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Day 211: Funny things happen at Finish Lines

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Good Morning, Sparklers!

It's been a quiet past week.

Last Sunday was the Frigid 5 Miler here - and if the weather where I am is anything like where you are you'll agree it was anything other than frigid. With temperatures starting at 57 and climbing well over 60 by the time the race finished - I am stunned to say that I completed a run in January in a pair of capris and short sleeves. This is not typical weather for Southwestern PA, I assure you.

Today, however, the weather is much more typical.

The 5 mile race was challenging. Not for the distance; but, for the terrain. The race began on a gradual downhill. There were a few little hills around the 2 mile and 3 mile mark - but, mostly up until the last 3/4 of a mile it was all just easy terrain or downhill. As you can guess, what goes up must come down. Or, in this case, what goes down must come up! The last 3/4 of a mile is rated as a "Category 5" on map my run. Which means LOTS of us were huffing, puffing, and walking parts of it.

Honestly, that darn hill took my 11:20 pace and knocked it down to 15. No joke.


There are actually some very, very funny (and less flattering) shots in the whole collection. However, that picture sums it up: I crush you, hill.

Last night was also the first meeting of Club in a month. It was good. We got our 6 month assessment results which are now two months old. Also, we got weighed in for the first time in a month and a half. In the six weeksI've been without close supervision I lost six pounds. Not too shabby! A pound a week? I'll take it. Why? Because I'm able to live comfortably, not obsess over my food intake, and not feel ridiculously pressured to squeeze in a million fitness minutes.

Downward progress is still progress.

What we also received were all of scans and statistics from our 6 month assessment. Basically one of the things they did was a body composition scan. They gave us our photos which were.. revealing. Lets just say I'm kind of surprised that I can see MORE of my fat rolls at my lower point than I could at my higher point. Maybe it's because the fat rolls are getting smaller and thus look larger in number? I don't know. The numbers, though, were great. I've lost 32 pounds while on the study which is 14% of my starting bodyweight. Now, what makes that even more amazing is that I've only lost 1 pound of 'lean' tissue.

When you lose weight through diet exclusively the body has a tendency to burn both your muscles and your fat. I forget what the ratio or percentage is; but, as you can guess, it's not a good idea to go and eat your muscles. So, when you have a 'proper' ratio of diet and exercise you are going to burn less of that 'lean' tissue. In other words, according to the scan, I'm doing 'it' right.

The other thing we talked about were some of the first results coming off of the armbands for tracking activity. You have to think about it, the whole idea of having a piece of tech that tracks fitness minutes is relatively new. Pedometers have been around forever; but, minutes counts? Level of activity? It's all been very subjective. It's me pointing at a chart and saying "Yeah, this is like a ten."

What they're finding is that there are definite thresholds for the 'checkmark' effect. On any weight loss program where you are at six months is generally the point where this effect happens. There are three possibilities. First, you can always maintain your weight at that point. Second, you can continue to lose weight. Finally, the dreaded outcome is gaining back weight. It's like a checkmark - you were going down over time, and now that line starts to rebound back up.

What they're finding is that the people who are most likely to rebound have around 175 minutes of physical activity a week in 15 minute increments. Those who maintain or continue to lose are doing greater than 200. It's amazing. I think I've talked about this before - how I believe that it's the level of -structure- required to do that target that causes the weight loss, not the literal number itself. It's the behavior change associated with meeting that number. At least, that's my opinion.

This morning, also, I finally cracked 187. I had been hoping to reach 185 for the end of this month. Hopefully half marathon training supports that.

Alright, time to get some more 'real' work done.

I hope you all are continuing on the downward path. If not, start thinking about how to get your minutes of activity up!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Found your blog from the Pgh Marathon FB page. I'm training for the half this year too. It'll be my first. Great blog!
    1922 days ago
    A hill smackdown! love it!
    1922 days ago
    I like this pic. I agree it's not as flattering in a Vogue model type of way but, you look like a strond woman on a mission and an athlete. Personally, I think showcasing your athletic capabilities is always a good look!!!!

    Congrats FRACK!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon m emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1923 days ago
    You inspire me! emoticon
    1923 days ago
    Kill the hill....kill the hill! Great job!
    1924 days ago
    Congratulations on the 5 miler! The Buddy and I wussed out of part of the path that would have made us have to climb back up a hill. Kudos to you for tackling it and succeeding!

    And thanks for sharing the stat about how many minutes people that maintain weight loss exercise per week. I'm gonna adjust my SP goals to reflect that, and aim for 200 from now on.

    Hope you have a great day!

    1924 days ago
    I admire your perseverance and I am glad you are getting results. Congratulations! emoticon
    1924 days ago
    Great job o getting that hill in the race done! Your unseasonable high temps are the opposite of our unseasonable low temps with single digits overnight (1 degree on SUnday I think, 6 degres yesterday) and highs no higher than 32 degrees we could have had a frigid race here in southern New Mexico LOL. Supposed to be warming back up some starting today, getting up to 45 and up to the low 50's by the weekend. Although it probably feels good to you right now, yours will probably go back down unfortunately when this crazy weather stabilizes.
    Great job on the weight loss!
    1924 days ago
    i dont think i realized you were in PA. did i? maybe weve talked about it. im such a space cadet. I'm originally from Bloomsburg. Have you heard of it? Anyway, a lb a week, im coming to realize, is great! I'm very happy for you. I know you were stuck in the 190s for awhile but you are kicking butt!!
    1924 days ago
    YHALLOTHAR! I was wondering what you were up to. Club sounds fun, just for the information porn. I mean, that body scan sounds totally fascianting! It makes me wonder what my stats would look like over this past year.

    It sounds like you have been doing awesome! I'm proud of you, and really happy to hear that you crushed a hill under your mighty running sneakers!

    It makes a lot of sense to me that weight loss success and fitness minutes are all about structure. I know any movement is good movement, but doing say... the bike for 30, 45, or 60 min all at once seems like much more SRS BSNS than 15 min increments spread out. Though, I suppose if you did ENOUGH 15 min increments, it'd all add up in the end. But.. that would mean getting sweaty multiple times a day! I'll stick to my once-a-day showers, kkthx :P

    But yeah.. I suppose there's probably a certain structure and mindset that is successful, and the fitness minutes are just a "symptom" of the success, so to speak. I've found for myself, at least, that if I keep a strong commitment to my exercise, I've been able to eventually pull out of my eventual funks. My exercise is my lifeline! I think if I was to drop my minutes and give up on that, I'd seriously be givng up on everything.

    Which makes me think about Adventure Time and sweatpants...
    •Jake calls sweatpants “give up on life pants”. “I do because peeps need to respect themselves when they leave the house, even if it’s just for ice cream or TP or whatev.”

    Yup, giving up on exercise is like giving up on life for me, suggesting I would therefore give up on wearing real clothing out of the house :X
    1924 days ago
    emoticon on punching that hill in the face! I love your blog title; I have a theory that we actually find out what we are made of at the finish line (and that's why we keep racing!). It's not just the finish time--that's what we can share with non-running supporters--it's the victory dance that comes with the feeling of accomplishment for the training, or maybe just celebrating our own bodies. Enjoy your journey!
    1924 days ago
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