Running as fast as I can since '93
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  • Finals, Snow & Training

    Posted on December 8th, 2009

    flagstaff_snow_treeAt most universities across the nation it is finals week, including at Northern Arizona University. The only difference with NAU is that some finals have been canceled. That’s right, CANCELED, due to snowfall. From about 4am Monday morning till early this morning, the snow never let up over Flagstaff. There is now about 2 feet of accumulation. In fact, last night saw blizzard conditions with wind gusts up to 40 mph, leaving some wicked snow drifts this morning.

    Because conditions were/are so poor, NAU decided it would not be safe to require students to come to campus for finals after 12pm yesterday and all day today. Lucky me, I had a final yesterday at 10am (before the school shut down) and none today. My next and last final is tomorrow at 7:30am, and it looks like conditions will be better today so I will be studying like I will be taking the exam.

    My balcony. Hopefully we don't need those bikes anytime soon.

    My balcony. Hopefully we don't need those bikes anytime soon.

    For people that missed their final, they have been given two options: either accept the grade they had before the final or reschedule the final exam for the first week of next semester (in January). If you aren’t happy with your grade, it is a crappy situation. Moral of the story: don’t bank on the final boosting your grade in the future — especially at the end of Fall semester.


    Yesterday, Andrew Belus, Will Porter, Eric Lynch and I went running around downtown Flagstaff in the snow. We had a great time throwing snowballs at people and cars. Of course this was fresh powder, so the snowballs were plenty soft enough to not do any damage. That didn’t stop one guy from turning his car around and questioning Will with a wrench in his hand. Dude needed to chill out.

    Needless to say, it was a great way to officially start my 2010 track campaign.

    My van was completely covered in the morning.

    My van was completely covered in the morning.

    Today I decided not to be so brave and opted for the treadmill at my apartment’s clubhouse. I put 10 miles in at around 7:00 pace. Probably a little too fast for this time of year, but I quickly realized that the faster I ran the less time I had to spend on the treadmill staring at a wall. I did bring some tunes with me so that helped ease the monotony.

    I noticed that my heart rate seemed like it was higher than it should have been, 166 bpm, for that pace and incline (2%). I have done some reading recently about riding on bicycle trainers (basically using your normal bike as a stationary bike indoors) and there seems to be a consensus that your power output while riding a trainer is limited compared to riding outdoors by how well you can cool your self off, among other things. Obviously there is no wind, unless you have a fan in front of you, to increase the convection coefficient (had to throw in some heat transfer terms as that is what my final is on tomorrow) to help cool you off. I wonder if this was the main contributing factor to my unusually high heart rate. If I have to get on the treadmill more this winter, I will be sure to play closer attention to it and see if I can come up with some good conclusions.