Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hot yoga!

The 1.25hr class, and that was at least a quarter of hour (possibly half an hour) more heat than I really had in me! The standing sequence was surprisingly OK, I sat out a couple bits at the end but didn't feel queasy or even really overwhelmed. But the mat sequence never let up - IT WAS JUST TOO HOT. Ah, if only hot yoga would be about ten degrees cooler, it would be perfect!


1.25hr hot yoga

Warm run!

Made it to Cayman yesterday on three hours sleep. Took advantage of 1/2 tablet (I don't always have sleeping pills, but they are occasionally very useful) to go to bed EARLY - like, early - and got up early to run. Couldn't quite get out of bed/out the door as I early as I meant to, it was getting light by the time I was ten minutes in, but it is much better than nothing. Figuring out what else I am going to do today - the server I'm on blocks the yoga studio schedule, but that is a distinct possibility....

:40 warm easy run

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Locomotive run/unsatisfactory bench

Hmmmm, not very satisfied with either of those, but perhaps it was just a day when getting it done is all you can hope for!

Jogged down very slowly (it was nice, damp and cool but not actually raining and no wind, not too many people out there), with right glute-hamstring attachment feeling very tender. (Knee was curiously fine.) Then the upper-body workout was a bit of a disaster! I feel like I forgot how to bench (and in fact I suspect that if I look back through the records of this training cycle, I haven't been doing it as regularly as in prior cycles - I know I missed at least a few, and I didn't have any Friday second bench sessions either). I can do better than this!

Finally did find my groove (literally) on the narrow-grip set (Josh was convinced on the first ones that it was a technical failure rather than a strength failure, but in either case it's frustrating!). Knee was acting up, Josh pressed it painfully but helpfully but I'm grumpy that I've left it so long without doing anything, and I can't really do anything about it while I'm in Cayman. Might try and find some sport massage or physio - at this point I think most of the discomfort is from things being horribly tight as a result of overcompensation.

Resolved: lift more in the first few months of 2016 than I did in the last couple months of 2015! (EVIL HOLIDAYS BREAK MY HAPPY ROUTINE.)

Anyway, bench session:

A couple singles at 115 (work set should have been 3-4 x 2-3 @ 115-120 but I JUST DIDN'T HAVE IT)

Narrow-grip bench: 2 x 10 x 75

Single-arm rows: 4 x 10 x 42.5

Banded: 150 abs, 100 face-pull, 100 triceps

1hr upper body
plus about 1:08 VERY SLOW jogging....

Monday, December 28, 2015


Gosh, today has been utterly overwhelming - I was out of the house for too much of it, that was the main thing, but also wrangling bicycle and soft case on subway to the bike store so they could pack it for me (and then getting it home again - it was good that they got to it today, though) has done me in! It was a very good workout with Josh and Howard, though. Let me see if I can get this right:

5 x 10 x bar squats (concentrating on technique for now, and figuring that even this very low-level submaximal work can lead to strength gains - I'm now going to do everything slow on the way down for extra work without extra craziness!)

slow deadlifts: 4 x 4 x 131 (3 seconds down, 3 seconds up)

goblet squats: 5 x 6 x 37.5 (hold 3 seconds at bottom)

band gunshow x 100

And a bunch of rolling and stretching - my whole left leg is now completely messed up, if this knee business is still bothering me when I get back from Cayman I'd better get someone to take a look at it! I definitely need more warmup - it's worst after I've been sitting a while later in the day after a workout....


Haven't been to a Monday class for a while. Joanna is missed but it was nice to see some of the other familiar faces

:45 spin

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Endurance ride!

Very good final indoor ride with Joanna in her studio. Happy about how this turned out - locking it in as a regular Sunday commitment (this was #6 of 6, with a couple weeks off over Thanksgiving) has worked extremely well. Suddenly seized with huge excitement about the Mercuryman aquabike - it's not a performance race or anything, but it should be really fun....

2hr ride

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Am now on virtually nocturnal schedule so ditched notion of trying to make it to 9am masters swim and slept late. Just had nice 1hr easy run - nothing dramatic...

1hr easy

Friday, December 25, 2015

Holiday run!

That was extremely nice. I took Advil beforehand as my back was rather sore last night and when I got up, it completely alleviated back and knee pain but my right glute-hamstring attachment was very tight and sore throughout - it's always like that the day after deadlifting.

Not quite as muggy as yesterday but still very balmy running weather! 60F, virtually no wind, still rather damp and overcast. Slightly modified Coach's workout as I am trying to minimize walk time while here (I will need it more in Cayman for heat management, both indoors and out).

1.5hr as 16:00 easy, then 15 x (2:30 easy, :30 hard, 1:00 walking recovery), cooldown

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day of bliss!

The only thing that could make it better would be a writing session, but I'm not at "production of quota" stage on anything currently so it wasn't an option. Very good day, though! It is ridiculously warm and mild (it did finally mostly stop raining, though it's still damp). Rode bike down to Chelsea Piers in short sleeves (into an awful headwind - when I passed the heliport at 30th St. the wind sock was pointing obnoxiously right at me). Did a slightly curtailed version of the lower-body workout Josh sent me, then met up with Lauren for spinning, stretching and a snack in the cafe. Ride home was blissfully easy with wind at my back!

10mi bike
:40 spin
:45 lower body

Had to make a couple compromises on the work set from Josh. First of all my hamstrings were ridiculously tight even after I'd warmed up (and I'd been toiling against wind on bike). Work set for deadlifts was assigned as 4 x 8 @ 185 which even at the best of times I think would require moral support/egging on from an onlooker, and I didn't think I had it in me to do it on my own. Based on Josh's comments on Tuesday I thought he'd prefer me to keep the weight same and lower reps, so that was what I did. Then my back was so tight that I didn't want to do anything extreme on the goblet squats. So:

deadlift: 4 x 5 x 185
goblet squat: 5 x 10 x 37.5
band hip thrust: 3 x 10 @ red band (4-second pause at top)
plank: 5 x :30 plank, :30 recovery

Skipped the lat pulldown as I couldn't get the machine set up properly and I was running out of time before spin class anyway. Good cumulative workout though!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


A very good one, too. Not beautiful outside (very damp and overcast), but mild - near 60. Modified run to suit personal taste/mood of the day.

1:10 as

:20 easy
15 x (1:00 hard, 1:00 walking recovery)
:20 easy


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Upper body!

It was a very good workout, though having also had three long grading sessions (everything is now read and marked and I just need to enter final grades into the computer) I now feel utterly knackered and forlorn. Hopefully things will seem a bit brighter in the morning!

Not sure I can remember everything now, but it was like this:

bench with football bar (it weighs a little less than a regular bar) + 25s: 10, 8, 8, 7.5 (spotter wanted to count it as 8 but it only went up with help)

standing shoulder press with football bar: was set as 3 x 10, I think I was only on eights by the last set

circuit x 3:

incline bench (set as 8, but we are short the appropriate weights, I was using 27.5 and did) 8, 6, 4
incline row (10 x 27.5)

One other thing, what was it? Oh, skull-crushers again with football bar: 4 x 15.

Alas, no Thursday morning workout after all, and I can't come to the makeup one tomorrow at 5 as I annoyingly have a haircut appointment I can't change (it is overdue, hair in my eyes is making me crazy). Will run instead but I think I just don't like it that we won't be lifting as a group again till Monday! The gym is only closed on the 25th, however, so really I am fine - will have a good run tomorrow morning and a short one Thursday plus midday spin at Chelsea Piers with Lauren, who is in town for the holidays!

OK, gotta get these grades in now....

Nice rainy run!

Hahahahaha, I like running in the rain (and it's very mild) but I would have donned somewhat different garb if I had realized quite how rainy it actually was: a visor to keep water out of my eyes (and no glasses!), a less absorbent jacket....

Anyway did :40 as 4:1 with first two for warmup and then 6 x (3:30 easy, :30 hard, 1:00 walking recovery). Wanted to go longer but at the :20 mark I was so drenched I thought I'd better start for home - didn't have any money in my pocket and suddenly started envisaging bad outcomes!

Monday, December 21, 2015


Ah, it was particularly nice today - it's quiet at the gym because of the approaching holiday, and I think we had good focus. That said, my mental block on squatting seems to me as active as ever, hahahaha, what a DISASTER! Went back to square one after a very poor first set and did this with a box under me (with just bar and box everything is perfect, it's uncanny - I think that feeling of weight on the back is just something that's hard to get used to?):

box squats: 6 x 10 x 45

deadlift (speed): 10 x 3 x 141 (on 1:00)

dumbbell hamstring curls: 5 x 10 x 38.5

Not sure quite how that added up to 1:20 but it did! H. was deadlifting heavy and doing deficits, C. and P. were both benching and doing some additional conditioning, we were lifting according to a rota?

Also: H. got us all CPNY Powerlifting trucker caps as a holiday present! Pictures to follow, we didn't take any this evening....

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2hr ride...

(Which is not very long as cycling goes, but it was good to get up to that mark at least....)

Was having a hard time getting HR high enough in the first hour - a bit of fatigue (taxing week), a bit of lack of concentration - but I felt like things came right in the second hour.

2hr indoor ride

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Glorious long run!

I was feeling very sheepish as I inadvertently slept all day. In retrospect, it's not surprising - I very regularly sleep for twelve hours on a Friday night at the end of a taxing week, and last night I was out in Brooklyn at dear old friends' holiday party until late, only got home around 2 and couldn't wind down to go to sleep till after 3. Woke up briefly at 10:15 to feed importunate cats, went back to sleep and only woke up again at 3:45!

Which meant it was getting dark as I got out for my long run, so I abandoned the more detailed plans that required checking a watch (it has an indiglo button but it's a pain needing to press it to see where I am on the clock) and just did 1:40 straight. It was lovely - chilly and rather windy, especially on the way out, but pleasantly deserted and genuinely enjoyable. Happy about this - I like this time of year....

1:40 easy run

Friday, December 18, 2015


I truly did not have it in me to get out this morning. But I had a window in the early evening that made sense, and am very happy that I did indeed get out for thirty minutes. Not especially cold (mid-40s?) but VERY windy! This day has had a lot of human contact and a short run will give me fortitude for further socializing (lobby Xmas party downstairs, then old friends' annual party in Brooklyn). Fortitude such that I am at least TOYING with the idea of wearing a dress, though I suspect I will enjoy myself more in jeans and a t-shirt....

:30 windy dark run!

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Pleasant surprise to get to lifting and find out we were doing deadlifts first and then squats. Work set was assigned as 4 x 3 but weight was too heavy for me to execute that fully! So:

DL 231lb (3, 1, 1, 1)

pause squats (4 seconds at the bottom) 4 x 3 x 65

(I'm still sticking with really light weights and working on technique - it feels a lot better....)

150 abs with band

100 "gunshow"


Morning work stuff ran a bit late and I was ten minutes late for class, which I hate, but it's a great workout even curtailed like that. :35 with mostly short high-cadence intervals (seated and standing). This is hard which means it must be good for me.

Hanging around the gym cafe now and trying to motivate myself to write two letters of recommendation that have been eliciting strong procrastinatory impulses! Squats later and then the gym so-called "member appreciation" party which I think I will stay for (or at least do preliminary scoping out of free food and drink - you can take the professor out of graduate school, but you can't take the graduate student out of the professor)....

:35 intervals

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Felt very bleary-eyed and low in the afternoon - didn't sleep well or indeed enough last night. But second workout perked me up (and I finished my spring-semester syllabus, though not the two letters of recommendation - the unfortunate thing at this time of year is that one is both fielding huge numbers of emails and logistical things about the fall-semester teaching while also finalizing the spring semester, needing to place course book orders etc. and indeed also sorting out next year's teaching - I am frazzled!).

1hr upper body

5 x 10 bench @ 85, 90, 90, 90, 90 (failed on final rep of final set, that really must be mental!)

Circuit x 6: (6lb medicine ball)

6 ring rows
10 medicine ball slams
10 mb side slams
10 mb overhead

lateral raise: 3 x 15 x 5lb

plank: 5 x :30 on 1:00

Glorious run!

Another almost miraculously nice one. The weather this December is conspiring to make my running life happy and easy - it's 50F and sunny with very little wind, running along the Hudson in those conditions is pure bliss!

Knee is good; felt some tenderness in right glute-hamstring attachment (this seems inevitable the day after deadlifting, even though I wasn't lifting heavy or high volume yesterday - nothing major).

1:15 as follows:

:20 easy
12 x 3:00 as (1:00 easy, :40 fast, 1:20 walking recovery)
:20 easy

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Spin/lower body

Yesterday turned into an unwanted null day due to anxiety about my poor little cat Mickey! At his check-up last week the vet found he had significant periodontal disease (no reason, apparently some cats just have bad teeth). So I dropped him off yesterday at 8 (getting him into the carrier was the most stressful thing I've done in living memory!) and waited anxiously all day for word that I could pick him up. Cats have to have general anesthesia for tooth-cleaning and extraction (five or six teeth came out), and I was really obsessing about it unduly. Relieved indeed to pick him up around 6. He was wobbly on his feet and pretty groggy last night and overnight, but he ate a hearty plate of tinned food this morning and is just as cuddly and purry as usual (I guess he doesn't hate me for putting him in the bag).

Missed powerlifting inevitably, and have just made that workout up this afternoon as follows:

:50 spin
:35 lower body

squats: 4 x 6 x 65 (used lower end of weight options as I am still building technique and confidence on that lift)
deadlifts for speed: 6 x 2 x 155 on 1:00
lateral pulldowns: 5 x 10
single-arm row: 3 x 10 x 42.5

Now need to go and get allergy shots then buckle back down on work stuff....

(Our evening lifting session for this evening is canceled and will be rescheduled for tomorrow, which actually for once suits me pretty well - will be good to be home while it is still light.)

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Another good ride at Joanna's. Still only at 1.5hr as it was clear that it made more sense to use the rest of the time with bruisingly painful foam rollerdom! I'm not really riding enough for my January event, but it is going to have to do - certainly it's quality time (and I will make sure to get to midweek rides). Possibility that Joanna is going to start teaching a couple daytime spin classes at a gym on the Upper West Side - that would be excellent....

1.5hr indoor ride


Just a short one as I want to maximize crazy spring-like December running weather. (Once I'm in Cayman, it's too hot to run so enjoyably outside!) This was not lovely - legs had no spring in 'em, patch of chafing under my arm was bothering me and most of all my right lower back was unpleasantly tight. Still, good to get out there (I saw a funny pug running very athletically with its master, and lots of other nice dogs).

:30 easy

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Gosh, that was absolutely glorious! Not exhilarating as such, more meditative, but probably the easiest and least effortful long run I've had forever - nothing was unduly sore/painful, and I felt at the end as though I could have done exactly the same thing all over again (strong biomechanically, metabolically, huffing and puffing).

The morale boost was much needed as I was just wishing I could get a total personality transplant. This week was unduly taxing, which made me go what I sometimes think of as FULL DORMOUSE - slept yesterday afternoon 3:45-5:45, then slept 11:30pm-11:30am, then went back to bed around 1pm and slept deeply for another 2.5 hours. Was disgusted with myself when I woke up, not to mention still drowsy! But my knee felt completely normal for the first time in weeks (took yesterday off to rest it), and internal self-examination told me that there were no obstacles to getting out to run, even if it was almost dark. (Also, it's 65F!) And as I say, it was an absolutely lovely one - still going very slow, but feel like I'm moving better and as though systems are all coming into good train.

1.5hr easy (tried first :20 sprint, but it twinged my knee so I decided to stay at easy effort level)

Thursday, December 10, 2015


OK, I haven't really been complaining about it here, especially since it hasn't stopped me from doing workouts, but my left knee really isn't right - very sore walking downstairs or any time it's hyperextended, though not sore as such while running or doing other forms of exercise. I felt super-cautious re: squats - knees were strong and stable at the bottom, but as soon as I was close to upright (or indeed even in the walkout phase, with straight legs/locked knees) I was getting major twinges. So did assigned squat set with no weight other than the bar:

4 x 10 x 45 (impatient to be back at real weights but must not do anything to further break slightly broken things!)

150 abs with band (5 x 30)

lat pulldowns 3 x 6 heavy

4 x 10 x 6-pound medicine ball slam

Then we had team powerlifting dinner ("Friendsgiving") and it was lovely - aside from everything, 2 extremely nice little dogs!


Almost uncannily good running weather - it must be almost 60F, sunny and mild! Had a couple morning things I needed to dispatch first, but got out midday for a very nice one:

:52 as

:20 warmup
10 x (:20 fast, 1:40 walking recovery)

I really felt like I was flying on the fast bits!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Very good one too. For once I got up "early" enough to finish crucial work bit and still get out to run (though if I do not scamper pretty quickly - or even if I do - I will be a few minutes late to my noon meeting).

:50 as

15:00 warmup
10 x (:45 fast, 1:15 walking recovery)
15:00 cooldown

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Upper body!

So glad to be back in the routine. Felt a bit rocky at first (fatigued!) but got in the groove pretty quickly. Had a really good day in the end (yesterday was overwhelming and not particularly good) - both exercise sessions were satisfying, very nice late lunch with friends in Chelsea Market, got necessary work done. Ready to go home now, though - cats, pajamas!


2 x 3 @ 95
1 x 10 @ 95

3 x (a) flat bench press (b) incline row @ 27.5

cable fly 3 x 25

100 abs with band

1hr total


Hmmmm, pressure-cooker aspect of academic life in December has led to surge in stress without any real other specific precipitating factor. They were doing roadwork on my block late last night and I had some trouble falling asleep, then woke (horribly) at 4:30 and was awake for long enough that finally I gave in, got up and read the 2 dossiers that I needed to write reports on today! Went back to sleep around 7:15, dragged myself out of bed a few hours later and cranked out the reports, then cabbed it down to Chelsea for midday spin. Had hoped to get here early enough to run first for 30 minutes, but it was not meant to be (and I have lunch now with friends, so it will have to happen later or not at all).

A good spin class - this is really helpful for laying down some bike fitness to make sure January's 56-miler isn't too horrible....

:50 spin!

Monday, December 7, 2015


I had a very demanding day, including an extra half-hour of school stuff that detained me uptown and made me half an hour late to lift, but it's not a big deal, they do a second session at 6pm anyway and running 5:30 to 6:30 doesn't seem to bother anybody (I texted Josh to let him know I'd be late). Still babying my left knee - it felt fine yesterday while I was working out, but stiffened up afterwards and is clearly not quite right - also decided I'd better forego notional spin class. More important to stay healthy than to overdo it, a lesson I have learned more than once....

1hr lower body! (SO happy that we are all back in the normal routine - it really didn't feel right last week without it!) Did baby weights on squats because of (a) knee and (b) trying some different technique stuff (bar very much lower down on back).


3 x 2 x 185
1 x 10 x 185 (hahahaha, forgot how strenuous a set of 10 deadlifts feels even when it's not at super-heavy weights!)


3 x 2 x 65
1 x 10 x 65

Circuit x 4:

20 shrugs (42.5)
10 single-arm row (37.5)
5 4-second eccentric ring row


Sunday, December 6, 2015

And spin!

And an equally lovely endurance ride in Joanna's studio - 90min, I did not have vim for more, but will hope to get up to 2hr next week. Definitely starting to feel a little more at home on the bike again - it was good/important to get to midweek spin classes this week, will try and do the same this coming week.

1.5hr indoor ride (Friel zone 2-3, verging more on the latter)


I am ashamed that I had three days this week with no exercise, that is pretty pitiful, but on a brighter note I have just had a most GLORIOUS run. High 40s and sunny, very little wind - went along the river and felt very happy to be out there!

1.5hr (:20 warmup, :50 with every fifth minute faster, :20 cooldown)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Short run!

Demanding Friday of committee meeting and report writing-up. Did a little bit of tidying up in my extremely squalid and chaotic apartment, scaled down more ambitious exercise plan at that point as we were close to dusk and just went out for short local run. As always, even a short run is worthwhile on a day with no other exercise!

:35 as :10 warmup, 10 x (:30 hard, 1:30 walking recovery), :5 cooldown

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The boom-bust cycle

I am feeling naughty in various regards: first for taking off downtown for glorious midday exercise when a huge pile of work tasks awaits me (but my usual Thursday 2:15 meeting was pushed back to 3:30, and I don't have powerlifting later either, so it was irresistible); second for falling into the boom-bust trap instead of the more on-point mode of daily consistency! Except when under true duress of hard deadlines, I conduct my writing life on an admirably daily and regular basis - it is all about the production of quota. Why, then, should the exercise binge be so irresistible?!?...

Anyway I had an even more grandiose plan that was going to include three (powerlifting) or perhaps even four (powerlifting and swimming!) components, but I am trying to keep my insanity in check and don't want to overdo it. Run and spin proved sufficient - put me into an incredibly good mood (also the sun's out again, which is extremely helpful).

Jogged down to Chelsea Piers as follows:

21min warmup jog

then 14 x (1:40 jog, :20 hard, 1:00 walking recovery)

5min cooldown jog

1:08 total

That was on an empty stomach, it felt surprisingly good/easy though I was ravenous for calories by the time I got to the gym. Had a creamsicle smoothie that made the goosebumps come up on my skin (beautiful running weather, high 40s and sunny, but very windy and I was in short sleeves with gloves), realized that I had better go straight to the spin studio to start warming myself back up. Can do the other lower-body workout tomorrow afternoon, I think, in conjunction with a swim.

So 1hr spin (the class is :45)

Very happy about having laid down a solid double and made it to two mid-week spin classes this week. Priorities for the next seven weeks: (1) nutrition and weight loss (2) enough time on bike that the 56-mile Mercuryman ride is pleasant rather than horrible. There are other things too, of course - run a lot in December while I am in NYC, start swimming again, continue with powerlifting progress - but none of those is quite as important just now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hybrid workout!

Yesterday was a wash - I took the train home from Baltimore and was so tired when I got back to my apartment that I fell into bed for an ill-advised mega-nap (and was predictably up till 2am as a direct consequence). There are many work things I should be doing, but I trust they will get done, and I decided to prioritize exercise today to get back on track. Coach Josh is away this week so we have our powerlifting workouts to do on our own - run schedule just said 15-20 min easy so I am counting the slightly escalated conditioning bit I did as part of the lower-body workout - then went to spin class for the first time in too long. Rainy dark day here and I now feel about 100 times better than I did when I first got up!

:40 lower body:

3 x 10 squats @ 65

2 x 20 walking lunges @ 12.5 (there is only one each of 17.5 and 22.5 and I really didn't think it necessary to go up to 27.5!)

100 x abs with band

10min conditioning on sand volleyball court (jog 2 laps, walk 1)

Then :40 spin.

I am keen to have December and the first three weeks of January be months of fantastic exercise and scrupulous nutrition - the spring semester is going to be challenging, I need to get into good shape for it beforehand....

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Happy run - my faith in the natural workings of the universe is restored! Nice mild overcast day, pretty much ideal running weather as far as I am concerned. Ran from Hull St. (behind the Under Armour plant/Domino Sugars) all the way round the Inner Harbour to the Aquarium. My left knee is still hobbling and it's messing up gait more generally, I am plodding, but it was SUPER nice....

70min easy

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Locust Point hamster run

No actual hamsters were involved unfortunately (though I did see a nice gray and white tuxedo cat) - but the freight train was passing through the level crossing just as I set out, so I ran hopelessly around the block instead! It did make me feel much better - going to get in the shower now, I have foolishly spent the whole day dozing and feeling glum. (Because I am an IDIOT!)

:20 emergency hamster run!

Minor swim!

I wasn't feeling keen beforehand, I find travel extremely tiring and the drive to Baltimore to where we're staying and then out to our friend's house seemed like kind of enough activity for the day. But it was actually incredibly nice to get in the pool, and reinforced my desire/commitment to swim a lot in December - I've really been missing it.

c. .5hr

Can't remember now exactly what I did, but c. 1000 yards along these lines:

200 swim
3 x 100 drill (RaLaCuBa, front scull, fists)
100 free
4 x 50 drill-swim in IM order
100 IM
50 back
100 free easy

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grumpy Thanksgiving run

Yesterday was overwhelming - we got up at 5:45 in order to be in the car by not long after 7, and by the time I did morning legal business in Philadelphia (very grown-up business of will signing, health powers of attorney etc.) and had lunch with my mother, I was utterly knackered. Checked in at the hotel and basically just collapsed in bed - no exercise, no nothing! Early dinner and early night.

It is rare that a run doesn't put me in a good mood, but I'm sorry to say that today's was a gross exception and I felt incredibly grumpy the whole time I was out there! Had 2hr on the schedule but had it in mind that I should turn around at :45 if I wasn't feeling good, and I am sure that was the right choice.

What was wrong? Everything and nothing - really it was just a mood thing! (And I had to clear a few work tasks this morning that came up urgently at the last minute, I think that used up the willpower I otherwise would have had to push harder on my run.)

- Because I wanted to huddle in bed, I thought it was freezing out & was woefully overdressed - long sleeves, warm pants - would have been better off in usual capris and short sleeves, it was warm!

- Possibly underhydrated- I had a 20oz bottle of water with me and drank it, but if I was already thirsty starting out, that's not enough

- My left knee isn't right! I did something to it on the bike a week and a half ago, it's been off and on very sore/tender since. My run the other day I was really hobbling - it was a little less sore today, but I was still favoring it and as a result my right hamstring felt HORRIBLE, really sore (more painful than the knee), and my back on that side became increasingly tight as I ran

- Partly because it was such a slog/I was going so slowly, I think I never triggered the happy running chemicals...

On a happier note, it really is a good route, I ran down Chestnut St. (oh, I forgot to say, I think that was really while I was so low - I ran past my dad's old building, partly because it's the route I know and partly because he's been much on my mind this week, and I just felt really wretched thinking about how little remains of a life even a few months after someone's gone - ugh....) to the river path, it is gorgeous weather and a really nice path, I will hope to take advantage of it some day soon when I am running faster and more comfortably and not feeling so cantankerous!

Anyway we will blame grumpiness this time round on bereavement and sore hamstring. Better than not getting out at all for sure. Now need to shower and try and get myself into the mood for human contact!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Minor victory getting out there and getting it done as it is a day of many moving parts....

:45 as

:10 warmup

then 15 x :40 hard, :20 walk, 1:00 run easy

then :5 walking cooldown

Monday, November 23, 2015


Hahahaha, I am EXHAUSTED - there is something not quite right with my left knee, it almost went into a spasm as I got on my bike to ride downtown - even the ride down there was arduous, and the ride home in the dark seemed interminable! With horror I realized that in this new cycle Josh has us squatting twice a week, so it wasn't deadlift day after all, squats - almost tipped myself over trying to do first set at assigned weight of 125, so Josh rapidly revised it downwards to 75 and I felt like the village idiot of all possible powerlifters! Anyway:

4 x 6 squats @ 75

4 x 3 six-second eccentric descending squats @ 65

7 x push-pull sled

10mi bike

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Oh dear, I have not made the best possible use of my day - nice late morning breakfast with a student who needs a letter of recommendation, after that I lay down and fell back asleep for most of the afternoon, only just woke up in time to run while it was still light! But it was a nice run (beautiful weather again), even if I should have done some work and/or another exercise session as well...

10min warmup
20 x (:20 hard, 1:40 easy)
10min cooldown

1hr total

Thursday, November 19, 2015


It is disgustingly wet outside - it took a real effort of will to force myself back out the door, and the subway was horrible (I am usually traveling before rush hour). But I was glad I didn't bail, as the bench competition turned out to be incredibly fun - not at all what I imagined. It was a pretty small group of us, mostly the team plus a few other trainers, and it was really enjoyable. (Also the two other ladies competing had no more wish than I did to be weighed, so Josh obliged us by writing "W.C." in the column for weight - WHO CARES! T. is clearly the strongest by any measure regardless!)

120 went up really easy, 130 was solid (that's my existing PR), couldn't quite get 135 past the first bit but IT WILL GO UP IN THE NEAR FUTURE....

Green numbers!

Had a very good makeup session with Josh this morning. I am in a ridiculously good mood - there is no better way to spend a morning - rode my bike down to Chelsea Piers and back, light drizzle but incredibly mild, mid-60s - short sleeves and sandals, the week before Thanksgiving in New York City!

Did lower body lifts with Josh. Had forgotten what really I should have known, that we actually tested just a few weeks ago so the PRs we're working ones aren't "soft" ones from the end of our last training cycle. That made sense of the fact that I got a modest gain on the deadlift (but it's a 30-pound gain from the last cycle) and no gain on the squat (but that PR from a few weeks ago was a 50-pound gain from before).

Did a beautiful squat at 180, then didn't make it up at 190, so we'll keep 185 as max there.

And ground out a decent deadlift at 270, it was hard enough work that we didn't try for anything more. It is good!

(We'll bench this evening as it is a funny gym-sponsored competition - I think it may be pretty much only our team though who have actually heard about it and registered!)

This was the board on Monday; I'll get a shot tonight of the updated version with "green numbers"....

(Click for a bigger board!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Easy run, LONG SLEEP edition

Was fortunately in the position to be able to have a Long Sleep last night - felt much more human when I woke up finally (with legs and mindset both considerably improved). Cooler today but absolutely beautiful fall weather - had just very easy :25 as 4:1 jog-walk in Riverside Park just now, lovely....

Monday, November 16, 2015

Recipe for disaster...


Really I knew I was overdoing it with run and bike over the weekend. Legs very tired today, I couldn't imagine that deadlifting would go well. Had quite a good work afternoon (class visit to a colleague's class, hasty but efficient paper commenting, reasonably good lecture on Sterne), felt elated as I rode bike downtown in short sleeves and sandals (it must have been close to 70!) ready for testing.

But as soon as I started warming up for squats, the depth of fatigue was clear. And to add to it, I've just had a week of eating much fewer carbs than is my wont (working with a sports nutritionist, really determined to lose weight), I think I was underfueled as well. Anyway we tried benching but even that really wasn't working (that's where I think the fueling played in), so Josh sensibly called it.

(Oh, and my left knee is also rather tender/sore, not IT band but something in that region - after working out, I also felt something sore and sciatica-like down back of left leg....)

I will see Josh for a Thursday daytime session in which we try again to test for some real numbers! In the meantime I am retiring to lick my wounds!

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Ah, I have not really obeyed Josh's dictate to take it easy over the weekend - but I really love spinning with Joanna! We had two other riders with us for part of the time, it was a very good ride (saddle on my bike remains horrible, but I got a gel seat cover as a temporary solution and it certainly was helpful - must get real new saddle tho....).

1.5hr indoor cycling!

And then wine and cheese at my adopted grandfather's, and a delicious dinner (green papaya salad and chicken satay) at Kelley and Ping across the street. Altogether a satisfactory day.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


After spending too many hours reading grim news online, I got out the door for my long run, which was mostly nice though increasingly arduous towards the end.

(Note to self: when temperatures are below 50, walking 20min home from Central Park in sweaty running clothes is FREEZINGLY cold!)

About 1:33 total: ran the long way round to the park and did the entire loop. Was very good at first, went strong up hills (took 1min walking recovery after cresting anything really strenuous), but by the time I got back round to Cat's Hill I was really fading - it may have been low carbs (was shooting not to take in any during exercise), but mostly it was just that my back was really sore on anything uphill. Not sure re: cause and effect, the tendinitis-y feeling on right glute-hamstring attachment is noticeable from the beginning but doesn't really get worse or impair running, whereas the soreness in right lower back grows increasingly troublesome over time, though it's immediately relieved by walking.

Anyway slogged out the last bit with some more brief walking breaks, shut down the clock at 110th and walked 20 minutes home. Should get in shower now as fingers so cold I can hardly type!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday workouts

Very busy in the middle of the day, I did have time to run but not to log it!

:35 as 2 x 4:1 for warmup, then 5 x (3:30 run easy, :30 run hard, 1:00 walking recovery)

Nice quiet workout at Chelsea Piers - don't like the taper much! - but it was just me and Josh for the most of the hour as people were otherwise delayed, elsewhere or in H.'s case trying to sweat out some pounds in the sauna!

3 x 8

@ 60 (squat)
@ 50 (bench)
@135 (dead)

It is amazing how much my squat form has improved since I first tried to get it right earlier this year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Hahahahaha, I am such an idiot, I was DREADING riding my road bike down to the gym in the dark - of course really it was fine - but I thought I'd booked a spot in this Wednesday 6:15-7:45 Computrainer class, I didn't get confirmation but didn't think twice about it but when I got there nobody was there and it seemed nobody knew anything much about it! Had then a very nice ride home, I built that up into something needlessly anxiety provoking - so we will call it 10mi easy and with anxiety management benefits, which is probably just fine in any case....

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I am not temperamentally suited to taper/deload week - yesterday was just about OK as I'd had a demanding day and didn't need to work too hard, but today felt very strange! We are focusing on trying to get good numbers next week - ballpark 135 bench, 200 squat, 275 deadlift - and the taper is essential....

3 x 1 x 95

1 board press at 125 (easy-peasy!)

100 shrugs with 52.5s

100 triceps rope pulldown

:40 only upper body


That was good - weather still very mild (upper 50s) though rainy. Need to get these soaking clothes off and myself into the shower!

:55 with work as 15 x (:30 hard, 1:30 easy jog)

Monday, November 9, 2015


I wasn't feeling enthusiasm for lifting heavy, so it was rather delightful to get to the gym and find that our agenda for the day (in preparation for testing all three lifts next week) was to lift very light on all three, to get the feel of doing them all in succession on the same day and to pursue a decent deload!

3 x 8 for each lift (I had to laugh seeing the bar with the cookie-sized 2.5lb weights on either end for the bench!):

squats @ 65
bench @ 50
deadlift @ 111

1hr weights

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Indoor ride

I'm having some sessions at Joanna's - I haven't found a good substitute for her class at Chelsea Piers, and since I'm planning on doing the aquabike option at the Mercuryman in January I want to make sure I start building cycling fitness NOW. Have also signed up for a Wednesday evening Computrainer session at Chelsea Piers, will try and add one other spin class or similar.

(Getting myself and bike to Brooklyn on a Sunday via subway nearly killed me, or at least caused me to question whether I am really suited to life in NYC - construction disrupted everything, the 1 train grew grotesquely crowded in a way which is awful enough even when you do NOT have a bicycle - but - I survived....)

1.5hr with climbing intervals

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Beautiful long run!

I slept for maybe thirteen hours and the only things I have to do today are this run and one report (third of three) that I couldn't finish yesterday afternoon - am going to eat something, read a novel for a bit and then buckle down to it mid-evening. Very mild still, although it was getting cooler as I ran (possibly just wind). Finally got myself over to Central Park and did the upper 5 - really I should have done the whole loop and then walked home as I dislike slogging back up 110th St. at a slow jog, but I will know better next time!

1.5hr - Central Park upper 5 and to-from park

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Hmmmm, long day in which I got mysteriously little done (too many bits and bobs like the 1 train not running due to a police investigation as I tried to get to my allergy shots on 14th St.). Good squats workout, though really as an endurance athlete I find these weeks at the end of our build perverse, the work set is so tiny! A bit wobbly on technique but I have come a long way. There is much room for further improvement!

Anyway, work set as follows:

1 x 2 @ 160
2 x 1 @ 170, 185

Then set off to do narrow-stance squat x 20 @ 95 but was clearly fatigued enough that I stopped after 5.

130 abs with band


About :50 total. Watched H. do his work set with ease and grace - 1 x 2 x 360, 2 x 1 @ 370, 380!


It was an extremely nice one, but given that I cannot get a total personality transplant, I really need to have a devout effort to overhaul my morning routine. I snooze the alarm for too long, I then waste a lot of time on the internet and drag my heels at getting out the door, then the run itself takes a while - I am going to have a serious go, starting next week, at eliminating the middle stages. The alarm snoozing is beyond human correction, but I need to just have a quick email check on iPad in bed with a couple asthma inhaler puffs, have written workout on a post-it so that I don't justify going to my "real" computer and get out the door 20 minutes after having finally accepted wakefulness....

Anyway, :50 as follows:

10min warmup

6 x 5:00 as (1:00 easy, :30 moderate, :30 hard, 2:00 easy, 1:00 walk)

10min cooldown

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Still have minor sinus infection, but felt much more capable of getting out the door this morning (yesterday was a pretty quiet day).

:50 as :10 warmup, then 10 x (1:00 run hard, 2:00 run easy) (did #5 and #10 rest intervals as walking rather than jogging)

:10 cooldown

Weather is ridiculously mild - mid-60s, sunny - if anything I was rather too warm while running in the sun!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Ah, this powerlifting makes me so happy! Coach and team are pretty much ideal - I cannot imagine a better setup (I am already fretting about being away from NYC for some sabbatical time next year and what I will miss at home!). Josh had a good strategy for today that involved building confidence on "openers" (you get 3 attempts at a powerlifting meet on each lift, and it's important to set the first of the three at a realistic number as to fail at the opening attempt is NOT DONE - second only to using the 35-pound plates as a rookie error!)...

initial work set: 5 x 2 x 100

1 x 1 @ "opener" - 125 for me (and it went up easy, as did T.'s 155)

4 x 20 shrugs with 52.5lbs

100 rope triceps

1hr upper body

(Didn't have vim to run this morning, though weather was beautiful - the day after traveling I am always good for very little.)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sunday triathlon/Monday recovery

Hmmmm, somehow I never got around to writing a race report yesterday - not sure what I was waiting for. In sum - not really a race for me as such, but a lovely day out - warm but very enjoyable - rode my bike to the start, which was a good idea as it took the edge off the anxiety I always feel about cycling (had tediously changed out tube on rear wheel the afternoon before, with sweat pouring copiously down my brow!). Beautiful swim, very good safe bike course. Got onto the run course and realized immediately that it was much too hot for jog or walk-run to be a good idea for me, I powerwalked it all except for some jogging in the few spots of shade on the return leg of the final loop. Glorious day out!

c. 2hr (?) misc. swim-bike-powerwalk

Got a workout from Josh to do this morning, but could tell as I warmed up that I am really in need of recovery rather than work post-race. So modified the assigned deadlift work set from 3 x 3-5 x 225 to a much more moderate 5 x 3 x 185, which seemed more in order.

5 x 3 x 185

single-arm rows: 3 x 8 x 45

walking lunges 3 x 8 x 10s

100 abs

:40 lower body

Saturday, October 31, 2015


I like this very much, I need to get back on some form of Saturday morning group exercise (masters swim I think in this case rather than spinning) - however it is easier when I am "on vacation," in the sense that I've had three nights to catch up properly on sleep....

Anyway, did some good treadmill intervals first, then spin class.

Run: :31 with 10 x (1:00 @ 6.5mph, 1:30 walking recovery). Did first two too fast (7.0mph, 6.8mph) - it's supposed to be hard work but not overwhelming.

1hr spin

Need to change tube on back tire of bike for the triathlon, not looking forward to that but it must be done!.... (And will ride it around in the parking lot to make sure everything's functioning OK.)

Friday, October 30, 2015


Just a short one, and I decreased weight on the work set as I didn't have a spotter and didn't want to take any chances (would have tried for 115 otherwise). World Gym is a really nice place to do this sort of lifting - and I heard the jingle-jangle behind me as I came upstairs and took out my key of Miss Roxy, keen for a visit (she is nuzzling in my ear as I type).

4 x 4 x 105
xclose grip: 2 x 10 x 85 (did one set of 6 at 95, it is too heavy for this sort of work still!)

double-handle horizontal lat pulldown 3 x 12 x ?

incline row: 3 x 8 x 40

3 x 10 front raise, lateral raise with 5lb

:30 upper body

Sea swim!

Just a short one (I wasn't wearing a watch - salt water kills my regular digital one, and the battery's dead in my diving watch), maybe 15 minutes. Then a quick dip in the pool, which was looking especially beautiful. Too hot to stay out longer!

:20 swim

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Yesterday was a travel day, all went smoothly but it's a long day....

Had a good squats workout just now at World Gym - Josh gave it to me to do while I was here. It is good: I am always a slight bit homesick when I'm in Cayman, with chief things I miss (not necessarily in this order) being NYC weather/park running, cats, library access and the powerlifting club. We had a good lunchtime visit from Max's cat Miss Roxy and then I felt much at home at the gym doing my squats, even if it's a little different (the rack here faces a mirror, it is distracting for me to see how red my face gets when I squat!).

squats: 3 x 3 x 140

pause squats: 4 x 4 x 95 (4-second pause)

Bulgarian split squats: 3 x 5 x 20lbs

cooldown spin

:45 lower body

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Inching up there - got a decent new PR today of 130. Got my eye on the big wheels!

I am much more endurance athlete than weight-lifter temperamentally, a workout day like this makes me glad I already ran earlier - it is over much too soon!

3 x 1 @ 120, 125, 130

close grip: 2 x 10 x 85

100 shrugs (42.5)

100 cable rope pulldown

about 50 minutes total
10mi bike


Oh dear - both yesterday and today I did get out for my "morning" run but only at the expense of the person I had my next appointment with! Need to get myself out the door more expeditiously rather than leaving it to the last possible moment and then running ten minutes late for whatever my next campus obligation is (fortunately today's student was stuck on the subway and was even a little more late than I was!).

Weather continues PERFECT. This is my good season for running and I intend to take advantage of that. The post-deadlift tendonitisy feeling in right glute-hamstring attachment continues troublesome - I had a long dinner last night and I couldn't find a comfortable position to sit in without it feeling really rather sore, not painful as such but distinctly uncomfortable - need to think about this. Anyway:

10min warmup

then 7 x 3min with rest as :30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00

38:30 total (not sure I counted this one quite right!)

Monday, October 26, 2015


No exclamation points left in me - a nice day, but so much too long (I have only just now gotten home at 11:15pm) that I am ready to weep with fatigue! (I guess I eked out one after all.))

The workout earlier was very good.

Work set: 5 x 2 x 226

Deficits: 2 x 1 x 226

Circuit x 4

25 hip thrusts with band

25 banded abs

35 shrugs


I was determined to make this happen, although in the end it meant going in running clothes to meeting #1 and being rather late to meeting #2 - ah, if only I could get up in the morning without such a struggle! But the weather is gorgeous, and it was really worth getting out there....

:22 with 6 x 10-second strides

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Yesterday was a wash - I had a much-needed Very Long Sleep, the afternoon passed without anything happening other than minor errands, I had a nice late-afternoon visit from a friend and then it was evening and I still had two TRAC chair reports that I couldn't write Friday afternoon because of my colloquium commitment! Got those done, happily, but couldn't drag myself out of bed this morning to run, and then had family commitment downtown midday and a meetup with a former student to talk about a letter of recommendation.

However it turned into the most beautiful day, and I was determined not to just flop on the couch - I got out the door a little late as the sun was already setting, but it was an absolutely lovely run, even running straight into the wind on the way home. Glorious!

Wanted less walking and more work than the spreadsheet workout had me doing (it was just the ladder down from 6 to 1 with equal parts rest), so I did it as follows:

10min warmup
2 x (6r/2w/5r/2w/4r/2w/3r/2w/2r/2w/1r/2w)

Running is feeling really good right now - still woefully slow of course, as I weigh too many pounds, but I'm not thinking about that for now, just enjoying the feeling of strength/power and not being too hot!

1.25hr total

Friday, October 23, 2015

Remote spin!

Nothing too intense, but always nice to catch up with L. I seem to have had an absolutely exhausting week, I'm totally tapped out....

:40 with high-cadence intervals

3 x :30 on, :30 recovery
2:00 set rest
3 x 1:00 on, 1:00 recovery
2:00 set rest
3 x 1:30 on, 1:30 recovery
2:00 set rest
6 x :30 on, :30 recovery

Thursday, October 22, 2015


It's funny, Josh has been saying all along that as a powerlifter, you will have a different favorite lift in each cycle, and a different one you're hating. The discrepancy between my bench/deadlift on the one hand and squat on the other made that hard for me to believe, it seemed like the squat would always be my least favorite of the three lifts! However I am getting a good glimpse in this training cycle of the possibility that it will beccome a strength rather than a weakness - this is very enjoyable....

5 x 2 x 125

2 x 10 x 95

3 x 8 x walking lunges (25s)

3 x 8 dumbbell hamstring curl (37.5)

1hr lower body

Happy run!

OK, that was better than yesterday - not quite as hot/hazy, legs not full of vim but neither absolutely dead. Nice one:

10min warmup

then 3 x (3min run, 1min walk, 2min run, 1min walk, 1min run, 2min walk)

40min total

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Took a mental health morning to sort out my apartment and do errands. Was a bit late getting out the door for my run, still intended to do the workout but combination of tight schedule and absolutely dead legs made me decide just to do a token run today and leave the "real" workout for tomorrow morning.

:20 as 4:1

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Hahahaha, slightly self-defeating workout in several respects, though I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. I was doing things too quickly today earlier (partly due to compressed scheduling, also I think as lag from a very demanding day yesterday). Threw gym things into bag and rushed to an appointment; got to gym and found I had left my asthma inhaler at home. So, no swim - I can get away with a strength workout with no albuterol, especially upper-body, but it is just foolhardy to do a hard aerobic workout without it. Then I went to get changed and realized I had packed sports bra and 2 pairs of pants instead of one pants and one shirt! (Fortunately the t-shirt I was already wearing was suitable for lifting, but I have nothing dry to change into now.) Then, most foolishly, I overdid my warmup and used up too much of vim before work set (that said, it was an ambitious percentage, and none of us did the full projected maximum of 2-4 x 3-5. ANYWAY....

Note to self: don't take 8 reps warmup at 95, it's something like 80% of max!!!

4 sets at 115: 5, 3, 3, 2

close-grip: 2 x 10 @ 85

incline row: 5 x 10 x 42.5s

front raise: 3 x 10 x 5s

130 abs with band

Anyway, very nice, probably by not swimming this evening I will have a higher-quality run in the morning anyway...


Did get out in time to run, didn't have time to blog it! Utterly gorgeous weather, could not be nicer - warmer than over the weekend, very little wind, sunny....

10 x 1min hard, 1.5min recovery

:40 total

Monday, October 19, 2015


That wasn't bad. Will think about how to incorporate regular evening stuff at the gym post-lifting now that I'm not riding bike down and trying to ride home before dark. Shooting to go to masters swim tomorrow if I can make myself stick around for it! (6:30 start time more realistic than 7 I fear, but we will see.)

1hr spin

DL! Heavy singles edition

I have to confess that as an endurance athlete, I really prefer the days when we do massive volume sets. There is far too much waiting around on a day like this!

(That said, I have just eaten two hard-boiled eggs and a toasted bialy with butter and will go to 6:30pm spin class to get my cardio fix and give myself some slight desensitization to the discomfort of next weekend's very warm sprint triathlon!)

We warm up first at 5 x 135, then at triples for 155 and 185, then switching to singles.

My work set:

1 x 245
1 x 255
1 x 265

Woo-hoo, good 20-pound PR! I gave Tabbitha's 285 a pop but though I got it well off the ground, my hips flew up and I stalled out mid-calf - still got to keep working, the number starting with a three is not yet within my reach but I think it will be some months from now. T. got a nice 305 for her third and final lift, that was very good!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Megan's hills!

Much more enjoyable than in summer months!

Temperature topped out this afternoon in the high 40s, it's windier than yesterday but still absolutely gorgeous - I love running in this weather.

Warmup: 15min (4:1)

10 x 1min hill, c. 1:40 walking recovery

Cooldown: 10min (4:1)

:55 total

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Run of bliss!

It's absolutely the best running weather of all - I love this season, with the hint of coming winter in the air - low 50s, sunny, only a bit of wind. I had a funny workout from David and doubled up the work set as it seemed a pity not to do at least an hour. I note that I am fit enough now that two hours of exercise a day feels better than just one one-hour session; it might be that I should do a spin bike session at home later on?

12 x 5 as follows:

2 x 4:1 warmup
2 x (4 x 5:00 as 4:00/1:00, 3:00/2:00, 2:00/3:00, 4:00/1:00, with speed increasing as interval length decreases)
2 x 4:1 cooldown

1hr total

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Did not have vim for a run this morning - I couldn't fall asleep till really late, woke up very early to see my teenage charge out the door for school (!) (it is temporary but fun!), felt I was on the verge of tears due to exhaustion! However got through work day OK and then workout was great (only I am hungry for MORE EXERCISE still - there is so much rest between sets when you lift heavy weights!).

There were only four of us today, it was really nice and quiet....


3 x 2 x 145

1 x 165 (easy peasy!)

pause squats: 4 x 2 x 100

Bulgarian split squats: 3 x 8 x 25

hip thrusts with 3-second isometric hold: 2 x 20

1hr lower body

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Quick run!

Even as I was waiting for the elevator, I thought I might be able to do my real workout on the order of 45 minutes, but when I actually thought about the time properly it became clear that was misguided - it was almost 10:30, I'm giving a talk at 12 in the department and I'd run out of printer paper so I needed to stop at the store post-run and pick up a couple reams! (INVENTORY CONTROL FAILURE.)

Anyway just did :20 with 6 x 10-second strides. VERY NICE. Now to fuel and shower and don respectable garb....

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I think we were all still fatigued from yesterday's workout - the main work set was fine, but I don't think a single one of us made the second of our heavy doubles...

6 x 2 x 95

1 x 120

failed at 130

Misc. other stuff, what was it? 100 head-pulls with band, 5 x 10 close-grip lat pulldowns, 4 x 15 skullcrushers with 12.5 dumbbells. Good fun!


Very nice run, only (a) the weather is disgustingly muggy again and (b) really I am procrastinating on the very pressing task of writing my talk for tomorrow! (Department works in progress meeting - using it as occasion to draft book proposal - but rather behind with everything!)

10:00 warmup

5 x (3:00 hard, 2:00 walking recovery) (NB those two minutes go by pretty darn quickly if you've done a good job with the run intervals!)

c. 10:00 cooldown


Monday, October 12, 2015


Mondays continue to be my favorite day of the week this semester. Gave opening lecture on Tom Jones, then raced home to change and ride downtown to lift. Woo-hoo!

I think I could have had a slightly heavier weight for this, we never got a real max after the last cycle (the day we tested I was fried from masters swim the day before), but it was certainly heavy enough to represent a demanding workout!

After watching us all lift, Josh cut the next set (deficits 4 x 2) and then as two out of four were suffering tight backs (not me) and we had clearly totally lit up our central nervous systems, he basically just sent us home after having done a good day's work.

(Really I like working harder and longer, but it was fun for a change, and I had a lovely ride home along the waterat dusk, very relaxing.)

3 x 8 x 200

Farmer's walk x 4 (3 jogging with 37.5, 1 walking with 52.5 which my grip can't quite manage!)

1 set of shrugs - and then Josh made me stop! I was feeling my oats...

1hr lower body
10mi bike

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Glorious run!

I have both a work event later AND a huge pile of my own work to do today, so the morning run was my only chance for decent exercise, and I decided I'd better do more than the minimum. This was a good choice - the weather is absolutely gorgeous (just tipping up from high 50s to 60, sunny and clear and with a hint of fall in the air), and I felt energetic once I warmed up. This week is a little chaotic but I hope I can stick with the routine - I really want to be running more like five days a week, but somehow it hasn't been happening....

:40 as 3:1 with first three for warmup, then last :30 of each run interval FAST

Saturday, October 10, 2015


That was extremely nice, though a bit too dark - I rashly left it till the end of the day, forgetting how much earlier the sun sets each week at this time of year....

Perfect running conditions, though (high 50s, little breeze). Had a very nice one along the Hudson, slightly adapting coach's assignment for ease of use.

70 minutes as 14 x 4:1

first 2 and last 2 straight
middle 10 with :20 fast on the 1:00 and 3:00

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Null on running yesterday and today mostly through my own fault (for instance forgot the water was being turned off in my building 10-4 today, didn't get out before that and didn't want to be sweaty and smelly for a midday meeting....). ANYWAY good squats workout!

3 x 8 x 125

pause squats: 4 x 2 x 100

Bulgarian split squats: 3 x 8 x 17.5

120 abs with band

1hr lower body!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Good work day. Not sure I have all these numbers exactly right as we made some adjustments to what was initially up on the board.

3 x 2 x 120

Board press - heavy singles going up to 155 (all-time high! Not the same as a full bench press, inevitably, but J. says he thinks this means I can "smoke" 135)

3 x 8 dumbbell rows (42.5, 47.5, 52.5, 52.5)

100 shrugs (52.5)

120 abs with band

1.25hr upper body


Belated post, didn't quite have time earlier. Didn't at all feel like getting out (was up too late last night - I need to follow B.'s advice and do some very easy spinning to counteract the unwanted CNS stimulation of heavy deadlifting Monday evenings!), but the weather's beautiful and it was nice once I was out there.

12:00 warmup

5 x (2:00 run, 1:00 walk, 1:00 run, 1:00 walk, :30 run, :30 walk)


:50 total

Monday, October 5, 2015


Good workout. Mondays are my favorite day this semester - something about the contrast of lecturing on the eighteenth-century novel and then throwing off my work garb (hahahaha, I'm wearing workout gear underneath!) and cycling downtown to lift heavy weights is just enchanting...

6 x 2 x 185

Rack pulls (heavy singles): can't reproduce exactly, but I pulled 265 on the final one!

3 x 10 x 27.5lb dumbbell hamstring curls

120 abs with band

3 x 12 x single-leg hip thrust

1.5hr lower body
10mi bike

Sunday, October 4, 2015


To borrow the language of powerlifting, I was grinding this one out....

(My main physical complaint was the tight sore lower back, right hand side; my main mental complaint was that yet again I have left ALL my work for Sunday night, ugh!)

Anyway had to make a few deals with myself in order to get this one done. On the bright side, the weather turned surprisingly nice: 60ish, sunny, after some days of really wintry rainy weather.

Schedule asked for 90min with 30s faster every 5min - I did an approximation as follows:

First hour as 12 x (4:00 jog, :30 fast, :30 walk)
:20 as 4 x (3:30 jog, :30 fast, 1:00 walk)
10min walk

1:30 total

Friday, October 2, 2015


Had to miss last night's class but had good makeup session just now. This is great! Finally lifting some real weight. Did a good single at 165 and as Josh says "wasn't even grinding" - I would guess I have 185 in me at current fitness and 200 coming in the near future.  Benefits of training submaximally..

6 x 2 x 95

Heavy singles up to 165 (135 x 2, 155, 165)

4 x 4 x 95 w 4-second hold at the bottom

Bulgarian split squats 3 x 8 x 12.5s

100 abs with band

1hr lower body
10mi rainy bike!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


End of day rather than start, I am not an early riser...

... but temps are incredibly cooler! Will take a little rain and wind any day over heat to run in.

:30 as 6 x (4:1), first two warmup, last four with final :30 of each work interval HARD

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Run! (Vent-to-snout ladder edition!)

It is still absolutely DISGUSTING out there (slightly less horrible than yesterday I suppose - a few degrees cooler, more rainy/overcast). B. is here this week and he is not getting any of the beautiful crisp fall weather implicitly promised by NYC in September! Ugh....

10min warmup as 4:1, then a ladder:

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (rest intervals at half the length of the work interval)

A bit of cooldown jog-walk

:35 plus some additional walk home

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


The only thing I don't like about that workout is the way the rubber bands leave a lingering smell on your hands even after you wash them.

I now have the satisfied feeling of a person who lifted heavy weights and then ate a piece of meat! (Beef entree at the cafe at Chelsea Piers, nothing too exciting, but still...)

main bench set: 3 x 6 x 110 (first set I think was still at 105 but we moved it up)

narrow-grip: 4 x 4 x 95

incline rows: 4 x 10 x 42.5

circuit x 4:

20 shrugs with 47.5
10 lateral raise with 5lb plate
10 front raise ditto
20 pull-aparts with band

dumbbell skull-crusher: 3 x 20 x 12.5

1hr upper body. Very fun!

Midday run, TOO DARN HOT edition

Ugh, it's 80F and 80% humidity - DISGUSTING! However I did get out for my run. Not particularly enjoyable (very tight and/or tender at various right-side spots), but it is done now, that is good.

10min easy warmup jog
5 x (2:00 run, 1:00 walk, 1:00 run, 1:00 walk, :30 run, 1:00 walk)
cooldown walk

:50 total

Monday, September 28, 2015


Monday are my favorite day of the week this semester: the combination of giving a lecture on the eighteenth-century novel and then riding downtown on my bike to deadlift is irresistibly enjoyable!

Work set: 3 x 2 x 85% (216)

Deficit: set as 4 x 3 x 75-85%, did first set at 201 then put the fives back on for 211 for 2 more sets - stalled out halfway up on the final rep of the third set, called it there

3 x 10 x good mornings with band

3 x 20 x hip thrust with band


1hr lower body
10mi bike

Saturday, September 26, 2015


NB though that spin yesterday was gentle I think it did something very effective to loosen quads - last few Saturdays, I have still had incredibly stiff sore quads from Thursday evening squats, but today I really didn't notice anything out of the ordinary....

Odd day schedule-wise. Late-morning omelet with a good friend who lives overseas. Then I came home and basically went back to sleep from 1-6pm! Oh dear... anyway, I felt good when I got back up (it was more dozing, less discombobulatingly deep than that sort of afternoon nap sometimes is), and got myself fairly expeditiously out the door for the long run.

Was feeling distinctly uninspired, so did 4:1 from the outset. Nice weather!

:90 as 4:1

Friday, September 25, 2015

Remote spin!

Fairly gentle (still sweaty): 40min with intervals as 4 x 2min on, 1min recovery, 3min recovery, then 2 x 3min on, 1min recovery.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


I was hoping that we were going to be able to do some heavier singles after the main set - we really are just making up anything in the way of a max (work set today was 80% of a conjectural max at 135, but really I know my max is higher than that) - but it was not meant to be! (Partly I think things just a little chaotic with several new people, and partly that I was doing OK with what I had and it didn't make sense to mess things up.)

Work set: 5 x 2 x 105

Pause squats (3-sec): 4 x 2 x 95

3 x 8 x walking lunges with 17.5 dumbbells

100 band abs

100 hip thrusters with band

1hr lower body


Unwanted null day yesterday: pretty clear to me that if I don't do it in the morning, I am very unlikely to get back out the door after I get home from teaching.

But it was a nice little workout for a Thursday morning, anyway....

10min warmup
run-walk for 3:00/3:00, 2:30/2:30, etc. etc. (:21 total, for :31 total run-walk)
walking cooldown

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


That was good. I am not super-excited about this PR as I vaguely feel I _might_ have hit it once before (?), but it was a fun workout anyway!

speed set: 8 x 3 x 90

heavy singles building up to a solid 125 (I was grinding, but I definitely got it up with no assistance - optimistic that my goal of 140 is coming within reach!)

circuit x 5

ring rows x 10
incline dumbbell rows x 8 @ 47.5 (had to fall back on 42.5 for final set as grip was failing me!)
abs x 20
triceps band pull x 25
"crying shrugs" x 20 each side x 42.5

1:15 upper body

The square and the cube

For all runners but especially for rounder runners, it is a boon when temperatures begin to fall - surface area increases with the square, volume with the cube! Mid-60s, a bit overcast (and I was running into a strong wind on the way back), but this is a great improvement.

12:00 warmup jog

4 x (1:00 hard, 1:00 walk, :45 hard, :45 walk, :30 hard, :30 walk, plus 1:30 walk)

a few minutes of walking

10:00 cooldown jog

:48 total

Monday, September 21, 2015


Ah, what heavenly weather - this is by far my favorite time of the year, the hint of coolth in the air makes me very happy. (Just rode home from the gym in 70F twilight with hardly any breeze. PERFECT!)

Indeed more generally I like the feel of Mondays this semester: I had a couple of midday meetings, lectured at 2:40 and then raced home to change into workout clothes and ride down to Chelsea Piers for deadlift day, my favorite day of the lifting week. It was slightly chaotic today as everyone had come at irregular times, but still very nice.

10, 8, 8 @ 176

deficit pull 4 x 3 @ 176

Bulgarian split squats: 3 x 8 x 17.5

Circuit: 3 x (20 band hip thrusts, 20 shrugs @ 42.5, 20 abs)

Grip work: 3 x 52.5 x 30sec

100 bicep curl with resistance band

About 1:20 lower body
10mi bike

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Long run!

Saturday was an unwanted null day - I had asked coach to change my long run to Sunday, as the past two weekends I seem to have been completely inertial on Saturdays, and he obliged, with just a short one on Saturday's schedule, but then I talked myself into wanting to do the long one Saturday evening (two extended friend and family obligations on Sunday), and that meant I didn't get out at all, which is idiotic!

Today was high frazzle factor. I couldn't make myself get up at 8 in time to do the run, but I am pleased with myself in a small way for not letting that kill the whole thing - took running stuff with me downtown for midday family meetup, went to Chelsea Piers mid-afternoon and did my run on the track there, then raced back uptown in a taxi to meet old friends from out of town in Central Park. I am now completely wiped out, but very relieved I didn't have another null exercise day (only not very happy with myself that all the work I should have done this weekend still awaits my attention!).

I started my running intervals too hard - it's not a proper interval workout, just a way of varying speeds when I am running so slowly for my "steady" pace - pulled back a bit so that I could complete the whole thing.

:90 total

:15 warmup

10 x 6:00 (1:30 hard, 1:00 walk, 1:00 hard, 1:00 walk, :30 hard, 1:00 walk)

:15 brisk walk cooldown

Week in review still only has three runs, which is NOT very impressive for someone who has made a commitment to run almost every day - will keep trying to do better at this. On the other hand, they were three QUALITY runs, and I had 3 10-mile bike rides, :30 easy spin and four sessions of lifting (deadlifts, squats, 2 bench). Really going to try and do better this coming week!

Friday, September 18, 2015


Phone rather than Skype as I was getting a lot of static on the connection, and very gentle, but it's a start! 30min with L. Now must race to shower and get myself over to department start-of-the-year welcome party.....

:30 easy spin


I slept terribly last night (it was an upsetting day that began with the news that a close family friend, my mother's contemporary, had died very suddenly in hospital), and at 5am almost got up and texted Josh to cancel - but really this session is such a great way of spending a Friday morning! And I was very happy to be there. Can't say exactly what we did (3 x 10 x 95 bench, maybe, then some pin press at 105 and 115, moving from fours down to singles as I fatigued?). Skull-crushers (3 x 15 x 17.5 dumbbells), "land-mine press" (3 x 15 each side, just with bar), 4 x (25 shrugs with 42.5 dumbbells, 10 lateral raises with five-pound weights). I think that was about it...

1hr upper body
10mi bike

Thursday, September 17, 2015


That was very good. At long last I have arrived at the point where I can begin properly working. That is all I ask!...

3 x 10 x 95

4 x 4 x 95 w 3-second isometric hold

3 x 8 Bulgarian split squats

100 abs w band

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Feeling a LITTLE irresponsible that I am making this run thing such a priority, but its benefits for mental and physical health are so pronounced that I think it's worthwhile (note to self: THAT PROPOSAL IS NOT GOING TO WRITE ITSELF!).

Moved Friday's workout to this morning (Thursday will be just short/easy, saving leg vim for squats, and Friday I have a mid-morning workout with Josh and an afternoon Skype spin with Lauren, so that's plenty).

15min easy jog, then 2:30 hard, 2:30 recovery, 2:00 hard, 2:00 recovery, etc. etc. moving down by thirty-second intervals to :30, :30

A bit of cooldown jog, that had the clock at about :35, then I walked another fifteen minutes or so home. Nice weather but still rather warm in direct sun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Hahahaha, would have had to do two things totally differently, I think, in order to lend even a HINT of plausibility to the projected workout schedule, which unrealistically had powerlifting AND 7pm masters swim on it. First, hydrate and fuel better earlier in the day; second, not ride my bike down in hot sun! It was pretty clear I was going to have to axe the sequel - will rethink logistics for next week....

Lifting session was good. Bench day!

bench: 5 x 2 x 100

floor press: 4 x 4 x 37.5

dumbbell row: 5 x 10 x 42.5

skullcrushers with football bar: 3 x 15

100 x abs with band

about 1:20 upper body, plus 10mi bike


OK, that was a particularly enjoyable one. Nice weather!

15 minutes warmup

10 x 1:00 strong, 1:00 recovery
10 x :30 hard, :30 recovery

5 minutes cooldown

:50 total

Monday, September 14, 2015


I had the most heavenly day.

I think it must be 70% weather-related: it was the most gorgeous sunny breezy fall day (last night was the first time I felt slightly chilly sitting at my desk next to an open window). This is not just pleasant in itself but what I am most strongly conditioned to respond to, as the beginning of a new school year has always been my absolute favorite time of the year!

Taught a (to me anyway!) exhilarating class on Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, then hurried home and changed clothes and rode down to the gym to lift.

It was a perfect deadlift day - everything felt great (and I had only a tiny awareness of that high hamstring tendon thing that was bugging me yesterday on my run and afterwards). Josh is letting me extrapolate the max I didn't get a real chance at testing - or, rather, adjusting to work via "autoregulation" rather than strict percentages, which is more fun as it lets me stay on the same bar as T. for now. (I am sure our next cycle of testing will take us further apart, but for now I think we should still be able to deadlift at the same weight.)

Speed set: 8 x 3 x 180

Rack pulls: 4 x 4 x 185, alternating sets with 4 x 25 band abs

Dumbbell hamstring curls: 4 x 10 x 37.5

Good-mornings with band: 4 x 12

Hip thrusts: 4 x 8 with 20-second hold (that's HARD)

Had a good stretch and then rode my bike home - slightly hairy stretch where I had to get off my bike because of crowds (here is an old post by someone else that captures the feel of this annual happening!), but I am still just feeling gloriously elated. Overdue a shower, these clothes are SMELLY now - need to pick up prescriptions while pharmacy is open (had good visit to the pulmonary doc this morning too - everything is in reasonable train, peak flow a little lower than last time I was there but still in normal range).

1:20 deadlifts et al.
10mi bike

Sunday, September 13, 2015


After 2 days of zeroes, I did finally get out for my long run. It wasn't horrible but wasn't great - too sunny when I go out in the middle of the day, and there was a terrible horde of charity walkers who were causing cyclists to blow their tops by streaming obliviously all over the path! Back got a bit sore, and that right leg is just not right - I jogged 45 mins. out and then switched to 4:1 for the way back, which helps a lot with the back but doesn't really do anything for the leg.

Anyway 1:25 as :45, :40 as 4:1 - didn't have the vim to do an extra five at the end (my current turnaround point comes a little early).

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Days switched up this week (Tuesday was Monday, Thursday was Tuesday). I had to come late because of an important meeting (hahahaha, I hate it when work interferes with POWERLIFTING!). We are now at the end of week one of a big ten-week training block; we start out with a ton of volume, and I could definitely feel it today....

Work set: 3 x 20 x 85
With football bar + 10lb: 3 x 20
One-arm dumbbell rows: 1 x 20 x 32.5; 1 x 15 x 37.5; 2 x 10 x 42.5
100 skull-crushers with football bar

I should say - I was so glum and grumpy this summer when I realized I had to cancel my September triathlon. It wasn't so much a decision as an admission of force majeure - I simply wasn't training anywhere near enough for it to be sensible to attempt a long race. But now I do have to admit the benefit (GRUDGINGLY admit it, but admit it). It is much better that I am not going out of town for a triathlon this weekend. It would have messed up the powerlifting to do a big race at this particular juncture. And I can HOPE that I will be less likely to get a respiratory infection in coming weeks - we will see....

(I did do something stupid which was let my 2 asthma medications run out before the appointment where I can get new prescriptions (Monday, so not too many more days without); I still have plenty of albuterol/rescue inhaler, but it is noticeable to me that I am a little wheezier when I am doing things, obviously those 2 medications - Qvar, Singulair - really are useful....)

Ladder run!

Yesterday was so hot that when I finally had time to run, at the end of the day, I threw up my hands and gave up entirely! Temperatures cooled overnight, although it is still DISGUSTINGLY humid - like, absolutely disgusting....

David has given me my favorite kind of workout (I think it's better for fitness than these very slow steady jogs): ladder intervals!


:12 warmup

Then :15 hard, :15 recovery, :30 ... .. (going up by fifteen-second intervals to 2:00 hard, 2:00 recovery, then back down the ladder)

a bit of walking off the clock, then some cooldown jog

about :54

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Flaked on the morning run - I did actually get up early enough in theory, but didn't get out the door right away, and the combination of heat and important midday meeting made me decide (I know it is a ridiculous excuse!) I just couldn't do something that would have me still so sweaty while I ran the meeting!....

I thought we would bench today at powerlifting, and intended to run after that, but actually we treated Tuesday as Monday and deadlifted (much better than last week's session BTW). By the end of that, I really didn't want to add any lower body: that tender spot at the right glute-hamstring attachment is bothering me some, and I also have just been WAY TOO HOT ALL DAY.

Work set as 5 x 2 @ 75% (181)

Rack pulls as 4 x 4 @ 65% (155)

3 x 10 x 37.5 dumbbell hamstring curl

3 x 20 hip thrusters with knee band

100 abs

So, 1.25hr lower body, will see if I can get out for the missed run tomorrow morning instead....

Monday, September 7, 2015

A little holiday dip

Hahahaha, I am an idiot, swim FAIL! I knew the club was closing at 8 for the holiday, I figured that the pool might close at 7:45 and that even if I only got there at 7:15, I'd still have half an hour - but in fact they kicked us out at 7:30. And I only really got in the pool at 7:20. I AM AN IDIOT!

It was a warm bike ride down and a dark bike ride home (I also forgot my clear prescription glasses, in spite of having put them on the table - I could have sworn I'd tucked them into my bag), but it was all pleasant enough - the basic premise works, in other words....

450 yards swim (200 swim, 100 kick, 100 pull, 50 as right arm, left arm)
10mi bike

Vent to snout!

It's beautiful outside but HOT still, I am ready for some fall weather....

Did vent-to-snout in "my" bit of the park, 2:1 (the good thing about these run-walk intervals when I am running so slowly is that I run at least a BIT faster than I would otherwise).

:33, that was quite pleasant. Didn't make it out of the house yesterday to masters swim but will hope to get downtown for a swim on my own later today (not sure about holiday gym hours).

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Compromise run

Could have been better, but at least I got an approximation of it done - I think it was the right choice not to leave it for later and risk not doing it at all (which was what happened yesterday!).

(Not really sorry about yesterday in that I basically just stuck at my desk and literally and metaphorically cleared up piles and piles of stuff, that was possibly all I had in me for the day. Have a long-overdue lawyer's appointment this week to make my will and needed to gather information from various parties, clean up some stuff in the online retirement account including making sure beneficiaries are all named correctly, etc. etc.)

Anyway snoozed alarm way too many times, and I had the hard deadline of a brunch meet-up at 12:30, so by the time I got out I really wasn't going to be able to do the full ninety minutes anyway. Then it came clear that everything down the back of my right-hand leg just wasn't feeling good: tender glute-hamstring attachment, woefully tight Achilles area, soreness on lower back above the hit. I switched from straight jogging to 4:1 jog-walk around the fifteen-minute mark to loosen things up, but it didn't help as much as I'd hoped.

Anyway 1:05 only as mostly 4:1. Humidity is lower but it's still very hot in direct sun, I would have been better off doing loops in "my" shadier bit of the park. Am still planning on getting to masters swim later....

Friday, September 4, 2015


Ah, what a blissful start to the day. 10:30 session with Josh. I am so fortunate: to have the health to do whatever exercise I want (and in fairly large quantities), the discretionary income to spend dollars within reason on such things, the general life wherewithal to make it happen....

Didn't quite make the last couple reps of the last set (called it at 8), but good bench work set of 4 x 10 x 95, then board press 4 x 6 x 85 with 3-second isometric hold at the bottom. Triceps/lats work on cable machine, a row variation where you hold one dumbbell in the up position while rowing the other (4 x 10 x 27.5), 100 skullcrushers with football bar.

Funny ride home: there is a small bike detour, spotted a nun with the build of a runway model tottering along on what first appeared to be stilt-like high heels but of course really were rollerblades.

Nice chat with neighbor on way up, an elderly woman I often see. She was looking at me and my bicycle with patent envy and missing the days when she could bike: she said once she had jury duty at the Twin Towers, she rode her bike down the west side, and on the last day she forgot the lock for her bike and they let her bring it up and keep it in chambers....

1hr upper body
10mi bike

Thursday, September 3, 2015


OK, today I really did execute everything as planned, even down to a VERY WARM bike ride to and from the gym. Nothing spectacular, the weights are still pretty light (we don't have anything like a real max to work with for this lift), but this might be the first time I felt like I was doing a "real" squats workout - the technique is mostly there, now I just need to build strength and confidence....

11 x 3 x 65% (75lb)
3 x 20 x 50% (55lb) high-bar, narrow-stance
3 x 10 Bulgarian split squats
some hip thrusters with band - we had too many of us working in, the process grew interminable and I realized it was time to go home! (Skipped final abs work.)

1.5hr lower body
10mi bike

Short morning run!

Hahahaha, that might be the first day I've really executed this as planned. (I really did want to run, and I have a 10am meeting I don't want to be sweaty for & one little task I had to finish and send out before that.) I think the lesson is I can only get up (relatively) early when I have a couple of things I'm slightly nervous about...

Ugh, I am ready for summer to turn to fall, it's HOT out there still, and humid. Just 20min very easy - right hamstring area a little tender still.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


It's still 80F and humid even at 9:30, which is disgusting, but it wasn't a bad workout. I messed things up for working out earlier - had traditional back-to-school hair appointment at 2 and one important piece of work I needed to finish in the morning, knew I would have to run after both of those and thought I might do it on the (air-conditioned) track at Chelsea Piers so that I could also go to masters swim mid-evening - but this proved woefully unrealistic, I hadn't fueled properly and when I left the hair place at just after 4 I was having a lunch emergency rather than an inclination to get to the gym.

Took inadvertent nap at home (IT IS JUST SO HOT!), but got out pretty smoothly after that. I like this workout!

:55 total, with work set as 5 x (2:00 moderate, :30 recovery, 1:00 moderate, :30 recovery, :30 hard, 2:00 recovery)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I had no good excuse for not running earlier, except that it was incredibly hot and humid and after yesterday evening's slightly horrible workout, I wanted to do everything I could to make sure today's powerlifting session was good. It was probably a good thing to have the morning off from exercise (I am sorry to say that after my morning meeting I came home and went back to bed - couldn't get to sleep last night till way too late!).

I rode my bike down to the gym with plenty of time to spare (cooling-off time!), and then had a very enjoyable and lighthearted upper-body session. Really it's a de-load week, yesterday was an anomaly....

11 x 3 x 75 (60%) with three-second isometric hold at bottom of the lift
dumbbell press, flat bench: 2 x 20 x 27.5
circuit: 6 x (5 ring rows, 20 shrugs with 52.5s, 5 eccentric push-ups)
skull-crushers: 2 x 20 x 12.5
misc. abs

plus 10mi bike

Monday, August 31, 2015


Ah, I am an idiot - I didn't realize we were going to be testing max deadlifts today (possibly wouldn't have done anything differently this weekend even if I had realized?), but it became woefully clear as we started raising the wait that weekend running and especially swimming have left me BRUTALLY fatigued! I tried my belt for the first time, it totally threw me off, but even aside from that I just didn't have it, couldn't even make my old max from 10 weeks ago. ARGHHHHH! Frustrated with myself - do feel a bit better now I ate some food - will ride bike home and try to let go of my disappointment with myself...

1hr deadlifts (plus hip thrusters)
10mi bike


Very underenthused for this one. The weather has gotten humid again and it is not so pleasant to be outside. First impression, when I started plodding along, was that my legs were pretty beaten up from this weekend's workouts, but this quickly was revised to reflect the fact that left leg is fine, but I am still having some soreness at that right glute-hamstring attachment. Anyway I did an easy :24 as 3:1 - the "daily" nature of the process is kicking in to the extent that though I wasn't feeling keen on this, it wasn't terribly hard to get out the door....

Sunday, August 30, 2015


RT bike (10mi), so it turned into an authentic SBR day, which is very nice - I didn't have nearly enough of those this summer....


I was having strong but irrational dread beforehand. It's so long since I've done a proper swim workout, and doing it in a new circumstance is always a bit nerve-racking. But in fact it was LOVELY (and there was no better way to end a day spent thinking so much about Oliver Sacks and Doug Stern).

Nice group of ladies in the lane, I was a little slow (and had to skip some of the pull bits - the others were all using paddles, but it's also where I always fall behind) but it was basically a good fit. Don't think I can reproduce the whole workout, but I probably swam something like 3100 of 3600 notional yards along these lines:

500 warmup with every fourth length kick (I did 400)

500 as 4 x 125 drill-swim (100-25, 75-50, 50-75, 25-100: I did fly, back, free, free)

2 interim sets that I cannot now remember....

6 x 50 on 1:15 concentrating on turns
200 pull (I did 100)
150 kick
50 hard (600)

6 x 50 on 1:15
150 pull (I did 50)
100 kick
50 hard (600)

6 x 50 on 1:15
100 pull (I did 50)
50 kick
50 hard (500)

100 easy cooldown

I stopped swimming much for a few different reasons: I think I lost heart for it a bit once I couldn't write to Wendy about it, and also I made a conscious commitment at one point that as my swimming was on balance stronger than my cycling, I had to swap out swimming for spin class. And then the TNYA workouts near me have all evaporated: it's years since they had Columbia workouts, the City College pool never reopened, the Hostos times conflict with powerlifting and John Jay has always been offputting because it's super-crowded with the result that even the slowest lane is sometimes wanting to go on 1:40 sendoffs. But I'm shifting focus a bit, I think, from triathlon back to running and powerlifting, and this means (paradoxically) that I can start swimming a lot more again if I can fit it in!

Short morning run!

(Well, barely technically morning - "my" morning, anyway!)

Don't want to lull myself into a false sense of complacency, but I feel like I'm back in a groove (this is important as once school starts everything always goes haywire). Morale is better and I feel like I will be able to cope with upcoming frenetic work chaos (really I enjoy that more than the quiet times - those are fine when I am really productively writing a book, or what have you, but I flounder when not purposeful!).

:20 with 8 x ten-second accelerations

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Long run!

Ah, this run made me happy. (With proviso that I am still going so slowly it hardly counts as a run, but we will ignore that for the nonce!)

I had 90 minutes on the schedule. It was hot again today, and I didn't get out early, so I waited till dusk, which actually suits me well as long as I have not had an overly taxing day (which I did not). The 45 minutes out was a bit of a slog - my calves were very tight, and that sore spot in my right lower back was bothering me right away. I made a deal with myself that I could take walk intervals on the way back, and it was a good idea - did 4:1 jog-walk on the way home, the calves by that point were feeling much more normal and it gives the back a bit of relief. Stopped the clock at the 79th St. boat basin on the way back and got a Gatorade - NECTAR OF THE GODS....

Anyway, 90min easy with 45 straight and 45 as 4:1. Woo-hoo!

Friday, August 28, 2015


Amazing sense of physical well-being today post-workout. Immediate cause is possibly the LOW HUMIDITY - most gorgeous weather EVER. More generally I guess I do feel well now that I've shed last of travel-related ailment and gotten back onto a good regular exercise schedule.

Great session with Josh, anyway. 4 x 3 x 100 bench with 3-second isometric hold at the bottom. Can't remember exactly what else we did, but military press with football bar (3 x 10) and rows with football bar + 50 (4 x 10).

RT bike - this beautiful upright sedate purple bicycle has allowed me to rediscover childhood pleasure in riding a bike. I am not sure how I will feel about it once weather is colder and (especially) when I am riding home in the dark, but it has been a very good feature of the last couple months!

1hr upper body
10mi bike

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Ah, this workout made my day take a huge turn for the better! It's the lift I've been struggling with all year, but I think things are finally coming together such that we can actually start doing some WORK.

Main work set: 3 x 5 x 75

Narrow-stance: 3 x 12 x 45

Dumbbell hamstring curls: 2 x 20 x 37.5

Hip thrusts with barbell and band: 3 x 10

Bulgarian split squats: 2 x 20 on each side (skipped third set as we'd already gone long and I still needed to ride home)

It is amazing, the technique stuff just seems suddenly to have fallen into place: my back stays arched, I'm going low enough, etc. etc. The wide grip with no thumbs is very helpful.

1:20 lower body
10mi bike


Lovely run colored after the fact by the horrible realization that what I thought was an interview supposed to take place at 1pm at Bowling Green was actually scheduled for 11am, AND I HAD ALREADY MISSED IT. Horrible panicky spell on the phone on hold, but I have a new appointment a week from tomorrow (this is for the Global Entry travel card). It is not as convenient, there were no more Manhattan appointments till October and I really want to get this done, but I can do it at Newark airport (more convenient by public transport than JFK), and the nice man I finally talked to was extremely pleasant and did not seem nearly as horrified as I was by the turn of events (in fact, I think if I'd been downstairs, they probably would have taken me, but it's an hour away by subway so it wasn't as though I could just suddenly come up).

ANYWAY, now that's off my chest....

I executed plan more as it was supposed to be, though still with excessive alarm snoozing (which in retrospect was a DISASTER rather than just brain-secretly-knows-when-it-can-stay-in-bed-until!). Did have brief email check, but on iPad uncomfortably on living-room couch rather than on real computer, which limits browsing time usefully.

Lower humidity is having an extremely beneficial effect on my running morale. Just did :24 as 3:1. Very nice indeed.

I think I'd better do 20 minutes of meditation now to try and calm down! Oh, or eat something, that will probably have a calming effect - really it's lunchtime and I haven't eaten yet....

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Run of bliss!

1. Couldn't get up this morning.

2. Insofar as it isn't just rationalization to distinguish between the two, it was the not-getting-up of genuinely not enough sleep rather than the not-getting-up of laziness! (Was rereading the dissertation for today's defense until after 11, then read a novel for a while to wind down; turned out lights around one, but couldn't fall asleep for a long time.)

3. Knew I had a contained enough day of responsibilities that I would be able to run later, and just resigned myself to it. (This doesn't work if I either have a super-demanding day or if it's winter and it will be cold and dark by the time I get around to it.)

4. (At B.'s, I am able to request tipping - he asks the night before I need to be tipped in the morning, and I tell him if and when I do and under what circumstances the order can be rescinded!)

5. The defense went fine except for a massive technology fail despite all my anxious preparations; we lost about fifteen minutes in the middle as we had to switch from Skype (computer crashed) to conference-call-plus-cellphone-on-speaker (couldn't get both absentee examiners onto a single conference call despite presence of tech support!). I had a couple student meetings as well and it was effectively a very nice "first day of school," though I don't actually teach for two more weeks - this may have been partly why I had a hard time falling asleep.

6. Came home and lay down at 3 for what I thought would be just a very brief nap, woke up after 6....

7. It's still 80F but it's MUCH less humid.

8. Wanted to go a little longer than the 30 minutes on the schedule, but didn't want to make things hard.

9. Decided to do 40 as 4:1, with 2 segments for warmup and six as 3:30 jog, :30 hard, 1:00 walking recovery.

10. It was the most enjoyable run I've had for ages! Shady and a bit of breeze, low humidity - RUN OF BLISS!