Life, Football, Technology and Vespas…

Post a week

As part of my plan to blog more, I am going to aim to post here each week.

Fitness / Running

Just before New Year, my Suunto T6D arrived from the UK – and I can say it is an incredible piece of kit. My wife has opted for the Suunto M5 heart rate monitor. The GPS pod makes it great for multisports and activities, which is handy as my new Paddlyak sea kayak has just arrived here in Lagos. Predictably though, I put a great dirty big scratch on the watch after just one day! The Suunto works with the movescount website, displaying a wealth of information.

I am glad the watch is finally here because after three weeks of eating and drinking enough food and wine for  eight people, I need the extra motivation to get back into gear and ramp up the training. Some friends and I are running the comrades ultra marathon and the weekly km levels need to now be increased significantly. So far, this week has been good for getting back on track with approx. ±3800 calories burned for the week.

The nutrition also needs to get back on track. It is never easy to do this when everything is disorganized – like on holiday. I find that the only way I can stick to nutritional plans is to be very organized and detailed. Planning and preparing  meals in advance, I find, is best thing towards helping me remain focused. But this week’s biggest challenge will be cutting down on the carbs. It is especially difficult to leave out the cookies!!

Although I did a fair amount of running on holiday, which involved a lot of hills, I ran a 10km race on 31st Dec last year and struggled badly. What I had not anticipated was the altitude. I thought that I would have been used to it, seeing as I have lived in Pretoria long enough and had no such issues when i was there in September,  so I had done no altitude preparation runs prior to the race. For the entire duration of the race, my HR never dipped below 85% and I finished in 45mins. I was hoping for 40-42 mins finish. Pretoria is ±1500m above sea level and for the first time ever, I really noticed the lack of oxygen available at that altitude, and I really struggled.

Family

We arrived back in Lagos this week and it is good to be back into routines. We noticed that our son’s behaviour without structure and schedules, goes completely out the window. He too had a great holiday and one of the focuses during our visit to SA, swas to get him swimming unaided. He used to be very reluctant to go underwater and we have found that using a snorkeling mask has helped enormously. He is so confident now that he swims underwater for up to 15 seconds. We bought a very cool flotation device that resembles a shark’s fin to use instead of inflatable arm bands. This appears to have the effect of forcing him to lie flat in the water, as opposed to vertically with the bands. I think he will be swimming in a month or two.

Our 6.5 month old daughter is too cute for words. She is now much more aware of her surroundings and her reactions to things are fantastic. She gets so excited when she sees the cat or we read a book to her. She has moved onto solid foods really well – eating Butternut, Pears, Sweet Potato, Prunes and Peaches. Trouble is now, that her nappies are now like nuclear waste.

Entertainment

I thought about putting up here the things that are entertaining me at the moment. I have to say that having watched the first episode of the Sherlock series – I am hooked. I read the books when we were traveling a number of years ago and I absolutely loved the Sherlock Holmes character. The series has made a great effort to capture the same personality, albeit evolved slightly for modern times. Great show, can’t wait for the rest.

I am also reading ‘The last 10 seconds’ by Simon Kernik on my kindle app. It is fast and thoroughly entertaining so far. Not a book that I would usually read, but to make things interesting both my wife and I chose books for each other, just to see what we would both come up with.

From a technology perspective – I am quite into foursquare on all my devices – ipad, galaxy and android phones. I have yet to work out where the economical benefit for this application would come from. Over time, I guess we may see things like discounts for users who ‘check in’ regularly to various retail places, but seeing as there is no control over the use of the API, then I am not sure how feasible this will be. Until then, it is good fun showing friends and family where I am.

Work here in Lagos is still in limbo. It seems that I just need to ride it out and see what happens.

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