Sunday, August 18, 2013


So, my new Garmin 310XT and V-Max heart rate monitor arrived in one day from the Distance Depot!

I pulled it, and all of the assorted wires, straps, and plugs out of the box Saturday morning, before coffee.  I tried turning it on but alas, it must be charged first.  This was probably a good thing as I can get a little "agitated?" trying to put together electronic/computer stuff...  This in itself mystifies me, as I am quite mechanical and love working on mechanical stuff.  I guess its the computer element that throws me off...  Anyway.  After some coffee and watching three U-tube videos provided by V-Max (they were excellent btw, much better than the crappy instructions that came with the Garmin.)  I had a working HRM/GPS!!!!

I put the HR belt on and took off at an amble around the neighborhood.   My resting heart rate appeared to be around 88????  Seriously?  It must have been the electronics phobia driving it up, surely I can't be that out of shape.   Eeek.  

That was what I told myself anyway, until a neighbor driving by actually stopped me to say  "Wow, I had to see if it was you, we don't usually see you out walking the loop!"   Hmmm,

I didn't actually get to try it out on Cartman on Saturday, we had trotted the 5 mile loop Friday after work and I just couldn't bring myself to do the same boring trail again the next day. 

I spent the rest of the day meeting Amber and Drew for coffee at Zojo's.  It was fantastic, as always, and it was really nice to sit and visit with NO time limit.  I really wish I could do that more often. 

We weren't set to receive any rush samples this weekend at work so I made myself not go in.   About 3pm I realized that I think I might be a bit of a work-aholic or something beause my mind kept thinking of things I could get done if I were to go in to work for a few hours.  Despite the slightly uneasiness this was causing I did resist. 

Instead I decided to swing by Walmart on the way home.  For the record, I despise Walmart.  Absolutely.  I hate Walmart, I hate the way they treat their employees, hate the way they run smaller businesses out, hate the way the public has to subsidize their business because they are too obnoxious to pay a living wage or give full time employment.  I could go on, seriously and that's not even getting into the whole people of Walmart thing.  Oh, and I don't like crowds either.

But, they seem to be the only game in town for getting any ammo.  Todd and I bought the last 6 boxes of 380 ammo they had on our annual visit to Walmart a few weeks ago.  I decided to brave it one more time- in hopes they would have some 22LR this time.  No such luck, the shelves were bare,

I had made a beeline to the sporting goods section on the way in.  On the way out I could feel myself being pulled this way and that by the shiny displays at the end of every aisle.  So much stuff!  So cheap!   Look! Brand new towels for $1.99!  Cool plastic containers I could use to organize my horse trailer, $4.99!  I can totally see how a person  could get sucked in.  

A deep breath and sight of the sliding doors got me back to the parking lot.  Empty handed.  I believe I may be the only person that has accomplished that feat, I don't know.

Today is Sunday, and Michelle and I headed down to the path for a quick ride.  M's boy Tucker lost a hind shoe last week, so we were just going to do a short ride as she was riding her mare Coco.

I saddled C up, placed the electrodes where they showed on the video and my wrist started vibrating!  Heart rate monitor detected!   So, I'm already loving this thing.  I can stand six feet from Cartman and see that his heart rate was 33bpm. 

I was curious to see if the signage the county put up on the trail was accurate.  They claim it is a 5 mile loop but we've always been skeptical.   I was betting it was going to be 3.8-4 miles. 
We started off at a 3.6-4mph walk.

 Ha! Are you skimming this yet?  I promise not to blog a play by play each ride, but it really is fascinating to see this stuff for the first time:)

It turns out Cartman jogs at about 8mph, he will scoot up to 10-10.5 if I let him, but that seems a bit much.  His heart rate stayed around 114-120 for almost 2 miles.  It did start to climb up to 150 after a while but when I asked for lope it dropped! 

We ended up going on alone for a ways as Coco wasn't ready to go that far that fast.  We loped about a mile and a half and his heart rate got up to about 150.  This was at the turn around point so I pulled up and watched it drop.  In less than a minute he was at 70 and then 61-63.  It hung here and didn't want to go below 60.  I believe that this was because we were standing in the full sun and there wasn't much breeze.  I let him grab a few bites to eat and after several minutes he went down into the 50s.

The trip back was more of the same.  Eventually his rate hit about 175 jogging up a short steep hill.  As soon as we crested that hill I let him lope and it immediately dropped to 140.  When we pulled up in the shade he dropped down to 50bpm in a matter of minutes. 
So, this is going to be a fun and useful tool.  I'm quite excited to see how many miles our wooded trails are, and how far we've been going up there. 

It turns out the jogging path is exactly 4.95 miles by my new GPS watch.  I was shocked!  I'll try my best not to ramble on about this thing on every post but so far  I LOVE IT!

Oh, and for the record.  Cartman coughed exactly one time on both rides this weekend- once at the beginning of the ride each time.  YEAH!!!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I'm scared to jinx it, but on Sunday I took Cartman out for a quick 5 mile jog on the jogging path  (the woods are closed due to fire danger.)

We jogged and loped and he didn't cough one time!

I had heard him coughing on Thursday when I turned him out after having his shoes reset.  I was prepared to call the vet on Monday and report that it wasn't working. But now I am crossing my fingers that we are getting this under control.

I have decided to get a heart rate monitor.  I'm paranoid that I might not notice when he is having troubles, and being a TB I can't count on him to pull up on his own no matter what breathing troubles he is having.

I want one that is also a GPS and requires no tech experience to operate:)