First Ride


The new bike had its first good ride yesterday. Being the geek that I am, I was sure to bring along my heart rate monitor, as well as my GPS. The weather was really nice, and I was on a mission to take pictures of Charlie's Coin at the Boer War Memorial in Calgary. The total ride was about 30 kilometers, and for the most part was quite enjoyable exercise. At other times I thought I was going to die.

If you look at the heart rate chart, you can see I pushed myself decently throughout.  The low points around 1:15 were when I was on and off the bike taking pictures.  If you look at the Google Earth KMZ file, the spike in heart rate to 191 beats per minute coincides with the marker referred to as 'Killer Hill'.  I'm not sure if I was misusing my gears, but about 3/4 of the way up that hill, my heart was in my neck and I felt like I was about to keel over.  Nothing like a change in exercise routine to show you the poor shape of your body.  Granted, I haven't maintained 160 minutes of moderate intensity in a very long time.

I was pleased that I am able to keep up with traffic downtown.  I can pretty easily get up to 30km/h, which is par for the course in stop and go traffic.  I could keep up with the flow, and didn't have to resort to riding along the sidewalk like a inconsiderate moron.  The bike is also pretty fast, as I peddled it up to over 50km/h, on the downhill of course.

In the end I did my Geocaching, went for a nice bike ride on a beautiful day, and managed to collect data to get my geek on.


Human Race

Riley Portrait

Today was the annual 'Human Race' put on my Nike each year.  Nike co-ordinates the 10 kilometer race each year, and I find it interesting to see how I stack up against those around the world.  This morning however, Calgary decided to turn into a slushy winter wonderland, and running around outside my comfort zone.  I went down to the office to run my 10k.

I managed to get the ten kilometers done in 1:15:27.  Last year my time was 1:12:40, so I was almost 3 minutes slower this year.  I would imagine the complete lack of focused training was a large contribution to that slowdown.  The first half I was fairly strong, and managed to keep a decent pace.  After about 6 kilometers however, I needed to slow to a crawl periodically to get my heart rate off the roof.  Although, it felt really good to know that this video game playing, sleep loving beer aficionado can still pound out ten kilometers if needed.


My Lord, I’m Running

Going to the Chapel

I have not gone running, just for the sake of running, since my days in University. With my new resolution for fitness, I've picked the torch back up and have been slowly increasing my endurance and strength.

Helping me track the progress is my Nike+iPod, which diligently keeps track of what I'm doing while I keep myself distracted from the pain listening to a state of trance. Through it's website, it allows you to set and obtain goals tailored to each individual. It also contains a plethora of snazzy graphs and charts:

This morning run was part of Nike's Human Race which had hundreds of thousands of participants around the world. With thousands of results still to come in, I'm currently in 17,516th. You can see from the graph that the uphill battles wore me out more during the second 5 kilometers. Although, I was able to find some reserve energy and finished the last kilometer pounding out the best time I could.

With my 10Km goal under my belt, now my goal is to get faster. Currently I can run 2km at a pace of 6m45s/km. My run today, being 5x the distance, averaged me 7m12s/km. I'd like to run 10k in under an hour, so I need to shave 12-13 minutes off my time. The first step is to get my mid-day 2km runs under the 12 minute mark, then to bleed that anaerobic work over to the aerobic engine.

One thing is absolutely certain. With my heart rate monitor telling me I fed over 1600 calories into the engine of exercise, and my pedometer telling me I killed over 1300, I am certainly allowed to relax my 'no processed carbohydrate' diet and enjoy a beer.

or two...


It’s Time

Along the Beach

I stepped on the scale.

One's mind always has an expectation, and my expectation was a whole pile lower than what the scale threw back at me. I was stunned, although in honesty, not as stunned as when I saw the pictures of myself in what used to be a lose fitting t-shirt. It is becoming more apparent that my lack of physical activity, coupled with the refined carbohydrate diet has built a load of fat up on me. I'm currenly over 280 pounds with a whopping 32.5% body fat. Calculating my BMI puts me into the Obese category, which is a far cry from the fit 210 pound rugby player that existed five years ago. I've seen friends of mine undergo massive transformations in their health and fitness and now it's my turn.

Currently I'm attacking two points of fitness. The first is my diet, and the second is fitness. I'm not going to make any drastic changes in diet, specifically in quantity, but rather on what I eat. I'm going to be cutting out refined carbohydrates, filling the void with fruits and vegetables. Eating foods that have less energy density, as well as foods that don't cause as much of an insulin response will drastically help in this area without me getting all cranky about being hungry.

The second front of attack is adding regular fitness back into my life. The key in this area is to not try and tackle a mountain at the start, instead to just add small bits regularly until it becomes routine. I'm going to be mixing in interval training and plyometrics to break up the aerobic training. If I'm too lazy to go outside, I'm going to force myself to some casual time rowing in front of the television. The key here is not to have intense workout, or even long workouts, but to get the heart rate up regularly.

The old adage is "If it can be measured, it can be improved". The first step is to know where I currently stand. It would appear I do more sitting than standing. I wore my heart rate monitor while working today and came up with a resting heart rate of 93. I'm sure my future is going to contain a database so I can track progress, and determine if I've stalled, but for now paper is sufficing. I also picked up the cute little Nike Sport pedometer, and paced out a route with my GPS to test it's accuracy. The GPS registered 2.17km for the trip, and the pedometer registered 2.14km, inside 2% even before it is calibrated. Now the largest thing to overcome: Keeping motivated.

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Where’s Wes?

By the Firelight

It has been quite some time since I have found time to sit and write. Quite a bit has happened, since I last dumped myself to the internet. As a result, this is going to be all over the place, and very shallow

  • Auntie Nene, and Uncle Ed came by the abode on either end of their vacation. It was a nice visit, and either they enjoyed themselves, or they faked it very well. I'll be able to tell if they ever come back
  • The yard looks completely different. We finished the raised garden and have it planted. Furthermore, the three yards of loam that we picked up is either in the garden, or is spread around the yard. It was about as much fun as...well spreading around three cubic yards of loam can be. We have seeded the grass a couple times, and how have a million green little spear heads poking out of the ground. Soon the lawn will be thick and green and I'll be sick of cutting it.
  • I purchased a motorcycle. I purchased a 2003 Buell XB9S, and am absolutely loving it. I got the bike at a great deal considering how rare it is, and all it needs was a little love. I've already changed out the motor and fork oil, I'm equipped to change out the transmission oil, and all that will be remaining is a new set of tires. I managed to survive all the "I'm going to buy a black dress and wait for the police to call" jokes from the women in my family, and now have rekindled the love I have for riding.
  • I'm nearing the end of my MCPM course. We just finished the eighth session, and only have the final session and the simulation remaining. I've learned a boat load, and wished that I had taken the course before I was given actual projects to manage, but I'm still very glad that I'm taking it now. Although it will be very nice to once again take control of my weekends and not have to sacrifice a half here and a half there.
  • Changes are brewing professionally. One of my secondary incomes has changed some of the rules, thus making it much less appealing. After much internal debate, I'm moving more effort into the third, ditching the second, and adding a new one. If you know me well, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, why not pick up the phone now and again?
  • We went out camping to Old Man River on the long weekend. As is usual with car-camping, a lot of time was spent in setting up camp (which I termed: Tarp City by weekend's end), and way-way-WAY too much time cooking and eating food next to the campfire. The weather was really co-operative, and I'm getting excited to do more camping and backpacking throughout the summer.
  • I picked up a Water Rower and have been rowing odd morning to get back into a better shape. I'm in shape, but right now it's more 'tube-steak' than 'chiselled-rock'. I managed to get a discount from the sales guy, but Fed-Ex evened the score with the largest shipping bill I've ever had. It wasn't a heavy package, but the rails are seven feet long, and I guess that's hard to stack up. So far, I love it. It's quiet, sturdy, and quite a nice looking piece of hardware.

The next few days are looking to be hectic as well: Another MCPM session, a Smashening, motorcycle maintenance, yard work and a 'sales meeting' have to slide in around the day job, sleeping and eating before the next weekend is finished.