During my training run yesterday, I felt really strange. It was about 5pm and 95 degrees out, but I figured it was nothing that I wasn't used to. That is, until I noticed my HR creeping dangerously high. It was a tempo run, so my HR should have been somewhat comfortable. And for the most part it was, but during my efforts, I would be running along and suddenly could not catch my breath. I looked down and my HR was 15 beats higher than normal...WTH!! I immediately started analyzing the performance and figured I was either out of shape, over trained or a big fat wuss! Turns out we can chalk this one up to a good old fashion "hang-over". Well, partly anyways. After further review and consultation with my coach, it has been diagnosed as "cardiovascular drift". The major factor in cardiac drift is dehydration. I drank at least as much water as I normally do throughout the day, but it wasn't enough to combat the previous night's birthday festivities. That and the heat. But, you know what, it was worth it! So what if I could barely jog home with my HR as high as it would be during a normal race effort. There are few nights when I let loose a little and forget about the stresses of training and racing, and it feels kind of good to just be a normal person out on the town every once in a while. Of course, the reality of the day after remind me why I don't do that very often.
More importantly (to me) is that I'm reminded that the rewards I feel from racing and training are much more fullfilling than that second glass of wine...on most days!