Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Very good session with Mark.  Mentally fatigued at first and couldn't seem to dig in on challenging exercises, but I felt immeasurably better by the end.  Won't see him tomorrow as I have too much work to do before I leave town in the evening, but will go back on Monday-Wednesday schedule next week; then he's away for 2 weeks in Paris recording his new album (he's just released his first album), but it's my spring break for the first week of that, so it's easier for me to get down to Chelsea Piers for classes.  February hasn't been a fantastic fitness month but I think March will be better - and really February wasn't at all bad, just more in maintenance mode than in build...

1hr strength

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Short but beneficial run

I am not in a good mental place today - got back late yesterday afternoon from an out-of-town work trip, have another one coming up this week, barely slept last night and spent the morning trying to make a dent in an impossibly huge pile of work with headache, stomachache and high anxiety from general sleeplessness!  However run was indeed beneficial - my stomach still hurts, but the headache is dispelled. 

I have to go to what will undoubtedly be a very sad memorial service later this afternoon: it's at the opposite end of town, and even a pleasant social engagement on a Sunday always sends me into a tizzy due to the work it takes me away from.  But I guess I will survive my teaching day tomorrow even if I am signally underprepared...

40:30, c. 4 miles

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beautiful short run!

Really I have a mild aversion to running right when I get up, but it seemed to me that it was one of those days where I'd really benefit from a run and where my window of opportunity might well slip away if I waited for coffee and breakfast and a digestive interval.  And it was a particularly enjoyable one: beautiful running weather, it's somewhat overcast and there was a bit of drizzle towards the end but it's just so darn mild compared to what one usually would see in the northeastern United States at this time of year...

40:30 (c. 4 miles)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Excellent session - felt much better afterwards than beforehand!...

1hr strength

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Very good session with Mark.  It is a great way to start the day, especially a day I'm not teaching in the morning!

1hr strength

Monday, February 20, 2012


Too tired/overextended to exercise this evening: I'm working out with Mark tomorrow at 8am in any case so it seemed wise to rest up in preparation.  But I have just signed on for a bit of an escapade: Brent, myself and Brent's 83-year-old father are now registered for the Ottawa half-marathon at the end of May.  Brent's dad has a number of health problems, but he is a stalwart long-distance walker (in his youth he walked across a huge swatch of Canada and did things like 15-mile endurance swims, not sure about details but it's not an exaggeration!), and I got the idea in my head that the three of us walking a race together would be a treat I could organize...

(And the registration site doesn't seem to be up yet, but I'm leaning towards signing on for a serious half-marathon the week before that - I think it will focus my mind to have something to train for, and though I'll still be slowish, I've got to start somewhere - the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 19.)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Short run!

Scaled back expectations considerably - clearly there just wasn't space in my week this week for a long run.  I finally got a decent night's sleep last night, which did a good deal to soothe jangly nerves; then had a marathon paper-grading session at the library earlier, but found myself at home mid-afternoon feeling exceptionally lazy.  Beautiful running weather, but I couldn't persuade myself to go more than 40 minutes - in fact, at the 15-minute mark I was very tempted to turn around, though geography aided me in eking it out to 20 on the basis that that takes me to the far side of the boat basin, a scenic turnaround...

(I have at least 4 hours of work still to do this evening, and an unusually taxing week and a half of work stuff coming up, so really it was better not to dig too deep!)

40 min. (c. 4 miles)

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Beautiful weather, too: I felt a bit lackluster for the first fifteen minutes or so, but really it was good.

1:01:30, c. 6 mi.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I've just been fiendishly busy, with no time to make it down to Chelsea Piers, but it was a priority to get there today so as to catch up with the trainer who leads the Beast class: he was hospitalized with a heart problem recently and I had promised some consultation about the possibility of organizing a fitness fundraiser.  Really he's doing well now and it was more pressing just to catch up!  But it reminded me of how much I love Chelsea Piers - not having been there much recently, I found it truly just an oasis of quiet, and I got a ton of work done in the cafe (with a minor distraction when two police detectives came and arrested a man sitting one table over - couldn't figure out what it was for, though another onlooker and I agreed afterwards that the obvious possibilities were that he sold somebody drugs, beat somebody up or stole something...).  Anyway, abs and spin, very good.

.5hr abs
.75hr spin

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Another truly dreadful night of sleep, which is frustrating and unenjoyable.  Session this morning wasn't till 9:30 so I had time to eat a bit of oatmeal to try and settle my stomach.  We had a decent workout, all things told: focused more on straight strength stuff and less on the insane things that Mark usually makes me do.  (His current favorite - all NYC trainers have a variant of this, it is the boot-camp-style personal-training session! - is a compound exercise where you hold five-pound weights: pushup, right-hand row, pushup, left-hand row, jump squat, stand to fly, front press and shoulder press, jump squat and jump feet back out to start position.)  Next week and the following week we'll do adjacent sessions on Tues. and Wed. rather than Mon. and Wed. due to mutual scheduling constraints; this works fine when so much of the stuff is really the sort of thing you could do every day, I guess we'll do upper-body one day and lower the other but a lot of the stuff is repeatable consecutively...

1hr strength

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Got up early to work on a book review I need to submit by the end of the day; it's not yet done, but it needed to sit and 'gel,' so I did get out for my projected morning run.  It was lovely, actually: the day is rather overcast and damp, but the sun was coming out a little and the air was very calm and still. It's back up to about 40F so that is civilized also.  I was too tired to stretch calves last night, and I did notice the difference; I stopped my watch at the turnaround for a quick stretch, which is what I have now had the luxury of not doing in the last couple weeks, and it was fine from there, but I will be very scrupulous about daily stretching from here on out...

40:30 (c. 4 miles)

Monday, February 13, 2012


I didn't fall asleep till about 2:30, and though really in theory five hours of sleep is entirely adequate, I was in horror when the alarm went off at 7:15.  Felt vaguely queasy and conspicuously lacking in vim, but it was a solid workout regardless (though I now wish I could go back to bed instead of to campus for my heavy teaching day!).

1hr strength

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Slightly odd class, not as much what I like as most others I've been to recently, but doubtless beneficial (more stretchy than strengthy).  1.5hr

Total hours for the week: a rather meager 6:23.  On the other hand, there were a number of good quality workouts (especially Wednesday's session with Mark and Thursday and Saturday runs).  Really I temperamentally fall down on the side of quantity rather than quality, but I will have to satisfy myself with quality over the next few weeks, as I'm coming up on a very busy spell of work stuff right through to the beginning of March....

Saturday, February 11, 2012


A good one, really.  Lungs still feeling beat up from last week's ailment, and the weather isn't beautiful; the southward leg felt like I was going at a really good clip, in fact I added a hair onto my 30-minute turnaround and actually made it to the sanitation pier at 59th St., which means I'm definitely running faster than I was a month ago.  Then I turned around and realized that I was running, discouragingly, directly into a headwind!  Toiled all the way home, but really it was fine, it's not that cold.

(Woke up this morning an hour before my alarm was due to go off with high anxiety about volume and intensity of work to be done, so canceled plan to spend entire morning exercising - had to get more work under my belt first... Also, it was snowing, and the idea of an epic run-to-Chelsea-Piers-with-spin-shoes-and-change-of-clothes-in-backpack just seemed perverse...)

1:02 run (c. 6 miles)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Best run ever!

This calf stretching regimen is amazing - really since the end of the summer I've been hampered by that stiff calf, it was luxurious not to have to stop and stretch while running.  The regimen is slightly arduous and I have definitely missed it a couple days due to leaving it too late and not having vim for it, but I will make it a priority for the foreseeable future.

Beautiful day for a run - about 40, sunny and mild, virtually no wind.  Broke the run into 10-minute segments and walked every tenth minute, more for mental than physical respite, but I don't think it was strictly necessary: I feel like I'm getting my running groove back, and that is good.

Next three weeks are intensely and extremely busy, so I'm not sure that I'll really be able to maintain a weekly long run, but if I can squeeze one in I will. I also basically promised Mark that I would not overdo Sunday exercise and compromise quality of our Monday-morning workouts, so that's the other factor that makes me want to have the long run happen Wed.-Fri. (if I am intending to do double spin on Saturday morning).

1.5hr run (c. 8 miles)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Great workout today - I took yesterday off out of a combination of (a) raw lungs in morning (contraindicated running) and (b) arrival of cousin and her boyfriend a day early, leading to modified evening schedule.  Slept better last night.  Noticeable effect on quality of workout, though really Monday's wasn't bad either...

1.5mi run warmup, 1hr strength

Monday, February 6, 2012


I slept very little and very badly, and I'm still slightly under the weather: all of which is just to say I was toiling in this morning's session with Mark!  I always use my rescue inhaler before a workout to fend off asthma (about 30 minutes pre-workout - it lasts for about 1hr45), but I had to use it again partway through - lungs just felt very raw and wheezy still.  Wednesday will be better - Monday is my big teaching day, and I was up pretty late working last night, it won't be so bad later in the week.

1hr strength

Sunday, February 5, 2012


1.5hr - very beneficial (still a bit congested, but it's OK)

(Unfortunately I fell deeply asleep this afternoon when I should have been reading - I just couldn't keep my eyes open - which will put paid to any notion of falling asleep at a reasonable hour tonight.  On the other hand, I also have a minimum of four more hours of reading to do this evening, so perhaps it is just as well....)

Week summary: 6.25hr total (2 strength, 1 yoga, 1 double spin, 1 run).  Not what I would have liked, but unavoidable due to illness.  I'll try and post good hours the coming two weeks as the two weeks following that both include out-of-town trips and won't be ideal from an exercise standpoint.


Mood hugely lightened by just having had a really lovely run.  It seemed not warm when I started out, though also not windy, but the sun came out partway through and I had decided by the end that it was really the most beautiful imaginable February running weather excluding the truly unseasonably warm weather we've had recently (it's 35F - no runner would plausibly say no to 55F, which really is perfect running weather, but this is more than good enough).

- Lungs and sinuses still full of some gunk, but not so as to affect running appreciably

- Had a happy realization yesterday afternoon re: back-of-the-knee pain, that advil completely relieved it: this means in Davidsonian parlance that it is merely twanged rather than pronged and that I can exercise on it as long as it doesn't hurt...

- Have been diligently stretching calves all week after a regimen suggested by Brent - 2min each of straight leg, bent leg on each side (8min total), plus 30 heel drops on each side - and it has made a near-magical difference: I'd better keep that up, I could feel tightness in lower right calf but I didn't have to stop and stretch a single time

Will go to late-afternoon yoga, I think, too...

1hr very nice run (c. 5.5mi.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ailment-related grumpiness

Down with a cold for the last couple days; it was clear that there was no point even thinking about exercise, and I canceled exercise meet-up plans for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I have also slightly pronged something at the back of my left knee (Brent suggests that it may be the popliteus), and though my cold is enough better that I was intending to go to yoga at 4 this afternoon, I thought as I was getting changed about how this bit of the knee feels when leg is fully or hyper-extended and realized that yoga is exactly not what is needed.  Very frustrating!  Hopefully it will be better tomorrow: what I'd really like to do is run in the morning and go to yoga in the evening.  I first noticed the knee thing on Wednesday morning before my workout with Mark; it's stiff when I get up from sitting or get up in the morning, not sore once I'm actually moving around.  May have been related to double spin class the previous night; it seems like the sort of thing that might result from a strong pull on the upstroke against a heavy gear.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I definitely do have a slight cold, but am happy to say that it did not stop me from having a full hour of high-quality workout: I was sure I wasn't sick enough to cancel, but feared I might need to modify or otherwise curtail, so that is very good.

1hr strength