Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

If you would like the featured recipe forwarded to you, click on the little email me ← here.
Comments are always welcome, if simply commenting on a post, feel free to use the comment box.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Toys to track my progress:

It’s a proven fact that for greater success in any venture, it’s important to have to report your progress to someone.  Since I want to get better but have a tendency to become “unmotivated” at times when something comes up, I just tell myself that I’ll double up for the next couple of days, and of course, just like a diet, that rarely happens.  So I am going to use my blog as a means of reporting my progress.  If you are watching and tracking my successes I’m sure I’ll be more motivated to keep it going avoiding the pitfall of “I’m tired today” or “I have too much to do” or "it's too cold outside" or any other excuse that I have the ability to dream up. . . trust me I can get pretty creative when I truly want to get out of something.
So here is what I did this past week:
Bike:  85.83 miles (on a trainer!)  Ugh, being on a trainer makes riding harder i.e. BORING, but is good for practicing mental focus  
Run: 13.72 miles
Swim 4850 yds (2.76 miles)
Total training time = 9 hrs 47 minutes
How do I track all of this stuff?   Well it's an evolving story.

This is what the bike on a trainer looks like.  You cannot see the fan, but it is an essential part of the set up, it gets pretty sweaty!  The orange tire lasts longer than the traditional black ones and it is replaced with a regular tire when we go riding outside.

If you have never worked out on a trainer this may not sound impressive.  This next little bit of detail is personal opinion only, but a trainer should be worth at least 1 1/2 to 2 times the effort put out on the open road.  the reason being is that there is no coasting allowed.  The trainer won't let you, even if you wanted, it just stops when you stop.  There is no beautiful scenery to observe, and because you are not watching for wild dogs, cars, pedestrians, debris in the road, or any other hazard you remain 100% focused. . .  meaning it is hard work to ride indoors!

I was getting ready for a run Saturday morning and my HR (heart rate) monitor got lost in this messy pile of HR monitors.  Each time you purchase a new device, you get a new monitor, whether you need one or not, and so this is my pile of heart rate monitors.  That is one advantage to sticking with one brand such as Garmin, even though you get multiple HR monitors, you just need to keep track of one for all the devices.  Polar isn't quite that simplistic.

This is the array of monitoring devices I have acquired over the years
to assist in my quest of improving myself.
 I even have all the boxes, that must be the pack-rat part of me.
Here are all the watches, except one, the daughter has it, and the Polar CS600 or my 705 neither being a watch, and wouldn’t fit on my newspaper like these.
However, my favorite brand is the Garmin simply because they are GPS based.  

This is the very first HR monitor I purchased, it died a noble death this past January which is why it has been replaced. This one only tracks Heart Rate and time so wasn’t very useful.  I initially purchased it to help motivate me to loose weight by keeping track of how hard I worked, by watching heart rate, and for fun it calculated calories burned.  I admit I was looking for the least expensive route, but should have researched it a little bit more prior to making my decision.

This little unit was the very first bike computer I purchased five years ago.  It is basic, basic, basic and I don’t really miss it at all.  It was connected by wires that wrapped up and around the bike, which didn’t look very pretty to say the least.  This little guy only shows Cadence and Speed.  it doesn’t down/up load to any software and with all the wires that required wrapping around the bike to get it connected provided a tacky look.  So in this case the upgrade was a good choice, as ALL of my other computers upload onto the computer and they are wireless!  But I must admit I was surprised that the battery is still going strong!  This computer is almost 6 years old now and I used it for a solid 3 years before replacing it with the Polar.

This is my Polar CS600, which replaced the little cat-eye above.   This little guy has been my friend for 3 years now and is very effective, I like it because it’s incredibly reliable, small, and has an amazing battery life, I have only replaced the battery once in three years.  The drawback is that it's not GPS capable so therefore it is my back up, when something goes awry with the Edge.  I was glad I had the Polar for LOTOJA last year, when my cadence sensor for the Edge quit working the day before the race. Because the Polar is more stable and isn’t quite as quirky as the Edge, it stays on the bike for now.

The Edge 705 even though it is a little buggy/quirky is by far my favorite cycling computer! I refer to it as my “motivational speaker” Like the FR305 I can set it up to sing to me when I cease pedaling fast enough or when my HR, or speed drops below a certain point.  I can set it up for intervals and it beeps at me telling me when I’m almost done for a few seconds.   Both the 305 and the Edge, unlike the Polar, can be used to track all that important info while on the trainer, indoors without GPS enabled.  In addition to all these absolutely cool features, it has maps on board!  Being that I am one of the most directionally impaired people in the west, with this little unit I can find the road I want or even better, how to get back home!  I love my 705!  it doesn’t go running very well meaning that it tells you MPH  not mile/min and you can’t wear it, it requires that you hold it.  VERY inconvenient!

Which is where the FR305 comes in. ( I have the optional accessory fabric wristband/bike adapter). The 305 is the perfect watch for running and triathlons.  While it runs and bikes, it doesn’t swim very well.   If you want to take it swimming, it’s necessary to put it in a zip-lock baggie and then tuck it inside your swim cap first, but by using this method you can see what kind of a swim line you make which can be very educational, and in my case, somewhat embarrassing. Like the Edge it can be set up to tell you to speed up or count-down for intervals, distance, time, or whatever you want it to tell you.   you can wear it to do dishes and stuff like that, however, you wouldn't want to just wear this as a watch, it’s a tad bit bulky.  They have a new model out that can go swimming and has a longer battery life, but I am waiting a bit longer before investing in the new & improved version.

The FR 60, first off is cute, I love that it’s pink!  This is the little unit that replaced my first grey polar HR monitor/watch. It keeps track of my swimming, as the others don't go swimming very well, or better yet, they don’t go swimming at all.  This is the reason I’m tempted or at least considering the upgrade of the 305, one watch that will do everything!

This one is a polar, it goes swimming and running, but isn’t compatible with the speed/cadence sensor from the CS600, it needs its own sensors and it doesn't have GPS capabilities, it will beep at you if your HR gets too high, or cadence too slow, but not very loud, I missed the beeps quite often and became frustrated with that element too.   So, with my only regret that I didn’t convert to Garmin sooner,  I have replaced this with the FR305.  I could still use it for swimming but Polar doesn't upload into Garmin and Garmin doesn't upload into Polar for data analysis,  and I like having all of my data in one place.  So for now, it is just there to remind me that I purchased it at one point.  

So there you have it, the history of some of my toys and gadgets that I have acquired over the years to keep me motivated, improving and going forward, and this year I have you, via da blog!  It’s going to be a great year.

I find out this week if I have a LOTOJA 2011 spot. . . the impatience sets in!  When I find out I will post my planned 2011 event schedule for all to see.

Remember, always find joy in the journey of life!



  1. Congrats on getting into LOTOJA! Good luck with all your training this summer and meeting your goals!

  2. Thanks, I must admit I'm excited. Somehow, I just need to be faster again this year!