I wondered what the deal was, hoped nothing was wrong with the kids (although assumed if it was something serious he would have stopped) and pulled myself up the last half mile of hill to my house. It was just before 8:00am, it was my second consecutive day of speedwork, and I had just finished 10 miles, with 6x1 mile repeats on the road (6:25, 6:22, 6:31, 6:35, 6:20, 6:22). I was hot, sweaty, and tired.
I walked into the driveway and Josh was there, still sitting in the minivan, and told me that I needed to get in because we had to go in to his office so I could get a mandatory healthy screening for our health insurance. He had already gone and had his done, and the nurses (or techs?) who were part of this traveling health screening service were in a rush to get on the road to their next job. I was the one holding things up.
So without time to stretch, or to even mop the sweat off of my forehead, I got into the minivan and we drove the three miles in to Josh's office.
I filled out a bubble sheet and then had my blood pressure, pulse, weight, height, BMI, and body fat percentage all taken and recorded. I am not one to obsess over numbers, but I was really happy to see that although my weight has stayed about the same since we did this last year (131) that my body fat percentage was down by a percent to 18.4%. I have worked hard on my core/strength training to be as lean as possible (and am still working on it!) so this was encouraging. The nurse (? tech?) pointed out that this was 2.6% below the normal range for a woman my age, but for a runner it is not low at all.
After all the bubbling-filling and testing, I headed over to the other nurse (? tech?) and had my blood drawn. Now, I have had my blood drawn several times in the last few months and it is not big deal to me. I am the easiest person to draw blood from ever. Well this nurse (? tech?) went at me like she was trying to stab a ballpoint pen through a rubber fire hose. YEEEEEEOUCH. Evidence -
|This was just a couple of hours later. It should be really impressive in a day or two.|
She did not have an article or random study to quote. She wasn't professing the dreaded "it will ruin your knees". She said it was just a "gut instinct she had". Ok. Then there was a comment or two about our number of kids and I was done playing nice and ready to go home for breakfast.
I probably should have said that being 80lbs overweight, eating mostly junk and being completely inactive was bad for my body (and spirit!). I have had no serious injuries since I started running, I have never been healthier or happier, and there is tons of evidence that running keeps the body (knees included!) and mind healthy.
I am about as un-judgmental as it gets in regards to most things, but I can't help but notice that the people who like to point out how "bad" running is for you often seem to be people living unhealthy lifestyles (and are often overweight).
I don't care too much about what most people think anymore, but it just seemed ridiculous to have such a good health screening only to be told that running marathons was bad for me.
In regards to "the numbers" - I take my resting heart rate every morning for Coach Rick and have found that to be a useful tool in seeing how my body is handling my training. When I was losing weight and first working at keeping it off, I was afraid I would regain the lost weight and I got a little obsessed with the scale. If my weight was "down" I was happy and felt good about myself, if my weight was "up" I was bummed and felt bad about myself. I also used to let the very low weights of some runners make me feel "less good" (why do we compare ourselves to others when we know it is not good to do?) Now I am used to the little fluctuations in my weight and don't stress them. And while I know that to be as fast as possible a low weight is desirable for runners, being healthy, strong, lean, confident, and fast is what matters the most to me.
Have you ever had a medical professional tell you running was bad for you? Ever been attacked with a needle? :) How much attention do you pay to "the numbers" (scale, pulse, blood pressure, BMI, body fat, etc.)? More soon!