Wednesday, January 20

So much for bench pressing.  I got to the gym around 2:30, with plans to do some reasonably serious benching.  What I wasn’t planning on was the fact that my left shoulder, which had been quite sore in last week’s bench session, still wasn’t completely healed.  Warmup sets at 135 and 185 produced enough pain that I decided to leave well enough alone.  On a better note, I still managed to have a good session.  As pulling motions didn’t produce any pain, I did some deadlifts for the first time in, well, ages.  As it’s been so long I kept the weight light: 6 x 6 x 225.  That actually wasn’t all that bad; even though 225 is light for deadlifts, 36 total reps for deadlifts is pretty good regardless of weight.  Keeping with the no-pain-on-pulling motif, I also did cable rows: 8 x 185, 8 x 190, 2 x 8 x 180.  To finish the session, I did some kettlebell rows, once again for the first time in a long while, 2 x 10 with a 50-pounder.  I also did two sessions on the heavy bag.  The first one was about six or seven minutes, and consisted of punching, while the second session was about ten minutes of kicking.

Traffic both going to and coming from my training session was heavier today than it had been yesterday.  Even coming home at 9 pm, it was surprisingly heavy.  It looks like the next week will be a very busy one for me, as I prepare for the licensing test on Friday the 29th.  I have to take a company test on Tuesday, to make sure I’m ready for the actual test three days later.  It’s not that the material is conceptually difficult, it’s just that there is a lot of detail to memorize.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday, January 19

I wanted to go to the gym today, unfortunately I had so much reading to do for my license training class that it just didn’t happen.  My plans were to go when I finished a particular section, but by the time that happened it was almost 4 pm, too late for the gym.  Westbound traffic on the Expressway was relatively light, or at least smoothly flowing, though I noticed some significant delays eastbound.  By the time I returned it was after 9 and the eastbound traffic had thinned out considerably.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 3:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, January 18

No training today due to the holiday.  I took advantage of the occasion to read quite a bit of the training materials.  In the evening I went to yoga class at the gym, it was a tough but satisfying session.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 3:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, January 16/Sunday, January 17

Two days, two basically identical gym sessions: 45 minutes each day on the stationary cycle, at about 19.1 mph.  About the only difference is that I put the resistance one notch higher on Sunday.

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 3:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday, January 15

Ouch.  For the first time in way too long I had a leg session today.  I’d forgotten just how demanding it is.  I began with squats, but was only able to do two sets because of some muscle cramping: 2 x 8 x 225.  Leg extensions came next, as a not-very-adequate squat substitute: 8 x 155, 2 x 8 x 170, 8 x 155.  Then leg extensions: 4 x 8 x 170. I finished the leg work with Life Fitness leg presses: 2 x 10 x 395.  I also did some cable rows, 8 x 180, 2 x 8 x 185, 8 x 180.

No training session today, so no traffic follies.

Published in: on January 17, 2010 at 3:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, January 14

A busy day doing all sorts of reading for my work-related training.  I’d been planning to hit the gym in the early afternoon, but lo and behold I sort of lost track of time and the next thing I knew it was 3:30.  That was a bit too late to get in any kind of session before having to leave for the training.  Missing one day won’t matter.  Driving on the Expressway today was largely a repeat of yesterday – no delays at all in the westbound direction, some minor slowdowns eastbound but nothing like what they’d been on Monday.  It could be that Monday’s heavy traffic was some sort of abberation.  The training itself went well, I really think I’m going to do well in this new career.  Doing a complete 180-degree career change after 16 years in one’s prior job is not an everyday sort of thing and can be a bit bewildering.  So far, however, I’m glad I took the plunge.

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 11:49 pm  Comments (3)  

Wednesday, January 13

What a difference a couple of days can make.  When I drove to my new workplace in the late afternoon, the eastbound traffic on the Long Island Expressway was much lighter than it had been on Monday even though it was about the same time of day.  There were no slowdowns at all in the westbound direction that I was going, as compared to a couple of relatively minor ones on Monday.  I really cannot figure why traffic should be noticeably lighter on a Wednesday than on a Monday.  Almost everyone who’s commuting on a Monday will be doing the same on a Wednesday, or at least it would seem that way.  Weird.  In any event, I found myself getting the hang of note-taking and playing student once again.  In a couple of weeks I’ll be able to take the state licensing exam, and what is nice is that it’s given on computer and you get your results right away.  I certainly expect to pass, and then it’ll be time for a month of company-specific training … and for that, I’ll be driving right at the peak of rush hour.  Oh joy.

Gym: I was a bit short on time, but still managed to do 25 minutes on the stationary cycle at 19.5 mph.

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 4:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday, January 12

Didn’t have to go into the workplace today, so I had a fairly long gym session.  I started out with bench presses, still bad but with some improvement: 6 x 135, 6 x 155, 4 x 185, 2 x 205, 1 x 225, 1 x 225, 2 x 225, 1 x 225, 3 x 205, 6 x 185, 6 x 155, 8 x 135.  Next, some neutral grip pull-ups: 1 x 4, 2 x 3, 2 x 2.  I moved on to cable rows: 8 x 170, 3 x 8 x 180.  To finish, I did just a few Life Fitness seated shoulder presses, my left shoulder being a bit too sore to attempt any more: 8 x 95/95, 6 x 90/90.

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm  Comments (3)  

Monday, January 11

Today I actually made two round trips to my new workplace, one in the mid-morning for a short meeting and the other in the evening for a 3 1/2-hour training session.  The first trip was near the tail end of rush hour, and westbound traffic on the Long Island Expressway moved pretty smoothly for most of my 20-mile trip, with a couple of brief slowdowns.  There seemed to be no particular reason for either delay, though both were so minor it didn’t really matter.  Eastbound traffic was fine.  In my return trip, just before noon, everything moved swiftly.  It’s interesting to see what a huge effect time of day has on traffic flow.

I left about 5 pm for my second trip, and suffice to say it was very, very different from the earlier journey.  Westbound traffic averaged about 40 mph with a few somewhat slower spots.  Eastbound traffic?  For most of the way, it looked pretty much stop and go.  My 20-mile trip, had I been going in that direction, probably would’ve taken well over an hour.  Ugh.  I wasn’t about to gripe about a 40 mph average.  My return, eastbound trip wasn’t until almost 10 pm, by which time traffic was very light.  One interesting thing about the Expressway is that the HOV lanes operate in both directions during rush hour.  Although traffic is heavier westbound in the morning rush hour and eastbound in the evening rush hour (as I certainly saw), there’s no shortage of  opposite-direction traffic, as befits a suburban area with dispersed workplaces.  HOV restrictions apply during a long time period, 6 to 10 am and 3 to 8 pm Monday through Friday, for a total of 45 hours a week.  As far as I know, that’s longer than usual.

As for my evening training session, it involved preparation for a state licensing examination that is required for my new field.  It was the first time in many years that I was in a classroom-type setting, and at first it was hard to figure out how to take notes.  After a while I got the hang of it.  Still, it was like being back in my school days once again.

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Saturday, January 9/Sunday, January 10

A combined post for two days because each day’s gym experience was identical – 30 minutes on the stationary cycle at 19.5 mph.  I had considered some upper-body work on Sunday but a bit of shoulder soreness led me to postpone it.  On a better note, my jammed toe has almost completely recovered, so I’ll be able to resume ellipting and running in addition to using the cycle.  By the way, the gym was crowded both days, thanks to new year’s resolutions.

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 4:42 am  Leave a Comment