The Scribbler

19 May 2011

Off kilter or why I feel like my microwave

Filed under: run,training,triathlon — The Scribbler @ 21:13
I feel like my microwave. The glass plate has slipped off the revolving thing and while my bowl of porridge still goes round, every so often it makes a ‘gollop’ as it tries to re-balance itself back on track.I’m just a bit ‘not right’. Usually this manifests itself in a clumsy week. A time when really it’s best to lock away the crockery and don’t let me near anything remotely valuable or mechanical (It just came off in my hand – honest!)So far this week, I have managed to get a knot in my favourite necklace and turn up at work minus two buttons (spare safety pins in your running kit come in useful not just at races). And this morning as I got out of my car, I managed to kick off one of my shoes. Cue crouching on the concrete reaching under someone’s car two along from mine in the underground car park.

And yes I did get my shoe back. I decided the indignity of lying face down in the car park and stretching under the vehicle was probably less than the indignity of walking one shoed over to security to ask them to get the person to move their car.
On Tuesday I ran my first set of intervals for a while. I struggled to reach the pace I was aiming for on the fast bits and then failed to slow down enough on the recovery. But I finished the set and was just happy to be out and starting to refocus on running again.For the first time I have pace targets on my running plan and they’re going to take some getting used to. Today’s was 4 miles at 8:30/mile. Now, that should be doable for me. I run most of parkrun at about 8:00/mile or just over and last week I did a 10k at an average pace of 8:19/mile. But I struggled. Started a bit too fast and then settled at 8:39/mile, but felt as breathless as my 10k pace.I realised I was stressing over less than 10 seconds a mile, and let myself go back to a pace where I could breathe easily for the last two miles, just relaxing into the morning sunshine. I managed 8:50 pace overall. And I’m not displeased with that, recognising that some days it’s better than others. But so much for that tough mental focus.

It also makes my race results seem rather mystical. Looking back to around this time last year, I can see my Blaydon Race result and wonder how on earth I managed that. On a good day, in the right conditions, I can fly. I think I must run better in the cold and wet, when I’m hungry and haven’t had chance to do a warm up.

Anyway, today’s run done and I know I could have pushed harder. But I’m giving myself an easier week and I think that’s why I was content just to slip back into a more comfortable pace. I know I’d have worked harder if I’d had my usual PT session.

Two day’s rest now ahead of the Pier 2 Pier Race. A week ago I was up for blasting this on the back of my triathlons and a 10k PB. Now, I shall just see how I feel. On the day I may be bouncing on fresh legs, twitching and ready for a good run. Whatever happens, I shall enjoy a scenic route and my third time racing this one. It will be great to catch up with some running chums too.

I’ll also be thinking about all my friends running the Edinburgh marathon and half marathon this weekend. So go on Scotty, Kate, Kathryn and Shaun. And give ’em your best and loudest support Anne!

There are also a some first time triathletes dipping their toes in the water. I can’t wait to hear how Sally, Ian and Katie get on. And by fab friend Lesley is doing her first Open Water tri. Brrrr! But as Lesley’s part mermaid, I’m sure she’ll be fab. I’ll be eagerly awaiting her report on that one.
You’re pretty amazing you lot. Don’t forget that. And don’t let anyone tell you any different.


  1. Ohhh I love races season. But first let me congratulate you on getting your shoe back.. too funny!!

    Funny how we athletes push ourselves so much and often forget that most of the population cant even run, let alone run at a pace we push ourselves at, and then after crossing the finish line the first thing we do is look at our watches and think ” I could have cut off 10 seconds, or I should have NOT stopped to pee I would have had better time…” its crazy actually isnt it??

    Keep up the good work!! My first race is next weekend…. ohhhh


    Comment by Jodi — 21 May 2011 @ 16:23 | Reply

    • Thanks Jodi. Someone else pointed out to me that I was looking for the micro performance (miniscule improvement in a short time), when what really makes a difference is the macro performance (more noticeable improvement over the longer term). Guess that comes from a tendency to be over analytical I guess. But yes, I do recognise the craziness of the ‘what ifs’ and this year I’m trying to just go with the flow and enjoy my training and racing. Goodness knows, it’s not like I’m actually trying to qualify or win anything.
      Good luck for your first race – you must be excited!


      Comment by The Scribbler — 21 May 2011 @ 20:55 | Reply

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