Sunday, January 28, 2018

2017 Fitness Summary

Yearly medals.Longest daily streak.Before January turns over to February I wanted to post an update and summary of my fitness activity for the last year. There have been a number of changes with regards as to how things stand since my last update and not all things are as I hope they would be. On the positive side though is the fact that my weight is hovering steadily between 162 and 163 pounds — the lowest it has been in years.

I have decided to end my daily 30 minute, 400 calorie workout streak after 393 days. One of the factors was the fact that after getting Peloton at the end of April all the instructors kept making it clear that rest is as important as exercising. All this was confirmed by the fact that I’ve developed pain in my left calf which would not go away until I’ve started taking rest days.

I also believe that what Apple Watch promotes and rewards — hitting your goals on daily basis — or no medal for you — is ultimately unhealthy. I like the idea of reaching goals and it helps me stay with some exercise regiment, but I think the concentration should be based on daily averages instead of daily numbers. In fact my daily averages are higher than my daily goal even with exercising every other day.

A step in the right direction was an introduction of monthly challenges which are in fact based on averages in the latest Watch OS update. I think that daily race needs to eliminated entirely.

Yearly statistics.Typical Peloton workout.With regards to Peloton itself — the machine makes it much easier for much harder workouts. It actually is very easy to race your heart into zone 4 (out of 5) and it makes it essentially impossible to do very low impact exercises. Not in the sense that you technically can’t do it, but in the sense that it makes it fun to push harder.

However some of these factors and dropping a daily routine makes it hard to make oneself to get back on the bike. So I think towards the end of the year both Alёna’s and my stats have suffered.

So here are the 2017 full stats:
MertricUnitsPer DayPer MonthTotal
Active Energycalories46313,544162,535

I don’t do a lot of walking. I make that up by my time on the bike. Alёna’s walking numbers are a lot higher:
MertricUnitsPer DayPer MonthTotal
Active Energycalories45313,494161,939

Pretty impressive numbers if I do say so myself. However if January is any indication 2018 isn’t going to look nearly as good.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

March and April Fitness Stats

March move goal medal.April move goal medal.March was a pretty regular months with our regular regiment of daily exercise on our recumbent stationary bike. We haven’t taken our real bikes out a single time, but I did a 20 minute workout on an elliptical machine to get a one time medal that Apple Watch gives out for several common types of workouts. I do hate elliptical. I just don’t find the machine pleasant at all. Never did.

I also hit a 500 daily move goals on March 24th. The medal is awarded for 500 total move goals — they don’t have to be consecutive. Here are the overall stats for March:
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Active Energycalories54175716,761

One time medal for doing a workout on elliptical.500 days of hitting a move goal.April was quite a bit different from our usual months. First 10 days of the month we spent in Costa Rica. At first I was planning to visit a gym on daily basis to hit my goals, but on the very first day we discovered a daily water aerobics class that would usually last for about 30 minutes — exactly what I needed. In fact I remember that such classes occur pretty much on all such vacations, but we never paid any attention. Here we participated daily.

I also tried doing a swimming workout to get another one of those one time medals that I mentioned above, but swimming is hard. I barely eeked out a 15 minute swim and haven’t attempted it again. I just need more practice to keep myself from standing up from time to time to take a break. Later on when we got home I came to a realization that out of all possible activities I have never gotten this type of medal for something as trivial as running.

My crazy run stats.End of April.So I went for a 15 minute run. I had a profound experience — running is HARD. I guess the muscles that get worked on a recumbent bike do not help at all while running. I was intentionally moving at a slow pace. I did finish my run having my heart peak out at 170 BPM at one point — which is very high and very unusual for me, 184 being my advisable max. I averaged out 164 BPM for the whole run. My muscles were incredibly soar for the next 2 days. As I said — profound.

Also as I mentioned earlier we have placed an order for Peloton Bike right after our return from vacation, but more on Peloton in a future post. By buying the bike we also got early access to Peloton iOS app that has all of the classes available that we could stream to our TV via AirPlay and Apple TV. So we took a 2 week break from our spinning and concentrated on core training — stretching, arms and leg workout, lower back and abdomen. We even did some Yoga.

Here are my April statistics:
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Active Energycalories52774315,817

On April 28th we got our Peloton Bike delivered. What a difference it is compared to our previous machine. So far we are enjoying it quite a bit, but we’ll have to wait a couple of month for a final verdict.

March stats.April stats.My weight is holding steady. I was at 167 lbs at my last check and my current move streak is at 330 days.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

January and February Fitness

Activity app medals.One of the days.When I posted my year-end fitness stats back in December I had to use three different applications to extract and tabulate the data from HealthKit. And that’s not counting Excel to calculate averages and max values. It took a lot of effort.

But soon after the year started I wanted to install an app for my dad that would let him view his stats in a better way than HealthKit presents it in. And while doing it I got an ad for another similar app which I did not see before even though I did search for these things. It turned out to be perfect.

The app is called HealthView and is a great dashboard for HealthKit data. Even though the app is a little buggy — sometimes it takes too long to update and loads the data from a wrong date or crashes — it still lets you view your stats in a good, beautiful, clear way after a few restarts or reloads.

HealthView dashboard. Day view.HealthView dashboard. Month view.My move (the number of days I achieved my calorie goal on) streak is currently at 278 days. Here are my numbers from the first two months of this year. January is first table, February is second.
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Active Energycalories52382516,233

MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Active Energycalories5811,27216,276

HealthView metric drill down. Month view.Activity app. Filling in the circles.At this point we do the most of the work on a stationary bike. We did put a real bicycle on a trainer in the begging of the year and it was a lot more pleasant. However it was sadly producing way too much vibration and living in the apartment we just didn’t feel at ease working out in this way. We’re thinking of investing in a much more high quality stationary bike than our current one.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cannondale SuperSix EVO 105

2017 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 105.After spending more than 6 months on stationary bike spinning pedals every single day and after putting our real Cannondale Synapse on a trainer we thought that we’re ready to get back on a pair of real bicycles. As I said we’ve already had one very good cycling machine from a couple of years back, so we needed to expand our current road bike collection by one more unit.

Shimano breaks.I did some research and with my mind made up we visited our favorite local bike store. The owner — Allen — was in and he is our favorite guy to work with. I had my heart set on 2017 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 105 racing road bike. And what do you know — they had the exact model in my size handing on display. I took it for a spin around the block and I knew I wanted it.

Shimano components.For future reference I want to attach some pricing information — as it turned out to be useful this time around. The MSRP on this particular bicycle was $2,199 without pedals until very recently when Cannodale dropped it to $1,999 several weeks ago. Allen sold it to us for $1,700 with pedals included. Essentially this is aluminum price territory of CAAD12.

Clip-in side of the pedal.So as it becomes clear from all of the above SuperSix is top of the line carbon frame from Cannondale’s racing line fitted with Shimano 105 componentry. It’s as stiff as CAAD12, but does absorb more shock from the road. Our Cannondale Synapse was more of an endurance bike and we had it refitted and adjusted for Alёna free of charge by our shop.

Platform.As for the pedals — I went for something similar that I had before. This particular pedal has a clip-in mechanism on one side and a platform for any other shoe on the other. Since I haven’t ridden on a bike with cleats in a long time I wanted to have this option. Now we just have to stick with this and put some serious miles on these bikes.

Some stickers removed. Work in progress.

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Cycling 2010

Cycling clothing.The cycling year is over and since I’m not planning to cycle in the last 8 hours of this year I decided to calculate and post the final stats. There are many valid excuses I can come up with for such unimpressive results, but it’s better than nothing.

In the last months the weather got really cold and I had no proper clothing. However a week ago I finally bought a couple of items that allowed me to put some miles in without freezing to death. I had the long pants from the last year and my helmet came with a winter insert which I installed.

I bought a thermal layer that goes under a jersey (basically a t-shirt with long sleves that soaks up sweat) and a really nice cycling jacket. I’m thinking that I should’ve gotten it one size smaller since the rubber strip on the bottom doesn’t prevent it from sliding up. Otherwise it’s water and wind proof, has a lot of convient pockets and a long back.

I think what I need to get is a long sleeved jersey to replace my summer one, get some thermal layer on the head to cover the ears, get a pair of booties that go over the cycling shoes, some real gloves and it should make cycling comfortable during winter.

Here are the final numbers:
MonthRidesTotal DistanceOverall Time
8 months34707.0453:54:54

So there you have it. Total of 707 miles and almost 54 hours on a bike. The fastest speed was 32.8 MPH and the biggest single time distance is 51.16 miles. By my standards (they are pretty low ones) that’s not too shabby. Hopefully next year will be better and even more hopefully Alёna will join in. Arosha will probably have to wait a year or two.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Queens Loop

Here’s a map1 of what we’ve been doing with Mike on weekends from the time when he got his new bike.

Our overall ride length varies from 25 to 32 miles per run and it takes us from hour and a half to 2 hours depending on the detours and stops that we choose to make.

Hopefully Alёna will join us as soon as possible. And maybe even Alex will remember to bring his biking clothes back to Brooklyn and not have a hang over one day, but we’re not really counting on that. When Lenchik gets back to living in Brooklyn (if ever) we’ll just have him run with us. Anybody else wants to join? )

  1. Large map. Recorded with Cyclemeter for iPhone. []
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Monday, May 31, 2010

May Cycling

HelmetHere is my May cycling report summed up in one word — pathetic. First we were on vacation, then I was sick, then we were shopping for furniture, then we were putting furniture together. You get the picture. Overall I managed to get out only 5 times during the whole month of May. Goes and hides in shame now.

Sasha and I did a pretty long loop throughout parts of Brooklyn, Rockaways and Queens though this time around — over 30 miles long, which makes it my longest ride yet.

DateTotal DistanceAverage SpeedOverall Time
5 days96.82max 15.807:18

However the weather wasn’t really cooperating this month — it was extremely windy very often. It’s not my favorite feeling when you’re going 20 MPH and then you’re standing still and feeling like you’re about to roll backwards. Today though was an exception. Even though the winds were pretty strong it felt really nice going against it — the day was very hot and wind would cool you down so quickly that I was almost feeling goose bumps and that seemed to give me more strength to go through it. I really enjoyed that for a change today.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Cycling

CyclingIf all goes as planned and we do go on our vacation this Saturday I’m not going to do any more cycling this month. Hence my mini report for this month. It certainly feels good to be riding again.

I use CatEye V3 to collect the following data — distance, average speed, average heart-rate, average cadence and maximum speed reached through out the ride.

At this point my average cadence has stayed pretty consistent which is 65-69 since the day I started recording it. My average heart-rate is at 150-164. The maximum speed that I was able to reach was 29.2 MPH, which I’m sure is pretty laughable by any standards, but it is what it is. And the more detailed break down follows:

DateTotal DistanceAverage SpeedOverall Time
10 days160.24max 15.213:21

I did put about 10 more miles on my parent’s fitness bike, but I’m not including those stats since it’s really hard to compare the machine to a real bike. I’m not really sure what’s harder to do.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CatEye V3 Cycling Computer

CatEye V3 mounted on the stem. Showing speed, heart rate, cadence and distance.I finally got a chance to install a cycling computer on to the bike on past Sunday morning. I had it delivered a while ago, if you recall. I am a bit of a nut when it comes to statistics of all kinds and riding without the information provided by the computer is just not as much fun as with — current speed, cadence and heart rate, averages and maximums. It also displays elapsed time, distance and included an odometer for a bike among other things.

Rare earth magnet mounted behind the pedal by magnetic force.I did decide that I would like to get a cadence sensor this time around and figured that might as well throw in the heart sensor. One of the objectives was to get a rear mounted sensor so if I decide to stick the bike into the trainer one winter I would still get the data.

Sensor mounted on the chain stay.For the cadence magnet I used a rare earth magnet kindly provided by Ignat to avoid using zip ties on the pedal. The magnet is just about the right diameter, falls right into the mounting hole not filled by the pedal itself. I’ve put about 40 miles after putting the magnet on and it seems to sit sturdy in place without any additional mounting hardware such as glue. The sensor itself is kind of bulky, but again, the supplied mounting hardware did the job just fine fitting it onto a flat chain stay of Synapse frame. The whole install didn’t take longer than 20 minutes.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5.After 4 weeks of waiting and almost a year long break I’m back on a bicycle. However everything worked out in an unexpected way as it often does.

Shimano 105 shifters.This time around I place an order for Cannondale CAAD9-4. Same bike as I had before, only instead of getting Shimano 105 components I decided to go with SRAM Rival. The problem was that our LBS didn’t have this particular bike in stock. They placed an order to Cannondale and Cannondale folks were dragging their feet.

Shimano 105 derailleurs, FSA Gossamer BB30 Compact crank.This past Wednesday Sasha asked if I wanted to stop by the store, see if he’ll pick anything out. The owner wasn’t supposed to be there on Wednesday, but there he was. He explained to me that Cannondale was expecting to ship the bikes next week and that he would’ve called me if anything changed, but I told him that I’m here with a friend to show him around.

Cannondale logo on the frame, Control Tech handlebar.We went to look at bikes and I suggested Alex test drives a CAAD9 bike and a Synapse. CAAD9 is a great crit bike and is great for racing, or anything else for that matter, but since we’re not really planning to race an endurance bike could be a better choice, and Synapse is exactly that. Synapse comes in alloy and carbon.

Prologo Kappa Pas saddle.Sasha ended up liking Synapse more. We were told that it was a 2009 (last year) carbon model with Shimano 105 stuff. The price tag was $1400, which is a bit crazy, knowing that 2010 model goes for $2150. When Alex agreed to buy it, the owner started checking books and discovered that they, as he eloquently put it, fucked up. The bike was aluminum alloy, not carbon.

Shimano RS10 wheels and hubs.Allen (the owner) apologized for the screw up and said to correct the situation he’s going to give him a very good price — $1100 for aluminum and if he still wants carbon he’ll give him 2010 model for $1550, which is off the hook. I started feeling that my $1500 for $1800 wasn’t as great of a deal compared to this one — although it still was a hell of a deal, judging by the info on the forums.

Carbon frame, carbon fork. BPA-Free Camelbak Podium bottle.Alex took a bike for a test drive and Allen said to me that since I was his customer it would not be right if he wouldn’t offer me the same deal. After a short test drive it didn’t take long for me to change my mind. Although CAAD9 is an awesome bike I figured that for me endurance bike probably makes more sense than a crit bike, since I’m not really all that great of a cyclist at this point. Plus this way I could pick up my new bike right away, instead of waiting. Alex did the same.

Shimano A520 SPD pedals.We picked them up on Friday. I put a little bit over 40 miles up to this point on my bike and I like it a lot. First day I wasn’t sure about my switch, but now I’m just happy to be riding again. We picked up a bunch of other gear which was given to us at a great price as well. I said this before, and I will say this again — THE BEST customer service and shopping experience, only at Sheepshead Cycle Shop. Allen is great to do business with, and I’m one of many very satisfied customers.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CatEye V3

CatEye V3.I have this1 waiting for me. It can only mean one thing — I’m waiting for something else to come through really soon. So far the ETA is not clear though. I’m hoping for this or next weekend.

  1. CatEye V3 cycling computer. Paid $138 on Amazon. []
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Начало Отпуска

Our cabin at Shoshone Lodge.Отпуск удался. Улетать домой не хотелось очень, но как говорят “хорошего понемножку” — и мы с Данькой уже паримся в наших Бруклинских апартаментах и пытаемся заполнить мониторы компьютеров стройными рядами свежих воспоминаний.

Наш пятничный вечерний рейс был отменён авиакомпанией JetBlue — не очень приятно, но и не очень страшно учитывая то, что вылететь в Денвер мы смогли ранним утром следующего дня. Эльдар встретил нас в аэропорте рядом с крутящейся штукой, которая неторопливо выплёвывала багаж пассажиров нашего рейса. Мы довольно редко встречаемся с Эльдаром — всё же расстояние между Нью-Йорком и Колорадо немалое — но взаимное привыкание происходит очень быстро и, как я уже писала, улетать было очень грустно.

Next best thing to "Welcome to Wyoming" sign.В субботу мы с Даней взяли в аренду велосипеды (а у Эльдара есть свой собственный), и все вместе мы поехали кататься по окрестностям Вестминстера — города, где живут Эльдар и его родители. Денёк был жаркий, поэтому катались мы не слишком долго, но всё равно было очень приятно снова почувствовать как “скрипит потёртое седло” Liberty Bell near Wyoming capitol building.под специальными шортами со смягчающей паролоновой прокладкой и “ветер холодит” разгорячённое под палящим солнцем тело.

Субботний вечер завершился ужином в очень приличном китайском ресторане, несколькими глотками пива, сваренного в местных микропивоварнях (купили мы его в супермаркете), большой коробкой черники и разговорами. Спать мы пошли относительно рано так как в восресенье планировалась длинная дорога. Первую ночь мы провели в доме где живут родители Эльдара. Нам с Даней почему-то не спалось в отведенной нам комнате на втором этаже (было душно), и Эльдар переместил нас в более прохладную комнату в подвале (где я под утро даже замерзла). Данька всё сокрушался, что гости из нас получились капризные, но семья Эльдара который раз согрела нас своим гостеприимством.

Sign near Wyoming capitol building.В 9 утра в воскресенье мы отправились в путь. Мы с Данькой любим посещать столицы разных американских штатов, поэтому вполне естественной была наша остановка в городе Шайенн — столице штата Вайоминг. Мы припарковались рядом с капитолием, который, надо заметить, произвёл очень приятное впечатление, и сделали парочку фотографий самого здания и очереденого “колокола свободы”.

Даня был особенно доволен остановкой еще и потому, что в музее, расположенном рядом с капитолием, ему поставили аж 3 красивых печати! ) По самому музею мы проскакали галопом — не хотелось терять драгоценное время.

Остальной путь не был особенно примечателен — вокруг тянулись то малозаселённые равнины, то горы, то мелкие городишки; время от времени шел дождь, гремел гром и сверкали молнии; на обочине Shoshone Lodge sign.дороги нам повстречался горный козёл, а в полях мы неоднократно видели вилорогов (pronghorn antelope), которых в Вайоминге хоть пруд пруди. Вобщем ехалось хорошо и довольно спокойно (во всяком случае мне как пассажиру).

В нашу гостиницу — Shoshone Lodge — мы прибыли около 8 вечера. Для проживания нам достался крохотный, но очень уютный деревянный домик с двумя кроватями. Как выяснилось, гостиница была построена еще в 1920-х годах дедушкой теперешнего владельца этого места. В главном здании, а точнее в двухэтажном деревянном доме, гостиницы находится ресторанчик, в котором мы и поужинали, а так же комната для гостей с камином, парочкой диванов и огромным количеством разных охотничьих “трофеев” прибитых к стенам (лосиная и оленьи головы, медвежьи шкуры, чучело пумы и т.п.).

First dinner in Shoshone Lodge.В процессе регистрации любезная тётушка-портье выяснила что мы русские, и довольно нам сообщила что у них работае русский мальчик под именем “Игор”. Этот самый Игор, который на деле оказался Егором, подошел к нам после ужина и мы немного с ним поболтали (он явлается студентом из Омска, который участвует в программе “Work and Travel USA” и находится в штатах по J-1 визе). Взять с собой в парк Егора мы не смогли (так как он пол дня работал, а мы уехали рано), и как-то больше мы с ним не общались.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cycling in Colorado

One and only photo of me on my bike.A bit of exciting news for us with regards to cycling — yesterday, with Eldar’s help, I made a reservation for a pair of road bikes at a local to Eldar store.

If we can’t have our cycling in this city at least we’ll enjoy some of it during our trip next month. And not only we’ll do some cycling, but we’ll do it in the heart of cycling country. I think everyone in Boulder owns a road bike.

We’ll be renting a pair of Specialized Roubaix road bikes for $50 a day.

P.S. This is the only photo of me on my bike in existence.
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