Thursday, June 11, 2009

Whew! Done and Done. (And Graphs!)

My two goals for the day: A ride or a hike, and weight training (modified). Both met.

The ride was fairly smooth. I went out with the intention of completing an easy ride and selected a non-hilly route near my gym. The first half happened to be (slightly) uphill and against a headwind. It was an in-and-out, so the second half (amazingly enough) was downhill and benefitting from a tailwind. I am a genius. Really, it was the perfect ride for still-recovering quads.

So this seems like a good time to describe a couple of my new toys. First, I bought a Garmin Forerunner 405 cx. I'll do a complete review comparing it to the 305 later, when I've had more time to play with it. For now, I have mixed opinions. But I'm sticking with it for the pure love of more accurate caloric burns (based on heartrate changes - yay!).

Since I was shelling out money for a new GPS/HR monitor, it seemed only fitting that I should keep the blood flowing from my wallet and get some accessories. (What, isn't that how you budget?) So I bought two more toys. The first is the bicycle cadence sensor. Why? I don't know. But now I can confirm that I'm pedaling at a decent (not perfect) cadence. Why do I need to confirm that? I don't know that either. But I do know one thing: New graphs! Sqeeeeeee!

Ahem. Sorry. What does this graph tell me? Beats me. But it's green. And a bar graph. Actually, I know a little more. This is a bar graph for average cadence of one-mile splits. My cadence is a little low. That's not good. (But not awful, either.) It was higher when I was going uphill and against the wind, so it shows that I'm not trying to power through challenges. That's good. Most importantly, it's more data for me to crunch. That's always good. Right? Right? Right? Um, ok. Moving on.

My other toy is a foot pod for my Garmin. That does a couple of things. One, it will give me a running cadence. This, I know, I need to work on. My running cadence is pretty low. I won't say that I'm a "bounder", but I do know that I'm wasting energy. I just got it today, so I haven't had a chance to try it out. However, you can definitely expect more graphs tomorrow. Wait, maybe I shouldn't have told you that. The other thing it'll do is let me get more accurate distance and speed information when gps is weak or indoors on the treadmill. Yes, really. Treadmills are notorously awful for speed and distance, so this is a good thing. If not exactly vital. Oh well.

But, here's the coup de grâce: You can now go to Garmin Connect and see some of my activities in graphic detail. Why would you want to do that? I don't know. What's with all the questions today, anyway? But if you have some sort of sick curiosity, you can go here and see today's ride. You can see the map, and play with the data for yourself. The problem with Garmin Connect is that I can't turn off the maps without making the whole thing private, so most of my activities will likely be private. (Call me paranoid, but I'd rather not let the world know where my front doorsteps are.)

Whew! It's been a dataful day. (Get it? Ha!)

Oh, I almost forgot the best part! I was just looking at my HR data at the Garmin Connect site (yes, again...) and wondering why it got higher for the latter part of my ride. Oh, yeah. I was racing(ish)! Yep, on my solo ride, I was racing to catch up with the Garmin's virtual partner. He was beating the pants off me in the beginning (of course), and I was hoping to catch up at the end. I had set him at a fairly slow speed. I did catch up, but lost him in the end again. Ultimately, he beat me by fourteen seconds. Dernit. But I'll give Garmin credit: the virtual partner can be motivating. This did exist on older Garmins, and I'm sort of surprised that I had never used that feature before. I'll be sure to use it more frequently. Just wait until I start using the courses to race against myself.


Arnþór L. Arnarson said...

What you experienced with your rising HR is called cardiac drift.

Karen said...

Oh, no. I know about cardiac drift. I see it often enough (though infrequently when cycling).

This was more than the normal drift, though, and it was for the part of my ride where the exertion should have been lighter (so no drift).

I was pushing it to catch the little virtual dude on my watch. That's all. :)

Arnþór L. Arnarson said...

Ok, my mistake. ;)