Archive for March 2016

Easter legs (still waiting for the resurrection)   2 comments

After a surprisingly high mileage week I thought it would be good to keep ploughing onwards which naturally meant I was scuppered by knackeredness but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I rested on Monday as is becoming routine now, knowing that I would be doing a track session on Tuesday morning with track meister Rob. The planned session was 12 x 400 with 20s that I knew was going to be hard. I worked out we needed to be doing 96s per 400 for sub 20 minute 5k pace. Which is 24s per 100. So of course I was far too fast for the first 6 (I then died a bit for two of the latter ones – 98s being my slowest) but over all they were all 91 – 94s so basically sub 19 pace. I was dead. Rob however was not and ran them all in lane two and kept them all towards the 91s end. As I said: Track Meister. He then did a small spike test and I followed him on a (not very fast for him but maybe 80% sprint speed for me) 100m. Fool fool fool. Death. Then I cycled up the usual leg sapper hill to get home. In the evening I went to Tom’s session where a I chose an option that wasn’t even an option and was in fact 2 miles shorter than the shortest “softies” option of 8 miles. 21.14 for the outward 3 miles followed by 22.01 on the way back. That was it.

Until Saturday. I meant to run on Friday as I knew everything would have seized up and indeed I found my hip flexor was inflexible and dodgy to the point of thinking I shouldn’t even attempt running. Also my right knee was stiff as heck itself. I did a bit of hobbling and leg swinging and various other things. I didn’t care about my knee but the hip was seriously concerning as I couldn’t even jog on it. My own fault for not running yesterday. Naturally being a massive goit I did not sensibly don a hi vis but stepped up to the start line. By now my hip had loosened out a bit so it was time to go go go! As it was rather windy (surprise!) I thought I’d use the run to concentrate on form, especially arm swing (or total lack thereof [T Rex/hamster]). I managed to get my arms moving a little more than usual (not hard as ANY movement would be an improvement) and also tried to run a bit more on my toes and leaning forwards rather than my usual leaning back can’t-keep-up-with-my-legs style. All this concentrating on the simple act of trying to run like a normal. I passed halfway in 10.24 which isn’t very good but let’s blame the wind and the fact I was concentrating on form rather than pace (hopefully pace will follow decent form). Into the wind I concentrated on keeping up the effort level. The last 500m was with the wind behind (ish, sideways on) so I picked it up a bit (at least in terms of effort). 21.13 was my official time which I was of course unhappy with but then what am I ever happy with? Nothing! Stupid woman.

A paltry 12 miles for the week with the equivalent of 1000 miles of self hatred and general pointlessness of existenceness. Happy Easter! I shall resurrect myself from the ashes of my feeblemindedness and become brilliant! But not tomorrow as it’s too blasted windy. 

Posted 27/03/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Spring has not sprung   Leave a comment

Once again I saved track until Tuesday as it seems Rob and I do better doing track sessions on our own. I run faster than I would in my group on Monday and Rob wouldn’t even be in my group yet he is capable of sticking with me (actually quicker than me as he runs in lane two) with ease in these sessions. Anyway this week he had chosen a 5k specific session that comprised 5 laps at 2 minutes a lap all the way down to 1 lap taking 10s off per lap each time the laps drop by one (why are these sessions so difficult to describe on paper?). The first set of 5 laps was hard as it needed to be very slow. However it was useful that it broke up easily into 30s per 100m. In fact I had spent the whole night worrying and calculating the 100m pace for each section so I knew what we were needing to hit on each 100 on each rep but I couldn’t then do the maths past a couple of hundred metres. Luckily Rob did that so between us we managed to pace them pretty well. Rob was still raring to go at the end so he went off to do some sprints whilst I did not. I need to cycle to the track NOT the way I did this morning. A good session and something completely different to the usual things we do. 

In the evening I went to Tom’s session as it was 2 x 5k so it was perfect to run at a solid but steady pace. I ran with Kev so I knew the pacing would be sensible and consistent. 22.16 and 22.28. 

On Wednesday it was a simple matter of the usual LSR. 10 easy miles. 

Thursday evening was going to be a hard one. 5 x 1k on the prom with Tom’s group. Eeek! I wanted to see if I could get back to the days of 3.45s for these. Though it may only have been a single day. The weather was good. Not too windy or cold. My plan was to try and stick with Tom so the reps were sensibly paced. The cone was back (flashing) and the turn point was round a beach shelter. It was a bit stony in places and the shelter 180 degree turn slowed me down a bit (getting the excuses in). However: 3.54, 3.52, 3.52, 3.53, 3.53 off two minutes recovery. Hootsy! I was pleased. Ok so not quite 3.45 but it’s still cold and I always do better once it’s a bit warmer.

Mark told me the prom parkrun weather would be good because he was Run Director so I decided to go there on Saturday (I would have anyway but it’s always better when there is no hurricane). There was a 20 pacer so I knew I’d have to try and go with him. 


Good start


Flagging. Must work on arm carriage. T rex is not helpful


Still battling and slightly less T rex of arm


I passed half way dead on 10 minutes but lost touch with the 20 pacer from there and then slowed further as the wind picked up considerably in the last long stretch to the Peace  Statue. I did manage to pick it up in the last 500 wind behind to the finish but alas it was still well over 20 minutes. 20.23 in fact. 1 second slower than last week. Good consistency though and basically a replay of the last time. 


East turn meister Marc (also t rex photographer extraordinaire)

Anyway it was acceptable and cindistent with last week so hopefully I can at least stay here for the coming weeks then carve a big chunk off when the day is right. 

Today (Sunday) I dragged the long suffering Rob out so I would do a long run. Speaking of Rob, props for the parkrun pb!!!!!!!!! (Holdaway style commemoration!!!!!!). The run was fine. It’s amazing (but not of course, just sense) what eating enough does for a long run. No death in the final miles. 

An unexpected 38 miles for the week.

Posted 20/03/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Probably did some running   Leave a comment

Although I love track I also love knowing what I’m doing at training sessions in advance so I decided to not do Monday evening track but go on Tuesday morning instead with Rob as we have discovered Payasugym app which is currently giving me 50% off day passes so almost as cheap as Arena entry (or it was until Arena dropped to £2). Anyway we arranged to do 800 reps. I suddenly realised this is what I had done on Thursday on the prom which meant I had something to compare them with. I had been pleased with them (3.06 av) but wasn’t sure how I’d do without having Tom to follow. It was slightly odd being at track in the sunshine and without the hordes of Arenas one is used to on a Monday evening. I was nervous because I new I would be sole pacer. Anyway after a bit of warming up I had to get on with it. In the end I did 6 x 800 in 3.03 to 3.05 with the first 400 being 1.29/1.30 each time. 90s rest between reps. Rob did 5 at around the same speed then did a bit of sprint stuff to finish off as that is what he likes most of all. One must enjoy running as everyone is always saying. I was pleased that I was able to pace us acceptably (Rob could have probably gone faster but tough unless he wishes to pace them himself). The added bonus of doing this session was that I didn’t have to do the hideous 3 x 2 mile hilly loop of Hove Park in the evening.
Thankfully the Wednesday evening Arena prom run was the loop that means I can peel off at the lagoon for 7 miles rather than the usual 9. Also Rick and Rachel were going at a pleasant pace (7.30mm) so it was a nice easy(ish) short(ish) run over all which is just what I needed. 

On Thursday I went to the prom to do Tom’s session suspecting it might just be me again as Tom and Cathy were away. Claire was there and then Fran appeared at the last moment. He is far too fast for me but even having him way ahead of me helped spur me on and I managed all my reps around 15s faster than the time before when I was at the front. 6.19, 6.14, 6.16 (dog meant an abrupt standstill, triathlon penalty style, on the return leg), 6.14. Two minute (roughly) recoveries. Cripes I’m almost turning into Alex/Gary with my consistency! 

As I knew I was attempting sub 20 at Prom parkrun on Saturday I thought I’d better do a small recovery run on Friday morning as I know it helps my legs feel less rubbish than not running the day before (though that’s what I usually do). An easy 3.5 to the King Alfred and back was plenty.

I was feeling reasonably confident for Saturday as there were pacers and the wind was minimal. Andy appeared beside me at the traffic lights having decided the prom is the way forward as Hove Park is now so crowded. 


Talking tactics before the run


Where’s Wally?


Starting off ok


Fading a bit


Losing form and thus speed



Putting in a strong finish

I started off with the pacer and went through halfway in 9.58 but then I faded in the second half as the pacer pulled too far ahead and I failed to keep close enough. I had always planned to try and put it in from the last turn and I did but it wasn’t enough to make up for the loss of speed/form from 3 – 4k. 20.22 was still ok though and due to being old I managed 74% age grading. 

This morning (Sunday) I (and Rob) gatecrashed the start of RunBrighton’s run as it was from the King Alfred. Rob and I turned back at the Marina as 2.45 hours of running is not something we need to do being #shortstufftilwedie. Well wish to be short stuff (not my cat) forever. 12 very pleasant miles in the sunshine mostly with the wind behind meant a nice end to the training week and a suitable 33 miles in the bag. 

I must just say well done to Mark Brocklehurst and Sarah Sawyer for their magnificent Barcelona marathon times! A 28 minute on for Mark. Flipping brilliant! 

Bye y’all. Until next week…

Posted 13/03/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Running…   Leave a comment

I thought I should do something easy on Monday so just did an easy jog to the Peace Statue and back. I wanted to be fresh and ready for Tom’s 6 miles continuous on Tuesday evening. It was all very well being fresh but it was so windy I became enraged because I just couldn’t move and dropped off Ian and Tom on the first headwind stretch and then even more on the second. Grrrr. 

I should have gone out on Wednesday evening with Arena but I couldn’t face that stupid wind again so opted for a rest day. 

On Thursday morning I did another easy jog this time towards Shoreham Arm. It was closed off for repairs so ended up only being 4 miles. Thankfully it wasn’t too windy on Thursday evening for 8 x 800 reps on the prom. 3.06, 3.06, 3.05, 3.06, 3.06, 3.06. Excellent consistency. I was going to stop at 6 showing great strength and maturity but then Cathy wanted company for last two so off I set thinking at least they’ll be a bit slower. They were not. 3.10 and 3.11. All these off two minute recoveries. I was pleased with this session.

On Saturday I was rubbish at parkrun. 

Today (Sunday) I ended up doing 12 miles in the company of three different people. Dorian and Ivan on the way out to the west then Rob who I coincided with on the way back after I’d left Dorian and Ivan who were continuing westwards. It was a nice sunny day and much warmer than the forecast suggested. Thus I nearly boiled to death in my many layers and full length leggings. A pleasant run though and reminded me of the importance of the eating enough all the time (which is hard work) as I didn’t conk at any stage when usually I flake in the last few miles.

34 miles for the week. 

Posted 06/03/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

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