Weekend Recap

Couple of photo shoots kept me busy all day Saturday.  The first shoot was the 2nd annual 5k "Run for Our Heroes" sponsored by the Raleigh Police Officers Memorial Foundation.  They doubled the number of participants this year and had some awesome weather.  The photos are available at http://performancepixel.com/runforourheroes2010

The second shoot of the day was the North Carolina Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Support group in Rockingham.   I have to say this not so much of a shoot as it was meeting for me to attend and see old friends and meet some new families who share this disease.  The photos are on timbrown.us in the dEBra folder.  The password is the name of the eb mascot.  After the EB meeting, we stopped and had dinner with some friends in Sanford.

 

On Sunday we managed get in a bike ride and missed the rain clouds, but got a little bit more of a workout due to the wind.  My new wheel set from Performance did well and at some point I will write a short review.  Now back to the regularly scheduled grind.

St. Paddy’s Ride Photos

Thanks to all of the cyclists who came out and rode the St. Paddy's training ride for the Tour de Cure.  There were over 50 folks that braved the initial clouds for a ride that ended with semi-sunny temps in the high 60's.  The photos are available at performancepixel.com.

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First & Second Workout of 2010

First workout of the new year almost kicked my butt. Too many Christmas goodies along with a cold over the holiday almost did me in. My heart rate maxed out at 186 BPM, but my lungs are as clear as they have been in a couple weeks. Hey RPM, I will be back tomorrow to do it all over again.

Update: (1/5) Tonight went a little better on the HR side of things, but the room was very hot so I lost a lot of fluid.  Stopped by the Bicycle Chain and checked out the trainer sessions they have on Tuesday and Thursdays.  I plan to give that a try next week.

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New Pedals and RPM

I finally caught up with posting my RPM spinning class data on the Cycling and Fitness page.  It's interesting to see that the calorie calculation from the FR60 is still holding pretty steady at about 600 calories per class.  My heart rate consistently maxes out around 180 and my average is about 150.  Sadly, I can tell I have lost a lot of core strength and upper body fitness between two surgeries and failing to make it to the gym this fall.

On the outdoor side of cycling, I picked up some Ritchey Look style road pedals from Performance. The price was right considering the friends and family sale.  The reviews on them vary a great deal, so it will be interesting to get a test ride in on them prior to the New Year's day ride.  I hope the larger platform will make me feel a little more stable coming out of the saddle.

Tired

Okay, I started out doing the short ride (34) with the slow spokes group and had a couple of friends show up to ride with Debby and I.  Things were going well other than running a little hard on the first 13 before the split.  One of my friends decided to do the 50 route and it did not look like there any other takers, so I changed the course in the Garmin and went with Ralph after giving Debby the keys to car so she could head on home and I would just ride home.  It worked out, but my average heart rate for the last 37 miles was 160 and it was all I could do to try and keep up toward the end.  To say I am about to crash at the moment is an understatement.  I am supposed to ride mountain with Josh tomorrow.  Hopefully I will be able to make it.  At this point it’s doubtful.

Update on FR60 and Post Surgery Fitness

Well, Garmin heard our complaints and added calorie computation based on heart rate into the latest FR60 firmware update.  I just applied the update, but have not had a chance to try it yet.  Wish I would have found the update a couple of days ago as I could have tested it in RPM class last night.  Here are the notes from the Garmin site on the update:

Changes made from version 2.30 to 2.40:

  • Added computation of calories from heart rate.
  • Added auto delete of oldest activity when memory is full.
  • Added stop of timer when workout is complete.
  • Added advance of workout step when lap button is pressed on fitness equipment.
  • Improved robustness of data transfer to watch.
  • Updated translations.

Speaking of RPM class, last night’s class was the first one for me in exactly a month.  I have been able to get in some rides since my appendectomy on August 28th.  A couple of trail rides and two rides on the road.  I think it totals about 80 miles so far.  The plan is to ride tomorrow with the Sexy Saddle Sirens from Shearon Harris at 10:00.  Hopefully this ride will be better than my last road ride where I was ready to turn around and come back home after the first three miles, but I stuck it out for 28.

Weekend Update

I was able to take my first ride on the road since surgery this Saturday.  I tried to make the Slow Spokes ride, but realized I forgot my shoes after I am at the ride start.  I went tback home and Debby said she would ride if I could wait an hour.   So I ended up riding with her and Karla the first 15 miles before I headed to the lake to add a few miles.  Almost as soon as I had split with Debby, I met the Slow Spoke riders and flipped back and rode a few miles with the group  before meeting back up with Debby and Karla at the Bicycle Chain.  It was a relief to have my first road ride under my belt with no issues.  My heart rate was up a little from a month ago and I went anaerobic a little sooner than I was accustomed, but my legs felt pretty good afterward.  I will try to do cycling class Monday and the Thursday Slow Spokes ride if the weather will cooperate.

My nephew called and wanted to see District 9 Saturday afternoon.  I was a little thrown off by the first few scenes with the hand held camera shots, thinking I was in for another Cloverfield, but it went to more standard cinematography for the majority of the film with very good editing in the action sequences.  The SyFy channel could take some hints from this picture when trying to create interesting films on a limited budget.  From what I have seen in the media so far, the cost to produce District 9 was $30 million.  For a cast of unknowns, the acting was not a distraction, and in reality I think it helps the film focus on the storyline and underlying message as you are not comparing the actor to their abilities as seen in previous roles.  If you are the least bit of a Science Fiction fan, or if you are open to something different than the over produced big studio films then check out District 9 (IMDb).

I will officially become a Mac user sometime tomorrow.  It should be interesting as I have been a PC user since converting from my Commodore 64 in 1984.  I have used DOS 3 through DOS 7 and experiments with DR DOS and OS/2 along the way.  Too bad IBM abandoned the OS2 project.  I was able to multitask the dial up BBS I used to run while still using the computer for my PC needs at the same time.  Windows has never been able to do this and still can’t do it today with any real efficiency.  I have been playing with Linux since Redhat 4 and currently use Ubuntu at work for security testing as well as at home for my web server.  So tackling OSX Leopard should not be that big of a deal.  I did pick up one of Scott Kelby’s books on the Mac that has some great tips that should save me some time.

Garmin FR60

Over the last year I have picked up some Garmin GPS products.  A GPS for the car and I found a Edge 705 on Craigslist back in November.  Most recently I bought a Garmin FR60 fitness watch with heart rate monitor and foot pod.  After a month with the watch, it may go on Craigslist or Debby can have it for her bike if I can pickup a speed cadence sensor pretty cheap. 

There are several disappointments with the watch.  I will start the inability of the watch to calculate calories burned unless you wear the foot pod.  I have a Timex and Sportline with HRM that both are capable of calculating calories burned.  My hope was the watch would give me the ability to download group fitness workouts with both HR and calorie data.  At this point, I only have HR data.  I guess I could try to find a formula to calculate calories burned, but this watch it should have this feature built in for what it costs.  Speaking of the foot pod, the manual claims the foot pod can be used to determine cadence while pedaling.  I tried this on a couple of occasions with mixed results.  First I tried the watch in "Other Sport" mode and it does not acknowledge the foot pod is present, so no cadence data is collected.  If you put the watch in "Cycling Mode", it expects you to have a full blown speed and cadence sensor like is shipped with the Edge units.  So the only mode you might be able to use for spinning class is "Run".  When this mode was tried, the foot pod was very inconsistent with detection of RPM and did not provide any usable data as it thought it was recording strides.

I was hoping having the watch would keep me motivated to workout and provide a tool to evaluate group fitness workouts, but it falls short in it’s capability to provide any usable data other than HR.  I am sure if I were a runner, the unit would perform adequately.  Sadly after both my knees underwent surgery some 30 years ago, I can’t run enough to test the unit in "Run" mode.  While some may rate this unit highly, for my needs it  does not provide data on calories burned and only provides HR data.  If you are runner or cyclist, willing to buy the speed/cadence sensor,  looking for a versatile watch; it may suit your needs.  But if you a looking for a watch to gather more than just HR data during fitness class, keep looking.