Thursday, January 20, 2011

The New Normal

So I did a heart rate test the other week. I haven't done one of those in quite a while. I'm not a big fan of heart rate training since I have a crazy jack-rabbit-hummingbird-on-crack heart rate to the extreme. My resting heart rate is usually in the 40s, but I've seen my high up around 194 at the end of races. And then there was that time I averaged--yes, AVERAGED--181 during the Cleveland Half Marathon (and felt fabulous, by the way!).

I guess I've resented heart rate training because I feel like it always prescribes me to go slow. SLOOOOOOOOOOOO----OOOOOOOOO--OOOOOW. Like, 27 minute mile slow.

Therefore, I give up, lose my heart rate strap (literally) and go by feel.

But, I'm trying to be good here and be a good little triathlete. And runner. So, heart rate it is. I am determined NOT to let it run me, but use it as another tool in the arsenal. I'm still a rate of perceived exertion girl at heart, I swear.

Good thing Coach Em gets me so well. She nudged me to get on the horse and freaking replace my heart rate strap, which I never would have done. (But I lost it! A convenient reason NEVER to use heart rate training again--yay me!) Amazon delivered, and I did the test on my 'mill.

As usual, my heart rate seems to have about 2 levels: rest and crazytown. My max was, yet again, over the "220-minus-age" standard, but that's nothing new. I feared Coach Em would prescribe me workouts crawling at about a sloth's pace. Sigh.

But HEY! That's not what I saw this week!

I was to run at about a 7-7.3 mph rate for 45-60 minutes this week. And at first I was all, huh? Isn't that too fast? Aren't I supposed to crawl for 45 minutes? But she said that's what the numbers showed, so that's what I was to do.

That is significantly faster than I usually plod along on my dreadmill.

I was a little nervous to try it out.

But you know what? I did it. And it was FINE. I was FINE. It was even (gulp) a little bit fun. I had one of those runs that just felt effortless and like I could keep on truckin'.

One of those runs that is money in the mental bank, for sure (not to mention the physical one).
I'm gonna blame it a bit on the post-pregnancy blood-doping, but I have to admit--I'm a bit shocked. Somehow I've turned into a chick that clips out 8:30s for a 6 mile training run without any problem. I didn't really think that was possible. I sort of thought I was a 9+ for-lifer.

Maybe that strap ain't the devil after all.


Elizabeth said...

I also suffer from the higher than "normal" heart rate that feels perfectly fine while training/racing. I think some people just work a little differently. Glad you got a workout that was appropriate for you!

Mnowac said...

Nice! I run with my dog a lot and it's always at like an 8:30 pace, but he stops to pee all the time, so lord knows if I can really hold it. My long runs are with a group that are "slowish" so I never speed up. I have no idea what I am capable of this year! I'd love to meet up for an 8:30 8 miler sometime!

Crazy J said...

How does she calculate that? I'd love to know mine. :)