Oh My Heart….

ImageOh My Heart…

8.16.13

My 42nd Birthday was 10 days ago.   I’ve been running for a little over a year now consistently, have kept the weight off and haven’t had a smoke since 7.10.12; doing pretty good, right?

Well,  yah.   But…

One of the gifts my wife got me for my birthday was a Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor.   I was naturally ecstatic and eager to start training my heart; eager to find out where my heart rate lined up in the first place.   So, off I went on my first run; the gear tuned in to my body, my age and my targets.

115 – 151 BPM = “In the Zone”

Didn’t take me too long to go out of “the Zone” and was forced to slow down to slow my heart rate down to a point somewhere below 151 BPM.   I was almost walking.

See, if I understand all of this correctly, a healthy runner’s heart will stay below 151 BPM while maintaining a pace of 7min/mile.  At least, I would be happy with that.   I was struggling to stay under 151 BPM while running a 10:30min/mile pace.. YECH!

Now I can and have run 7:22 pace in 5ks and had no clue what my BPM was (probably dangerously high).   I’ve trained all summer under the hot Arizona Sun after an entire running season of visible improvement – so I definitely had expectations that I would have a decent or even slightly below average BPM for my age, height and weight.   That my pace would be even a 9:30 – would have been somewhat disappointing but still acceptable somehow.

But I can barely run and still stay below my upper threshold of 151.   It feels like I’m starting over and would be kind of sad if it weren’t for..

– running in the sun/heat will spike your heart-rate.   I’m not getting a good picture of my heart-rate health by running mid-afternoon under a cloudless sky.

– I AM still a new runner, ex-smoker of 20 years and fairly sedentary for all of them; don’t be so hard on myself, be patient.. make progress.

– I have an opportunity now to train much more safely and effectively, getting the most out of my workouts without putting myself at increased risk.

– I have a new bio-feedback goal to work toward that is foundational to all of my other running goals.

My heart isn’t where I wish is were, but it’s good to know that instead of just guessing or taking it on faith that everything is ok.   Pretty encouraging actually and with that, I have to get ready for my long run tomorrow and get to bed.

Take care all and when you don’t have the motivation to run, run anyway!

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