I just finished my first heart rate training run. Except it wasn’t really a run. More like a shuffle. A fast walk. A very sad jog that hurt my feelings.
When I first talked to Del (my coach) about running with my heart rate monitor he warned me it would be difficult. The experience he said I would have sounded much like the one Rick Roll has in Finding Ultra. But I’m optimistic and I said “That’s okay. It won’t be so bad for me because being terrible at something just means there’s more room to improve.”
Like one day when I run a marathon non-stop, I’ll be able to say “I just ran 26.2 miles and a few years ago I couldn’t even go 2 minutes!”
I asked Joanna if she wanted to guess how much I’d have to slow the treadmill down. I usually run at 6 mph so I guessed 5.7 mph. Joanna guessed 5.5 mph.
The goal was to keep my heart rate between 142 and 156 (my resting heart rate is about 76). Here’s what my heart rate was at 6 minutes into the run at 4.6 mph!!!
I couldn’t believe it. After my run I left this message for Del…
It’s one thing to read about someone experiencing the reality of just how unfit they are and another to experience it. I knew that my heart would increase rapidly because I had issues with a high heart rate when I was pregnant with Eliza. My resting heart rate was at about 100.
But I wasn’t expecting this. I had to slow down to a 13 minute 38 second mile pace (4.4 mph) just to keep my heart rate in check. And even then I had to practice breath control. That was actually very interesting. I have never felt a need to work on my breathing. But I remember my coach said it’s a great way to help bring your heart rate down. So I finally had a chance to try it out.
And it worked so well! I was excited to be learning something new! And then. Charlotte happened.
During the last 5 minutes of my 25 minute run she came into the garage (where my treadmill is) crying and asking for help. “I have booboo!!”, she screamed. And because I couldn’t see anything on her hand and it didn’t look like a big deal and also I’m the meanest mom ever I told her to “just hold one for a few minutes”. I continued to run and she continued to cry and then started up with “Mommy! Are you not going to help me?!!!”
But because this situation was causing me some stress my heart rate started creeping up again. And so I had to bump it down again (!!!) to a 14 mins 17 secs pace (4.2 mph). It’s very uncomfortable and sad and discouraging to “run” that slow when you’re used to running faster. My next run will be at 5.8 mph and that now seems fantastically fast.
I ended up doing 1.88 miles in 25 minutes.
Del had guessed I’d have to go down to 4.6 mph. Pretty good guess!!
When I later whined about my experience to Shane, he said he thought it was really cool that I’m doing this training and if I get good results, he wants to try it out. Wow. I can’t tell you how much that motivates me to stick with this.
Since Del doesn’t want to torture me, he’s going to ease me into the target heart rate training. I’ll run without the monitor for the rest of the week. I’ll wear the monitors on some easy hikes with the kids to get more comfortable with it and then once a week on my recovery runs (Friday). I’ll work up to wearing it on my long runs (Sunday).
And I’m behind on my blog posts. I haven’t told you yet that I’m going vegan for a week or so. Not to lose weight but I hope I’ll feel more energetic and clear-headed. It’s helping me to make much better food choices. One of my new favorite foods is Okinawan sweet potato, which isn’t new to me but I haven’t eaten since I was a teenager. My grandma used to make it for me a lot. Stuft Mama eats a lot of these and does really interesting things with them. But I like them plain, no salt or sugar or anything on them. Just natural goodness.
P.S. Charlotte wasn’t actually saying “booboo”. Nope. What she was really saying sounded an awful lot like it though. *sigh*
Have you ever run with a heart rate monitor?
Do you practice breath control while you run?
Have you ever tried a certain diet and found it helped you feel better?
Have you ever had a purple sweet potato?