December 29, 2007
After my diabolical dumb-ass double a few weeks before, I returned to Southern California (albeit not in time to continue my 50+ consecutive Boeing 5K streak), and then I was back in Dallas, TX, for Christmas and New Year’s.
Part of my Christmas gift this year was a Stress Test at the Cooper Clinic. If you haven’t done a stress test before, you are attached to a whole bunch of electrodes and then you walk on a treadmill at 3.2 mph (about 18:00/mile) at a 1% grade. Every minute, they add another 1% of grade until it reaches 25%. (If you make it this far, then they increase the speed by 0.3 mph every minute.) And this isn’t simply a static test. They will take your blood pressure and heart rate every few minutes… and you can’t hold on to anything.
If you have ever seen me attempting to walk on a treadmill, I always take steps that are too large and hit the front of the treadmill with my feet. Also, on this particular day, I am only 3 weeks removed from my double, and not totally recovered, either.
I was hoping to make it to the full 25%, but wasn’t sure how I would hold up with the treadmill and all the prodding. At about 18 minutes, I was still chugging along, and getting crazy heart-rate readings of 200 bpm (does that make me 25 years old?). I felt OK, but meanwhile, my lower back and quads were screaming at me… my legs didn’t want to continue but my lungs did.
I asked at 19 minutes, “What do I need to do to get a rating of ‘Good?'” The answer was “Over 20 minutes.” So… I lasted to 20:01. “Good.” The 69th percentile. I’ll take it, given the circumstances.
Two days later, I was doing the December Plano Pacers 5M (aka 8K). My fitness level is not back to what it was before the double, but I managed to finish in 39:40 and that was good enough for first place in the Clydesdale category (almost everyone I am competing with is over 50, but I’ll take it)!
And thus ended 2007. Forty-two races, including 2 marathons, and an ultra (plus 38 miles of a failed ultra).