Friday, November 13, 2009

Bearish heart rates and Choices

I have gotten the courage back up to hit the bricks (treadmill really) and run again. So, earlier this week I ran on my home treadmill. (I have a treadmill in my house, but generally don't run on it. It is nice enough, but if I am home, I like to run outside, particularly during the summer.) My treadmill is also not level -- it has an incline to it. The readout says it is at 0.0, but after one particularly terrible workout about six months ago I got out a ruler and measured the height of the deck at the front of the running surface and the height at the back. About a one inch difference. I measured the length, and a little high school geometry had it at a 1.75% incline. Ahhh...that explains why it is so hard to run a normal pace on it.

Anyway, I have now run three times this week on my home treadmill, with my heart rate monitor on. All three workouts were consistent on speed (about 8:20 miles) and distance (5.5 miles). My average heart rate was about 154. The greatness of Garmin and SportTracks allowed me to compare this to a workout I did back in September, the day after Labor Day, on my same home treadmill. That was probably the peak of my training, before the wheels came off at work, and after about four months of solid running and training. For that run my average heart rate (same pace) was ... 145, about 7% lower than the three workouts this week. I know that the heart rate on that September run might have been an aberration (it happens), but probably not. And my body may not be over the effects of the marathon 2 weeks ago. Or maybe it is the lingering effect of the 4000 beers I drank last weekend at my college reunion. But, whatever, it is a significant difference.

That sort of confirms what I suspected: I lost fitness over September and October, and explains why the marathon was not as easy as I had hoped it would be. I am kind of thinking a April marathon is next, and so my short term goal is just to get back to running 4-5 days a week and building strength. That will bring fitness back, and set up well for next spring.

A quote to inspire over the coming weeks:


What we have is based upon moment-to-moment choices of what we do. In each of those moments, we choose.
We either take a risk and move toward what we want, or we play it safe and choose comfort.
Most of the people, most of the time, choose comfort.
In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or brilliance.

Individuals either have what they want or a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not.
~ Anonymous


  1. Hi Wolve

    Congrats on the great NYC marathon. I read your race report and it is so interesting how the marathon is so long and you can go through so many ups and downs. Every single one of us knows this will happen and it is always a question of how we deal with it. I kind of chuckled when I read about the toenails because without fail I always sacrifice a couple. I really enjoy your perspective on the marathon as an experience that includes the training and buildup. The race may be the climax, but the training and improved fitness are probably the greatest reward.

    Take care and can't wait to see where you take it from here.

  2. Thanks for the quote - A great note to end Friday on -
    I am a doer ( if that is a word), goal driven, risk taker and always strive to get the things I want....I hate excuses ( and my 9 year old is full of them these days!!)
    4-5 days of runninf and training and you'll be back in no time!! No worries!!
    Have a great weekend!!!

  3. LOVE that quote..."people either have experiences or excuses..." Thanks for that today.

    Fitness can be regained, isn't that awesome!? Good luck with it...

  4. Great quote, thank you. And, don't they say that you're supposed to run at a slight incline to offset the lack of wind resistance? It might actually be a feature of your home treadmill. :-)

  5. Great quote!

    Good luck on getting back in shape, I'm still working out the kinks in my legs as well, and it's quite frustrating. Any ideas for what marathon you'll be aiming for next?

  6. Will you look at the elevation chart I posted on my blog and interpret for me? Is it going to be a bear of a course or not too bad?

    It appears to have a few long hills, but the elevation on the left really only increases in 50 feet increments. You seem to know a lot about this sort of thing!


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