Monday, November 30, 2009

Yeah, I'm A Badass

This morning Drew got up and went to his old gym to meet with his personal trainer, which meant that he got up really early in order to get there by 6:00. I was going to just sleep for a few more minutes, which turned into the rest of the morning, so I didn't make it to the gym before work. However, I packed a bag in order to force myself to go to the gym after work. It's a lot easier to go to the gym straight from work instead of having to go home in between and change.

I started out with some cardio, which I don't normally do. I really was thinking that I'd do half an hour of cardio, do my weight lifting and then finish up with some more cardio. Drew and I tried to figure out our Heart Rate Zones last night and this is what I came up with for mine:

195 Maximum
Zone 2 = 117 - 137 (60-70%)
Zone 3 = 137 - 156 (70-80%)
Zone 4 = 156 - 176 (80-90%)

I thought that perhaps I should try to stay in a lower Heart Rate Zone than I have been while running and see how it felt. With that in mind, I did a half an hour on the Arc Trainer. It's still really not my favorite piece of cardio equipment at the gymnasium, but it did keep my heart rate lower, so I think it was a success. It's also really good for reading, so that's a small bonus in my book (no pun intended).

I'm starting Week 9 of my Weight Lifting program and I finally remembered to bring (and use) something that I bought a few weeks ago, but haven't had the best memory. Here they are:

Workout gloves!!

Drew made me take this photo with my hands in fists so that you can truly see how "badass" I actually am...
I'm not really sure that I felt like a badass. I sort-of felt a little bit silly wearing these gloves and recording my weights in my workout book, but my hands felt a lot better, so all in all, it was a good thing!

Here was today's workout:
Barbell Bench Press: 1 set of 12 reps @ 45 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 55 lbs / 1 set of 6 reps @ 65 lbs
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 1 set of 12 reps @ 20 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 8 reps @ 30 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 6 reps @ 30 lbs (per arm)
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 1 set of 12 reps @ 10 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 12 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 10 reps @ 20 lbs (per arm)
Tricep Pushdowns: 1 set of 12 reps @ 30 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 40 lbs / 1 set of 5 reps @ 50 lbs
Reverse Crunches: 1 set of 12 reps / 2 sets of 10 reps

This week is all about Pyramid-Up, which means that you should increase the weights on each set and decrease the reps. This took a lot longer than some of my other recent weight lifting because you were supposed to rest for 3 minutes in between sets. The goal reps were 12 for the first set, 10 for the second set and 8 for the third set. I had some trouble lifting really heavy today because I was by myself. I thought I probably could have squeezed out two more reps on the bench press set, but I was too afraid to let myself do it. I was shaky after 6 reps at 65 pounds and wasn't sure I'd be able to do two more (or even one more) without a spotter, so I just let it be at 6 reps. Drew said I could have asked anyone at the gym to spot for me, so I guess I know for next time. Even though I'm not sure I would have felt comfortable asking anyway. 65 pounds doesn't seem like a whole lot and I'd feel a little wimpy having to ask for a spotter for such a light weight.

I kept the weight at 30 pounds for the dumbbell bench press because I was having trouble lifting the weight onto the bench and lying down all at the same time. Um, that's right. Until just right now, reading over my stats did I realize that I did decline bench presses. Oops! I gotta tell you, it was another exercise where having a spotter could have been really helpful in order to hand me the dumbbells. I actually considered switching to barbells, because I thought that would be a lot easier to manage, but I stuck it out with what I thought was the right thing.

The crunches were supposed to be crunches with weight, but the weight room and the stretching areas were so crowded that I decided to try reverse crunches again and see if I had the same ill side effects as before. It definitely wasn't as painful while doing them, so I'm hopeful that my abs are back to normal now.

I really wanted to do another set of cardio once I finished up with the weight lifting, but it was already 7:30 and I needed to get home and do laundry before tomorrow, so I cut my workout a little bit short. It definitely didn't help that the weight lifting took longer than expected, but at least now I know that these workouts will be longer.

The rest of this week promises to be pretty bad for me at work so at the very least, I'm going to plan on keeping up with my weight lifting (likely on Thursday and Saturday), but I might skip out on some other stuff. I think it's pretty certain that I won't have a chance to workout at all on Wednesday, since I have to be at work at 6:30 and will be there late as well. I also have to go into work early Thursday and Friday and I have to work on Saturday. I'm trying to take it all in stride and remind myself that I already know I can run the 10K on Sunday and I don't have anything else really big that I have to be training for at this second. It's not ideal, but I'll do the best I can.

Arc Trainer
Time: 30:23
Distance: 1.16 miles
Pace: 26:11/mile
Calories: 259
Maximum HR: 149
Average HR: 138

Weight Lifting
Time: 43:19
Calories: 196
Maximum HR: 137
Average HR: 107

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Feel Bad

Today Drew and I had planned to go running. He claims that last time we went he said that he wanted to go 3 miles and I made us run 4, but this time he actually said 4 miles, so I suggested that we run the Central Loop of Central Park (starting at 72nd Street and going up and across the 102nd Street Transverse).

We walked from the bottom of the Park up to 72nd Street and headed North. I don't know why, but I've really been on a kick of running clockwise instead of counter-clockwise, so that's what we did today too. Drew was a little worried about his toe hurting while running, but we started out fairly slow and he said that it was fine.

My legs were exhausted the entire time we were running. I think it was a combination of the longer run I did on Friday and the biking I did yesterday, but they were beat! I tried to keep us at a slower pace than it seemed like Drew wanted to run. I am still really concentrating on keeping my heart rate under 180 when possible and that seems to be somewhere around a 10 minute (or 10+) mile.

Because Drew kept running ahead of me, I told him that if I was slowing him down, he should just run on ahead. I think I told him at least two or three times that he should just run ahead. Finally, I had to tell him that him running faster than me was making me feel bad about myself. It wasn't the fact that I can't run that fast, it's that I can't run that fast while keeping my heart rate in the zone I wanted. He said that he wasn't trying to race me or even run at any specific pace, it's just how he was running. I knew he wasn't doing it on purpose, it was just how I felt about the whole situation.

I was thinking about it a lot and I think it's a lot different than running in a group with Terrier because there everyone goes at their own pace and you don't feel bad passing someone (or being passed) because there is an unwritten understanding. It's a lot different when you go running with someone specific and think that you'll be running together and then to have that person running just two steps in front of you the entire time is a little bit frustrating (to me at least).

Once I pointed out my frustration, Drew stayed behind me the rest of the way (or right next to me). It might be really crazy, but I felt like I was running more on my own pace that way instead of just trying to keep up with him and I actually wouldn't be surprised to find out that we ran faster once I started leading than we were the other way around.

When we got to 72nd Street and were crossing the transverse, I realized that if we pushed it just a little bit more, we could come out with 10-minute miles, which would be nice, so right when we passed by the Cherry Hill Fountain, I told Drew to pick it up a little and we sprinted to the end.

I don't think this was our best run ever together just because I think I was a little off and feeling left behind, but I'm really happy with the final result. After we ended the run, Drew said that while he really liked the route, he wasn't so thrilled to have to walk home from 72nd Street. I can't really say I blame him, although it is a good cool down and we did stretch for a while once we ended running. It doesn't take long for your body to cool off and then walking home isn't really all that fun in these cooler temperatures!

Time: 40:57
Distance: 4.10 miles
Pace: 9:59/mile
Calories: 547
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 175

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Mini Triathlon

This morning I got up and went off to the gymnasium. I was meeting Drew at the gym and he reserved a swim lane for us at 11 and I wanted to get a workout in before the swim. When I got there I hopped on the computerized spin bike and decided to try the strength program.

I'm not sure if I've done that one before. I was thinking that it was going to be similar to the endurance program and be a lot of seated flats and seated climbs. However, it turned out to be the opposite. I was up out of the saddle more than I was seated, but it was definitely a good and sweaty workout.

I had about an hour to workout and wanted to give myself some time to stretch before the pool. That meant that after my 40+ minute bike ride, I still had about 15 minutes to kill.

So, what I decided to do was a mini brick. I hopped of the bike, switched shoes, and ran to the treadmill. I set the treadmill on 1% incline at 6.0 (10-minute mile pace). I actually ended up only running for a mile and then walked for a few more minutes as a cool down. It was actually a really easy mile and my legs felt fine, which was nice.

After biking and running, I went off to stretch and also do some foam rolling on my shins. While we were both stretching, we were discussing the ab machine that neither of us has ever used before. Of course, that meant that we had to try it out. I did 30 crunches (not sure that's the right terminology or not).

Finally, it was time for the pool. Drew fell down our stairs last night and has quite the bruise on his toe! That meant that when he went to kick today while swimming, it didn't feel so great. So, instead of doing some kicking (which is what he really should be concentrating on) we did a lot with the pull buoy.

He's definitely improving overall. He still says that he's having trouble breathing, so he was trying to exhale more by breathing every 4th stroke instead of every 2nd stroke. I also really tried to emphasize to him that if he slows his arm stroke down, he'll feel more comfortable hanging out on his side before rolling back over and putting his head back into the water again. I think it's all starting to come together a little bit more than before.

I didn't really do much swimming myself, although I do have a big Terrier Swim Meet coming up and for some reason I decided to sign up for the 50 meter backstroke. I practiced backstroke a little bit. Mostly what I need to make sure I've got down is my stroke count from the flags so that I can do my flip-turn at the right time. I think with a few more times concentrating on it, I'll have it down in no time.

Once we were done swimming, we went and sat in the sauna for a few minutes. It's no hot tub, but it's certainly better than nothing! All in all, I had a really mini triathlon today with my biking, running and swimming. And of course, it was all out of order! It's not very often that I do all three disciplines in the same day, so it was just a little bit funny to me.

Time: 41:00
Distance: 12.50 miles
Pace: 18.29 MPH average
Calories: 415
Maximum HR: 162
Average HR: 150

Time: 10:00
Distance: 1.00 mile
Pace: 10:00/mile
Calories: 190
Maximum HR: 175
Average HR: 158

Time: 25:13
Calories: 111
Maximum HR: 162
Average HR: 105

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Standalone Time

I ended up taking yesterday as a rest day. Drew got up and went to the gym early, but I slept for an extra hour and then spent the rest of the morning getting ready for our Turkey Day. His parents were joining us before they had to catch a flight, so we had a pretty early dinner (more of a lunch), so it was well worth skipping the gym in favor of making and eating a special lunch.

Drew and I had thought about waking up early today to go hit some Black Friday sales, but we were lame and didn't go. I wasn't 100% sure I really wanted to brave the crowds anyway. Instead, we planted ourselves on the couch and watched lots of TV. We didn't get up and moving around until well into the afternoon. Drew wanted to head off to the gym and I decided to go for a run.

I have a 10K race coming up next weekend and I figured that although in our group Terrier runs, I generally run somewhere around 6 miles total, I don't generally do it in one straight shot, so I might want to try that out before the big race. So, that was my plan today. To do something I've never done before ... run the Big Loop in Central Park!

I didn't get to the park until a little after 3:30 and I was wearing running tights, shorts, and two long-sleeved shirts. I didn't take gloves or any ear coverings. I ended up being okay without the gloves, although they would have been a nice addition, but I really wished I had a hat/headband with me. The temperature was in the mid-40s and although I was probably dressed appropriately for the temperature, I wasn't dressed appropriately for the wind! I also didn't really factor in that the sun was setting and it'd be dark by the time I got home.

Because we spent most of the day glued to the couch, that meant that we didn't eat or drink a whole lot in our laziness. Which meant that I started the run off feeling a tiny bit hungry. In order to try to combat that, I brought some Shot Blocks with me. I'd never tried them before and figured that this was as good of a time as any to try them out. I ended up having two while running and they were sort-of everything I'd heard that they'd be. They tasted okay, but got stuck in my teeth. They also made me a bit gassy, which I didn't really like at all. I ended up deciding to give the rest of them to Laura because I didn't think I'd use them again.

I ran the Big Loop in a clockwise direction (which is against the majority of traffic). Running this way is the way that the New York City triathlon takes you, so that was a nice taste to see how that run would go. I am not really sure what route the race next weekend will take, but even if it's the opposite direction, I think I'll feel fairly confident while running since I'm so familiar with the route in both directions.

While I was running, I really concentrated on keeping my heart rate below 180 as it seems to me that somewhere in the mid-170s is really where I feel most comfortable. I know it's not the fastest that I can run, but I can keep running there for a longer distance, which seems to be the key to all of these endurance sports. I also really thought that it'd be good for me to have a standalone time that wasn't tied to a triathlon to compare next weekend's race to. My Westchester running time was 1:06:16 (10:41 pace) and I guess I'd like to get my 10K race pace closer to 10 minutes per mile.

Today I was able to shave 3 minutes off the Westchester time and I never felt like I was going too hard. I'd think that in the race it might be possible to get another 1:16 off that time to get down to 10 minute miles, so that's what I'm going to aim for.

Time: 1:03:16
Distance: 6.10 miles
Pace: 10:22/mile
Calories: 824
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 173

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Max

This morning I headed off to the gymnasium with Drew and I really wanted to try to figure out what my max bench press would be. I had been looking at this site and trying to guess what I thought I could get to. I was really hoping that I could do 100, even though I thought it might be a little bit ambitious.

We got to the gym and loaded up the bar so that I'd try lifting 100 pounds. Um, it was a no go. I lowered the bar, but I couldn't push it back up. Of course, when I told that to Drew, I expected him to pick it up right away, but he didn't really help me all that much at first even though I felt a little frantic that it was going to crash down and smoosh my chest in. So, then we decided to try again at 95 pounds. Still the same situation where I could lower the bar but not push it back up.

So, then we decided to go about it from the other direction. We took lots more weight off and then started adding it back on. I was able to lift 65 pounds just fine. I was able to lift 75 pounds with a bit of a struggle. I was able to lift 80 pounds and thought I had reached my max. Drew says he's not convinced that it was my max because even though my arms were a little shaky pushing it up, he said that it was still relatively quick. I decided that I had maxed out at 80. I guess I'm a little disappointed that it wasn't more, especially since I've been doing so much weight lifting, but I guess I know where I am now and can only hope to maintain this level and hopefully improve.

After that, I went over and spun my little heart out on the computerized spin bike. I did the race day program which gets you up out of the saddle about 50% of the time. Nothing too noteworthy to report here. It definitely is a lot better now that I realized that I can clip in with my regular bike shoes, although I wonder if I'll be more likely to forget to clip out when stopping on my regular bike now that I'm getting used to the stationary bike!

Time: 37:44
Distance: 12.80 miles
Pace: 20.35 MPH average
Calories: 363
Maximum HR: 163
Average HR: 146

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Out For A Run, Home With A Turkey

This morning I got up and headed out for the Terrier run. While I was getting dressed (in running tights, shorts, short-sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt and gloves) I told Drew that I really didn't feel like going because I was so tired, but I didn't have a lot of say in the matter. I had set it up so that I had to pick up our Thanksgiving Day Turkey on the way home from the run. Technically, I guess I still could have slept in a little bit and gotten the turkey anyway, but that didn't really seem like the reason why I set the turkey pick-up for 7:00 am!

I ran there and then we did our normal strides workout. We finished the strides up today with some strength exercises. We did 30 lunges, 20 squats and two sets of push-ups. I did 10 push-ups each time (we were supposed to do 15), but I feel good about the 20 that I did do. I'm not going to worry about the 10 that I didn't do.

As far as the clothing goes, I felt like my arms were a little bit cold with just the one layer of long-sleeves, but I did end up taking my gloves off pretty early on, so I wasn't perfect, but I was pretty close. Today's workout was one that I knew I'd have to cut short in order to pick up the turkey and the couple of other things that I still needed to buy before Thursday and get home in time for work. Today's workout was going to be focusing on hills. We ran as a group to a spot on the bridle path just south of the Reservoir, under a bridge. Don't ask me exactly where we were, I get lost on those paths (which also means that the mileage today is a bit of a guess since the maps don't really cover the paths).

We were supposed to do 40 minutes of hill running up and down a longer hill and a short hill. I only did about 10 minutes of hill running before going and running back towards home. I felt like I was being a quitter, because I wasn't leaving because I was tired or anything, I just had to get my turkey! I think that I would definitely like to go back and do this workout again even if it's just by myself to prove that I can.

I got to Whole Foods just as they were opening, bought my turkey, green beans & spinach and headed home for the day. The timing worked out just perfectly.

The times below are the times I actually recorded and then what I think the time would be approximately for the strides. I didn't time them, but going off of last week's, I think this is about right, although we did a few less this week than we did last week.

Time: 36:45 / (~10:00 strides)
Distance: 3.86 miles / (0.64 strides)
Pace: 9:31/mile / 15:37/mile
Calories: 466
Maximum HR: 187
Average HR: 171

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Guess I Should Have Listened Today

I ended up taking a rest day yesterday. After working out every day last week, I just needed a break. I think it was well earned and much needed. Today, Laura and I planned to use our last day of our 5-day pass to the Fancy Gym! We had to head there after work instead of our normal morning workouts.

I left work and walked home with Drew (who had to go to some fancy fund raising dinner). I was changing clothes and getting ready to head off to the gymnasium and happened to comment on how hungry I was. I was making myself some Muscle Milk to take with me to the gym, but Drew suggested that I should take a bar or at least half of a bar to carry me through. For some reason, I thought the Muscle Milk would be enough, especially since I had just had a snack before leaving work.

Laura and I got to the gym about the same time, but I had to do my weight lifting and she headed straight for the pool. I'm on Week 8 of my 12 Week program, so I can't believe how fast this has gone and how little is left! This actually worked out really well for this week because Week 8 is one workout of total body drop sets. The book explains that approximately every two months, your body needs a short break from weight training in order for your muscles to fully recover. I'm just glad that it worked out to be this week because with the holiday on Thursday, I think I'll have trouble working out that day. This was today's weight lifting:

Barbell Shoulder Press: 1 set of 12 reps @ 35 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 30 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 25 lbs
Leg Extensions: 1 set of 10 reps @ 70 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 60 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 50 lbs
Dumbbell Squats: 1 set of 15 reps @ 30 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 15 reps @ 25 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 15 reps @ 20 lbs (per arm)
Dumbbell Bench Press: 1 set of 12 reps @ 20 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 12 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 12 reps @ 10 lbs (per arm)
Tricep Pushdowns: 1 set of 7 reps @ 35 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 30 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 25 lbs
Crunches: 3 sets of 15 reps

I really rushed through this and my arms were not happy about it. I really was just trying to hurry up and get to the pool. The squats were supposed to be with a barbell, but they didn't really seem like they had all of the equipment I was looking for, so I just went with dumbbells since it was easier. The tricep pushdowns were impossible. I'll say that they didn't have the regular lat pulldown machine that I like to use at my regular gym, so I had to use the cable machine and I don't think it was the best set-up. But boy, were my arms exhausted! The crunches were supposed to be with weight added, but there aren't a lot of weight plates at this fancy gym and they certainly aren't anywhere close to where I was going to be doing crunches, so I just went ahead and did them regularly. This was the first time I can remember recently where I wasn't wincing with pain while doing crunches, so I'm hoping my abs are back to normal.

The biggest bummer about the weight lifting today was the fact that I bought myself something new to use while weight lifting and I forgot it in my locker! I'll tell you more about it when I remember to actually use it. I drank my Muscle Milk as soon as I got to the gym, I couldn't wait and save it until after the weight lifting, so as soon as that happened, I knew my stomach might be in trouble.

I realized that while I had printed out a workout, I had left it at home, so it was of no use to me. I figured I'd just do whatever I felt like. Terrier is having a swim meet in a couple of weeks and I signed up for the 50-meter backstroke and the 50-meter freestyle, so I figured I should probably practice my backstroke and tonight seemed like a pretty good opportunity.

When I got to the pool, Laura was in a lane by herself, so we just decided to split that lane unless the lifeguard came over and told us to circle swim. It went really well for a while - I'd guess at least 20 or 25 minutes where we were able to split the lane and just do our own thing. Laura was working on a bunch of drills and I sort-of aimlessly did a really random workout. All I can really tell you is that there was lots of kicking, a fair amount of backstroke, a fair amount of freestyle and a little bit of breaststroke thrown in for good measure. At some point towards the end we did have to start circle swimming and sharing our lane with a third person, which wasn't ideal.

Part of my aimlessness definitely stemmed from the fact that I was really hungry once I started swimming. I'll admit it, I should have listened to Drew. He was right about taking a bar with me. Next time, I'll realize that swimming makes me really hungry and that he's right about stuff like this!

The best thing was that once we got out of the pool, we could head straight to the hot tub! We stayed in for longer than the recommended 15 minutes, but we also had to milk it for all that we could as I'm not sure when we'll next be at a pool with a hot tub. It was actually really nice to not have to worry about getting out and going off to work and it's always such a nice way to end a workout!

Weight Lifting
Time: 20:37
Calories: 157
Maximum HR: 160
Average HR: 128

Time: 33:30
Distance: 1250 yards = 0.71 miles
Pace: 47:10/mile
Calories: 317
Maximum HR: 167
Average HR: 144

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Wasn't Listening

This morning I slept in until about 10, which was quite a nice treat. Then Drew and I went for a walk around Union Square and of course ended up buying lots more bars and some other various things. After our afternoon jaunt, we went home, changed clothes and headed out for a run. I'm not quite sure how I convinced him to come with me, but somehow I talked him into it.

When we were walking to the park, there was a group of guys right by the Maine Monument playing music, which led to a brief discussion of me telling Drew about another music group I had heard recently in the subway. After I had told him about the other group, he then admitted that he wasn't really listening to me at all while I was talking. I admit, it wasn't that great of a story, but it always makes me wonder what else he's not listening to!

I had told him before we left the house that today's run wouldn't be fast. I really wanted to concentrate on keeping my heart rate in the 170s as it seems to be a much more comfortable running pace for me with a slightly lower heart rate. He had said that he wanted to run about 4 miles, so I suggested that we run up the West Side until we reached the Reservoir, run around the Reservoir Loop and then back down the West Side again.

The thing about running north first, which is against traffic, is that there is a lot more to see that way. I'm not really sure we saw anything or anyone noteworthy, but it just makes the whole thing more enjoyable. There were a couple moments where we were running a little bit faster than I would have liked for my heart rate, but I really tried to keep it slower. I told Drew that if he wanted to run ahead and go faster he should feel free, but he said that he was doing fine at my slower pace.

Once we reached the reservoir, I really made an effort to keep my heart rate in the 170s. It's a fairly easy conversational pace for me and I wasn't trying to win any awards with my run. Once we got all the way around the Reservoir Loop, Drew looked at his watch and said, "about 17 minutes ... sort-of slow." Geez! I'm fairly certain I said it several times that this would be a slow run. I'm not sure what he was thinking that meant (or maybe he just wasn't listening again!).

We ended up running 3.9 miles in just under 40 minutes, so it really wasn't that slow of a run overall. It's nice to know that I can still keep about a 10 minute mile pace even with a slower heart rate, which I think would help me be able to run for longer stretches. I think that's my strategy for the 10K I have on December 6 ... to keep my heart rate in the 170s and just take my time. I'm really just doing this as motivation to keep running and I don't think the 6 miles will be a problem no matter what, which is really nice to know!

Time: 39:48
Distance: 3.90 miles
Pace: 10:12/mile
Calories: 508
Maximum HR: 183
Average HR: 172

Friday, November 20, 2009

How Fancy Is Too Fancy?

This morning I met Laura again at the fancy gymnasium, although I got there first because Laura wanted to meet to ride bikes but I also needed to finish up Week 7 of my Weight Lifting book. Since we hadn't checked out any of the cardio or weight lifting equipment yesterday while we were there, I wasn't really sure what we were in for, but I figured that it was such a fancy gym that they'd at least have what my regular gym had.

After checking in and getting all my stuff settled into a locker I headed to the weight lifting/cardio area to check out the equipment. And I honestly wasn't that impressed. For as big as the gym is, I thought that they really crammed a bunch of weight lifting machines into a fairly small area. And while there were a lot of dumbbells (plus over my regular gym), there were not a lot of free weight machines (minus).

This was today's workout, which is still Drop Sets:

Leg Press: 1 set of 12 reps @ 120 lbs / 1 set of 12 reps @ 100 lbs / 1 set of 12 reps @ 80 lbs
Leg Curls: 1 set of 10 reps @ 65 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 50 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 40 lbs
Leg Extensions: 1 set of 1 reps @ 60 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 50 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 50 lbs
Dumbbell Squats: 1 set of 15 reps @ 25 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 15 reps @ 20 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 15 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm)
Calf Raises: 1 set of 10 reps @ 105 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 80 lbs / 1 set of 12 reps @ 60 lbs

The leg press machine I had to do on a not-plate loaded machine, instead it was one where you move the pin up and down on the stacked weights. I didn't really love it because the weight increments weren't exactly what I wanted and it's not something you can customize. On the leg extensions, I realized that I forgot to move the pin for the third set of lifting. No wonder my legs were so tired! The dumbbell squats were a lot nicer here than at my regular gym because there were so many dumbbells available, which was a big bonus in my mind.

I normally do calf raises on the leg press machine, but that wasn't an option today since it wasn't the normal leg press machine. Instead, I did them on the plate loaded calf press machine, which I normally don't use. The last time that I did calf raises with Drew, he was using the machine I used today and was lifting 150 pounds. However, he can apparently lift over 300 pounds doing calf raises using the leg press machine. I think he's somehow cheating. I don't know how you can double your weight like that with the different machines. We're going to have a "Pepsi Challenge" soon to see if he can in fact do what he claims to be able to do as I think there is something a little bit fishy about the whole situation.

After doing my weight lifting, I looked around and tried to find the cardio or spin bikes. I didn't see any spin bikes out in the cardio area, which is unlike my gym (minus). Then it was time to meet Laura. We met up and went in search of spin bikes that weren't in the spinning classroom as there was a class going on at that time. We asked a rather unhelpful woman who was working at a information-type desk in the cardio area and she wasn't able to answer any questions about whether or not they had spin bikes not in the spinning classroom or really anything at all.

My gym has one regular and two fancy computerized spin bikes out in the regular area and I guess I just assumed that this fancy gym would have something similar. Wrong. We did find one spin bike that Laura tried out but the seat wouldn't move up or down, so we both hit the cardio bikes instead. I thought that their cardio bike was a lot fancier than the one at my regular gymnasium, but I'll be honest, I mostly concentrated on watching the E! Kardashian Wedding special instead of anything else.

I think also that because my legs were tired from the weight lifting and I was really hoping for better equipment in the cardio area, my heart just wasn't in it. I did a random setting on the bike and switched around between levels 8 and 15 (the highest level was 25). It actually was pretty tough and I do appreciate how cardio bikes automatically adjust the resistance for you, but it wasn't exactly the workout I was looking for.

However, what I was looking for was the hot tub at the end of our workout! It was just such a nice end to the workout and a really nice way to start my Friday before heading to work.

Weight Lifting
Time: 18:40
Calories: 160
Maximum HR: 158
Average HR: 136

Cardio Bike
Time: 40:00
Distance: 8.94 miles
Pace: 13.41 MPH (average)
Calories: 374
Maximum HR: 158
Average HR: 143

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Really Fancy Gymnasium

This morning I met Laura for a swim at the really fancy gymnasium. Drew got an invitation in the mail for you and a guest to go try out the Reebok Sports Club NY for 5 days and he was gracious enough to let me & Laura use it. This morning Laura and I met for a swim at the fancy gym.

Once we were all checked in, we headed to the locker room. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of their locker room facilities because you swap your ID card for a key to a locker. I guess I didn't love having to worry about a key the whole time, since I'm used to using a combination lock on my gym locker everywhere else. Before we headed off to the pool, I needed to use the restroom and when I was trying to find it, I found a hot tub!

I immediately reported back to Laura and we agreed to cut our swim short in order to test out their hot tub. Since we had been planning on swimming for an hour, I had printed out a to keep me focused in the pool. Because we cut the swim short, I had to cut out a little less than half of it.

This is the original workout and the portion in blue is what I actually did:

4 x 100 Freestyle Swim

Build Up (repeat 4 times)
1 x 50 Freestyle Breath Left, rest 0:15
1 x 50 Freestyle Breath Right, rest 0:15

4 x 100 Freestyle Swim, leave on 1:55
4 x 100 Freestyle Swim, leave on 1:50
8 x 50 Freestyle Swim, leave on 0:58

1 x 100 Freestyle Push & Glide, rest 0:20
1 x 100 Freestyle Easy, rest 0:20

I actually ended up doing 150 as a warm-down, so my total was 1350 yards instead of 2200 yards. I actually think that it ended up being a really good (and fast-paced) swim for me. The last time I went swimming with Laura I didn't have a plan and I'm realizing that I do much better when I have one. Even if it's not as fancy as this.

The pool itself was fine. For as large as the entire facility is, I would have expected a larger pool. I mean, there are two full-sized basketball courts, I would have thought they could have an 8-lane pool! I swam in the fast lane, which wasn't really that fast. At one point a guy with flippers came into the lane and I was still faster, so that just goes to show what "fast" meant at that pool. The lifeguard actually said that the people swimming in the morning were the fast crowd. My swim workout actually worked really well because it gave my lane a chance to spread out a little bit while I was waiting during the "core" portion of the workout. I had no trouble finishing the distances in the times allotted, so that was a good feeling.

After the swim, Laura and I headed to the hot tub. Soooooo nice! It was hot, but not too hot and it was bubbly and nice and relaxing. It really should be a requirement to have hot tubs at all swimming pools. Because the gym was so humongous, we didn't have a chance to look around, but we're planning on going again tomorrow and using the bikes and I'm going to lift, so I think we'll have a much better idea of how the rest of the gym looks. I'm really interested to see the rest of their facilities! And use the hot tub again, of course!

Time: 28:51
Distance: 0.77 miles (1350 yards)
Pace: 37:28/mile
Calories: 323
Maximum HR: 171
Average HR: 160

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just The Regular Gymnasium

This morning Laura and I had been planning on going to check out a new and really fancy gymnasium, but things didn't go quite as planned, so I ended up just going to the regular gymnasium with Drew. Today I had my second set of Drop Set weight lifting to do and Drew wanted to ride spin bikes, so that was my plan for the day.

This was the weight lifting:

Dumbbell Rows (Right Arm): 1 set of 10 reps @ 25 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 20 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 15 lbs
Dumbbell Rows (Left Arm): 1 set of 10 reps @ 25 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 20 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 15 lbs
Lat Pulldown (Triangle Bar): 1 set of 10 reps @ 70 lbs/ 1 set of 10 reps @ 50 lbs / 1 set of 15 reps @ 30 lbs
Barbell Bench Press: 1 set of 12 reps @ 45 lbs / 1 set of 12 reps @ 35 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 30 lbs
Dumbbell Pullovers: 1 set of 10 reps @ 30 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 25 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 20 lbs
Dumbbell Curls: 1 set of 10 reps @ 20 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 10 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 10 reps @ 10 lbs (per arm)

This Drop Set thing sure is tricky. I really tried to lift heavy on the first set so that I could then decrease to something more reasonable for the second set. I would say that I was definitely struggling on most of the second sets. It's weird because your muscles think "Oh wow! This is so light," but after doing a couple of reps, you realize that it's still a decent amount of weight that you're lifting with zero rest between sets.

On the lat pulldowns, the third set was definitely too light. I probably should have been lifting 40 pounds instead of 30, but I think that there is a bit of a learning curve here and I'm doing my best. On the flip side, 30 pounds is the most I've lifted for the dumbbell pullovers. It was not easy, but I did it. The part that I actually really didn't like was the fact that once you get to 30 pounds, the dumbbells at the gym change sizes, and I didn't like holding onto the bigger dumbbell for that exercise. On the dumbbell curls, 20 lbs per arm was the most I've ever lifted and it was really challenging. I started out doing the curls at the same time, but I ended up having to stagger that set so I would just do right arm-left arm, etc.

I was really happy that there were no crunches in today's workout! After the weight lifting was done, Drew and I hit the spin bikes. We both used the computerized spin bikes, but Drew told me that he really just wanted to read his book and not be in and out of the saddle all the time, so I said that we should do the endurance program as that's mostly seated flats with just one or two standing flats thrown into the mix. I think he set his for about 30 minutes, but I set mine for 55-60. When I said endurance, I meant endurance.

Except that after 30 minutes, I wanted to get off the bike too! Oof. It was hard riding a bike for an hour. But, I hung in there and didn't give up. And I felt much better about completing my ride at the end and not giving up on myself or my workout. The best part about getting off the bike was seeing that my average cadence was 86, which I thought was pretty awesome.

Weight Lifting
Time: 27:44
Calories: 181
Maximum HR: 145
Average HR: 119

Spin Bike
Time: 57:45
Distance: 21.70 miles
Pace: 22.55 MPH (average)
Calories: 545
Maximum HR: 162
Average HR: 144

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanks, Operation Beautiful!

This morning was the Terrier run and I actually managed to get up and out of bed on time in order to get to the meeting point by 6:00. I did snooze for as long as possible before committing to getting out of bed, however. I also tried the new Iced Gingerbread Clif bar for the first time. Yum! It definitely tastes like the real deal, except that it's got lots of protein included.

My telephone's weather said that it was 47 degrees, which didn't sound too cold. As a result, I wore shorts, a short-sleeved shirt and a long-sleeved shirt. I looked for my gloves, but couldn't find them and figured I could just tough it out. When I went outside, I was definitely chilly. I actually started running after two blocks (I normally walk all the way to the park and then start running) in order to warm up a little bit. Once I started running, I didn't really notice the cold. I did notice the wind gusts, though!

I got to the meeting point with a minute to spare, so I guess it's good that I started running sooner rather than later. Shortly after I got there, we started our normal stride drills. I finally remembered to time these today. Of course, I forgot to count exactly how many we did, but I think it was in the neighborhood of 0.85 miles worth, if I'm remembering all the drills we did correctly. Also, I'm a little surprised by that number as I thought it was more in the 0.50 mile range, but I have just been going off an old posting that I did and since then Gmap Pedometer seems to have updated their maps, so that is most likely why. The one thing about the timing that I did today is that I just let it run for the entire time. I didn't stop and start for each stride, so I think it's throwing my pacing off for the rest of the day, but only slightly and I'm not too concerned.

Our main workout today was a Fartlek run. We would run for 10 minutes as a warm-up and then do a 1-2-3-2-1 pattern Fartlek for a total of 44 minutes, including the warm-up. Even now at my desk with my super fancy adding machine (see below) I can't get that to add up quite right, so I guess that explains why I couldn't get it to add up while I was running either.

The first ten minutes I just let everyone run ahead of me. I was really trying to keep that portion as a warm-up and save myself for the pick-ups during the Fartlek. The pattern was supposed to be one minute on, one minute off, two minutes on, two minutes off, three minutes on, etc. After running for the first minute on, I realized that it was too hard to have my watch on my wrist and I took it off and held it in my hand so that I could make sure to keep going for each of the "on segments" and also to make sure that I didn't stay too long on an "off segment."

We were supposed to run around the Lower Loop of the Park. I noticed that someone had written the following in sidewalk chalk along the running path. It was actually really cool because each phrase was separated by 100 yards or so, so you had to keep looking for the next one. It said, "Wow! You're Hot! No, Really! Keep it up!". On my second loop around, I noticed that it was an note! I'd just like to say that it was really inspiring and definitely made me push a little bit harder on my "on segments" thinking about the fact that someone out there wrote that special little note. I wish I'd had my camera (or phone) with me to take a photo, but I try to go with the bare minimum when running, so I didn't have any way to take a photo.

After completing my second loop, I still had some time to kill, so I went and ran around the Cherry Hill Fountain and then also up Dead Road (a.k.a. Central Park Driveway, according to Gmaps). Most people were already done and waiting back at the starting point, but I wanted to get the most out of my run and it hadn't been 44 minutes yet. I actually finished in 42:26, which was as close as I could get to 44 and I was also the last person to finish. But, obviously, we all started our watches at the same time, so those people didn't run for quite as long as I did (although, let's face it, they all ran further!).

Once we all met back up at the starting point, we did some more drills and strength exercises. We would do one strength exercise and then run a stride drill. We did 2 sets of 15 squats, 15 lunges on each leg, 15 step ups (onto a park bench) on each leg, 3 sets of 15 push-ups (I managed to do 10, 5 & 5), and 2 sets of holding plank position (on our forearms) for 1:00. Seriously? Can I not get away from the ab workouts? I would really like just one day of rest! I think that I might have to declare one day soon a completely off day and do nothing with my stomach other than eat!

I didn't time the last set of strides, so the stats below are from the run to the park, the warm-up strides, the main set Fartlek and the run out of the park (but not all the way home). Not a bad day, especially in the calorie burning department. I also feel a lot more confident about this 10K that I have coming up. I now think that I can easily finish, especially since I'm sure that my total mileage for the day was over 7 considering the fact that I didn't add in the last set of strides. I'm sure I'll be a little tired at the end, but it's a race, right? Aren't you supposed to get tired?

Time: 1:11:10
Distance: 6.92 miles
Pace: 10:17/mile
Calories: 950
Maximum HR: 187
Average HR: 172

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Hope You Get Really Sweaty

This morning Drew and I headed off to the gymnasium like usual. Before we left, his sister said, "I hope you get really sweaty today!" I'm back to three non-consecutive days of weight lifting, so all I was going for was the cardio. We got to the gym right when it opened (at 6 AM) and were the first people inside. That meant free reign over the machines. I decided to head straight for the stair mill.

If there ever was a sweat inducing machine, this is it. I did intervals on Level 10 for 30 minutes and my gym towel was soaking wet by the end. I had to trade it in for a fresh one when I was done and I almost never do that. I didn't think a half an hour was enough cardio for one day, but it was enough on the stair mill. So, I finished up on the stair mill and headed over to the elliptical machine. I did one of the gluteal programs on the elliptical, which isn't one that I normally do. I'm not really sure I know what the difference is anyway, other than this one keeps you at a really high incline level the vast majority of the time. I tried to keep the resistance pretty high as well, although I did take a break for a few minutes in the middle and lowered it down.

Once again, I finished up with some stretching. No foam rolling today. My abs are still sore when I laugh, so I guess those crunches from yesterday are working their magic. I'm also slowly starting to realize that I have a 10K to run on December 6 and that perhaps I should start running more often for the next week or two. I have my regular Terrier run tomorrow, but I'm thinking that maybe I should be running two or three times a week anyway in preparation for my half-marathon in March. So many things to think about and plan for!

Stair Mill
Time: 30:08
Distance: 2.92 miles (140 floors)
Pace: 10:19/mile
Calories: 339
Maximum HR: 168
Average HR: 161

Time: 33:10
Distance: 2.70 miles
Pace: 12:17/mile
Calories: 331
Maximum HR: 156
Average HR: 149

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Drop It Like It's Hot

Today I had to skip my normal Sunday routine of Terrier swim practice because we were going with Drew's sister for lunch at Per Se. If there ever was a reason to skip swim practice, this seems like the best reason yet! It didn't mean that I skipped working out all together, though. Instead, I headed to the gymnasium with Drew this morning in order to start on Week 7 of my weight lifting book.

This week starts Drop Sets - where you do one set of weight lifting at a high weight, drop to a lower weight (about 30% less) for a second set, and finish up with an even lighter weight (30% less again) for the final set. Oh, and there is no rest in between sets.

This was today's workout:

Leg Extensions: 1 set of 15 reps @ 65 lbs / 1 set of 15 reps @ 50 lbs / 1 set of 15 reps @ 35 lbs
Leg Curls (Double Leg): 1 set of 10 reps @ 60 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 45 lbs / 1 set of 10 reps @ 30 lbs
Calf Raises: 1 set of 15 reps @ 125 lbs / 1 set of 15 reps @ 100 lbs / 1 set of 15 reps @ 75 lbs
Leg Press: 1 set of 12 reps @ 125 lbs / 1 set of 12 reps @ 100 lbs / 1 set of 12 reps @ 75 lbs
Crunches: 3 sets of 15 reps

Legs and abs. Oof. The legs weren't so bad. The book had different goal reps for each exercise, so I really concentrated on meeting the goal reps, which I was able to do every time. It wasn't easy, but I did it. I'm pretty sure that 125 is my highest weight to date on the leg presses/calf raises, so that was exciting! I also suffered through the crunches, which was painful. I did rest for 5 seconds in between each set of crunches. I thought that was fair as it'd be similar to adjusting the weight on any of the other machines. This weight lifting is really fast compared to a lot of the other ones where you can rest for 1-2 minutes between sets. I couldn't believe how quickly I was done and I even had to wait for about 2 minutes for a guy to be done with the leg press machine.

After I was done with the weight lifting, I headed over to the computer spin bikes. I tried out a new program today, the endurance program. Mainly, that meant a lot of seated spinning instead of more in and out of the saddle. I think that I liked this program a little bit better because even though it might have been a little bit more boring than the ones where you get out of the saddle a lot, it was more true to the type of biking I'm trying to practice. I really tried to keep my cadence up above 80, even at the higher resistances, which I guess I was successful at because when I got off, it said that my average cadence was 81. When I had about 10 minutes left of my bike ride, Drew came over to find out that the second computer spin bike is broken. They're ordering a part and expect it to be fixed by Friday, but he was really hoping that I could show him the ropes on how to use it.

I finished up my bike ride and headed over to do lots and lots of stretching. Being at yoga yesterday reminded me how important it is to stretch after working out. I also did a lot of foam rolling. My shins are feeling so much better now that I've been foam rolling them. They don't hurt when you touch them anymore, which seems like a really good sign. I must say that foam rolling my shins is also one heck of an ab workout and by the time I finished, I was shaking from the effort of doing it. I also decided to foam roll my IT band for the first time. I see a guy doing it all the time at the gym, so I thought I'd jump on the band wagon. It was definitely painful, but that's probably a reason to keep doing it.

All in all, a very successful workout. Not enough to burn off the 2000+ calories that this lunch will be, but a good start!

Weight Lifting
Time: 19:33
Calories: 124
Maximum HR: 150
Average HR: 119

Spin Bike
Time: 47:00
Distance: 16.9 miles
Pace: 21.52 MPH
Calories: 501
Maximum HR: 169
Average HR: 155

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oh, Yoga...Why Did I Forsake You?

This morning Drew and I did something that we haven't done in months ... yoga! His sister is visiting us for a long weekend and she practices yoga several times a week. This was a good reason for us to pull out our Yoga Passbooks and find a studio where all three of us could go and use a coupon.

I thought that we should try Laughing Lotus. We went to the Sun Celebrations class that was taught by Deborah. She had a fantastic accent that none of us could quite place, but from her bio, it turns out that she's South African. It definitely made it easier to listen to her for an hour and a half.

She spent the very first part of class talking to us about how we are mirrors for the people around us and we reflect back the good qualities and they do the same for us. And when our friends are struggling to find their purpose in life, we can help remind them of their good qualities. Sometimes I think all of this stuff is a little too new-agey for me, but this was actually presented in a way that seemed really practical.

Once we actually started the class, it was a really quick pace that she had us moving to. It was a vinyasa class and I thought I was going to die in some of the vinyasas - particularly those that were downward dog, plank, cobra/upward facing dog, downward dog. Every time she said "plank position" I think that my stomach quietly revolted a little bit from the stress on my abs. It's now been a week since I did whatever I did to them and they're still quite tired. But, I fought through it and was able to do most of the vinyasas, although sometimes I just had to stay in downward dog.

I definitely got in quite a good workout during the class if sweating is any indication. I've definitely lost a lot of flexibility in the last year, but I'm hoping that I can figure out a way to work yoga back into my workout routine. Even if it's just one night a week. Clearly, from my HR stats below, at some point I was working really hard for my heart rate to be 205! I am 99% certain that is my highest (recorded) heart rate ever. And it was quite surprising to see at the end of class. I only recorded the time where we were actually doing poses. I stopped timing for the shavasana.

Time: 1:17:36
Calories: 396
Maximum HR: 205
Average HR: 109

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Power of 10

This morning it was back to the regular gymnasium for me. I had to finish up my last weight lifting workout for this week and then I figured I would so some low-impact cardio. I have to say that I have just been so tired this week (as in my muscles are all just tired) and I figured that a day of taking it easy would be good for me.

The weight lifting workout was another day of Super Sets. I did a quick 5 minute walking warm-up on the treadmill in order to warm-up and also read about what was in store for me workout wise today. As soon as I saw that crunches were first, I knew I was in for trouble.

This was today's workout:

A) Reverse Crunches: 1 set of 5 reps
B) Crunches: 1 set of 10 reps
A) Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 25 lbs
B) Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 70 lbs
A) Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 25 lbs
B) Lat Pulldown (Underhand): 3 sets of 10 reps @ 50 lbs
A) Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm)
B) Barbell Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 30 lbs

The crunches were impossible. And I really mean that. I could barely do the ones that I did. I really did a number last Satuday on my abs. It apparently was much worse than I originally thought. I knew that it took me several days to be able to laugh without wincing in pain, but I wasn't prepared for the fact that I still wouldn't be able to do crunches. I definitely wanted to do them, but it just wasn't happening.

I took that as a sign that maybe my body just needed a bit of an easier day with the weights. I didn't really make a conscious decision to do sets of 10 reps, it mostly just worked out that way, and there were a couple of times where I was struggling to get 10 reps done, but it just seemed like I couldn't lose the pattern by the end of the workout.

The underhand lat pulldowns were done on the cable machine, which I mostly hate. A guy came while I was doing my last Super Set with the first lat pulldowns and I talked him into letting me finish up, but I didn't think he'd be so keen on me doing three more sets too. So, instead I set up the cable machine. The lat pulldowns weren't the easiest thing to do on that machine because I had to squat while doing the exercise, so it made my legs tired too. But, I got them done. It wasn't quite at the weight I had been lifting before, but I think that mostly was a function of the equipment I was using.

After the weight lifting, I headed over to the elliptical for some easy cardio. I was definitely sweating by the end of it. I used one of the machines that gives me a better mileage result. I don't know if that's cheating or not, but I noticed that a lot of the elliptical machines in our gym have stationary handles. I used to really like those machines, but I've recently changed ways and now think that the ones with handles are better, which is what I used this morning.

Weight Lifting
Time: 27:11
Calories: 164
Maximum HR: 152
Average HR: 116

Time: 30:24
Distance: 2.60 miles
Pace: 11:41/mile
Calories: 287
Maximum HR: 161
Average HR: 144

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Difference Between Slow, Medium & Fast

This morning I met Laura for our last swim at the other 14th Street Y. Neither of us really like this pool that much. The past two times that we had been there it was really cold, which didn't make it any better. The pool is also generally fairly crowded and today was no exception. It's a seven lane pool and four of the lanes were open for lap swimming. Two of the other lanes were taken up by a master's group and the last lane was for water walking (whatever that is). The lanes that were open for lap swimming included one for slow swimmers, two for medium swimmers and one for fast swimmers.

I decided to start in one of the medium lanes. I wasn't quite sure I wanted to hang with the big boys this morning in the fast lane and there were also quite a lot of people in that lane already, so I decided to go with a less crowded medium lane. It didn't take long before I got really frustrated with the lane that I was in. There was a girl alternating between doing drills and swimming breast stroke, which I don't think is anyone's fastest stroke.

I must have passed this girl about 10 times (without exaggeration). On the tenth time, I really wanted to ask her if she thought that she was in the right lane since everyone else was passing her as well. Instead, I decided that I'd just suck it up and move over to the fast lane. Now, I had already realized that my arms were still exhausted from Sunday's lifting workout. And I'm just tired in general these days. I think I'm in need of a day off (or at least a day to get another hour or so of sleep in the morning), but Drew's sister will be visiting this weekend and I'm not 100% sure I'll get in long workouts over the weekend, so I need to stick with it this week.

When I moved over to the fast lane, I thought my arms were going to fall off my body. I don't really think I was swimming that much faster, but I always feel more pressure to go at a good speed. I think it's all more mental for me. After doing about 400 yards in the fast lane, I decided to slow down and give my arms a rest and move to the other medium lane.

That medium lane was only slightly better than the first one. I'm not sure if people just have no idea how to seed themselves or what the deal is, but if you're doing drills or something else very slowly, there is no need to make the rest of us suffer. I actually still had a pretty good swim despite all the obstacles. It was rather boring as the pool situation wasn't really conducive to doing a lot of drills or short sets. But, this is what I did:

1000 yards freestyle
600 yards alternating breast & free
150 yards kicking

Time: 40:40
Distance: 0.99 miles
Pace: 41:04/mile
Calories: 435
Maximum HR: 174
Average HR: 155

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where Am I?

This morning I managed to talk myself into getting up and making it to the Terrier group run. It definitely didn't hurt that the weather was pretty nice outside. While I was running to the meeting point, I was noticing how many leaves were on the ground and the sound that they made crunching under my feet really made me forget that I was in NYC. It also made me wish that someone would rake them into a huge pile for jumping purposes.

We did our normal strides workout (approximately 0.50 miles) and then we were given our running workout for the day. Coach Spencer explained that we would run up the West side of the park to 102nd Street. From there, we would run around the upper loop of the park, which includes the Harlem Hill. We were supposed to repeat the upper loop 3-4 times, but the key was to keep the whole workout aerobic and to not go into anaerobic effort. While I still need to do the heart rate threshhold test to really figure out my HR zones, I think I can mostly tell on my own that sustained effort in the 180s is really too high for me, so I was going to aim for more in the 170s or so.

When we started out on run north, Coach Robert said that we should keep on the trails and side paths as much as possible instead of the main road. We all took off and started running. I was keeping up with the group for a while, but then I remembered the aerobic versus anaerobic effort part and realized that I needed to slow down a bit, so I fell behind from the group. And then, I literally fell.

Remember all those leaves that I loved at 5:45 in the morning on the way to the run? They turned sinister and were hiding all sorts of rocks and ruts on the Bridle Path that we were running on. I stubbed my toe on a rock and just fell down. No real harm done. I landed on my hands and right knee. I have some really tiny scrapes on my hand and I got a little bit dirty, but otherwise only my pride was hurt.

The first time I ever went running with Drew, I hated it. I think I really hated it because it proved that even though I looked like I was in shape physically, I really wasn't cardiovascularly. We couldn't have been running for that long before I was trying to figure out a way to end this. The best way I could figure out how to do that was to trip myself. I didn't actually do it, but I thought about it the entire time. How best to do it to make it look natural, etc. Once I told Drew that story, he (jokingly) told me that if we were ever running and I did fall, he wouldn't help me up because he thought that I'd be faking it. That was all I could think of today when I actually did fall ... and didn't even do it on purpose!

After getting up and dusting myself off, I then took a wrong turn and ended up almost all the way on the East side of the park. I must tell you that I'm really fantastic at running on the road in Central Park. When I veer from the road, I inevitably get lost. Which is what I did this morning. Oops. As soon as I realized that I had gone too far East, I tried to wind my way back to where I wanted to be.

Finally, I made it to the 102nd Street transverse. By the time I got there, it was really pretty much time to turn around and run home. I did start running slightly further north, but upon consulting my watch, I realized that I needed to head back home at this point and skip the loops on the hill.

For some unknown reason, I decided to run home on the Bridle Path as well. The only explanation I can offer is that I really wanted to try to figure out where I got lost. I definitely see what happened now that I know the right way to go. However, I wasn't done there. I was almost home (somewhere between 72nd and 59th Streets), when I got lost again. Well, I actually wasn't lost. I just couldn't figure out where I was. I thought I knew where I was, but because of this path running, I was coming at everything from a different angle, so for a minute, I got totally turned around and a little bit panicked. Luckily, I figured it out and made it out of the park in one piece. Obviously, I won't be planning any evening path runs as it's a bit questionable during day light hours.

Even though I didn't do the workout that we were assigned, I did try to keep track of my heart rate and keep it a bit lower than usual. I was definitely more successful with that on my run home than the other running portions, but I'm going to contribute the 193 maximum HR below to the fact that I fell and I probably scared myself. All in all, even though it wasn't the workout I set out to do, it was still approximately 5.9 miles in 59:23 (10:03 pace), not including the strides. I have to say approximately because I just did the best I could with figuring out the mileage from gmap pedometer. There isn't the best map for Central Park trails.

Run to Meeting Point
Time: 7:45
Distance: 0.81 miles
Pace: 9:34/mile
Calories: 94
Maximum HR: 183
Average HR: 168

Run to 102nd Street
Time: 23:40
Distance: 2.3 miles
Pace: 10:17/mile
Calories: 323
Maximum HR: 193
Average HR: 177

Run Home
Time: 28:18
Distance: 2.8 miles
Pace: 10:06/mile
Calories: 331
Maximum HR: 181
Average HR: 164

Monday, November 9, 2009

Up Before The Alarm

This morning I had agreed to meet our friend Eric at the gymnasium. When I asked him last night if he wanted to meet, I was a little bit upset that he said yes, but I knew that it'd be really good motivation to get up and out of bed! Apparently it was because I had set my alarm for 5:30 and I woke up at 5:20 on my own. I almost never wake up early like that, so it was a big surprise to me. Of course, I didn't get up then, I snoozed for a few more minutes, but I left for the gym at 5:57, so it was still an early morning.

I was actually sort-of looking forward to this morning because I really wanted to try out my brand new bike shorts that I got yesterday. And, since I had it, I also wore one of my new workout tops. Oh, and new socks too. Somehow having new stuff makes it all more fun.

So, I headed off to the gym and got myself a computerized spin bike. I was really excited to try out my new shorts. I have to say that they made the ride a lot more enjoyable, even though I was sweating buckets. The funny thing is that I was wearing the new UnderArmour shirt that I got yesterday (the pink one) and I wasn't sure if I would really like it or not while I was at the store. Drew told me that he really likes all of his stuff by them (I didn't have any of their stuff) and today when Eric got to the gym, he said I looked really cute! So, I guess it was a good purchase in the end!

The ride itself today was fine. I did a different setting than I had been doing, but I think it's all pretty much the same stuff. Today I used "Intervals" instead of "Race Day" and I still did it on Level 7. I'm not sure I really noticed a difference from one to the other, but I also wasn't listening to the guy who talks to you on the computer. I was just reading the instructions on the screen.

I think that I'll be really happy with these new shorts, but I'm just hoping that I don't spoil myself by wearing them and then will be unhappy when I go back to tri shorts on my regular bike!

Time: 48:03
Distance: 15.4 miles
Pace: 19.23 MPH (average)
Calories: 477
Maximum HR: 163
Average HR: 149

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Shopped. I Swam. I Was Tired!

This afternoon was fantastic weather-wise, so Drew and I headed off for an afternoon of shopping. I really wanted to get some bike shorts. I've finally broken down and realized that I probably can't spend an entire winter on the spin bikes in tri shorts. There is just not enough support and those are not the best seats. I feel like I failed in that aspect, but if I'm going to keep my legs cycling this winter, this was going to be a good investment.

Drew wanted to go and look for some new socks. He recently switched over from all cotton socks to technical socks and since he only has a few pairs of new socks, we knew that we should hit up the discount stores and look for deals on technical socks. We ended up going to TJMaxx and Filene's Basement to look for socks for him (and I figured I might as well just take a look too!).

This is what I ended up with:
Two new technical shirts, a new sports bra, 8 pairs of socks, bike shorts and an exercise ball book. I actually already own an exercise ball that I've never used before. After how tired my abs are today, I'm realizing that perhaps I should start using it more often. The book was $2.99 at TJMaxx so even if I only use it a few times, I think I'll get my money's worth!

This was Drew's loot:
A new pair of gym shorts, 10 pairs of socks, and a pair of compression shorts (not pictured, but I'm pretty sure he bought them. I just couldn't find them to take a photo).

We also stopped at our favorite store to buy bars -- Bed, Bath & Beyond:
I'd just like to say that only the seasonal Clif bars (on the left) are mine! I'm really excited to try these new flavors. The rest of the loot is Drew's. Although I might sneak one or two of those Kind bars if he doesn't pay too close attention. They don't have much in the way of protein, but the one flavor that I've had previously was really delicious.

After the shopping, it was time to head home and then off to swim practice. I will say that having swim practice at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon isn't the most ideal time, but I make it work. Today Coach Dave was coaching the swim practice. I think I've maybe been to one other practice where he was coaching, so I wasn't sure what was in store. I also knew that my arms were going to be tired no matter what happened and I was hoping for an easy day.

As we were getting in the water, one of my teammates (Heather), was standing in front of a slower lane than she usually swims in. I told her that she was in the wrong lane, as she had told me two weeks ago! She moved over and swam in my lane (the middle lane). The swim today was a lot of short sets and I can't remember all of them, but I remember the warm-up clearly and I counted the main set twice and I'm sure that it was 1600 meters, so this is a rough estimate of what we did:

100 free
300-broken into 75s (breathe right / breathe left / breathe every three / breathe every five)
200 kick - on your side (no board)
200 pull - 50 free / 50 back / 50 breast / 50 free

Main Set
4 x 200 free (each faster than the last)
4 x 100 kick (varying from free / back / breast)
8 x 50 free (moderate)

Cool Down
50 free

The problem with my description of the main set there is that while we did a total of 1600 meters, the longest distance was 200 and there were some 25s in there as well, but I just couldn't remember it all by the end. I could barely remember how to pick up my arms and swim after the warm-up. I really wasn't sure that I could finish the entire workout. I have never ever felt so tired swimming. In the very last 50 that I was swimming of the main set, I actually wondered what would happen if I just stopped and floated for a while.

I know that this sounds crazy and it probably is, but I really think that my abs being so sore impacted my swimming. Drew helped me realize today that it's my ribs that are sore where the muscles are just below the surface and I was having a really hard time inhaling or exhaling completely while swimming. That wasn't helpful at all in having a good swim.

I also led my lane the majority of the time. The 200s that we were doing were spread throughout the main set and each one was supposed to be faster than the last. I sort-of think my first one was done in 2:40, but after that I wasn't really paying attention. I was just trying to keep thinking about swimming and moving forward. And I never feel like that in the pool. Normally I'm super relaxed and having fun. By the time we got to the third 200, I was wiped out after 150. I had to let two of the three people behind me pass because I knew there was no way I was going to be able to keep up the same pace.

When we finished that 200, Heather looked at me and said "I think that whole thing was anaerobic for me." I told her that I was pretty sure I had been anaerobic since the warm-up and that swimming on it's own is mostly anaerobic since you aren't breathing half the time. Needless to say, the workout kicked my rear-end!

Now I'm off to get ready for work tomorrow and the gym in the morning. I'm hopefully meeting our friend Eric there in the morning, which is good motivation to get up and out of bed since Drew is out of town again.

Time: 1:07:15
Distance: 2450 meters / 1.52 miles
Pace: 44:10/mile
Calories: 697
Maximum HR: 175
Average HR: 152

I'm Not Sure I Can Go Swimming

This morning Drew and I got up early and headed over to our regular gym. I was only going to do my weight lifting as I plan on going swimming later on today, but he was going to lift and do cardio. We did a quick warm-up of walking on the treadmill and then headed over to the weight room. Drew said that he'd weight lift with me again today, so that was a nice treat.

Today was Super Sets again, focusing on Chest, Shoulders and Triceps. As soon as I looked at the workout, I knew I was in for trouble. Especially since my abs and legs are sore from yesterday, I wasn't looking forward to the same thing in my arms too! This was today's workout:

A) Dumbbell Flys: 3 sets of 15 reps @ 10 lbs (per arm)
B) Dumbbell Bench Press: 2 sets of 15 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 10 reps @ 15 lbs
A) Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 45 lbs
B) Tricep Pushdowns: 1 set of 15 reps @ 30 lbs / 2 sets of 12 reps @ 30 lbs
A) Barbell Shoulder Press: 1 set of 10 reps @ 35 lbs / 2 sets of 8 reps @ 35 lbs
B) Side Lateral Raises: 1 set of 12 reps @ 5 lbs (per arm) / 1 set of 10 reps @ 5 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 5 lbs

I don't think it's fair that you would have to do two types of bench presses in the same day. By the end of the first Super Set, my arms were already exhausted. I wasn't sure how I was going to continue on. Then, by the time I was done with the second set and setting up for the third, my triceps were burning, and I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. Drew tried to tell me that it was a good thing, but I wasn't 100% convinced.

It was right around that time that I had to stop weight lifting between sets and try to practice my swim stroke. When my arms were burning like that, I wasn't really sure that I could actually swim later on. Once I had done three practice strokes and realized that my arms were in fact still capable of movement, I felt a little bit better.

All morning long, my abs have been killing me from yesterday's workout. I had actually thought that maybe I could do some today since there weren't any included in today's workout in the book, but since it hurts to laugh, I didn't really think it was going to be likely. Drew told me that he had the same thought (of doing some crunches himself) and that he did four before he was done for the day. That made me feel a lot better for skipping them all together.

I am planning on going swimming later, which I'm looking forward to. I didn't go last week as I wasn't sure that there would even be swimming practice because of the NYC marathon and the week before that was a shorter practice, so hopefully today's will be more on track!

Weight Lifting
Time: 31:46
Calories: 169
Maximum HR: 150
Average HR: 111

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A New Gymnasium

This morning Drew and I headed to a new gymnasium. We belong to New York Sports Club and have the membership where we can go to all of their facilities. Our normal gym doesn't open until 8 on Saturdays, which is usually okay, but today Drew had work, so we went to the 24-hour gym near our apartment. He had been there once before, but it was my first time. I knew that it was smaller than our usual gym, but I actually really liked it. I'm guessing that it was a lot easier to like it because there weren't a lot of people there early on a Saturday morning.

I am starting Week 6 of my weight lifting book. This week is Super Sets that are focused on certain areas of the body, rather than a total body workout like before. This week I'm also supposed to do two workouts on consecutive days and the third on a non-consecutive day. Starting today makes it easy to get two workouts in today and tomorrow and then one more in the week is more than manageable.

Drew did the weight lifting with me, which we haven't done in a while. Today's focus was Legs and Abs. I don't think either of us were excited by that prospect, but it was what it was. Here is my workout:

A) Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 15 reps @ 65 lbs
B) Leg Press: 1 set of 15 reps @ 115 lbs / 2 sets of 12 reps @ 115 lbs
A) Deadlifts: 3 sets of 15 reps @ 45 lbs
B) Leg Curls: 1 set of 15 reps @ 60 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 65 lbs / 1 set of 20 reps @ 65 lbs
A) Reverse Crunches: 1 set of 15 reps / 1 set of 12 reps / 1 set of 10 reps
B) Ab Bench Crunches: 3 sets of 15 reps

The leg extensions and leg presses weren't 100% Super Sets because Drew was taking a little too long with his exercises so when we went to switch, I had to wait for him to finish up and take the weight off the leg press machine. The leg curls need some serious explaining. For Super Sets, I really think that you should use the double leg machine, otherwise it sort-of defeats the purpose if you do single legs. At our regular gym, I normally use the prone leg curl machine (the one where you're lying on your stomach and your rear end is up in the air). Drew isn't a huge fan of that machine (nor am I) so today we tried out the seated double leg curl machine. Um, yeah, that machine is really easy. That's why my first and third sets were so many more reps than the second set. I used the easy machine for those. For the second set, someone was on the easy machine, so I had to run over to use the prone leg curl machine instead. I think the difference between 8 reps and 20 reps at the same weight is pretty remarkable.

Today was my first time actually doing reverse crunches. Turns out that I haven't missed doing them at all. They're really hard. Harder than the other kinds of crunches. I am glad that I got a chance to do them and try them out. I'm sure that it was good for me. The book mentions that holding onto the bench is the hardest part for a lot of people. I'm going to go ahead and say that talking myself into lifting my legs 10 to 15 times was the hardest part, but it was made harder by the fact that I was holding myself up with my arms.

After the weight lifting, we headed off to do cardio. Drew really loves the Arc Trainer, and I've only done it once for about 5 minutes before deciding that I didn't love it, so I thought I should give it another shot. Turns out I still don't love it. I did the Pike's Peak program and thought it was just okay. After 30 minutes, I really felt like I hadn't had much of a workout. I think it would be a good thing to do on days where I'm tired and not in the mood for a harder workout, but I don't think I'll seek it out like he does. I just don't see the appeal. But to each his own.

After our 30 minutes of cardio, I thought he would want to leave in order to get ready for work, but after a few minutes of stretching, he said that he was going to do some more. I figured that since I didn't think I had the best workout so far, I'd go ahead and do some more cardio too. He went back to the Arc Trainer and I figured I should try the treadmill again. I've been boycotting recently after hating the treadmill for the last few times that I'd used it.

Today was fine. I don't think I'll ever love the treadmill. I'm always going to prefer running outside. But it was a lot better than it had been previously where I wanted to kill someone while I was running. My times aren't so great below because I did a few minutes walking as a warm-up and a 5 minute walking warm-down. Also, in the middle, in order to keep the boredom at bay, I switched it up and did a few minutes walking at 8.0 incline at speed 4.0 (a 15-minute mile pace). So, once you factor all the walking in, I actually think I was running at a regular pace while I was actually running.

Part of my problem while I was on the treadmill was that I was starving. I had half of a Clif bar before leaving the house and I had some water with me. It wasn't enough for all the working out I did today. I kept thinking about having some yummy Muscle Milk when I got home from the gym and when I finally did get home, I was shocked to discover that Drew had the last of it today while at the gym! I had a 90-calorie Quaker granola bar instead. It wasn't even close to the same thing. We did buy more Muscle Milk, but it's sitting in Drew's office. I'm hoping that he remembers to bring it home from work today!

Weight Lifting
Time: 39:50
Calories: 292
Maximum HR: 152
Average HR: 126

Arc Trainer
Time: 30:00
Distance: 1.26 miles
Pace: 23:48/mile
Calories: 302
Maximum HR: 172
Average HR: 155

Time: 30:22
Distance: 2.65 miles
Pace: 11:27/mile
Calories: 391
Maximum HR: 188
Average HR: 171

Friday, November 6, 2009

Excuse Me? Can You See The Hills?

Drew left for Washington, D.C. on Thursday night, which meant that I was left to my own devices to wake up this morning. Needless to say, that didn't go so well. The only good thing about that is that the gym really isn't too crowded on Friday evenings. I'm not sure what that says about my social life, but I certainly appreciated the fact that it wasn't too busy.

I came home after work, changed clothes, grabbed my gear (including bike shoes), and was off to the gymnasium. I was hoping to use the computerized spin bike again. There are two bikes, but up until yesterday, only one was operational (the computer portion, I should say). When I got there, there was a girl on the one bike that had been working and she wasn't even using the computer program. Luckily for her, the other bike's computer was now working, otherwise I wouldn't have had any qualms about asking her to switch over to a regular spin bike. I don't think I would have been out of line. If all you're doing is riding a spin bike, there are 30 regular spin bikes and only two with computers. If you're not using the computer, what is the point of getting on that particular bike?

So, instead I tried out computerized spin bike #2. It's exactly like computerized spin bike #1. Not a big surprise. I decided that I would do about 50 minutes on the bike and once again ended up on Level 7. I must not ever see where you change levels in the set-up. Oh well. I guess 7 seems like a nice enough number.

I was about half-way through my ride when the girl next to me vacated computerized spin bike #1. Her spot was quickly taken by a very smelly guy. I tried not to notice too much, but I wonder why boys are always so stinky at the gym. Do they just forget to wash their clothes? Do they not use soap when they shower in the morning? What is it? Anyhow, smelly guy messed around with the computer for a while and then said, "Excuse me? Can you set this so that you can see the hills?" The short answer was no, which was what I said to him. The long answer is that using resistance and cadence, you can tell whether or not you're going up a hill. I didn't explain all of that to him. I just kept it short and sweet, at which point he got off the bike and took his smell with him. Whew!

I will say that I felt a little bit smug or like I was a "real" cyclist because I knew how to tell whether or not I was simulating a hill without a graph telling me that I was going up a hill. Not that I think I am a real cyclist, it was just a momentary feeling.

All in all, it was a pretty good ride. The only thing that I don't love about the bike is that when you select a time range (I believe I chose 50-55 minutes), it automatically factors in the cool-down in that time range. I guess that's okay once you know it, but I generally tack on an extra couple of minutes in my head to cool-down. It also stops recording once you reach your time limit. Not the worst thing, but not my most favorite either. Perhaps I should just over-estimate my times from now on.

Time: 52:56
Distance:17.9 miles
Pace: 20.3 MPH average
Calories: 586
Maximum HR: 175
Average HR: 158

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Super Sets Are Hard To Do

Last night Drew was at the World Series game, so he didn't get home until pretty late. That meant that he didn't feel like getting up this morning to head to the gym and I wasn't too sad to keep sleeping either. Which meant a visit to the gym after work for me! I packed a bag so that I could go straight from work without going home after work to change. It seems like I would be much less likely to talk myself out of going if I did that.

I'm pretty sure I've griped about how busy the gym is after work, but today seemed even worse than usual. I needed to do my third weight lifting workout of Week 5, which is still Super Sets. One look around the weight room told me that Super Sets weren't really going to be possible tonight, which means that not only are they normally hard to do, they were impossible to do tonight.

So, this is what the workout was supposed to look like:

A) Leg Curls: 1 set of 12 reps @ 50 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 50 lbs / 1 set of 6 reps @ 50 lbs
B) Leg Press: 1 set of 15 reps @ 115 lbs / 2 sets of 10 reps @ 115 lbs
A) Dumbbell Pullovers: 1 set of 20 reps @ 20 lbs / 1 set of 15 reps @ 20 lbs / 1 set of 12 reps @ 20 lbs
B) Lat Pulldown: 2 sets of 12 reps @ 60 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 70 lbs
A) Dumbbell Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps @ 25 lbs (per arm)
B) Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 60 lbs
A) Crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps
B) Ab Bench Crunches: 1 set of 20 reps / 2 sets of 15 reps

What I did instead of Super Sets was I did all of the Leg Curls, etc. in a row, resting only 20 seconds between sets. I figured that 20 seconds was pretty close to the time it would have taken me to walk from one machine to the other anyway and it definitely wasn't really enough recovery time. The only set that I was able to do properly was the Squats and Leg Extensions. Except for the fact that the Squats were supposed to be Barbell Squats instead of Dumbbell, but Drew still hasn't had a chance to show me exactly how to use all that equipment, so I still think that what I did was more than okay as a substitute.

After my weight lifting, I ate half of a Luna bar to get a little protein in and have a bit of a snack to tide me over for the rest of my workout. I then hit the cardio equipment. I figured I'd read my magazine and do the elliptical machine. There was not a lot of choice in elliptical machines, so I used one that I've used before but it isn't really my favorite.

I quickly realized why it's not my favorite. It's because that even though I was doing a pretty hard hill level and I was going at a really decent stride pace, I wasn't going anywhere. A while ago, I used the same machine and had the same results. It doesn't make any sense why on some elliptical machines I can average somewhere around a 10 minute mile and on this machine, I average about a 30 minute mile. I know that this might be silly of me, but I'm going to go ahead and stop using this machine unless absolutely necessary.

Weight Lifting
Time: 36:05
Calories: 239
Maximum HR: 161
Average HR: 121

Time: 35:00
Distance: 1.15 miles
Pace: 30:26/mile
Calories: 326
Maximum HR: 161
Average HR: 144

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ouch! My Arches?

Monday I decided to try out my heart rate monitor during the day. I wore it for 11 hours total. I walked to work, spent 8 hours at work, walked home and then spent some time lounging around and watching TV. Here are the stats:

Time: 11:00:00
Calories: 1410
Average Calories: 128.2/hour
Maximum HR: 142
Average HR: 85

So, obviously, not a huge amount. Especially when compared to Sunday's count. I know that on Sunday I was walking around a lot more, but it is a really big difference. I am glad to know what the total for a regular day was.

On Tuesday, I set my alarm in order to get up and go running in the morning. I had even laid out my clothes the night before, but Drew and I both had a serious alarm clock problem. We both just kept pressing snooze for quite a while. He finally did get up, but I couldn't do it. Today was more of the same. Except that I must have turned off my alarm without realizing it today because Drew got up and left for the gym and I said that I'd meet him there and I was still sleeping when he got home from the gym. Oops.

I really felt like I couldn't go two days in a row without working out. I had been thinking that I would have to go to the gymnasium today in order to get in my last weight lifting for the week, but I realized that I could do that tomorrow instead, which meant that I was then free to go running outside tonight!

I was really looking forward to the run. I have some new cooler weather running gear that I wanted to try out. Plus, I don't have any experience running in cooler weather, so I figured that I need to start keeping track of what I wear under certain weather conditions. Tonight it was 48 degrees and at times it was a little windy. I wore running tights, a tank top, a long sleeved shirt, my new running gloves and I also had my Westchester Triathlon running hat.

Walking to the Park, I was definitely a little cool, which I took as a good sign. Everything I've read said that you want to be a little bit cool when you first get outside and you'll quickly warm up while running. When I got to the Park, I started running right away. I was just really in a running mood today. I was so happy to realize that I didn't have to go to the gym today in order to keep up with the weight lifting routine.

Almost right away, I noticed that my feet weren't really that happy to be running. I was hoping that it would go away if I kept going, but that really wasn't the case. I also wasn't sure what exactly was going on. The pain was in the arches of my feet, both feet, but the right was a little bit more pronounced than the left. I really tried to concentrate on my running form and thought that if I did a better job with that hopefully it would help. Nope.

My plan for running today was to do two loops of the lower loop of Central Park. My thoughts behind that was that it is really well lit and it has the most pedestrian/bike traffic. With the days so short now, I'm going to have to get used to being out in the dark. The good news is that I just got a Road ID, so if anything bad should happen, at least I'll be identifiable.

Of course, my feet were not really wanting to go ahead with this plan. The pain wasn't exactly constant. I guess I would say that I always noticed it, but it definitely came and went in intensity. Once I was more than half-way around, I decided that I would keep running for the entire loop, but that would be it. I'd listen to my body and only have a short run. I was really disappointed in myself. The worst part was that I was really feeling good and I thought I was running at a good pace. But my feet didn't really seem to want to carry me any further.

The only thing I can think of is that I've been wearing high heels a lot more recently than I have in a really long time. In the summer, I'll generally wear flats on my walk to and from the office and switch shoes once I get to work. However, recently, I've been wearing them at work and walking to and from work as well. I'm going to hope that if I go back to wearing flats for the rest of the week that my feet will be happier with me next time I go running.

As far as the clothes for the weather, I felt really good. I did end up taking my hat off, but my ears were still cold even though I was overall more comfortable. I doubt that it's worth it to buy some sort of ear muffs because I imagine that it's not going to stay this temperature or warmer for very much longer. I also have to keep practicing running outside in the cool weather because I have a 10K in December in the Park that I have to be ready for.

Time: 18:31
Distance: 1.9 miles
Pace: 9:44/mile
Calories: 229
Maximum HR: 179
Average HR: 169