Thursday, August 6, 2015

Three Things Thursday! August 6, 2015

Triple T is back! Sorry it's been away, but I hope to be back full force with my blogging soon. It's just been a crazy summer, but with Kevin's cross country season starting, St. Jude Marathon training kicking in and my duties as a Indy Mini Marathon ambassador getting going, I should have plenty of material!

Here we go!

*Officially, the cross country season starts next Wednesday, but Kevin and several of his other Aurora Central Catholic teammates have been gathering three times a week for workouts. Like other sports, coaches are allowed a certain number of "contact days" over the summer, which means they have some structured workouts, and the rest of the time they are free to run on their own.

The first meet of the season will be the Aurora City Meet on Aug. 29, and then they will race every Saturday except for one all the way through the end of October. Cross country is one of my favorite high school sports, and I'm glad both of my boys chose to participate. While Matt decided not to run at Benedictine University this fall and instead focus on his studies, I'm glad Kevin is now part of the ACC family.

And...so am I! After a few discussions with Troy Kerber, the XC and track head coach, I have decided to become a part of the coaching staff for the upcoming season. Troy feels that with the numbers we will have in terms of participation that we will break into as many as five training groups, and he wants an adult coach with each one.

I told Troy that with my work schedule I could make it 2-3 times a week and of course be there for all of the race weekends, and he was excited about that prospect. I've known Troy for 15 years and really respect him as a coach, so I'm excited to work with him.

I'm really excited for Kevin, too. He seems to be getting along well with the other kids on the team and ran a 2-mile time trial in 16:15 last week, which comes out to about 24-25 minutes for the 3-mile race distance. That's a really good starting point for him!

Things became official last week when I was given my stopwatch! Once you have a stopwatch, you are in!

*One more day of work...and I'm on vacation! I fortunate that since I have been with my current employer for coming up on 17 years that I get a lot of time off, and while I typically use them for long weekends or whatever, I only seem to take off more than that when I am going somewhere.

Next week's wont be (totally) like that, and will be a nice, relaxing end to the summer. I'll be home Monday through Wednesday and then Darcy and I are heading to Michigan for a couple of days. I'm looking forward to that little trip, it will be all about golf, trips to wineries, and of course a run or two!

Getting a run in will certainly be a must. I'm kind of dorky like that in that I like to keep track of states (10), countries (4) and continents (3) where I've run. As of now, Michigan isn't on that list, so I'm looking forward to adding a new state in the coming weeks.

*I've taken some time off from running -- not intentionally -- but am looking forward to getting back going. The reason? I was told that I could stop taking the meds for my high blood pressure!

OK, this is a strange story. Well, sort of strange, sort of dumb on my part. Anyway, back last fall I started taking medicine to bring down my blood pressure. It worked well and I was feeling great -- but then I started having this horrible cough that just wouldn't go away, which turned out to be a side effect to what I was taking.

Fast forward to April and I was put on another type of medication. It was working well too but the doctor told me to let her know if my resting heart rate started slowing down. Over the course of my running/training, that would be expected, so when it was in the 52-55 range I didn't worry about it.

Then one day a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk and out of the blue decided to check it again...and it was down to 39! I checked it a few more days in a row and it registered between 40 and 44. Not good. At least that part, because my blood pressure was perfect!

I called the doctor and they said to cut my dosage in half. I did that and my BP stayed constant but my RHR only went up to about 48. I called them back and they said to stop taking it altogether!

Turns out the medication was a beta blocker, which is why my RHR went down so low. The flip side of that, as I discovered through a little research, was that your max rate goes down too! I read a few blog posts of some athletes who had gone on and then off the same meds, and their data pointed to a significant improvement in performance once they were off the medication.

Then a light came on in my head! I had lost weight and had been training well, so why hadn't I gotten any faster this summer? Why was trying to stretch out runs so hard? How could I not be getting better after dropping 20-plus pounds?

Looks like this is my answer! I'm going to really crunch some data over the next few weeks and see if it does make a difference. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime...despite being off the medication I don't think my BP has risen back up far enough that I'll have to go on something else, which in the end is the best news of all!


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