I hope that you are wandering what "TPOP" means, because I am still laughing at it! I am up at CAPTURE, a cool little coffee shop place that I somehow have never heard of in my previous 4 years at THE U of A, doing some studying and listening to some music. When I got here, I had to take a quick trip to the restroom, and as I was standing there, I happened to notice a little sign above the toilet paper that said "TPOP." Below these four mysterious letters stood the description of this out-of-control acronym: "Toilet Paper Only Please." HAHA!!! I am still laughing!
I have not blogged in a week, so I am going to try to catch up a little bit. Most of last week was spent either working out or doing circuits or thermodynamics homework.
The coach of the master's swim club, Catalina Casaru, is doing research on fireman's gear, and she asked me to be one of her subjects. I quickly agreed, since a pre-cursor to the study was to get a VO2 max test, something that I have always wanted to do. Vo2 max is a person's maximum capacity to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise. Basically, it is a very good way to see the size of a person's "engine," or how much aerobic potential they have. However, a high VO2 max does not necessarily translate into being a fast runner, rower, or cyclist. What is more important is one's ability to stay at this level of intensity for a long period of time. Anyways, the test consisted of running on a treadmill while hooked up to oxygen max with a tube hooked to a machine. The treadmill started off slow, and Catalina gradually increased the speed and incline until I could not longer go anymore. The results of the test were:
VO2 max: 67.41 ml/kg/min
Max HR: 201 bpm
I had a pretty good swim practice on Wednesday night...Catalina had as do a bunch of speed work...something to the extent of 12 x 25 m, 6 x 50 m, 3 x 100 m, 2 x 150 m, all on time. We did some other drills and stuff, and the practice ended up being close to 3K. I attended the spin class at the rec that morning, and it was once again a very good workout. We did a lot of sprint work with a good bit of it being out of the saddle. You can tell a lot about the shape that you are in by your heart rate behavior, and it was very encouraging to see how my heart was reacting to the workout. For the short bursts of sprints, my max HR only topped 180 (compared to my max HR of 201), and my rate was quickly recovering into the 130's or 140's within less than a minute. The best way to see how fit a person is is to watch how fast their HR drops after doing work. Basically, quick HR drop=in shape.
I didn't do anything on Thursday, but on Friday I started my first trial in the research that I am helping Catalina with. I had to get in a hot box and walk on a treadmill for 40 minutes while my heart rate and VO2 were being recorded. It was pretty hot in there, but the trial was relatively easy.
On Saturday I went on a 10 mile bike ride, followed by a 3 mile run or so. For the bike ride, I headed over to McCorvey Drive to do a 10 hill repeat. For the run, I headed down the Riverwalk towards the boathouse and did 10 stadium laps on the middle school football field. Today (Sunday), I completed my second trial in the fireman's gear research, and it was extremely difficult. I had to wear 40 pounds of gear (pants, jacket, mask, helmet, and O2 tank), and then walk on the treadmill in a hot box for 40 min. I can honestly say that I have never hit my max HR of 201 bpm while WALKING! It was insane! After finishing, I had to sit down with my arm in a cooling device for 40 min to record my drop in body temperature. More than anything, this trial was very mentally demanding.
Besides my workouts for the week, I also completed a good bit of schoolwork. I hate to say it, but I actually kind of like my circuits class. Thermodynamics is pretty boring, as is materials, but I really enjoy my reliability class as well. We did some very interesting application work in reliability this week. Have you ever wondered how companies place warranty lengths on products? Well, not to say that all companies do this (some probably grab a number out of thin air), but if you have enough historical data, you can assign a warranty a __ number of years that will in turn lead to only a __% of products being returned. I do need to brush up on my integral calculus, mainly regarding exponentials, but it is a fairly simple procedure. I just love the power of statistics! (right about now, Stacey is calling me a nerd, haha!) I would estimate that at least 80% of people have no idea what you can do with stats, not that they care, but they might if they knew!
This morning, I went to the inaugural service of Church of the Highlands in Tuscaloosa. It was pretty tight, but I do plan on heading back to Calvary next week. I miss people!
I have made it this far without even mentioning college football once...well, here are my takes:
-Roll Tide! However, J.P. needs to work on throwing the deep ball.
-Go Ducks! However, I do feel sorry for Michigan.
-Go Nittany Lions! (Notre Dame might lose their first 8 games)
-I hate the Big East, but my hate for Auburn far surpasses it, go USF!
Well, I think this blog has been long enough. I am going to try to post more regularly so that I don't start writing books.

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