Thursday, April 14, 2022

Don't Call it a Comeback

All Hail the OMRON!

Hello? Is this on? Anyone there? Anyone? 

Okay, I know I haven't posted in a long time. In fact, a baby born on the day of my last post could conceivably be running faster than I do right now. Despite my very long break, I have continued to run and strive to improve. I'll admit there has been a lot more striving than improving, but things are changing. So don't call it a comeback. I've been here for years, rocking it like a Runsketeer.

Since my last post, I've run the gamut of motivation and expectation for my performance. I've mostly had the "Speed doesn't matter because running easy keeps me healthy" mindset. This would periodically give way to short cycles where I'd focus on regaining my old speed. Last September I decided to do every run at full effort, including running intervals a couple of times a week. I saw improvements, but they came at a cost. 

Constantly keeping the pedal to the floor exhausted me and I wound up taking a week off from running to recover. All along, SIOR was insisting that my manic training tactics were ridiculous. She said the correct way to gain speed would be to increase my distance per run. She was right -- but that wasn't the whole story.

My performance began to nosedive in 2014 and I ascribed it to a new job that I'd started that year. The commute greatly affected my running bandwidth and my monthly mileage dropped from 80 to 50. There wasn't much I could do about that. When I left that job and gained more time, I thought my performance would come back, but it didn't.

I suspected that my blood pressure medication could be the culprit. Looking back at my Garmin history, my declining pace appeared to start when I began taking that prescription. Even when pushing my pace, I would struggle to get my heart rate above 75% max. My form suffered as well. 

Recently, on a Runsketeer reunion run, I endured TPP and SIOR's well intentioned urgings to "pick up my feet." It was hard to do. I'd spoken to my doctor earlier in the year and he disagreed that my meds were affecting my running. I decided to prove my case and bought a blood pressure monitor. 

50% off!
Last month I showed my doctor six months of daily BP data that revealed most readings to be at the low range of normal. I even brought in my OMRON BP monitor to validate my data against his sphygmomanometer and they matched! My doctor admitted that my dosage was probably too high and he halved my prescription.

The results of that change were astounding. My energy level increased measurably and running suddenly felt easier. Since my dosage was halved 40 days ago, both my average pace and cadence have improved over 10%. That's not a placebo effect because the progress has continued. I don't know if I will ever get pacing back to single digits, but I believe I can wring out more performance.

I'm currently dealing with some lower back issues that are mitigating my efforts. I'm treating the symptoms and hoping to get past that soon. Once that happens I'd like to return to my old practice of a Sunday long run. I have on good authority that running more distance will yield even better performance. 

So maybe this is a comeback after all. With apologies to LL Cool J, I'm gonna take this itty-bitty world by storm. And I'm just gettin' warm. 

2 comments:

  1. New day new yay! Continue including me in the posts and I guarantee improved readership. Meaning I will continue to read.

    ReplyDelete

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