Archive for April 2018

Oh dear   2 comments

At my osteopath appointment on Monday morning she said that there was nothing structurally wrong with my achilles and that I must stop doing all calf stretches apart from a gentle and non-static (can’t for the life of me think what the proper word is)* one. So this is indeed what I did. In fact I let it fully rest until Friday when I went out for a test run. This was a complete failure. It was exactly the same as before, even after 5 complete days off. Blast! Naturally I still ran a mile on it even though it was obvious from the first step that it was no good. Fool.

Next I decided to pummel the absolute hell out of all the surrounding calf muscles.

Devices of torture

This also made absolutely no difference. Other than adding many bruises to my calves and making me feel like I had the lats and deltoids of a body builder what with all the tricep dip type things I did whilst holding on to the chin up bar as I can’t place my hands flat due to massive inflexibility of the wrists (along with everything else). I discovered this had made no difference when hopping whilst putting my trousers on ready to go and spectate at the Arena parkrun on the prom.

Most, but not all, of the Arena participants

Filthy coat, filthy mind, as the saying most certainly does not go

Today (Sunday) I went for a walk. Walking takes too long. I looked exactly the same as in the above photo and this is probably the view Colin got when he stopped for a quick chat whilst he was on a 12 mile run.

I discovered Strava doesn’t count walking in the weekly mileage total so I smashed the ruddy hell out of everything with my 1 mile for the week. Take that Mo Farah etc!

Next I shall be spinning and body pumping myself to death.

Michael Rix is my current inspiration after getting a road 5k pb after 12 years of running, hip replacements, getting older and the general ups and downs of running. There’s hope for me yet!

PS Iron rules!

* dynamic – thanks Rob for putting me out of my misery.

Posted 29/04/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Overexcitement   Leave a comment

After Sunday’s walkfest I discovered my buttocks were somewhat DOMSish so I went out for a short easy run in the morning to try and get them into some semblance of order so I could go to track in the evening. Unfortunately I was still knackered of limb so only managed 6 of the prescribed 10 600 metre reps. However it was my first trip to track for months so I was just pleased to be back. Now my mind is filled with iron I feel ready to get back into the more social aspects of running ie group training sessions. It was reasonably quiet too being post-marathon so it was a nice, not too stressful, return.

On Tuesday I waited until the evening then went to Tom’s session. It was a simple 5 x 1 mile. I tried hard but my times were quite slow. It was quite windy on the outward leg and I can’t expect to go straight back to where I want to be when I’ve been on the decline for months. At least I could put in the effort so hopefully times will follow. Also I hadn’t rested since last Friday and crammed a lot in because I feel so much better. If I’d tried to do this much a few weeks ago I’d have died of exhaustion. So progress. Must remain patient.

Wednesday was the return of track club. Just Rob, Paul and I this week. Perfect for a 200 parlauf! My achilles has been dodgy since the 20 x 10s I did weeks ago so I couldn’t be as fast as I wanted as I have to land flat/heelstrike on the right side or its too painful/on the cusp of real injury. Still faster than dream 5k pace though so it must be useful? Again I felt good mentally so the lack of any physical ability wasn’t too distressing. Especially as it’s obviously (at least partly) down to injury.

200 parlauf posse

Bumped into the elite age group 1500 runner Joe Ashley

Buoyed by an iron-filled brain I decided to go to Tom’s session on Thursday even though I knew my achilles seriously needed rest. I absolutely should not have done strides. Of course I did and it was FOOLISH. Almost entirely sent myself to an early achilles grave. Naturally I still continued with the session which was 6 x 800. I was forced to go steady what with one foot that had to be heel struck to save achilles and dogs and barbecues and people all over the prom. I did however do the greatest left-footed pass of a football back to a small boy which impressed everyone including elite ultra runner Dan Lawson who was watching his girlfriend who was part of Tom’s session.

So I rested on Friday because I’m very sensible. Of course I didn’t! I set off on a long run as slow is fine. Well obviously not fine, I just mean I could run because I could heel strike which is acceptable for the achilles. It was lovely and sunny so I just plodded along as best I could with one, well actually no, working legs (the other leg has an ongoing niggly knee). This was, naturally, pretty stupid.

So on Saturday I cycled to prom parkrun as the weather was pleasant again and I didn’t want to run on Sunday so I could watch the London marathon. I discovered 7.20 pace is too fast for the achilles so was obliged to stop after 400 metres to avoid total destruction. As it was such a nice day spectating was excellent.

Having a little jog after having pulled out after 400 metres

So that’s that really. I was so overexcited about feeling so much better in my brain and being physically capable of doing 8 days of running in a row I made the mistake of doing so even though I should have rested my achilles (about three weeks ago).

Brain full of iron, achilles full of death

I’ve made an appointment at the osteopath tomorrow so hopefully I haven’t done any significant damage and can get back to it (sensibly) after a few days of rest and rehab.

Anyway the main thing is I’m AWAKE and can THINK and am no longer in the fug of despond. Thank you iron.

Posted 22/04/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Hello!   1 comment

I can’t run properly yet but at week 2 of cramming in the iron I feel somewhat better in general. I don’t have to sleep for 12+ hours a night or have an afternoon nap (except when I do), I can push my bike up the stairs without inducing cardiac arrest, and I don’t feel the need to eat and eat and eat to try and get some energy. Also I can now think. It can take months and months to restore iron levels so I’ve still got a long way to go to feel normal again (whatever that is – I’ve felt so tired for so long I can’t remember what it feels like to be able to run and train properly) but this is a promising start.

I was still distraught and exhausted after my rock bottom relay so I rested until Wednesday. As it was actually warm I decided to ease back gently with an easy run via Badger (the cat I feed occasionally). I even had to take my gloves off!

I did the same on Thursday in preparation for Tom’s session in the evening. It was 8 x 600 metres. I felt somewhat better and managed to keep my reps reasonably consistent (lost 6s between the first and last). Still a long way from where I should be but I was pleased I did them all with minimal pace loss.

I rested again on Friday as I don’t want to do too much too soon.

I decided to attempt a Rix session on Saturday. 3 x 9 minutes. He says this is good for a fast parkrun and he’s just gone sub 17 so HE KNOWS. Anyway I was pleased with the fact I could actually put in effort and breathe into more than 1% of my lungs as had been the case. The tempo sections weren’t very fast at all but I FELT better so once again, progress. Danny saw me as he drove past and said it looked like I was doing a tempo so I was surprised I looked like I was running hard but then he said he could tell because I looked knackered. DAMMIT. I was pleased that it was over 7 miles in the end as it didn’t feel like it.

Today (Sunday) was spent watching the BM10k and Brighton marathon. About 8 miles worth of walking. It’s so tiring spectating! Especially as I could have just walked 50 metres and watched mile 16 of the marathon but I wanted to see the 10k and I like to go at least once over the bridge they build specially and I had many friends to see both running and spectating.

“TICKLE IT!!!” top notch race photography from Tristan as always

Now it’s time to keep necking the iron and prepare for week three of the comeback.

Posted 15/04/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Gloom   2 comments

This is how I feel. Until I can run properly again I can’t bring myself to blog. Goodbye for now.

Posted 08/04/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Heave ho   1 comment

I rested on Monday which was a shame as it was the only nice day forecast for the whole week.

I didn’t do anything on Tuesday morning because I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm so I made sure I organised a lift to Tom’s evening session in Hove Park so I would HAVE to go whether I wanted to or not. This plan was very successful. I even did the full session of 8 x 1k. Thanks Ian!

I tried to do a long run on Wednesday but only made it to 8 miles. Better than a slap in the face with a wet fish (as my mother would say). It was really wet and cold. I didn’t really need to say that as when HASN’T it been? So fed up of it.

There was more of it, and strong winds, on Thursday and Friday so I did yet more nothing.

It was STILL going on on Saturday but I thought I’d better try and do something. I did. It was hideous and an abject failure. Then, an epiphany! Perhaps I’m anaemic again? The only other times I’ve run over 50 minutes for a 10k I’ve been anaemic as hades. It would also explain the fact that I’ve felt like I’ve been woken up from a deep sleep for weeks, I’ve been sleeping more than 11 hours a night and still having to have a nap in the afternoon, speeds that should feel comfortable are nigh on impossible blah blah blah… I bet if one searched back through this blog I’ve been through this at least twice. The trouble is, due to my complete lack of confidence or self esteem and general troubles with anxiety and depression I just assume I’m useless and could just try harder. But at the moment I’m actually in the right frame of mind and am trying. Thus I am taking lots of iron and B vitamins and hoping that they’ll kick in soon so that when I put in the effort the appropriate pace will follow. I’ve felt my training has been going well so hopefully once I’m fully ironed I’ll be able to get back to acceptable paces. I wonder if this also explains the horrible migraine a few weeks ago and the fact that just lifting my arms has been a struggle for weeks? Also my vision has been weird on and off for weeks. I have discovered marmite is the Lord of B vitamins, so naturally my jar is empty and Tesco is closed for Easter but tomorrow I’m buying the biggest jar ever.

My mate

Today (Sunday) I took the opportunity to do some pure speed.

1. It wasn’t too windy

2. It wasn’t raining

3. I wanted to try out my ex-gym shoes

I’d had this planned for ages so I knew where my 60 metre stretch was and that the 10 second intervals I’d programmed into my watch would mean a pace of 4.25 minute mile if I made it lamppost to lamppost.

Actual drone footage

As the reps were so short GPS didn’t really pick them all up properly, which I suspected would be the case hence measuring the distance and using the VDOT app to work out my pace. I reached the lamppost each time minimum and sometimes I got a bit further so and the one my TomTom managed to get was 3.55 pace so I was reasonably pleased that they were all around about 4mm pace. Just need to do that for another 1549 metres to give Sir Roger Bannister a scare. I had planned to do a fast 3 minutes after a 3 minute rest after the reps but I bailed out after 2 minutes due to my legs abandoning ship. However I was pleased with this session because I love sprinting (or attempting to sprint) and I love the helpfulness of the lampposts being precisely 60 metres apart. This session is my equivalent of Sarah doing 30 miles up and down the same two mile stretch of the seafront. The ex gym trainers were good. Much more flexible than Boosts and better grip and I’m glad they won’t just waste away in the cupboard now I’ve given up the gym.

My flexible friends

I’m afraid that’s it for this week. Sarah especially requested an extra long blog to help tide her over the long weekend of not enough running as she’s in taper but alas I didn’t do very much so I have failed in this respect. Sorry Sarah!

Let us now pray on this holiest of holy days that the weather stops being a massive teat so we can all get on with some nice spring time training. Amen.

I’m now off to try and drink the remnants of my marmite by filling the jar with boiling water.

Posted 01/04/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

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