Archive for January 2018

Cross country ruining   Leave a comment

After the cross country slipathon and subsequent long run on Sunday I was somewhat destroyed so took Monday off running. My hip flexors were the most ruined. All the sideways sliding and continuous attempts to balance had killed them off. Also it was too goddamned windy again.

On Tuesday I went to Core & Stretch as it was probably exactly when my ruined legs wanted. It was, as always, NOT what my shoulders wanted. Stupid downward dog.

Due to the continuous windiness of seafront life I decided to do my tough Wednesday session on the treadmill (again). Because everyone keeps going on about treadmill being bored time did not move this time. I was supposed to do 50 minutes at 6.54 mile pace (14kmph) but as I seemed to have been on the treadmill for nigh on eternity I gave up at 42 minutes, a good 5 miles. My legs were so terribly thrashed I couldn’t get off the treadmill for ages or walk up and down the many flights of stairs my gym insists on having (so cruel). Naturally this didn’t stop me going back in the evening for weights (death) class. I dropped my weights right down which made it much easier, especially for arm things, but it couldn’t reinstate my legs.

By Thursday I had the limbs of one who has run a marathon (I have not but I’ve seen the videos of the impossibility of walking downstairs, sitting down, standing up etc) so naturally I went out for a recovery run. Absolute idiot. When I can’t jog at sub 9 minute miling I know I need serious rest. So what did I do? Run 7 sodding miles of course! The additional trouble of being too utterly broken to run is it takes bloody ages doing 7 miles at 9.30 pace.

I admitted defeat and did no running on Friday.

I then went straight back to idiocy and decided to run to Hove Park on Saturday to do a proper parkrun. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Once again I couldn’t even jog there at sub 9 pace but instead of turning back I continued, got to the park, remembered I can’t stand how busy it is (saw the tallest man ever as a brief respite from the hell), still didn’t turn back, struggled round extremely slowly and ragefully then jogged home again. Utterly stupid. Utterly pointless.

I spent the rest of the day absolutely mentally and physically drained lying on the living room floor.

This worked a treat as this morning (Sunday) I set off for a long run with the intention to abandon it if I still couldn’t run sub 9 minute miles. The first mile was comfortably sub 9 so the LSR was ON! The wind forecast was a lie (surprise) but it wasn’t totally hideous and I managed to plough through it reasonably easily. I stuck to my planned route of two laps of King Alfred to Shoreham Arm. This turned out to be a bit shorter than I hoped so I tacked an extra bit on the end to drag myself just over 14 miles.

I was quite pleased with this after the utter ruinedness of my legs during the week plus the true hellishness in all planes of Saturday. The only thing that put a downer on it is I’ve severely chafed my belly button. How and what and why??? Yowzers! It really stings.

An acceptable 36 miles for the week.

Posted 28/01/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Windy start muddy finish   Leave a comment

As the Hoveish area was once again being thrashed by extreme winds I had to do Monday’s half training session on the treadmill. This means a three mile cycle to the gym which I decided to do along the seafront. Almost total death. Straight into the top 5 of most dangerous cycles of all time. Strong cross winds and sea foam being hurled horizontally at my poor face. Once I got to the gym it was a 10 minute warm up at 8.40 pace then 50 minutes at 7.09 pace. It was comfortable throughout which leads me to believe the treadmill was lying, but what it should lead me to believe is that I’m fitter than I give myself credit for.

Tuesday was the usual Core & Stretch. I am still not stretchy.

On Wednesday the wind was still ridiculous so it was back to the gym for another treadmill session. This time it was a progression run. 11 – 15kmph, upping by 1k every 10 minutes. This works out at 8.40, 8.04, 7.28, 6.55, 6.25 mile pace. I had the thought of a bit of 16kmph (6.02) for the last 10 minutes if I was still alive by then but I wasn’t so I dropped back to 8.40 pace for the last ten minutes. This was pretty hard thus good.

In the evening I went to weights but halved the bar weights as a nod to the cross country on Saturday.

Thursday was a windy disaster again so I was happy it was a scheduled rest day.

Hallelujah! By Friday the wind had dropped so I was able to do an easy 7 without the hindrance of a hurricane.

Saturday was the day of my first cross country for about three years. I have no idea why I signed up for it as I hate cross country. It was the masters xc race at Lancing. Last time I did it it was just once up the hill but alas now it’s two. As the weather had been so horrible the course was just mud. Utter mud. Even my blunt 3mm retro track spikes from 2004 didn’t help and I have never been so terrified of falling over. I used to have no fear but alas now I have much fear. There were probably about 200 metres over the whole 4 mile course that were just about runnable but the rest was just a slippery, muddy death trap. I decided that living to see my long run on Sunday was more important than anything else so proceeded at the speed of a snail (except the two tiny bits of grass field where there was enough traction to attain sub 5.30 mile speed for a few metres). Absolutely hideous.

Not sulking as decreed by the arm writing

Photos stolen from various sources

Thankfully I was unscathed for my long run on Sunday. Soles of feet battered from the stony sections on spikes and hips dead from all the sliding about but nothing too disastrous. I had a planned route that would take me to about 14 miles and the wind forecast was favourable. I bumped into Sarah (happy birthday!) and Tom after two miles so ran with them for a bit then continued with my planned route. Thankfully before I reached the zig zag I met Rob coming from there so turned back with him. I think the zig zag was unnecessary for me after yesterday so I wasn’t disappointed to miss it and it meant I had company for a good 4 miles or so on the way back towards Shoreham arm. Rob turned back at the lagoon and I continued to the arm. Due to my mini detours I didn’t quite make it to 14 miles but it didn’t matter as it’s still progress from last week’s 12 and after 10 miles my hip flexors had thrown in the towel (who can blame them after yesterday) making the slog back into the wind from the arm rather slow but just about within the realms of acceptability.

Another good 40 miles for the week.

Posted 21/01/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

A moment of madness   Leave a comment

On Monday I decided it was time to start doing some hard tempo runs as I’ve been slacking on everything for too long. I know what I need to do to be good and have been doing none of it. Yes I’ve done some good sessions but none of them are actually any good on their own and won’t progress me in what I want to be good at. So a tempo run was the order of the day. I wanted to do 4 miles fast. Further than parkrun to get used to feeling horrible whilst running. I went straight into it as I feared if I started slowly I just wouldn’t bother speeding up and end up doing a normal medium long, easy run. I’m concentrating on putting in the effort and ignoring the actual pace as it guaranteed to be agonisingly slow. Thus I managed 4 miles effort followed by 4 miles easy. Added bonus is the easy part is faster than straight easy. I was pleased that I’ve finally come out of the slump and want to get better.


What the actual?

I just went to Core & Stretch on Tuesday to reflect on my unexpected entry. Why have I only entered things I hate the most? A cross country and a half marathon? C&S was full of New Years resolutioners so my pondering was complemented by having Austin’s toes in my face.

By Wednesday I was ready to start some half marathon training. Sarah said I had five weeks which was plenty of time to get ready for an acceptable half. I’ve never trained specifically for a race before so now is the time. It’s only five weeks so hopefully I can stick it out (though I’m sure there will be plenty of unhelpful things I add). I stole my first run from Sarah, copying her previous day’s 2 x 2 miles easy, 2 miles at half pace (except I changed half pace to tempo effort as pace is a no at the moment). It’s much more pleasant breaking a long run into sections so the 10 miles passed less painfully than normal. I went to weights as normal in the evening.

On Thursday it was a nice easy 5 miles. Thankfully it wasn’t windy and I was only suffering mildly from the usual hip flexor/inner thigh strain post pump.

Friday was a long easy run. Due to the half I extended it to 12 miles. As the wind was the other way to usual I took the opportunity to change my route a bit. All the way out to Rottingdean, into the wind, then all the way back, even choosing to run up the zig zag by the marina on the way back (officially lost marbles). It was not as unpleasant as I anticipated. Hooray! Perhaps I can now FINALLY get back to 2013 levels and beyond? You’ve got to WANT to do it and hopefully now I do.

As I’d already agreed to go climbing on Sunday (before the half marathon madness) I decided to run to/from parkrun as a sort of medium long with tempo run. It was so windy and freezing I thought I wouldn’t even get to parkrun in time as I was battling a ferocious headwind the whole way there. However this wind is the best way for parkrun. As usual I just wanted to keep up the effort and had to ignore the massive changes in pace from wind assisted to wind hindered. A bonus was that the wind was behind on the run home.

Wind assisted

Today I went climbing. No running. Hardly any climbing either as it was too busy and I was too nervous. Plenty of scrapes though and I’m sure bits of me will ache tomorrow.

Thanks Joe for the “action” shots

Posted 14/01/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

2018   Leave a comment

Start of a new week. Start of a new year. Start of an new age category. Two cold and wet parkruns. One due to sea encroaching on land. One because it started raining. The prom one (first) wasn’t too bad as it wasn’t raining, was only gale force 5 and the sea was just about avoidable. Also I was only jogging it. Unfortunately it all went downhill from then as the gap between the two is just long enough to get cold. I cycled over to Hove Park with Tristan (who was running to make a half marathon for the day – madness). As I was now freezing I put on all my cycling clothes for the run. I tried to go a bit faster at this one but it’s always hard as my legs had seized up after the first one and I was now infernally hungry. Parma violets just don’t hack it. Rob didn’t allow any slacking though so I smashed it with an utterly mediocre time via maximum effort. New Years resolution: stop being rubbish.

On Tuesday I was looking forward to going to Jenny’s Core & Stretch class having done my usual amount of stretching over the festive period. Unfortunately Jenny wasn’t there so the class was being covered by Damon. Which meant it was too downward doggish for my stupid shoulders to cope with. Matt was also there so we spent a lot of time in child’s pose. Somehow even missing out 100000 dogs the class was really hard. Also time had ceased to progress. I seriously thought the clock was broken and was going to ask if it was a two hour class this week but it wasn’t. Longest hour I’ve ever experience. Longer than when you’re a child at school. Very strange. Luckily I exited the time/space wormhole and the rest of the day passed in a reasonable manner.

I was feeling very much knackered after all the festive racing so decided not to run on Wednesday (there may also have been 1000000 mile an hour winds that I couldn’t face). I did go to weights though. Toby decided to ease us in “gently” so we had no bar. When Toby promises the class will be “easy” or “gentle” you know it will be even worse than normal (which isn’t even possible). After a gadzillion dumbbell shoulder presses whilst side squatting off the bench along with everything else I was already ruined. Though actually that’s sometimes for the best because if I’m broken during I tend to not be so broken in the subsequent days.

I didn’t even need to test this theory as I rested on Thursday and Friday.

As my bike was having an MOT I had to run to parkrun on Saturday. I should probably do this more as it means I at least do a bit of a warm up. 2 miles there at a snail’s pace. The parkrun was once again not speedy, because I have no speed endurance at present, but it was much more consistently paced (no 6.45 first mile followed by a gradual decline in pace to stationary). Rob took on the role of motivator once more which was VERY HELPFUL. Another mediocre time but I’m getting better at sustained effort.

Here he is putting a new exerciser through his paces (Massive arm muscles artist’s impression)

Today (Sunday) I wanted to do a long run with some hills. The wind was in an unusual direction and was very strong (not unusual) so I took a different route to normal. My knee became unhappy after about 6 miles (possibly because of the hills) so I didn’t make 11 miles as I’d planned but I managed 9 and as it was hillier than normal it was probably equally hard.

A paltry 22 miles for the week but the rest probably did me good. Time to get stuck in properly again as of tomorrow.

Posted 07/01/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

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