Two things, first it’s my birthday. The 51 year-old milestone doesn’t carry quite the heft of age 16, or turning 21, but it’s a big deal to me because I had a massive heart attack a few weeks ago that kills roughly a third of the people who get it. So I’m celebrating by doing some bragging today. On that heart attack, I have a question … I seem to have developed super human powers!
A few days ago my cardio nurses at cardio rehab finally let me cut loose on a treadmill. Or at least they looked the other way while I did. In terms of speed, I will never ever be a threat to any local 10k champion (At least that’s what I used to think). Prior to the attack I was running fairly consistently. It started as a walk to warm up to lift weights. After a while I could jog a bit, over time it improved and one day I jogged a mile. Then I started paying attention. Eventually I could jog three miles and started paying attention to my times. Every now and then I’d see how fast I could run one mile.
Like I said, I’m no marathon runner. The fastest I could run/jog a mile was just under eight mins and that wore me the fuck out when I last did it in December, a few days before the MI. I was gasping for breath at eight mins. Since the heart deal last Christmas, I haven’t run a lick or lifted weights seriously — they wouldn’t let me! But finally they did.
I decided I was going to run as fast as I could, after all I was hooked up to a monitor and there was a crash cart sitting right there. It seemed like the safest venue possible.
…. I ran a mile in 6 mins 14 secs. That may not sound fast to a lot of people who run, but it’s the fastest I’ve ever run a mile in my life. And I do mean RAN. I didn’t jog this one, I RAN. Like the wind. And it felt good, like a sense of freedom.
Now to do that, I started at a full on sprint, about as fast as I can go (I was always a solid sprinter as a kid) and kept it up for as long as possible. What amazed me is I kept that blistering pace, 12 mph, for more than two minutes. I dialed it down several times to a fast jog, recovered incredibly quickly, and ran it back up to 11mph, then recovered, ran it back to 10 mph, and boom, the end was in sight and I just kept plugging until I was done. It’s a good thing I didn’t come off, because I would have flown off that treadmill like a human bowling ball. Most of the treadmills in the gyms I use won’t even go that high, I don;t think anyway, for that reason. But these will, some local colleges actually use them for research and training
What was giving out in the end wasn’t my wind, it was my legs, I developed a small cramp in the diaphragm but I was able to nurse it along, It was my legs, they burned like fire, like I was doing the worst squats you can imagine. Another minute and I think they would have collapsed. I was real sore for days.
But how is this possible? From eight mins to six? I’ve lost some weight, I quit smoking, and I had a stent put in to a primary coronary artery that restored blood flow. I’m assuming that’s what did it. Which of those things do you think would make the biggest difference? My guess is I had been training, unknowingly, with greatly reduced blood flow to my heart and thus to my body, and once it was restored. bingo, my aerobic capacity shot up. Either that or there’s a radioactive spider someone around, and if so, I sure hope she bites me again.
I’m going to train and see if I can get my legs ibto the game. I’d like to do one under five mins, maybe even less.