Thursday, January 25, 2007

What's wrong with our dog?

I don't write much about Kiowa here. Mostly because she is a great, well behaved, good natured, adorable Malamute. She decided this week to turn crazy on us. It began last saturday when eugena and I took her for a 8 mile run (poor thing...). She was exhausted after the run like she usually is and slept all afternoon. We decided to head down to columbia that evening to meet paul and kristi for thai food. We were only going to be gone a few hours so we dog proofed the house and left her sleeping. When we came home hours later (longer than we thought due to a blizzardesque snow storm) she had managed to tear the place apart. Maybe she was worried about us driving in the storm, maybe she woke up from her exercise induced coma and panicked that noone was home. Regardless she freaked out and tore down and demolished 2 sets of blinds (so she could look out the windows), kicked open the door to the back room, and spread trash all over the house. Since that evening she has decided to keep up with the trash spreading tradition and has somehow managed to out-smart and out-muscle our devices to keep her out of the trash. Today when I came home (she was only alone for about an hour and a half) she got into the back room where the trash was and then closed the door on herself, locking herself in the room with the trash and her dog treats (which she has found and actually remembers the location). So when I came home from spinning, instead of a excited, furry (now crazy) malamute greeting me, I had silence. The first thing that went through my head was that someone broke in the house and either took her (she's probably the most attractive item we possess) or let her out of the house. I realized that she may be in the back room, opened the door and there she was, caught red-pawed. She didn't even make a noise when she heard me come home. Maybe she realized how busted she was and was thinking of a way out of it. I actually think she was just confused. This was the third day in a row of her trash-divnig and we are still finding pieces of old torillas scattered around the house. I can't imagine she was going to remember where she put all her little stashes of tortillas and was acutally going to go back for them someday.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The West got snow, we got ice

So the Midwest got slammed with some nasty wintry weather this last weekend. Luckily Kirksville missed the worst part of the storm. We did get some freezing rain on sat and Sunday, followed by a bit of snow Monday night. Today though was nice and sunny, albeit cold (-1 deg F when I woke up at 0730 this morning), everything is covered in a thin layer of ice. The sun was shining, blue bird sky, and everything was shimmering. It was truly beautiful. Eugena got out to take some cool pictures of the incredibly beautiful scene while I was in class for 7 hours today. Check them out here.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A cool experience

Ever since I started road biking I have always wanted to get my VO2 Max tested. If you don't know VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can take up from the air around you and use to help your muscles make energy. Getting a VO2 max tested doesn't really help in designing specific training plans but is nice to know what your endurance capability is. One website that I was looking at put it this way,
"Top endurance athletes (eg: marathon runners) usually have a very high VO2 Max, usually measuring around 70 ml/kg/min. The average person has a VO2 Max of around 35 ml/kg/min. "

People like Lance Armstrong and other ultra super-human athletes usually have a VO2 in the 80s or low 90s.
So yesterday I finally got a chance to get my VO2 done. We have a good friend Cassie who is studying Exercise Science at Truman State University here in town. She arranged it with a professor that she works with to come up to their lab yesterday afternoon. Here is a good website about VO2 testing with a picture of what the test looks like (except I was on a bike and not a treadmill). The test was pretty short, only about 7 min of real work, but with a warm up and cool down took around 45 minutes. The point is to exercise the subject to exhaustion so it gets pretty strenuous. It was tough, not really a "fun" experience although it was really cool to push myself that hard and see what I can do. Well, I wasn't dissapointed. I got a good result that I am happy with. The professor wants me to come back in a couple months to demo a real test for his students so it will be cool to see if I will make any improvment in my max in the next couple months. Hopefully I can use this capacity to do well in some races this year...

The full report:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Finally a little perspective

Yesterday I went on a ride with Paul and Brian after we got out of class (I love days when we only have 4 hours of lecture). We only had about 2 hrs so we headed out on the K loop. Brian just got his road bike built up and he has a Garmin edge 305, which is a piece of bike wizardy. Its the ultimate bike computer/GPS unit. Anyway Brian put the ride up on this really cool web based application called motion based. Check it out here. The coolest thing about this is that I can look at the profiles and maps of rides that I've been doing for a year and a half. This application is so cool, a data geek's dream. You can plot the distance vs. heart rate, gradient, elevation, speed and all sorts of other things. If you click on the "player" tab on the right side you can see our ride in 3x (you can change the speed) with actual speeds, elevations, and the whole works. I love cool technology, especially when it has to do with bike stuff.

Thursday, January 04, 2007