November 09, 2019

Halfway Done! A Recap of 3-3-3 Running, Week 6

Look how fat one of my squirrels has gotten for winter! 😂 (This is Charlie. She comes around the most--obviously!)

Only nine days into November, and I already missed two days of writing! I'd hoped that this would be my 30-day challenge for November (to write daily). Since my energy level has been all over the place lately, I have been feeling either wide awake or super tired in the evenings.

I really miss having Jerry work nightshift for several reasons--one of them is that I am typically a night owl, and that is when I'm my most productive. I liked to write my blog posts at night, work on projects, do laundry, clean, etc. Now that he works days, I still spend my day driving my kids everywhere, running errands, grocery shopping, etc like I usually do; only now, I feel like I should spend my evenings with Jerry, so it's hard to make time for my blog.

Anyway, the 30-day writing challenge is going to be more difficult than I thought. I need to change my mindset from thinking that my posts all have to be novel-length. It's okay to write a post that takes two minutes to read! Once I start, though, I just tend to get going and don't stop.

Since I didn't write yesterday, I'm going to start over with the 30-day challenge today. (One of the items on my 40 Goals by 40 Years Old List is to do a 30-day challenge). So, my posts my be short, they may be boring, they may be completely off topic, and they may be completely random. But I'm going to write!

I used to have a fill-in-the-blank book of lists somewhere (top 10 lists) and I thought those would be fun to work on. I have no idea where the book is, but I'm sure I can find a trillion ideas for lists on Pinterest. So, you may even see some of those lists.

Today, I'll just do a "quick" recap of my 3-3-3 training... (it's never quick)

Yesterday, I reached the halfway point! (The 3-3-3 training, if you're new here, is simply a way of saying that to get back into the habit of running, I'll run 3 miles, 3 days a week, for 3 months). Yesterday was Week 6, Day 3.

Last week, I mentioned how exhausted I've been lately, and that I had such a hard time mustering up the energy to do the runs. At the beginning, I told myself I'd run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays--no excuses. Well, on Monday of week five, I could barely walk I was so tired. I actually took a nap! Something I never EVER do.

So, I skipped Monday. I ran Tuesday, Thursday, and then, in the eleventh hour for the week, Sunday. I got in all three, but it was really difficult. I knew if I skipped that third one, I'd be likely to quit the whole 3-3-3 challenge, so I didn't want to do that.

I wanted to get back to Monday, Wednesday, Friday running this week, so even though I ran on Sunday, I still did a run on Monday. May not sound like a big deal, but it was for me! It felt really good (mentally) to get to that point of no excuses.

I did all three runs on the treadmill (I just feel most comfortable doing that for some reason right now. Maybe once running feels easier and I'm able to keep my heart rate down more easily, I'll do more outdoor runs).

I've written a lot about this in my recaps, but I decided on a resolution for it, so I can quit bitching about it each time.

Here is what I know, and then what I'll do about it when logging my runs:

- The timer on my treadmill is off--it runs fast. (Regardless of the speed, the timer will consistently be faster than "actual" time, something that can't be argued.)

- I believe that the speed on the treadmill is accurate, or at least very close to it.

- The Garmin's estimation of speed and distance on the treadmill (with or without the foot pod) is extremely inaccurate. The only thing the Garmin is good for, really, is the timer and my heart rate (my heart rate is the most important thing right now, so I'm going to continue to wear it).

- The Garmin doesn't recognize incline or decline on the treadmill at all, nor does it pick up changes in speed unless it's a huge leap, like from 4.0 to 8.0 mph.

- I always start the Garmin's timer 10 seconds after I start the treadmill (to allow the treadmill to get up to speed).

So, with all of those things considered, here is my solution for now:

- Use the Garmin for the timer and the heart rate data.

- Use the treadmill to get distance data.

- Since I start the Garmin's timer 10 seconds later than the treadmill, I'll have to add 10 seconds to my time when I adjust the data on Garmin Connect.

So, for this week, here is how it went:


1:27 pm. (I'm wondering if I can see a pattern between time of day and my heart rate). I wrote about this run already, but I decided to test out the foot pod and see if it made the Garmin readings more accurate for the treadmill. Instead, it made them much worse. There is no possible way I was "running" a 14:00+ minute mile! So, it was after this run that I decided to make the adjustments I explained above.

Original data from Garmin: 43:19 for 3.00 miles.
Original data from treadmill: 44:13 for 3.21 miles.
Adjusted (to what I hope is accurate): 43:29 for 3.21 miles (a 13:33 pace; 4.4 mph)
Average heart rate: 144 bpm


8:48 am. I felt better during this run, and I'm wondering if it's because I ran in the morning before taking my medication. Something to keep track of, anyway. It could just be that I ran in the morning instead of the afternoon, though. I kept the speed between 4.5 mph and 4.8 mph and I didn't have to lower the incline at all to keep my heart rate down (an improvement).

Original data from Garmin: 42:08 for 3.00 miles.
Original data from treadmill: 42:39 for 3.25 miles.
Adjusted (to what I hope is accurate): 42:18 for 3.25 miles (13:01 pace; 4.6 mph)
Average heart rate: 143 bpm


5:10 am(!). I woke up at 4:45 and felt wide awake. I thought it'd feel good to get my run done before I even woke the kids up for school so I managed to get on the treadmill and start by 5:10 am. Instantly, I noticed I was able to go faster at my MAF heart rate (maybe because of the time of day? Or that I hadn't taken my meds yet? Or that I hadn't eaten anything yet? Again, I'll look for a pattern.) I kept the speed between 4.5 mph and 5.0 mph and the incline at 0% the entire time. Pretty happy to see the improvement.

Original data from Garmin: 37:57 for 2.71 miles.
Original data from treadmill: 38:25 for 3.00 miles.
Adjusted (to what I hope is accurate): 38:07 for 3.00 miles (12:40 pace; 4.7 mph)
Average heart rate: 142 bpm

Looking at the adjusted data, I feel very confident that it's correct. As I run, I keep a mental note of the speed as I adjust it on the treadmill to keep my heart rate at MAF, and it's pretty spot-on with the adjustment.

Even if the adjustments are not 100% accurate, at least I'll be able to see consistent improvements (or lack of), which is the most important thing anyway. It also keeps me from being frustrated when the Garmin is showing me that I'm going 3.3 mph when the treadmill reads 5.0 mph!

By the way, I started watching Jack Ryan, per the suggestions of several readers. I am only halfway through the second episode, but I think it's going to be perfect for treadmill running! Thanks for suggesting it.

I can't believe I'm already halfway through the 3-3-3 plan to get back to running! And I'm not dreading the runs nearly as much as I did in the beginning. I hope that in another six weeks, I'll be content enough to add a fourth day. I'm starting to feel excited at the prospect of being a "runner" again ;)

Here is the weekly data from the last six weeks. It's not entirely accurate, because I wasn't able to adjust several of the treadmill workouts, but hopefully the next six weeks will be more consistent.

It's kind of funny... my best (and most accurate) week was the week of the 14th, where I did all three runs outdoors. With Joey! haha

I'll be excited to see consistent paces in the 12:00's... that feels like a good milestone to look forward to.

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