Monday, January 30, 2012

Today I jogged for first time since August last year

My plan for today was to take the mountain bike for a spin again but when I came home from work and checked the thermometer in the car I changed my plans.

-9 degrees Celsius is not that cold, but  I just fooled around at home for some hours and wasn't ready to go out until 7:30pm and started to think that it probably was to cold anyway, so went out for a walk instead.

But when I was out it started to feel so nice so I started to run instead and that felt even better so I continued doing that for a little bit more than 2 km. I could easily have continued but last time I ran was in a 10k race last August so guess starting slowly is a good thing...

Also running in jeans and too much cloths wasn't optimal either. Usually I only run on trails, my weight makes that less demanding for the body, soft and shifting ground in contrast to running on asphalt. But that is for the next time and 2k is to short to matter anyway I guess.

Halfway through I met some rabbits that where running around some manholes, guess to get some extra warmth or perhaps just because it was easier to get to the grass there.

There is actually quite a lot of rabbits around here that have ran away from different places and started to live in the wild. I think they are cute, but many people see them as pests that damage trees and other plants in the parks around here.

Another very nice thing that I noticed when went home from work today was that there still was daylight and that makes me very happy.

The sun gives me energy and just the fact that there is some daylight when I go to work, and still some when I go home is so much better then November, December and first half of January when there is so little daylight that you only see it through the windows at work during the weekdays.

Today's little run:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Easy weekend

Nothing big happened this weekend, niggest things was probanly that I didn't buy that Tacx trainer. I usually are quite impulsive when it comes to new gadgets.

I was quite spent form my little bike trip I did on Friday evening and only did two short but fast walks during the weekend, also spent some time looking for the receipt for my broken elliptical trainer but to no use.

My project for next week will be to visit a crossfit box that I found out about and that is semi close to where I work and live. Crossfit is something that I have found interesting for quite a while and that I think would suite me well, so perhaps start doing that.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cycling in the snow

Because my elliptical trainer broke yesterday I had to come up with something else today and taking the bike for a spin was easy enough.

Or so I though at least... I have studded tires with 330 spikes in each tire which is quite a lot, but gives very good grip on snow and ice.

Downside is that they are very heavy rolling so it takes quite a lot more effort than normal to bike with such, especially if it's like today have been just above the freezing point and now in the evening has become a little bit colder so all the roads have 4-5 centimeters of semi hard snow.

That was what I felt at least, 20 minutes and not even 4 kilometers and I was almost dead. :-) But felt good doing something outdoors and it's fun riding in the snow!

I talked to the shop where I bought my elliptical today, it was no problem fixing it but it felt a little bit strange anyway. They wanted me to go though the manual and find the part number for the broken axis, and to be able to register a complain I needed the name of the sales person that sold it to me, exact date of purchase and some other things so need to find my receipt first...

I really think I should start to digitize all the receipts that I need to save for warranty purposes, it would be so easy, just snap a photo with the iPhone every time that I buy something and then just save it in a special album... Easy to do, and would probably end up saving a lot of time doing so whenever I needed an receipt. And the added security that have them all online to if something would happen at home. So that is what I will do from now on...

But this will take some time, not me finding the receipt, but getting the elliptical repaired. So I have a perhaps stupid idea... For a long time I have been having some thoughts that I should buy an trainer to be able to cycle indoors. And there exists some pretty cool ones where you can bike in an VR environment and compete against other people online...

And since I live in a county where there is dark and wet from late September to late April each year it could become quite well used I guess. 

I'm mostly thinking about a TACX Genius Multiplayer but I dont't know. My biggest concern is that it makes to much noise or vibrations and my neighbors living in the apartment under mine will be unhappy... The elliptical is very good in that way that is almost silent.

It would be nice to be able to try it before buying it for that reason... Or perhaps even better, save the money to buy a new bicycle instead which I think that I want more, a more touring oriented bike than my cyclocross or mtb...

But I can actually come up with one more reason that I would "need" a trainer... I prefer to only do low intensity training, below MAF heart rate and that will be quite hard now with the bike as the only available exercise method...

Well, enough about that, my very, very short ride from today instead... :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

First bad, then good and then even worse...

Today started off as most weekdays do, I wake up after to little sleep just wanting to stay in bed but going up anyway...

Doing my morning routine and finishing off by doing my daily test with iThlete but today I got this result when removing the dongle from the iPhone. Bad... :-( And no warranty either so just buying a new one, but it's a good gadget and inserting and removing it daily of course takes it's toll so no bad feelings for that. But of course, buying a new gadget is most fun the first time!

As I have mentioned before, I'm also renovating my apartment and started with my kitchen in November and got my new table top from IKEA in the beginning of January.

Of course it was damaged from the transport when I received it so they ordered a new one for me and I got that one today!

So far so good...

...and then I decided to do a training session on my elliptical trainer, a Tunturi C60 but after 5-6 minutes it started to wobble a little bit so I stopped and went through all bolts to see if any had come loose, thought I found one, tightened it and started to pedal away again.

But after only a couple a seconds the right flywheel and the attached pedal fell off...

The axle that holds the flywheel had broken... This feels extra bad since before this elliptical I had an Tunturi C6 and that one broke in exactly the same way, but that one I bought used, this one I bought new last spring.

It's probably me being close to it's max rated weight and using it quite often, but if its rated for 300 pounds, it should be built so someone that weighs 285 pounds can use it.

So if I some day buy a new elliptical, it probably wont be an Tunturi. Good thing is that here in Sweden they at least have decent customer service.

This means that from tomorrow I either join a gym again, or start bicycling and running outdoors instead. Have to think about that...

But doing nothing for two - three weeks until they have fixed it is not an option at least!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

To little sleep again

Starting a training session at 8:30pm and finishing one hour later, having a late snack and a Red Bull is not to recommend if you want to sleep anytime soon afterwards... It didn't work for me at least. I watched my roof without anything interesting happening for three hours before I manged to fall asleep at 2:30am.

Had the clock on 6:55 so didn't feel to enthusiastic about leaving my very nice and inviting bed, but was at work at 7:45am so almost proud of myself for that.

I think I set some kind of personal best (worst?) by the coffee machine today though...

But in the end I actually managed to pull of an quite productive day at work but the last half hour before I went home I tried to read about how some Unix commands worked and found this description on the internet about it, and at that time I could almost identify with it...

"Those unfamiliar with the language may hear "awk" and think of a mess of code so backwards and antiquated that it's capable of driving even the most knowledgeable UNIX guru to the brink of insanity (causing him to repeatedly yelp "kill -9!" as he runs for coffee machine)."

I try to watch my food, not exactly following a diet plan, but avoiding carbohydrates, especially those from grain but allowing myself vegetables, fruit and some potatoes and also eating quite a lot of fat. If you should classify it as a diet, it's a mix of LCHF (Low carbohydrates high fat) and a Paleo diet (Only food available to hour stone age ancestors). I most say that I have mixed success adhering to that all the time, but it works and if I believe my Withings scale I gain lean mass and looses fat, but don't loose that much weight (yet).

But that's because I'm not strict in my eating, if I avoid all things containing grains / gluten and don't eat to much which is fairly easy I usually looses 1-2 pounds a week which is quite healthy...

Anyway, I had some cheese, ham and avocados in front of the computer when I came home and a little bit later I jumped onto the elliptical trainer and did 35 easy minutes, some kind of active rest.

I use the iThlete app to track my progress and my interpretation of the diagram is that orange mean that I should rest, green that I'm well rested and white is that I should continue doing what I do...

That's how I use it right now, but there are more detailed information on the iThlete website about heart rate variability and how to use the results. It's very interesting to read indeed.

From the heart rate variability during exercise  you can also measure how hard your training session was and a company that have done a lot of research in this topic is a Finnish company named Firstbeat who has licensed their technology to Suunto and Garmin that uses the technology in some of their heart rate / sport watches. Also a lot of interesting on this topic to read on Firstbeats website.

A bit off topic perhaps, but stuff that I find interesting.

And one thing that motivates me is seeing progress, or preferable, being able to measure progress. This information together with heart rate based training gives somewhat measurable results so I like it. I will certainly return to this topic again.

Todays traning: 38 minutes on the elliptical trainer at home.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A little bit longer

Today was a late start, again and my plan to go out mountain biking was saved for another day...

As I wrote yesterday, I forgot to set the alarm and slept in until 11 yesterday morning. And because of that I couldn't sleep when it was time for that, I turned around and back in bed until 2:30 am before I could sleep so there was large amount of coffee consumed at work today...

Usually I watch some TV series or music videos while working out but I have been renovating my apartment since mid October so that part isn't working right now so working out on the crosstrainer has been a bit boring.

But today I got an idea and mounted my iPad to the crosstrainer and watched music videos so keeping up for about an hour was no problem at all. Perhaps a bit much since this was only my third session since like forever.

I can feel it in my body now that I have done something it's not accustomed to, so probably will rest tomorrow. (But I have a gadget for that too, iThlete, a small gadget that connects to the headset input on the iPhone so it can get the hear rate from an standard Polar heart rate belt and the do an heart rate variable analysis telling me if I need to rest or not.)

Probably overkill for the level that I'm on, but it's a gadget, and gadgets are fun. :-)

But it actually works quite okay, I usually keep on training until it says it's time ro rest, and then I take a day off or just do some easy walking. Then after a day, or two it's says go again.

Perhaps not the most scientific method but it gives me rules to obey about my training and that is something that I like.

Today's session was one hour on an average of 81 watts, already an improvement since Saturday, but I actually thinks something wasn't okay with me on Saturday since that result was exponentially bad.

65 minutes on the elliptical trainer at home.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A slow start

Nothing to interesting to tell about the day today. I forgot to set the alarm on the clock and woke up at 10:45 and everything was white outside...

Not much snow, but enough to hide the ice on the ground at least.

It took longer than usual before I felt ready to do anything, spent an hour or something like that eating a can of Mackerel in tomato sauce and two boiled eggs in front of the computer.

I think that is how I work, if I sleep to much I am a very slow starter...

But after two hours I manged to go out for a little walk anyway. Was really nice weather, about -1 degrees centigrade, a little bit of new, fresh snow and everything looked clean and white. Not much snow, but enough to cover the ground and to allow kids to play in it.

And as I said before, enough to hide the ice so some places where really slippery...

I was in a bit hurry so became a very short walk, only 20 minutes but a bit more intensive than I usually do so it was nice.

After that I spent the whole day by my parents helping them wallpapering and wasn't home until six a clock. Spent some more time looking on the computer before I realized I was quite hungry, but did a short session on the elliptical trainer before starting to cook.

Even if this is a mild start, it feels great to be somewhat active again and very nice to use all the training gadgets again. :-)

A bit disappointed though, I had planned to go out mountain biking a little bit, wanted to test it with my studded tires now when there was snow, but hopefully it's still snow tomorrow so I can do some testing then instead...

19 minutes walking at home.
31 minutes on my elliptical trainer at home.