November 18, 2014

Goal or Skydiving

You could say it was just a tad bit chilly this November morning, even for Michigan:

When I walked Noah to the bus stop at 6:45, I felt like my face was going to freeze off! The average high this time of year is 48, and low is 33, so this cold and wind is definitely not the norm.

Yesterday, the roads were actually pretty bad in the morning. They were really icy when I walked the kids to the bus stop, and since I had speed work on the schedule, I decided to do it on the treadmill. A few people mentioned using Yak Trax or IceSpikes on the ice--my IceSpikes work well when the roads are covered in ice or in packed snow, but I hate using them on dry ground. So for now, with icy patches, the IceSpikes are just more of a nuisance. After last winter, I actually really started to enjoy the treadmill, and I honestly don't mind using it. Besides, I do my fastest speed work on the treadmill, and I think that was a big factor in helping me get my PR's last year.

I had a 35 minute tempo run on the schedule--a 5-minute warm-up, then 25 minutes at tempo pace, and then a 5-minute cool down. I was hoping to be able to hit 8:27-8:41 for a my tempo pace, but that pace sounds scarily fast to me right now. I figured I'd try it, and hope for the best, but I could slow down if needed.

I did my 5-minute warm-up at 6.0 mph (10:00/mi pace), and then switched to 7.0 mph (8:34/mi pace). I was watching Season 4 of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, which helped the time go by faster. The pace felt good for a tempo run--not too hard to sustain, but definitely not easy. My Garmin was showing a pace much faster than the treadmill was showing, but I was sure I wasn't running an 8:00/mi pace, so I suspected the foot pod calibration that had worked so well on the track wasn't working on the treadmill.

I noticed that I had accidentally selected the wrong tempo workout (30 minutes instead of 35), so when the Garmin beeped to alert me to cool down, I had to keep running at tempo pace for 5 more minutes (which is why my splits don't reflect a cool down).

I knew there was no way that I ran 25 minutes at a sub-8:00 pace, so I decided to try to see how accurate my treadmill was.

First, I measured the belt of the treadmill all the way around, which was 124.5 inches. Then came the tedious part--counting the rotations. I sat on the floor to count how many times the word "EPIC" on the belt passed by a little white piece of lint on the side of the 'mill.

I set the treadmill at 6.0 mph and started counting. I counted 200 rotations (about as long as I could stand it) and then stopped the treadmill. I multiplied the 200 rotations by 124.5 inches, which gave me 24,900 inches (.393 miles). The treadmill showed 0.398 miles, so based on my super scientific experiment, I'd say that the treadmill is pretty darn accurate (or close enough).

Needless to say, I'm bummed that I wasn't actually running a sub-8:00 mile pace, but I expected that ;)

Today, even though I would have loved to run in "Real Feel -9* F" (ha!), I decided to do my easy run on the treadmill to calibrate the food pod to the treadmill. I took a guess at the calibration factor and set it at 93.0%. It ended up being fairly close! I ran three miles at 6.2 mph (a 9:40/mi pace), and this is what it showed:

I stopped running after mile 3, but forgot to turn off my Garmin
for 10 seconds, so you can ignore the fourth split.
It showed about a 9:46-ish pace, so it was showing my pace to be just slightly slower than the treadmill. After my run, I used the calibration formula (actual distance divided by displayed distance x current calibration factor)... 3.03 / 3.00 x 0.930=0.9393. So that gives me a calibration factor of 93.9%. I'll try that next time and see how close it is. When I'm at the track, I'll have to set the calibration factor to one number, and then change it for the treadmill. I'm not sure why the numbers are so different.

When running on the treadmill, my heart rate tends to be quite a bit lower than when running outside, so I may adjust my pace goals when I run inside. Today, I probably could have done a 9:15/mi pace and still have kept my heart rate in the "easy" zone.

I'm getting kind of excited to set goals for next year. Today, I was toying with the idea of maybe running a half-marathon once a month for all of 2015. My biggest goal right now is to hit sub-2:00 for Indy, and I certainly think that's possible. Depending on where I'm at in February, I may even try to aim for a PR (currently 1:52:07). I'll list all my running goals and post them next month--I have a couple of big ones.

As for my weight, of course I'm still working on that (will it ever end?! ha). I'm still hopeful of being back at my goal by the time I go to Portland in March. It's kind of funny; I was texting Thomas about it a few days ago, and he dropped this bomb:

HAHAHA, that made me laugh so hard, because if there is ONE thing I can say with 100% certainty, it is that I will NEVER go skydiving (and he knows that). You couldn't pay me $10 million to jump out of an airplane! Of course Thomas was just joking when he said that, but if there was any way that he could actually enforce the skydiving threat, there is no question that I would be at goal LONG before I go to Portland. I would have no problem saying no to any ice cream, wine, cookies, etc ;)

Can you imagine if there was some sort of company whose job it was to enforce your worst nightmare if you couldn't reach a goal? You would work as hard as possible to get to that goal. It made me really think about how much of this struggle is mental. If you take the mental part out of the equation, it would be easy! I'm probably not explaining this very well, but I just think that with the right motivation (i.e. doing everything in my power NOT to have to skydive), I could reach pretty much any goal I want. On one hand, I'm so glad that Thomas can't enforce the threat to go skydiving; on the other hand, all of my food decisions would be easy ones if he could! Haha


  1. I just clomp along in my Ice Joggers, anything to avoid the treadmill! I was scared to skydive but it was AMAZING. I can't think of what my worst fear would be if I didn't meet a goal. I try to do things that scare me frequently. Maybe a room full of spiders? I would avoid THAT.

  2. Katie,
    Just live like Thomas does have the power to enforce that threat. With that said, keep in mind that you do have the power to get back to your goal weight. As you said in an ad You CAN do it.

  3. I'm one of the weirdos who would LOVE to go skydiving. ;)

    Katie, I totally get it about the difficulty staying motivated, determined an on track. I'm so proud of your commitment to yourself. I'm having a ton of trouble in that department right now (the exhaustion and stress caused by my students and other major issues at work), but you and the commenters give me hope not to throw in the towel!


  4. It's so tough to stay motivated for a lifetime. I did find when I had my appearance on the Today Show coming up (two years ago), or when I had the magazine photo shoot (June 2011), I worked super hard and was really inspired to eat right and move more. Unfortunately I've got nothing like that coming up anymore, so I have to figure out a way to pull that inspiration from something inside of me. My health is dependent upon not gaining, you'd think that would do it. But I am the queen of ignoring all of that. I'm pretty sure the threat of something awful happening if I didn't hit a goal weight might work, but it's too scary to consider. There's an awful lot of stuff I'm afraid of out there. YIKES!

  5. Stephen King actually wrote a short story years ago about a company that used pretty unpleasant methods to make their clients quit smoking! Me, I prefer the carrot to the stick, (don't we all!) :-)

  6. I actually laughed out loud at the skydiving thing! (I, too, would do anything to avoid going skydiving.) My husband has suggested before that we make a bet saying if we don't make our goal, we have to send money to someone or something that we hate or a cause we don't believe in.

  7. I know right? Worst nightmare of don't eat that crap. I think I'd be good!

  8. "Can you imagine if there was some sort of company whose job it was to enforce your worst nightmare if you couldn't reach a goal?"

    There's a Stephen King story like that! Can't remember the name of it, but it was pretty creepy...Quitters, Inc. or something, to help you quite smoking,,,get to your goal weight...get in shape. You screw up, they cut off a finger!

  9. This is funny - one of the things I've always wanted to do was to sky dive, but I've always been too heavy for the weight limit! Maybe when I reach my goal I'll go sky diving in celebration. :)

  10. There are actually sites now where you can bet against yourself! (like You set your goal, enter credit card information, and designate a recipient. If you don't meet your goal then the money goes to the recipient. It could be a cause you support or a cause you hate, if it would motivate you more to avoid giving money to a cause you hate.

    Personally, I've learned these kinds of things don't work for me at all. I think they may even backfire.

  11. You think I am joking but I'm actually recruiting a group of burly men right now to help me follow through on this threat. Oh, and it's going to be a Groupon at a shady skydiving place.

  12. For at least a year now I have been convinced that my home treadmill was telling me I was running much slower that I was really going. It seems so much easier on the road or on the gym treadmill. So, inspired by your post I checked the calibration today.

    I did the math several times and for a whole ten minutes I was SURE that my treadmill was registering 2mph slower than I was really running. For ten whole minutes I felt like a superstar. I even called my husband. Then realized I'd forgotten to convert feet per second to miles per hour. Not only am I just as slow as the treadmill was telling me I am, I am also bad at math.


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