Labor Weekend is upon us. Bittersweet. It is the unofficial end of summer, kids back to school, and cherries already out of season. But, it also the start to the fall marathon season. So get fired up! Cooler temps and fun races. We have a couple good half marathons coming up in less than two weeks.
In this week’s newsletter, we start with a serious story about an attack near Schiller Park. Then, moving on to lighter subjects, my rant about the BMI, the origins of the Winans to Winans Half Marathon, and taper time! Go!
Incident Near Schiller Park
If you have not heard, a female jogger was sexually attacked on the north side of Schiller Park around 7am on Monday. As told in this story from NBC4i, the victim screamed and the attacker ran away. A runner in the area heard the screams and gave chase, but could not catch the attacker.
A couple times a week, I walk around the park between 5:30 and 6am, along with a number of other walkers and runners. I always try to be on alert of my surroundings and have felt safe in this area. Please be careful of your surrounds no matter where you may be walking.
Another Rant – The BMI
I have said this for years now and I feel obliged to say it again: As an indicator of healthy weight, the BMI—or body mass index—is meaningless for most people, especially athletes. (And walkers are athletes.) That’s because the BMI is calculated based on a formula using only two inputs, height and weight. The output of the formula, your number, then places you in a range for body weight including the following categories: “healthy,” “overweight,” or “obese.” The formula was invented way back in 1832 by Adolphe Quetelet, and was never intended to evaluate the healthiness of weight. Quetelet, who was not a medical doctor, but a statistician, created the calculation as a tool to assist him in studying the relative weight of a normal 19th century male. How did it gain favor among medical professionals in the 21st century? Well, I suppose there are several possible reasons. First, it’s handy because it gives you your number. Second, it’s based on a mathematical equation. It must be accurate if it is an equation, right? Finally, and—most impressive of all—it can be presented in a fancy color-coded chart as shown below:
(In the spirit of full disclosure, I acknowledge that, like Monsieur Quetelet, I am not officially a doctor, though I did earn a medical degree by proxy from my Jewish mother. But, getting back to the failings of the BMI…) This supposed measure of healthiness factors in only two inputs: height and weight. What? It doesn’t consider gender? Not bone size? Or age? How can that be?? Let’s use me as an example of where it breaks down. I am 5’10” and 165 pounds. My BMI is 24, close to the TOP of the healthy weight range (18.5 to 25). If I was few pounds heavier, I would tip over into the “overweight” category. No one would consider me overweight. (Well, except Alisa, who questioned me last week.) But, with the BMI as my guide, I am close. Let’s look at the low end of the healthy spectrum. For me to have a BMI of 18.5, which is at the bottom of healthy, I would weigh 130 pounds. That’s considered healthy? Yikes! I am pretty sure if I weighed 130 pounds you would think I was seriously sick. My point is that this is not a good indicator of healthy weight. This article from Runner’s World Magazine has a similar opinion as me on this.
Instead, ask yourself these two questions. Do you like what you see in the mirror? Do you like how your clothes fit? If you answer yes, you’re probably good to go. If you answer no to either question, work on getting healthier. Simple? Yes. Oversimplification? Maybe. But, I think it’s a better indicator than the BMI.
Winans to Winans Half Marathon –How It All Got Started
On Sunday, September 11, 2016 the 3rd Annual Winans to Winans Half Marathon will be held. It is a race that starts at the Winans Chocolate and Coffee Shop in Troy, Ohio, runs along the bike trails to the Winans chocolate factory in Piqua, Ohio. Winans is a founding partner of the GVWC, and we love what they do for the Club. Here is an article about Joe Reiser, co-owner of Winans Chocolates + Coffee, and how the race got its roots. Still time to sign up!
For those doing the New Albany Walking Classic or Winans to Winans Half Marathons on September 11th, you have reached your taper period of your racing schedule! Woo hoo!! For a half marathon, this means it is time to rest up from your long training period, heal up those nagging aches and pains, and try to have your body fresh for race day. This week, you should be cutting your mileage in about half, including any speed work. For race week, only walk two or three times, 1 to 3 miles each. On Thursday or Friday, you may want to do one mile of speed to keep those fast twitch muscles race ready. Drink plenty of water that week, particularly the day before the race, and that morning. Get plenty of rest. Good luck, and don’t fight the taper – more is NOT better.
School is Back – Tutors Are Needed
For those interested, Stewart Elementary School (the school just west of Schiller Park) is looking for tutors to work with students once a week for an hour between the school hours of 9am and 2:30pm. Kathy Wightman, GVWC member, is the coordinator. You can email your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org . Kathy says that no experience is necessary, and sometimes just the willingness to lend some extra support to a student makes all the difference. I had the pleasure of working with two 6th grade boys last year. I shared my experience as found in this GVWC newsletter earlier this summer.
Raining Cats and Dogs
There are two 5Ks in September where the proceeds go to help our local animals. The races are listed below with the links to the details.
- Sunday, September 18, 2016 – Cat Caper 5K benefiting the Welfare Association.
- Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Defend Your Friend 5K benefiting the Capital Area Humane Society. Our very own Alisa has been volunteering at the Capital Area Humane Society as she says “forever”, and that the money goes to a great cause.
GVWC Route of the Week
This week’s route is here. For those of you who tell me that I always say we are doing a different route than on the website – you are right! I forgot that I have to change the mobile version of the website, as well as the website. Sorry! Fixed.
Motivation of the Week
Hope to catch you all Saturday. As always, whatever you do, finish strong!