# September 17, 2015

I finished my statistics homework a little early today, and I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the section.  After yesterday trying the stationary bike, and my bike still in the shop, I decided I wanted to try to estimate my VO2max value.  I found a procedure that uses a stationary bicycle that has RPM and watt feedback (the ones I use have this), and a heart rate monitor.  It began with a 10 minute warm up where I held around 100 RPM and 300 watts of output, which put my heart rate around 165 BPM.  After warmed up I had to keep a pace of 60 RPM with enough torque to keep my heart rate between 130 and 160 BPM.  Cycle for 2 minutes and see if your heart rate is where it is suppose to be.  If not, make an adjustment to torque and start again.  I had to make one adjustment, but found a spot where I was at 135 BPM generating 207 watts at 60 RPM.  I started my heart rate monitor and soon had my data.  The only problem was the site that allowed me to enter the data from this procedure.  I had to convert watts (actually, watt over time) to kg*m/min, which has a simple scale factor.  Turns out 207 watts is off their scale, and it couldn't do the conversion.  Not terribly useful.  So I am going to have to find some other method to get this estimate.
After the 20 or so minutes to get the data I wanted, I decided to keep riding.  I averaged around 300 watts at 100 RPM for an other 30 minutes, keeping my heart rate in the upper 160s.  I didn't think to start my monitor to know exactly what the numbers were.  The bike also displays Calories burned, which is more accurate than my heart rate monitor's estimate because the cycle knows how much energy I produced rather than deriving it.  So for the 50 minute session I burned a total of 800 Calories, which is higher than my heart rate monitor tells me I burn for a 50 minute bike ride.  But in the still, warm, humid air of the gym I ended up completely soaked in sweat.  There was a pool on the floor around me.  When I went to change, I must have rung a pint of water out of my shirt.  I much prefer a steady breeze in my face and will not be giving up my actual bike for this stationary imitation.

# September 16, 2015

My long day of class, but I am keeping up with my increasing workload.  Signs two more of my classes are going to start demanding regular attention.  Up till now they have not required any homework, but a group project is in the works.  I have never been a fan of group projects in a school environment.  You always end up with one or two people carrying the load of the entire group.  It is not like working with people, who were hired because they are qualified.  However, the classes require it and I have no choice.
Since my bike is in the shop and I would normally do a ride after school, I decided to try a stationary bike.  Got Tyson to join me in the gym for this.  I started off showing him some of the workout procedure my trainer has me doing.  Then we got on the stationary bikes and rode for awhile.  I found it was fairly easy to keep a heart rate of 165, but I drip sweat.  My the end of the 20 minute ride I had a pool under me.  Not sure I like this stationary bike thing, but it should work.

# September 15, 2015

An other session with my personal trainer, and this time things were a lot more intense.  She put together a set significantly more difficult than my previous setup and I was unable to finish all my repetitions of the exercises.  It included sit-ups, which I figured I would be pretty good at.  I decided to do them on an incline and she asked for 10, but when I got to 10 I decided to keep going and did 20 for the set.  So the second time my trainer decided to make it harder.  I was to do the sit-ups holding a 10 lbs medicine above my head.  That slowed me down, but I got my 10 for the set.  Pull-ups I didn't do nearly as well.  I got 7 the first time, but after the other exercises I couldn't do it again.  Same with full body dips.  I left a sweaty mess.

# September 14, 2015

The hitchhiker.

# September 13, 2015

I had hoped to do a long bike ride this afternoon, and had everything geared up to do so. When I started off, my front derailleur was acting funky and refused to stay in gear.  I spent a few minutes messing with it before I remember that I'm mechanically retarded and totally unqualified to make it any better.  So, to my chagrin, I called off the ride.  And was looking forward to finishing my book on World War I.
Zach picked up a new bike and so I went on a short ride with him.  We did just over 9 miles, but since he hasn't ridden in many years it was a very relaxed ride.  My heart rate averaged 110 BPM (60%) which is just a little faster than my standing heart rate of 100 BPM.  Poor Zach, on the other hand, was a heavy breathing mess at times—particularly during hill climbs.  Still, he took the 9 mile first ride pretty well.  This does show me that I am somewhere between Zach, who is fairly new to cycling, and some of my friends who can do 60+ mile rides without stopping.

# September 12, 2015

Went to an apple orchard with Pokie and Mira in the morning.  We picked apples and grapes, and it was nice to be outdoors in cool weather.

Skating this evening and my goal was 2,000 calories burned along with obtaining my maximum heart rate for part of this period. It takes about 15 minutes for me to warm up, but after that I was holding a heart rate of 165 BPM. My speed seems to depend on a couple of factors. If the music is fast, I am more likely to skate fast. And when the floor is crowded, I am less likely to maintain a higher speeds. What I find interesting is just how much difference there can be between the speeds I move. When I am holding a fast speed, one where I am not pushing myself overly hard, I can hold a heart rate of 165 BPM (90% of my maximum). However, if I am going slower my heart rate is around 145 BPM (79% of max). It doesn't seem overly noticeable when moving either of these speeds—that is, I don't feel I'm moving that much slower when I'm at 145 BPM than when I'm moving 165 BPM. Currently I have no idea what my speeds actual are, so it is hard to quantify the differences.

I tried to get my heart rate up to my maximum of 183 BPM, but my first attempt I couldn't seem to get past 179 BPM (97.8%). I can barely maintain 175 BPM (95.6%) and when I skate at these speeds I do so in bursts. I will typically dig in hard for one corner, putting in a lot of effort, and then letting up for the remainder of the lap—I am unable to skate at a speed that maintains 175 BPM. Using the burst method, I was able to hit a heart rate of 184 BPM (100.6% of maximum), although it must have been brief. I never saw my heart rate go above 182 when looking at the monitor.

For this session I had prepared by loading up on carbohydrates around 4 hours before the session, and that seemed to have really provided the energy I needed. I burned through the first 1,000 calories in about an hour and 15 minutes. This was my target for getting a slice of pizza and soda. The second 1,000 calories took longer, and I found it much harder to get my speeds up. My right foot was not sitting right in my skate and I compensated for this by tightening the laces. Still, my body was protesting the last part of the session. I decided to call it a night at 2,000 calories rather than the entire 3 hour session, leaving about 20 minutes early. The problem is I think I was pushing too hard to make my numbers. I made them, but I need to relax a little.

# September 11, 2015

An other week of school complete.  I returned home exhausted and passed out shortly thereafter.  Not a big fan of changes in schedule, but I think I'm getting use to things.

# September 10, 2015

Second day in the gym, this time just following my trainer's instructions but with her there.  I am trying to remain positive about this but seriously, all the stereotypes I had about guys in weight rooms was just reinforced this afternoon.  While I was sore after my last workout, I didn't feel I had pushed myself all that hard.  This time I wanted to make sure I pushed as hard as I could.  If to accomplish my goals I have to be surrounded by bro beefcakes, I am at least going to give it everything I have.
Since I started doing the weight loss and physical fitness thing, it has all been approached scientifically.  My friend Staack told me about how he approached his own weight loss thinking of his body just like a machine, and tuning various parameters gave him the results he was looking for.  So when I approached the problem in much the same way.  Weight is a factor of two variables: energy input and energy expenditure.  In theory by lowering input and increasing expenditure, weight should decrease.  All it took was tracking energy input (by counting calories) and increasing expenditure (by exercising more).  In reality, the decrease in calories was probably far more effective than any of the exercise I did simply because I didn't exercise all that long.  Still, the results were pretty dramatic.  Impressed, I wondered what else I could do.  That led me to being in a gym bros.  But, in theory what I am doing should work.  I have the procedure, I have the equipment, and as long as I can keep up my will power I should build strength.
For this old-school computer nerd to survive this trial, I've decided I should take a mental note of conversation in the weight room and write down beefcake stories.  Could be amusing.

# September 09, 2015

My long day at school today.  After my last class I stayed to write up a lab report, and got home after dark.  The weather has cooled off nicely and I decided to finish the night off with my standard Airport-Ashton run.  It was 62° F and calm, so I figure I should be able to make pretty good time.  While latter traffic wasn't as still as I had hoped.  I had three short stops, but I made the 12.14 mile run in 44 minutes, 39 seconds with an average heart rate of 165 BPM (90.1% of max) and peaked at 172 BPM (94.0% of max).  This is my second fastest run of the loop.  I really have no idea why I was able to do this run in 44 minutes 3 seconds back on the second of this month, but I haven't been able to repeat that success.

# September 08, 2015

First day in the gym at my school.  I have a personal trainer who stepped me through a routine that will help build upper body strength.  I am hoping this helps improve my swimming which right now suffers due to upper body strength.  Not sure how I feel about being in a gym though, but it is a means to meeting my goal.