Thursday, July 19, 2012


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?


  1. I think that body fat measurements can be pretty subjective - I'm assuming that he used the skin fold thing? The lame thing about body fat measurement is its innacuracy. The best thing to do is go back in a month or two and have it remeasured - what you really want to see is a decrease.

    Or go to Target and buy a new home scale that also measures body fat.

    Honestly, I'd recommend doing some serious strength training - best way to get rid of fat is to replace it with muscle.

    I get what you are talking about with blog comments, too. It's such a bummer sometimes when you feel like you are talking to the crickets. I'm reading :-) Even if life sometimes gets in the way of having time to sit down and comment.

  2. First, love the lulu skirt. Second, I wouldn't get hung up on the fitness assessment at the gym. I've been dying to know my body fat percentage as well as my basal metabolic rate but I won't do it unless it's at a medical facility. I'm not sure whether a gym's assessment would factor in things like previous weight loss, excess skin and the like. I would focus on doing things that make YOU feel good and maybe squeeze in some strength training.


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