Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Combined Post, In Which I Discuss The Zeo And The Unicycle

Well, crazy mash-ups like that happen in a blog.

After a few more weeks with the Zeo, I have to say that I'm both pleased and disappointed. I love the design, love all the geeky trappings of the unit, love the idea of tracking my sleep.

The disappointment is with the actual tracking. My sleep graphs tend to be pretty similar, even though my perceptions of how I slept (and how I feel when I wake up) are quite different from the reported data. This could be an issue with polling frequency, or it could just be impossible to precisely measure sleep patterns with a consumer device that costs $249. My perception that my "actual" sleep isn't closely mirroring my "reported" sleep, though, affects how enthusiastic I am about using the device on a regular basis.

Switching topics now with no segue. Well, except for this.

On Friday, I rode for half an hour in 28F weather, which is the coldest weather I've ever ridden in (wind chill was about 20F). I've run in much colder weather (I think -5F wind chill is the coldest), and I tend to heat up at roughly the same speed, so I just wore what I'd wear to run in that weather and it was fine. Strange, somehow, to be riding in that weather, but fine.

Sunday we went back to Old Settler's Park, but this time, Eli 8.5 was riding a bicycle instead of a unicycle. I didn't want to hold everyone up (Gloria really had to slow down for us last time), so I really busted my ass up to the halfway point (here's the route on Bikely, although I only drew up to the halfway point because it's an out and back).

There's a fairly stout hill just over the bridge that goes over the lake, and it runs up to that little looped parking lot. I've never gotten up that hill without having to step off, but I did on Sunday, and I was amped up, because I hadn't stepped off yet and had been riding hard.

On the way back, I was conscious that the coveted Family Record was within reach. All our "family records" involve longest rides without stepping off (because six months ago, it was a huge deal to measure our longest rides that way), so I had to finish the ride without stepping off if I wanted the record.

Yes, I understand that I'm talking about a "coveted" record that Eli 8.5 holds, but on the unicyle, he's a man. Or I'm a boy. Maybe both. We compete full out.

The sun was incredibly bright, and I almost face planted several times as I transitioned from bright sunlight into shade (which really screws with my depth perception, which screws with my balance), but I made it back to the parking lot intact.

When I checked my watch (still riding), the time was 35:30, which was hard for me to believe. That course is 3.4 miles, so I was very close to riding at better than 10:30 mile pace (I usually ride at 12:00 pace).

I rode for a few more minutes in the parking lot, then stepped off as I tried to turn into an uphill slope. It was 39:48 in total, which was perfect.

"Hey, Dad," Eli 8.5 said, riding up on his bicycle. "Congratulations on the Family Record."

"Well, it seems that the Family Records are now shared," I said.

"What? What do you mean?" He asked.

"Well, I did set the distance record for not stepping off, because I rode about 3.6 miles," I said. "But you rode for 40 minutes on Thanksgiving Day without stepping off, and I rode for 12 seconds less. So you still have the longest ride time record."

"Hey Mom!" Eli shouted. "We BOTH have a Family Record!"

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