I have a confession to make, I cheated on MAF this week. On Wednesday (when it was 70 here), I took off down the trail without watching my heart rate. It was freeing but it didn’t come without strings attached, or at least chords.
Confused? Let’s back up…
The whole reason I started MAF training is because my heart and legs weren’t on the same page with the speed I wanted to run. My legs were liking the faster paces but my heart refused to let me do that for any prolonged amount of time.
I was frustrated and a little nervous to be honest. I’ve never had any real heart issues to speak of but I come from a family of heart issues and I just started to wonder. Maybe I need to do some focused training, so I started MAF. After a little over a month, I hadn’t seen any changes really and what I did see was a heart that seemed a little confused.
So I talked to a girlfriend of mine which led me to a cardiologist friend of mine which landed me visiting a cardio doc earlier this week. A quick EKG later showed that there was some irregularity that needed further investigation. So I left Hooked up to a hospital issued heart rate monitor for 24 hours. Doc told me to do all my normal activities and even to run without constraint. Just run. So I did and it was fabulous.
After the 24 hours were up, I was back at the hospital for some more testing. Stress test and Echocardiogram. I fully expected to just walk right in there and crush that stress test, no questions asked but for some reason, the site of the treadmill invoked a mix of emotions. Starting with some not so pleasant ones of my dad. I could feel my heart racing and tears welling up. I won’t go into details but my dad passed almost two years ago of a heart attack and it is all still very real in my head. I had to get passed it so I could get through these tests.
Luckily, the stress test showed no irregularities but I’m not out of the woods quite yet. I still have some blood work to do to test for Anemia, Cholesterol and Thyroid.
And to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about all this. I want to know I’m perfectly healthy for so many reasons but hearing that also comes with the realization that I just might not be able to make improvements. I might just be the way I am which is hard to swallow.
I have goals, as lofty as they are, of PRs far beyond where I am now but I still thought were attainable. Based on how these tests come back, I might have to come to grips with the fact that they just might never happen.
Then what? How do I set goals when I don’t have control over the limitations that keep from achieving?
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