Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lung ailment!

Frustrating, but I feel resigned to it. Hoping it's minor.

(It is a clear consequence of my own actions. I called in a refill on Saturday afternoon for my asthma controller medication, only to learn that there were no refills left. The box I had was a month older than I thought, and I had disposed of the intervening box - which would have showed I couldn't get another refill - in Cayman in January. Couldn't get new prescription till next business day - called doctor Monday morning and picked it up Tuesday, but in the meantime, though I was able to use the albuterol to prevent wheezing during workouts, it clearly was inadequate. Rather than self-reproach I'm writing this one down to the complexity of doing business in the modern world/partly living in two places, and taking it as a salutary reminder of the value of the Flovent.)

(On the bright side, I am going to be able to get a HUGE amount of work done today! And I feel completely normal other than having very raw fragile lungs, will hope that I can stop it from getting any worse.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


As usual I dragged my heels getting out the door, so I only had time for 4 miles, but very nice miles they were too....

38:00, 4mi., zone 2

Monday, February 25, 2013

Good day of exercise!

I was in an irrationally good mood (truly no reason), except for the time I spent on public transportation in the afternoon - really I have to strategize to see if I can better avoid buses and subways in the 3-5pm window, it is not relaxing!

:45 spin
1000 yards swim (3 x (200 free + 100 stroke [fly drill, back, breast]) + 100 as 25 fly, 75 free)

1.5hr hot yoga

Gotta rush, 7pm dinner with a former student, still need to shower post-yoga! Very hungry and thirsty - dinner will be beneficial...

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I found Russ Cox's post about minimal Ironman training extremely interesting. I think you'd have to add on a couple hours per week to translate from elite to back-of-pack (i.e. running 2 hours at 6-minute pace would need to be converted to more like 3+ hours for 10-minute miles to cover same weekly distance - ditto for biking), but the central observation is very much to the point:
If nothing else, I suspect were you actually to manage a consistent nine hours every week, you won’t be far from the Ironman norm. It would be interesting – were triathletes completely honest – to collect statistics on training hours versus performance; the majority of those on the course, the middle and back of the pack, probably won’t be averaging much more. I know from the athletes I coach that much of the year is spent averaging only a few hours over this, not a huge stretch above.

Run intervals

I went to a day-long meditation retreat today, 10-5 - it was worthwhile but curiously tiring! I had blocked out time for a long run this morning, but in the event I decided just to run to Chelsea Piers and call it a day (I left a change of clothes/coat there yesterday so I wouldn't have to carry it all this morning). This was a wise choice, and it was also clear by lunchtime that I should give up any thought of checking out the 5:30pm masters swim at Chelsea Piers - much too tired.

Not a bad week, though not as copiously full of long exercise stints as I might like. c. 13 hours total (6 hours yoga, 4 classes; 7 hours triathlon, 3 runs - 16mi only total - and 3 spins, including a double, 1 short swim to test the waters). Next two weeks will be big training weeks I hope and then I will take a week pretty easy as I finish up NYC stuff and travel back to Cayman on March 13 for 10 days or so. April has many travels (for eighteenth-century conference and then for book publication stuff), so it is important to make the next six weeks worthwhile from both a work and an exercise standpoint...

:50 run, c. 5mi. (10min warmup Z1, then 6 x 4min Z3 + 1min recovery, then 10min Z2)

(I note that I need to start trying some different warmups - on this flat cool course, it is too easy for me to loll around in zone 1 and not feel warmed up till almost 25 minutes into the run - I think I am going to start doing some strides right away so that I can hit and hold zone 2 from the 10-minute mark at a minimum - alternately doing these zone 3 intervals workouts is a good way to build up some tolerance for higher efforts)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Double spin!

In retrospect I should have gone straight into the pool in my sweaty tri shorts and top, but I thought I'd shower and eat and then have a proper swim later (if I go at the end of double spin, it's unlikely to be more than 1000 yards or thirty minutes, whichever comes first). However sitting and reading in the cafe left me so freezing (I was even wearing my gloves!) that I could not persuade myself to strip down and get into a bathing suit and walk through the drafty gym to the pool, so I didn't have a second session after all...

2hr spin

Friday, February 22, 2013


The other night I finally renewed my masters swim registration and re-registered for TNYA and bought a new workout card - I really just let swimming drop about two years ago, I like it but there were various obstacles, including an annoying lane situation at local Columbia workout, and then Columbia kicked all outside groups out of the pool altogether, and though there's now a workout at City College about a mile north of here, I just haven't gotten it together to go.

But now it is time for this to change! And today's workout was beneficial for self-persuasion. 50-minute spin with Joanna, then I had a short swim that was altogether lovely (1000 yards, c. 25 mins.). Then I had a tiresome trip uptown as my travels coincided with the end of the schoolday, which makes both streets and subway a bit of a nightmare due to hordes of rowdy schoolchildren - and then I had a hot yoga class that was WAY too hot, subjectively - I think really what this means is high humidity (it's about to start snowing here), but it was not enjoyable, I haven't felt like that since the first week I was doing it. This is helpful in terms of weaning myself partway off hot yoga and re-addicting to swimming.

Ready for winter to be done - it makes it so inconvenient getting around town, and the extremes of temperature (from boilingly hot in yoga to freezingly cold on the subway platform with sweat still pouring off the head) are not conducive to comfort...

:50 spin
:25 swim (1000 yards as 200 warmup, 2 x [100 fly drill (right arm, left arm, 3-3-3, full stroke) and 100 free], 2 x [100 IM, 100 free]
1:30 hot yoga

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This was a nice story in the Cay Compass about the cross-island relay - and now the WNRC picture's online! Brent and I are right in the middle in not-quite-matching dayglo shirts. Courtesy of Ron Shillingford.

Hot yoga

Highly satisfactory, though I didn't get there with a lot of time to spare. Note to self: leave at 8:55 rather than 9:05 if traveling to the allergy doctor's office at Columbus Circle before heading uptown to Washington Heights for 10am yoga.

1.5hr hot yoga


At 4pm, I would have said this day was unredeemable! Nothing dramatic, just one of those days that gets absolutely wasted for no good reason - I didn't sleep well, and then I napped and wasted time on the internet and generally just couldn't seem to buckle down to my work! (I don't actually tweet, with or without hashtags, but if I had today, I would have had one that just read "can't nap due to jackhammer in street outside #firstworldproblems.") By late afternoon it was clear to me that I had made myself so physically uncomfortable with the feeling of procrastinating that it truly would be easier just to give in and do some work. So I did, and it was great - got a very good hour-plus session in on the essay I am revising, then went to meet Liz for a frigid but hugely enjoyable Central Park loop. We ran hard enough to get the endorphins well and truly flowing, and had unseemly hilarity as we ate nutritionally sound fast food at Energy Kitchen. Have just had the longest hottest best shower EVER to try and warm back up. Extremely good day!

6.11mi./1:00:44/9:57 avg pace (avg HR 148, max HR 158)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


OK, that worked pretty well, despite a few minor glitches. I was about twenty minutes later than I'd intended getting out the door (injudicious alarm-snoozing!), so I only did 5 miles rather than 6 (I'd left plenty of buffer time, so I didn't have to curtail things any more than that). Then the staircase I hoped to use to get from the greenway back up to Broadway was locked, so I had to double back and take a different (vertiginous) staircase at 135th St. Anyway, not a big deal, and the basic concept is good.

(Note to self: bring one more dry long-sleeved layer for traveling home after class; also, water bottle left at the studio, retrieve it tomorrow if possible!)

I have noticed a trend - it's partly a function of decent fitness and cool weather/flat course - to laze around at the top of zone 1 rather than pushing the 2-4 beats higher into zone 2 while running. Obviously it's all along a continuum, and I think that's still a reasonable training pace, but I thought I'd better start doing more intervals to desensitize to higher heartrates. It is a mental rather than a physical limitation, as I note that I am very well capable of running comfortably in zone 2 if I am running with someone else or, as today, worried about whether I'm going to make it to class in time!

:50 run (c. 5 miles), with 5 x 4min Z3, 1min recovery
1.5hr hot yoga

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spin/hot yoga

Everything feels back on track - last week was just curiously chaotic. I really missed the hot yoga! But also I got good enough sleep last night that I can actually work hard in spin class. Slightly changed schedule due to its being FREEZING here this morning - not too cold to run as such, but too cold for me to fit enough layers in my trail-running backpack to run down to Chelsea Piers and then be warm enough for the rest of the day! So skipped the run.

1hr spin
1.5hr hot yoga

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I was lethally tired this morning - it is my own fault, two very late nights in a row with alcohol compromising sleep quality. But I took a deep two-hour nap this afternoon, and when I got up after that it did not seem so crazy that I was planning to trek out to Brooklyn for a 90-minute spin class at Cycle Bar with L. and L. And in fact once I was riding, it was the opposite of yesterday - yesterday after I'd warmed it was painfully clear that I had nothing to give, whereas today I felt quite strong and energized. Truly enjoyable workout - very glad I didn't cancel.

This week has felt very chaotic in terms of exercise - it's not a bad set of totals, all things considered, but I didn't get to as much hot yoga as I wanted and generally just felt like I was scrambling through a haze of poor logistics. I think I'm going to remake subsequent weeks' schedules one week at a time, so that I can tailor things better to that particular week's needs and constraints (things like getting to allergy doctor for shots on Monday afternoon and Thursday morning, building in suitable writing time, etc.). It is also rather clear to me that especially if I do want to keep on doing so much yoga, prioritizing spinning/bike time above all other things is the way to go - I don't need to do a ton of running to maintain fitness, and I can wait a little longer before doing serious swim workouts, but long-course triathlon is all about the bike....

1.5hr spin

Week's totals: 10:21

2 runs of c. 5mi. (c. 100min total)
5 spin sessions (2 x :50, 1 x 1hr, 2 x 1.5hr), total 5:50
2 hot yoga (3:00) and 1 restorative yoga (1:00, not logged as part of total)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Belated Friday post

(I did spin yesterday - I guess I was too busy getting ready for the party to post!)

1hr spin


I had a really great little party last night for my MA students, a make-up class for the one we missed this fall during the hurricane, but the combination of a few beers and much stimulating conversation meant it took FOREVER to go to sleep, and when I did finally get there, it was light and fitful only. Almost couldn't make myself get up for spin class downtown, but figured I'd be sorry to miss it - Joanna's spin classes are one of my favorite things. Was clearly very fatigued, so kept it mostly in zone 2 (maybe 10 mins zone 3 total). Then went to restorative yoga - I had had some notion of trekking uptown for a hot class, but it didn't seem sensible given fatigue. Hot yoga deprivation - I don't think I can go tomorrow, either, arghhhh! The restorative class is lovely, though.

:50 spin
1:00 restorative yoga

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Beautiful evening of exercise. I left here around 5:15, ran down to Chelsea Piers (spring is almost in the air?), then went to Dolores's 6:30-8pm cycling class. It was great - main work was 4 x 8min intervals at 105rpm for max wattage - very different from what we do in Joanna's class, and definitely beneficial from a neuromuscular point of view.

The schedule I made for this month of fitness was clearly ill-conceived, I am going to have another stab at it now that I actually see more about the ways my days are currently shaping themselves!

5mi., c. 51:00
1.5hr spin


Great class today, everything just felt really good. I couldn't make it yesterday for scheduling reasons and the next few days are tricky also, so maybe it just makes me especially appreciative!

1.5hr hot yoga

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Very nice run. It is actually beautiful running weather, high 30s and very sunny with virtually no wind; it's supposed to snow and rain again later. Took me a while to warm up: lungs still felt rather raw at the twenty-minute mark, and legs tired, so I decided 2 x upper loop was sufficient to requirements. By the time I got back up to Broadway, though, I finally really felt warmed up and as though I was running strong and easy, and wished I had done the third loop after all! However given the levels of fatigue I felt on Monday, it is probably a good thing to end the run wishing I had more to do.

just short of 5 miles and 50 minutes

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hot yoga!

I was almost on my way out the door this morning for my run when I had second thoughts - I was so tired yesterday, and it seemed like my legs etc. really would benefit from another day of nothing too strenuous. I think this was the right call. (Had a midday talk to attend, plus lunch afterwards - when you are not eating lunch till 2:30 and it is part of a work thing it really is better NOT to be starvationally hungry as aftermath of hour-long morning run!) Hot yoga was good.

1.5hr hot yoga

Monday, February 11, 2013


Ugh, insomnia again last night, I didn't fall asleep till 3 - fatigue was evident at spin in the fact that I couldn't get my heartrate up where it should have been, so I stuck with mostly zone 2 and called it quits. Worthwhile, anyway...

:50 spin

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week in review

A good week, despite travel and the complexities of life re-entry.

My priority from now through May is to build up to and maintain a very steady training week of 8-12 hours of swim-bike-run (3hr bike and 2hr run as long efforts). I'll keep doing yoga insofar as it's consistent with that goal, though I think it's best if I do it later in the day after I've done an hour or two of triathlon stuff already. (It is extremely good for mental health, and also for heat adaption, useful for making the transition from NYC to Cayman.) Certainly for now I think it's OK to keep yoga rather than swimming on the calendar....

Week in review: 12:30 hours, broken down as 6:30 bike/run and 6:00 yoga

Hot yoga!

It was good, but - ! - not hot enough! I think the room as a whole really isn't heated as hot as it's supposed to be (that's OK), but I keep ending up in a spot by the window that's REALLY not hot enough - particularly the floor is freezingly cold and your sweaty mat like a cold puddle. Need to start getting there earlier so that I can find a hotter spot. The room holds 60, and at these weekend later-afternoon classes, literally every spot is taken - it's packed....

1.5hr hot yoga

Beautiful run!

I was daunted before I left by the fact that the temperature on the NYT website read 19F, but really it warmed up - it's sunny and not windy - and Liz and I had an absolutely beautiful run in Central Park. The path is completely cleared and we both have been training pretty consistently - it was admittedly not a LONG long run, but it is good to be back at 10-minute pace on hills for long run.

1:20, 8 miles

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Good exercise day

Double spin at Chelsea Piers in the morning, the 4:30 hot yoga uptown. The one thing I don't like about the studio is the smell, but I think that is just a fact about Bikram yoga!

I spent quite a bit of time on Thursday evening making an exercise schedule that is a THING OF BEAUTY, but I already missed the first 6:30am workout and am forced to admit that TRULY it is impractical in NY for me to schedule early morning workouts. (It's different in Cayman, I get in more regular and earlier habits there and if I want to run outside, I have no choice but to run early!) Have reconceived along first principles: 1-2hr of triathlon training in mid-morning or midday, hot yoga later in the day if I've done the other, keep things as simple as possible! I got in a decent work session in the cafe at Chelsea Piers between the end of spin and leaving for yoga, and I think I should be able to continue to structure things that way.

2hr spin
1.5hr hot yoga

Friday, February 8, 2013


I had another bad night of insomnia last night (need to crack down on sleep hygiene, in particular turning off computer and avoiding any thought of work stuff from early evening!) - it was 3 and I still wasn't asleep, so I sensibly turned OFF the 5:45 alarm that I had hoped might get me to hot yoga. Still haven't quite decided if I'll try and get to 6:30pm class - I have a 4pm meeting, so the 4:30 class is out, and the weather is truly dreadful. Not at all the fluffy white Snowpocalypse of best-case scenarios; dreadful sleet/hail/slush/snow wintry mix (Lauren and I were pocked with huge pellets of hail as we walked from Chelsea Piers to lunch!). It may be better to hole up at home instead of going back out.

Midday spin downtown was excellent. I felt much better afterwards than I did before. Joanna's spin classes are a mainstay of my NYC life, very happy to be back in the spin studio at Chelsea Piers!

1hr spin (2 x 11min seated climb)

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I did run for an hour this morning, but I left it rather late given that I needed to get to the allergy doctor before her office closed at 11 (note to self: don't start reading things on the internet before the morning workout!), so I never got around to blogging it.

4:30pm hot yoga was good - class less crowded than the one I went to yesterday, and I think perhaps I am more flexible later in the day. Still feeling rather fatigued from travels and overwhelmed by the complexity of life re-entry....

1:02/c. 5.75mi. (high zone 1 - couldn't motivate to get up into zone 2)
1.5hr hot yoga

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hot yoga!

I went and signed up for the introductory week special at Bikram Yoga Harlem. Nicer vibe than the Bikram studio on 72nd St. that I've visited a few times before (that one's more upscale and intimidating, as befits the neighborhood!); not as beautiful and pristine as Bliss in Cayman, but then that's just an impossible standard! (The proper Bikram studios have carpeted floors, which inevitably makes them smellier.)

I slept little and badly last night, and woke up feeling pretty awful. This class really lifted my mood. I need to figure out how to keep doing hot yoga without having a negative impact on triathlon base training - thinking about various scheduling possibilities.

1.5hr hot yoga

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Winter wonderland!

I have to admit that I had to overcome a slight disinclination to get out the door for my run when I saw how snowy and gray it is outside this morning. (The transition from Cayman to NYC is definitely intense at this time of year - at a street corner waiting for the light yesterday evening to cross to the bank machine, a girl standing next to me muttered to herself, "It's extremely cold tonight!," more to herself than to me I think!) But it was lovely once I was out there, and really not that cold. There is something very special about a snowy weekday morning run - the few other runners you see all smile and wish you a good morning, and you know that you are part of the secret confraternity of people who love running...

6 miles easy, c. 1:08

Sunday, February 3, 2013


The Cross-Island Relay is a lovely event! However I ran rather slower than I had hoped - I haven't been training to run a sustained hard effort, and the heat and humidity slow me down fairly noticeably. It was good fun though! Not sure of exact times, or how our team placed, as I started my watch a little early (I was afraid I would drop the baton if I tried to start the Garmin during the handoff!).

Hot yoga was slightly overwhelming, due to underfueling and prior overheating, but worthwhile. It has been a very good month.

c. 36min/c. 4mi
1.25hr hot yoga

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hot yoga!

Very good. Still a little nervous that it is going to be much hotter and harder in NYC! Not sure whether or not I will get to class tomorrow - it rather depends whether we hang around after the cross-island relay to greet fellow teammates and watch awards. Possible I'll make it to the noon class, anyway? We will see.

1.5hr hot yoga

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hot yoga!

That was good. I am nervous that when I go back to NY and find a studio there, it will be much harder and much hotter!

1.5hr hot yoga