Kyle Seth Gray

Kyle Seth Gray's blog. Usually writing about tech, personal experience, but now leaning more towards health and fitness.

It's been two long years

Two years of cycling a lot.

Figuring out different ways to do cardio.

Trying running bit by bit, never going more than 5 or so miles.

Cycling 100km in one go, 4000+ miles overall.

Doing different ellipticals, from super nice LifeFitness gear to crap ellipticals that my dad got on Craigslist for like $30.

Hiking 15 miles to close my rings because I couldn't bike that day, and I didn't want to run or get injured.

But I did it.

I ran a new 10K after two years.

First 10K in 2 years

New Years Award

Remember that New Years award for the Apple Watch? Remember how a bunch of people got it earlier than they should've?

Turns out™, the badge didn't get a date associated with it.

Here's the condition the original 2017 New Year's badge had for you to earn it:

activityData.history.consecutiveMoveGoalsMet >= 7 AND activityData.history.consecutiveExerciseGoalsMet >= 7 AND activityData.history.consecutiveStandGoalsMet >= 7 AND dates.dayOfWeekToday == dates.lastDayOfFitnessWeek AND dates.startOfToday >= 505267200

In plain language, it was awarded when you had 7 consecutive Move, Exercise, and Stand Goals, AND it was after the end of the week, AND it was after 505267200. I assume that's the start of 2017, but for some reason that in unicode time is 01/05/1986... [Is this some iOS thing? SQL? Help]
EDIT: I'm a doof. It's NSDate. So the date is 2017/01/05

The 2018 award on the other hand had its condition set to:

activityData.history.consecutiveMoveGoalsMet >= 7 AND activityData.history.consecutiveExerciseGoalsMet >= 7 AND activityData.history.consecutiveStandGoalsMet >= 7 AND dates.dayOfMonthToday >= 7

Which means it'll just throw it at you after you earn any perfect week after the badge was downloaded, which was on Dec 27, 2016 at 5:00:00 PM. So anyone getting their perfect week on the 28th, like me and many others , got the New Year's Badge way too early.

What it should've had is AND dates.startOfToday >= 536716800, which would've prevented the super early award winning by many.

My only question is why did it not have the date condition?

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On a similar note, it looks like the Heart Month award coming later this week should be fine, since it's marked as available after the 6th, and just has two queries: activityData.history.consecutiveExerciseGoalsMet >= 7 AND dates.dayOfMonthToday == 14 - 7 days in a row of meeting your Exercise Goal, earned on the 14th day of the month.

Getting back into running

One of my goals this upcoming year is to get back into running. It's one of my favorite ways to work out still - you don't need any equipment besides shoes, and maybe music to listen to.

I am currently sticking to one of the Strava Running Plans to ease myself back into running at a reasonable pace. While I know I'm starting a lot slower than I used to, I'm also very aware of how last time I was training, I got injured because I went too fast and far way too quickly.

Current Pace vs. Two Years Ago

Current running pace Where I used to be at

Currently, I'm at a slowish pace - around 12:30 a mile depending on the day - but it's a pace I can keep constant for 45 minutes without any run walks in between. Another thing that I'm focusing on is actually doing my speed intervals, aka fartlek runs, to build up my speed slowly over time.

I think I'll be able to run a half marathon some time this year depending on how my training goes, and I'm also considering a few triathlons.

While I've loved cycling over the past two years, it's nice to get back to "basics", and just have nothing but a nice trail, my running shoes, and favorites jams while enjoying what Utah's outdoors has to offer.

New Years

New Years always rolls around as the time of “New Goals!”, “New You!”, and other motivational posts on Instagram by your friends that got sucked into a pyramid scheme to help you get rid of ‘bloat’, make your hair shine, or just those dumb motivational quotes that are supposed to make everything better.

While it may be a big mental hurdle in our heads, and may not be as significant as it feels it is, the “New Year” is useful in the sense it can help you jumpstart something.

The best way to start out the new year, if you really want to join in on the mayhem, is find something in your life that you can measure. Use apps like Streaks, Pedometer++ that can help you easily quantify those goals in an easy manner. They’re quick, simple to set up, and can have reminders to push you towards reaching your goal.

The biggest reminder with the whole “New Year’s Resolution” gag is that, although you may roll your eyes at the slew of things you see people oversharing or throwing at you as ways to improve yourself, is to remember that you don’t need a position of the planet around the sun to start any new goals. Starting a habit can happen at the beginning of any month, week, or day - the most important part is being true to yourself, and reliably tracking the goals you set.

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(And maybe getting a few fancy badges while you're at it. )

2017 for me

Years can be looked at as the events that happened around you rather than those that happened to you. In this, I wanted to reflect on what has happened for me this year and what positive things I encountered.

The year started out with freezing cold temperatures, but my weird dedication to going to the gym. I was becoming more and more dedicated to getting up at 5 am [yes I know, I know], eating a quick breakfast and chugging coffee, and then taking the 5:20 bus to get to UVU’s gym for the 6:30 spin class. I’ve already written loads about my Apple Watch, but that’s what was motivating me getting to the gym - closing my rings early. And we all know how that went.

While this was happening, I also kept up my outdoor cycling despite the cold weather. I didn’t use it to commute as much, because man is that just depressing to bike in the cold morning and have to use the showers at the gym to regain feeling in my hands, [I had terrible gloves], but I made sure to bike often on weekends, through snow, cold, but mostly some part sunshine filled days. I got more and more obsessed with biking, and enjoyed it a ton.

Another thing I made as a goal was to get more involved at my school. This was my last full year of university, and I felt like I hadn’t really gotten involved in school spirit, or attended too many events.

So I body painted myself.

Another bigger project I worked on this year was using ad promotion material, and getting some of the more specialized experience in the real world with digital marketing. It was fun to be all sides of the project, including corny shots of our team to use as the creative side. Our teacher really pushed us to do the whole enchilada with the marketing, from the writing, photography, editing, and actual end result ad promotion. It was loads of fun.

After finishing my last full semester, I also got a new job and ended my employment as a web developer for the university, and am now working as the web expert on an integrated marketing team. That transition went over way better than I initially thought, and I’m enjoying a ton of different aspects of my new job - everything from ad managing, website cleanup and coding, to AV work at events and brainstorming new campaigns for a healthcare clinic. It’s a job that allows me to use a lot more of skills, to even being that guy so people don’t have to hunker over to the IT department, which I see as a plus.

Rounding out the end of the year, I got my first real road bike, biked 2000 miles on it, and beat my all time 50 mile times, worked on getting more PRs and KOMs on Strava, and keeping a crazy move streak going.

This year was a fun one for me, and in my professional development, it was one of the biggest years yet. Now I’m graduated, full-time employed, and hoping to figure out how to get into good cycling competitions next year. Here’s to 2018.

Little Wrist Computer

Little Wrist Computer is an aptly given name to the Apple Watch, and it's true - it's a super computer on your wrist. James tells in this wonderfully edited episode of Welcome to Macintosh how the computer he's been wearing may as well have saved his life.

Give it a listen. It's really worth it.

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