First off, I’m a moron. Let me get that out of the way. I’d been pounding away on my treadmill for a couple of years now and figured it was close enough to accurate for my purposes. Sure, it’d say 7:30 pace and it felt infinitely harder than 7 flat outside but I attributed that to, you know, boredom.

Then Flo put up a post on “Hamster Thoughts” in which she considered surrendering to the Philadelphia winter and joining a gym. (For the record, until I bought a treadmill I’d only been on one maybe 4 times in my life; I’d always managed to get outside but after The Elbow Incident I don’t run outside at night. Hence the treadmill.)  In the comments, someone* posted a link to the BookOfJoe (ironic, no?) on calibrating one’s treadmill. You measure the band (9.5 feet) and how long it takes the band to do 10 loops at “1 MPH” (57 seconds). You throw these numbers together and come up with how fast it is actually going when it reads “1 MPH.” For me, that was 1.14 MPH. A bit of arithmetic plugged into a spreadsheet (I wrote) showed me that when the treadmill said I was running a 7:30 pace I was actually running 6:35.

So it felt like it was faster than 7 flat outdoors it was because it was. I’d be dragging for 40, 45, 50 minutes and dying. I’m a moron. Like I said.

In the meantime, I am on a mission to “cut-the-cord.” This is a movement to cancel Cable (or in my case Fios) TV. We have a new TV, which replaced one that was about 15 years old, that I can turn toward the TM in the basement. I have a trial subscription to Netflix. A Roku box. Voila, I can stream shows to the TV. I bought an antenna which picks up the over-the-air (OTA) signals from about 5 stations. And we’ll do a trial of HuluPlus. Since I don’t watch much TV to begin with, I figure we can terminate our TV charge, including for the DVR, and save about $60 a month.

He Didn't Have The Pointed Ears In This Episode

So putting the TM and the cord-cutting together, I set up to watch “Columbo.” I love “Columbo.” The episodes are about 70 minutes long. I’ve seen nearly all of them, but I can watch again and again. So tonight, it was “A Stitch in Time” in which Leonard Nimoy was the killer, and after about 10 seconds I knew how he’d get caught.

Suddenly aware of how fast I am actually going, I simply set the TM to 8:20 pace — which works out to about 7:18 — and cruised for 45 minutes. I decided to go for 50 and then thought, “what the hell?,” and went for an hour. Nothing dramatic, slight pick-up of the pace at the end, consistently at 1.0 incline. (I often do a couple of 5-minute segments at 5.0.) My figuring is that using the TM in this logical way will dramatically help in building a base, without the strain of always hammering away.

So, there you have it. A bit of progress. And the treadmill doesn’t seem so daunting.


* “RunnerMatt” points out that it was he who posted the treadmill-calibration link. I had noticed that he had posted it when I first read it but had forgotten by the time I was doing this post. I regret the omission. Return