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