Saturday, November 28, 2009

H2O Audio Interval product review

It's no secret to anyone that knows me that swimming is not my favorite discipline....therefore it is by far, my worst. I often get bored in in the pool and lose focus. After a quick Internet search, I found the H20 Audio Interval. It is a water proof case/headphone system for the ipod shuffle. It is available for the 2nd and 3rd generation models. I was super excited to get an Interval for an early Xmas gift!

The Interval is a very basic system. It consists of a water proof case with attached earbuds. Also included are various ear buds ranging from small to XL. A 30 min test submersion without an ipod in place is done to ensure the compartment is properly sealed.

Before my first use of the the system I watched a video on the H2O audio web page that gave hints to getting the best results from the product. The major complaint that I had read in reviews was getting the earbuds to stay in the ear and poor sound quality related to this. The first suggestion is to choose the best fitting earbuds for your ears (rather obvious). The second suggestion is to use a swim cap over the ears to help keep the buds in.

The system attaches to the strap of your goggles. Controls are very simple, 2 buttons to control volume and 1 button to control song selection. Depressing the button once will start/stop playback. Depressing the button twice will forward to the next song and 3 times with go back one song.

Trial #1

I donned the Interval and did a quick head dunk to test the sound. It did actually sound pretty good but obviously the real test is during the swim. I tried first without a swim cap and quickly found the earbuds falling out. I did take the advice of the video and brought a swim cap to hold in the earbuds. But I made the mistake of using a Lycra cap that wasn't tight enough to keep the earbuds in. The ear buds wound not stay in place. I didn't bring the additional earbuds to try for a different fit. I have to admit that it was a bit of a disappointment. Good points were that the controls worked flawlessly and it was absolutely waterproof!

Trial #2

This time I brought a latex cap to keep the buds in place. I had done a re-fit at home with the other earbud size but in the end I felt like I had correctly chosen the right size already. After placing the buds in a tucking them under my swim cap I definitely felt they were more secure. During the swim session I had a few periods of reduced sound and one episode of the buds falling out. But overall a much better experience with the system!

Overall Impression

The H2O interval can be a bit challenging to use, it involves some trial and error (getting the proper ear bud size and technique to keep them in the ears). Although it is not a perfect system it does provide some a good source of entertainment during swims! It is simple to use and is pretty much idiot proof. I give it a 7/10.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last Chance Half Marathon

The LC half was my first half marathon that I had ever run. I really like running races that I had previously run to see how I have progressed. I like seeing time improvements and my next running goal is to get under 1:50 for a half. But going to this run I was pretty sure that I would not meet that goal. My running lately has been...well....shit. I have done one "long" run in the past 2 months I think and it was only 14km. My weekly run totals have been abysmal.

I had signed up for this one almost as soon as it opened up, I know that it always sells out. My wife's original due date was Nov 24th. I figured that even if she was a week early it would be no problem. I wasn't counting on almost 3 weeks early, lol. I have been trying to help Shelly out as much as possible. She pumps milk while I feed Logan and usually change him. I encourage her to nap and sacrifice a bit of sleep to let her rest. My sleep is definitely not great this past week.

For the last week I debated even racing due to the circumstances. Luckily I have a very supporting wife. Last night she let me sleep the whole night and get a good sleep before the race. I had decided that I would make a final decision in the morning. When I woke up this morning I was still pretty bagged. For a few minutes I was thinking...I could just go back to bed and get more needed sleep. But then I had a talk with myself. "Shut the F*#& up and run". OK so I probably would not get the time I wanted but run it anyway. I can sleep later and tough the distance out of I had to. I am running today!

Met up with a few people I know for work and the gym and chatted for a while. I was actually feeling pretty good and was ready to get going. The race started and I pretty quickly got settled in. There was a bit of a head wind as we headed out, I decided to not push hard for the first 10km, last thing I wanted to do was to blow up on the second half. I was getting passed by a fair number of people which normally doesn't happen to the degree it was. I very quickly got over it ;).

I made it to the first first turn around which was manned by Chad from team legend and our coach Greg. Kinda funny getting water from your coach during a race. After a brief stop to drink I was off again. A nice flat path and a bit of a tail wind...wahooo. I really didn't notice the tailwind but I did notice the lack of headwind. Things were pretty uneventful until after the last turn around. I felt pretty good until about 17km. I was feeling good from a cardio perspective but my legs were feeling pretty heavy. But that comes with not running as much as I should be.

I decided to take it relatively easy until km 19 and then give it everything after that. Wellll that didn't really pan out. I just stayed the course for the last 4 km and ran a steady pace. Less than 1k left and we had to run up the ramp to get over to Prince's Island. I did run it, no walking lol. I picked up the pace at the top of the ramp and was going to finish strong.

I decided that sub 2hrs and I would be happy. I saw the clock and saw that I would indeed be sub 2. I had barely looked at my garmin through out the whole race. I actually felt good as a crossed the line...just tired. My finish time was 1:58:45 ish.

I am so glad I talked myself into running today, it felt really good to get out. I came home and got to spend some time with my son and let me wife have a nap. I now have a pair of last chance medals, lol. I laughed when I saw that they were the exact same medals. I would have liked to see something unique from last year, lol. Next up....Hypothermic Half in feb...and I will get below 1:50 ;).

Monday, November 9, 2009

I am a DAD!!!

Disclaimer: the following blog will contain little regarding triathlon training ;)

On Nov 7th at 10:39 PM, my wife and I became parents to a beautiful baby boy, Logan Rhys (pronounced Reese). He came out a little sooner than expected but both mom and baby are doing quite well. Here is how it all played out.....

My wife had a scheduled Dr's appointment on Sat. Sure enough at her appointment her blood pressure was a little high so they sent her off to the hospital to get it checked out. It usually is high initially and then trends back down, but this time it didn't. I was on my way to get my hair cut when my wife called my to tell me. But she thought it would be a quick visit and not to bother to come. We made a deal that I would meet her that after my appointment if she was still there.

So I get my hair cut and head over to the Hospital. Sure enough she is still there and her blood pressure is not coming down...weird. She feels fine other than a bit of a headache she woke up with...but that is a sign of elevated blood pressure. The nurse contacts the Doc on call and she comes over to visit...and we hear the unexpected....."I think we should do a C section tonight". WTF?? She says that she has to run it by the OB doc that would be doing it, but felt it was the best thing. And then the OB resident comes..."yup we should do it tonight but I will run it by my boss". Then the Attending OB Doc comes " Well you guys are going to be parents tonight".

Very soon after my wife starts crying and says "But we arent ready". I told her "Shelly, we are ready, you know we are" I know what she meant though. She had just stopped working the day before and had planned on taking a couple of weeks to get the house "ready" and to relax. We didnt have time to go home and get her suitcase, diaper bag and we thought.

It was about 4pm when we were told that we would be going to the OR for a C section. But they said it would happen before 8pm but not to leave. Shelly's blood pressure was not elevated to the point of being a crisis but they decided that the baby was term and breech to might as well do the surgery "electively". Well 8PM came and went and there was no OR. The Dr's had switched over at 8pm, so we then saw another Dr. He came by to introduce himself and said he hoped to have it done by midnight. I was a but frustrated because I could have ran home quickly and grabbed all of our things.

At about 10 they came and walked us over to the OR suite. I waited outside as Shelly got her spinal anesthetic and then was able to go into the room. I could tell she was nervous but she was a trooper, I am so proud of her. They had some music playing in the room and I just sang to her as she was getting prepped. And the it was time to start!!

On of the nurse in the room had done a bit of time in my ICU as a student and she remembered me. She was great about giving me info and keeping me updated while I talked to my wife. She then asked me if I wanted to watch....Hell ya! So I stood up and looked over the drape and saw the legs come out! My heart was beating harder and faster than any triathlon or running race ever! Next thing I say was the bum come out... I see the frank and beans, lol. I immediately tell my wife that we are having a boy! We had not found out the sex before hand, we wanted a surprise. Everyone knows that I was hoping for a boy and now he was coming out!

They get to the head and are pulling and twisting him to get him out and then finally he pops out. Not surprising but he was not pink and not crying. They quickly clamped/cut the cord and handed him over to the peds team. They quickly started stimulating him and rubbing him and then he starts to pink up and bit and take more breaths. I got close to him and talked to him.. "come on Logan, cry for Poppa" . I know he doesn't understand but it made me feel better, lol. Then I head the best sound ever, my baby making his first cries.

Not long after they handed him to me and I was able to let Shelly see him for the first time. I didn't cry but I will admit that I really welled up, lol. We had a nice few intial moments together as they closed Shelly up. I snapped a couple of pics with my iPhone and just stared at my son.

Since then things have been going well. Shelly's BP is slowly coming down but she is otherwise feeling great. Logan is a perfect little boy so far (except the 2 times he pee'd on me, lol) . Breastfeeding is not perfect but coming proud of my wife being so patient and keeping at it. I have changed my share of diapers and have fed him every chance I get.

If all goes well I will be bringing my family home tomorrow. My mother in law is here helping out thank god! I haven't been to the gym/running/biking/swimming since Thursday and I am lost, lol. I am planning to go to the indoor ride tomorrow night to get out and do something. My wife has given her blessing for this. I am looking forward to it!

By far this is the best thing that has ever happened. I can sit there and stare at my son and I shake my head, I can't believe that he is a part of me. I am proud of my wife for being the trooper that she has been! I think it's time for me to hit the hay. I am beat and I think this will be my last good night sleep for a while, lol. I will post some pics when I am more awake.!