As most of us that exercise in order to improve health or to compete know, the training is a combination or balance of applying a stress and the body's adaptation to that stress through recovery. My training of late has been geared towards preparing me for a 50 mile race in South Dakota in June. As I've begun to make enough progress to consider entering (I'm lucky that this event is not one that limits entries yet nor fills to capacity in a short time), my coach (wife) wanted to be sure I had an informational discussion with the cardiologist that worked with me when I was hospitalized with atrial fibrillation in 2007 a few days after the Pikes Peak Marathon.
The visit went well and the doc didn't see a reason that I couldn't continue to train and run at the Black Hills. But he still thought it prudent for me to run a treadmill stress test to see how the ticker is currently working under more of a load. So that's how I began my workout today...a trip to the hospital for the "mill".
Things went well and I was impressed with the quality and ability of the GE Treadmill used for the test. It can run up to a 25% slope! My knees found it easier to perform at slope rather than flat (or as I've learned in the field, they really complain on downhills). I went through 6 levels before reaching the calculated max heart rate based on my age of 168...that meant I was going 5.5 MPH at a 20%slope before we pulled the plug at 15 minutes. I could have continued but the technicians said they had all the info they needed and if I continued it would only be for my personal challenge. Nothing glaring showed up and they said I did excellent but I still need to wait for the final analysis by the cardiologist.
I followed up with a 10 mile run at Lime Creek and additional hiking mid-afternoon for another 14 mile total.