Monday, July 21, 2014

Birthday #43 workout extravaganza!

An excellent workout that so thoroughly used up all my vim that I had to eat a cookie just now in order to have the energy to write a post!

One of the great pleasures of this summer of exercise is that I got a coach - I haven't had one for a long time, I always have some mentors of one kind or another but I'd forgotten what a pleasure it is to have actual formal coaching. So I asked supercoach David Roche for a special birthday workout, and got this back:
Your mission is to touch Grant's tomb, check out the Central Park Zoo, see the Intrepid, and run up the Columbia steps. You decide how to connect them :)
I also wanted to make it to midday spin class and had a swim workout lined up as well, but I knew it would be unlikely that I'd really have energy for that still after doing the first two - indeed I had a short swim post-spin and will do a proper masters workout tomorrow.

Lounged in bed and didn't get out the door early enough to come home between - that was good, though, actually, as it makes it a more genuine continuous workout. Beautiful weather, but slightly hotter than I thought - should have been carrying water, I was fiendishly thirsty by the end.

Here is Grant's Tomb:

Here is the view from the top of the Low Library steps:

I have no picture for the zoo - I ran over to Central Park and then south along the east side of the park. Got near the zoo around the 1hr mark, stopped and bought a Gatorade and drank it while walking around off the clock trying to find a zoo building to photograph - realized after about 10 minutes that my poor sense of direction really just means I was going to have to let that one go! (I was there relatively recently and did indeed spend much time wandering around trying to find the actual entrance - then promptly forgot whatever I learned about how to find it....)
Then west to the Intrepid:

Increasingly thirsty - rather glad as Chelsea Piers finally hove into view. Total running time: 1:32, probably about 8+ miles? Brief regroup, and then SPIN!

I got to pick the workout since it was my birthday: I couldn't ask for a 43-minute climb, as it's only a 45-minute class and also it might KILL somebody, but what we had was very good: 3 x (4min climb, 3min sprints as :30 off, :30 on). I had a maniacal grin on my face throughout that caused Joanna to snap this picture:

No pictures, didn't happen (those are what I call "imaginary distance units," by the way, not miles or kilometers - somewhere between the two!):

Then just a very short swim so that I could call it an authentic swim-bike-run day: 500 yards as 100 swim, 100 kick, 2 x 100 drill-swim by 25 (front scull, fists), 100 swim strong with good form.

Bonus picture to make up for the missing zoo one, a portrait of the lovely and well-behaved service dog that accompanies its mistress to the pool pretty much every day:

It's a slightly strange summer in that I'm neither training for something epic nor in the middle of writing a book. Makes me feel rather guilty and underoccupied! But it is probably good for the soul not to be quite so busy and focused all the time....

1:32, c. 8+mi
:40 spin (3 x 7min as 4min climb, 3min sprints)
:15 swim (500 yards)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Short run of bliss!

Gosh, that was nice - it's a beautiful day, sunny and low humidity - a bit hot in direct sun, but nice breeze once I reached the water. I really see the point of doing these shorter easier runs - it leaves you still hungry for more, and savoring every segment, rather than feeling that it is a slog.

:40 run-walk (3:1)

Saturday, July 19, 2014


That was a mighty fine morning of exercise. Not beautiful weather, but not hot either. Ran down to Chelsea Piers (5:1 run-walk), then did 10am spin class with Liz. We had delicious omelets afterwards at La Lunchonette - the bread and butter there is also uncannily good....

1:08 run (5:1)
1hr spin

Friday, July 18, 2014


Spin class, then just a very short swim - I wanted to do longer, but I'm having trouble with this bit above my left knee that I twanged a couple months ago due to riding a double spin class on a bike with a wobbly left cleat. It has a tendency to seize up, particularly if I try and do a standing climb but also just at other random times (not when I am running, fortunately!); it pronged me a couple times during spin class, and then again quite strongly as I was finishing my swim warmup, and I figured discretion was the better part of valor.

:45 spin
:20 swim (500 yards as 200 free, 200 kick, 100 RaLaCuBa)

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I haven't been doing enough swimming, ditto biking, but it certainly is lovely getting to run all the time - and today it FINALLY is a nice day, low 70s and relatively low humidity - beautiful! 40min as 20min warmup (4:1), then 8 x :20 @ mile pace, :40 jog, then easy jog home

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


That was a very enjoyable one, possibly because for once I just slept for as long as I wanted to - makes it take a lot less willpower to get out the door when I am not already fatigued! (Went to bed pretty early but it took HOURS to fall asleep....)

Weather still rather disgusting, very high humidity, but it's only 70 or so, which means that I was not penalized for lounging in bed so long. Jogged over to Central Park and did 3 x the upper loop, with goal of increasing speed each loop - pushing Harlem Hill on all three, but taking it harder the rest of the way as the workout progressed. Only two weeks more of hills before all training is as flat as a pancake!

1:06 total (c. 5.4mi)

14:36 warmup to bottom of Harlem Hill (c. 1.2mi)

3 x 1.41mi upper loop (17:53, 18:02, 16:09)

Monday, July 14, 2014


No, not actually - just an ill-advised long run in sauna-like conditions! I got it done, which is about the best I can say - I dread to even think how very slow my pace was most of the time! Ran down to 96th St. and then up to the Little Red Lighthouse. Due to combination of aforementioned sauna-like conditions and the fact that I added on a bit inadvertently (dead end, backtracking), it took well over an hour to get there (it's 5mi by the direct route), so I took the shorter route home. For the second hour, couldn't quite face coach's instructions of 8 x 1:00 @ 5K pace, so modified by doing 8 x (3:30 jog, :30 hard, 1:00 recovery walk). Walked the last bit home - 2hr exactly (I had to walk a couple extra blocks, I was damned if I was going to stop the clock before the two-hour mark!). Squelchy socks, soaking wet shirt and pants - the fragrance of garbage and cigarette smoke everywhere - NYC in summer!

2hr, c. 8.5mi?

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Pure bliss, insofar as bliss is compatible with very hard work. Jogged down at a rather slow sedate pace (6:1 jog-walk). Funniest sight along the way: a man running with a two-seater jogging stroller. Baby in one seat, pug in the other! Joanna was teaching the double, which is excellent.

1:10 run-walk (6:1), c. 5.4mi
2hr spin!

Friday, July 11, 2014


Hmmm, this is a routine that makes me EXTREMELY happy. I finally finished my dreaded article revisions this morning (they have been a millstone around my neck for ONE YEAR - small enough job not to be interesting, big enough job not to be easily shoehorned into busy times, esp. as dependent on many library volumes = can't be done in Cayman, which is more likely to be where I have time to get my own work done!). It is SENT! Rode down to CP for Joanna's excellent spin class, then swam 1000 yards, then rode home. Delighted to find my apartment overrun with workers - my refrigerator hasn't been working properly, with slightly alarming consequences - I put in a work request late yesterday afternoon and am startled and pleased that it has been addressed so quickly!


10mi easy bike (:50)
:45 spin!
1000 yards swim (200 kick, 3 x 100 drill [RaLaCuBa, front scull, fists], 5 x 100 as 2 x 25 fly, 75 free; 2 x 25 fly, 25 back, 50 free; 100 IM)

Also, Joanna is teaching double spin tomorrow. Woo-hoo!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Just an easy little one - I did not end up making time to swim today, alas, and generally seemed to be slightly overscheduled with one thing and another! But the schedule said easy 40min run with 3:1 jog-walk, which is something it is pretty hard to talk yourself out of - it was really nice, the weather cooled down a little as dusk was coming and it's so relaxing to run next to the water....

:40, 3:1, not very far!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


It would be too time-consuming to do that often, but I got up early and took the subway to meet Liz for an 8am run in Prospect Park - woo-hoo! Pretty hot already by then - it's nice in the shade, and then you hit the sun....

c. 6mi, c. 1:07

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Arduous and hot, but I feel great now it's done....

Jogged over to the park, did just the upper 5.

1:14:41, c. 6-and-a-bit miles (slow, but it's HOT, it's OK....)

Monday, July 7, 2014


I was very grumpy riding down - it is woefully hot and extremely windy, seemed like I was riding into a headwind the whole way - but class was good as always. Decided not to swim, but subsequently slightly regretted it, as I had a minor bike woe on the way home! Nothing terrible, but it is an intersection I'm not keen on (on weekends or when there is a busy event, there is often a police officer there managing car traffic), where vehicles driving in to the convention center are asked to yield/stop (it's one of those yield signs with a picture of the stop icon on it) to cyclists on the greenway bike path. It is widely ignored - the car coming into the intersection slowed but continued to pull through, I'd thought it was stopping but paused as it continued to move, and then failed to clip out in time - toppled over slowly from a standstill, because I am an idiot! Left elbow has some road rash, but I didn't go down hard and spots like my right hand which did touch the ground a bit later aren't scraped. I guess it is better than having made contact with a car....

:45 spin, :50 round-trip bike with minor interruption!

Sunday, July 6, 2014


That was a really nice one - it's hotter again, but relatively low humidity, definitely good running weather. Ran over to Central Park and did the loop, pushing hills (stopped briefly to say hello to sometime training partner C.!). Finished at the bottom of Harlem Hill around 1:28 and then walked an additional 30 minutes for time on feet. Woo-hoo!

(Lauren had to cancel our proposed ride in NJ today, but that's good, as it should be I can make it now to the 6pm women-only masters swim session that happens only once a month - I am often out of town for it, unfortunately, so that's all the more reason to try and make it today.)

1:28 run, 30min walk

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Only one class offered today because of the holiday. Very good! I need to do my long run later (riding tomorrow with Lauren in NJ) so just as well to limit ride to a hard single.

:55 spin