Archive for the ‘Track’ Category

Running out of steam   Leave a comment

Track. Yawn. I haven’t been enjoying track for a while which means I must have gone insane. Anyway I managed to keep near enough with Rick’s group which is my benchmark of success at the moment. We did 1000m reps followed by three shorter faster reps (x 3).

On Tuesday I made up for Monday’s not very good session by doing 6 x Kenyan hills. This time I just went up and down the hill rather than the loop as time was of the essence. I discovered each uphill took 1m 45s and the downs a few seconds faster. It wasn’t stupidly windy like last time either which helped.

In the evening I just did 8 x 200m strides with Tom’s group in preparation for his track 5000 on Thursday.

Wednesday was going to kick off with some sort of progression run or other threshold type affair but I developed a stupid cold that meant I sneezed and snotted continuously all night. It disappeared as suddenly as it appeared around 7am but I felt it was perhaps a sign I shouldn’t run. So I didn’t. Then nobody turned up for work Run Club in the evening so I was granted an unexpected full day off. Good times.

As my LSR partner had returned from holiday we set off on one on Thursday morning. 11 miles but I made it very slow (not on purpose). this should have alerted me that I am tired but it did not.

In the evening it was Tom’s track 5000. I was hoping for another 20.30 (though Tom had predicted 20.15). I set my watch once more to count down 20 minutes so it would beep some time on the final lap, hopefully with less than 200 to go. There were a lot of people in my race (the B race for those running over 19 minutes) so I set off relatively slowly aka too fast but still too slow. I wanted to follow Trevor who was pacing Dave to sub 20. I caught up with them after approximately 300m and managed to stay with them for a while but then I began fading and suddenly Trevor was miles ahead and Dave maybe 50 metres or so. I stuck with it though and couldn’t really fault my effort but I just knew I was tired. Even so my watched beeped for 20 minutes just as I rounded the top bend so I was where I guessed I realistically would be. I even threw in an old fashioned sprint finish to cross the line in 20.28. Although it isn’t what I wanted I know I tried throughout and I know I’m not quite in sub 20 form yet as I need the last few weeks’ training to kick in (which requires resting which I’m not so good at) so I have accepted this run as good training.





Although I tend to try and fix being knackered by running more I was sensible and didn’t run on Friday.

On Saturday I had to make the most of the good weather so off I set to Hove Prom parkrun even though really I knew I wasn’t going to be able to post another good time. I didn’t. 22 dead but it wasn’t through want of trying. It turned out to be surprisingly windy and very hot which didn’t help but mainly I’m just tired.

I had arranged with Rob to put him through his paces with some k reps this morning (Sunday). I couldn’t even muster the strength to run to Hove Park so had to cycle. Obviously I knew I wasn’t going to be much use from a running point of view but I started off in the hopes a miracle might occur. It did not. Rob did exactly what he (and I) should have done: 4 x 1k in consistent times of 4 minutes. I managed 3.50, 4.00 and 4.11 before bailing out. I did send Rob out on a solo one which he pulled off admirably. Excellent work by him. I returned home just as it began raining and spent the rest of the day watching the Athletics.

Not the best week in terms of running but it’s entirely my own fault for not resting adequately.


I ran (though actually in Hove)   1 comment

Track was unsuccessful. I think I used up my track focus on Thursday for the 10000 as when I came to run on Monday I could only manage going round and round and round at one pace with an incapability to increase speed. Oh well.

On Tuesday I was let off work early so could have done the annual Adur Challenge after all but as I thought I wouldn’t be able to I didn’t want to stress Bob out by having to decide a handicap for me and fit me in unexpectedly so I decided to go and do Tom’s mile reps session instead. Having not really done much on Monday I hoped I’d be able to improve on my last set of reps which were 6.22s or so. All was going well for the first three; 6.18, 6.16, 6.16 but then on the fourth the cramp that had been threatening throughout Monday’s track session returned so I was forced to slow it down a bit so the fourth rep was 6.29. As this was a significant drop I called it a night there though I did join Mark for a cool down final mile in 8.50. Although I was unable to do the full 5 fast I was pleased with the 3 I did manage. I mustn’t forget the track 10000 which must have taken a lot out of me (but you know me, never one to let myself off or have a proper rest).

Wednesday meant a long run on tired legs but due to its slower pace there were no almost-cramp incidents. 10 miles in a vari-directional wind aka almost always a headwind. Nice and warm though. In the evening we were doing sprint which I knew my calf wouldn’t tolerate so I was official timekeeper as the others did 6 x 15 seconds 100% effort. This was sad as I love sprinting but it was good watching the others hoofing it on the seafront when all I had to do was press go on the stopwatch then shout STOP at 15 seconds. I did manage to jog to and from the start though so a very easy recovery jog for me.

On Thursday I wanted to do a hill session in the morning but an almighty  thunderstorm put paid to that. Too much lightning means headache and general ill feeling so instead I had to go to bed. Huff. Luckily the further storms that were supposed to happen in the afternoon didn’t materialise so I was able to get out to Tom’s session which I knew was 800 reps. The post-storm weather was muggy and humid but not at all windy so we could do straight 800s with a 2 minute rest. I wanted to do the 800s consistently in as close to 3 minutes as possible. 2.58, 2.57, 3.02, 3.02, 3.02, 3.00. Success!

Hove Prom parkrun turned out to be much less windy than forecast but in a direction that meant a constant (though minor) headwind. I had hoped to go out with Tom as I had been ahead of him on the 800s but alas a 5k is an entirely different matter and he was off and away almost immediately. However I stuck to my plan to just keep going. I let myself be put off by a heavy breather and a few other things which wasn’t good but I managed to drag myself out of these temporary blips which is much better than olden times. I passed halfway in 10 minutes. I felt I wasn’t doing as well as last week so was pleased and surprised when my watch beeped in roughly the same place as last week signalling 20 minutes was up. A mere 19 seconds later I crossed the line. A 6 second improvement on last week but the same 20 second or so loss in the last 2.5k. Must work on staying strong in the second half.

Moving in the right direction

This morning (Sunday) I went out for a steady 5 miles to try and teach myself to endure the uncomfortableness of running. It was rather hot so I rained sweat off my own elbows onto my legs. Good as that is usually Rob’s job but he is still on holiday.

Another good week of training and progress.

Ironed like a lion (in Hove)   2 comments

Monday’s track session was another combination of fast bits and slow bits. This week it was (5 x) 300f, 100j, 300f, 100j, 300f but the middle rep increased by 100m each time. I didn’t push it too much as I had plans for many hard runs over the coming days and Rob was going on holiday for two weeks so I felt I should fully utilise my final opportunity to annoy him. It was still a good session though and I wasn’t wholly idle.

On Tuesday I went out and did a hill session which is something I haven’t done for ages. I had already decided to try a hill slightly closer to me than King George. It turned out not to be that much closer but was less steep and not as long but made a good loop for Kenyan hills which was to be my session for the morning. The hill is around 300 metres long and a 10% gradient. The full loop is roughly 800 metres (300 up, 100 along, 300 down, 100 back to the beginning). As the hill was a mile or so of hills away from home I thought six loops would be fine. I soon discovered that is was incredibly windy on the downward stretch so I had to work on these sections too. all in all this was a hard session but all the better for that as I haven’t really pushed myself for ages.

In the evening I cycled over to Hove Park for Tom’s session which was to be 5 x 1k. He had us running a loop I haven’t done before but I was good as it kept it mainly flat which is always a bonus in my book. I wanted my ks to be as close to 4 minutes, consistently, as I could manage. I was rather surprised when I completed the first in 3.46. Eeek! Had I peaked too soon? No. 3.48, 3.47, 3.50, 3.50. Excellent. I was very pleased with this session.

On Wednesday morning I set out alone on an LSR. I decided to do it a little bit faster as I hate running LSRs on my own so at least this would mean it was over with more quickly. As I don’t have a watch anymore I don’t know what pace it was but it felt faster than normal which was the aim. Not fast. As that would be a LFR.

In the evening it was Run Club so I ended up doing reps of various distances at perceived efforts of 60 – 100%. This was hard work but I really enjoyed it.

On Thursday it was time for Tom’s annual track 10000. Emily kindly said she would pace me for 41.30. I like having someone to MAKE me try as I’m often not good at doing it myself.  

Looking nervous knowing it was going to be HARD (emphasis especially for Emily)


Looking fine in the first laps

 Mostly I looked like this though

Me = dead. Emily = totally fine


I don’t even remember this photo being taken. Why am I so sweaty?

Thank you very much to Gill for unknowingly “letting” me use her photos


Emily’s Garmin splits so basically mine too

Emily did an excellent job spurring me on all the way round and I can safely say I feel I tried as hard as I could the whole way round … and round and round and round. And round. I was slightly disappointed that my time was only 41.48 after putting in so much effort but I must remember I haven’t done anything proper for ages whilst being and ironless weakling and one cannot put in more than 100% effort so I must be pleased. It has inspired me to bloody well get on with and get back to 2013 speeds. Although actually I reached those again for 5k earlier this year before my stupid idea to stop taking the iron.

Massive thanks to Tom for organising this and getting it officiated so it now appears on Power of 10. Thanks also to Camilla for her lap counting and encouragement.

On Friday I went for a 3 mile run of indeterminate speed (fasting in parts) as I felt guilty at my slacking. I’ve been reading too many runners’ autobiographies.

Hove Prom parkrun was back on this week so I cycled down. It was probably the least windy it will ever be there. Only a slight wind coming from the south east. This meant I had no excuses for a crap time (like my previous three). I had told Emily I would find anything under 20.30 acceptable. I had a new plan: set watch to count down from 20 minutes and see how far I was from the finish when it beeped. I set off at what I felt was a sustainable pace. It was no doubt too fast but I don’t feel I dropped too much. I passed 2.5k (I don’t know where the k points are) in 10.05 so as long as I didn’t slow down too much I was going to be at least sub 21 which I haven’t managed here yet. The fear of my watch beeping whilst I was still miles away from the finish helped spur me on, along with imagining Emily shouting at me that it was all in my head and I had more in the tank. The beeping started in the home straight but the line was in sight (thanks hi vis signage and marshals) and I made it over in 20.25. So only a 15s drop in the second half. Excellent. Two excellents in one post? Good grief!

I rounded off a 47 mile week with 3 x 8 minutes at 80% perceived effort. It was very hot. Nothing now until track tomorrow evening.

Ironing bored   2 comments

Having drunk the entire bottle of Floradix, that should have lasted a minimum of 25 days, in 16, plus taking additional iron tablets I hoped I might be a bit better this week. (Obviously overdosing on iron isn’t sensible and won’t actually work but I can’t be trusted with bottles of stuff, I just need to finish them as quickly as possible.) I set off for track hopeful that I would be able to stick with Rick’s group. The session was (3 x) 600t, 300f, (60s rest) 600t, 200f, (60s) 600t, 100f (2 mins recovery). Thankfully I was able to stick with Rick’s group so was pleased after two weeks of weakness.

On Tuesday I had the unenviable task of having to do a LSR on my own. I set off with the intent of doing my usual 10 mile route. As I was setting off along Kingsway I got honked by Trevor in his car. I waved, smiled and continued on my way. On the way back towards the King Alfred I bumped into Trevor heading the way I’d just been so thought I’d gatecrash his run for a bit to force me go a bit further. It did. Faster too. Soon I discovered myself travelling at a none too leisurely 8mm chatting all the while and in no time we were traversing the arm at the marina. This was all very well but meant my run would now be a minimum of 14 miles, 5 miles back into the wind, with around 4 miles at 8mm (and under) pace already under my belt. Yikes! Unsurprisingly I totally conked out with a few miles to go but finished still sub 9mm with Trevor’s encouragement. I think this shows the iron has begun to take effect as I wouldn’t have been able to do anywhere near that last week.

I would have liked to have gone to Tom’s session on Thursday but as I was at work all day it would have been tight and I would probably have found it harder so I decided to have a go on my own on Wednesday morning instead. His session was up to 10 x 500m. Having done somewhat more on Tuesday than I had expected I only managed six. They ranged from 1.55 – 2.03 depending on wind being with or against. This was acceptable. In the evening it was back to Run Club where Jo had sprints on the agenda. 7 x 100% effort sprints of approx 60m. Happy days! Though I learnt that not doing your shoelaces up properly is not good when sprinting.

I did nothing on Thursday and Friday.

Saturday was another trip to Hove Prom parkrun. I had a plan as I knew it was going to be windy. Try and speed up on the wind free stretches. This went well on the first one but then the long stretch into the wind gave me a stitch which I failed to clear so I was unsuccessful on the second one. Then my continued lack of speed endurance joined me which made for a snailesque final few kilometres. I did do a few unexpectedly good runs this week so I suppose it’s inevitable one at least wouldn’t be that good and looks like this was it. Over all though I was pleased with the improvement in strength so let’s hope it continues and I can start getting back on the road to 2013.

30 miles for the week.

What a weak   Leave a comment

Could someone please tell me how I didn’t twig:

  • About a month ago I put in my earplugs for bed as usual then wondered why there were so many fireworks going off outside before (after a long time) realising it was my heartbeat pounding in my head.
  • Inability to breathe properly even when just descending the stairs etc (I have thought this was asthma in the past but now…)
  • Even though I go to bed at about 9pm and get up at 8am I still need an afternoon nap.
  • General depression (which I have suffered from truly but sometimes maybe it was more lack of iron than “true” depression).

So I am somewhat frustrated at my stupidity. Hopefully I shan’t ever stop taking the iron thus doing this to myself again. Fool! Now I have to wait another few weeks at least before my levels are restored. Aaaaaaarrrrrggg!!! Ok. Rant over. Onto the week. I’m sure you’ll notice a theme…

Track on Monday was a drag at slow speeds (oxymoron – I am). It was supposed to be 4 x 1000 then 4 x 500 slower but there isn’t much slower than slow which is what I was all the way through.

Phoenix was utter heck. I managed 3k at 42 minute pace then that was it and I hauled my sorry feeble form home in one of the greatest positive splits known to man.

I think this is possibly my second worst run ever (after Bluebell 10k last year).

However as one can only rise from the very bottom I set off for Hove Promenade parkrun hoping that perhaps the only way was up (thanks Yazz for the misquote). After setting off too fast for my current state last week with Rick this time I went out more sedately with Rob (who has been the King of Sensible recently).

Thanks to Mark Brocklehurst for the photo 

At around halfway I felt ok so thought I’d see if I could pick it up a bit. I could. A bit. This was promising. I even had my eyes shut which is always a sign of whether I’m trying or not. I had to remind myself it’s about being able to put in effort that counts at the moment and not to be too worried about my time. 21.11 so 10 seconds faster than last week and run in a much more sensible/consistent way. Now I want to go sub 20 at this parkrun to complete the trio but must continue to be sensible and realise it could take a while to get fully ironed up and back to that sort of form. I haven’t forgotten my quest for 18.59 for 5k but obviously this will have to be rather far in the future as I still have minutes to go before I’m even back sub 20. After this run though I’m feeling a little more positive after Wednesday when I was so not happy I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself.

Only around 19 miles for the week but hopefully I’ve turned a corner so I can get back to it properly.

My first marathon (sort of)   1 comment

On Monday I had planned to do track as normal but in the course of arranging my lift with Steve I discovered Pete was doing The Cooper Test before the session so I thought I might as well do it too. I set off on a 10 minute warm up with Pete which meant it was faster than I would do on my own. After a minute or so recovery it was time for the 12 minutes. I knew this meant I should travel further than 3000m (4 minute kilometres). Pete said he did 3050 on his first attempt 5 weeks previously so I hoped I could get at least that far. My plan was to attempt to keep with Pete for as long as I could and when he inevitably began to draw away I would try and keep the gap as small as possible. After an 80 second first lap I was a bit worried I would flag terribly but I managed to keep with Pete for a while longer before he began to pull away. I just tried to keep up as well as I could but he was far too strong and I dropped behind. However I kept going as much as I could and many hours (approx 6 minutes) later I could finally stop. Pete was around 100m ahead of me but luckily that was because he ran much further than his first attempt. 3190m this time. I managed 3090 so perfectly acceptable. Because The Cooper Test is obviously designed for “normal” people I was always going to be in the “Excellent” category as anything over 2500m is classed thus. 57.79 is what the calculator said my V02 max is. My super speedy/fit running friends are all on about 60 so I’m not doing too badly. Pete and I tried to join the normal session but bailed out almost immediately due to knackeredness. An excellent start to my supposed rest week!

I did then rest fully until Saturday when it was time to embark on the first race in the Sussex Marathon Weekend series. Last year Rob suggested we sign up for the full weekend this year so I immediately did. He did not and has since become injured anyway. So I had to go it alone. Well not alone obviously. Mal and Dean were in for the long haul too. Having never run the East Grinstead 10 miler before I had no idea what it would be like. I decided to read a few reviews just to see if I needed trail shoes and discovered that it was described as off-road with challenging hills. No! All the things I dislike most. I had just foolishly assumed all the races would be similar to the Hayward’s Heath 10 miler on Sunday which I have done a few times. Anyway I arrived in East Grinstead in a freezing mist. May you say? Pah! Dean informed me the race was indeed very hilly and off-road. Oh goody! In the freezing cold too. With a strong and icy wind. Spiffing. I had decided to wear my Speedcross. Mainly to clean Lancing xc off them. They were filthy. Mal was disgusted. Time passed, and after avoiding the group warm up, it was time to start the marathon journey… and what a start! It was truly horrible. I had forgotten just how hard I find this type of course. Almost entirely off road with most of it run on horribly uneven fields and forest tracks. It being dry was good but also bad as it was ankle breakingly rutted. I spent a large proportion on my own wending along forest paths with no idea where I was or if I was going in the right direction. There were stiles and gates and low hanging branches and all kinds of obstacles to overcome. 10 miles is a long way. I totally ground to a halt aound 8 miles. If I’d been wearing a Garmin it would have auto paused. A man who had been a good 200m behind me caught me up and urged me to keep going so I really tried to keep with him for the last stretch. I did manage to pick it up a bit but positively stumbled over the line. Race one done! 1.17.16.

Still standing. Just about...

Still standing. Just about…

The first part of the pie

The first part of the pie

Sunday dawned horribly rainily. I wasn’t so worried about this run (Hayward’s Heath 10 miler) as I’ve done it before on many an occasion and know it is nowhere nearly as horrible as East Grinstead but the weather was a shame as all the other years it has been sunny. I had a distinct suspicion the run would be rather hard after yesterday as I found that my quads and calves and hips and buttocks were totally destroyed from EG. Serves me right for never doing any off road or hills in training (well really it serves me right for signing up for such a foolish endeavour in the first place [thanks Rob]). The start is a nice downhill road section (for around 400m).

Looking good (50m after the start on a downhill road section). Thanks Jemma for unknowingly letting me steal your photo

Looking good (50m after the start on a downhill road section). Thanks Jemma for unknowingly letting me steal your photo

Running was difficult. Stiff legs and shattered quads. But still preferable to yesterday what with it being predominantly road (even though hilly). I didn’t feel like I could really get going until around 6 miles and then by 8 miles my hip flexors had almost totally cramped up so I had to adopt an interesting shuffle (alas not a totally speedy Al “The Shuffle” Silvester style one). I was slightly concerned that I might have to actually stop and try and stretch them out somehow but luckily they never tipped over the edge into full you-must-stop-now cramping. Some time, what felt like many hours, later I finally made it into the park for the last downhill to the finish. I was quite surprised to see that I had finished in 1.15.53 which, by no means fast, was acceptable taking into account the state of my legs and blistered feet (I mean really, who gets blisters in this day and age?).

The pie nears completion

The pie nears completion

I spent the afternoon feeling more tired than I can ever recall and seriously doubted my ability to be able to complete the trio.

However this morning (Monday) I felt much much better and the SUN WAS SHINING! May had finally arrived. I wasn’t under any illusion that today’s Burgess Hill 10k was going to be any easier for being shorter as I knew it was off road and hilly (again). Sunshine is a marvellous thing though so I wasn’t worried and knew I would complete the three races then never have to do them ever again.

Only 6.2 miles between me and eternal glory (aka death)

Only 6.2 miles between me and eternal glory (aka death)

When the announcer told the amassed runners on the start line that the runners in green had already covered 20 miles it sunk in a bit why I was so very shattered so I almost gave myself a break. Then it was time to set off on the way to 26.2 mile glory. The course was very twisty and lumpy on rutted off road again but this one wasn’t anywhere near as hilly as Saturday (or Sunday). It did seem to go on forever but it was a nice sunny day and the end was (metaphorically) in sight. When the end was literally in sight I decided to see if I could dig out a sprint finish. It was probably only around 50m but I was pleased to finish the whole ruddy thing in my traditional style. 47.14. I am so pleased I need never do this again!

The sprint of relief!

The sprint of relief! Thanks again to Jemma

So close to never having to do the bloody thing again!

So close to never having to do the bloody thing again!

My “marathon” time was 3.20.23 (though I don’t have my official over-all time yet). I’ll never be doing an actual marathon in this time, or indeed in any, so this will have to do.

The final portion of the pie

The final portion of the pie

The complete pie

The complete pie

The complete pie in all its glory! Alas I can't wear it as it will fall apart. A medal any rapper would be proud to wear.

The complete pie in all its glory! Alas I can’t wear it as it will fall apart. A medal any rapper would be proud to wear.

I may now sleep for a 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

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