I didn’t have a plan as to how I wanted to run so when Tara said she was going to do a progression run as she had cross country in the afternoon I thought why the heck not and asked if I could join her. Rob had too after his success following her the last time she did this. Emily joined us too so we had a small but perfectly formed Arena posse. 


Team work (bugger off men in white and red)


Cat(wo)man and Robin


After a while we spotted some girls ahead and Tara decided that I should try and be first lady what with it being my 250 and all. It took a bit of convincing to get them to believe there was another girl ahead of the girl ahead but once she had been spotted by all Tara began moving in for the kill. The lead girl put up more of a fight than I expected (I based her on Isobel fight levels aka not much not often). I was closing in on her with the expert help of my team but I didn’t manage to get past her until the last 20 metres or so. Yikes! It was a close call but I was victorious. Tara rolled home easily in second and Emily bowed out gracefully without crossing the line. Rob allowed me to beat him like the gentleman he is. This was a new way of running for me. The progressive nature as well as the helpful crew of team runners. We were pleased with our efforts so adjourned to the cafe for celebratory teas all round.

A glass of milk perhaps?


A card from Emily to commemorate this momentous occasion



It’s official!

A slight dampener when the result email came through saying I was second with a phantom lady one second ahead but we knew I was first. 

Sod’s law!


Anyway massive thanks to Tara, Emily and Rob for sacrificing their own runs so we could run as a team and helping me secure first lady status on this special run. We know the truth! 

34 miles for the week (and almost 800 miles of parkrun over the last 8 years).

Posted 06/12/2015 by Isobel Muir in Running

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