Thursday, January 14, 2016

A flying lesson

Yesterday, I ended up getting a very interesting and informative lesson about flying :)

My friend Andrea's son is a friend of Eli's--he is going to be flying for the first time soon, and he was pretty nervous about it. He's a VERY smart kid, and I had a feeling that if he was able to talk to a pilot about how things worked on the airplane, he would feel more comfortable about his first flight. As you probably know, my brother, Brian, is a pilot for Delta, so I asked him if he would mind chatting with Andrea's son.

Brian is in the process of moving to Michigan, so he's been here a lot lately working on his house (he and his wife bought a foreclosure, and they are remodeling). He agreed right away, and thought it was so cute when Andrea's son said, "I never thought I'd be talking to a pilot. Like, ever. It's absurd." Hahaha. So, I picked up the kids from school and Brian came over, wearing his uniform and everything.

The kids were very interested in what he had to say (okay, I was, too!), especially when he talked about how the engines are even tested by throwing a (dead) chicken into them (to simulate geese, which can be a big problem for an airplane). They throw all sorts of stuff into the engines for testing. Brian showed the flight plans on his computer, and explained exactly how the plane is able to fly. He explained what all the noises would be (this was most interesting to me, because I panic when noises change on an airplane). He talked about turbulence, and why it happens. If nothing else, *I* feel much more at ease for my flight to Portland in April! ;)


Brian gave all the kids "wings" (the little pins that pilots wear). Eli declared that he wants to be a pilot. Let's hope that he will, because the parents of pilots get some pretty great benefits (flying for free) ;)


Today, I had another speed workout on the schedule: 12 x 1:00 at faster than race pace. My race pace is 7:55, so on my "fast" workouts, I try to aim for 7:50 or better. Since these were just going to be one-minute intervals, I decided to push the pace kind of hard, and aim for sub-7:00. (The roads are still icy, so I was on the treadmill again).

I ran a 10-minute warm-up, and then set the treadmill to 8.6 mph (a 6:59/mile pace). The first 30 seconds or so of the interval was a piece of cake. Then, of course, it started to feel harder. Knowing I was only running at that pace for one minute, though, made it very bearable. I did the first eight intervals at 8.6 mph, but my heart rate still wasn't getting up to 95%. Over the next four intervals, I increased the speed by 0.1 mph, so I did the last four at 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, and 9.0 mph (which is a 6:54, 6:49, 6:44, and 6:40 minutes per mile pace).

If you can't tell, I'm watching Gilmore Girls on my iPad. LOVE THAT SHOW!

I was kind of bummed to see that my foot pod showed me going slower than that, between 7:02 and 7:30. The interesting thing about calibrating the foot pod is that it can be spot-on for running at 6.0 mph (the speed that I calibrated it at), but then when I change to 5.0 or to 7.0, the calibration is off again. Between intervals, I just hopped off the treadmill and rested until my heart rate dropped down to 136. Since the intervals were so short, there was no point in changing speeds every minute. Over all, the workout went really well--almost too well. Next time, I'll try and do all of the intervals at 9.0.

Jerry and I bought Powerball tickets for yesterday's drawing (we've only ever bought tickets maybe three times, but since it was such big news, we just had to). We were talking about what we'd do with the money if we won, and I kept thinking of all the things I wanted to buy for other people: I'd want buy my dad a new boat, my mom a new car, pay off mortgages for all my family, send my siblings and friends on dream vacations, etc. Most of all, I would want for Jerry to not have to work another day in his life!

Jerry stopped me and asked what *I* wanted, and I had such a hard time thinking of something. I would want a new house, but nothing enormous--just modest and comfortable. After spending a good 10 minutes thinking it over, I finally figured out what I would want to buy for myself: a brand new treadmill! My treadmill is getting so rickety. Each time I use it, I'm afraid it's going to quit on me. So, if I woke up with $1.5 billion tomorrow, the first thing I'd buy is a fancy new treadmill! ;)


21 comments:

  1. I'm glad you got to hear your brother talk about flying. My husband is an aerospace engineer and I hate flying but listening to him explain all the math and testing and planning that goes into building a plane I feel confident that they're not just thrown together haphazardly.
    My problem with flying is just the other people. I have anxiety in crowds of people so being trapped inside something with a large group of people (especially with everyone sitting so close) is more than I can handle.
    But at least I feel confident that the plane itself is ok! 😉

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  2. Someone from our county was one of the winners, and everyone is going nuts. I can't help but think at some point he'll wish he hadn't won.

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    1. I would have been terrified if we won! I can't even imagine how that guy feels right now ;)

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  3. I'd love to know about that iPad stand you have. I don't have a treadmill but I do have a bike trainer and an hour on that is seriously boring.

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    1. Jerry just hung a piece of wood in the garage to make a shelf for my iPad. I can't stare at the wall for an hour! Watching Netflix is the best way to pass the time on the 'mill.

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  4. That is crazy about the chicken...you learn something new everyday don't you?

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  5. I work for an aeronautical company. I develop software, but others in my company code the procedures that pilots use to take off and land. I've learned so much about flying since I've started here. However I'm not sure that makes me more comfortable. lol

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  6. We bought tickets to the lottery too (of course! Who didn't?? Lol) but in a way, you kind of secretly hope you don't win. The money would be awesome, don't get me wrong. But you would lose everything you've known in life. Everyone would know your name and I'm sure you'd get badgered every day for interviews or favors. I'd imagine winning the lottery would be very scary! Although, if I did win, I would first and foremost pay off the mortgage on my house. And then book a trip to Disney World :) Haha

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    1. It's funny you said that, about secretly hoping you don't win. I told Jerry that while it would be nice not to worry about money, I really wouldn't want to win that much. Everything would change, especially the relationships we have with friends and family. Jerry thought I was crazy! ;)

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  7. That is so cool that your brother took the time to talk to the boys about flying!

    I also bought tickets for the drawing and I did the same thing you did - thought of everything that I would buy other people and nothing for myself, haha! Guess we're just giving people!! :)

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  8. Funny, I was going to message or comment to you today about the foot pod calibration. I got it spot on last week but I was doing it at a faster speed than I normally run and with out the run/walk so when I did my run/walk and my usual pace last night it was .16 miles off. I was going to ask if you thought it was because of the speed change and you answered that today LOL

    Oh and I just got a new treadmill from sears.com and they have great deals plus no interest for 24 months!! I paid 700 for a 1500 treadmill!!

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  9. Ha, I've been reading you for years and never knew Brian was a pilot(!) Makes me wonder why you and he didn't have that conversation years ago to ease your anxiety about flying. As long as I'm commenting, want to send you big kudos on your last weigh-in, so awesome and you weren't even trying! ~Janet

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    1. Haha, I actually end up calling Brian every time I am at the airport waiting for my flight, so he can calm me down about my fears! It's the same conversation every time:
      Me: The weather looks cloudy--is that bad? Can pilots see in fog? I think it's too foggy! What if it rains? OH GOD, they are de-icing the plane! What if the wings freeze during the flight?
      Brian: The pilots know what they are doing. They are trained for this.
      Me: Okay, you can go back to sleep now. Sorry to wake you.

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    2. Lol Katie your dialogue with Brian made me laugh because if I knew someone who is a pilot, that would be my exact conversation. I HATE flying. I still do it, but I definitely don't like it. There are always tears and too much benadryl involved haha

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    3. Lol Katie your dialogue with Brian made me laugh because if I knew someone who is a pilot, that would be my exact conversation. I HATE flying. I still do it, but I definitely don't like it. There are always tears and too much benadryl involved haha

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  10. What an awesome experience you were able to give the kids! (and yourself)

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  11. So funny you mentioned the chickens. One of my friends was a test engineer in the GE jet engines division. One of his jobs was shooting frozen chickens out of an air cannon into the running engine. Your brother is totally right.

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  12. My dad is a piolt for American Airlines but he has flown for small compaines as well. He loves flying! I still remember when he would take us into the cockpit!

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  13. Well I didn't win the powerball either:)

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