Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.
A friend drew my attention to the fact that it has been around three months since my last post on this blog. Sadly, life has gotten in the way of my more technical posts - there have been a lot of things going on preventing me from writing more frequently. Vacation, how busy I am at work with various new responsibilities and a lot of features to deliver, team-mates to train up, learning some new frameworks so I can build a website for my wife, and a bunch of fitness training.
NOTE: I was going to embed my Strava widgets here but they don't support HTTPS connections. For shame, Strava!
I've been associating more closely with the bicycle enthusiasts at work, who all seem to use Strava, so I've started using it myself. I'm not exactly a newcomer to the fitness application thing, but also not really an old hand at it. I think I started using eCoach (which I even contributed to) when I had my Nokia N900, and it eventually gained support for uploading events to Heiaheia, which I still use to this day:
Heiaheia was started by some ex-Nokia employees and seems to be relatively successful, at least in the sense that it is still around and supports modern devices like iPhone and Android. It lets you select from a wide range of sports, tracks time and/or distance aggregates, plots your routes on a map, allows you to set goals and measure yourself against them and the usual basic features. I don't find it does much more than this sadly. Strava on the other hand is limited to only running and cycling (which is fine for me at the moment, as that's the majority of my exercise) but adds a far deeper analysis of your exercises to this as well as something I can only call something like "automatic socialisation" of your exercises. It figures out where you went and compares your performance to anyone else doing the same thing at any time in the past. It even figures out if you and your friends (well, followers/followees) went on the same run or ride together, which is neat.
Other colleagues of mine that do more running are or have been using such apps as Runtastic or RunKeeper but I'm already feeling the burden of maintaining two apps. I have a long history of exercise in Heiaheia that I don't want to lose, although I find the running and cycling support in Strava far superior. On the other hand I couldn't track anything outside of these two sports in Strava to gain an overall view on my training time (since I'm currently also doing some general strength/agility training in addition to running and cycling).
The whole point, of course, is to build up to competing in a few events. Later this month I'll be doing the 55km race in the Vattenfall Cyclassics on my completely self-built bamboo bike. It will also be with a bunch of colleagues from SoundCloud so it should be a lot of fun. Then in October I'll be competing in the Hamburg Tough Mudder obstacle race (which is probably putting it very lightly). Training up for this latter event is really the main focus though, and it has also raised my interest in other similar events. I won't list them all but a good page for information on the general topic is Mudstacle.
This year I turned 35, by which time you really need to be in good shape already or have a very good plan to do so, otherwise you'll just find it getting harder and harder as the years go by. Fortunately in Germany they are fairly fanatical about health and preventative measures so they offer such things as health-provider-covered skin cancer checks, and comprehensive health checks. So far everything has come out looking good, so it's just up to me to get back into relatively good shape so that I can continue feeling good as long as possible. I do miss kayaking, but if I can substitute these crazy obstacle races and general fitness training for it then I think I'll be just as happy.