Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fear of an Eight Mile Run

Do you ever worry about something only for it to turn out no big deal? Do you do it over and over? Me too. Here’s another example.

Last week on my four mile run I was feeling so tired and slow and heavy. I was so worried about having to run twice that distance with the team on Saturday. Also, I knew our weekend runs are always more hilly than my neighborhood runs. So I really wondered how I was going to run 8 hilly miles when 4 flat miles just kicked my butt.

But I remembered last season and how the Saturday runs were always challenging and always doable. I never cut a Saturday run short; even the hills. Also, I reminded myself that I have completed several endurance events. It’s not like I don’t know what to do. So I told myself to calm the hell down and went to sleep Friday night.

Saturday morning I was up and running. :) The route was hilly but they were the fun rollers that I like. “Fun” not because they were easy, but because they were challenging yet gave you a treat of a downhill piece after you worked your way up to the top.

On the scariest hill, I was really psyching myself up. “You can do this! You’re not going to stop. You can pass out at the top. But your going to run the whole thing.”

Just as I stepped foot on the bottom of the hill, I heard “Go Jill! Go! Jack and Jill went up the hill!”

It was our campaign manager Barb. She had snuck up on me and was several yards behind.

I yelled back at her, “Where the hell is Jack now????”

“He’s on the couch!” she yelled back.

“Lazy bastard.” I thought.

But knowing Barb was behind me, I definitely wasn’t going to stop and let her see me wimp on a hill!

I made it to the top by the skin of my teeth! I was really sucking air! I wasn’t feeling dizzy . But I had to stop at the top to catch my breath. I looked at my Garmin to see what my heart rate was. It had to be way up there!!! But all I saw in the heart rate field was a big X.

“OMG!” I thought, “Does that mean I’m dead?!” I checked.  All observations indicated I still existed on the physical plane.

I made sure my HR strap was still in place. It was. I checked my Garmin to verify all other functions were working properly. They were. So I concluded the HR monitor function went out. Well, I’ve had my Garmin for several years. I wasn’t too disappointed in the prospect of buying the latest model. So I shrugged it off and kept running.

I had been tired the whole run! But you don’t get ready to run a marathon by taking naps! :) So I worked my way through the course run/walking my 9:1 ratio. When I was about half a mile out, I checked my Garmin to see if I was going to make my goal time.

Lo and behold I noticed my HR was displaying 171. Huh. The HR monitor was working after all. This made me think I had maxed out the HR on the Garmin! Holy cow!

My heart rate has been naturally high for as long as I’ve been tracking it. I even went to my doctor a few months ago and showed him my stats from the last few years. He saw how I often when over 200 on my HR. He didn’t freak out or anything. He said, “What matters is how fast you are recovering. Do you notice how fast your HR recovers?”

“Um I guess.” I never really thought about it. Which, to me, means it must be recovering quickly. If it wasn’t I would know! I usually don’t need to walk too far or even stop after a big exertion like that to get my breath back. So, that means my recovery time is good.

My doctor ended the conversation with, “It’s just fine. In fact, I wish I could do what you do!”

So, I couldn’t wait to get home to see what the graphs on the Garmin site would tell me about my heart rate from that hill climb. The Garmin chart only went up to 248. And as expected, when I compared the HR graph to the hill profile you can clearly see my HR go off the chart at the top of that hill!! I maxed out my Garmin!!

Wow! I am amazed at how much my body can do. My heart can pump that fast for an extended period of time and not give out. I don’t even get dizzy. Imagine the amount of oxygen my body must be moving in those hard efforts!

It’s not that it feels easy. But the fact that my heart can beat fast enough and long enough to get me up those hard hills and across the long courses amazes me. I keep telling my husband, “If you hear me say anything negative about my body, tell me to shut up!”

I mean really! I may not be tall and skinny but dang I am a healthy chick! I’m sure I could out run all those model with the low BMIs that are half my age. I would rather be a short, thick marathon runner than a tall, skinny person who gets out of breath walking up a flight of stairs.

Am I alone in this opinion? I’m curious. What would you choose if you could either be a tall, skinny model-type (while still eating anything you wanted) but have no strength or cardio fitness or be five foot-nothing and let’s say 150 pounds but had enough strength and cardio fitness for any activity, sport or hobby you pursued. What would you choose?

1 comment:

Kris said...

I would choose the sexy blond one that lives in my house. Oh wait. I did!