Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Race Gone all Wrong!

This weekend I did a 5K that served as a stark reminder that I do have a heart condition and I do need to take it easier than I really want to. I really don't even like admitting I'm dealing with CHF or any kind of heart issue. I've tried to talk all my doctors out of that diagnosis and no one will budge off of it.

Saturday's race has helped me refocus and I'm spending this week resting and regrouping. Here's how it all went down.

My blood pressure has been running a bit high and was up a little at my cardiologist appointment last week. He didn't offer me any meds for it as he knows I want to manage it, if possible, with diet and exercise. I was also given some paperwork for being overweight. That kind of hurt my feelings. lol. But I am barely at that marker and if I lose one pound I'm not in the overweight category. (Side note - I've lost 5 pounds since then! lol) Some of it can be water retention - which should also be a clue I pay attention to.

But I chose to ignore all the clues my body was giving me and pushed myself to meet the miles lined out in the training plan I had selected. So when I got to the race Saturday morning I hadn't had a decent night's sleep in a few nights, I was carrying a bit of water weight, my blood pressure was running a bit high and my heart rate was higher than normal. I thought if I would do an easy mile or two before the 5K it would level out. It did not.

As soon as I got out moving around my heart rate went through the roof. I walked a lot hoping it would come back down. It might come down a bit but if I picked up the pace a little it would shoot through the roof again. No worries - the first mile is often the most difficult and it takes a bit for my body to adjust my heart rate to accommodate. One mile down - heart rate not down! Second mile done - heart rate still up there. I considered calling it quits and going about my day - but I'd signed up for the 5K so I decided to go ahead and do it. (I know - bad idea.)

I had no luck on the 5K as my heart rate just would not come down to a normal range. By the turn around point it wouldn't even come down when I walked - not even hardly budge. So I did finish the race - but I was determined to finish it upright and so I walked the last half. It was a brisk walk - but a walk. That's so frustrating!!!!

I figured once I got in the air conditioned car, it would settle down. But for about an hour and a half my heart rate was all over the place. I'd feel it jumping around in my chest and it would shoot up real high and then settle back down to a normal range. I thought about stopping at the ER but I figured resting would be my best bet anyway. It did finally settle down - and I mostly rested for the rest of the day.

Sunday morning though my bp was through the roof and on Monday I called the cardiologist to confess. I was given some meds to help get it back under control and then I can try to manage it with diet and exercise again.

So...what did I learn? Usually if I think I might be overdoing it - I probably am. I've got to go slower and easier than I want to. And I'm not invincible like I would like to think I am. This week is a total rest week - with just a few easy walks before I get back to running. It's so frustrating when you get going real good then get sidelined. But - my heart rate is not spiking as often as it was - my weight is down by about 5 pounds and I'm planning how to move forward. Slowly, of course.

I'm still upright. I'm still breathing. I'm still moving forward. I'm okay - but I'm not okay. I'll be okay. This was a harsh reminder to take it a bit slower - be more patient and watchful over my heart and body. I know at this point I have to treat processed foods and fast foods as poison. Because I know these were factors. I had gone mostly fresh but I have to go all the way at this point. I was allowing a here-and-there "cheat" meal. (I had done one of those on Friday night after eating all clean for the entire week.)

So here I go again - starting over again. So frustrating. But I remind myself I can do this. Maybe I can't do it just like I want to - but I can still do this. I'll guard overdos a lot more now. I'll just have to do less than I think I can and less than I really want to. Here's to starting over one more time. But it's okay --
Every step is a victory!

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