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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 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.

Day 10… flagging…   3 comments

Good afternoon all. I’m absolutely flipping knackered. Unsurprising really as I am on day 10 of the 11 day too much exercise spree. On top of this I am struggling quite a bit with my mental state now it’s been two and a bit weeks since I stopped the mirtazapine. So today I am going to try to not give myself too much of a hard time… here goes…

On Monday it was off to track as per. Bob was back so everything was back to normal. The session began with 6 x 600 paarlauf which is just my cup of tea. Short and with a longish recovery. I paired up with Duncan as he is of comparable speed. He set off on the first 600 whilst I jogged round to the 200 start to take over. I set off quite conservatively and felt comfortable rolling home in 2.18. 2.13, 2.18, 2.18, 2.15 and 2.18 and that was that! I was very pleased with my consistency (if not that speedy) as I could only have dreamed of this a year ago. Especially as I was pacing myself, as I tend to rely on others for pace judgement (not a good thing). We then had to complete a 100, 200, 300, 400 pyramid of speed interspersed with 100 easy. This was also fine and running with Duncan meant I didn’t go too mad on the 100s and 200s. All in all this was one of my more successful sessions. With a mile warm up and warm down it’s another 6 miles for the book.

On Tuesday I was really utterly mental. This was not good. Although actually it was good as I was really rather overexcited and happy. Too happy though and feeling very strange and … not sure how to describe it… I was however aware of it and that it only ever leads to a massive crash the next day (ie today). Anyway I was feeling pretty manic and strange and wasn’t sure what might happen in my overstimulated mind. Core & Stretch in the morning was fine. My shoulders annoyed me with their pathetic and painfulness but nothing out of the ordinary. In the evening I was still feeling decidedly high and subjected a poor man to a massive ramble about all the exercise I do and how it is too much and I’m knackered but I just can’t stop. Unfortunately this energy didn’t translate into extra strength of leg and I still struggled with all the squats and jumping type things. The problem is all my various exercisings use leg so there comes a time where they just have nothing left. As track is always hardcore it means kettlebells is often a wibble-legged feeblefest. Oh well. The arm bits were OK though and I was still swinging the 20kg. As Monday was good Tuesday was never going to be as good as two good days back to back is a very rare thing.

By this morning the scary but cool madness had left and I felt utterly crap and down so spin was rubbish. I didn’t have anything left in body or mind which meant I couldn’t really give anything to the class. I also was finding it really hard just not bursting into tears. Oh dear. Playing Hurt by Johnny Cash at the end for the warm down nearly reduced me to a sobbing heap but I (just about) managed to hold it together. I know the combination of too much exercise with no rest and the withdrawal symptoms from the mirtazapine has brought me to this but I only have seafront run this evening and Thursday’s Hove Park intervals session to get through and then it’s 3 days off! Yippee.

How high? Real high, ’cause I’m just so fly…   Leave a comment

OK OK, I promise never to title my blog with Kriss Kross lyrics again. I write to you mid Wales Wednesday (double running day) having done my slowest ever 10 miler this morning. Not done it for weeks and certainly felt it! Am now hobbling around like a total goit. Good though to be back into the routine. Also must remember that today is about getting the mileage in and speed doesn’t matter, especially as I have around 7 hilly, muddy downs miles to contend with later. It was windy in the opposite direction which I thought might help as it was behind me on the way back but obviously not! Anyway I’ve done the hard bit (getting out on my own), this evening is a  group run so will definitely happen. Now to jump back to Monday which was day one of getting back into the routine. Slightly thwarted insofar as the track was being used for vets league so we had to train in Hove Park. Bob was in Greenwich watching the horse cross country so the session was left in the capable hands of Mark. We started off with 6 x 800m (ish). As I was so fired with enthusiasm to be back to normal training I set off way too fast (those who know me will not be in any way surprised!). By the third rep everyone had overtaken me but I carried on and still felt I was running pretty well. Hip flexors a little tight from the cycle on Friday and February bum still causing grief but otherwise feeling good. Felt oh so very much better when Mark split us into 3 groups to finish off with 6 x 100m sprints on the grass. Yes! Something I actually enjoy and that I can not be last in. Hard work though and felt mightily sick after the first couple but love it so much I don’t mind. If only I could transfer this level of work to the longer stuff! An excellent session all round. On Tuesday it was back to Core & Stretch. Having run myself into the ground on Monday in the sprints I was pretty feeble and found it harder than normal. One a positive note however there was someone in the class who was as inflexible as me! Mr. A. Mazing! It was so much nicer to not be the sole inflexible rubbish one and we had fun laughing and rolling our eyes at our joint crapness in the face of the rest of the bendy and brilliant class members. Hopefully he will be back next week. In the evening it was back to the gym for kettlebell circuits. I was looking forward to it and dreading it in equal measure having not been for 3 weeks. I decided to go straight back in at the weights I was doing 3 weeks ago when usually I would start lighter and work my way back. This was the right thing to do as I could still swing the 16kg on the double arm swing and 12kg on the single. I did however conk out around two thirds of the way through so wibbled my way through the last 20 minutes. For some reason there were a lot more people in the class than usual which meant I felt a bit more hidden from Matt’s scrutiny whilst I was being feeble. Alas I discovered later via FaceBook that he had noted me. Though only in a positive way, as he saw me swinging the 16. After finishing with many many squats I tried valiantly to cycle home into a headwind. It was not pleasant but I finally arrived home. I now need to buy some more bananas but am wearing shorts and compression socks and can’t be bothered to get changed and can’t possibly go out like this so will have to be banana-less for a little longer. I shall be back on Sunday with more exciting news of my return to training normality.

Please have a look on the West Hove Directory page where my lastest article is residing awaiting your perusal!

Yet more running, sogginess and discontent   Leave a comment

On Wednesday evening I went out with the group for the usual downs run. Wasn’t sure how I would fare after all I’d already done up to this point. Set off on a pleasant downhill towards Waterhall feeling OK. Even going up the killer hill on the other side wasn’t too bad. Quite a lot of mud and puddles in the clayey surface up towards the top of the hill so much sliding to be done but trail shoes were helpful in stopping any major sliding or plummeting. Across the field and down towards Saddlescombe Farm we progressed (me, slowly). All was well until we reached the top of the hill up the back side of The Dyke. With just the long gravel drag back to the start to go my legs decided it was time for Bewl, track and circuits to catch up with me and ceased to function so I stumbled back exceedingly slowly. Naturally this did not stop me from going to hot yoga (hate) on Thursday morning and cycling over to Hove Park to attempt the usual interval session. Within a few minutes it became apparent that I was not going to be doing a proper session so me and Pete decided it was just a recovery run and we trundled back and forth for the half hour. On Friday I had A WHOLE DAY OFF. Amazing.

On Saturday I set off for parkrun with no particular goal in mind, just to try and keep consistent in the sub 21s. However when I arrived Duncan sprung on me that he would pace me round as he thought I would never actually do it. This was a good move as I had no chance to back out. We set off at a sensible pace covering the first k in 4.07 (I usually charge through here in around 4 minutes – too fast!). Duncan kept turning back to check I was there so no slacking. Good. I did slow a bit towards the middle as usual but nowhere near as much as I would left to my own devices so once again, thanks Duncan for sacrificing your own run. Shame I didn’t look at my watch as turns out I was only 2 seconds off my pb but no matter as the consistency is there. Hopefully after a much more restful week this coming week I can give it a better go next Saturday, without help! Duncan can have a proper run too.

Today (Sunday) I did the Wivelsfield Wobble. Heaven knows why as I detested it the last time I ran it many years ago (probably as I did Bewl that year too – will I never learn?) and nothing had changed this year. Except it was basically wading through mud this time. I wouldn’t have minded this but yesterday i was bitten by something evil and insecty which has caused my ankle to swell up massively and making my calf and achilles stupidly tight and painful. Unhelpful. On the plus side I ran so badly and slowly I didn’t feel sick at the end so was able to eat some delicious homemade cake. Every cloud…

My latest West Hove Directory article is now on the WHD page. Please have a look.

Posted 08/07/2012 by Isobel Muir in Blog, parkrun, Running, West Hove Directory

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