Saturday, February 13, 2016

Atmosphere is Everything!

I did this local 5K this morning - mostly because it was to raise awareness of heart disease, and partly because I really liked the shirt! It was a very well done race and had several tables set up all geared to help educate about healthy lifestyles and heart health. They even had a cardiologist from the community who gave "heart healthy tips" every few minutes. And the atmosphere was wonderful - lots of dancing and laughing and families enjoying being outside and being active. I loved it.

This race was significant for me since I have had some symptoms this week after being free from them for several months. As they cropped back up this week (all mild) I had to remember how bad they used to be and the things I've learned about listening to my body. Actually I started getting shortness of breath early this week after a 9 miler on Sunday. Not sure if it's to blame, but that's the first time I've had it in a long time. Blood pressure was running high too - not bad - just higher than my new normal. I took my son to the doc on Tuesday - we have the same doc - bad idea! lol

As I was getting him situated the shortness of breath was awful and I had to sit down. I think the nurse checking him in told my practitioner because she started asking me about how I was doing after she had seen to my son. She gave me some "gentle reminders" about not overdoing it and risking "setbacks" in my training. It was a good lesson - and helped me stay focused the rest of the week. Sometimes it's good to remember where I've been so I can stay on the straight and narrow....

So I started thinking about what I'd been doing that could have caused this episode. I know I've been cheating some on my diet - not eating enough green! And I had stopped exercising every day. It's really hard to find that perfect balance between resting and exercise. I have definitely noticed that when I do at least 30 minutes of cardio (can be super easy) every day my circulation and blood pressure are noticeably better. So I started back to just 30 minutes a day running, walking or biking. It doesn't have to (or need to) be all out effort - just enough to keep my circulation in good shape. This and wearing my support socks all the time are helping with the swelling particularly in my ankles.

Yesterday I did a little over 2 miles on a trail here close to my house and felt like I was trudging - walked a lot too. When my Nike app announced my speed I was doing about a 14 minute mile. This morning I decided that I was so early for the race I'd get a couple of miles in before the race - took it easy - but ended up doing about a 12 minute mile. I felt about the same while I was running. (even though my blood pressure was back down to a safe level and I felt better overall.)  The weird thing was that I felt the same yesterday and today; but was running 2 minutes per mile faster with no effort. I don't get that.

I then ran the 5K and did about an 11:30 minute mile on average - never got close to a 12 minute mile. I walked some and pushed it a bit. When I was running around this little loop before the race I remembered when I first started doing races and I was so shocked at other runners who were running before the race! lol - I remember thinking that the 5K was all I had in my tank and I might not be able to make it if I ran before the race. That was kind of cool because I actually did well and felt well doing the race after a gentle run. I liked that.

I had time to go by the store on my way home and stock my fridge back up with "green stuff." I'm glad to say I am back on track and determined to stay there. (except for those m&m's I snagged - but hey - they were peanut so there's some protein - and each package only has 20 mg of sodium! )

So for now - I am moving forward and doing pretty good. I feel better today but plan on taking tomorrow off of running. I'll try some biking for cardio and stretching/kicking exercises for taekwondo. I've got three halfs, a 5K and a couple of 10Ks coming up - so I have to be good. I'm ready to see how I can manage symptoms and "being good" so I can keep running at this pace. I keep reminding myself - no matter how slow - how fast - walk, run or crawl -

Every Step's A Victory!

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