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   Biked to work today and stopped downtown for breakfast with Pokie.  My heart rate for the second half of my ride averaged 157 BPM (85.8%) and topped out at 172 BPM (94%) which is the highest it's been for a last couple weeks.  The amount of exercise I've been getting has dropped with the weather cool down and I've been using the time to rest up.  So it's nice to see a rebound in performance, even if just a little.  From my peak on Saturday of 16.12 hours over the last 7 days, I am down to 10.76 hours/week; and from 141.65 miles/week to 80.33 miles/week.  Today I broke my record for hours of exercise in a month at now more than 44 hours for the month of April.  This beats October where I logged 43 hours 26 minutes.  It does beat my record for miles though.  In August I logged 450 miles for the month, and this month I've logged 363 miles.  August had some really long rides, including 6 rides over 30 miles, and one ride at 44 miles.  There were only 9 days the whole month I didn't ride at all that month compared to the 12 days I've not ridden this month.  Considering that April is not a great month for cycling because of temperature and rain, I think I am doing pretty well.  I have skating tomorrow night, so my finial numbers for April should be just a little higher.  Good way to start the season.
   Zach and I had hoped to bike downtown to find a random restaurant to get dinner, but instead it rained.  We did meet up with a friend for skating though, which may become a new Wednesday thing.  I forgot my heart rate monitor, so I couldn't log the calories, but I could log 1.75 hours of exercise.  The Madison skating rink is smaller and the floor no where near as nice as that in Watertown.  Thus there is no way I can get my speeds as high because of how much I slide.  In addition, most of the skaters as much slower so I don't have the opportunity to move that fast.  But I am able to teach others some of the skating basics I know, and I can still do a little dancing in the middle.  Interestingly, dancing (or basic jam skating) takes just as much work as high-speed skating if heart rate is anything to go by.
   Yesterday was no nice, 77°F (25°C) and mostly sunny, that today when the temperature in the morning was 43°F (6°C) it was a bit disappointing for my ride into work.  I had biked out to the wind turbines, and the combination of the spring bloom and fluffy clouds made for some good pictures.  They picture of the wind turbines with green grass, dandelions, and white clouds is almost cliché.  But there is something true about the picture.  Each turbine can produce 1.65 MW of power which is enough to supply 1,650 houses.  Thus these three turbines could theoretically more than power every residence in Middleton.  And here they are, quietly generating electricity and hardly a stain on the landscape.
Honey Bees

Honey Bees

   This afternoon at work the new bees were introduced to their new home.  New bees come as a 3 pound package, and there are over 10,000 bees.  I had never seen bees added to a hive before, but it was interesting.  A group of us gathered around the hive to watch the process.  Although the package of bees it literally dumped into the hive and shaken to get all the bees out, the little ladies didn't seem that upset.  While several took flight they quickly returned to the cluster from which they came.  I wasn't wearing any protective clothing (neither were most people) and I was standing pretty close, but the bees were not interested in me at all.  No one was stung and in about 15 minutes two hives had been populated.  They have to eat through a candy cork in order to free the queen.  This gives them time to get use to her smell.  Once they do she will be recognized as the hive's queen and start laying eggs.  The bees have had a rather dramatic last few days, but now they can get on with what they do best: collecting nectar, maintaining the hive, raising young, and making honey.
   Today has been the first day in 13 that I have not done any kind of exercise.  Instead, I slowly did yard work with the roomies.  Yesterday we attacked the Garage and got it into much better shape.  Today we worked on the backyard, getting leaves raked, fallen branches moved, and started repairs on the fence. 

I've been feeling quite drained the last week. With the nicer weather I've been making myself get out and bike as much as possible. The extra exertion from this riding has put a serious dent in my skating performance as well as my cycling speeds and heart rate—my body is tired. And I believe I have figured out why.

I log all my bike rides, skating sessions, and hikes. This total this data by day and month. But I wondered how much I was doing over a week and added to my spreadsheet columns for that information. The columns are sums of the past 7 days of hours spent exercising, miles traveled, and calories burned. I had numbers, but I wondered how they compared to other week. So I did a maximum on the columns. What I found was that I now held records.

This is a strange graph because it is showing a plot of the sum of the last 7 days of data for the number of hours spent cycling/skating/hiking. I only have records of time starting in August of 2015, but by this time I was spending a fair bit of time cycling and skating. This slowed some during the winter where times were mostly skating. But start at the end of March I began an upward trend that blew past my old times. Note that this is a graph of the 7-day totals, not the total time. So you cannot sum the data under the graph to get total time. However, this graph clearly shows the spike in the last couple weeks caused by my increased cycling.

My previous best weeks were back in October where there was a good stretch of time where I did not drop below 12 hours of cycling in a week. My current high is yesterday, April 22, at 16 hours of biking and skating over 7 days. It also has the record for miles over 7 days at 141.7 and calories burned at 10,742 Calories.

None of my rides lately have been impressive in terms of speed or heart rate, but my endurance has definitely improved. While my body is rather reluctant in the morning, and I have to push myself to get on my bike, once I'm on it I don't feel drained. On long rides my back gets a sore, but that has always been the case and has a lot to do with posture. Although I can't get my speeds up, I can still dig in when I need to climb a hill and my legs don't feel exhausted at the end of the ride. Tired, but not exhausted.

   Biked to work a second time this week to try something new.  Pokie and I decided to meet up for breakfast on State Street.  Friday is my short day at work and after running the numbers I found I could pretty easily take an hour breakfast on the ride into work and still make my daily 9:00am morning meeting.  I would just have to stay a little latter in the day, which isn't a problem.  Breakfast was good and we might make it a regular thing.  After work I decided to bike the north side of the lakes for the first time this season.  The logs an other 35 miles for the week, and I'm feeling it.
   My body has been pretty tired from the continuous exercise over the last several days, but it was 64°F (18°C) and too nice not to ride.  I told myself I was just do a short ride, but after I got out my legs were all about going for a longer ride—albeit at a slower pace than usual.  So I decided to seek out the little town I've been seeing on my wind turbine run.  The first took me to County K just west of Ashton.  I was suppose to turn north on County P, but kept going northwest on K until Martinsville Road.  This took me to my destination—Martinsville.  It's not labeled on Google Maps, but there is a sign when entering the town/village.  So I achieved my destination goal.
   The day had fantastic clouds and I took a good number of pictures of lovely clouds over pretty Wisconsin landscapes.  My quick bike ride turn into 24.4 miles and I don't feel sorry at all.

April 20, 2016

Happy TCD!

Xiphos and the new PA

Xiphos and the new PA

   The new PA arrived yesterday, but I didn't have time to look at it until today.  Our house was actually full of role players testing a new Pathfinder module written by one our professors at UW Rock County.  They got a sound track ranging from punk, to heavy bass electronic, to classical, to Xiphos jamming on a guitar as we tested the full range of the speakers.  So far Xiphos and I are pleased and this should be of great assistance for the shows we hope to put on over the summer.