Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Heart and My Life

There's a great website everyone should check out.
It's www.bluzones.com/vitality-compass
You will need to sign up for a free account before taking a 35 question quiz, but trust me, it is worth it. If you are still skeptical, it is a tool that's been recommended by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Andrew Weil.

After I took the test, I was pleased to find out that if I continue my habits, that I should be able to live till a little over 93 years old and croak sometime in December of 2058. Merry Christmas!

I went to the gym tonight, and ran for a little over 5 miles. I tracked my heart rate for the 40 intervals, each lasting 1 minute long. I wanted to see the effects of my heart rate as I sped up and slowed down.

Take a peek:

The BPM should be to the left of the MPH, because it was taken PRIOR to the MPH speed. Thus, the first MPH should have read "0" because 68 was the pulse before I started to walk. It was pretty interesting to see how I instantaneously went up 32 beats per minute after just 1 minute of walking. At 4 MPH, I was still walking, though briskly, and my pulse held firm at 111-112. However, once I increased to 4.5 MPH, I had to start trotting, and again my heart rate jumped (though not as much) to 128.

The moment I increased my speed to a 12 minute pace, my heart rate was in the mid-130's. Now keep in mind that a heart rate of 137 is 77% of my max suggested heart rate of 176.

Interestingly, the second biggest jump (after going from 0 to 3 MPH) which was from 6 to 6.7 MPH, did not raise my heart as much (from 151 to 156). However, this put me at 88% of max heart rate, and that was for an 8:13 pace.

My peak heart rate came at precisely the expected moment, 2 minutes into an 8 MPH (7:30 pace speed, like I achieved in the race yesterday). My heart rate then was 171, which is 97% of max. I guess my concern here would be to know how long of the 30 minutes that it took me to run yesterday's race, was I actually at that heart rate, and how healthy is that? My concern is that it might not be too healthy.

So, what are my options here?

I could cut back on salt.

Sure. Salt leads to hypertension and high-blood pressure. But, even though I could go without taste, I tend to sweat a lot on long runs, and lose tons of nutrients in doing so. Salt helps not only helps me to retain water, thus prevent mineral loss, but it's helped me the last couple of years with my muscular cramping on 15+ mile runs.

I could sleep more.

The only way, I am going to know if this is effective, is to take my blood pressure in the morning each day I wake up. Based on the hours of sleep, I might perhaps achieve an overall better heart rate base.

Stop stressing. Don't get angry about anything. Love everybody.

This is going to be difficult. However, one thing I might do is to stop watching Mets games. Oh, what the hell? Maybe I'll stop watching the news too. Be as happy as I can possibly be. Disregard this economy, disregard my future concerns, and unfounded job worries. I do very well at my job. I love my work, and get along great with everyone there, and am blessed to be surrounded with great people, peers and management alike, suprisingly. I need to practice a little bit more the "Love life and life will love you back" way.

Eat more raw vegetables and fruits.

I'm getting better at this, simply because I was losing weight to win my bet a few weeks ago. I had a salad tonight for example (even though it had grilled chicken, olives, a little fat-free ranch dressing, some Kerrigold Irish Cheddar-greatest cheese on earth!, croutons,and parmesan cheese - okay, I admit it....My salad is worse than a greasy steak!)

Get in tight with a transplant surgeon, and get me a new lung.

Yeah, okay. This one might be tougher than slimming-down my salad. My left lung has a little bit of scarring from a pneumonia I suffered back in 1997. I last had a pneumovac shot back in 2004. Not sure, if getting that shot more often helps me in anything more than just preventing me from getting pneumonia again....

I then ran the 5th and final mile in about 7 minutes flat. This included portions of my mile at 10, 11, and even 12.1 MPH (which is less than 5 minutes per mile). When I started running this hard, I could see by the reflection on the gym windows that people were staring at me. I must be going crazy.

But, none of this is crazy. All I really want to do is to see what it would take to race at a consistent pace of less than 7 minutes per mile. I don't know if I can do this, because I will be 44 this year, but I would like to try and am open to suggestions.

Now I'm going to be for 6.5 hours of sleep. Blech.

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