Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Frustratingly Fantastic!

That’s how I would describe my first real heart rate run this morning.

In yesterday’s post, I showed a photo of my new heart rate watch. The piece I didn’t show is a sensor that straps around my chest, just under my breasts. This is the part that does all the work because it’s what transmits accurate ECG-readings to my wrist monitor (or watch). One last note, on the sensor there’s a 6-inch strip of electrodes that need to be moistened before strapping around my chest. That’s important. If it isn’t moistened enough, the monitor will not work correctly.

OK. So I’m moistened, strapped and ready to rock-n-roll.

I take off at 4.7 MPH (based on research, I’m pretty confident that I’m looking at an 11+ minute mile to start with this type of training). As soon as I begin to run, my heart rate (according to the watch) shoots up to 182. I know immediately that it can’t be right, so I stop to call Matt to see if he can troubleshoot. He agrees that something’s off. He suggests I moisten the sensor strap a bit more. Off to the ladies room I go. I come back, start the treadmill and begin running at 4.7. I settle in for about 2 minutes when my phone rings. It’s Shawnee Elementary and Ryan is having an asthma attack. I need to leave immediately to bring him his puffers.

At this point, I know the gym is history for today (I had only taken the morning off so I had to get my run in before noon). I take care of Ryan and decide to work in a run at home. I strap up and start again. While I don’t care for the slower pace, I at least find my “zone” quickly. I was “spot on” at 4.7, where I hold steady between a heart rate of 133-135 (my minimum is 128, my target is 133 and my max is 138) for a full 50 minutes. After that it becomes a bit of a challenge to keep my rate under 140. To that end, I alternate between a slow jog and a fast walk for the remainder of my time (15 minutes).

Knowing what awaited me this morning, I had wondered if I had the mental stamina to see this through. I expected that a slow jog or a fast walk would be boring and that I’d find myself ripping off the monitor and reverting to a faster pace 15 minutes in. Three things kept me from doing that:

  1. Keeping my eye on the long-term goal and knowing what success will mean for my performance in the coming year.
  2. Recognizing that while this may be a slower speed than what I’m used to, I’m fully engaged in my fat burning zone. With each step I take, I think about all the blubber I’m burning. : )
  3. The movie Arbitrage, which I watched while I ran. I’m only 60-minutes in but it’s completely engaging, which makes it the perfect distraction. To say nothing of the fact that Richard Gere looks awesome, especially with that tousled silver hair of his. I just want to run my fingers right thru it! His body is also as hot today as it was in movies of the 80s and 90s. He plays opposite Susan Sarandon who looks every bit as gorgeous as he does. To think they are both in their 60s is absolutely incredible. I want to be just like them when I grow up! I can’t wait to see how the film wraps up tomorrow.

So this is what running looks like for me now and surprisingly I’m more than OK with it. In fact, today I quite enjoyed it.

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