Thursday, July 31, 2014


Note to self: in the land of central air-conditioning, do not sit at the computer in sweaty clothes. It will make you cold and sleepy in a way that renders the prospect of going back to bed even more tempting than usual!

I am laughing, you would think I'd know better by now, but although I saw in yesterday's paper that spin teacher Marlene is in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games, all I did was check the gym's online schedule for class cancellation information. Everything looked normal, so I tipped myself out of bed very early this morning (although it is only one hour different, traveling to Cayman is like moving more time zones for me, as I miss most of a night of sleep due to early morning departure and then need to adjust to B's much earlier schedule!) for 6am spin - but of course really it was canceled.

Did a nice little workout on my own - it was actually sort of relaxing not having any music. Minor self-reproach gave way to the realization that if I had known the class was canceled, I would not have been able to make myself get up, so it was probably for the best!

:45 spin as 3 x (equal parts work and rest, moderately high gear and cadence of 95+ with high-cadence low-gear recovery: :30, :60, :90), 2:00 rest between sets

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Well, that was worthwhile. I had three tasks I really had to do in the morning in order for it to be OK to bite a chunk out of the middle of the day for exercise: 350-450 words on a book that changed my mind about something fundamental, the middle bit of a letter of recommendation whose edges I had composed while leaving the central chunk about the dissertation blank, dropping about twenty books at the English department office for help scanning and xeroxing. To my own surprise, I did finish all three by 11:30 (it is amazing what a hard deadline will do - the hard deadline of leaving town very early tomorrow plus the hard deadline of an attractive midday exercise opportunity I didn't want to miss out on!).

Rode down to Chelsea Piers for Andrew's midday spin, then had a very nice half-hour chat in the cafe afterwards with Lauren, who is moving back to Atlanta later this week and who I really did want to see before we both left town.

(We are doing the Princeton 70.3 in September, woo-hoo! We won't be well-trained for it, but I think I will be sufficiently trained that it will be enjoyable rather than an ordeal - we will see closer to the time if I am going to set more ambitious goals than that.)

:45 spin with short sprint intervals, :50 easy bike (10mi)

Monday, July 28, 2014


Alas, I completely flaked out on Lauren - I had so much anxiety this morning about riding that I bailed. It was the right choice, I am pretty sure, and really it was a failure of advance planning - I ignored all the lessons of prior years that in order to desensitize to bicycle-related anxiety I have to ride very regularly and in low-stress circumstances. What worked really well for me last summer was basically just having one weekday every week that WAS long ride day, with the ride being the only priority - taking bike on bus out to Lamont Observatory and doing all my riding out there. I had too much other stuff to do today, even aside from the question of desensitization....

Anyway, went to spin class (was still feeling physically rather out of sorts and a bit queasy, it was not an enjoyable workout!), had a very short swim that settled my stomach (decided not to do anything hard-effort since it was a relief to feel more normal again), picked up bike at store and came home on the subway. It turned out I did not need a new tire after all, which is good - the chunk of stuff I thought was a gouged-out piece of rubber was probably just asphalt or similar - in fact, since the annual tune-up is free, I walked out of the store without having to pay a single penny - truly anomalous!

:45 spin
:15 swim (500 yards as 100 free, 100 kick, 3 x 100 drill-swim by 25 [front scull, fists, finger-drag])

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Gosh, that was amazingly good - it is ridiculous that I don't go more often! I really enjoyed it.

Started off a little rocky in that there were five of us in the slow lane with two seemingly quite a bit faster than the rest of us. This is discouraging and makes me somewhat grumpy - I had to skip 50s in the pull warmup in order to have any rest, and wished we could have a drastic lane reshuffle to Keep the Slow Lane Slow!

(Anomalously the Baruch pool is 25 METERS! I can't remember all the intervals, and we weren't always going as what was written - there was a bit of last person touches, first person goes, with my friend H. exempted from the "last person" part - complex!)

300 warmup choice (100 free, 100 kick, 100 free)

3 x 150 as 100 kick, 50 pull (I did the first 150 and then the second two as 100 each)
3 x 100 pull, 50 drill (I did all three as 100 swim)

To my relief, though, really I was not so much slower as the front guys once we were off the pull sets (which I despise because I am so slow!) and onto the main set. I was avoiding whip kick due to the morning's knee issues - alternated between free, fly drill (3-3-3) and breast pull flutter kick as appropriate for the lengths that should have been breast. Was pleased with how strong I still felt at the end of the workout - I am very slow (once my friend H. got out, I was undoubtedly the slowest swimmer in the entire rather packed pool!), but the endurance sport training stands me in very good stead during a 90-minute workout - I am much steadier and stronger at the end than many faster and better swimmers.

4 x 100 IM on 2:30 (?)
8 x 25 IM x 2 on :45 (long pullout underwater)

4 x 100 free on 2:15 (?)
8 x 25 free on :40

5 x 50 free breathing every 3, 5, 7 on 1:00

2400 meters total

Called it short....

Discretion being the better part of valor and all - as I was jogging down the last part of 110th St. to the north entrance to the park, I felt some strong twinges in the front inside of my right knee (never had that before, though knees are always a bit sore when I'm running a lot). Was hoping they could be ignored, but instead the twinge became more frequent and more pronounced as I started to run up Harlem Hill, plus some impingement (curiously) down the back of the calf. Arghhhh, frustrating - but it was clearly the sensible thing to do to stop the clock and walk home! If there is one thing years of running have taught me, it's that minor things go away if you are sensible but that you can pretty easily turn a minor thing into a major one by, say, running on it for an hour when you obviously shouldn't!

Will go to TNYA workout at Baruch later, so I can't feel too grumpy about this (also riding in NJ with Lauren tomorrow if weather permits). Hoping coach will allow me to have another go at the Central Park loop on Tuesday - I can always cut it short if I need to.

:16 minutes of warmup with twinges!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Run-spin double!

That was glorious. I love spending Saturdays this way - may need a nap though now before I actually get any work done! Ran down to Chelsea Piers (it was breezy and a little overcast, very good running weather) on a 6:1 run-walk, then did Joanna's double. Good news on that front - she will henceforth be teaching both the 10am and 11am classes on a regular basis - this makes me very happy, although of course I am now about to be out of town for the next four weeks and will miss them all!

(I need to leave earlier if I'm running down there - I got there with a couple minutes to spare on the face of things, but I needed to get a sport drink and a bar, and to switch over gear in my locker - then I couldn't find a bike without cages clipped onto the Look pedal - I missed the first ten minutes of warmup.)

1:10 run (c. 5.5mi, 6:1 run-walk)
1:45 spin

Friday, July 25, 2014


In a very good mood today (probably because I will see B. on Wednesday!). Did NOT execute workouts as planned - wanted to get to the gym early so that I could swim before spinning, i.e. do a PROPER rather than a half-assed swim workout! But it is not my strength getting out the door promptly in the morning. Anyway, rode down, did super spin class with Joanna (who is teaching the double tomorrow, woo-hoo!) and then just did a short swim.

:55 spin (4 x 5min as 3min standing climb, 2min sprints)
1000 yards swim (500 warmup as 100 swim, 100 kick, 2 x 100 drill-swim by 25 [front scull, fists], RaLaCuBa; 500 as 5 x 100 IM no breaststroke on 2:30)
10mi easy ride (:50)

Thursday, July 24, 2014


That was glorious! I had two unwanted days off from exercise (basically comically similar to each other, both involving genuinely important morning or midday professional obligations followed by supremely lavish long restaurant lunches with wine and dessert - this is anomalous for me, and really I am glad to go back to my normal schedule - the meals however were both lovely, one at the Bryant Park Grill [chicken Cobb salad and the very delicious "bananas for bananas" dessert] and the other at Lincoln Ristorante, which I thought was extremely good - they had an incredibly good value [I wasn't paying, but I still look and consider!] restaurant-week prix fixe lunch for $25 - I had the buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes etc., a fish soup and almond cake - it was quite tasty, sandwiched with a lemon curd that bore a comical visual resemblance to Velveeta!). Life of luxury notwithstanding, I am incredibly relieved to be back to normal rather more ascetic lifestyle!

I had a great workout assigned for this morning, 6 x Harlem Hill, with last one as hard as possible. Jogged over to the bottom of the hill - not too hot today, though disgustingly humid (squelchy socks before I was even halfway through the workout). Did the first two a little harder than I meant to and realized I'd better pull back for #4-5 if I really was going to be able to go (as the coach said) "hands-on-knees" for the last one. Set out really strong for that final one, was smugly congratulating myself on having a good sense of pacing and then realized I really had gone too hard, was overwhelmed with queasiness! Walked for just a couple seconds to let the chemicals settle, then realized that of course I was still going to have a good time on this repeat as long as I stayed focused, so I went as hard as I could to the top. Times show it.

:16:05 jog to bottom of Harlem Hill

#1 4:12 (4:08 recovery downhill)
#2 4:09 (4:02 recovery)
#3 4:03 (4:02 recovery)
#4 4:14 (3:57 recovery)
#5 4:05 (4:01 recovery)
#6 3:44 (+ short walking recovery off the clock)

:13:20 jog home

1:14:19 total workout

Monday, July 21, 2014

Birthday #43 workout extravaganza!

An excellent workout that so thoroughly used up all my vim that I had to eat a cookie just now in order to have the energy to write a post!

One of the great pleasures of this summer of exercise is that I got a coach - I haven't had one for a long time, I always have some mentors of one kind or another but I'd forgotten what a pleasure it is to have actual formal coaching. So I asked supercoach David Roche for a special birthday workout, and got this back:
Your mission is to touch Grant's tomb, check out the Central Park Zoo, see the Intrepid, and run up the Columbia steps. You decide how to connect them :)
I also wanted to make it to midday spin class and had a swim workout lined up as well, but I knew it would be unlikely that I'd really have energy for that still after doing the first two - indeed I had a short swim post-spin and will do a proper masters workout tomorrow.

Lounged in bed and didn't get out the door early enough to come home between - that was good, though, actually, as it makes it a more genuine continuous workout. Beautiful weather, but slightly hotter than I thought - should have been carrying water, I was fiendishly thirsty by the end.

Here is Grant's Tomb:

Here is the view from the top of the Low Library steps:

I have no picture for the zoo - I ran over to Central Park and then south along the east side of the park. Got near the zoo around the 1hr mark, stopped and bought a Gatorade and drank it while walking around off the clock trying to find a zoo building to photograph - realized after about 10 minutes that my poor sense of direction really just means I was going to have to let that one go! (I was there relatively recently and did indeed spend much time wandering around trying to find the actual entrance - then promptly forgot whatever I learned about how to find it....)
Then west to the Intrepid:

Increasingly thirsty - rather glad as Chelsea Piers finally hove into view. Total running time: 1:32, probably about 8+ miles? Brief regroup, and then SPIN!

I got to pick the workout since it was my birthday: I couldn't ask for a 43-minute climb, as it's only a 45-minute class and also it might KILL somebody, but what we had was very good: 3 x (4min climb, 3min sprints as :30 off, :30 on). I had a maniacal grin on my face throughout that caused Joanna to snap this picture:

No pictures, didn't happen (those are what I call "imaginary distance units," by the way, not miles or kilometers - somewhere between the two!):

Then just a very short swim so that I could call it an authentic swim-bike-run day: 500 yards as 100 swim, 100 kick, 2 x 100 drill-swim by 25 (front scull, fists), 100 swim strong with good form.

Bonus picture to make up for the missing zoo one, a portrait of the lovely and well-behaved service dog that accompanies its mistress to the pool pretty much every day:

It's a slightly strange summer in that I'm neither training for something epic nor in the middle of writing a book. Makes me feel rather guilty and underoccupied! But it is probably good for the soul not to be quite so busy and focused all the time....

1:32, c. 8+mi
:40 spin (3 x 7min as 4min climb, 3min sprints)
:15 swim (500 yards)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Short run of bliss!

Gosh, that was nice - it's a beautiful day, sunny and low humidity - a bit hot in direct sun, but nice breeze once I reached the water. I really see the point of doing these shorter easier runs - it leaves you still hungry for more, and savoring every segment, rather than feeling that it is a slog.

:40 run-walk (3:1)

Saturday, July 19, 2014


That was a mighty fine morning of exercise. Not beautiful weather, but not hot either. Ran down to Chelsea Piers (5:1 run-walk), then did 10am spin class with Liz. We had delicious omelets afterwards at La Lunchonette - the bread and butter there is also uncannily good....

1:08 run (5:1)
1hr spin

Friday, July 18, 2014


Spin class, then just a very short swim - I wanted to do longer, but I'm having trouble with this bit above my left knee that I twanged a couple months ago due to riding a double spin class on a bike with a wobbly left cleat. It has a tendency to seize up, particularly if I try and do a standing climb but also just at other random times (not when I am running, fortunately!); it pronged me a couple times during spin class, and then again quite strongly as I was finishing my swim warmup, and I figured discretion was the better part of valor.

:45 spin
:20 swim (500 yards as 200 free, 200 kick, 100 RaLaCuBa)

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I haven't been doing enough swimming, ditto biking, but it certainly is lovely getting to run all the time - and today it FINALLY is a nice day, low 70s and relatively low humidity - beautiful! 40min as 20min warmup (4:1), then 8 x :20 @ mile pace, :40 jog, then easy jog home

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


That was a very enjoyable one, possibly because for once I just slept for as long as I wanted to - makes it take a lot less willpower to get out the door when I am not already fatigued! (Went to bed pretty early but it took HOURS to fall asleep....)

Weather still rather disgusting, very high humidity, but it's only 70 or so, which means that I was not penalized for lounging in bed so long. Jogged over to Central Park and did 3 x the upper loop, with goal of increasing speed each loop - pushing Harlem Hill on all three, but taking it harder the rest of the way as the workout progressed. Only two weeks more of hills before all training is as flat as a pancake!

1:06 total (c. 5.4mi)

14:36 warmup to bottom of Harlem Hill (c. 1.2mi)

3 x 1.41mi upper loop (17:53, 18:02, 16:09)

Monday, July 14, 2014


No, not actually - just an ill-advised long run in sauna-like conditions! I got it done, which is about the best I can say - I dread to even think how very slow my pace was most of the time! Ran down to 96th St. and then up to the Little Red Lighthouse. Due to combination of aforementioned sauna-like conditions and the fact that I added on a bit inadvertently (dead end, backtracking), it took well over an hour to get there (it's 5mi by the direct route), so I took the shorter route home. For the second hour, couldn't quite face coach's instructions of 8 x 1:00 @ 5K pace, so modified by doing 8 x (3:30 jog, :30 hard, 1:00 recovery walk). Walked the last bit home - 2hr exactly (I had to walk a couple extra blocks, I was damned if I was going to stop the clock before the two-hour mark!). Squelchy socks, soaking wet shirt and pants - the fragrance of garbage and cigarette smoke everywhere - NYC in summer!

2hr, c. 8.5mi?

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Pure bliss, insofar as bliss is compatible with very hard work. Jogged down at a rather slow sedate pace (6:1 jog-walk). Funniest sight along the way: a man running with a two-seater jogging stroller. Baby in one seat, pug in the other! Joanna was teaching the double, which is excellent.

1:10 run-walk (6:1), c. 5.4mi
2hr spin!

Friday, July 11, 2014


Hmmm, this is a routine that makes me EXTREMELY happy. I finally finished my dreaded article revisions this morning (they have been a millstone around my neck for ONE YEAR - small enough job not to be interesting, big enough job not to be easily shoehorned into busy times, esp. as dependent on many library volumes = can't be done in Cayman, which is more likely to be where I have time to get my own work done!). It is SENT! Rode down to CP for Joanna's excellent spin class, then swam 1000 yards, then rode home. Delighted to find my apartment overrun with workers - my refrigerator hasn't been working properly, with slightly alarming consequences - I put in a work request late yesterday afternoon and am startled and pleased that it has been addressed so quickly!


10mi easy bike (:50)
:45 spin!
1000 yards swim (200 kick, 3 x 100 drill [RaLaCuBa, front scull, fists], 5 x 100 as 2 x 25 fly, 75 free; 2 x 25 fly, 25 back, 50 free; 100 IM)

Also, Joanna is teaching double spin tomorrow. Woo-hoo!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Just an easy little one - I did not end up making time to swim today, alas, and generally seemed to be slightly overscheduled with one thing and another! But the schedule said easy 40min run with 3:1 jog-walk, which is something it is pretty hard to talk yourself out of - it was really nice, the weather cooled down a little as dusk was coming and it's so relaxing to run next to the water....

:40, 3:1, not very far!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


It would be too time-consuming to do that often, but I got up early and took the subway to meet Liz for an 8am run in Prospect Park - woo-hoo! Pretty hot already by then - it's nice in the shade, and then you hit the sun....

c. 6mi, c. 1:07

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Arduous and hot, but I feel great now it's done....

Jogged over to the park, did just the upper 5.

1:14:41, c. 6-and-a-bit miles (slow, but it's HOT, it's OK....)

Monday, July 7, 2014


I was very grumpy riding down - it is woefully hot and extremely windy, seemed like I was riding into a headwind the whole way - but class was good as always. Decided not to swim, but subsequently slightly regretted it, as I had a minor bike woe on the way home! Nothing terrible, but it is an intersection I'm not keen on (on weekends or when there is a busy event, there is often a police officer there managing car traffic), where vehicles driving in to the convention center are asked to yield/stop (it's one of those yield signs with a picture of the stop icon on it) to cyclists on the greenway bike path. It is widely ignored - the car coming into the intersection slowed but continued to pull through, I'd thought it was stopping but paused as it continued to move, and then failed to clip out in time - toppled over slowly from a standstill, because I am an idiot! Left elbow has some road rash, but I didn't go down hard and spots like my right hand which did touch the ground a bit later aren't scraped. I guess it is better than having made contact with a car....

:45 spin, :50 round-trip bike with minor interruption!

Sunday, July 6, 2014


That was a really nice one - it's hotter again, but relatively low humidity, definitely good running weather. Ran over to Central Park and did the loop, pushing hills (stopped briefly to say hello to sometime training partner C.!). Finished at the bottom of Harlem Hill around 1:28 and then walked an additional 30 minutes for time on feet. Woo-hoo!

(Lauren had to cancel our proposed ride in NJ today, but that's good, as it should be I can make it now to the 6pm women-only masters swim session that happens only once a month - I am often out of town for it, unfortunately, so that's all the more reason to try and make it today.)

1:28 run, 30min walk

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Only one class offered today because of the holiday. Very good! I need to do my long run later (riding tomorrow with Lauren in NJ) so just as well to limit ride to a hard single.

:55 spin

Friday, July 4, 2014


Though I was annoyed with myself Tuesday for not getting up and out the door for a morning run, it was one of those things where it was possibly for the best that I had a day off anyway. Yesterday was just a more simple and regrettable failure! I was more lazy than exhausted in terms of not getting up/out in time (I had allergy shot appointment at 11am downtown so there was a hard deadline, but in retrospect I should have just gone out for a shorter one rather than not going out at all). I was grumpy and overheated all day, and when I got home from the library (after some good work on my article and a great meeting with the rare book librarian about what we're going to do with the rare book collection for the introduction to the English major class in the fall), I lay down in air conditioning with a book and promptly fell asleep FOR TWO HOURS. By the time I was ungroggified sufficiently to consider running, the sultry heat had tipped over the edge to thunderstorm, and at that point I pretty much just had to admit defeat!

I made the foolish mistake this morning of starting to read things on the internet instead of just getting out the door - it has cost me my midday spin class, alas. (I finished my Central Park loop, it was just about noon and I was still 1mi from home and 5mi from Chelsea Piers, spin starts at 12:30 and there was clearly no way I would make it!) But though it is still disgustingly humid, it is significantly cooler than yesterday (low 70s rather than high 80s, big difference). Jogged over to the park and ran the full loop, pushing hills and taking short walking recovery as needed on flats. Walked home after, that was enough running for the day I think.....

1:27, c. 7.3mi (loop was 1:13, just about 12min pace - note to self, Harlem Hill takes about 4min right now from bottom to top)

+1mi (20min) walk home = additional time on feet

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Foot doctor appointment yesterday has left me with another painful blister, had to take a couple days off from running (should be fine for tomorrow morning), but had a nice warm imprecise Prospect Park ride with Joanna. I guess we were chatting, I didn't start a watch and didn't really pay attention to how far we rode, though probably we did five loops, c. 16.5mi, in a little over an hour? It really is warm today - we kept on passing some promotional folks with Vitaminwater energy drinks, finally as we finished we stopped and had one, it was like nectar of the gods under the circumstances (I wished I'd taken another for my long train ride home!)....