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...