Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Felt as if I might finally be settling in as I (a) walked a very direct route to yoga without a map and without getting lost (b) established that I had a valid membership and a reservation for class and (c) locked up my stuff in a locker with the adorable tiny lock I bought last week. Then felt less capable as it emerged that though it's an English-language class, the teacher was often speaking mostly Italian - there were a couple newbies who didn't speak English, and I suspect it was her discretionary call that it would be more important for her to make sure those were following everything than that I was! (I must speak less Italian than anyone else in the room, but on the other hand I have done a lot of yoga classes over the years....)

Anyway, it is unfortunate that Tuesday and Thursday are the days I can do yoga this week, this teacher isn't as well suited to my preferences as the other one (whose class I am hoping to go to on Saturday, but I have conflicts for the Wed. and Fri. ones), but it is still good - yoga and running are as always a very good combination/complement.

1.25hr power vinyasa

Monday, February 27, 2017


OK, a really nice one. I have a quiet day today and tomorrow, that's good - then an adventure with a friend from bygone endurance sport blog days on Wednesday, and a Vatican Museums marathon Friday - but all the other days will be to my own specifications, i.e. running/yoga/Gibbon. Need to make a plan of attack for life re-entry on March 20 - my final Austen draft is due the week following, and I'm currently intending to do it all once I'm home, but there are a couple other work things I will need to do that week as well and it might behoove me (if I can bear to put Gibbon aside) to do what I can here without books....

1hr very nice in the hilly park

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Yesterday was just one of those anxiety-disorder disasters (not really - once I GOT to the museum I had a really lovely visit there, got home OK and had a nice local dinner with Kindle), but I finally got a good night of sleep and felt much better when I woke up this morning. Decided that breakfast and a supermarket trip were more important than running right away (no meals at the Academy on Sundays - during the week I really don't need provisions, but it's a long time from Saturday lunch to things opening back up again on Monday), this was the right choice, felt slightly less overwhelmed by my environment. And then indulged myself (lungs are still dodgy, but also I needed the comfort of "flat out and back along water" which is my preferred default run mode) by running down the hill to the river and then doing the rest of the time as out and back up past the Vatican. Finished up back at Ponte Sisto, had a small snack at the bottom of the hill in Trastevere then clambered up hills and stairs home off the clock. It was good - will do proper long runs in coming weeks on the park trails, which are much more like my event's terrain, but this was immensely soothing and I feel much more myself!

90 minutes easy

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Frustrating Saturday

Ugh, just a bit homesick I think! Have had horrible sleep all week - gave in and took a tablet on Thursday night, since I had to be up 7:45ish to get to the Friday morning "walk and talk" and just couldn't face another night of being awake, but that then leads to "rebound insomnia" the following night, which means I feel like I hardly got any sleep at all (really obviously I was asleep some of the time, but so shallowly that it feels like you're awake).

Had my heart set on yoga (10:30 with the genius teacher), but had not understood the nature of the booking system (this is really not my fault, the lady I paid for membership might have said something to me - it's not specified online, my type of membership can't book online and you effectively I think need to make a phone call). So I sat waiting to see if a spot would open up, and it didn't, and I walked home in a low-blood-sugar haze of distress. Got a small muffin at the bar downstairs and went out for short run, which also felt awful. Gonna do the long one tomorrow (and have booked yoga for the coming week, hopefully that works OK - my confidence in the whole system is now slightly shot!).

Have a museum date later which is probably just as well as the only thing I really want to do is "ostrich" - hide under the covers in bed!

:37 easy

Friday, February 24, 2017


It is really a mistake to leave it so late in the day, though today it was unavoidable (given that I haven't been sleeping easily or well, anyway) - had to leave here about 8:20 to get to our 9am "walk and talk" museum visit (pretty brisk half-hour walk each way), lunch at 1pm, rare book session at the library at 2:30 (it was great). By the time I was back in my room I was feeling pretty much just DONE, only - as David would say - those 50 miles at Rock the Ridge are not going to run themselves! I'd asked for long run day to be Friday, but this was before I knew that the Academy trips would be so heavily scheduled for Fridays also, so I think it's fair enough to move it around. I set out just do the the shortest one of the next three days (written in for Sunday as 20 easy, 6 x :30 hill, 20 easy), but really once I was doing the short hill intervals I felt as though I could manage a full hour. So call it an hour with intervals and hills, will do the short one tomorrow morning first thing and then go to 10:30 yoga with the genius teacher (4pm museum date at the Capitoline), Sunday do the 90-minute one on a day when I have nothing else on the agenda (other than the perennial GIBBON!). OK, that is all too complicated, I need to shower and get some refreshments!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday was a day off from running, but I went to the most GLORIOUS yoga class! (Not sure what happened to the post on that, had thought I'd written it up but perhaps just in my training spreadsheet.) Brilliant teacher: a mix of flow and restorative that was quite unusual and pure genius, REALLY made the body feel different.

Today I didn't get out for my run till late afternoon, foolishly as I am sure it would have made me feel better if I'd done it sooner (one of those days where you wonder if you forgot to have caffeine in the morning as you just feel chilly/sleepy/headachy/minor stomachhache - didn't sleep well either). Really nice to be out there. Also, I saw what I have not in the morning - PARROTS in the mark!

Logistics of next couple days complicated re: museums, mealtimes, running, yoga but hopefully I will not be too frazzled!

1hr easy

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Slept very badly last night, antibiotics giving me a bit of a stomach-ache (just took last pill) and lungs still with a bit of tenderness, but feel energy levels are finally back to normal, that's a relief! Very nice :50 easy in the park, had a bit of breakfast and found my EXTREMELY ROUNDABOUT way (the walk home was about half the length) to the English-language yoga class in Trastevere. It was fairly strenuous but very much the sort of class I do in Cayman (I was underhydrated, would have paid any amount of money for a bottle of water). Finding a good nearby local studio is probably the last piece of the puzzle to feel more at home here (though I am still full of trepidation about taking buses, and we are in day 5 of a taxi strike! Hoping to get an Uber car to Villa Borghese later this afternoon, but will have to leave plenty of time in case that is not realistic!).

:50 easy run
1.25hr power vinyasa

Monday, February 20, 2017


:45 easy. So happy! The weather is utterly gorgeous - high forties, sunny, very mild....

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Back at it!

Oh dear, that was the longest spell off running that I've had for quite a while - I was feeling sick enough that I didn't even miss it, honestly (and have been walking a lot regardless, so not having true exercise/fresh-air deprivation - prob 6-8K a day minimum, so really that's respectable!). Saw the doctor Tuesday, got antibiotics and steroids for tender lungs, mostly better now though still rather raw/tender as I jogged up hills, so I'll continue to be very cautious. This park near me is extraordinarily beautiful, and the weather is perfect: en route home, stopped at the little local bar for a small mozzarella and prosciutto sandwich, cappuccino and sparkling water, wondering why everything seemed so terribly confusing when I first got here and now feels quite manageable!

David has written me a very sensible schedule for the week, with short runs and a tactical full rest day - this is good. Hoping to get to a yoga class soon too, maybe tomorrow?

:40 easy

Saturday, February 11, 2017


About :40 (a little more) and some walking to and fro. Lungs gradually on the mend, but I'm feeling pretty woozy and can't figure out if it's illness, jet lag or exercise deprivation - not really I think the latter as I still feel a bit light-headed.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Short run

Ah, I'm sick! It is not surprising, convergence of travel and long run buildup and book-finishing....

Anyway yesterday morning felt a little better but walking around still made my lungs hurt, and I was clearly still not at all right, so I took the day off from exercise. I was determined to get out today for something at least, walked to the park (confusedly - still getting my bearings - but it is an amazing park, I could not do better!) and did about :40 easy, then stopped and found my way home, so about :45 additional walking. Hopefully it will come clearer in my mind as I spend more time here. Did also find the viewing spot at top of Gianicolo hill, which seems to have a gelato stand - may try and get there later in the afternoon for a treat? Gonna try and get in a daily yoga habit too. The weather is beautiful - mid-50s and actually pretty sunny and springlike today.

:40 easy, and will do just this until I am feeling better, long run can wait till Mon. or Tues. if necessary.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Short run to find my feet

Ugh, my lungs are NOT good, and jet lag manifests itself as random periods of queasiness - but I made it here in one piece, had nice dinner with other fellows yesterday and got a great tip about the best nearby running option. That made it easy to get out this morning and have a really nice exploratory 40 minutes easy (lungs felt pretty awful, but happy running chemicals come along and make a bit better, then afterwards I felt really sick again - but lunch as helped). (This is jet lag!) I gather the paths in the park are such that you can even do about 7 miles without covering much of the same ground, so this should serve me well.

:40 easy

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Short wheezy one

Ugh, lungs in bad shape last night (very wheezy), not right this morning either, so I just did :30 easy rather than the full hour. Flying overnight tonight, with brief layover in England en route to Rome (don't ask, I should have got a direct flight obviously!), so the reality is I'm missing most of a night of sleep.

:30 easy

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tough long run

Had to wait till early afternoon before temperatures were OK, headed out around 12:45, could tell right away that back was tight/sore and only getting worse, ugh - was in enough pain after first loop that for second loop I power-walked uphills (it gives a bit of relief for back so that jogging the flats and downhills is more tolerable). Piriformis almost jangling, it was so tight by the end! Still, important to get it done, and I will walk as much as I need to in the actual event as well, so it is what it is....

14mi., c. 3:20 (yes, I am running THAT slowly)

Friday, February 3, 2017


Actually I am in a good mood, all things considered (despite various wranglings at the pharmacy just now re: vacation override and prescriptions for Rome - but the 2 guys on duty were very helpful and the situation is resolved to our joint satisfaction though with more dollars spent than would have been the case if I had stopped in this morning to check on how things were going, not worth going into the details as they are at once tedious and highly arcane but if you are USian you understand that this will often be the case surrounding prescription coverage!), but - impending sinus infection threw things off today. I couldn't run in the morning outside at home because it was 27F (doc says don't exercise outside below freezing, I will bend that to 29/30 which is where I detect a substantive difference but have learned not to push it farther, even if I weren't getting sick). But had noon session with Josh (more to talk before I go than because I really needed a workout!) and 2pm PT. Meant to run immediately following session, but had been up some overnight with sore throat and last bits of aerobic stuff we did made me feel woozy rather than energized, so I ate and regrouped and figured I'd reassess after PT. Unfortunately it still seemed to me that body did not need additional stress, especially given that it's the long run tomorrow that's the important one (and I still needed to go downtown for dinner with G.). Just hoping I don't feel awful when I wake up tomorrow!!! Anyway:

1hr upper body: some heavy board press, 3 x 3 I think at 115, then some singles at 125, that felt good! Some dumbbell floor press with light weights for max reps (3 x :30 @ 17.5), ditto incline rows (4 x :30 @ 17.5, could really go one heavier for that). Triceps extension with band, maybe one other thing.

My back is feeling great BTW - was a low on Wednesday, but PT Wednesday helped a lot, did exercises properly yesterday, haven't been much at computer - all good.

Retiring to bed shortly with Kindle to sleep for as long as possible and hope that immune system will rally!

Thursday, February 2, 2017


I've basically just not been squatting at all with a bar, I figure when I'm lifting irregularly I might as well not worry about it for a while. Got there early and did about half of back exercises, skipped the final abs set and finished back exercises in the rest of the hour (there are abs components in there too). About 1.25hr total.

(1) med ball slams (6 x 3)
(2) squat set (I did goblet squats with 32.5lb): 5 x 8
(3) Bulgarian split squats: 3 x 8 (I didn't use any weight)

Wed/Thurs runs

Hmmm, I must have forgotten to log yesterday's at the time.

Tuesday was a legitimate day off, hadn't intended it but found myself in home stretch on the book and realized I should cancel EVERYTHING till it was sent! Texted Josh to say I wouldn't get downtown to lift, was still hoping to run but it was about 6:30 by the time I sent it to my editor and I was utterly knackered. Ordered pizza and took Kindle to bed.

Yesterday's was decent but felt a good deal of soreness in piriformis/lower back. 90 minutes with 10 x (1:00 faster, 2:00 easy).

Today was glorious - beautiful day, really weather yesterday and today is ideal (40 and sunny, less wind today than yesterday). So lucky re: climate and daily run route along the water! 1hr easy.