Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's on birthday girl!

I was just catching up on Jill's blog and liked the sound of her most recent workout, courtesy of the cool peeps at Peak Performance. On the occasion of her birthday she performed The Half Marathon Circuit ass-kicker yesterday (quite impressively!) and challenged others to try it out as well. Being the multi-sport, multi-discipline running junkie (or ADD sufferer, you decide) I am, the challenge sounded right up my alley. Check it:

Warm up with about 10 minutes of light jogging, followed by some systematic stretching routines and dynamic-mobility exercises. Next, run (4 to 6) x 100 meters at close to top speed, with short recoveries, and then perform the following activities in order. Move quickly from exercise to exercise, but don't perform the exercises themselves overly quickly (don't sacrifice good form just to get them done in a hurry). The idea is to carry out each activity methodically and efficiently - and then almost immediately start on the next exertion.

1) Run one mile at your goal half-marathon velocity.

2) Complete 20 squat thrusts with jumps (burpees).

3) Do 70 ab crunches.

4) Perform 40 walking lunges.

5) Carry out 70 low-back extensions. Lay on the floor, arms at your side, and raise your torso and head off the ground to about a 45 degree angle. You can also use the Roman Chair if doing this at the gym.

6) Do 20 push-ups.

7) Complete 15 one-leg squats with your right leg and then 15 more with your left

8) Run one mile at goal half-marathon velocity.

9) Carry out 30 bench dips.

10) Complete 15 high-bench step-ups with each leg.

11) Jump 100 times in place, getting your propulsive force from your ankles, not your knees, and carrying out the last 30 jumps at an especially quick tempo (for all 100 jumps, don't try for great height - your feet should only come off the ground a few inches; what you're really looking for is quick reaction with the ground, i.e., minimized ground-contact times).

12) Carry out 30 cross-body leg swings with each leg. To do these, lean slightly forward with your hands on a wall (or other support) and your full body weight on your left leg. Then, swing your right leg to the left in front of your body, pointing your toes upward as your foot reaches its farthest point of motion. After this, swing your right leg back to the right as far as comfortably possible, again pointing your toes up as your foot reaches it final point of movement. Repeat this overall motion 30 times before performing 30 reps with your left leg.

13) Run one mile at goal half-marathon velocity

14) Repeat steps 2-13 one more time (for two circuits in all), and then cool down with two miles of light jogging.

This workout includes five miles of running at goal half-marathon velocity, 400 to 600 meters of running at close to top speed, and an array of highly challenging strengthening activities. The circuits enhance fatigue resistance, coordination, whole-body strength, running economy, and lactate threshold, and they also enable you to 'fall into your half-marathon pace', i.e., run at half-marathon speed almost automatically - and no matter how tired you feel. The latter is not a bad asset to possess in the late stages of a half-marathon race.


Having run last night's 9.15 miles at a very even and comfortable 9:04/mi pace and without going too berserker with my regular 1512 yd workout at the pool this morning, I'll plan to give this bad boy a shot tonight. The way I see it, my biggest obstacle will be keeping the printed out directions dry during the running portions.

I = a sweater

eh, nope

more like it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Moving right along

Movin' right along in search of good times and good news,
With good friends you can't lose,
This could become a habit!
Opportunity knocks once let's reach out and grab it (yeah!),

Together we'll nab it,
We'll hitchhike, bus or yellow cab it!
(Cab it?)

Go on, sing along if you're feeling it. Nothing like getting a Muppet song stuck in your noggin' first thing in the morn. That's right peeps, *first* thing this morning, while out running.


For the second time this week I hauled my carcass out and got a very nice 7 miler done before heading out to the office. The weather was a delicious mild this morning, 41* but with a decent amount of humidity kicking and the gentlest of breezes. And although it forced me to strip down a layer after a couple miles it also felt incredibly refreshing.

Since Monday I also made it to the pool for my standard 1512 yds of laps (Sarah - it's a whack sized pool - 18 yds ...yes, the math makes my head wanna asplode), including longer sprint intervals and am planning to head back tonight for at least a mile's worth of work. I also got in a much needed session at Kula last night. Two of my favorite focuses in the class were variations to lunge poses, this one in particular where you rest on your forearms and eventually come back to your hands while tucking your shoulder under your thigh. It's a pose made for runners! Especially those with illin' hamstrings and/or butt(s).

We also spent time with crow again where I chose to specifically focus on coming out of crow into another pose. The variations are great to where you can head out of this pose... everything from a seated position to a handstand to a plank or cobra pose. I started working on getting into plank from crow - jury is still out on how pretty or flowing this looks so I'll continue to practice.

Movin' right along,
Movin' right along,
Movin' right along,
Movin' right along

Monday, March 23, 2009

Knotties take to Central Park

Awwww yeah, it's on! My company has set up a team to participate in this year's JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. Along with getting a chance to run together, party together [afterwards], and perhaps even train together, I have no doubt our kick ass designers will come up with a great design to compete in the t-shirt contest!

And the running may continue well into the summer as talks have started about potentially running the NYC Marathon together or at least setting up a training group that will run long together in preparation for the marathon. WOOT!

No case of the Mondays here

I finally friggin' did it. Probably the first time in over a year or so. Scooped my bottom outta bed and got a morning run in prior to work. 6 miles nice and easy as a recovery to yesterday's 15K debacle. It really is like a breath of fresh air once you're outside and seeing the sun come up over the city. I'll follow up with a couple more miles this evening around spin class and plan for at least one more a.m. run this week.

Along with enjoying some juicy tunes by Hellogoodbye, Mika, Mew and Spacehog I took some time to reflect on yesterday's race. Now I knew I wasn't race ready and I knew I wouldn't be running for a new PR but I was still disappointed. It was short-lived but still something I needed to address and then move past. I have some issues with just running a race and some more with immediately assuming I won't be ready for my next race. This morning gave me a little perspective and helped me form a focus for the remaining time prior to STL. I will work as hard as I can and if it doesn't all turn out my way, I'll continue to work until it does. And then I'll work some more because that's what it is all about ...running for life.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I suck

The NCAA tournament gods conspired against me and I didn't run this morning :( However I'm not a fan of excuses so this won't be a regular occurrence. I will make this work.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the check ins - they are appreciated!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hold me accountable

Time is precious, we all know that. And with work taking up extra time & effort as of late I need to make better use of those hours I'm not in the office. In particular those hours I probably won't ever be in the office -- you know what I'm talking about, those wee early morning hours. The projects I'm working on now will only grow in size and involvement and I don't want my running to become even more unpredictable than it is today. And so it is that I ask you, my friends, for some help. Hold me accountable. I would like to shoot for two weekday a.m. runs per week to start with and we'll go from there. With only tomorrow remaining this week, I'll shoot for a single a.m. run until next week.

Looking forward to seeing more of this action

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I see the sky above me like a full recovery

Ahhhhhh. This week IS better, I already feel it. The exhaustion and tiredness are gone & the quest for more conscious hours is around! I got my Duathlon Monday workout in last night.

2 miles running - 16:32 (8:16/mi)
55 mins spinning
2 miles running - 16:13 (8:06/mi)

Felt very solid and if I hadn't been starving and in dire need to get a grocery trip in to Whole Foods, I would have cranked out some more miles on the TM.

This morning was a return to the pool. It's finally re-opened and although incredibly cloudy at the moment (they promise me it'll clear) the chemical / water balance seems to be figured out + they've got some new working lights and the whole area is much cleaner. So 1512 yds in a variety of strokes and b/c it's been a couple weeks since last in the water, no sprint combinations. Will get at least one more swim in this week and bring back the longer sprint series.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Goodbye last week

And good riddance.
Don't let the door hit ya in the ass on your way out
The best thing about last week is it being over. I have no idea why DST rocked my world so much, I don't recall it being such a rough transition in years past ??? But it did and all I can hope is that this week is better, more productive and/or more deal-able. There are already a load of bright points in the coming week:

- the pool re-opens tomorrow morning and I'll be there when that sucker opens!
- the tournament starts on Thursday
- enjoying Landsdowne Road chicken wings while watching b-ball
- getting my race top for STL picked out and sent to Erika for Team Pfeiffer branding
- trying out the fresh carrot pasta I picked up at the farmers mkt over the weekend

One breath at a time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A few of my favorite things

Spring is coming, some days it seems closer than others but nonetheless it's marching it's way in to our lives. And with it's arrival come a few of my most favorite things...

March Madness
Although Kansas won't come in as a #1 seed, if they play their game they have excellent chances to go far in the tourney. Like all teams that make the cut this Selection Sunday, it's a time when anything can happen, underdogs triumph, players have their best games ever and nothing is a set outcome. I even won a bracket last year!

Tulips, Hyacinths and Paper Whites
Vibrant, colorful, full of life. They embody spring and a represent a reawakening from the cold, dark winter

Daylight Savings Time
Regardless of how bad it's kicked my ass this first week, DST is the bomb diggity. Daylight after 7:00 p.m. is always a good thing in my book. Before long I'll be enjoying sunsets along the Hudson while out for a post-work run

Monday, March 9, 2009

41 days

That's the remainder of time I have to figure out what'll go down at the STL HM. This past week was good for me in terms of motivation and drive. I ran when I felt like it at a speed that seemed appropriate on the days I ran and I ended up satisfied and happy. And thanks to Mother Nature showing her spring side for a few days, I spent two of those runs in shorts - wheeee!!! I also tinkered with my nutrition and lost a few of those nagging lbs. hanging around since late last year. Unfortunately the pool was a bust last week - too much unscheduled downtime and it'll continue to be out of service for the coming week for scheduled maintenance. Here's hoping they figure out the nasty chemical experiment that is the water.

In the meantime I've been reading Brad Hudson's Run Faster and like the idea of training responsively. At this point I feel there are too many unknowns as to where my work should be focused. Responding to what works, what doesn't, what paces feel right and what don't is the route I'll take at this time. And thus I'll be borrowing workouts from his book, from the adapted Pfitz plan I was using and continue with my cross training to form a united "plan not plan".

Last week I got 4 runs in for 28.5 miles, this week I'll continue to take it day by day. Up for this evening is another installment of Duathlon Monday with 8 x 10 sec. hill sprints intermixed with my running miles.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Perhaps it's because there are other achey bits at the moment but I feel, quite possibly, that Sunday's kick boxing class may have done some real good with this damned left leg. Or maybe it was the hills on Saturday? I'm not going to question it further nor am I going to draw any more solid conclusions until the soreness wears off but systems are feeling pretty good, pretty positive right now.

Last night I did what's quickly become my standard Duathlon Monday workout. 2 miles at general aerobic pace followed by 45 mins of spin class followed by 3 miles at GA pace working up to tempo and then a bit faster.

Snow or no snow, wind or no wind, ice or no ice, I'm heading out along the Hudson tonight for a post-work run.


Monday, March 2, 2009


It was our hands that were the weapons in yesterday's class. And although my shoulders feel like sharpened blades today, there were no actual Samurai accessories at our disposal. sigh

Looking for luxury in a health club?

Look no further than the Reebok Sports Club/NY. Alexis and I ventured into the club for the first time on Sunday, knowing the place had a lot to offer but not expecting it was THIS much. 140,000 square feet (yes, this might as well be a million sq feet b/c in Manhattan this type of space is unheard of!) containing:

- group exercise space
- 2 regulation size basketball courts
- soccer "field"
- swimming pool
- spinning studios
- boxing studio
- rockclimbing wall
- outdoor running track
- kids space for special programs and childcare
- a cafe (including a delicious smoothie bar)
- rooftop terrace
- gigantar locker rooms
- dry cleaning services
- spa
- physical therapy services

...and much much more. No wonder the likes of Madonna, her trainer Tracy and Beth Ostrosky can often be spotted here! Other celebrities, of the fitness variety, include the incredibly fit and talented Ilaria. We attended her Powerstrike class followed by Definitions, a strength & sculpting class. This is what she looks like... now you might have a tiny inkling of how sore I am today :-)

Truth be told, if I could afford this place I'd be here for every one of her ass kickings ...errr classes. However I'm not prepared to reorg my entire budget at this point to see if I could squeeze out the necessary fees for Reebok and so I made it a point to get back to the pool for a 2nd workout last week. This time I extended my time in the pool by about 7 minutes and made it over a mile in laps (1728 yds). Aside from some crazy chemical imbalances in the water, it was a supreme way to kick off a Friday. Gaining a bit of momentum I decided to head to the northwest corner of Central Park on Saturday morning for some hill work. I ran my preferred route of the big loop (counterclockwise) to end up on Harlem Hill. Now compared to some of those crazy CT hills (yes Trevor, they exist!) or to the stuff little sis #2 has in her hood
Harlem Hill may not seem like much but the .32 mile length and 4.4% grade is an excellent way to work on strength. I ran 4 repeats at probably near tempo pace to get up the hill and took it easy running back down. The upside was that I felt stronger each repeat, the downside was I still had 3 miles to run to get back home and my tank was nearing empty. Note to self: must eat prior to this type of workout.

I'm still operating on a bit of a plan-less training regimen. I did pick up Brad Hudson's book over the weekend, perhaps it will provide some more guidance.