Archive for April 2016

Time to get serious   11 comments

I have always been annoyed and fed up with myself for my inability to go out and train properly on my own. I miss out long runs if left to my own devices and these are a big part of what I need to do to post any sort of decent time. In the glory months of 2013 I was doing at least two long runs a week and hills and all sorts of things I have let slip by the wayside recently. So following the recommendation of Sarah “sub 20 women’s list” Sawyer I got myself a real-life coach. Well not that real-life as I’m hiding from him behind email and phone (I shall NOT FaceTime). 

So this week progressed thus…

Monday – no run day.

Tuesday was a track session of 1600 at 20 minute 5k pace, followed by 6 x 300 at 63/64s. Finishing off with 4 x 100 strides. Rob was much faster so he helped me keep my pace up throughout. He was completely fine whilst I lay on the track with green flashes before the eyes (not the old school plimsolls). 

On Wednesday I found the hangover from a hard track session to be sore shins and floppy feet which caused me to almost fall flat on my face twice. I managed 5 miles (just about) unscathed to prepare for Thursday.

Which was 8 x 45 second hill reps on a 7% incline. Handily there is a bench and tree at precisely 45 seconds. Naturally the wind was directly down the hill so I had gravity and wind against me. Extra resistance. My legs had recovered from track so there were no near face-to-pavement moments. Having not done any hills for ages this was hard but that is the point. I need to start from scratch really and forget what I used to be like when I was fitter in 2013. 

Friday was an easy 30 minutes. Weirdly I felt like I was running reasonably fast for an easy run but I was not. This doesn’t matter of course but it was strange to feel so much faster than I actually was. 

Saturday was back to the prom for parkrun. Stone free thanks to the Brighton marathon the week before. The instruction was to use it as a hard 20 minute(ish) run so not to be concerned with finish time as long as I put the effort in throughout. I was ready to do as I was told. (Un)fortunately I spotted a 20 minute pacer which of course meant I would try and stick with him even though I’m perfectly  aware that I don’t have the endurance for it at the moment. 

Eying the 20 minute pacer

My secondary plan was to try not to lose too much in the second half. I lost the pacer at around 2k and went through halfway in 10.20. I had wanted to try and push it in the wind behind sections but I’d forgotten that there is no such thing on the seafront. Headwind both ways simultaneously. As usual I lost time on the long stretch back to the Peace Statue. I crossed the line in 20.59. That will do. Still lost too much in the second half but I did go out too fast with the pacer so knew that would happen. I did what I was asked though and kept my head up and tried throughout so it has to be counted as a success.

This morning (Sunday) I went out extra early to fit my scheduled 80-90 minute hilly LSR in before the London marathon (watching on tv, not participating).

Check out the elevation! Ok ok, but it’s not flat

I like having a training plan in advance as I don’t have to think and just have to do, and do I shall because I’m an obedient child of librarians. 

27 miles for my first week on the road to not being not very good anymore. 

Posted 24/04/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Lacklustre¬†   Leave a comment

After a hard Saturday and Sunday and an imminent 10k I decided a rest was in order and Monday was that day. 
On Tuesday Rob and I were supposed to be doing 12 x 400 but I bailed out at 5 and he did 6. Let’s say it was because we were tapering for the 10k. If this was really so we (well mainly I) would not have then done many many many many many many long jumps. But I love it and people keep telling me running is supposed to be fun and I can’t say it is at the moment. Long jump counts a running right?
One Wednesday I was so utterly broken from the long jumping bonanza so I went out for a gentle 5 to try and shake some of the DOMS from my legs. Not sure it was successful. Also good grief, my poor shoulders. 

Back to track on Thursday mainly to use up our passes that were due to expire on Sunday. An easy session of 6 x 800 at 42 minute 10k pace just to try and get a feel for the pace. It was a nice sunny day so a very pleasant session over all. 

A rest on Friday mainly because I had to go to the expo to collect my number for Sunday. Also the weather was horrible. 


Kit bags past to present.

On Saturday I wanted to try and do a sub 21 parkrun. I did not but I concentrated on trying not to lose too much in the second half. I went through halfway in 10.30 and finished in 21.11. Still too much of a drop but better than usual. Also on trying to actually use my arms rather than carrying them like a scared Tyrannosaurus rex.

No t rex arms here

This morning (Sunday) it was time for the BM10k. Up at 6am, cycling in the freezing cold at 7.15, arriving far too early. Feeling sick due to too much breakfast. Sighing at the disastrous tiny kit bag saga. Finding myself and Rob in the start straight with Dan Vaughan, Emily, Alex and Gemma Steele. Everyone else being corralled on the grass. Finding a bi-directional headwind on the sea front. Taking it as a steady run as I know I have no endurance at present. Waiting HALF AN HOUR for my bag afterwards (I received it just as everyone tired of the shambles and disorganisation and started climbing over the barriers – God knows what happened then. I fear deaths.). 

A paltry 19 miles for the week which is less than most people ran today alone. 

Posted 17/04/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

Still going¬†   Leave a comment

As I am mojo less and motivation lacking I decided to just do whatever running happened. On Monday this turned out to be a horrible gloom-ridden drag to the Peace Statue and back. 

On Tuesday it was time for the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 laps session at the track. I thought I would be unsuccessful from the the 3 lap rep onwards but actually I only really couldn’t do the last one. There was some suspect pacing by me throughout (with additional decimal-clock style 100m time fails by Rob) but I was pleased with my ability to get us back on track (not literally as we remained on the actual  track at all times) when I went astray. Naturally I thought I had ruined it all but it was OK as I was as fast as I should have been (except for the 2 and 1 lap bits but Rob went ahead and was always running in lane 2 or 3 anyway so he was doing much faster than prescribed.  It was definitely better than I feared as I truly thought I wouldn’t be able to do any of it.

Rob’s Garmin comparison of our two goes at this session. Overall improvement.


On Wednesday I ran to Shoreham Arm. It was ridiculously windy so I was hardly moving on the way. On the way back I did some form practice for a mile or so. Trying to keep up on my toes Timmy-style and flick my heels up McNealy style. I did feel faster and more bouncy but perhaps this was due to the thousand mile an hour tailwind. 

On Thursday it was the usual LSR with Rob. 

On Friday I went on an easy ish 6 miler where the focus was on trying to stay up on my toes, or rather, trying not to heel strike. My calves were already quite tight after Wednesday’s practice so I’m sure another 6 miles helped greatly. 

Saturday was Christ’s Hospital Relay day. Yippee! Well it should have been as it’s one of my favourite races of the year. However I knew it wasn’t going to be my best what with one thing and another. I found myself as leg 1 for one team and leg 2 for a second, non-scoring, team. I did this last year so knew it would horrid but also good (or better than 1st and 3rd leg at least – precisely the wrong amount of time in between). Some excellent pinning by me meant I would be able to tear off my first number to reveal an already pinned on secondary number underneath.  

Awaiting the (first) off. Please note excellent number pinning skills.


I don’t think I was very good on the first leg. Probably not warmed up enough and worrying about the imminence of the second leg.  

Hmmmmm. Not looking too speedy. Double numbers looking great though.


I felt better on the second leg, though knackered, after only a couple of minutes recovery. I have no idea of either leg time but know neither was anywhere near my dream of sub 13 minutes for the 2.1 mile distance (best time 13 minutes dead, probably in 2013). I had decided that at worst this was a Tom-style session of 2 x 2.1 miles with 2/3 minute recovery. 

Today I struggled massively on a windswept seafront run. This may be due to this being day 13 of running. I didn’t realise this. 15 runs in this time if I count yesterday’s double legger as two runs. Oops. 41 miles for the week.

I’ve one been writing this blog for three or so years and it’s interesting to see what sorts of search terms people use to discover it. All the usual suspects are there. People looking up races that I’ve talked about, routes I’ve mentioned and all that sort of stuff. “Men in tight gloves” obviously. Here’s one I wasn’t expecting:

But I must give the public what they want. Alas I could not find the specificity of a small poodle but please peruse this link Small dog stretches for the information you crave. 


Posted 10/04/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

The week that wasn’t   Leave a comment

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: No (x2)

Wednesday: Usual 10 mile LSR with Rob.

Thursday: 8 x 500 with 1 minute recovery. Consistently 1.55 +/- The best bit was a total “have it” when a child rolled a football in front of us and it fell perfectly in stride for what must have been my best goal kick ever (shame I never did that when I actually was in goal). 

Friday: Recovery shuffle of 2.5 miles. 

Saturday: Sarah made the list!

Sunday: No. 

30 miles for the week.

Posted 03/04/2016 by Isobel Muir in Running

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