Archive for June 2018

I was the weakest link. Hello   1 comment

After last week’s not so good BODYPUMP™️ I was hopeful this week’s would be excellent. Praise be to jeebus! He was. I mean the instructor was good, he wasn’t Jesus (though he did have a large beard). Much more style, he even said “is it hometime yet?” midway through which is a refrain that runs through my mind often in such situations. A good start to the weak.

Tuesday was my first foray into more focused speed work. Obviously it currently contains no real speed so perhaps it should better be called effort work. 5 x 3 minutes effort with two minute recoveries.

The first two were into the wind which seems to have discombobulated my GPS as well as ruining my effort. Thankfully the last three were with the wind behind so I managed to get into a much better rhythm and settled straight back into my anaemic/injured short interval pace of 6.40ish. Once I get properly run fit again this should come hurtling down (she states optimistically).

Wednesday was The Weakest Link. Possibly my favourite race of the year. I had told Mark that I wasn’t sure if I’d be able run (as we had to sign up well in advance) but after the miraculous cure from falling over I was feeling completely healed and reasonably confident that it would be fine even over the lumpy, grassy, hilly, zigzaggy course. Then I discovered who my team was. I was so very the weakest link indeed! Tristan and Dani are both sub 19 parkrunners and Jim (who I’d never met before) had just run 19.40 at Worthing. Gulp. Oh well, it would be a good test of my mettle. Being the weakest link I was first leg. I was quite pleased with my run. Full of iron means I have enough brain to be able to keep pushing throughout, which I did and overall I was pleased with the leg.

Waiting at the start with Georgia and the world’s tallest runner

Feeling like a gazelle, looking like a limp wristed statue

Spectating with fellow Arenas (poor Marc receiving 4 fingers, and not of kitkat)

On the team leg I kept up the effort and it was good to have my team mates pushing me yet somehow this leg was slower. However we still came home as first Arena team and 24th team out of 106 over all.

Most of the Arena contingent (one team still out on the course)

No rest for the weakest so it was off to vibe on Thursday morning. Bryan had learnt his lesson so he was whoop group 1 with the rest of us as group 2. He also added the classic Fireball by Pitbull where we were encouraged to shout Fireball in the correct place. I bet you can’t guess what I did(n’t). Regardless of all this I still loved it and worked myself to death, as it should be.

I rested on Friday.

Having been following the Michael Rix training system for a while pre achilles it was time to take the next step and LEAVE SUSSEX to do a parkrun! I’ve done 352 parkruns and only one outside Sussex (Brockenhurst). He had to work in London so Dulwich was the choice. We got there exceedingly early (7.25am) but this turned out to be good as we were in the wrong park! With the aid of the parkrun map and some helpful dog walkers we found ourselves in the right park. It was a lovely sunny morning and the park was very nice. I was under pressure as Mike had to go straight to work afterwards. The run brief was very thorough so we didn’t even get started until 9.09! Yikes! Naturally being a very calm person (ha!) I started way way way too fast and totally died after mile 1. Oops. I finally finished (Mike only had to wait 6 minutes – the shame) and ran back to the car with him faster than my parkrun pace.

Possibly the worst pacing ever

Even though I ran it terribly the course was really nice, 3 flat concrete laps in an excellent park, and we had perfect weather. In retrospect a sub 7 first mile is much faster than I ever thought I’d be able to do at this stage and the fact I still (just about) managed to get to the end after such a stupid start must mean … something.

“Return to form” = totally forgetting how to pace

Today (Sunday) I went out for 3 x 9 minutes effort to try and get back some speed endurance back as this is the thing I have totally lost through 7 weeks of none/minimal running. Turned out I was utterly exhausted. However I still put in effort which is the point so I will forget about the slowness. 7 miles over all so at least I’ve gone further than Phoenix 10k which is far too soon. The grand total of 17.9 miles for the week. Now I must sleep forever. After the football, and only until tomorrow.

Posted 24/06/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Back on the road   Leave a comment

Hopefully not the one to ruin.

Monday started with a different pump instructor. Not my type. Luckily there’s a different one next Monday so I’ll try him out next. As I said before the beauty of The Circle is the range of times, days, classes and instructors. I’m sure to strike gold soon enough with my perfect combination of person, class, time and day.

In the evening I went over to Lewes to help officiate at vets league. Arena were in charge of marshalling the ladies shot put and long jump.

I, Brigitte and Paul, best measurers in the land

I do wish I had been able to compete but also it was nice to be able to help and to watch some of the races. My highlight was Brigitte and Michele in the 4 x 200 relay. Brilliant! Perfect baton handover between them too. Watch out Bolt, your replacements are here!

I went out extremely cautiously on Tuesday as I didn’t want to fall over again and my legs were very tired after BODYPUMP™️ which I think is what caused me to fall over last time. I was very slow indeed but remained upright so a great success.

On Wednesday I went to visit my mother which I haven’t done for a few years. Tsk! Bad daughter. We ate, drank, laughed and ranted just like always. Her cat bit me. All was as usual.

Don’t be fooled! This fluffy stomach is a trap and you WILL be bitten. Obviously I succumbed. Could YOU resist that utter fluffiness?

The trains even behaved perfectly both ways.

On Thursday it was back to business with a trip to vibe. Bryan had not learnt and thought that, because there were a lot of people in the class, he could safely split it and join group 1 and have two whoop groups. Wrong! As always those who sit to the left of the door, whoop group 2, are not the whooping types so off went group 1 merrily whooping, followed by the deathly silence of group 2. Even with all his cajoling there was not a sound to be heard. Maybe one day he’ll learn, or a whooper will accidentally sit on our side. I avoided the arm waving too in the traditional style, towel to face. I was so very knackered at this one.

I had another round of acupuncture booked for Friday so went out for a quick (but not quick) 4 miles just in case the acupuncture killed me as much as last time. It did not. It was completely fine. Maybe because this time I didn’t get a needle in the portal of evil doom in the sole of my foot.

It was the Arena parkrun series at Worthing on Saturday so what better way to start my comeback than with a slow, progressive run starting from the back(ish)? It was very windy on the way out so I kept it slow (no choice really) with the intention to try and push it on the way back. My total lack of running fitness became apparent when I couldn’t get faster after my initial increase of pace after the cone. I could see Marc ahead of me so just tried to stay the same distance behind him.

Looking like a mad person just before the turn. Thanks Danny for the photo

Worst placing ever!

As it was so busy due to it being Worthing’s 100th and Kelly Holmes being there I had to queue to cross the line which added approx 20 seconds. I was pleased with this as there wasn’t even a grumble from the achilles. It’s amazing how it’s gone from disaster to almost completely fine in the space of a week or so.

Kelly Holmes obviously can’t wait to join Arena

Today (Sunday) I went out for another progressive. It was very windy indeed so I made sure I did my first two miles into the wind so I could do the fastest three with the wind behind.

Something to improve from

This killed me thus I must keep it up to get faster. No one has ever moved as slowly as I did trying to get back home into the wind. Somehow I ran 20 miles this week! Now I can get stuck in to getting some speed back but I’m going to keep a BODYPUMP™️ and vibe spin class in my weekly repertoire and try and keep runs to a minimum but keeping each as a quality session. Let’s see how that goes…

Posted 17/06/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Ups and downs   Leave a comment

I started the week with spin again. The usual Monday morning woman was back, who I haven’t seen before, and I didn’t enjoy her class as much as the ones I’d been doing but the beauty of The Circle is there are classes on all days and at all times with different instructors. I know she has a class on Wednesday morning and I’ll try a BODYPUMP™️ class on Monday instead. So many possibilities!

In the evening I went to watch My Dad Wrote a Porno Live. So much laughing my face ached. Thus it counted as exercise and is mentioned here.

On Tuesday it was time for another little test run. It felt a bit faster than previously but I wasn’t wearing my watch, maybe 9.20 mile pace? Anyway everything felt a lot more normal and no niggles but I could feel the pinch beginning if I tried to push the pace even slightly. So I didn’t. I did zoom past some ladies so was quite pleased until I heard their phone say they were going at 14mm pace. Anyway no one will ever know what speed I was actually travelling at.

I really didn’t enjoy BODYPUMP™️ on Wednesday. I think some serious hay fever was making me extra groggy and unable to keep up with the routines and changing the weights. The latter meant I ended up doing the chest track with my squat weights. Yikes! Pecs of steel. However I did get some chocolates as thanks for an article I wrote about The Circle from the owner. (It’s on the WHD page of this blog if you want to read it).


Having totally destroyed myself through a combination of hay fever and running and laughing and BODYPUMP™️ failures I found myself totally destroyed by Vibe on Thursday. Thankfully he didn’t do any arm waving so thank the lord for small mercies. Instead we finished with some Greek plate smashing music which was much better. I was so dead though.

So naturally I decided to try another run on Friday. It was all going quite well until I fell over for absolutely no reason 2.5 miles away from home. I felt really sick and had to actually sit down for ages. I did contemplate hitchhiking home but after a long while I managed to muster up a mini jog and get home.


I rested on Saturday as I was battered and bruised and felt distinctly strange.

Today (Sunday) was the annual WSFRL Arena races in Hove Park. Because I’m so utterly brilliant I had to do the number writing down again ably assisted by Rob.

Numerical dream team (thanks Danny for the photo)

Nervously pencilling the leg to shreds

Then I felt the need to try another run. One where I remained upright and could test what speeds I can now attain with pain. I had planned to do this on Friday’s run but almost knocking myself out put paid to that idea. To make sure I didn’t fall over I ran like a horse doing dressage. I felt like I was running properly for the first time in months and months and months (I must actually be a horse. I certainly have the teeth) and didn’t even let the busyness of the seafront anger me. I managed to attain great speeds (greater than anything I’ve been able to do for months anyway).


Did the last mile in around 7.30 which was rather unexpected. Also I was nowhere near as tired as I thought I’d be, in a cardio sense, so all the spin must have kept a certain level of fitness. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere. The falling over must have jolted everything back into place as there’s no way I could have even 8.30mm on Tuesday or Thursday (pre fall).

The absolutely massive total of 12.6 miles this week.

Posted 10/06/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

More stuff   Leave a comment

Monday’s spin was full of normal people! It must have been something to do with it being bank holiday. Naturally I was still the sweatiest by a long long way.

On Tuesday I felt ready for another very small test jog having recovered from the Peak District. I’m not wearing my watch for the foreseeable future as I must run by feel and not be distracted by being “too slow” or “only” running a few miles (though actually I am fully aware of how far I’m running seeing as I’ve spent a lot of time running up and down the seafront so know how far I’ve gone). Anyway I ran approx 2.5 miles at a speed somewhere between snail and tectonic plate. I have put no detail in my running diary so goodness knows what happened but I’m still alive so it can’t have been too bad.

Wednesday was back to BODYPUMP™️. So… much… leg… I’d put my weights up again so of course there were loads of pulse squats, lunges and other evils. Excellent. In the evening I was the number taker downer for the Magic Mile. I’d forgotten my hair clip so Rob kindly tried to affix his cap to my head but to no avail. My head is so small the cap wouldn’t go small enough. I have to tailor all my running hats by sewing extra velcro onto them as the strap totally bypasses that which is provided at purchase. Luckily it wasn’t too windy so Trump-style hair disaster was averted.

The curse of the tiny head strikes once more

Thursday was everyone’s favourite vibe class aka WHOOPSPIN™️. After the crammage of Monday Thursday was very empty. Only 9 people in a class of 38 bikes. So empty was it that Bryan (instructor) had to be WHOOPGROUP1 all by himself. Somehow I managed to work even harder than usual and/or I had a minor cold as I found myself coming-to halfway off my bike in a sort of mini faint. Thankfully spin bikes are hard to fall off so all was well. I then had a little rest on the handlebars then continued apace.

I rested on Friday as I still felt a bit weird after Thursday. Nothing ominous, just like I might be getting a cold.

By Saturday I felt better so went out for another test jog. *whispers* It felt a lot better. I could run normally, mechanically, so I didn’t have to concentrate on landing in a weird heelstrike as I have for the past month or so. It was still very slow of course but definitely a bit of progress. I must remain sensible though and keep my running easy and infrequent. Luckily I don’t miss running at all at the moment and actually feel a lot calmer and happier than I have for years. Obviously the iron is playing a big part in that but it can’t be ignored that NOT being able to run means I can’t stress about all the pressure that comes with running (for me). This doesn’t mean I don’t want to get back running because I do but it helps now I can’t run and also reminds me that running is supposed to be fun so if it isn’t, as hindsight shows it hasn’t been for at least a year or so, then I shouldn’t be rushing back into it.

Today (Sunday) was my first official DNS, where I had my number but didn’t use it. I enjoyed going over to Worthing (thank you Nic and Val for the lift and Mark and Rob for the additional in-car company) and just spectating. I’m not sure if all the walking over the pebbles was good or bad for my Achilles but, once again, I’m still alive so let’s say it was good.

An optimistic week.

Posted 03/06/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

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