I’m certainly no health nut. I enjoy the rich broth of ramen and the extra cholesterol of runny egg yolks as much as the next guy and my activity level can be accurately described as sedentary. That needs to change. After seeing the positive lifestyle choices that some of my friends, like Mary Sheridan and Janette Shearer, have been making these last few months, I decided to go for a run. And now everything hurts.

I’m not getting any younger and it’s becoming more important than ever that I take better care of myself. That’s part of the reason why I’ve been educating myself through events like The Wellness Show and the Healthy Family Expo. But I’ve got to get moving too (and not just with chasing a toddler around the playground).

The tool that I used to calculate my age-graded score in the above video is from Runner’s World. It’s really easy to use. Just pick your figures for the corresponding fields and it’ll take care of the rest. But what is an age-graded score for running anyway?

Let’s say for example that you are a 40-year-old woman. Let’s say that you run 5K in 45 minutes and the “ideal time” for 40-year-old women is 20 minutes. The “ideal time” is roughly defined as the “best” time for someone of a particular age and gender, determined by some official authority (and not necessarily based on the world record). The age-graded score is calculated by dividing the ideal time by your time.

In this hypothetical case, that’s 20/45 = 44.44%.

If your time is the same as the ideal time, then your age-graded score would be 100%. The idea is that you can fairly compare the times for people of different ages and genders. Presumably, with all else held constant, a 20-year-old man will run the same distance in less time than a 70-year-old woman. There are exceptions, of course, but we’re looking at “typical” averages.

I write the songs that make the whole world sing

At the end of the day, I not only want to make these positive health and fitness changes for my own sake; I want to make sure that I’m around for Addie and that I’ll be able to keep up with her for years to come. Who knows? All this running might even help with my breathing and lung capacity. That way, I can keep belting out our unique take on “Let It Go” with her all night long too. All night. All night.