As I suspected in my post on Wednesday, caffeine was affecting my heart rate. I cut down to one cup a day (12 oz) the rest of the work week, and noticed I could run a bit faster on the treadmill at the same heart rate. It’s not an amazing leap forward, but I’m not doing myself any favors by artificially inflating my heart rate even a few beats.
Cutting down my coffee intake has made me feel pretty crappy the past few days. I suppose that’s a sign that I’ve made the right decision to cut back. I held fast even though Friday I was feeling really gross, with a headache and sort of general malaise, and it was a rest day, so it wouldn’t have mattered, and I went to a hockey game after work, so the energy would have been welcomed. Yesterday I let myself sleep as long as I needed to, which helped, and I didn’t have my usual glorious post-run latte, so I’m hoping I’ll level off soon. Just in time to go back to school, where I will have three lattes a day sometimes just to survive. Hooray.
Yesterday I also took advantage of the warmer weather to run outside. I went down to the Lakewalk, my old standby. I wanted to try running on more even terrain so I didn’t have to plod up a hill at a 40 min/mile pace with my heart rate still spiking at 160.
I didn’t wear my shoe chains since it has been warm enough to melt any built-up ice that might have been on the path. There was a bit of snow cover in places but I didn’t slip. Unfortunately, when I started off, I wasn’t able to get my heart rate under control. I really don’t know why, but it was spiking and then dropping and then spiking again for the first few minutes of the run, so I had to go pretty slowly to start off with. My first mile was the slowest.
15:39 (0.46 mi)
See? That makes no sense. After the first mile I had no trouble keeping my heart rate down, other than the little inclines. I don’t know if there was a problem with the monitor at first, or if breathing in cold air was affecting me, or what, but I’m glad everything evened out. I got a little bit of a headache after my ears got cold, which ended up lingering awhile even after I was out of the cold. I also took a shower too soon after coming in from the cold, so my skin got all itchy and blotchy and it still felt cold to the touch in places after the shower.
A latte sounds amazing right now. Ugh, this sucks. But it’s for the best, right?