Pip Running

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Filtering by Tag: HRV

Rolling Off

Today finds me writing another blog post with yet another child at home. Maybe I'm finding time to write since I am housebound due to illness. My run for this morning and my Costco trip have been waylaid along with my workout at my ninja gym.

Things have been kind of weird over here. I have been very much enjoying most of my evenings at home these days. I can't believe I am saying this but cooking for my family in the evening has been rewarding (or maybe it's that little glass of "cooking wine" I discovered) and being here all the hours with them has been fun. Every day isn't a party but we have found ourselves having impromptu wrestling matches and family games develop like "Ball Face". I said Family Fun!  Get your mind out of the gutter. Anyway. this game is literally trying to hit the other person in the face with a ball. My kids found it so ridiculously fun my daughter deemed Monday nights "Ball Face Night".  Even though I would only be gone an hour or two several evenings out of the week guiding my running groups it was enough to miss out on these little things. So when I was asked recently to run a Jeff Galloway training group this summer I was caught a bit off guard. My first thought, of course, was definitely NO!

I know about Jeff. I know about his system but I don't know his system. I have since decided it would be a good learning experience and could actually fit in with my HR training so I said Yes. The commitment is only one day on the weekend. Of which my kids don't miss me too much those mornings, if they even notice I am gone at all. So a fun new adventure is in the works for Pip Running.

My running. What has been happening with my running? I have been working on the sub 127 HR for a few weeks now. I did my first MAF Test on March 6th. I got a 9 or 10 on my HRV that morning so I said let's do it. I started out with a 1 mile walk to my starting point then did a 5 mile jog (which actually turned into a 6 mile jog) as a warm up. I came back to the soccer fields did a 2 mile MAF test there running laps then a 1 mile walk/jog warm down home. I felt pretty good through the whole thing although I seemed to run through every type of weather system. There was sun, wind, snow and ice rain. My times weren't great but hopefully with dropping my HR 5 beats I'll start to see more improvement.

I was pretty happy to see that my HR stayed below 150 even when it spiked up a bit. Those spikes were very short and the intervals are getting closer together (run/walk) in which I hope they just become run. With the take off and landing in running causing the HR to spike up I try to keep my take-offs to a roll-off. If you've ever taken a Chi Running class you may be familiar. I try to keep my cadence high so my feet are off the ground as quick as possible with trying to keep the impact as minimal as possible. The test went as it should with the 2nd lap taking a slight bit longer than the 1st. If I went on to do more laps each successive lap should take a little bit longer than the previous.

Here's a graph of my HRV for the week of the MAF Test.

Here's a graph of my HRV for the week of the MAF Test.

Above is my HRV graph for the week I did the MAF Test. March 5th I received a reading of 3 so I took that day as a recovery day. On March 6 I received a 10 on my HRV so decided this was the day to test. I should note that I got my period later that day which may account for the low HRV the day before. I think the same thing happened last month which is something I will keep a watch on. March 10th was another day that I received a 10 on my HRV. I have been chomping at the bit to do some intervals. It has been a long time, months, since I've done any type of speed work. Since I was training at too high of a HR I was going to wait another 8 weeks at the lower HR but I just felt the need. So I went out on Friday 3/10 and did 5 sprints across the soccer field. I walked a mile first, than ran 1 mile at a tempo pace which maybe I shouldn't have done, did some drills and dynamic stretching before going into my sprints. They felt good. I took some video so I could analyze form but I wasn't happy with the quality. Maybe something not to be done by yourself. Hopefully I can coax one of my friends out there next time to grab video for me. Here are the results:

The 3rd sprint took longer because I went to turn off the camera before stopping my watch.

The 3rd sprint took longer because I went to turn off the camera before stopping my watch.

First of all I realize now these sprints weren't long enough. I needed to go about 30 more yards. Man it felt long though! I also was only planning on doing 4 but I was trying to get a side view video which of course I didn't think of until after I did 4. Work in progress.

I've been cooking up a storm over here lately and trying to toggle meals around to keep my carbs below 30g (20g ideally) and my protein to around 70-80g. Carbs not so much of an issue but there is protein in everything! I have had the most problem keeping that in check. I've done more intermittent fasting over the last week and did both my MAF test and sprints fasted. I did not feel any energy drain before, during or after. Here's a couple pics of the fabulous meals we've been eating (well Mike and I- The kids barely try any of it):

Brussels Sprouts and Hamburger Gratin via DietDoctor.com

I'll have to tell you about my awesome Chocolate Avocado smoothie next time. Well I got most of the recipe elsewhere but I have tweaked it to be my own. I'm a bad Keto-er with my lack of avocado eating. I try to add it in here and there but there is such a small window on when these things are really ripe I tend to miss it. Anyway I think these avocado smoothies have helped and man do they keep you full!

Slowing Down

I seem to have some kind of cold. Early this week I noticed my throat a bit sore (or more dry?) and what I can only call a tightness in the base of my throat. It has been so subtle that I hardly want to even acknowledge it as a sickness. As in the previous post I have been diligently checking my HRV every morning (more on this later) and nothing has shown up there. I have been trying to run/workout as I normally would (more on that later too) and despite the kids having half-days all week I've been doing my usual business during the day. I haven't felt particularly run down but there are moments where I cough up phlegm (where'd that come from?), or I feel nauseous for a spell and one day I even had a sinus headache! What the hell is going on inside me?!? I have no explanation but with my half marathon in Phoenix next weekend I hope it works itself out.

So yeah I'm taking a little trip. I'm excited to see my best bud Katey but kind of dreading this half. It is not really the race itself. I'll just be plodding along anyway. I think it's just all the nonsense surrounding the race. I hate flying. I find it stressful. Even a short trip like Seattle to Phoenix becomes a whole day event that is exhausting although all you're doing is sitting. Maybe it's the constant "hurry up and wait". Katey is running the marathon while Emily and I run the half. Good god this race starts at 6:30am. Katey wants to leave her house at 3:30am to get to the shuttle buses! More hurry up and wait. We take the shuttle buses to the start where we do even more hurry up and wait. The lack of sleep on Friday night, coupled with the exhaustion of traveling and the early morning start on Saturday, in a unfamiliar place, is making me think I must really love Katey! Which I do but remind me that the next visit I make should purely be social.

A couple days have past since I started this post. I still have something going on but whatever it is really hasn't reared it's ugly head. Yesterday my morning readiness HRV score was a 7 so I decided to go for a little jog. I have also decided it wouldn't hurt anything and probably only helps things if I lowered my heart rate training. I was previously trying to keep my HR around 132 but decided to drop it down 5 beats more to 127. I've done a couple runs at this HR and strangely enough, maybe not, my runs weren't any slower.  I have already come to the determination that I needed to warm up more so I set my mind on a 1 mile walk to the park. I was going to run laps around the soccer field for 2-3 miles then do a 1 mile walk home for warm down. I knew it was somewhat rainy but I didn't realize until I was outside that it was really coming down. I didn't think it was particularly cold so I just went with a vest. I did my 1 mile walk to the park and GD it if there wasn't a GD soccer game going on! Are those kids always there? It was President's Day, shouldn't they get that off?!? I changed plans. I ended up starting my run from the park and ran a mile up a long , gradual hill. I'm being very generous when I use the term "run" because it was mostly a walk up. I was able to keep my HR pretty low but not low enough to start jogging. It spiked a couple times in the 140's but I was overall happy. I was able to jog down the hill for most of it and added an extra mile running to and fro Lake Youngs Trailhead. The 1 mile warm down was a little interesting though. I noticed my HR jumping around a bit and getting into the 150's. I didn't feel like I was under any stress other than my left foot was bugging me a little.  Couple that with the realization that it was a bit colder than I originally thought (my arms were pretty chilly) and whatever I have still lingering my HR was probably being affected. 

I've talked a bit about my HRV and have been taking morning readiness readings every morning for the last 3 weeks. The readings tell me about changes in my Autonomic Nervous System (the balance between my Sympathetic and Parasympathetic systems). My scores have generally been pretty good 8's, 9's and some 10's but I've had a couple 3's and a 4. This morning I got a reading of 3 and was told parasympathetic activity was abnormally high. I did the run yesterday and worked out at the gym last night. I might have overdone it so I decided to take today off. By off I mean do errands and deal with child not in school. Not exactly low stress but what are you going to do? I'm not sure what all this is telling me yet and I'm still wading through all the information of slowing down my running and taking HRV readings. I am also going to start adding tags about sleep quality and exercise done the day before. This is something I really wasn't logging on the HRV readings.


Finally, diet is going well. Really trying to keep my protein intake in line. Strangely enough it hasn't been as difficult keeping my carbs low. For the most part they are always under 30g, closer to 20g, but I find myself going over the 95g of protein several times. I definitely try to keep it under 120g and have even gone over that on occasion. So once again I am trying to figure out what works for me in my daily life. I have been doing intermittent fasting and I feel I've been pretty successful at that. If I'm really hungry I might go 15.5hrs instead of 16hrs before I eat but I'm generally in the ball park. When I do have breakfast I've fallen back to what I should have been eating probably all along... bacon and eggs.  I add a little heavy whipping cream to the eggs along with some extra sharp cheddar and scramble in Kerrygold butter. Yum, yum!