Julia’s Training: May update

The past month’s training has been a great lesson in keeping steady, without letting the ebbs and flows influence my mood or my intentions too much. I’d like to say “at all” but being the ball of emotional that I am, that’s impossible. There have been a few steps back, but the many steps forward definitely won out in the end.

Some days I had to reprogram my mood so that the angst in the pit of my stomach didn’t drag on for days or weeks. I reprogram by sitting quietly for ten to fifteen minutes, meditating to clear my mind. Just breathing and recharging. I admit that I did reach a peak critical moment with a few tears involved. I was trying to get some hugs and attention from my husband, a sort of “please feel sorry for me moment”.

Thankfully he wasn’t buying into it. We were on the couch and the television was on the news with the earthquake disaster in Nepal. He pointed it out to me and told me that there was some serious stuff happening around the world and that my problems were absolutely resolvable. Then he gave me a hug and kiss and went to water the garden. Instant reality check. I snapped out of it and moved forward.

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Once a year I have a sports check up. They sit me on a spin bike, hook me up to a fancy monitoring machine and have me pedal until I reach anaerobic threshold. This takes about ten minutes and then when they yell “STOP!” they measure how long it takes for my heart rate to turn to normal. I once again passed the test with flying colours. The doctor even said that I was really well trained since my heart rate was back to normal within a minute and a half. But… she wanted to have my heart checked with an echocardiogram.

I’ve always had an innocent heart murmur. Every time I’ve done this test for the last twenty-five years they listen to my heart with a stethoscope and say, “Yep, heart murmur”. Since I’m getting on in years I guess the doctor just wanted to make sure that things were still A-Okay. So she set up an appointment for the next week.

I brought my husband with me and while they went over my heart with the Echo stick we were both glued to the screen. It was  fascinating to see my beating heart, live!  I could see the chambers opening and closing and the blood flowing through. The technician showed me what was causing the murmur: a very slight reflux of blood when the valves closed. But she said it was all normal and that my heart was very healthy. I didn’t think there was going to be a problem but it’s comforting to know that I can train without worries.

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THE CONTINUING KNEE SAGA: I promise we are almost at the end of this! I’ve been working a lot on strengthening my feet and ankles, specifically the left one where I have the knee problem. Things are getting better, even if at a snails pace. I work with a balance board every day, I wear my five fingers during the daytime when out and about. If I’m at home I am always barefoot and break out into a Stork whenever I stand up from my work desk. When I go for a run my husband tapes my knee and this also seems to help a lot. You’re probably asking what the hearts are for. Well, I took the photo from above, leaning over. The effect of the taping squeezing my knee and my skin scrunching up created this horrible Frankenstein look. So I blocked it out for your visual enjoyment. Believe me, it was really unattractive.

I’ve been working with a metronome again and this also seems to be helping. I have an innate slow stride rate that needs to be constantly tweaked. I’ve absolutely let it go in the last year so I am really working on getting it back to a decent level. It’s easy to do if I just follow my own instructions!

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