Archive for August 2017

So little running, so much time   7 comments

Monday was track. A Steve track. His suggested pace for a 44 minute 10k was 78s per 400 metres to be repeated 12 times. Ummmmmm… no. That’s 4.48 mile pace. With 30/15s recovery alternately. Instead of doing my own sensible session I attempted the first one as per the chart of utter nonsense which, naturally, killed me so then I just huffed about doing a few more of various speeds and with various recoveries (all well over 15/30s). One to forget. (I still haven’t forgotten now [Sunday] and it has ruined my whole week. However I’ve been doing very well in not letting stuff like this fester in my mind so I’m forgiving myself this slight blip.)

On Tuesday Core & Stretch class was being covered by the same man as before. Last time his class was nice and stretchy and not too strengthy which was perfect. This time it was a bit more strengthy which I don’t really need but it was still good and probably slightly easier than Jenny’s usual version.

There is no escaping from Toby’s weights Wednesdays though. No matter how difficult it is he manages to make it even harder the next time. As I didn’t go last week I thought I’d be ok. Wrong! It ruins my running for days afterwards yet I don’t seem to be able to stop going (though I have cut down from twice a week to just Wednesday and haven’t been going week in week out. Surely it must be doing me some good though?

Thus Thursday’s HP intervals were once again ruined as my hip flexors, adductors and quads were destroyed. I put in the effort though so, again, hopefully it is doing me some good in the long term. One thing (of many hundreds) that I’ve lost over the years of mojoless gloom is remembering that running is supposed to make you feel sick. Like vomit sick, not down with the kids sick. So feel sick I did even at speeds a snail would be ashamed of. 

I rested on Friday.

On Saturday I tried to assuage my distress at being so slow at parkrun by doing my own pretend parkrun. It did not work as I still timed it. Duh. It felt hard though so it’s purpose was met. Obviously not having run any long, slow mileage means I’m going to have no speed endurance but this doesn’t stop me getting upset when I’m so slow at parkrun. This is the next thing to work on. I’ve become much better in general at many things so I’ll add this to the list.

I have been good at dropping my running right down so next I need to cut out other things that aren’t helpful. Comments please as to what I should/shouldn’t keep so I can get the ball rolling on stopping the unhelpful and becoming 100% brilliant AT ALL THINGS. Well not that at all as the point here is that I can’t be good at everything (or indeed anything) so I need to choose one thing and stick to it and forget how crap I will be at everything else. People have suggested I’d be best at 400/800. I did used to do 800s and I would like to try again but the trouble with them is the pressure of the track and the fact I’m extremely paranoid so being the focus on the track (even though I know no-one actually cares) makes it impossible for me to compete. Secret solo 800s might be the way forward. Shame my garden isn’t quite big enough to fit a track. 

This week hasn’t been the best brain-wise so let’s get on with the next.

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Posted 27/08/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Another week   2 comments

Surprisingly this week started on Monday. Which meant track. Thankfully Bob was back so the session actually had breaks. Only 30s between reps but better than nothing. 800, 600, 400, 200 tempo (x 3). Two minutes between sets. Each rep to be faster than the last. I started in a group of four but alas Rick became injured, John defected to Teo’s group then Steve also became injured (or my great beauty just scared them all off) so I was left to battle on alone. This was fine as this session plays more to my strengths (short). I feel like I’m getting back a bit more towards days of old. It’s only taken five years…

Tuesday was the slightly more restful Core & Stretch. Except it’s BLOODY HARD. I’m so inflexible and legs always tired from running so it’s still rather draining. But it’s not running so must count for something?

I decided not to do weights on Wednesday as that definitely ruins the legs and I wanted to try and give the Adur Challenge a decent go on Thursday. It was a sunny but extremely windy evening when I left home to try and cycle there (soooooo windy) but once I arrived the sun had gone in and it was really rather chilly. Hoorah for an English summer! As this is a handicap event everyone starts at different times. I was set off somewhere in the middle. I was then overtaken by four people in the first mile. Oh dear. There was a headwind in both directions in the traditional style. 

Wondering how 5.8 miles could be so far (approx 2 miles in) Thanks Bob for the photo


Not my finest run but I did it and didn’t sulk too much. The new course was much better with no mud or sliding down riverbanks. Tara’s handicapping skills were good too as most people came in in a group. This is a great event and just what I needed (I was supposed to be doing Tom’s 5000 but couldn’t face it). 

The intrepid Adur Challengers (I’m hiding as usual – think I can see my foot …)


I rested on Friday because I’m really sensible these days. 

Until…

I had planned to do a track session on Saturday morning to stop me from going to parkrun and then becoming annoyed at my inevitably slow time. Also I’m supposed to be trying to get faster at short stuff (mile) so I’d decided 6 x 300 at mile pace would be good. I had the track all to myself (after a boy had been shouted at by an old man during my first three reps). The focus was on keeping my form and running a consistent 20s per 100. I did this perfectly for all 6 reps! What the!! It was rather windy on all three sides (somehow) so this was especially pleasing. Of course this is only session one and 300 metres is hardly a mile but still an encouraging start. I then fell off the sensible wagon by going and doing Preston Park parkrun though actually it was good. Consistently paced and not too hard in either effort or leg. Maybe this is the way forward? I suppose as I’d already done my session it meant there was no pressure so I enjoyed it more.

This morning (Sunday) I thought I’d go out for a nice relaxed 5 just to loosen out my legs after the double yesterday. However I found myself accidentally tempoing merrily up Basin Road. I feel fine though so don’t think I’ve caused any damage.

Now I must have lunch.

Posted 20/08/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Less is Muir   6 comments

I am continuing my quest to do a lot less. I am already feeling better for it. The tricky part is not comparing my times to what I used to do. This is especially difficult as I seem to have a memory of steel and remember most of my times for all sorts of times, distances and training sessions. At least I have worked out I can set my Garmin to not show me anything useful whilst it is recording so I am not ruined by seeing my pace during a run (I could not have a Garmin at all as I used to but Strava peer pressure is real and also I’ve found the way to not let wearing one impact my actual running at the time so it’s all ok). I am also getting better at looking at what I’ve done afterwards and finding a positive. I say “getting better” as I’m still pretty rubbish at it oftentimes. Progress though. 

So what did I do during this third week of less?

Started with more. Monday was track as normal. This week it was a Steve week though which means eeeek! This time was no exception. It was basically a solid 4 miles but was actually 600t, 2 x 500, 3 x 400, 4 x 300, 5 x 200 each with 100j between. As I was with Rick it was a jog recovery but the fast bits not as fast as I’d have done. This was good though as this was the point of the session rather than too fast, walk recovery, which is what would have happened if I’d gone it alone. It was also handy because I had promised Tristan that I’d go to Tom’s session on Tuesday which I knew would be 12 x 800 (though I was only ever going to do 6) so good that this was a different sort of session.

Thanks to Marc for capturing this beautiful image


Before I got to that I went to Core & Stretch. My hip flexors were unamused. In fact they often are. I must work out what to do to placate them as they are stopping me running properly as they are so tired and weak a lot of the time.

Artist’s impression. My downward dog is nowhere near this good


Then it was time for the 800s. As I was only doing 6 I wanted to do them reasonably quickly. Helpfully Kev was there and only doing 7 so I took it upon myself to just stick with him as I know he’ll run sensibly and consistently and speed up as the session progresses so when it seemed like I was slowing I was in fact doing the same times throughout when Kevin was getting faster. Result: 6 x 800 @3.10(+/-1s). Thanks Kevin!

Wednesday weights day. Too much for my inflexible wrists and the usual squats/lunges etc that probably don’t help my poor ravaged hip flexors. But I love it so. 

Hmmmm, the more I write the more this isn’t looking like the lighter week I hoped for (it is much less than I’d usually do but still seems rather too much). Anyway on Thursday it was off to Hove Park for the evening session. Mark was taking the session but it was a traditional Bob-style one set by the man himself. Basically half an hour of running up and down the long hill. Thanks Bob! 

Friday I rested (that’s better).

For some utterly unknown and frankly stupid reason I decided to go to Hove Park parkrun on Saturday. I need to not do anything with an objective time attached to it. Especially somewhere where my fastest 5ks were run and I know every single k split from then to give me five concrete markers of my current slowness. Silly me. I did then do 4 x strides afterwards just to try and justify/salvage something from it. That’s it. Saturday will be speedy sprinty Saturday from now on (except for Rob’s 249 and 250 parkruns in a few weeks time).

Oh. That’s it. I did nothing today (Sunday). Go me!

Posted 13/08/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Less is more   Leave a comment

Obviously everyone already knows this, including me but I’ve never really actually tried it. So this week I continued after last week’s success (measured by how much better I feel in general not how “good” or otherwise my running is). 

Monday was back to track. The session was 9 x 600. Better as no preceding 1k so I could keep up for the whole thing (near enough). Having not run at all on Sunday I felt much better. Mentally as much as anything. 

On Tuesday I snuck in an easy 5 miler before Core and Stretch class as the weather looked better than on Wednesday which was when I had planned to do it. C&S was being covered and was a little more gentle and more stretchy as usual which was perfect. 

Having done my easy run on Tuesday I only had weights to do on Wednesday evening. I decided to test out my caffeine here after its failure to help on Saturday. 

Never have I been so sweaty


One of the classees, who has been going for about 10 years, said it was the hardest class she’s ever done. She was probably right. I was too sweaty to tell. I don’t know if that can be attributed to the caffeine. Of course I couldn’t sleep later but I knew that. I definitely felt the caffeine helped this much more than the running.

Thursday was Hove Park intervals in the evening. My legs were very tired from the sweaty mega-pump which didn’t help on the hills but I still felt better than last time I did this session. I then dashed off to Withdean to lap count for the second of Tom’s 10000 races.

Dressed for winter in early August


It was freezing! Lucky I had packed ski socks and gloves along with waterproof trousers and two jumpers. I also kept my rucksack on for an extra layer of warmth. Thank goodness I wasn’t running it this year though!

Rest on Friday.

Off to Worthing on Saturday for parkrun. Another go on the caffeine. As good/bad as any parkrun I’ve done recently. I was beaten by a small black dog wearing a hi vis baseball cap. 

This morning (Sunday) I did an interval session of 6 x 1 minute fast, 2 minute jog followed by 4 x short sprints. 

Nothing now until track tomorrow evening.

Definitely feeling better for doing less and managing to eat more. Let’s hope I can keep it up with fewer sessions but each done properly and with a purpose. Also I like this short and fast type of training. I should stop doing things that give me an objective time (I’m talking about you parkrun) as they’ll just make me compare myself to my self of old but parkrun is handy as a tempo run and I like seeing my running friends. No races on the horizon though so I can just concentrate on enjoying the kind of training I like and being sensible and not overdoing it and, who knows, I might become good again with renewed confidence gained from doing something I like, not knackering myself out and eating more.

Posted 06/08/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

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