Sunday, March 31, 2013

Long run!

I was a little worried about how it would go, as I haven't run long for three weeks or so, but in fact it was lovely, I felt strong and it seemed nearly effortless up until the last couple miles. Looking forward to ramping up the training once I survive the next couple weeks of travel. Great running weather today - low 50s. Short sleeves!

(It will be my priority during next 2 weeks of travel to do a long run each weekend - it's the thing that's easiest to do while staying at a hotel in a strange city.)

1:35:50/9.8mi (9:48/mi. pace)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Long spin!

I didn't get myself out of the house for the notional pre-spin ride - it seemed a little chilly (it is a beautiful sunny day in fact, this was more of a psychological fact than a weather-related one - low 40s though), and I could not persuade myself. Then I had a minor disaster as I approached Chelsea Piers and realized I had grabbed my small "running" set of keys (they have a spare key for gym locker, so they have been indistinguishable from full bunch of keys over winter months of non-cycling) which do not have the fob for the secure bike area and the key for the lock I leave there! I brought my bike inside up several flights of stairs to the spin studio, but teacher was leery - ran back downstairs with it & the folks behind the reception desk very kindly said I could leave it in their back office, they were super-nice about it.

:25 ride
1:55 spin
:25 ride

2:45 total

I am still a bit freezing from riding home soaking wet, though temp is up into fifties and it really is a beautiful day. Might have to get back into bed to warm up properly! It will be three weeks before I'm home again for a weekend - conference in Cleveland Wed-Sun this coming week, San Francisco trip Thurs-Sun the following week and mid-week trip to Portland, ME the week after that - training is going to be patchy, I will just have to do the best I can getting in a couple long workouts on days when it's feasible.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Decadent double!

Decadently spent the morning doing back-to-back yoga classes. Now must shower and do some work. It is an anomalously cool day in Cayman (upper 70s and overcast), they couldn't get the studio hot enough for the hot class!

1hr flow yoga (visiting teacher Tahnee teaches a very good class)
1.5hr hot yoga

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


That was good.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Hot yoga!

I felt ridiculously strong and fit doing a hot yoga class as my first athletic activity the day after a rest day! Am shooting to go to masters swim later, although I may be slightly tempted to stay at home instead - we will see how that goes.

1.5hr hot yoga

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week in review

I had true intention to do a 3-hour ride this morning, but when the alarm went off at 5:45 (it needed to be early due to another schedule constraint), I did not have it in me to get up! Turned off alarm and went back to sleep almost till 8. So my training week has ended early: I'm taking a rest day, which also (pleasantly) means I can go with B. shortly to measure the course for the duathlon in April. Going home Thursday, and have a lot of travels for the couple weeks following - will need to try and fit in one long bike next weekend if possible.

Week's totals: 12:17: essentially, three runs (one v short - I count the return trip to spin class as a single run), three spins (one double), 4 hot yoga, 2 swims - pretty well-balanced training week for pre-season.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Double spin!

It was good. Jogged/walked home after.

1:46:48 spin
26:41 jog/walk (12:00/mi. avg pace)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hot yoga!

Good class, but it can only be described as extremely hot!

1.5hr hot yoga

Masters swim!

Extremely pleasant. It was touch and go whether I would make it there - the alarm went off at 5:30 and I turned it off, reset for 7 and told B. that it was too early and I was going back to sleep! However really I was awake and a few minutes later decided that I would feel too much remorse later in the day if I did not get over there (I don't have access to that sort of pool to do a workout on my own, so it's not something I can easily make up later in the day).

They have three workouts a week and this is the only morning one - I may try and go Monday evening as well, though. Swimming should be the easiest part of my Ironman training, given ambition is completion rather than speed - really if I go to masters swim twice a week, everything else is gravy. So it is appealing to think of locking it in as a default. It's definitely a little easier for me to train in NYC than here - not so hot, more options - but with a little effort I should be able to make it so that I can have an amply sufficient training week here as well.

Warmup: 100 free, 4 x (25 stroke, 25 free)

Set #1: 3 x (4 x 25), odds freestyle evens stroke, descending each set of four (I did fly drill for first pair and full stroke for second)

Set #2: 2 x (300 free, 200 free, 100 free), negative splits by effort, :30 rest

Cooldown: 100 drill-swim by 25 (front scull concentrating on loose floppy hands - as opposed to the claw-like way I had been swimming previously!)

There weren't many people there - a small enough number that we were splitting lanes rather than circle-swimming. Nice to get feedback from coach on stroke! I have three things that I know are what I most need to work on for my freestyle stroke (aside of course from there always being room for improvement on body rotation): (1) left arm tends to get very straight and flop down into water, concentrate on high-elbow recovery and pull (2) bilateral breathing is good, but on right side I slightly lift my head up - keep neck neutral and rotate along long axis rather than jerking head out of water (3) claw hands as opposed to easy floppy hands with bigger surface area.

1900 meters

Thursday, March 21, 2013



(Attentive readers will deduce from the discrepancy between the first number and the second that B. ran with me again for the first leg!)

Thinking about a Cayman training week - this is good for now, but I need to figure out where the long run can get slotted. I think I will shoot for a modified version of what I've been doing: Mon. as easy/off (yoga, short swim); Tues run-spin-run, midday yoga; Wed. early long run, possible yoga depending on work needs, possible swim (there is a 5:30pm sea swim at Sunset House I wouldn't mind putting on the schedule); Thurs. 1.5-2hr spin at home, midday yoga; Fri. 6-7am masters swim, 10am yoga; Sat. double spin and run home; Sun. long bike in world, short afternoon swim (optional).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hot yoga!

It was particularly enjoyable today - I am fresher, obviously, if I haven't already done another chunk of exercise earlier in the day. Very satisfying to feel that by doing this steadily over some months, I am gradually making improvements. I am not naturally flexible (I particularly have very tight hamstrings) and am pleased with small victories! I got all the way down on my back for the second stint of fixed firm today and had a very satisfactory camel also. I remember my first week in January of doing the hot yoga and not even being able to lean my head slightly back for either of these without becoming quite dizzy, let alone actually doing the full backbend....

1.5hr hot yoga

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Brief hot yoga

The "express" version (one hour only).

1hr hot yoga


That will work very well for me. B. accompanied me over, thus run leg #1 was rather quicker than #2 en route home on my own! Note to self: leave ten minutes earlier to gain extra time on bike; also, bring at least one more bottle of water....

21:31 run (2.21mi.)
43:24 spin (avg HR 143, max HR 158)
23:06 run

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sea swim!

35 minutes, c. 1500 yards - much faster swim out along the shore than for the return leg, currents!

Hot yoga!

That was great - I was much fresher than I was on Saturday post-spin/run.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Long bike!

Now that really was lovely. Beautiful relaxing bike ride, zone 2 with some bits of zone 3 (it was a bit slow as I was riding into the wind for a large proportion of the time) - avg HR 139. Rode out to the East End and did the loop clockwise, then an extra bit of out-and-back - I was shooting for 3:00, but due to a couple of stops for refueling and having left a bit later than I intended, I only got to 2:45. B. then very kindly met me with the vehicle at the beach at the Frank Sound Junction - traffic escalates over the course of the morning to the extent that the ride home at 10 or 11 is much less safe than the ride out at 7am.

2:45, 40 miles, avg speed 14.3mph, avg HR 139

Turned into a good training week after all despite having missed Monday due to fatigue and too many obligations and Thursday due to travel. Will continue to prioritize spinning and cycling while I'm here - will go to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday double spin at Revolutions, then ride long again next Sunday.

Total hours for the week: 10:47

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hot yoga!

It's the contraband 1.25hr version that they would not be allowed to have if they were an official Bikram-licensed studio...

1.25hr hot yoga


Hmmm, that's curious - I did go to hot yoga yesterday, it is unusual that I did not post about it afterwards!

Had a very good workout this morning. I realized that Saturday morning double spin is a high point of my week when I am in NYC, so I am going to make it a priority to duplicate it here. Very nice spinning studio. Did double spin then ran home.

1:48 spin (avg HR 142, max HR 159)
:22:04 run (2.15mi., 10:15/mi. pace, avg HR 147, max HR 154)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Alas, I was stymied yesterday in my desire to attend another TNYA swim practice by the fact that I inadvertently fell fast asleep just after 5pm (I should have gotten upright as soon as I finished my meditation!) and didn't wake up until just too late to go to practice. I think really I was enough fatigued that it was better not to swim; today I seem to have felt very tired also, though I was glad to get to 4:30pm hot yoga.

(Yoga is beneficial - I think hot yoga in Cayman is MUCH hotter than it is at this particular studio, though, and I am a little worried about whether it will overwhelm me when I reenter!)

On a 7am flight tomorrow from JFK, still have to pack, so will try and do that and just sleep for a couple hours if I can. Had a demanding but worthwhile day including very successful qualifying exams by one of my graduate students, allergy shots and dinner with an old friend.

1.5hr hot yoga

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Very rainy day out there. Ran down to Chelsea Piers and went to the 12:30 spin class. I never usually go to spin on a Tuesday, it was anomalous!

c. 52min, c. 5mi.
:45 spin

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week in review

Got to the 6:30 hot yoga class, it was highly worthwhile. This week I was still suffering from an excess of phlegm but I think it can on the whole be counted a success. Three swims (one "real" workout), 4 spins (one double), 2 runs (not enough, but running is a better place for me to skimp than spinning), 2 hot yoga. Lungs/phlegm were the limiter so really I could/should not have done more. Very glad I finally got back to TNYA - that is what really makes this week feel victorious! Leaving town Thursday, and a lot of work and personal stuff to take care of between now and then, but I'm looking to do double spin Monday evening at Chelsea Piers, Tuesday evening TNYA workout at City College and Wednesday hot yoga (I need to bring my mat home, as the courtesy they request if you leave a mat there is that you should practice twice a week, and it will be probably another month - mid-April - before I am really back there on a regular basis).

11:30 total


I am laughing at myself, I am an idiot, how did I build it up to be such a big deal to go to a TNYA swim workout? I LOVE SWIMMING! I LOVE TNYA! The only reason I didn't swim much last year was that it is easy to stay in shape for 2 of the 3 triathlon sports and hard to do all 3 properly, and it was a tactical choice that I needed to bump swimming from co-favorite with running in order to get my cycling better (it is the highest priority for triathlon especially as you move towards longer races).

Anyway, I found the building without difficulty, and the pool; my friend K. was gatekeeper and gave me a huge welcome back. Pleasant slow lane, got an excellent workout, then had lovely meal afterwards with other swimmers at Coccola.

Warmup: 100 swim, 100 kick, 200 pull, 100 kick, 100 swim

Drill: 6 x 50 breaststroke concentrating on pullout (3-2-1 drill); 6 x 50 back with fins (kick-swim by 25); 6 x 50 free with fins (descending 1-3, 4-6)

Main set: 400 pull, 4 x 100 IM, 8 x 50 free (kick-swim by 25) - fast lanes did times 2, I halved it for the second set, so 200 pull, 2 x 100 IM, 4 x 50 free

The 90-minute workout really is great - we only ever had an hour of pool time at Columbia, which is often more like :56 if you're a few minutes late getting started. I much prefer being able to get in more yardage. If I do a 90-minute TNYA workout twice a week and 2 1000-yard swims after Monday and Friday spin, I think that will be plenty. That said, I am leaving town Thursday, so I won't be able to go to this workout again for many weeks, and I'm traveling a good deal in April, so attendance will be distinctly patchy! I do think I'll go to the Tuesday evening workout so as to really make sure I'm over the hump on the "real swim workouts are daunting" feeling.

3300 yards

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Double spin!

That was great. I am really looking forward to being at B.'s for two weeks, there is going to be a lot of spinning for me there, but the first three weeks of April are going to be a bit of a disaster - a lot of travel and the kind of social obligations that involve alcohol - I think that for the days I'm actually in NYC, I should prioritize doing 2- and 3-hour bike things, then I can run on days I'm traveling. As for swimming and yoga, who knows?

2hr spin

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blissful day of exercise

Yesterday was a write-off due to the cascade effect of a couple very minor medical woes! I have a mystery rash, on Tuesday evening I thought it was just oddly placed chafing but on Wednesday post-yoga I saw it was a grotesque rash on a part of the back that is not really fully visible (FORTUNATELY!). So I prioritized getting to the allergy doc on Thursday morning for my shots, so that she could take a look; she gave me some cream for it, but really I have to see the GP on Monday to see if I can get a fuller diagnostic. (It seems to be going away, but really I would prefer to find out what it actually is in any case!)

Once I'd called to make that appointment, it seemed to me that I should also make the other call I've been procrastinating on - a few weeks ago, I noticed with my tongue that there is some kind of a sharp spot or cavity on a tooth, it doesn't hurt but I've been meaning to call the dentist. So I did, and he fit me in for a lunchtime appointment (thereby scuppering my plan to attend the noon Swimtech workout at Chelsea Piers!), and has detected a broken filling which he will replace on Monday (the seal to the tooth isn't broken, so it's a relatively harmless sort of problem, but definitely good to get it taken care of before anything else happens to it). By mid-afternoon I was just frazzled - oscillated between thinking of run + yoga or just run or just yoga, and couldn't get out the door - and then my brother emailed to see if we could move our planned 7:30 dinner earlier, as he was getting off work sooner than expected. So the day was gone - we had a lovely dinner with G. at B & B - M. had tuscan bean soup and a burger, G. had pork schnitzel, I had tuna tartare and a meatball and fresh ricotta appetizer, then we shared the mini-ice-cream cones for dessert - it was fully psychologically and nutritionally restorative, and I am forced to conclude the day off from exercise was beneficial.

Today, though, was perfect! It is very snowy. I felt vim to run down to Chelsea Piers for spin class, imagining an epic man-vs.-elements scenario, but really it was just blissful, a beautifully quiet relaxing run - the path had been ploughed, there was some new accumulation but it wasn't slippery and the whole park was virtually deserted. True winter wonderland effect up at this end of the park! Spin class was great (only I have a surplus of phlegm still), and I had a lovely little swim after that - I am finally getting back in the groove of swimming. Had thought I would go to 4:30 yoga, but the phlegm excess made me change my mind about that, and I have to go back out for dinner again too, so quiet afternoon at home will be wiser.

5.2mi run/55min.
:45 spin (2 x 11min climb, 2min active recovery)
1000 yards swim (5 x 100 as odds free, evens fly drill; 3 x 100 as 25 fly 75 free; 100 IM; 100 free)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I was feeling extremely lazy beforehand, so we kept our aspirations modest - it was worthwhile. Now, a shower - my cycling shoes leave an unpleasant aroma on the feet that is strongly redolent of the Bikram yoga studio also!

3 x (5 x :15 all out, 1:45 recovery), 5:00 set rest

1:00 total

Hot yoga!

Very happy to be back at hot yoga this morning. I missed it! Being sick is a great nuisance - if they will just invent cures for common cold and insomnia, my triathlon training will go significantly more smoothly....

1.5hr hot yoga

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Felt very groggy this morning after a lot of tossing and turning last night, but it was a beautiful morning for a run! I unscrupulously mobilized my very fast student J. to join me for his-easy-my-tempo workout - we met at the bottom of Harlem Hill, ran 2 x the upper loop together (two great zone 4 stretches running up that hill!) and then I jogged home by myself up 110th St. for my cooldown. The easiest way for me to get faster is to do some bits of running with faster friends...


Monday, March 4, 2013

Spin/short swim

I capped heartrate at zone 2, my lungs are still a little tender but otherwise I feel mostly better. Just had a very short swim after - I am really just trying to train myself into the habit of always getting in the pool for a short swim after weekday spin class, but really I need to eat either a larger breakfast or a substantial midmorning snack (I had an apple at 11, but it was not enough) if I want to extent the workout at that juncture - spin finishes at 1:15, it takes me too far into the day without enough fueling.

:55 spin (zone 2)
500 yards swim (200 warmup, 2 x 100 drill-swim by 25 as front scull, fists, 100 free concentrating on form)

Sunday, March 3, 2013


After being sick all week it made me INCREDIBLY happy to be enough better that I could go for a run. Beautiful weather today for it too, sunny and clear and not too windy, upper 30s.

(I had sort of set myself on going to the midday TNYA swim workout at City College, mostly because I am having a mild aversion to (a) going to a real swim workout after a long layoff and (b) finding a new pool in a new building - it is the latter really that stresses me out, I thought I had better just MAKE myself go if I was well enough to exercise at all - but the external voice of reason a.k.a. B. reminded me that lung ailments tend to be exacerbated by pool chemicals....)

Capped HR at top of zone 1, but felt good. Will see how I'm doing later re: energy level and phlegm management - would love to go to 6:30 yoga, but don't want to overdo it.

1:01, 6mi., high zone 1

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Armchair planning

Was still really not right to exercise today, but am hoping I will have some options tomorrow. Meanwhile, thinking about registering for this! Basically I want to take any chance I can get to do a long and fairly challenging supported bike ride in a location accessible by public transit from NYC...

"The better part of valor is discretion"

Well, my cold is much better this morning, but caution dictates that if I do any exercise today, it should only be light, so I didn't head downtown for my much-loved spin class, alas. Might do a light spin at home later in the day. Being sick is irksome but I am grateful that it hasn't been worse!