A Trip to the U.S. - as Seen by My Withings Pulse

A Trip to the U.S. - as Seen by My Withings Pulse
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The idea for this post occurred to me as an afterthought while looking at last week’s data on my Withings dashboard. The data of a regular work week is pretty boring, whereas this five day trip to Baltimore, MD, actually stood out quite visibly. Digging deeper I was able to relive all major events of the trip, which I’m going to share with you.

Day One – Friday, October 11, 2013: Travel Day

This day starts at home in Munich with the usual wake up at 5.45 am and continues well into the next day due to the time zone change (see below). I left the house shortly after 8 am, walked to the train station and made my way to the airport. Once there, I’d do the check-in/security dance and since that took less time than anticipated I got to spend an hour in the lounge. When boarding time came around, I walked the long walk to the gate and boarded immediately (no time lost there). Next up comes the 8 hours long flight to Philadelphia, PA.

Can you spot my bathroom break on the plane?I took a nap of about 2.5 hours after lunch in order to not crash early on the other side of the flight, as I still had to do the race-packet pickup. You can see the nap when looking at the same day from a sleep perspective:

Day Two – Saturday, October 12, 2013: Race Day

The Withings Dashboard doesn’t account for time zone changes, but as you will see I’m still on Friday at the beginning of this graph. Yep, you can make out the short hop from Philadelphia to Baltimore, followed by a lot of walking from the airport to my hotel in downtown Baltimore, then to the Convention Center for packet pickup and finally it all ends little walking while grabbing some food in the hotel.

What follows next is a good solid 7 hours of sleep, only shortly woken by some jet lag effects. Thankfully I didn’t have a lot of trouble getting back to sleep and I actually had to be woken up by my alarm at 6.30am (EDT).

Looking back at the day above you can spot my breakfast “activity” and then a long pause. I got myself ready for the race around 8 am and left the Pulse on my pants. In hindsight, I should have put it somewhere on my race shorts, as there would be a big red chunk of activity in between 8.30am and 10.30am. Instead, all you can see is a flat line. But I went back to the hotel after the race, showered and changed back into my regular clothes before making my way back to the celebration village.The rest of the day was spent meandering around, eating all the food and later on picking up my friend and going to his cousin’s place where we were allowed to crash for the next two nights.

Day Three – Sunday, October 13, 2013: Football Day

Again, this “day” starts with the rest of the previous night, where you can see us hanging out on the couch chatting, then going out for dinner, sitting at said dinner place and later going home again.Fast forward a good 8 hours of sleep and it’s Game Day. Of course, the day starts off with having breakfast and then a nice walk to the stadium (no need for a car when the stadium is right downtown). Of course, not much walking around during the game. For the record, the Ravens lost their home game to the Packers.

After the game, we walked to the nearest bar that featured a TV and – guess what – watched some more football (albeit not the whole game as the bar became pretty crowded).Since we didn’t want to stay for the rest of the game we made our way home and watched the rest of Sunday’s football games, because that’s how we roll.

Day Four – Monday, October 14, 2013: Sightseeing and Travel Day

This day was spent with a good mixture of walking (schlepping my carry-on with me, except that the Pulse didn’t take notice of it) to various sites in downtown Baltimore and a lot of coffee- and lunch-breaks. I was even able to soak up some sunshine sitting at the inner harbor and reading.

At the end of the graph above you can see the flight from BWI to PHL. And if you’ve ever made that flight yourself, you can see that this inactivity is longer than it should have been (airtime for this segment is usually around 20 minutes). Yes, we left Baltimore about half an hour late. Which brought my connection awfully close to being a missed connection. Despite having run a half marathon the day before, I did a sprint from Terminal A1 to A25 in Philadelphia (cont.).

Day Five – Tuesday, October 15, 2013: Travel and Home Day

Yep, I had to go on an all-out sprint to the terminal and made it with zero minutes to spare – the gate agent closed the doors right behind my back.

The flight back to Munich was really uneventful and I was even able to get five hours of sleep on the plane. The rest of the day was spent unpacking and getting back into a CET-based routine. I was able to stay awake until 10.30pm which made adjusting to the home time zone during the next day(s) a lot easier.

The Big Picture

Here’s an overview of all days with sleep being represented in blue color and activity represented in red. In this picture, it’s easier to see the time zone difference (-6 hours) as well as the strange sleep patterns on the plane.

It’s really a pity though that the bright red spots of the half marathon are missing.

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