Saturday, June 30, 2012


Thursday was the most brutally long and intense work day I've had in a long time.  I finished around midnight, emailed the book to my editor and actually toyed with the idea of going out for a middle-of-the-night run, only (a) it was the start of another NYC heat wave, with temps in the mid-80s even at that time and (b) I neurotically worried that if I lost keys (which I never have done, but there is always a first time!) I wouldn't be able to catch my flight.  Went to bed around 1:30 but was only able to sleep for about 30 minutes, too nervous about waking up at 5 to get to the airport.  Arrived safely in Cayman by mid-afternoon, had a relaxing evening and a long night of sleep.  Then - morning yoga!  It was extremely warm, but very beneficial...

1.25hr yoga

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Ugh, slept hardly at all and very fitfully, but had to get up early to get crucial work done before 11am boot camp.  Really just felt pretty terrible, all minor things were all wrong (stiff calves, sore back, blisters on heels from sockless running Monday, etc. etc., plus general emotional fragility from sleeplessness), but Gerald kindly modified the day's work in a suitable direction, and it was a worthwhile and not excessive workout.  About to go back to bed for an additional hour or two so that I can regroup for next session of book work - I'm flying out very early Friday morning and need to send it before I leave...

1hr boot camp

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Run intervals!

I knew it was my lucky day when I woke up to temperatures in the low 60s - truly gorgeous running weather.  This Tuesday workout was my favorite workout of the abortive Ironman training of previous seasons - it's an hour with zone 3 intervals (comfortably hard - in the Friel system, I think it's 92-95% of threshold HR).  Very enjoyable

10min warmup
8 x 4min Z3, 1min recovery
10min cooldown

1hr run, c. 5.8mi

Monday, June 25, 2012


Weekend turned out to be a total wash for exercise.  It was a failure of willpower, really: my highest priority was novel revision, I was sleeping very badly and the weather continued to be rather warmer than is comfortable.  Clock hit six thirty, seven, seven thirty pm and I just couldn't motivate to get out the door for a run.  (I have to reinhabit the notion that it is possible to run in warm early evening weather, though: I think I forget this every year and have to relearn it as the weather warms up.)

Today, though, was good.  A useful session of novel revision at the Chelsea Piers cafe, then boot camp and spin class.  My first one using the Suunto monitor connected to the class set-up; it's highly motivational seeing HR and zone up on a big screen at the front of the room.  Not all of the teachers really integrate them into the class, but for these classes I really like, the teacher will give instructions about HR zones, it's very good.

1hr boot camp
50min spin

Saturday, June 23, 2012


... is the bane of my existence on an ongoing basis, with this week - this month - no exception.  I am feeling rather grumpy right now, as I had hoped to get up very early, work on my book for 1.5 hrs and then have a lavish day of exercise at Chelsea Piers (the 10am spin class is a high point of my week), but it was not to be.  At 6:30 I still only had gotten about two hours of very fitful light sleep, so I turned off the alarm and slept till 9:30 or so.  Still feel under-rested, but need to make book revision my priority today - I have to send it to my editor by end of the day Thursday, and it will be short-sighted of me to prioritize exercise over revision as that is pretty much going to be the version I will have to live with for the rest of my life!

On the bright side, I think the heat wave has subsided - I might be able to do a long run outside in the early evening, so that would be highly worthwhile compensation for having to change workout plans for the day...

Friday, June 22, 2012


Boot camp was moved from 11 to 12, so I skipped it and just did a three-mile run before spin class at 12:30.  Workout felt short and easy, though I am now knackered after making my way home through very warm streets and subways of New York.  It's just started raining, and I'm hoping that will clear some of the heat...

3 miles run (c. 33:00)
:48min spin

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I had a good day after all - the air-conditioning at Chelsea Piers is mighty enough to combat the current heat wave, I got very solid work done on my book revision and my second workout was satisfactory.  Spin on my own was highly worthwhile and much better than an ill-tooled group class.  Pool was crowded and I was tired, so I didn't stay in long: I'm really going for frequency rather than duration over the next month or so, will ramp up volume as it suits.  Saw my old lanemate Joe at the pool, which was nice: he has been working in Singapore for the last three years, flying back tomorrow. 

1hr spin: 3 x 10min high zone 2/zone 3 (5 x 2min alternating seated and standing), 3min rest
500 yards swim (5 x 100, evens free, odds IM with fly drill)


Slept badly and felt terrible upon dragging myself out of bed, but boot camp was beneficial.  Holed up in Chelsea Piers cafe air-conditioning for novel revision session.

1hr boot camp

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Game's on!

I did make up a provisional training schedule last night, and so I had a satisfying feeling as I did this run that it was my first 'real' focused workout of the season (I've been exercising quite a bit but just with general 'get back into shape after particularly taxing school year' vibe).  It's very muggy outside - I was subjectively overheated as soon as I started my intervals.  Looks like we're expecting a heat wave over next few days; if it's horrible on Thursday, I'll do my run on the track inside at Chelsea Piers...

1hr run with zone 3 intervals (15min warmup, 6 x 4min Z3, 1min recovery, 15min cooldown)

Monday, June 18, 2012


This past week has been a hard one for me - really I do best at home doing my own thing, and trips to Cambridge and Philadelphia were exhausting!  Back here now till I leave to see B. on Friday the 29th.  Need to sit down later this evening and make a training schedule; trying to figure out work deadlines too...

1hr boot camp
1hr spin

+ 10 miles round-trip bike

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Particularly good spin class.  Three sets: (1) 10 x 1min hard, :30 easy (seated, gear medium-hard, cadence 95-105 for work interval); (2) 5 x 1min hard, :30 easy (standing, hardest gear sustainable); (3) 10 x 1min hard, :30 easy (standing, cadence 60-65 for work intervals and 35-40 for rest, starting medium-hard and raising gear to hardest possible by end of set).

:50 spin
1:00 restorative yoga

Friday, June 15, 2012

Short run

Home in NYC.  42:00, c. 4 miles

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Short run!

Rainy pleasant running weather, though perhaps a bit muggy.  Kept it short due to anxiety re: time, but back is much better.

32min, c. 3 miles

Monday, June 11, 2012


Thoroughly satisfactory pair of workouts.

1hr boot camp
1hr spin

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Trial run!

That was great - my back is now noticeably worse than it was before I started, but not actually painful, so we will consider that a win.  (I would say it's about 60-70% better - will be careful not to compound it with reinjury or overuse.)

10 minutes warmup, then 6 x 3min hard,* 1min recovery, then cooldown jog home

43min total (c. 4 miles)

*I took out my Garmin for the first time this week in a while, and it doesn't seem to be working properly - I think it's probably just at the end of its lifespan.  Have ordered a simpler Suunto monitor that I can use for HR zone training on runs and that is compatible with the system at the cycling studio.  Hopefully that will suit my needs - I don't really need the GPS as such, but if this one turns out to be too minimal I may replace the Garmin next year.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Spin class was great - Saturday morning trip to Chelsea Piers is one of my favorite points in the week.  Did restorative yoga afterwards, also very good.

1hr spin
1hr restorative yoga

Friday, June 8, 2012


I had a painful but effective sports massage on Wednesday afternoon and took Thursday off to let it 'settle' - I need to get rid of this back injury, it's making me very grumpy not to be able to run at a prime time of the running year! It felt a lot better this morning, but I think boot camp may be contraindicated for another week or so, as there were several things that really triggered discomfort.  Spin class was excellent.

1:10 boot camp
:50 spin

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I skipped the Beast because I thought my back would do better with a strength workout not involving any running or high-intensity intervals; this was sensible.  I'm not crazy about the Wednesday midday spin class; I think I will start using that slot to do something else, maybe swim or run.

1hr strength
:50 spin


About 10 yards of running told me my back would prefer it not to, so I listened to reason and stopped and went to 5:45 yoga instead.  Yoga's slightly intense too, and I was cautious on twists and backbends.  Hope this back thing is thoroughly better soon - seems like the two things to avoid are sitting at desk (I've set laptop up at standing height instead) and running, other stuff is OK, don't feel it when walking - it must be said that 5 hours post-yoga, this is the best it's felt all day, so that's something...

1.25hr yoga

Monday, June 4, 2012


I was the sole attendee for boot camp, which makes the time pass a bit more slowly (no banter/camaraderie!) but isn't inherently bad.  Spin class very good - my legs had more vim in them than on Saturday.

1hr boot camp
1hr spin

Saturday, June 2, 2012


A postscript on training thoughts.  I'm going to be doing most of my bike training for the Shawangunks inside, I suspect - might try and get out to do hill repeats at Alpine (can take bike on Lamont Observatory bus so as to avoid having to ride on the dreadful path over the bridge - coming back it's not so bad, for reasons having to do with the way the approach is set up), but am not going to sweat it if that doesn't really happen.  (The surface on that road was so bad last summer that I almost couldn't deal with the downhill, but the IMNYC course includes that route and I know they either have already or will soon resurface the road.)  But the elevation profile for the Shawangunks bike leg is pretty insane. It's not a long ride, only about 28 miles, but the last five miles include over a thousand feet of elevation gain.  So I should do a two-hour trainer workout that starts easy/steady and then includes a 30- to 40-minute climb in the last part, followed by at least 30 minutes running off the bike...


Did Joanna's 10am class, which featured - insanely - a 27-minute climb as the main work interval!  Back wasn't painful as such but felt extremely tight towards the end of the hour, so I decided to skip the second spin class and instead go to restorative yoga.  Makes me feel sheepish to log that as exercise, it is not really, but Thursday's yoga brought home to me that I really need to let my back muscle recover for some days before trying strenuous yoga again - this one was well suited to current needs.

1hr spin
1hr restorative yoga

Friday, June 1, 2012


It was very good - the boot camp is just really challenging, but when it's over you feel a huge sense of accomplishment.  Spinning also good. 

I do not like massage - I am one of those who only resorts to it on very rare occasions when I actually have an injury! - but I did get an "express" sports massage at Chelsea Piers once I was done working out.  I've scheduled a longer one for next week: it's my best guess that I slightly pulled a muscle in my back early last week from overuse, and that now everything else in there is too tight and slightly out of whack.  Pain had mostly gone away by Wednesday but is back again now, due to some combination of exercise and (most likely) sitting too many hours in the chair at the computer.  Am going to move chair actually away from desk so that I'm not tempted to sit in it for many hours reading things online!

1:20 boot camp
:48 spin