Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Treadmill Desk

What: Treadmill Desk
Where: Home Office
When: Every Chance I get
Who: Just me
Why: Is sitting to much slowly killing me?

24 hours in a day...how many of those hours do I spend moving? 6-8 hours of sleeping, 1 hour commuting to work/datacenters, 6-8 hours sitting at the office, 1 hour sitting at lunch, 1 hour sitting helping kids with homework, an hour or 2 watching tv or reading, 30 minutes sitting during dinner...really averaging 20-24 hours not really active.

...even if you get a good run or workout in during the day, does it make up for 18-20 hours of not moving around? Last April after an ultra-marathon IT Support session for several days...caffiene and sitting,  I noticed that I was having some hamstring pain where my legs were sitting on the chair. It became bad enough that I was unable to sit on any chair comfortably for more than 15 or 20 minutes...and has continued to today...almost a year later. I tried purchasing several expensive chairs for the home office but nothing seemed to work.

I started doing a little research and found this article by the NYT "Is Sitting Really A Lethal Activity?"
Yes, I steal pictures from the web...but this one was cool...and makes the point.

So after reading the article and thinking about all the sitting I had been doing, I remembered that a good friend of mine had built a treadmill desk. I talked with him, took some pictures of his...then built version 1.0. (Purchased a SOLE F83 off Craigs list as my treadmill...a decent one knowing that I would be wanting to use is several hours daily...definitely not a requirement.)

Treadmill Desk 1.0 - Materials List (construction foam, shelving board, gorilla glue.)

Simple construction of treadmill desk 1.0 cost 15-20$ excluding the treadmill. I had it cut, glued, and built in an hour or so. After several days averaging about 1.2 mph and 3-4 miles a day...I was hooked. I found OfficeWalkers user group on the web. Turns out there are quite a few people out there with the same idea..and lots of pictures of ideas on building tricked out treadmill desks.

Treadmill 2.0 - Materials (IKEA Jerker Standup desk...Craigs list $100) + larger monitor, keyboard, mouse)

Version 2.0...much better work space. Dual monitors, keyboar, mouse...made it a bit easier with the cooridination for IT work while walking. I was able to quickly move my average speed from 1.2 mph to 1.5 and 1.7, and finally today's speed of 2.2 mph.

Version 2.0...you can see the desk fits perfectly over the bars...but still could use some improvements.

Version 2.1 ? I pulled the arms off the treadmill, moved the controller onto a bottom shelf where the controls are more easily accessed...a little messy but working on cleaning it up. Notice the old climbing webbing I used to "secure" the controller to the shelf :)

Picked up a little fan, ergo microsoft keyboard for long hours of work, a nalgene bottle full of ice water and chia seeds...some non-conducting headphones! The static electricity build-up can provide a good zap to your ears if you use headphones...be careful on your selection.

Side view... notice the baby polar bear rug I have on the far left...just incase you were thinking I was getting a little to "hippy."

I do a lot of my walking barefoot...in an attempt to strengthen my calves and feet.

Have tried walking backwards several times just to switch it up...I don't recommend it.

Side benefit...standing on the TreadDesk I am 8-10 inches taller than my wify :) Thanks for supporting me in all my craziness Loree!

Summary: I have been "office-walking" consistently now for 7 weeks. I eat healthier and have lost over 10 pounds. I have covered over 170 miles total and now average 2.2 mph while working. While sitting, my heart rate averages 45-50 bpm, at 2.2 mph I average 70-75 bpm...not a huge difference but definitely an improvement. Today is a personal record for me...20 miles of walking in about 9 hours. I started the day at 6am, studied scripture and wrote in my journal, planned my day, worked, and blogged all while on the desk. I do take breaks for lunch, stretching etc etc...but it is a significant life change! I feel great and energized...will see how the feet feel tomorrow. (walked in brooks trail running shoes all 20)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tough Mudder Arizona

What: -- 12.5 mile run/obstacle course...with MUD --
Where: GM Proving Grounds
When: Jan 14, 2012
Who: Justin, Mike E, Rob S, Robert E, Lisa, Damon, Pam,  & Aaron
Why: "it seemed like a good idea at the time to sign up..."

*** Special thanks to Kim (Roberts much better 1/2) for chasing us around the course and taking such great pictures!!!! *** Thanks to Robert E and Justin for bringing the GoPro video cam's as well...I will post several links to their videos once they are up...

*** Update: Justin Updated TypeTwoFun  with the Super Spartan Race report...check it out.

Several months ago I got a phone call from Justin asking me if I had ever heard of this thing called Tough Mudder? We talked about it, checked out the website and before I knew it, he had talked me into it...signed up and several other good friends joined as well. In the months to follow, most of us did not train enough, had some injury or another...and found ourselves with Permanent Marker race numbers on our foreheads and warpaint...ready to kick it off. Man that time went by fast!! 12.5 miles, 29 obstacles (created by British Special Forces...very sick individuals.)

Course held at the GM Proving Grounds. This used to be one of the areas where GM would put the new car designs through the tests...has not been used in quite a few years now...have always wanted to check it out...now I get the chance.

Much cleaner and much more energy than the team photo at the finish line :) Left to Right - Robert, Lisa, Aaron, Damon Pam, Mike E, Justin, Leonard, Rob S.

 At the starting line...took the Tough Mudder Pledge and got the "This course will hurt you, and test you...expose any previous injury you have had...and there is a reason why you signed a death waiver to get in"...speech :) Felt like the start of a football game in highschool...awesome!!!

Kiss of Mud...following the first mile of running we low crawled through the mud...getting a little taste.

 I guess "Kiss" of mud doesn't properly describe the full on make out session we had with it.

Arctic Enema - Not one of us but good shot of the ice bath...toxic green!

"Arctic Enema" - Canon balled in...dove under the wood and barbwire middle, and was out pretty fast. Was cold for sure, but the weather was nice and we warmed up pretty quick.

Yes, this is what an arctic enema looks like...(Robert)...and it is not enough just to wade through it...you get to dive under for a bit.

Stole several of these pictures from the web...those that we didn't get. Lisa pulled a hamstring on the last jump...this was about 2 miles in...she toughed it out and still finished the course...must have put some serious wupin's on Robert Growing up...

Muddy Tunnels - knees are still feeling it a bit

Not sure what the name of this one was...but the jumps took quite a bit out of me...

Jumping lasted for probably 100 yards

Rob loving the tight spaces at the Boa Constricter

Justin was a machine...and had way to much fun...I guess he needs something a little tougher to really beat him up a bit.

Robert being re-born!

Mikeee having a good jog with the 1 mile wood block carry...we couldn't keep up.

Having a good time "walking" the wood mile!

Double Carry

Devil's Beard - Working through the net...was pretty heavy...not to tough if you had a few people with you heading through.

This was the "Mud Mile" ... not really a mile of mud holes but definitely felt like it. It filled most of our shoes so full of mud it felt like having rolls of quarters in my shoes...had to stop after and clean them out. Robert and Aaron still living the dream!

Zombie Apocalypse - Smoke, old cars, torn up asphalt...more good times.

Huge pile-O-dirt...sprayed with water...took lots of team work getting up and over it...mostly involving Justin at 120 lbs pushing me 220 lbs :) Thanks dude...

Up and over...Mike and Robert coming down the other side...can definitely say there were several moments where you just shook your head and thought this is phreaking crazy...I paid money to do this.

Berlin Walls....these are maybe a little taller than 12 foot. Pretty difficult to get over without help...especially after 8 or 9 miles into the course!

Rob push pressing Rob up and over. 3 different sets of these, each had 2 walls to climb over...good times.

Rob demonstrating is total lack of balance on "Twinkle Toes" :)

I made it within 4 feet of the end...and in the mud/water I went.

 Log Jammin - maybe individually these obstacles are not to tough...but through in miles of running soaking wet, shoes full of mud...and other "crevices" ... things seem to get more tough, and more fun towards the end.

Still Log Jammin....
Walk the Plank - About a 15 foot high jump into some deep muddy water....after I hit the water and started sinking I kept waiting to hit the bottom and push off....bottom never came :) was an experience swimming back up with clothes and shoes on.

Swimming out of the hole.

Shocks on the Rocks - I think all of us made it through this low crawl without getting shocked. Gave a false sense of security for the last "Electro-Shock Therapy."

Bale climb - 

Everest - This one was a butt kicker. We hit it at about mile 10 I think. You had to sprint up the slick ramp and grab someones hand to make it up. I failed first attempt, made it the second. Mike E up first try.

Took 2 or 3 big guys to help me up.

Justin on his way up. Notice all the babes checking his mad speed skills out.

LOL...this is just funny. Piece of cake.

Funky Monkey - About 50 feet of monkey bars...they spin in your hand, are muddy, and some are greased with butter. Rob and I both made it across...and check out that water.

Enough water to get you all cleaned up before the Grande Finale...

Electro-Shock Therapy - Yes, those are live wires...some loaded with 10,000 volts...enough to lock up your body completely...especially standing in mud and water. I think I found all of the 10,000 volt wires.

Heading through you had to make several turns...obstacle was 30 feet long I think. The first wire that nailed me put me head first into the mud while running...bad thing was my eyes were wide open. Completely filled them with mud and couldn's see. I got up on my hands and knees (equals big mistake) and got shocked back down several times...including one time where my "face" broke the fall.


Justin "dramatically" finishing off Tough Mudder in style!!

A little bit dirtier than when we started...had a great time with good friends...and made some new ones. 

Conclusion: Had a blast at Tough Mudder. It was something like I had never done before. I liked the team work that it required, the challenges/obstacles really did test you, 12.5 mile run is almost a 1/2 marathon :) - Definitely had trouble with the electro-shock therapy. Mike E had to drive me home because I couldn't see to well, and Loree ended up swabbing the remaining mud/dirt out of my eyes with wet qtips...the more I look back on it and the further in time it gets away...the more fun I remember it being!....typetwofun!