Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home "alone", part 2

... and we're back! When we last left our heroes, they just completed a 40-minute jog with the POD. The initial plan for Sunday was to try the bike trailer mode of the POD, but due to an error on my part, Tora's helmet had not yet arrived. The backup plan was to try out a strength workout using the GAIN Fitness app, but that also had to be scrapped when I woke up Sunday morning with a bad case of food poisoning.  So instead I spent the day feeling trying to remain horizontal while feeling miserable.

By Monday I was feeling much better. I also lucked out with our babysitter; she came to watch the twins while I went to work for a prelim exam and was able to stay a bit later, so I got in a quick swim at the pool. I noticed myself making progress; I was able to get through an entire 50m length without feeling terribly winded. I also spent some time doing some measurements: I was taking 90 to 120 seconds per a 50m pool length, and about 75 strokes. So definitely lots of room for improvement!

Tuesday morning the kids went to daycare and I went to the gym. I decided it was time to try out the GAIN Fitness app. It's kind of neat: you give it some goals about what you are aiming to do, such as build muscle or just improve health, how long you want to work out, what area you want to focus on, and what equipment you have available. It then creates a set of exercises for you and guides you through them. For each exercise, you get a picture and some tips; you can also switch among several (roughly) equivalent exercises, based on your preference. It can also upload a report to RunKeeper about your workout.

Overall, I like the ability to design a tailored workout for your particular circumstance (especially as I travel and have to exercise in various hotel gyms). The functionality has a few rough corners; if you look at the report, it seems to follow a template that isn't appropriate for all exercises and it also includes some exercises that I skipped. Also, during the warm-up and cool-down exercises, it assumes that you are able to instantaneously switch between them as it measures out 30-second intervals; I guess with practice, that may be the case. It's not a replacement for a personal trainer, but it seems to provide good guidance for someone like me, who's just beginning some strength training and needs flexibility in the workouts.

Finally, Tuesday afternoon, we went for a bike ride. The kids' helmets had both arrived and I got them adjusted as best I could. (The instructions kept saying things like "put the helmet on your head ...", which would have been much simpler than putting the helmet on a squirmy toddler, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't fit.) Tora for some reason didn't like the helmet too much, though Tavi was pretty happy; I think he just saw it as another cool hat.

I finally wrangled them both into the trailer and into the helmets and we were ready to go.
We went slowly out of the subdivision and then got out onto the country road... where the wind hit. The trailer has a terrible wind profile, so I ended up going very slowly in a low gear. The handling of the bike is also noticeably different; every once in a while, the wind shifts or the slope changes and then the pull from the back changes, sometimes even to a brief push. But we were in no rush, and once again, this training should help me go faster in a race sans trailer.

My plan was to go for about a 50-minute ride, as prescribed by my training schedule, but after about 20 minutes, Tora started crying. I don't know if she was tired, hot, hungry, or just cranky. Unfortunately, there was nothing much I could do other than turn around and bike home, which took another 15 minutes or so. Next time I will try going when it's not as hot out and/or bring something for the kids to drink to see if they tolerate it better.

1 comment:

  1. Next time try having them both go with a sippy cup of water or give them their bears to hold on to? I've been letting them have their bears when I'm taking them out on jogs. I figure they are all zipped in so the bears aren't going anywhere.

    After you were gone, the first couple days Tavi would go out into the garage he'd talk and try to get his bike helmet. He stopped it lately, but I think he really likes hats of all kinds and he probably did treat this as just another hat. I think Tora maybe just needs more convincing or perhaps to just wear it around the house for a bit when she's not in the bike trailer to get used to it or to just have time to own it as hers.