Monday, December 30, 2013

Has it really been almost an entire year?

Well .. here I sit.  I can't believe my last blog post was almost a year ago.  I love love love reading other bloggers and yet when it comes to my own, I think who wants to know what I'm thinking?

Alas, here I am again.  Hopefully this isn't the last you'll hear from me for awhile.  My goal, at least once per week.  I can do this.

Looking back at 2013.  It was a big year for me. 

I ran my first marathon!!!  

My thoughts:  It was hard.

Then I accidentally ran my second marathon!!!

My thoughts:  I thought it would feel easier.  It didn't.  It was still REALLY hard.

So I guess that means marathons are HARD and not for sissies.

This was me about 9 miles in, hitting the downhill part of the course.
Feeling GOOD!

And then I hit the 20's and shit got HARD.
I am SOOO grateful for my husband who jumped in with me around mile 19.

 My moment.
I became a marathoner.

That was Utah Valley Marathon.  I think it's probably the best shape I've ever been in in my entire life.  I was down to my lowest weight of my adult life, without really feeling hugely deprived. I was just committed to the healthy lifestyle.  Then I went on a week long trip to Mexico (WITHOUT kids) and then we spent a week in California with the kids and things just kind of fell apart after that.

I digress .. so when I say I accidentally ran a second marathon, let me explain.  St. George Marathon is kind of known as the coveted marathon in the state of Utah.  You have to get in via lottery however.  After two tries you're guaranteed entry on your third try.  Well I entered my husband and myself just to get one of our "tries" out of the way. And wouldn't you know we got in.  I can honestly say I was disappointed.  Training for a marathon during the really hot months of Utah was not on my list of things to do.

As you can see.  This one didn't feel any easier.

And I ran it slower.  Thinking that that might make me feel a little better towards the end.  Yeah, I was wrong.

I really should have done true race recaps on them both.  However, I'm starting fresh with the blog and that's what you're getting for now.  So 4:21 is the time to beat in 2014.  We (Jerm and I) entered another lottery for the Ogden Marathon .. and got in!  But I actually kind of did want to get into this one.  My goal, is to come in under 4:15.  Running my marathons in 2013 my goal was simply to finish them.  This time around I'll be adding speed work to the training.  So we're running for a time goal.

I just sat down and wrote my January training into my Erin Condren Life Planner.  And I'll be honest, I kind of want to cry a little.  I know it's going to be hard work this time.  I'm going to push myself harder than I have in quite awhile.  Push my work/home/run balance more than I have since this time last year.  But I thrive with goals.  I know this.  I'm hungry for this goal. 

I guess among other things I should really think through some tangible 2014 goals.  I don't love the term "resolution".  I like goals!

What about you.....

Have you run a full marathon?  More than one?  Does it get easier?  (please tell me it does)

Do you like resolutions or goals?  Do you have any for 2014 yet? 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekly Review - Week 1

So since I'm actively trying to lose weight using Weight Watchers and as of today I have officially begun my FULL MARATHON training, I've decided that Monday's I will hold myself accountable.  The healthy weight range for my height is 120 - 150lbs.  My goal weight is 135 lbs. 

Beginning Weight  ~  146.5 lbs
Ending Weight  ~  142.5 lbs

I lost 4 pounds this week!!
12.5 lbs to go.

Things that went well:  I was really strict this week with my eating. It was week 1 of Weight Watchers and I stuck with the things that have worked well for me in the past.  Breakfast all weekdays was a protein shake with added fruit.  Lunches were a tuna fish sandwich, and 1 cup of soup (a Light Progresso variety).  Dinners were heaving on the vegetables and then some sort of protein.  Oh .. and I'd have a giant apple for  a snack and also usually a Chobani yogurt as well.  I plan to follow much of the same plan this week as well.

Things that didn't go so well:  It was my nieces birthday yesterday and I ate a piece of ice cream cake.  It was SO good.  I figure that I made up for it a little bit with my ability to not eat my entire piece of chicken parmesan that we had for dinner. My mum makes a MEAN chicken parmesan and I really wanted to finish eating it. 

Meal Plan for this week:

Monday - Lean Cuisene and veggies
Tuesday - Lean Cuisene and salad
Wednesday - Dinner at Mum's (she's doing WW too so I'm sure it will be WW friendly)
Thursday - Veggie Tacos
Friday - Grilled Chicken breast and veggies
Saturday - Weight Watcher Meatloaf (I LOVE this recipe)
Sunday - Dinner at Mum's  (again she'll do something WW friendly)

********************

 Today's Workout:

Plan:  Run 3m Easy.
Actual:  3.1m  Average pace: 10:42

I really had to work for that pace today.  Look at what I was running in:


Solid snow pack the entire time today.  And it was 9 degree's outside!!  The one piece of gear that saves me the most during these super cold and snowy runs is my trail running shoes that have the waterproof upper on them.  They are AWESOME.  They feel like bricks on my feet compared to my normal shoes but they keep my feet dry and cozy so I'm not complaining.


I was bundled up good.  I think this is the shortest run I've done in months.  For my full marathon I took a Hal Higdon plan and added a couple extra weeks to it to accommodate any potential injuries I have to take time off for.  Also gives me a couple 20 milers rather than just one.

All in all I'm excited to be off to a good start.  With the weight loss as well as the start of my training plan.

**********

Give me your best tip or trick for a first time marathoner!!??

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Still here .. still running

I'm not sure what the deal is with Blogger. I tried to blog last weekend as well only to find that I couldn't upload picture then either.  So I figured out the whole Picasa web albums in the meantime.

I haven't blogged in ages.  But I have still been running.  A lot actually.

Speaking of a lot.  It's been snowing A LOT here in Salt Lake City as well.  Last Winter I think I lucked out because it was pretty mild. I  prided myself on not missing a run because of any silly rain or snow.  So far this year I've skipped one long run completely because of a nasty snow storm.  It's ironic really because I would be more than willing to run in a few inches of fresh snow if it's only for say six miles.  But when it's for a double digit run I just can't do it.  The thought of soaking wet feet for over two hours is just too much.  It sure is beautiful though.


I did run in that above, only for six miles.  It was so peaceful.

Oh, it hasn't just been snowy .. we've also had single digits for like two weeks.  However, the temp doesn't deter me at all.


For two days straight it's been snowing again.  I planned to run 12 miles this morning.  There was no way I was going to slog through 12 miles in several inches of fresh snow. 

Off the the gym I went instead.  It wasn't a good start.  I went with my Kindle Fire in hand with the plan to watch a movie.  I figured that would consume a lot of my running time.  I don't know what the heck was going on, whether it was my Kindle or the wireless connection at the gym but I could not connect to their network to save my life.  The first 5 miles just plain sucked.  What's funny is I trained for my first 5k solely on the treadmill but since then I've really been a 100% outdoor runner with the exception of speed work.  I prefer to do intervals on the treadmill just so I know I'm hitting my paces.  Now the treadmill feels a million times harder than running outside.  This actually leads me to believe I should do this more often to help build some mental toughness.

I basically spent the first 5 miles feeling really angry and irritable because of the technical issues.  I settled into a slow (for me) 11:15 pace.  It felt hard and dreadful.  The treadmill hit the automatic cool down after 55 minutes (it had one of those 60 min max settings on it).  So I refilled my water and decided to get situated with my iPod tuned into the radio station so that I could watch their TV's.  Once I settled in and could get my Kindle to turn back on I also started reading as well.  Ha .. well you know .. not at the same time.  That helped and the next 5 miles kind of flew by.  I had to tough through the last 2 miles but I did it.

It's kind of funny when you're been running on the treadmill for that long and reading a book, once you get off it's like stepping off a cruise ship.  It feels funny to walk.  All in all I'm really happy to have had the mental toughness to run that many miles on the treadmill.  I'm very grateful that I have that option when it's this yucky outside.

Workout:  12 miles  (2:20 mins)

I'm also doing Weight Watchers right now.  I've had a really good week thus far.  When I plugged my workout into my tracker it spit out that I had earned 24 activity points!  I only get 26 points a day.  That means I basically earned a days worth of points .. I just found that funny.  I won't eat those points, I never do.  I'm really trying to find the balance with WW's and running.  I have been very low energy with my runs this week .. another post for another day.

Happy Treadmill Running Friends!!

**********

Have you done double digits on the "dreadmill"?  What did you do to break the monotony of it?

Several inches of fresh snow .. do you run in it anyway?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Big Cottonwood Canyon Half - Race Recap

A couple months ago my brother convinced me to sign us up for the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon. This was the first year they were doing this race. I was a little skeptical because usually inaugural races can be pretty unorganized since they're new. This was my sister in law, Rachel's come back race too. Coming back off of her broken foot from Ragnar. I'm so glad she decided to do another race this year. Especially since she swore up and down to me as I continued to beg her to sign up for other races that she hates racing and that's why she only does it once a year.

Ha! I will make a racer out of her .. she just may not know it yet.

So up we were at 4:30am on yet another Saturday morning. That's by far the worst part about running races. The early start times. When we arrived there was this huge line of cars waiting to get in and park so we headed across the street to park in a different lot. We barely met up with Evan and Rachel at the top before they started with the 5 minute warning for the start. We literally had time to drop our warm clothes at the bag drop and then we were waiting on Jeramie to pin his number and get his gear all situated. In the end I think we actually started the race about 3 minutes after the gun went off. Not something we really worry about because it's chip timed so we don't officially start until we cross the starting line. Or so I thought anyway.

As we headed out we ran the first couple miles together. The first one being quite quick. I was feeling really good. We ran on the other side of the road for quite awhile because we were just passing runners non stop. After a couple miles though Evan, Rachel and Jeramie started to slow down. I didn't realize this until they were quite a ways behind me. I really hadn't gone up there planning to run really hard at all. Just go with the flow and enjoy it. But I guess I just can't help myself. I am so competitive with myself. And truly it's just myself and my desire to beat my own times. Well and let's be honest starting at the back of the pack and picking off other runners the entire race is kind of a confidence booster. Since I was feeling good I just went with it. I figured I would give it everything and when I ran out of gas I would plant my butt on the side of the road and just wait for the rest of the group.

This right here is one of my favorite race pictures of all time.
See how both my feet are off the ground? That means no dimpling on my legs.
I really debated about what to wear to this race but I'm happy with what I chose.
I was worried the long sleeves would be too hot, but it worked out fine.

The outfit:
Socks:  Saucony Compression Socks (I've had these forever, can't find a link)
Shoes:  Brooks Ravenna 2's (link to the 3's)
Hat:  Brooks Printed Mesh Cap  (this hat is my all time favorite!)

So as I continued on down the mountain one by one I passed the 2:30 pacer, then the 2:15 pacer. I kept thinking, okay the 2:00 pacer will be next. I just have to pass this pacer and stay ahead, then knowing I started a few minutes after the official start meant that I would actually pull out a sub 2 hour half marathon.  In my head the first goal of a new runner is to complete your first half marathon with no walking this is usually the next big goal. Next, to finish in under 2 hours. I'm still a very new runner. I ran my first half marathon less than a year ago. Which even to me sounds very strange considering how many I've run since then. I finished Timpanogos (which was my "A" race this year) in 2:01! I was so close. As I got closer and closer to the finish line I kept telling myself I'm actually going to do it!! There are absolutely no words to describe this feeling.


This is a seriously downhill course.  And that can be a good thing and that can be a bad thing.  By about 6 miles my quads were screaming.  But my heart rate was nice and low so I just kept going at that same pace. It's like a drug really.  Looking down and seeing myself running so fast (speed clearly being a relative thing), I just couldn't help myself.  I felt like I was flying.


 I love that my husband does this with me.
I think if he'd stuck with me in the beginning he'd have finished with me.

He however stuck with my brother and sister in law for awhile.  I'll be honest, I'm bummed I missed out on this adorable picture.  These three are so fun to run with!

And really there aren't words to describe this sport / hobby. I wish that I could. We tell my other brother Mike all the time that he needs to start running, he still maintains it will never happen. And frankly he's stubborn and so I really believe that it will never happen. But boy you guys are missing out. The sense of accomplishment. Running is such a prime example of you get out of it what you put into it. If you work your ass off then you WILL be successful. It's really just that easy. But if you don't put the work in then I feel like you will set yourself up for failure. And that's where I think it becomes harder to stay motivated and stick with it. There are plenty of lunch times at work when I think to myself I really would rather not go run. I don't want to change out of my work clothes and then ruin my hair for the rest of the day. And then I just tell myself to stop thinking like that and get to it. And I swear there are LOTS of Sunday mornings where I would rather sleep in than go for a run. But it's true what they say, you will never ever ever regret a run. You just won't. Even when it was a miserable run (and there are plenty of those) you still don't think to yourself, well I wish I hadn't gone out and done that. Another thing about runners, they are the most enthusiastic to get new runners added to the group. BEST. THING. EVER.

Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

The Stats:

Official Finish Time: 1:52:25

Overall Rank: 242/646

Overall Gender Rank: 139/448

Age Group Rank: 29/86


Splits:
Mile 1: 8:37
Mile 2: 9:16
Mile 3: 8:58
Mile 4: 8:43
Mile 5: 8:46
Mile 6: 8:31
Mile 7: 8:13
Mile 8: 8:13
Mile 9: 8:22
Mile 10: 8:16
Mile 11: 8:13
Mile 12: 8:19
Mile 13: 8:43
Mile 13.1: 8:58

I could not have been happier about my performance. I didn't go out there with these expectations and I feel so lucky that I was able to accomplish what I did.
 
This is truly what mile 13 of a PR race looks like.
 
Now let's talk about the race itself.  This was an supremely organized race!  Like I mentioned, this was the inaugural race.  And from beginning to end it was organized so well.  Just to name a few reasons why I would recommend this race to anyone:
  • Their Facebook presence with updates and the such was awesome. 
  • The medal was one of the best ones I've gotten. 
  • The course support was fantastic.  Water at all stations.
  • The tech shirt is great .. I've worn it for many training runs since then.
  • Timing chips attached to the bib.
  • Bag pick up the night before was super fast and easy.
  • Gorgeous views down one of the main canyons of the Wasatch Mountains.
  • All of the food and stuff after the race was really awesome too.


 
The hubs and me.
 
The whole family.
 

If you want an awesome race to travel to Salt Lake City for this is the one.  I can't wait to run this again next year and attempt to beat my PR. 


Have you run a specific race where you just loved it from beginning to end?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hobble Creek Half - Race Recap

A couple weekends ago my husband and I ran the Hobble Creek Half Marathon.  It's famed to be one of the prettiest races in Utah.  The kind of race that sells out within hours of opening registration.  I'm not actually sure how quickly it sold out this year.  I was online and registering the morning it opened.  This was my brothers first half marathon last year, and one of the few races I've gone to the finish line to cheer on.  Since then it seems like I've just been running them all.  But watching them finish this race last year is what motivated me to step up my training and run my first half marathon.  They were such an inspiration.  Plus this would be the first race I would actually run the whole thing with my husband.  I was excited for that too.

So as it turned out we were camping this weekend up at Jordanelle Reservoir.  This meant that we would have a little bit of a longer drive in the morning.  The alarm went off bright and early at 4am and we very very carefully tried to get ready in our trailer without waking any of the kids up.  Turned out we did a pretty good job of that, my dad didn't even hear us leave.  I had mapquested directions to the starting line and it estimated a 1 hour drive time.  As we raced down Provo Canyon we were behind another car that had a Ragnar sticker on the back window.  Based on their speed I said to Jeramie, I bet they're going to the same place.  But as we got to the bottom of the canyon and headed further south they kept going so I guessed I was wrong.  Until we then made a wrong turn and saw them pass us again.  I just thought it was funny to pick out another set of runners based on running stickers on their car.

We ended up making it to the finish line with just the right amount of time.  We geared up and walked over to packet pick up to get our bibs.  Once we had them pinned on and our timing chips attached to our shoes we walked over to the buses and literally just climbed on the bus.  We sat in the very first seat and spent the ride up the canyon listening to all the nervous runners.  I always find the bus talk amusing.  I was happy that the ride up the canyon didn't make me sick like the bus ride up for Timpanogos.  Once the bus dropped you off at the top you had to walk like another half mile up the canyon.  We laughed at all the people who were in such a rush to get up there.  We took it nice and leisurely walk, fast enough to keep us warm but certainly slow enough that we weren't using any race energy.  Once we got to the top we hopped in line for the Honey Buckets.  They were some of the longest lines I've ever had to stand in.  But by the time we finished we literally walked to drop my drop bag and then made our way to the slower pace signs.  We kept walking and walking, once we got to basically the complete back of the pack we were still at the 9:30 pace (faster than we planned) but we were at the back.  This really truly is one of my biggest pet peeves.  People who stand in the much faster corals than they clearly plan to run only to slow people down behind them who were respectful enough to stand in the correct coral.  It punishes those of us that are in the right place by forcing us to spend the first couple of miles trying to navigate around people running much slower.

Here we were at the starting line.  As you can see there's nobody hardly around us.

The nice thing about starting at the back
and running a conservative pace is there was little crowd to deal with.
This is pretty much what the first 8 miles looked like.
Slight down hill along a two lane unmarked road.
Very pretty.

Since we had only run Timpanogos Half a few weeks ago and it was my "A" race this year I had no intention of racing this one too.   Our goal was to go out at between a 10:30 and 11:00 min pace.

Mile 1:  10:37
Mile 2:  10:37

At this point we picked up an older gentleman.  He said to me that I should have been a pacer because I was running 10:30 on the nose.  I was a little bit flattered.  I'm pretty sure it was a compliment.  We chatted a little bit about what other races he had run and what he had coming up.  He mentioned going out too fast at Timpanogos and gassing out.  He was happy to pace with us for a while in order to avoid having the same thing happen.  It was kind of funny for me really.  I ran between the older gentleman wearing his BYU cap and my husband wearing his "Will Run For Beer" bondi band .. haha.  Opposite ends of the spectrum I tell you. He stuck with us until around mile 7, however didn't talk much after that.

Mile 3:  10:22
Mile 4:  10:29
Mile 5:  10:22
Mile 6:  10:01
Mile 7:  10:19
Mile 8:  10:19

At this point I have to mention that I am apparently very natural at maintaining a pace.  I don't spend a ton of time watching my Garmin.  I just pretty much run by feel.  I think it was around mile 8 that we started to hit the bottom of the canyon where it diverted us off of the road and onto a paved trail similar to the trail that I run the majority of my training runs on.  There were some rolling hills in there and a lot of flat.  This course is much more flat than Timpanogos was.  Jerm and I were still running together.  Not talking too much, he was feeling pretty good and I was happy for that.  I was feeling pretty great.  Not too tired. My heart rate was in a great place.  Just felt like a speedier training run to me.

Mile 9:  10:26
Mile 10:  10:22
Mile 11:  10:07

This is where it got interesting.  I was just chugging along.  At this point we had dropped out into some neighborhoods.  I was just running along when all of a sudden I noticed that Jerm had pulled ahead some.  I didn't think too much about it. He does that occasionally when he gets impatient with another runner.  He'll leapfrog over them and then we catch back up together.  But this time he just kept going.  So I picked up the pace a little thinking, well okay we wants to go a bit faster as we come into the last couple of miles.  As I sped up he did some more.  At which point I let him go.  I was a little bugged that he didn't say hey, do you want to pick it up and finish strong?  He just took off without a word.  So I continued to chug along at a slightly quicker pace at this point.  I really didn't have a whole lot more to give without really pushing it.  This whole time I could see Jerm in front of me and I noticed that the gap between us was closing.  We were heading into mile 12 at this point and so I picked up the pace some more with the intention of finishing strong.  I caught up to him and basically said, "WTF was that??"  He looked tired.  Apparently when he hit Mile 11 his MotoActive told him he was heading into lap 12.  He thought it meant he had hit 12 miles and he was pushing to finish strong.  Only to find out that he had only finished mile 11 and rather than 1 more to go he really had 2 more.  I laughed.  Hard.

Mile 12:  9:13
Mile 13.1:  9:14

I still felt great at this point.  My legs were a bit tired but I had some gas to finish strong and so I pushed him to keep going.  He was a bit miserable at this point.  But finish strong is exactly what we did.  I enjoyed running with Jerm for the majority of the race. Once we finished we walked through and picked up our t-shirts (this race hands them out at the very end to finishers). Picked up our medals.  Grabbed some fruit and chocolate milk and went and sat to catch our breath.  I wanted to check and see what our official time was and this took FOREVER.  I guess they were too interested in posting times for us slower runners.

I got a truck load of compliments on my outfit.

Love running races with this big guy.

Official Results:

My time:  2:12:10
Average Pace:  10:05/mile
Overall Place:  732/972
Age Group Place:  116/147

Jerm's time:  2:12:10
Average Pace:  10:05/mile
Overall Place:  733/972
Age Group Place:  50/61

387 Male finishers
585 Female finishers

Jeramie missed a PR by 4 freaking seconds!  If I had known we were gonna be that close I would have pushed harder sooner.  But the good news is that we both felt great and enjoyed running the race together.  Overall the race itself was pretty good.  Although they did run out of the energy gels before we got there, that was a drag. I almost wish that they would put them in your swag bags before the race so that everyone would get one, rather than letting people who pass through first grab a fist full leaving slower runners with nothing.  I did enjoy being one of the runners that spend the whole race passing people rather than the runner that is passed.  Ragnar I got passed a lot.  I like that you have to earn your t-shirt (even if I didn't love this years design as much as last years).  I thought it was cool that they decided to hand out medals to all finishers as well.  Although the medal itself was a little plain.  Better than nothing though.  I could see doing this one again.

**********

What are your thoughts on the free race energy gels/chews? Have they run out at your race before?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Things Friday

1.  I went with my husband and running buddy on my last 12 miler of this training cycle straight down Provo Canyon last weekend.  It was unbelievably beautiful!  I could rave on and on about how perfect this run was.  The company, the temperature, good amount of shade, wasn't scary even though it was like running on a highway.  It was just so beautiful.


I mean seriously, if this picture doesn't make you a tad jealous I don't know what would.


2.  We have this fancy new gym membership and are only managing to get there 2 days per week.  We need to double that to justify keeping it.  I have been afraid to try another class because the Hot Vinyasa one that I did left me sore for almost a week afterwards.  So close to my next half marathon I didn't dare risk being that sore on race day.  But after this weekend I'm gonna give some more classes a try.

3.  I did really good with my eating habits this week .. until today.  We had a pot luck at work and I totally got weak.  I'm disappointed in myself.  But at least we only have these every couple of months now.  So I don't have to worry about a repeat performance for at least another couple of months.

4.  I finished reading Bob Harpers, The Skinny Rules.  I actually really enjoyed it and the whole time in my head the voice I heard was Bob's .. with his accent and everything.  I think that for the most part it was good stuff.  While I'm still doing Weight Watchers (you know other than my pork out today on pot luck food), I plan to try and incorporate the rules as well.  I also think there are some good recipes in there that I'd like to give a try.  I think with the two combined I could make some good life style changes.

5.  Tomorrow is race day!  After my 12 miles downhill last Sunday my right calf really started to flare up.  So I haven't run all week and I've been resting it.  Today it feels pretty good.  I did a couple days on the elliptical and some weight training this week. But no running.  I've been rolling it and icing it every night this week.  So I'm optimistic that I can still run a good race tomorrow.  I'm really hoping to finish between 2:05 and 2:10.  My fastest to date was Salt Lake Half with a 2:12.  This is the first training cycle where I introduced some speedwork.  So tomorrow will show whether it paid off or not.  Well tomorrow is also a downhill course though, rather than the hill at mile 12 on Salt Lake.  I'm excited to run it with my brother too.  He's 10 years my junior and really tall, so I know he will push me to keep up the pace.

Me and my husband, post 12 sweaty miles.

 **********

What do you do when faced with a pot luck??  Suck it up or cave?
          --  Clearly today I caved.  Fail.

Have you read Bob Harpers new book?  Thoughts?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Deflated

Well .. I haven't blogged here on the running blog in ages.  Mainly because my last two posts generated a whopping ZERO comments.  So I guess I should quit worrying about writing for other people and just focus on the journal aspect of it.  My journey as a mother of 4 children, who works full time and still makes time for running.  I am very committed to my healthy journey.  So maybe I'll start posting more frequently again.  Who knows?

So here I am, I've been a "runner" now for about a year and a half.  My first half marathon was 7 months ago with a time of 2:45.  My second half marathon I PR'ed big time with a 2:12.  Since then I have introduced some speed work.  My next race is a week from Saturday.  I've worked really hard this training cycle as well.  My goal is to go sub 2:10.  It's a downhill course (a first for me) so secretly I'm hoping to do a bit better than even the 2:10.

Anyway, I finally talked my husband into joining a gym.  I really wanted to start incorporating some more cross training.  Things like yoga, other fitness classes, as well as the elliptical.  And also I've really been wanting to add strength training bad to my routine because I know this will make me a stronger runner.  So with our membership to the gym we are entitled to fitness assessments as frequently as we would like.  They encouraged us to do one pretty early on so that we can then do another one later to see how far we've come.  It all sounded good to me.  Since I'm in some of the best physical shape I've ever been in I was feeling relatively confident that I would score pretty well.

I'm just gonna lay it all out there.

I am 5'5 and I weigh 142 lbs. 
Based on those numbers my inHealth website at work tells me that my BMI is 23.7.

BMI Guidelines Read:

Underweight:  less than 18.5
Healthy Weight:  18.5 - 24.9
Overweight:  25.0 - 29.9
Obese:  30.0 or higher

So okay, I'm in the healthy range, it's the top of the healthy range but still healthy right?

I've been hovering between 140 lbs and 143 lbs for the past entire year.  My original Weight Watcher goal weight was to weigh 145 lbs.  I hit that and have maintained it for a year now.  So I'm feeling pretty good.

I went back to WW's last week because I really want to lose 10-15 lbs.  I've been kind of trying for the past couple of months.  But find that I always let myself slip a little with that age old excuse of, "I ran 10 miles this morning, I can have a treat."  When I did the Hot Vinyasa yoga class this past Monday it completely grossed me out to see all the the dimpling on my thighs when I was in downward facing dog.  Hello cellulite!!  Now please leave.

So I walked into the fitness assessment with high hopes.  Sure I wasn't going to be at the middle of the healthy range for things, but I wouldn't be bad either.  Needless to say I left feeling incredibly disappointed / bummed / deflated / MAD / confused.

Body Fat Percentage:  35.1  (Average is 23%, you want to be below this)
VO2 max:  34.3  (Average is 34.6, you want to be above this)
Metabolic Age:  53 years (umm .. I'm 37)

At which point he dropped these numbers on me and I think I mumbled something about being really surprised. I think my husband was even more surprised and he says, "How can this be?  She runs 4-5 days per week religiously?"  Then the guy went into recommending a full board VO2 max test with the mask and all that.  And to be honest I wouldn't object to this. I think it would be cool to find out that kind of information.  However, I would probably do it in a more clinical setting and not in the middle of the gym.

I was alarmed at the body fat percentage.  According to the Livestrong website, a woman with 30% body fat is obese.    This is where I start to really get confused.  By my body fat I am obese .. by my weight I am smack in the middle of the healthy range.  I mean really could this be any more confusing?  I was SO disappointed by this there really aren't words to do it justice.  It's not like I dispute that I had been wanting to lose some more weight and am confident that I have the weight to lose. But still .. really?  Obese? 

We went over what we eat.  Which I'm sure he thought we were full of crap.  But for the past 2 weeks we've been eating really healthy so he kind of had to take it with that in mind.  The only recommendation he had there was to do the meal replacement protein they sold in their shop rather than the plain protein we currently have in the morning.  I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on that.  One good tip that I picked up was to drink a protein shake 1 hour before bedtime.  Just the plain kind .. protein + water.  He talked about how when you sleep your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism drops down a ton.  By drinking a protein shake before bed it aids in keeping that metabolism going while you sleep.  That makes sense to me.  It also happens that during a conversation with my running buddy discussing my frustration with the lack of weight loss. She and I theorized that perhaps I should have a second protein shake during the day to assist in getting some extra good calories in for fear that I'm not eating quite enough on days I run. 

So that's where we're at.  We have an appointment with a personal trainer for our couples training session in a couple weeks.  I'm excited for that.  I will stick with the Weight Watchers for now.  I'm optimistic that I can lose another 10-15 pounds.  I think I am also going to work a little harder at trying to run some of my runs in the fat burning HR zone.  I religiously wear my HR monitor when I'm running outside.  So this I think could be another step I can take to improve my body fat composition and overall weight.  I just hope it doesn't mean that my overall running pace slows down.  That's my biggest fear.

This picture here is most unattractive.
Like the dimpling on my thigh?
Maybe that's where those 50lbs of fat are residing?

But then I have to take a step back and remember.
I've been at this running stuff for about a year now.
I love the picture below. It reminds me that running is fun and I am strong.
(HA! you can't see the dimpling through the mud!)

Please help me you more experienced runners!

Can you make sense of confusing all this is?

Have you ever had a similar fitness test done and been shocked by the results?