That is the question haunting me today. I’ve continued with my low heart rate training a la Dr. Phil Maffetone and 6-time Hawaiian Ironman Champion Mark Allen. I did another Maffetone Test, a 5-miler, that showed me my aerobic capacity has improved in the last 3 weeks, if only incrementally. I had to break into a walk more often than I’d like to admit to keep my max heart rate below 133 beats per minute (bpm).
Washington Park was full of happy, shiny people laughing and jogging and playing pick up basketball and soccer. I imagined them all living in that faboosh neighborhood and I was the imposter. Luckily around mile 2 it occurred to me this is a public park and I get to be there as a member of the public.
Only one of my mile splits was under 16 minutes per mile, but none were as long as my last set of mile splits 3 weeks ago, where the average was 16.64 minutes per mile. According to the good doctor Maffetone, my aerobic capacity is therefore improving. And that makes me full of hope for the feats of endurance looming in my future. The first one is June 19, 2010, 7 weeks from today.
So on this beautiful evening filled with beautiful, privileged, white people running around the perimeter of the park, I slowed yet again to a walk to keep my heart rate down. I walked for 20 yards or so, looking at my Garmin often to figure out when I could break into a run again without the damn heart rate monitor alarm going off. When I looked up I saw some sort of late 20s-early 30s Man-God running towards me with a beautiful Purina Dog Chow commercial worthy Golden Retriever running beside him. Man-God was scantily clad and in his own iPodded world, looking as vacant as an abandoned parking lot. He didn’t see me. But as he ran by me, while I was still walking, my fucking heart rate monitor alarm went off! I looked around, paranoid, like I was exiting a confessional. But my “sin” was only that my biology took over and my heart rate jumped at the sight of a beautiful human being. Still, I was embarrassed. So for the rest of the run I concentrated on dogs, not people.
I drove home feeling guilty, and thinking I should tell Fred. First though, I decided to wear the heart rate monitor into the house hoping it would off upon seeing him. I thought that was the least I could do; to prove to myself that I am simply alive and that I notice big, handsome men, one of whom I’m lucky enough to be married to. Fred was home when I came in the garage door and sure enough, the heart rate monitor alarm sounded. I was really relieved to find out I’m not a horrible, cheating, cougar slut. I’m only human. That’s good to know.