August 29, 2013

Calibration frustration

I had such a frustrating run this morning! Today was a nine mile run at marathon pace (8:58/mi), and it was a hot morning, so I chose to use the treadmill. I was down to the last two episodes of season five of Breaking Bad, which totaled just about the same amount of time I would need to run nine miles--perfect!

I got everything all set up, and decided not to run a warm-up mile (because my warm-up pace is only slightly slower than marathon pace, so it's really not needed). I planned for this to be a "set it and forget it" kind of run, where I just set the pace and run until I reached nine miles. It didn't work out that way at all.

I noticed that my Garmin was showing that I was going much faster than the treadmill was reading. I have a fairly new battery in my foot pod, so I knew that wasn't the issue. I wouldn't have minded if it was only off by a couple of seconds per mile, but it was reading something like 8:37 when the treadmill said 8:57. Multiply that by nine miles, and it's a big difference!

I didn't want to have to recalibrate it in the middle of my run. I decided to manually fiddle with the calibration number on my watch to try and match the treadmill's pace. Each time I did that, I had to stop the 'mill, stop my Garmin, press a bunch of buttons, start the 'mill, run, and restart my Garmin. I probably tried four different numbers, before I finally decided just to calibrate the thing the long way, by running for a half mile.

After I calibrated it to the treadmill, it was telling me that I was running 8:02 or something ridiculous. I knew that wasn't right, either, and I don't understand how that happened. I should have just thrown my Garmin across the room and worried about it later, but I was determined to find the right calibration number.

I messed around with the stupid thing for over four miles!

Finally, I got it to read 8:45-ish, which was the closest I could get to the treadmill pace. The one good thing about all the hassle was that the first half of the run went by really fast. As soon as I reached nine miles, Breaking Bad ended, so the timing worked out perfectly, even with all the starting and stopping. I'm not even going to post my splits, because they are so inaccurate.

I searched online for some info about the foot pod and why it might not calibrate properly. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find a cool (and very nerdy!) program that gives you a really accurate manual calibration factor based on all of my previous runs done by GPS. I'm not going to get into it, because it truly is the nerdiest thing I've ever wasted my time with (I loved every second of it!), but if you like nerdy numbers stuff, you can find it here. If that is correct, my treadmill shows that I'm going slower than I actually am, which is interesting! I'm excited to try out the new calibration numbers to see what it shows.

I think my body has been craving vegetables lately. I am a self-proclaimed salad-hater, but once in a while I go through a phase where I just can't get enough salad. So the past few days, I've been making big salads to eat for lunch, along with a bowl of soup. I love the Bolthouse Farms ranch dressing (I wrote about it here); and lately I've been adding Craisins, almonds, turkey, and rice noodles.

When I do eat salad, my favorite part is all of the toppings. When the bowl is almost empty, and all the lettuce is gone, and there is just a bunch of random toppings left--those are the best bites! Anyway, I've also been eating vegetables for a snack--I've been hooked on cucumber slices with cream cheese (mixed with Italian dressing mix).

I mixed a whole brick of fat free cream cheese with two teaspoons of Italian dressing mix (a powder). Then I just spread two tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on cucumber slices for a 1 PointsPlus snack. It's really good!

After running nine miles today, I wanted to balance out those veggies with something a little more indulgent ;)  So after dinner, Jerry and I took the kids to Cold Stone for ice cream. I got a small cup of cake batter flavor--my favorite.

Noah got cake batter with Snickers and Reese's Cups, and Eli got chocolate with Snickers and Reese's Cups (Jerry got plain mint). I still haven't had peanut butter (six weeks and counting!), otherwise, I may have been tempted to get Reese's in mine, too. The cake batter ice cream is only 10 PP for a small, and it's SO worth it.

Tomorrow, we're taking the kids to the Toledo Mud Hens game. We bought the tickets for Noah's birthday last month. The game is at 7:00, so we told Noah we'd go out for his birthday dinner tomorrow before the game, and he could choose where we go. He chose Bob Evans, which was an unusual choice for a nine-year old, but that sounds good to me ;)  We won't get home from the game until late, so I probably won't write a post tomorrow. Have a great weekend!


  1. Go NOAH!! Cake batter with Snickers and Reese cups is what I get. EVERY TIME.

    That salad looks awesome and I am definitely using your cream cheese idea.

    1. The cake batter ice cream is INSANELY good!

  2. Hey, I'm sure you know way more about this calibration stuff than I do but I just finished doing a few days worth of research because I decided to invest in a GPS running watch ... anyway, I read several times that treadmills actually can be off and need to be calibrated. They do this in gyms (or at least they should) but I know I've never calibrated our home treadmill. So, part of the problem might be there.... just a thought. All along I was planning on getting a Garmin but ended up, at the last minute, getting the new TomTom GPS watch. We'll see how that goes...

    1. Yes, I've heard that treadmills can be off calibration quite a bit, especially as they age, so that's why I'm curious about what this data shows. I would love to calibrate my treadmill, but it sounds like a big project!

  3. I don't know anything about calibrating stuff - but I would think that my GPS watch would be more accurate than my treadmill. I could understand how it would make you nutty while running to see such differences in the numbers. I hope you can get it straightened out.


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