Monday, June 11, 2012

Another Runner Died

Warning - Seriously Heavy Stuff & Babbling

I heard today that a young man died running in a Half Marathon race. This one was a 40 yr old in Bend, Oregon.  I guess the course was hilly trails and medics had to run 4 miles in because there was no actual known location. I would think with water tables every 2 miles surely SOMEONE could have radioed in better instructions?

Sorry - freaking out.

My first race in Vancouver was on Thanksgiving day last year. Another young male runner, also in his 40's I believe, passed away from complications following his collapse/attack shortly into the course. I will never forget seeing him being tended to or the sounds I heard as I passed. I ran his memorial run on New Years morning at sunrise.

It never surprises me when crack addicts die. But, it surprises me every time a runner does. Yeah, I know that these are often caused by unknown genetic defects. But still, these are runners. Not wino's in an alley on a cold December night.

This is always hard to hear and my being older and more out of shape than many runners makes it scary, too. I am 50 years old and 16 pounds over my goal weight.

Luckily, I had a full stress and echo test done by a cardiologist before I began running and I called her again in December after learning that the Thanksgiving runner had died.. But still, maybe I should have another after I have been running a year? Just to make sure?

I do hit some crazy heart rate numbers out there.

  • The charts say my MAX HEART RATE is 170

  • My target zone per the charts is (I kid you not) "93 to 144" beats per minute on 85% max runs.

  • My heart rate standing in line to start running the Shamrock Run was 122 before I lifted a foot. Based on those charts, I was way up into my 85% mark after standing in one place for 15 minutes (I hate crowds and was very anxious).

  • I typically run between 165-174 in my 'easy to medium' zone based on perception. Even after over an hour of running when that crawls up to 170-177 I am just starting to feel exhausted at that pace. I make myself slow or walk when I hit 180 because then I am usually feeling exhausted and because yeah, I am paranoid.

  • My heart rate hit 187 yesterday morning when I sprinted over the finish line mats! I felt FINE. No pain, no dizziness, no tingling, and no disorientation. I dropped all the way down to 144 in just a few short strides to the water and banana's. 

  • My resting heart rate is 54-56. Sometimes the day after a race it might be 60.

My cardiologist who did the stress tests said she didn't see anything wrong with these numbers if I wasn't feeling chest pain, numbness, dizzy, tingly or disoriented. I DID feel disoriented when I hit 191 in the Jingle Bell run finish which brings up another point. If my heart rate max per a chart is 170, how the heck am I alive?

Stupid charts.

I just wish sad news like today's news didn't have me wondering if the charts aren't so stupid after all. I hate second guessing myself.

My sincerest thoughts go out to his family. I can't imagine the pain and shock they must be feeling. I can only hope he told them the same thing I told mine after that Thanksgiving run last year - I loved them, and if I never make it back from a race, please know I was doing something I really enjoyed.  Then again, I am betting his family didn't need to be told how much he enjoyed running. That is something that is pretty hard to hide from loved ones. Isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. I ran last night for 3.2 miles. My average heart rate was 157 because I was feeling paranoid still. Max on a hill when lost in the glorious moment was 171. I can keep it under control going slow as heck :)