Author Archive

Putting all my eggs in one Wednesday basket   Leave a comment

I had planned to do a treadmill session on Monday in lieu of track which I thought would be called off due to ice (it was). However the forecast was extremely strong winds and freezing temperatures and heavy rain so I was ordered not to cycle in such treacherous conditions and being the obedient sort I didn’t.

On Tuesday I was going to either do a long run or go to Core & Stretch but the freezing temperatures and damp ground made me fear everything would be too icy so I did nothing again.

By Wednesday the weather was more amenable so I cycled to the gym to do the postponed Monday treadmill interval session. 6 x 1k in 3.45 (16kmph/18.45 5k pace/6.02mm). 2 minutes recovery walk. I thought this should be ok as I can do 13.5 minutes solidly at 16kmph so not even 4 minutes should be easy right? Not right. I had the post it note on the display as usual and had set my watch to buzz at the start/end of the reps so every time it beeped I pressed the button to change the pace to/from walk to run pace. From the start I found it harder than I’d hoped. Maybe because I’d done absolutely nothing for 3 days. Anyway I had been informed I MUSTN’T FAIL. So I didn’t. I was utterly knackered when I got home and wasn’t sure I’d be able to muster the energy to go to work but obviously I did. I then went back in the evening and did weights back on full heaviness. Three days of nothing followed by two of the hardest things I’ve done. Hmmmmmmm.

Which leads me on to Thursday. Oh. My. God. Soooooooooo utterly ruined and dead and devoid of anything pertaining to life. I still tried to do a long run because I am 100% an idiot. Managed 5.5 miles of almost 10 minute miling.

Absolute Isobellend. I did at least not attempt to do Tom’s mile reps in the evening even though I really wanted to as it would have been a disaster.

I finally dredged up some sort of sense and did nothing on Friday except eat and try and regain some sort of strength and semblance of normality.

On Saturday it was the Arena superseries Age Grading parkrun in Hove Park. It was so icy I didn’t even attempt to run it. I just went there for the social aspect and the team photo (though who knows why as I hate photos).

Thanks Danny for the photo

I discovered that my right hamstring had become destroyed at some point (probably on the Wednesday of death) so a mini-stride shuffle was all I could manage anyway.

Today (Sunday) I wanted to do a long run but my blasted hamstring wasn’t very happy. I hoped it might loosen of over the course of the run but it got progressively tighter so I got progressively slower ending up just under 10 minute miling. Just over 10 miles in total. The moral of this story is don’t try and do all the hardest things ever on the same day.

Let’s hope I can be sensible and allow my hamstring to heal. Ha!


Posted 17/12/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Titular tat   Leave a comment

As it wasn’t too windy on Monday I thought it best to test the remaining level of ill with an easy run on the seafront rather than waste a non windy morning and possibly discover I wasn’t well enough for track once I arrived there in the evening. I managed an uneventful 8 miles with just a few coughs. An almost metronomic 8.30mm pace.

Buoyed by this success I decided to make the most of Tuesday also not being windy to go out for a proper long run. Disaster! I’d had a relapse and only managed 5.3 miles at just under 9mm pace. Annoying as if I’d known this would happen I’d have gone to Core & Stretch as usual instead. There was a chance for redemption though as Tom’s evening session was 3 x 1 mile + a continuous 5k to finish. I’d always planned to just do the mile reps. This time they were spread over the 5k route rather than the usual up and done at the lagoon end. This was fine but it meant the first mile was totally wind behind, the second half behind half in face and the last one fully into the wind. I was pleased with my times of 6.32, 6.40 and 6.45. Not the speediest but I really tried which is the point for me at the moment and as I still had the never ending cough I accepted that that was as good as I’d get.

I did nothing on Wednesday morning as I thought that was probably sensible after double Tuesday. I did however go back to my normal weights at class in the evening after having had to drop to half that during the lingering cold of nonsense.

I rested fully on Thursday.

On Friday I decided to have another go at the 16kmph-until-I-drop on the treadmill. 13 and a half minutes!!!! Whoop whoop!! I didn’t look under the post it until I’d slowed the treadmill as usually I look which is the kiss of death and means only a minute until I give up. This way I have to keep going as I have no clue how well or otherwise I’m doing and once I’ve stopped that’s it.

Saturday was another chance to get in a long run before Sunday descended into apocalyptic winds and severe rain. I managed 10.7 miles which will do. I wanted to do longer really but there was no point battling on past the point where I ran out of energy. Part of my new regime is being sensible and trying to do less, but enough, without killing my self. I’m doing ok so far I think.

Today I had to brave the elements to feed the beautiful Badger (cat) again and just trying to walk there and back was horrendous so goodness knows how anyone managed to run/race in it. Looks like next week is pretty crap too (except Tuesday). Blinking winter.

Alas waterproofs also don’t let water out

Posted 10/12/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Another nail in the coughing   1 comment

Because it was freezing and I would have to cycle to track and be killed I decided to go to weights on Monday evening instead. I was still coughing grossly but much less frequently so I hoped this class would be ok as it’s not at all cardio so my lungs might be able to not cough for long enough. I was rather weak and dropped down to the weights I used when I first started and it was still quite hard. Damn this ridiculous ailment!

Just the usual Core & Stretch class on Tuesday. I don’t know if it’s doing weights on Monday but my hip flexors were destroyed again which they haven’t been for ages.

I rested again on Wednesday. Too cold. Too much coughing. Grrrr.

On Thursday I was meant to be going to Tom’s evening session to do 6 x 800 metres but it was so cold I couldn’t face it so decided to go and do the reps on the treadmill instead. This did mean cycling to the gym which necessitated a number of layers previously uncharted even by me. After many hours stripping down to my running wear I got going. As you know I do love the treadmill as it’ll make me try harder than I ever would outside. I set my rep pace to 17kmph (5.40 mile pace), 2m50s for each 800. I’d set my watch to vibrate to alert me to the start of each rep and rest (2 minutes walk) so I could then stick a post it over the time and distance display on the treadmill. There’s nothing worse than watching the time/distance creeping onwards when you’re dying. Now I just had to keep going until my watch vibrated then hit the button to swap from rep pace to walk pace. Then vice versa when it vibrated again. I’d set myself up to do 6 reps as prescribed by Tom but by the 4th the STUPID COUGH had made me feel very sick so I thought I’d better stop as I can’t imagine cleaning sick out of a treadmill belt is much fun. I carried on at a jog pace until I got to about 4.5 miles then called it a day.

I rested again on Friday.

On Saturday the wind forecast was good so I went out to do at least 11 miles but alas I was thwarted by severe lightheadedness where I felt I might keel over at any time so I had to stop at 7.5 miles. More grrrrr. Hopefully one day I’ll stop being ill. Ready to catch the next thing. Damn winter and damn my ease of catching colds.

Today (Sunday) I hoped to finally be able to do a long run but alas I have been thwarted by sinus dizziness and pressure. The good thing about this is that sinus usually signals the end of a cold and this one has been going on for weeks and weeks. Also my acne/rosacea tablets are also used for sinus infections so I don’t have the acute pain of them, just the dizziness and pressure.

A rubbish week for mileage and for the contents of my face and lungs.

I’m looking forward to summer

Posted 03/12/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Wintry woes   Leave a comment

The week started, as it so often does, with track. I got a tip off from Marc that it was a paarlauf session which is my all time favourite. It was! Oh happy day! I paired with LMC and ran with Rick who was paired with John, who was running at the same pace as her so it meant I could keep consistent with Rick pacing. After a while John, so subsequently Rick, pulled away but I tried to keep the distance between us consistent though I did tend to accidentally set off too fast to try and catch him up. Anyway over all it was an excellent session of 5 x 500, 5 x 400 and 5 x 300 metres. A great start to the week.

Thanks to Marc for this blurred-by-speed photo of the only time I was ahead of Rick

Tuesday started off with the usual Core & Stretch class. Nothing new to report. In the evening I decided to go to Tom’s session as he had kindly designed one option especially for those who missed their Sunday long run due to the Brighton 10k. 10 miles. Unfortunately it was apocalyptically windy. Also there is a reason I don’t run on Tuesday as I’m knackered from track. So really this was a very stupid idea indeed. To cut a long story (and run) short I managed the first few miles into the wind with the group, lost them on the wind behind section and bailed out at the Peace Statue as I knew there was no way I’d be able to run the 4 miles back from the Concorde 2 into the hideous headwind. The only good thing about this run is that I can get this drawing out again…

So damned windy!

After this idiotic boobery I rested on Wednesday (it was still very windy). My annoying tickly cough was morphing into a chesty one and would cause mammoth choking fits randomly which I felt would not be a good thing whilst wielding much heavy apparatus so I decided not to go to weights. A sad day indeed.

On Thursday morning I had planned to do a long run but I thought I’d rest again as I was still feeling it after Tuesday’s Tom foolery. Also I wanted to do his evening session of a simple and mercifully short 3 x 1 mile. Thus I did. As I was still feeling a bit groo I just wanted to run steadily, focussing on form and trying not to fade in the second half because I went out too fast. This was helped by Tom swapping the usual start end of the mile so we ran the return leg with the wind behind us. This meant I could go out more sensibly due to being wind-hindered. I stuck with David and Tom who I know will run sensibly. All my reps were around 6.45 which I found acceptable.

On Friday I finally managed to get a decent long run in as it wasn’t too windy and I wasn’t too tired or coughy. 11 easy miles.

On Saturday I went to the prom for parkrun as I knew I was in no fit state to give it a good go so thought I’d pace Val to sub 24. Hence 23.45 later I crossed the finish line. Alas Val had decided to go to Bevendean.

Pacing invisiVal to sub 24 (handy official 24 minute pacer joined me in the latter half)

This morning (Sunday) I wanted to get another long run in to take my total to 40 miles for the week which meant I’d need to do 10 miles. Unfortunately the phlegmy coughing yuck had really settled in so I had to bail out at 7 or face drowning in my own grossness. Never mind. A reasonable week of running all told.

Posted 26/11/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Same old same old (but with a horrible head cold)   1 comment

Oh! An incidental rhyme.

A quick whizz through this week’s activities as I’m bored of myself and also feel like death from the neck up.

Monday was track as always. This week was a good old fashioned Bob session of 5 x 1k with 30s recovery at not quite comfortable pace. I managed four good reps at approx 4.05 pace before conking out on the last one (but I was probably still about 4.15 which is better than any current parkrun pace).

Tuesday was Core & Stretch as always.

Wednesday was a good 11 miles. I need to do at least one run of this length per week if I have any hope of ever being any good again. Helped this time by a distinct lack of wind.

Weights in the evening. I dropped my weights slightly as already feeling ill and weak and knowing I had Brighton 10k on Sunday (that was only an excuse really though as it was never going to be much good). My usual weights are always far too heavy anyway (probably) so it did me good to drop them for a week. Though naturally as the weights were lighter I just did more so I don’t know why I bothered. I’d had my protein/nurishment shake though so I knew I’d be ok on Thursday anyway.

After the 11 on Wednesday I only managed 7 on Thursday morning. Long runs are too boring to do day after day. I added an extra mile by doing 8 x 200m strides with Tom’s group in the evening.

I had planned to go to Hove Park on Saturday but swapped last minute to prom as I had shoes to give to Val. I was very surprised when I ran a really easy 22.30 having tried really hard the week before and running the same time.

Somehow easily running 22.30

Today (Sunday) I did the Brighton 10k. I only signed up for this race because they were so kind with their apology and discount after last year’s race couldn’t go ahead due to storm whoever it was. Totally unprepared for it and head full of death and soreness. I just ran it as effortfully as possible, with help from Rick. The thing I hate most about my running self is when I don’t try and give up and sulk. That wasn’t today so I can only accept my rampant slowness and hope when I feel better I can start running better and once I start racing more I’ll get used to it. I’ve done no racing for ages so I’m wholly unused to it.

Rick helping me be a bit less crap than I would have been otherwise (probably)

Having lost Rick due to 10k being TOO FAR for current speed endurance levels

Posted 19/11/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Ploughing onwards    1 comment

As the forecast was for wind in the latter part of the week I decided to fit in a longish run on Monday before track in the evening. 8 easy miles. The track session was 6 x 600, 400 with the last 200 of the 400 faster and the single 400 at the pace of the 200. It was freezing and busy and I wasn’t very good. 

C & S on Tuesday was a nice break from the running and I’m still taking it gently which seems to be helping my sciatica which has been mostly dormant for a number of weeks now.

On Wednesday it wasn’t a treadmill week so I took the opportunity to not run at all. I still went to weights in the evening, having drunk a protein shake during the day to allay mega DOMS in the subsequent days. 

One of which was Thursday, where I went out for another 8 miler and did a few miles at sub 8 pace! Hallelujah to the protein shake. A few weeks ago I couldn’t even 10minute mile after a Wednesday session. It was supposed to be a slow run so usually I’ll stick to 8.30mm but I wanted to see how much the protein shake cures me and the answer is almost totally. Obviously my legs are still tired but now I can continue my week as I could after any reasonably hard session rather than needing 3 or more days just to get a semblance of leg back. 

Because I wanted to give parkrun a proper go on Saturday I rested on Friday. 

The plan was to just try so I can see where I’m actually at. I tried. I was not happy with the result. I shall keep going back until I have stopped being so useless. 

This morning I went out and practiced trying, again. It was very windy in both directions and my trying lead to yet more awful times. I am trying to remain positive but it’s difficult when REALLY trying leads to slower times than when I first started running 10 or so years ago. I am happy with the last month or so’s training so to discover I’m still so utterly rubbish is not what I hoped for. Hopefully it’s just a blip and soon I’m going to come out of the other side, everything will come together and I’ll be good once more. 

What I’d like to do to myself right now

Posted 12/11/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

Erm… running?   1 comment

This week Tara was in charge at track which meant I knew what the session was in advance. I much prefer this as I then know which group I need to be in and I just generally prefer to know what I’m doing in advance. ( 2 x ) 1200, 1000, 800, the last 300 of each fast. I went with Rick as usual as he is Mr Pace. I decided to try and lead out the first 1000 as I feel mean just constantly using Rick but I was far too fast and ruined it for everyone so went back behind him for all the rest. I was pleased with my effort even though I ended up a bit behind on the fast bits towards the end. 

On Tuesday it was the usual Core & Stretch class. I’m getting much better at doing it more gently which is definitely helping. I need to remember for others this is their exercise for the week whereas for me it’s supposed to be about recovery and (enforced but not forceful) stretching. 

Tuesday must also be gentle as Wednesday is now the Day of Death. The morning is the now legendary “see how far you can run at 16kmph (18.45 5k pace)” This week I continued the sensible streak by setting the treadmill to 0.5% incline (as instructed by Mo Farah) and used the one furthest from the wall as it is the least cambered of the three (wonky gym floor). Usually I use the wall one as it means I can only have people on one side. This time was the first time there were people on both the other treadmills. Eeeek! I was pleased with my ability to ignore them and just get on with the business of trying not to die. 11 minutes this time and a minute improvement even though I had done track this week which I hadn’t when I did 10 minutes a few weeks ago. I also perfected my post it note folding so I couldn’t see the screen. Next time I must try not to look under the post it until I have to decrease the speed as at the moment I look before I’m fully dead but as soon as I’ve looked I’ve ruined it and can only manage another few minutes. Anyway I was pleased with this effort. That’s what this session is about. Forcing me to put in an effort way above anything I ever manage outside (obviously the plan is to replicate it outside but whilst I’m not succeeding there currently at least I’m doing it here). 
On Wednesday evening it’s back to the gym for weights class. I have discovered how to survive it and be DOMS free (mostly) for the subsequent days. A protein shake made with a can of nurishment. This of course does not save me totally from its effects but it means I can do easy runs on Thursday and Fridays whereas before I found it almost impossible. Thus I did a slow run on Thursday and Friday. 

On Saturday the forecast looked good to continue my return to parkrun so I decided to go the prom for a good tempo on the flat. (I am currently using parkrun as my outside attempt to replicate Wednesdays’ effort.) I have yet to be successful however I have been putting in effort and it helps me practice running with people again which has been troublesome for a while now. THE FORECAST WAS A MASSIVE LIE. It was so windy. I kept up the effort but the wind ruined any hope of a good time. I’d hoped it would be possible to at least get back to the lower reaches of 21 minutes but alas not. Oh well, there’s always next week. 

Not being assisted by hurricane tailwind (thanks Nigel for letting me use the photo even though you didn’t even know I was using it)

Really enjoying the 40000 mph headwind (ditto re Nigel’s photo)

Rest day today, ready to start it all again next week. I’m getting quite a good routine going (as eagle eyed Lloyd pointed out on Strava) which is excellent as I LOVE routine. 

For Marc and Sarah and anyone else here’s today’s random drawing:

Posted 05/11/2017 by Isobel Muir in Running

%d bloggers like this: