Be Still, My Heart

Here is a partial list of things that increase my heart rate while running:

  • Caffeine (even hours later) (duh)
  • How full my stomach is (Because running on an empty-but-not-hungry stomach isn’t always possible)
  • Needing to use the restroom
  • Taking a drink of water
  • Blowing my nose
  • Coughing once
  • A bad turnover in the Wild’s defensive zone
  • Talking to my cat
  • Thinking about something annoying for a second
  • Fixing my hair
  • Shouting at the television
  • A very slight change in incline (I usually run at a 2, knocked it down to a 1 in order to get a little speed back during this training period)
  • The Wild scoring a goal (fortunately doesn’t happen very often)
  • Changing the channel

In these first few weeks of training I’m being hyper-vigilant about checking my heart rate, since I really don’t have a good sense of how I feel when I am running at 142 bpm vs 150 bpm, or at least I don’t until I’ve been running for a little bit too long at that higher heart rate. I am trying to be a little more patient with the 146-147s that flash across my watch display, since they do tend to settle down after a few seconds. I know from day to day I will feel differently and some days it will be harder to run the same pace than other days; I know that patience is key to success with this kind of training. I’m trying to cut down the caffeine (only one cup of coffee today instead of two! Let’s see if that works!), and most of the other things on the list are blips on the radar that can’t be helped. Not watching hockey during a run would also help, as would avoiding emotional investment in a sporting competition meant for entertainment purposes only, but I assure you that ship has sailed.

The good news is running slowly on the treadmill has made me hate it less, so I am able to run on it longer. I spent an hour and a half on the treadmill last night, the longest I have ever spent working out on a piece of equipment. Of course, I also covered a bit over 5 miles, a distance I used to be able to cover in an hour, so there’s still that trade-off.

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