2014 in Review, and My Running (and Non-Running) Goals for 2015!

New Years Eve Run

We are almost at the start of the new year, so I wanted to wrap up my year and running and also look ahead to 2015. I almost wrote this up a couple of weeks ago … but I couldn’t manage to not have proper accounting of my running right up until the end of the year! So here goes …

To get started … what WERE my 2014 running goals?:
Run more than 2500 miles
Run at least 2 Marathons and 1 Half-Marathon
Run an Ultra-Marathon
Set a PR in either Marathon or Half-Marathon
Put in time on the trails

Yeah … so, um … considering I ran exactly ONE race – and it was a 5K, we can guess how three of the five goals ended up! But honestly I don’t think that reflects the reality of my year in running, so let’s get started with THAT!

It is amazing to be sitting at the end of another year (my third) spent as a long distance runner – and I am fast approaching my ’26th Runner-versary’ in February. It is pretty mind boggling! It is fun looking back over the last year to all of the stuff that has gone on in my running life and reflect on what I want for the coming year. I have enjoyed reading so many posts from others and wanted to share my own. I went into details about much of the year in this post, so my 2014 summary will be quick.

Here are a few highlights of 2014:
Start and Finish the year healthy and injury free – After a great 2012, during 2013 I came to the realization that for me the most important thing was just plain running – not a pace, a distance, not even ever running Boston … just being able to get up tomorrow and go for a run. And as you’ll read below … I did. And I stayed healthy from -20F temperatures to 50 mile weekends and beyond!
I ran over 3000 miles … again! – I noted back around Thanksgiving that I was breaking 3000 miles before the start of December. I tallied up my totals through the last full week of the year (ending on Saturday the 27th) and I broke 3250 miles!
More that 300 running days – As I noted a couple of times, I never intended a running streak, but I always run Monday – Friday unless I really need a day off, and if Lisa is working Saturday and/or Sunday I will run then as well. And so more than a few times I found myself running 21+ straight days, 48/49 days, and so on. Overall it came up to 312 days … or not enough rest days, really.
Major PR at a 5K – by Thanksgiving I assumed this would be a no-race year … then I got signed up for the charity run ‘Selfless Elf 5K’. Even better, it was set up for both runners and walkers and had a very organized start so I could go out running strong from the start. I ended up with a 7:21 pace for a 22:48 total. For me … that was just amazing! What a great close to the year!

Here is the chart of my miles:
Miles FY 2014

So what about 2015? Here are five goals for my running in 2015:
Start and Finish the year healthy and injury free – Yeah, this is pretty much going to be my #1 goal from now on.
Run more than 2500 miles – Why not more after two years of 3000+? Because I want to feel like I can focus more on things like trails, speedwork, track time, and so on.
Run at least 2 races – one short, one long – I loved running the 5K, but totally love the half-marathon and full marathon, have never run a 10K and would like to do the Corning GlassFest 5 Miler in May again (did it in 2012). Why only two? Between one kid graduating and then heading off to college, and the other doing college search this summer … I assume I am booked that weekend.
Set a PR in something – I really don’t care which race, nor do I care by how much. The 5K PR will be a challenge, the rest I think are in reach.
Put in time on the trails – While I have dropped the Ultra for 2015, I really enjoyed my trail time this year and want to do even more of it next year.

Of course, there is another huge victory for 2014 (and 2013) that I plan to continue in 2015:

I maintained my weight without unhealthy eating habits or restriction.

Throughout 2014 I maintained my focus on ‘food as fuel’, eating real and whole foods, a very balanced diet, three meals per day … and no restricting. Even the week and couple of long weekends of college search vacation I never freaked out when I wasn’t exercising … I just kept a healthy perspective.

I also did a lot of cooking new meals, with some being well received and others … not. We worked on a Paleo diet for Lisa for a while, which had mixed results due to allergies but helped in terms of a reset. As we closed the year I think the goal for next year is ‘balance’ … which I am working on.

And YES I have my weight as an entirely separate class … which should be obvious to anyone who has followed the blog.

So what about everything else? Here are five personal non-running goals for 2015: By personal I mean not things like repainting the ceiling in the dining room and so on. But about myself.
Music – I am finishing up making my basement studio sustainable over this break, and I really want to take time in the coming year (much more than in 2014, which I would call a ‘year of noodling’) to truly get back to composing and playing at a higher level again.
Programming – just before the holiday break I needed to do something that required me to write my own code, using the ‘C-like’ statistical programming language ‘R’. I got it done, but considering I was writing entire code-bases to run lab instruments I designed back in the 90s and early 2000s … I was less than impressed with the atrophy of my skills.
Focus on the Family – I am proud of my 2014 in this area … and my goal for the coming year is for my family to know every day that they are loved and special through my words and actions.
Reading – Reading rather than blogging/video games before bed is a good choice for me … and I want to be make most nights about reading this coming year. My goal is not extreme – one book per month.
Cooking – As I said my personal health goal is ‘balance’ for 2015, but I want to extend that to the family – we are really omnivores with healthy tendencies … we don’t need a ‘diet cult’ to improve our lives, and this year I want to expand our palette without going too far ‘out there’.

I have no intention of doing NaNoWriMo this year, but am not closed to it. I want to focus on narrower goals to ensure success. I have set up some quarterly goals to check against, and if I am blogging I will share them here. As for blogging … I have no set plans one way or the other. I love this community and general and the people who will read this in particular, love reading your posts and your comments here. So I am not shutting down as some have chosen to do, I just have no specific plans.

I am going to close with the same picture I used last year because it is perfect – me at the end of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Marathon 2013 in compression shorts with my #1 supporter and love of my life!

Post Marathon with Lisa

Running Holiday Games, Three Gifts and a Thought

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Hi everyone! Hope everyone who got a long weekend for the Christmas holiday had a great and relaxing time, and those who (like me) get even more time make the most of that! Just a quick few things today …

Running Holiday Games

As I have done a fair amount of miles – just over 23 on Christmas Eve, more than 10 the day after Christmas and about the same on Saturday. All of those were mid-day runs, so I got to get a good look around, and I just found it interesting. I typically run the same half-dozen or so routes, so I get accustomed to the sights. I don’t know about anyone else, but when things change – I tend to notice!

– Loads of out of state plates … family all over.
– I miss when their younger daughter was in high school and they put out the big inflatable dreidel an menorah.
– On their phone … on their phone … eating … actually paying attention … on phone …
– Gone for the holidays again, wonder where their families are located?
– Love seeing four generations out together.
– Hey – isn’t that ___’s daughter? Wonder how she’s doing at ___ (small Corning world when this is more than one!)
– They’re gone … wonder if their daughter had the baby?
– Is he actually old enough to be driving?
– Interesting they put up so many decorations and are gone all of Christmas week.
– Biking around Christmas … such gorgeous weather.
– Two people I work with – one is Jewish, the other Hindu … and they have Christmas decorations up for the kids – a reminder of my ‘two Christmas’ theory!
– Loads of cars yesterday, all gone today – wonder where they headed?
– He/She looks so fast but I am catching up to them … this HAS been a good year for me.

Have you been out and about and noticing all of the little things in your area?

Three Gifts

My Christmas list was pretty short – wardrobe replacement. Changing shape means that clothes no longer fit, and at this point I want stuff that fits rather than stuff that is too large. Which means a great new set of awesome clothes and an upcoming trip to the clothing charity donation drop. But I got three really cool running-related gifts I wanted to share:

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Brooks Glove/Mitten Set – I constantly complain about how cold my hands get … so I was thrilled that my boys ordered me a 3-in-1 glove/mitten set. The liners have a fleece interior and are pretty warm themselves, but then the mittens have a wind-block exterior to keep my hands warm and protected. This is just awesome and exactly what I needed!

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Frozen Band-Aids ‘for the nip-nops’ – OK, this just totally cracked me up! You really don’t think ‘bloody nipples’ unless you are a male distance runner – or a family member of a male distance runner! So opening this package … priceless!

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A Supportive Family – This was taken at the Woodhouse pub in Corning, which is really close to the skating rink where we just did a family skating outing. Over the last nearly 3 years of me being a dedicate long distance runner my family dealt with my new focus as it helped with health and weight and fitness, then became weary of how much of an impact it occasionally had, and in the past year it has become part of our lives.

And as the gifts above indicate, along with their concern about me ‘getting in my run’ … they really get it. Running is part of me, and therefore is a part of them – but like anything else, it is just a ‘thing’, and therefore when it seems to be pushing too high in my mind I can count on them to call me out on my BS. And that is part of being a supportive family – being there behind each other, but also providing a reality check when needed.

A Thought

Earlier this year I wrote about running from the perspective of the runner, and also the non-running family member. As I noted at the time, the feedback I got about the first one was it was a bit ‘tone deaf’ with respect to non-runners.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I read a post that has stuck with me, because it is a long post that is stunning in the extent that it is reactionary … to the point of saying of non-runners “they don’t understand what happiness really is.” Which is just plain scary. I’m not linking – I left a comment on how unhealthy I found the attitudes presented (not to mention the ‘hive mind’ replies), and that is good enough.

But reading that brought me a realization: if you re-read the post substituting the word ‘Vicodin’ for running you would be concerned for the life of the writer. Running can be an incredibly healthy practice – I am thankful every day that I can get up and go out running for about as many miles as I want with almost no repercussions. But it can be a substitute for dealing with reality, an escape from life and responsibilities, and can even become an unhealthy pursuit when taken to the extreme. Which left me with a thought:

If you have immersed yourself so deeply in something that you are skipping time with family, friends, work events, things you used to enjoy, obligations, think only of that thing, ascribe to it qualities greater than it can possibly deliver, and of those who question your newfound obsession you instantly assume nefarious intentions and doubt that they ‘know what happiness is’ … you might have a problem.

Happy Monday!

A Quick Look Back at 2014 in Running

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I had been planning a ‘year in review’ post which will come at the year end, but the other day Amanda at Miss Zippy challenged everyone to do a quick ‘how was your year in running’ post … so here it goes!

Before I answer her questions, I look at the year in a few ways:
– I started the year and ended the year healthy and without injury.
– I ran more miles this year than any other year … again. In fact, since I ‘got serious’ about running in April 2012 I have run well over 8000 miles. (whew!)
– I didn’t run a marathon, half-marathon or ultra … all of which I planned but scheduling, activities with the kids, and family vacations all are higher priority. The final chance at a half was Nov 2nd … and I was sick!
– Unlike 2013, work has had me local all year (5 miles from home!) – Yay for family time!
– I think I became a Saucony lover this year between the Kinvara 4, Virrata 2 and especially the Kinvara 5.

Best race experience? That is easy – I only ran ONE race. But still the ‘Selfless Elf 5K’ was an amazing race because I ran it full of fun and joy, and also got my fastest recorded pace … like, ever. 7:21/mile … I still can’t associate those numbers with ME.

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Best run? 2014 was an odd year because I ran pretty much alone all year, and almost always on the same half-dozen routes. But there were two runs that stand out – the 5K and my first run on the Catharine Valley Trail. The 5K I mentioned above, but I will still go back to the first trail run for me this year. It was a goal to hit the trails more … and I only did a few, and they were on ‘groomed’ trails so it wasn’t too hard. But when I did it, the 12 miles on the Catharine Valley trail were just perfect – I appreciated the change and the trails were awesome!

Best new piece of gear? I would have to go with the Garmin VivoSmart. I get notifications on my wrist (which stopped being useful once the average daily run temperature dropped below 25F last month), so I can see what is coming in. I also get daily tracking, and the ‘goal’ increases based on you surpassing it … so now I am pressed harder and harder to make the goal. Review coming soon 🙂 Also loved? The Magellan Echo and Garmin Forerunner 15. So no matter what it is something on my wrist!

Best piece of running advice you received? It was a question from last year, : ‘where do you see yourself as a runner in 5, 10 and 20 years.’ My answer is that in 2014 I crossed the 25 year mark as a runner, starting in 1989 at nearly 400lbs. In 25 years I will be 73 – and I would love if I could still be showing up to run local 5K events and maybe even longer wherever we are then! That self-advice put all of my other goals in perspective.

Most inspirational runner? Tough call, so I am naming two:

Danielle the T-Rex Runner. Here is a woman who has struggled with eating disorders that were literally destroying her, has other health issues she has shared, ended up with surgery last year on her digestive track … and again this year had surgery on her back … and has just run her second marathon within a month.

Laura Parson from TheGlutenFreeTreadmill: Laura has picked up her life after dealing with some awful treatment at her previous job, is pursuing a doctorate in women’s studies in North Dakota, and has taken her passion as an ultra-runner and turned it into a quest that will have her running across the country next summer. That’s right … running. across. the. country. As in San Francisco to NYC. All to support RAINN and an awareness of violence against women. Amazing and inspirational.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? (same as last year, boring I know – but it is my mantra). Nothing about running matters more to me than getting up tomorrow for my 5+ mile run.

How was YOUR year in running?

Selfless Elf 5K Race Summary! 22:48 total, 7:21/mile, 7 Minute PR!

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While I was all ready to have a faceless 2014, an opportunity came up to run an inaugural 5K charity race that Lisa had heard about. She had hoped we both could do it, but her work schedule wouldn’t allow for it … so I signed up on my own!

Downtown Corning holds a Sparkle festival each year as the culmination of a week of holiday events starting with the tree lighting at the Centerway. This year they added a 5K, sponsored by Wegman’s and benefitting the Food Bank of the Southern Tier (our local food pantry). And when Wegman’s ‘sponsored it’, it wasn’t just the usual ‘throw a few dollars’ at it … they paid for everything so that all money collected went to the charity!

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Aside from registering for the race which also got you a shirt and socks, they were selling elf ears and jingle bracelets with all of THAT money going to charity – so we bought two each. Above is a picture of all my gear laid out – and Lisa wore her ears and bracelet to work. This is what I looked like all decked out to go:

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For a bit of history, I have run THREE 5K races, all in 2012:
– My first was a 32:02 … but a HUGE personal victory!
– My second was two weeks later and 29.46, which stands as my PR
– My third was two more weeks later, and it was over 90F, and I still broke 30 minutes with 29:51

I have expressed my ‘fear’ of the 5K – it is more of a sprint than an endurance challenge. I was all nerves getting ready to go. But in my head I had three goals:
C goal: beat my PR
B goal: break 25 minutes
A goal: hit 8 minute/mile average
A+ goal: while breaking 8min/mile, why not break 24 minutes?!?

Honestly if I broke 25 minutes I would have been ecstatic – everything else was ‘gravy’. Also honestly, if I did NOT break 25 minutes I’d have been disappointed … which was definitely part of my fear.

The race start was at the Corning High School stadium, but finished in downtown Corning at the Centerway. So I parked over in the garage by the finish (brought my badge because it is normally restricted access) and walked back over the bridge. Since we’d been to that stadium many times (marching band competitions, also for the GlassFest 5 miler) – I assumed things would be open so I could use the rest room before the start. Nope. Ugh – fortunately it wasn’t urgent!

Here is a picture I took waiting at the start – I didn’t notice at the time, but the guy in the sweatshirt moved right in front as I gook the shot … there was a guy dressed like ‘Buddy the Elf’ from the movie Elf that I was trying to get in the frame.

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I lined up a bit back from the start – I didn’t want to be TOO far back, but also wanted to let the ‘speedy elves’, as the announcer called them, go out first. I did a selfie to show how the crowd was starting to assemble. There ended up being more than 750 people registered – they accepted registrations for 750 and let people pay $20 at the race to join in with a tag.

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Here is the course map:

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It was a bit of a weird course, and totally depended on the volunteers! You might notice that the course took us to the same intersections more than once – which gets confusing unless you have someone directing you! Fortunately there were volunteers all over the course!

I went out strong, wearing my Garmin to help keep track of my pace and make sure I didn’t lag at all. I was asking people fairly consistently, and for the first quarter mile or so had the usual congestion – but people were actually pretty good about lining up according to their intended run/walk status. The biggest issue for me were the groups who were several across and not really pushing the pace – or getting out of the way!

While I knew I was doing more than a casual pace, it also wasn’t a hard pace – I wasn’t sprinting, and it felt like a pretty sustainable pace. When I heard the first mile go off I was a bit surprised – I thought I’d gone further and just missed the chime. I definitely slowed a bit then, but kicked myself in the butt and got moving again.

There were a bunch of times I wish I had more pictures – the outfits were great! I was just past the two mile mark when a couple of really young kids blew by me – it is just always awesome for me to see kids who aren’t even teenagers running so gracefully and effortlessly, chatting as they went.

I was worried about doing the underpass and heading over the bridge if I would sustain things – but I did! As I was crossing the pedestrian bridge I passed someone who looked familiar … who then just edged me at the finish. You can see his name listed above mine on the results below – it ended up being the boys middle school history teacher (and advisor for some activities and all around great guy). We chatted for a bit and it was nice to catch up on kids and life.

I grabbed a picture of the finish time board – I had no idea how quickly they would get things online (answer was very quickly!) The placement had no meaning at that point as it had to do with how many were finished when they printed.

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When I approached the finish line the ‘minute’ numbers were obscured, so I had no clue on my time until I was within about 10 meters of the finish. When I saw 22 minutes? I couldn’t believe it! I was going to easily break 23 minutes … who WAS this guy running this race? A 7:21 pace? I NEVER do that! That is a *7* Minute PR!

I came in #77 out of 692 recorded finishers (they had to close the course at 5PM to kick off Sparkle), 49th man, 11th in my age group (the winner was in my age group as well!).

I am terribly proud of myself – no humble-brag here, I have cut 3 minutes per mile off my first 5K pace, and my per mile pace is about 50% lower than what I first recorded back in April 2012 (my first GPS run ever). I couldn’t be happier – and I have gotten some amazing comments on Facebook and Instagram from all of my awesome friends!

It is also a reminder that to paraphrase Tip O’Neill “all achievements are personal”.

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #14, The Tech-ification of Running

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Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, I am thankful for the ways that technology have improved the sport of running and in particular the ways they have helped me improve and be more efficient through the years.

Day #13 – Most Expensive Free Sport Ever

I was scanning my Buzzfeed RSS feed and came across this post, which reminded me that the first GPS satellite went into orbit in February 1989, the same month I started running and my weight loss journey.

That same GPS technology would come into play in 2012 when I went for my first GPS tracked run with my brother – which showed that my distance was much lower and pace much slower than I thought. Ugh – but it was also a wake-up call. I mean, *I* had a smartphone – time to use it! So began my quest for the marathon! 6 months, 1900 miles and nearly 100lbs later … I did it. Wearing a Garmin FR-10, my second GPS watch (Nike+ was first).

Now I mostly use Wahoo Fitness app for GPS run-tracking, and wear the Garmin vivoSmart on my wrist to track steps, sleep, and also keep synced with my phone (review coming soon). I also have the Garmin FR-15 that I love.

Technology has played a huge role for me in other ways … well, mostly clothing. When I started running, there were no affordable tech fabrics, no wicking, no ‘cold-gear’ re-radiating layers. Just piling on the clothes. I remember running in the winter meant a thermal layer, then a sweatshirt layer then a outerwear layer, with thick bulky gloves and hat and scarf … and I wouldn’t go out in sub-zero air temps or sub -10 wind chills. And I was only running a few miles. Oh … and the smells … that was the worst of it I think. You couldn’t wash the stink out of that stuff!

This week when it got down to the 20’s with some wind, I was wearing a thin top layer, mid-weight hat, light gloves, normal running socks, running tights and ‘runderwear’ for the wind (we’ve covered this) … and I was perfectly fine. And newer tech fabrics are quick to wash and hang dry and much more resistant to odor accumulation.

How do you feel about the influence of technology on running?

Technology! 80s! Rocky!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #1

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I very often talk about the things I am thankful for – particularly my wife Lisa and our boys Danny & Chris. They are the backbone of my life and the source of eternal springs of joy and happiness. I also write about many other things I am thankful and grateful for.

Since Thanksgiving is on my mind, I thought it would be a fun exercise to make a daily post noting something I am thankful for. Just a quickie, something I know I can do even with the very limited time I have for blogging these days.

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Day #1 – My Oh-So Tolerant Feet and Legs

Look at those sorry, worn-out sad shoes above. They are the Saucony Virrata 2s I got with my birthday money back in early April. As I wore them just over a month ago for one of my normal daily runs, I could finally feel it – they were *done*.

But that wasn’t a surprise – I felt early on they wouldn’t last, but then they stabilized and held out really well. In that picture they have nearly 1350 miles on them. Yes, 1350. Given that pretty much every estimate of running shoe life says to change out shoes <500 miles, that is astounding. Most of my shoes have lasted over 1000 miles, with only the New Balance Minimus 2 dying at about 900 miles (ok, they died by 600 but I refused to give up and it was winter and I didn't want to put the weather-wear on new shoes).

These are not amazing shoes – I know many people who get only 400 miles on the Virratas (or Kinvaras or Nike Free and so on). They just work well with my body, and allow me to keep running comfortably long after the initial cushion has flattened out. My body it really great in how it allows this to happen, coupled with what is a pretty solid stride pattern – I am not a young guy, and I have friends who strike their feet away from the center of their body and really feel every mile.

So thanks to my feet and ankles and knees and hips for allowing me to push the life of my shoes without resulting in injury.

How do you deal with shoe life?

Six Things Saturday – Reasons to Go See a Doctor (even if you’re healthy)

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http://misszippy1.com/2014/10/runnings-role-healer.html

Hi again friends! Thanks for all of the great comments and kind remarks on my last posts!

My last post a few Sundays ago was pretty random and reaffirmed a few things for me:
– Almost no one watches the videos … or at least no one comments
– There are only so many random topics people can absorb in one post
– Titles really don’t matter.

Why do I mention that? Because:
– there were no comments about either video (ok, mamaSalt came in late to mention the Panda 🙂 )
– Most of the comments were about one or maybe two items
– My title was only marginally related to the post I actually published!

ANYWAY, here is one subject I meant to talk about but never got there – going to the doctor as a critical thing to do every year.

My annual physical was originally scheduled for late August, then they had to reschedule, then I forgot to do my blood work so I had to reschedule, and it finally happened in early October. Because of my hypothyroidism I make it a point to get to the doctor … and also because of my age, family history and so on.

Also, I included these pictures with this post for two reasons: because it is Halloween (duh) and because these are the people I want to be with for a long time. The picture below is a #TBT to Halloween 2004, a time when the boys were 8 and 6.5 and Lisa and I were just in our late 30s.

The top picture is from the National Honor Society induction this week, where our younger son was inducted and older son reaffirmed for membership. It was a great proud moment, and a reminder I want to be around for a long time to experience many more.

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1. Make Sure Everything is OK / Prevention

I mean, this seems obvious – but it is also the reason many people avoid going! I have heard many people say ‘I don’t want to go to the doctor – I am fine and every time I go they find something!’ By going to a doctor regularly you can get a better idea of how your health is at the moment, and by checking in you gain more perspective on how you feel when things are good (or not).

Also, do not underestimate the human ability to adapt – we get used to just about anything, and it is not until we feel better that we realize how bad we felt!

2. Learn Your Numbers

Our bodies are unique systems, so it isn’t surprising that we will have some tests where we run high and others where we are low. Some of these numbers mean something important by themself, others only in conjunction with different tests. More than ever it is critical to be informed and in control of our own health, and the first part of this is knowing how we function when ‘normal’.

3. Establish a Relationship with Your Doctor

When I walked into my doctor’s office … well, really, when she came in, she already knew my lab results, had seen me running pretty much everywhere in the last year, knew what to be looking for on my results and the things we needed to discuss for now and for the next year.

Why is that important? Because rather than trying to start from ground zero, we already have solid basis of understanding of my health, her approach, and how to interact. That way when we have to address an issue she will know how I normally handle things and can factor that into her approach.

4. Establish a Tracking History

Two years ago when I was still losing weight my potassium was on the low end of normal, but still in range. I can now admit that I was still restricting my intake (while running 50+ weeks … moron), but had I seen a new doctor or not had a history it wouldn’t have flagged anything – because it was still in the normal range. It was only through looking at my history that she noticed it was low – and since I love bananas and sweet potatoes and other sources of potassium, and had lost a ton of weight … she just gently told me a banana every morning would be a great thing.

The same is true for everything else – we spent a lot of time this year going through my numbers and how they showed the impact of my healthy eating on everything going on in my body. Between my thyroid issues and getting me into the cardiologist last year due to family history, she has carte blanche to order loads of bloodwork for me … and does.

5. Put Your Running/Eating in Context

It was a bit of a joke when I went to the cardiologist last year and they put me on the incline treadmill to get my heart rate up for the stress test – because my resting heart rate was around 50 and they couldn’t seem to get it much over 100. They laughed because I was the longest test either of them had ever seen because it took so long – which was directly attributable to my endurance running.

Same with my blood work and eating – by looking at all of my numbers in terms of cholesterol and other criteria, the doctor could tell that I was eating good stuff – and also getting enough of it, even if she still wanted to make sure I didn’t lose any more weight.

But by the same token if you were not eating well or overtraining or otherwise not taking proper care, and had convinced yourself that everything was fine … maybe a visit to the doctor could help you realize otherwise. I have said it before, but I believe that two of the big reasons for injuries with many run-bloggers are over-training and improper fueling.

6. More Thoughts on ‘Your Numbers’

I can’t reiterate enough the importance of knowing your numbers – it is easy to think that the pants don’t fit because they shrank, or that because your blood pressure and cholesterol were fine 10 years ago that you don’t need to stress over what you eat and so on … but it isn’t true. There are many things that happen over the course of our lives that change the biochemical systems inside our body – women have even more stuff going on with natural hormonal changes throughout their lives!

Our bodies evolve over time, often slowly enough that we can’t tell the difference easily – which makes it even more important to establish a relationship with a doctor and their office, get yourself checked out regularly, and know how your habits impact your health.

What are your thoughts on doctor visits and knowing your health numbers?

Oh, and because next Tuesday is mid-term elections, here is a tool WordPress provides to help with voting info: