I recently purchased the book Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot by John L. Parker, Jr.
By following the instructions in the book, I have determined that my maximum heart rate is 188 bpm. While walking, I have been able to get my heart rate up in the high 170s and low 180s, so it made sense.
Today, while not walking especially hard, my average heart rate was 184 and my peak heart rate was 217. Though we threw in a hill, and I was a little tired, I was far from exhausted. I barely even felt my heart beating.
So my concern now is: Is there really something wrong with my heart rate monitor? And if not, why would my heart rate suddenly go up over 200 today, but not on previous days?
It might be a good time to take it back to the running store and have someone check it out for me.