Archive for July 2018

Perfunctory   Leave a comment

Monday was pump which was somewhat tricky with all my bruises and scrapes but I still managed to do enough of it for it to be worthwhile. Rick did think I said I fell over whilst drunk when I quite clearly (or so I thought) said whilst running.

In the evening it was track where the session was 7 x 800 (200j, 200f, 100j, 300f). I ended up on my own again but that was fine and I even received praise from Bob (I think he must have been ill). I was pleased as I felt strong and kept my form and pace consistent throughout.

Rested on Tuesday.

I meant to do a long run on Wednesday but only made it to 6 miles as I left too late to go a proper long way and was still terrified of falling over again. I ran dressage-style and concentrated on every right foot lift to make sure I don’t trip again.

I was looking forward to vibe on Thursday after not having done much since track but NO! It wasn’t Bryan. Somehow the person who was covering made it impossible to work hard. I don’t know how that’s even possible.

On Friday I made up for it with a steady effort on the seafront. 7 miles, reasonable, consistent effort throughout, didn’t fall over. Success.

On Saturday I wanted to go to Worthing for parkrun but the weather was too hideous to cycle there, and I was worried if I tried to run I’d fall over again as when it’s really windy I have been known to kick myself in the ankle as my feet blow into each other. I decided to go on the treadmill instead which was the wrong choice. I meant to do a progressive run but was too tired so ended up doing a long run of 9 miles. So boring but at least I didn’t fall over.

Today (Sunday) I went to Emily to get my concrete calf massaged.

Posted 29/07/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Adding injury to insult   Leave a comment

Starting off the week in what has become the traditional style with a morning bodypump class. Unfortunately it was a new one, 106, and it was rubbish. The whole point is that the moves go with the music but this one did not at all. I’m bad enough at keeping up with the sequences as it is but with no musical cues to go by it was impossible. What’s worse is we’ll probably have to do it for the foreseeable future. What a pile of poop. Rick (instructor) tried to make the best of it but you could tell he didn’t like it either.

At least there was track in the evening to cheer me up. It was varying distances at 1k pace which for some reason I decided meant 5k pace. No matter. All at about 4.10k pace.

Tuesday was a rest day (as it should be – Muir rules).

On Wednesday I went to the velodrome to meet Rob and try out his 10 x 400 session on the newly marked surface. The markers were excellent but unfortunately the camber for the first 100 metres was not. I must have reached that perfect combination of “speed”and knackeredness as my supposed 3 minute recovery between sets ([2 x] 5 x 400) become a 5 minute sob-fest. Jeeeeeeez. What is wrong with me? Rob had already lapped me by now and finished well before me but it meant I could get him to take this immediately-post 10th rep photo.

Photo to showcase the excellent velodrome 10 metre markers (and Rob’s photography skills)

Bryan’s class on Thursday was quite busy so word must have got out that he was back from holiday. There was a women who looked like a proper elite cyclist a few bikes to my left so I decided (modestly) that ours must be the elite row as it was just me and her on it.

In the evening I went to Hove Park and failed to run uphill as is the fashion after cycling. Katherine said it’s hard enough after a normal cycle so after a hardcore spin session it’s impossible and she’s a GB triathlete. Thus I just did 20 minutes of the session (as last week). I feel it’s good to practice keeping focussed for the session even if I can’t actually run properly.

Day two of rest was Friday (Muir rules).

Let us not speak of my attempt at Worthing parkrun. Danny very kindly tried to pace me but what happened last week and on Wednesday happened so it was unsuccessful.

Today (Sunday) I decided I’d let Danny have the pleasure of my company again by making him take me over to Worthing so I could join him and OtherMike and two people called Mark on a long run. The run was nice, a good mix of road and easy trail and more downhill than up (excellent planning Mike). I found it pretty hard as I haven’t done anything long for a while but I was keeping up ok until DISASTER! I fell over AGAIN. Why can’t I remain upright any more? This was possibly the worst in terms of knee and hand bashing and overall clonking of everything. Once again I felt terribly sick immediately afterwards so had to make everyone wait whilst I recovered (only a minute or so but oh the humiliation). Danny will probably never run with me again after this weekend! Although I didn’t cry today because I’m nails and the stupid running crying is an involuntary thing that has no relation to anything.

For goodness sake

Let us hope that I can make it through the whole of next week without crying or falling over.

Posted 22/07/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Comeback setback   1 comment

Monday Monday, so good to me. Insofar as it meant bodypump in the morning then my second foray back to the marvellous world of track. I’m sticking to my promise to make bodypump light as it’s to help my running not to kill myself off (I can do that in so many other ways I have got to keep it sensible wherever possible). Of course, no matter how light the weights (and they aren’t THAT light) after all the reps it’s knackering enough. This class was very lunge-dominant. Arg my poor legs! Obviously I still loved it though.

I took my Hyperion to track in my bag whilst wearing my Noosa to cycle. I’m like a proper elite. Until the running starts… the session was (2 x) 3 x 800, 3 x 300. The 300s were where the work was. I went with Rick for the 800s as he is Mr Metronomic and can be 100% trusted to pace properly. By the last two 300s I’d run out the morning’s lunges and was ready for action: thus the session ended.

Tuesday is for resting and stretching. I did.

Wednesday was what everyone was looking forward to with great anticipation and excitement! No, not England in the World Cup semi final, but Phoenix 10k. I went out in the morning for a little jog to loosen out the post-lunge and track stiffness. As Phoenix is so close to my house I saw England’s goal before I set off to cycle down the deserted roads to Hove lawns. It was like marathon day when the roads are closed to cars. I haven’t been so nervous for a race for years. I think some of it was from absorbing the collective nervousness about England (which I didn’t care about), like getting emotional when watching a marathon. Also because I felt ready to actually see what I’m capable of at this (very early) stage of my comeback. I was watchless. I arrived about 10 minutes before the start so there wasn’t too much time to panic before it was time to go. The course had been adjusted to avoid going past the front of The Venue over concerns that it would be packed with football fans as we’d be passing at half time. This was actually rather good as it broke up the long stretch to and from Basin Road. Shame we still had to (twice) vault the large water pipe that currently runs across the prom by the lagoon. Anyway, I managed to keep focused, determined and strong throughout and, thanks to a shouting man in the last 400, picked it up right at the end to just dip under 46.

Two feet off in the last 400 metres

Obviously I had no idea what time I would run but as I tried my hardest and can’t therefore berate myself (well obviously I could but I’m not going to) I’ll have to accept that I’m currently 45.43 10k fit. I ran straight through the line, got my chip cut off, then continued onto my bike and home to catch the last 20 minutes of the match and extra time, having only missed Croatia’s equaliser.

Bryan was back for vibe on Thursday! Whoop indeed! For some strange reason I was utterly ruined. So I ruined myself further. Then went to Hove Park in the evening for my first Arena session there for ages. I had no quad left for the uphills but put in the effort and stayed strong in the downhills. I bailed out a bit early as there was no point hauling my decrepit frame up the last few hills just to make it to the full half hour.

Friday was, mercifully, another rest day.

If I’d thought pre-Phoenix was nerve wracking it was nothing on how I felt before parkrun. I knew I should be able to go sub 22 based on Phoenix. The weather was looking good. I went all elite again, strapping my hyperion to my bike rack, and wearing my Noosas to cycle. I even did some strides with Kev. Alas though as it was prom’s 3rd birthday the run didn’t actually get going until 9.17! I made the (ultimately stupid) decision to start with the 21 pacer as there wasn’t a 22. I managed to keep with him for the first mile or so. (I now realise this is 6.45 pace so what happened next shouldn’t have been such a surprise but…) There was a bit of confusion when hearing 10…11 as I passed halfway before realising he was going to say 10.59, 11 but bailed out of the 59. So basically I was spot on 22 pace at halfway but then COMPLETE DISASTER. Having started far too fast began to take its toll, but SALVATION, Rob had dropped back and came to pace me.

However do not let this photo fool you. I look like I’m smiling and sauntering but actually

this was happening. I was pushing myself so hard I had become a deafening, wheezing lunatic and had also begun sobbing uncontrollably. Fact: one cannot relax into ones running when these involuntary things are happening.

Second fact: a visor hides everything (and the fact photos are silent).

Third fact: I look more like I’m smiling when crying like a baby and wheezing like a punctured bellows (Isobellows).

After I crossed the line and collapsed in a totally sodden wailing heap Clare came over and asked if I’d fallen over. Ha! As if I’d cry then. I’m totally nails and NEVER cry with pain. The fact was I was utterly devoid of everything. I’d used up all my determination brain over Monday, Wednesday and Thursday so had absolutely nothing left to give either physically or mentally. I somehow cycled home and watched diamond league highlights but can remember nothing of that day from about 9.45am – 5pm. My time of 22.34 was totally awful but I can (just about) see why. Three hard running sessions beforehand, starting off far too fast, sobbing and wheezing, all these things aren’t conducive to a good run but still. You know me, I want to be good and I’m so far from good even when trying my absolute hardest (at least there can be no doubt about that this time – as Rob is my witness [and Clare {and God knows who else who saw me}]). As you can tell by what I just wrote I am still far from replenished in the brain. I have been suffering quite severe anxiety for a few weeks now which is probably because that’s when I’ve started doing proper focused training. As I use up a lot of energy in general due to my everyday high levels of anxiety the addition of proper training that involves full concentration means I deplete my adrenaline stores pretty quickly which leads to the terrible crash of Saturday. Usually I manage to keep the sobbing bit until I’m on my own at home though. Sorry for the ramble but it’s good to get it off my (stupid wheezy) chest. Anyway I did nothing today to try and regather some energy. Now the World Cup has finished hopefully everything can get back to normal including me.

Even after all that above I am pleased with my week’s training, being focused and having a purpose for each training session, and nailing some good runs. Now I’ll shut up so your poor eyes can have a well earned rest.

Posted 15/07/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Come back comeback!   Leave a comment

After last week’s successful Monday double day I decided to do the same again. A light BODYPUMP™️ class in the morning then track in the evening. Both Rick and Dorian were there and we are all at the same stage of far-from-our-bests! How fortuitous. The session was 7 x 800, each time increasing the faster pace, from 700 steady pace, 100 faster pace all the way down to 100 steady 700 fast. The paces were supposed to be 10k to 5k. Rick is the master of knowing all paces in their 100m increments so I know we were doing 29 minute 5k pace for the faster bits. MetronomRick had to stop before the end and Dorian went ahead so I probably slowed down a bit on the last two but I kept up the effort nonetheless. An acceptable effort for my first track session since the birth of Christ.

Tuesday was a day of stretching and rolling. Though obviously it didn’t last longer than maybe 20 minutes. The stretching and rolling that is. The day lasted the usual 24 hours.

Wednesday is now the day for a quality session. This week it was the dreaded 3 x 9 minutes. I felt much better this time and actually felt like I was running properly. Up on my toes and much more strong and bouncy than I have for months if not years. Obviously my sustainable pace is still way off where I want it to be but that will come with time.

As Bryan was away (I checked after the horrid surprise of him not being there last week) I decided not to go to the class as the cover teacher is my least favourite. Instead I thought I’d have a go at some k reps. Another thing I haven’t done for ages (have I done ANYTHING for ages?). I set the interval timer on my watch for 4.10 (2 minute rest) as there’s a marked k on the seafront so obviously the plan was to reach 1k in the 4.10. Gah! I forgot there’s a ruddy great pipe running across the prom approx 50 metres from the 500m turn point! I ran over it (twice) on the first rep but from then on moved my start/end point back by what I hoped was the same distance. It didn’t really matter as I was still running for 4.10 even if I wasn’t quite attaining 1k it was near enough. My pace was around 6.50mm. Not great but ok especially after yesterday and my first proper track session on Monday.

Another rest day on Friday ready for the sub 22 onslaught at Worthing …

… which I totally ruined by deciding to take a caffeine tablet KNOWING that it gives me a massive stomach ache so I can’t run. WELL DONE YOU IDIOT. I also ran in sunglasses which meant I couldn’t see anything after a mile or so after they’d completely steamed up. AND the road surface to Worthing is TERRIBLE so I trashed my undercarriage. However a man did shout ROLL ON GORGEOUS at me as I was cycling home. Every cloud…

Almost stationary, with steaming eyeballs and a massive stomach ache

I had worn my absolutely dead T7s after being told my Adios are too heavy (I am very obedient). However that won’t help when I’ve already killed myself with caffeine. Let us never speak of it again. Until I do it AGAIN and enrage myself once more. I decided that I would invest in some new lightweight racing shoes as I did love my T7s (more so as I bought them with my £100 Brooks voucher that I received for winning the Bexhill Link Road 10k in … whatever year it was – a long time ago. 2014?). STOP PRESS: I WENT TO A REAL SHOP. Hooray! This means I am well and truly out of the doldrums. I haven’t had enough confidence to go to a real shop for YEARS (sorry for the glut of Saturday capitalisation). I chose RUN, because it’s close, and Kurt is very helpful. As soon as I walked through the door he KNEW I was looking for some lightweight shoes and even remembered my name. A pair of ladies Hyperion in the right size were immediately dispatched.

Out with the old and in with the new (keeping the old though for posterity)

I will now have to become laid back enough not to be deeply troubled by the fact they will clash HORRIBLY with my Arena vest (just the writing). This won’t usually happen as the shoes will be for parkrun but if I decide to test then at Phoenix I’ll have to deal with it. As I am now almost 100% not completely insane in the membrane perhaps I’ll be able to do it? Or maybe the distress will make me run extra fast so no one can see?

Today I went for a long run with Danny, fellow 2013 has been. Thankfully we bumped into Trevor and Emma who slowed us down a bit as Danny was intent on killing me with sub 8.30 pace. 10 miles in the bag before 8.30am.

Due to the extra k reps I managed an almighty 28 miles for the week.

Posted 08/07/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

The comeback continues   Leave a comment

Monday started, as it so often does these days, with BODYPUMP™️. I had made a late entry to the Arena 3000 that evening so went light. I’m not sure that really helps as it just means one can complete all the reps which sometimes doesn’t happen with the heavier weights. I must remember it’s MY class so I can do whatever the heck I like in it. I KNOW it’s a complement to my running so I don’t need to go all Arnold Schwarzenegger on my ass. Luckily it wasn’t too leggy either.

I had plans for the 3000. Which were immediately ruined by my own foolishnesses. I did however concentrate throughout and keep pushing and threw in a full 100 metre sprint finish for my own amusement so not a complete disaster but lots to work on for next time.

Retro vest and too short shorts

A big PW but acceptable for this stage of my return to form

The obligatory post-race team photo

I rested on Tuesday. Sticking to the first of my scheduled two days of rest per week,(so far). I was supposed to stretch and roll too but I didn’t do that. Tsk.

However I did on Wednesday, after an easy almost-6 in the morning, in preparation for the magic mile in the evening. I decided I wanted to do both miles so that, no matter what happened, it would be a tiny rep session. The slower race went first. I was watchless so had no idea how I did except from basing it on the girl who was first who usually does about 6.40. Which she did. Precisely.

Obviously I didn’t know this at the time

Run 1. Pacerless

For the second race Rob paced me. I hoped I might do sub 7.20 having guessed I’d done about 6.50 for the first one.

With help from the elite pacer (don’t know what I’m doing with my face). Thank you to Stewart Gregory for the excellent photographs

I felt stronger in the second one (for the faster runners) as the first one must have loosened my legs out. I couldn’t muster a sprint finish but felt a lot better in the last 400 metres (Rob paced that bit in both so it can’t have been that).

A very surprising sub 7. Thanks to Rob’s pacing

I was very pleased by my evening’s work, even before the results came out an hour or so later. Props to Karl for always getting the results out before I’ve even got home. I didn’t really think is he able to do two sub 7s and it was rather windy.

It was off to vibe as usual on Thursday but DISASTER! It wasn’t Bryan. So disappointing. Not a whoop to be heard (except a miniature one that slipped out from one of his regulars – no, not me). I think others must have had a tip off as the class was quite empty without his usual fan club. The class was fine just not what I was expecting. May be for the best after 3 races in the preceding days.

On Friday I had a Proto massage. A bit of calf but mostly shoulders to try and counteract my T. rex running style. This is my second scheduled rest day of the week. Check out my sensibleness!

Worthing was the venue for this week’s parkrun. The wind was the wrong way round but it’s good to practice my weaknesses so a windy 3k return was just the ticket. I so died! However I had no watch so didn’t know the extent of my death. I had absolutely no idea of my finishing time. Other than “slow”.

The upward trend continues

Not a great time but better than I suspected and than it felt like with the complete death in the last mile into the hot hurricane.

Today I felt it was time to get back on the long runs. 11 miles before it got too hot meant leaving the house before 7am (as close as I’ll ever get to a Sawyer start time).

Slow and steady wins the race. Except it obviously doesn’t but as this wasn’t a race it was fine

A mammoth 24 miles for the week!

Football match number 487656 to watch now. Bye!

Posted 01/07/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

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