Archive for the ‘Anxiety’ Category

The good, the bad and the Littlehampton    2 comments

Bank holiday meant no track so I decided to get a steady paced 5 miles done in the morning before work. I have no idea of the speed but I was trying to work at 80% or so effort throughout. I felt like this was a good run so therefore it was.

On Tuesday I balanced Monday’s run with 5 miles at an easy pace as I had Tom’s seafront session to look forward to in the evening. 2 x 3 miles. A session I’ve never done before but exactly the sort of thing I feel I should do (also as these sessions start on the seafront near my house I could do them on my own if I fancied). I decided to go out on the first one with Dave as I knew he would pace it much more sensibly than I would. I looked at my watch at halfway and with half a mile to go just so I would have an idea on the second one if I was on for the same time. I passed halfway on the first one in 10.09. I finished in 20.43. After a 4 minute break I set of again with Dave but reached halfway in 10.29 so tried to speed up slightly on the way back so my two reps would be as close as possible in time. 20.53 so near enough. I liked this session as I felt comfortable for both reps and was pleased with the times.

Wednesday was time for k reps with Rob in Hove Park. Once again there were dogs, dawdlers and divs (Rob and I) in abundance. Also I was still not fast enough so Rob had to overtake me on the last one which he doesn’t like doing being an utter gentleman so I ruined that one for him and thus also ruined his secret hope of doing under 16 minutes for the 4 reps. He did 16.03. Excellent consistency of 4 minutes +\- 2s per kilometre for him.  Mine were a mess: 3.53, 3.57, 4.04, 4.07.

In the evening I took the work run clubbers to do Kenyan hills at Duke’s Mound. Easy enough but still hills.

I had planned to rest on Thursday as I was at work all day so I did. On Friday I meant to do a run but I badly fell off the sanity wagon so did nothing.

On Saturday it was back to Hove Prom after the forced return to Preston Park last week. I was still feeling utterly awful as of Friday. In fact I think I can safely say that I have never wanted to run parkrun less than I did then. It took all my strength just to drag myself out of the house. Horrible. Anyway I managed it. In fact I was surprised with 21.37 as I just wanted to run it consistently and comfortably without putting any strain on my already enfeebled mind. Last week I tried hard for 21.28 at Preston Park. Hopefully this means physically I am over the cold (backed up by heart rate being back to normal at rest after a period of +10 bpm which means you are ill so says science n that).


Enough strength for immaturity on the first lap (thanks Mark)

 

Less so on the return leg

This morning (Sunday) it was time to try a new race. The Littlehampton 10k. The weather was perfect for running. The course was quite nice in the main though there was a horrible grass bit finished off with a section of pebbles. I was pleased with my effort throughout but not when I discovered my time was bilge. Rob measured the course at 6.3 miles (and he didn’t cut any corners whereas I did a few times) but even with the possible extra couple of minutes my time was unacceptable for the effort I put in. Somehow I was second woman.

I’m bored of myself and this post now so goodbye until next week.

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Old fashioned overtraining   Leave a comment

Unfortunately I was still feeling tired and somewhat insane in the membrane but I hoped I might still be able to dredge something up for a worthwhile track session. Thankfully the session was a combination of short fast reps which I am better at. 6 x 300, 3 x 500 and 4 x 200s to finish. Although I was OK I knew I would normally be faster over all if I weren’t so generally tired. Anyway I stuck with the group so know that I must have been acceptable.

Wednesday meant LSR time. Rob joined me which was pleasant as always. The highlight of this run was watching a rather large boat being chaperoned along the Old Shoreham Road by Police motorbikes with Wide Load stickers on their windscreens and the ensuing impatience of drivers who couldn’t even wait a few minutes and started driving over the central reservation. A white van man decided to try and run us over before enquiring whether he could actually just drive like a normal up the road, which he could. In other news I was massively anxious and kept jumping like Scooby Doo at everything and nothing. If I had a heart rate monitor it would have exploded. Luckily Rob found this quite amusing. The run itself was nice and slow and the weather (and lock gates) for once was reasonably warm though windy. 12 miles in the massively paranoid and anxious sack.

In the evening it was a nice easy 5 ish mile run to the Marina and back with my Run Clubber.

Even though I know I need a jolly good rest the foolish part of my brain won (another sign I need a jolly good rest contradictorily) and I set off on what could only ever be a disappointing set of k reps on the seafront. It was very much less windy than last time I attempted this but the wind picked up as I progressed. 3.51, 3.49, 3.53, 3.55, 3.54. I suppose these are actually acceptable times and I’m giving myself extra points for dragging myself out and doing them even though I really didn’t want to (though I would/should have given myself extra extra extra points if I’d stayed in and rested which would have been the sensible thing to do).

Saturday was a complete write off as I knew it would be. I must learn to be sensible and rest when I need to because running a rubbish parkrun shall never help as much as NOT running one at all and actually having a sodding rest! All the signs are rampant that I NEED to rest so why oh why do I keep going until I reach this stage? Blinking fool.

Thankfully as it was the London Marathon today I did NOT run as I need to get out early otherwise I won’t do anything and the programme ran (geddit?) from 8.30 am until 2.30pm.

I am REALLY going to try and rest this coming week (after Monday’s track session of course) as I have the Sussex Marathon Weekend next weekend and need to not be like the last few weeks of knackered, paranoid, anxious uselessness.

30 miles for the week just gone.

Posted 26/04/2015 by Isobel Muir in Anxiety, Arena 80 AC, Blog, parkrun, Running, Track

Fog on the (start) line   Leave a comment

Once more it was Monday so once more it was track. Bob was back and the session was as follows: (4x) 500f, 100j, 500f, 100j, 500f, 90s rest. I think we were doing roughly 1.50 for the 500s. I wanted to keep with Paul if possible and I did manage so that was good and a successful outing. I felt strong on this session but realise it is my sort of session (short reps) so I must keep this up during less pleasant sessions such as 1200 reps (though hopefully there shan’t be many more of those as we move into warm (when?) weather training.

I had decided this week would be a slight taper week after being so rubbish on Saturday and resting on Sunday. Tuesday has become a routine rest day recently so this week was no different. However on Wednesday I didn’t have time to do my usual LSR in the morning so I just did an easy 5 miler in the evening with a few reps of Duke’s Mound. On Thursday I rested yet again and then became worried I might have forgotten to run so went out for another easy five on Friday morning just to remind them in preparation for parkrun. Once I returned I found a message from Emily saying she had to do a marathon pace run of half an hour on Saturday so would I like her to pace me to 19.45 for parkrun? Yes! Although this was a most scary notion I knew I must take the opportunity to be paced by The Protovator.

Thus I found myself cacking it on the start line at Preston Park in a dense fog (literal not metaphorical). I had told Emily that she may shout at me as much as she liked but I managed to keep up with her for around 3.5k before I really started to feel like hurling and dropped off the pace. She immediately started spurring me on, reminding me that I’ve trained for this and that I can breathe AFTER the run. Although (I learnt later) I had dropped the pace a little towards the end it was only marginal and I crossed the line in 19.47 (Emily was pacing 19.45) as Emily continued to complete her half an hour at marathon pace. Those lost two seconds were entirely my fault. However I have finally set a true course record by ONE WHOLE SECOND!

parkrun progression (except I removed last week's crap one)

parkrun progression (except I removed last week’s crap one)

Officially my pb was 20.06 (until I ran 20.05, then 19.57 during the past few weeks) but I knew I’d run 19.48 at the dress rehearsal 2 years ago (my first sub 20 ever) and really wanted it to be official. Now it is. Thanks and credit completely to Emily pacer extraordinaire. It was really hard. Not sure I’ve run that hard ever but proves I can. Now I just need to be able to make myself exert that much effort without having someone else make me do it.

This morning (Sunday) it was time for Mel’s Milers 10k. The previous occasions I have done this race it has been dry, warm and sunny. Not so this year. It had been raining quite severely but thankfully this had eased when we got to the start but it was still stupidly windy and quite cold for this time of year. Soon enough it was time to go go go! So we did. Almost immediately turning into a hurricane that continued pretty much continuously for the first 2k in the grounds of Christ’s Hospital school. I thought well at least it will be behind us on the way back. No! My plan was to attempt to stay with Caroline for as long as possible. This went awry around 2.5k where she first began drawing away from me, however I was still close enough until 6k where she got away from me a bit more. I drew back to her around 8k but then she got away from me for good and ended up finishing 40 seconds ahead. I was still pleased with my run as I didn’t feel I dropped off concentration or effort wise anywhere near as much as I often do. I had to speed up a bit when we ran through the housing estate as I needed to follow the man in front as I didn’t know where I was going. I gave myself a stern talking to (out loud – luckily there was no-one near) from 8k onwards and managed to drag myself onwards. As I neared the finish I thought I might be on for a course pb even though the course was different. I was NOT. Thus the course must have been longer (along with wetter and windier) as I was a minute behind even though I ran much better (I felt). Thankfully everyone else was a minute or so down so I let myself off.

Always a nice medal from Mel

Always a nice medal from Mel

This year I was 5th lady out of 138 and 29th out of 306 over all. A pleasing weekend’s running.

I must get back to full training next week especially as the week after looks busy and I can’t taper again.

Only 25 miles for the week but including three hard sessions.

Something to report   2 comments

To continue keeping up a decent weekly mileage and having a day off I started Monday with a 7 mile run. It was very slow and I felt tired but my legs felt strong. I’m still getting used to having proper legs again and it was good to feel them NOT knocking into each other in a spindly style as I made my slow way along the seafront. I had already decided that this week I wouldn’t go to the gym as I think it is important to let my legs have time to reap the benefits which means not thrashing them in the gym every week (just thrashing them by running instead … ahem …). Of course as it was Monday I also had track to contend with in the evening. I joined my trusty band of running mates and thought I’d do my usual and try and follow Rick (I think he is fed up of this but hey ho). After a 1k warm up Bob set us off on 5 x 1300 with the first 1000 tempo with a wind up last 300. Arg! This was hard as long reps. I have no idea what speeds we were doing but I remained in about the same place each time and know that everyone (bar me) in the group is good at pacing so assume I was consistent enough throughout. A reasonable double day over all.

On Tuesday I went to visit my old running friend Rob who has become a rampant gym goer whilst being injured. I joined him in his new habitat. It is sooooo modern compared with my gym! It had actual people in it too whereas mine tends to be emptier. Anyway I didn’t really do much as I was knackered after Monday but I did end up doing 5k on the treadmill after I had to leave the elliptical machine as I can’t coordinate my limbs for it.

Rob capturing the moment I remembered how much I hate the cross trainer

Rob capturing the moment I remembered how much I hate the cross trainer

Wednesday was a long run. Well it was supposed to be but ended up being just over 10 miles. Not too bad though as I wanted to do well at the track 5000 on Thursday. My pace was very slow again as well which is fine for now as I’m just trying to get my weekly mileage back up to a decent number.

Thursday rolled around which meant it was time for Tom’s annual 5000 track race.

The 5000 posse pre race

The 5000 posse pre race

I hadn’t even really thought about this and suddenly it was time. I did my shoelaces up a bit tighter as I think their looseness isn’t helping my dodgy calf/Achilles as I am probably scrunching my foot up a bit to hold shoe on (not that it would actually fall off). I felt good from the off and even overtook some people after about 1k as I knew I could go faster (usually I stay behind for fear of going to fast and dying later). Only one person re-overtook which I knew would happen anyway. Foolishly I hadn’t set my watch to beep at each k so I didn’t really know where I was but could see my average pace was 4.04 per k so this boded well for an acceptable time. Once I received the last lap shout (thank you Mr Cartledge) I did a traditional Muir wind up and windmill-sprint which brought me home in a quite unexpected 20.10. This was pleasing as my best run for ages. I had felt strong all the way in leg, mind and lung which is a rare occurrence indeed.

On Friday I rested.

Today I ran Preston Park parkrun in 21.09. Was putting in a good effort but was unable to produce any speed.

Pushing the invisible shopping trolley of slowness. Thanks Rob for the photo.

Pushing the invisible shopping trolley of slowness. Thanks Rob for the photo.

Hellingly 10k tomorrow.

 

Happy Blog Birthday to me!   Leave a comment

Finally track was actually back at the track after around 4 weeks off or of alternative sessions in Hove Rec. I decided that I should move up a group as I shan’t improve (or re-improve?) otherwise. (Un)fortunately there was no interim group so I was forced to attempt to hang on to the pretty gosh darn speedy group containing Paul and Joe. The session was 10 x 600m, split into two sets of 5. Each 600 was 3 x progressively faster 200 metres with a 100m jog recovery between each 600 and 3 minutes between the two sets of 5. I managed to keep pretty well with the group for the first three reps in each set but my usual lack of speed endurance let me down on the last two where I dropped away though still near enough to (almost) say I was part of the group. Anyway the main thing is I tried hard as told by the fact my eyes were shut for most of the session. For some reason Garmin Connect decided it did not wish to upload this session but on the watch it shows 6.5 miles run and I know that I put in the effort so sod off Garmin Connect if you don’t want to speak to your own watch.

On Tuesday I was able to go to Core & Stretch so I did and I did. It was rather hard because of my sudden return to faster and better running (neither fast nor good). Tired legs and many standing poses. I’m sure it did me good though as always. Pleased my core is still steely even though I can’t now attend the class every week.

In the afternoon I set out on my new MSHR (medium length, slow, hilly run) route of 2 x King George VI (my nearest and longest hill) which after a nice long downhill and a slightly undulating return is just under 9 miles. This is my vain attempt to keep up a bit of hill running after the Minehead trip. As I am only training for 5 and 10ks at the moment I think this will do as a “long” run for now. Once again Garmin decided not to import this run from watch to site but it was 9 miles of not very fast hills.

On Thursday I decided I would try not to do an lsr in the morning to see if it helped my Hove Park session in the evening. It was quite hard actually as it was a nice day but I went to Tesco instead. Duly fresh I set off for Hove Park on a fine sunny evening. Steve was taking the session and it was based on a figure of 8 on the grass containing a flattish tempo section followed by an uphill faster section. We did this for a while before finishing off with a few downhill half laps on the path getting progressively faster. Over all I enjoyed this session and managed to keep up the effort throughout. Garmin deigned to allow this activity onto Garmin Connect so if you wish to view it it is here.

On Saturday I wanted to do another vaguely acceptable parkrun but failed dismally. However in the afternoon I went climbing with Lydia and managed to do some stuff on the duck which I usually fail to do. I even tried to conquer my fear of heights by standing on top of it. Alas I looked like an insane shaking lunatic but I stuck at it until the fear faded slightly.

Conquering the duck (sort of)

Conquering the duck (sort of)

I dashed across the top again for good measure. So infernally sweaty but a massive success as I haven’t been able to do anything but crawl along the top like a mental caterpillar thus far. I even used my face and ear as a climbing aid this time which was interesting and something I must add to my repertoire as it helped me conquer a yellow Lydia and I spent ages contemplating and falling off in various stylish and elegant ways. Face to carpet was one of my most accomplished. I managed to re-conquer the infernal blue and white which is good as they are being changed tomorrow. I am still most rubbish at going round corners and I have great trouble when any splits style stances are required what with being a massively inflexible runner type. Lydia was standing perfectly comfortably in a position that nearly caused my legs to shear off at the groin even though I am taller than her and thus have longer legs. Oh well, perhaps the more I do the more flexible I shall become? Either that or my hamstrings shall actually snap.

I have just been informed by WordPress that I have been writing this blog for a year so Happy Blog Birthday to me!

A bit less running   1 comment

This week I decided I would have a taper/rest week to allow the running holiday’s benefits to sink in so I rested on Monday as there was no track due to it being a bank holiday.

On Tuesday Rob and I decided to try a 10k tempo in preparation for Worthing 10k  on Sunday. The plan was to run it in approximately 46 minutes, possibly throwing in a faster mile if we felt like it. This we duly did.

I rested again on Wednesday as I was at work.

I thought I should actually try and do Thursday’s Hove Park session properly having not done so for ages. Bob had fashioned a session to suit the many Arena members who were to be running Worthing 10k on Sunday so I knew I must try as if I didn’t I’d only have to take myself out on Friday for mile reps or something which I would blatantly either not do at all or not do properly on my own. Thus I set off down the hill on the first, longest, rep around the far end of the park. It is unlikely I was going particularly speedily but at this stage I just want to practice actually running as well as I can at each session. The main bulk of the session was 5 x ever decreasing “laps” of the park. I made sure I put in the effort on each rep. It was easy to go out fast as the first 500 metres or so was downhill so it was just a case of keeping up the effort on the flat sections. We finished off with 2 x small downhill laps in the opposite direction. I was pleased with this session as I have finally managed to get myself to try. Long may it continue.

Friday was a bouldering day so off I went to traumatise myself with heights once again. I managed not to snot all over myself in terror this week which is an improvement though I sweated like a lord on occasion and got stuck at the top a few times. I did however climb onto the duck though I did then have to slide along the top like some kind of deranged snake as I can’t stand on it and walk along like normal folk. I even sprinted up and down a couple of yellow routes though I couldn’t do my blue and white nemesis of old that I conquered. It has conquered me again. I think the trick is to conquer it then NEVER GO BACK. I have still not fallen off properly and the worst thing I did this time (in addition to scraping off much skin) was strain my armpit when failing the infernal previously-conquered blue and white.

On Saturday it had been arranged that Arena would commandeer the volunteering at Preston Park parkrun. Thus a small group congregated to wear hi vis and generally be most helpful to the parkrunners of Preston Park. Luckily it was a perfect day for marshalling – sunny, warm and breezeless. I think a good time was had by all and as we have done our duty we can do many more parkruns without volunteer guilt (though I know we all volunteer regularly anyway).

This photo is possibly the best thing I have seen. Ever

This photo is possibly the best thing I have seen. Ever

Then it was Sunday (today) which meant one thing: Worthing 10k! Last year this race was my one and only venture into sub 40 10k territory with a PB of 39.45. I knew this year there was no way in the world I would be getting anywhere near that time but I wanted to get as close to 42 as possible. I set my Garmin to beep if my pace got slower than 6.45 (I knew it would at some point) and decided to go out as hard as I could and see how far I got before the inevitable slowing down. Not very far as it turned out (not surprisingly). I haven’t done any training specifically for speed endurance. Everything has either been too long and way too slow or too short and fast. I hoped that the week away running hills etc would help but I think that just added to the category of too long and too slow. I set of what I felt was quite conservatively but reached 1 mile in 6.16. Dammit! I then slowed down a lot as I expected but managed to keep just under 7 minute miling with the help of my Garmin beeping to make me attempt to speed up slightly.

Worthing 1 crop

Just before both Arena Marks overtook me (along with many many other people)

I hoped that the speedier first and second(ish) mile would keep me on for sub 42 even with the few lapses into being behind pace and this turned out to be the case as I crossed the line in 41.57 on the race clock. Luckily my chip time put me down for 41.52. Phew! Although this is of course still way off where I should be I definitely put in the effort so now it is just a case of getting my legs and lungs used to sustaining a faster pace for longer than a mile or so. Last year was no different in terms of effort but I was able to sustain the speed for the full distance. Anyway all in all I think this means I am over the hump and can now get back towards the speeds and times I feel I am capable of running.

Some of the Arenas post-race

Some of the Arenas post-race

Running (unsurprisingly)   Leave a comment

Monday. Track. I was let off work not quite early enough to get home and then go to track so cycled straight there thus arriving over an hour early. I decided I might as well start running. 5 or so miles later a few people began to arrive so I continued my slow jog by-now-exceptionally-long warm up. By the time the session began I had already run over 6 miles. I was also very hungry. The session was 8 x 800, pyramiding from 300t, 500f down to 600t 200f and back up. This would usually be a good session for me but having done such and extensive and slow paced warm up I didn’t have any fast twitch in me and the session turned out to be a recovery jog/track session/long run. I wasn’t particularly bothered by this as by the end I had clocked up 11 miles. I had been testing a watch for work that was supposedly faulty (it wasn’t) so if nothing else it got a good workout.

After Monday’s unintentional long run I wasn’t too worried that my next session would be a double day Thursday. Thus I set off in the morning for a medium distance slow run. It was fine, the weather was good, my pace was reasonably consistent and all was well. It was however very difficult to not go too far. I had an almighty battle with myself to stop at just over 9 miles rather than carrying on to around 13. I just about succeeded by reminding myself I wanted to do the evening session in Hove Park properly and this was less likely if I did a full lsr in the morning. I was glad of my hard fought victory come evening when we set off on 15 x Kenyan hills on the grass at Hove Park. This was followed by a downhill half lap with uphill grass sprint. Then 5 x uphill half laps. Luckily I had coincided with Duncan at this point so we were able to work together to keep going up the wiggly path and through to the end. We finished off with a fast downhill half lap and walked back up the grass to finish. Over all this was a good session and I put the effort in which justified my shortish run in the morning. So I ended up running 13 miles for the day anyway, just in two distinctly different sections.

On Saturday it was Preston Park parkrun’s anniversary so I cycled over in the hope of free cake and to applaud Duncan for being second in the men’s points competition. He was looking smart in a dress shirt and bow tie. I decided I would try and stick with him for the whole run this time rather than hoofing off way too fast then trying (and failing) to keep with him when he inevitably passed. This plan worked excellently up until 3k where we were on for 20.30. Alas I then just totally lost my motivation etc as usual and he continued onwards and I slowed down massively to drag home in a disappointing 21.10.

Although that is probably about the best I’ve done recently. I know what I need to do to improve (other than a brain transplant). I must do some long tempo runs. At the moment I either do 8.30mm paced long runs or short fast stuff like track and HP intervals. I am sorely missing sustained tempo efforts which is what I need. As I have gold membership at my gym and hardly go there any more since starting work I have decided I must go there and do an enforced tempo speed run on the treadmill. Yes it is unutterably boring but I cannot be trusted to push myself or pace myself on the road so this is what I must do. Good for mental strength too.

So off I set in filthsome weather to the gym this morning. I had a plan to do an hour of which 45 minutes would be at 13kmph at least. I set the treadmill to this speed to see what it felt like (treadmill on 2% incline as usual). It felt fine so I immediately changed my plan and decided after a few k at this speed to put it up to 15kmph (20 minute 5k pace) and see how long I could last. I wasn’t that surprised to discover I managed 6k. No matter how much I do actually trust myself that almost everything to do with my recent crapness is brain-related I still chose to believe that it might be something to do with my ankle. This however shows I can do it if the pace is enforced. I know treadmill is not like real running but at least my limbs can move fast enough and my lungs can hack it (didn’t even inhale which would have been a definite no a while ago). Hopefully now I’ve done this I might be able to keep myself going past 3k at the next parkrun. I doubt it though as I know I just can’t care and drag out any form of motivation currently.

I shall take a day off tomorrow I think after a 34 mile week with a good mix of speed, hills and long stuff.

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