Wednesday, July 9, 2014

By the numbers.

Today's cross-training involved a date at the gym for some serious technical squat work.  Coach filmed using Coach's Eye, which allowed her to break down our form in slow motion.  I achieve good depth on my squats, but there's a slight catch in my motion just before I bottom out, so my work today was slow (3-count) negative squats, where one squats very slowly and fully, and then powerfully shoots up back to standing.

I have to say that weightlifting is great for my general mobility, and it seems to be keeping my core in line, too.  Fingers crossed.


When I decided to blog my first half-marathon training cycle, I was moved to write largely because I couldn't find any runners like me.  There are:

  • skinny girls who run and take endless selfies and pictures of what they eat.
  • moms who run and post endless pictures of their kids.
  • overweight women trying to lose weight and blogging their weight loss journey.
  • fast, talented runners who post their training programs.
  • men, who get to blog about running without including their children or their dress size.  (uh, figuratively speaking.)

I am:
  • 35 (too old to be Internet cute.  Thank goodness.  I look like the wreck of the Hesperus when I run.)
  • a mother to a one-year-old who I am not going to pimp out for page views.
  • employed
  • in extremely good shape
  • slow as hell.
So I thought maybe someone would want to read about someone with a 9:30ish easy pace who never raced as a kid or young adult, who started running seven months ago because it's the easiest form of exercise to fit in when one has a small person with an unpredictable schedule in their life.

Anyhow, last week I had a doctor's visit.  This will never be a weight loss blog, because the Internet feeds neuroses and disordered eating and I'll not be a part of it.  Let's say I weigh X, where X is a healthy BMI, but in the doctor's judgment, I'm a little too lean.  We both suspect that this is due to training for a half while weaning a baby, but I'm supposed to eat more so I can ward off stress fractures. 

It's nice to have a prescription for chocolate milk. 

But my other numbers were great.  105/65 BP.  55 resting heart rate.  

So it got me thinking about the best way to avoid obsessing over one's weight.  Hard for a woman in a society where "thigh gaps" are now being overtaken by "bikini bridges."  Hard especially for someone like me who enjoys data and quantifying the self and all of that (though I don't own a scale.)  Hard also because there is some small correlation between one's weight and one's health, so ignoring it completely isn't really an option for most people.  

Here's the thing.  If one tracks a lot of numbers, then each number is individually less powerful.  What might a list look like?  Here's a start:
  • Blood pressure.
  • Resting heart rate.
  • Maxes on lifts.
  • Body fat % 
  • Tape measurements (waist, hips.)
  • Hours slept per night.
  • Steps taken per day.
  • 5K time
What would be on your list?

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