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Getting over a different sort of heartbreak hill

 
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:06 pm    Post subject: Getting over a different sort of heartbreak hill Reply with quote

Hi all from a new member. I found this forum quite by accident, and after a couple of days, I'm hooked. I figured I'd join the bloggers as a way to work through a recent challenge, and to keep myself honest in my effort to overcome it.

I've been running seriously for at least a decade; 15 marathons, including five Boston's, New York, Chicago, Philly, etc. Due to a move, I've been part of three different running groups, and I've loved them all.

A few months ago, while starting out with the group for a 15 miler, my heart started racing and beating erratically. Short version of long story, I've had two catheter ablation procedures, and I'm back to very regular exercise, alternating among running, swimming and biking. But the running seems to really kick my butt like never before: I tire much more easily, and I have a bit of a rough time of it throughout the rest of the day.

I'm thinking it's as likely the wretched heat in Baltimore as anything else, plus I haven't been completely weaned off the meds yet. But I'm not ready to give up marathoning, so I'm hoping to be able to train with the mix of swim, run, cycle, with gradually longer runs. My longest since the last procedure has been six, which I've done several times.

Sooooo....I figure I'll start this thread and gradually ramp up the miles again. My target is Rehoboth Beach in December, and I hope to run it with two of my kids.

The docs say I should be fine, and I'll ask about the marathon business when I go for my three month follow-up in September. The problem was essentially electrical, and not at all life-threatening--just to save anyone a sense of responsibility to say "WTF??!! Are you CRAZY????". While making no claims to sanity or normalcy, I'm careful about trivia such as life and death.

If I can figure out how to add a picture, I will, but until then, just imagine an Adonis.

Thanks.
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lori



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 3370
Location: Where you're not

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the Madness Adonis (love that! ha).
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kent



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 4530
Location: The wrong end of a leash

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome! Get that picture posted asap; if everyone imagines you as an Adonis they'll just be picturing me.

BTW, one the best cardio-electrophysiologists in the country hangs out here occasionally, he goes by the name of 7.
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littlewally and farnk



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 3463
Location: club 337

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome! please stick around. We want to hear YOUR story (and see your pix)
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Jimmy Jam



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 2417
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Adonis. Good luck with all your issues, including running with your kids. I took up running to get away from mine!
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it turns out if you write a longish post, and take a phone call before you finish, you get logged out and all your pearls of wisdom are eaten by swinish software. As if further testimony were required, I am also completely unable to figure out how to post a profile picture. If anyone reads this in the next couple of months, could you shoot me some directions?

Now where was I? Ah yes: thanks for all the nice welcomes. I'll keep posting on here to help me stay focused on the goal, so any feedback will be much appreciated.

I warmed up with 10 minutes on the elliptical this morning, ran for four non-hilly, relatively relaxed miles, cool down for 10 minutes on the elliptical (does anyone else call their elliptical Molly Bloom? Or am I confusing ellipses and dashes and...?). I count the 10 minutes as a mile, so I'm claiming a total of six miles today.

Feel OK after the run--a couple of episodes of shortness of breath, nothing too uncomfortable, and even survived a dental cleaning by Frau Braun (Is is safe?). I've been trying to decide if I should put in some tempos and intervals, or just keep building the long runs until I get back to the mid-teens, to prep for a December Rehoboth Beach. Probably should just build up the base...

I'll also move to running four days rather than the three I've been doing, and swim twice, bike once. I was going to try the "run less, run faster" approach, but I seem to be prone to "run less and less, run slower and slower" syndrome. So we'll see...(I plan to count the ellipses as intervals)...
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pix function de-coded--looks like I just had to be on a real computer, not an iPad (sorry, Steve).
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1L



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome! Glad to see a newbie join the fray.
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GBN



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 1932
Location: Lynchburg, Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are people on this board who still run?

Welcome, sir.
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Doctor F



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 9579
Location: The Empire State

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting over a different sort of heartbreak hill Reply with quote

run_26point2 wrote:
The problem was essentially electrical, and not at all life-threatening--just to save anyone a sense of responsibility to say "WTF??!! Are you CRAZY????"


From this group? We are a bunch of enablists. You've come to the right place. Welcome!
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tom



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 2332
Location: Northwest Indiana

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome and keep the posts coming. It's only a matter of time before the abuse begins.
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just trying to keep the run log going--except I ended up swimming 2000 meters this morning, given the weather. I usually run through anything, but decided a swim would feel good.

Off to the beach to see friends for the weekeend, a bike trip planned (probably very casual) and maybe a run on Sunday morning with any luck.

Yesterday's coughing got a little annoying. I really do wonder if there's something about running that irritates the heart tissue more. Have to remember to ask about that.

I had a pitch meeting with a woman who wants to take the Students Run LA idea to national scale. Very smart, committed, worth investig in, I think. Does anyone know of other programs like these, beyond LA and Philly? They engage at risk youth in running programs, with goals of 5k through full marathons, with some very impressive results on school completion, avoidance of teen pregnancy, etc.
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T-Mu



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 1194

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The New York Road Runners has a HUGE program to promote running in schools: http://www.nyrrfoundation.org/programs/mighty_milers/index.asp and http://www.nyrrfoundation.org/programs/young_runners/index.asp

I don't know much about the programs so I can't comment on their efficacy! But I know they've been trying to go national with their programs, too. The more runners the merrier.
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much, T_Mu. I'd heard a bit about the NYRR program, but not the details. I'll send this on to her, and encourage her to reach out to them.

And exactly right--the more the merrier, as long as they're a half step behind all of us.

Thanks again.
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Rita



Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 4469
Location: Alexandria, VA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, another runner on the east coast... welcome. I'm in NoVa and doing 50 states so I'm not about to call you crazy. I've been doing lots of water jogging to add "miles" to my running routine since 2007. For me it's to combat heel bursitis, but it has turned into my weather beater as well. Hope your electrical problem stays under control.
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Babs



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 1676
Location: Athens, Ga

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome! We are a group of enablers....
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Andrew



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 507
Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A-Fib? Me, too. And I still am running.
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Andrew, Barbara and Rita, for the welcomes, and the enabling. Much more effective than Thorazine or Haldol, and without all the pesky side-effects.

Bringing my running log up to date--after a swim on Friday, I ran a little more than 6 on Saturday, on a nice trail; off to the Delaware shore, where we did a fair amount of relatively wussy biking that afternoon; then a shortish run/walk on Sunday, followed by even wussier bike riding. Off to the pool on Monday to do 2000 meters, and then ran 7.5 this morning--my longest run in quite a while.

So far, no bad reactions today, so maybe just gradually pushing up the miles will work. I did feel awfully sluggish on Sunday--lack of training? heart? old age? (nah.....).
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and Andrew: yes, it's A-fib, much better since the procedure--have you had that? As for continuing to run...WTF??!! Are you CRAZY???
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Andrew



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 507
Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't run when I'm IN A-fib...

I haven't had the procedure. I don't lapse into a-fib that often - just a handful a times a year. And when I'm in A-fib, I notice it but it's not debilitating. I can get up, walk, eat, sleep. The only thing I can't do when I'm in A-Fib is run. (I tried that once and I got my HR on my garmin up to 200, then I decided I should stop). All I do is to wait to get back into normal rhythm, then I am good to go.

As for continuous meds, I'm not on any for it. Lucky, I guess. My HR is low enough they can't give me normal anti-A-fib drugs since those would lower my HR even further. I do have pills I pop when I get into A-fib, they are suppose to help pop me out of it quicker, but a couple of those a year really shouldn't have any impact on my running.

My doc says to keep on running (as long as I'm not in A-fib), and keep the weight off (to keep BP in check). Like you, this summer I've slowed down, but I attribute that to age (sucks), injuries, and heat. I am not a hot weather runner.
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
Posts: 3574
Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So glad to see a new face on TM! Indeed, you've joined a group that includes a bunch of people who used to race and run a lot. Many of us now talk about many other things, but still love to check in with each other. Maybe you can re-energize this place! Please continue posting!

Andrew wrote:

My doc says to keep on running (as long as I'm not in A-fib), and keep the weight off (to keep BP in check). Like you, this summer I've slowed down, but I attribute that to age (sucks), injuries, and heat. I am not a hot weather runner.

Andrew, I had no idea about this. Maybe when we move to the new house, you and I can get into a routine of early morning runs in the 'hood. I'll need a lot of support in finding my old runner self and you'll need an escape from that brood of yours! Wink
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew, good to hear you're not bothered by frequent or intense episodes; I gather there's a lot of variation. In my case, I was having daily episodes, even with the meds, and they were at best distracting, even if not dangerous, so having the procedure made sense. So far so good--much less frequent, much less severe, and I'm able to keep moving.

Since last update: rode for 17 miles yesterday, and swam the 2000 meter routine this morning. Plan to run tomorrow morning and again on Saturday to see how it goes running back to back (now I just have to find someone willing to run with (preferably her) back against mine.
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: I ran about five miles last Friday, seven on Saturday, biked easy for 14 miles on Sunday. Got a nice six miler in on Monday, swam Tuesday, six miles this morning. On the road (almost kidnapped by a bachelorette party at the hotel bar), but hope to get six more in tomorrow morning (miles, not bachelorettes).

Stopped taking one of the meds, the one that's supposed to slow down my heart, and after a few days, I feel much better. Ad my heart rate when running is closer to my old average, although its also been cooler weather, so that may be the reason.

Off to Italy on Friday for a couple of weeks, will try to get some runs in, but we'll see.
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7



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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Location: Anywhere I need to be Sonny's Wingman

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome. I'll Post more on afib later.
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alevansal



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 1265
Location: Melbourne Beach, FL

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

run_26point2 wrote:
On the road (almost kidnapped by a bachelorette party at the hotel bar), but hope to get six more in tomorrow morning (miles, not bachelorettes).


This sounds fun.

Welcome and hope you keep posting!
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back after a detour to Italy (Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Rome). Spectacular two weeks. I managed to run at least every other day, through beautiful countryside or along the Tiber.

So I seem to be past all but the most minor symptoms of Afib (see above), and I've been gradually ramping up the mileage. I've been able to either run, bike or swim every day this week, with most mornings running. I did stride-outs on Monday for the first time in many months, and tried to do 3x1600 on Wednesday (got two done, was running uphill for #3 and turned it into 3x800 with considerable deterioration of pace, form and attitude).

I may try for 15 tomorrow with the group, but I'll do at least 12; I did almost 11 last week.

So that's my deal. Both life and the weather are good.
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run_26point2



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Baltimore

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

I know the suspense is torturing my legions of fans (ok, legion of fan). I'm back after a very good month on the running and recovery front.

I've been able to do three 18 milers and two 20's for long runs over the last month, and I plan to do another 20 this Saturday. I started track work with my running group once a week, so my stamina is gradually returning. I put in 50 miles total for the week last week, and felt fine. Ad I've had no A-fib symptoms for over a month, and the doc took me off both the blood thinner and the heart rate meds. Oh what a good boy am I.

I'm planning on running the Rehoboth Beach marathon on December 8th, along with my (much faster, much better looking) son. He'll have at least a half hour to relax while he waits for me.

So that's my deal. Hope both of the people reading this are also doing well.
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leannNO



Joined: 04 Jul 2005
Posts: 1353
Location: way down yonder in New Orleans

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the third? Your recovery is impressive. I'd like to borrow some of your enthusiasm, please.
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JonD



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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Location: Don't ask...I'm lost

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have more fans than you realize. Your posts are a hoot (and interesting to boot)!

Happy trails!
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Babs



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 1676
Location: Athens, Ga

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Jon said ^ Very Happy
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Barbara
Logan's, T.S.'s, Lucy's , Conner's, Grace's, Wesley's, Zack's, Abby's and Claire's Grandma
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And Charlie.
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Alan F



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was some very interesting reading.
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However hard you compete, run for fun. Make running a major part of a full life but not the whole. Run because you like it. To keep the joy of running will help you run faster than a platoon of analysts and a bagful of gadgets. - Jim Gerwick- Running Times- December 2004
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