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...


I came to the 7am class as there is no later-morning small group today.  Very good...

1hr boot camp

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Run intervals!

OK, that was good - with treadmill always best to be short and sweet.  I was having a hard time keeping the work intervals in zone 3 rather than bumping up into zone 4; it's a while since I've done a HR-based treadmill workout, I forgot how it works with the lag time...

10min warmup
5 x 3min Z3(4), 1min recovery

30min total

I am keen to increase run frequency, and I think the best way to do that is to include several 30-minute runs in the week rather than trying to have lots of longer ones.  We will see how it goes - back to NYC tomorrow evening, Thursday will be a bit of a wash but hoping to be fully on board with normal fitness schedule for Friday and Saturday.


45min spin (20min warmup, 2 x 8min Z3, 2min recovery, 5min high-cadence Z2-3 and cooldown)

15min swim

1hr total

Yoga the other day made my back sore - it was mostly better the next morning, but felt a bit weird while I was swimming, so I didn't stay in for long.  I think I have to lay off yoga for a couple weeks, too much back involvement...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Early run

Hmmm, I requested wake-up call (metaphorically speaking) at 5:30, it is early...

Felt very little vim, and also stiff feet and lower legs (have of course completely failed to do the calf-stretching regimen - I will start back again today, it is very useful).  Decided I had better do a really unambitious workout that I could execute properly.  Stopped partway through to use the bathroom (this is an attractive feature of doing my run around school playing fields - nice clean bathrooms with toilet paper, sink and soap and paper towels, etc.!), felt better once I had emptied bowels.  By the end was convinced I could have done the whole run at zone 2, but certainly had not felt that way till about the 40-minute mark, so I guess I made the right choice!

1hr run-walk

15min warmup
9 x 3min high Z2, 2min walk

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Another beginner's yoga class with B.: very good.

1hr yoga

Total hours for the week: 11:10.  Pretty solid on both spin and run, though no 'long' run.

Long spin!

That was good.  High-quality indoor bike workouts are something that should be easy for me to execute if I have decent bike base but that I can't make myself do at all when I'm not bike-fit - glad I've been able to make good use of the spin bike on this Cayman trip.  I think I will be doing a lot of mostly indoor bike volume over the next 2 months between now and the Shawangunks race - I haven't been running enough, but it's too risky to suddenly ramp up run miles, whereas bike volume and frequency can be increased with much less chance of injury or illness (illness is always more the thing for me - that's partly why indoors is sensible, too, as there's so much less pollution/allergen to hit the lungs  - and doesn't shoot me full of anxiety like riding in the world does - will try for at least one outdoor ride per week beyond commute to Chelsea Piers, but won't sweat it).

2hr spin

6 x 20min:

(1) warmup
(2) 6 x 2min Z2, 1min easy
(3) 5 x 3min Z2, 1min easy
(4-6) 12min as 6 x 2min standing, 2min seated (Z2-4), 3min easy, 3min high-cadence Z2, 2min easy

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sea swim!

We went to Sunset House and did a short swim in Wendy's honor.  Time for me to get back in the water properly - there is a lot of swimming in the Survival of the Shawangunks race...

c. .5hr, c. 1500 yards

Friday, July 6, 2012


Subjectively v warm, but nothing like the hellpit of the other day!

1hr flow yoga

Warm run

I got out as early as I could - still v warm, but survivable.  20min warmup, 5 x 3min Z3, 1min rest, run home. 

58:30 total Z1-3

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Spin of grumpiness

Was in an irrationally bad mood all afternoon, only partly relieved by exercise as I forgot to recharge my iPod nano.  It died just as I was about to start my work intervals, so I stopped the clock and rooted around trying to find something I could stand to watch; because I am an idiot, I couldn't get a DVD to run, and after a few minutes of television deemed that more annoying and boring than just having nothing!  Had to have a second warmup after that...

10min warmup #1
10min warmup #2

2 x (2:00 Z3, 1:00 rest, 3:00 Z3, 1:00 rest, 4:00 Z3, 4:00 rest)

8min alternating 1:00 standing, seated (Z2)

2min cooldown

1hr spin

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Warm run!

Very nice, too.  (It is the Wednesday night run club.)  Pace variable - good solid zone 2 chunk in the middle, but 2/3 to start and with a stretch of 4 at the end as I reunited with the back of the faster runners.  Not sure of exact distance.

50min run (c. 4.4mi)