Friday, September 23, 2005

Gadget girl gets a new toy - a heart rate monitor!


So last night I was having coffee with Alia and got called something to the effect of "techno-geek" after showing her my newest toy... My Polar F4 watch/heart rate monitor. (http://www.polarusa.com/Products/fseries/f4.asp?cat=consumer) (Mine's the black one.)

I got it earlier this week, since I have illusions (or is that delusions?) of starting to run again. I used to run long distance in high school. Not on any kind of team or anything. No, no, I was much too slow for that. Just on my own.

So let's be clear that when I say "run", I really mean "jog"; or perhaps even more honestly... "plod". But it's my plodding and I enjoy it.

Now that I'm supposedly getting back into fitness again (ummm... that would be "ever-so-slowly" if we're telling the truth here...) I thought it might be fun to incorporate some running into the program. My $9 analog watch from WalMart just wasn't going to cut it, so I figured it was time for a "real" watch.

These ones with heart rate monitors aren't pretty, which caused some grumbling while I was at the Tech Shop looking at them, but it'll do for now...

I got it home, and being from a family of gadget lovers, I unpacked it immediately and started to play...

Next thing I knew, I was strapped into the heart rate monitor, testing it out. I sat down on the couch to watch the season opener of "House" and thought I'd monitor my resting heart rate.

55... 53... 51....

"Jesus, is this thing broken? I thought my resting heart rate was around 75 or something? Christ, am I going to die soon?" I thought to myself, while only half-ignoring the fictional team of doctors on my TV screen.

After 20 minutes, I shut it off, noting that the average heart rate had been 57.

After looking it up on the Internet (because we all know that factual information abounds on the net...) I found these sites ...

http://health.yahoo.com/ency/healthwise/hw233473/aa25322

http://my.webmd.com/hw/heart_disease/hw233473.asp

... stating that an RHR (that would be "resting heart rate") of 57 would put me in the category of "well conditioned athlete".

Guffaw!

As IF!

Then I saw this other site that said... that I'm just a more or less normal adult after all... (though perhaps a little on the "less normal" side, which isn't really surprising...)

http://web.indstate.edu/thcme/PSP/eLabs/HR.htm

I did a few jumping jacks in my living room during commercial breaks, just to see if my heart rate went up (to ensure my new toy wasn't defective or broken). Yes, my heart rate went up.

I confirmed the next day that the monitor was not in in fact broken when I tried to swap my usual 30-minute stationary bike ride for a run around the track. See, I'm supposed to keep my heart rate in a nice, low range for now. As soon as I started around the track, my little gadget started beeping at me, indicating that I was "out of range". My heart rate was up into the 140s, nearing the 150s -- and I'd only done one - slllllooooooowwwww lap! Clearly, I'm not yet fit enough to run AND keep my heart rate down.

"Well-conditioned athlete category", eh? Ha! Shows how much the Internet knows!

So for now, I'll have to live with wearing it while I ride the bike... and perhaps turn off the sound on the weekends and just go out for a run (er... jog... er... plod...) while it's still warm enough to be outside!

And it’s OK, Alia… you can call me a techno-geek and I’ll still love you as one of the best friends a person could have. (sniff!)

2 comments:

Bast said...

Yowza! You *are* serious about the health thing, aren't you? Good on ya - you are my hero! Just keep it up - ra, ra, from your cheering section - and you'll reach your goals in no time flat!

Alia said...

To my most favorite "techno-geek", I'm flattered that you mentioned me in your blog.

As for the reference to "techno-geek", I'm sure you know that I could have only meant it as a compliment!!

After all, I always take everything directed at me as a compliment, regardless of the intent. (Yes, this is one of the teachings of Aziminism)

With that in mind, it should be clear that I was merely pointing to your very practical need to ensure that you have the tools necessary for the job, whatever that may be, to your wonderful curiousity about all the various gizmos out there, and of course, your excitement about the very gadget in question!

I should let you know that I was so inspired and curious about your new gadget that I went out and got one myself!

With all due respect,
Alia