Reindexing The Brain

Summer Fun: Tubing on Clear Lake. At least one of us is having fun.

Summer Fun: Tubing on Clear Lake. At least one of us is having fun.

Has this ever happened to you? The other day I was in the middle of a conversation and instead of saying the word house, the word horse came out. I knew I wanted to say house and meant to say house, but missed it by one letter. It was the oddest moment. I could visualize the word and picture my brain picking the word from the file cabinet in my brain, but as the word was being delivered I could see it was the wrong word and, like watching it unfold in slow motion, couldn’t stop the wrong word from coming out. Why did I just say horse? I meant to say house. Yes, of course I know the difference between house and horse! Like having a bad sector on your computer’s hard drive, it’s like my memory hit a bad spot that needs to be reindex. I’m also looking at replacing the whole thing with one of those new SSD drives for even faster access.

I started the week and told myself it was time to be the squeaky wheel and receive a couple drops of oil as far as the medical situation goes. The medical professional is like a lot of others in that sometimes problems can be obscure and doctors are humans too. The source of the pain might not be clearly evident and a doctor may arrive at a diagnosis, not with 100% certainty, but because the diagnosis is likely the cause. So I was pleasantly surprised when I went to see the surgeon about the hernia and heard him say he doesn’t think I should have surgery. In fact, he’s not sure I haven’t had a hernia for years and never even knew about it. Since he doesn’t believe it’s the cause of the abdominal pain and tightness, I’m going to give it a couple more weeks to see if things continue to improve.

I seldom strap on a heart rate monitor but I put it on for a run the other evening. I’d been on the phone since 11 AM and had just gotten off a 4 hour conference call and decided to head out for a 1 hour run. For the first time in weeks, I am starting to feel the body improving. Not back to normal but it feels like things are on the mend. So when I was 10 minutes into my run and I was gasping for air, I looked down at my watch thinking I must be clocking the first couple miles under 7:00/min pace. My Garmin gave me the bad news and told me we were barely pushing a 7:30 pace and my heart rate was over 150. Wow! I’m having to start training all over again. I finished the 7 miles at 7:29/min pace (151 BPM or 82% MAX).

Overlook and Courthouse - Average Heart Rate 151 BPM - Pace 7:29

Overlook and Courthouse - Average Heart Rate 151 BPM - Pace 7:29

Now this is a good 10 BPM higher than my average even though I’m moving at slower pace. So my heart is working harder and I’m going slower? This shows I’m not back to normal yet and probably on the tail end of a couple different issues. Here’s my heart rate when I’m feeling normal on the same route at about 6:55/min pace (138 BPM or 75% MAX):

Overlook and Courthouse - Average Heart Rate 138 - Pace 6:54

Overlook and Courthouse - Average Heart Rate 138 - Pace 6:54

This is a more normal range at 7/min pace and I would expect an average of 140 BPM at the 7:30/min pace. The good thing about both graphs is the upward trend towards the end. It’s always good to see the effort increase. The heart rate monitor is a good indicator if other factors might be contributing to a sluggish workout or fatigue. Running at 82% of MAX is quite a bit more effort than running at 75% of MAX. These are the days it’s interesting to look at the data. The data shows the effort is there, it’s the speed that needs work.

Nicole and I took a few nights to watch the movie Benjamin Button, but we finally made it through. A moving story on a few different levels (being there at the end and saying goodbye to a parent, the gift of life, the cycle of life, the joy of life, absent fathers, discovery and adventure and love). It’s a movie better than the book (the movie is based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald). Some great observations are made by Benjamin Button as he travels through life and I’m going to end here with my favorite quote found in a postcard Benjamin writes to his daughter:

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

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2 thoughts on “Reindexing The Brain

  1. Good luck figuring out the real culprit!

    I loved the quote at the end. It has some relevance in my life at this time.

  2. Tony – I loved the quote too. In some ways it reminded me of Viktor Frankl’s: “Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.” Or what I try to do now is give myself the advice I’d be given my own son if he were in my shoes. We cannot be afraid of change. I hope we make the decisions, that when looking back in a year, we’ll be glad and proud we made.

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