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Lone Gull 10K Gloucester MA

This Sunday I ran the 6th Annual Lone Gull 10K in Gloucester, MA.The race benefits the The Children’s Center for Communication.

I drove up with two friends and we got there nice and early. It was a little chilly as we stood in line for the porta-potties and we debated long-sleeve or short. I almost wore my running vest it was so cold. In the last few minutes before we walked to the starting line I ditched the vest and stuffed my car key and a GU in my back pocket.

At the starting line we saw about 10 other people from our running club. It was great to see everyone and talking helped ease the pre-race nerves. I could not hear the announcer saying whatever he or she said, but I did hear the starting gun. We started on a brief down-hill and then onto a flat well paved road along the Atlantic. It is a very scenic course and I tried to take in the ocean views as much as possible.

This section of Gloucester is full of beautiful homes and we ran past many impressive estates. There was also a Holland America cruise ship in the harbor. I didn’t expect that and didn’t even realize they came into Gloucester.

Click this link for a video of the Lone Gull 10K.

After the race they had a nice breakfast for us with pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausage and all kinds of pastry and cookies, many of which looked home made! Nice touch.

My friends and I pulled up same gravel and grass and sat down to have our breakfast. As we ate more members of our club gathered around and we had a large crew hanging out, eating, talking and just having a good time. Eventually we broke out a small cache of craft brews and had a couple of cold ones after breakfast.

Before all of the runners were in, I looked at the posted results. I came in 117 out of 350 or so and 30 out of 45 in my age group. This morning a saw the final results on coolrunning.com and I came in 117 out of 526 runners and 30 out of 65 for my age group. On top of that I set a new PR for the 10K.

My Lone Gull 10K run

I used my accumulated knowledge to run this race well. I ate lots of good carbs but no fiber before the race. This helps minimize the chance of stomach issues. I have to eat before I run. I also drank very little before the race. 10K is not a long race and I knew there were several water stops. The last thing I want to do on a 6.2 mile race is run off into the woods for a pit stop.

The first mile started out very fast but I felt warmed up after only about half of a mile. My first mile was 7:39! I could not believe it. I ran four of the six miles under 8 minutes and the last quarter mile I ran at a 7:12 pace. I felt good most of the race and had prepared properly. There were times when I thought I had run strong enough, far enough, and that I could let off a bit. Then I would tell myself that I was probably near to a PR and that I needed to keep pushing if I really wanted to get it.

Here are my splits:

1              7:39.4    1.00        7:39

2              8:03.5    1.00        8:03

3              7:45.0    1.00        7:45

4              8:07.9    1.00        8:08

5              7:40.9    1.00        7:41

6              7:56.4    1.00        7:56

7              1:47.2    0.25        7:12

Summary             49:00.0  6.25        7:48

The key was to keep throwing everything I had into the race. It was only six miles, so there was no need to hold anything back. I took water at all of the stops but did not stop running to get a cup. Thankfully they used paper cups which fold nicely for a runner’s gulp.  Kudos to the race organizers for that one!

It was a strong field and after the first few miles it was difficult to pass anyone. We were all sorted out by then. I did pass a few people and fended off a few attacks. No one passes me on a hill! Well, not often.

The race was well organized with people at each mile marker ticking off our pace. People were at side roads and intersections to wave us in the right direction. There was plenty to drink at the finish, and it was cold. And of course, they served us breakfast!

This is another race that I would definitely run another time.

Run well my friends,

Andy

© 2014 Andrew nagelin

Today we remember

Often before I get into the shower I will pop open the window to help vent the room without using the ceiling vent. This morning as I stepped out of the shower I heard the sound of a commercial airliner at a low altitude over the house. As I glanced out of the window I noticed how clear and blue the sky was. And then it struck me, that today is 9/11.

We live on one of the lesser used flight paths into Logan, so I’m used to hearing jets over the house. But today the engines just sounded different. They sounded so much like the engines on the second plane. Maybe it’s just my imagination.

As I took the elevator to my office this morning I thought of the folks in New York City eleven years ago doing the same thing at about the same time. What were they thinking about? How did they feel? Had they just dropped the kids off at school. Were they still stewing over a fight with the spouse?

Take a moment today to remember those who never made it out and those that were left behind.

Today we remember

Lake Winnie Weekend

We had a great weekend in New Hampshire running the 24th Annual Fred Brown Lake Winnipesaukee Relay Race.  The Melrose Running Club had four teams this year and we all ran pretty strong.

Our fastest team came in 2nd out of 29 teams in their category (MIXED OPEN) and 17th out of 71 total teams. Their time was 8:45:02 or a pace of 8:05. Considering the hills that had to be scaled to complete this race their pace is very impressive. At times the temp was in the mid 80’s and often there was no shade.

We were very creative with our team names ;), they were MRC-4. My team was MRC-1 and we came in 3rd out of 4 teams in our category (MIXED 40+) and 50th out of 71 teams.  Our time was 10:04:58, or a pace of 9:18.

My leg of the race

I ran leg 5 which is 10.8 miles. I have never been on this course and had very little idea of what to expect. It is New Hampshire, so I expected hills. I also expected temps in the 80’s and that my lack of preparation to hold me back.

As I ran out the driveway of the school where our baton exchange took place, my legs did not feel particularly great. I often feel this way during the first half-mile of a race, but this time I was also recovering from an injury. As I turned left and headed up my first hill I dug deep and charged. At the top of the hill I felt better. Sweat was dripping off of the baton and I had not even gone a mile yet. I knew I had to be careful.

I had a 500ml bottle of water with me and it was still partially frozen. My black shirt was soaking up the heat and I knew I would have to take it off soon or risk overheating. As I approached the next hill I started to gain on a female runner who looked to be much younger than me. I felt that if I could catch up to her and stay with her for the rest of the race I would do okay.

I was probably within 50 yards of this young lady and I began to hear shoes coming up behind me. They were moving fast and I was wondering who the F is this hot shot? The pace sounded very fast and it was blazing hot. As he shot past me I saw it was a guy who was possibly in his thirties.

I often watch people run and he had great form. Very efficient leg and arm movement, smooth stride and he looked athletic. I remember thinking that he must have been coached at one time or another. He made it look easy and effortless. I later learned that the women in the club had great admiration for this gent’s ass-ets.

I admired his smooth stride as he kept moving further away. On the next hill I caught up to the young lady and tucked in behind her. I prefer to run behind someone and push them up the hills rather than have them push me. I feel it gives me more control over my pace and puts less pressure on me.

As we came down the other side of the hill I was just off of her right shoulder and she asked if I wanted to pass. I could see my crew on the right side of the road and thought about stopping, so I told her no. I ended up not stopping as my water bottle was still unopened and I did not want to break my momentum.

At mile four I knew I was going to run this thing: no walking today. I was getting into a good groove and felt in control. I was managing my hydration well and had taken off my shirt. At mile six I grabbed a pretzel rod and another half-frozen water bottle from my crew. Exhaling pretzel crumbs, I managed to get the whole thing in my mouth and wash it down with a few swigs of water. As the simple carbs turned into sugars and hit my blood stream I could feel the turbo kicking in.

On the next downhill I stretched my legs and took off; passing my young lady friend.  Over the next few hills I kept pushing and passed two more runners. All systems were GO and I was under 9 minute miles. After a mile or two my running mate passed me and we passed a few more runners over the next mile or so. We were passing people and I was in one of my favorite positions.

As we came around the last corner, up the hill I saw two or three runners in front of us and within striking distance. All systems go I thought. The race is on. We over took two people but one guy was harder to catch. We took a left onto our last road and finally caught up with this guy. He was older than us but was in fantastic shape. He later told me that he was 62. Wow.

The three of us took turns in the lead and kept pushing or pulling each other along. We came around a corner and there was a hill. We all laughed; like you’ve got to be kidding me! On the other side of the hill it was all downhill to the exchange. I stretched my legs as much as I felt safe to do but could not keep up with my running mates.

We all finished within a few seconds of each other and hung out for a few minutes talking. We were all happy with our race and enjoyed the pushing and pulling up the hills and the camaraderie.  I think the young lady said she was 34 and the guy we caught up to was 62! I was right in the middle at 48.It was a fun way to end my leg of the relay.

We ran in the last 0.60 miles at a 7:55 pace. It was all downhill and we ran it hard. My overall pace was 8:53. I sat on the grass to stretch and ended up walking about a mile to get a ride with another friend. Everyone else had taken off. My friend’s car was loaded so someone else offered me a ride and we were off.

Eventually I had the best ham sandwich of my life and drank some ice cold beers. As we drove to the finish line the heavens opened up. In the parking lot we stood under the hatch of someone’s car to get out of the rain and had some more beers.  Under umbrellas we clung together and walked to the event tent to watch the finish.

When we got back to the camp ground it was still raining and everything was wet. We hastily packed and headed south. I rolled my tent around my arm and stuffed it in the back seat of my car. What a mess.

Thus ended my Lake Winnie Weekend.

Winnipesaukee Relay

Winnipesaukee Relay Race weekend

This was a nice short week. I had Monday off for Labor Day and I took today off to head to New Hampshire for the Fred Brown Lake Winnipesaukee Relay Race.  The race is this Saturday and is a sixty-six mile course around the entire lake. I’ve never run it before but many of my friends have and tell me it is a lot of fun.

This is the 24th annual running of this race and it is sponsored and managed by the North Medford Club. The race starts at 8AM at FUNSPOT, Weirs Beach, NH. I have no idea what FUNSPOT is but it sounds like one of those summer arcade places where whiney kids hang out playing pin ball.

The North Medford Club is the second oldest running club in America, Founded in 1933 by the legendary Fred Brown. This, right off of their website. They sponsor a summer and winter series of races, so I am going to have to find out more about them.

I am running leg 5 of this relay which is listed as a 10.8 mile course with “Some small gentle Hills”. We’ll see. I once saw a race in Breakheart Reservation in Saugus where the course was described as flat and fast.  Anyone who knows Breakheart can LOL now.

The Melrose Running Club will have four teams this year. I’m told that we do the run for fun and there is no pressure. Some people work the race into their schedule as their speed work or maybe even a long run if they are training for a half marathon.

Something happens to me on race day. I become very focused and when the starting gun goes off so does a little switch in my head which lights up my competitive circuits. I will run my 10.8 miles as hard as I can and I will eat up those gentle hills. We probably won’t win any medals or anything, but I’m going to stretch my legs a bit and leave it out there on the road.

As Runner 2.0 I have a pretty good idea of what I’m getting myself into. I know how to pay attention to my body and how to eat and hydrate. By paying attention to my heart rate and exertion levels I’ll be able to push hard but save enough juice to finish strong.  Since I’ve been running in the heat all summer, even a warm day should not be much of a problem.

I’ve recently signed up with Twitter. If I can figure out how to send tweets from my 3G phone I will try to post some updates over the weekend. Otherwise, I’m off the air until some time on Sunday.

Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for stopping by.

© Andrew nagelin 2012

Whats your number?

We are constantly hearing about the obesity epidemic in the United States. For a variety of reasons, including genetics and lifestyle, we as a country are getting heavier and less healthy.

From a National perspective the results of this trend are frightening. From a personal perspective they can be tragic.

What is obesity, how do you know if you are obese, and, why worry about it?

What is Obesity?

Obese is a funny sounding word with serious consequences.  I think most of us know what obesity looks like, but what is the difference between being overweight and being obese.

Overweight is defined as a body weight that exceeds an average or that exceeds what is generally considered healthy.

Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat.

While many of us can subjectively define “overweight” or “obese”, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses the body Mass Index, or BMI, to define overweight and obesity ranges.

The definitions for adults are:

  • An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

The following table provides an example.

HeightWeight RangeBMIConsidered
5′ 9″124 lbs or lessBelow 18.5Underweight
125 lbs to 168 lbs18.5 to 24.9Healthy weight
169 lbs to 202 lbs25.0 to 29.9Overweight
203 lbs or more30 or higherObese

The CDC link above will give you for more information on BMI and weight trends in the United States.

Whats your number?

The CDC provides a BMI calculator for adults and one for children and teens at their website.  You can use these links to calculate your own BMI.

BMI does not directly measure the amount of fat that your body has. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated using a person’s weight and height. No other factors are taken into account.

While the BMI is quick and easy to calculate, there are more accurate methods to measure body fat.

The BMI calculation is a good place for you to start, even though it does not take into account your gender, ethnicity, frame size or muscular development. For most of us it is a reasonably accurate measure to start with and can be done at home.

If your BMI calculation shows that you are overweight or obese, speak with your doctor. She may perform other procedures or refer you to a specialist who can perform more precise measurements of your body fat composition.

Methods to determine body fat percentage

Calipers (Anthropometry, or Skin fold Measurements)

Using a caliper, skins folds are measured in 3-7 locations on the body. Sometimes the measurements are taken several times and averaged to get a more accurate number. These numbers are then put into an equation to determine your body fat percentage. Over 3500 equations have been validated for different body types, age, gender, ethnicity etc.

Like the BMI, skin fold measurements are inexpensive to perform. However, their accuracy depends greatly on the skill of the person doing them and the quality and accuracy of the calipers being used.

The Dunk Tank (Hydrodensitometry, or Underwater Weighing)

In this method a person is weighed outside of the tank and then submerged into a tank of water. They are weighed again in the water and their body density is calculated. This process involves total submersion in the water and exhaling to empty the lungs as completely as possible. This is not a comfortable experience for some people. Using standard equations body fat percentage is calculated from these measurements.

Hydrodensitometry is considered one of the “Gold Standards” of body composition hydrodensitometrymeasurement. Done correctly, this method has been shown to be very accurate.

In clinical studies subjects often need to be measured several times and then the results are averaged. There is also the problem of getting all or nearly all air out of the lungs while submerged and keeping the water as still as possible.

 

The Bod Pod

Bod PodThis is a method that uses air displacement instead of water to measure body composition. You sit inside of the “Bod Pod” for 8-12 minutes and get a variety of measurements. They claim this method is more accurate than the water displacement method.

 Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)

In this measurement technique a 50kHz current is applied through electrodes attached to the hands and bare feet. Impedance is the measure of the opposition to the passage of a current when a voltage is applied.

Water is a good conductor of current so it has low impedance. Fat tissue contains 10-20% water so it has greater impedance than fat-free mass in the body which can be 70-75% water.

The results of these tests are then put into equations to figure body mass. When combined with height and weight measurements and body type it is possible to calculate the percentage of body fat, fat-free mass, hydration level and other composition values.

Since the volume of water in the body is being measured, dehydration can affect the results. In preparation for the test care must be taken to maintain similar levels of hydration over a series of tests. Higher accuracy is achieved if the test is performed several times. Some clinicians use this test to measure the level of hydration in athletes or the chronically ill.

This is a painless, simple test, that is inexpensive to perform and under controlled conditions it can be quite accurate. When it was originally available commercially in the 80’s this method was considered un-reliable. Over the years, equipment developed for the clinical and medical practices have become highly accurate.

In 1992, Tanita, introduced a scale that not only measures your weight but also has BIA technology built in. This scale will automatically measure your weight and impedance and calculate your body fat percentage. Today they have a variety of models that range from home to professional use and can get quite sophisticated.

Tanita has some useful charts on body fat, BMI and the health risks of excess fat  on their website. This link will download the pdf file for you.

Sometimes you can find these machines at health clubs or physical therapy offices. The accuracy of this measurement method and device have been questioned.

Near-Infrared Interactance (NIR)

This test uses a fiber optic probe pressed up against the skin. Various sites on the body can be used but typically the bicep is used. Infrared light from the optic probe penetrates the tissues and bounces back off of the bone.

Studies have shown that optical densities are linearly related to subcutaneous and total body fat. The NIR data is entered into an equation with the person’s height, weight, frame size and level of activity, to estimate the body fat percentage.

As with all tests there are variables that can affect the test such as skin color and hydration levels. The amount of pressure from the probe against the skin can also affect results. This is another simple, fast and inexpensive test but more research may be needed.

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)

This is a relatively new technology which can measure total body mineral, fat-free mass and fat tissue mass. DXA is based on research that shows bone mineral content is directly proportional to the amount of photon energy absorbed by the bone being studied. DXA is most widely used to diagnose and monitor osteoporosis.

DEXA,dual x-ray This technique has the subject lay still on a table for 10 to 20 minutes. The scan uses two low-dose x-ray beams of different energy levels to measure the entire body in 0.5 cm intervals. This test method has been used and studied extensively and has the ability to show exactly where fat is distributed on the body. Because of this method’s precision with only one measurement, it is becoming the new “gold standard”.

I had a DXA or DEXA scan performed at the Cenegenics Medical Institute in Boston. To learn more about the scan and my experience, check out this post.

Converting BMI to body fat percentage

These other techniques do measure body fat, but they need to be done by a trained professional, may be expensive and can be hard to find. If you have done one of these other methods then you know how many of your total pounds are fat, you know your number.

If you are like me and have only done a BMI calculation there is one more step that you need to take to determine your body fat percentage and how many pounds of fat you are carrying around. At livestrong.com I found a formula to convert BMI to percentage of fat.

FEMALES

1

Multiply BMI by 1.2

2

Multiply your age by 0.23

3

Add results of steps 1 & 2

4

Subtract 5.4  from this total

5

This is your body fat percentage
MALES

1

Multiply BMI by 1.2

2

Multiply your age by 0.23

3

Add results of steps 1 & 2

4

Subtract 16.2  from this total

5

This is your body fat percentage

As an example I will use my numbers.

I am 6’ 1” and as of this morning I weigh about 173lbs and I am 48 years old. According to the BMI calculators on the CDC’s web site my BMI is 22.8

Step 1  22.8 x 1.2        =  27.36

Step 2  48 x .23           =  11.04

Step 3  27.36 + 11.04  =  38.40

Step 4  38.40 – 16.2    =  22.2%

According to these calculations my body is 22.2% fat and I am carrying 38.406 pounds of fat around with me. That seems like a lot of fat, but my BMI is well within the normal range of 18.5 to 24.9, which is based on population averages

No one is claiming that the BMI is the most accurate method to measure body composition. It also stands to reason that the indexes will shift higher over time as the trend of society to grow heavier continues. But it is free and can be done at home with reasonable accuracy.

The scales that we use to weigh ourselves are the most significant variable. The scale in my bathroom is different from the scale at my gym and different from the scale at my doctor’s office. My doctor’s office scale usually has me 10lbs heavier than my bathroom scale. If I use my doctor’s data I am 183lbs and my BMI becomes 24.1. Using the same calculations from livestrong.com, my body fat percentage goes to 23.76. This is still within the normal range.

I use my bathroom scale as the constant. Whatever it’s inaccuracies; they are the same every day. My doctor uses a clinical tool in his office. You are all familiar with the black and chrome weight and height scale in just about every doctor’s office in America. I have to assume that his equipment is more accurate than mine. To monitor your weight it is a good practice to use the same scale each time.

Looking at my numbers, the BMI seems to correlate fairly accurately to my body fat percentage. Using my bathroom scale, my BMI is 22.8 and my body fat percentage is 22.2%, so the correlation is .97. Using my doctor’s scale my BMI is 24.1 and my body fat percentage is 23.76, or a .98 correlation. This may not be accurate enough for science and engineering, but we’re not trying to land on the Moon. We just need a fairly accurate measure of our body fat. Using the other techniques we can gain greater precision.

 Why should you care about your number?

Now that you know the different ways to determine your body fat percentage, now what?

Why should you care and is it really that important?

A 2012 report by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that in 2009-2010, 35.7% of all adults 20 years and older were obese. For women 60 years and older the percentage rises to 42.3%. Here is the link to the pdf of the full report.

Obese means a BMI of 30 or higher. If my BMI were 30 my body fat percentage would be 30.84% and I would be carrying around over 56lbs of body fat! That is 13lbs more than my doctor’s scale shows I am currently carrying.

But what does this mean to you? What would a BMI of 30 mean to you? According to the CDC: Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity,” the risks for the following conditions also increases:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
  • · In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

According to the American Diabetes Association medical costs for a diabetic are 2.3 times the cost of a person without diabetes. Diabetes causes many chronic diseases that are expensive to treat such as: Heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system damage and amputations. In 2007 the total cost for diagnosed diabetes was $174 billion.

80% of people with Type II diabetes are overweight or obese. A CDC study showed that people with a BMI of 40 or higher are 7.37 times more likely to be diagnosed with Type II diabetes than those with a normal range BMI. As your BMI increases beyond the normal range your risks for diabetes also increases.

A major factor in getting Type II diabetes is your weight. Type II diabetes increases your risk of the diseases listed above. Your weight and fitness level are within your control for the most part. By increasing your activity level and making moderate dietary changes you may be able to avoid Type II diabetes and the cascade of diseases that result from this condition.

This is why you should be concerned about obesity and your own levels of fitness and body fat. Genetics does play a role in obesity but for most of us it does not condemn us to a lifetime of obesity and illness. Discovering your BMI or body fat percentage is the first step in taking control of your health and your future.

So, whats your number?

Andy

The Week that was

The week that was amazing

This past week was pretty active for me. I ran parts of the Freedom Trail twice, ran some great mileage, made gravy using tomatoes from my own garden and my recovery seems to be on track.

Wednesday night I ran some of Boston’s Freedom Trail with friends, but it was really just a vehicle to hit some bars and have a good time.

On Saturday I ran with City Running Tours Boston. This run took us down the Freedom Trail, through the Seaport District and ended at the Harpoon Brewery. Brian McCarthy lead our group of six through the city pointing out historic sites and explaining the history of older buildings. I’ve been to Boston many times but I did learn a few things and had a great time.

As many of you know, running through a city is a great way to see things and to get to know the place. By running you get to cover a lot more ground than by walking and by not being in a car or bus you can stop when you want to and you are always up close and personal with your surroundings.

As we ran through Boston we could smell the salty air blowing in off of the harbor, the fruits and vegetable at the Farmer’s Market and all of the aromas of various bakeries and shops. We also got to hear the city and the variety of voices and languages. The weather was warm, the sky was clear, and the city was vibrant.

If you have guests from out-of-town and want to show them Boston, City Running Tours Boston is a great way to do it. There are frequent stops to look at the sites and hear about what went on at a particular location. This is not a 10K race and the pace is manageable. Our group had some older folks and some recent college grads and we all kept together. This is a leisurely run through Boston and not a foot race.

City Running Tours is in 10 cities, so if you are traveling to one of them and would like to get a close up and intimate tour of your destination, be sure to sign up. They limit the number of runners in each group, so plan ahead. In Boston there are several different tours available. If you are visiting from out-of-town and need to get your long run in, they will provide a knowledgeable local runner to guide you also.

The week that was running

I ended up running over 28 miles this week, which was way beyond my goal of 24. Two of my runs were recreational tours of Boston and not as rigorous as a normal training run. I am beginning to notice that my leg does not hurt as often, and am definitely on the road to recovery. Now I just need to be careful!

Yesterday afternoon I picked the last of 23lbs of Roma tomatoes from my garden and made 4 Qts of gravy. Last week I cooked 27lbs of romas. It’s a bit of a process, but well worth the effort. I call this time of year the “Tomato Explosion”. The vines are loaded and I have to pick every day. My colleges are enjoying pounds of cherry tomatoes!

Have a great week, and thanks for stopping by.

©2012 anagelin