Friday, February 24, 2017

The Year of the Swim - Update #1

I mentioned about a month ago that I'm trying something new for 2017 and attempting the 100 Mile Swim Challenge.

Since I signed up late for that program, as it was basically already 3+ weeks in when I saw it was offered, I have been pushing pretty hard the last few weeks to play catch up.  Here's an example of where I should be if I started on time, and what I'm hoping to track to by end of February:


Yeah.  Not looking good.  Especially when I know I should really be at maybe 25 miles by week 9 ... just to make sure I have cushion built up for a sick week or vacation or whatever.

Despite feeling a bit of anxiety for being behind (not really anxiety, but you know ... no one wants to be "that guy"), being in this challenge has given me a renewed excitement about working out.  I've even invested in a few fun new accessories:


In case you're wondering, those hot suits came from an Australian company called Funkita.  I was originally drawn to them for the rainbow mosaic design, which I bought at normal retail price.  But since I was on the site, and making an international purchase anyway, I decided to take a risk and ordered a 3 pack mystery bag as well.  Lucky for me, I ended up liking the entire lot! 

I know they are eye catching, given that Steve in a Speedo posted this blog post after our tit-a-tat on Facebook:


LOL!  That guy.

So basically, that's where I stand thus far on my 100 Mile Swim Challenge.  I'm a little behind, but not too bad.  I have a few new suits to keep me motivated.  Oh ... and I'm getting faster!  But more on that in a future post (as it relates to another new accessory I'm testing out right now - more to come on that soon).

In the meantime, if you decide to check out Funkita and want to buy a suit, let me know.  I can hook you up with a 10% discount off your first purchase!

And before I go ... I suppose I can highlight the swim caps I use along with these suits.  Just so ... you know ... I can give people a seizure in the lane next to me at the pool.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Making Our Own Demise

A semi-wordless post today.  Perhaps instead of blaming others, we should examine why this is a trend to begin with?


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love Workout

In honor of Valentines Day today, how about a little "love" themed workout inspiration?

If you actually do the below 3-4 times through, in fact, you'd get a pretty dang good full body workout.  Not too bad, eh?

Much love to you and yours!






Thursday, February 9, 2017

Say Goodbye to BMI

It's no secret that I'm NOT a fan of the BMI scale

Don't get me wrong, using the BMI formula as a general calculation to help you figure out if your weight makes sense for your frame is a good starting point.  BUT - and that's a big but - BMI is not the only thing that should be taken into consideration when assessing if your height and weight are in line with each other.

Adding fuel to my fire against BMI, I found this article (see text below if you don't want to follow the link).  Even if you can't take the time to read the entire post - at least take a minute to read the highlights ... the part towards the very end in yellow is the scariest.

When you finish the below ... consider yourself informed!  ;-)


5 BMI Myths You Need To Stop Believing

There's no denying that "fat is bad" has led us to believe loads of things about BMI that aren't true. Here are five "facts" you should start rethinking.

I remember the first time a doctor calculated my body mass index. I was 13 and up until that point had been one of the skinniest kids in my class. But then puberty struck, my hormones went haywire, and I packed on 20 pounds in just a few months. My BMI put me squarely in the "overweight" category. The doctor handed me a food journal and said not to worry—as long as I kept track of every single thing I put into my mouth I could drop those 20 pounds in no time.

Well, I didn't. As I got older, my BMI just got higher. Now, at 25, I'm what the BMI scale considers "obese." I eat a mostly healthy diet, walk everywhere, and do yoga as often as I can. I know people much skinnier than me—people with "normal" BMIs—who literally cringe at the sight of a vegetable. Yet, most doctors would tell them they were perfectly healthy and put me on a strict diet.

What gives?

"We so strongly believe that being fat is bad," says Linda Bacon, PhD, author of Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. "It's taught in schools and floods the media." And that's not surprising. Study after study finds that being heavy is associated with illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. But the key word, Bacon says, is "associated."

According to Bacon, we don't know for sure that being overweight causes the health problems it's been associated with. It could be a combination of many things. For example, people who have high BMIs also tend to have a history of dieting, Bacon says. And research has shown that yo-yo dieting, or fluctuating in weight, has a negative impact on your overall health. "So does illness come from having a higher BMI or from inflammation in the blood due to dieting?" Bacon says. "We just don't know."

There's no denying that the pervasive "fat is bad" lens has led us to believe loads of things about BMI that just aren't true. Here, 5 "facts" you should start rethinking.

Myth: A low BMI ensures that you'll be healthy
Being heavy has been associated with things like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. So it stands to reason that having a low BMI would put all of those things on track, right? Wrong. In a review of several studies looking at BMI, researchers found one study of 40,000 adults that indicated no correlation between high BMI and health issues like high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Plenty of people in the "obese" category had perfectly normal numbers, and plenty who have "normal" BMIs had high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

Bacon, who was an author on the study, says it shows how weight stigma affects health. "Over half of the people on the study would have been misdiagnosed," she says. Because doctors would see people of normal body weight and likely not check for high cholesterol or blood sugar, those people wouldn't get the treatments they need.
Myth: Having a high BMI increases your risk of heart attack

Like with blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, many studies have shown an association between high BMI and heart disease risk. Yet a recent self-reported study of 4,046 pairs of identical twins finds that having a high BMI does not increase these risks. In the 12 years that researchers followed the twins, there were 203 heart attacks and 550 deaths among the twins with higher BMIs, and 209 heart attacks and 633 deaths among thinner twins. Even those twins with a BMI of 30 or higher (which would deem them obese), had no increase in heart attack risk.

Myth: Eating healthy and exercising will always lower your BMI

Muscle weighs more than fat. So someone who adds exercise and healthy eating to their routine might actually gain weight—and that's not a bad thing. "People can be healthy at different body sizes," says Rebecca Puhl, PhD, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Yet, she says, many doctors still stigmatize and place blame on patients they see as overweight, even if those patients are engaging in healthy eating and exercise behaviors.

Myth: You're healthy if your BMI is between 19 and 25

In case you don't know, this is how the BMI scale breaks down: A BMI lower than 18.5 is underweight, between 18.5 and 24.9 is normal, 25 to 29.9 is overweight, and 30 or above is obese. But it wasn't always that way.

The National Institutes of Health changed BMI guidelines in 1998, dropping the overweight category from 27.8 to 25. Overnight, a woman who was 5 feet 4 inches tall and 155 pounds was suddenly considered overweight.

At the time, Bacon was a PhD student working on a dissertation on body weight and health. Her advisor was on the committee that made the recommendation, so she asked her why would they recommend lowering the numbers when all evidence pointed toward the need to raise them.

"She said to me, 'Linda, we came to the same conclusion [that the numbers should be raised], but government officials told us that we needed to make a recommendation that aligned with global standards.'" Bacon was floored—how could it be that politics played such a large role in this decision? So she took a look at how the global standards were set. It turns out that the task force that made that recommendation was funded by the only two pharmaceutical companies that made weight loss drugs at that time.

"Those companies stood to gain a lot financially if people who were perfectly healthy one day were overweight the next and would then be prescribed weight loss medication," she says. "It was shocking to realize that a recommendation like that was based more on financial gain than what was best for public health."

Myth: BMI is a good measure of health

This one should be pretty obvious by now. Since the guidelines were set without much basis on health and we know BMI doesn't work for everyone, it's pretty clear that it's not an accurate measure of health. Some experts, like Puhl and Bacon, believe that we shouldn't be looking at weight as a measure of health at all.

"When doctors only focus on the number on the scale, this can lead them to oversimplify health issues, ignore other pieces of information, and even stigmatize and blame patients." Puhl says.

Bacon agrees. Focusing on BMI and weight keeps doctors and other experts from seeing the real issues behind disease, she says. It goes back to the difference between "association" and "cause." Research hasn't proven weight to be the cause of most of the things we say it causes, Bacon says. So how can we possibly know that losing weight, or lowering your BMI, is an effective solution? Instead, focus on cooking balanced, satisfying and diverse food— like the recipes from our favorite irreverant cooks at Thug Kitchen.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

All My Races ... Ever (2017 Updated)

It's been a while since I've done a recap of all the races I've ever ran.  And since I did a MASSIVE Goodwill donation run just before having my baby (I'm not kidding, I donated over 50 shirts, most of which were race related) ... I know the number is getting pretty big.

Here goes!



Races 1-6, Bibs 1-6

New Prague 5K
Lederhosenlauf 5K
Chaska Rotary Polio 5K
Lifetime Torchlight 5K
Gopher to Badger 5K
MN State Fair Milk Run 5K


Races 7-13, Bibs 7-12

New Prague 5K
Carlyle Sherstad 5K
Rainbow Run 5K
Siren Freedom 5K
Shakopee Derby Days 5K
Crosby Serpent Run 5K, No Bib Provided
Lake Run 5K


Races 14-24, Bibs 13-22

Get Lucky 7K
New Prague 5K
Carlyle Sherstad 5K
Rainbow Run 4K (revised course)
Time to Fly 5K
Color Run 5K
Crosby Serpent Run 5K, No Bib Provided
Lake Run 5K
Steamboat Days 5K
Iron Girl Du (run 2, bike 23, run 2)
Monster Dash Half Marathon


Races 25 - 39, Bibs 23 - 37

Shamwalk 5K
Get Lucky 7K
DogNJog 5K
Minnetonka Half Marathon
Adventure Triathlon
Race Chaska 5K (rained out, no run but kept bib)
Rainbow Run 5K
Freedom 5K
Gandy Dancer Trail Run 5K
Webster Education Foundation 5K
Serpent Run 5K, No Bib Provided
Minneapolis Duathlon
Lake Run 5K
Chicago Half Marathon
Mankato Half Marathon
Monster Half Marathon


Races 40 - 54, Bibs 38 - 52

Little Rock Marathon
Get Lucky 7K
Shamrock Shuffle 8K
Minnetonka Half Relay
Waconia Half Relay
Rainbow Run 5K
Freedom 5K
Chinatown 5K
Bacon Chase 5K
Webster Education 5K
Minneapolis Duathlon Relay
Lake Run 5K
Women Run the Cities 5K
Mankato 10K
Skeleton Run 5K


Races 55 - 71, Bibs 53 - 68

Tri-U-Mah, No Bib Provided
Hot Chocolate 5K
Lake Minnetonka Half Relay
Cinco de Miler 5 miler
Run the Inferno 5K
Carlyle Sherstad 5K
Rainbow Run 5K
Freedom Five 5K
Gandy Fly-In 5K
Chase the Police Tri
Webster Education 5K
Lake Run 5K
Suds Run 5K
Women Run the Cities 10K
TC 10 mile
Patriot Power Run 5K
Mankato 10K


Races 72 - 81, Bibs 69 - 77

Tri-U-Mah, No bib provided
Rainbow Run 5K
Freedom Five 5K
Froyo 5K
Gandy Dancer Fly In 5K
Webster Education 5K w/stroller
Lake Run 5K w/ stroller
Waconia Nickle Dickle 5K
Women Run the Cities 10K
Carreras de los Muertos 5K


So, there you have it.  So far I have participated in 81 races (which means I have a real chance of clearing 100 races by the end of 2017), and I own 77 bibs.  If you want to consider the entire distances ... that would be:

   One 4K
   Fifty-five 5Ks (two with a stroller in tow)
   Three 7Ks
   One 8K
   One 5 miler
   Four 10Ks
   One 10 miler
   Five Half Marathons
   Three Half Marathon Relays (at about 6 miles each)
   One Partial Marathon (course was closed at mile 16-17ish)
   One Duathalon (4 miles ran)
   Two Duathlon relays (2x5K at each race)
   Three Triathlons (about 8 miles ran total)
   One Triathlon relay (about 8 miles ran)

Or, roughly 360 miles of racing on foot (this number is not including any swim or bike distances).  And let's not even talk about the training I did working up to that.  Phew!!


So, close to seven years of running.  Wow.  I guess ... that's what it gets you!!  All the above, and a real sense of self accomplishment, too.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Year of the Swim

As I mentioned in my Tuesday post, towards the end of last year I "retired" from my old gym and teaching group fitness.  As a result, that left me searching for a new place to get fit.

Funny enough, at the same time that I left, a few other people I knew from my old gym also shopped around.  Unbeknownst to me, some of them joined the same new place I did.

So of course, now I have to goad people to join me in the antics of this new place, too ...

Queue the 100-Mile Swim Challenge taunting on Facebook:

I've never been a huge swimmer.  In fact, with 52 weeks in a year and an end goal of 100 miles, I'd have to pretty much double my current swim routine in order to finish.  But since I don't have any real training goals for 2017 and I like new challenges, I thought this would be worth a shot.
Plus, I have an indoor tri coming up end of February, so if nothing else this should help me rock the swim segment.
Not to mention, swimming is easy to get in over my lunch break at work.  So it's a natural fit into whatever my "mom fitness" routine evolves into.
So, that all being said ... let the trash talking begin.

Oh ... and anyone have any tips for me on swim friendly ear buds or lap counters?  I'm terrible at keeping track of my laps in my head.  Suggestions welcome below.