Archive for the ‘Core & Stretch’ Category

Weather woes   Leave a comment

Variety is the spice of life so let me start yet again with Monday’s session. The weather was rather horrible, strong winds and rain, though after the warm up it settled down a bit so it was merely wet and just-about-acceptably windy. This meant we didn’t go Ricki Lake cray like last time cheering each other on and being all emotional but that’s probably a good thing as that night could never be repeated which such brilliance as the first time. Again my plan was to stick to Rick through thick and thin (me thick he thin). The session was (2 x) 600 tempo, 600 fast, 1m rest, 600 fast. 1 min rest. Ditto with 500s. We completed our first tempo stretch a little bit too fast so Mark slowed us down on the next one to make sure we had the requisite change of pace from tempo to fast. This meant it was a nice, reasonably comfortable session. Our fast bits were around the same speed as the group above (we ran a bit of ours just behind them when they were a lap or so ahead) but our tempo sections were considerably slower. Anyway over all this was a good sensibly-hard paced (by Rick) session.

The weather was being horrendous and windy again so being at work on Tuesday and Wednesday wasn’t too bad because I wouldn’t really have been able to run properly anyway.

On Thursday I knew I needed to get out for a long run even though the weather was still forecast to be hideous. Thankfully Rob was up for a long one too so I would not have to face the weather alone (also it meant I wouldn’t just hide at home). He very gentlemanly ran further up Old Shoreham Road to meet me to equalise our headwind running. In fact the wind was nowhere near as bad as I feared and it wasn’t that cold either so the run was much more pleasant than expected. We made sure the only seafront section was wind behind. After collecting a parcel from North Road sorting office we proceeded back to Preston Park where Rob made off with his sweaty parcel (bad idea to put it in his armpit whilst sorting out watch. Jiffy bags shed their outer coating fulsomely when moistened it transpires and parkrun 100 jackets are like magnets to it). This run felt really slow but was in fact normal LSR speed which must signal progress? I racked up 13 miles for this run and even the Old Shoreham Road slog home alone wasn’t too windy.

Alas I had agreed to run the vets xc at Lancing on Saturday. I don’t usually mind Lancing but it has always been dry in the past and this time it was anything but. Definitely a race for spikes I thought, but no! Even with spikes I couldn’t get any grip. It was possibly the worst 4 miles ever. Sliding all over the place on every step, I couldn’t negotiate any of the myriad tight corners so kept crashing through the course tape/into trees and managed to plummet elegantly down the hill on the last lap (though I blame Jeanette for that as she did it on the first lap with such grace and elegance I was compelled to copy her). Horrendous. 32.12 for 4 miles should give you an idea (it is very hilly too). A race best forgotten.

Stupid running

Stupid running

Back view of stupid running

Back view of stupid running

The runners

The runners

Today it was off once again with the Sunday crew. This time we started at Hove Park to follow Trevor’s “impossible to get lost” route to Stanmer Park and back.

Greenies pre run

Greenies pre run

I don’t think a single person bar Trevor actually went completely the right way. Thankfully the route I followed (thanks to my Guide-Rob) was close enough so I ended up doing 12ish miles (the planned route was billed at 12.5). Some people (Mark and Kevin) ended up doing 14 so I’m glad I didn’t go with them! My legs were rather knackered from yesterday but the worst was my intercostals/ribs which felt like I’d done a serious core workout (or been punched repeatedly) – which of course I had courtesy of the 32.12 minutes of slipping and sliding on Saturday. The average pace was 8.30mm which was perfect. We did throw in a 7.17 mile down Carden Avenue as half pace practice (though far too slow as we need to do 6.52s for a dream sub 1.30). I also added a solo what-felt-very-fast section down King George VI (only around 500m) but was probably only 7mm at best. After two cups of tea and a bakewell tart (thanks Dorian) at Hove Park café I came home to thaw out and see I had run a paltry 34 miles for the week. I blame the weather though of course my lack of motivation is a larger factor. Though two runs of 12+ miles is fine so really I should just shut it.


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!

Hills   Leave a comment

There was still no track on Monday as someone else was using it (how dare they) so it was off to Hove Rec for an alternative track session. I felt completely fine after Worthing which I took as a good sign as it means I am still physically capable of fast times just need to work on the mental aspect, regain last year’s confidence etc. The first half of the session was up-hills. 5 x short up-hills with jog down recovery followed by 1 x long uphill (x2). I felt I was running these pretty consistently and was pleased with my effort level. The second half of the session was 4 full laps of the park with the top and bottom lengths to be run fast and the sides to be tempo. This I did. Over all a good session. Pleasantly warm evening though with quite a strong breeze in parts. IM now stands for Ian McCaskill it seems…

On Tuesday I was able to go to Core & Stretch having not been for weeks. Although I am pretty crap at everything being massively inflexible I like this class as I assume it is doing me good in some way.

I rested on Wednesday (hardly Craig David).

On Thursday I wanted to do a hilly LSR. My plan was to do 2 x King George VI and then onwards. I did do the hills but it was so stupidly windy IN EVERY SINGLE DIRECTION that I became enraged so only managed 9 miles. This was acceptable though as I knew I would be doing Hove Park later and I had done the hills I wanted. I duly headed over to Hove Park for the interval session. I started off OK but suddenly lost the will to live half way through. Never mind. 13 miles for the day.

Knowing I would be helping at the annual Arena 80 Hove Park races on Sunday and feeling like I should get some more hills in whilst the mood was upon me I set out on another hilly LSR on Friday. This time it was a hot and sunny day and nowhere near as windy (or at least the wind was following the laws of nature and only blowing in one direction). I was still incredibly slow but more hills (and miles) in the bag.

This morning (Saturday) I wanted to test that my success (in the brain) at Worthing wasn’t a fluke. I set my watch to 6.35 pace this time as I hoped to go sub 21 as I haven’t done that for about 6 months. The weather forecast was for torrential rain but in fact there were only two short downpours during the run and it had been dry beforehand so it was fine and quite nice and cooling. I reached 1k in 4.06 which is still quite slow in comparison to my pb days when I would go through in around 3.45 however I chose not to allow this to put me off and continued. Somehow,miraculously, I ran this exceptionally evenly paced (by my standards) and managed to finish in 20.50. Still over a minute adrift of my pb but I was pleased with my effort, especially on the up-hills, and not having given up at any point. Also I hope this will give me confidence that I can get back to 19.30 (and beyond).

35 mostly hilly miles this week.

Happy Friday y’all   Leave a comment

Hello there! Hope I didn’t surprise you posting on a Friday. This is because I am off on the annual Arena running holiday tomorrow. Somewhere in Somerset this time. Fingers crossed the weather shall be good and lots of running shall be done. Well of course lots of running shall be done even if the weather isn’t good. There is also a swimming pool, miniature golf, tennis courts etc where we are staying so hopefully much activity will be partaken in. Also lots of eating which is the most important thing I must do. Too thin, too weak. I MUST NOT kick a football though as that would totally destroy my ankle. I know I will accidentally though and it will be the most painful thing ever. Ho hum.

Anyway, down to business, not that I have much to report. On Monday it was back to track. Today’s session was 7x1k – 200t, 300f, 200t, 300f 90s rest. Again this should have been a perfect session for me but alas I still struggled. I did feel like I was putting in the effort but nothing to show for it. I was way off the back of Mark and Duncan’s group but as it was stationary recovery I could at least regroup and start each rep with them. Still suffering effects of stupid depression which is most annoying as otherwise I’m not depressed and want to get on with it. Hmmm that made sense … I know what I meant anyway. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done other than plough on and wait for it to lift.

I didn’t plough on that much though as I only went to Core & Stretch on Tuesday. Still feeling tired after two long runs the preceding week. I need to get back on them as I shan’t stop feeling tired until I have incorporated them back into my running week. I’m still not sure how I managed to do two long runs, a 10 miler and everything else that I did last year. Now the mere thought of it exhausts me. Possibly somewhat due to accidental weight loss. I do definitely feel much weaker and that I have lost thigh muscle. Thus I am attempting to eat everything which Somerset shall help as chef Steve prepares loads of good stuff, along with all the mini pizza/fish finger sandwich/Pringles etc snackage. I intend to come back at least 20 stone, though I have just given away all my giant running clothes so will have to spill fulsomely from my smaller current garments.

I did nothing on Wednesday which was down to Rob choosing B when I asked him to choose A, B or C without telling him which was which or indeed what it related to. For the record A – treadmill, B – rest, C – lsr.

This did not help on Thursday when I went to Hove Park. I was still incapable of dragging anything from myself but at least as the session was 5×2 uphill half laps (should have been 6 but too slow to complete them all) I got some hills in.

I was contemplating doing a lsr today but I shall be doing (at least) one a day from tomorrow so I don’t think it’s a great loss that I haven’t today. I had already planned to go climbing with Lydia anyway so it wasn’t a completely idle day. I managed to do a higher grade today though there are still some lower ones that I haven’t grasped yet and the duck still strikes fear into me. As I kept telling Lydia it would be fine if it had a nice banister running across the top. Climbing up and down the sides is fine I just hate cresting the top and then being on the platform. Weird also as it is the lowest wall. I managed to conquer the blue and white which means doing the splits (or it does the way I do it) but can’t do the one that means going round a corner. I did manage a yellow one which was pleasing but I still have uncontrollable miniature panic attacks from time to time and this was one time. After hyperventilating and snotting on the wall for a 30 seconds or so it passed but it is really most unhelpful when it is happening. Lydia even came up to try and rescue me but thankfully it had abated by then so I climbed down like a normo. Hopefully as I improve/continue these odd forays into abject terror will go away completely. Most humiliating.

Only managed 10 miles so far this week but hopefully I’ll get stuck in to many long and hilly runs over the coming days to make up for it and to catapult me back into the swing of lots of lsrs as I used to do when I was briefly a good runner this time last year.

Running and the like   Leave a comment

As it was a bank holiday there was no track on Monday which was perhaps a good thing after last week’s abject failure. I felt I should do some sort of recovery run after Sunday’s efforts so when Andy asked if I’d like to run with him in the evening I agreed. Unfortunately I was not able to muster up any sort of pace so Andy had to plod along exceedingly slowly with me. He said he didn’t mind but he probably would have preferred to have gone a bit faster. At least he did 7 miles which he might not have done at all otherwise (I certainly wouldn’t have done anything if I weren’t meeting him.

On Tuesday I was able to do C&S which was good. I seem to have kept most of my core strength even though I haven’t been able to do this class every week due to work. Still a massive planker.

I had booked Wednesday off work for vets league but as that wasn’t until the evening I decided to get a long slow run in in the morning as I have been sorely lacking in these recently as was highlighted on Sunday at Hayward’s Heath. It was exceedingly windy so I headed inland. I had wanted to do some hills too having not done any of these for ages either (no wonder I’ve been so rubbish of late). I met Rob which meant the middle 8 ish miles was pleasant as his company helped me forget about the windiness and my ridiculously slow pace. I managed to ascend King George VI Avenue without dying of lung failure which is definitely an improvement. I haven’t used my blue inhaler for ages (I might use it before a race now and then). It was a very slow run altogether but at least I managed 15 miles which is more than I’ve done for ages and contained some good hills.

In the evening I joined Julie in her camper for the trip over to Eastbourne. As the only two ladies we decided to do everything (almost). I chose to do the shot put over the walk as I felt the humiliation would be slightly less. I was pretty sure I would be last as I am distinctly NOT of traditional shot put build. After one practice (just to make sure I could actually pick the shot up) it was time to go. My aim was to breach the 5 metre line. My first throw was 4.84. Then 5.96, finishing with 5.48. Much to my surprise I was third. Arg! It’s no good, I have to qualify that by saying that in fact that was second last. But still, I wasn’t last as I suspected. The winner threw over 9 metres and looked like a proper shot putter and natch was before me so the officials had to roll the tape measure in many miles between her and my attempts. I also took part in the 100m (3rd), 400m (2nd), 1500m (7th) and the 4×100 relay (mixed team – non scoring). All the running was ruined by a massive headwind in the back straight that meant I couldn’t move. Though the 100 wasn’t and being ladies captain (ha!) I chose the last leg in the relay so I had no headwind. This didn’t help as I was still totally slow. Thankfully Joe dropped the baton in the proper scoring Arena men’s team so I was able to not come last as he had to wait for me to go before he could collect the fallen baton from the inside of lane one (my lane). I love vets league and even though it was pretty much ruined by the apocalyptic wind and freezing temperatures I still enjoyed it and it seemed everyone else did too. Massive thanks to Julie for getting stuck into all the track races even though she was really only there for the walk which she won (of course). She even managed a small shot put injury regardless of the fact she didn’t actually take part in that event.

Freezing to death in a very slow 1500

Freezing to death in a very slow 1500

I thought all my activities on Wednesday warranted a recovery jog on Thursday morning. Although it was supersonically slow (oxymoron) it was still rather hard due to the every-directional headwind. I didn’t do HP intervals in the evening as that would have been asking for trouble (aka I couldn’t be bothered).

On Friday I did nothing.

Saturday meant parkrun and this time my aim was to be paced to 20.30 by Joe. Unfortunately I was too slow and only managed 21.10. However I did try the whole way round so alas I am just mucho slow these days. I’m sure others would say the contents of the preceding few days probably didn’t help but you know me, too hard on myself always.

This morning (Sunday) it was time for another long run. Poor Rob got dragged out again and had to endure an even slower run than on Wednesday. I should have learnt by now that trying to do everything at once leads (obviously) to max knackeredness yet I still tried to run. I think I managed two miles at sub 9 pace (including a very long downhill section). I shall pretend the hilly and windiness was to blame even though it was mainly my complete lack of strength. At least I went out and now have another hilly 13 miles to add to the bank.

This evening I went climbing with Lydia and finally conquered the blue and white nemesis of last week. However I now have a new one, or two. I am no good at ones with holds with no handles. Hands too sweaty. I also had my usual panic on the duck and told a poor man who happened to appear on the top that I was really sweaty. I don’t think he wished to know. Straight up straight down is fine, sideways not so much, corners no and only good grippable handles please. Also no stopping as panic suddenly sets in inducing massive sweating with attendant falling off. I think I need to fall off properly to overcome my fear but as yet I have only truly fallen off from about an inch off the floor which doesn’t really help. I felt that I wasn’t quite as good as last week. Too much fear. However wearing proper shoes was much better though I should have cut my finger and toenails. I shall persevere and will soon be traversing the tiny black nipples (racist).

I am pleased with this week’s activity though I am now knackered and am not doing my putting on weight attempts much good burning all these calories. 43 miles running for the week, 1 Core & Stretch class, 1 vets league laughathon and 1 bouldering session. I must now sleep forever then start it all again tomorrow.


Track and Failed   8 comments

After a week of almost complete rest (by my standards) I was looking forward to getting back to a full week of training. Off I set to track on Monday looking forward to another good session. The original session was 8 x 700 or somesuch but after the first rep I had already been dropped by my group so Bob told me to stop as it was of no benefit to me. He then set me off following Timmy for as much of his 800 reps as I could manage. This turned out to be 400. I could perhaps have made it to 500 but then I wouldn’t have had enough recovery before the next one so sensibly stuck to 400s. All was going splendidly, I felt I was running well, Bob seemed in agreement so naturally then disaster struck! In my usual mode of being too polite always I decided to jump onto the inside of the track at the end of my 400 so as not to get in the way of the group coming up behind me who were embarking on their second lap. I landed on the metal thing that lines the inside of lane one and totally and utterly twisted my foot and ankle under me. Gaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! I knew immediately that this was NOT GOOD. I felt mightily sick from the actual running however so had to wait a while for that sickness to pass before I could see if any was left for the foot/ankle. It was a little stabby and unstable but after Danny helped me up (thank you Danny) and I hobbled about a bit I decided to see if I could jog it off. It turned out that running on it was OK compared to walking which was not as my heel didn’t really wish to reach the ground. Stopping was a slight problem too but I must have managed as I’m not still running round and round Withdean.

On Tuesday this was the state of affairs

Cankle! Looking like I'd been dredged from a lakebed after having been dead for some time

Cankle! Looking like I’d been dredged from a lakebed after having been dead for some time

I couldn’t even go to Core & Stretch which was most annoying. I was slightly concerned that this had put paid to EVERYTHING but by Wednesday it was much much better and I felt much more confident that in fact all would be well. I went and had it checked over at the insistence of many people who had seen the above photo. I wouldn’t normally but as part of my new foray into being sensible I did. The news was good and fitted with my own view that I had been rather lucky and not actually done any major damage. After massaging the almighty swollen cankle and giving it a good prod the osteo proclaimed me a speedy healer and said I could attempt parkrun on Saturday as long as I was sensible (which is indeed my middle name these days).

So I did. It was Trevor’s 50th birthday parkrun at Hove Park so I got a lift over with Kevin and did the usual ballooning etc. I also made sure I did a warm up to test the ankle. It passed with flying colours. Felt completely fine though the “colours” part was definitely in effect as it was now sporting many bruisey shades

Looking much better - the ankle bone returns

Looking much better – the ankle bone returns

I completed the run at conversational pace with no changes of pace or anything that could have annoyed my ankle and it was completely fine. Phew! In fact I still ran 22.12 which is only a bit slower than some of my recent  uninjured attempts at Preston Park. After some celebratory Trevor cake I went home happy that I seemed to have got away with it ankle wise.

This morning I set out on an LSR feeling quite confident that anklewise all would be well.  As Sod’s law meant I had taken last week off I was seriously lacking any long runs. In fact the last was a failed 10.5 miler on 5th March. Eeeek! Thankfully the weather was OK today and I managed almost 14 flat seafront miles, slightly slower on the way back as it was rather windy, but successful nonetheless. I shall now get back to normal training though not sure where I’ll fit in my long run this coming week. Might be a Friday job.

23 miles for the week which after the panic over not being able to run EVER again that set in briefly on Tuesday I count as a roaring success.

Almost actual resting   Leave a comment

As always I started off my week of rest by going to track. This week was perfect for me: 15 x 200 (100j, 50w, 50 rolling start to the next one). I started off with my normal group but knew I would only be with them for a couple before their faster recoveries left me behind. This was indeed the case. It was fine though as I knew exactly what I wanted to do in this session and felt I would be able to pace myself pretty well as the reps were so short. I made sure I didn’t do my usual thing of doing the first one way too fast thus ruining the rest of my session and I was successful. I feel my reps and recoveries were consistent (or as consistent as I’m ever going to be). Not particularly speedy but consistent.

On Tuesday I was able to go to Core & Stretch having missed a couple of weeks. It was good to be back. Even downward dog didn’t feel so awful. Perhaps having been doing my hamstring and calf stretches helped? Or the few weeks off? Anyway it was a good class as always and I felt suitably stretched and cored by the end. Continuing the sensibleness I didn’t go to kettlebells in the evening and on Wednesday I worked all day so couldn’t do any of the classathon.

I had hoped to be able to go to Hove Park intervals on Thursday evening but thankfully work stepped in and I wasn’t able to. It certainly does help my being sensible this working lark.

I ditched my plan to do a LSR on Friday.

I knew I would be doing Preston Park parkrun on Saturday as it was Rob’s 100th (parkrun not birthday – hard to tell just by looking I know) but only two small runs in a week is probably as close to real rest as I’m ever going to get. Although my run wasn’t particularly good I just about managed to keep all my miles under 7 minutes which is better than recently. It was also my first sustained fastish run as a ventolin-inhaler free woman so I was quite pleased that I was just as bad as with inhaler in terms of breathing. Saves me a prescription charge if nothing else.

From the murky depths arose...

From the murky depths arose… (aka yes sir yes sir, threetea bags full)

11 miles for the week! What’s that if not resting?

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