Thursday, March 31, 2016


Better enough this morning for at least a short run. I was itching to run long, but self-assessment and the large amount of MUCUS (TMI) in lungs and sinuses made me stop at the :15 mark and realize I'd better turn around - coming days are demanding, can't risk setback! Also flowering trees are out in force - eyes and sinuses still responding aggressively to new allergens as well as to existing ailment.

I said it here - I will exercise for AT LEAST HALF AN HOUR every day I'm away, despite the fact that my conference paper is still only in my head and not at all on paper....

:30 easy

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Sunday afternoon I thought I was just having bad allergies, but by the evening it was clear even to the most obdurate ailment denialist that this was a horrible head cold. Which proceeded to become STREAMING yesterday, ugh. Went downtown to lift just now, thinking upper body workout is less demanding on lungs etc. and that I would benefit mentally from exercise, but I think it was a mistake: the workout itself was OK (Josh stopped me from doing anything too strenuous), but getting home was a hassle due to trains not running on the 1 train and I am now feeling utterly physically miserable, including painful right-side sinus headache... hoping bed might be in my near future!

:45 upper body

floor press: 10 x 3 @ 37.5 (3-second hold at bottom)

one-arm rows: 4 x 10 @ 42.5

skull-crushers (one-arm): 5 x 10 x 17.5

I have too many separate things to do before complicated upcoming work trip and am generally feeling disgusted with myself and my situation!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Long run!

So nice, too - I mean, I was eking out the time by the end, and right hamstring and lower back becoming increasingly sore (worse on hills, then fine the rest of the time), but it was good! Ran along Riverside Drive then 110th St. to Central Park, south along the west side to 72nd and then back up Cat's Hill and west across the 102nd St. transverse, along 106th back to Riverside Park and downhill along the outer edge of the park, across 96th St. back into the park and then north along the river home.

2hr easy run!

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Had DEEPEST three-hour nap, ugh, and felt discombobulated afterwards, but had a surprisingly nice run in the last of the light. Still a bit wintry (mid-40s) but good running weather once you're going.

:42 as :12 warmup then 6 x (1:00 faster, 2:00 easy)

Swim double!

It is just WRONG to get up that early on a Saturday, but it was a glorious swim double when it came down to it - I lost focus a little towards the end of the workout, but came back strong for last bit (don't think I was underfueled, just mentally tired). No hope really I think of logging exactly what we did, but:

1hr clinic! Working on streamline by way of a lot of different kicks (superman, steeple, streamline) in various formats

1.5hr workout - c. 2800 yards maybe?

Stopped at pharmacy en route home to pick up prescriptions that if I left them there more days were going to get swallowed back into the system, and also at pet store to order cat supplies for later delivery. Just drinking a seltzer now and fully intend after that to go back to bed!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Upper body!

It was so crowded that we were thwarted every time we tried to get an actual bench, but really it doesn't matter, I just need a solid second session each week on upper body stuff (next week I will be away from Thursday through the following Tuesday, alas, so everything will be off kilter and I'll get home really tired!).

Hard to log everything after the fact, but we're working entirely in supersets, mostly paired exercises, either 5 A @ X, 10B @ Y; 10A @ X-something, 15B @ Y-something, and then another set that works the other way round; or else (with skull-crushers) one side and then the other, or just straight sets with curls (5, 10, 15 x 3). Paired: dumbbell press/fly; front raise/front row; dips/pullups (with assist), etc.

:50 good upper body workout

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Not bad - I had to leave a little early to get back uptown, skipped the final hip thrusts and abs set, but that's ok.

work set: 3 x 12 x 80

pause squats (3-second isometric hold): 4 x 2 x 70

walking lunges: 4 x 10 x 10s

1hr lower body

Very short run

Felt a lot more relaxed than yesterday! Wednesday is "peak day" this semester and Thursday is almost like a quasi-weekend....

:30 very easy

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Very short run

I actually still thought as I got started that I'd do the long one on the schedule, but everything felt wrong: tight right lower back, tender/tight right glute-hamstring, but also more importantly eyes seemed as though they might be about to leak water (I think it's spring allergies but it is subjectively indistinguishable from being emotionally fragile!) and high anxiety re: a day of too many moving parts. I told myself that if I still felt this way at the fifteen-minute mark, I'd just do a short one, and that was the way it went. Sorry about this but I think a longer one would not have helped my day go better!

:30 easy

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Couldn't get out the door this morning (I did get a lot of work done - I can tell I'm really rested up, I was knocking off tasks relatively efficiently), so just did :20 on the track before lifting. (Had thought :30 but lungs were extremely wheezy and I figured I shouldn't push my luck.)

:20 run as :10 warmup, 5 x 1:00 fast, 1:00 walking recovery
1hr upper body

Bench work set: 5 x 2 x 95

Narrow-grip bench: 2 x 8 x 85

Lat pulldowns: 4 x 10

Floor press: 1 x 25 x 27.5

Skullcrushers: 1 set of 20 with football bar, 3 x 10 x regular bar

Abs: funny 3 minutes with Tabbitha where we interlocked feet and did sit-ups passing 8lb medicine ball back and forth

Monday, March 21, 2016

AM run, hot yoga

:40 first thing. Then hot yoga just now, not bad (MUCH less hot than usual, happily for me!) but 2 annoyances: (a) teacher is a poor timekeeper, I have noticed it before but today the class which should have been only 1hr ran close to 90min, leaving me now with not enough time to get properly ready to go to the airport! (b) a first-timer next to me was a TERRIBLE mouth-breather - huge groans, moans and sighs more appropriate for sex than for the yoga studio - I think the teacher should have told her that in this particular kind of yoga you are meant to be breathing quietly in and out only through your nose unless otherwise specified! (Yes, I know I sound like the worst kind of yoga pedant.)

:40 run
1.5hr hot yoga

And that is the end of spa week - next 6-8 weeks are pretty much my CRAZIEST work period, possibly to unprecedented levels due to combination of tenure committee and SEL review essay (due, unfortunately, April 20). Hoping to cling to sanity and maintain some semblance of nutritional soundness - that is about all I can ask....

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Splash & dash!

Very nice morning indeed. Got up early (arghhh, I am an idiot, I get so anxious about waking up early even for a low-stakes event that I can barely sleep - I think I was checking the clock every 10 minutes between 1:45 and 5:15, though I must have been asleep for some of that time as I was having anxiety dreams about my tenure committee and Brent telling me that I needed to get my bicycle ready even though it was just a swim-run event!). Left here around 5:45, jogged over (:35 or so) to Public Beach, had nice chit-chat with D. and a few others. Then a really lovely swim-run! I enjoyed every minute of it. I like these small-town events best: at several points on the run course, people were holding up portraits of Captain Marvin, and there was a very pleasant feeling in the air.

:35 run
800m swim, 2mi run (wasn't timing it on my watch, it was slow tho!)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hot yoga!

Bona fide spa week. Wasn't so overheated today (I had my preferred spot which I believe is a bit cooler than most of the rest of the room - I know that's a psychological crutch and lots of teachers will make you move if they realize that's why you're there, but really hot yoga is slightly too hot for me!).

1.25hr hot yoga

Mini run-swim!

Just the 15+ minutes jog over to the pool and then a shortish workout also, we used up the first fifteen minutes with chat! Pretty luxurious, just three of us there and we got something more like a private lesson than a workout as such - I am really prioritizing drill work just now.

:17 jog
:45 swim along these lines:

300 swim
200 kick
Drill sets: a couple test lengths, then 2 x (6 x 25 as 2 drill 1 swim): first drill something like my alternating sweet spot drill, you kick 6 and breathe, kick 6 and stroke without breathing; second drill very useful concentrating on "roll over the barrel"/engagement of lats, catch and underwater pull (catch-up within a catch-up - very slow going into the pull, keep face mostly down/in the water)

Call it 1000 yards total.

I was persuaded by Coach Dave and fellow swimmer Kim to sign up for the Splash and Dash event tomorrow morning. Will hope to run something like 40min first (I suppose the start's close to 2mi from Brent's, so I'll run out that way and overshoot and turn back), then do the event (800m swim, 2mi run).

Friday, March 18, 2016


I had to drag myself out of bed this morning and then even after I'd gotten ready I still couldn't quite make myself get out the door. However it didn't really matter as my only running task for the week was RUN EVERY DAY (David gives suggestions but they are subordinated to the daily thing). I did :20 gentle treadmill intervals after my lower body workout at the gym just now. It is a good combination!

:50 lower body:

squats: 10 x 3 @ 85
pause squats: 4 x 4 (3-second isometric hold at the bottom) @ 85
tempo lunges: only did one set of these as my back knees were twinging painfully, 1 x 10 @ 15 (6-second eccentric tempo, full range of motion)
120 abs

:20 treadmill with walking base and 8 x 1:00 @ 6mph

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Not really, but I did 1.25hr hot yoga and then a really great yoga nidra class! I seriously overheated in hot - I was breaking my own rule not to go to anything longer than the 1hr class when I don't already have good acclimation, and I clearly didn't rehydrate sufficiently after morning exercise. Didn't feel at all queasy (have felt MUCH worse), just absolutely overheated to the point where I thought my arms might spontaneously combust - I actually had to sit out quite a bit of the mat sequence, which I don't think has ever happened to me before. A cold shower afterwards restored equilibrium.


Hahahahaha, BEST possible start to the day, I am in a super-good mood now! (The contrast to when I ride my BICYCLE over to the pool is stark!)

:30 run (it's about :15 over there, jogged some more laps around the school to round it out to thirty)
1:00 swim!

Small number of swimmers so I got to request my particular favorite once we'd warmed up - drill work! Resolved to get back in the pool properly now - I really did renew my swim commitment earlier this year but things are chaotic for me in my work life from January to May and I slipped out of the routine again. Really going to make it happen this time, or going to try my utmost anyway.

400 swim
400 kick
6 x 50 as 2 drill concentrating on long reach/high shoulder and elbow in water, pull forearm to vertical then EXPLOSIVE propulsion, 1 swim
8 x 25 sprint odds fast-slow by half-length evens slow-fast
100 easy swim down

1400 meters

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Meditation/hot yoga!

Went to a standalone meditation session in the late morning, then an hour of hot yoga - both very good.


Just 30 easy. IF#1 done (from after Monday dinner to Wednesday pre-breakfast); trying a 24hr one tomorrow. It was surprisingly easy, but I think 24 is logistically preferable to 36 (it's a long evening with no food if you are not an easy sleeper).

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Power yoga!

Hahahaha, I was thwarted - I was shooting for yoga nidra, which I have never done, but the class was canceled and the only other option was POWER yoga! The teacher is very good; I find the vinyasas go a little too fast for me, but I was surprised by how functional I felt for most of it.

1hr power yoga!


Hahaha, spa week now really and truly underway - I am going to try a new yoga class at noon to see if I like it (more meditation-based - I've been meaning to get back on the daily meditation habit and this week is a good opportunity to prioritize that).

(Pipe had burst and large parts of the gym floor were covered with water....)

1hr upper body

bench: 3 x 12 @ 85

dumbbell floor press: 3 x 10 @ 35

2 different lat pulldowns (the overhead bar, the double-fisted horizontal one): 3 x 10

face pulls: 100

rope triceps: 100

dumbbell skull crushers: 3 x 10 x 12


I didn't get out the door quite early enough - I was awake for a couple hours during the night and couldn't drag myself out of bed promptly. But it doesn't matter so much as long as it's not a long one - more pleasant, though, certainly, running when the sun isn't yet up....

40:00 with 10:00 warmup and then :30 faster every 3:00

Monday, March 14, 2016


Came here to log my deadlift workout - but did I forget to log hot yoga earlier?!?

Anyway: 1hr hot yoga mid-morning; then mid-afternoon :50 deadlift. Marred by slippery hands - do I have chalk here? I was working out outside on "Muscle Beach" (the Crossfit area) and I just couldn't hold onto the bar; I think I lost calluses in January and haven't been lifting heavy enough to build them fully back up again. Last week's rack pulls chewed 'em all up! So I had to modify weights a bit.

Main deadlift work set: 5 x 2 x 205 (was doing last couple sets basically as singles with hand-drying pause)

Deficit deadlifts: 4 x 2 x 185-205 (did a couple at 185 but lowered weight to 175 in attempt to get the bar to stay in my hands!)

Single-arm rows: 3 x 10 x 45 (should have been 50+ precisely in order to work on grip strength, but I couldn't find a 50 and my hands were pretty much done by that point anyway!)

Banded hip thrust: 3 x 20 with 3-second isometric hold

Abs: 2 x 1:00 plank (I was really just ready to stop by then)

Monday run

Saturday was a travel day and Sunday was an unwanted zero - I just had too much work to do, that plus post-travel fatigue plus human contact hours meant it wasn't realistic. But today is off to a better start: I got up really early and ran :30.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Happy 5-10-15 upper body workout!

Ah, the one regret I have is that it is the most beautiful weather outside and I didn't have time to run as well as doing the strength session. That said, I still think I am a genius for setting this up as my Friday meeting and post-meeting report writing are so demanding that all I really want to do by 4pm is huddle in bed - this gets me out the door more effectively than anything else I can do.

Flying to Cayman early tomorrow! And need to head downtown momentarily for dinner with my brother and step-grandfather, so shouldn't linger. We did a fun upper body session where the basic premise was to do 5 reps heavy, 10 reps medium, 15 reps lighter. (After an initial set on bench that was something like the reverse of what we did last week: 10 x 45, 10 x 55, 10 x 65, 10 x 75, then more like 3-4 x 85 as you only take 10-20s rest between and I was at total fatigue!)

1hr upper body

Thursday, March 10, 2016


(Hmmmm, do I want to add some kind of mark to my star chart for days I bike? Perhaps not when it's just a commute-type situation...)

It is a good thing we are not always doing these circuits as I don't particularly enjoy them (it's more that they're boring and repetitive than that they're super-hard). H. and I were both trudging through it relatively late in the hour and Josh asked "What number are you on?" My answer: "A LOW number"; H., glumly: "Four." So he mercifully told us we could cut it at 6 rather than going all the way to ten. Some preliminary annoyance with the farmer's walk equipment - the collars are too loose, first of all the 25lb weight fell horribly and dramatically off for me & Josh said to use dumbbells and then it happened also for H. whose technique is superior, so we switched over to wrapping the handles with chains, this was definitely preferable (the dumbbells are awkward to use because they are so rough on the hands). I would rather be doing a run or a swim than this kind of a workout, needless to say....

.75hr circuit: 6 x (farmer's walk, 10 ring rows, 10 shrugs @ 52.5, 10 band face-pulls, 10 band low rows, 20 band abs)

10mi easy bike


Just a short one.

:30 easy

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Catching up on this a few hours later - I didn't have slack built in (and have 2 pieces of student work I need to read for 3 and 3:45 respectively and am not at all sure QUITE when I'm going to expand my vestigial lecture notes to more suitable dimensions). Best running weather ever!

1:20 with :20 warmup, then 15 x (2:00 easy, 1:00 hard, 1:00 walking recovery)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Hadn't realized that Josh is deloading us this week, which makes me feel less bad about missing yesterday's workout. No lifting this week, just other stuff to elevate the HR etc.

10 x circuit as follows:

(a) 5 pushups
(b) 5 6-second eccentric ring row (substitute for eccentric pullups)
(c) 10 x shrugs @ 52.5
(d) 10 x band pullapart
(e) :30 fast bounce 4lb medicine ball
(f) band rows
(g) low band rows

120 abs (side-to-side ball)

About 1hr total.

Beforehand I ran on the treadmill: 10min warmup (first 5:00 at 5.0mph, but my face was already so red and overheated at that point that I dialed it back to 4.8mph, which I fear the purist will say isn't even a run!). Then 10 x :40 @ 6.5mph, 1:20 @ 3.5mph.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Long run!

A day late with that one. Yesterday was a disaster: I was so tired and so overloaded with work, I left the run till the last possible minute, and at 5:30pm found myself huddled in bed rather than in any sense likely to get out the door for even a short run let alone a long one. Didn't feel good about this but it was to some extent force majeure - I have been really overextended on work and personal life, and it's wearing me down. But I was able to make time for it today, and it was really very nice. Should properly be going to Central Park for these but if I run in Riverside I'm in the park immediately vs. a mile each way with a lot of stopping and starting at lights. Turned around at the heliport - wind was in my face all the way down so the run back was particularly nice.

2hr easy

Saturday, March 5, 2016


I can't say I was really feeling it (I'm tapped out and it's still pretty wintry out there), but it was better than nothing - certainly I felt better afterwards than beforehand!

:40 easy

Friday, March 4, 2016


Yesterday was a legitimate zero as I was giving my talk at Rutgers - it went well, it was a great day, but I didn't get home till 11:30pm and today has been a little much for me! Fortunately I AM A GENIUS at having set up these 4pm Friday sessions at the slightly dreadful Columbia gym - I can say with confidence that I would not have been able to make myself get out of the house otherwise, but as soon as I finished the first work set I felt absolutely amazing. Need to get myself out of here and get downtown for dinner with G. and M., can't remember all/exactly what we did except lots of supersets - but how great is this first work set? Needed a little help on some of the later reps in the middle set - but it made me feel amazing

You start with the bar with 5 x 5 on each end (95 total). You then do 10 reps there, rest 10 seconds and take off a 5 from each side, and do another 10, then ditto. Hahahaha, you really would swear no weight had been taken off at all! So 6 x 10 on 10s rest at 95, 85, 75, 65, 55, 45....

:50 upper body!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Good session just now with Josh. This lift is so frustrating to me - it is still genuinely unpredictable what I will and won't be able to do, a failure of technique rather than strength. We took out the box at least. I was good at 135 but mentally failed at 155. We have widened stance and are currently focusing on not having the huge swing forward of left arm as I reach the bottom: it is my theory that this originated with some combination of a desire to protect tender left knee and right-side dominance, but when I correct for that at a heavy weight I pretty much just stall out at the bottom due to overthinking. Anyway, it was productive, and I have a new theory that for the rest of the semester I could do a Wednesday morning squat session with Josh and use the Thursday evening slot for my second upper body. Could then keep the Friday afternoon session at CU just to make sure I do something that day, but make it essentially abs and conditioning....

1hr technique squats

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Oh dear, disaster narrowly averted - usually I am pretty well on top of things, but I am in true overload mode just now and it was not surprising to me that this afternoon went thoroughly awry! Immediately post-run I was blissed out, but then I felt overwhelmingly tired and lay down for half an hour with a precautionary alarm. Didn't fall asleep, but was still in a haze of fatigue when I got up, and took longer than usual to get ready and get out of the house.

Trains were running a little behind. Around 103rd St. I had the horrible realization that I'd left my plastic bag of gym clothes at home, and resolved to get off at 96th and get the uptown train home, then ride bike down (by now I was already running late - it was almost 4:30 or so, workout starts at 5 and it takes a while to get there - bike is quicker though it's still a bit cold for that).

A moment later, though, I realized that more importantly I had also forgotten that I was supposed to get allergy shots at 4pm at 14th St.!

Quick mental triage, allergy shots were most important, so I texted Josh to say I'd be late (there's a 6pm session too so it's not a disaster). Got the shots around 4:45 (really it doesn't matter that much when you go in), then found the ASICS store on 14th St. en route to gym and bought emergency pants, shirt and sports bra! Not sure about the true functionality of the last item, but the first two are very nice, only it is such a silly way to manage time and money....

Quite good workout, only it's a bit anticlimactic to get up to heavy singles on bench and find they're not that heavy - I didn't feel fully warmed up, it's a delicate balance between that and overdoing it. A nice session, though.

bench: warmup then singles up to 125

dumbbell floor press: 5 x 10 x 32.5 (pause at bottom)

reverse fly: 4 x 20 x 10lb

circuit x 5:

5 pushups
10 ring rows
20 triceps pulldown with band

1hr upper body


Gosh, that was a good one. Upper 40s, very sunny and mild. I had a good session of work on my talk for Thursday, to the point where I have a script printed out that I could use in a pinch (it will benefit from 2-3 more 1.5-2hr work sessions, but I feel a lot better knowing that there is something there!). Wrote a quick letter of recommendation. Then got out the door for the longish run scheduled for tomorrow - but I am meeting Josh at 10:30 tomorrow for the squats session that I'll miss on Thursday while I'm at Rutgers, so I thought it would make more sense to do it today. And it was glorious! Right spinal erector muscle rather sore by last third of the run, but not intolerably so. Everything else felt better than it did the other day - I think a 90-minute easy run is one of my favorite things in the world (it is done just as you are starting to think that you would rather be sitting down eating lunch!). I think, too, it is most enjoyable exercising when I feel like I have "earned" it by doing my real work first....

1.5hr easy along the river