Friday, November 30, 2012

The sock rapist

Life with cats never gets dull. I've lived with them most of my life, and never cease to be amazed at what they'll get up to. I don't think our place as the top species on the planet would be safe if they ever evolve opposable thumb-claws.

Today, Linda came back to the house rushing between appointments. There was a pair of socks upstairs, near the dining room table. Wet with drool, at least she hoped it was drool. Unfolded. Strewn. Covered in dust and stuff. (We don't vacuum our basement daily, so sue us!)

She gave both cats the hairy eyeball. Curtis looked benign and serene. Celina squirmed, and looked pretty guilty. That, with her track record of other perversions, we are guessing she is the guilty party. Linda put them back in the laundry basket. There have been several times now that Celina has tried to help out with the ironing.

Curtis likes to help write this blog. He doesn't spurn Twitter or email, and if I could ever get back to work with the novel, he'd probably want to help there. Right a this moment he is sprawled across the usable part of the desk. Helping. Like this:


This has been an odd week for me on the workout front. I didn't think I had overdone it on the run front on Monday, but oh my goodness have my legs ever been tight! I did only a very short spin, the shortest in years on Tuesday. Didn't swim Wed, Thurs, or Friday and should have gone at least one of those days. Thursday after work we had a wonderful bowl of soup that was just PERFECT on a cold day. After I nibbled some crackers and cheese and drank wine and watched an episode of Sherlock. Then went to bed. A nice evening all round.

We've been having some hoar frost here, so the other day getting out of my car downtown, I see this.


Tonight I'm seriously considering getting on my bike for a good spin since my legs started loosening up today. Or, I could open that bottle of wine that is calling me, and settle in for some Game of Thrones. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Forcible cuddling

We don't have much time between getting home from work, and leaving for yoga class, but I was determined to spend part of it cuddling a cat. He wasn't so keen on the idea, but came around and purred loudly. A very comforting sound.

Bailed on swimming this morning. Not totally sure why, but the state of my back and hip flexors might have something to do with it. I need to remind myself that next race season is a long way off, and I don't need to beat myself up now, even though I do want to be working on cardio base, and some specific skills.

Seems like going to yoga is always the same. I don't want to go. It's cold outside, and warm inside. Then I get there and settle in, and coming home I'm happy I went. Tonight was a happy tree, along with lots of other stuff.

Still working on the Sportchek prize, right now I'm leaning towards some winter running tights. Linda gently hinted that some flat weight plates would not be a good Xmas present. I was surprised how expensive they were.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I won! I won!

Work has been having this contest going over the last couple months to log your steps. They gave us a pedometer, and a goal of 10,000 steps a day. I was very diligent about logging my steps, as well as my other activities. You know, swimming, biking (on the trainer) and running. I typically walked between 3 and 5 thousand steps a day. Some days were more.

It turns out that walking is the crap way to accumulate steps. An hour of running is about 21000 steps, an hour of swimming is 10800, and I think an hour of biking is 18000 or so. My average over 2 months was over 20,000 steps a day.

Today we got our reward, a $100 gift card to Sportchek, a local store that sells all sorts of sports equipment. I haven't been in a Sportchek in a very long time so I had no idea what they sell. Beyond sports stuff, of course.

Well. A Garmin 910 called out to me as soon as I walked in the store, with a GoPro joining the chorus. I'm not really sure how much I actually need either of those. I browsed around the store and wandered back to work. I've done a bit more browsing on their web site. They don't have the cool roller that Leana found. Some of their prices seem a little high, but then, I'm not really intending to spend more than $100, or not much more.

So my question to you is, what bit of fitness related equipment do you get really great use out of? What would you add to your home gym? Would you go for apparel, assuming there is something that fits?

In other news I did a really good stretch session followed by a short easy spin session. My low back was feeling a bit cranky, and lateral bends to the left are ouch. Things loosened up.

Playing with Flickr.

Monday, November 26, 2012

An interesting race, at first

I'm watching the Calgary Centre by-election on twitter. Calgary normally votes Conservative, but the Center riding is on the progressive side of that. What with a strong Liberal candidate, and a good Green candidate with a strong election team, coupled with a fruit loop Conservative candidate who's highest ambition is to be Harpers butt boy, it was shaping up to be a good race. Indeed, the Liberal candidate was even leading for a while, but as I write this the Conservative is up about 5%, and the Liberal and Green are splitting the vote. Again. Still lots of polls to go, so it might change, but it's looking more doubtful. Sigh. Still, I suppose it's better than the many races where they call the result for the Conservative candidate within minutes of the polls closing.

Swam this morning, 45 minutes. Pretty good but nothing spectacular. 1K 18:45. Kick and pull. Six 50 m intervals, and got a really bad gulp of water so I stopped. Backstroke to cool down.

Wonderful run this evening by the light of the nearly full moon! Only a couple other people on the path, and a few dogs with some weird red lights on their collars. They had me wondering what was happening. 9 K in just over 60 minutes, running easily. When I got back to the house I felt like I could have a drink and a quick snack, then do the run again, but I knew better. The wind was pretty strong up near the reservoir so I was starting to get a bit chilled.

Still working on getting photos posted. I've done a bit of research, and I'm a bit choked there was nothing in the info files that talked about a limit on photo library size. I just uploaded them the way they were, so they are probably big. I'll have to see if I can resize them without fubarring the link. I'm pretty sure that all of them are a link destination, so I can't just remove them. Haven't really had time to look in detail yet.

This is amazing! A whole hour after the polls close, and we still don't know who has won a federal by-election in Calgary. The results have narrowed again. Enough, time to publish.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reno followup

Friday was a cold cold day with huge openings in the house, supervising people installing windows and doors. It took a long time. For a while I had thought that I'd be able to sneak in a bike ride, but realized there were going to be periodic questions, and going from the warm basement to the very cold rest of the house, wearing sweaty bike gear wasn't going to be fun. Saturday they were back to finish up the outside trim and caulking.

The two windows replaced you would never know unless we told you. They are nearly identical to the old ones, just nearly 30 years newer, and (presumably) with functional seals. The door to the garage is white instead of brown. The back door has a window in it. But the big change is the front door. Check it out.

Well crap! It says I've used a GB of space and I need to buy more before I can upload more photos. This is the first I've heard of a photo limit on blogger. I'll have to check it out. Anyone else run into this?

So while I think about it, we have 3 links. The inside. The light pattern. The outside. I'm sorry, you'll just have to click on them, and they are 1.4 to 2 MB files, so you might not want to click them over a cell data line. These are in my drop box account, but I'm not sure I want to do this as a permanent solution. Any suggestions?

We spent today cleaning up and putting things back where they belong. Yes, they cleaned, but not like we would, and the rest of the floors needed doing anyway. I also installed a new mailbox, and took the numbers off the old door and moved them to the garage. No idea if they are visible at night or not. The astute of you will notice the wires hanging out. We totally spaced on the doorbell, but found a really cool one that matches the door handle set.

Saturday night was a fun blogger meet up. I had only met Leana before, but the evening was fun. Leigh had a ton of yummy food.

Sunday afternoon I was on my bike for 2 hours, mostly easy spin, but with some moderate effort spin ups. Mainly to relax and flush out my legs. Then a massage pummeling. Time for bed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shopper herds, a rant

I didn't buy anything yesterday. Nothing at all, not a coffee, not a stick of gum, not a 52" LED television complete with Blu-Ray and net connection. But this was only accidental. If the installers had finished before darkness, I'd have finished paying for 3 doors and 2 windows.

The one thing for sure I avoided was a shopping frenzy with herds of people out for "deals". I don't like crowds at the best of times, and these frenzied mobs are only just short of becoming riots. People have been trampled to death in them. Is it really that important to get a few dollars off some piece of consumer junk? Do people really need those items they've been lining up for hours for? How many people actually think, I actually need to get such and such, and on Black Friday it will be on sale at a particular store, and the discount is such that it's worth lining up for hours? Or have they just been seduced by the endless advertising - SAVE x % NOW, and think they have to buy something so they can say they have saved money?

That's a pretty perverted notion of how to save money. When I was a small child I spent some time with my Granny. I clearly remember a shopping trip to the local store. She knew the price of everything, to the penny. If it had gone up since the last time she bought it, she asked if the price was a mistake. She checked every brand to see if one was cheaper. She could figure out in her head, instantly, if a bigger container for more money was a better deal, and if it would work for the serving sizes she used. She knew what was on sale. She watched the cashier like a hawk, and corrected her several times. Once home she checked the tape against every item. She wouldn't buy anything if she could make it from ingredients. Her way of saving money was not to spend it unless absolutely necessary.

I later figured out she would have gone through the depression as a young woman and there is no doubt in my mind the experience shaped her for life. I don't need to ask her what she thinks of these Black Friday sales, since on this topic we are of one mind. Put politely, it's herds of people buying cheap junk they don't need, and spending far too much time and money doing so.

There is a careful distinction needed when talking about material goods. Some of them have become almost indescribably inexpensive for what you get. Most electronic things fall into this category. Many other things have just become cheap, as in cheap junk made by the lowest paid workers that can be found. This is most things now, unless you are a very careful and discriminating shopper. In the town I grew up in there was a guy that could fix appliances. He had a space that was full of semi-working stuff, and could scrounge parts to make something work. That isn't possible any more.

Even cars. Until fairly recently many guys of my acquaintance would "work on cars." They bought used, fixed them up cheap, drove them for a while, fixed them up if needed, and sold them when convenient. That's still possible, just barely, but it's a way of life that is gone now. For starters you need a computer degree and expensive diagnostic equipment just to figure out what, exactly, is wrong. But even the technicians (they are not called mechanics anymore) don't fix it. They replace a part with a new one, and we consumers pay through the nose for it.

I visit friends and it seems their homes are full of stuff. As I was working on the Great Vapour Barrier repair project last winter, I was astonished anew almost every day by being forced to confront, dust, move, and put back all sorts of our stuff. Some of which hasn't been touched in a decade or more. I contrast that with my current office roomie who has gone through times in his life with almost nothing.

Part of the problem is that the stuff is so cheap its easy to go get more of it, on a whim. The other part of the problem is that many people are spending a great deal of ingenuity on figuring out ways to push people's buttons to buy more stuff. Advertising is everywhere, and some of it is diabolically clever. Then there is the current mentality where it's almost not allowed to buy something unless it's on sale. I don't know if the increasing number of people working for lower wages is part of it or not, with them feeling they have to wait for a sale to afford something they want.

In my mind, that is the huge part of the problem, the something they want. Consumers are all about satisfying their wants, and thanks to Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on tv, their wants are endless. There is a crowd mentality, a keeping up with the Jones that is right out of hand. This happens at all income levels, from the obscenely wealthy, to the very poor.

Lets look at the wealthy. They have so much money they can squander 10's, even 100's of millions on a yacht they might not ever use. They have homes all around the world. I guess it's a measure of my inadequacy that I can't figure out how to live in more than one house at once. Now look at the poor, particularly the poor in North America. It wasn't so long ago, even here, that the poor starved in the street. Think on that a moment, they got hungry, got sick, and starved to death. There were a few charities around to alleviate the suffering, but there was a lot of suffering. In many ways these days, the poor today live better than the middle class of my childhood. I think we need to take a look at the definition of poverty.

The other thing that pisses me off is people who should be well off, even very well off are not. They might look it, living in the big house, driving the fancy car, wearing the nice clothes. Borrowed, all of it. About the time we got married we were wondering why all these people could afford to buy all this stuff and we couldn't. Well, the price of oil dropped, lots of people lost their jobs, and suddenly they didn't live in that big house or drive the fancy car anymore.

When I read about people making a lot of money that none the less have nothing for retirement, I scratch my head at things they've chosen to spend money on. Money they don't quite have, by the way. It's all gone on toys, and lifestyle frontage. Their life is like a Potemkin village. All hat and no cows. I have no sympathy for these people. None at all. In some ways I kind of like the dramatic cycles of the Calgary economy. It shakes out the stupid people.

So I see the video of the hordes pouring into a mall, I only feel sorry for the store staff. That must be a day of complete hell. They must have done something terrible in a previous life to deserve that, but I can't imagine what. The hordes, the gullible hordes, will get their just dessert sooner or later.

In other news the door and window installation is complete and looks good. We are very pleased. There is some interior painting to be done, but we had planned to paint after this anyway. A doorbell had completely escaped our minds, but we found one to match the handle set, so that's good.

In other news, I finally, after two days off, got back on the fitness bus. Spin first, 2 hours, the first half going from warm up to a steady endurance pace, then to high spin high power intervals above 400 watts. Then not instantly, but fairly quickly after, I was out for an hour run. Nice and steady, 9 K in an hour, roughly. Now for a blogger party! The cookies are baked. I'll go downstairs and choose the wine now.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The epitome of datiness

My snack at work this week have been dates. I found these organic dates at the Kingsland Market. They are amazing! I just love dates, and these are perfect. Just the right degree of chewiness and yummy datiness. It reminds me of the elusive perfect date square. So far the best in my life has been, believe it or not, from a Winks store in Whitecourt, Alberta. Yes, truly. The ones from Yum Bakery in Calgary Farmers market are a pretty close second, and the drive is much shorter.

Friday morning. A bit of a skip in the schedule of life. We are having some new doors and windows installed today, so I'm playing hooky from work to keep an eye on things. Front door, door to the garage, back door, and the two narrow dining room windows. All are original to the house. All have needed replacing for a while. Failing seals and warped doors let in drafts and keys that are getting sticky aren't much fun. There was a minor goof in that all the locks were not keyed the same, but we'll work that out.

Curtis is helping me write this blog. The backspace key is getting a workout. Which I'm not. The installer is here soon. There are a couple of things to get done before he arrives. Once he's on the job I should be able to sneak downstairs for a ride. It's supposed to warm up so I'll run later this afternoon.

The other odd part of the day is Linda's sister Kelly is here. She is in Calgary for a training course that wrapped up yesterday. Last night we went up to the best Indian restaurant in town, The Clay Oven, for a wonderful meal. There are leftovers for lunch today. She and Linda will be out rampaging the markets today. Or something. The wise among you will keep a weather eye out. I'm just saying.

Since Tuesday.  Swam Wed morning 45 minutes. Very nice, if a bit slow in the 50 m pool. Yoga in the evening. Good, but hard. I was dubious about bending over and being able to reach my toes in less than about 5 minutes. My hips were still kind of creaky. So pretty well the first thing is a folding tree. I've been pretty good at tree lately, but this was a tree in a gusty windstorm. The falling was easy, the bending was not.

After a big meal (I defy you to have a small meal there!) Thursday evening, there was no way I was getting on my bike. That would have been bad.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not sweaty enough, she sneered. TWSS!

Part way through my walk into work this morning I realized my left hip was feeling very creaky. Gradually through the day I thought the office was getting cooler and cooler, and my hip was getting crankier. Even after putting on a sweater, and accidentally clicking my hip only made things better temporarily, and it still wasn't right.

Once home, and a little while after a nice meal I headed down for a really good stretching and rollering session. And the softball, let's not forget that. Just there. And there. Ohhhhhhhhh. There never was a click during any of the gentle twists, and it's probably just as well.

I was on the bike for a gentle spin session for an hour altogether. I stopped in the middle to stretch and twist a bit more. It was all good and I'm walking normally again, for now. However, Celina was not happy with me. She was watching me on the bike, and gave me a sniff as I got off. She made it clear this was not acceptable.

My buddy David sent me an email the other day. He is now signed up for IMAZ next year. He and I used to work together, in fact he was my manager for a while. His story is pretty amazing to get to where he has completed several half IM's, and is now signed up for the full monty. He's been added to my blog roll, and I'll be following his progress.

So far the one cup of coffee a day thing is going pretty well.

I'm watching the by-election in Calgary Centre with great interest. It is my fondest wish to see the Conservative candidate go down in flames, unlikely as that might be. But the polling is really interesting, and the Green candidate has some of the same people that powered Nenshi into the Mayor's office. Plus that riding is as progressive as Calgary comes. My reasoning is that the last thing we need is another butt-boy for Harper. He has enough of those already. The candidates main statement "I'll be there to do whatever Harper tells me to do." Just what we need.

There is a risk that the left of centre vote will be split and the Conservative will sneak up the middle. Without any shame she will then claim to have a mandate, even it is as little as 20% of the actual vote. Sanctimonious lying bastards! There was a clip on the news with a PMO aid telling a Minister of the Crown what to say, and it was a lie. There had been a clerical error that had been corrected, and it was known at the time of the press conference that the Minister was going to speak at. He parroted his lines like a robot. HTF do we get rid of these people? I want to start getting a bullhorn at these events, to shout "LIAR" after every Conservative statement.

Oh, and the Short Weekend, Short Post is now firmly ensconced in the all time top 10. Not even in last place. My readers never cease to amaze me.

Monday, November 19, 2012

So, short is good?

Golly, that last post is the most popular thing I've published in quite a while. In 24 hours it has nearly cracked the all time top ten. It took the boobs rant quite a while to hit the top ten, though now it's the second most read post.

So what conclusions do I draw? Either Blogger stats are playing with my head, or my readers are perverts that like shortness better than boobs. So screw you Blogger stats. I'll believe in my readers.

Swam 45 minutes this morning. Warmup, some pull and dolphin kick, and a bunch of intervals. I lost count. Under 50 seconds, starting every 60. I did a dozen or so. For a while the guy beside me was doing a breast stroke that was almost as fast as my freestyle. Kept me honest. The water felt thin and hard to get a grip on.

The work day went really fast. BBQ some chicken once home, which is hard in the wind. I actually ended up wearing too much for my run. I thought it was cold out, and windy, but it was actually well above freezing, and the wind died down a bit during my run.

I'm not quite sure what to think of it. The run felt clunky and slow, and my legs were heavy. I didn't want it to be fast, I was thinking steady 7 minute K, nice and easy to work my legs and get the blood moving. Yet when I looked at my run meter graph, my pace was all over the place. I don't think my speed varied that much, but you never know. 5 K, 35 minutes. Plus a warmup and cool down walk. Stretched really good after.

I'd rant about the woman in the elevator that screwed up 6 other people with the most amazing display I've ever seen, but then this would get too long and you wouldn't read it. Would you?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A short weekend, a short post

Lots happened this weekend, but I still managed to get in a good run, and strong spin. Two hours on the bike today. Good warm up, 20 minutes about 200 watts to get really warmed up, then some spin ups and peak efforts. Not as peak as a couple workouts ago, but that's how it goes sometimes.

Then BBQ some rack of lamb for Linda and her sister. The photos didn't turn out. Sorry.

It seems like a few minutes ago was heading home on Friday night, now I'm all packed for a swim in the morning, and ready to head to bed soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I found a stride!

Once upon a time, I could run. Then I didn't for a very long time. Then I decided to try moving faster than a walk, for longer than it took to catch a train or bus, or beat the lights crossing a street. That was just over 1300 blog posts ago.

Since then there have been times it was a struggle, times I seriously thought I was on the verge of heat stroke, times I wondered if I'd ever get beyond the T Rex caught in a tarpit pace. Every now and then, for a little while, running feels natural, fast, effortless. Very shortly after reality abruptly intrudes. Or I wake up because the alarm clock is doing it's thing.

Today was nice, sunny and just above freezing. I didn't really have any plan in place. I figured I'd start, and run what felt right, but probably not go too hard. The first K wasn't a struggle exactly. My feet felt light, but not really sure they wanted to run. Just before the 1 K mark it came together. I found a stride, and settled in at what used to be a lung searing race pace, only this was comfortably aerobic. Not chat chat chat, but not gasping either. I know for many of you just over a 6 minute per K pace (Just under a 10 minute mile) will seem slow, but to me it seems fast, especially for a training run.

This is hard for me to describe, but I kept having to relax my shoulders, and every time I did, my pace would pick up and my run would feel better. My feet and legs felt light, with a quick turnover, and it was like my body was floating along. There were a few times when I'd dial back a bit, or thought I had, and yet I don't see that on the graph. I was having a great time running, all the way up to just before the 7 K mark. Then it caught up to me and it seemed like I was breathing really hard for not going very fast.

I got a bit of a rest at the lights, then ran easy back to the house. At first the 7 minute per K pace seemed harder than the just over 6, then I settled in, although it didn't feel as good as before. By the end of the 2 K I think I could have put together a few more fast K's, but decided not to, and walked back to the house. Stretched. My legs feel pretty good, though my knees are a bit tired, and don't want to bend much.

I'm not sure if this is from an increase in cardio so I can run faster and longer, or if my stride is more efficient so I'm going faster on the same effort. Maybe a bit of both. Either way I'm happy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

An unfortunate confluence

A few things have come together over this week that have left me feeling that I was way out on the short end of the stick. One was having reached a training peak and needing to back off a bit. Another was several meals of duck and sausage in beans. Another was realizing I was up to 3, sometimes 4 big cups of coffee a day.

The last few days have not been fun. I had not connected all those things until this morning. It just happened that I was cutting back on coffee the same time as I cut back on training. The beans and meat were one of the meals for several days in a row. A rich meal. One that left me feeling somewhat heavy internally. If you really need more of a hint, read this one of SUAR's recent blogs.

I've been a cranky, headachy, sleepy mess for the last couple of days. A huge xl at work requiring detailed comparisons of almost matching data (does the differing ID numbers fit a pattern, or are they really different assets?) didn't help much.

Thursday the main lighting was out at Talisman, so there were restrictions on facility usage. It made for a crowded pool, but I somehow managed to get a half lane to myself. Swam 30 minutes, working on form, noticing that I was finding it very hard to catch my breath after what should be semi-hard efforts, but felt very hard. I liked the dimmer lighting.

Thursday was a very early night. I thought briefly of spinning. Very briefly. The thinking not the spinning, then I went to bed.

Friday morning I didn't even consider swimming. I felt horrible. After doing a bit of coffee research, I got a small cup, half decaf half regular, and felt considerably better soon after. My rule is no more than one cup a day now. Let's see how that goes.

The geezers attacked on the way home. Once was coming out of the classy Brittania shops, where the Sunterra on Elbow is. I'd turned south onto Elbow. A car going south had just passed me, with a signal going to turn left onto 50th Ave. He (it was a he) was starting to move to the left, then changed his mind. Without looking, without changing his signal, he steered hard right across 4 lanes of traffic to end up turning right onto 50th. I saw him coming and got slowed down in time. The guy in the SUV beside me didn't notice at first and must have just about wet his pants. There was a horn.

The parking lot at Kingsland. A geezer (gender indeterminate this time) came out of a parking spot as I was leaving the mall. Once I realized they hadn't a clue I was there, and only the vague realization there was a building there (they nearly hit a support pillar) I backed up into the doorway again. Another couple did the same thing as they slowly drove past. I noted where they were going and went out another way. Scored a rack of lamb, huge. Guess what you're having for dinner on Sunday, Kelly.

A double left turn from Heritage to southbound 14th St. Many people want to get all the way over to the right to get into Glenmore Landing, or go west on 90th. It's a bit of a game sometimes, since the far left turn lane often does not have as much traffic in it. I'm in the middle lane, do my left, and promptly move over to the right. So far so good. A geezer, I think a he but won't swear to it, had been in the left lane, and I think he wanted into my lane. He was weaving all over the place, starting into the lane, then swerving back, even though there was nobody in that lane. At one point I thought he was going over the median. I kept a careful eye on him, and a swerve took him or her all the way from the left lane right into the exit for the mall. I saw him coming in time to speed up and make room. The guy behind me was less pleased. There was another horn. Another day in Calgary traffic.

Stuff like this makes me want to see everyone put into driving simulators to test their skills. I'm beginning to seriously think about how much this would cost, and if I could get the government interested. I suspect it would cost lots to start with, but the savings in gained human productivity and associated taxes, lessened health care demands from collision fallout, lessened damage to roadway infrastructure (do you have ANY idea how expensive it is?) would pay for it pretty quick. I think. Plus there is the intangible of having an objective method of testing drivers. Hopefully it would get the idiots off the road.

Calgary is thinking of spending a billion dollars it doesn't have to put some new bridges over the Bow at Crowhild, to say nothing of razing parts of several neighborhoods. But if we could weed out 10% of the drivers, maybe we could make do with existing infrastructure. Hmmm.

Friday evening I was feeling pretty good, so I tried a spin. One hour, easy spin. It took my legs a long time to get even partially woken up. Anything much over 100 rpm felt really hard so I didn't push it.

Now that I'm home, and my workout (such as it is) is done, here's my reward. Dust and all. Bottled April 2009, and this is the last one. Wonderful. A good start to the weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I am a clunker

Things have been generally going very well, but Tuesday was a much needed rest day. I'd been starting to feel a bit run down, and my swim times had begun to slip. That happens, and it was about time. So Tuesday I rested.

I felt like crap on Wednesday. Stiff, tired, sore, cranky, half asleep, and it didn't get much better at work chewing through an enormous spreadsheet. It was a long day. I was looking forward to yoga.

There I was, gradually getting into it. Then we were doing this seated pose, no idea what it's called. Seated on the floor, moving our torsos around in a big circle. I started going forward, around to my left, back, then around on my right going forward when I started feeling some pressure in my hip. It felt like a solid ball was underneath the joint. I wriggled a little trying to get past it. There was an enormous CLUNK! I felt it from my head to my toes. It wasn't painful, just very dramatic in an internal meaty sort of way.

I very cautiously went around again, with much the same experience, but not quite as bad. Sort of like changing gears in a car with bad U bolts and a worn clutch. The other way wasn't much better. At least there was no snoring in savasana.

This was another case where I wasn't eager to go to yoga, but I'm glad I did, even if I was still a bit full from the fruit smoothie supper.

Let's see how the swim goes tomorrow. Let's just hope Linda doesn't trade the clunker in for a younger model.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A day in the life of retirement

It's funny how things come in waves. There will be times when nothing much is happening. This can be good, verging on very good. It gives you a bit of time to decompress, double check your list of things to make sure you haven't overlooked anything in the daily scramble, and just maybe, get in an afternoon nap.

However, even though time was invented so everything wouldn't happen at once, it often does. Book a date with a buddy for something, and the next call will be someone else, wanting just that time slot and nothing else. Or you won't see someone in a while, then you'll bump into them several times in no time at all.

Sophia was here Saturday for our run in Fish Creek (link has photos and all), even though it was a little bit cold. Nothing serious by Calgary standards, probably about -10 to -15 C (14 to 5 F) although there was a bit of a wind out in the open driving the apparent temperature down further. And initially the plan  was to run from the house along the very exposed 37 st path down to Fish Creek. So I can hardly blame Leana and Deb for not coming. But it was nice and there was no wind down in the trees.

Then the very next day, Sophia showed up again, first thing in the morning. It was all part of Linda's master plan. The run with me was to get Sophia all warmed up for the full scale rampage and trampling involved in the Millarville crafts market. I was never able to quite figure out if Linda was going to push Sophia through first as a human plow, or use her to distract the masses while Linda darted in for the goodies. In any case they came back with lots of stuff.

Since I was a total weenie, unable to take the carnage, I stayed home and did a peaceable 90 minute spin. Lots of high rpm, and some spin ups to high wattage, focussing on keeping my legs light and spinning full circles. Stretched after.

There was some other stuff, but I can't remember what it was. I know I was reading for a while. Supper was beans that had been simmered with sausage and duck, with wine of course. I finished my book, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, if you want to know, and pretty good it was. Not as good as my favourite in the series, Memory, but I had always wondered how Ivan would end up married.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, and like character driven plot, you have a big treat in store for you. The way Lois McMaster Bujold likes to write is to think "whats the worst thing that could happen to this character?" She is one of science fictions most awarded authors, winning the Hugo for best novel 4 times, (FOUR TIMES! which is something only one other author has done) and nominated for another 6 novels. One of her novellas won both the Hugo and Nebula. Baen Books claims to have sold more than 2 million of her books. Google her Vorkosigan series. It is much, much better than the blurbs make it sound. Read it in order. Set aside lots of time. Last word, I'd love to see Lena Heady play Cordelia Naismith, one of the strongest female characters in all science fiction. Her "shopping trip to the capital" is a classic.

Monday. Retirement day started after dropping Linda at work. Got to the pool a little later than normal and missed some of the morning rush. In the pool for an hour, though it wasn't one of my best swims. It was just a bit slow and awkward. Slow flip turns.

When I was swimming at Renfrew many of the people there were retired. It was very common for them to go out for breakfast after. I only thought of this as I was showering after the swim. My one retired buddy lives in Okotoks. Just a bit far to go for breakfast, and would take way too long. But then I remembered I hadn't eaten at the Galaxy Diner for a long time. My tummy instantly decided that was going to be breakfast. It's one of the best places in Calgary for all day breakfast. The line up says so, though there wasn't one today. It was as yummy as I had remembered.

Home. Puttered about getting ready for a run. Ran 5 K, 33 minutes. Slow start. I don't quite believe the pace chart so I won't post it. The theory was that as I warmed up, I'd try to run each K just a bit quicker. Well, as long time readers might know, I suck at slow builds. Today I found out that I still suck at slow builds. The last one was good, though. As far as I know that's the fastest I've ever run a whole K. Just a hair over a 9 minute mile pace.

Long bit of stretching after, with a bit of core work. But not much. I should do more. But today, I'm channeling a geezer.

The high point of the afternoon was wrestling with a normally amiable 14 pound cat. He was still amiable about it, about as amiable as a cat getting things done under his tail that he doesn't want done, can be.

Linda is having an LRT adventure getting home so I need to zoom out and rescue her.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Playing catchup

Lots of catching up to do, in lots of different areas. Normally I like to try to be on top of things, or even a little ahead. It seems the last little while I've been just on the verge of falling behind, do a Red Queen sort of thing. So here we go. This might not be exactly the most coherent post.

Thursday after work I was supposed to give blood. It was snowing a lot. Just toward the end of the day I was really getting my teeth into work, and wouldn't have minded staying a while. But no, I trudged out into the snow and gave away some of my nearly perfect blood. Then back to the car waiting for Linda to get out of her yoga class. Watching drivers behave like idiots downtown, wondering what the drive home would be like. It turned out to be not bad, taking very little longer than normal, but a lot more stressful than normal. Roads were shite.

Friday morning I was up early, back working on the xl from home. Once breakfast settled I was on the bike for a good ride. Two hours. Good warmup, some endurance, then some really high effort spins for a short period. Once my heart rate got back down to a reasonable level I'd be off again. I like the sound the trainer makes. Then back onto the spreadsheet. This office chair is ok for a little while, but it isn't good for long term stuff. In fact, the Open Office software I use is a bit more painful than XL. Lots more clicks to do the same thing.

Friday evening I was off to an art show. The artist I was interested in seeing was Neil Z. Love his photos. Here's a nearly full circle montage of the room at the Village Brewery. I was thinking of getting some cards to send to people, but then realized I had no idea how many people we were going to send cards to this year. Need to figure that out. Nice show.

I managed to get into Costco just before closing, even with having to get around one guy and his cart that was being a complete dickhead. They moved the cheese. Again. At least I knew where to find everything else. Nobody got trampled. Their machines hate my personal debit card, but are ok with my company one. So I need to shuffle some money around. Sigh.

Saturday I was in the pool, but I'm not sure I'd say that what I was doing was swimming. I felt curiously out of it, barely going through the motions. I was more interested in the gong show happening in the next lane. At first I thought she was water running, but no, it was some slow motion variant of breast stroke. In sort of the same space as them was a guy who thought his mission today was to aerate the pool water. With them was another person that could mostly swim, but didn't want to join me and the two other guys in our lane. He'd have just been in the way, because that's what was happening in their lane. I think every lap was a new agreement on the direction of circle motion, or splitting the lane. I only swam 45 minutes, and it was a bit of a struggle. I never felt in the groove.

From there I was off to the Calgary market. Such an amazing place. Coffee. A date square nearly the size of my head with a layer of dates in the middle that was enormous. It didn't make it to the car.

Saturday was to be the inaugural Fish Creek Bison run. In preparation we were tidying the house so our guests wouldn't be attacked by feral dust bunnies. Our cats are falling down on the job, showing no interest in culling the herd.

Cats have an interesting relationship with the vacuum cleaner. Sebastian wasn't afraid of it, and liked being chased by it, he knew it was all fun. Nefertitti didn't care for it, but moved from place to place in a dignified way to avoid it. Amelia was terrified of it. Curtis almost refuses to notice it, then tries to glare it to death if it gets too close. Celina is cautiously interested in it. She follows along, playing with the hose. While I was on the computer exchanging emails with several of the runners who bailed, I mean, wisely chose to not run outside given the weather of the morning and their personal preferences. While I was doing that, Celina was checking out the vacuum cleaner. I wish I'd had the video running.

Sophia, Kris, and Evie showed up. Here's what it looked like as we headed out for the run. I'll probably play with some of these in Snapseed.

We drove down into the park so we could see more of it, parking just about where the 2 K marker is. 

 We ran to the hill of death, but didn't try running up it. That didn't look like much fun at all. Sophia wants to come back and try in the summer.

From there we ran along, chatting, stopping every now and then to get photos. The park is beautiful all the time, in different ways, but today was stunning. Sunshine, no wind, not too cold, nice company, not  trying to run too fast, or too slow. One of the nicest runs I've ever had.

Here we are just finishing. It's hard to get a photo of yourself when you can't see the screen of the phone at all. This was a bit of a guess, and it took a couple of tries.

We were really pleased at our pace. The first spike is stopping at the hill of death. The other spikes are stopping briefly for photos, and at 6 we walked a very little bit. At the very end she sped up, knowing we were almost done. I had to work a bit to stay with her.

We ended up running nice and easy just under 10 K in an hour and 10 minutes or so, then walking a bit to cool down, then stretching some more when we got back to the house. Bison burgers were BBQ'd. Beans done with sausage and duck were the side dish. Buns with goodies in them for dessert. Wine. Coffee. Chatting. A wonderful afternoon. Evie is a delightful child. I didn't even have to break out my supply of duct tape.

I'm struggling with Cloud Atlas a bit. When I was browsing through it in the store, I was totally hooked, so I'm not sure what's happened. The new Jasper Fforde is much more interesting at the moment. And the new Lois McMaster Bujold novel arrived. Linda is tearing through it now, and I'll be on it next.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An odd little room

I found myself here the other day, and thought I'd grab a photo.

Busy lately. Massage Tuesday. I thought my legs were the sore part and my shoulders weren't bothering me. Till she started digging in and found lots of owieness. Lots. Very owie. Once home, after fighting our way through brutal traffic, I went out for a nice brisk but relaxing walk.

Then I settled in following the US elections on twitter and a few other sites. I'm glad it's over. I watched the coverage of the Obama party for a short time, and they were clearly having a good time. Then I watched the Romney channel for a little while. The difference was amazing and I'm not talking mood. In probably an hour of the Romney video feed of the reception, I only saw white people. Well dressed white people from geezers down to children up past their bedtime. No doubt their parents told them they should be there for the historic occasion. No Asian people, no black or brown people. Just white folks.

I found out later, this was strictly invite only, with the secret service there to shoot anyone that looked like they might be thinking of considering trying to join the party, complete with helicopters fluttering overhead, no doubt armed with the full extremes of military weaponry. They expected him to be president elect by the end of the evening, after all. They were all pretty sad looking by the time I tuned in, and it didn't get any better as I was watching.

That told me all I needed to know. Who he'd be running his government for. Who he thinks is important. In a few years, as America becomes more racially diverse, and therefore less white, historians might look back on tonight as the last significant attempt by old angry white men to roll back the world to when they were in charge of everyone and everything.

Republicans have to take a look at themselves. Some will be saying they failed because their candidate wasn't conservative enough. Those people are breathing air that has something different than what the rest of us are getting. Some of the senate candidates that were not elected were as extremely conservative as it's possible to get. Most people didn't vote for them. Like it or not, the racially divisive, wealth pandering, vote suppressive, misogynic campaign platform is not going to work, and the sooner they stop trying to make it work, the sooner they can start working on winning votes, instead of trying to deny them to the other party. By then they'll be well on their way to joining the 20th century again. Or they can let the Tea Party nutters take over and try the more conservative route, and lose even more votes.

Wed was a nice 45 minute swim in the morning, much the typical workout. Working on trying to be smooth and relaxed. Yoga in the evening was good, working the shoulders a fair bit, which all felt good.

Looking forward to the long weekend. Thinking about a 3fer on Monday. Hope it doesn't snow too much between now and then.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The little cat pervert

Truth to tell, I was a little bit creaky getting out of bed this morning. Maybe I should have stretched more after my run. It wasn't just my legs, my core and hip flexors were talking to me as well. I'd really worked them during the swim on Saturday, and as I headed into the pool this morning they were telling me in no uncertain terms that the flip turns would be a little slower today.

And so they were. I had a whole 50 m lane to myself, and I did a relaxed 30 minute swim. The flip turns were just like some people like eggs, over easy. Which in fact was going to be the title of this blog, till after the bike ride this evening.

Today was so nice out. This is much more like what fall is. Sunny, and just cool enough for a light jacket. I ran into a former coworker and we chatted a bit as I finished my lunch time walk. It was nice enough to run after work, and tomorrow is supposed to rain or snow. But I don't like running two days in a row, and I had been looking forward to a nice spin session.

Which I did. 90 minutes, mostly over 90 rpm, and some of it over 100, mostly in a fairly easy gear, but some in a gear to produce nearly 300 watts for a short time at a high rpm. Felt good.

So there I was, lying on my back with my feet in the air, reading my iPad. I'm feeling something odd, and I suddenly realize Celina is right there, with her nose buried in my armpit. Not just sniffing as she walked past. Nose right in there and trying to get under my shirt. This wasn't the sweatiest ride ever, but I wasn't exactly dry either.

I don't mind getting a good sweat on, and sweaty girls can be hawt, but I'm a little worried about Celina. Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell, and I can't imagine why she's doing that. Hmmm, maybe she thinks some small prey creatures are living up in there.

I can't wait for the US election to be over. Enough of it has spilled over into Canadian news that I'm sick of it. I can see where people are disappointed in Obama, after such a promising start, but the alternative! Look at the alternative. A party that supports nutters who believe that women's bodies have a mechanism to prevent pregnancy from rape, and that slavery was a good thing for the slaves, isn't fit to run anything.

An election proper lasts less than two months. That is more than long enough for the electorate to get a good grip on the current batch of lies produced by the candidates, and decide which of them they prefer. Then the elected politicians can go back to their usual job of hiding what they are doing, lying when asked about it, and generally enriching themselves and their corporate masters. The rest of us can get on with whatever we were doing.

The American system of taking nearly a year is, well, stupid on a number of fronts. For a first term president, the poor sod already has one of the hardest jobs in the world and now has to do it, and campaign for a year to be allowed to keep it. One could easily argue that the American public is getting poor value during that 4th year. How much attention can he really be paying to it?

The cost is obscene, and allowing the so-called Super-PACs to inject so much money is just wrong. Corporations are not people, and should not be given the same rights.

Why should Iowa get first crack at the candidates? Maybe there is an excellent candidate for the entire country, excepting Iowa, but because they're first he is forced out. Where's the justice in that? If there is going to be a primary system, then everybody should have it all at the same time.

I've never seen the presidential ballot, but I understand the president is actually chosen by the Electoral College. Fair enough if that's what the rules are. So why allow a popular vote at all if the results could be contrary to the Electoral College? After all, only a very few Canadians get to vote for the Prime Minister, or not.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The running herds of dawn

It seems like it's been weeks since we've seen the sun. People living in Vancouver and other less fortunate places are used it, but Calgary gets a lot of sun. Do not fool yourself into thinking we get a lot of warmth. That would be a serious, potentially Darwinian mistake.

When we don't get sunshine Calgarians get cranky. There's been a lot of that going around.

The dawn was beautiful this morning. It gets me closer to appreciating how primitive people could be come sun worshipers, and celebrating when they notice the days getting longer. I was up early and had to get a photo.

This is from yesterday, just as I was firing up the BBQ. It isn't a good photo of a chinook coming in, but it will do.

We had friends over Saturday, and you can tell the conversation bored the cats.

I waited till the sun was fully up before heading out for my run, but the crowds were there waiting for me. I have never, ever seen so many people running on this path, outside of race days. There were a few times I had to slow down to wait for on coming traffic before passing. Most people were being pretty good. Everybody except one sour puss were smiling and happy. The one big group I passed were a very happy and chatty bunch.

Which leads me to a happy making point. I am normally the passee not the passer during my runs. I think this is the most people I've ever passed on a run, yet I wasn't trying especially to run fast. It was so nice out my plan was to just run what my legs felt like doing. The first 5 K felt easy, then it got a bit tougher. I was struggling a bit between 5 and 7 K, then got it back together for the rest of the run.

Most of the dogs were pretty good, but one pair had particularly stupid humans. It's fine to stop on the path, when nobody is coming, but have a look first. These guys just stopped a few yards in front of me dogs and all decided to chat. I warned them I was there, and maybe that was a bad idea. They panicked and it was cute to see, but unproductive about clearing any obvious track.

One geezer failed his pedestrian license. I'm chugging along. He and his buddy were walking along. All was as it should be. I move over to the left to pass, and he clues in that I'm coming. While trying to look over his right shoulder, he edges over to his left, into my path. His mobility isn't good, so he's twisting further and further, actually beginning to back into my path. I squeaked by him as he was turning in place, standing in the middle of the wrong side of the path. Good thing I wasn't on a bike or that there wasn't oncoming traffic.

Still, it's nice to see so many people out and about on a fine morning. I'll bet everybody cancelled their Saturday walk, and took advantage of the sun as soon as they saw the nice weather report wasn't some cruel hoax.

Walked briskly and ran very easy to where I started, and walked about a K back to the house. Stretched after. There is a thing I like to do sometimes, and I did it this afternoon. I also did it here, here, here, and here.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Regularity is good

Friday, after struggling with a merged spreadsheet that had nearly 20,000 lines of data on one side of it, and 2,000 on the other side, joined by location, looking for things that might match, I was ready for a big glass of wine and a night off.

Well, the wine and the off came after researching and buying a lockset. Three lock sets. Then I went to bed early. Really early. There were 4 year old children still awake, but probably only because they were still wired on candy. I went to bed at 7:30, and was out like a light.

Unfortunately, I woke up at 2:30, wide awake. So I got up and started a busy day. A big day starts with a good breakfast. Then some blog surfing. Cross fit videos. I've been getting more interested in cross fit video. That inspired me to head into the basement to do a core workout.

Then to the pool even before it opened. There was a small herd of adults waiting to get in, and a much bigger herd of kids. There was a swim meet happening. Even so I had a lane to myself, and ended up having a really strong swim. 1600 m in 30 minutes. Actually it was a really strong flip turn. Such a swim has 63 flip turns, and I powered through them all, really working my core and hams. Then a bit over 30 minutes of varied kick and pull drill, not working the flip turns so hard. I was feeling really good about it.

I've been trying to get into the pool 3 days a week, and that seems to make the difference. Two days just doesn't cut it. I've been on the bike 3 times a week pretty regularly, and that makes a lot of difference. Running isn't quite so regular. I only ran 8 times in October, but the run seems to be going fairly well.

After the swim I hung out with a coffee and watched the kids swim. Us adults are such weenies. We complain if there are 3 people in a lane. These kids were swimming 15 or more to a lane. They passed at will. At one point I saw four kids side by side in one lane. There was a bunch of bumping and jostling, but none of them seemed to mind. It was essentially one big draft fest. I've never been in a swim meet, so I'm guessing there is a method to the madness, and that someone is keeping track of everybody, and that the right people are on the blocks at the right time. To me it just looked like a huge herd of kids of various ages milling around.

Our friends G&G dropped by as planned and we scoped out our two favourite farmers markets, which G hadn't been to. There were some goodies picked up and some other stuff that made it's way to the BBQ for a late lunch. Then a long chat. It's so nice having the time to chat with friends.

Then I was on the bike for a hard 90 minute ride. Longish warmup, 30 minutes at 190 watts or so, then some easy. Then some spin ups to past 300 watts to hold for 30 seconds. Cool down. Stretch. Felt really strong on the bike. Nice.

Back to the cross fit thing. I'm really impressed by these people. I know for a fact I can't do most of that stuff. Not even close. I tried a pull up today and almost made it. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do a muscle up. But what really, really impressed me were the one leg squats. The really, really low one leg squats. Holy cap! I've been doing one leg squats for a while, and the limitation is my knees. They start squeaking at me if I go too deep. I suspect that if I went further they'd give up and I'd fall on my butt, and possibly never walk again.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The care and feeding of a Mo

Let me put up my hand and confess. I have a Mo. Perhaps some of you have noticed. I've had it for such a long time that I do not know what my face looks like without it. There are maybe a few dozen photos of me without it.

The reason is remarkable pragmatic. I nearly cut off my upper lip while figuring out how this shaving thing worked. My father deeply disapproved, and made his opinion known, but he could never say the words "porn star." Mind you, back then I'd have probably thought it was a compliment. Perhaps he knew.

A Mo takes a long time to come into it's own. A month is hardly enough to be considered fairly started. At that point you barely know what it will look like, and what the possibilities are. It needs to be gently shaped to suit your face, the rest of the hair on your head, and your personal style. There are a million subtle Mo styles out there, and all that I'll say about them is that most wouldn't work for me.

First thing is that you have to take care of it yourself, gently trimming it to shape. Just as a vineyard knows the footsteps of the owner, a Mo knows that it is loved when the owner pays attention to it. At least once a week I trim mine, and whenever necessary deal with any stray hair that got missed. It is much better to make frequent small trims, rather than a drastic periodic one.

I learned that lesson during lunch one day. I had been trying to grow it longer, thinking about doing the handlebar style. Then I took a big bite of a kaiser bun sandwich, not noticing that much of it was in my mouth. That was not fun. I trimmed it back right away.

There are certain rules to facial hair. One can grow a Mo by itself. One can grow a full beard, lightly shaped for neat edges depending on just how your face and neck produce hair. If you're married or in a relationship, or have a job you'd like to keep, you'd best keep it neatly trimmed. There are many variations on less than full beards, and they are all wretched, or worse. The fat guy trimming a thin beard line to make people think he as a jawline? Beyond wretched. The soul patch, the goatee, the mutton chops, and many others, all wretched. Long and wild is fine if you're a biker, or a survivor of a long lost Arctic expedition. You may think it makes you look like a rebel, but it really says you're too lazy for even minimal personal grooming. I am sure not to stand downwind of such people. I am undecided about long, full beards that are fully or partially braided and meticulously kept. In theory I think it could be a very, very manly look, but I think you'd have to be starting with a very, very manly look before the beard.

There are some ethnic groups that don't grow facial hair very well. No value judgement, it's completely a genetic thing. Men are allowed a period in their youth to find this out about themselves.  They might be the one guy in their gene pool that actually can grow facial hair and have it look reasonable. (Expecting to have sex during this period is unreasonable.) Once you have completed this experiment you have a choice. If it grows in and looks at least almost reasonable, just like the rest of us you can grow it or shave. If it doesn't look good, please just resign yourself to a lifetime of shaving.

Many women have an aversion to facial hair. On their men too. My hairstylist at the time was really down on my beard, and encouraged me to cut it off. She did the snoopy dance of joy when it went away, and encouraged the Mo to go too. Not gonna happen. I think the opinion is formed during the rough patch that follows missing a day shaving, and having the beard fill in and the ends soften up. Women, let your guy express himself with the Mo. And a beard too. Most men after a while will realize that in fact it is not a time saving, as trimming a beard can take a long time to come out nice.

During my last month long vacation in Nova Scotia I decided to grow a beard again, mainly because I was feeling lazy. I was pretty sure it would fill in ok. What I wasn't prepared for was the gray strip from my lower lip down towards my throat. The edges under my ears are still mostly red. It looked dreadful, and at the 3 week mark I shaved it off.

I am looking forward to seeing the different Mo styles over the next month. Please post photos!

Swimming with the bulkhead centered in the training pool at Talisman is weird. I'm used to having it set up as a 50 m pool, and I swam that way many times over the summer. Today I'd be getting into the groove, and the wall would be right there again. It seemed like I was doing a turn every few strokes, and it always came sooner than expected. They weren't smooth turns and it took a bit longer than usual to settle in, so the K was a bit slow, 18:45. Lots of dolphin kick and pull, 45 minutes.

My inner shark showed up for part of the swim. He was trying to help, pointing out my head was moving back and forth, and my arms were crossing over centre a bit, and my elbows were dropping, and my flip turn sucked, and I was being very slow. He also can't understand why I wasn't swimming under the bulkhead each time and going for the full 50 m. He was a little bored that there wasn't any other prey to chase in the pool. Still it was nice of him to drop in. Haven't heard from him in a little while. I should have asked if he was at the shark resort again.

Home and on the bike 90 minutes. Warmup long and gradual, hams and calves a bit cranky. Then 20 minutes at 225 watts with a very reasonable heart beat, under 130. Legs felt pretty good. Easy. Then 10 minutes at 250 watts, with my heart rate between 135 and 140. I think if I'd started at 250 I could have done that for the 20 minutes, but it would have been a bit of a stretch. Cool down with some easy fast spin. Progress is being made. Stretched a bit after.

Female readers, what are your thoughts on Movember?