Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Painful Decision

I've got a debate coming up, a dilemma I suppose. I'm wondering if I should take my Polar F4 heart rate monitor with me to San Francisco or not.

I do want to be able to track my heart rate during the race, of course. I want to track it because it is such a valuable tool for me to use. Knowing where I am in terms of heart rate lets me know how much gas I have left in my tank, how much I can push myself or if I need to take it down a notch or three.

But what's the cost of such information? I wouldn't necessarily call the heart-rate monitor strap I wear the most comfortable thing ever. In fact, it's anything but. Of course, I have the old version of the strap. The newer version apparently feels like clothes against your skin, at least that's what the Polar Web site claims. It's probably true as I would venture to guess that there were tons of complaints about the strap I use.

I wore it during my 22-mile run and I wasn't quite prepared for it. I tried to put tape down in the places where the plastic rubs up against the skin but I misfired. It was tough to tell because I didn't have any scars or cuts on me so I had to guess, and I guessed wrong.

How wrong?

I almost got it. I was just a little bit off.

The tape is where I taped myself before the run but the cuts show where the strap ran across, slicing my skin open where it rubbed against it. That's the scar on my left side. My right side also has scars like that, pretty similar as I misfired on that tape as well.

I don't necessarily want to scare anyone away from wearing a heart-rate monitor or strap. Believe it or not, this isn't a huge deterrent from wearing my strap. I just need to tape it better. But if you are considering tracking your heart rate, there are newer straps that probably won't cut you like the one I have. A lot of the newer HR monitors come with this strap, so if I were to upgrade to another Polar the strap would not slice me open.

I just am not sure if I should give myself something else to worry about. What if one of these cuts re-opens? What if I slice myself up on different spots? What if I feel something funny on my side during the race? Early in the race? Before the race even starts? What do I do then?

I want everything running smoothly that day, but I also want to actually run smoothly during the race. And the HR monitor would give me accurate measurements of where I'm at and will help me get through the race.

I have a couple of weeks to decide, so I suppose that's a positive. But at the same time, I think my sides may have already made the decision for me.


5thsister said...

let's see:

Black toe-Check
Bloody nipples-Check
Scars from HR monitor-Check

Yikes, Luis...I hate to venture what's next. Have you tried running without it and guessing at your heart rate by how you feel? I bet you'd be've been running long enough now that I bet it's almost 2nd nature to you. Regardless...good luck on your decision making.

Deb said...

Ouch! I'm with 5thsister - you probably already know what you need to know.

Kerrie T. said...

Ouch. :( Can you put BodyGlide all over the area where the strap might touch?

Whitney said...

YIKES! That looks nasty! Good luck with that decision... I would end up putting tape ON the strap... but wouldn't that defeat the purpose? :)

L.B. said...

I've tried Body Glide but it doesn't do much to correct the issues.

I haven't thought about tape on tape, or taping the strap. I don't know how just tape on the strap would work, but tape on the strap and tape on my side might be good.

My sides have ached all week, even when just laying down and sleeping.

Tricia said...