Tuesday, September 30, 2008

End of the Summer

Sunday morning brought snow to Fairbanks, enough snow to stick around for a while and get many roads, parking lots and driveways pretty icy. Enough snow to get me to reluctantly park the bike in the back of the garage for the winter. Most of the leaves are off the trees and it just feels like it is going to be a long, bleak winter. High fuel oil and electricity mean cost cutting all around. I was thinking of going for a longish walk yesterday evening but the roads in the subdivision were still pretty slick. They don't get enough traffic. This evening, there is a scout meeting at the university so between 5 and 7, I'm going to walk through the West Ridge trails ending up at Wood Center in time for the meeting. After all, I need to try out my new toy.

While I was in Barrow last week, a package was delivered to my office from the WIN for Alaska program with a wrist mounted gps. Too bad I didn't get it in time for the Equinox but I'm not complaining. It stores tracks (something I didn't expect) as well as report on distance, speed, heart rate, etc. so I'm looking forward to trying it out. You can then connect it to a computer to upload all of the information. I don't think it records elevation or at least I haven't found it yet. Pretty cool device, Thank you to the WIN program. I will probably still carry my Nike+ device since I still like to be able to compete in the challenges on their web site. I'm about 55 miles short of the 1000 mile mark. This is just on actual "exercise walks/runs" so it is less than half of my total walking for the year. The pedometer total for the past year is just over 6 million steps (~2,700 miles) so it is no wonder I keep wearing out shoes. Which reminds me, it's about that time again...

Tuesday afternoon - I went on a short walk during lunch and here is the type of data that gets stored on the device. Primarily, speed and location. I didn't try out the heart monitor since it was going to be a short walk. I'll try that out this evening.

The map is pretty minimal and even the main roads aren't located very accurately. The number of data points seemed pretty minimal but I attributed that to the memory on the device. The base map on the 305 is pretty low resolution but you do have the ability to create waypoints as well as follow your track back ala bread crumbs.

Just on a hunch, I tried out the Garmin Mapsource program that I have to use with my 60csx, and it recognized the Forerunner 305 just fine and uploaded the track. This is a screen capture from that program. As you can see, the maps are much more detailed and accurate and the track information does include elevation. So I think I will end up using both software tools with this new gadget. I forgot to grab my iPod so no comparative data from the Nike+ device.

This last screen capture shows the elevation from my short walk this afternoon. I'm not really sure why the plot isn't symmetric since I just walked out, turned around and headed back. All in all, a really cool gadget. Too bad winter is upon us...

Tuesday evening - Walked in the snow this evening to try out the new gps. My heart rate registers higher than I thought it was though my counting method is pretty approximate. Count beats for 6 seconds and multiply by 10. I did run some since my feet got wet from the fresh snow. Time for some non-mesh shoes. The Nike+ registered 4.33 miles and the gps registered 4.27. Close enough for me especially since I paused the gps when I went into Butrovich to pick up my medicine. There could have been 0.06 miles inside the building. The heart rate monitor is what I'm really interested in. Back when I used to bicycle a lot, I would use my heart rate to pace myself. I would try and maintain ~80% of max for my age for literally hours. I think I actually am doing about the same when I walk as well. Using the old age formula, max is about 172. I noticed that several times on my walk this evening I was up there and didn't feel like I was pushing myself that hard. I wonder if there are other ways to calculate this? I have an appointment next week at the clinic. Maybe I should bring it up.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on completing the "Get the Point" program. I just earned mine today and am curious to see how it works so it was interesting to read what you had to say about it.