Triathlon versus the Medication

This is a first. No, its not the first goal I've reached but it is one I'm very happy about. This achievement ranks up there with finishing my first 5K or sprint distance triathlon. 

You see, since I was a teenager I've been on blood pressure lowering medication. That's right, I've had high blood pressure since the age of 16. I'm now 49. 

The doctors have tried a variety of medications over these many years to get (and keep) my systolic and diastolic under control. Diet and exercise have always been part of the plan but never seemed to play as big a role as one would hope. Even as an amateur kick boxer fighting at 177 pounds my blood pressure was still a few ticks above the norm. A "good" reading for me has been in the range of 140/90...thats considered high by most standards. But thats me, even on medication. 

But not today. After 17 months of consistent endurance training my blood pressure is now considered normal or even low. Today, after reviewing months and months of readings, my doctor has stopped the medication.

And if that's not enough...my cholesterol values continue to be within normal for the second consecutive three-month period. That means the dose of lipid lowering medication that was cut in half several months ago is, you guessed it...gone. 

For the first time in adult life I don't have to take prescription medication. Why? Because I've done something totally different. I've trained differently. I've competed differently. I'm living differently. 

At the risk of sounding like a weight loss info-mercial, I can honestly say "I owe it all to triathlon." Well, maybe not "all." The desire to stay alive has something to do with it, too. 

What is clear to me is that training for endurance events has done something to my body that decades of diet, exercise, and medications couldn't. Looking past the medication its easy to see the ripple of benefits this type of training has brought to me. My body weight is down over fifty pounds, BMI down 7 kg/m2, and eleven inched off my waistline. I may just make it to fifty years old yet!

Enjoying the multi-sport lifestyle keeps training interesting and fun. There's always a variety of workouts and swim/bike/run combos that keep things fresh. I feel in tune with my body systems and having multiple disciplines to choose from means training isn't getting old anytime soon. 


TVB 2/3/15 Eight Miles after Seven Days

Eight Miles after Seven Days

Thats right - seven days off from training. This is one of the longest breaks since starting serious training 18 months ago. The weather has been a factor in training this week. The dark, icy, snowy, windy days with temps below zero have kept me from doing much outside work.

Our youngest has been sick with a cold (flu?) and I find it difficult to get out the door during such times. Like any parent of a sick child, you find that your priorities get shuffled just a little. Thankfully, she's feeling much better.

Todays run took place at Canal Ponds Park. The roads get plowed fairly well here and there is very little traffic. The snow covered woods and ponds provided just the right amount of relaxing eye candy. The only sounds to be heard was the crunching snow in rhythm with my breathing and stride.

My spit would crackle and freeze at it hit the ground, reminding me of how cold it actually is.



Derailed. Out of  balance. Off course. Distracted.

That's where I am now. I don't like it.

The weather, work, kids, illness, and kids with illness are the laundry list of issues that conspire to shred my training cycle.

The weather has just been too cold. To the point of being unsafe and so cold that my shoes have lost all flexibility. Its like I'm running on flat, hard pieces of plastic; slipping all over the place. The usual difficulties of winter running are compounded by the extreme conditions here over the last two weeks. I haven't been able to get outside for six days. Today is no different. 14 18 inches of snow fell last night. Wind chills are -10 now. I'm not sure I could make it to the gym for a bike trainer or swim workout now.


If its not the weather, its work. Work has been difficult. The last few shifts complicated with patient behaviors, early starts and late finishes.

My youngest is fighting a cold (flu?), too. Nothing distracts me more and re-sets my priorities than having one of my kids sick.

On the brighter side...I've been training for 18 months now. This is only the fourth or fifth time I've had to take a (unscheduled) break. I'm thankful for that and the fact that I remain healthy and injury free.

What do you do when life situations bowl over your training plans?

I'll regroup today. Reschedule a few things. Do some core work at home.

I'll lace-up and head out tomorrow.

What will you do?