Monday, December 31, 2012

Grumpy new year's eve update

Well, insomnia kept me up till 4 - I was so tired I really couldn't go to sleep - and it also gradually dawned on me that stuffed-up nose was really another respiratory infection! It seems very minor, and I am hopeful that if I take the day off from exercise it will recede, but it is making me very grumpy that I know I shouldn't go to the midday spin class at Chelsea Piers. On the other hand, my energy levels seem irritably high and I have a lot of errands I need to get done today, so I guess I have my work cut out for me...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Long run!

It was very good to see Liz and also just to get out there and get it done, but it must be said that it felt arduous from start to finish. And wintry! I remember at the 6-mile mark looking at my watch and thinking, Gosh, it is a good thing we are only doing 11 miles rather than 12, that means we are more than halfway done.... We walked most of the uphills on the second loop and it still felt epic when we were finished.

The good thing about the human brain is that forty minutes later, having devoured omelets and fresh OJ and coffee in a warm restaurant, it was impossible to remember how arduous it felt!

(My legs are tired from spinning, I think. Total training hours for the week: 7:33, all spinning and running. That's pretty solid.)

1:59, 11.12mi (10:45/mi.)

Saturday, December 29, 2012


It was hard getting out of bed and out of the house, but spin class was well worth it. It is good, I was panicking mid-December at the feeling of not having had at all sufficient time to enjoy Chelsea Piers and winter running before leaving for warmer climes in early January, but now I feel properly topped up on Joanna's spin class and nice outdoor running. Will run long with Liz tomorrow in Central Park.

1hr spin
1hr restorative yoga

Friday, December 28, 2012


Yesterday I was so tired that it was subjectively indistinguishable from depression, and decided I had better take the day off (exercise can contribute temporary mood lift but will just dig me deeper into the fatigue hole if I am not careful). Today I felt much more myself. Ran down to Chelsea Piers - beautiful day, low 30s but very little wind and gorgeously sunny - and then went to spin class. It is good!

51:00 run (c. 5 miles)
:45 spin (2 x 11min climb)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Very nice run on Xmas day at my mom's house - down to the Schuylkill and along the path that runs along the river. Only problem it is then a very steep uphill coming up Midvale Ave. home!

Conveniently today I got a ride back not just to NY but directly to Chelsea Piers. Did the midday spin class. Now ensconced at home (a nap may be in order) in a thick snowstorm...

6.13mi, 1:02:52 (10:15/mi)
:55 spin

Monday, December 24, 2012


Used up all remaining willpower on end of semester work. Submitted last grades this morning.  Very glad I had time to hit spin class at Chelsea Piers before heading to Penn Station.  Train has just started moving in direction of Philadelphia, where I will hope to have a nice run tomorrow morning.  Happy holidays!

1hr spin

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Beautiful run down to Chelsea Piers, then did Delores's spin class with Lauren, who is in town for some days. Lovely. Three days in a row of good exercise plus quiet time at home has me feeling much less unsettled than I was earlier in the week. Done with one set of grades, still need to read the other set of student work (but no comments needed for those ones, so it's less strenuous). Good chance I can finish it all before I need to leave tomorrow morning.

5.07mi., 51:38 (10:11/mi.), avg HR 146
1hr spin

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Long run!

Wonderfully wintry blustery arduous long run through Liz, with interesting urban landscapes - we ran around the outside of Prospect Park, then over to and around Greenwood Cemetery, going through neighborhoods in Brooklyn I don't usually see (Kensington, Sunset Park), and then back into Prospect Park for the final bit. Brutal winds slowed us down (I forgot my Garmin at home, but Liz measures distance at 10.07mi), and there were even flurries of snow at a few points. I love winter running! And now for a hot shower - long ride home on subway in sweaty clothes is chilliness-inducing, even with extra layers (left coat and bag at Liz's apt. for the duration of the run).

1:50, 10.07mi (10:55/mi.), felt like comfortable zone 2

Friday, December 21, 2012


I was finally released from jury duty late yesterday afternoon, which was a relief, but am feeling rather flattened at this point. Went to Chelsea Piers for Joan's gentle yoga class and Joanna's spin - both very worthwhile. Need to regroup now to try and get through the necessary grading...

1hr gentle yoga
1hr spin

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I was determined to run today if humanly possible, and I thought my best bet would be to wear running clothes to court and tuck everything extraneous into the invaluable GoLite, then run home: I have work stuff 5:30-8:30, and I figured as long as the judge let us go by 3:30, I'd have plenty of time. (It takes an hour on the subway anyway, so it's really a good use of the time - only about 20 minutes slower to run than to take transit.)

In a very happy development, we instead were released not long after twelve, so I am delighted to have gotten a really nice run in and still saved some afternoon hours for essential errands. Serious headwind the whole way, which meant it was a bit slow and arduous, but beautiful running weather otherwise - 45, sunny and very clear.

1:18:59, 7:44mi (10:38 pace), zone 2

Monday, December 17, 2012

Short spin/swim

They let us off jury duty at 1:15 as the judge had another afternoon commitment in Brooklyn - I was hugely relieved to get my afternoon back. Went to the cafe at Chelsea Piers, had excellent couple hours of work (aside from it being a beautiful light-filled Temple of Fitness, it's also one of my best places for non-distracted high-quality work time), then did a short spin and swim. Haven't been in the pool for way too long, need to start swimming regularly again. As I was leaving, caught sight of Lauren in the cafe - schedules didn't permit working out together, but we at least got fifteen minutes to catch up. Back out to the office now in a few minutes - the trouble with jury duty is that all the daytime meetings I should have been doing have to happen in the evening!

:40 spin (2 x 12min z3/4, first alternating 2min seated, 2min standing, second alternating 3min standing, 3min seated)

c. 500 yards swim (100 free, 4 x 50 drill-swim IM order, 100 IM, 100 drill-swim by 25)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Long run!

A very good one with Liz. In a way it's beautiful running weather (well, anything between 30 and 70F counts as beautiful running weather with me!), though I must confess that by the end I was freezing and soaked! It's rainy, mid-40s. Anyway, that gives me a 23-mile week: not extraordinary by any manner of speaking, but finally back where I think it should remain! Shooting for a steady 25- to 30-mile week, depending on pace (I am slower in Cayman due to heat and humidity, so perhaps a bit lower there).

9.6mi., 1:40:48 (10:30 pace), avg HR 147 (mid-zone 2)

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I didn't get home till shortly before 1am, and it was 2 before I could really go to sleep, so it was definitely the right call not to race this morning. I got six hours of fairly decent sleep (certainly better than I've had all this week), felt OK when I got up and had a LOVELY run down to Chelsea Piers and a LOVELY spin with Joanna. She is not teaching next Saturday, so it really was just as well I went today. And restorative yoga is addictively enjoyable (really it is a form of meditation rather than exercise). Then headed to Brooklyn to see a play with a friend who's had a complicated year, only got home about half an hour ago and am hoping to sleep long and hard tonight. Tomorrow I may run with Liz and will definitely go to an evening meditation class I registered for a long time ago, but I need to get up early and motor through some of this end-of-semester work that has been displaced by jury duty...

:50 run
:50 spin
1:00 restorative yoga

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I had opera tickets for this evening, but really it was not to my taste and we left at the first intermission. Spent the first act pondering and shuffling around options for next couple days. Regretfully conclude that I will not do the 10-mile race Saturday after all. Jury duty means I am thwarted of tomorrow's spin class, and due to a minor schedule mix-up, I am committed to theater and late dinner tomorrow night (it was originally going to be Saturday) - won't be home till after midnight. Instead of racing (which would mean getting up at 6:30), I will instead get up at 8:15 or 8:30, run down to Chelsea Piers and go to 10am spin and 11am restorative yoga. This was a very soothing morning schedule for me last weekend and it will be better for the morale than going and trying to run in a huge horrible crowd of people (the friend who was also registered for the race isn't going to be able to run after all either) - I can run longish sometime over the following couple days, and it will be more relaxing and enjoyable that way.

Short run

Gotta rush now or I will be late - did not get out the door quickly enough to have a full hour, but four miles much better than nothing. Beautiful morning out there, once you get over the shock of it being wintry...

4.06mi, 41:18, 10:06 pace (high z1, couldn't motivate to get into z2)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


with fatigue and jury duty. Hoping to run tomorrow morning as I don't have to be downtown at the courthouse till 10am. Ready for this week to be over! Got a 15K race Saturday morning, but will dial the pace back to "low zone 2/long run" if I feel ridiculously tired that morning - I think that's a little too long for me to hold sub-9:00 miles at current paces, so really I'll just set a couple different heartrate caps and move from the more to the less ambitious if I'm not feeling great.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Yesterday was hopeless, I was so fatigued that it was clear I should skip exercise altogether, but I did manage to get out just now for a very nice little 4-mile run. It is extremely damp outside - 100% humidity, a light drizzle that left me with a werewolf-like coating of moisture on the fine hairs of the face. Running with my new Garmin - exciting!

4.04mi, 39:37, avg HR 145

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blissful Saturday exercise!

It is absurd how happy it makes me that I was able to have a blissful Saturday morning of exercise at Chelsea Piers. First time since Sandy! November was a strange month, and being sick is no fun, so I am particularly grateful to be back in (as it were) the saddle. Also very excited about the logistics of locker possession. Locker plus amazing trail-running backpack opens up all sorts of excellent possibilities.

It was hard to get out of bed, as I was fairly late getting home last night after theater and dinner and the whole week has been rather too much along those lines, but I ran down to the gym (c. 5.5 miles?), did Joanna's 10am spin class, took a hasty shower and indulged in 11am restorative yoga. I'm not logging that class as exercise, it's more like meditation, but/and it is very lovely.

:52 run (c. 5.5mi.)
:55 spin (2 x 12min climb)
1hr restorative yoga

Friday, December 7, 2012

Spin of bliss!

I cannot describe how happy I am that Chelsea Piers has reopened post-hurricane and that I was able to go to Joanna's spin class today! I really love that class, it's an ideal workout. I had a smile plastered on my face afterwards; also, I have taken the plunge and rented a small locker there. I think it will be very useful for Ironman training - I don't really like riding my bike down in winter months or after dark, and this means I can leave a set of spin shoes there (I have a pair of proper road bike shoes that I got when I first got my bike but ultimately rejected after failing to adjust to Look pedals; now I have SPD, which I much prefer), plus swimsuit and goggles, and run down there without worrying about carrying anything more than essentials re: change of clothes. It is going to be good!

:55 spin (2 x 12min climb)

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I have sensibly abandoned notion of 21/21 cycling challenge! I need to shed the last of this illness and acquit myself of responsibilities pertaining to final week of the semester. Will do some decent spin workouts as I can, but don't think it seems productive to add it so gratuitously and purposelessly - decided this when I got home yesterday around 5:30 just absolutely flattened with fatigue....


My last one at Columbia for the semester, as I can't make either of next week's. I'm still somewhat affected by residual virus - both yesterday and today I could tell that where I usually have a strong reserve of stamina available for working out just a hair below lactate threshold, I didn't feel good there - I don't think it's lost fitness, just still not being quite 100%. My usual partner was also absent today, and I hugely missed her - I realize I learned a good deal from her, and that it is very much harder to get the same workout with a partner less knowledgeable than oneself! I'm definitely going to keep on doing boxing as my cross-training - I have always thought it approached the ideal in terms of different components of conditioning, and now I have tried it, I do really enjoy it...

1hr boxing conditioning

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Feeling huge gratitude that I am no longer sick! This run flattened me, but it wasn't so much because of lingering illness as because it was a HARD WORKOUT. Ran over and met Mark at Bodystrength Fitness, then ran over to the north end of the park and did two loops of Harlem Hill together.

about 57 mins. (forgot to start watch after pause at bottom of second hill), about 6 miles

loop 1: 12:24 (8:47 pace - too hard, it's hilly!)
loop 2: 13:03 (9:15 pace - this was better)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Well, I was sick for a whole week, which made me grumpy and despondent - on the bright side, not being able to exercise gave me plenty of time to do the vast amount of work that accrues at this time of year. Today's the first day when my energy levels seemed at all returned to normal (and I have also cleared a dissertation defense, some dissertation chapter conferences, huge piles of fellowship applications, etc. etc.), so though I am still dealing with residual phlegm and don't feel quite right, I had an excellent Skype session with Lauren in the late afternoon. A great relief to break a proper sweat rather than the sweat of teaching while feeling rather ill in a classroom with steam heat! Meeting Mark for a run tomorrow morning at 10:15 - it is going to be pure bliss to get back out there...

(Re: number in post title, I think I'm undertaking a "21 cycle workouts in 21 days" challenge from now to Xmas - it counts if I just do 30 minutes easy on the spin bike - I have been really neglecting spinning during the month-plus of Chelsea Piers being closed, and I am doing the swim and bike legs of a full half-ironman in the second half of January, so I need to get the bike time in.)

:55 (4 x 8min work, 2min rest, with work interval alternating 3min seated, 1min standing) (zone 3-4)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Illness-induced glumness

Ugh, I really am still not feeling well at all - if anything, I felt worse this morning when I got up than I did last night, with sore raw throat and lungs as new symptom. I had been hugely looking forward to the official reopening of Chelsea Piers, and Joanna's spin class (which I have sorely missed), but it was clearly a better idea to go back to bed; indeed I felt a bit more tolerable after several additional hours of sleep, but I am guessing it will be at least a couple more days before I can exercise again. Most frustrating and demoralizing, though in the grand scheme of things of course trivial...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


A very slight sinus infection, I think. Nothing bad, but I am regretfully concluding that I should NOT go to boxing! So frustrating - but if I take today off, there is a better chance I won't get really sick, so I must do it.

On a brighter note, I have a lead on a cheap road bike that might be what I've been looking for to take to Cayman. The bike I have there I bought used on Craigslist, it's not bad but it's really just a size too small (local former pro cyclist did a bit of fitting for me and agrees with diagnosis) - bad for back and knees, and I've had my eye out for something that might work a little better without setting me back too many dollars. Going to look at the bike in question at 4; will try it out on trainer indoors, as it is snowing outside. Am prepared to purchase on the spot if it fits - I love my Specialized Roubaix, and I think this is close enough that I should seize the moment. You don't see that many used 49cm road bikes, they are mostly much larger.

Monday, November 26, 2012


It seemed wintry when I finally made myself get out the door, but really it's beautiful running weather. Just down to the boat basin and back, as I have a demanding day ahead. Lower calves rather stiff, stopped and stretched them out at the turnaround. Nice tailwind on way home!

40:00, c. 4 miles

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Thanksgiving is an extremely taxing holiday! Glad to be home, now just striving to get on top of huge quantity of work. Was pleased with my Philadelphia Turkey Trot run on Thursday (5 miles, 43:33, 8:43/mi. pace, 18/56 in age group and 217/555 in race as a whole); had a very lovely run along the industrial waterfront in Baltimore on Saturday (c. 6 miles). If I can do enough work tonight, I may have time to run tomorrow morning....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Yesterday was one of those lethally overpacked days that one feels lucky merely to have survived! Today was still a bit chaotic, and I unfortunately had to skip boxing class in order to get some work stuff finished up, but Lauren is in town and we had a lovely five-mile run along the river just after dark. Tomorrow the overland Thanksgiving odyssey begins - I am especially looking forward to the Turkey Trot on Thursday morning in Fairmount Park.

47:40, c. 5 miles

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Long run!

The most beautiful running weather - high forties, sunny. Very happy now to be back up to a true 2+-hour 12-mile long run - that is how it should be.

2:03, c. 12 miles

Thursday, November 15, 2012


OK, that's just a great class! I have to do more boxing - like many other things in life, it's something you encounter as part of an instrumental goal (in this case fitness) and then get sucked into finding interesting, complex and worthy of further exploration...

1hr box


Nothing like a good run at a good clip with a great friend, on a beautiful and FREEZING morning in NYC, to make one feel that all is right with the world! In fact all is not right with the world even in the narrowest sense - C. is having SCIATICA (word second only to LUMBAGO for conjuring up nineteenth-century painful ailments), and rather than doing the whole park loop (we started at 86th St. on the west side), we cut across the reservoir from 90th St. Call it 4 miles, 38:00. It was a great little run!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Gosh, that is a challenging workout. I think I am going to go Thursday this week too...

1hr boxing conditioning

Monday, November 12, 2012

Short run

Toronto trip was full of nice things, but more tiring than anything in living memory! Just ran to the boat basin - got a long day still to come. Strange foggy sunny day in NYC - the apartment blocks on the NJ side of the Hudson peered out of the clouds like heavenly spires...

40min, c. 4 miles

Friday, November 9, 2012


Yesterday was tiring, and I got very dehydrated during travels - felt awful when I woke up this morning, but another couple hours in bed were helpful, as were water, extra-strength Excedrin and a granola bar. Initially seemed inconceivable that I could even get out of bed; then I thought perhaps I'd just go with B. to the hotel fitness center; but the restorative properties of the granola bar were such that I reverted to original plan of BEAUTIFUL OUTDOOR RUN! Highly worthwhile. I saw the Canadian Malting Co. building and turned around just past a sort of triumphal arch. Nice way to see a bit of a city on a short visit!

1hr run, c. 5.5 miles (lots of lights on Yonge St., lost some time waiting around there)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Great yoga class. Now I need to get organized to get out of here. Glad to have had a very good week of exercise in preparation for consuming large amounts of steak, champagne and cake in Toronto this weekend...

1hr yoga


That was great - my ideal class. Nine exercises with kettlebell (squat and raise, lunge and twist, front swing, side-to-side, couple abs ones called down-and-up and in-and-out, etc. etc.). Rounds at 30 seconds, 20, 15, 10, 30, with rest commensurate with work interval. 20 minutes work, about 30 minutes with warmup and practicing.

Will go to 8:45 yoga also, then to the airport - flying to Toronto for a wedding.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


That was good - not sure of exact distance, but call it 5.4 WARM miles, c. 53:30.


I got up early, but subjective fatigue made me decide to skip the early morning fitness class: it was definitely the right call, I am still feeling a bit weary. Went to yoga just now, it was good; and tonight is Wednesday Night Run Club, always a bit of a scene (check out the great WNRC piece in today's paper, complete with mention of B.'s marathon relay team!).

1hr yoga

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Yesterday I had a good work day, and today I had a good day of exercise. Am trying to ignore election-related things (I voted by mail some weeks ago) and resettle into normal life!

1hr slow flow yoga


Great Skype workout with Lauren.

3 x (4 x (3min work, 1min rest)): first set seated in easy gear, second set standing in hard gear, third set seated in hard gear

1hr total

Commando fitness!

Hmmm, that class is more precisely to my taste than the punching and kicking one! We had six exercises, which we did on a Tabata-type protocol:

6 x (8 x 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest), 1min set rest = 30min total

Can't remember them all, but included scorpion pushups, crocodile pushups, double lunges, butterfly situps (recreational zoology!), one other thing and a frog-hop variant that brought the proceedings to a distinctly evil close.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Combat fitness!

That is a great class, though I do not at all have the skills to do a really good job with it. On alternate days the 6:30 class is more like just a regular fitness workout, more my speed! I made it to Cayman successfully yesterday, unfortunately we're then leaving on Thursday to go to Toronto for the weekend, so I have to make the most of quiet time here...

:50 kicking, punching, etc.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


OK, that was beneficial. Now I need to get organized and pack. Have booked a car to take me to the airport for 5:15 tomorrow morning - time change is making me anxious, usually I use my iPod touch as my main alarm but I think I'd better find another one that I change manually in advance and set!

1.5hr yoga

'Long' run!

It will not be appropriate to be celebratory when the whole region is still so devastated, but Central Park reopened this morning and I just had a most lovely run: over to the north end of the park and around the entire loop. High 40s, sunny and rather windy: pretty much the perfect running weather, in my book. Have a car booked to the airport for tomorrow morning and am hoping that trip will go smoothly!

1:22, c. 8 miles

Friday, November 2, 2012


O. and I had a mini-boot camp yesterday in the park, but we were both feeling a bit under the weather and I realized we should just cut it short - log it as 30 minutes including warmup.

I realized last night that stress levels remain through the roof, so it was my priority today to go to LOCAL YOGA! (I really want a long run too, but I had a sore throat yesterday and this morning that I thought I had better respect - it has now gone away, so that's good. Stress depresses the immune system...)

Great yoga class, anyway: truly beneficial. I think tomorrow I will run AND do yoga. Fingers crossed for smooth travel Sunday - gas shortages may make it harder than usual to get a cab to the airport (the car service I sometimes take isn't accepting bookings), so I will have to leave significant extra time to be on the safe side. Since I leave at 5:45am even when things are normal (for 8:45 international flight from JFK), I fear this may mean 5am!...

.5 mini-boot camp (Thurs.)
1.5hr yoga (Fri.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Short run

Short run with O. shook out the cobwebs - I think we were both a bit tired, but it's a beautiful morning and we had a couple sprints at the end. I am in rather low spirits due to facing the fact that there is no way I'm on a flight out of LaGuardia airport tomorrow morning. The thought of figuring out how else I might get to Cayman is making me weary, and I sort of just need to get through today first before I can really think about it! (However I think teaching my class this afternoon will be good for morale.)

:32, c. 3+ miles

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Stopped my watch partway through and failed to restart it again, so don't have times, but let's just say that it was significantly speedier than usual, with a nice sprint on the straightaway at the end! I have 2 lovely houseguests due to lower Manhattan evacuations, the younger one is a speedy runner and put me through my paces...

c. 38 min., c. 4 miles

(Some debris and quite a bit of mud, but the greenway path is no longer flooded, and the boats at 79th St. looked more or less unscathed. My main anxiety right now, aside from general concern for storm damage at large, is whether my flight will go out Thursday morning from LGA - but I will just have to take it philosophically if it doesn't, I should be able to get there sooner or later...)

Monday, October 29, 2012


Just a short one - weather hasn't yet gotten really crazy, but parks are shut down - I ran down my bit of Riverside but couldn't get down to the water (access had just been closed), then ran over to Central Park which is also shut off. Happy to observe city protocol re: storm safety! Ran along north outside edge of park, but it is currently stinkified with large crop of vomitous gingkos, so I turned around at the NE corner of the park and ran home. Have obtained dollars from cash machine and food I would actually want to eat if the power was out for 24 hrs. (I am always covered in the way of ancient cans of tuna and Progresso soup, some Clif builder's bars long past their sell-by date, etc., but fresher and tastier Clif bars are good, fruit, individual prepared pasta helpings that would be fine at room temperature for a while, a modest amount of chocolate). Campus now closed for tomorrow as well as today, so it is shaping up to be a very strange week - I'm hoping storm damage isn't too severe and that I can get my flight out of town early Thursday morning.

:42 run (c. 4 miles)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spin etc.

Very happy to have Joanna back for spin class today! Liz joined me for it, and we just ran 15 minutes on the track afterwards then called it a day and went for omelets at La Lunchonette.

In the wake of our conversation, I have an exciting new race for June 2013 - Syracuse 70.3! It's 11 weeks out from IMWI...

(I've updated the sidebar with a few other small upcoming races I've decided to do also - a 5-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving in Philadelphia and a 15K in Central Park in December, which should be a good benchmark on running speeds.)

1hr spin (3 x 11min climbs!)
1.5mi run

Friday, October 26, 2012


Favorite spin teacher was off today, so I rather hemmed and hawed over whether it was worth going anyway; scales were tipped when I realized cleaner was coming in that time slot and that I might as well go downtown. It is not a good class compared to the usual, but whatever! I finally got in a SHORT swim - I'd like to have a few more of those before my triathlon next weekend, although I would imagine the benefits at this point are more mental than physical...

10 miles RT bike
:45 spin
1000 yards swim (10 x 100, odds free evens drill-swim by 25)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Skype spin

Just did a very good 50-minute workout with Lauren. 10 mins warmup, then

3 x (5 x :15 all out, 1:45 rest), 5:00 rest between sets

Long run!

I was feeling very exhausted and cast down last night, and it was a bit of a struggle to get out of bed this morning. I had to talk myself into it by promising myself the long run completely to please myself - no HR monitor, none of the hassle of running through crowded streets over to Central Park! And I did indeed have a very lovely one. Ran down to 96th and then up along the water to the Little Red Lighthouse and back. Saw that black cat I spotted once before, together with companion cat of similar ilk (they are both longhaired, I would guess they might be littermates and former housecats, only the second one has very beautiful fawn-and-black brindling). Very happy that comfortable pace is now back just under 10:00 miles.

c. 10 miles, 1:37:33, c. 9:45/mi. pace

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


This class is really excellent - I am going to do a lot more of this boxing conditioning kind of stuff in my "off season" (though as I am doing the Mercury Man aquabike in January, I won't drop the spin and run - probably will be pretty lazy about swimming, though, due to time constraints and priorities).


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Beautiful day at Tough Mudder

only more mud than I thought possible! Thanks to teammates Marion, Lynnette and Andrea for making it such good fun, and Gerald for training us so well...

c. 4 hours VERY MUDDY running with obstacles! Knees and elbows rather scratched up due to a tunnel obstacle that had very sharp mud, and certainly I will have delayed-onset muscle soreness over coming days - otherwise completed without permanent injury.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Decadent day of exercise!

(Not perhaps QUITE as outrageous as it sounds in terms of self-indulgence, as I first got up at 5 to finish revisions on a review and also was able to read the pages for our eighteenth-century discussion group, which met at 3 today, during the spells between classes, but it is luxurious that I can so often do as I like!)

1hr Beast ("stretchy day," as some of us are racing tomorrow)
1hr gentle yoga
:45 spin (2 x 8min climb, with 8min "flat ride" in between)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Skype 3s!

3 x (4 x 3:00 work, 1:00 rest)

First set seated in easy gear, second set standing in heavy gear, third set seated in heavy gear (in theory Z2-3, but really the second set is much in Z4)

1hr total

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I heard the siren song of possible DOUBLE BEAST SESSION, and got there for the first class - but after an intense hour-long workout, common sense prevailed and I realized I truly did not need to attempt a second hour! Consulted with my teammates about our race on Saturday (1pm start time, but logistics are slightly complex and we'll meet up at 9:30 at Chelsea Piers to head in M.'s car to New Jersey), then ran a couple more miles (running is easy compared to a lot of the other stuff we were doing, including the dreaded 200m bear crawl with tethered ankles and pushing 2 25-lb plates!). Breakfast in the cafe, and time to finish my reading for class; then gentle yoga at 9:30.

1hr boot camp
2 miles run
1hr gentle yoga

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


This is an incredible workout - I'm extremely glad I signed up for this class. Was glum indeed last week when illness prevented me from attending!

1hr boxing conditioning

Monday, October 15, 2012


Yesterday I was definitely still kind of under the weather, but it is a huge relief to be able to go out for a run this morning. Having a cold is not enjoyable - I depend on exercise for mood regulation!

1hr, c. 6+mi.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Just a quick note

to say that the cold inevitably DID descend into the lungs and become a minor bronchial ailment: not nearly as bad as some I've had, but any training is contraindicated, and I suspect it will be a couple more days still of recovery. It is KILLING me not to be running during this beautiful fall weather!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Down with a cold for last couple days, but very much a more minor one than I have traditionally suffered, with no lung involvement to speak of. I credit the fact that I've been getting allergy shots once a week since the spring - it's made an enormous difference, and I wish I'd done it sooner. (The five high-priority allergens I'm getting stuck up with: spring pollens, fall pollens including ragweed, dust mites, cockroaches and CAT!) Had a good Skype workout with Lauren; I picked one from the sweat-proof volume that included short high-intensity power intervals rather than the longer kind that put more strain on the lungs. Still bummed out at missing such perfect running weather today and at not being able to have the build week I had intended, but that's OK, really I'm lucky it wasn't worse (particularly happy that I ran on Tuesday before realizing I was getting sick!). Felt very good to warm up the body and break a sweat!

50min spin: 3 x (5 x :15 all out, 1:45 RI, with 5:00 set rest)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


to have to note, as postscript, that it is definitely a tiny cold rather than allergies! Several sneezing episodes and an increasing feeling of heaviness in the sinuses clued me in over the course of our midday department meeting. Alas, this means I have to SKIP the boxing conditioning class, that is so sad! Am instead going to drink tea with lemon and honey and try and make a dent in the pile of letters of recommendation.)


Overcast but not actually raining, brightening up a little as I ran - beautiful morning for a run along the river. Having some post-nasal drip that is either allergies or else a slight cold, probably the latter. Feel good otherwise though.

c. 6mi, 1hr

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Jogged over to the gym at 106th St. and met up with Mark for our long-awaited run! He is a much faster runner than I, but doesn't run much (costs muscle mass!), so really we had a highly satisfactory outing along the river. I was huffing and puffing mightily. I had a short warmup and cooldown on my own, and we took a slightly different route than I usually do, but I think I can say that this was the fastest six miles I've run for several years. He's off to Haiti in a couple days to do promotion and performances for his new album, but I hope we'll have some more runs together in coming months...

c. 6.2mi. (59:00)

Friday, October 5, 2012


Still a bit warm for my taste, but it's a beautiful clear morning after a disgustingly muggy rainy week - nice easy 4 miles.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Very good Skype date with Lauren. Another of the Workouts in a Binder (that volume is a hugely valuable purchase for anyone who ever does a self-inflicted indoor bike workout):

3 x (4 x (3min work, 1min rest)): first set as seated/easy/high-cadence, second set as standing/heavy gear, third set as seated/heavy gear

1hr total

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Good boot camp class, though unfortunately we couldn't use the sand volleyball court to practice rope-climbing, cargo net, etc. as actual volleyball players were using it!

1hr boot camp
1hr gentle yoga

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I couldn't resist signing up for this class at the Columbia gym! Haven't had a CU gym membership for a long time - it's not expensive, but it's also inadequate, and Chelsea Piers plus TNYA swim meant it was no longer worth braving for the horrendously crowded evening lap swim hours. But I got a membership for the semester because the Columbia Triathlon Club was offering guaranteed entry to the NYC Tri next summer if you were a dues-paying member of the club, and club membership also entails gym membership - anyway, I'm determined to improve my punching competency so that I can enjoy the Combat Fitness class as much as the Commando Fitness class at the Boot Camp Cayman gym. I've never done any of the boxing classes at Chelsea Piers, but they've got a lot of good options there too, and I'm thinking that I will switch over to that for my non-triathlon non-yoga workouts after the Tough Mudder race is done - I like the Beast class very much, but it is not realistic for me to get downtown for 7am!

1hr demanding jumprope, abs, punching


As it is a recovery week, I indulged myself by doing the flat run along the river rather than Central Park hills - it is very pleasant running along the water. Happy to see that I am finally (I don't have exact distances) running at or just under 10-minute pace in zone 2 on a flat course on a not-hot day. I was past the 59th St. pier at the 30-minute turnaround mark; that is good for running morale.

1hr, 6mi (zone 2)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Good run

Felt rather tired (more insomnia last night - I think it was 2:30 before I could fall asleep, not dreadful but not great), and it was warmer than last week, but a pretty good run regardless.  Certainly I felt great once it was over!

7.75mi. (full loop plus lower loop), 1:22:00 total, 1:03:20 for loop (vs. slightly faster 1:02:57 last week, but it was cooler and we didn't go so far, so that's very similar); 10:34/mi.

Very keen to reestablish baseline of 20-mile run week.  After my final two races of the season, I'll simplify things in November by really just going down to running and yoga and a bit of spinning, then start triathlon proper in December once my semester finishes and the schedule opens up a bit.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blissful morning of exercise

(Barring an overly crowded bike path home - waiting for weather to get colder so that path is less crowded on weekends!)

Hmmm, it is slightly comical, others are fitter but I am a teacher - I led our boot camp class today as G. was detained by another commitment!  Breakfast in the cafe, then an hour's spin (we did two 21-minute climbs, it was evilly good) and an hour of restorative yoga, which I love.

1hr boot camp
:55 spin (2 x 21min as [3 x 7min, first set seated-standing-seated, second set standing-seated-standing])
1hr restorative yoga
10 miles bike

Friday, September 28, 2012


At 4:45, still completely awake, I got up and emailed boot camp leader to let him know that I wouldn't be in 7am class - really I napped too much yesterday morning, I was so tired I couldn't stop myself, and the anxiety about waking up for a very early alarm exacerbates existing tension.  Got about 4 hours of sleep in the end, felt awful when I first got up but better after I ate breakfast.  It was torrentially raining at mid-morning, and I wondered whether I was even going to make it downtown for my beloved spin class, but the rain cleared and I had a good session at Chelsea Piers.  Legs very fatigued from previous three days of working out, and subjectively felt a bit tired, but though I couldn't get HR up on seated intervals, it was normal on the standing intervals and recovery times didn't seem much different from usual.  Two more days of hard training and then I have a recovery week - I don't really like those, but in this case I am clearly ready for one!

(I then got absolutely drenched riding home - about to strip and put everything in the washing machine!  It is a huge luxury of my NYC apartment that I actually have my own rather than needing to use basement or laundromat - will never go back to that option...)

:50 spin
500 yards swim (3 x 100 breathing every 3, 5, 7; 2 x 100 IM, first one fly drill)
10 miles RT bike

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I was so sleepy this morning that I not only didn't get up in time to go to yoga, I also went back to bed for more dozing. Belatedly realized around 1 that I was feeling awful because I forgot to consume any caffeine! Skype workout with Lauren was excellent - just what I needed, feel fully awake for the first time all day.

1hr spin (10 x :15 sprint, alternating seated and standing, 4:45 rest)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Ran down to Chelsea Piers (experimental - there are pros and cons, one con being that it uses up a lot of the vim that I really should save for boot camp! - I think my schedule is not so compressed that I need to make a habit of this, though the Golite backpack really is excellent, it fits a lot of stuff while being much smaller than my regular cycling one, which is fine for running short distances but which tends to seem a bit heavy on a longer one).  Boot camp class.  Shower and breakfast, then gentle yoga.  Now need to switch gears for the campusy part of the day!

55:32 run (c. 5.2mi.)
1hr boot camp
1hr gentle yoga

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I could not get the Wordsworth line out of my head - "BLISS was it in that dawn to be alive!" - perfect running weather!

1:09:03 (6.5mi, 10:37/mi.)

Loop times (1.41mi.):

(I didn't really get faster since last week, it's just that the weather was so much better!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Best run ever!

Most glorious weather: I met Liz at Columbus Circle and we did the Central Park loop.

6.02mi, 1:02:53, 10:26/mi. pace (zone 2)

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Blissful morning of exercise: boot camp, breakfast, spin and restorative yoga.  Now I am on the train to Philadelphia for my niece's third birthday party.  There will be cake...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blissful day of exercise!

It's pretty much the perfect weather, too, though ironically all of my exercise was indoors - really I am one of life's natural-born inside people!  Took the subway early down to Chelsea Piers for 7am boot camp.  Got some reading done in the cafe during intervals.  9:30 yoga, 12:30 spin.  Spin and yoga both very good.  Beast class also good, only I really do not do a good job with this awful exercise of bear crawl pushing 25lb plates along the ground - today we had wrists and ankles shackled with bands which did not help!

1hr boot camp
1hr yoga
1hr spin

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I was feeling monumentally exhausted - fell asleep trying to get a head start on Monday's reading, though in retrospect getting into bed with the book was probably not such a good idea in the first place - and tempted to cancel the notional Skype spin date, but I was very glad Lauren talked me back into it!

work intervals as 8min, 12min, 12min with alternating splits of seated and standing at different work levels

1hr total (zones 1-3)


Highly beneficial 9am local yoga.  I think I am making it a regular feature of my Thursday mornings this semester, it seems a worthwhile indulgence.  I had an unrealistic and ambitious plan to get up really early and run first, but it took forever to fall asleep last night, and there was no way I was dragging myself out of bed in time - also, lots of lunges yesterday left muscles very sore.  Stretchy yoga is good for that!

1.5hr yoga

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Good exercise morning (now I need to refocus for afternoon teaching). 1hr Beast boot camp (much of it is the kind of thing I like and do regularly enough that it's fine, but there are a few things that are horrible when I go back for the first time - in particular, today, a low bear crawl on the track where we were also supposed to be pushing/pulling along 25lb plates with each hand, alternating going backwards and forwards - horrible!). A bit later, gentle yoga.

1hr boot camp
1hr gentle yoga

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Benchmark hills!

DISGUSTINGLY humid. However, a very high-quality workout, all zone 2/3 and felt strong.

3 x upper loop (1.41mi) + 1.13mi. each way to park = c. 6.5mi.

Just using Timex Ironman watch and Suunto HR monitor - I need to get a new Garmin...

12:29 (to park)
27:20 (#1 14:51)
42:36 (#2 15:16)
57:24 (#3 14:48)
1:10:49 (13:25 home)

Saturday, September 15, 2012


The weather continues to be ridiculously beautiful, though that also means that the bike path on the way home from the gym is unpleasantly congested.  My legs felt tired in spin class, and I will take a rest day either tomorrow or Monday, haven't  yet decided (partly depends how I feel when I wake up tomorrow).

1hr spin
1hr restorative yoga
10 miles bike

Friday, September 14, 2012


Very lovely one too, though it was warmer than I imagined (pretty much 80, but low humidity, so not too bad). I decided that I am going to please myself today and do whatever exercise I want, i.e. run AND spin! I do need to get quite a bit of work done, as I'm going to a long opera in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon that will knock that out as a work session...

Ran over to Central Park and did 2 x the little hilly upper loop - I am resolved to get over there more regularly, it's a good workout.

c. 5 miles

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Extremely beneficial local yoga. Thursday morning at 9am is a good time for me to do a class - my teaching week always feels rather intense and is largely compressed into the Monday-to-Wednesday span, so this morning has slightly the feel of weekend, though of course I still have various campus things to do.

1.5hr yoga

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Just a little one - first two miles easy, last mile harder

c. 3 miles (32:00)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It is always uncanny to have these beautiful clear blue skies on September 11.  I had a gorgeous run down to the Boat Basin and back, just very easy - benefit of doing a very long slow triathlon is that your legs aren't nearly as sore as they would be after racing a marathon...

c. 4 miles easy (46:00)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Best race day ever!

It is a remarkable race.  More beautiful scenery than you can possibly imagine; devastatingly gorgeous lake swims, trail runs often with nobody in sight and panoramic views across the Shawangunks.  ONE THOUSAND FEET OF CLIMBING in the last five miles of the bike course.  (That, I could do without!)  Then the bike's done and it's all running and swimming all the time, just how I like it.  Best of all, I made a new friend on the course - we raced together almost all day, as we were evenly paced on everything, and I hope we'll be able to find an endurance event next year that we can race together again.  Altogether glorious!

30mi bike, 4.5mi run, 1.1mi swim, 6.5mi (?) run, .6mi swim, 8.5mi run, .5mi swim, final precipitously steep CLIMB up to the Skytop Tower Shawangunk Ridge. c. 8:20?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012


Another blissful day of exercise! For various reasons that have to do with the different stages assorted work things are at, I am much more relaxed than usual about having true down-time; it is good. Didn't want to do too much, so rode my bike to Chelsea Piers and went to lovely "gentle yoga" class at 9:30 (I like this teacher a lot, haven't been to her class for a while - when I'm very busy, I prefer more bang-of-the-buck intense exercise classes! - but it's really a good one, and more in the spirit of mindful yoga than some of the very strenuous yoga classes will be), then had a short swim.

Walked over to the bike store and picked up some CO2 cartridges for myself and L. (she's flying, can't take 'em on the plane), a couple other bicycle-related sundries, then walked back over to the west side highway and rode my bike home. Lazy day!

I'll run 30 minutes easy tomorrow morning; L. and G. will pick me up in the car tomorrow afternoon around 2:30 and we'll drive to New Paltz. Hopefully it will be a great day - if course limits are strictly enforced, there is a chance I will get pulled, but I am resigned to that if it happens, and have promised myself I will take it with a good grace. I think they will be able to give us a bit of leeway, certainly that was how it worked last year...

10 miles bike
1hr gentle yoga
1000 yards swim (3 x 100 breathing every 3, 5, 7; 100 RaLaCuBa, 100 free; 4 x 100 drill-swim by 25 [thumbs-and-salute, front scull, fists, finger-drag]; 100 IM)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Nice little run, but I am SO ready for humidity and temperature to drop. It's disgusting out there, as if you could grab fists full of air and squeeze the water out of them with your bare hands!

c. 4 miles (some short pickups at the end), 43:00

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Very happy the pool is open again. Exercise volume sharply down now for race week - will try and have a couple more small technique-oriented swims before Sunday.

1200 yards

3 x 100 breathing every 3, 5, 7
4 x 100 odds drill evens free (RaLaCuBa)
3 x 100 drill-swim by 25 (front scull, fists, finger-drag)
200 IM (one-arm fly)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blissful day of exercise!

Yesterday I was for some reason just phenomenally lazy (it was a bit muggy, and I couldn't persuade myself to get out the door for a run), but today I've had a blissful day of exercise again. Excellent Beast class, excellent spin.

10mi round trip bike
1hr Beast boot camp
.75hr spin

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blissful day of exercise!

Can't explain why I am so guiltlessly doing what I like all day, except as to say that I'm in state of suspension before school starts, hard to concentrate on other work and yet not a good deal to do for my classes, given they're both things I've taught before.  On list of things to be grateful for, let's put high up (1) the fact that I can chew on the right side of my mouth again for the first time since dental woes began in late July and (2) the copy shop has handed over to me the originals of the two course readers I had begun to fear I would have to reproduce from scratch! 

Rode my bike down to Chelsea Piers at 7:30 for notional 8am Beast, but G. was nowhere in sight, so I did a very good workout on the sand volleyball court with another "cadet" (the sort of hard workout I can't really force myself to do on my own but that is easy if there is someone else for me to boss around as well as myself!).  Had some breakfast in the cafe, then 10 am spin; left as stretching commenced, had super-swift shower and change into dry gear for 11am restorative yoga, which is more like a meditation class than an exercise class & which is freezingly cold if you're in sweat-soaked spin gear.  Then went for lunch at cheap lunch place and read an old Lee Child novel for a while back at the Chelsea Piers cafe (was leaving coast clear at home for the woman who cleans my apartment - she usually comes on a Tuesday, but had to do Saturday for some reason this week).

10 miles round-trip bike
1hr boot camp
1hr spin
1hr restorative yoga

Friday, August 31, 2012


One of the things I miss most when I'm not in NYC is Joanna's spin class.  Very happy to be back!  (If you are NYC-based but don't have a Chelsea Piers membership, she teaches a lot of good stuff in Brooklyn - if I lived near there, I'd go to the Prospect Park bootcamp and kettlebell classes).

10mi round trip to CP (my NYC bike is nicer than the bike I ride in Cayman!)
45min spin

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Skype workout with L. We are racing next weekend!

1hr (6 x 6min work [3@90, 2@95, 1@100], 2min recovery)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Evil Pool Closure - Chelsea Piers pool closed for maintenance till Monday, arghhh!  Good thing I realized before riding my bike downtown for a swim... might have to check out the Riverbank schedule if I want to swim before then...

Best run EVER!

For all sorts of reasons September is my favorite month of the year (school starts!), but the cooling off of the weather is hugely beneficial for running, and I got a nice taste of it this morning.  It's sixty-eight degrees and breezy!  I hadn't had anything in particular in mind, other than perhaps an hour easy but less if I didn't feel like it; instead, though, I figured I'd do a nice easy longish one (the distance of the longest leg of my race next weekend, though as that's hilly trail running, it'll be considerably slower).  It was beautiful out there...

1:25, c. 8 miles

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Days off

are not really what I like, but have been advisable!  Saturday was just very busy (won't go into detail, but it did include a delightful interlude where we went and ordered a huge sheet cake at the Captain's Bakery to take to the residents as we visited a friend convalescing at the Pines - didn't get to eat any of this one myself, but I did have a very good piece of key lime pie after dinner later on at Hemingway's), Sunday I was traveling, Monday I had an appointment with the endodontist for what I hope is the final session of the root canal retreatment and today I went to my regular dentist to get the temporary filling replaced.  Feeling rather weary now and figuring I'd better take the rest of the evening off - hoping to run tomorrow morning, though.  Main goal right now is to get to the start line of my race on the 9th without anything untoward happening in the meantime!

Friday, August 24, 2012


These classes are very warm, I wasn't sorry it was only an hour...

1hr yoga


Yesterday's class was very demoralizing, I was so hopeless at it.  Didn't want to leave on that note, and thought I'd better get back in there today in spite of the fact that I've been avoiding trying the "combat fitness" class - figured it would be full of things I don't really know how to do.  However I was so thoroughly confused yesterday that I thought this couldn't be worse, and in fact it was an addictively good workout!  Very enjoyable.  Elapsed time close to one hour, 30 minutes of very hard work.

.5hr nauseatingly strenuous workout punching and kicking things

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Another great Skype trainer session with Lauren.  We are going to keep on doing this once a week once I'm back in NY; it's been highly worthwhile.  (We will hope to get the other Loren in on it too...)

Work: 4 x 8min (alternating 2min seated, standing), 2min recovery

1hr total


Ugh, today's workout was too confusing for me - I think if you have more of a martial-arts background (or just a very good physical memory for exercise sequences - i.e. dance), you'd be able to follow this, and it was explained clearly, but it was too much for me to take in and I spent bits of the workout unenjoyably blank with no clear sense of what I should be doing.  Three columns, four rows each; doing the four components separately for 15 seconds each to get a handle on them, then putting the sequence of four together gradually into a single fluid movement that adds up to some form of defense against attack, then moving through the three compound exercises in various rounds.  I probably could have handled one column/exercise, but having three just made it too much of a brain-twister!

40 mins. vague exercises

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stroke and stride!

Very happy to race this week.  It is fun - a nice little event.  Run is only 2 miles, but very warm!

600m swim, 2mi run

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Another great Skype workout with Lauren.  I unleashed my inner spin teacher as timekeeper!

2 x 18min. work with splits as 3 x 6min (4min hard, 1min high-cadence, 1min recovery)

1hr total

Boot camp!

This class is really good - I like it that there is always some meta-structure and pacing goal as well as just the exercises themselves.  We had four exercises - went through the circuit a few times, then did 20 x 1min (clock running continuously), scaling up depending on how little rest you could tolerate.  Dive-bomb push-ups (I think I know this as A-frame push-ups), side plank push-up (i.e. start on back, then come up onto straight-arm plank first on one side then the other), a bridge with arm cross-over and some jump lunges, with 2x as basic scaled up to 4 or 6 for ambition.

.5hr very strenuous!

Monday, August 20, 2012


Hmmm, I am not one of life's natural-born early risers, and I was running at the pace of a snail that's decided to concentrate on zone 1 training, but it was good to get out there, even if I had no vim in legs or heart for higher-intensity efforts!

.75hr easy run (c 3.8mi.?)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

'Long' ride!

It is the off-season for tourism in Cayman, and the staycation is accordingly a thing here - B. had the very good idea that we should go for a Saturday night to the Reef, out on the bucolic east end of the island, so that I could do my bike ride early Sunday morning entirely on the nearly traffic-free East End loop (19 miles)!  It was beautiful - I had sociable chat with a few other cyclists, but the roads are incredibly quiet, which is obviously desirable.  Had thought of doing 3 hours but didn't stop to refill my Camelbak such that I had immediate supplies for the extra 40 minutes; heat also becomes more intense as the day progresses, so I think it really just made sense to stop at 2 loops...

38 miles, 2:19 (16.5mph - very flat, so that is not as good as it sounds!)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

'Long' run!

It was good, though very easy in pace (top of zone 1); I clearly have hugely better heat acclimation than I usually do, it is the one upside of this summer's horrible heat and humidity in NYC...

(Took yesterday as a rest day - legs very sore from Thursday's lunges!  I have about 15 mins. of physical therapy exercises to do every day for back stuff, and am also shooting for 30-45 mins. daily of some kind of mindfulness meditation, sometimes including light yoga, so that 45-60 mins. is the priority.  Might even go to a real yoga class tomorrow afternoon if scheduling works out...)

1:10, c. 5.8mi.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


OK, that was fantastic - trainer workout on Skype with L.!  Both I and my legs felt rather tired beforehand, but once I was warmed up, it felt great - haven't had a really vigorous spin for about a week and a half, and it was very enjoyable.

warmup + 3 x 12:00 Z3, 3:00 rest (interval as 3 x 3:00 seated,1:00 standing) + cooldown
1hr total


Excellent class again - this is great.  Class makes good use of whiteboard!  Today's grid had five exercises in rows and five columns for time intervals - we cycled three times through all five exercises in different orders (20 seconds on-off, 25, 30, with a minute's set rest after each circuit), then did the final set as 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest, 45 seconds work for each of the five exercises in turn, in each case trying to match or beat number from previous.  Cannot remember names for all five exercises, but a very challenging twist on the floor, lunges with punches, get-ups, something where you squat, kick out to the back and then go flat on floor with arms fully outstretched, then reverse through to standing, and Russian kicks (there was a more complicated martial-arts sweep for those who were so inclined).  High heart-rates!

45 min. high-intensity

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


There truly was no way around it, I would have preferred to race but it is essential to have two kayakers on the course.  Fortunately it really is pretty nice being out there on a kayak on the water - not hugely strenuous, but I was doing a lot of other prep stuff and carrying beforehand, so I will log kayak meters...

800 meters kayak, misc. lifting and sweating


I didn't run the full hour, as I was still feeling rather weary at the 25-minute mark and it's a longish day ahead (hope to compete in the little Stroke and Stride race later, but they are short one kayak volunteer and I said I'd help with buoy placement, so I'll take that spot if we really can't find someone else to do it).  No significant woes either dental or dorsal, just general weariness!

44 min. (c. 3.6mi., estimate based on perceived pace)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good class!

On the last day of my most recent trip to Cayman, I stood slightly transfixed outside the storefront of a new gym that was just about to open up here - the proprietor came out and gave me some information about what they had on offer, and I have been looking rather longingly at the class schedule and hoping I could make the Tuesday-Thursday 6:30am "commando fitness" class part of my routine here.  And it was great - it totally lived up to what I had feared were unrealistically high expectations!  Boot-camp-style workout, in fundamentals not unlike what G. does at the Beast, but with an appealing grid on a whiteboard to structure the whole thing (three columns labeled WORK REST PLAY, four exercises in each column, moving through the grid in different patterns - it had the same corseted feel that I like about a symmetrically structured swim workout!).

I'll spin later this afternoon and Thursday, run for an hour tomorrow morning and Friday and then race at the Stroke and Stride tomorrow evening; bad weather last week means that tomorrow's is the first race in the series.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

A mixed bag

+: Volunteering at the Columbia turnaround aid station was amazing!  I mean, parts are a bit boring and your feet get tired, but it was daunting and inspirational in equal measure.  I really liked the people I was working with; it was fascinating getting to make my own up-close-and-personal observations about the state one can expect to be in at mile 23 of a hot humid hilly Ironman marathon; and it's my true home turf, the place I start the huge majority of my runs and one block from where I have lived and worked for over a decade.

-: I was truly set on registering, privilege of volunteer wristband one received at end of full shift.  I got there just before 8 this morning, full of some trepidation but more excitement and feeling that this really was going to work out this time (I've registered twice now for IM races and twice not been able to race, ugh).  BUT there was considerable unrest in the line, due to two factors.  NEITHER of which we had been informed of in writing - and I still am going to feel like a sucker if it turns out I was misinformed and didn't register for a slot.  Irk factor #1, which doesn't immediately affect me (it's still cheaper than adding hotel, plane fare and bike transport): race fee raised this year, with no notice, from $900 to $1200 (namely, twice what a "regular" IM-branded race costs - usually $595, up to $650 I think for next year) - and more like 4x what a small local non-branded iron-distance race might cost.  Irk factor #2, for me a deal-breaker: course limit for next year will be 15:30.  Reader, I walked away - it was immediately clear to me that this isn't sensible (especially I had just seen virtually the entire field of finishers walk past our aid station!).  It's a fast swim (tidal/current assist), I saw last night that nobody in W40-44 had a swim over an hour, so call it a :50 benefit potentially on the swim - but I've done quite a few NYC Swim races in the Hudson where there was a huge notional tidal assist that literally didn't materialize, and I think racers shouldn't count on it.

Anyway, I felt like it was a victory for common sense that I didn't waste $1200 on what seemed to be very poor odds (right now my goal is just to get to the START of an Ironman race, I will take a DNF with as much grace as I can muster, but I think I should within reason maximize chances of an official finish).  I'm not outraged at the price raise per se (I'm sure they are correct that the race will still fill up near-instantly), but I'm annoyed that none of this information was included in the copious emails about volunteer registration that we received.

I think I'm looking at IMWI again - that was the race I initially thought I would do two years ago, and Madison of all IM locations seems most appealing and accessible (for a person with no driver's license!).  My year's a little unusual in 2013, as I have teaching leave in the spring, but I also have a novel coming out and NO way of knowing right now how extensive travel/publicity obligations might be (could range all the way from NONE to VERY BUSY FOR EIGHT WEEKS) - an August or September race is basically the way to go.  I have raced well and enjoyably without getting sick in September and October, even in a teaching year, but I tend to be very burned-out and exhausted in April and May, so a June race is contraindicated.

Rode my bike the rest of the way to Chelsea Piers, had a nice short swim and then went to the final meeting of the meditation class, which has been highly worthwhile.

In other news, I literally didn't sleep a wink last night (is a wink literal in that sense?), as I was too keyed up from volunteering and anxious about getting to registration early!  ARGHHHHH, and I have to leave for the airport at 5:45 tomorrow morning, which often means I don't sleep THAT night either - might just have to go to bed for a few hours now...

10 miles bike
1000 yards swim (3 x 200 free, 100 drill; 100 IM, one-arm fly)

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Very relieved to be exercising again, though prudence dictated for today a tight cap on heartrate and duration.  Next few days are tiring: I'm volunteering at IMNYC this evening from 5pm-midnight (woo-hoo!), will be in a line early tomorrow morning to sign up for a slot in next year's race, then various bits and bobs and a 6am departure Monday morning to get to the airport for my flight to Cayman.  These dental woes have been frustrating especially in the sense that they hit right in the 2 weeks that I had hoped would be my high training volume period - but there is nothing to be done about that, other than roll with it and accommodate...

1hr spin

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Off for a few days

while I deal with dental woes (had to get antibiotics for infection, and had a second painful session at the endodontist yesterday), but am now on the mend.  Will take today off from exercise but intend to go to spin class tomorrow and am hoping to be back in the thick of it over the next couple weeks (next dental appointment on the 27th, at which point we will see what needs to be done next).  I am just hoping it doesn't jeopardize my September race, but it's too soon to worry about that now - will consult with the doctor at the end of the month and see how everything's feeling, it may all be totally fine.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Short run!

Met up with friend H., who has been off for an injury - we just ran about 15 minutes and walked another 20 or so, but it was great to see her, and distraction and ibuprofen seem to have somewhat dispelled dental woes...


Good workout, though my jaw still seems very sore (I chomped down on it a few times during flip turns, that's not good!) and I am anxious to hear what the doctor says on Wednesday when I see him for part two.  It seems to me likely that he'll give me antibiotics; I was surprised that they're not a part of the original dispensation...

1500 yards swim
1hr spin
10 miles round trip (humidity has finally dropped a bit, so it was a pretty nice little ride home)

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I showered at the gym, but it's so hot and humid that even the 25-minute bike ride home has left me with the sweat pouring off me in sheets...

I had a good morning of exercise, though not quite what I'd originally planned.  Jaw better with every passing day, but I am still using caution, and I decided in advance that my test would be mental and physical enthusiasm - years of experience now suggests to me that the workouts that feel either psychologically or physiologically over-strenuous are often the ones that should have been curtailed or skipped due to subsequent illness or injury!  Rode bike down and segued straight into an excellent spin class, so that was about 1:20 more or less continuous (work intervals: a 20-minute climb and a 10-minute climb).  Ran for a mile on the track, but just wasn't feeling it - no particular woes other than mild indigestion, but I threw in the towel and had a short swim to close it out (500 fairly hard-effort as 200 free, 3 x 100 with first length as fly/fly drill and remainder free).  Rode bike home, so clock another 25 minutes.

:25 bike
:55 spin
:11 run
:15 swim
:25 bike

Just call it 2:10, that will do.  I'll run for an hour tomorrow, I think, though it may make sense to ride down and do it on the indoor track if it's this hot again.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Keeping a cap on intensity and volume due to ongoing dental recovery, but the workout felt great.

1:05 spin
:30 swim

2 x 500
(1) evens free, odds RaLaCuBa
(2) odds IM, evens free

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Very relieved to wake up this morning with much lighter jaw pain, enough so that I thought it would be appropriate to go for a run.  Foolishly I left it to midmorning, which meant it was hot and humid as well as hilly - thus the incredibly slow times (distances are estimates, but I can't persuade myself it really was further than that!).  2 x upper park loop - I was only going to do once, then a bit of the hill, but once I was partway up it seemed I might as well go the rest of the way and do the entire loop again...

c. 4.5 miles

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2 days off

Dental woes!

However I believe I will run tomorrow morning for at least half an hour...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Time on bike

I was feeling a bit sluggish this morning - didn't take a real rest day yesterday, and felt the usual mild aversion for leaving the house!  So just rode down to Chelsea Piers, did spin class, rode home.  I think I should do that more often, in warm weather at least - makes more sense to wait to shower till getting home, otherwise you clean off and then get sweaty again.  Door-to-door time just over 2 hours, of which c. 50 minutes is riding bike in world and 45 minutes is spin class - 95 minutes total exercise - that's pretty reasonable.

c. 10 miles
45 minutes spin

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Short run!

Ran down to 86th St. and met up with former student L. - we had a very nice little run down to the sanitation pier and then back for a pause for iced tea at the cafe at 70th, then jogging back up to 96th St.  Walked the last mile home as I had not intended to run much today, but my legs feel surprisingly good after yesterday's workout.  Total ground covered c. 5.5 miles, last mile walking; let's call it 4.5 miles, 48 minutes (guesswork!).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fantastic endurance workout!

I finally got some sleep and I'm now in a ridiculously good mood.  (Still not quite done with the novel, some hours of tweaking and one bit that's still not right, but I pretty much just had to take a day off or my brain was going to explode.  Another longstanding project of mine that's been in stasis is now having some movement again, too, so that's also a hugely good thing for my morale.)

I had intended to do double spin as I usually do, but my usual 10am spin teacher was off, and the substitute was such that at 11am I realized I had already exceeded my tolerance for blaring music and yelling and that I should switch plans.  I think for today it worked better this way - I like the two-hour spin because it's a quite close approximation of what the ride in my September race will be like (30 very hilly miles, probably about 2:20 for me), but in terms of getting quality run time, perhaps it would have been slightly overreaching to have two full additional hours of run-swim-run (Chelsea Piers has a quarter-mile track, that's what I use for a workout like this). 

Running a very steady comfortable 11:00 pace in zone 2.  Very slight back soreness certainly but nothing that would cause me to question whether it was a good idea to continue the workout, so I think this is an improvement compared to last week.

1hr spin
1hr run
1000 yards swim (c. .5hr): 5 x (2 x 100) as free, IM fly drill, then 25 stroke/75 free (2 of each stroke in IM order)
.5hr run (2.75 miles - endurance athletes will see that I was fatigued enough that I couldn't persuade myself to do one more quarter-mile on the track to get it up to the full 3!)

3hr total exercise time

Friday, July 27, 2012

End-of-week update

This whole week has been an exercise zero!  Between heat stress and the effects of physical therapy, it's pretty useless - I got up really early today and have been working inordinately hard, to point of now feeling so tired I am about to collapse in a puddle, so have sensibly decided it is not a good idea to trek down to Chelsea Piers.  Will hope to get in a good long session tomorrow.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Nice easy one with friend J., who I hadn't seen since she moved to Europe this winter.  Our destination was the Little Red Lighthouse!

c. 5 miles, c. 57:00

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


(Other physiological stress is from last night's allergy shots.  The FLAMING RAGWEED is like having a hot golf ball attached to my left tricep!  The ragweed season officially starts in three weeks...)


Physically overwhelming day, probably partly due to heat stress.  Novel comments came back to me end of day yesterday but I simply didn't have wherewithal to work on it today.  Alarm's set for 7am tomorrow.

Had an early-morning doctor's appointment to pick up referral for midday physical therapy for lingering back injury.  Am hoping it will be helpful - I'll see the guy twice a week for the next couple weeks, then I'm out of town.  Today was mostly diagnostics, which is always interesting, and some pummeling in the form of soft-tissue massage.  It seemed subtle as it was happening but I was seriously beaten up afterwards!  That plus heat caused me to call off notional run workout; I cooled down in the cafe at Chelsea Piers and had a short swim that was quite useful in terms of loosening my back.  Evening meditation class, so I have only just gotten home, and still feel significantly overheated - A/C on subway cars just doesn't stand up to prolonged heat like this...

1000 yards (5 x 200, odds free, evens IM with one-arm fly)

Monday, July 23, 2012


I missed spin class on Friday because I didn't get up super-early and had serious work to do, so to avoid the same thing happening again today, I made myself get up at 6 - it paid off in that I was able to email out my book manuscript around 11:15 and ride my bike down to Chelsea Piers at a leisurely pace for class.  I think I was rather fatigued, at any rate I found it hard to get HR as high as it usually would be on the same work levels, but it was a good class regardless (3 x 10min "climbing"), and then I had a nice swim also.

50min spin (3 x 10min work interval)
1200 yards swim (10 x 100 with evens free, odds drill, 100 flutter kick with board, 100 back)
10 miles bike

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Authentic BRS day

It is actually my birthday today, but I'm trying to get my novel revision finished for Monday, so I'm avoiding human contact (once the hermit-like habits get entrenched, it takes a certain amount of attention to dispel them, attention I cannot currently spare!).  Got up brutally early, took a taxi down to Chelsea Piers and got in a good 1.5+hr writing session before 10am spin.  Double spin - today's 11am substitute instructor was pretty hopeless! - then ran 2 miles (should have been 3, but my back was a bit sore) and swam 1000 yards.  Authentic bike-run-swim day!

I have the following 3 Saturdays to play around with this structure - I don't think I'll build the spin longer than 2 hours, but would like to have the run-swim session be 2 hours also (either as 1hr run, 1hr swim or ideally as 40-40-40 run-swim-run, which then closely replicates the actual structure of the race itself).  Intend to do a couple three-hour bike rides in Prospect Park, and will continue to include a short swim after whatever else I'm doing at Chelsea Piers when my schedule permits - the goal in this sort of race at my back-of-pack speed is just to swim enough that the swims take very little out of me and I can save energy for the running.

2hr spin
:48 run/swim

Friday, July 20, 2012

'Long' run

It is a near-miracle that the weather has so dramatically changed - it was raining pretty heavily when I headed out mid-afternoon (after marathon novel-revision session that basically ended when I truly could go no further), but the rain tailed off by about twenty minutes in, and it was in the low sixties!  Amazing.

I don't know whether it was residual fatigue from a week of bad/not enough sleep and demanding work, sore back or just regular human laziness, but I couldn't persuade myself to step up the pace and get myself over the border into zone 2, so I'm not sure about the total training benefits, but it was good-quality time on feet anyway, and quite enjoyable.  This is the run I should have done yesterday, but I was so tired and so busy with miscellaneous errands on top of work stuff that it wasn't feasible to try for it.

I will have to get up very early if I want to go to double spin tomorrow morning, as I need to have done at least 2 hours of work on the novel revision beforehand...

1:10, c. 6 miles

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Very good midday workout.  I kept it fairly short, as I was writing like crazy in the morning and had a sport massage scheduled for 2pm (it was uncomfortable but extremely beneficial).

40min spin

2 x 12min Z3/4 (2:00 'tempo' [medium gear, cadence 95], 5 x 2:00 heavy gear alternating standing, seated), 3min recovery

1000 yard swim

5 x 100 odds free evens drill (RaLaCuBa, courtesy of Doug Stern - right arm, left arm, catch-up, freestyle back to the start; straight catch-up); 5 x 100 as 25 stroke 75 free, alternating breast and back

Have now picked up bicycle from the shop, where I left it on Monday; I haven't ridden it for weeks anyway, but the last time I rode it down to Chelsea Piers, I clipped the back tire in the elevator on the way downstairs (another woman with a stroller was already in the freight elevator, and I didn't want to crowd her but ended up misjudging my space), and I was pretty sure the wheel was out of true.  Glad to have that fixed - it is the only context in which "trued" is grammatically correct, surely...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I am having a mysteriously but strikingly good day, full of all my favorite things.  Run workout was arduous but satisfying; swimming felt great.

42min run (4 x 6min Z3, 2min recovery)
1000 yards (500 as free every fifth length back or breast, 3 x 100 drill-swim by 25 - front scull, fists, finger-drag - 200 free easy)

Monday, July 16, 2012


That was great.  Spin class was excellent, and it was such a pleasure to be back in the pool - I left off swimming deliberately in the winter, as I was determined to tackle cycling fitness head-on (I love swimming and I do not love riding my bike, mostly due to fear of traffic, heights etc.) and could see that I needed to prioritize spin over swim.  But I'm eight weeks out now from a race that has 3 swim legs, for a total of about 2.1 miles, so it's really time to swim again!  (Woo-hoo!)  I will be swimming in that race at a very easy pace, so basically the idea for training is just to concentrate on technique and make sure I'm in the pool enough to have good feel for the water while saving my higher-intensity training quota for cycling and running.

I temporarily swore off yoga after the beginner's flow class in Cayman a week ago did my back in, and now I've had to swear off boot camp for the time being also -  Friday's class exacerbated back pain, I had to get out the heating pad again!  Bit the bullet this morning and called a physical therapist, but the first appointment they could give me isn't till a week from tomorrow, so I've also scheduled a sport massage for Wednesday afternoon.  I've let this situation drag on long enough, with the pulled muscle getting somewhat better and then more sore again after I do some back-straining form of exercise - I need to fix it!

spin work intervals: 2 x 9min climb (first seated, second standing, "orange zone" with final two minutes of final climb moving to "red zone"), with various tempo segments

1:05 spin
c. :30 swim - 1000 yards (5 x 200 easy, evens free, odds IM with one-arm fly)
hot tub dunk

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Double spin!

Very arduous double spin - legs were tired from yesterday's boot camp, and I didn't feel at all well rested when I dragged myself out of bed this morning.  However it was a very solid workout.  Good instructor subbing in the 11am slot - I hope she gets a regular class. 

2hr spin

Friday, July 13, 2012


Very happy to be back at my preferred spin class.  This Suunto system is pretty awesome in the hands of a knowledgeable instructor (90% of the classes don't really take advantage of it, but Joanna uses it for personal coaching - i.e. last interval she asked me to get to 87% of HR max and hold it there for a minute).  I had warmed up for 10+ minutes before the computer went on, but here is data for my 1hr spin...