Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 2: Review

I redoubled my efforts this week to better follow my prescribed plan and fortunately managed to fit everything in. I did have to move yesterday's long run to today and while that will effect mileage for the next week, it means that I did manage to hit my target this week. Running mileage was a bit lower than last week, but that was by design as I figured that a recovery week made sense after a couple of 16 milers in a row.

On the bike I finally managed to get in all four sessions for the week adding up to a total of 120K (30K on Monday and Friday, 20K on Wednesday and 40K on Saturday). I still have to work on building my tolerance for longer distances indoors, but getting all of the sessions in was a good first step. Over the coming weeks I plan to slowly increase the mileage on all four of those rides until I can be comfortable squeezing in at least one 80K+ ride per week and hopefully a couple of 50Ks.

One of the big things that helped with this is that I finally set things up in my training area so that I can watch videos rather than relying on whatever happens to be on TV at the time. Part of the trouble that I've had this year is that the timeslots that work well for my riding no longer have anything on, so I was stuck either staring at the wall or just throwing it on a news channel to fill the time. Having something interesting to watch makes a huge difference in being able to stay on the bike for extended periods.

Along with that, I also signed up for the free trial month being offered by Netflix. The concept of this service is pretty much perfect for this application, as it allows me to pull down whatever I want at a whim. Earlier in the week I was just recording stuff on my Media Center box and watching that, which worked well but required a lot of planning (ie figuring out how much material I needed and what I could record without anyone spoiling it for me before I got around to watching it). Their selection here in Canada is pretty limited, but I only need it to last for a few months until I can get back outside so there are enough old movies/TV shows that I wouldn't mind watching over again.

Unfortunately, when I tried it out the first time the picture was slowly sequencing between light and dark. After fiddling around with the connections, I figured out that the idiots are using Macrovision (an archaic 'copy protection' mechanism which was defeated a long time ago) which messes around with the gain on my VCR (I'm using an old TV that only has an F-connector, so I need that to modulate the composite signal provided by the XBox). The videos were still watchable, but it's annoying enough that I'm unlikely to continue on once the paid period starts up (unless I can figure out a way to turn off the AGC circuitry in the VCR). It's too bad, however, as aside from that the service worked quite well.

Week 2 Totals:
Running: 46.3km (28.8mi)
Walking: 1.2km (0.7mi)
Cycling: 120.1km (74.6mi)
Swimming: 8.8km (5.4mi)
Total: 176.4km (109.6mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 124.5km (77.4mi)
Walking: 3.7km (2.3mi)
Cycling: 185.2km (115.1mi)
Swimming: 17.5km (10.9mi)
Total: 330.9km (205.6mi)


  1. futureshop used to sell this little box that you could put between a DVD player and the VCR that would remove macrovision. Don't know if they still sell it, but it might work for what you need it for.

  2. Fortunately I managed to tweak the AGC controls in the VCR's service menu enough to do the trick (not perfect, but close enough). Could have also used a basic fixed gain modulator (generally cheaper than explicit Macrovision filters) in place of the VCR, but am trying to work with the bits that I have. Their selection is good enough to justify $8/mo, but they've got to get more content before I go out and buy equipment specifically for them ;)