Sunday, November 29, 2015


Happy run - my faith in the natural workings of the universe is restored! Nice mild overcast day, pretty much ideal running weather as far as I am concerned. Ran from Hull St. (behind the Under Armour plant/Domino Sugars) all the way round the Inner Harbour to the Aquarium. My left knee is still hobbling and it's messing up gait more generally, I am plodding, but it was SUPER nice....

70min easy

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Locust Point hamster run

No actual hamsters were involved unfortunately (though I did see a nice gray and white tuxedo cat) - but the freight train was passing through the level crossing just as I set out, so I ran hopelessly around the block instead! It did make me feel much better - going to get in the shower now, I have foolishly spent the whole day dozing and feeling glum. (Because I am an IDIOT!)

:20 emergency hamster run!

Minor swim!

I wasn't feeling keen beforehand, I find travel extremely tiring and the drive to Baltimore to where we're staying and then out to our friend's house seemed like kind of enough activity for the day. But it was actually incredibly nice to get in the pool, and reinforced my desire/commitment to swim a lot in December - I've really been missing it.

c. .5hr

Can't remember now exactly what I did, but c. 1000 yards along these lines:

200 swim
3 x 100 drill (RaLaCuBa, front scull, fists)
100 free
4 x 50 drill-swim in IM order
100 IM
50 back
100 free easy

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grumpy Thanksgiving run

Yesterday was overwhelming - we got up at 5:45 in order to be in the car by not long after 7, and by the time I did morning legal business in Philadelphia (very grown-up business of will signing, health powers of attorney etc.) and had lunch with my mother, I was utterly knackered. Checked in at the hotel and basically just collapsed in bed - no exercise, no nothing! Early dinner and early night.

It is rare that a run doesn't put me in a good mood, but I'm sorry to say that today's was a gross exception and I felt incredibly grumpy the whole time I was out there! Had 2hr on the schedule but had it in mind that I should turn around at :45 if I wasn't feeling good, and I am sure that was the right choice.

What was wrong? Everything and nothing - really it was just a mood thing! (And I had to clear a few work tasks this morning that came up urgently at the last minute, I think that used up the willpower I otherwise would have had to push harder on my run.)

- Because I wanted to huddle in bed, I thought it was freezing out & was woefully overdressed - long sleeves, warm pants - would have been better off in usual capris and short sleeves, it was warm!

- Possibly underhydrated- I had a 20oz bottle of water with me and drank it, but if I was already thirsty starting out, that's not enough

- My left knee isn't right! I did something to it on the bike a week and a half ago, it's been off and on very sore/tender since. My run the other day I was really hobbling - it was a little less sore today, but I was still favoring it and as a result my right hamstring felt HORRIBLE, really sore (more painful than the knee), and my back on that side became increasingly tight as I ran

- Partly because it was such a slog/I was going so slowly, I think I never triggered the happy running chemicals...

On a happier note, it really is a good route, I ran down Chestnut St. (oh, I forgot to say, I think that was really while I was so low - I ran past my dad's old building, partly because it's the route I know and partly because he's been much on my mind this week, and I just felt really wretched thinking about how little remains of a life even a few months after someone's gone - ugh....) to the river path, it is gorgeous weather and a really nice path, I will hope to take advantage of it some day soon when I am running faster and more comfortably and not feeling so cantankerous!

Anyway we will blame grumpiness this time round on bereavement and sore hamstring. Better than not getting out at all for sure. Now need to shower and try and get myself into the mood for human contact!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Minor victory getting out there and getting it done as it is a day of many moving parts....

:45 as

:10 warmup

then 15 x :40 hard, :20 walk, 1:00 run easy

then :5 walking cooldown

Monday, November 23, 2015


Hahahaha, I am EXHAUSTED - there is something not quite right with my left knee, it almost went into a spasm as I got on my bike to ride downtown - even the ride down there was arduous, and the ride home in the dark seemed interminable! With horror I realized that in this new cycle Josh has us squatting twice a week, so it wasn't deadlift day after all, squats - almost tipped myself over trying to do first set at assigned weight of 125, so Josh rapidly revised it downwards to 75 and I felt like the village idiot of all possible powerlifters! Anyway:

4 x 6 squats @ 75

4 x 3 six-second eccentric descending squats @ 65

7 x push-pull sled

10mi bike

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Oh dear, I have not made the best possible use of my day - nice late morning breakfast with a student who needs a letter of recommendation, after that I lay down and fell back asleep for most of the afternoon, only just woke up in time to run while it was still light! But it was a nice run (beautiful weather again), even if I should have done some work and/or another exercise session as well...

10min warmup
20 x (:20 hard, 1:40 easy)
10min cooldown

1hr total

Thursday, November 19, 2015


It is disgustingly wet outside - it took a real effort of will to force myself back out the door, and the subway was horrible (I am usually traveling before rush hour). But I was glad I didn't bail, as the bench competition turned out to be incredibly fun - not at all what I imagined. It was a pretty small group of us, mostly the team plus a few other trainers, and it was really enjoyable. (Also the two other ladies competing had no more wish than I did to be weighed, so Josh obliged us by writing "W.C." in the column for weight - WHO CARES! T. is clearly the strongest by any measure regardless!)

120 went up really easy, 130 was solid (that's my existing PR), couldn't quite get 135 past the first bit but IT WILL GO UP IN THE NEAR FUTURE....

Green numbers!

Had a very good makeup session with Josh this morning. I am in a ridiculously good mood - there is no better way to spend a morning - rode my bike down to Chelsea Piers and back, light drizzle but incredibly mild, mid-60s - short sleeves and sandals, the week before Thanksgiving in New York City!

Did lower body lifts with Josh. Had forgotten what really I should have known, that we actually tested just a few weeks ago so the PRs we're working ones aren't "soft" ones from the end of our last training cycle. That made sense of the fact that I got a modest gain on the deadlift (but it's a 30-pound gain from the last cycle) and no gain on the squat (but that PR from a few weeks ago was a 50-pound gain from before).

Did a beautiful squat at 180, then didn't make it up at 190, so we'll keep 185 as max there.

And ground out a decent deadlift at 270, it was hard enough work that we didn't try for anything more. It is good!

(We'll bench this evening as it is a funny gym-sponsored competition - I think it may be pretty much only our team though who have actually heard about it and registered!)

This was the board on Monday; I'll get a shot tonight of the updated version with "green numbers"....

(Click for a bigger board!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Easy run, LONG SLEEP edition

Was fortunately in the position to be able to have a Long Sleep last night - felt much more human when I woke up finally (with legs and mindset both considerably improved). Cooler today but absolutely beautiful fall weather - had just very easy :25 as 4:1 jog-walk in Riverside Park just now, lovely....

Monday, November 16, 2015

Recipe for disaster...


Really I knew I was overdoing it with run and bike over the weekend. Legs very tired today, I couldn't imagine that deadlifting would go well. Had quite a good work afternoon (class visit to a colleague's class, hasty but efficient paper commenting, reasonably good lecture on Sterne), felt elated as I rode bike downtown in short sleeves and sandals (it must have been close to 70!) ready for testing.

But as soon as I started warming up for squats, the depth of fatigue was clear. And to add to it, I've just had a week of eating much fewer carbs than is my wont (working with a sports nutritionist, really determined to lose weight), I think I was underfueled as well. Anyway we tried benching but even that really wasn't working (that's where I think the fueling played in), so Josh sensibly called it.

(Oh, and my left knee is also rather tender/sore, not IT band but something in that region - after working out, I also felt something sore and sciatica-like down back of left leg....)

I will see Josh for a Thursday daytime session in which we try again to test for some real numbers! In the meantime I am retiring to lick my wounds!

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Ah, I have not really obeyed Josh's dictate to take it easy over the weekend - but I really love spinning with Joanna! We had two other riders with us for part of the time, it was a very good ride (saddle on my bike remains horrible, but I got a gel seat cover as a temporary solution and it certainly was helpful - must get real new saddle tho....).

1.5hr indoor cycling!

And then wine and cheese at my adopted grandfather's, and a delicious dinner (green papaya salad and chicken satay) at Kelley and Ping across the street. Altogether a satisfactory day.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


After spending too many hours reading grim news online, I got out the door for my long run, which was mostly nice though increasingly arduous towards the end.

(Note to self: when temperatures are below 50, walking 20min home from Central Park in sweaty running clothes is FREEZINGLY cold!)

About 1:33 total: ran the long way round to the park and did the entire loop. Was very good at first, went strong up hills (took 1min walking recovery after cresting anything really strenuous), but by the time I got back round to Cat's Hill I was really fading - it may have been low carbs (was shooting not to take in any during exercise), but mostly it was just that my back was really sore on anything uphill. Not sure re: cause and effect, the tendinitis-y feeling on right glute-hamstring attachment is noticeable from the beginning but doesn't really get worse or impair running, whereas the soreness in right lower back grows increasingly troublesome over time, though it's immediately relieved by walking.

Anyway slogged out the last bit with some more brief walking breaks, shut down the clock at 110th and walked 20 minutes home. Should get in shower now as fingers so cold I can hardly type!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday workouts

Very busy in the middle of the day, I did have time to run but not to log it!

:35 as 2 x 4:1 for warmup, then 5 x (3:30 run easy, :30 run hard, 1:00 walking recovery)

Nice quiet workout at Chelsea Piers - don't like the taper much! - but it was just me and Josh for the most of the hour as people were otherwise delayed, elsewhere or in H.'s case trying to sweat out some pounds in the sauna!

3 x 8

@ 60 (squat)
@ 50 (bench)
@135 (dead)

It is amazing how much my squat form has improved since I first tried to get it right earlier this year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Hahahahaha, I am such an idiot, I was DREADING riding my road bike down to the gym in the dark - of course really it was fine - but I thought I'd booked a spot in this Wednesday 6:15-7:45 Computrainer class, I didn't get confirmation but didn't think twice about it but when I got there nobody was there and it seemed nobody knew anything much about it! Had then a very nice ride home, I built that up into something needlessly anxiety provoking - so we will call it 10mi easy and with anxiety management benefits, which is probably just fine in any case....

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I am not temperamentally suited to taper/deload week - yesterday was just about OK as I'd had a demanding day and didn't need to work too hard, but today felt very strange! We are focusing on trying to get good numbers next week - ballpark 135 bench, 200 squat, 275 deadlift - and the taper is essential....

3 x 1 x 95

1 board press at 125 (easy-peasy!)

100 shrugs with 52.5s

100 triceps rope pulldown

:40 only upper body


That was good - weather still very mild (upper 50s) though rainy. Need to get these soaking clothes off and myself into the shower!

:55 with work as 15 x (:30 hard, 1:30 easy jog)

Monday, November 9, 2015


I wasn't feeling enthusiasm for lifting heavy, so it was rather delightful to get to the gym and find that our agenda for the day (in preparation for testing all three lifts next week) was to lift very light on all three, to get the feel of doing them all in succession on the same day and to pursue a decent deload!

3 x 8 for each lift (I had to laugh seeing the bar with the cookie-sized 2.5lb weights on either end for the bench!):

squats @ 65
bench @ 50
deadlift @ 111

1hr weights

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Indoor ride

I'm having some sessions at Joanna's - I haven't found a good substitute for her class at Chelsea Piers, and since I'm planning on doing the aquabike option at the Mercuryman in January I want to make sure I start building cycling fitness NOW. Have also signed up for a Wednesday evening Computrainer session at Chelsea Piers, will try and add one other spin class or similar.

(Getting myself and bike to Brooklyn on a Sunday via subway nearly killed me, or at least caused me to question whether I am really suited to life in NYC - construction disrupted everything, the 1 train grew grotesquely crowded in a way which is awful enough even when you do NOT have a bicycle - but - I survived....)

1.5hr with climbing intervals

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Beautiful long run!

I slept for maybe thirteen hours and the only things I have to do today are this run and one report (third of three) that I couldn't finish yesterday afternoon - am going to eat something, read a novel for a bit and then buckle down to it mid-evening. Very mild still, although it was getting cooler as I ran (possibly just wind). Finally got myself over to Central Park and did the upper 5 - really I should have done the whole loop and then walked home as I dislike slogging back up 110th St. at a slow jog, but I will know better next time!

1.5hr - Central Park upper 5 and to-from park

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Hmmmm, long day in which I got mysteriously little done (too many bits and bobs like the 1 train not running due to a police investigation as I tried to get to my allergy shots on 14th St.). Good squats workout, though really as an endurance athlete I find these weeks at the end of our build perverse, the work set is so tiny! A bit wobbly on technique but I have come a long way. There is much room for further improvement!

Anyway, work set as follows:

1 x 2 @ 160
2 x 1 @ 170, 185

Then set off to do narrow-stance squat x 20 @ 95 but was clearly fatigued enough that I stopped after 5.

130 abs with band


About :50 total. Watched H. do his work set with ease and grace - 1 x 2 x 360, 2 x 1 @ 370, 380!


It was an extremely nice one, but given that I cannot get a total personality transplant, I really need to have a devout effort to overhaul my morning routine. I snooze the alarm for too long, I then waste a lot of time on the internet and drag my heels at getting out the door, then the run itself takes a while - I am going to have a serious go, starting next week, at eliminating the middle stages. The alarm snoozing is beyond human correction, but I need to just have a quick email check on iPad in bed with a couple asthma inhaler puffs, have written workout on a post-it so that I don't justify going to my "real" computer and get out the door 20 minutes after having finally accepted wakefulness....

Anyway, :50 as follows:

10min warmup

6 x 5:00 as (1:00 easy, :30 moderate, :30 hard, 2:00 easy, 1:00 walk)

10min cooldown

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Still have minor sinus infection, but felt much more capable of getting out the door this morning (yesterday was a pretty quiet day).

:50 as :10 warmup, then 10 x (1:00 run hard, 2:00 run easy) (did #5 and #10 rest intervals as walking rather than jogging)

:10 cooldown

Weather is ridiculously mild - mid-60s, sunny - if anything I was rather too warm while running in the sun!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Ah, this powerlifting makes me so happy! Coach and team are pretty much ideal - I cannot imagine a better setup (I am already fretting about being away from NYC for some sabbatical time next year and what I will miss at home!). Josh had a good strategy for today that involved building confidence on "openers" (you get 3 attempts at a powerlifting meet on each lift, and it's important to set the first of the three at a realistic number as to fail at the opening attempt is NOT DONE - second only to using the 35-pound plates as a rookie error!)...

initial work set: 5 x 2 x 100

1 x 1 @ "opener" - 125 for me (and it went up easy, as did T.'s 155)

4 x 20 shrugs with 52.5lbs

100 rope triceps

1hr upper body

(Didn't have vim to run this morning, though weather was beautiful - the day after traveling I am always good for very little.)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sunday triathlon/Monday recovery

Hmmmm, somehow I never got around to writing a race report yesterday - not sure what I was waiting for. In sum - not really a race for me as such, but a lovely day out - warm but very enjoyable - rode my bike to the start, which was a good idea as it took the edge off the anxiety I always feel about cycling (had tediously changed out tube on rear wheel the afternoon before, with sweat pouring copiously down my brow!). Beautiful swim, very good safe bike course. Got onto the run course and realized immediately that it was much too hot for jog or walk-run to be a good idea for me, I powerwalked it all except for some jogging in the few spots of shade on the return leg of the final loop. Glorious day out!

c. 2hr (?) misc. swim-bike-powerwalk

Got a workout from Josh to do this morning, but could tell as I warmed up that I am really in need of recovery rather than work post-race. So modified the assigned deadlift work set from 3 x 3-5 x 225 to a much more moderate 5 x 3 x 185, which seemed more in order.

5 x 3 x 185

single-arm rows: 3 x 8 x 45

walking lunges 3 x 8 x 10s

100 abs

:40 lower body