Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Rode it home from the gym just now - it is helped by the fact that it is a most gorgeous evening, low humidity and breezy, but the ride was relaxing in a way that I am totally unaccustomed to. It remains to be seen whether I will really make this a habit, but it will potentially save me money and time in terms of not needing the subway so much - going to give it a good go (and figuring that it can only help my bicycle phobia too to be on a very sedate bicycle regularly).
Good upper-body workout with Josh. Benched 4 x 3 at 105, then lifted to failure - Josh suggested goal of 6-10, but I hit thirteen very manageably and I think I probably could have eked out fifteen if I'd had it in mind to begin with. He is sure this means I can get 135, though I still worry a bit that the male-female ratios of multiples to one-rep max play out differently (however I will soon be able to get it if even if I'm not quite there yet). Then some "pin press" - put the pins slightly above chest level, let the bar come to a full stop and lift as deadweight. This is all good. Finally some single-arm rows, 4 x 10 @ 47.5.
1hr upper body
Anyway, 11min gentle jog to warmup, then 6 x 1+min hill, walk back down, then 10 min as 2:1 jog-walk. :40 total. Will do 8 next Tuesday and 10 the following.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Note to self: get to the Rare Book Library tomorrow morning as soon as you can, being out of the house is better than being in it when spirits are low!
1hr lower body
Sunday, June 28, 2015
The unwelcome conclusion: I'm pulling the plug on the Survival of the Shawangunks race. I'm barely keeping my head above water, and it's stupid to do something that's supposed to be for fun if it's bringing me stress rather than joy. Need to refocus on essentials, this is not essential - not least will make it easier to focus on powerlifting, running and I HOPE weight loss (one month in to the summer, I have not lost a single pound - and doing half-assed endurance sport training does NOT help in the matter of weight loss!).
Anyway, I am feeling very glum and grumpy, this is the mature decision but that does not mean I have to like it!
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Forgot to turn on my watch; also, it is MUCH rainier than I had quite imagined; and legs, esp. calves, felt like blocks of wood. That said, I always feel better after I do it - call it :25 or so....
Friday, June 26, 2015
Going to try to run every day up through Thursday - on a plane Friday morning to Toronto for a weekend in Cottage Country with B. and friends, whether or not I get in a short run will really depend on timing & subjective self-assessment on arrival at the hotel in Gravenhurst. Have promised myself some combination of running and lake swimming on Saturday and Sunday (there is a fitness center at the hotel in case the weather is intolerably hot and humid - not a certainty, but always a risk!).
Had more ambitious plans for further working out, but based on how I was feeling yesterday, I decided to cut it short there. Will have 30min easy run at some point soon. Also just had yen to be HOME - I have dinner out later downtown, I need some hours of quiet time in the apartment with cats!
1hr upper body
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Anyway I did some lightweight sets (at least I am hitting depth!), called it when my IT band sproingled on a front squat (it had already cramped up while I was doing the abs portion of the warmup exercises), we switched to less onerous stuff - did some goblet squats and then some walking lunges with lightish weights. Did get in a full hour, anyway, but it was a lesson to me (a) to respect emotional stress (b) to fuel properly and (c) not to try and do a long run earlier on in a day when I want to do a decent job with squats!
1hr lower body, compromised though not wrecked by fatigue and underfueling!
But this morning my 10am meeting was moved to 11am which meant that without getting up TOO early (though it was a scramble to get there on time, and I was warm and sweaty with wet hair) I could do it now. Beautiful, beautiful weather - hot in the sun, but perfect in the shade, low humidity - if only there were more summer days like this in NYC....
Schedule said 80min stopping every 10 for a stretching break, but as I was pressed for time, I just did it straight. VERY NICE TOO. Slow but nice!
:80 easy shuffle-jog
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
I got home today from Philadelphia feeling utterly knackered, but a good gym session reinvigorated me. An hour of upper body with Josh (he is very sure that given that I can do 3 x 8 x 115 "board press" - i.e. only the top part of the lift, which is where I run into trouble - that I should be able to do 1 rep at 135, we will see!). Then I did an excellent spin workout ON MY OWN - realized riding small hills with Joanna Thursday that I currently have virtually NO cycling fitness & that I will be better off doing it on my own with HR monitor than going to a spin class that's not really cycling-oriented! So - 40min as 5 x 3min Friel zone 3/low zone 4, 2min recovery. Woo-hoo!
Had time during that ride to ponder what I am doing with the next month exercise-wise. I think the mantra is frequency, frequency, frequency - running frequency plus HILLS, cycling frequency plus INTENSITY/INTERVALS, swimming frequency with emphasis on technique. Doing the bike on my own also lets me move more expeditiously from lifting to next stage of workout, with less time to think the better of it....
1hr upper body
Friday, June 19, 2015
1hr upper body
Thursday, June 18, 2015
So I had a date to ride with Joanna in Prospect Park, and I haven't been on a bicycle in NYC since September, and the DREAD had just built up - I tried to weasel my way out of it this morning on the basis of light rain, but fortunately Joanna didn't let me off the hook! And of course it was then REALLY nice - nice to see her and catch up a bit, but also riding midday PP is pretty relaxing (barring some wayward young people doing irresponsible things!). So that really took the edge off, I feel like I officially rechristened my bicycle and rendered it usable by me. My IT band was pronging on the hill (need to tweak cleat placement on the shoe, it's clearly much askew) so I called it after not too much more than an hour - it must have been four loops (five loops? maybe - anyway that is either about 13 miles or about 16?). I HAVE NO BIKE FITNESS, I note - huffing and puffing going up the very small hill! That's because I have hardly been to a spin class since Joanna left, and haven't even been running hills either. Good reminder of what I should be doing - if there's no spin instructor currently doing hill-based workouts, I should just do them on my own at the gym as it suits me, on top of whatever outdoor riding I can manage - that has served me well in the past.
Had brought one change of (exercise) clothes as it wasn't clear that it would make sense to go home before going to powerlifting at 5 (I live far uptown), and indeed I decided to just take the train from Grand Army Plaza to Chambers St. and ride up the greenway to Chelsea Piers.
Had a very short swim - needed to finish up so that I could eat proper food and digest in time for powerlifting: 600 as 200 swim, 200 kick, 2 x 100 drill-swim by 25 (front scull, finger drag) - was still feeling quite keen to swim up to 1000 at least, but as I said, the thought of digestive intervals made me get out.
Had DELICIOUS hot entree at the cafe (they have one or two every day, not always appealing, but this one was exactly what I like - roast chicken breast with roast potatoes and broccoli rabe with chickpeas!). Digested. Met my friend B. who has become interested in powerlifting recently as well and brought him to SQUATS day.
And it was super! B. got some good tips from Josh, but the more amazing thing is that my squat has just suddenly come together! Still MUCH to work on of course, but I feel far more optimistic - this thing is actually HAPPENING.....
600 yards swim
1hr lower body
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
So nice! Really I just love swimming. Hoping to get much more back into it this year. Just a small one on my own at Chelsea Piers:
200 IM drill
100 IM drill
4 x (2 x 50 stroke-free) IM order on mostly 1:15
Felt very strong though slow. 1200 yards total - wanted to give myself mental boost in hope that it will help me get to masters swim tomorrow pm after lifting!
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Can't remember exactly how many sets I did, but let's say main work sets as 3 x (3 x 105) and 3 x (3 x 110). Incline press and overhead press with dumbbells, triceps. Very nice little workout.
1hr upper body
:12 - new streak #1! (Clearly it is a better commitment structure for me to count streak days than to yet trust to daily habit!)....
Had revelatory thoughts this weekend about the fact that I actually have a lot of promise as a powerlifter! More thoughts anon, but J. rightly points out that I may be slightly underrating accomplishments based on the fact that I am lifting with men - nothing I'm doing seems very impressive, but really the bench and deadlift are very good, and squat should catch up in a while - am already pretty near to be in a position to make the lifts to qualify for Nationals. (Check out Raw Totals here! Need to drop pounds, but numbers are seriously attainable even in highest weight class -
was a bit tired going in (didn't sleep much last night), set out to do 5 x 5 x 205 but curtailed to 5, 4, 3, 3 - good set regardless. Then 10 x 3 for speed/form at 135. Then some very fun rows with the farmer's-walk handles and 20lb (4 x 5lb) on each side (I think it was 4 x 12 at the full weight). No run - that is a sorry thing - hopefully will get on in tomorrow, though I again have a morning work obligation and am not sure I will be able to run first...
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Week in review: not bad. Hit the essentials: 6 runs (broken streak!), 4 very good lifting sessions. Only one spin class and no swimming - hoping to put in some good days Monday to Saturday this week and then take a few days off (short runs if possible) while I'm in Philadelphia for my mother's husband's memorial.
:30 as 4:1
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Got some good reading done today for the most pressing work thing on my agenda - I have been rather panicking about how the summer's slipping away without me making significant progress on anything important, I need to GET FOCUSED!....
90min as 4:1 with 2 x 10min steady
Friday, June 12, 2015
Can't remember now exactly what work sets we did - maybe 4 x 6 x 6-second eccentric (descending) x 95, then "board press" for 4 x 4 x 125. I am definitely getting stronger. Misc. other stuff including triceps, head pull, back stuff.
I forgot my triathlon shorts and also didn't have running shoes, the sand volleyball court was occupied with people actually playing volleyball, so I didn't do anything else - strong suspicion that later I am going to be regretting not having polished off my daily run EARLIER!
1hr upper body
Thursday, June 11, 2015
SQUATS! Could tell right away that I was tired, and Josh tried a different tack - we did work set with only very light weight and combining each set with air squats (where curiously I get low enough easily and stay much more upright rather than leaning forward/rocking - this is MENTAL rather than primarily a strength limitation, the mental things are hardest to fight!). Something like 6 x (5 x 65, 10 x air squat). THEN he had a very good idea and made me FRONT squat which as if magically solved all my difficulties!
This is very heartening as I have been frustrated at lack of progress - now we really have something we can work with.
Didn't have time for too much else after that but did I think 5 x 10 x 42.5 one-arm dumbbell rows.
Decided not to go to swim workout afterwards as I wanted to let squat workout sink in and could tell that really my day had been long enough already (with not enough air-conditioning - heat caught up to me, only realized as I was leaving my apartment that really I should have had AC on in my office!).
Bonanza workout day tomorrow, long run Saturday, whatever I can manage Sunday (hopefully a double spin) - this can work....
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Anyway, GREAT bench workout - I think the main work set was initially going to be 4 x 10 x 85, but that weight came easy enough that after the first two we went up to 95 and did 8, 8, 6 for 3 more sets. Misc. other stuff.
Then I did the :40 as 3:1 that I didn't have time for earlier, en route HOME - it was warm but beautiful along the river - only my legs were SO SORE (calves very tight, but glutes and hamstrings REALLY feeling at the end of their tether!)....
Only made it to about 70th St., had decided in advance to walk rest of the way home and was fantasizing about the Gatorade I would get from the machine at the 79th St. boat basin - BUT IT WAS BUSTED! Very calorically depleted and dehydrated by the time I got home - also, my brisk walking pace was about the same as my 3:1 hobble-walk!!! - but it was a good evening of workout.
1hr upper body
:40 as 3:1 hobbledy-jog/walk
:40 walk (it's a little more than five miles total)
Monday, June 8, 2015
Got a red Powerade and then went to Dolores' spin class. It is a lot of high-cadence work, which I am not particularly good at but which is good for me - I was working in very light gears only, which makes me feel a little bit ashamed, but to some extent the only thing I really need to shoot for just now is TIME ON BIKE, and that will do....
Anyway, it was all remedied - I found the super downstairs and he sent a building staff member up to unlock the door. TAKE TWO: short easy run for streak day #15. I think I really am going to be able to make myself into a person who runs every day....
:24 as 3:1
Sunday, June 7, 2015
(Then a week in Cayman that will still include much exercise, a week in London and Oxford where I'll be lucky to get in a couple decent workouts though I hope I'll have some short runs too, a week in Iceland that should have a lot of hiking and where we are staying at a hotel that not only has a quite reasonable gym itself but is located right next to a park that has a world-class gym, outdoor 50m heated pools AND A PETTING ZOO. In other words, that's three weeks with only sporadic exercise and inevitably lots of sausages, alcohol and patisserie.... then home with three weeks before school starts and an additional week (four total) before the Survival of the Shawangunks race, but I need to have made really good use of my time before traveling so that I'm not horribly cramming for those final weeks of August and early September....)
:30 as 3:1
Saturday, June 6, 2015
:30 as 3:1, then 3 sets of 10min as 4:1 with last 30s hard, 10min as 2:1, 2:1, 3:1, then 3:1 for last :30 home.
Friday, June 5, 2015
First, a super session with Josh (bench, back). Woo-hoo! Got a solid honest 120, and we also tried something fun and new that has about the best name EVER: FUTURISTIC LIFTING! This involves taking weight you WANT to lift in the future and using a resistance band (around the middle of the bar and tethered at the top of the frame) to give you a bit of help - we are trying various stuff to get me used to the feel of the heavier weights and the "grind" of how you have to get 'em up. The band helps you initiate the upward movement off the chest - we did 135 and it worked pretty well.
(Goals by end of calendar year: 300+ deadlift, 140 bench, squats with perfect technique.)
Then L. and I did some running in the sand - my calf was pronging me after a couple, I am sorry to say, it's definitely not quite right - 10min total (shorter than what usually counts for streak, but 'cause it's sand I think it's allowed....) with warmup, 6 x :30 hard, :30 recovery, cooldown.
Then I ate two hard-boiled eggs and a bagel and went to SPIN CLASS (1hr easy - because of calf, kept gears fairly low and didn't do any standing work - Friel zone 2, basically) and then had a short SWIM. Gosh, I love being in the water! Looking forward to swimming a lot this summer - have taken the plunge, as it were, and decided to sign up for the masters swim program at Chelsea Piers as I do not seem to have found a TNYA workout that works for me since they canceled Columbia and City College (my two most convenient locations). That was 600 as 100 free, 4 x 100 as drill-swim by 25 (front scull, fists, finger-drag, catch-up), 100 IM easy (fly as 3-3-3 drill). Fun!
Summary: 1hr upper body; :10 sand run intervals; 1hr zone 2 spin; 600 yards swim.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Anyway, we fortunately followed the OK but rather demoralizing squats part of the workout with some deadlifts, where I do much much better and feel more cheery again.
In theory it was 5 x 5 x 100, but my form really starts to break down towards the second half of each set, so I instead did 1 x 5 x 95, 2 x 5 x 100 and 1 x 3 x 100.
(The preposterous fact is that I did better with slightly heavier weights than this 5 x 5 on Tuesday with my bench - weights ran from 95 to 105, and I easily could have done them all at the heaviest weight! It's not that I can't squat heavier, I've done 135 easily and I would guess that I could probably do 170 or 175 without busting anything, but my form breaks down so quickly, it just doesn't make sense to do heavier work sets. Anyway I think what I really should be grateful for is that I have a very smart patient coach who won't let me overreach myself!)
Then a lovely 3 x 10 x 165 deadlift - I was getting tired, but it's still very enjoyable!
1.25hr strength WITH A SIDE HELPING OF FRUSTRATION
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
(I was so tired and anxious last night, I realized I needed to scale back unrealistically grand exercise plans and instead just sit at my desk and get stuff done - that was what I did - but I still unrealistically wanted to scale up the run - I never learn my lesson!)
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Anyway lifting session was GREAT! Work set as 5 x 5 (95, 100, 105 - 2 on last) - I think that's right anyway. Did some other back stuff, then regrouped with a Powerade and went upstairs to spin class. Too much of the dreaded "running on pedals" for my taste, but it's OK, it will suit my schedule well in coming weeks to do this...
Monday, June 1, 2015
I like what we're doing on this cycle - thus far it's been deadlifts on Mondays and squats on Thursdays, we'll keep that as main focus but add the other lift as a secondary focus - I will only get better at squatting if I do it at least twice a week, this is very good...
Main deadlift work set: 5 x 5 x 165
Squats for technique: 2 x 10 with bar, 3 x 10 x 65
Had to rush out, hoping I can do "extended" workouts for most of this month. Also wrote in tentative 10:30am Friday workout for second bench/back workout....
The bad: some tenderness in left calf made me end workout a little early. Have been having grandiose thoughts re: mega-streak, but will have to use common sense on this!
The ugly: life re-entry is OVERWHELMING. This is purely a psychological phenomenon, nothing more "needs" to be done today than it did any day last week, but coming home and facing the logistical tangle that is life sends me into a tizzy - it took me a while to get my head together to get out for a run. This is really my great problem in life, I am determined to tackle it and summer months are a good time to start.
Anyway, :40 as 4:1 with first two for warmup, then last 30 seconds of each interval hard (should have done :50, but decided to walk the rest of the way home - tender rather than painful, but it was affecting gait)