Preamble - Heart Rate Monitors.
For a time, when my hrm and Garmin both broke, I ran without any toys at all, with the idea of being totally open to the unmediated feeling of the run. However I soon moved back to the HRM. Without it I found that the pace of my slow runs edged up and my faster runs edged down. I wasn’t too worried about the faster runs as those don’t feature too much in my programme but running the slower runs faster meant I did not savour them as much. So I went back to regulating them by heart-rate and immediately felt better.
Because I look fairly closely at my heart rate I have a very clear idea of how many beats I take for any given level of exertion. Although I am not over fussed by precise percentages the feedback from the hrm is a good indicator of how things are going. If I am not feeling 100% I have a rule of thumb that says anything up to about 10 beats above the normal rate is OK.
Beachy Head Marathon
I was really looking forward to running this: I know the area well and love the views; I prefer running off- road; running downhill is fun and if the slope is too steep you can always walk up. But it ended up a total failure.
All week I had been struggling with a virus but thought it was just one of those niggling things that happens before a race, so I put it to one side. But as soon as started I knew I was in trouble as my legs felt as if they had no power. Ah well I thought, just be very conservative, run slowly, walk where necessary and don’t worry about how long it takes. Although I did this I became increasingly worried because my heart rate was sky high, 15-20 beats about what it should have been and no matter how much I slowed I could not get it down and I was feeling more tired. After eight mile I felt as if I had run 20 and on a flattish section at slow pace my heart rate was over 180. At that point I knew I could not go on.
I met my wife in Alfriston and abandoned and boy did I feel low. The sensible hat was thinking I had done the right thing and that there was no point in trying to carry on but the emotionally I was thinking it was a failure and that one should not quit.
As I was standing by the car, talking about these feelings, I glanced at my heart rate and was shocked to find that it was still at a level of my normal slow runs; it was barely coming down at all. Things were definitely not right
Postscript - The Event
Despite my personal unhappiness I think this is a great event. I love the mixture of walkers and runners, people running with their dogs or just being out for an adventure. Everyone was very friendly and the scenery is lovely. I think I will have to return.