Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summertime running is tough . . .

. . .  especially tough on an old man trying to build back his endurance!

For awhile I tried to run in the heat of the day thinking this would add stress and thus increase the effort.  But the heat won and now I'm trying to get my runs in during the mornings before the real heat blasts in!

I can see some nice improvements in both my pace and my heart rate.  Plus I just feel better and have way more energy during the day!

Pace wise there are improvements but not all that impressive to me.  Starting back my pace was about a 15:30 and I was only going a mile or so.  Now I'm averaging a 14:00 pace for 3-4 miles.  That's about a 10% improvement in pace for a longer run.  So I'm feeling okay about that!  I haven't decided if I'm start trying to add a long run in once a week or not.  Right now my longest run has been about 5 miles.

Heart rate is interesting and I'm encouraged here.  I have always watched my resting heart rate as an important fitness indicator.  I'm no expert about this and I've never really talked with my doctors about it either.  But during several of my surgeries, the surgeons commented on my low heart rate as if that was a positive thing!  Most memorable was when I has having retina surgery at Duke they kept me awake for a large portion of the surgery so they could ask me questions about what I could and couldn't see.  I remember alarms kept going off frequently as my heart rate was slow enough to set off the alarm.  Finally, the surgeon asked the anesthesiologist to "shut off that damn alarm . . .we know he has a really low heart rate!  He runs marathons!"

So starting back running again my resting heart rate was around 54 or so.  I knew my fitness was not good but this was a real surprise and motivating factor.  Now that resting heart rate has dropped to an average of around 48 and several days it has a 43.  A far cry from my past 36-39 averages but getting there!

Additionally, my weight is coming off.  Slowly of course.  Every thing I do seems to be slow!  . . . but that's okay!  When I started back running my weight was a whopping 239 pounds!  Most I've EVER weighed!  Today it down to 221 and my goal is to get my weight down to around 210 . . . and stay there!

What isn't really improving is by breathing.  At the first of my runs I can run about .3 of a mile until my heart rate hit about 135 and I'm past aerobic and into the anaerobic zone!  So I walk until my heart rate drops to about 110 and then start running again.  By the end of my run my running interval is probably .1 of a mile!  I think I'm going to start today measuring how long I can run that fist interval.  That might be a good measure to watch.  (UPDATE: The answer is 1.33 miles before I walked.  But it kicked my butt!)

Hip-wise things are generally doing great!  The only issue I'm having is lifting my knee while I'm sitting.  Movements like putting on shoes and socks or getting into a car simply hurt like holy hell!  It's nit the bones or the joint . . . it's muscle or tendon pain!  My surgeon suggested exercising it specifically but the pain is WAY too much to do that!  I'm visiting him tomorrow to see if he can inject me or something.  But this pain does NOT affect me walking or running at all!  My hip feels GREAT!

Anyway . . . I'm improving and things seem to be heading is a positive direction!!

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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.