Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Optimal" Body Fat?

So 25 days ago, I had talked on the guest blog that I write for the San Francisco Marathon about how strength training an hour with my trainer 3 times a week for 4 weeks prior had caused my body fat percentage to drop from 30.8% to 25.9%. I had basically lost 8 pounds which broke down into about 12 pounds of fat lost and 4 pounds of just lean muscle and blood volume gained!

Well, today, the trainer used his calipers and a 7 spot skinfold check to calculate body fat percentage again. My weight had dropped another 2 pounds. My body fat percentage had gone from 25.9% to 22.5%! 3.4% DROP! This is another 6 pounds of just fat lost, and another 4 pounds of muscle gained.

I'm such an analyzer, it's nice to see numbers put to the changes. Looking in the mirror each day, it's hard for me to see the changes.

So in 8 weeks, my body fat percentage dropped from the "high" categorization by this gym of 30.8% to the "optimal" classification of 22.5%. Now do I feel optimal? Well, I guess enough change has occurred that I have a little loose skin, particularly at the tummy where it's still bouncing back from stretching out from the basketball of a baby is was carrying. My trainer explained to me that it's optimal for a standard person, but he would love to see me closer to 15%. Sounds crazy, but I would have said 2 months to drop 10 pounds and 8.3% body fat sounded crazy before I did it.

T-8 days to my first marathon at the San Francisco Marathon!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

El Scorcho 2011 Race Report

On July 16, I ran El Scorcho Cin5o, the 5th year of this race and my second time running it. Last year, I ran this race 5 1/2 months pregnant, and it was my first 25K. It was an amazing experience.  It was actually the race I needed to make me look around and say, "Yeah, okay, I'm ready to do this marathon thing... on my terms!"

I keep wanting to find the 2 hours I need to carefully gather together pictures, paces/times, and a nice write-up of this race for this year. But I'm not sure I'm going to. Ugh.

It's marathon taper (10 days to the San Francisco Marathon), which means I'm trying to get to bed earlier. Sadly, this is usually the time I use to try to get things done after the kids go to bed. I'll decide tomorrow night whether you're all getting the very abridged race report or the more filled-out version. :-)


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Runners World Hood to Coast Relay Contest Win - My Thanks

This would be why my Twitter feed was crazy yesterday!
 My Twitter feed yesterday was blowing up, and I wanted to thank everyone who has congratulated me. Here's the details behind the amazing experience of a lifetime that has been the last couple weeks and will again be that August 26-27, 2011!

So when Runners World tweeted June 13 about doing a push for people to fundraise for cancer organizations, I looked into it.

I signed up because
1) I hadn't fundraised for a specific cause since raising about $4000 for Susan G. Komen for the 3-Day Walk in 2005, and
2) I thought that I would do it for 2 weeks to test the waters for possibly a larger fundraising campaign for a specific event in the future. I felt like I had a pretty broad network - but a broad network doesn't mean a close network.

I looked through all the charities and chose the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. I researched them on Charity Navigator and liked what I saw. It was important to me that it be a significant organization but still a small-funded non-profit and that a high percentage went straight to the cause.

I noticed the Runners World Outrunning Cancer contest connected to this that the top fundraiser by June 30 would win a spot on the Runners World team with Bart Yasso for the Hood to Coast Relay race in August. However, this is Runners World we're talking about. Their reach is far and mighty. I expected hundreds would be fundraising.

During the first week, it was a chance to see the openness of my friends to donate for a cause I cared about. When after a week I was like the 5th highest fundraiser, I actually started to get excited about the Hood to Coast Relay contest because I realized there was actually a chance at being top fundraiser. I was baffled, and saddened, that there weren't the 100s fundraising I had expected.

When June 30, through my personal fundraiser, $1475 had been donated to the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Since I did pick a smaller non-profit, I'm so excited for them, hoping this money can go far for helping Bear Necessities mission to eliminate pediatric cancer and provide hope and support for those who are touched by it!

The next day I found out that I was the top fundraiser and was getting the spot on the Hood to Coast team. I was elated.  Then I had to sit on it for 12 days until they announced it yesterday!

THANK YOU to everyone for their cheers and congratulations across Twitter yesterday. I promise to take lots of pictures, tweet and Facebook status the weekend through, and blog it up afterwards. August 26-27: it will be here before I can even blink. BUT... you can still donate to the cause as well. The fundraising page is always up and Bear Necessities would be happy for your 5 minutes it takes to donate and the $20 from your wallet that can change lives. Donate here...

THANK YOU to Runner's World for promoting charity for others through their Outrunning Cancer campaign on Crowdrise! And for the prizes you have put into the campaign, both for donors and for the fundraisers. I am so appreciative of the once-in-a-lifetime experience you have afforded me to get to participate in the Hood to Coast Relay and with what will be memorable teammates!

THANK YOU to all the wonderful friends that donated. And in terms of fundraising for a charity for a specific race in the future, I learned a lot.
  • Random people can surprise you. Wonderful folks, like @LifeisaRun and @elletizol, who I have never even met, we're just twitter friends. Yet they took several minutes out of their day to take a little from their wallet to help these kids. Your gesture touched me immensely.
  • Runners get hit up for donations a lot, and pay-it-forward doesn't always happen. I'm pretty good about donating when friends personally ask for their fundraising campaign to be able to go do a specific event, but life gets busy or circumstances change, and those aren't always the donors you then get yourself. Good mental note!
  • The people you consider your very best friends can surprise you. A couple people who I would consider some of my closest friends surprised me by not donating, even with repeated requests. A note for others: donating $10 to a good friend's chosen cause leaves a much different taste in their mouth than not donating at all. It's not completely about the donation amount, it's about making it a small priority for such a small time commitment to make the donation. To those friends, I still love you, but it definitely threw me for a loop.
So again, this charity Bear Necessities is always accepting donations, and you can donate NOW. Have a different favorite charity? Since they are on your mind now, 5 minutes to make a quick $20 donation on their online donation website would be a great thing to do right now! We can all give $20 - it's a week of Starbucks, or a week of bringing lunch to work instead of going out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Biggest Week's Mileage to Date

And with my last long run of the training before my first marathon at the San Francisco Marathon, I also hit my new "most miles run in a week" record with 41.3 miles! Saturday was a 20.5 mile run, and then I even went out Sunday to do 6 more on trails. Read about it on the San Francisco Marathon blog.

Time to taper for 3 weeks, and then the dreaded, or highly anticipated, race day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Halfway Thru the Year - Time to Check-in

2011 is already halfway over. I added up my miles, and I'm at 544.4! To put in perspective, I finished 2010 with 426.4. 2009 was 457.2 miles. So this is a huge increase for me.

Little goals since I've already way surpassed previous years. Let's shoot for passing 1,000 miles, mmkay? Basically, just stay on target for the training for my races through the end of the year and that should be totally doable. That may even be on the low end. A harder-to-reach goal might be 1,300 miles. So I'll keep that number on the horizon as well.

It's 4 weeks to the San Francisco Marathon. My last big 20 mile run is this coming Saturday. Then a nice 3 week taper and race day! I can't wait to complete my first 26.2-mile race, my first marathon, and see what all this fuss is about. ;-) Maybe I'll hate the distance, maybe I'll love it. Maybe I'll want to only ever do half marathons again. Maybe it'll be all about the destination marathon after this. Who knows? It's crazy how much unknown seems to rest at that finish line for me.