Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big Fire Road

The commutes this summer are long and hot, well into 100 degrees or higher.

I’ve picked up the pace as its summer here in Tucson—this is the time to train, Gentle Readers of This Blog. It’s hot—hot like my friend from Guadalajara, the beauty who works in the Finance Dept of the San. When I see her (and all the other blokes who see her too) suddenly it seems difficult to breathe…

Her Beauty, like the Heat of the Sonoran, is inescapable; a glance from her green-gold eyes can overwhelm and shut you down. Stay focused, have no illusions, and hold fast as the big waves of invisible blazing energy radiate all around you.

So there’s this Big Fire on top of the intersection of the streets MaGee and Christie. The Boss has introduced this Dragon to me as of last weekend, mes amis. I have bought a heart-rate monitor and we were trying to figure out my maximum heart rate by riding up MaGee to the top of Christie—twice, so we can take an average.

The heart rate monitor I bought was a sweet deal, and better than just a basic one—which means it is a bit on the complex side, with functions I probably don’t need or want right now. If I did it right, my maximum heart rate for the first climb was 183—whatever that means, and then the next was a bit better at 173—by better I mean that I was in the right gear at the right grade of the road, and it was easier and I rode up faster.

Still, the Big Fire on the top of that road ripped a lung out of me—even thought I was not trying -- just trying to get up the road to the top as best I could, my chest and lungs burned hard and fast. It was difficult—and we did it twice.

Heart Rate monitor instruction book, besides being printed in a font size of 3 really is about setting everything up—just what buttons to push. The rest is left up to someone like me—okay now what? Luckily Alan knows a thing or two about physiology (he’s got a PhD in Rocket Surgery and does research) and—he knows what he’s talking about—and he knows how to translate what’s going on…

Riding East on the bike path, just off River Rd with all the traffic--Rincon Mtns are in the background.

After a few failed attempts to get the heart rate monitor to work on my commutes this week—I finally got some numbers rolling this morning on the commute into the San.

Hot and dry--this is Swan going over the River--I'm only a few miles from the office now.

From what we can tell on my commute in on River Rd, I sat pretty well in one of my zones for the 15 miles into the office. I was pushing hard to see what kind of numbers I’d get, so I could report them to the Boss for analysis. What I should be doing is just going my regular speed—to see how and what kind of workout I’m getting and then create some intervals for training.

I also wore the hr monitor to my spin class—I got a ride to spin from one of the nurses that works here at the San, and I put my bike in her truck and then we were off.

In spin class I mainly sweated—and the numbers on the hr monitor seemed a bit lower—but I got tired and pulled back a little towards the end. It had been a long day, mes amis.

I’m also swimming and lifting weights, so I have a lot on my plate for the summer.

So that’s where I’m at. More about the heart rate monitor as I begin to figure it out…

You can see the heart rate monitor on my handle bars here--easier to see and operate than wearing on your wrist.

Cheers! Bruce

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