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.

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.


Back on track (on track)   Leave a comment

Having had a break from running last week I was hopeful that, breathing permitting, I would be able to put in a good session at the track. This week the fast group were doing 8 x 800 with a minute recovery so Paul and I tagged on with them. I knew I would just do the first 400 of each rep as any longer and I wouldn’t be able to keep up or complete the session. This gave me a 2 minute recovery between each 400 which was perfect. I made sure I worked hard to keep with the group for the 400s. I was pleased with this session as I managed to achieve what I wanted. 8 x 800 at approx 80 – 85s per lap. Not particularly fast but consistent and good for 8 reps.

On Tuesday I went to Core & Stretch as usual but decided to give kettlebells a miss with the promise that I would do Matt’s boxercise class on Thursday evening instead. As usual (other) Matt and I found ourselves unable to do lots of the C&S class but this week there was a new man who looks like he could well join our small elite group of not-very-bendies.

Wednesday was LSR day. Having managed 14 last Sunday I hoped I could do roughly the same today without the hindrance of a headwind this time. It was definitely less windy though more misty. The 14 passed much more pleasantly this time and in no time (well two hours) I had another 14 in the bag. 


On Thursday I went to boxercise as promised. The circuit aspects were good though trying to do this sort of class after a LSR is hard on the legs, perhaps this is why usually I do a Tuesday class. Unfortunately when we moved on to pad and glove work it all went wrong. I was way to uncoordinated to move my pads fast enough which meant the punched was often punching nothing as my pads were yet to materialise in the right places. Yikes! This was horrible and a massive disaster and I got really anxious which made me even worse. Aaarrrrrrrgggghhhhhh! This is in no way the fault of Matt or the class. In fact the class must have been good as so many parts of me are now seriously DOMSed. I shall however NEVER be returning. I must stick to things where any of my failings only affect myself and not other participants of the class.

Friday was a rest day.

I took myself off to Preston Park on Saturday  for parkrun but it was not worth mentioning. Started off OK then just slowed to a crawl as the run progressed. 

Today it was the Worthing Lido 4. I have been lucky insofar as the last 3 or 4 times I’ve done it the weather has been dry and not too windy. Alas today this lucky streak was undone. Spectacularly. Very wet, very windy (managing to be a headwind in both directions) and very cold. I gave it a good go but it was not to be. Perhaps I should have taken the fact I was number 13 as an omen. Double omen that it got lost in the post so I got a drawn on replacement. Drawn in washable ink too it seems…

Not indelible (delible?) ink

Not indelible (delible?) ink

Anyway over all I wasn’t too displeased with my effort but it’s a shame it doesn’t translate into anything good at the moment. Around two minutes slower than last year. 

Having thawed out (finally) I see I managed 26 miles for the week. Everything still hurts from boxercise. Another pretty busy week all told.

(Almost) a week off (running)   Leave a comment

I started the week with good intentions to rest after the struggling to breathe whilst running of the preceding few weeks or so. So I didn’t go to track on Monday. A good start.

On Tuesday I decided that Core & Stretch would be ok as it is a relaxing class. Well its actually not in any way relaxing but it is stretching so not a vigorous jumping about type class so in terms of lungs should be fine. It also kills the core which is always a good thing. I’m sure there is still a lot of mince pie lard to burn off. The class was absolutely rammed again so it was single mats all round which meant when rolling the spine it was rather painful and knobbly on the floor. As always the class was good and I felt that my poor legs had at least had some good done to them.

In the evening I found myself at kettlebells before I had really thought about it. Ooops. Perils of having a routine. As I was there I decided to make the most (least?) of it by going down quite a lot in terms of weight and concentrating on form and stretching out the hamstrings and so forth. It was definitely a good idea to go down a weight or ten as I still struggled. This was due to the inability to breathe properly, I just felt rather weak and run down. I made sure I did the upper body stuff to the best of my ability as this area is otherwise neglected what with all the running. I managed around 10 proper press ups before my spaghetti arms decided enough was enough. Along with all the other stuff I think my arms got a bit of a going over which is good.

On Wednesday I had promised Matt I’d go to Break the Cycle even though he wouldn’t be there so off I went. Rest week going well…This class is a mix of spin and circuit training. We started off on the circuit which was arm based (as the spin part is obviously leg based) which was excellent as I want to show my arms what’s what after they’ve got away with not having to do much for many years. Each of the ten or so stations is only 45 seconds so just long enough for a good blast but not too long that you flag badly before the end. After going round once we hopped on the bikes for 10 minutes of spinning, then back on the circuit. Finishing off on the bikes. I really enjoyed this class and hope to add it to my repertoire. On Thursday morning various new bits of my upper body ached so I know the class was a success! I did actually manage to rest on Thursday.

On Friday I went to spin and thoroughly knackered myself, probably due to not having done any running and only having taken the classes I had done quite gently (for me). Thankfully it was an endurance session so was mainly uphills and uphill sprinting. I much prefer this to normal sprinting which I find really hard, my legs just never seem to be able to spin as fast as everyone else’s. Anyway there was hardly any of that so I was happy to concentrate on killing myself on the climbs. We finished off with a ridiculous attempt to sprint in the highest gear. Sprinting was of course unachievable but we tried to at least keep the pedals turning which in itself was virtually impossible. I enjoyed the class greatly. I can definitely tell the difference having not already run many many miles in the week.

Of course a rest week wouldn’t be a rest week without ruining it so off I swept to Lancing on Saturday afternoon for the masters xc championships. I knew I wasn’t going to be much good at this as it is a long long uphill drag over much mud, grass and flinty-chalky paths and is just generally not my kind of thing. I was mainly there for the nice long downhill finish and to turn out for the club. There were only two of us in the v35 category so I didn’t need to worry about placing for the team as we needed another person. The race panned out as I expected, I really struggled on the uphills, you get an extra one in this race as it is a mile longer than the League xc that takes place here, and was overtaken by loads of people. I managed to claw a few back on the first downhill but by the time I’d reached the summit the second time everyone was too spread out and I failed to catch anyone on the long downhill finish. Nevermind. The downhill was slightly marred by the strong and cold headwind but I still enjoyed it and managed to throw in a mightily impressive (thanks Hywel) sprint finish to know avail but I loved it anyway. On the plus side my lungs felt much better and I only felt knackered in the normal way rather than in a breathless unexplained way.

This morning I decided not to go to RunBrighton as it was 2 hours over the downs which would really not please my bum injury after yesterday’s exertions on the mud and hills. I plumped for a lone LSR on the seafront (no missed “keep away from the sea” warnings this time). I found it rather hard and dropped my pace quite significantly on the long drag back into the wind. Oh well, 14 miles in the bag.

So a not very restful (except slightly in a running sense – 18 miles) rest week completed.

Not such a good week   1 comment

This past week heralded the return to normality after Christmas/New Year so it was off to track I went on Monday. It was my intention to try and stick with Paul but I knew this wasn’t to be once I started running as it was obvious my legs were very tired from Sunday’s double running and all the long stuff I’d been doing over Christmas. The session was 6 x (300 tempo/200 fast/300t/300f/300t/400f) but I was really struggling to breathe on the first set so dropped the 300/300s from each rep. Having done this I just about managed to hang off the back of the group on the 200s and 400s but it was an almighty struggle and an unpleasant wheezy experience. One hopefully not to be repeated in a hurry! 

I dragged myself off to Core & Stretch on Tuesday still feeling rather tired but knowing a bit of stretching could only do me good and that my core definitely needs a good thrashing after the mince-pie-December lardfest. Matt was back which meant we were, once again, sniggering buffoons (even though we had an excellent new girl called Kate stationed between us courtesy of Jenny). Possibly the only use for mirrors in the studio – one can catch the eye of others in them and continue the immature giggling. The class was good and the fullest I’ve ever seen it, though mostly regulars. In the evening I was expecting an influx of New Year Resolutioners at kettlebells but in fact it was just two regulars, Jenny and I. This was good as it meant we could all get appropriate bells and had plenty of room in which to swing. As we were doing a little stretch warm down at the end Matt assisted me in a lying down hamstring stretch and amazingly both legs almost attained the vertical. Oh my actual God! I was most surprised that the injured left one was in fact the victor. Though maybe it is because it is injured? Anyway it was definitely unexpected.

On Wednesday I went out with Andy and Danny for a LSR which turned out to be too fast for my ailing limbs and lungs. I think actually it was the hilliness that did me in as at the moment my lungs can’t handle the slightest incline for some unknown reason (I am going to the doctor on Friday for my annual [well it would have been if I actually went when I was supposed to] asthma check up). I only managed 9 miles which was rather frustrating (though I had run 2 miles to meet Andy in Hove to get a lift over to Preston Park) and even that was a massive struggle.

I decided to take Thursday and Friday off as I am supposed to be working on being sensible and not overtraining this year. Having already notched up two not very successful runs it would be foolish to add more. This meant I managed after a massive, long and fraught fight with myself not to run parkrun on Saturday. It would only have been another breathless, slow, ultimately frustrating and pointless outing. This rational argument didn’t hold much sway in my brain though alas so I had to force myself to dress in non-runnable clothes and get stuck straight in to a marshalling vest on my arrival at Hove Park.

HP Marshalling

It was definitely the right choice as even the exceedingly slow cycle over in perfect conditions nearly caused my lungs to fall out.

Of course come Sunday I knew I would be back out running. It had been the case that trying to run at sub 7.30ish pace was when lung trouble arrived but unfortunately today the combination of hills and a strong cross/headwind on the way out towards Rottingdean at the start of the run put paid to my desire to stick with the 8 minute mile group as I dropped to 8.30s on the cliff top section through Saltdean. Rob, being a gentleman, dropped back with me and I struggled onwards. In fact soon Rob was to join the struggle as traversing the steep ramp down to the undercliff path at Rottingdean destroyed his already unhappy hip. The only saving grace was we soon turned back towards Brighton so the headwind was no more. We sped up slightly, mainly in a vain attempt to the end the torture, and finished back at the Hilton without going out for a further ten minutes as we should have as we didn’t go out for the full 52.5 minutes before turning back as we ran out of undercliff path. Just under 11 miles logged though which I suppose isn’t too bad considering our various ailments. It is rather frustrating not being able to do a run that I should be able to handle with ease but hopefully Friday’s visit to the doctor will be able to shed light on matters.

A disappointing 28 miles for the week but I shall remain positive as less than a year ago I wouldn’t have done 28 miles ANY week.

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