Saturday, March 20

I decided to take a break from running today, having reached the 5K goal yesterday, and instead had a back and biceps session.  Cable biceps curls: 10 x 130, 3 x 10 x 140, 10 x 130.  Reaching 140 was a nice accomplishment, as it’s just ten pounds short of the cable station’s maximum.  One-arm dumbbell rows: 5 x 8 x 110/110.  I had considered moving up to 115 but finally decided to stick with the 110’s for one more session.  Hammer Strength shrugs: 2 x 10 x 380.  Having forgotten to get straps, I found it almost impossible to maintain my grip.  I decided to switch to the standing calf machine for the last two sets of shrugs, 2 x 10 x 400.

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Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 2:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday, March 19

I had a bit of a sinking feeling when I got on the Expressway around nine this morning.  The electronic signs warned of delays from exits 58 to 53, and I wanted to get into work by 9:30.  Would I make it?  As things turned out, the delays must have been evaporating some distance ahead of me, as the signs were changing over to “Traffic moving well” and I encountered no slowdowns.  Ah, the virtues of being at the end of rush hour.  I made it in by 9:30, and after leaving around 12:30 I made it home with no further delays and then did some work over the phone.

Gym:  Yay, I ran the full 5K (3.15 miles) on the treadmill, at 5.3 mph.

Published in: on March 20, 2010 at 5:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, March 18

Another day I was able to do some work from home.  Back when I was commuting on the LIRR days such as today would not have been cost-effective, as I paid for a monthly ticket and there were no refunds for unused days.  Had the LIRR offered a ticket with 20 round trips for the same price as a monthly, with no end-of-month expiration, it would’ve been a real benefit for people who occasionally work from home or otherwise do not commute into work every day.  But of course such innovative thinking cannot be expected from a taxpayer-subsidized “business” whose mindset is still stuck somewhere in the late 1800’s.

I had a long and draining gym session in the late afternoon.  After a one-mile run at 5.4 mph, I did some of the leg work that I probably should have done yesterday.  Precor leg extensions: 8 x 195, 8 x 200, 8 x 205, 8 x 210, 8 x 215.  Life Fitness seated leg curls: 4 x 8 x 190.  Why the reliance on machines?  I’ve decided, somewhat reluctantly, to avoid the more conventional lower body exercises (squats, trap bar deadlifts, SLDL’s, and regular deadlifts) until after the 5K race on April 4.  I’ve found that it’s very hard to run the day after doing those exercises, on account of unavoidable soreness, and from now until race day I really can’t afford to miss any days of running.  Leg extensions and leg curls don’t cause any significant soreness and hopefully will be sufficient for the time being.  I also did some of the shoulder and triceps work that I hadn’t done yesterday.  Hammer Strength shoulder presses: 8 x 90/90, 8 x 95/95, 2 x 8 x 100/100.  Triceps rope pushdowns: 3 x 10 x 110.  I finished the session with kettlebell swings, 4 x 10 with a 50-pounder.

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 1:40 am  Comments (2)  

Wednesday, March 17

I did some work from home today, no trip into the office being necessary.  Hey, I’m not complaining, it saves gas.  My gym trip was a pretty decent one.  I ran a full three miles on the treadmill, mostly at 5.3 mph (I dropped to 5.1 mph for the last half-mile).  What made this performance especially satisfying is that there were no sporting events to be seen on the treadmill’s TV monitor.  I’ve found that watching a game – in any sport, it makes no difference which one – makes the time go by faster while running.  Instead I watched guys talking about sports on ESPN, which is definitely not the same thing.  Usually when I do a lengthy run I don’t do any weights afterward, but today I was particularly energetic and did some upper-body work.  I started with the Life Fitness chest press, 8 x 200, 8 x 205, 8 x 210, 2 x 8 x 175, and then used the Precor triceps pushdown machine, 8 x 130, 2 x 8 x 120.

Oh, in homage to St. Patrick’s Day, I wore a green T-shirt to the gym.  Though considering what it looked like after a 3-mile run, that might’ve been a bit disrespectful to St. Pat.

Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 2:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday, March 16

It’s puzzling why more employers don’t offer flexible work hours.  This thought occurred to me this morning as I headed into work on the Long Island Expressway.  It was about 9:15 when I got on at Exit 64 and traffic was no trouble at all, yet it was a safe bet that it had been far worse an hour or two earlier.  Working 10 to 6 or 11 to 7 would enable people to miss the worst of rush hour, something that most certainly isn’t the case with the traditional 9 to 5.  Not only would the nonstandard hours be much easier for the workers, it would help the employers too, because their employees would be less stressed.  But not, 9 to 5 or some close variant remains the rule for most workers, and somehow I doubt it’ll change anytime soon.  As for work, the afternoon training session was a duplicate of one I’ve already attended, so I left around 1:15 for a very easy trip back home.   Only a couple more weeks and the training phase will be over, I can hardly wait.

Gym: A decent varied session.  Arriving around 5:30, I started out with a one-mile run on the treadmill at 5.3 mph.  Next came one-arm dumbbell rows, 5 x 8 x 110/110.  Even though I moved up to the 110’s just last week I may soon be ready for the 115’s.  Hammer Strength shrugs: 4 x 10 x 360.  It was hard to maintain a grip, if I go much heavier I’ll have to use straps.  I finished with cable biceps curls, 10 x 120, 3 x 10 x 130, 10 x 120.

Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 12:36 am  Comments (2)  

Monday, March 15

Today yet again exemplified the Small Minds/Big Distractions principle.  Mondays feature an early evening “phone clinic” at work, and accordingly I left home around 4:30.  Expressway traffic was fairly light in my westbound destination and somewhat heavier though still tolerable in the peak eastbound direction.  Around Exit 52 (a eastbound-only exit), however, I noticed a big eastbound tie-up some distance ahead.  It must’ve been a major crash or something.  Well, not quite.  As I got closer I saw that a couple of police cars had pulled a car over on the side of the road.  No crash, just a traffic stop.  Yet rubbernecking morons managed to create a delay that stretched almost a mile.  As with last week’s delay caused by a broken-down truck on the side of the road, today’s situation clearly illuminated the fundamental idiocy of most drivers.  Just getting behind the wheel drops the average person’s I.Q. score by a full ten points.  It’s a scientific fact.  Fortunately, I encountered very little traffic when I headed home later in the evening.

Gym: I went around noon and ran a full 2.8 miles at 5.2 mph.

Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 2:04 am  Comments (2)  

Sunday, March 14

No energy for the gym today.  Probably because of the time change … or because it’s Pi Day.

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, March 13

A decent upper-body session, with progress over last time.  Hammer Strength shoulder presses: 4 x 8 x 90/90.  Life Fitness triceps pushdowns: 2 x 8 x 130, 8 x 125.  Life Fitness chest presses: 8 x 200, 2 x 8 x 195, 8 x 190.  Triceps rope pushdowns: 3 x 8 x 110.

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday, March 12

Another quick trip into work, this time for a training session that ran from 10 until noon.  For a variety of reasons I didn’t leave until almost 9:15, and was a bit concerned at first that I’d be late, but traffic was so light that I made it in ample time.  The message signs were warning of delays from exits 48 to 42, but I got off at 49 and there certainly weren’t any signs of traffic.  Coming back was just as easy.  Yep, being off the normal 9-to-5 schedule has its perks.

I had a decent treadmill run at the gym, 2.5 miles at 5.2 mph.

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 2:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, March 11

I made a quick trip into work today, mostly just to pick up some materials for a sales call not too far from where I live … yes, if I had thought to pick up these items on Tuesday, I could have eliminated the trip and saved seven dollars in gasoline.  At least the drive was as easy as you could get.  I left around noon, was at work by 12:30, and made the return trip around an hour later.  There was hardly any traffic at all.  While on the return trip I noticed on the westbound side several emergency vehicles and a car that had gone off the road near Exit 51.  Although one lane was closed, the light midday traffic meant that there were no delays in the westbound direction.  Had the same situation occurred during morning rush hour, there would have been several miles’ worth of delays.  What a difference a few hours makes.

After the sales call, which alas was not a successful one, I made an early trip to the gym for some back work.  One-arm dumbbell rows: 4 x 8 x 110/110.  Moving up to 110 was no problem at all.  Cable biceps curls: 10 x 110, 3 x 10 x 120.  I used a new curved bar that made this exercise much easier on the wrists.  To finish the session, I decided to try some shrugs, yet another exercise I haven’t done recently.  I used a Hammer Strength shrug machine, 8 x 270, 8 x 300, 8 x 320, 8 x 340.  One thing about shrugs is that there’s little to be gained by using free weights instead of a machine, considering that the range of motion is no more than a few inches!

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 4:18 am  Leave a Comment