Baseline data

How can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re at?  For a few years I’ve been searching for a DEXA machine without a Dr’s note.  I tried going somewhere in Houston and was turned down because I didn’t have a Dr’s note.  The more and more I looked, I was finally able to find someone in Houston who provides DEXA, RMR, VO2max testing and nutrition guidance.  If you’re wondering what DEXA is and why I was so fixated on it, let me explain.

I grew up playing soccer for 15 years.  I took 7 years off before returning to running.  During that time I studied, amongst other things, statistics.  I fell in love with data and all the awesome things you can learn and do with it.  Starting in 2008 I tracked small bits of health data I could get my hands on.  As time passed, I gathered more types and at higher frequency.  Weight and body fat % are the core data points that can help us both as athletes and as non athletes. Body fat % can be measured a few different ways.  The least expensive and least accurate is bio-impedance.  This is typically the scale or hand held measuring device.  This is best used to track change over time for not very much money.  There is underwater weighing or hydro-static weighing.  There is also something called the BodPod.  This is a strange egg shaped device that measures air volume I think.  Finally there is the gold standard, DEXA.  This is the most accurate method and is actually an x-ray that tells you body fat and bone mineral density.  I’ve done them all.  I really like the conversations and data points that can be had when you have tried all different types.  Malissa at Composition ID Houston is super knowledgeable and super friendly!  She, like most, couldn’t believe that I had been tracking data for so long over so many different methods.  When I showed up, I felt a very warm welcome and inviting environment.  Best of all the results are the most accurate possible.  I really look forward to going back to get an update on how far I’ve come since I did my baseline a while back.

There is no better time than the present to set yourself up for success.  Take a few minutes to think about and write down some short and long term goals you have for yourself. I learned from a wise friend to write them on your mirror with a dry erase marker.  Don’t be limited to one subject or any other type of obstacle.  Each and everyone of us deserves to be better than we are today.  This is for our family, for our friends, for our kids and most of all for ourselves.  There are lots of books, presentations, etc on how to set goals.  It really just takes some time to yourself.  It takes some confidence and encouragement.  Make 2017 the year to reach for your goals.  Be consistent and you can do it!  Make 2017 the year to be better and do better.

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey.

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Blessing in disguise

I continue to learn that sometimes, blessings show up in disguise.  As it turns out, I like to try and cram as many things in to my goals as possible.  By this I mean that I’ve had 2 larger competing fitness goals for the last 7 months.  I’ve really been struggling with what that meant for me and which was more important to me.  I know that lifting and strength training will make me a better runner.  I also know that I have not been able to shake the thought of running Ultra Marathon distances.  My strength (and nutrition) coach would prefer that I don’t run more than 2 or 3 miles at a time.  He says that he would prefer me to spend time that time with muscle building cardio as opposed to muscle shredding cardio.

In early December I was working on my strength and tweaked my shoulder.  In deciding to give my shoulder a rest, I decided to focus on my long distance running.  I’m really excited to say that I’ve signed up for my first trail race!  After spending many years road running, I decided to start with a 25K trail race.  Training has been going really well despite a few cold runs.  It’s been really fun to be testing gear, strategies and listening to an audio book about my goals.  2017 is going to be a great year!

Thanks for joining me on this journey

Aspiring to an ultra

I mean how can I have come from being a a soccer player to wanting to run an ultra?  I’ve gotten this question and I’m not real sure how to answer it.  Everything I keep hearing is that I’ll have to become friends with and be comfortable with the pain and discomfort.  How can that be something I want?  I also hear that I will become stripped raw and could have a breakdown in every way.  How can these be things that I want in my life?  I came to the realization that many of the things I want are really things that other people want and therefore I wanted.  So the question was presented to me as what is it that “I” want?  While this may sound cliche, it was very real and very recent.  So as I continue to think about this I continue to think about ultras.  Thanks for being part of this journey with me 🙂