Proof that I’m a dork

Okay, so last week I wrote a post about how much I enjoy spending time in Athens since the city is so walkable. And I mentioned that I would really like to just wear my watch on a night of bar-hopping to see how many calories one would burn. And with some courage from you guys in your comments, I decided to go for it.

Problem is, my watch is a huge eyesore even when paired with running clothes, much less when added to “going out” attaire.

I thought about Jeff and Kevin’s suggestions to wear it on my ankle, like an ankle bracelet …

Chris saw me going for the ankle and stopped me with an, “Oh no, do not do that!” He need not worry – it almost fit around my ankle, but not quite.

We did snap a picture though:

And Chris B. awesomely asked on Twitter what I’d been arrested for. (“Disorderly conduct,” I answered).

So, I didn’t have it on my ankle, but I did rock that watch on my wrist. And Chris R. was cool enough to wear his right along with me. That’s what best friends are for, right?

And I tried to discreetly keep my wrist out of sight, but that didn’t work. So I ended up explaining to friends what we were doing. Mostly I got weird looks along with an, “Oh, okay …” response.

At least Chris was wearing a T-shirt and jeans, so his huge watch didn’t seem so out of place. Mine was a little more noticable, especially since I have a small wrist!

But, we rocked it out. And here’s how it went:

We walked from Chris’ apartment to Red’s Tavern. From there we sat down for dinner and I turned off my watch. Then we walked to Pauley’s for dessert and beer. I was going to leave my watch on since we would be walking around, but we lost satellites so I turned it off. Then we walked to 8es bar where we danced the night away. Pretty sure I lost satellite inside of there but I left it on to record my heart rate, since we were moving around. Then once we left 8es to walk home, I started messing with my watch to see if the satellites had returned, and somehow I ended up not recording the walk home.  Since the walk there was 61 calories, I figure I can add 61 to the grand total and have it be more accurate.

Some issues with the experiment:

= The constant loss of satellites while inside the bars. I did a lot of walking around in Pauley’s, back and forth between two groups of friends and then playing around even at the tables. Want proof?

Apparently Jessica and I were burning lots of calories, with the little show we were putting on … and none of those calories got recorded.

= We didn’t bar hop as much as we “normally” do. Three bars in one night in Athens is really not that many. I think the experiment would need to be repeated over a few nights to get an average.

= Chris has a watch that’s two versions prior to mine. (His is the Garmin 305, mine is the Garmin 310XT.) My understanding is that mine records calories more accurately than his does – heart-rate based, and if that is true then it makes sense why our calories burned were so different from each other.

= If this helps put it in perspective, we were out for 6 hours and 44 minutes, and my Garmin only recorded 2 hours and 9 minutes of activity. Assuming 1 hour for dinner (while we were sitting at Red’s, I turned it off), then there are about 3.5 hours missing. An hour or so of that was at Pauley’s, and the rest was at 8es. How many calories were burned during those 3.5 hours? That’s half our time out! That tells me that to truly do this experiment properly, I would probably need to purchase the foot pod (which picks up where the satellites leave off, similar to a pedometer.)

At any rate, it was fun downloading it the next day and looking at our path – check it out here! If you hit the play button in the player section, you can see how we walked all the way to 8es and then seemed to stop walking, but you can see my heart rate changing. That was the dancing! I always work up a sweat while dancing so it’s nice to see it pay off in numbers.

However, I know this wasn’t accurate for all the reasons mentioned above – but I was disappointed to see the calories calculated. Adding in an extra 61 calories for the walk home, and I’m left with a grand total of 427 calories. Considering how many calories there are in beer, that’s a disappointment …

At the end of the day, though – it was fun! Maybe we’ll even repeat the experiment a couple more times the next time I’m in town. For the sake of science, of course.