Author Archive

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

Peak District   1 comment

I had decided that I would save my first test jog until Saturday afternoon when we arrived in the Peak District. Thankfully I got a lift up with Dan as the royal wedding was on in the minibus and there’s nothing I despise more than people in love. Everyone should be a bitter old spinster like myself. Anyway the plan was that I would join Al on a mini jog that evening. I was really nervous but hoped the acupuncture of death had worked miracles. Al had planned an al-mighty 1.5 mile jog. I could run! Very slowly. Still with a flat foot.

They were doing helicopter rides from the field next to our drive.


On Sunday I tried the aqua belt that Sarah had lent me. I had plans for interval sessions but ended up using it as a float and just swimming for an hour with Louise. As I can’t actually swim it meant I was just doing the arm and leg motions without having to keep my great bulk afloat. I did do two lengths (approx 5 metres) without it afterwards and immediately got foot cramp and was totally knackered.

Rebecca Adlington I am not

In the afternoon we all went to try some archery. I was surprisingly ok at it! Many others weren’t and they moved all the targets in after a few rounds which somehow made it more difficult. I was doing quite well and getting plenty of arrows in the gold and red (the two innermost colours). Natch as soon as they said it was competition time I became rubbish. However we then did a distance shooting thing (not a competition). I was the only girl to reach the man flag (approx 90 metres) and about 4th overall.

Suck that lady flag!

It was very sunny and I burnt my face off.

The rest of the week proceeded I’m the same sort of vein. Tiny test jogs, buggering about in the pool with the aqua belt, bit of cycling. A cream tea. Tara did a 10 minute ab session with Helene and I.

Yet again we fluked perfect weather. Really hot and sunny (a bit windy at times but the garden was sheltered) so my face and neck peeled off and I am now going to give my colleague a run for her money on the tan stakes (she’s been to Spain) when I get back to work on Tuesday.

Oh. I discovered that is I run excruciatingly slowly my Achilles feels fine. I did a 4 mile run at 10 minute miling. Another good thing about that pace is it’s really easy to run up hill and the strong wind had absolutely no effect. The downside is it took almost a decade to run 4 miles and if it hadn’t been so hot I’d have died of hypothermia due to creating not heat whatsoever. I hardly even sweated even though it was boiling hot weather.

Once I got back to Hove I got straight back on to my favourite game of trying to get a spot on Sunday BODYPUMP™️. Managed it on the first attempt! So that’s what I did today.

Yesterday I went to spectate parkrun at Hove Park.

I fear I may never be able to run again and today I’m feeling pessimistic and gloomladen as all the things I wanted to do loom on the horizon and I won’t be able to do any of them. Goodbye magic mile, Worthing 10k, vet’s league, weakest link and maybe even Phoenix 10k.

Posted 27/05/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Spin, pins, pump, whoop   2 comments

I managed to perfectly time my 10 class pass to finish at the end of this week as now (Saturday) I’m off to the Peak District on the annual running holiday. Many people who are going can’t run, well 4 at least, including me. I have borrowed an aqua running belt off Sarah so I can “run” in the swimming pool. Here is a quick round up of what I’ve done this week.

I started off the week with normal spin. I worked so hard I was not only the sweatiest object known to man but also nearly hurled my breakfast over the handlebars. Spiffing.

On Tuesday I was booked in for some acupuncture. I’ve had it before for something buttock related many years ago. I don’t remember it having any deleterious effect either during or after but this time it was flipping horrific!!!

So painful and afterwards the Achilles felt 10000 times worse than when I went in. I also felt very sick and headachy. I wasn’t prepared for it to be that hideous. I Googled to see if it was normal for it to be that awful and it said it was indeed possible and usually if it does feel worse immediately after it will miraculously be fine a few days later so I’m hoping that’s what’s happened here. She taped me up with skin colour tape so I could wear shorts (not my cat) to work. I don’t know whose skin colour but certainly not mine.

Totally invisible to the naked eye

After the trauma of Tuesday I wasn’t sure how good I’d be at BODYPUMP™️ on Wednesday but actually it seemed to help. About ten minutes in I had a massive ill-sweat and then I felt much better all round. So many squat pulses and a heavier than usual bar plus bicep curls galore made for an excellent class.

But not for an excellent Thursday vibe class. This is why I prefer pumping on a Tuesday. My poor legs. Totally devoid of anything. I don’t know if it was because I was extra tired and drained after the acupuncture and delayed BODYPUMP™️ but there seemed to be even more whooping than usual. Lots of hupping and trilling too. Naturally I partook in none of it and also hid my face in the towel whilst the cool down arm waving was taking place.

And that was that for a short week.

Tune in in 9 days to hear about my (possibly non-running) adventures in the Peak District.

Posted 18/05/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Spinster   Leave a comment

On Monday I had booked in for another spin class. Same woman as Saturday. In fact she asked if anyone had been at her class on Saturday and when I was the only one to say yes she asked if I’d mind if she used the same set list. Obviously I couldn’t have cared less. So off we went again.

I had another little jog in the evening after the ok one last Sunday. It felt reasonable for the first three miles then got a little worse for the last mile. I felt pretty knackered at the blistering speed of 8.10 minute miling but it was nice to be out in the sunshine.

I wanted to try Tuesday’s BODYPUMP™️ this time as I feel it fits better in the week’s schedule. It seemed much easier this time but perhaps it’s because I did one last week. I still find the coordinating of the moves hard so it is as much a brain workout as a physical one. The instructors probably think I’m mad or deaf (I am both to be fair) as I just stare fixedly at them throughout.

Must… concentrate…

I then went to Tesco and dashed to grab an extra box of cat food and… NOOOOOOOOO! there went my Achilles again. Goes to show how NOT on the mend it was no matter how much I wish to delude myself. Yes so I can jog on it but if even one slightly too fast stride leads me back to square one then it obviously needs more time this I must not even attempt to run on it and try and remember I’m an invalid so must not even do normal things like buy cat food or hop jauntily up the step with my bike when arriving at work (another thing that angered the Achilles).

Luckily Wednesday was a rest day. So I did.

Thursday was back to WHOOPWHOOP™️. SteveMarcBryan got the whooping started so I studiously ignored him and all the other class whoopers. Yet again, when he split the class into two sections, my side (group 2) was non-whooping. Group 1 whooped like mad whilst sprinting then when he cut to us there was silence as we sprinted. Group 1 thus decided to whoop for us from then on. Fact: non-whoopers congregate on the left. This must be some sort of metaphor for life. I was very tired in this class but that’s to be expected after two weeks of avid pumping and pedalling. I was also exceedingly sweaty. Some girls there were wearing long leggings and didn’t even have towels and I had the Niagara Falls of chin sweat after about 5 minutes. This was handy though as when it was arm waving time I just pressed my towel to my sodden face and no-one could say it wasn’t totally necessary to avoid flooding the studio.

This scene from Run Fatboy Run has always been my experience

There are no classes I want/can do on Friday so it was another rest day. It’s probably good to have more rest days anyway as all these classes are hard, not like in running where some days are nice and easy.

As BODYPUMP™️ was quite easy on Tuesday I decided to book in for Saturday too. This was extra good because it meant I had to jump back into the game of wait for a space to become free and nab it. This is my favourite game of modern times. Once again I missed a few chances when the emails arrived after I’d gone to bed or, DISASTER, when one decided to go straight to my junk folder! I kept the faith though and lo! I soon managed to secure my spot after some speed responding.

Saturday arrived and off I went. This time there was a class beforehand which overran so I spent a while in the corridor with many others. Tumtetum™️. Then, finally, we were in! The girl who took the class was covering and had only just passed her exams so was quite nervous. This didn’t matter though as she was as good as the others. Somehow I ended up using heavier weights for everything. This was fine for legs as there wasn’t too much of that but there was A LOT of arms/back/shoulders. However this isn’t too bad as DOMS in those parts doesn’t affect everyday living to the same extent as leg DOMS. As yet (Sunday afternoon) I can’t feel any DOMS.

Although I wish I could run and am furiously NOT thinking about the possibility that I won’t be able to run for ages, I am quite enjoying the spin and BODYPUMP™️ing. In the glory months of 2013 I did spin and kettlebells so I think I do better with a mixture of training rather than just running. Maybe I can regain the Proto-quads of my youth? Though I think I’m too old for that now.

The End.

Posted 13/05/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

Fraud   1 comment

This is supposed to be a running blog but as I can’t run at the moment it isn’t. So turn away now if this disgusts you.

On Monday I booked myself in for a free spin class at The Circle. It is a mere 350 metres from my house. Although I did love Alive (my ex gym) it was a long way to get to and only a few classes to choose from (though I loved them). The Circle has so many classes and so many times for each to choose from. I only want to do spin and BODYPUMP™️ but it’s good that I can fit them around anything else so I can schedule them in each week. (At the moment I can’t DO anything else so I can get a routine going.) Anyway more of this later. First let’s get on to the actual spin class. The studio is dark and windowless, with a disco ball and 38 bikes. 38!! I’ve never been to a class so big and so modern. The instructor had a headset microphone and everything. Though she did look like a normal woman. I couldn’t hear a thing she said as too muffled against the music but I just copied everyone else. All the usual things were included. Sprints, hill climbs a tabata session.

It was excellent and I sweated to death in the traditional style (though everyone else [all female] seemed disconcertingly dry and unbeetroot of face). My quads were a little jellyesque as a I dismounted but I was mainly unscathed. This was soon to change…

The best thing about The Circle is its excellent online booking system. You can book yourself into as many classes you like up to a week in advance and if the classes are full you can put yourself on the waiting list with one click and then receive an email telling you when a space becomes available. All the BODYPUMP™️ classes were full so I added myself to their waiting lists and then the greatest game ever commenced. Set phone email to alert in every way (except sound as I was at work). Pounce on phone immediately an alert comes in, follow link to try and nab the space, fail. (Miss a couple whilst [inadvisedly] walking to work. Damn the fact that whenever an alert comes in someone also comes in to work so I can’t respond quickly enough.) Do this approx 4 times. Walk home expecting to miss more. FINALLY nab a spot after a spot of speed responding when back home. That was a very enjoyable few hours. I am 100% not a sad old spinster. SPINSTER!!! I AM a spinster. Two tier spinster extraordinaire.

Anyway, back to the action. I had failed to get a space on my preferred Tuesday morning BODYPUMP™️ class so Tuesday became a rest day. On Wednesday I HAD secured a spot so off I went for the arduous three minute walk. I have never done a real BODYPUMP™️ class, just Toby’s Alive version. It uses all the same kit but was much more chop and changy, weights on and off all the time, and the exercises involved lots of different moves within a muscle group. My coordination is terrible as is my ability to get the bloody weight clips on and off so I ended up with more weight than ever for squats.

Post spin accidental too much weight squat death

The time flew by as I used up all my concentration trying to keep up. This also meant I didn’t notice how much I was destroying myself. I began to notice when I could hardly walk home due to spaghetti quads. I continued to wobble throughout the day. Old pump was in the evening so I wouldn’t usually have this as I’d have gone to bed.

Lots of other bits started DOMSing throughout Thursday. First though I went to another spin class. This one was Vibe Spin. The instructor, Bryan, was a mix of Steve and Baldini (if you don’t know them then thank the lord). In this class you ride to the beat of the music which is fine. What was NOT fine was whooping. Doesn’t Bryan KNOW we’re British? Obviously not. Nor did the other occupants of the class. Thank goodness it’s dark! I did not whoop nor wave my arms in the air (I do care). However, this cringe aside it was a good class and I shall be back next week, defying any implorations to whoop or arm wave. By Thursday mid-morning I was seriously invalid. So… much… DOMS. New bits kept appearing over the subsequent days. I don’t recall being that broken for that long ever before even after my first Toby class.

On Friday I went to see Emily to see if she could pummel any sense into my Achilles. I was a bit worried she’d be unable to touch my DOMS to death quads but actually it was fine (unlike when my cat kept walking across them). Emily gave me a thorough prodding and taped my leg up too to see if that would help when I embarked on a test jog on Sunday.

Please don’t be insulted Emily, Van Gogh I am not

Ignore the despicable carpet

On Saturday I went to spin again. Same instructor as Monday, no whooping. It took it a little easier (no choice really by this stage).

Today (Sunday) I was over the worst of the DOMS and went out for the aforementioned test jog. It was a very nice day. Hot and sunny. My Achilles was improved (thanks to Proto power) but there was still pain and I think if I’d tried anything over a gentle jog it would have been a disaster. I was also pretty puffed even though I only did 4 miles. Ho hum. Thankfully I’d forgotten how much I like spin classes so doing those will help keep me sane(ish). Hopefully after next BODYPUMP™️ I won’t be QUITE so broken and that spin will at least help me keep a tiny bit of running fitness. Today some of the slowness and puffedness could have been due to the heat.

Ho hum. Only time will tell.

Now it’s time for Diamond League highlights so ciao for now.

Posted 06/05/2018 by Isobel Muir in Running

%d bloggers like this: