Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cross Training: Heart Rate Creep

I brought along my Polar 725 HRM and transmitter this last Saturday for a familiar run on Euclid Avenue in Upland, CA. My friends and I have been doing this since I started running in the late 1980's. On Saturday I ran up to the fire station on 24th from our start on 17th. That's 1.75 miles up. Then I ran back. I felt good so I ran down to 16th and back to 17th twice to add another mile. (The blocks are conveniently 1/4 mile each.) My total: 4.5 miles.

I made it a point to back off if my rate went over 140 going up. I'd walk until it came down to about 120 and would start again. I was pleased that the "creep" in heart rate was modest. See the sawteeth just before the peak. Many's the time in the past my rate hit about 180 here. My time up to the fire station was a little under 27 minutes, close to 15 minutes/mile or 4 miles/hour. Not bad for an old guy going uphill. My time back was a little over 19 minutes, about 9 min/mile or a little over 6 miles/hour. Both segments included walking to bring HR within the 120-140 range. I rested only 3 minutes at the top, 2 minutes at the bottom, and 5 minutes at the end. My average excluding these rests was almost exactly 4.5 miles/hour. Include them and the average is about 4 mph. Notice that there is some cardiac "creep" at the end and that my heart rate going downhill was greater than going uphill! (124 versus 139). And I had trouble keeping my rate in the targeted range. I think this fact has to do with training and would be true whether or not I was going downhill. But the fact that I was going downhill reaveals the creep more explicitly. If I went on a 10K training regime, I would expect to see less creep on the second half on this run as I built up my miles.

The 5 minute rest at the end shows the drop in heart rate which is good in the first minute dropping from 160 to 130, but it required another couple of minutes to get to 100. Still okay, I think.

Not shown here is the most recent OwnIndex of 40, equivalent to an O2Max without the hassles of actually doing an O2Max test. Excellent for my age, so they say. I'm glad I took my Polar along with me. Cross training occasioned a cross-check on my cardio, and it could be a lot worse.

This helps me with my conjecture about the best when to get to Pasadena from Claremont on foot. It's a walk/run combo like Euclid.


I looked back over my liver enzymes history and found nothing out of the ordinary. Some highs and lows, but not too far out of the envelope except for this last test result for Akaline Phosphatase. A quick look at the websites give the following as the usual causes of low ALK PHOs:

"Reduced alkaline phosphatase levels are associated with a number of conditions including zinc deficiency; folic acid deficiency; low levels of phosphorus; vitamin B6 deficiency; vitamin C deficiency; excessively high vitamin D intake; malnutrition involving inadequate protein assimilation (this can also be caused by hypochlorhydria – low production of stomach acid); Celiac disease; hypothyroidism; anaemia or inadequate parathyroid gland function."

I have been taking Vitamin D supplements, but only as a result of low Vitamin D which my endrocrinologist saw a couple of lab tests ago. I'm taking Folic Acid supplements. Maybe I need to add B6? The rest don't "hunt" in my opinion. I've had my thyroid tested and it is normal, unlike my brother's which is low. Will check this at next GP visit.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Lipid Results Are In

Picked them up this afternoon. Let's start with predictions:

  • 149 CHL (within VitalImaging Recommendation)
The actual turned out 10% better. In fact, it is among the lowest overall CHL results that I have had at:
  • 137 (Too Low?)
Trigycerides were not as good as I had thought, however. Prediction:
  • 99 Trigycerides (within VitalImaging Recommendation)
  • 111 - well within the "Normal", which tops at 125. So far so good.
LDL was good, too. Predicted:
  • 78 LDL (close to the recommended 70)
  • 69 - just below the VitalImaging recommendation of 70 and better than December.
Ah, but my HDL Cholesterol is still relatively low, given the Niaspan. Predicted
  • 54 HDL - if I tolerate 4 Niaspans (ballpark with regard to the recommended 60)
  • 43 - up from 39, but with two more Niaspan! This one is hard.
Overall, this is a better result than December, but only marginally in my opinion, given the increase in medication. I think, however, that my doctor will point to the LDL at 69 as the key. If I can hold that, and the low overall CHL, then I'll be doing about as well as I can. I might even be able to cut back on some of the meds.

I suspect, however, that the 2.5/mg Crestor really helped bring the LDL down. (It may have retarded the increase in HDL, too.)

I doubt whether my doctor will recommend 4 Niaspan/day to get a small incremental result in HDL.

My liver functions are affected. SGOT (AST) is fine, but SGPT is high. 44 where 39 is the upper limit. I don't think this is significant, however.

But ALK PHOS at 35 is significantly low and below the 50-136 normal window. I await my doctor's input here. It may mean cutting back on one of the drugs, probably Niaspan.

I'll look at the historical range in the liver functions and will follow up after I have seen my doctor in May.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Update

Just had my blood drawn today for the spring lipid panel, the last time being in December, or about 4 months. I'll be posting about the results when I get them, which might be as early as tomorrow.

In the meantime, I added a Twitter/Tweet panel on this blog. You can see it on the right hand side. This searches for recent tweets on lipid topics (like "LDL", "HDL", etc.) and displays them, looping through the six most recent. I plan to refine this when I have a better sense of who is updating lipid profile information and recommendations.

In February I posted a set of predictions if I could stay on my regime. Here are those recommendations:
  • 149 CHL (within VitalImaging Recommendation)
  • 99 Trigycerides (within VitalImaging Recommendation)
  • 78 LDL (close to the recommended 70)
  • 54 HDL - if I tolerate 4 Niaspans (ballpark with regard to the recommended 60)
My diet wasn't good the day before -- sausage links for starters, but I've stuck to my meds pretty well. Didn't feel like upping the Niaspan to 4 the night before, but I'm tolerating 3 okay. Took Zetia and 2.5/mg Crestor to complete the regime. I'd say 50 was more likely for HDL; 85 for LDL's; 100 for Triglycerides; 150 overall CHL. We'lll see. That would be good and I can up the Niaspan to 4 if need be and work more on my diet.

Another variable is weight. I was at least 10 pounds lighter in December. I had good numbers even though I was not taking Crestor - except in HDL - just 39. I was only taking one Niaspan a day. So my weight is up, but so is medication.

There is a very slight downward trend in BP since return from China due to more regular exercise. The baseline begins in July, 2010 before my departure to China in late August. See above.