Saturday, December 31, 2011

#25/26 of 30

And that's it for the year, folks!

Still have some lingering cold symptoms, but am feeling much happier today than yesterday.  Took my book revision stuff down to the cafe at Chelsea Piers and spent a fruitful hour on that before meeting up with Liz for 11am spin; then Liz went and ran a couple miles and swam while I went to yoga.  And we had a very good lunch afterwards, too, at La Lunchonette.  An old friend is having a party this evening, so though while I often prefer to stay home on New Year's Eve, really it will be worthwhile going out (it's near to my subway train, too, so it shouldn't be an impossible trek home), and already today has been a nice end to an unsettled week.  Not too far off the 30 workouts in 30 days goal, all things told; sickness and travel made it a tricky month, but I am really hoping that January will be a month of huge and excellent exercise!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year...

1hr spin (#25/30)
1.5hr yoga (#26/30)

Friday, December 30, 2011


30 mins walk across the park (to get somewhere).  Beautiful day, but I was grumpy not to be running - my cold has had a second resurgence!  Am going to spin class and yoga tomorrow COME WHAT MAY, will modify intensity if needed...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#22/23 of 30

Still pretty grumpy, lungs full of junk, but I met up with out-of-town friend B. for local yoga and it was beneficial.  Don't think I will hit 30 workouts for the month, though, as I had still better take it easy for the next couple days (will probably do body sculpt class at the gym tomorrow - yoga and strength seems wiser than demanding cardio, the latter is harder on the lungs).

#22: 1.5hr yoga
#23: 35 mins walk

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#21 of 30

30 min brisk walk (scouting neighborhood locations for novel revisions).


Am feeling very grumpy, as I woke up on Dec. 24 with a distinct sore throat.  Nothing major, but I still have slight congestion and soreness.  Had hoped yoga later would seem a good idea, but I think I have to take one more day off.  It is very frustrating though perhaps inevitable that as soon as my very busy schedule actually quietens down enough that I could do what I like, I am stricken with a minor ailment!

Don't usually log walks as exercise, but I did have a couple brisk point-to-point walks in Philadelphia for purpose of actually getting somewhere: so let's say Dec. 24, 30 mins. walk, #19 of 30; and Dec. 26, 35 mins. walk, #20 of 30.

Friday, December 23, 2011

#18 of 30

Abs and body sculpt class at the gym: no spin, as L. was underfueled, I was lazy and we both had things that needed to get done over the rest of the afternoon!  It is a good workout notwithstanding.  I think I might do a spin on the stationary bike here tomorrow morning before I leave for Philadelphia c. 10:30am - then I can run Sunday morning from my mom's house in Phila.  Monday will almost inevitably be a day off from exercise unless I decide I want to run on adjacent days (probably fine if I only do half an hour).

1.5hr strength

Thursday, December 22, 2011

#17 of 30

Friend and former student J. treated me to a very enjoyable vinyasa class and a mini-feast afterwards at her gracious Riverside Drive apartment (pate, shrimp cocktail and lobster, the cake known as buche de noel - diacritical marks have been lost as they interfere with HTML - which is our mutual obsession at this time of year). Luxurious!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Partial run intervals

Really I am gnashing my teeth at myself, I knew when I ran yesterday that I had serious soreness in the left thigh muscle and should not go and try to do run intervals today!  However I was unwilling to abandon previous plan.  It was quite uncomfortable immediately and grew more painful as I continued to run, so I stopped before the end of the 2nd of 4 sets, alas.  Coach is wiser than I, I wanted to run the rest of the workout at slower speed but he pointed out that if it is actively painful, better to stop now and not end up having to take weeks off for an injury!

1 mile warmup + 400m additional warmup

4 x 200 on 1 min rest, 4 mins set rest, 3 x 200 on 1 min rest, bit of further walking

(It certainly was enough of a workout to give me the endorphins!  But I won't try to run again for another couple days - this is not as painful as a grade 1 hamstring tear I had a few years ago, but it's definitely enough of something wrong that I shouldn't do things that exacerbate it!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#15 of 30

Very nice little 40min. run, as I submitted the second set of grades last night and finished my Bookforum review in the late morning.  Just down to the boat basin and back - air felt a bit raw on my lungs, but it's back up to the mid-40s, so not bad.  Various thigh muscles still pronged from last week's high-intensity workout - have to be careful with that speedwork!

40min. run (c. 3.8mi.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

#14 of 30

Sunday was a write-off: I had a lot of work to do, and a family engagement in the afternoon, and by the end of that I was just too tired to get to the gym, I went straight home on the subway and collapsed!  Good midday workout today, though: 30 min. abs class, 45 min. spin.

1:15 abs/spin

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I was ridiculously tired yesterday and did no exercise, alas - but the semester is effectively over (I still have one set of papers to grade), and I think I should be able to do a good bit of exercise this coming week.  Joanna's Saturday 11am spin class was great as always, and I should be able to go to her Monday daytime class this week also (usually I am teaching).

1hr spin
#13 of 30

Thursday, December 15, 2011

#12 of 30

It was fortuitous: last week at our mutual friend I.'s talk, I saw graduate student H. and learned that she is teaching a class at the local gym I used to belong to.  It is NIA, non-impact aerobics (dance-based, incorporating martial arts and other movements), and not at all the sort of thing I usually do, but I like to support people I know in their endeavors and I said I'd come to the Thursday 4:30 class.  I was particularly glad of having made that commitment as it was a day of meetings, with work obligations before and after, and I am not sure I would have used the time particularly well if I had not actually said I'd be there to exercise!

1hr light aerobic exercise with good stretching benefits

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Warp Speed"

Whoa, that was amazing!  I have been to this class a handful of times in the past (times when I was running quite a bit more and faster), I knew I really liked it, but in this case am just happy to say that I could execute the entire workout.  The group are mostly faster than I am (the only two who were comparable or slower both left halfway through!), but they are supportive and the coach is fantastic. 

I think one problem for me this year has been that I do very well with a coach who is also a bit of a guru in one of the triathlon disciplines and who I want to learn from and please by working hard, and I've had a bit of a gap in that respect.  I'm definitely going to go to this class regularly for the next couple months, as I am not in fact training for any endurance races and I think the higher-intensity workouts do me good.  This is the course description and the coach was nationally ranked in the 200m distance throughout the 80s (he ran a 20 point something, couldn't tell you the exact number): I always get really good form coaching from him, too, causing me to observe that I don't know how it is that just a few words called across from the other side of the track can create such great improvement!

Anyway, it was pretty much a killer workout for someone who hasn't been sprinting at all, and I was pleased I was able to hang on to the end.  Ran the first set too fast, but settled in for the final set on a pace I could manage and descended the last couple.  Legs will be very sore over next few days, I am guessing...

4 x 200m (1 min. rest) (fastest was :53, but I certainly couldn't hold that right now!)
4 min. rest
6 x 200m (1 min. rest)
4 min. rest
8 x 200m (1 min. rest) (:58s and :59s, with final one at :57)

#10 of 30

Sunday, December 11, 2011

#9 of 30

Very nice run with Liz along the river - just down to the boat basin and back, 40 mins. total.  Wintry but gorgeous  day, very still: though cold enough that going to brunch afterwards in sweaty lightweight running clothes has left me much in need of a hot shower!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

#8 of 30

Late getting up, late getting out of the house, and as I neared the gym, I had the horrible realization that I hadn't packed my cycling shoes!  But the teacher is good-natured and didn't seem irked that I was ten minutes late, and sneakers are OK too.  Double spin is a good workout - unfortunately this teacher I like is back only in the 11am slot next week, so I think I'll just do 11am next Saturday and then either run or go to yoga immediately following.

1:40 spin

Friday, December 9, 2011

#7 of 30

I feel a bit sheepish that I only ran for 30 minutes, but am taking approach this month that if I am feeling fatigued and 30 seems desirable, then 30 it is.  I was later getting out the door than I should have been given early sunset at this time of year, and also I was detained just a few minutes into my run by the most amazing sight - a large hawk (I am pretty certain it was a red-tailed hawk) devouring a substantial piece of prey, probably a pigeon!  It was in the upper branches of one of the trees in the lower-elevation bit of Riverside Park, so that from the path along the edge of the park (which is substantially higher than the park itself) you were only about 20 feet away from the sight itself.  Mighty, majestic, violent!

30 minutes run (easy zone 2)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

#6 of 30

Vinyasa yoga at Chelsea Piers - same teacher/class as Tuesday, very good.

1.25hr yoga


Just got back from a run that made me ridiculously happy: it was nothing special from an athletic standpoint, but after three days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) of fog and rain and unseasonable warmth and excessively hard work, the temperature dropped overnight: I am over the worst hump of my work week and it is the most beautiful running weather, 40 degrees and as clear and sunny and bright as you could possibly wish for.  Ran down to the boat basin and back, no Garmin as the strap for the heartrate monitor has left a spot of chafing and I want to let it clear up.  Beautiful!

(I was thwarted in my desire to work out yesterday - I packed up run gear so that I could go straight from office to gym to Lower East Side dinner meet-up, but didn't realize until I was on the subway platform that I didn't have my inhaler with me.  As I was intending to go to the run intervals class, and as run intervals are about the most wheeze-inducing thing the asthmatic person could possibly do, it was clear that I'd better just skip it - it got me early rather than late to dinner, which was probably better in any case.  Tendency to try and squeeze too many things into the day!)

I should be able to go to yoga later, though, in spite of another dinner meet-up obligation afterwards...

40 mins. (zone 2)

#5 of 30

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#4 of 30

Like Tristram Shandy, I am getting ever further behind myself!  Monday was hopeless, my schedule this semester leaves me pretty much totally wiped out at the end of the day - it was simply not possible to get back out the door, even for local yoga.  But I did get down to Chelsea Piers this evening for a very good yoga class (though I gather the teacher is leaving soon, alas), and then worked in the cafe afterwards for an hour and a half.  I think I have to call it a night as far as work goes, I am too tired now for the one important job I still need to do and I will just have to fit it into the window between 12 and 4 tomorrow - I hate leaving something important quite so last-minute, but it should only take about two hours and that is how it will have to be...

1.25hr vinyasa yoga (puddles of sweat!)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday run!

Beautiful run with Liz in Central Park.  It was surprisingly warm and sunny (NYT site now says 53, but I would have guessed high 50s - I took off jacket and gloves and ran in short sleeves!).  We only did 55 minutes, not the full hour/full loop, as there are better breakfast options if we leave the park at 72nd than if we run all the way down to 59th where we started, and at my behest we power-walked Harlem Hill rather than running it (more efficient use of energy!), but it was a highly satisfactory run.

55 mins., 5-and-a-bit miles

(Oh, that's #3 of 30...)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December workout #2/30

I could NOT get out of bed this morning - snoozed the alarm for an hour and a half, which is foolish - but I did get up in time to get things together to go downtown for the 11am spin class at Chelsea Piers.  Beautiful sunny day, mid 40s, and I probably could have ridden my bike down, but I didn't want to risk any frazzle; and in fact I have purchased a 30-day metrocard, unlimited use (usually I get a per-trip card, but this is an incentive to get down there for early evening classes without thinking about per-trip cost).  I forgot how relaxing I find the walk from the subway and the gym itself - the spin studio is on the second floor and has floor-to-ceiling glass looking out onto barges coming to and fro on the Hudson, it is very pleasant to be spinning (as it were) on the water.  It is the teacher I particularly like: the workout is built around long climbs, and there is a soothing lack of chatter and noise (as opposed to certain other classes that offer a good workout but grate on my nerves!).  Feeling much better now that I have had a quiet evening at home and the prospect of a day or two to myself.

1hr spin, including quite a bit of zone 4 time

Friday, December 2, 2011

December workout #1/30

It was very hard to get myself out the door, as I am basically still in condition of deathly fatigue from travels and large amounts of human contact (but I don't have to see anybody now till Monday, which will be highly beneficial!); but it was a beautiful afternoon, and I told myself I only had to run for 30 minutes, and that was exactly what I did.

I am in a Facebook group that is aiming for 30 mins. cardio workout every day in December, for a sort of "30 in 30" approach - I have regrettably missed day #1, but better start late than never...

The next two weeks are basically insanely busy, so I don't want to set any unreasonable workout goals, but I think I am adding a couple other commitments to the 30 in 30.  The first is that I will go to the Monday and Wednesday evening running classes at Chelsea Piers for the next 5 weeks unless I actually have a schedule conflict (will try and avoid such, but it is not always possible); I really like the teacher, and it's a fun way of having some higher-intensity intervals with external prompting to work hard.  And once school obligations start winding down as of Dec. 16, I will also add back in as much yoga as I can (it's possible that I'll hit a few classes before that, but I will have to see how it goes) - I find it highly beneficial.

.5hr run

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hotel treadmill!

Well, Thanksgiving was a bust as far as exercise goes - I got home on Sunday evening so tired I could have cried, and yesterday was a day of insane frazzle as I had to teach my two classes and then hustle to the airport to fly to Boston, where I am giving a lecture today (a lecture that I got up at 6am yesterday to write, having not been able to fit it in during complex Thanksgiving travels). 

Didn't get up early enough this morning to do an hour, but just had a very nice half-hour of treadmill intervals - I feel much better.  Today's fairly busy, and tomorrow I've got plans to see a few friends in Cambridge before going to the airport in the late afternoon to fly home, but I should be able to do another workout of some sort in the fitness center here tomorrow morning - better than nothing!

.5hr treadmill: 10min warmup, then 4 x (3min hard, 2min easy)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Trot!

There is no actual turkey to trot after, of course, but it is a very nice little event in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.  Five miles (a two-loop course), very pretty area (this will give the flavor of the location).  Had hoped to run sub-10-minute miles, but really it was not meant to be: finished in more like 52:00, about 10:30 pace, but felt strong at the end and passed 10-15 people in the last five minutes (with a strong burst of asthmatic wheezing in accompaniment!).

Happy Thanksgiving!

5mi. Turkey Trot (52:00)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rainy run!

A very nice one this afternoon - have to keep on getting out there for a mid-afternoon run like that, it works well with my schedule and it is so enjoyable.  Will run a 5-mile Turkey Trot on Thursday and an hour regular morning run on Saturday, that will probably be about it for me for exercise during Thanksgiving travels - it is a complex holiday, with multiple stops on the itinerary!

1hr run (c. 5.5mi.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beautiful run

It's been a bad week for exercise, and this coming week won't be much better, but I did get out just now for an absolutely beautiful one-hour run: gorgeous running weather, sixty and sunny, with that fall crispness in the air.  Feet still slightly stiff and sore, as they seem to have been recently, but I had a pleasant surprise: two weeks of little running and much yoga seem to have returned my lower calf muscles more or less to normal, I didn't have to stop and stretch at all - it's been many months since I could say the same.

1hr run (zone 2), c. 5.5mi.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In which hot yoga was very hot

Went to Bikram yoga again today with C.  Had imagined that 5 x warm yoga last week would prepare me for hot yoga today - I was quite wrong!  Light rain in NYC, which means 100% humidity, and it really was overwhelmingly hot in there (I think the teacher opened the window more times last time because she knew it was my first Bikram class).  I am guessing you would have to go 3-4 times a week to be really acclimated - I might do a month sometime where I go every day and really get used to it, but I think I will do better in the meantime with regular-temperature yoga at 105th St. (walking distance) or Chelsea Piers (included with my gym membership)...

1.5hr hot yoga

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Garmin is found!  That is good - it was tucked into an unusual compartment, I guess I was just frazzled before when I looked...


Actually the class itself was fairly dreadful: my bike fitness is negligible right now and also and more immediately to the point that class is just WAY TOO LOUD FOR ME!  Had a nice ride down, beautiful day - ride back was horrible due to TOO MANY PEOPLE being out there, the weather is too nice!  Little kids on bikes and scooters dangerously shooting across the path, tourists with no helmets riding three abreast (i.e. one person riding in the wrong direction in the left-hand lane), etc. etc.  IT IS A HORROR!

Also, I think I left my Garmin at the gym.  At any rate, I can't find it in my backpack.  Arghhhh!  I called just now, and front desk manager has looked and failed to find it in the locker room but will put it on the email to managers - I'll check back in lost and found in another day or two if I don't hear anything.  Slightly frazzled due to fatigue (got home around 10:30 last night, didn't sleep at all well on Friday or Saturday) and need to buckle down and do the rest of my work for tomorrow.

The really good thing, though, besides the mere fact of exercise, was catching up with Lauren, who is back in town for the weekend from Atlanta.  Good to see her!

1hr spin
10 miles bike

Saturday, November 12, 2011


This class might be the best yet - very demanding athletically, but also very precise in terms of adjustments to postures etc.  Surrounded by a huge puddle of sweat at the end of class...

1.25hr yoga

Friday, November 11, 2011

Warm run!

It was good - I still have a bit of congestion, but fortunately my lungs never got involved in this minor ailment.

40min slow warm run

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Yoga is addictive, I couldn't stay away!  (Really I was finishing up a big work thing in the morning and couldn't detach from the computer to go to the gym.)  It is a class that is specific for marathon preparation: I was afraid I would feel like I was there under false pretences, but in fact nobody else seemed to be doing the marathon either.  Less demanding in terms of strength and balance than the other classes I've done there this week, but very useful indeed in terms of stretching hamstrings, quads, psoas, IT band, etc.

1hr yoga

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


OK, that was good - I feel much better than I did beforehand!  (Slept very badly - too much work...)  Legs and back muscles both seemed quite fatigued, so I think tomorrow is a day off from yoga - maybe I will go to the core strength class at the gym instead.

1hr yoga

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Hmmm, that was beneficial: the flow class was a little less intense than the "power" class, and only 60 minutes instead of 90, but still very good.  I have a slight sinus infection/head cold, I am going to wait another couple days before I do any cardio...

1hr yoga

Monday, November 7, 2011


My only real exercise plan for the week is to go to a yoga class every day - there's a good yoga studio nearby that I hadn't yet made it into, so I got the week-long introductory rate and will get in there for a morning class in upcoming days also.  (Will probably do some other stuff also, but that's the main target.)

1.5hr yoga

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The sport of triathlon just puts me in a good mood.  Being currently overweight and undertrained, my only goal was to finish - I had checked last year's times and was fairly sure I would be the last finisher, and my guess was correct (a lot of the less fit participants do the sprint rather than the Olympic distance or race as a team). 

The course volunteers were fantastic - they really make even the slowest finishers feel very well taken care of.  Bike course really well marshaled, including lots of police on motorcycles - it felt extremely safe and well organized.  Thanks to volunteers for their time and efforts!

Don't have my exact time, but something like 3:40 total (1500m swim/40K bike/10K run) - I have no heat acclimation, it's pretty darn hot out there but mercifully it was not as humid as it might have been.  (Currently it's 84F with relative humidity of 61%.)  Fun!

Swim: around 40min
Bike: 1:34:49 (15.7mph, avg HR 146, max HR 156)
Run: 1:19:35 (4.7mph, avg HR 157, max HR 169)

c. 3:40 total

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nice bike!

Hmmm, that was one of the nicest bike rides I've had all year.  Will strive to get out more now the weather's cooler - the west side path is intolerably crowded at the really balmy times of year, much more tolerable once you hit November!  Strong headwind going down, and there are quite a few spots where you need to slow or stop for pedestrians, thus slow speed...

(Rode down to Chambers St. and back; with a little bit more time, which I didn't have today, I can add on another 7 miles or so by riding up all the way to the Little Red Lighthouse and then turning south and heading home.)

52F and sunny - perfect cycling weather!

13.98mi., 1:03:26, avg speed 13.2mph, avg HR 135, max HR 144

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hot yoga!

I went with C. to the studio he likes - I was full of trepidation, as though I have done quite a bit of most other kinds of yoga, I have never done Bikram before, and I am not someone who thrives in heat!  It wasn't as overwhelming as I feared, though it must be said that is extremely (at times verging on intolerably) hot.  Felt good afterwards, though, with a smoothie in hand and a seat on a Central Park bench on a sunny cool day...

1.5hr yoga

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Short run

I wanted to do an hour (not very happy about not having exercised Saturday, Sunday or Monday!), but I had an unpleasant surprise when a cyclist came down very hard off his bike just ahead of me on the path - he ran into one of the posts/bollards that divide various segments of the bike path. 

I stayed with him and his partner while another cyclist called 911 and went to try and show ambulance people where they could get into the park - it was probably almost half an hour later by the time she came back and said they were near but not yet here.  By that time the fellow had re-oriented himself and it was clear that they would be OK to make their way home in a cab: it is almost always more sensible to schedule an MRI or other relevant scans for the next morning rather than waiting around for many hours in the emergency room!  And I am pretty certain he will be fine (the foam inside his helmet was split, but not the hard shell, and though he was scraped up quite a bit it didn't seem that he'd have more than bruises), but I remain fairly rattled - my cycling nerves are fragile at the best of times!

Anyway, I just turned and headed home at that point - my lungs felt very wheezy and I'd been out longer than I'd anticipated in any case.  Some days the longer run just isn't meant to be!

(Gorgeous day, though - sunny and calm and in the mid-50s.)

Ride safe out there!

38:27, 3.4mi., 11:10 pace

Friday, October 28, 2011


Went to the local studio for what was probably the first time since I got my Chelsea Piers membership.  It was a good class - strenuous and yet relaxing.  My legs told me I had already done boot camp...

1.5hr yoga

Final Beast

Great class - it seemed to pass by in a flash...

1:15 boot camp

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A minor complaint

I was hoping to run today, but my left hamstring is slightly sore (not the top part, more like the round part a few inches above the knee). I must have overdone it yesterday, that is not surprising. Will take today off so as to allow for a bit of rest before the final BEAST class tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Showered (those Chelsea Piers showers are so great!), breakfasted and did some work in the cafe, then had an excellent hour-long spin workout and a short swim to follow. Yesterday I was so shatteringly tired I was incapable of doing any exercise at all, but hopefully I can do quite a bit over the next few days: I'm thinking I'll run 6 tomorrow, swim after the Beast is done on Friday and then do double spin Saturday morning? Sunday I am going to Philadelphia for my sister-in-law and her twin's 40th birthday party, so that will be a day 'off'...

15 mins. warmup
4 x 5 mins. gear 14, cadence 80, 2 mins. rest
4 x 2 mins. standing gear 16, 1 min. rest

1:00:02, av HR 132, max HR 149

1000 yards swim as 5 x 200 with evens free, odds IM (fly drill)

Beast week 8 class 2

Too early!  A good class, though...

1:15 boot camp

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beast week 8 class 1

It was good, but I am looking at the clock to see if there's any chance I can catch half an hour's nap before I teach at 11 - I feel extraordinarily under-slept! This is the final week of this cycle of the class - I've gained a lot of fitness, and it's an enjoyable class too, but it is too early in the morning, it will be a great relief when it's over...

1:15 boot camp

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Arghhh, I can't say how it's crept on me except that I've really been very busy - but I am doing a triathlon in two weeks! What I do at this short distance out probably doesn't make a huge amount of difference fitness-wise, but I will have as many 1hr. spins and short swims as I can in the next ten days, for mental preparedness at least. My only strategy (it's the olympic-distance race in Cayman - first time I've done it, usually it's over US Thanksgiving weekend when neither Brent nor I is there): swim very very easy and if at all possible on someone else's feet, bike in zone 3 because the run will be horrible anyway due to lack of heat acclimation, then do some mix of run-walk and keep covering ground as fast as is reasonable once I get to the run. As far as heat acclimation goes, I might try for a few sauna or steam room sessions at Chelsea Piers this week, but I didn't have time today and I won't tomorrow either, so that may be a bit impractical...

Horrible ride down - it was such a beautiful day, the path was way too crowded, and when I don't ride my bike for a week it gives the anxiety time to build up! However I have finally pumped my front tire up properly - not sure if it was problem with valve or with pump itself, but it takes a bit of fiddling. A relief to be going 'normal' speeds again.

Had a great workout once I was actually at the gym - I did an hour spin along lines that I took from the Spinervals site the other day:

10 mins. warmup with 3 x 30 sec. hard, 30 sec. easy
1 min. soft-pedal
8 x 20 sec. high cadence (100-120), 20 sec. easy
1 min. soft-pedal
4 x 7 min. aerobic temp (cadence 80-90rpm, zone 2-3)
1 min. soft-pedal
6 x 20 sec. high cadence (110-130), 20 sec. easy
cool down

1:00, avg HR 135, max HR 152 - Garmin Connect seems to have updated itself in a way that means I no longer know how to see segments in different HR zones...

Then I just swam 1000 yards fairly easy: 4 x 100 free, 50 stroke (breast, back, free, fly drill), then 4 x 100 as odds free, evens IM

And had a 'popeye' smoothie (pineapple, mango, banana, spinach and water) and 2 HB eggs at the cafe, then rode my bike home - it was gorgeous, 1-2 slightly congested spots but it had cooled down and was close to dusk and it really was a lovely one...

10 miles bike in the world
1hr spin
1000 yards swim

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday run

Beautiful day for it: sunny, clear, high fifties. I was feeling lazy but am very glad I got out (again with the injunction that I only had to do 30 minutes - but really 40 is what makes sense, there is a natural beautiful turnaround at the 79th St. Boat Basin, where I stop and stretch my calves and contemplate watercraft and ducks).

40:14, 3.82mi., 10:32/mi.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beast week 7 class 2

Excellent class - there were only three of us, it was like a small-group training session. It is very noticeable how much my fitness has improved over these seven weeks - I feel like I am now in a position to work really hard and consistently through the whole of class (it helped that today we were doing more what I think of as strength stuff and less of the things that require agility and flexibility at the same time as cardiovascular fitness and strength - my bete noir is these things we do like the "low bear crawl" where you are basically putting strain on about four different systems at once - I like it better when I can concentrate on just two or at most three different aspects!).

1:15 boot camp

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beast week 7 class 1

Very good class, too - the first half felt just plain arduous, but the second half became enjoyable.

Terribly rainy and windy morning - I got drenched on my way to the subway (no way I was riding my bike in that!). I'm experimenting with transportation - I think I can take the subway as opposed to a taxi without getting up any earlier, so long as I get myself really expeditiously out of the house and use the near-mile trip from subway at other end to Chelsea Piers for my warm-up run. Feet went ankle-deep in an unavoidable puddle, soaked, but otherwise it worked very well - my cycling backpack, which is what I always use to take stuff to the gym, is surprisingly comfortable for running in (I mean, I don't know that I'd take it on a two-hour run, but for ten minutes of warm-up jog, it's very comfortable).

1:15 boot camp

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Short afternoon run

I am going to make it a priority for the next few months to have more short runs - I seem to have done terribly over the last six weeks in getting out at all, and I think I need to make the mental hurdle easier by pulling the notional time back to 30-40 mins. unless I am feeling inspired. I had to skip boot camp yesterday - I woke up very thoroughly around 3:30, shatteringly tired but unable to go back to sleep, and around 5:30 I turned the alarm off and stayed in bed. (I had a long day of too many complex things ahead of me, that was clearly the problem!) However it is possible that skipping boot camp yesterday is related to the fact that today's the first Tuesday afternoon this whole semester (I think) that I've actually been able to get out the door for a run...

This week and next week and then this cycle of the Beast class is over - I really like it, but it's terrible for me to have to get up so early those days, so I won't do the next cycle.

39:31, 3.56mi., 11:06/mi. (Garmin was giving wildly inaccurate HR numbers, but let's call it easy zone 2)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beast week 6 class 3

Rode my bike down - it is a most beautiful fall day! - and did the best I could with a challenging BEAST. There were only four of us in class today, which puts one under more of a spotlight than is strictly speaking desirable! I had intended to go to at least one and possibly double spin class subsequently, but I could tell I'd used up most of my vim for the morning, and I also have a lot of work to do today, so instead I rode home (that path and park are too crowded when weather is good!) and will try and get some midday work hours in before heading out to meet my dad at 4:30 for early dinner and a show.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy day at Chelsea Piers

Triathlete Lauren is back in town for the weekend, and she and Loren and I all met up at Chelsea Piers to go to the midday block of classes: abs, body sculpt and spinning. Sushi and other fish-related products for lunch afterwards at Chelsea Market - it was excellent.

1:30 strength
:40 spin

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


+1hr gentle yoga

(Now I am going to take a short nap - slept much too little and too lightly!)

Beast week 6 class 2

A particularly good one.  Sandbox-  strenuous...

1:15 boot camp

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beast week 6 class 1

Almost didn't make it down there - just so tired! I was afraid I was going to burst into tears as I rode my bike down, deep levels of fatigue and I don't like riding in the dark (obviously I should start wearing my glasses - path is very poorly lit, I don't have good visibility!). However a lap or two around the track for warmup put me in a better frame of mind, and it was a good class - I'm glad I went. Ride home very nice, beautiful weather, only both of my tires seemed a bit squishy - I was going very slowly....

10 miles bike
1:15 boot camp

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ottawa run interlude

Wednesday and Thursday were incredibly demanding in terms of family responsibilities (yesterday early evening I thought I was about to explode from stress!), and so I acted on my earlier-in-the-week intuition that I would be wise to claim one morning for myself, and that this should be Friday. I waited for 9am so that I could do half an hour or so of business on behalf of B.'s parents (mostly setting up various doctor's appointments, ordering the hearing aid that B.'s dad was fitted for at yesterday's appointment, etc.), then kitted myself out in running gear, walked over to the canal and had 20 minutes out and back. It is the most beautiful fall weather here; I was running very slowly (my feet/calf muscles are stiff and sore, and I'm not in fast shape), but it was extremely good for mental health Now a quick shower & an expedition to find the bus that will take me out to B.'s parents' place for lunch...

41:18, 3.68mi., 11:13/mi., easy zone 2

Monday, October 3, 2011

Beast week 5 class 1 and only

It's really dark riding down there! Glad of fall temperatures, though: finally...

I feel that my fitness is definitely improving - I did an honest-to-god proper "low bear crawl" the other day for instance, without having to stand up to stretch out my legs halfway through...

Not looking forward to traveling this week, but will bring running stuff and good intentions, and not have too much self-reproach if it just doesn't happen.

1:15 boot camp, 10 miles bike

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I'm not very happy about how little I ran in September, but the weather's finally turned cooler and I am hoping this will be beneficial. Really I shouldn't be so self-critical: I had a very busy month at work, and I did two longish races (Survival of the Shawangunks, 5+ hrs, and Little Red Lighthouse 10K swim, close to 3 hrs) that necessitated downtime. The Beast morning boot camp was my main exercise commitment (3 x week), and I did pretty well with attendance there, but it has cost me in terms of building up any regular training week of triathlon-type stuff.

Anyway, I had a good run this afternoon with Liz. Calf muscles very stiff for first half hour or so, I need to stretch them more faithfully, and I'm not saying I wasn't glad when we were finished, but it was certainly better than the last one we had, and if I run so infrequently, I can't expect to be either quick or really comfortable! Saw another running friend of mine earlier for brunch, and she says she has been having a good time recently running five times per week for only 25-30 mins. at a time (she has a demanding schedule at home and work): I resolved to take a page out of her book and make sure to get out just for 30 mins. even if I don't have vim for longer. I'm in Ottawa Tues.-Sun. this week and don't have great confidence that I'm going to get much exercise if any (I might take Friday morning 'off' from responsibilities there and go for a run, though), but once I'm back, I'm determined to put more running back onto my weekly schedule.

It started pouring halfway through our run this evening, but cooler temperatures are such a boon, I am definitely not going to complain about a little rain!

Central Park lower loop (we had an easy consensus as we reached 102nd St. that really we did not need to go round the upper loop and trudge up Harlem Hill!)

55:56 (avg pace 10:50)
avg HR 144, max HR 162

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I had intended to do an hour of spin after, but though my stomach's fine today, I didn't eat right/enough yesterday for super-long workout.

5mi. bike, 1mi. warmup, 1hr. boot camp

Friday, September 30, 2011


Exercise plans stymied today by a stomach-ache - in retrospect, my stomach hasn't been quite right for a couple days, only definitely worse over last night and today. Nothing dramatic, but can't really do much other than lie down and read or nap! It is especially grumpiness-inducing because the weather finally changed from horrible warm humid rainy overcast to seasonally appropriate clear beautiful late-September climate. Will hope to feel better tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


1hr boot camp, shower and quick breakfast with an aspirational triathlete looking for advice, 1hr gentle yoga.  I think I will hang out in the cafe at Chelsea Piers now for a bit- I have to read 2 books, and it will go more quickly if I am not near my real computer with internet (internet on phone is too fiddly to do for long).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Beast week 4 class 1

It was very good, too: I slept little and poorly (I have a long demanding day ahead), but the class started with more stretching than usual and I felt very good by the end of it. It was disgustingly humid as I rode downtown around 6:15, but in fact by the time I was riding home it had cleared up significantly: seems like it might have actually turned into a nice day! There were a large number of trucks parked along Riverside Drive early, which is anomalous, and as I rode back through the top bit of the park I saw that they are filming something there today, not sure what...

1:15 boot camp
10 miles bike

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Race of the Incredible Moving Buoys!

Just a quick note to say that I distinctly enjoyed this morning's Little Red Lighthouse swim. I was feeling mournful last night and this morning as I thought about the bittersweet memory of the other time I did this race. Everything is so different now: I still just really miss Wendy (whose race report from the 2009 event was here - my cat Blackie, in that picture, died in May 2010, and Wendy died in June - with further roundup here), that is the long and the short of it. But I saw quite a few people I knew once I got there, and it was fun riding on a boat from 125th St. (the check-in point, literally ten minutes' walk from my apartment - truly a race on home turf!) up to the start four miles further upriver from the George Washington Bridge. Which, as I rode under it on the ferry, I felt very grateful I was not riding over on a bicycle!

It was a quite enjoyable swim. The water temperature felt perfect (I think it was around 68F - it's cold when your face first goes in, but very good in terms of keeping body temperature regulated during exercise), and the air is warmer than the other time I did it. There was a ton of chop in the second half, but I always think it's good practice to get these conditions in a low-stakes race so that one isn't fazed when they happen sometime 'important.'

The only really bad thing was the moving buoy situation! I swear, I swam two and a half times to New Jersey, it was the most zigzaggy inefficient open-water swim I have ever done - we were supposed to keep buoys on the left, but they were shooting across the river and also upriver towards us, I was perplexed around mile 2.5 that the buoy I was sighting on seemed to be aligned with the NJ rather than the NY side of the bridge but figured I had just misunderstood the initial course description - had to make this mistake several more times before it became truly clear that the right thing to do was to ignore the buoys and just swim as one thought proper!

(Funny exchange with kayaker, just before the bridge: JMD, treading water, slightly irked and distinctly confused: "But is it really the case that we should swim with left shoulder to the buoy?" [gesturing with head towards buoy that is clearly much further on the NJ rather than NY side, and only about 25 yards ahead, which would necessitate probably an extra 50 yards of swimming or more to get to] Kayaker: "Yes, that's right, swim with your left shoulder towards the buoy!" And we turn to look at it, and just in that brief bit of time during our conversational exchange it has actually shot upriver past me and is now 25 yards behind me!)

Don't have official time yet, but it was close to three hours - unlike last year, where everyone had very fast times, there was relatively little tidal assist for a good chunk of the race.

10K swim

Friday, September 23, 2011

BEAST, short swim

I had a work thing yesterday evening and wasn't sure I'd really be up for the Beast this morning, but I'm going to miss a couple the week after next, so really it was a priority to make it happen. I do feel unpleasantly tired now (nearly burst into tears in the lobby when the freight elevator bypassed me without stopping - it is too warm and humid, and also clearly I need to eat something additional!), but it was worthwhile. Rode my bike down in what was mostly pitch darkness, not crazy about that but it is so much the most convenient way to get there, and most of the ride's on a bike path; ran my mile warmup; had a strenuous hour of BEAST; then had just a short swim, 600 yards, as I have not swum all week and I am scheduled to do a very long one tomorrow! Had thought of going to the 9:30 "gentle yoga" class again, but really it was more important to write comments on a few more of my student assignments: one of the small things I can do to avoid excess stress is not end up having to mark them all in an insane late-night-early-morning marathon session on the same day that I have my heavy teaching load!

10 miles bike
1:15 boot camp
600 yards swim (100 free, 50 stroke x 4)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BEAST, bike, yoga

I worked very hard (work work, not exercise work) on Monday and Tuesday, to point of complete exhaustion - could not even contemplate prospect of a swim workout yesterday evening! Have indulged myself this morning, though, with much exercise, and am going to try and do some other relaxing things today also. I have a huge amount of work to get done for Monday, so I need to start making some headway with that, but not at cost of stress explosion...

1.25hr boot camp
1hr gentle yoga
10 miles bike

The yoga class meets at 9:30 and is mostly made up of older people, it's definitely less athletically strenuous than some of the other ones there, but I suspect this is more to the point right now - I haven't been doing yoga regularly for a long time, and I really miss it, I find it beneficial...

Monday, September 19, 2011

BEAST week 3 class 1

I took yesterday off, as my legs felt completely chewed up on Saturday afternoon during my 'easy' run with Liz: in retrospect, I didn't build in any time for recovery after the S.O.S. triathlon (this is always a conundrum with a race for which one hasn't really trained & which falls early in a get-back-into-shape cycle!). Definitely benefited from that today, though I think it was also an easier class than Friday's.

1:15 boot camp
10 miles bike

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Was supposed to meet up with Liz at Grand Army Plaza at 4:30 for an hour of easy running in Prospect Park, but the trains did not do right by me! Really I should have left more time, an hour is fine on a weekday but does not allow for weekend vicissitudes (the last straw was the 2 train running express in Brooklyn & requiring me to overshoot and switch to another train back). I will leave 90 minutes next time. Fortunately even though I was half an hour late, Liz was still waiting: neither of us was full of running vim, so we just did 40 minutes, but the park is a pleasantly bucolic sight on a September Saturday afternoon, with lots of barbecuers and picnickers and dogs and younguns...

40 mins. run (c. 3.7 miles, avg HR 151, max HR 160, 10:50 pace)

Friday, September 16, 2011

BEAST week 2 class 2

A modified version of the same circuit we did on Wednesday, only spread out much more lavishly on one of the basketball courts rather than crammed into the studio; with lots of running in between. I had to bow out of the last 200 and 800, as some inner thigh muscles are painfully sore - not sure if that is the consequence of Sunday's triathlon, too much whip kick or Wednesday's Beast, but it seemed clear that caution was advised. I think we will continue to do circuits with increasingly long run intervals over the next few weeks, so it may be that I should focus on swimming and biking for workouts.

(Beautiful bike ride down and home: the temperature yesterday afternoon dropped about 25 degrees in two hours, and this morning it is a beautiful crisp fall morning, the first of this year.)

10 miles bike
1:10 boot camp (much running)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Some unhappy friction with a lanemate, I am too sensitive to this sort of bad feeling; otherwise a good swim.

Warmup (somewhat truncated, but at least I wasn't late!): 200 free, 100 back

6 x 50, odds free and evens choice (I did fly-back), on 1:05 and 1:20

200 free
200 as 50 free, 100 back, 50 free
4 x 100 kick: (1) 50 fly, 50 back; (2) 50 back, 50 breast on back; (3) 50 breast, 50 free; (4) 50 free, 50 fly
200 as 50 free, 100 breast or fly, 50 free
200 IM

1800 yards total

I want to start going to the early-morning Tuesday and Thursday workouts at John Jay, as they're 90 minutes and I think swimming in the evening is not conducive to sleep; I had planned to go to Chelsea Piers early this morning for spin and yoga, but I've been sleeping so little and so lightly, it was clear somewhere around 3:30 that I should turn off the alarm and try and actually get some more solid rest.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BEAST week 2!

I was working very hard, and long days, on Monday and Tuesday, so although 5:45am is a horrible rising time for an insomniac and light sleeper, it was really quite luxurious to ride my bike down to Chelsea Piers and stagger through a particularly challenging Beast class. I did the best I could! There were about 12 'stations' set up in the studio, we did those for time and then ran 1 mile or .5 mile in between: the 'easiest' stations are jumping with heavy rope and pushups on body bar balanced on bosu, it only gets worse from there...

10 miles bike
1:10 Beast (we have been given the assignment to warm up before class by running one mile and doing 6 each of pull-ups - modified in my case, I practice hanging on the real bar and just sort of twitching upwards, then do them on the low bar near the ground with legs on ground - and leg lifts)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Hmmm, I need to start swimming a lot more, I am swimming very slowly these days - it seems like a long time since I really was mentally focused on swimming and interested in questions of form and technique. In particular what falls off when I don't swim regularly isn't so much the straight speed while swimming as the turns! Ugh...

Anyway I swam on my own in half of the slow lane, as doing even a couple of 75s in lane 2 made it clear that I would be getting no rest and struggling to keep up - it was actually a pretty nice swim, I enjoyed it. I need to figure out what my fall exercise schedule is going to be.

Warmup (truncated - I was 5 mins late getting there): 100 free, 50 fly-back

6 x 75 IM no free, 10 seconds rest

I did main set on 5-10 seconds rest rather than using intervals. I think it was this:

1 x 100 free
2 x 125 IM (#1 50 fly, #2 50 back)
3 x 150 (odds free, even IM no free)
2 x 125 IM (#1 50 breast, #2 50 free)
1 x 100 free

2 x 50 kick down, easy free back (dolphin, flutter)

1850 yards total

Monday, September 12, 2011


Results are up for the S.O.S. I really was the slowest finisher! However the numbers confirm my sense of things, that it's my cycling split that's so woefully slow. I'm not aerodynamic, I ride the brakes on the downhills (i.e. can't make up time there from slow climbing) and I don't ride that much (haven't ridden on hills since May for instance) - it is not surprising. I still don't know how long the run course really was (the numbers on that chart are from prior years - oh, here are some numbers, they had announced a run of 12.8 miles but really it looks as though it was only 10.1, that is much more plausible), but there were at least five others with slower run splits than I had, my swim time is solidly in the 'middle of back of pack' and clearly my trudge to the skytop in conclusion was more efficient than that of some others - I will take it!

(The numbers don't quite add up, I think the chip missed splits for a couple racers as real total finisher number is 141, but they offer place for each separate leg: I came in dead last on the bike at 138, but fell in at 132 on the run, 127 on the swim and 121 on the final insane steep uphill hike. It wasn't enough to make up for cycling deficit and gain any places as a finisher, but I felt that I was finishing pretty strong - my swim was really enjoyable, and I had some energy still left in reserve to scramble up the hill. Good to see this sense confirmed in the results.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Just a quick line

to say that I had the most absolutely lovely day at the Survival of the Shawangunks triathlon! Saturday was very fun in many respects but utterly chaotic also in a way that doesn't suit me, and on top of that at the pre-race briefing they announced that flooded roads post-Tropical Storm Lee meant not just an even more challenging bike course but also an alternate route to the race start that meant we could no longer ride our bikes from motel to race start, which led to many further complexities: it was a tiring evening! But everything went beautifully once we were actually racing. Fuller report to follow, but it is an amazing race in terms of both the spirit and the volunteers. Also, contrary to my worries, they were not at all enforcing time cutoffs: you have to have done a sub-7:00 half-ironman or equivalent to confirm your entry, which I did do 2 years ago but on a very flat course & under fitter circumstances than I am now in, but there is truly an atmosphere of inclusion, and I felt like a rock star the whole way, even though I was literally the last person on the course from about 2/3 of the way through the first climb!

More TK - I really was the very final finisher - beautiful trail running, much more of it downhill than I had anticipated - beautiful lake swim - gorgeous landscapes throughout - results aren't posted, and I didn't really register my final time, but it was a little over five hours, pretty much what I thought it would be.

Thanks to Loren for instigating and Ben and Carolyn for crewing! (And to Lauren K. in absentia...)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Race simulation!

I skipped the Beast class this morning - I didn't get home till midnight from play and late dinner, couldn't get to sleep till 2 - got up when alarm went off at 5:45 feeling rather dreadful and pretty sure that it would be better to get some more sleep. Ran around like crazy all morning for work stuff, then rode my bike down to Chelsea Piers in the early afternoon (it's hot here!). Geared up in clothes and stuff I am planning to use Sunday, did one hour spin plus 1 mile run plus some experimentation with how to tether the dry bag to myself without making myself crazy: my conclusion is that I should wear a race belt and tether it to the belt, it's not really suited to being held on securely at the ankle...

10 miles round-trip bike
1hr spin (avg HR 129, max HR 150)
1mi run (11:30, avg HR 142, max HR 160)
250 yards swim (experimental)

If I were really 'racing' on Sunday as opposed to simply participating, this would have been rather a lot of exercise, but Sunday is going to be conducted in the spirit of a long and unusually enjoyable training day, and today's workout was a good confidence-builder.

Spent the end of the day at the Verizon store as my smartphone is busted: it is still under warranty, they will send me a new one, but in the meantime I am back on Primitive Technology! Basically I just feel absurdly fatigued now, am going to get up very early and sort out all race stuff in the morning! I need to be on a 1:45 train from Grand Central to Beacon, that gives me plenty of time to do things in the am (including getting last bits and pieces of teaching stuff organized for Monday: I will have a virtuous smug feeling as I leave town on the train on Saturday afternoon with syllabi finalized and first classes prepared, it is a highly uncharacteristic level of non-last-minuteness that was necessitated by the fact that I probably won't be home on Sunday night till eight or nine, and I can only guess that I will be absolutely and utterly knackered at that point...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BEAST week 1 #2

That was great. I was full of trepidation at riding down to Chelsea Piers in what is essentially still the dark, but it wasn't so rainy this morning as it was last night, it was getting light as I left my apartment and really it is nice riding at that early hour: I do avoid riding in the dark more generally, especially in the evenings, but I don't think there was a single car on the mile of Riverside Drive that I ride to get to the west side path, and the path itself was delightfully empty - much quicker ride down than usual for sure. As days get shorter, though, it will be darker - I think I need to get a higher-powered light for the front of my bike (I just have white and red blinky ones) and one of those hideous but safe fluorescent cycling jackets.

There's no 6am class this cycle, just the 7am, but Gerald wants us to get there early enough to run a mile to warm up and do 6 pullups (modified, in my case...) and 6 leg raises on the high bar, so I think I need to leave at 6 to get there and be ready to start my warmup at 6:45. Ride itself is shorter than that, but it always takes longer than I think to get downstairs in the elevator, etc. and to lock up my bike and put things in locker at the other end.

10 miles bike
1hr boot camp

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I must confess that I was filled with dread as I walked over - partly due to sense of lack of swim fitness, but also just the mild underlying dread that begins to adhere to anything if one hasn't done it for a while. Descending to the bowels of the Columbia gym for a swim workout is that sort of thing - there is some minor psychological obstacle that becomes more major if one lets it. However as soon as I am in the water, I am always enjoying myself. The next-to-slowest lane was packed with 7 fast swimmers, so I was pretty happy to swim in the slow lane with H. and another woman whose name I do not know - they were both wearing fins, so I had to work pretty hard to keep up. Alas, on the last bit I was barely making the 2:10 interval, chosen by me - I had an impending foot cramp, flexing the foot is not conducive to freestyle speed!

Warmup (truncated - I was 5 minutes late getting there): 100 free

Set #1: 8 x 50 on 1:15, swim-kick by 25 (2 of each stroke in IM order)

Set #2: 3 x 150 on 3:30, swim-kick-swim by 50

Set #3: 3 x 100 IM on 3:00

Set #4: 5 x 100 on 2:10

Swam 50 easy back-breast to try and work out the foot kinks; the hour was by then pretty much over...

1900 yards total

Monday, September 5, 2011


Liz came over and we had a beautiful holiday run together north along the Hudson, then breakfast sitting outside on Broadway. Checking the weather right now, it's 79 degrees with 73% humidity, and it is certainly slightly unpleasantly muggy and warm for running (thus slow paces and high effort levels), but I have the taste in my mouth now of how great it's going to be running in NYC this fall as the weather gets cooler. Liz and I are going to try to run together at least once a week, it's good to have the company and a fixed point on the schedule...

50:11/4.61mi. (10:53/mi. avg pace, avg HR 150, max HR 163)

zone 1: 3:47; zone 2: 10:26; zone 3: 20:15; zone 4: 12:09

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Under normal circumstances

I would be absurdly disappointed about this, but given the reality of recent lack of training (and especially lack of swimming and running!), I must say that there is a bit of a "saved by the bell" aura hanging over my head right now.

I was very sorry earlier this week to hear that the trails on which the Survival of the Shawangunks race is run had been very seriously damaged by Irene. They've now sent the new course details, and for once in my life I will say that I am relieved to have an insanely challenging challenge downgraded to 'regular' levels...

The original course featured 8 segments, bike-run-swim-run-swim-run-swim-run, with a total of c. 18 miles of trail running; the revised course still has the initial 30-mile bike leg, but then has one long trail run (12 miles - not sure how hilly/rugged trails are, which will obviously affect my pace a great deal) and then just a .7mi swim and the final .7mi run (or hike in my case) up a steep hill to the finish. It's still going to take me 5 hours for sure, but 5 rather than 7 and not nearly so many run miles (and none of the huge gear complexities that come from the frequent switching-back-and-forth bit) seems quite manageable.

Cue huge sigh of triaspirational relief - this seems eminently doable? I am so under-trained, I had already resolved that if I miss course cutoffs and get pulled I will resign myself to it & go and cheer on racers at finish line (my father was asking this morning, when I said this, how the logistics would work, and I said that I believed there is usually a vehicle to transport stragglers to the finish where they can reunite with gear, but I am not sure about how this would work on a trail run! Questions to ask at the pre-race briefing, that's for sure)...

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Still feeling ridiculously happy about being back at Chelsea Piers. Rode my bike down (PACKS of runners out for marathon training), did the first class of the next BEAST cycle (it doesn't meet again till Wednesday because of the holiday on Monday), went to Joanna's spin class. This is my absolute favorite - it is a real cyclist's class, she announces at the start that the work for the day will be three thirteen-minute climbs and gives slightly different instructions for each one (proportion and timing of seated and standing work, gear, etc.). It was very good - I would be able to get more time in zones 3 and 4 if I hadn't done the Beast workout first, but that is the way it goes...

10 miles biking
53min spin

(avg HR 140, max HR 156; zone 1, 1:26; zone 2, 34:14; zone 3, 10:20; zone 4, 5:29)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Exercise bliss!

Happily reacquainting myself with some favorite parts of my NYC life. I was a bit late getting out of the house: first I had the long sleep I desperately needed and only got up at 10:30, then I had to kind of dig the apartment to bits finding the things I needed for transport and workout (this included unearthing superior tri shorts from the gear bag that got sent to Idaho, tearing apart huge duffel bag I brought back from Cayman to find my combination lock, tearing apart my whole apartment looking for the floor pump I tucked away tidily so that subletters wouldn't be bothered, etc. etc.).

There is a very good Friday midday sequence of classes, all taught by the same guy: abs from noon to 12:30, then segue into an hour called "Max Out" (body sculpt with heavier weights than usual), then a 45-minute spin class. I missed the first 15 mins. of the abs class, but did everything else. It is just such a beautiful space there, and with such an excellent class schedule - the only thing was that I had a terrible pang of missing Triathlete L., who has moved to Atlanta for a very good job & who will accordingly no longer be my trusty CP companion!...

1.25hr strength, .75hr spin, 10 miles bike

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Misc. cardio

I set out to do treadmill intervals, but after 10 mins. of warmup and a couple of one-minute hard, one-minute easy intervals, I was so overheated and lacking in vim that I called it to a close. Did half an hour on the elliptical under the fan instead, also with intervals, and felt better enough at that point that I finished the hour back on the treadmill, 16 mins. of 1 min. hard, 1 min. very easy. Increased the hard speed as I went along: I am very slow right now compared to former running times, i.e. it is challenging to run one minute at a pace that might have been a reasonable 5K pace, but I did do the last couple one-minute intervals at 8.0mph (7:30/mi.). I think it's worthwhile from a neuromuscular standpoint - as Coach Mindy is wont to say, to run fast you have to run fast...

1hr cardio intervals

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


6 x 2min zone 2, 1min recovery; 6 x 3min zone 3, 1min recovery (1:00 total)

Having the usual end-of-summer feeling of self-reproach at how little I've exercised; the heat and humidity make running always a challenge here, and the swimming pool was closed for August so that also is understandable, but I truly have no excuse (other than book-finishing?) for not having made better use of the condo spin bike!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday treadmill intervals

Hmmm, it's many days since I exercised: I took Thursday off deliberately, I took Friday off accidentally (working very hard on finishing the novel revisions, plus need for many phone calls - not a phone person, it takes it out of me!), I had a minor stomach bug Saturday (didn't actually upchuck, but had bucket beside the bed as a precaution, felt very queasy all afternoon and evening) which pretty much scuppered notional Sunday-morning ride, and then again yesterday I was working on the book. Book is now sent, and I'm flying back to NYC on Wednesday evening - real life begins again soon as school year begins a week from tomorrow...

Treadmill intervals (zone 4 - Garmin was low battery, but I used same speeds/perceived effort as last time I did this workout)

10 mins. warmup, 5 x (4 mins. zone 4, 2 mins. recovery)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Final stroke and stride for the season

It really is such a nice little race, very sociable! Here was a good story on last week's event. Seas very rough today, I find it enjoyable to swim in rough water but one would definitely wish for a dramamine if it were significantly longer...

800m swim, 2mi run

(Garmin never picked up my HR, so I think I will not bother to download data - 22:43 for the 2-mile run, pretty darn slow, it was hotter than ever...)

Session #20

I was a bit tired, but it was very good nonetheless. 

15 mins treadmill warmup
1hr strength

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Had a very ambitious plan for 1hr run, 1hr swim, but ended up sensibly truncating it! It involved running to the Ritz, turning around and running past Brent's condo and then about 2.5 miles to Sunset House, swimming 2K there, then walking the 2.5 miles home; but as I passed Brent's condo, the invisible bungee cord that connects me to home tugged at me, I thought about how hot I already was and that if I kept on going, I was looking at 2 more hours outside - and I turned tail for home! Just swam 10 mins. of drill in the irregularly shaped pool at Brent's condo, then came home and showered and cooled down. Will try and get a few more good swims in, but I think I'll have to save the early morning hours for a straight run - I was out the door around six, not quite as early as I'd hoped, and it is brutally hot once the sun is up....

52min run, 10min swim

Monday, August 22, 2011

Session #19

Highly satisfactory. It wasn't so much that my legs are sore from yesterday as that I could feel pretty strongly that they had nothing in 'em! We mostly did back and shoulders. Last session Wednesday morning...

1hr strength

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Long ride!

First, a preview from the local paper! I love this style of local sports reporting: as you can tell, this is a very serious matter...

Because I am an idiot, I did not give my bike a test ride beforehand (it just looks so chaotic with everyone weaving all over small parking lot and road - but yes, I will not make the same mistake next time); then when I took my place at the very very back of the peloton (I knew I would be dropped immediately - even their 'neutral zone' speed is considerably too fast for me), I dropped my chain and found my wheel locked in place. Fortunately a few folks hastily helped me get recombobulated, and I was off...

It was a two-loop course, 42 miles total, and I knew I'd be much slower than everyone else. The first stretch of the loop is incredibly windy, to the point that I worried my back brakes might be on, but it's a nicer course than they had last year - less traffic, much more scenic all round. A spot where suddenly the air is full of butterflies sipping nectar from flowered hedges - and tiny crabs crossing the road - and birds flapping alongside one at about the same speed a bicycle goes - and, unfortunately, lots of dogs that chase after a bicycle barking!

I really was way at the back - I saw a few other cyclists I know out for their training rides, but not a squeak of the peloton. However I was prepared for this, and it did not affect my spirits!

I took a short break once I'd done the challenging windy stretch of the second loop, to have a couple puffs of ventolin and transfer Gatorade from cage bottles into Camelbak. Lo and behold, another race participant pedaled up behind me: she had stopped, I think perhaps was thinking of quitting, and said that as she saw me go by, she realized it was her best chance! This gave an amazing lift to the spirits - we took turns pulling, and rode the last hour together. Very pleasant indeed, and I didn't feel I ended up having to tap particularly deep, though it is certainly incredibly hot out there and I could have taken in more calories over the course of the ride.

A very pleasant morning, thanks to race organizers and volunteers (including Brent, who was a course marshal at the end of the loop - in a general sense it made me smile as I came up on the end of each loop to think I'd see him, but more particularly we were very grateful that after we rolled by - we were the two last finishers - he drove his SUV up to the finish and saved us from having to ride the 7K back to the start!)...

41.27mi (but really I think it was 42, Garmin's just slightly off)
2:47:41 (14.7mph average)
avg HR 150, max HR 169

zone 2: 35:48
zone 3: 47:34
zone 4: 58:17
zone 5 (windy bits!): 25:13

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Short sea swim

Forgot to pack my running shoes with other gear, fortunately realized it BEFORE being dropped off at the gym - but it made me lose momentum on that project! Just had 20 mins. sea swim instead - it's salty out there...

20 mins swim

Friday, August 19, 2011


Nice little race on the agenda for Sunday! I did it last year, and am not exaggerating when I say that I was by far the slowest rider out there: friend M. and Brent and I rode together until M. was overwhelmed by heat and had to stop at the Bodden Town Texaco and wait for us to finish riding and then drive back to pick him up. So really it will just be indistinguishable from a regular long ride for me, but it will be fun - it's beautiful out there riding the East End loop, and much less traffic than you get at this end of the island. I wouldn't have bothered with it, only Brent has been roped in as a volunteer, so I might as well hitch a ride in the SUV and do my whole ride out there rather than as an out-and-back with more traffic hassle...

Session #18

An excellent one.

I finished a big piece of work yesterday, relevance of this being that on Monday and Wednesday, I got up at 5:45 (Brent gets up even earlier than that!) and worked on the book at Cafe del Sol from 6:30 (opening time) to 8:40 or so, then had my session at 9am. Today, though, I lounged abed until much later - didn't really properly get back to sleep after early wakeup, but dozed a bit. Pretty noticeable that lounging in bed/slight bit of extra sleep leads to much better energy levels during workout itself!

I've registered for the next session of the Beast at Chelsea Piers, starting Sept. 3 (it meets three times a week, MWF7am); that will be good. Also immensely looking forward to running a lot in September and October; it is the best time of the year, as the weather cools down and summer turns into fall. Have not run nearly as much as I'd like in 2011, but should be able to make up for it somewhat at the back end of the year...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stroke and stride #2

It is such a nice little race, I really enjoy it! This week, a 600m swim (very rough seas, and an aggressive current on the way out to the buoy), 2 mile run. Did not feel nearly so overheated this week: partly I've gained a bit of acclimation, but mostly it was just that I wasn't desperately trying to inflate buoys with an underpowered hand pump in the 45 minutes before the race - last week I really was significantly overheated even before the race started.

Here is coverage in the local paper of last week's race: Courtis and Acker were neck-and-neck this week as I saw them on my outgoing run leg, I do not know what the outcome was! (And here's another report from Coach Jerry Harper, an excellent fixture of the local racing scene.)

600m swim (c. 15 mins., it was challenging!), 2mi run (pace c. 10:29, avg HR 162, max HR 177 - I sprinted at the finish, that is well into zone 5 - I use 188 as my running max)

Session #17

Very good, though I couldn't stop yawning: haven't quite adjusted to earlier-morning schedule yet...

1hr strength

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I'm finally better from my cold, the swimming pool's closed and I only have 2 more weeks here to try and lay down some base endurance fitness! Hmmm, only three and a half weeks to my race, I must be realistic about the limits of what can be done in that time.

Today's workout was extremely enjoyable, though very slow. I 'ran' over to Sunset House with water reservoir and goggles/cap in Camelbak (2.3 miles, just over 28 minutes, avg pace 12:20/mi., avg HR 146), taking it easy to make sure that HR stayed in zone 2, and then I swam a nice easy 2K. There is a striped blue-and-yellow water trampoline in George Town harbor that is supposed to be 1K from the Sunset House dock (here are some pictures), so that makes a good turnaround point. Mysteriously the swim there took me about 23 minutes, which was pretty much what I was expecting, but when I stopped my watch as I got out on my return, I was at more like 58 minutes: either I took the long way back or there was a current slowing me down considerably...

Then I put my shirt and shoes back on, had a long drink of water from the Camelbak and jogged back through George Town to Brent's. The first part wasn't bad, there's some shade if you run along the land side of the road, but that last little bit is brutal, and in fact I stopped my watch a few minutes early and walked the very last bit: suddenly just much too hot! 2.06mi, 25:49, avg pace 12:33, avg HR 142, max HR 159.

So 54:00 running, 58:00 swimming - really it's a 2-hour endurance workout of a sort that's well suited to the race I'm training for. I have to get out there really early for some one-hour runs, I think; if you really are out the door at 5:30 or 5:45, it's tolerable, but even by 7am the sun is just very intense.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Session #16

Lazy Monday morning workout - I will do better than that on Wednesday! (Pretty noticeable that I have gotten stronger, though: using 25lb dumbbells for chest press for instance, and not finding them excessively heavy for 3 x 20 reps.)

Had been mulling over whether or not to get a few extra session with Carla, as the last of the ones I've paid for run out a week before I leave, but in fact she is going on vacation on the 26th, so it works out perfectly as is. I am tempted to try some CrossFit in that week, but really it will be more sensible to do some longer triathlon-specific sessions in preparation for the SOS race in mid-September. Have not been doing nearly enough of that sort of hours!

1hr strength

Friday, August 12, 2011

Session #15

A particularly good one: very strenuous!

(We are usually proceeding along fairly standard lines, so as to say 3 x through on a group of 4 different exercises and then onto the next bit; since I was sick last week, we were tending to concentrate on stuff that wouldn't be too insane, but the first group today included not just a couple different standing row-type things [one underhand grip with barbells, the other on one of these machines that I do not really know the name of, where you stand in a low crouching position on a platform and put plates onto the thing the handles are attached to and then lift the handles] but also and very heartrate-raisingly 15 x clean and press (bar with 10 lbs at each end, not sure about weight of bar) and 2 x 15 each side of one-handed 20lb kettlebell swings...)

warmup plus 1hr strength

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


(Just looked at the numbers for the run - as I said, failed to turn on Garmin until some minutes in. 1.76 miles, avg pace 11:28, avg HR 167, max HR 175 - that's 7:18 in zone 4 and 11:26 in zone 5, not surprising it felt so intense! Running in this climate at this time of the year is basically just a highly counterintuitive thing to do, really I would be running something like 9:30 miles at current fitness under the same sort of race circumstance in more moderate conditions...)

Stroke and stride #1

I have had a very good day - unusually productive work day (I am revising a book I drafted last year, it's shaping up very well, nice to see a new book emerging out of its initial draft as something quite different and much more like what its ultimate form should be), and then the first of the August "Stroke and Stride" races this evening.

These are tiny short races, not endurance races at all, but the heat and humidity make the run challenging regardless, and I have also been worrying a bit about the excessive number of DNS ("Did Not Start" - as opposed to "DNF," did not finish) I have had in races over the past year. It's dreadful wasting all that money on race fees, but one also starts to wonder - to worry - whether there is some deeper element of self-sabotage: I am not a great self-sabotager/"DNS" person in my regular life, but it is something that can creep up on a person at any time! So it actually seemed to me a good goal to do the stroke and stride races - I just volunteered last year, but it is a worthwhile thing for me right now to start and finish races however short!

(Today's race was a 400m swim and 2 mile run; the run distance stays the same, but the swim goes up next week to 600m and the week after to 800m.)

I took a taxi over there (Brent's out of town this week, and I am too cowardly to ride a bicycle over there at rush hour - and I don't have a driver's license!). Helped inflate the buoys for the swim course with a terribly ineffectual pump (have made a mental note to procure new batteries for next week), worried that I was going to have to kayak them out to the turnaround also but in fact the 2 relevant kayakers did turn up and took over inflation and transportation of buoys, so that was a relief.

The swim was unusually congested, but it's beautiful out there, I love that particular stretch of shore; the run was pretty much as hot and intense as I thought it would be. I stop and walk for a minute when my HR tips up over the top of zone 4 (I feel slightly queasy as the HR goes to 169-170, it is something that is very easy for me to note even without a HR monitor, though I was carrying my Garmin - forgot to turn it on, couldn't get it clipped around my wrist as the little loop closer slid off as I was dangling it in my hand out of transition - basically, chaos and disorganization). Total time something like 33 minutes, basically a 9-minute swim and then 2 x 12-minute miles.

Took a dip in the sea afterwards to rinse off and cool down a tad. Had planned to jog home afterwards, but realized there was no chance - I was much too overheated! So I took it at a brisk walk instead. I kept on the HR monitor, it was about 40 minutes at HR c. 130 (Garmin says 2.33 miles, mile pace of 17:41 - that sounds about right).

I stopped at the supermarket near home and picked up a very good bundle of groceries, so that was the clincher on an all-round useful day...

400m swim (c. 9 mins.), 2mi. run (c. 24 mins.), 2.3mi. walk (40 mins.)

Session #14

Very good - leg muscles slightly trembling with fatigue as I walked down the stairs afterwards! Much less head congestion this morning than yesterday; it might be that I am finally really pretty much better...

1hr strength

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Evil Pool Closures

It is the way of August everywhere - but very inconveniently for my current training purposes, my local swimming pool is closed for the next three weeks for renovations! I failed to get up early enough for my projected run-swim-run workout (really I can't get up early unless I am actually meeting someone or have Brent to tip me out of bed, and he is away this week!), and didn't have much vim left by the end of the day either: have just done 15 mins. in the sea. Tomorrow is the first of the Stroke and Stride series, and I had a sudden vision of the horror of it being not only my first outdoor run here this summer but also my first swim in three weeks. It is only 400m swim (I am putting out buoys beforehand, so I will be to blame if the course is long) and 2 miles run, but it is going to be hot out there... if I can muster the energy, I will have a short further swim and then jog the three miles home, but really I will have to see how it goes. Still very full of phlegm, alas, particularly from a nose-blowing point of view, but I continue to get slightly better each day, and I suspect it is for the best that I haven't been doing much exercise.

.25hr sea swim

Monday, August 8, 2011

Session of excellence

Lungs still junky, but in every other respect a 100% workout.  Very beneficial!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday elliptical

1hr zone 2 (avg HR 147, max HR 154)

Very tempted to do something else as well, but trying to be prudent. Also, my calf muscles are incredibly sore from Friday's workout (we did calf raises on the leg press machine), and it made the bottoms of my feet hurt while I was doing the elliptical also!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Session #12

I was fading by the end, but it was otherwise very good. I fear I must take the rest of the day off from cardio, and possibly tomorrow too: I was coughing more all through the evening due to yesterday's ill-advised session. Ugh, it is most annoying, I am mentally ready to be exercising a lot of hours again, but I must be patient...

1hr strength

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Short elliptical

I was hoping for an hour, but I was coughing too much to stay on - lungs still just very full of junk, though I am otherwise feeling much better. Will try for an hour tomorrow with a strict zone 2 cap. I will count it a partial success rather than a failure: got some endorphins going and worked up a good sweat, at any rate.

20 mins. elliptical (zone 2/3, avg HR 144, max HR 156)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Session #11

Now that's more like it. Still not 100%: a lot of chest congestion, and one hour of no nose-blowing leads to alarming buildup of junk that needs to be disgustingly evacuated from the head. But better enough that moderately strenuous exercise has left me feeling pleasantly invigorated rather than woozy and knackered. This is good...

1hr strength

Monday, August 1, 2011

Session #10

On the bright side, good to be back in the gym; on the down side, it was slightly premature, I had to stop after half an hour as I was feeling quite ill! We just took it easy, and I will hope to be in better form on Wednesday. With the walk to and from the gym and an easy treadmill warmup, it's about 1:15, so that's quite enough for today, anyway.

(These chest colds are a total menace. I have not been as sick as I was in June, more just like the 'regular' cold I had in May, but it is still relatively incapacitating for anything useful or interesting!)

.5 hr strength, .66hr walk (I do not usually log walking, but my hours are so scant, I feel I should mark it in some way!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quick note

Ugh, yesterday there were several good developments: on Sunday I started to think about the super-cool race I am doing in September (have been hesitant to get excited about it because I have been sick so much over the last 12 months), and on Monday I had an ingenious idea about a way to do a long-course race in 2012 without locking in so far in advance and spending so much money.

It is the 2012 iteration of this race - suffice it to say that despite my sensible 'decision' that I would revisit the question of Ironman in February or so, I have not been able to stop thinking about it all the time: IMLP registration was yesterday (regular registration was open for some hours but is now closed), it just stirred me up; and though there are still foundation slots left for IMNYC, they are going to be gone very soon and it is an expensive race: NYC had begun to predominate in my thoughts over Idaho, because although Idaho is so beautiful and really the race best suited to my preferences [probable cooler temperatures], it is expensive and difficult to get to with a bike (one of the worst things about canceling in June was that I'd already shipped bike and gear bag at a rate of $300 - so I couldn't even bring all of my favorite gear with me for the summer as the bike had not yet been returned to NYC). IMCDA also falls at a time in the year that makes the heaviest training period overlap with my busiest period of the year, not conducive to staying healthy during training. The NYC slots, though, are probably going to be gone in another week or two - I emailed yesterday with someone at the WTC to confirm this impression, and it is indeed the case. But I had at least two three-week illnesses in the last year, each one preceded about 3-4 weeks beforehand by a one-week respiratory ailment that would also have prevented me racing, and I really don't think it's a good idea to hand over a lot of dollars (in this case it's $1500, the NYC race anomalously costs about $400 more than their other races and then the foundation slot involves an additional charitable donation of about $600) to the WTC for a high-stakes race that will make me upset not to start at if that's the way it goes...

Anyway, the Canadian 226 seems like a great solution, it's cheaper to register further in advance but you can still register for the full iron-distance race less than one week out, and for under $400! Ottawa is easy to get to from NYC, and it's Brent's hometown, so it's a sensible place for us to travel for something like this. It is not quite the same thing as the 'branded' IM races, it is something a scrupulously honest person will feel the need to qualify and explain, but truly for the reasons I want to do it it is the same, and I will not be sorry to have a less hugely corporate sponsored race - I believe this one is a really great event in any case.

Felt a huge sense of relief at finding this as a possibility for next year: this is so much the thing I most want to do that it doesn't sit right with me just to let it go for another year, but clearly the WTC IM-branded races have not worked for me thus far (the long lead-in time doesn't fit well with various things about my life), and it is stupid to make the same mistake again when I have already made it several times.

Anyway, as I say, I had finally attained a small portion of inner tranquillity for the first time since the beginning of June, only I was beginning to feel a slight tickle and soreness in my lungs, and indeed there is clearly something amiss. ARGHHHHHHH! Sunday's bike ride must have put a strain on them again; it's not a cold, but they feel tender, raw, with more phlegm than should be. My hands are irksomely TIED until I am back in NY in early September, I have to go and see the pulmonary specialist I saw last year and also find an allergist, I hate having a course of action but not being able to initiate it immediately!

In the meantime I will obviously take the day off from exercise, which is hugely stressful to me, it is basically the main way I stay on track - off to the cafe shortly to try and do a spot of writing, that is the other big way...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Session #9

1 mi. treadmill warmup, 1hr. strength

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Long ride

First hour beautiful, second hour quite good, third hour hot and demoralizing.

Back tire was totally flat when I pumped up tires last night, it still seemed OK in the morning so I went ahead with it without replacing the tube or investigating further, but it was clearly having a slow leak of some sort: about half an hour from home, I got that bumpy feeling that tells you really you should get off and check your tire, only I was by that point so hot and fatigued that I really couldn't face even five minutes by the (incredibly hot) side of the road, I figured that so long as I still had some air in it I should just get home and deal with it later! But it is bad for the morale to be toiling in high zone 4 and going only at an incredibly slow speed - a reminder that full tires are a necessity for road biking. Annoying task now awaits for later in the day - hopefully it's just the tube, not the tire itself...

I was out the door by 6 (ugh), it makes a huge difference in terms of temperatures and traffic. Rode out past Bodden Town and the Lighthouse and took the left on Frank Sound Road, got to the Esso station around the 1:35 mark and stopped there for a snack and to top the Camelbak up with water and Gatorade.

That gave me a mental boost, and the ride back from there to Bodden Town has some very beautiful stretches, but I began to be aware of being subjectively very hot, and also increasingly suffering from all of the minor ills that cycling flesh is heir to: the heels of my hands were sore (this bike is a bit too small for me, so I lean even more heavily than I do on my NYC bike); toes were uncomfortable in bike shoes; the tender spots under my shorts that were still sore from last week's ride were sore again, and I couldn't find a comfortable position to sit in; my lower back needed stretching more and more often...

In short, I was very glad to hove within view of Kirk's Supermarket, which really tells me that I am almost home...

(Now that I am air-conditioned, I am feeling much better - really it wasn't a bad ride, the slowness/soft tire thing is a bummer but it is still a good workout even if it brings down average speed and extends the last part of the ride almost intolerably!)

44.08 miles
14.1mph avg speed (avg HR 139, max HR 154)

zone 1: 0:01:50
zone 2: 1:44:57
zone 3: 0:55:62
zone 4: 0:22:42

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday treadmill intervals

10 mins warmup, then 5 x 4 mins zone 4, 2 mins recovery

40 mins total

Had intended then to do some elliptical time, but heat buildup was already so intense, I figured it was probably a good time to stop! 

[By the numbers: avg HR 150, max HR 166; zone 1, 12:05; zone 2, 6:12; zone 3, 4:06; zone 4, 14:49.]

Friday, July 22, 2011

Session #8

Was frantically working all day to finish the novel, so much so that I couldn't take the time to write my usual post-workout blog post! But I did have a highly satisfactory session with Carla at 9am. Will run tomorrow (probably treadmill) and ride long Sunday morning, rain permitting...

1hr strength

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday swim

It was a nice one - I felt much less upset than I did on Tuesday, and the only thing slightly hindering me was that we did a lot of back and shoulder stuff yesterday at the gym and I definitely could feel the muscles as being tired, especially on the fly lengths.

But I am still grumpy with myself: I had an epic plan, but bad planning led to a failure to execute! It is my 40th birthday today, and I got the idea last week that I should swim 40 x 100 on 2:30 to mark the occasion.

Brent sensibly commented that one good thing about this plan was that it would only take an hour to do - but really this was totally unrealistic of me, especially once I decided that all freestyle would be too boring and that I would mix in some stroke. In a meter rather than yard pool, and with stroke and at endurance paces (no lanemate to keep me up to the mark!), I'm certainly not going to be making a 2:30 interval. I would have had to budget more like 2 hours, and as morning lane swim is only 5-7am, I would have needed to get there a whole hour earlier than usual, and possibly eaten something beforehand too (usually I do morning swims on an empty stomach). I'd been swimming for nearly an hour, and I was only halfway through...

Anyway, I did enjoy the 20 x 100 that I did, and as at this point it was already just after 7 (they don't kick you out, but you start to feel extraneous and as though you had better wrap up soon), and I have a big work day ahead of me, I figured I should just be sensible and call it quits.

(I do not like being sensible and calling it quits! But I am trying to finish my novel in near future, and fortitude will be better saved for that.)

20 x 100 as 25 stroke, 75 free, 5 of each in reverse IM order (i.e. 5 x 100 free, 5 x 25 breast, 75 free, 5 x 25 back, 75 free, 5 x 25 fly, 75 free), 5-10 seconds rest

2000 meters total

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Session #7

Excellent. I ate a better breakfast this morning and did not run out of steam towards the end of the workout.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday swim

I was not full of vim this morning.

Very tempted to stop after 1000 meters, and then again after 1500, but figured the self-reproach I would inevitably feel later in the day if I cut it short was not worth the mild relief of stopping. I am finding it a very unpleasant surprise how intensely and strongly I miss Wendy while doing these morning workouts in the Camana Bay pool; I guess I will get desensitized to this over the rest of the summer, but it was again this morning a swim where I felt that I was on the verge of tears for the whole duration, including after I got out.

On a brighter note: a cute little frog, slightly larger than a hard-boiled egg, mined itself onto the edge of the pool, then itself up to the pool rail when I got closer to take a look; and as I biked out of the parking lot on my way home, I saw what was unmistakably a Cayman parrot flying low through the trees. Despite the name, one does not see these parrots particularly frequently round here, and they are very attractive, so that was a treat.

Warmup: 100 free, 100 IM kick with board, 100 free, 100 IM drill, 100 free, 100 IM swim

5 x 100 as 25 fly, 75 free

5 x 100 as 25 free, 25 back, 50 free

5 x 100 first as 25 fly, 25 back, 50 free, then on the third one I forgot and went from back into breast (autopilot) so I did the last couple as full IM also

2100 meters total

Monday, July 18, 2011

Session #6

Excellent. Slightly underfueled towards the end, this was the first time this summer we've done a 9am session - got up around 5:15 (?!?), Max had texted to let me know he wouldn't be able to meet up for our notional 6am jog, had protein shake and cappuccino at 6:30 at Cafe del Sol for breakfast. Need to eat one thing more in order to get all the way through to 10am, I think...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday bike

Had a truly nice bike ride this morning - don't know how much actual cycling fitness I have retained from this spring's training, but it is noticeably the case that after a spring doing 6- and 7-hour rides, a 2:20 ride feels like NOTHING!

(I have said it before, really cycling here - at least at 7am on a Sunday morning when there is no traffic - is more relaxing than in NY, there are no bridges or complex intersections or hills next to precipices!)

Saw various folks I know out there, and also had a funny exchange at the Bodden Town Texaco, where I stopped on the way back to buy a Coke to drink and a Gatorade to top up the Camelbak. I walked out of the store with a drink in each hand; a middle-aged guy ambled up on a bike, his eyes fell to the beverages in my hands and with a twinkle in his eye, he asked, "Taking on cold petrol?" It was a good line...

Rode to the Lighthouse and turned around at the 1:15 mark; there is a noticeable headwind on the way out and a very nice tailwind on the way home (1:15 as opposed to 1:05, at fairly consistent effort level).

2:20:58, 34.53mi, avg speed 14.7mph

zone 1: 1:28
zone 2: 1:28:57
zone 3: 52:58
zone 4: 1:15

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday cardio

Hmmm, I wanted to do zone 4 intervals on the treadmill, but running fastish was giving me significant soreness in my left lower leg - I have been using minimalist shoes for treadmill warmup, either that has slightly pronged it or it is something else (have had slightly sore left knee all week as consequence of overly heavy gears on bike workout last Sunday). Anyway I listened to the voice of reason and switched to the elliptical for the rest of the hour. I think I have to use that machine more while I am here: I really haven't used one since I got a HR monitor, but I see that clearly I am getting a higher heartrate with much lower perceived effort on the elliptical than I do on the treadmill, and the heat buildup is far less overwhelming (also I got the one that is in direct line of a fan). Will figure HR zones are similar and that it is reasonable to sub in some volume on the elliptical for what is otherwise nearly intolerable treadmill running, very hot and very slow!

1:04, avg HR 145, max HR 165

zone 1: 12:28
zone 2: 10:10
zone 3: 16:40
zone 4: 7:34

Friday, July 15, 2011

Session #5

15 minutes treadmill, 1hr strength

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday swim

Warmup: 100 free, 100 back, 100 free, 100 breast, 100 free, 100 fly drill-swim (right-arm, left-arm, 3-3-3, full stroke), 100 free

3 x 100 drill-swim by 25: fists, front scull, 6-3-6


250 kick with board (flutter, every fifth length whip)

1750 meters total

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Session #4

Excellent session with Carla.  Working out with her is my third favorite thing in Cayman.  (First and second are Brent and wildlife.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday swim

Good to be back in the pool, but the transition from short-course yards to meters is always a mental blow vis-a-vis numbers, and I was also seeing the ghost of a workout from last summer on the little diving slate I used to note down what I had done (this is a fuller account of it); I was swimming considerably slower on a longer interval and a shorter workout, highly dispiriting to contemplate, and I also just seem to be in low spirits more generally.

100 free
100 IM (fly drill)

A hundred that I associate with Doug Stern, who called it RaLaCuBa on his workout sheets: right arm down, left arm back, catch-up, full stroke back to the start

5 x 100 drill-swim by 25: catch-up, thumbs-and-salute, fists, front scull, finger-drag

5 x 100 free strong on 3:00 (2:12, 2:12, 2:12, 2:13, 2:12)

200 flutter kick with board

1500 meters total