Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday swim-run

Was very annoyed with myself this morning for not getting up early enough to swim - the moment passed and I was still lazing in bed! But there are evening hours now too, so I got over there shortly after 5:30 and had a good swim and then ran home (more or less directly, with a little detour further to make sure I had at least fifteen minutes). This is good, it was a good swim - very sludgy and warm to begin with, but around the 1200m mark I started feeling really good...

4 x (100 free, 50 stroke), alternating breast and back

3 x 100 fly drill as right-arm, left-arm, 3-3-3, full stroke
3 x 100 free drill-swim by 25 (front scull, fists, finger-drag)

2 x (50 free drill [catch-up, 3-6-3], 50 free easy for form, 50 free hard)
3 x 100 as IM, free, IM

1800m total

+ 1.5 miles run

Monday, August 30, 2010


30 mins. easy jog with Max, then a Wire episode's worth of spinning, also fairly easy - it was pleasant, but I am not full of vim in the morning! Might try and do some treadmill intervals later in addition.

30 mins. run + 52 mins. spin (zone 1)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday bike!

It was truly a lovely ride - it reminded me that given that I don't have a triathlon in my very immediate future, it makes a ton of sense to have primarily enjoyable rather than challenging rides - I need to learn to really feel enthusiastic about cycling the way I do about swimming and running.

Sunday morning is really the one time in Cayman when the roads are empty and safe, and all the local cyclists are out - the population of the whole island is only around 50,000, even in New York one tends to see cyclists one knows and here it is pretty funny, it is a small cast of characters!

Max and I rode at an easy pace out past Hurley's and down a slightly different route than we meant - ended up with a few miles on a very lovely smooth stretch of road with an actual bike lane, pretty much unprecedented (most of the roads don't even have a shoulder). The seat adjustments Jerome made definitely make for an improvement in terms of comfort, though I realized about fifteen minutes into the ride that I had forgotten my gloves - sore hands!

c. 20 miles, 1:17, mostly zone 1

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday run, better late than never edition

There was no noticeable vim or vigor present to further the plan for a morning long treadmill run, but we got out in the early evening for a very pleasant (hot!) hour of road running.

(I have been pondering the matter - I can stand doing a 40- or 50-minute interval or tempo treadmill workout, and I think that long runs in this climate will for me pretty much necessitate treadmill use unless I can get up much, much earlier than has been hitherto demonstrated - but the particular run that I HATE doing on the treadmill is an hour of aerobic running. These ones I think I just must make sure to do outside, it is so much better for the soul...)

As heartrate control measures, I did 4 min. run, 1 min. walk, and I also set the alarm to notify me if I went above the top of zone 3 - it's definitely a challenge, I am running pretty slowly even at the top of zone 3 - but this is a very good way to keep things manageable. Very good...

(Garmin says c. 5 mins. zone 1, 15 mins. zone 2, 27 mins. zone 3, 5 mins. zone 4.)

Riding early tomorrow morning with Max - we will just do 90 minutes, it is possible but not certain that I will then do another 90 minutes on the spin bike indoors?

Friday, August 27, 2010


A very successful midday excursion (Brent drove me over with my bike, and I rode home afterwards - I think he may possibly have been more nervous about it than I!) to Revolutions for an excellent spin class (I am going to go there again for sure, it was great) and some very useful help from proprietor Jerome regarding bike fit - really the bike is just a little bit too small for me, but he has adjusted saddle height and pitch and is going to find me a more comfortable saddle and replace it for me next week. Significant progress, I think...

45 mins. spin

Friday swim!

I was determined to make it over to the pool for a morning swim, and I did - very nice it was too, it really is my favorite of the local exercise options given vagaries of climate, personal preferences, etc. I have swum so little this summer, I sort of have to start back out with baby steps - water definitely felt pretty sludgy...

Warmup: 4 x 100 free, 50 drill-swim of each stroke in IM order

4 x 50 drill-swim stroke in IM order, 50 drill-swim free

4 x 50 drill-swim stroke in IM order

3 x 100, odds IM and even free

1500 meters total

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday treadmill

Couldn't face a long one, but did some invigorating mild intervals: 10 mins. warmup, then 6 x (4 mins. 5.5mph @ 3% grade, 2 mins. walk on flats). 45 mins. total, pretty much evenly split zone 1/2 (just tipping into bottom of zone 3 by the end of the last couple intervals). I will do a harder-effort version of this on a day when I am feeling more energetic...

Stroke and stride chronicles #2

Feeling singularly uninspired for the notional midday treadmill run - having NOT, inevitably, got up early enough to run outside - in fact am pondering instead walking over to Books & Books to see if I can find something I really feel enthusiastic about reading - but the latest in the Stroke and Stride chronicles made me smile!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

HOT evening run

Took advantage of a minor schedule change (Brent's triathlon association meeting!) to run at what is usually dinner or post-dinner DVD-watching time, since it is so hard for me to get out first thing in the morning.

40 very warm minutes outdoor running - it is mentally so much better for me to run outside rather than on the treadmill, I really must make the effort to do it, though the heat and humidity are BRUTAL...

(I choose the pace better when I'm taking Max into account than when I run on my own - after the first few minutes, I was mostly in zones 3 and 4 and feeling quite uncomfortable, including pronounced heartburn - I need to take it out slower to begin with - but this is 11:00 pace, it already feels terribly slow as far as legs/gait go!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday walk/run

It is a very good start to the day - 54 mins. zone 1/2 with a sprint at the end! I think the early-morning daylight might help me wrench myself back into something resembling a reasonable schedule - I was thwarted last week pretty much every day by bad sleep habits of one kind or another, it is discouraging and difficult. Will see if I can do better this week...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday strength

Realized after 10 mins. that I JUST DIDN'T HAVE IT IN ME to do a long treadmill run - switched to a strength workout instead, and it was very enjoyable (core and lower body). Will try and do some sort of cardio later.

10 mins. warmup jog, 1hr. strength

Friday, August 20, 2010


An adequate but somewhat unsatisfactory workout - either the HR monitor was on the fritz or else my HR was just very high due to fatigue (particularly sleepless night last night - only finally fell asleep after 6, ugh!). I did 4 x 4 min. zone 2/3 intervals, then called it at 30 minutes; meant to do an hour on the spin bike back at the condo, but found myself losing steam around the half-hour mark, and half a Clif bar only increased my sense that it was TIME TO STOP.

I have made a good plan for exercise in the 10 or so days between now and the trip to Ottawa - will try and execute in some sensible way. The sleep issues make it tougher than it should be - on the other hand, the Camana Bay pool is finally open again, so I am very much hoping to have morning swims next week and the week after!

.5hr treadmill (4 x 4 mins. zone 2/3, 1 min. rest), .5hr. spin

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday spin

1 hr. trainer (zone 1/2)

warmup, 3 x 10 mins. with 5 mins. rest: odds alternating seated and standing, evens alternating hard and easy (both seated)


Last night's Stroke and Stride race (#2 of 3) went well - it was a more serious kayak workout than last week, the water was very rough, there were some moments where I felt quite regretful that I had not taken Dramamine! Here is a very good write-up at the Cay Compass of last week's race...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday treadmill

Part of what I'm missing right now about swimming isn't the swimming itself, it's the soothing corset-like structure of the sort of workout one does in a pool. So I am going to make my long treadmill runs more like what I'd do in a pool...

2 hrs. (avg HR 143)

6 x 20 mins. easy with minutes 1, 6, 11, 16 (i.e. minutes starting with a 0 or a 5) harder

first three as incline at 0, 3, 6, 9

second three as speed at 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday walk/run

A good session with training partner Max and his dog Jas, who was extremely well-behaved and has an excellent running gait! We are going to use run/walk to mitigate the effects of the climate and get Max up to the full 10K distance for his November triathlon - it is a good project...

41 mins. (jog 4 min./walk 3 min.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday bike

3:10, 44 miles, avg pace terribly slow though I felt I was working fairly hard (avg HR 143) - cycling is bad for my morale!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday treadmill

1hr. warm treadmill run (zone 1/2 - avg HR 140)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday swim

Another swim this evening at Sunset House - 2K, c. 47:00 (stopped to chat with another swimmer heading in the opposite direction)...

Fantastic Friday treadmill

My training partner canceled for this morning, so I slept much later and then went for a short treadmill workout at the Kings Express gym right nearby - it was fantastic. I just did one of Gayle Bernhardt's basic ones, 10 mins. warmup plus 6 x (4 mins. zone 3, 1 min. recovery); but she has a ton of other more complex ones in the back of that book, I need to start expanding my repertoire...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday strength

A good session at the gym - ran one mile on the treadmill (I am hoping to run again later, but not sure it will happen - I think I have to tackle the non-early-rising problem by reclaiming the later evening as a useful time for exercise!), then did an hour of upper body and core stuff. It was enjoyable...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Long runs

(It was not strictly speaking - at least personally! - triaspirational, but I had a lovely time earlier this evening as a volunteer at the Stroke and Stride race as I got to KAYAK!)

Just dug out last year's post about marathon training decisions - I decided then not to use a real plan, just to write the long runs into my appointment book and let the rest take care of itself, and I think that will be a good approach for this year too. Which leaves me with something like this, given that this year's race is a week earlier than the one I did last year:

9/3 14
(Ottawa 9/4-9/12)
9/11 16
9/18 14
9/25 18 (a.k.a. 3 hours treadmill?)
(New York c. 9/18-10/24, with side trips to Portland, ME and Buffalo, NY - will have to do midweek long runs to avoid conflicts with side travel)
10/2 12 (Lauren's wedding!)
10/7 or 10/8 16
(Portland 10/8-10.10 - Arielle's wedding!)
10/14 18
10/20 20
(Buffalo 10/21-10/24)
(then straight back to Cayman - end of travels, at least till Thanksgiving, thank goodness... unless another Ottawa trip is needed here... at least that would mean I could do my final 20-miler outdoors rather than on the treadmill... I am thinking about trying to do some of these longer runs outdoors here, but heat and water issues are near-insurmountable, unless I start at 5am, which I am incapable of doing...)
1 two-hour run in here somewhere
10/30 20
(10/31 buildup triathlon)
11/6 12
11/12 10
(11/13 5K swim, 11/14 buildup triathlon)
11/21 Philadelphia marathon!

Hmmmm, this may be difficult, but I will at least try and approximate such a schedule, and I think it should be I will have a reasonably nice race...

Wednesday treadmill

90 minutes treadmill run, zone 1/2

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bonus swim

I did not have it set in stone, and in fact I have had a curious lack of swimming this summer - even once I got back to Cayman, I was waiting for the supposed Aug. 6 reopening of the Camana Bay pool, only on Friday we all got a dismaying email saying that the repairs had not been completed and the pool was closed till further notice (ECP!)...

But it is very foolish of me not to have been swimming in the sea, and this is something I remedied this evening - we were out at Sunset House registering folks for tomorrow's Stroke and Stride race, the volunteer table was very well-staffed and the moment came when someone said "We should take turns!" - I had brought my cap and goggles and was wearing tri shorts and top under shirt...

2K (turnaround at Eden Rock), 46:00 - giant sea turtle sighting!

Tuesday treadmill

Ugh, really I know that I should do the notional strength/core workout first, but I did not, and I did not have the vim for it once I finished with the treadmill - also I was so red and sweaty by that point that I felt it more appropriate to shun the company of humankind...

.5hr. treadmill intervals: 10 mins. warmup @ 5.5mph, 3 x (4 x :30 @ 8.0mph, :30 @ 5mph + 1 min. walk), 5 mins. cooldown @ 5.5

That workout is easier than it sounds, as the treadmill takes 6-7 seconds to get up to speed - I think next time I will try :45 @ 8.0mph to make sure I am really getting 30+ seconds at the full speed. Definitely noticeable wheezing at the hard-effort pace, but it is otherwise quite manageable for those short bursts - I have named my goal to be able to do 10 x (1 min. @ 8.0, 1 min. @ 5.0) by the end of the month.

(I wanted to run outside this morning, but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed - am definitely still feeling in the thick of a pretty major slump, I am just going to have to keep slogging away each day and try and claw myself out of it. On a brighter note, we are expecting a turtle hatching on the beach at the Grandview - here are some Facebook photos of a previous year's hatching - I have never seen this before, and am really hoping to catch some of it this time round...)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday run

I'm pretty happy about this arrangement, if I do not arrange to meet somebody I simply cannot get up in the morning. It is just an easy little run, but it all adds up (and it's invaluable for heat acclimation - it is so humid here, it is not really possible to have a truly comfortable run, though this felt 'easy' in terms of HR effort!) - I will do strength training and a short interval treadmill workout at the gym later on.

31:07, 2.5mi, avg HR 139, max HR 152

Sunday, August 8, 2010


A really delightful ride this morning, with the proviso that the friend Brent and I were riding with was slightly overwhelmed near the end with heat and cramps and had to wait at a gas station for us to ride to the finish and Brent to drive back to pick him up in the vehicle! But it was just a beautiful day out there, albeit very hot towards the end - I am back in the groove on cycling, this is very good...

42.5 miles, 3:04, avg HR c. 140 (zone 2)

Friday, August 6, 2010


Slightly dreadful shortish treadmill run; I was very set on doing 1 hr. minimum, and preferably 90 minutes, I got off to a pretty OK start except that the Garmin had a low battery and died around minute 10 - then, inevitably, I accidentally knocked out the safety plug around minute 37. Started the clock again, telling myself that now if I just did 55 minutes I'd have a nice ninety-minute run under my belt, but the willpower just wasn't there - around minute 5, I realized that not only was I not going to reach 55 minutes, I wasn't even going to reach twenty-five! There is no reason I should not have continued, I just didn't feel like it...

40+ minutes treadmill (zone 1/2)

Friday strength/treadmill

40 mins. strength, 20 mins. treadmill (10 mins. warmup at 5.5mph, then 5 x 1 min. @ 7.5mph, 1 min. walk - did first interval at 8.0 and it is certainly currently a bit too fast, lungs were burning!).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Indoor ride

1hr. trainer (zone 2)

Thursday run

It is very good, I met my new training partner at 6:30 and we had an easy half-hour run - really the only way for me to stay in zone 2 running outdoors in this climate is to run with someone a bit slower than I am! We will run twice a week at 6:30, building up to 6 miles - my day is now off to a good start...

30 mins. run (zone 2)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August resolutions

The sweat is still pouring down my face twenty minutes later and post-shower (the nice young lady who brewed me an iced tea at the air-conditioned cafe, after inquiring with perplexity as to why I was so red and so wet, said blithely, "I never sweated so much in my life!"), but it was good - one hour on the treadmill.

An arbitrary challenge which struck me as a very good idea around the 20-minute mark: this will be the month of run frequency! I will try for 30 runs in the month of August, I am allowed to count 10 mins. warmup before strength training as a run (but perhaps will try to do 20 minutes those days if it will be my only run). It's already August 4 and I've only done two runs so far, so I'm starting one down already, but I think it is a good idea nonetheless!

Two other good things: there is what was originally scheduled to be a 60-mile bike race on Sunday, which I was contemplating doing as a training ride (Brent seemed to think it was a tolerably sensible idea, which I find usually a good indicator - my own notions are not always so reliable!), but it has been downscaled to 40 miles and scheduled to start a bit earlier due to concerns about the heat and a desire to be inclusive and encourage as many as possible to participate. This is excellent - I know I will be up almost all night beforehand with nerves, I haven't ridden a bike for six weeks and it lets the anxiety mount back up again, but it will be a good start to training on the roads in coming months - I think we will probably ride rather than drive to the start, which will make it 60 miles total (10 there, 40 ride/race, 10 home).

The other good thing is that I think I have found a morning training partner to run with me quite slowly twice a week at 6:30 - this is very good, as I truly cannot get out the door in the mornings unless I have a PLAN. Things are definitely looking up....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday strength

OK, that was good - I think if I set my goals for the week at very modest levels, I will be able to get myself back into a better frame of mind...

(Still need to work on getting up earlier, though! It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to get out of bed in the morning - always has been, and I suspect it always will be - though when the pool reopens next week, I will have much more of an active incentive to get up, as the morning hours are 5-6:30am - we are allowed to stay a little longer than that, but really I should get there by 5:50 at the latest if I want a full hour of swimming.)

40 mins. strength

Monday, August 2, 2010


In a somewhat better mood post-workout and having ingested a large skim cappuccino - I should not wait to drink coffee till mid-afternoon, that's the truth of the matter...

40 mins. treadmill intervals (10 mins. warmup, then 2 mins. run/2 mins. walk)
30 mins. core

Back on track redux?

Last week was a wash as far as exercise goes, though we did have a very nice trip to the Miami Zoo on Saturday. I find myself in singularly low spirits this morning (this afternoon!), in the way that one does after having risen to various occasions one after another - I am pretty much in a state of collapse. Hopefully a couple sessions of vigorous exercise will improve my mood; I know that really it will take some days to settle back down to a good routine, I should just be patient! I have a lot of travel coming up over the rest of the year, but this is my month of being in one place, so I really have to make good use of it.

I've made a couple decisions about upcoming races:

I had originally thought I wouldn't go back to the US for Thanksgiving, as I'm traveling for most of October, have family visitors tentatively scheduled for November and know that I will much prefer not to disrupt the routine again for more travel, but I now feel that it would be mean-spirited for me to indulge the perennial desire to hole up and do my own thing instead of socializing: really I should join family and friends on the eastern seaboard as Brent is committed to traveling in any case.

That then opened up a possibility I'd written off on the basis of its incompatibility with a September ironman, but which now reemerges as quite appealing given that I won't do that race after all - and I have gone ahead and registered for it - the Philadelphia Marathon. I won't go crazy training for it, but it's nice to have a goal, and I'll be in New York for much of October anyway, which means I can do quite a bit of the training outdoors as opposed to on the treadmill. I'd be in Philadelphia as of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in any case, so it just means adding a few days on to the trip, and it will work well to have extra time to see family and friends there - usually I am packing too many different people into too short a trip.

The other race is a bigger deal - I have taken the plunge - I am now registered for Ironman Coeur d'Alene on June 26, 2011. I decided against trying for Wisconsin again, on the basis that it's a terrible disruption to the beginning of the school year to go off and do something on such a thoroughly different note (and so mentally all-consuming); I wanted to avoid the hottest races, and I liked the idea of a relatively early-season race in that it will let me do a lot of my training outdoors in New York through the end of May rather than mostly indoors in Cayman over the summer. I think I'll probably do the Harriman Half again too, if it's still scheduled for late May; it would be great to have a half about 4-5 weeks out from the big race - this is good, I'm talking myself back into a bit more enthusiasm about the whole thing, it has been a very discouraging summer vis-a-vis fitness!....