Monday, April 9, 2012

8 Plus 1

This past Saturday was the eight week mark since my knee surgery. On Sunday I ran 8 miles, and, for different reasons than the Seinfeld episode, it was spectacular...even with a single event.

My family has a history of heart disease. My grandfather died at 66, my dad at 62, and my brother just shy of 50. So when my cholesterol went north of 200, my doctor put me on a well-known statin.  These drugs do come with side-affects, but death is more, uh, dramatic and somewhat limiting to my running goals.

Still, after reading a few articles about statins, I decided to try to control my propensity for high cholesterol by keeping closer tabs on my diet and by taking some supplements to fight this nasty fellow. No more statins for moi. I have to say I think this contributed to my good run on Sunday. Certainly I am stronger from PT and my running had a good base and is coming back, but I don't think these alone explain the sudden improvement I experienced.

I did two miles in the treadmill, then headed out for the remainder of my run. Almost immediately I found I needed to pull back from my pace, because I wanted to run 8 miles and didn't want to struggle at the end. Around 3.5 miles, I felt something like a bubble in my chest; I have felt this before and every time in the past when I checked my heart rate (HR) it was not higher or erratic in any way. Today it was going higher, from the around 140 bpm to 160 then 170...174...I have not seen these numbers since well before my first ankle surgery.

I stop. Two more beats higher. Somewhere, way over there, I think...could this be...then...

As quickly as it accelerated my HR drops, down in to the 120s and I start running again. This feels good...this is the why of why I run. Many people are out, I am struck by several children who say "Happy Easter!" I feel good. I see myself, outside of myself, running from above. Thinking about Boston. Of Santa Rosa. Of this great gift.

This runner is back...back from another test.

And ready for the next.

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