Things I learned this week:
- You can have a turkey trot on a day other than Thanksgiving. How is that even legal?
- Charlie Rose is a bad man. Crushed.
- The important running number isn’t your heart rate, it’s your blood pressure.
I’m hanging out with the cardiologist. He’s new to me and we’re on our first date. I’m quizzing him about how hard I can push my transplanted monkey heart without croaking. I explain how I calculated my max hr (death by hill repeats), what my aerobic zone is, threshold, max, and which ones I run in on various outings. I show him the HR data from Sunday’s race. Is it OK to be pushing 145 to 160 in the race, I ask him.
That depends, he says. What’s your blood pressure at the end?
Huh? I’ve never even considered this.
But I guess it makes sense. Blood pressure is the thing that will kill you. I always figured HR and BP were interchangeable, but maybe not. This is probably why it’s a good idea to see cardiologists. Plus you get a free sucker.
You have to take your BP as soon as you stop for it to be effective, he says. Set up at the finish line and start it the second you stop. That’s the number to worry about.
So today was Round 1. I set up my little monitor on the patio table and went out for 4 miles. I was careful to stay in the aerobic zone, no small feat these days. Much strolling and a little trotting. Consistent 124-130. I come home, hold steady right up till I sit down, and then hit start.
Much concern for the 30 seconds it does its little thing. He says 180 is the highest I should ever go. If I’m pushing harder than that, all bets are off. Not that anyone is wagering on my daily run.
The little readout starts to drop and drop and drop and drop. I’m very anxious. Will that add to the number? What am I going to do if it shows 200? Stop altogether? Lie to the cardiologist forever? Abandon (gasp) my turkey trot?
And then it shows my number. 144/76. Perfect. Assuming this holds up, I have plenty of room to suffer terribly and still stay in the safe zone.
Downside: Suffering terribly.
He says I can max out every now and then, which I interpret to be twice a week. Now being tomorrow, and then being Saturday. So I’ll play the game again tomorrow after pushing.
Lordy, I love the lottery. You can’t win if you don’t play.
p.s. dammit, charlie rose. just dammit.