Monday, April 21, 2014

Glorious spin!

Mondays have been challenging for me this whole school year as I have an 8:30 Monday morning meeting pretty much every week - as a night owl, I find this is a dreadful way to get things started! However it makes me feel justified in taking a chunk of midday to go to my beloved spin class downtown. All winter I was castigating myself at the stupidity of belonging to a gym that's so hard to get to - but now is the shining time when it is absolutely lovely, it is the most gorgeous day, low 60s and sunny but with a hint of coolth in the air to make outdoor exercise blissful. I rode down to spin, had a snack afterwards in the cafe (I was underfueled riding home yesterday, I should have eaten before I got back on my bike), then a ridiculously beautiful ride home along the river. Glory!

10mi round trip bike (c. :50)
:50 spin

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Workout of bliss!

It is absolutely perfect weather today for being outside - low 50s, but sunny and calm, PERFECT! I was a little frazzled/late for outdoor bootcamp class downtown - I forgot how much slower you have to ride on a crowded Sunday path, and then I had the wrong keys (my running keys do have locker and bike lock key, but not the electronic fob for the locked cage), so I had to go up and down and up again, changing into running shoes & dumping stuff in locker and then jogging down to the Charles St. pier, which I realize is closer to a mile further downtown from Pier 60 rather than the half-mile I casually envisioned. But the workout was amazing - we did the usual sort of stuff (walking lunges, box jumps, various plank and pushup variants, etc.), in the most idyllic lower Manhattan setting of utter beauty. Good for the soul to exercise outside!

I have an almost unimaginably vast pile of work to do over the next few days, and it's generally just a busy week, but I think I can shoot to workout M/T/W, Thursday is simply too packed (scheduled with no breaks from 9:30 allergy shots through to a friend's evening concert at Carnegie Hall (!)), Friday probably I'll just be knackered and also busy all day, then back on for Sat and Sun. Two more weeks after that very busy, and then I fly to Israel for a week - I am giving two talks at Tel Aviv University, but otherwise it is really a week of holiday and sightseeing, for which I'm very excited. I should be able to do some runs and I hope swims, possibly even Bikram yoga if I find a studio, but I don't want to count on it being a good exercise week, which means I am really going to try and make the 3 weeks between now and when I leave pretty solid.

10mi RT slow bike
:45 boot camp

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Double spin!

That was amazingly good - I am lucky to be living a life in which very many things make me happy, but certainly double spin (both classes taught by Joanna today) is one of my favorites....

2hr spin

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hot yoga!

I bailed on Andia's exercise class - it just seemed too cold to ride my bike downtown (it was freezing, literally!), and particularly to ride home in sweaty clothes! Went to 10am hot yoga instead. It was excellent - just what I needed. This week seems to be going much better exercise-wise than the last couple, that is good....

1.5hr hot yoga

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Gosh, that was a nice one - by conventional standards, yesterday was by far the nicer day (today is high 50s with light drizzle), but today is really almost perfect running weather - cooler, park almost totally deserted. Jogged for 10 minutes to warm up then did 4 x (3min moderately hard, 2min recovery). Need to get back out the HR monitor, this was just on feel. It was gorgeous!

:38 run (z3 intervals)

Monday, April 14, 2014


3 more weeks of school, I think I can get through - in the meantime it is a struggle to get much exercise, though! Nice run just now, only it has become quite warm & yet the water fountains are not on yet, mostly (I should have brought a bottle of water) - I did get a few gulps from the functional fountain by the tennis courts, but I was so thirsty that I stopped running and walked the last bit home. Have now happily refluidified....

:55, c. 5mi

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Another pretty poor week for exercise, but it's OK, it's just a combination of intense workload & also the very pleasant fact of B. having gotten here Thursday late afternoon! We ran in Riverside Park this morning, it's absolutely lovely weather - usually I go to spin class on a Saturday morning, but I couldn't quite tear myself out of bed & out of the house. Will probably run again tomorrow morning - brunch plans in Brooklyn & I don't want to count on still having vim for exercise after that.

1hr easy run (9:1 run-walk), c. 5.4mi

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Yesterday was a wash - I got a pretty good long night's sleep Monday, but nevertheless & ill-advisedly took two dissertation chapters into bed mid-afternoon to read and woke up many hours and not very many pages later. Then I couldn't go to sleep till 5 in the morning - got back up around 2 and read for a while, then canceled reservation for this morning's fitness class as it was clear I needed to sleep later than 8:30. Fortunately for me the same teacher does a 6:30pm variant today - a corporate event had booked sand volleyball court and there was noone else signed up for the class, so I had the luxury of what was essentially a personal training session! We did a lot of things that are for flexibility and agility as a runner, I am very bad at them and that is why I know they are good for me. Well worthwhile having gotten down there - now B. is here for a week, as of tomorrow, so it is unusual schedule, but it might be I should more often take my gym stuff in a bag with me to afternoon meetings and then get on the subway around 5:30 without stopping at home first. At least that way I can't take a nap! (I do now have all tomorrow's seminar reading still to do, which is not ideal - but the work always gets done, while the exercise does not necessarily...)

:45 misc. flexibility and strength (incl. the dreaded caterpillar walk, which piercingly reminds me of Gerald)

Monday, April 7, 2014


Well, the rest of last week was a disaster (not from the life point of view, just from the POV of fatigue and exercise) - Thursday I was simply so knackered that I couldn't do anything other than essential work; Friday and Saturday were extremely demanding through mid-evening (conference went very well - it was killing me on Saturday, though, that the weather was so beautiful and I couldn't slip away for a run!); Sunday I had to myself, with moderate need to work and also tidy/reclaim apartment from week of living as a wild animal - I slept late, then I fell asleep again while trying to read in bed, and in the end I wrote off both more ambitious (Chelsea Piers classes) and less ambitious (short run or hot yoga) plans - all I could do was lie in bed and doze! Still utterly knackered today, but got out just now for a slow hour's run - I need to be careful getting back into it, I've really barely run at all over the last few months. One more month of school - I am just doing to do my best and exercise when I can, shooting for that 6hr/week non-negotiable minimum....

1hr run-walk (9:1), c. 5.5mi

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Not the actual beach - Andia's Manhattan Beach workout at Chelsea Piers! It is really incredible - at some point not very far in, I am just flooded with those happy exercise chemicals that make you feel totally blissed out. Also rode my bike down for the first time since forever - it is an incredibly time-efficient way of getting there compared to the other options. Excited that we're back into the season where I can do that, and really pleased, too, that they've added these 9:30 weekday classes - that's perfect for me.

This one was particularly suited to my tastes - we did some warmup and stretching stuff, then alternated circuits of the sand volleyball court (easy jog or walk short sides, "strides" on long sides) with one-minute abs. 3x, 4x, 6x. Very good workout, low-impact because of the sand but your heart really is pounding!

(Tomorrow I am going to try the offputtingly named Bikini Booty Bam - was there ever a worse name for what I believe is a perfectly respectable exercise class? Left change of clothes in locker today, and will run VERY SLOWLY down before class tomorrow as I have to go from there to get allergy shots. Really Thursdays have a demanding lineup for me compared to Wednesdays this semester, but since I need to be in Chelsea sometime in the morning for allergy shots, I'm going to try and combine with exercise where possible.)

Dreadful end of week coming up, Friday and Saturday have full long lineup of work stuff all the way through dinner i.e. 10pm, but I will also try for a 3-mile run Friday morning if I can get myself out of bed in time. Then Eilon's classes Sunday afternoon - it's not going to be an amazing week of exercise, but better than some. If I can finish tomorrow's reading and prep in time, I might be able to go to 6:30pm hot yoga this evening, that would be good - I was notionally going to stay at CP this morning and do a spin with L., but she had to stay home to look out for a sick baby, so we called it off - probably for the best as far as my schedule goes.

:45 conditioning
:50 bike (10 real miles!)

Monday, March 31, 2014


Going to see if I can get a nice run of days going - I think Saturday is going to be a write-off, but it's worth trying to hit every day for exercise between now and then.

Gloriously good spin class: 1 x 25min climb. I finally replaced the battery in my Suunto HR monitor strap, it's good to have some numbers again. The sun has come out and I am experiencing an unwonted wave of optimism!

:55 spin

Sunday, March 30, 2014


It was a strange day of alternating stints of work and dozing, and I felt still dazed as I headed down to Chelsea Piers, decadently, in a taxi for the 4pm class with Eilon. (Desperate situations call for desperate remedies - anything to get myself to a good class!) Abs/performax pair was super - only on the new schedule, they've given it the axe! However it really is just a kind of consolidation, and it means I will go to Eilon's Boxing Basics class instead, which has now been moved up to replace the boot-camp-style workout. That's not at all bad, I've been wanting to get back into the habit of punching things....

1.25hr boot camp

Pretty pitiful week as far as exercise goes, but there were extenuating circumstances. Ardently hoping this coming week will represent an improvement!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hot yoga!

Thursday and Friday got the better of me - two minor doctor's appointments Thursday morning plus seminar and office hours had me totally tapped out, and Friday ditto, meetings all day, got home around 4 feeling ready for utter collapse. Didn't make it to spin class this morning, alas - when the alarm went off, I still felt so tired and ill-rested that the thought of making it downtown by 10am seemed inconceivable! Thought about a run, but felt so truly inertial I couldn't quite imagine it - then it suddenly occurred to me that it was the perfect opportunity to go to midday hot yoga. It was not as dreadful as I expected after a long layoff, though I did feel slightly overwhelmed by heat a couple times in the standing sequence. The mat sequence, and especially the savasana rests where you can feel your heart pounding, are the reward for surviving the standing sequence. Chilly and rainy - I'd quite like to have a short run later, but not sure it will happen.

1.5hr hot yoga

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tough week!

With no room for exercise, barring a genuinely decent amount of brisk walking - I had to take the train 8 hours each way to Williamsburg for a conference, and then I had to go to Philadelphia to help my dad get home from hospital (he is doing nicely & settled in back at home - the situation has been anxiety-producing!). Often I just slightly give up on exercise at this point in the semester, not totally but in terms of a priority - this winter, though, I have done so badly with it that I think I am going to take the opposite take and make it my absolute priority. The work work gets done regardless, the exercise not so much so.

That said, I took the 1 train to the 9:30 class at Chelsea Piers and it was so gruesomely crowded I do not think I can do that again! Hopefully next week it will be warm enough for bike-riding to seem non-insane. (Courtly older gentleman to JMD: "It helps to think of it as an intimate riding experience rather than simply a crowded train." A woman standing next to me was on the verge of an outright panic attack - really it is a very unpleasant atmosphere.)

Great class! I am very bad at jumping over even miniature hurdles in sand, I think it is a combination of mental block and poor hip flexibility - but everything else was quite enjoyable. Pondering various schedule commitments - the only thing I know for sure is that I had better not overdo it, or else I will get sick!


1hr boot camp

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Had one of those mornings that only feels like a disaster because one is already too worn down and frazzled! Managed to turn it round mentally partway through, but it really was not good. I've been looking forward to this Wednesday 9:30 sandbox exercise class all week - I was five minutes late for it last week, I don't usually take a taxi on a weekday morning and I hadn't allowed enough time, so I made sure really to be out the door before 9 today. And then proceeded to get stuck in the worst traffic EVER! The meter ticked, I squirmed and anxietied, it got later and later - and later - ARGHHHHHH! At some point I realized that it wasn't just a question of being five minutes late, that it really was possible I might not get there till after the class was completely over! At that point I scaled back my expectations & just wanted to get there by the end to apologize to the trainer for missing class & make sure I didn't get on a blacklist for future (you register for these classes online in advance, they don't cost extra but it's a small-group thing with implied accountability).

So - I got to 9:30 class at 10:15 (after 1:15 in a cab, to go five miles, at a charge of $40 - usually it is $20-25 with tip!). Trainer very, very kindly let me join for last 15 mins of class (I jogged a few sand laps to warm up). Then I pulled myself together and ran very slowly home. Walked last bit as I felt something not quite right in left hamstring - this was prob a mistake as I am now freezingly cold, in fact should stop writing this and get in shower!

(Was wishing I'd ridden my bike down, I will next week, but en route home I checked to see if I could find my lock in the bike cage, and really I don't see it - stuck my key into about twenty identical looking ones - will buy a new one this week, and (a) mark it clearly as mine [they all look similar] and (b) not leave it there over this coming winter, as there are no guarantees it will still be there!)

I have to try and get some exercise while at this wretched conference - 2 x 30min is prob better for mental and physical health than 1 x 60 or 90, though sometimes it's more realistic just to hope for one session. Will bring 2 sets of exercise clothes & hope for the best - I had a lovely long run at "this" conference in Cleveland last year (but I was on sabbatical, so I wasn't so ground down going in); two years ago, I brought 2 sets of exercise clothes to San Antonio and used NEITHER, which I think is more what this one is likely to be!

:15 sandy skip-stride drills, misc. core
:55 easy run (c. 4.8mi)