Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Damn the Numbers

Numbers. Ugh.

I spent much of my life as a bit of a math geek and have always liked numbers. Lately, they frustrate me.  Two examples:

(1) Pace - This one constantly baffles me. I have been trying to figure out what my planned "race pace" will be. During the Riverbank Run, holding steady at 11 min/mile was not easy (and I had really thought I would be able to go faster than that).   Still, I have been holding onto hope that I can handle a 10:30 min/mile marathon pace. This seems pretty bizarre given that the marathon is over 10 miles FARTHER than the Riverbank Run. Yet, based on various pace calculators and my training runs, it seems within the realm of possibility. 

Anyhoo, last Saturday had 15 miles on the schedule, with the mid-7 to be at race pace. Running at a specific, consistent pace is still a struggle for me. I have no true "feel" for it for some reason? Maybe that was part of the struggle with the Riverbank Run - holding that pace consistently? Anyway, I had a good run Saturday, but admit that I was disappointed when I finally loaded my Garmin data and looked at my splits.  My goal had been for those 7 miles to fall between 10:30 and 10:45.  And then I would finish out the last 4 miles at whatever pace felt comfortable.  Well, out of the 7 miles, I think only 2 were in that desired range.  But 3 of the 4 "cool down" miles were!!  Ugh.  Why is it so hard for me to figure this out? Hmmmm.  Frustrated. 

(2) Weight/BMI - Sigh.

I've been doing really good with this for awhile. For some time, I was frustrated that the number stopped dropping, but was overall feeling good about myself. So I stopped caring about the number so much. I can't pretend I wouldn't like to lose another 10-15 pounds, but I haven't truly taken steps to make that happen (although I keep dancing around it...). I think at this point, a focus on weight loss would hamper my marathon training.  All that to say, I'm mostly okay where I am right now.

So WHAT on earth possessed me to plug my current weight into the BMI calculator this morning!?

 I know it's just a number.  But it's so frustrating to think about all that work and to see a number that is squarely within the overweight category.  A number, in fact, that is barely shy of obese. Further, losing another 10-15 pounds would not even be enough to put me into the "healthy" or "normal" weight category.  :(

It is dumb. I get that. I know I am not obese. I also know I'm still overweight, although not grossly so. I know that I'm carrying a fair amount of muscle these days and that muscle weighs more than fat. I know that, despite the foregoing, I am fit.

So, why is it that I can know all these things and still be so hurt by a stupid number? 


  1. haha, i'm right in the middle of overweight organe! trying to convince myself that milk weighs more than fat...

  2. Unfortunately your brain and emotions are often disconnected! So even though your brain has all the right answers, your emotions just don't get it.

    You are working out, so you're making progress. Just don't look at the numbers anymore!