Sunday, May 31, 2015

7-day run streak!

Of admittedly VERY modest proportions, but I am happy about it regardless - one has to start somewhere! Flying later, didn't have a lot of time (and didn't get out of bed early enough to run outside), but did 20min on the treadmill at the gym:

2 x (4min @ 5mph, 1min @ 3.5mph), then 5 x (1min @ 6mph, 1min @ 3.2mph). Slight tenderness in back of left calf - will keep an eye on that.

Which brings SPA WEEK to a successful conclusion. More dinners out and evening alcohol consumption than is STRICTLY compatible with the platonic vision of spa week, but it was awfully nice (especially the pisco sour at Casa 43!)....

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Ah, that was good, I feel like even just this one week of "spa week" has noticeably increased my aerobic fitness...

Went to the gym, claimed a bike for 10am spin class then did treadmill workout as follows:

10min warmup as 2 x 4min @ 5mph, 1min @ 3.5mph. Then 7 x (:30 @ 8.0mph, 1:30 recovery @ 3.5mph). :25 total

1hr spin

Traveling home to NYC tomorrow but will try and get in a short run in the morning. SPA WEEK!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Compromise long workout!

I am laughing, really I had a cockamamie scheme earlier in the week that I was going to get up at 4am so that I could do my 2hr run before it gets light outside (it was prevented from being a COMPLETELY implausible plan by dint of the crucial detail that I would then go back to bed!). But I got home last night after a very lovely dinner and cocktails at Max's new restaurant Casa 43, it wasn't much after 8 but I was deathly tired and it seemed extremely clear that early rising was NOT on the cards and that I would have to resort to the treadmill....

... but long treadmill running is intolerable at current fitness! Embarked on it gamely, but after 5 very slow and yet hot and uncomfortable minutes, I made another compromise, put the speed to 3.5mph and the incline to 5% and tromped it out that way. It is a good workout, HR's a bit lower than jogging but on the other hand I think it's a much better workout for the legs than running c. 5mph.

Anyway, 2hr (7mi) @ 3.5mph, 5%

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Thursday workout!

Lingered abed considerably longer than I meant to, but as a result for the first time all week feel as though I have had enough sleep and will NOT need to take a nap later....

(Nothing wrong with naps, but it is nice not to need one!)

This must be the most willpower-free workout imaginable. The two halves are totally different from each other and each one is over sort of before you know it.

Upper body: bench set as 8 x 3 x 95; floor press 4 x 10 x 30lb dumbbells; triceps cable set 4 x 15. I feel like I did one other thing but can't now think what it was (didn't do lats as am still intending to do a squats workout later). 30min total.

Treadmill: warmup as 2 x (4min @ 5mph/1min @3mph), then work set: 5 x (1min @ 7mph, 2min @ 3mph).

Ready to make the coming year THE BEST FITNESS YEAR EVER....

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Just a short one. I DESPISE GETTING UP EARLY IN THE MORNING (I have a funny colleague on the tenure committee I spend so much time on, a very distinguished scientist who says regularly, of one of the measures we use to evaluate the productivity and influence of scientists, "I DESPISE the h-index" - I DESPISE GETTING UP IN THE MORNING!). But it has to be done if I want to run outside, which is much superior to running on the treadmill. In fact it was quite pleasant - I wasn't really awake properly until the twenty-minute mark, at which point I was two-thirds of the way done!

Mantra for this week is just GET OUT THERE AND DO SOMETHING - trying for two workouts a day when schedule permits - exercise makes me very happy (or perhaps it is that I only do this much exercise when I am relatively free from other obligations?).

Toying with the idea of a seven-day running streak - it seems attainable (famous last words?)....

:32 as 3:1 jog-walk

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Josh is coaching remotely for this week, that's fun! For today's main set, he gave me a choice of speed (10 x 3) or volume (3 x 10), but I realize that without chalk it's hard for me to do higher reps (didn't think to bring any, though certainly I can stow some here for future use), so my hand was forced (as it were!).

Warmup as 5, 5, 3 @ 90, then 10 x 3 x 135

Supplemental work: cable work for lats and triceps; back; single-arm rows 3 x 10 x 35.

:45 total. Feeling very satisfied - this workout really get the happy exercise chemicals going....

(Also after my workout this morning, I ate breakfast and went back to bed - I think I was asleep for most of the time between workout one and workout two! I am very fortunate - people pay a LOT OF MONEY for this kind of "spa week" situation, and I am getting it as part of my regular life!)


That was extremely satisfying. Didn't sleep well, woke up too early and was restless, so it wasn't hard to get up. Did my 30min treadmill workout FIRST (whatever the first workout is will be higher-quality than the second, and in this case it seemed wiser to do the self-directed one while I still had more energy), then Marlene's 6am spin class, which was very good. Alas, she's away at a conference this weekend and there won't be a class Thursday morning....

:30 treadmill as 4 x (4:1), then 1min fast (7mph, 8:34), 2min recovery

1hr spin as 20 x (2min work, 1min recovery) with a wide variety of work (high-cadence, seated climb/standing climb, standing climb/jumps, etc.)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hot yoga!

GRUESOMELY hot yoga, I was lying down early and much - the teacher chirpily said, about two-thirds of the way through, "Guys, it's so RICH in here - the heat hasn't come on once, and it's still 109 degrees!" Really my ideal hot yoga is at about 100 degrees - I had several moments of thinking that I WILL NEVER DO ONE OF THESE CLASSES AGAIN, although as I now feel pretty good, I expect I will give it another go on Wednesday. (I was already rather overheated going in - I walked over, and I ran this morning too - on Wednesday, I can arrange it so that I'm coming from a stint in air-conditioning.)

1hr hot yoga


I was so tired I went to bed last night at - is it possible?!? - 8:45, which means it was actually realistic to get up at 5:30 to run before the sun's fully up! I still had to do some bargaining with myself to get out the door - traded the unspecified :50 on the schedule for :40 as 3:1 run-walk. Nice!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sea swim!

Friend D. suggested it; I just joined them for an easy 35 minutes or so, with a couple rests (1000 yards, maybe?). Beautiful - and a gesture of good faith towards the neglected mulisport life....


First time I have been on a bicycle since my 70.3 in September, I am ashamed to say! And I haven't been doing any indoor cycling either - in retrospect, I could have aimed for something a little shorter....

(Was shooting for 3hr, but started making deals with myself only about an hour in that if I reached my "end point" at the Frank Sound junction somewhat short of the hour, I didn't have to eke out the last little bit. It was an arduous ride - very windy right from the start, and only with a little reprieve at the very end, by which point my feet were sore and my hands were numb and I was generally just very ready to be off the bike! Also, note to self - fine to go out on empty stomach and water, but waiting to stop at the Frank Sound gas station is too long - I could tell from the sheer utter nectar-like deliciousness of the orange Gatorade I had there, around the 1:40 mark, that I should have taken in calories half an hour sooner....)

2:45, wasn't using Garmin so not quite sure about distance (slow, though - riding into wind 90% of time!)

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Flew to Cayman yesterday, the missed night of sleep from very early airport departure takes further toll on lungs - must be careful. Slept long (didn't get up in time to run outside), but then had a lovely time at 10am spin class at World Gym. Haven't been consciously boycotting since Joanna left Chelsea Piers, but it coincided with my very busiest time of school year, it must be several months since I went to a class - it will be good getting back into it. Excited for SPA WEEK - drinking a "Green Machine" smoothie as I write....

1hr spin!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


I have been grumpy about not running due to pollen, but it wasn't a bad idea to have well-rested legs. Interesting session today, really fairly satisfying - my technique has come a LONG way, still not there as a default but I switch into the right mode periodically. We didn't test for a true max, Josh is a very cautious and sensible coach who will prefer to build my mental confidence, but this weight feels pretty light still, I am sure I can really heave a lot more than it - I am still popping back up pretty quickly. So - solid 135 which we did a lot of times now, and on the NEXT ten-week cycle I will try and get a better sense of a real current max....

(So deadlift is 241 - with a little wiggle room; I think I could have had a true max a little heavier, but no reason to risk it - true bench is 115 and asterisked bench is 125 - provisional squat at 135 but with already more strength, just still working on technique and mental confidence.)


Cayman early tomorrow, I am hoping lung ailment will have fully retreated such that I can have high-volume SPA WEEK.... (which in my case involves exercise rather than "treatments" of any particular sort!)

1.25hr lower body

Minor lung ailment

making me grumpy - it's really genuinely minor, but lungs raw enough that I think I'd better stay out of parks/avoid aerobic exercise. I will lift later, that's something! Then flying to Cayman tomorrow - that early morning flight and dry cabin air are always hard on the lungs, so I had better err on side of caution....

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Hmmm, that was equivocal, I sort of got 125 but not I think really (Josh said he didn't touch it - we will mark with an asterisk). On the bright side 115 is now very manageable and I know I topped out at 85 last time we tested, so that is a good improvement.

I am sorry to say I have another minor lung ailment, it was coming on me last night and I could feel it quite strongly this afternoon as I gave out awards etc. - the happy exercise chemicals make it go completely away while actually working out, and we had a glorious 90min workout with all sorts of other fun stuff, but I can feel the postnasal drip and cough starting up again. I BLAME THE POLLEN!

1.5hr upper body


I decided yesterday that my ONLY PRIORITY for this week and next (flying to Brent's on Friday for SPA WEEK) is daily exercise (x2 where possible), healthy eating and better sleep habits. So though I did linger in bed for too long, my day is off to a good start....

Complaints: chafing from inadequate lubrication on Sunday's run, tight lower right-hand back, tender left mid-calf, high humidity. Felt plodding rather than fleet of foot. OTOH not bad, reasonably enjoyable (especially once I turned around and was running north along the river home - breeze in face is beneficial when it's so damp).

Warmup: 20min as 4 x (4:1), then 5 x (30s hard, 30s walk, 4min jog), then 5min walk to stretch back, then 2 x 4:1 cooldown home - 1hr total

Monday, May 18, 2015


My favorite day of the lifting week. We are testing this week, and I am very happy with what I "pulled" today - had better prepare myself for not being quite so elated at bench (where I have made progress but it is not so dramatic) and squats (still behind the other too). But - 241!


is largely frowned on, but some sort of external commitment strategy seems necessary - it will be very good for mental and physical health if I adopt a resolution from now through late July (when a couple weeks of travel will put paid to this sort of regimen) to exercise in the morning BEFORE I turn on computer and check email. I didn't do that this morning, and predictably got derailed (email from lawyer asking me to scan and send real estate documents ASAP, which meant I needed to go to the office and had side effect of getting me onto a bunch of other unfinished estate business); today it didn't matter, as it was a priority to get out midday as well as this evening and my schedule's quite open, but it is a very bad habit and one that I should be able to do something about! I am much more scrupulous about it at Brent's as it is crucial to get out for a run before dawn - but I should be able to arrange life here so that I can do the same.

Muggy but much cooler than yesterday, mercifully.

:30 as 6 x 4:1, with #3-6 having last 30 seconds of each run interval HARD

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Friday was a sort-of-inevitable day off, but yesterday was unwanted day off - workout partner had to cancel due to circumstances beyond his control, but instead of (say) going out for a run, I just went back to bed! ARGHHHHHH!

Today I did get out for what SHOULD have been 1:20 time-on-feet run at 3:1, but it is woefully hot and humid, and I didn't get out the door till midday - turned around at the half-hour mark due to feeling disgustingly overheated and eyes and lungs COATED with pollen. Walked rest of the way home.

Partial fail, in other words, but given how little willpower I seem to have currently (and how much easier it is to be in bed than to do anything more productive!) I think I had better count it a success and move on!

:48 as 3:1 run-walk, then :22 additional walk for 1:10 total TOF

Thursday, May 14, 2015


This workout does not produce the same exhilaration in me as deadlifts, I find the lift itself significantly more challenging and am still waiting for all the final technique bits to fit into place - BUT, that said, I am really making progress - I am about 90% there, just need to keep doing it now I think and ingraining the habits....

1hr lower body

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bench/lung woes!

I AM AN IDIOT, it is entirely my own fault - forgot inhaler yesterday and did workout without taking albuterol first, I could tell I was a bit wheezy but it's not a high-HR workout so I thought it would probably OK. HOWEVER once I started working out this evening, it was clear something was not right with the lungs - arghhh - very raw and raspy, I had to skip conditioning bit at the end as I didn't want to do anything with additional strain! Meant to run earlier, didn't get to it due to laziness, but in retrospect it was just as well....

(Today's workout was quite fun, only I think I worked so hard deadlifting yesterday that I had little left to give!)

1hr upper body

Monday, May 11, 2015


My favorite day of the lifting week! What fun...

1hr lower body

Short run!

I got into the park and it was a veritable CARPET of pollen - called it short as though this was not objectively the case, my subjective sense was that pollen was sealing my left eye shut with stickiness and inflammation!

(Did NOT have long run yesterday, which means no run adventure next Sunday, this was always the more sensible option - immune system currently hammered by allergies and fatigue, don't need to do anything to put undue strain on it.)

:20 as 4:1

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Surprising how sweaty an activity running is even on an overcast day...

THIS WAS GOOD. I hereby vow that running will be a near-daily habit and that I will come up with a rock-solid structure for this coming winter that will not let me fall so far out of the running habit!

:40 as 10min warmup (4:1), 10 x 1min hard, 1min recovery, 10min cooldown jog

Friday, May 8, 2015


Extra workout - an indulgence, but it was worth it! Now I am feeling slightly awful due to allergies - my eyes feel like they are about to pop out of my head - must go and dig around in cabinet to see if there are some drops or anything else that might improve the situation....

1hr upper body

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Workout of bliss. Everything that was horrible and impossible last week was finally clicking. Still need to get these grooves more deeply entrenched (neuromuscular more than a strength issue as such), but I was squatting 135 by the end of the workout and it felt extremely manageable. Assignment for the week is to do air squats whenever I think of it and try and get this set of cues to become truly reflexive (activate quads and glutes, brace abs, SCREW feet out, go down LOW and then really SURGE back up with pressure from outside of the feet....)

Having an extra workout with Josh tomorrow as a treat - we will do back and bench, it is his persuasive theory that squatting will become easier when my lats are stronger than they are currently.

1+hr lower body

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Powerlifting of bliss!

It is just very quiet and meditative, I thoroughly enjoy it! Both the activity itself and the particular iteration. Bench today - after the main sets, did some very fun work at lighter weight/close grip for speed and volume, 3 x 20 x 65!

It is possible that after I meet one more deadline tomorrow (well, one plus one minor revision on something else), I can actually COLLAPSE for a bit - I may be kidding myself, certainly final papers are coming in at the end of the week and will need comments etc. etc., but the end does seem to be in sight....

1hr upper body

Monday, May 4, 2015


OK, not 100% but mostly back on form - in fact while working out I realized that really it's allergies now that are making me glassy-eyed, not ailment as such, though lungs are still somewhat full of junk. Highly satisfactory workout.

1hr deadlifts and grip work