5 (Very) Random Things I Did This Weekend

In the last 10 days I’ve been in 6 countries (Turkey, South Africa, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain).  In fact, I’ve done one unique country 4 out of the last 5 days.  Given those stats, I can assure you this weekend was a whirlwind – albeit a highly productive one.  Let’s start with Friday.

1) Flew to Frankfurt for a triathlon show

Late Friday afternoon I zipped over to Frankfurt to check out the Triathlon Convention Europe show, aka, Frankfurt tri show.


It’s the first year of the show, but has an impressive number of booths, and a few technology players including Polar, Garmin, SRAM/Quarq, O-Synce, and CycleOps/PowerTap.  Neither SRM or Suunto was there.


They also had a slew of other booths for various other tri products…and…adjacent categories:


I was actually there for some side meetings, so I didn’t spend too much time at the show itself.  But it looks like they had a full lineup for the weekend including an associated running race, as well as the ability to test out wetsuits in the pool that was built into the facility.  Pretty cool.

I also poked a bit at O-Synce’s new dual ANT+/BLE remote control (see gallery).  This does dual-duty and can control not only your Garmin Edge devices, but also various indoor training apps have started adding in support – such as the CycleOps Virtual Training platform, and I believe the Golden Cheetah folks are working on support there too.

Additionally, the guys from O-Synce showed me their CoachSmart product, which can actually display the status of Magura shocks for mountain bikers, along with being kinda like a Cateye Strada Smart in that it can connect to ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart sensors and even bridge that ANT+ into Bluetooth Smart (including power meters).  I brought a unit home to poke at a bit more.



Here’s a handful of other photos I took:

Good to see such strong pickup of an event.

2) We’ve added a new member to our family!

We’ve been looking at making a family addition for quite some time.  While we could have accomplished that in many ways…we figured perhaps a puppy is the most logical for right now.  So on Thursday The Girl picked up our newest little friend, Lucy:


She’s a Boston Terrier, about three months old now, and from a breeder about two hours outside of Paris.  She’s still a bit shy (compared to her crazy rambunctious sibling brother), but she’s getting used to the bity city.  I suppose coming from a countryside farm to the towering city buildings and noise is a bit intimidating.  She’s not a fan of cars, mopeds, trucks, or police cars.  She does however like saying hi to the police on foot.  And…she seems to accept going for a bike ride:


Here’s a handful more photos:

Oh…and yes…I couldn’t resist putting a little pet-specific activity tracker on her.  Like a Fitbit for dogs.

3) Went for a long run (in Paris)

After flying back from Frankfurt early Saturday morning and then going to the park with Lucy and The Girl for a few hours, I headed out for a long run.  It was slated for about 1hr and 50mins, so I selected a loop that roughly followed the southern Périphérique in Paris, which is the loop road around the city.  I used the course function on the Fenix3 to test that out, ahead of Thursday’s review release.


Because that specific route wasn’t quite enough for the mileage I needed, I added on various parks and did loops in those:



The route itself isn’t terribly exciting.  Only about the last couple miles once back along the river in more scenic areas (Eiffel Tower, etc…) does it get a bit interesting.  Otherwise, it’s just kinda so-so.  But, it’s an efficient so-so with lots of little rollers along the way.


I wrapped up about 14.6 miles of Z2 heart rate pace in 1:50:22.  A bit slower than the previous week, but also a bit of a hillier route with quite a bit of wind.  So I’ll take it.

4) Flew to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress


Sunday morning it was back to the airport for a quick trip to Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.  This is where much of the mobile computing (phone) world meets (minus Apple) each year.  But over the last few years wearables have become a bigger part of that.


I’ll spend the whole day Monday on the show floor, but I also spent quite a bit of time Sunday – both in events (such as the Samsung launch event), as well as with side meetings (like with the founder of Pebble checking out the new Pebble Time).  After the show I’ll round up all the interesting things I’ve seen.  Virtually every company in the wearables industry is here, even if they don’t have a booth they’re roaming around and I’ve got side bars with many of them.  Ideally to bring back status updates on various products that have been announced but not yet released.  Stay tuned, and, keep an eye on Twitter too.  I often publish a lot of little tidbits there during show days.

5) Completed a swim workout…with topless women (in Barcelona)


Finally…part of the reason I went down a bit earlier on Sunday was to get good final photos at a pretty pool for the Fenix3 In-Depth Review.  One of the best pools I know for that is just along the sea in Barcelona, where I’ve taken photos for past reviews.  Unfortunately, my local Parisian pool isn’t too awesome for photos (too crowded, unclear water, etc…).


What I did not expect when I put my GoPro down in the water to capture various underwater pics/video of me and the watch as I was doing my laps…was that I’d be joined by women swimming sans-top.

Sure, topless sunbathing for woman in Europe is completely normal.  But doing your entire swim workout?  Well…that’s a new one for me.  And, not just one, but two women while I was there.  Each doing full 40+ minutes workout sets including drill sections, kickboards, fins, and the whole bit.

Some have asked for proof after I expressed my surprise via Twitter.  And while I’m certainly not about to publish topless or identifiable photos here (there’s a whole interwebs for that), I give you the below as she swam away with her back facing me (she’s the one with fins).


Oh, and that’s me above just about to start my flip turn.  In case you’re wondering, finding the exact frame that showed no nudity of either her or another topless woman in the next lane took some time.

Which seems like a perfectly good place to say – Have a great week and thanks for reading!


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  1. Patrick

    Ray, when you post this headline, nobody is expecting clear water pictures. Everybody searching topless women on photos ;-)

  2. Congratulations on the new member of the family (although you would have got even more respect from me if it was a kitten not a puppy ;-) ).

    • MattB

      Hehe, yes congratulations on the new addition, she’s a real cutie! It would be a bit tough taking a kitten for long runs mind you, though an old cat of mine used to come for short walks fairly happily….

    • Was expecting a cooler pet – shark in a fish tank. Congratulations on the puppy.

  3. Dom

    This is a compromise in the bunny, then?

  4. Ray, I’ve been a long time lurker and RSS subscriber on here but never posted before. However, now you have a dog I feel compelled to write!

    I’m buts about dogs, and regularly run with my two boys. I’ve also started a blog recently that focuses on dog ownership, and have to say thank you as I’ve learned a lot from your blog over time that I try to apply to my own. Anyways, apologies for posting a link (please remove if it’s not cool), but thought I’d show you some measuring I’d done with my FR620 to try and work out how much distance my dogs cover in a week.

    How much exercise do dogs need?

    I love Boston terriers by the way. Nuts little dogs!

  5. Philipp

    Re. CoachSmart

    Hi Ray,
    are you aware of any product that does that “Bridge-thing” in reverse?
    As I am currently migrating from Polar to garmin (which actually is a process with all the gadgets I have accumulated) that would allow me to use my polar keo pedals (updated to Bluetooth) with a garmin head-unit.


  6. Toni Herena

    Hi Ray,
    welcome to Barcelona. I use to swim in this club (Athletic Barceloneta), and I have to say I’ve only seen topless women swimming in this swimming pool. This is not common out of this pool. But, after some minutes, you realize that it is something normal and it must be more comfortable.
    Thanks for coming to our city! Spend as much money as you can, so the citizens will be also rewarded for these congresses that collapses the city just for companies…
    P.S.: If you need something to run, bike or swim, can tell it to me and will try to help.

  7. Dave Lusty

    Yeah, you used the pet wearable because you got a dog, didn’t get a dog to test out the pet wearable…

    For the GoPro shots, do you just sink the camera to the bottom and use the timer?

  8. Laurent

    Hi Ray,

    Question: How do you calculate your HR Zone?
    I notice you said it’s a Z2 run for you and it shows 160 bpm on average….I’m 42 and 160 bpm is my Z4. I use 5 zones (50-60%, 60-70%,….,90-100%)

    I’m just surprised 160 bpm is your Z2 and would like to know how you calculate it? not sure you have a post on this.


    • Nate

      I too would like a post about how you use HR zones for training. Ive been reading a lot on HR training as I am getting ready for my first Tri (Spring) in April but you tend to make things FAR more understandable.

    • Jon Niehof

      Not Ray, but I like Joe Friel’s method (Triathlete’s Training Bible), where you do a threshold test and figure zones from there. 160 in the middle of zone 2 corresponds to threshold of 182. Matt Fitzgerald’s 80/20 Running has a good correlation between various methods of measuring intensity, including Friel’s zones and Greg McMillan’s paces.

      If you’re figuring zones from any age-based formula, throw it out.

    • Anton Peterson

      Your HR zones are based using your resting HR and your max HR. The calculation is known as the karvonen method. Which is the chosen intensity as a decimal multiplied by your HR reserve (HR max – resting HR) + resting HR.

      To find your HR max there are several different methods. Most accurate is a ramp test to exhaustion where you can also find you V02 max. Most people use the 220-age method. According to my past lecturer under a year ago the best equation to use is 207-(0.7 x age).

      HR zones can be distinguished by using either LTHR (lactate threshold HR) or from your V02 max HR.

    • robert

      I’m guessing hrr (karvonen method). 160bpm is mid zone 3 for me. I’m also 42 max heart rate is 192,resting is 62.Ray’s resting rate is much lower which affects calculated zones

    • Nate

      I am very lucky to have VO2 Max Testing available through work. So I have a great assessment of my max and capacity but I would like a rundown of how Ray applies those to actually training, again because he tends to make things so simple.

    • Laurent

      I also used Karvonen method with 183 Max HR (Maximum reach so far) and 46 resting HR. I’m 42 and 160 bpm is Zone 4 (155 to 169 bpm)

      192 Max HR is huge for your age…impressed I am.

      I will have a look at your references


    • Ian S

      Agree, with out your LTHR and go fom there. Using max heart rate isn’t as relevant.

  9. Thomas

    Hi Ray – please share your GC link to your run :-)

  10. remco Verdoold

    Puppy!!!!11!! :)
    A dog (and/or) cat are really nice family members. For some they are just an animal but for owners it is their family member. Be careful not to walk to much with the little one as the bones still have to strengthen and grow (but probably you have heard this a thousand times already). We always had a dog (airedale terrier) but last times we have been very unfortunate (poisoning and young cancer), but others got 13 and 15 years. Enjoy.

  11. Hello,

    Welcome to Lucy. I am sure about her future nickname :”chien pourri gâté” ( spoiled rotten dog ) :)

  12. karl

    Hi Ray,
    is this the Polar V800 on your right arm? Didn’t get the chance to test the polar during swimming yet. How did the watch do compared to the Fenix3?

  13. Mans

    Hi Ray,

    Any idea on a timeline for the mio velo in depth?

  14. Tim

    You really got Lucy so that you could get the guys in Olathe to let you test their newest Astro models… :)

    Beautiful dog and I’m sure wonderful addition to the family, congratulations.

  15. Claudio

    Hy Ray
    On your last photo, the one with the proove for topless women, is that the Polar v800 on your right wrist?

  16. Hi Ray,

    After THE GIRL, you get THE DOG….

  17. PhilBoogie

    I’m Very much looking forward to Thursday’s review of the F3. I hope Ray gets a chance to go in depth on the iOS app as well, and little software tidbits there are.

  18. Tim


    Does THE DOG bark with an accent? LE BARK, LE RUFF!!!

    I picked up my rescue Lab in Texas (I live in Calif), and my family always jokes about how he whines with a drawl.

    Congrats on the dog, but beware–dogs are time sinks. Your very busy life just got a little more impacted.

  19. Turn The Damn Cranks

    Lucy is too cute. We have an about-to-be 14 year old Boston. He’s turned into a slug, but we still love him as much as when he was a hyper puppy! One bit of advice — get her a harness instead of attaching her leash to her collar. Per our vet, Bostons (and other short-snouted dogs) are better off without anything pulling on their neck; even if they are well-trained, it’s still a preferable situation.

    • Yup, we’ve got a little harness too. Since she had never worse a collar prior to Thurs, the breeder said to give her a few weeks to kinda slowly grow into them.

  20. Frederic


    Could you explain how you determined your Z2 heart rate pace ? and also, what are the other zones ?

  21. DL-Henderson

    Ray, congrats to you both on Lucy, she is a great looking dog. Funny about the nude swimming, but they did that at a few pools in Germany when I was there (the 80’s). It is no big deal there, maybe Parisians are more uptight? lol

    Anyway, when is Epix review planned for release?

    Thank you for all you do, you set the standard. Untold sites refer tech readers to your site. Bottle it, you are rich!

    Henderson, NV

    • Thanks! Some Parisian pools have shared changing facilities, and certainly topless sunbathing is normal. But I’ve yet to see actual topless swimming of laps.

      On Epix, I talked with Garmin today about where things stand. Current timelines have Epix units potentially shipping in April, but that sounded optimistic.

    • DL-Henderson

      Ray, thank you for the update. I plan to purchase through Clever Training once available and it does what I am looking for it to do.

  22. David Weisz

    Be honest – you got the dog because you need to test some of these new devices (Fitbark, Whistle, etc). Only a matter of time before you’re using her like that rolling pin with the watches on it.

  23. Mark O'Sullivan

    wait, so a photo of you with out a top on isnt nudity
    however a photo of a woman with out a top on is nudity?

    If someone is in public wearing what they want and its legal how can that be nudity?

    • I’m reasonably certain I didn’t say anything about “nudity”.

      As for the definitions about “nudity”, that’s pretty commonly agreed upon in most countries. Sometimes it intersects with law about nudity, but not always.

    • Dave Lusty

      I don’t know about France but here in the UK there is no law against being naked in public. The law is against lewd behaviour but just walking the streets is theoretically fine – we even have a naked bike ride once a year where the police attend. I suspect most of Europe would be similar from a legal standpoint but I’m guessing the US actually has laws against being nude in public?

  24. rob cheshire

    Were Bragi in Barcelona?

    If yes, do you have any update for us as they have gone very quiet.

    thanks rob

    • I didn’t see them on the exhibitor list, though I did see a tweet that they were meeting with various suppliers around the show-floor (so, more as an attendee).

  25. Melanie Ware

    I love sweet Lucy! Looking forward to seeing more pet tech gear.

  26. Wyatt

    Congrats on the new addition to the family, she’s super cute! Our Boston Gabby also isn’t a barker, but she has learned to bark at us when she wants something which isn’t always a good thing lol. Never at people or other dogs that are barking at her though, she’s great! I also second the suggestion about not using a collar around her neck ;).

  27. Wal

    When my wife and I got a dog a few years after getting married we had heaps of people tell us we must be practicing for children.

    I thought ‘great, if this is practicing for kids then that must mean that we can feed them once a day, sleep them in the laundry in a box, leave them outside all day when we go to work (or out training) and put them in a kennel when going on holidays.’

    Sadly it turns out not to be the case. :o)

  28. Joyce

    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BUNNY?!? I mean, Lucy is adorable, but she’s not a bunny!

  29. KSBiohazard

    Congrats on the new addition to the DCRainmaker family. I have a Lucy too, but she is a St. Bernard.

  30. Jukka

    The Peloton-wine is cheaper when you buy it from Pave in Barcelona. It also has sister-wines Arrivee and Panache.

    All three are very tasty and Pave is worth while visit otherwise too, close to the airport.

  31. Jimbo

    Now that you have little Lucy and got her a doggie tracker; I’m expecting full DCRainmaker reviews on all available units.
    I have two 7 month old puppies and was thinking of getting them something.

  32. Beside product reviews, blogs, race reviews and paris blog you will have to open now a whole new section… Lucy the dog blog… :-) Can’t wait

    and something completely different… how could you be getting some final pretty photos for your Fenix 3 review with a Polar on your wrist? ;-)

  33. Nate


    I think whats tripping me up about following your info a bit pertaining to your runs is you say its a Z2 run, but according to your strava you’re mostly in Z3? And I cant for the life of me figure out what calculation you’re using to determine your zones.

    • It looks like my HR zones in Strava are slightly incorrect (by 2bpm), I’ll have to adjust (I tend not to look at zones there, just on TP).

      As for calculations – my HR zones were put together by my coach, based a bit on performance data from both VO2Max tests, but also various training/racing data points.

  34. 8

    Lucy’s a cutie !
    Tons of fun (and work) ahead !
    congrats. dogs rule.

  35. PurdueMatt

    Cute Boston. They are great dogs, I have 2.

  36. Richard C

    Hi Ray,

    I previously owned a Boston Terrier (Rusty) who was a perfect gentleman — he was a great addition to our family. Once Lucy becomes more used to her surroundings, I would love to see a Lucy POV movie using a GoPro (or something similar). Enjoy your new pup!

    Richard C.

  37. Steve Fitz

    I am surprised you chose a “Boston” Terrier especially since your beloved Seahawks lost to the NE Patriots(formally the Boston Patriots)!!

  38. Max

    Cool Dog!
    Think you’ll write a review of dogsave running Shows soon :)

  39. miguel ¡

    when a full review of the dog¿

  40. Jenn

    I. Love. Lucy!!!!!!

  41. Joe R

    Congratulations on Lucy. Can’t imagine not having at least a couple of little friends always there that so easily make me smile.


  42. Tommy Short

    Heck yeah! I LOVE-love Boston Terriers, and look forward to future additions in your posts. Lucy’s adorable. Now you’ll be oh-so-tempted to get into the doggie tech that’s out there.

  43. Javier

    You did it will not publishing “the” pictures, under the Spanish law nothing prevents you from taking pictures in public places but using it for “public” purposes is a different matter.

    Spain is very strict on preserving the privacy of people even to absurd extents.
    For instance if you record your bike commute and a car hits you, at court you will have to state that your recording was for “tracking your workouts” and that “by chance” you recorded the car hitting you. If you say that you normally record your commutes just to have evidence about the possible accidents, the attorney of the car driver will claim privacy “invasion” and the recording will be ruled out as a proof.
    So, if you actually record the trip, it is recommended that you state in loud voice your speed, cogs or hearth rate to have a stronger evidence about the “workout tracking” purposes of the recording…

  44. Melanie Ware

    We really need a Lucy update :-)

  45. Shaka

    Good luck. Wonderful brave decision. Glad to continue to have your site.

  46. WK

    After reading ‘Additionally, the guys from O-Synce showed me their CoachSmart product, which can actually display the status of Magura shocks for mountain bikers, along with being kinda like a Cateye Strada Smart in that it can connect to ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart sensors and even bridge that ANT+ into Bluetooth Smart (including power meters). I brought a unit home to poke at a bit more.’

    I wonder if you had time to poke around a bit and share your experience.