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Cut for boring exercise stuff... So, it's like, with my heart… - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[May. 14th, 2007|09:22 pm]
Cut for boring exercise stuff...

So, it's like, with my heart rate, 150 beats per minute is a threshold. If I go much over that, for very long, I'm going to have a pounding headache and feel like crap.

I've been trying to build up my jogging/walking to the point that I can jog for 5 minutes at 5.2 miles an hour (this is pathetically slow, even for a 40 year old man who weighs 250 lbs, so it's a damn good thing I don't give a damn about how pathetically slow it is), followed by 2 minutes of walking at 2.5 miles an hour.

Today, for some reason, I decided I'd start my set of intervals (each run/walk is one interval in Johnspeak) with four minutes of jogging. Damn good thing... my heart rate was up at 146, which was unexpectedly high. My next interval was 4:15, and I was at 152.

Now, this pissed me off. I've been trying to go from "more than four minutes jogging per interval" to "five minutes jogging per interval" for over three weeks now. My heart rate is dropping really quickly (in two minutes, I can often go from 148 to 115). I was about to give up and hit the ellipticals instead.

I stuck with it, and while the length of time I could jog continued to suck, I managed to keep going for a full hour. I also found that if I set my walking speed up to 3 miles an hour, my heart rate still drops "pretty fast". Not quite fast enough, but it might be worth trying it as a variation. In the end, I did four miles (most I ever did on the treadmill) at an average speed of 4.2 miles an hour (I shoot for 4 miles an hour as my average, since I can *walk* four miles an hour.)

It's occasionally frustratingly slow progress, but I guess it's progress, and my legs are certainly getting stronger. Once my legs are stronger, it'll mean my heart will be able to work a little less hard, so, eventually, I'll get over the hump. But damn, is this teaching me new things about patience.

[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-05-15 10:30 am (UTC)
Don't forget that your body is an organism, not a mechanism.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-05-15 02:59 pm (UTC)
Well, I don't know if I've ever heard that particular formulation before, but I have become all-too-well aware that getting frustrated *can't* help me, but *can* hurt me, by making me try to "push my boundaries" further that my legs, hips, or heart are able to.

What got me semi-frustrated yesterday was that I did this on two days rest, figuring it'd be best to give my body some time to rest up after three days in a row of workouts. I was kinda-hoping for five minutes of running per interval, with a surprisingly pleasant number of intervals before I had to ease up.

I was kinda-sorta-not-too-proud of my ability to recognize that I just wasn't going to get the workout I wanted, and to change things around to the workout I was able to do.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2007-05-15 03:04 pm (UTC)
Damn it... having my icon up above the post fooled me. That was me, of course.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-05-15 03:50 pm (UTC)
I recognized your voice.:)

I wrote more after that sentence, but I wasn't really awake, and everything I wrote sounded like I was yelling.

I just wanted to point out that our bodies are not the same every day, and I do think you should be proud of recognizing that fact. (This is one of the best things I've learned from Pilates, I think.)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2007-05-18 04:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, I know... it's just, I really want to be at the stage that certain things are easy, so easy that, if I can't do them today, it's noticeable. I'll walk away thinking "Well, it *was* pretty stupid to try to do that, feeling as crappy as I do today."

On the plus side, two days later, I ran two five-minute intervals, and followed by a 4.5 and a 4. Not quite what I wanted, but a definite feeling of progress. (And I've been doing great on the ellipticals, with frequent cause to ask the "is the heart monitor wrong, or am I really holding steady at 138?")
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2007-05-18 12:49 pm (UTC)
I really want to be at the stage that certain things are easy, so easy that, if I can't do them today, it's noticeable. I'll walk away thinking "Well, it *was* pretty stupid to try to do that, feeling as crappy as I do today."

Your choice of "certain things" is quite arbitrary, though. I'm sure that there are lots of things that used to be more difficult that are now quite easy that are not on your list. I think we need to pay attention to things like that, too, because the tendency is to always choose difficult, arbitrary markers that make us feel like failures. (This is NOT a criticism of you; I am this way, and I think it's a common human trait.) I think we need to pay attention to where we were and where we are. Striving is important, but if it causes you to beat yourself up, it's a wrongness.

And I know that none of this is really news to you. I'm only saying it because sometimes you sound so focused on your goal that it seems that you are neglecting the process, when the process can be helpful to you.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2007-05-18 06:54 pm (UTC)
Nod. I'm not feeling like a failure, really, honestly. I'm feeling frustrated.

An earlier time, at a younger age, and probably running slower, I went from 4 minutes to 4.5, to 5, to 6, to 7, to 10, to 15, to 22, very quickly. Well, I was younger (not a lot, but I'm 40 now, and that's getting towards the steeper downslope for youthful vigor), probably running slower (and hell, probably not necessarily walking as fast when resting), and maybe lighter.

Sure, it's all sensible, and I'm at peace, more or less, and recognizing that I'm more likely to do something stupid if I let my frustration out.

But it's like realizing that too much pepperoni pizza is a bad thing for me. Yeah, I know, but, damn it... I want my pepperoni pizza! In unlimited quantities! And I want a hot fudge sundae for dessert! And I want to lose weight while eating this way! And *what's the big idea* of the universe *not* being run to *my* specifications, in order to gratify *my* desires? And you know, back when I was three or four years old and I asked my parents to buy me a suit that would let me fly, why didn't they come through for me? I didn't ask for something *impossible* like a pony, or something!

Um. I'm letting my inner brat get carried away now, aren't I?
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[User Picture]From: droops
2007-05-15 12:56 pm (UTC)
I'm impressed about the exercise, regardless. As you say, you'll get over the hump if you just keep trying.
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