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