Success!   2 comments

After a 60 mile week I thought I might try and be sensible so didn’t go to track. The sensibility was helped because it was utterly freezing so I thought the track might be frozen off so didn’t want to chance going over only to find we had to go to Preston Park as I find it just the wrong kind of darkness to run without fear of tripping over.

On Tuesday it was still very cold but sunny and not windy so perfect for the usual 10 mile loop with Rob. One must make the most of these sorts of day seeing as the weather generally wants to be a terrifically windy and rainswept affair. In the evening it was back to the seafront for a repeat of Tom’s session of 4 x 2.5k. The weather was perfect. My sock and legging combo not. The socks fell down almost immediately making me look like someone doing aerobics in the 1980s. Luckily this fashion faux pas didn’t affect my reps. This week I wanted them to be consistent (without the accidental speedy second rep we did last time). The course was a few metres longer this week but the times practically the same: 10.13, 10.08, 10.11, 10.12. Ian made me put in a fast finish on the last one. It was not fast, as we both discovered when we tried to kick on. I think this was mainly down to it being utterly freezing so our legs had frozen into the rep speed and couldn’t be coaxed out. I was very pleased with this session and thanks to Ian who took it upon himself to be my pacer for the evening. 

After Tuesday’s success I thought I’d better rest on Wednesday morning knowing I had the Arena tempo run in the evening. Steve had decided we’d do the course in reverse which meant I’d be passing near my house towards the end, thus I thought I’d split the run into sections, finishing at the lagoon as it seemed silly to run the last mile away from my house back to the end just to run back home again. Once we had cleared the narrow pavement bit by the King Alfred and reached the wide lawns section I decided to see how far I could get at a reasonable speed. The pier it turned out. The return section to the King Alfred was at a more steady pace, picking it up a little towards the end as I had turned into an ogre of a personal trainer to poor Rob (sorry). Once we had regrouped (and Rob had escaped) I knew I only had a mile to the lagoon so thought I’d put it in again. I sped off only to be outsped by Paul just before I reached the lagoon and slowed down for the final few hundred metres home. The speedy sections were at around 6.30 pace which I was surprised about. Must be the solid few months of proper training and lack of stressful, on-feet, no-lunch-break job. Whatever it is it is long overdue. The whole run was probably around 6 miles. 

On Thursday morning I was, unsurprisingly, totally knackered so dragged myself out for a very easy paced run. It was not easy. Headwind in both directions. A struggle. I didn’t go to Tom’s session in the evening as I wanted to be recovered ready for the Arena 80 Hove Prom parkrun takeover on Saturday where I was going to follow Alex and Andy, who were on 20 minute pacer duty, to the sub 20 I should be running but am not. 

The forecast for Saturday was foggy but not too cold and, most importantly, not windy. I felt ready to finally get back in the 19s. I donned a splendid purple themed running outfit. As I am insane in the membrane sometimes I need to be precisely colour coordinated. Also as I was intending to run faster than I have for ages I made sure I wasn’t overdressed as being too hot is a speed killer I find. Purple was the theme because I had new long socks (ski, not compression) to test and as it was Arena takeover week my volunteer t shirt to wear along with my favourite shoes which are purple. I kept my gloves though as they are useful for snot and sweat. After doing my duty as pace bib giver-outer I tracked down Alex and Andy to make sure I was with them from the first step as I knew I’d have to be to go properly sub 20.  

and we’re off!


As always when being properly paced the first kilometre or so feels far too slow and easy but I knew soon enough it would feel hard. It did. 

Keeping with Alex step for step


Thankfully today I knew I would keep with the pace and apart from dropping to the back of our little group from time to time I never lost contact so was able to get back into the midst when I was feeling better. The pacing duo of Andy and Alex was excellent with them both checking how I was doing throughout (not sure who the rest of the group felt about this). As I wasn’t sure how much under 20 they were running I tried my utmost to keep with them in the home straight. Andy took to the front of the group and Alex came back to help me. I managed to get back with the group and even overtake a few of them in the final 100 metres or so. Still having a nagging doubt I’d run 20.04 or something equally disappointing I was very pleased when Alex said he’d got 19.48 for me. Phew! 12 seconds of official results discrepancy leeway. Rob managed to sneak a look at the time checker sheet where I was immortalised in ink at 19.48. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!  Thank you so much to Alex and Andy for their excellent pacing skills and encouragement. Now I must do it myself next time. 

Arena folk after the run. Gary arrived just in time for the photo. Thank you very much to Danny for allowing me to use your photos. Much appreciated.


I have now achieved my goal of making it onto the trio of Brighton parkruns’ sub 20 women’s list. (Just in time for the forth one to have started. I shan’t be going sub 20 there though. Hilly and muddy? No thank you.) 

Last on the list. So the only way is up, right?


To round off my successful and sensible week I went out on another easy paced LSR with Rob and his hoof sounding new ultras today (Sunday morning). 11 miles, to take the weekly total to a much more acceptable 41 miles. 


Posted 24/01/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

2 responses to “Success!

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  1. pacing, gets one thinking
    and the art of
    well done you!


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