Archive for the ‘RunBrighton’ Category

Running nil   Leave a comment

The race I was due to do when at my sister’s was called off so I took this as an omen that I should just rest. I sort of did but as I was playing with two children for two days it was actually rather knackering.

I was supposed to be doing a 1500 at Withdean when I returned on Wednesday but I felt very tired and coldy (I got spectacularly rained on on the way to the station on Tuesday) and knew that if I did go I would be miles off my target time of sub 5.30. So yet another day of rest (three in a row – wowzers).

Although I am still out of love with running and feeling tired and sneezing like a goit I thought I should at least get to the gym on Thursday morning to continue the leg muscle developing so when I eventually start running again I have proper legs on which to do it. Since I have started I have moved up 40lbs on the leg press and managed 3 x 12 reps at 260lbs which is good progress (I think). I have also increased my calf raise weight by a kilo to 16lbs (sorry for the mix of weight types but some are in lbs and some in kilos).

Today (Sunday) I shall try and increase both the leg press and calf weight along with the hip raises which is currently 40kgs. Although my legs must be stronger they still the same. I started a gym-goers rant but decided I probably should just be pleased are going even if they aren’t actually doing anything but think they have so treat themselves to a massive curry afterwards thus meaning they end up fatter than they would if they didn’t go to the gym at all. Oh, looks like I failed not to rant after all…

Friday was yet more rest. Though the evening saw the return of the annual Arena volleyball tournament.

The volleyballers

The volleyballers

volleyball action

Action! (Inaction in my case.)

I keep forgetting how cold it is at Yellowave and how much I don’t enjoy team sports. I just stood freezing in the sand until it was all over. My team managed the prestigious position of second last.

On Saturday I decided to test the lap function on my watch setting it to alert me of my pace every 500m which should be around 2 minutes. Weirdly although it did indeed beep at 500m it then gave me my pace for a k ie 3.57 for the first 500. Of course this is fine for something so easy to calculate as 4 minute ks but not as helpful as I had hoped. Not that it mattered as I was already dead at 500 and had dropped off target pace by 600. This reminded me why I didn’t do Wednesday. Lack of training, too much work, not enough eating (probably) and general coldiness mean I am very slow and weak (and moany) at present. I dragged myself home to an utterly pointless 22.01. Huff. Though shouldn’t huff as I know why yet that never really helps.

Today I did indeed go to the gym and attempted to move up to 280lbs on the leg press. This was completely unsuccessful. As was 260. So I had to drop back to 240. I need to remember that I can’t do heavy leg press twice in a few days. I made up for it by doing calf raises with 10kg instead of 8kg (there was no 9kg weight). This was really hard and I did fear my calves would explode in a crampy mess on the stairs but alas they did not. I also put my hip raise weight up to 50kgs which gave my buttocks a good work out. I dispensed with the leg extension which Matt only put in because I used to love it but I don’t anymore and it isn’t functional so byeeeeeeeeeeeee! I can now do 2 x 10 single leg squats whilst balancing with hands on attached weight bar thing when I could hardly do one to start with so this is good. I’ll have to start throwing in a few more. I even did a bit of stretching afterwards as my calves were so very knackered. I am very much liking the feeling that my legs are getting back to normal. I no longer feel knock kneed whilst running or cycling. I just need to remember the days or so following a session will mean I can’t run as well due to utterly destroyed muscles. Of course in the long run and after a proper few days of rest I shall feel the benefit and spring along like a gazelle on steroids (probably).

A grand total of … wait for it … 4 whole miles this week. This is really really rubbish. I have set up a goal on RunKeeper to run 30 miles next week so hopefully that will spur me in to action. Also I have signed up for four 10ks over the next few months, the first one being Hellingly on 14th September, so this too will help me actually DO some running in the coming weeks (fingers crossed).

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The good, the bad and the 10k   1 comment

Having had a good track session in Duncan’s group last week I thought I would go with him again this week, I’m nowhere near in the right shape to stick with the faster group at the moment. This turned out to be an excellent decision as the first part of the session was a timed 1k, something which I would not pace well if left to my own devices. Duncan took us smoothly round in 4.12. 3 x 300 metres later then it was a run-as-far-as-you-can in 4.12 the idea being we should get well past 1k. We managed round 1125m thanks again to Duncan’s pacing. Another 3 x 300 then disaster! Duncan had to pull out as he had a crampy calf. That meant that only Rob and I remained. Of the two of us I am the better pacer (oh dear God). Thus I decided to take the reins and attempt to pace us on the second run-as-far-as-you-can in 4.12. We are both the masters of inconsistent pacing and giving up too easily so it was actually good for me to take up pacing duties as I couldn’t give up and had to be vaguely sensible to try and help Rob. I think it was OK, it felt reasonably fast but even (ish) paced and Rob zoomed past me at the end as he was in charge of timing the 4.12. We went about 1100m this time which was good for our second go and with only my nowhere-near-Duncanesque pacing. As Rob had beaten me in the 4.12 he was to set off 50 m ahead of me and I had to attempt to chase him down. I knew this was doomed as he will always be able to outsprint me as soon as I get anywhere near him and this was indeed the case. In the end he stopped as 600m of this nonsense was plenty as an end to a good session. As I had arrived ridiculously early having come straight from work I ended up doing 8 miles for the evening. The session was excellent though and I was very pleased with my work rate and effort and dragging along of Rob. He worked v hard too which is good as we hope to get down to sub 20 minute parkrunning soon.

On Tuesday I was able to go to Core & Stretch having not been for three weeks. I could definitely tell! Good to be there though. Unfortunately I can’t go again this week but soon I should have Tuesdays off so I can get back to going weekly.

On Wednesday it was the last Prom Run of the winter season so I decided to join the posse as I thought I could throw in a few fast sections to check out my possible shape for Sunday’s 10k. I dragged Rob along with me (poor man). We managed an almost-mile at 7mm pace then I charged off on a kilometre section where I managed 6.20-6.10 mm pace. This was pleasing though of course I know I couldn’t keep it up for more than a mile at the moment but good to know I can still do it. A solid 7.5 miles for the bank.

On Thursday I went to HP. This was a mistake as I was totally knackered from hard runs on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. Sensibility fail though I hadn’t really considered the possibility that I would be tired. Almost immediately I realised the futility of attempting to do the session properly so turned it into a recovery jog with walk sections. Only 4 miles so acceptable as a recovery run.

On Saturday I went to Preston park for parkrun as it was Jacko’s 100th run. The park was gearing up for the Brighton Marathon Mini Mile races so it was interesting to run the course surrounded by barriers and people testing PA systems etc. I was only ever going to take this run easy and jogged home in just under 23 minutes. I hoped this would mean I could do well on Sunday even though I knew really that I wouldn’t as I just don’t really care about racing at the moment.

So today I set off bright and early with Andy to the Brighton Marathon 10k that started at the ungodly time of 8.30am at Preston Park. We met Rob at the baggage trucks then went for a tiny warm up. Somehow as we were hanging around by the start we got ushered together for a photo with the mayor. Andy sprinted over to get in on the action. I think perhaps we were mistaken for speedies as we were standing at the elite start at that point. With absolutely no preamble or warning that I could hear suddenly we were off! As the 10k was obviously just an aside to the marathon there were no k markers and we reached the 2 mile marker after 4 minutes which meant it was of course that of the marathon route. This was OK as obviously I knew this wasn’t two miles but I really think there should have been k markers for the 10kers. They could have been on different coloured card so as not to be mistaken for marathon markers. There was also no information given about well anything really. Must… not…

Anyway I set off too fast as usual and did the first 3 miles in 6.30, 6.40 and 6.59. I then slowed down massively and crawled home in 44.28 which is truly awful. There is no reason for this other than I don’t have any motivation or interest in racing at the moment. It was a shame as the course was good. Wide, empty and plenty of space.

Ummmm where are the other 1399 runners?

Ummmm where are the other 1399 runners?

Although I actually walked across the line and was utterly unimpressed with myself I was just happy to have got the run done and am not dwelling on it as I would have done in the past. I was crap. The End.

Official evidence of rubbishness

Official evidence of rubbishness

At least having finished at the marathon finish we were able to easily mosey over and watch the marathoners running up St James’ Street then coming back from Rottingdeanwards at around 12 miles. Rob managed to photo a few Arenas who were all looking strong. I then walked home all the way along the route to 16 miles where I turned off to confront an ambulance and collapsed runner. There are probably still people out there now but alas I cannot see through the buildings opposite. I know that I shall be cycling through a sea of water bottles and gel wrappers tomorrow though. Actually last year the road sweepers did a good job of unwelding all the detritus and I’m sure they will do the same again this year.

Track. (I love it.)   2 comments

Monday rolled around again as it often does after Sunday which meant it was once again time for track. Having not run on Sunday I should have been perfectly primed for a good session. When Bob uttered the phrase “500 parlauf” I nearly died. Mt favourite session of all time! Yippppppeeeeeeeee!!! (Parlaufs are continuous relays in pairs so in this instance Paul ran 500, then I did and so on and so forth x 12.) Of course I immediately paired myself with Paul, as we are of similar speed over this short distance, before remembering that that meant shorter recovery. However it didn’t matter as it still gave me a good 2 minute rest to jog forward 100 metres before he was with me again for the changeover. After each 4 reps we had a 2.5 minute recovery (for once I could have probably survived without this). 3 sets in all. I felt confident in my ability to do this session and think I managed to stay consistent over all the reps though I note from my Garmin I set off too fast on each of my 500s but this is wholly unsurprising and didn’t ruin the over all consistency of the session. Even when Paul dropped out I just continued, slotting in behind Alan as I had been anyway. All in all HOORAH!

On Wednesday I managed to get an unexpected LSR in having been let off work early. This was good but for the fact that I hadn’t prepared properly eating-wise and I found myself flagging badly back into the wind at around 7 miles. I cut inland to try and lessen the impact but unfortunately I was so hungry I couldn’t manage too drag myself out of the slump so struggled home at over 9mm. Having started way too fast (surprise!) hadn’t helped either I’m sure. 11 miles in the bank was good though as it meant I could then not run on Friday which had been my planned LSR day for the week.

As part of my newfound sensibleness I didn’t run on Thursday or Friday. I knew I had Bexhill League Cross Country on Saturday which was not going to be pleasant rest or no rest. I am just not very good at xc. Fact. However I am persistent and will always do all the league xc races. In this case Caroline was a bit worried the ladies numbers would be a little sparse so I needed to be good. I wasn’t but thankfully quite a few ladies turned out so we were still OK and secured our position as leaders in the senior competition. We had already won gold for the vets before we even reached this final race so that was good and at least one medal was guaranteed for me (upside of persistence, I managed to score for the team in one of the more lightly attended races). The race itself doesn’t really need much explanation. It was very muddy, I am not good in mud. It was quite hilly. I am not much good at hills. It was quite hilly. I ran. I finished. The end.

I always win the clean leg prize.

I always win the clean leg prize.

Happy to have finished. Mud and me are never going to be friends.

Happy to have finished. Mud and me are never going to be friends.

Somehow I not only won a gold for the vets team but for the senior team too in division one AND a bronze for the second division vets team. I’m not complaining!

A small haul for a season's mud hatred.

A small haul for a season’s mud hatred.

An excellent conclusion to the xc season (though not having to run any more of the sodding things for 6 or so months is the greatest prize).

This morning (Sunday) I had planned to join the RunBrighton crew for some of their run. As they were doing 19 miles it wasn’t necessary for me to join them from the start so I meant to slot in with them as they came back from Carats to give me 11 or so miles. As usual I was stupidly early for fear of missing them so added an extra four miles at the start which gave me 16 miles all told when I finished back at the Hilton. Having set off up Basin Road at 9mm I felt I definitely wouldn’t be able to keep with the 8mm group but lo as they came past me and I joined them I discovered I could and it was fine. Chatting to Joe helped and I was surprised to discover we were actually 7.55mm. The last hour for them was a marathon paced section of 7.10mm so once they geared up for this I dropped back and joined the group behind who were doing 8.15mm. This was fine until the wind decided to change direction as we went up the cliffs towards Rottingdean and I began to conk out somewhat. Of course once we turned back towards Brighton on the Undercliff the wind was back to the original direction. Huff. By this stage the 8.15 group had disappeared into the distance but Rob, being a gentleman, stayed back with me. We had a few dicey moments when the sea decided to join us on the path but this was nothing after my Christmas drenching. Although my pace had dropped quite significantly we were still 9mm (ish) at the end and having done 5 or so miles to start with at sub 8 it wasn’t really surprising that I flagged with the additional fact that I haven’t run anywhere near 16 miles for ages and not after a mudfest xc. Those are my reasons.

After some low mileage weeks recently I was glad to have notched up 38 for this one. Cutting out the gym has definitely helped along with work forcing me to rest more. Next week will be a test as I am only in on Tuesday, Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Although I must make hay whilst the sun shines I must not go into old-style overtraining overload.

(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.

New year, same old stuff   Leave a comment

As we were still in the grips of festive fever and who-knows-what-day-it-is Monday was a Wednesday route run but with track style elements. Steve set us out with various sections of lamppost fartlekking interspersed with tempo running and recovery jogs with two rergrouping points. This run was excellent. I really enjoyed doing something different on the seafront rather than the usual LSRing. With the run to and from the King Alfred this run totalled 9 miles.

Jenny had decided to hold a Core & Stretch class on Tuesday morning which was good as there hadn’t been one the week before it having been Christmas Eve. Matt was back too which was excellent as once again we were threatened with being split up due to our sniggering at our various inflexibilities. There was no kettlebell class in the evening as everyone was out living it up on New Year’s Eve (probably).

There had been a plan afoot for New Year’s Day to run Preston Park parkrun followed by Hangover 5 in Worthing but the Hangover 5 had been called off due to flooding. We then toyed with the idea of doing Tilgate parkrun followed by PrestonPark but in the end just settled on PrestonPark parkrun which started at 10.30. This turned out to be a good decision in my eyes as the weather was truly horrendous. Freezing, raining and exceedingly windy. 

On Thursday the weather was unexpectedly OK so I took the opportunity to get out for a LSR as storms were forecast for the coming week. However I had somehow managed to miss all the warnings about avoiding the seafront due to high tides and strong winds and found myself subsumed by a wave crashing over Shoreham Arm around mile two. This meant I then had 8 miles of dripping sodden salty squelch-running ahead of me. I went inland around the King Alfred as the prom was rammed with people also making the most of the unexpected good weather. Although I started off 8mm I conked out at 6 miles, dropping to around 8.30s. I still managed 10 miles over all though so it was OK.

To massively misquote Craig David I rested on Friday.

Saturday rolled round again as it is wont to do which meant parkrun again (four parkruns in 2 weeks – good times). Having thought I couldn’t be worse than Wednesday I proved myself wrong by struggling home lungless in 22.56. The weather was foul again but seriously? Oh dear.

Sunday was a double running day. RunBrighton in the morning. As I was racing at Bexhill in the afternoon I joined the 8 minute mile group at the Lagoon. Once again there was a break in the weather, sunny and calm and perfect for running. We couldn’t run on the prom as the stones from the beach had been thrown all the way across to the beach huts. Thus we ran along the pavement until the Peace Statue where we rejoined the front. Not really much to say about this run other than it was good to run along chatting at 8 minute miling with Rick, Rob and Joe. This seems to have become a Sunday morning staple and I like it. 10 miles for me this time.

Alas this Sunday I then had to drag over to Bexhill for the relocated Sussex Cross Country Championships. I only ever sign up for this as it is held at Stamner Park and has my favourite long downhill finish. However this year it had to be moved to Bexhill and I really wasn’t looking forward to it. I was so wrong! I ended up really enjoying it. Even though it was a massive mudfest and contained a lot of weaving and undulations for once my mind was willing and I actually raced it. Yes it was exceedingly muddy but I made the most of any runnable sections and downhill bits and pushed through the quagmire as best I could. I was lapped by the winner a few seconds before she finished and I headed off for the last lap but even this didn’t dampen (snigger) my enthusiasm.

http://gallery.sussexsportphotography.com/a.tlx?l=2Z.B28xG&pictureid=21016786705  Just a few examples of the running surface!

A slightly firmer section.

A slightly firmer section.

I was very pleased with my 8 minute miling given the conditions.

A solid 41 miles for the week.

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