After the race, I figured I would keep whittling away at my weight and the stuff that may be contributing to my issue. I researched on the internet the causes of and solutions for high blood pressure. Diet, lifestyle, exercise!! I can do that. I went from being a little timid about my exercise to saying, "fuck it!", I'm going to blow this pressure right out of the top of my head. As the weight came off, I started increasing the time and intensity of my work outs. Instead of going halfway up the stadium steps, I started going all the way up again. I increased my lifting, pushups and other strength activities. I looked at food a different way. I still do. When I look at the pantry filled with stuff I used to gorge myself on, I think of it as an enemy to my health. Same with most fast food. I still eat quite a bit and well, but it is mostly healthy. Way more fruits and vegetables. I have lost a total of 20 pounds, 14 since the blood pressure was read. My running is almost back to my pre-marathon status. Some of my running ills came from my knee issue, but packing 20 pounds on and neglecting my strength training did not help. I just won my age group and came in 5th overall in a local Pump and Run competition. My 5k time was only off by .48 seconds from my previous pr and my lifting was really good. I say only, because I really didn't feel race ready. They say you can't lose weight, build muscle and stay strong. Well, you can if you train and eat smart and you are overweight to start with. I feel strong.
This is just my experience and my story. I don't recommend it for everyone. If I were talking to you, I would say go to the doctor and get checked out. I'm still gonna do that. I do believe, though, that much of our ills can be cured ourselves. Sitting on our ass is a cure for nothing. Feeling sorry for ourselves is a cure for nothing. I also know that my issue is relatively minor compared to others. But it really bothered me and made me think how I take(took) things for granted. If you take your health for granted for too long, you may not be able to get it back. My pressure as of my last reading was 130/82. Still have some work to do, but I'm happy with the progress.
I'm going to close with this. I was talking to a friend and we were discussing running. Running is hard. It is hard to describe what makes us do what we do. It comes down to accomplishing something you thought you could never do. The feeling of pure power and joy when you reach a goal you didn't think possible. Working through some hard spots to reach a breakthrough you have been working towards for maybe months. There is nothing like that feeling. Knowing that you busted through some barrier. And sharing that experience with some pretty cool people. It is life changing is so many ways.
I will conclude with a quote, "I could die tomorrow, but I want my corpse to be full of muscle, bone and gristle...and for it to sprint to its final resting place." House Vandeweghe