Monday, March 31, 2014


Going to see if I can get a nice run of days going - I think Saturday is going to be a write-off, but it's worth trying to hit every day for exercise between now and then.

Gloriously good spin class: 1 x 25min climb. I finally replaced the battery in my Suunto HR monitor strap, it's good to have some numbers again. The sun has come out and I am experiencing an unwonted wave of optimism!

:55 spin

Sunday, March 30, 2014


It was a strange day of alternating stints of work and dozing, and I felt still dazed as I headed down to Chelsea Piers, decadently, in a taxi for the 4pm class with Eilon. (Desperate situations call for desperate remedies - anything to get myself to a good class!) Abs/performax pair was super - only on the new schedule, they've given it the axe! However it really is just a kind of consolidation, and it means I will go to Eilon's Boxing Basics class instead, which has now been moved up to replace the boot-camp-style workout. That's not at all bad, I've been wanting to get back into the habit of punching things....

1.25hr boot camp

Pretty pitiful week as far as exercise goes, but there were extenuating circumstances. Ardently hoping this coming week will represent an improvement!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hot yoga!

Thursday and Friday got the better of me - two minor doctor's appointments Thursday morning plus seminar and office hours had me totally tapped out, and Friday ditto, meetings all day, got home around 4 feeling ready for utter collapse. Didn't make it to spin class this morning, alas - when the alarm went off, I still felt so tired and ill-rested that the thought of making it downtown by 10am seemed inconceivable! Thought about a run, but felt so truly inertial I couldn't quite imagine it - then it suddenly occurred to me that it was the perfect opportunity to go to midday hot yoga. It was not as dreadful as I expected after a long layoff, though I did feel slightly overwhelmed by heat a couple times in the standing sequence. The mat sequence, and especially the savasana rests where you can feel your heart pounding, are the reward for surviving the standing sequence. Chilly and rainy - I'd quite like to have a short run later, but not sure it will happen.

1.5hr hot yoga

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tough week!

With no room for exercise, barring a genuinely decent amount of brisk walking - I had to take the train 8 hours each way to Williamsburg for a conference, and then I had to go to Philadelphia to help my dad get home from hospital (he is doing nicely & settled in back at home - the situation has been anxiety-producing!). Often I just slightly give up on exercise at this point in the semester, not totally but in terms of a priority - this winter, though, I have done so badly with it that I think I am going to take the opposite take and make it my absolute priority. The work work gets done regardless, the exercise not so much so.

That said, I took the 1 train to the 9:30 class at Chelsea Piers and it was so gruesomely crowded I do not think I can do that again! Hopefully next week it will be warm enough for bike-riding to seem non-insane. (Courtly older gentleman to JMD: "It helps to think of it as an intimate riding experience rather than simply a crowded train." A woman standing next to me was on the verge of an outright panic attack - really it is a very unpleasant atmosphere.)

Great class! I am very bad at jumping over even miniature hurdles in sand, I think it is a combination of mental block and poor hip flexibility - but everything else was quite enjoyable. Pondering various schedule commitments - the only thing I know for sure is that I had better not overdo it, or else I will get sick!


1hr boot camp

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Had one of those mornings that only feels like a disaster because one is already too worn down and frazzled! Managed to turn it round mentally partway through, but it really was not good. I've been looking forward to this Wednesday 9:30 sandbox exercise class all week - I was five minutes late for it last week, I don't usually take a taxi on a weekday morning and I hadn't allowed enough time, so I made sure really to be out the door before 9 today. And then proceeded to get stuck in the worst traffic EVER! The meter ticked, I squirmed and anxietied, it got later and later - and later - ARGHHHHHH! At some point I realized that it wasn't just a question of being five minutes late, that it really was possible I might not get there till after the class was completely over! At that point I scaled back my expectations & just wanted to get there by the end to apologize to the trainer for missing class & make sure I didn't get on a blacklist for future (you register for these classes online in advance, they don't cost extra but it's a small-group thing with implied accountability).

So - I got to 9:30 class at 10:15 (after 1:15 in a cab, to go five miles, at a charge of $40 - usually it is $20-25 with tip!). Trainer very, very kindly let me join for last 15 mins of class (I jogged a few sand laps to warm up). Then I pulled myself together and ran very slowly home. Walked last bit as I felt something not quite right in left hamstring - this was prob a mistake as I am now freezingly cold, in fact should stop writing this and get in shower!

(Was wishing I'd ridden my bike down, I will next week, but en route home I checked to see if I could find my lock in the bike cage, and really I don't see it - stuck my key into about twenty identical looking ones - will buy a new one this week, and (a) mark it clearly as mine [they all look similar] and (b) not leave it there over this coming winter, as there are no guarantees it will still be there!)

I have to try and get some exercise while at this wretched conference - 2 x 30min is prob better for mental and physical health than 1 x 60 or 90, though sometimes it's more realistic just to hope for one session. Will bring 2 sets of exercise clothes & hope for the best - I had a lovely long run at "this" conference in Cleveland last year (but I was on sabbatical, so I wasn't so ground down going in); two years ago, I brought 2 sets of exercise clothes to San Antonio and used NEITHER, which I think is more what this one is likely to be!

:15 sandy skip-stride drills, misc. core
:55 easy run (c. 4.8mi)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Spent a slightly exhausting morning on the telephone, but did manage to get out for midday short run - it's wintry but GLORIOUSLY sunny, temp did rise to mid-30s so it was fine once I was actually going. Running is good for the soul!

(I did actually exercise yesterday, I made it to spin class and it was just as good as always, but I failed to log it when I got home - sign of high frazzle factor....)

:45 slow run, c. 4mi

Sunday, March 16, 2014

End of week strength

Gosh, I am tired! Week went a bit haywire there - a close family member had a health emergency in Philadelphia and was admitted to hospital - I got down there as soon as I reasonably could, and the situation is now pretty well under control, but it was both alarming and unexpectedly exhausting.

It's definitely winter still here, too....

Anyway, I did do a good pair of classes at Chelsea Piers this afternoon (the same teacher does them, adjacent), call it boot-camp-type strength stuff. I am grumpy that I have to go to a conference in Virginia from Thursday to Sunday - I only have one week of spring break, this is it and in an ideal world I would either be visiting Brent or catching up on fitness and work or BOTH! However I will try and make Mon-Tues-Wed count as far as both fitness and work go - I have one task I must do tonight, and a couple other rather pressing ones in the next few days...

1.25hr strength

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Exercise session of bliss!

It does feel very decadent to do daytime exercise before having done any work (I am really not an early riser, not practical to try for such) - but I really haven't been exercising enough, and I really have been working a bit too much - the thing is, the work WILL get done, there are hard external obligations, whereas if I leave exercise until the end of the day, I am often genuinely too tired (not too tired like too lazy, too tired like my body won't be able to absorb training and it will probably tip me over into getting another respiratory infection!).

SO that is why I am so excited about these new small-group classes at the gym - they're free, but you have to preregister - and many of them take place 9:30am weekdays, which is not a time strenuous classes are usually scheduled. I had a most lovely time, I must say - there were four of us, we did lots of things in the "sandbox" (beach volleyball court) - walking lunges with various medicine-ball things, squats, pushups, bits of sprinting, etc. My friend N. from Gerald's old Beast class was there, it was really nice to see her & to have the camaraderie of that kind of small group.

Then I ran home, very slowly and very THIRSTILY - I had gotten really dehydrated (only drank a couple inches of water during class - was running a bit late and grabbed near-empty bottle from locker), and had comical thwarting in search for fluids - the vending machine at the Intrepid pier did not want to take my dollars or card - water fountains are still off for winter - I figured I could drink some water from bathroom sinks at 72nd St. tennis courts, but there was a sign on the door saying it was closed while they worked on water lines - finally at the 79th St. boat basin I found a machine that would take my dollars! Gatorade flavors were all sold out, but I got a bottle of seltzer, turned off my watch and walked until I'd drunk it all - that was beneficial. Then went back on the clock to jog the rest of the way home.

:45 boot camp
:10 stretch
:51:22 jog (c. 4.8mi)

Monday, March 10, 2014


It's complex, often I am simply too tired to claim this chunk of Monday for exercise, but I had a couple blessedly quiet days over the weekend and was able to take advantage of an open slot in my schedule (after dragging myself out of bed for the evilly timed Monday 8:30am meeting that this whole school year has featured for me) to run down to Chelsea Piers and go to Joanna's midday spin. I have an aversion to doing that midday Monday class if I can't either run or bike down - it suggests a high level of mental insanity, but I just get too antsy on the subway feeling guilty about the fact that I'm not working! (It's an hour each way on the subway, so really it is too much time to borrow out of a workday for what amounts to sedentary novel-reading while I am on the train.) After the workout is done, the veins are pulsing with happy workout chemicals, of course, so the trip home doesn't produce the same anxiety....

1hr run (c. 5.3mi), :50 spin

Saturday, March 8, 2014


The other main kind of Day of Bliss I have is when I write quota pretty easily before lunchtime, but this was a super Exercise Day of Bliss - I made it possible by taking yesterday largely off as well, I have clearly been working much too hard. Trying not to let the success go to my head - really I have eight more fairly demanding weeks (ten depending on how you count it), can't go crazy with this stuff, but it felt pretty good to get in a full morning's session and especially to RUN OUTSIDE IN SHORT SLEEVES!

Ran most of the way down to Chelsea Piers, but realized in the 50s that I hadn't left early enough and that I was going to be quite late to spin class - got off the path in the 40s and took a cab for the last 1-and-a-bit miles, which felt like a cop out but which had me running into class just a couple minutes late rather than actually ten minutes late, which is less acceptable! Then did double spin (got off bike between to refill water bottles and eat half a Clif bar). So not really three hours altogether, but 9-12 inclusive with some interruptions:

:45 run (c. 4mi)
:50 spin
:55 spin

for total :45 run, 1:55 spin

Tomorrow I will just go to hot yoga (I have matinee tickets in the afternoon). But I also just found out about the details of a new program they're doing at Chelsea Piers - I saw my "membership consultant" to get some more guest passes and ask about registering for a few of these small-group classes they're offering. I was delighted to learn that in fact, though you preregister online, these classes are FREE to full members - it provides accountability without costing extra - this is super, I am going to try at least one out this coming week....

Friday, March 7, 2014


That was absolutely gloriously good. It was a gift to be able to get there. I felt amazing at the end of class, much better than I've felt all week (except briefly during too-short run and single yoga session!). Happy that we're moving now from the six months where work and weather make it hard for me to exercise a lot to the six months where it becomes much more feasible (barring unforeseen calamity, of course). Very excited! Joanna's teaching both classes tomorrow morning, so that will be a good double....

3 x 8min climb (seated, standing, seated)

1hr spin

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I am incredibly happy to have gotten out for a short RUN! It cannot honestly be described as blissful running weather - it's mid-30s, I was quite warm running south in the sun and then I turned around at the Boat Basin and was headed straight into the wind on the way home. Even with sunglasses, the tears were streaming out of my eyes - WITH BLISS AND WINDINESS!

Will have to exercise caution in coming weeks - lungs still full of junk, fairly flattened by midsemester fatigue, not in anything approach even normal winter condition - but I am optimistic that good times are coming.

(Just in: Joanna is teaching both spin classes Saturday morning, that's ideal!)

:44, c. 3.9mi

[NB sign of fatigue - I accidentally posted this at my other blog!]

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hot yoga!

Yoga totally turned my day around - I was having a terribly frazzled morning (only slept about 4 hours, got up at 6:30 to deal with letters of recommendation and similar before 9am meeting, etc. etc.), nearly had complete meltdown while metaphorically wrestling with scanned PDFs and the Courseworks system (first my iPad wouldn't do what I wanted it to, then I crashed the ancient Windows machine in the office - mercifully when I came home, it was all doable on my 'real' computer, but we just switched to a new email system and everything like downloading PDF attachments seems to work a bit differently than before). By the time I'd done all this, time was tight to get to midday spin downtown, and I also still felt as though the least possible thing going amiss would potentially make me burst into tears, so I figured it would be wise to go to nearby soothing hot yoga instead. I had a good spot - the teacher left the window open a crack after opening it in the middle of class, it was much cooler than usual!

The end of last week was a disaster for exercise. I was exhausted, I was working very hard and I also had a sort of revival of bronchitis - it was almost gone on Thursday, but it got much worse again over the weekend (I blame cold air!). Not all better today, but mostly so.

Now I really am going to go back to bed, I think, before regrouping for evening work. Only this week and next week, then it's spring break - I don't have many days off as I have to go to a conference, but it will give me a nice breather, and I also have a merciful breather this week with regard to a canceled committee meeting that will save me something like 10-15 hours of reading time as well - phew, might actually be able to get some of the other things on my list done!

1.5hr hot yoga