Wednesday, July 17, 2013
My husband got me a Polar 3 piece set. He had a Garmin and a long time ago I tried on the chest strap and hated it because it was so plasticky. When I started wondering if my heart rate was as good as the monitors I used after exercising made it look like it was, he looked at reviews on line. He sold his Garmin, which he didn't use any more and got the Polar. I find it absolutely fascinating and illuminating.
Yes, my heart rate is ridiculously high. I was diagnosed with tachycardia as a child, so I should not have been surprised, but my resting pulse has come down nicely since I began exercising daily. I now have a low 80s resting pulse. We take it every day in CNA class and I am feeling quite proud of myself (!) for having improved so much. But with the Polar on, I notice as soon as I even start ambling, not even walking at a normal pace, my pulse is over 105... and at a slow walk (25 minute mile), its over 110. Within 5 minutes of beginning a run, I'm over 160. It's no wonder I feel so hot.
This knowledge has given me more power. Is my high heart rate coupled with difficulty breathing? Well, then I'd better walk! How fast am I going, anyway? I can check the watch for that and notice how I feel in comparison to how fast I go. I have noticed that if I walk until I come down to 140 and then run again, I feel ok.
I tend to just just run out the door, spur of the moment, and it's clear if I want to improve, I can't keep doing that. I have resolved to to drink at least 8 ounces of water before I leave the house, to bring water with me, to wear an "ice bandana" and to watch my watch.
I actually don't doubt that I can improve my exercise heart rate, just like I have improved my resting heart rate and have lessened my dependency on inhalers... I will just have to be patient.
This morning I did not go out long because I needed to be close to Mom, whose dog just died.
Max heart rate: 172, Avg 154
17 minute run
Max pace: 8:13 (I assume most was run at this pace since I walked 4 blocks), Avg pace: 12:42
Update: I wore my Polar all day. My HR also climbs up to 160 on a SINGLE flight of stairs. I have a ways to go!
Mom was busy while I was gone, pulling Charlie's toys out from under furniture and stacking them up in the spare bedroom to donate to my dogs and to the dog of a hospice patient I see every weekend. She's already received flowers and half a dozen phone calls. Word spreads fast in her neighborhood. At least she wasn't alone when I went to school today.