Monday, January 28, 2008

Feeling Better

I walked/jogged 5 miles this evening at a pace of 12:30/mile. A little bit faster and I won't be able to enter the beginner challenges on the Nike+ site. Most of them say that you will be booted if you jog faster than a 12 minute mile. I know that this pace is pretty slow but for me, it is a real accompaniment. I wasn't able to run continuously but pretty much a couple of miles followed by walking for a bit followed by more running. I even ran 1/2 mile at an under 10 minute mile pace. Now, I'm tired but not sore. In fact, after resting for a while, I considered (for a very short time) adding an additional couple of miles on the treadmill before turning in. Maybe I'm psyching myself up for the new program.

I just read through a flyer for the WIN program and noticed an error in the heartrate-max calculation. Because of the way the original formula was broken down, a sign error turned up. The formula used is much better than the traditional one that usually gives a max that is too low. The correct formula is:
  • Heartrate-max = 210 - (age / 2) - (weight * 0.05) (+ 4 if male)
The traditional formula:
  • Heartrate-max = 220 - age
For me, the traditional formula gives 169 and the revised formula gives 179. Using, the old formula, I've exercised at my maximum heart rate before. I think the other formula gives a better range, at least for me. I am usually at about 75% while jogging and if I do intervals, I range from 70% to 90%.

Wednesday evening - I got a call from the WIN for Alaska folks thanking me for pointing out the error. Who else but one obsessed with exercise would be up at 1:00 am reading a flyer on exercisig and testing a formula for maximum heart rate. The phrase "get a life" comes to mind for some reason. I haven't carried my pedometer for months but I suspect the daily step count will be down significantly.

A New StartWalking Program

Yay! Finally a new program is starting. I'm afraid that I am one of those individuals who benefit from these types of programs. The minimal incentives are more than sufficient to keep me motivated. Walking is something that almost anybody can do (even me) and, especially with the conversion charts provided to do other activities in addition to walking, it is easy to feel successful. The Nike+ challenges are alright but for some reason, don't provide with the same level of motivation that the StartWalking program has. Maybe it is too competitive. Anyway, a big thank you to Kate and others at the University responsible for these programs.

There is a challenge on the Nike+ site that I thought was pretty interesting. Here is the description, "A quick run around the circumference of the moon averaging 40 miles per week for 170 weeks - you have until January 2012 to complete it - Good Luck" I entered but I think I will have difficulty averaging 40 miles per week. But then again, it is supposed to be a challenge.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I have been using an iPhone to do most of the posting to this blog for the last week. So far, just about all of what I normally use a laptop for, this phone has been able to do. On my last work trip, the only thing I used my laptop for was to post pictures to this blog and to submit my PGP public key to a website for the key signing. I also used my laptop to sign the other keys but that could have waited until I got back home. The lack of feedback on the keyboard doesn't seem to bother me but I then again, I can't type anyway. The auto correct feature more than compensates for the lack of tactile feedback. If I had set up a photo site ahead of time, I would have been able to post a picture I took as well.

The battery doesn't seem to last long but then again I'm using it for much more than I normally use a phone for. The inability to add applications is a real short coming compared to my last smart phone, a Palm Treo 650. I used the Palm for several years and it's main shortcomings was the lack of 802.11 wireless, inability to run multiple applications and the clunky email and web browser. The upcoming release of a SDK for the iPhone promises a lot of applications. So far I really like this phone and may try leaving the laptop at home on my next trip. Another serious shortcoming is the inability to cut and paste.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Back home

Well back in Fairbanks again and time to start using the treadmill again. Even though it was hot and humid earlier this week, it was still nice to be able to walk outside. I think I ended up walking over 20 miles back and forth to the meetings. I still don't really enjoy walking around in areas where there is a lot of traffic, but still, it is more interesting than a walking on a treadmill. Unfortunately, I did not feel the least bit motivated to do anything on the treadmill last night. All I felt like doing was sleeping.

This evening, I tried to make up for slacking off yesterday and walked a bit over 7 miles. I feel ill now but not from walking. I tried jogging but had difficulty going for more than about half a mile at a time. I haven't really jogged for a couple of weeks due to travelling. Time to get back to it...

Saturday evening - I tried jogging again this evening but had difficulty going for more than about 10 minutes at a time. I guess everytime I go out of town I'll have to essentially start over again. How do people stay in shape? I did end up walking/jogging about 5 miles this evening. I'm still watching TV so I should be walking but felt that I needed to pause and eat something for dinner even though I'm not the least bit hungry. Now I feel ill again. I don't know why I even bother eating dinner since I usually feel sick afterwards.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Walking in the Rain

I started to walk to the UH campus this morning but turned around after a few minutes due to the rain. I did bring an umbrella but it was packed in my suitcase that I just checked in with the bell desk. Kind of sounds like an excuse. Today is the first day of the APAN portion of the Joint Tech meeting and the content is definitely less interesting. Dale from UNL, showed a video as a lightning talk with highlights of Lincoln, NE, which is the location of the next meeting. Largest chicken museum stands out as a highlight.

Wednesday afternoon - I walked back to the hotel to catch the bus to the airport. I figured that I should get as much walking in as possible. It kind of drizzeled for most of the way back but I never really got wet, at least not from the rain. Once I got back to the coast, the rain stopped completely. I guess that is more of that micro-climate I keep hearing about. Stopped to have a pistashio gelato to cool me off. It is miserably hot and humid. But at least I'm getting some exercise in.

I went down to look at the world famous beach and to me, it looked like a small, sorry looking strip of sand packed with people almost piled on top of each other. I don't see the attraction. But I was never really a beach person anyway. On the way to the hotel, I wandered through some of the shops along the way but most were either high end stores or trinket shops so I didn't get anything. No chocolate, no trinkets, no coffee. Between yesterday and today, I think I got in about 15 miles. I was originally thinking about coming back before lunch and walking up the road to Diamond Head. I heard that there were a bunch of caves at the top and that it was once used for a radar installation. The high humidity and heat kind of discouraged me. Maybe some other time.

Wednesday evening - Right now I am waiting for the shuttle to the airport. Actually, it's sitting here in front of me but it's early. Whenever I travel, I seem to spend a lot of time sitting around waiting. Not the best strategy for staying in shape but I seem to get more than enough exercise when travelling. At least I got in a fair amount of walking during the last couple of days. At least enough to get myself thrown off one of the Nike+ challenges. I guess they didn't like me so far ahead of everyone else. I will be on the plane all night and get into Fairbanks tomorrow morning. It's going to be a long night.

The Alaska Airlines ticket counter isn't even open yet so more waiting around. The continuous background of Hawaiian music is starting to get on my nerves. It seems to be playing just about everywhere you go. They actually have a live band playing in the terminal.

Monday, January 21, 2008

No excuses

The hotel is three miles from the University and breakfast is served at 7:30. I have plenty of time to walk if I get up about 6:00 or so. There is a one hour time difference so it should be easy. In other words, I have no excuse for not getting plenty of exercise. BTW, this is the view from my hotel room.

Monday evening - I walked to the UH campus from the hotel and it was 3.45 miles but the route I took was the one suggested by my gps which was optimized for driving. There are a number of one way roads and after studying a map, I came up with a route that is only 2.8 miles. I'll try that one tomorrow. The micro-climates around here is pretty interesting. When I left the hotel this morning, it was clear. It started raining about half way to the university and there were many showers throughout the day with the sun shining.

Tuesday morning - Walked to the campus again this morning along a different route that should have been shorter. But I made a wrong turn and I ended up on the same road as yesterday.No rain but it was still dark since today sessions started earlier than yesterdays. The focus for today is on applications so it isn't as interesting as yesterdays discussion on IPv6, routing and multicast. There is a lot of discussion on dynamic circuits which we cannot do at the University of Alaska due to inadequate infrastructure.

Tuesday afternoon - The sessions were more on specific applications so the sessions were pretty interesting. One session on IP telephony and a whole series on security. I walked down to the UH bookstore after lunch but nothing jumped out at me.

Tuesday evening - Walked 5.1 miles (according to my gps) this evening from the UH campus back to the hotel via a shopping mall. I didn't do much shopping since it was a lot farther from the hotel than I thought. There was a reception this evening followed by a PGP key signing. The food was okay but nothing spectacular. I guess I won't be getting any sushi this trip beyond the California rolls they had at the reception. Well tomorrow I head back to Fairbanks on a late night flight after a full day of meetings.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Not much walking

I managed a bit of walking this week even though I didn't expect to get any at all. I didn't even try out the treadmill at the college this time since it was in such sad shape the last time I was in Barrow. I was told that nothing was done to get it fixed. When I got back to Fairbanks, I was so tired that I hardly walked at all. Maybe three miles or so on the treadmill on Thursday and Friday. I think I may have slipped some in the standings in the Nike+ challenges that I've entered. Maybe I can catch up next week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm in Barrow right now and it feels pretty cold. I walked around outside quite a bit last night and felt pretty cold when I got back to the hut. There was a power outage in the afternoon and the buildings were cooling off pretty fast. The mild breeze really makes a difference in how cold it feels.

Update 01/16/08 - It is much warmer today. Only -18F still with a light breeze.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I walked seven miles yesterday evening and didn't really feel like walking this evening but after dinner, I felt somewhat ill (from medication) so I walked for a little over an hour. For some reason, walking really helps.

I spent most of the afternoon re-arranging the garage so I'm pretty tired. At least the truck fits in the garage again. Since the temperature has been dropping I felt that it needed to be in the garage. Unfortunately, there is no "conversion" with the Nike+ since cleaning and moving things around took hours. Now I am really tired and sore.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Walking hurts?

During the last week, I did a fair amount of walking on the treadmill (and some outside) and I am starting to feel a little sore in my hip joints. I didn't walk much at all on Tuesday or Wednesday so hopefully it isn't a problem today. When jogging, I occasionally feel twinges in my ankles and that usually causes me to stop immediately since it any injury isn't worth the few extra miles.

This evening, I ran for five miles on the treadmill then walked a couple more miles to cool down. I think that I may be able to do the Midnight Sun Run this summer. I already knew that I would be able to walk it but now, maybe, I can actually run it! At the end of 5 miles, I wasn't breathing hard, not tired or sore but just started to walk to avoid any sort of injury. I'm pretty happy. Maybe next week I'll try for 6 miles of running or maybe I should lower the distance and increase the speed. I'm still somewhat surprised since I never thought I would ever enjoy running. I haven't lost any more weight for the last month or so but we did just go through the holiday season. Still holding at 45 lbs lost. At least I'm not gaining!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


The last couple of days have seen some renewed motivation. I went to Chena Hot Springs last Wednesday and felt much better. No more sore joints so I think I've averaged almost eight miles per day since last Friday. I've managed to pick up an additional place to 13th in the one "beginner" challenge. Thirty miles to pick up another place (200 miles to catch first place.) I'm pretty sore this evening and I may take a day off but that is what I said yesterday. About 9:00 last night, I thought about walking a couple of miles on the treadmill to relax and ended up walking/jogging over four miles... And this was on a day that I didn't feel like walking. This morning, I had a meeting on lower campus and felt compelled to walk a circuitous route in spite of the cool temperatures and moderate breeze. It was nice to get outside instead of just on the treadmill..

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Weekly update

I've managed to walk or run just about everyday this week but it is still too cold to do much walking outside. I've been trying to run faster on the treadmill though I think it would be easier on the road. Occasionally the belt slips and it really throws me off (not literally.) I'm walking on the treadmill more with some motivation still coming from the Nike+ site. I'm trying to jog more but generally need to start walking after a 1/2 hour or so but can't get a good feel as to why. I'm not winded, not sore, just kind of tired. After walking for a while and drinking some water, I'm usually ready to start jogging again. Maybe I need to drink more water while jogging...

I'm still dinking with the motorcycle doing routine maintainence and I've had a few surprises so far. Really old brake fluid and a valve cover stud that needs repaired. Here is a picture of the bike. It is difficult to take a picture of a dark color in a dark garage. But it doesn't look bad for 25 years old...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Freshly motivated

After yesterdays posting, I felt motivated enough to jog a bit over 10k. Well, my pace is slower than most runners but faster than I normally walk. The treadmill indicated 4-5 mph for the first 4 miles then I started alternating between jogging and walking. I'll have to upload the Nike+ log to see how much I actually did walk. I've walked this distance many times but have never tried it at this faster pace. The new goal is to increase my speed. About 27 years ago, I took a climbing class that had "finish a 10k in under 1 hour" as a prerequisite. I entered a local race and really pushed myself trying to keep up with everyone and ended up finished in 43 minutes. I've never run before this event (or since!) and just did it to get into the class. I think getting my time under an hour would be an ambitious goal at this point in my life but it probably is achievable.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A slow start to the New Year

Since the new year started, I've run only once and only for a couple of miles. I'm not getting winded or sore from the running but just tired. Drinking water really helps but I still get tired out. I used to be able to walk a couple of hours on the treadmill but these days, going beyond 4-5 miles is a real challenge. Maybe I'll get some miles in this evening.

I still haven't heard when the new version of the StartWalking program is going to start. I'm not sure if it will provide any additional motivation than the Nike+ program provides, but I need any/all that I can get. I've entered about 8 contests but don't think I have a chance of winning any of them due to the sheer numbers of entrants. I think I still have a chance of getting into the top 10 of the one beginner challenge since there is only about 30 miles between 14th and 10th. Almost 200 miles to first...