Archive for 2011

Lightbulbs

Quick Notes:

BR30 is my preferred bulb due to good flood angle
PAR flood bulbs need closer spacing and greater number of units due to tight spread
LED’s still aren’t very good at dimming (on par with CFL) — they don’t dim down very low, and some hum quite loudly

LED’s used in non-dimming circuits are good however, despite their slight turn-on delay.

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AT&T-Mobile

Some pros and cons:

Pros - iPhone will work with 3G

Cons - higher prices from less competition, T-Mobile had good prices and service because it couldn’t compete in other areas.

Thoughts:

Since AT&T is in bed with the FCC already, it looks like it’ll probably pass. Which is just ridiculous. Wireless companies should be treated as utility companies, just as ISPs should be too since infrastructure costs are so high for these industries. Then we can regulate them as utilities.

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Target Heart Rate Zones 1-5

I’ve seen a bit of misleading information for finding your target zones. Misleading because the % is supposed to be from your range, and not of your max heart rate.

E.g. If your MHR (maximum heart rate) is 190bpm and your RHR (resting heart rate) is 60bpm, your 50% is not 95bpm. It’s actually .5 x (190-60) + 60 = 125bpm. Your range is 60bpm -> 190bpm. So you should calculate based off of that and add your RHR back to get the target number.

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10K. Done.

I finished my first 10K last weekend. In VFF Bikilas. Unfortunately, I injured my right ankle due to doing too much too soon. My previous longest run in VFFs was 2.5 miles where I stopped due to a hotspot. 2.5 -> 6.2 is overkill. But I was at the point where I hated running in regular shoes. I did one run around the block in regular shoes and they just felt heavy and clumsy on my feet. I ended up taking them off and running home barefoot. Another time I ran to the park in shoes for softball practice and ended up running home afterwards in socks. So I had a dilemma for the week prior to the race. Should I run in shoes or VFFs? Shoes just didn’t feel natural or comfortable but I had not practiced enough in the VFFs. I brought both to the race and in the end decided to wing it in the VFFs. So what if I couldn’t finish due to a blister? (which I thought would be my biggest problem).

Turns out I would be late to the race and start 5 min after the gun went off. The first 3 miles were a breeze. It’s fun to pass people. Gives you good motivation. I worked on keeping my cadence up “One, two, three, one, two, three…” Felt really good. The weather was just right. Mile 4 was great. Mile 5 I felt like the hotspot was slowly coming back so I tried to find grass wherever I could to run on instead of the pavement. Nearing the end of mile 6 I could sense my form was starting to go down due to the irritation in my ankles. The hotspot however didn’t get worse. But I think my joints were starting to feel it. So I slowed my pace down until after I passed the 6 mile marker and could see the finish area. Then the sprint began. It was strange - my ankle was the limiting factor. Everything else - my lungs, upper legs, feet bottoms felt great. So I toughed it out and sprinted to the end. Not one of those sprints where you can barely tell you’re sprinting. But a full on 40-50% faster than previous pace sprint. It was great. Passing people like a blur :P Crossed the line. And then started to limp. RICE’d it these past few days. Did some research on the criticisms of RICE. Some say it delays healing and some say it promotes it. I’m just gonna go gingerly on it and not run for the next week or so.

First 10K. Under 60min. Minor ankle tendon injury. I can live with that!

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The Art of Running

Leave it to me to do more research on a topic before actually diving in. I’m signed up for three running events in the next 3 months and I’ve barely got off my butt. Instead, I’ve been sitting in front of my screen trying to figure out how to get faster and become less injured as I run. I think I’ve come up with a couple of things:

  • Cadence (Stride Rate) matters. Most amateur runners vary their cadence according to terrain conditions. Professionals vary their stride length. Nearly all professional runners/sprinters maintain a cadence rate of 180 steps per minute, and only vary their stride length. So they take shorter strides going up a hill, and take longer strides going down a hill. A very interesting discovery. Most amateurs have a cadence that’s far too low, some 20% slower than that of pro athletes. Instead of floating and gliding over the ground, they end up bouncing over the ground, decreasing their efficiency and promoting injury (IMO). Some people even advocate running to a metronome.
  • How your foot lands matters just as much. We’ve been conditioned since the 70’s (when Nike first appeared) to run in cushioned shoes, which promote a heel to forefoot motion. We should be striving for a midfoot/forefoot strike instead. Our feet weren’t created to land on the heel. Which brings us to…
  • Shoes. We wrap our feet up because we think it’ll decrease injury. (IMO) It causes our very complicated foot to atrophy and weaken, especially in the support areas like the arch. So that’s why our running injuries are increasing even as our shoes get fancier. There’s been a new movement around that is striving to minimize the amount of cushion and just as importantly the amount of heel lift (the different between the height of the heel and the fore-section of the shoe). When we run barefoot, our nerves give us tons of feedback and we adapt our running style to minimize pain. Try running on a bare floor. After a few steps, you’ll soon learn to stop striking with the heel and landing on the mid/forefoot instead.

With all that said, I’m going to try it out for a few months and report back on the results.

More links to check out.

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