Battery Life for the Garmin Foot Pod

I needed a catchier title than “workout I did at the hotel” would be all that exciting. :)

Over Christmas, I picked up a Garmin ForeRunner 610 watch with the footpod and heart rate monitor for tracking my runs. I use it on the bicycle too, so it’s gotten more use than just the occasional run. Point being, this trip the foot pod has started complaining about low battery so it’s time to replace. I need to track down how many hours it’s been used so far.

Anyway … today the treadmills were taken, so I did 30 minutes on the eliptical. 2.67 miles (more than yesterday’s run) and kept my heart rate under 160 so I think it’s a win-win both on distance and training.

I might hit 3 miles here soon! :)

Has it really been 5 months?

Was it really just back in May when I declared my fitness goals for 2014?

I mean in one way, it seems like just yesterday and so I’m surprised it’s been over 5 months since I posted anything. In another way … holy cr%$, it’s already almost November?

The scale doesn’t lie, and it’s apparent that I’ve not been keeping up with my exercise routine … that readout keeps taunting me as it’s touched 180 at least once and not dropping below 172 like I was wanting. And with no 5Ks having been completed yet this year, my last ditch fall back plan is in full effect. I MUST RUN THE 5K TURKEY TROT!

Having just gotten back from last weekend’s funeral and separately celebrating a nephew’s first birthday, the march is on to turkey day! Travel or not, I can do this. Since Google Analytics tells me no one is watching this blog anymore anyway, I hope you don’t mind if I start keeping a daily training log to hopefully motivate me (and worst case shame me) into getting ready to run the entire 5K this coming Thanksgiving Day.

For today, Oct 27th, travel or not I was able to clock in 38 minutes on the treadmill for 2.37 miles total. Heart rate stayed high even with the slower pace, but I jumped back into my C25K training with W5D1 and made a pretty good run (no pun intended) at it.

Here’s to another update tomorrow!

Times, They Are A Changing

First post in a long time on the cycling front. Aside from the overnight trip out to East Texas a year ago, there hasn’t been much riding since getting home from the Iron Butt Rally at the end of summer in 2009. Today marked one more change in that direction.

With the reduced miles, for a lot of different reasons, it was difficult to rationalize to myself the need to keep two bikes: the Suzuki SV1000S and the BMW R1200RT. The Suzuki was the alter-ego to the BMW … small, loud, a different kind of fun if you know what I mean. But at the end of the day, the Suzuki has seen less than 400 miles in the 4+ years I’ve own it. Time change, hobbies change, so it goes.

So today I was fortunate enough to be able to transfer the Suzuki to a good friend, who’s been bikeless now for almost 2 years. We both got into (or back into in his case) riding at the same time, so I’m sure she’ll be well enjoyed and well taken care of.

At the same time, I’ve gotten more into bicycling and some level of running than ever before. With the reduction in (motorcycle) ride time, I’m thinking about shifting this blog to be more about my journey through bicycle riding and that adventure. Admittedly, the name RocketCowboy maybe doesn’t fit a road bicycle riding hobby, but hey, I already have the domain name, right? :)

My two fitness goals for this year are to run a 5K (worst case, it’ll be the Turkey Trot this year, but hopefully before) and to ride my first bicycle race. We’ll see what kind of interesting tidbits of knowledge I can pick up along the way to those two goals, and where paths lead from there. Comments and feedback is appreciated!

It’s Time To Ride!

Surprising … when I started looking into moving the RocketCowboy blog from Blogger to WordPress (because Blogger no longer supports FTP publishing, so I’m supposed to host it with Google), I realized that I haven’t blogged a single post about motorcycle riding since I finished the Iron Butt Rally in 2009 and promised to do a write up on that experience.

Had it really been that long?!?!?!?

With the mild winter and start of the new year, Lisa and I decided it was time to get the RT road worthy again and start making some trips. Lisa has ridden on motorcycles only a few times, but unfortunately up until our wedding had only ridden with me for maybe all of 30-45 minutes in two sittings. We both were looking forward to seeing that change.

And so the process started. First we just needed to get the bike in for service and state inspection, since she (the bike) has been sitting in the garage gathering very little attention for the past two years. Just in talking about getting the bike serviced, little riding opportunities started to open up: could we ride to a Monday night Lonestar BMW Riders meeting, maybe a Thursday night coffee Meet-and-Greet with my old TWT friends, maybe ride over to dinner with some friends. Then the “right” opportunity presents itself: How about an overnight ride with my friends Jerry and Jamie somewhere close by? Now we have a purpose!

The bike service was as expected. No surprises, which was great since I hadn’t really properly stowed the bike since I wasn’t expecting to take a two year hiatus from riding. She would need new tires … the ME880s that I finished the 2009 IBR on in August of 2009 were even more rock hard than they were when I initially had them mounted, so I figured I’d try something new. The BMW shop was recommending the new Michelin PR3’s as good sport touring tires. I was previously running Metzler Z6’s when not mounting up ME880s for distance, but have had great reactions to the Pilot Roads in the past, so why not? I wasn’t surprised to see that the battery on the BMW also needed to be R&R’ed, despite being on a battery tender for the past 2 years. Gas in the tank wasn’t bad, and we burned most of that out while scrubbing in the new tires before our overnight ride, so the bike was ready to roll.

Now, where did I put all the “stuff” that goes into a motorcycle ride? Since moving into a new house almost a year after my last ride, most of the motorcycle stuff is still in boxes, with boxes having been “organized” to make the garage appear cleaner … without actually having much put away in it’s proper place. Just finding the little things … tools, SPOT, beaded seat cover … all turned into chores to test my patience. Since this is the first time to ride 2-up on the RT, and the audio issue I had with the Autocom has not been troubleshoot/corrected since the IBR, we needed to get some kind of intercom solution worked out. Eventually, the bike would come together, but I’ll post a separate blog entry for the trip later.

Interestingly, last weekend I received the spring issue of the IBA’s quarterly magazine. The opening article … ramping up to long rides after the winter break. Since I’ve been on break for the better part of 2.5 years, it’s a particularly well timed article. :)

Parts have started to show up for getting the SV road ready as well. I’ll do the oil and brakes myself, then time to get new shoes mounted and maybe a coolant flush for good measure. More to come…

Iron Butt Rally Recap (Take 2)

Before I get into reliving the details of my Iron Butt Rally ride, I need to get my “thank you’s” out to all the people who helped me put together this ride. Without the support of my friends and family, this ride would not have been possible. Riding around for 11 days with only myself to talk to in my helmet makes that even more apparent than it might have been before the ride. :)

First, I need to thank my whole extended family: Mom, Dad, Brian and Christy of course, as well as Cass, Chuck, and Eli. You all sacrified if only by worrying about me while out on the road, but realistically the past 18 months have meant no trips to visit in Memphis, lost holidays that could have been spent with family that were instead spent in the garage tinkering with the bike (July 4th and the missed trip to the lake comes to mind quickest), and my general lack of attention to anything not IBR related or focused on the bike for the past 18 months. Brian … we just never got to the right city at the right time. Sorry I missed you in Spartanburg, and after that you were always one city, one day ahead of me. Christy … thanks for all the dinner invites even though I had to pass them up in order to save money for the ride. Cass … I know by now you’re tired of hearing about the bike, the vacations that didn’t happen, the money that went into the bike, and the three weeks of me gone on the road with hardly a word. When I needed to escape to the garage, you always understood. Chuck … I didn’t get to make near as many lunch runs up to Memphis to see you, Linda, and the kids. While it may not seem like much, those trips to mean a lot to me, and that’ll be rectified now that the IBR is behind me. Eli … you might think of it as being my second mom, I prefer to think of it as being the big sister I didn’t have. Thanks for keeping the eagle eye on my spot tracks, bugging me when I needed to stop for sleep, and offering to have the pit crew and fan club on standby if needed. Oh, and thanks for the coffee to break this anti-caffeine streak!

For my friends, and this ride showed I have many more than I would have thought, thanks for all the comments and words of encouragement. I’m sure I’m missing a few names which is not intentional, but: Tracy and Ed, thanks for being the sounding board when it came to my rally plans and for keeping me honest. Tracy, thanks in particular for riding all the way up to Spokane to make sure I got back home ok. 4000 miles round trip just for hotel food in WA state … most people would think that was a bit crazy. Ed, I know you wanted to be there as well, but that pesky work thing got in the way. Curt and Jody, my ST brothers, thanks for the text msgs, the phone calls, and all the encouragement. Curt, the phone call and encouragement from Missoula was much appreciated. Beau, Jon, Jeff, JJ, Femi, David … all my Cisco co-workers, thanks for putting up with me taking 3 weeks just as school was getting started to go and wonder around the countryside … and for the Babe’s Chicken when I got back home! Allen Dye, thanks for the encouragement leading up to the rally, the motivation during the rally (you don’t know how stressed I was in Santa Ana, but I’d trade sleep for that hallway discussion anytime), oh … and for getting me hooked on this rally thing to begin with when you and Greg put on the Texas Two Step. It’s all your fault! :) Claye, for humoring me with pictures at the start and various checkpoints along the way.

Andrea, Barb, Brad, Brian Taylor, Bryan, Don, Geoff, Greg, Jackie, Jerry, Jim, Justin, Kris, Mark, Matt, Mike, Pedro, Rob (Spruell and Rapport), Russ, Terry, Tim, Todd, Vince … we may have had a Facebook blackout which kept me from posting up during the rally, but all your comments and words of encouragement were received and much appreciated during the rally.

Terrence … meeting up with Tracy and myself for lunch in Wichita, and riding with us part way as we left town, definitely brought back some memories. We’ve got to get together again soon man.

My thanks to the other riders who participated along side me.

Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers who made the IBR possible. In no particular order: Mike Kneebone, Lisa Landry, Bob Higdon, Tom Austin, Dale Wilson, Bill Watt, Steve Hobart, all the scorers and checkpoint workers. The organization was incredible, and your professionalism was amazing.

I’m sure I’m missing others, unintentionally, so I might make additional edits as I remember names. My ride wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of you.