Thursday, April 30, 2015


I went to the squats session, but I think it was a mistake - I just felt really sick and low-energy and upset the whole hour, it never turned round to the good. Still feeling pretty dreadful - more upset than physically ill - will just go to bed pretty soon I hope and perhaps tomorrow will go better....

(I am scheduled to do this 10K on Sunday, but I will have to be feeling a LOT better than this on Saturday for it to be a good idea - it's not just the event itself, it's the early morning/missed sleep that getting there entails - will revisit this question Saturday midday in light of how I feel then.)

1hr lower body

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

More ailment....

Bench day was pretty good regardless, but I didn't manage to edge up my PR (it is silly to feel bad about this, I am sick, but it would have given me a good mood boost!) - however I am pretty certain I should be able to get that weight (120) next week, it was a close thing. Ugh, ailment now sort of descending to lungs, am going to try and sleep for a LONG time tonight - today was overly demanding, too many meetings....

1hr upper body

Monday, April 27, 2015


Ugh, sore sinus/throat thing yesterday has predictably turned into a minor but unpleasant cold. Slept for 2hr in the afternoon and felt better enough after that that I ventured downtown for the deadlift workout - I don't know that it was a mistake as such, but getting home again afterwards has sufficiently tired me out that I am going to bed NOW! (Grocery delivery scheduled in 10-11:30 slot, will just have to wake back up for that one....)

Hopefully I will get better soon, it is hard for me to do without joyful exercise chemicals - today's workout didn't feel bad, but I was definitely more subdued than usual/with very low energy levels....

1hr deadlifts/rows

Sunday, April 26, 2015

2hr TOF!

Took yesterday off as I am feeling a bit of soreness in right glute, not sure what that is from (Prowler work the other day, maybe?). Had very good session with Liz this morning in the park - 2hr time-on-feet run! First hour as 4:1, second hour as 3:1. Highly satisfactory (beautiful weather).

(Alas, my lungs are in poor shape - woke up middle of night with painfully sore throat - the part of the throat that's almost more like back upper palate - and am afraid I may have opened myself up to an ailment....)

2hr time on feet!

Friday, April 24, 2015


I am THIS close to a breakthrough, I can taste it - made a couple other minor bits of progress today - it should all come together in the next week or two, or so I am hoping...

1hr squats!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Workout of bliss! My legs were a bit tired from running, and really I just don't have any surplus energy, but it was a great workout regardless - these adjustable box things you can use to work on depth finally came in, and I had a very good session just with the bar rather than trying any weights, widening stance and thinking about various other things. Also some goblet squats (the fact that they work so well tells me the block on squatting with the bar is in large part mental - I'm getting there, though), walking lunges with weights, and some AMAZING conditioning with the Prowler as a finale!

1hr lower body


That was a really nice one. Beautiful weather - mid-60s, sunny, clear. Cleared one piece of work, procrastinating on another and decided I could justify spending the time going out for a run on grounds of mental and physical health.

:50 as 4:1 (boat basin and back, basically)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I pressed 115 today - J. says he thinks that's more like 135 as a one-rep max, I am pleased with progress. (We are shooting for 175 a bit further down the road!) I can't even say what a blessing this powerlifting has been - really January to now has had exceptional life strain, and I credit the fact that I am doing relatively well to this specific activity/group! About 1.5hr total, including some lovely conditioning farmer's walk (grip strength remains a limiter, it's frustrating - but I really do have good strength and fitness, I think). Three more weeks of very intense school/work commitments and then things should open up a little.

1.5hr upper body

Monday, April 20, 2015


The "what goes down must come up edition" - my mother lives near the top of a hill (Midvale Avenue), it's a ten-minute jog downhill to the Schuylkill, which must rank as one of America's most beautiful urban runs, but then you have to figure out what to do about getting back up the hill....

It was raining so heavily in the early morning that I didn't think I'd realistically be able to get out at all, but by mid-morning, it was a light drizzle only, and no reason not to. Lawyer picking me up at 12:45 so we can do the business at City Hall, then memorial 3:30-5:30 on the Penn campus, then dinner at my mom's.

(In the end I jogged 15 minutes out and then turned around, which gives you some nice minutes by the river - switched to powerwalking a couple minutes in once I was back at the bottom of Midvale. About :22 jogging, then another :12 or so powerwalk.)


Sunday, April 19, 2015


Ignominious end to the exercise week. Really I am just so tired that I got NUTHIN'! Had a massage Friday evening, not sure it has dramatically helped loosen back but it can't hurt. Spent yesterday in haze of fatigue - basically had lineup of stuff with hard deadline of tomorrow (writing words to say at my father's memorial, making a program, minor edits to something my uncle sent that my brother will read) that I could not seem to get down to, not to mention revisions on a book review. Anyway gave up finally and started again this morning, after an interrupted night of sleep. Got what I needed to done, but by that time I only was able to get out for a very short run indeed. (Which is a pity, because it is the most beautiful weather - yesterday was too hot, but today's true spring! - on the other hand, my feet and calves felt very tight, so whatever, it's OK.)

Hoping, possibly unrealistically, for a run in the morning tomorrow at my mom's house in Philadelphia. Lawyer is picking me up 12:45 to go to the Registry of Wills to put in my application to be estate administrator, then memorial is on the Penn campus 3:30-5:30, then dinner at my mom's. Coming home Tuesday morning - really those review revisions are probably going to have to wait till then....

:22 run

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Still working up to it - technique is a limiter - but I did lift 135 a few times today and it did not feel excessively heavy. Improvement to come in near future!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


This whole week has felt like I'm teetering on the edge of disaster: in fact the only time I feel at all normal is when I'm actually exercising! I am in true horrible triage mode, just doing the bare minimum to keep my head above water; this has its own benefits, of course, but it doesn't contribute to a feeling of ease and competence. I got home late afternoon and though I should have gotten out the door for my run (didn't have time to do it in the morning), instead I went to bed and slept for two hours and woke up around 7 feeling just awful - absolutely incapable of doing anything whatsoever!

However my Inner David talked me into doing some kind of a run after all (basically it became clear to me that the amount of self-castigation I was having about not doing it was so horrible that I had better just give in and get out for SOMETHING, even if just 20 minutes) - ID, calmly, "Twenty minutes is still a success, you can do it" JMD: NOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooo I can do nothing I am an idiot! ID: "Twenty nice easy minutes!"

And in fact at this time of year it's such lovely weather and light so late in the evening, it was really nice. I felt good enough after five minutes that I thought I might try and do the full projected hour, but I felt upset again for no reason around the fifteen-minute mark so I turned around at 20. Very beneficial, though. Now I will shower and get some dinner.

:40 as 4:1 run-walk

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Today's bench/yesterday's deadlifts

Did I mysteriously forget to log yesterday's workout? I think so - I was just really tired after a demanding day.

Good upper-body workout this evening: nothing epic, but I went in feeling absolutely exhausted (tight back, slightly verging on weeping from mental and emotional fatigue) and walked out feeling very lively and cheery again. TOYED with idea of going to evening spin, but think I had better be cautious these next couple weeks still; it is too easy to overdo things when I am under stress.

1hr upper body!


Just a short one. I am in TRIAGE mode, have scaled down ALL work expectations to bare essential minimum and am prioritizing exercise so that I can cling to mental health!

Back very tight/sore - must do something about this, it is hampering running enjoyment...

:27 min easy run

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Lauren is in town, what fun - we had an absolutely glorious run on what kind of feels like the first day of actual spring. :50 total, warming up for about 10 minutes and then doing 8 x (:30 hard, 1:30 recovery). Woo-hoo! I feel like I got my mojo back this week - finally put together a decent exercise week, I guess weather helps and also a vision of the end of the semester within conscious awareness....

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Workout of utter bliss!!!!

The endorphins SLIGHTLY wore off on my trip home, but it was gloriously enjoyable. We did a good session of the standard upper-body stuff (I initially overreached a bit, I am still learning the psychological-physiological tricks for how to lift more - bad to try it too soon in the workout!): did main work set of 5 x 5 x 95, but got a good double at 100 at the end. Close-grip lighter-weight work.

Then some squats with light weight and emphasis on technique (still touch-and-go whether I really get deep enough, but I am starting to get the feel of it).

Then we went into the SAND, which always feels like play, and did an amazingly intense circuit: 6 x (3 back-and-forth of the backwards medicine-ball toss, 1 lap running in sand).

about 1.5hr total, it was great! I forgot how much I LOVE the thing of building up endurance and stamina - I feel like it is a particular strength of mine (psychological and physiological) to be able to work pretty hard for a pretty long time. I am doing a mountainous 10K in 3 weeks and it will not behoove me to suddenly start running a ton more, that's a recipe for disaster, but this sort of session is superb.


Weather finally and at long last glorious. Mid-50s and sunny. Perfect running weather. I am PLODDING but it was very good regardless: slow jog down to Chelsea Piers as 4:1 run-walk. 1:09.  Now gearing up for upper body workout...

Thursday, April 9, 2015


I am so close to having everything click that I can TASTE it, but telling myself to be patient! Very good work session.


I usually don't even IMAGINE getting out for a run Thursday morning - I teach at 11, and I need to get in the zone mentally - but I wasn't teaching a proper class today, just soliciting some informal student presentations, and I did get out the door in time for a short/hurried run (was running breathlessly into class a few minutes late, it really wasn't quite enough time!).


c. 30min with 3 x the hill leading up from the Hudson into "my" bit of Riverside Park

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I was having musings on the letter versus the spirit, usually I am a spirit person but I thought I'd fall back on "letter" today - only I wish I had checked my workout before going out, as I realize I was obsessing so much about the three hills that I forgot about the 1hr part!

Coach Dave's instructions: "1hr run (try to huff and puff on 3 hills, like really enjoy the hurt. It's all about perspective!"

So I finished the second of two reports due this morning and I didn't have to be on campus until one and I thought - WIN! Time for proper run now!

On the downside, it is 40F and overcast and windy and wintry, and as soon as I set out (with the intention of doing 3x Harlem Hill, with option to jog or walk the hill home depending on how I felt), I could tell that (a) my lower body is just TIRED from weightlifting and (b) my back is very very tight.

Anyway got one really good run up Harlem Hill, TRUE huffing and puffing with happy running chemicals making me feel great, but my back was so tight and sore that I was making faces: not pain as such, but definitely well past uncomfortable. (Lower right-hand back - this has long been a weakness for me, and I pulled the right spinal erector muscle a few years ago, so all of that side is just prone to be grotesquely clenched.)

Scaled back expectations and figured I could count the hill up 110th St. as #2 (more scrunched-up faces of discomfort!) and then (this really is barely in the letter!) the one-block hill from Riverside to my building near Broadway as hill #3. That took me to :45 but as I say I had forgotten that there was a time suggestion as well as a direction re: huffing and puffing!

Anyway anomalously I'm not teaching a proper class tomorrow (student presentations and a truncated day) so I think I can get out again tomorrow morning for 40 minutes with something like 6 or 8 x the 1-minute Riverside Park hill.

In summary: :45, 3 hills, quite a bit of huffing and puffing, sore back!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


That was good. Got a couple honest doubles at 105, but now strikingly comfortable lifting 95, which I know I couldn't lift at all in January when I started. Meant to run after but just didn't have it in me, that's OK....

1hr upper body

Monday, April 6, 2015


That is so fun - my favorite day of the lifting week for sure, though I love 'em all. I am really getting strong: my first work set was lighter because we were working for speed, but the last thing I did was "rack pulls" (i.e. bar isn't all the way on the ground, just on the low rails of the squat rack) including one set at 6 x 226. Woo-hoo! I have my eye on 3 - Coach Josh is an optimist and says I will be competitive if I can lift that plus current bench trajectory (there is still more room for improvement on the squat, technique is a limiter and I am not going consistently low enough).

Lovely hour of lower-body workout plus rows (last two sets at 42.5lb). Nice to be doing a sport where I am working so solidly with my body type rather than against it (that said, must drop pounds - the only powerlifting women who legitimately weigh the number that I do now are Amazonian giants with swimmers' shoulders, that is not my build!)...

Minor but glorious spring run with crocuses!

I am determined to make this week a better exercise week than last week! I have a tough one coming up in 2 weeks, but this week and next week should be OK...

:40 as 3:1 jog-walk, 12min warmup and then 7 x 2:30 jog, :30 run, 1:00 walking recovery (only with one skipped where I stalled out halfway up the little hill and walked the rest of the interval)


Saturday, April 4, 2015


Gosh, that was nice! Slept FOREVER last night, then dragged my heels once I did finally get up - I think I was just in need of some hours of genuine downtime (caught up on posting various stuff at my other blog, which is usually a sign of useful regrouping). Need to be at Penn Station in an hour and a half for a train to Philadelphia, didn't have time for a "proper"/longer run, but realized I should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Got out for just half an hour very slow jog - it's sunny but WINDY, still only in the high 40s - I was glad I was wearing a hoody over my short sleeves.

Anyway, 30min as 5:1 jog-walk, with a promise to myself to do better in the matter of short bursts of exercise in coming weeks....

Friday, April 3, 2015


Bench, walking lunges with weights, pushups, standing rows. Good workout!

(I had a horrible realization earlier in the week that basically due to choices about how to let my work life engulf everything, I CANNOT at this time of the school year work out without a definite commitment that involves someone else/accountability - fortunately was able to rope in a fellow power-lifter for this one, but it is causing me to reconsider how I will arrange things for the coming school year....)

1hr upper body

Thursday, April 2, 2015


I am finally really GETTING it, I am excited! Still just working with pretty light weights, but did some sets at the end of the workout today with 105 which is at least SOMETHING!

V. annoyed with myself for not doing a better job keeping up with run workouts on the schedule. The fact is I need a serious revamp of the whole way I conduct my days and weeks during teaching semesters: it is a bit of a disaster. Powerlifting has served as an anchor, because of the accountability factor, but I may need to set up something more structured in order to make sure I do the stuff I want to - otherwise work and exhaustion have a tendency to displace all else....

1hr squats!