Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Made My Goal

I just went past 200 miles today on the Nike+ gadget for the month! Even with my feeling pretty poor yesterday, I still managed to get some walking in. No running but walking was just fine. This afternoon, I had my first PT session and they gave me a bunch of exercises to do twice a day. Of course, I felt compelled to walk there since they are located next to campus plus it was a gorgeous day. It didn't start out very good with freezing drizzle but by mid-morning, it was looking pretty good. The good news from the physical therapist is no major injuries. Just need to plug away at the exercises. In addition to the afternoon walk to PT, I jogged on the treadmill for a total of a bit over 12 miles for today. I'm in one challenge on the Nike+ site where three of us are trading the lead for the past couple of weeks. I think after 200 miles, we are within a mile. I think that the total time was 58 hours so I must be walking/running about 2 hours per day. My walks to/from the bus is about 45 minutes per day and I usually spend a bit over an hour on the treadmill. Add to that some of the longer walks on the weekend and 2 hours sounds about right. Is it too much? This is the first time I've racked up that distance on the Nike+ but there were many months when I was double that on a pedometer. I carried a pedometer for the first half of the month and it usually registered about 70-80% more per week than the Nike+ which only gets used if I go for a "walk". Not the normal running around. I have noticed that I don't go out of my way to walk like I used to during the university's walking programs. No more using the restroom in the next building. If it's nice out I'll still take an extra loop here and there but nowhere near as often. Now, I just need to keep it up for a couple more months for the WIN "Get the Point" program. I probably should start using the Forerunner gps especially on some of the longer walks. The heart rate information may be enlightening.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Peanut Butter

Last night, I woke up around 1 with a low BG level. I ate one of those small. lunch box bowls of canned fruit. It did it's job but I was left with a bad case of hiccups. Almost no sleep at all. I went in to work but ended up coming home mid-morning since I was completely exhausted. And to make thing worse, I ended up with a mild fever probably caught something due to my reduced resistence. All from the hiccups. I tried several "home remedies" but none of them worked until I tried a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter (extra crunchy! My favorite) and within minutes, no more hiccups. Now to try and get some sleep. Only 4 miles of walking last night since I was still feeling run down. I felt fine Sunday afternoon while running but I seem to be paying for it now.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Plugging Along

Today, I'm kind of feeling it from my attempt at running yesterday. Kind of sore and my legs feel a bit tired. This morning, I was running late and had to run to catch the bus. As is usually the case, I wasn't running late and ended up waiting for 5 minutes for the bus. I guess it is against my nature to be late even for something like catching the bus. Other than being a little sore, I'm feeling fine. I did end up signing up for the "Beat Beethoven" 5K race which takes place on April 11th. Now I have another goal. I know that right now, I won't be able to finish in 30 minutes. I think that I really need to do more outdoor running not only to get used to the idea of running outside (ice, gravel, etc.) but also get my legs used to actually pushing forward. It is very different from running on a treadmill. Plus the treadmill deck is somewhat cushioned so you don't feel the same jarring as you do outdoors. After arriving at my destination last night, I was really feeling it in my joints. It all went away after half an hour but did make me sit up and take notice. I've never had problems with my joints and don't really want to start now.

One of the reasons for this post is to try out a blogging package called Blogo. It is a Mac package that is supposedly much easier use. Up to this point, I have simply been using the web interface supplied by blogger.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Warm, Clear, Sunny Afternoon

It seemed like a warm afternoon, so I took off up the road and over to next subdivision headed to some friends house where we have a bible study every Sunday evening. After walking up to the top (with a great view of Fairbanks), I started to jog. I was pretty much walking on all the uphill sections and jogging everywhere else. It was starting to cool off since the sun was setting so it was a good way to stay warm. Total distance traveled was 6¼ miles according to the Nike+ and I estimate that I jogged for about 4 miles total. My time for this was 1:07 so this is also my fastest for about a 10k distance. About a month ago, I took the same route and it took about 1:20. I'm pretty happy with that especially after feeling so lousy this past week. So it was a pretty good day. Total for today on the Nike+ site is 9.1 miles leaving me only about 25 miles to my goal. I'll get in 12 miles just from taking the bus 4 days this week so it seems pretty doable. I was reminded to sign up for the Beat Beethoven 5k run on April 11th. Last year, I didn't finish the race before Beethoven's Fifth finished and I don't think this year will be much better since I don't get a chance to run outside much. Plus there is a long hill at the very beginning which gets me walking early on and it is difficult to start running again. But I think I'll try anyway. If you finish before the music finishes, you get a symphony ticket but I'm not sure how much time you have. The site doesn't say but I think that it's somewhere around 30 minutes. As you can see from my time today, that is still a stretch for me.

On Thursday evening, I signed up for a gourmet Asian cooking class down at Hutch as part of the culinary arts program. My son is signed up for the class so I figured I might as well take the class as well. Last Thursday was Thai cuisine and it was great. All of the students sit down to dinner after spending a couple of hours preparing their dishes. Nest week is Sri Lanka, I believe. I would recommend these classes to anyone in the Fairbanks area.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Nike+ Goal: 200 Mile Month

I spent most if the day at the Fairbanks Diabetes Expo and learned quite a few things. They had an endocrinologist that explained how different drugs worked and their interactions. A nutritionist explained not only why whole grains and fiber were good for you but explained the why. That is something that has been missing from everything that I've heard was the "why". It made a lot of sense while they were talking but now, 6 hours later, I'm trying to remember. But I do know that I'm going to be even more focused on the fiber (veggies) and whole grains.

I haven't felt much like walking most evenings but managed to get some walking in. I finally uploaded my data to the Nike+ site and I'm over 160 miles for the month. I have another week so I think I will try to hit the 200 mile mark this month. The Nike+ only records for "exercise sessions" as opposed to a regular pedometer. I carried a pedometer around for the first half of this month but since the WIN for Alaska fitness program uses duration of exercise instead of steps or distance, I stopped carrying it around. But I was still meeting my earlier goal (last year) or trying to walk at least 10 miles per day. There were some low days but overall, I was still managing to meet that goal.

Friday, February 13, 2009

99 Miles

I passed up last years walking total for February and only half of the month has gone by. This makes me feel good in that I can actually see some improvement even though I don't see much change in my weight. Since the beginning of the month, I've accumulated 98.91 miles on the Nike+ gadget. I don't think that the WIN for Alaska Get the Point program is providing much motivation for me since there is no sense of "competition" with the program. They do have some very nice prizes and the program is getting me to focus on better eating habits but it isn't providing me much motivation to exercise more. I've entered about 7 challenges on the Nike+ site and some of them are running really close. In some cases, I was ahead of others by only a couple of hundredths of a mile after a couple of weeks. The prizes are just virtual trophies but are still sufficient for motivation.

I am also plugging my way towards the 2000 mile mark using the Nike+ device and if you reach it, you get the opportunity to purchase a t-shirt marking the occasion. The number at each milestone drops dramatically since folks lose interest in the program. There are only 1700 at the 2000 mile mark. It drops very rapidly from there with 10 at the 10,000 mile mark. I'm only at 1200 miles right now. The other reason to explain the dropout rate is the battery life of the sensor. It seems to die after only 4 to 6 months. This is what happened to me. My last sensor only lasted about 4 months probably because the sensor is not buried inside my shoe. And Nike wants $20 for a replacement. Maybe I should take one apart to try and replace the battery...

Friday evening - Ran 6 1/2 miles this evening and feeling a bit worn out. No plans for this weekend.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beautiful, Sunny Day

This afternoon after lunch, the sunny day was too hard to ignore. I walked about 3 miles from lower campus to West Ridge via Geist Road. I think it had warmed up to around 12°F, clear blue skies. Plus, I had forgotten my medicine at lunch so I had to get some exercise to lower my BG levels. It seemed to work, no headaches or anything like that. Right now, I am at an Aisian cooking class down at Hutch and I made two chutneys with my son, who is also taking the class. I think there are 19 in the class right now so I'm not sure if I am actually in the class or still on the waiting list.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Nike+ Goals

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was "concerned" that I wouldn't be able to make my walking goals for the month of February since I was going to be out of town for the first week. When I got to College Station on January 30th, I made a point of getting some walking in. They had a pretty nice fitness room at the hotel and it was a bit over 2½ miles to the MSC on the Texas A&M campus form the hotel. Now that I look at the Nike+ site, I see that last week, I walked over 60 miles. Almost half what I walked in January. Probably no problem meeting the February goal of 80 miles. In most of the Nike+ challenges I've entered, I'm near the top due to all the walking last week. On my pedometer, I registered 112 miles and I didn't even have it with me when I walked to the mall on Saturday. That would've added another 12 miles. In other words, it sounds like it's time for a rest. I noticed that my feet feel a little sore today as do my hip joints. Walking on the sidewalks and roads is a lot harder on me than walking on the treadmill and snow covered gravel roads that we have here at home. This morning, I was running a bit late and ended up running to the bus stop and it felt good to not be out of breath.

Monday Evening - This evening, I tried running on the treadmill but I feel too tired to go more than about 4 miles. Don't feel sore or anything like that but just sort of run down. Maybe it's the time difference. Or maybe it is working for two weeks straight without a break. Some may think that going to the Internet2 meeting should qualify as a break but there is little opportunity to actually rest unless you count on the plane. Most days last over 12 hours with breaks for meals. One meeting finally ended after 10pm. Maybe I'm coming down with something. I felt chilled yesterday but I attributed that to just coming back to Fairbanks from Texas.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Walked to the Mall

I'm pretty tired now. I just got back from a moderately long walk from the hotel near the Seattle airport to the Southcentral Mall on the other side of the interstate. According to the Nike+, it was 10.91 miles (including a lap around the inside of the mall). There were a lot of stores in there and a couple that I actually stopped and looked around in but didn't find anything really interesting. Actually, there was something interesting. It was a tabletop inductive burner. It claimed to be 90% efficient. I need to do some research on those especially since there is a movement to replace the stove. It is a very nice mall, and I have to remember it for other times when we are in Seattle. I just wasn't looking for anything in particular. There are a lot of hills here in Seattle! I guess I'm spoiled walking around Fairbanks. Some were pretty steep and many of the roads didn't have sidewalks but did have reasonable shoulders. The drivers here seem much more courteous to pedestrians than those in College Station. Though they are much more aggressive towards other motorists. The vehicles are distinctly different as well. Here, smaller cars dominate with a lot of hybrids and in Texas, there were a lot more trucks. I guess that sort of fits the stereotype. Both locations had a lot of bicycles and Texas had much better bike lanes along the main roads and probably due to the warmer weather, Texas also had a lot more motorcycles.

It was pretty chilly this morning with fog and temperatures just above freezing. It did warm up on the way back but I still ended up getting really chilled. I stopped at a diner on the way back for some soup and coffee. Feel fine now but I hope it doesn't lead to a cold.

I already have 49.8 miles towards my 80 mile goal for the month of February and it is only the end of the first week. I had originally though that it was going to be difficult meetiing my goal since it was a short month and for the first week, I was at a conference. Usually, I don't get much exercise in. The treadmills in the fitness rooms here at the hotel in Seattle were both broken so I "had" to walk to the mall. It was the only thing interesting in the area.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It ended up being a great Joint Tech meeting (as usual) with two good tutorials. I got a lot of my VoIP questions answered. I learned of an Asterisk distribution called AsteriskNow which is essentially an appliance. It includes a Linux distro with the software and has a web interface for managing the Asterisk server. It isn't suitable for a large installation do I will stick with my OpenSer/Asterisk installation for now though I will definitely play with this one. I may use it for the voice menu since it would be easier for others to manage. The OpenSER/Asterisk setup is pretty flexible. The IVR is the only problematic area with my current install and it turns out that it's because Asterisk maintains state. I.e. all the media runs through the server.

My "lightning talk" went well though I almost ran out of time. Several questions afterwards as well. They announced plans to hold the meeting in Fairbanks sometime in July, 2011. I'll need to work on that when I get back. Very enthusiastically received though some wished it was in 2010.

The DCN workshop gave me some "hands on" experience with the software tools used to reserve and deploy DCN. Specifically, Dragon and Oscars. I wonder if there are plans in place to use this software...

Friday Afternoon - DFW airport is much bigger than SEA. One lap of all the terminals is six miles versus 2 miles for SEA. One lap is probably enough. Alaska Airlines is in a disconnected terminal i.e. you need to take the train to the rest of the terminals.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Get the Point

The new WIN for Alaska Get the Point program started at the beginning of the month and it requires a lot more accurate logging than the previous program. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the flexibility to keep track of different types of exercise in the same day. For example, walking a couple of miles, then run a couple of miles. The only entry field is a single entry for duration (not distance) and a choice of three levels. The food logging is the same as the previous program though you can now enter in on a daily basis.

Today, I started a VoIP workshop led by the ITEC group here at Texas A&M.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Still Getting Exercise

I thought that maybe I wouldn't get any exercise while out of town but I've managed to not only get in fair amount of exercise but at a higher intensity level than when I'm at home. Today, after attending a nice reception, I ran for just short of an hour in the fitness center. Maybe at home it is easier to stop. Today, there were many times that I felt like stopping but I would just look at the timer and say to myself "just x more minutes" or "until the next commercial" and before you know it, the hour is done.

Also, today, I gave a short talk on the Barrow IT infrastructure that I have been working on for the last, I guess officially, 16 months. Unofficially, much longer than that. It is nice to have a project that is still exciting and interesting. This evening, plenty of people came up to talk about the project and others mentioned that they were looking forward to when this meeting will take place in Fairbanks. We are still working on that and tentative plans are for the summer of 2011.

I also walked back to the hotel from the college. It was a comfortable temperature. There won't be a bus tomorrow so more walking. For yesterday and today, 22.80 miles on the pedometer.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I2 JT Meeting

Part of the ESCC/Internet2 Joint Tech Meeting is something called the "IPv6 Challenge". For certain periods, the regular IPv4 wireless network is being shut off forcing anyone wanting to work on the email or surf the web use IPv6 as their transport. Texas A&M set up some sort of server to translate between IPv4 and IPv6 so you could reach the rest Internet. So far so good. I was able to reach the ESnet registration site and, in fact, I'm working on this post running over the IPv6 network. I mentioned in the last post the difficulty getting some machines up and running on the IPv6 network. People sitting all around the room downloading source, editing makefile's, then modifying config files using vi or emacs (i.e. no gui). Then engineers logging back into their systems back at their home institutions and finally determining that IPv6 peering between Internet2 and EsNet was down. It was working earlier this morning but went down around 10 or so. Bad timing but at least all those that had the access to fix the problem were in the room...

This picture demonstrates the type of conference this is (in addition to my comment about all those around the room compiling open source software during lunch). The presenter will be using software (EVO) on their PC using HD video and multicast to make his presentation. Pretty nice software...

Another interesting comment was during the ARIN update. Only 32 /8's available to be allocated world wide. The current allocation rate is between 12 & 14 /8's per year. So, whether you like it or not, IPv6 will probably be coming to your neighborhood soon.

Tuesday Afternoon - I thought about walking this morning but decided that it was too cold. It was below freezing at 7:00 am. I probably will walk back since I really need the exercise.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

WIN Get the Point

Today was the first day of the WIN Get the Point program. In case you didn't know, I like these sort of programs since I really need some kind of incentive to keep exercising. Today was a big day for walking, 26758 steps but only 5.6 miles on the Nike+ gadget (I forgot it for the walks to and from the campus) The web site for recording your activity doesn't seem to be working as I get a VBasic error while trying to log in.

On another note, at the ESCC/Internet2 Joint Tech meeting, there was a session this afternoon to get your laptop working with IPv6. They are not using stateless auto-configuration on the wireless network but using a IPv6 dhcp server. Mac's don't do well in this environment sine there isn't a IPv6 dhcp client installed as part of OS X so I had to install a dhcp client. Not trivial. But I did get it working eventually.

Update - The page is working now (both the WIN and the Internet2 pages!) I'm doing this update using the IPv6 only network. So far, the only thing not working is SSH.