Tag Archives: jogging

I’m Jogging Faster!

It’s funny how you switch up something in your work out so minor but it turns out to make such a huge difference!  Normally, in Cardiac Rehab, I do 10 minutes on the bike and THEN go to the treadmill for 26 minutes of walking and jogging.  My lower legs usually get really fatigued and my 2 minute jogging intervals are difficult.  I find myself “pushing” through them and only being able to maintain the 4.3 speed for about a minute before decreasing down to 4.0 speed for the 2nd minute.

During my last Cardiac Rehab session, the bikes were all full when I started, so I HAD to start on the treadmill.  Of course, there was some trepidation on my part.  Not sure how I would feel doing that before my legs were “warmed up”.  So, I grabbed some water to put in the treadmill’s cup holder (I have to run with water) and began.

THIS TREADMILL SESSION FELT A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!  I began my 4 minutes of walking at 3.0 speed.  Then increased the speed to run.  My range is between 4.0-4.4, but I’ve never felt good enough to try 4.4 until NOW.  I increased the speed to 4.4, and it felt good.  After a minute, I still felt good…maybe even better!  I did it!  I ran for 2 full minutes at 4.4 speed, and it felt great!  No pain, no fatigue, didn’t feel like I was “pushing” through!  I was glad to get back down to the 3.0 speed to walk and catch my breath.  I completed my next 4 minutes of walking at 3.0 and then accelerated to 4.4 to run again for 2 minutes and did it!  Again!  And it still felt great!  My legs felt so strong, I felt so in shape!  I was able to complete ALL 4 of my 2 minute jogging intervals at the 4.4 speed for the entire time!  What a work out!  And to think I’ve been getting tired and fatigued on the bike, which has probably been holding me back.

After the treadmill, I went to the bike for 10 minutes.  It was hard.  I felt like I was struggling a little, and I was sweating quite a lot!  But I finished.

And now I know that next time, I want to start with the treadmill and save the bike until the end.  It’s funny how a small change like that can make a world of difference.

I could definitely tell a difference later in the day.  My legs felt stronger and tighter, and all around, I felt better (those endorphins!).

It feels great that I was able to increase my speed and maintain it.  Maybe I’ll get to that 5K in well before my 1 year goal!

P.S. I did buy new running shoes.  Didn’t spend a lot of time researching and shopping because I was super tired that day.  I normally rotate through various brands – Nike, Saucony, Adidas, and New Balance.  The pair I bought this round is Saucony.  We’ll see how they work out for now.

Lake Eva State Park

Walking in my neighborhood can get boring and monotonous.  So, I’ve started exploring other options for walking to help motivate me to get outside and do it (rather than the gym).  And once I’m jogging more, hopefully these spots I’m exploring will be great jogging spots.  I used to always run on a track in college, and I prefer that the most.  However, I’ve done some research and can’t find any public-use tracks in my area.  Even though schools have them, they are locked after-hours and not open to the public.  Very disappointing.

Lake Eva State Park is located in Haines City, Florida.

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Over the past few years, it has been improved with recreation areas, playgrounds, etc.  It’s a great spot for a picnic or to bring the kids.  The playgrounds are even age-specific.  Something I had never seen!  There is a sidewalk that winds through the park and near the lake.  Some shade trees are along the sidewalk but not many.  I don’t know the distance of the sidewalks, but I took my time walking and taking in all the sights (it was hot) and walked for a little over 20 minutes.  Hopefully, once the weather gets cooler, I can take advantage of walks/jogs in this park on the weekends.

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There’s a little dock that goes out into the water.  It was nice and peaceful on this day as there weren’t many people near the water, they were mostly on the playgrounds.  As with any body of water in Florida, beware of alligators.  LOL.

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I’m Jogging!

I’ve started jogging in cardiac rehab!!!!  It was so exciting to begin!  Of course, my doctor had already given permission for me to start, but I had to work up to it in cardiac rehab to ensure my blood pressure and heart rate were doing ok first.  I am doing 26 minutes on the treadmill there now – 4 minutes @ 3.0 speed; 2 minutes @ 4.0-4.2 speed (jogging); repeat.  I’m glad they only started me with 2 minute jogging intervals.  Since I haven’t been running since February, I was fine with this short amount of time.  I don’t enjoy running on treadmills, and with the heart monitor strapped to me and nurses checking on me every few minutes, it’s a little overwhelming.  I am not experiencing shortness of breath like I thought I might (and like I did during my stress test), but I am definitely experiencing fatigue in my lower legs and heavy breathing towards the end of the 2 minutes.  My running shoes probably aren’t helping because they are an old pair that is uncomfortable.  I’m only wearing them because my other running shoes (5 years old and ready to be replaced) got soaking wet a few weeks ago and now smell incredibly terrible.  Maybe this weekend I will go shopping for running shoes!  That will also help inspire me to run.  It’s like shopping for school supplies every fall (some of you will know what I mean)!

I’ve been running now in cardiac rehab for 3 sessions and I even ran at the gym one night!  On the gym’s treadmill, I walked for 5 minutes at 3.0 speed and ran for 2 minutes at 4.0 speed.  I did this for 30 minutes total.  I felt my pace was better and overall I felt better on this treadmill.  I’m sure because I was in my own element.  The only hard thing was checking my heart rate on the machine.  I have to place my hands over the handles several times to get the reading.  I can’t wait to get my own heart rate watch!!

I haven’t set my goal yet…but I feel it coming on.  I’d like to be able to run a 5K in about a year.  Wouldn’t that be great to prove that one doctor wrong who said I’d probably never run a 5K again!!!

More Test Results

I received the results of my 3rd heart echo.  It did not show any fluid around my heart, which the cardiologist was looking for since I’m still getting winded.  My ejection fraction has increased from 40-44% to 45-49%!!!  My cardiology team is ecstatic that my heart function has improved.  Normal range (according to my cardiac nurse) is 55-60+.  While I can’t believe it has ONLY increased 5% with all the changes I’ve made and all the cardiac rehab I’ve gone through, the cardiologist thinks this increase is huge…especially considering it was 15-20% after my heart attack.  Also, due to the damage that my heart has, it isn’t really expected to get back to normal from what I gather from the doctors.  They also say at least we are moving in the positive direction and any increase is great!  As for the results of my bloodwork for BNP and BMP, my BNP level was 114.  The PA (physician assistant) said that 100 or below is the normal range, but 114 was a good number for me.  They don’t start to really worry until the level gets to 300 or greater.  Within my BMP, my glucose was 99, which is good, so I shouldn’t be considered pre-diabetic anymore since the last my glucose was measured was in the hospital during all of my drama.

The kicker on this one is that I received a letter from my insurance company saying they will not cover the blood test for BNP because it is determined to be “experimental, investigational or unproven for the diagnosis” submitted with the claim, which is Coronary Atherosclerosis of Native Coronary Artery.  Of course, I think this is ridiculous.  Thank goodness it was only blood work, but I have NO CLUE what my bill will be!!!  If it is a small amount (like under $50) then I don’t have a huge problem with that; but if it’s a large amount, then I will have to appeal their decision, which is allowed.  It also says that health care professionals in my insurance network generally can’t bill me for services if they know they are not covered (yet necessary) and they tell me that in advance and I agree to it in writing.  No one advised me of such, so I’m wondering if I will get billed.  Maybe I will take it up with my doctor first if I do receive a bill.  Speaking of…I’m still waiting on a refund from the GI Surgeon for paying for my outpatient procedure in advance when everything was switched to in-patient/hospital stay.

On another positive note, my doctor did say that I can now ride roller coasters and start jogging (I asked about both!).  The jogging part is what excites me the most because it’s the only thing that will help me lose weight (I can’t believe I’m not losing weight with all of the changes over the past 3 months).  My doctor ordered another heart test, which I’m having done this week.  It will be a nuclear stress test while exercising.  He said it will help answer all of our questions as to why I’m getting winded when I go up stairs and why I’m having chest pains and tightness.  It will take pictures of my heart at rest and under stress to show how my heart is responding. Once the results are back from that, cardiac rehab will let me start jogging (based on the results) so they can monitor me before I start jogging on my own.  Ironically, my dad, who now sees my cardiologist, is going for a nuclear stress test (non-exercising) at the same time on the same day but at a different hospital.  Cardiac rehab told me that “no news is good news” when I’m waiting on results of the stress test.  The unfortunate thing about this stress test is it has a $200 co-pay.  Luckily, it’s happening on pay day.  Otherwise, not sure how I’d be paying.  Medical bills are adding up, and it’s taking a huge toll on my finances and budgeting.  Having a heart attack is expensive, people!