Monday, September 29, 2014

Propranolol Weaning and Heart Rate Exploration Project - Part 3? 4? I can't fucking remember...

What I last spoke about my Propranolol weaning, it was the beginning of August, and I was excited about the changes I was seeing in my heart rate activity. I was also feeling encouraged about my ability to wean off the meds without having a terrible time of it.

I have had one cluster attack in the weaning period. It wasn't too terrible, though. I was able to kill it with a dose of my pain meds on the 2nd day of it. Since then, I've just had standard headaches that respond fine to Advil.

So. I'm down to taking 2 doses of Propranolol per week. I'm pretty sure I've been doing that for long enough now, and next week, I'll go ahead and transition to just once per week on Fridays. That way, it won't affect any of my "big" workouts with my trainer (they're my high calorie burning workouts), and I'll have a relatively quiet day to deal with side effects, which are pretty pronounced at this point in the weaning. (The sleepiness is the worst. I often can't make it through the day without one or two long naps on the days that I take it...)

That said, here's how awesome things are, heart rate-wise:
Early - Mid August: Maintaining an average HR of 110 throughout workouts; Max HR peaking at 129
By Late August: Able to maintain an average HR of 114.5 throughout workouts; Max HR peaking at 142.3
Throughout Sept: Average HR is 113.6 throughout workouts; Max HR is averaging 139.3

I work out for anywhere from 4.5 - 7 hours per week. Usually on 4 - 5 various days throughout the week. I see my trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and those workouts have average HR of 122 - 126, and max HR levels of 151 - 163. We're supposed to be keeping it between 126 - 153 on those days, so we're really working at that when we're together. He prefers for me to go as high as possible because CALORIE BURN, YEAH BABY!, and while I want to agree with that, my genetic tests said I should not go above that max, max heart rate of 153. If I do, I'm pushing my body too far which will lead to me releasing more cortisol into my system, which signals my body to start holding onto the fat. And that's kind of what we're trying to avoid, here! So we're working really hard at staying in those limits.

On my other workout days, I walk the dogs, I use my treadmill, I do pilates or yoga...and I'm averaging a heart rate of 98 - 117, and maxing at about 120 - 144. I should be keeping it much lower than that (between 90 - 117), but it's so haaaard! Especially when I'm walking 3 fucking dogs at the same time! That's a hoot and a half, lemme tell ya. But I'm still working on it.

I took my Propranolol on Wednesday last week, and then saw my trainer for a workout on Thursday morning. I was busting my nut, and was huffing and puffing with a heart rate of about 120. And I told him that it was certainly an eye opener to feel like I was achieving a max HR of 155 - 160, but only actually being at 120-ish. I'm really hoping all this "research" I'm doing on myself will help him with other clients he might have, now or in the future, that take meds that affect their heart rate. Because here I am feeling like I'm at my max, but according to my monitor, I'm barely getting my heart rate up at all!

And that is absolutely NOT the case.

I'm seeing a small change in my body at this point. I feel tighter. I'm down to 216 pounds from the 219 I was at a couple of months ago. This week, we'll measure at the gym and we'll see if there are any "official" changes to my size...I feel like there have been, but the tape measure doesn't lie as much as my jeans with Lycra might! ;)

I'm feeling really positive over all about it, though. And I'm so grateful that the weaning off the meds is going as well as it has thus far. Here's to hoping that I can continue down this path!