Timex Ironman Road Trainer v Timex Personal Trainer Heart Rate Monitor

I need to update my gear section because the strap for the Timex Ironman HRM decided to kick the bucket and rather than getting a replacement strap I got a new HRM for Christmas from The Mommadukes.  I’ll do a quick comparison based on my cycle yesterday (which was as delightful as predicted – perfect weather)

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The Injury List

Any kind of exercise runs the risk of injury.  It can be anything, niggling muscle problems and ongoing dreadfuls.  They seem to hit one after another and devour your motivation.  Such has been the last four months.

I haven’t been a complete slug, I promise.  I’ve been going skating with some regularity and have been picking up some foundation skills in the rink — I can almost skate backwards, I don’t fall when attempting a 3-turn, hockey stops are terrifying and will lead to (another) broken ankle, but for the most part it’s my left forward cross overs that are on point right now.

Each time I come out of that rink with an affected skater’s walk, I feel some discomfort around the dreaded ankle.  It hasn’t felt 100% since that injury last august.  A more responsible athlete would go to the doctor and get it sorted.  I am no such athlete.

The weather in the PNW has been nothing short of glorious and I’m kicking myself every time I don’t put on my gear and get a run in.

I’ve decided not to run in this years SunRun.  One major contributing factor is the lack of disposable income.  I’ve been managing to stretch 30$ over the course of a month and so spending near that amount on a tshirt and a number isn’t on my list of priorities.

I’m full of excuses these days and that has to change.  Midterms are over, I only have one paper that needs to be done from scratch.  Time to restart my fitness commitments and sort out my time to do it all.

Right now, I’m off for a delightful little cycle to test out my new HRM and kick off a new motivation with a bit of sweat!

Aside

Fit666

As promised I’ve started a supplementary workout.  I was wildly successful when I did it back in March so I’m back to it.  I found it on a (no longer supported) website when I was searching for body weight exercises. I didn’t have access to a gym or weights and so I needed a strength training routine that was easy for me to follow with minimal equipment.

The website is Fitness666.com which has since been moved to startbodyweight.com.  I still use the first website because I find it a bit simpler and it doesn’t have video tutorials for everything.  Few things are more irritating on the internet than finding a video where I would have preferred to read.  Also, though I think the author of both is fantastically thorough and helpful I find the second website to be a repeat of the first with the addition of paying for a subscription service or a custom workout.

I don’t think I’m going to post my rep counts here because… lame.  But I might post an aside like this one from time to time to brag about any accomplishments in the strength programme.

Get Out

Go go go stop was one of my favourite games growing up.  It’s the one where one person called out the orders while the rest of us ran towards a finish line  The first one across the line becomes the Caller.  When the Caller yelled Stop everyone had to freeze and whoever was still moving was called out.  My cousins and my brothers and I would play with our grandmother.  Her grasp on the game was a loose one, and no one dared call out on Nana so she would frequently win.  We didn’t care much about winning or losing as we raced across the lawn we cared about the action of playing.

Sometimes I think we forget to play.  We forget the simple joy of movement and laughter. Sunday, when I was running across the track and fighting to convince myself that making it to the finish line is a better feeling than stopping for a walk I couldn’t help but think, What am I doing? Against whom am I playing?  Myself? Is it at all fulfilling to keep fighting yourself to get what you want? There has to be a loser in a game and when you’re playing against yourself do you win, or do you lose? Improvement isn’t a game and so I find it difficult to keep myself motivated.  I need a new game.  I need a new goal.  I need to want to do better, be better, get better.

On a lighter note, it’s cooling down here in Vancouver and getting considerably wetter.  I don’t have rainproof gear (in previous years I’ve taken to the indoors when the weather gets mean) and so I’m getting soaked out there.  It’s cooling down enough that I’m close to getting my gloves out and so I had to find a better alternative to my brother’s touchscreen mp3 player.  I dug out my old iPod Shuffle (the nearly indestructible white USB stick with controls and a headphone jack circa 2006) and I’m hoping that it can be a relatively permanent replacement to my fancy clip iPod shuffle.

11.02.2014 In Numbers
Total Time: 38:20
Time in Zone: 24:44
Average HR: 75%
Peak HR: 102%
Min HR: 51%
Total Calories: 609
Segments: 3:45 | 2:34 | 1:30 | 2:29 | 1:50 | 2:29 | 2:49 | 2:29 | 3:11 | 1:03 | 14:05
Time: 11:04
Distance:  2 km

Best Song: Dead Sara – Weatherman
Worst Song: Britney Spears: Work Bch

Weak

I’m just not feeling it.  My runs have been halfhearted and uninspired.  I’m not pushing.  I’m finding excuses to cut my runs short.  This muscle is feeling too much strain, this stomach is stitching, this shoulder is cramping, the breath is too hard to get in. Whatever it takes to cut it in half.  Starting tomorrow I’m going to be including an Aside series to my running journal, something I did before when I was living in France called Fitness666 and it’s pretty fun.  I’ll admit that it turns me into something of a Gym rat where the only thing I’m thinking about or talking about is my next set.  In fact, the last time I did this programme I ended up running as a supplement to my lifting, rather than lifting to supplement my running.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen to my Fitlife when I reincorporate but we’ll see what happens.

One thing that I think might really help is that I am really cutting down my poor eating habits.  NOvember, kids. No more candy, no more alcohol, significantly less coffee, significantly smaller portions.  I have to have every bit of me working towards improvement.  None of this weekend warrior business.

10.30.2014 in numbers

Total Time: 21:31
Time in Zone: 1544
Average HR: 76%
Max HR: 99%
Min HR: 52%
Total Calories: 348
Segments: 228 230 225 303 115 424 120 138 222
Total Time: 7:28
Distance: 1.2km

Best song:  Neighbourhood: Afraid
Worst Song: Said the Whale: Camilo

#NightSweats

It’s been a weird week.  Not weird, really.  Just.  Emotionally draining.  I’m not very good with accommodating another person’s emotions.  All I know how to do is hug them, and let them talk when they want to talk.  What I can say is that I have been absolutely glutting myself on delicious food and conversations that take me too late into the night.  I’ve been drinking too much and feeling sloth creep into every joint.

Tuesday was particularly humbling and when we finally dragged ourselves to the track with full heads and full bellies hoping for not much more than to empty our bodies of tension and remember only to breathe.  The lights at the track were already off and the only way we could track each other over the lengths by watching a shadow of someone pass in front of a lit up house.  It was a decent run, but certainly not a long haul.  I had a strong run for about 1km before the stitch in my pierogi filled tummy forced me into a walk.

Lesson Learned, run before dinner, not after.

10.28.2014 in numbers

Total Time: 36:49
Time in “Zone”: 18:32
Average HR: 62%
Peak HR: 101%
Min HR: 16%
Total Calories Burned: 400
Segments 3:07 | 2:23 | 2:33 | 2:27 | 2:41 | 1:30 | 22.43
Total Time: 6:20
Total Distance: 1km

Best Song: Jay-Z Beach Chair
Worst Song: Neighbourhood Afraid

Tipping Down

Hey, it’s going to rain 40mm tonight, wanna go for a run? Said no one.  Ever.

Except for.. you know.  Me? Sitting at the bone dry picnic table in my patio, my steaming coffee mug using a dry orange maple leaf as a coaster, and breathing this beautiful afternoon into each cell is everything that last night was not.

I mean.  I like the rain.  I’ve lived in a Vancouver suburb for 97% of my life and so I sleep better when there is rain pounding against my window.  I’ve kissed in the rain.  I’ve run for cover and I’ve walked slowly letting it hit my face gently. I know the difference between umbrella weather and hood weather.  I know it so well I laugh when I see umbrellas for something that I wouldn’t even think to pull my collar tight against.  I know the best method for drying out my shoes.  I know that it doesn’t matter how big my umbrella is, I’m going to be wet on one side.  I know when to use my umbrella as a shield against traffic splash instead of just rain protection.  I am intimately acquainted with the rain.  It’s my friend.

Last night that rain was no ones friend.  It loved no one.  It lashed and spun around us as we ran.  And I grinned like a fool.  The rain might hold no love for me but I hold a lot of love for the rain.  And so I splashed along the track, left my iPod alone and relied on shuffle to keep me entertained.  When I was walking I would take my cap off, lift my face to the sky, and let the drops fall onto my tongue.  I also kicked a puddle like a little child and until that point I hadn’t known what truly wet feet felt like.

Considering it was a bonus run, it felt good.  I was cold and soaked to the bone with a thick dampness that clung to me for hours afterwards, long after my stretching and long after my hot shower.  It felt great and today I feel great.

I only ran for as long as I wanted to run.  I pushed myself a bit at the end on a fast trot with my fitter friends and did it only because I wanted to, and because I felt good.

I tried something else with my watch this time and only tracked the time I was actually running.  I’m not pleased with the calorie count on it so I’m not going to do that again.  Also, the last segment includes some running as well as some walking, and I think even the drive home.  I forgot to switch my watch back and it didn’t record my lapping.

10.25.2014 in numbers

Total Time: 28:08
Time In Zone: 12:43
Average HR 79%
Peak HR: 103%
Minimum HR: 51%
Total Calories Burned: 487
Times: 2:30 | 2:35 | 2:28 | 1:17 | 1:19 | 0:44 | 17:11
Total Time: 11:04 + Whatever happened in the 17min.
Distance: 2.0km

Best song: The Neighbourhood – Afraid
Worst Song: Eminem – Love the Way You Lie