Monday, September 07, 2009

Three Items and a Picture

Not too long ago, I went out and got a heart monitor after all, not the one I'd been thinking of, but a simpler, more basic one.

And contrary to all expectations, I actually have a heart. It may be cold, stony, and shrunken, but it seems to beat a lot when I'm out riding my bike. (My lungs also seem to get quite involved, for what that's worth. My legs think I'm nuts.)

I did the 220 minus my age (or 226 minus my age, which some people think works better for women) calculation and came up with 171-177 for my theoretical max. And then I took it out for a spin. So far, the max I've seen it at is 175, going up Priory Hill. I didn't feel ucky or whatever, so I suspect it could go a little higher. (To be absolutely honest, I have no desire to push myself to the point of wanting to throw up, yet another reason I'm not and never was nor will be a stellar athlete.) Today it hit 174 up Priory, but I did a much better job of riding through the hill (keeping pedaling up and over, rather than pooping out at the top).

From what I've read, the max heart rate is a matter of genetics and age, so it's nothing to be proud of or whatever one way or another.

I went for an hour and a half today according to the heart monitor (I started it when I was getting the bike ready), with a max of 174 and an average of 146. That seems to be in the 80-90 range I've read about exercising at, and I'm happily tired but not unhappily tired, if that makes sense.

I did a nice loop: out F to Priory, up the horrid hill, then out Elm to B, up B to HH, over HH to Joe's River, and back to the swimming pool lot. Just that is a 20.5 mile loop, but I can also go out B to Pine Ridge and then across and down W, or even further on B to Birch and then up and over W. So I can add a couple extra miles with good hills pretty easily. B has lots of rolly hills, as does HH, but Joe's River has four hills in my mind, and is otherwise pretty easy.

When I first started riding out Joe's River Road, two of those hills were really hard for me, almost as hard as Priory is now. But lately, I've been doing much better (for me) riding up them.

For perspective: real bikers wouldn't even use their small front gear for any of those, but would maybe stand to power up Priory (or gear down).


A couple of my friends are talking about doing a century together one weekend, just figuring out a route that would take us by places we could get extra food and water if we wanted and pretty much doing our thing. They're good folks, and we ride well together and have fun, so I said I'm game. I've never ridden a century, so now I have to get myself to build quickly within the next couple of months. Eep. (It's not that unrealistic, since I regularly ride 20-30 miles on any given day, four or five days a week.)


Right now, at this very minute, there's a peach cobbler baking in my oven.

If you knew me, you'd be sceptical. But really, there is, complete with lime zest mixed in, just as the recipe says.

I'm not much of a cook, but last winter I asked my Mom for a Joy of Cooking book for Christmas, and so far I've made a couple of quiches (fairly easy, even for me). This week the farmers' market in town had lovely tree-ripened peaches and beautiful apples (but not honeycrisps yet), and once I got my small bags of them home, I had to figure out what to do.

If it seems okay, I may take it into the department and share it tomorrow. And if it seems okay, but isn't okay, you can all consider that my contribution to the MLA job market: English Faculty Decimated by Peach Cobbler. Tenure Lines Open!

And yes, every time someone has a lovely peach from the market in the lunch room, we all make comments about how daring we are. We really are that pathetic.

Mmm, the timer just sounded!

This is "real time blogging"! The cobbler is now out of the oven! Mmmm, brown sugar! (I think I need to ride another 20 miles on my trainer tonight.)

Just a quick addition: The verdict is in! The cobbler is pretty darned good. Maybe too good to go to campus? I may have to have a second piece before making that decision.

And I also have a question: why would the recipe have me using a biscuit dough rather than a pie dough? It's fluffy, but... a little weird. The lime zest is nice!


  1. Ooh, that looks lovely!

  2. I adore peach cobbler. (Even more, I adore peach and blueberry cobbler, but we don't get local bluebs and peaches at the same time, alas.) I use a batter topping rather than biscuit, but both are good. It's more plebeian than a pie/crust -- much less fussy. And it rises....

    If you have yogurt, cobbler with yogurt is a healthy breakfast.

    Go for the century!

  3. Yum! Looks delish! Now wondering why I don't make cobbler. Need to get on that.

  4. Someone needs to figure out how to add aromas to blog posts...and how about sending a nice messy, sticky serving of peach cobbler through the Internet to your faithful readers? I'd pay extra for that service.

  5. re: the biscuit dough question--there are cobblers and slumps and pan dowdies and bettys and buckles, and each is classically distinguished by the type of pastry/cake component...But each and every variation is delightful and all but fool-proof--unlike their more formal cousin, the fruit pie. Oh yes, one can seriously mess up on a pie crust...

  6. I think you'll have no trouble doing a century. For me, considering the fact that I ride 40 or 50 miles relatively regularly, I'd figure I needed one 60, one 70-75, and one 80-85 mile ride before I was ready. I don't really know what other people need, but I do believe lots more people can do a century than think they can.

    As for heart rate, I love my heart rate monitor, but I've noticed how much my HR varies based on how tired I am and how in shape I am. I suspect max HR varies a ton.

  7. Anonymous5:09 AM

    How mean of you to torture us with this picture! Looks so good!