Thieves spoil Portsmouth testing

When I woke up this morning I couldn’t work out where I was.  It took me several minutes to realise that I was in a hotel in Portsmouth on the last day that we would be together as a team.  It was an early start (7.30am) as two days of testing had to be condensed into one because of our delay in Antarctica.  We did the same tests as before, with the idea that we would be able to compare our physiology before and after the expedition.  How (if at all) would or diet, the climate and our physical exercise affect our bodies?  Would these things affect the male and female members of the expedition team in the same way?  So what did we find out?…  Well, really it is too soon to say without full analysis of the results but for me there were some interesting results.  The first test was a thermal sensitivity test.  I sat with my finger on a metal pad and as it was warmed and cooled I had to say whether I could feel the changes in temperature.  Mike Tipton who ran the experiment altered the changes by different increments to see whether I could detect very small changes in temperature.  Chatting to Mike it appears that I have become much more sensitive! to changes in temerature.  I will have to wait and see if this was common among the other teachers.  Such a test is interesting because if for example I had got a frostbite injury, I would have become less sensitive – so that’s reassuring news for my mum and dad!  On the VO2 max test I appeared to have much the same level of fitness.  However, what was interesting was that for the same level of work (on the exercise bike), my heart gave a lower BPM (beats per minute) reading and this appeared to happen to Phil, Amy and Ian too.  Mike will help us analyse if there is significance to these results.  The anthropomorphic profile looks at the shape of your body.  Overall I gained 2kg in weight.  Further analysis will reveal if this is 2kg of muscle or 2kg of fat.  The skinfold measurements showed that I had lost weight on my thighs and put on weight round my waist.  Finally, the dreaded null zone test in the freezer where you cycle until you sweat and then sit there until you shiver!!  The most unpleasant thing about the experiment is not that you have to sit in the freezer for over an hour but that you have a thermometer inserted into your bottom.  All in the name of science I kept telling myself.  This test revealed that, under the same conditions, I started to sweat after 20 minutes of cycling in the freezer as opposed to after 40 minutes before the expedition.  Again I will have to wait for further analysis to see if these results are significant and common among all four teachers.  We left the university to head home only to find that the minibus containing some of our kit had been broken into.  The thieves took nothing of any value to anyone except us and we were devastated to find that Amy’s lichen samples that she had worked so hard to get had been taken.  We are hopeful that they will be returned although someone finding the rucksack containing them may not realise their significance.  It was a sad end to what has been a fantastic expedition and the bus was silent as we drove north.

One Response to “Thieves spoil Portsmouth testing”

  1.   JMoore Says:

    Pleased to hear that you have made it home in time for Christmas, even with time to spare to do some Christmas shopping!! It has been interesting following your blog and will be checking back in the new year for any updates that you make.
    Lets hope someone returns Amy’s bag!

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