Monday, October 29, 2012

Heart Beat Monitor for Casual Workout: To Keep My Heart In Check!

Dear Reader,

As I said previously, I started to go out and workout. During my workout, one thing I could not get feedback on was my body. You often hear that we should listen to our body, but it's hard to really be able to tell myself if I am in a good shape or not. So, last week, I broke my wallet and went off buying a Heart Rate Monitor chest strap. It's a kind of elastic strap that goes around the chest with a electronic device that track your heart pulse. I suppose it's kinda like wearing a bra while doing sports... weird at first....

The model I use is this one, it's from Polar and it's bluetooth enabled, it works very well with my phone (a Galaxy S i9000), connect without an hitch, totally plug and play. I did my last workout with it and accurately gives a reading of my heart beat. People says that it does not work with the sensor in the back and I still need to try it, I'll update this page when I'll have more about that.
Edit: After using it for 2 weeks, it failed once, it disconnected when I pause my workout and needed a connection refresh, I don't think it's a big issue, I'll see if that happens more often. Also, I did try it with the phone on a beltpack placed on my back and it does work, so I can freely skates with my beltpack on the back.

Now, what's the purpose of it? simple, I try to not overpush myself, when you read the news, you can see stuff like that, a cyclist dying after probably pushing himself too much and in the past, I did overpush myself twice, the first time, I collapsed, the second time, I was nearly collapsing, I managed to call my colleagues to pick me up at the bus stop. I'll just try to control myself. Luckily, I can gradually train myself :). The purpose of having a HRM is to be able to know where you at during the effort, heart beat are separated into 5 zones of beat frequencies, the faster your heart beats, the higher the zone and obviously, you can't stay for a long period of time in the highest heart beat zone.

In my case, my smartphone will just give me a voiced indication about which zone I am evolving too, so if I was slowing down and the computer tells me "heart zone 3", I know an indication of the bpm my heart is beating at 150-159bpm.

That way, I can try to train myself into a specific zone, like going the fastest within a given zone.

At zone 5, I can do approx 30+ km/h I feel that I can go faster, but my body does not move faster to be able to increase speed... a funny feeling. An inline speed skating athlete can do a Marathon in just under 70-90 minutes... That's 30+ km/h average, I am only averaging 15km/h on my best day and I need a pause and I don't think they are constantly pumping 160 bpm during a race... So I am very far from World class athletes... but just being at half their performance is just disappointing (it's like thinking that you need 20 seconds to do a 100m... I know I can be faster than that)... I don't mean to race, but achieving 3/4 of it might be a good goal to start over let's say a 2 years period. I'll come back to that point in the near future. :)

That said, I hope to be able to keep my workouts when baby will be here and not lose this new habit.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

6 years and counting.

Rear reader,

Today we celebrated our marriage anniversary. 6 long years, during which, we have been growing our love to each other. I learnt more about my wife, she learnt more about me, and this year has been marked by our will to be parents again. So after a big amount of prayers, of trying, Yukyin has a huge belly ready to give birth somewhere around next month.

A new challenge.

From the time we had Myrtille we learnt that we are not so patient anymore, we are less careful, we have less free time, we are older, I really enjoy sleeping some time. So sometimes, I am just wondering why we decided to get a new kid? But I do think it will help gather ours ties closer, Myrtille will learn what it is to share things at home, to share mum and dad's time. To live with a sibling. I always had my big brother, but I never knew how it was before I arrive in his life. Now, I can imagine through Myrtille's life and I think it won't be easy. At last, we want to build a family of 4 inside God's hands.

Yukyin's condition is fine, she is nearly at the end of her pregnancy and started to have all those different little things happening in her body that indicate the nearing of the end. I just want to ask you to pray for a smooth delivery. We are not so worried about the life with baby, we are more worried about how the delivery will actually happen. She had a c-section the first time and we would like to try giving her naturally.

Anyway, thanks for those beautiful 6 years, thanks for tonight's cake. I love you.

I pray that whoever you are, you live a happy tale with your half one. (If not, you can always drop me a comment, we'll pray for ya.)

See you soon.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Start workout!

Dear Reader,

Having Myrtille, a pregnant Yukyin and a need to balance family/work/entertainment life is not easy. Lately, I found out that I put up some weight, on last Friday, I had a Mcdonnald's lunch with a KFC diner... Before you throw stones at me, Yukyin had the same... Now, you can throw even more stones at us :( Seriously, we are just two lazy eaters some time... It does not happen everyday, but yeah... that evening, I felt weird, I just felt all the bad grease running in my veins. I am not fat. I am 177 for 70 kg, which is not really fat, but Yukyin found me a bit on the overweight side, she would like me to be a bit slimmer and obviously healthier.

In terms of diet, my family background is not the healthiest either, in one hand, I might end up like my brother, whose diabetes activated a day in his thirties... :( and in the other hand, my mum's family side is what I would really call being on the overweight side, sorry folks, I don't want to hurt feelings, but I do think weight are on the high side.

As time flies, I got into my thirties myself and my brother's warning got into my head, I need to do some workout, one to lose some weight by reinforcing muscle mass and two, to improve my heart for my older days, three release some stress. :) I can't afford to have both Myrtille and Yukyin worrying about my health.

So, I seriously planed to take back my big butt on my skates and go eat some asphalt.

When Google had their 250M app sold or whatever the amount of sales, they got the Runtastic app on sales, a GPS tracking app... so I took it. 2HKD... A bargain. Last night I used it for the first time. A really good piece of software, not too complex, not too easy either, I needed to take some time to figure out how it worked as I never tried this kind of apps... I did not really know what to expect, but I was expecting the ability to track my route, track the speed, track the time and map it on Google Earth and I think that this app is spot on with all my requirements.
Use was simple, you turn it on, you turn the GPS, which take a insane amount of time to initialize on my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S), and off you go, the app will follow your course.

So here it is, my first workout:

Distance 11.91 km
Pace: 04:36 min/km
Calories: 517 kCal
Elevation: ↑ 119 m

Pretty neat isn't it?
12km for my second workout (I did not have the app ready for my first outing).

Actually, earlier this evening, I was eating this:
A very soft, cheesy, creamy mushroom penne, so I kind of needed the work out :)

To finish, I pray the Lord for our health, my family and mine and hope that you'll also find your way in keeping you healthy.

See you soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Half way to First Term!

It's been a while! Actually, every time I look at my browser's bookmarks, I always have something in my mind to write but never had the time to work on it.

As of today, we are mid October and Myrtille has joined K1 since last month. Her life brutally change from being a no-worries laid back / play all day life to a meticulously arranged day. Morning, she wakes up at 7h35, have a wash, eat breakfast, go to kindergarten for 3 long hours, learn 3 languages, plenty songs and  Bible verses, she then come back at 12 for a lunch, followed by a nap. She would have some simple homework (drawing lines / coloring stuff) to do and playtime downstairs if time allowed. Diner at 7pm and off to bed at 9pm.

To me, that was just the end of her worry free life. She will have to learn the hard way... The Hong Kong way! With Yukyin, we are already feeling pressure from the school system, the pressure put on kids is tremendous and I just don't see the value for that. It just leads to more social and economic problems with difficult integration of young in the current society. Anyway they are meant to be the leaders of tomorrow, so I'll just entrust them the future of my old ages.
At the end, I still strongly believe that if God allows her to succeed, she'll succeed if she put herself up to work.

Back on Myrtille, she is now three. She talks a lot, still energetic in running around, she already has a big sister attitude and she will be indeed big sister by the end of next month. Hehehe
We'll see how she tackle the newcomer at home.

On that, I hope I'll write more in the future, I just got a pro Flickr account, I think I just can't do without, since I reach the limit of the free account I just dropped blogging which is bad.
So in the wait for more of our news, please pray for Yukyin's pregnancy and for a smooth delivery.