Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Main work set 5 x 3 x 100.

(I took a long nap yesterday afternoon and felt much better when I woke up - I think really I was just overtired and then also overheated during the workout.)

Lateral raises: 4 x 10 x 5lb.
Dumbbell rows (from yesterday): 4 x 12 x 40lb
Lat pulldowns

I think that was it - about :40 total. Will make an effort to get to the gym for 6am spin tomorrow - I slept too poorly on Monday night for it to make sense for Tuesday. Got a lot of work done today for my talk but there is still a lot left to do - that's OK, but I know I will be slightly sorry if I am still working on it in London early next week - I really prefer to have printed out a nice full clean copy or two before I start traveling, in case of technical or other disaster....

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Minor deadlifts

Had a stomachache yesterday and was feeling a bit out of sorts, put it down to lack of sleep, but after another night of very poor sleep I am forced to conclude that the cause and effect goes the other way round: I've got some minor stomach bug and it's preventing me from sleeping. Don't feel super-sick, just poorly - went to the gym to do my deadlift day, but felt rather queasy as I warmed up and had to slow down the interval between sets as I felt as though I might hurl. Called it after the main set and came home, really just not feeling so good....

Warmup: 5, 5, 3 x 135
Work set: 10 x 3 x 165 (supposed to be on :30, but I did them on 1:00)

Will hope to feel better tomorrow and add the rest of the set to my bench day. Ugh!

Monday, July 27, 2015


I always slightly dread my first run in Cayman - heat and humidity - and that plus general inability to get up early and get out the door meant I was rather dragging my heels. But really it wasn't bad; when I come in July, I've been running in NYC heat and humidity enough that it's not bank-breakingly different (in January it really is a total shock to the system!).

(NB if I want to do a longer one on Friday morning I really will have to get up quite a bit earlier....)

:40 as 4:1

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Bailed a few days ago on the notion of a long ride - without an event I'm training for specifically, there are more relaxing ways to spend my only Sunday morning in Cayman this trip! Had thought I'd get up early and run, but woke up about 10 minutes before the alarm was due to go off (5:30) and was filled with horror at the idea of getting up so early, went back to bed. Instead went to the gym for a short treadmill run and spin class, will swim later with D. and C.

:15 run as 5min warmup, then 6 x (:30 @ 7.5mph, 1:00 walking recovery)
:50 spin class (T. was teaching, that's always fun)

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Made it safely to Cayman (different route than usual - often I fly direct, this time it was through Miami - much longer day of travel, only arrive mid-evening, but it's a more humane hour of departure and I think it's worth it not to miss the night of sleep before). Good morning workout at World Gym - did :20 or so of upper body (4 x 8 x 85 bench, 4 x 8 x 40 dumbbell row), then :50 spin class. Exercise makes me happy!

Thursday, July 23, 2015


This seems to have been a phenomenally tiring day, not quite sure why (I guess getting ready to go out of town is always stressful...). Good squats workout, though. I am ignoring the fact of light weights and rejoicing in the fact that I remembered the arched back from last week and am starting to consolidate various bits of form stuff. Ah, it is frustrating, but it is always the way of things that one piece of the puzzle causes disproportionately more trouble than the others!

speed set 10 x 3 x 60 on 1:00
then 4 x 4 with 5-second isometric hold at the bottom
3 x 8 x Bulgarian split squats
100 hip thrusters with bands

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


The humidity dropped and it's a beautiful day today - I finally stopped wondering why I live in this awful climate!....

Liz came uptown and we had a nice run together in Riverside Park along the water - GORGEOUS. I bailed shortly before the end - very sore/tight lower back (that lat attachment, on the right side mostly but to a lesser extent left side too), plus unpleasant dry mouth (not sure what this is from, a prescription drug maybe?). Stopped at 3.8mi (:45) and walked the last bit home, met up with Liz at park exit. It is a luxury that she came to me - I got to run with her AND have my "home" run!

Need to do some stretching and see what can be done about this back tightness, that was uncomfortable....

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Gosh, this hot weather is disgusting - I met up with L. and G. for a couple of beers in Brooklyn after going to the gym, as it was my only chance to see them before I leave town Friday, and the subway trip home was utterly overwhelming - hot platforms, hot stopped trains. Won't be sorry to have a few weeks without this, though I will miss library/powerlifting club/cats....

Anyway good session with Josh et al. Work set at 65%: 4 x 10-12 x 85 (did 12 for the first 2 sets, 10 for the last 2). Board press (close-grip) 4 x 6 x 95. 5 x circuit of lateral raise (5lb only), "crying shrugs" (one-arm, 37.5), face-pull with band. There was a set of tricep pulls that I left partially undone as hands were needed to hold foam roller for board press.

1hr upper body

Funny birthday run!

Last year was more epic. This year I am just in survival mode and it is the most I can do to scramble myself from day to day, ugh! But Coach Dave has a gift for coming up with something suitable regardless, and this is the funny workout he wrote:
15 min easy to warm up, then a fun workout. Start with 55 seconds running, 5 sec walking. Aim to have the running as quality and smooth as possible. Then do 50/10, then 45/15, all the way down to 5/55. As you get more rest, make the running sections faster. Finish with 15 min super easy.
I did two rounds of it, it was indeed quite fun (though the weather is GROTESQUELY humid still, if not quite as hot as the last couple days. About :50 total (with 5min of walking after the second round).

Monday, July 20, 2015

Workout of bliss!

It's a heat wave in NYC, but I took a long nap this afternoon and just got home from a workout of bliss - I am forced to conclude that despite this year really not having gone according to plan, I am in pretty good shape.

Rode bike down and back - it is amazing how much more relaxing it is to ride this bike than a road bike with clipless pedals when you are going through chaotic streams of cyclists, pedestrians, rollerbladers etc. Nice breeze along the water though definitely HOT.

Deadlifts: my favorite of the three workout days for sure. Had a female partner on the bar, it was fun (usually we're each on our own bar, but membership has been picking up). Work set was 6 x 2 x 185/195, then we did 4 x 4 x 135/155 with a four-second hold halfway up. 5 x 10 x dumbbell row (37.5, but really that's too light, did 47.5 for my last 2 sets). A cable thing I can't quite describe, then 10 laps jogging around the sand volleyball court. Woo-hoo!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Short run with fireflies!

I had a longer one on the schedule (70min with hills), but it was clear to me first that it was going to have to be Riverside rather than Central Park (not hill aversion as such, just feeling of dislike towards having to run through crosstown streets to get there), and then that I just didn't have the vim. Really good quiet work-reading day at home, gearing up for run around 8pm - but it's still mid-80s and very humid. Plus intense DOMS in quads from Thursday's squat workout - I was making faces as I walked down the stairs into the park! So I just did 30min easy instead, that's OK....

Thursday, July 16, 2015


It is a little bit scary how much my mood improves with the weather - sunny and LOW HUMIDITY today has made a huge difference (also, I had some good thinking about my Oxford talk). ALSO feel like I re-remembered the minor breakthrough on squats that I seemed to have forgotten over the last couple weeks. We did a couple things that really helped: moving the bar higher up my back again (so that I could really concentrate on keeping it level with middle of the foot) and strongly cueing the arched back, which I have down really well in the deadlift but which I tend to forget about when squatting. Nothing much weight-wise, but I feel a lot better about moving forward with this. Nice that Josh is back too - we missed him!

squats on box (no weight)
10 x 3 x 55-60 on 1:00
5 x 4 goblet squat with 32.5, 3-second hold at bottom
35 Bulgarian split squats
100 hip thrusters

+ 10mi round-trip bike, a LOVELY one - riding along the water towards the end of the day is simply gorgeous, and this bike moves at a much more appropriate speed than my road bike, which makes me too fast for peace of mind in crowded/chaotic conditions!


Just a short one - I was gnashing my teeth that I couldn't trade today's run and yesterday's, the weather today is so much better! I didn't get out early (when it was in the SIXTIES with low humidity!), but though it's warm now there's hardly any moisture in the air....


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Long run!

Weather is just gruesomely humid, but OTOH the fact that it was actually raining meant I did not feel utterly foolish for running in the middle of the day (only foolish for living in such a woefully moist climate - why not for instance high-altitude desert with freezingly chilly evenings and not a drop of moisture in the air?). 90 minutes as 3:1 jog-walk. SQUELCHY.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Rode my sedate bike down and back, I think it's going to be very good - not training time as such, but adds in some low-level exercise instead of sitting on a subway train reading a book.

Did Josh's workout pretty much as specified:

bench: 3 x 8-10 @ 95 (did 10 on first set, but I didn't have a spotter and I felt better at 8 for #2 and #3, did a bonus set of 8 as well)

incline dumbbell bench: 3 x 8 x 27.5 (6-second eccentric tempo)

seated shoulder press: 3 x 12 x 12.5

100 rope face pulls
100 tricep pulldowns

about :45 upper body, 10mi bike

Megan's hills!

OK, I'm up to full strength on this now - 10 x 1min hill (walk back down for recovery). It's a bit sultry outside, and no conveniently located water fountain near the hill I was using (should bring a bottle of water I think), but I am happy to have executed that more or less as planned. Jogged for a few minutes after but stopped the clock at :40 and walked the rest of the way home, too hot and thirsty!

:40 with 10 x 1min hill

Monday, July 13, 2015


Home late from a really nice evening out (movie and dinner with good friend) - feeling much better about things, let's hope that lasts! Otherwise I have been in survival mode, with work as priority and "one thing per day" as goal for exercise. But I had a good deadlift workout on my own at the gym (Josh is away still for a couple more days, and I totally flaked on getting in for a workout at the end of last week). This was the assignment as I executed it:

Warmup: 2 x 5 @ 135, 1 x 3 @ 135

Work set for speed:

10 x 3 @ 155 (65% of 1rep max)

(I did them on 1:00 to make sure I kept focused/speedy.)

Single-arm dumbbell rows:

1 set each at 37.5, 42.5 for warmup, then 4 x 6 at 47.5

Farmer's walk:

White line - yellow line (**warm up lines)x 2 = 1 set

5 sets @ 42.5 dumbbells (harder thing is to use the weird contraption, but I cheated by taking easier option! Still challenging for grip.)

Sunday, July 12, 2015


At the Fitness Guru in Brooklyn, with Joanna! Alas, it cannot be repeated regularly - I took a very expensive taxi to be sure to get there on time (weekend track work is currently making subway travel HORRIBLE - the trip home was an ordeal) - but it was a real treat. Subsequently rather overheated myself, only just cooling back down now I think....

1hr high-quality spin

Friday, July 10, 2015


OK, that was good - I have been feeling rather fragile, and meeting up with Lauren and getting a really good albeit in the grand scheme of things modest workout in has made me feel much better! Rode my sedate bicycle down to Chelsea Piers, then we did :40 on adjacent spin bikes and about 20 minutes of swimming. Woo-hoo! That is the sort of workout that if one did it year round would prepare one to take on a triathlon adventure at relatively short notice (as per this great piece of advice).

10mi RT bike
:40 spin (6 x 3min work, 2min recovery - 4 "hills" i.e. Friel zone 3-4, 2 high-cadence)
900 yards swim as follows:

warmup: 200 free, 100 kick
drill: 3 x 100 as catch-up, finger-drag, 6-3-6 (side kick), swim
drill: 4 x 75 kick-drill-swim by 25 (IM order)

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Hmmmm, the temperature really dropped overnight - the difference between 68F and low 80s is pretty amazing, even if it still remains disgustingly and greasily humid! Just 20min - wish I could have had this weather for yesterday's....

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


It is grotesque weather - a bit overcast and hazy, low 80s, very high humidity. I think the best thing that can be said about this run is that I got it done! Face very red and overheated pretty much right away. But David gives good workouts for this sort of weather and my current state of run fitness:

1hr with :20 as 3:1, :20 as 4:1 and :20 as 5:1 (had a few extra minutes of walking there in the middle five, but made them up later)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Back home

Friday and Monday were travel days. In between I was at Lake Muskoka getting bitten by many mosquitoes! (I am the green-capped head in the picture below.) Annoyingly left my suit and goggles at the hotel on Saturday, but after I'd had a few drinks, it happened that a beach ball got dropped into the water by children & started traveling away on a fairly fast current, so I stripped off shirt and pants and took the plunge! Very satisfying. (I wear the kind of underwear that is at least as modest as many bathing suits!) Sunday's swim took place in more orthodox garb.

Good bench workout today. I was expeditious and finished in about forty-five minutes; I'd missed my run workout this morning (inertia after traveling yesterday, I think - I had an 11am meeting, which was just early enough that it was clear that I couldn't _both_ run _and_ go to the Rare Book Library, but inevitably I somehow did _neither_....), so I got on a treadmill and did "fake Megan's hills" at rather tepid paces and 4% incline: 30min total (all on incline), warmup for 10min at 3.4mph, then alternating 8 x (1:00 @ 5.5mph, 1:00 @ 3.2mph), short cooldown.

Upper body workout:

bench for speed: 10 x 3 x 85 (65% 1-rep max)
close-grip bench: 2 x 15 x 65
incline rows: 5 x 10 x 37.5 (I should do heavier!)
rope cable pull x 100
"pull-apart" with band x 100

30min treadmill with work as 8 x 1min jogging "hills"

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Hmmmm, I think I might have gotten worse at them again (more likely I raised my expectations?). No reason to be particularly tired today, but I just still am not there in terms of doing a real main set. Anyway, it was a good workout regardless. Something is twanging/twinging painfully in my right middle-lower back (not the spinal erector muscle I often have trouble with, more like where bottom of lat attaches), hopefully that will ease soon - I had thought of perhaps trying to run home after, but it seemed clear that I should quit while I was ahead.

(We got our long-awaited whiteboard!)

Not sure if this is exactly right, but call it as:

3 x 8 Bulgarian split squats with 17.5 dumbbells (6-second descending)

squats with bar: warmed up and did a couple sets of 8 x 55, but was losing form and Josh sensibly called it and got me instead to do

4 x 10 x 37.5 goblet squat

3 sets of walking lunges with 10-pound weights

100 hip thrusters (bodyweight - we still don't have chains down there!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Very short run

Had 90 on the schedule, but I didn't do it when I got up, and though my mood's better than earlier in the week, I am still feeling utterly tapped out in the matter of willpower. Almost talked myself out of doing a run at all (need to leave here 5:30 to get to a friend's early performance in Williamsburg), but then remembered David's favorite "the perfect is the enemy of the good" and did :20 incredibly slowly (4:1 jog-walk, with the jog probably slower than the walk!). Won't mess up squats workout by trying again tomorrow morning, but I might be able to persuade myself to jog-walk home from the gym after lifting (riding bike tomorrow doesn't make sense as I have a mid-afternoon haircut to get to first).

Hot and hazy - mid-afternoon not in any case a very sensible time to run at this time of year....

:20 as very slow 4:1