There is an interesting website out there that helps one envision how much faster or slower they would be based purely on weight. For example, say you've timed yourself on a track or are working out on a treadmill. Even if you haven't run a 5K yet, you could estimate or extrapolate and come up with a 5K run time for you. In my case, I did a 36:22 5K on a track. Without changing my fitness, if I magically dropped four pounds, what would I expect my 5K time to be? The answer: 35:46. In my case, I would like to be somewhere between 160 and 170 pounds. So, using the website (link), I contructed the following table:
This is very encouraging information for those of us that are overweight. If I weighed 163, and my level of fitness were otherwise unchanged, I would expect to run a 5K in 31 minutes flat. Or, in other words, I experience a five minute and twenty-two second penalty by virtue of the extra 35 pounds I am lugging around. This tool can also be used to estimate where you are with respect to peers, at least within-age-group peers. If another ~44 year old person were running a 32:06 5K and they weighed 170 lbs - I would say, okay we have about the same level of conditioning - it's just that I weigh 28 pounds more.
And this highlights what I have been feeling for a few weeks now. I am not trying to run to lose weight, I am trying to lose weight to run faster!! (At the same time, I've got to say that I'm not trying to become a speed demon either. But, I dream of clocking a handfull of 10 minute miles.) It may not be valid to use this website to estimate the benefit of a 35 pound weight loss, but it is such a motivating idea, that I am not going to question it too severely!
I ran yesterday, and before I even got out of bed, I could feel the stiffness in my ankles this morning. I spent a few minutes doing ankle rolls and such, so that when my feet hit the floor, my experience wouldn't be too bad. My ambition is to be ready to run on Saturday, and the forecast looks gorgeous.
Tonight, I walked on the treadmill (3.3 mph, 7% incline) for about 45 minutes and burned around 420 calories. I watched the National Geographic channel show called Naked Science: The Hunt for Aliens. Despite the title, I thought it would be primarily about astronomy, planet hunting, the Drake equation, etc. Then some guy got on there and explained that given a common physics and a similar planet, the evolutionary solutions alien life would find would give them the many disturbing near-human characteristics we see in alien invasion movies. Oh good.