Ultrarunner fighting Atrial Fibrilation (AF)

This blog has pretty much always been about running ultras, mostly Hardrock. It still is but now it is also about running after AFib. I was forced to miss Hardrock in 2011 due to the onset of AF but my long term goal was to get back to running milers. And hopefully help any other runners with AF who stumble upon this site. I never made it into Hardrock in 2012, or 2013, or 2014. I didn't have a qualifier for 2015. I ran Fatdog in Canada instead. That was tough. I finished my 4th Hardrock in 2016 and now I'm back to try for the magical number 5.

If you want the history of my AF the heart problems all started back on May 25 2011: http://howmanysleeps.blogspot.com/2011/05/out-of-hardrock.html

Sunday, December 31, 2006


So I can sign off a fairly successful running year. Started pretty
ordinary with itb problems forcing a dnf at Bogong. The fact that I
hadn't really trained at all meant this was no surprise. Then an
absolute crap run at Maroondah and I was thinking this could be a bad
year. Debuted 6' with a sub 5 hr-beer-bet-winning run that hurt like
hell, but got me back on track. Ran 88 mins in a "training run" at the
local 1/2 marathon. Happy with that. Had an absolute pearler of a run
at the Prom 100 before missing a late turn and adding a few kms and a
couple of hours. But it's hard to beat the Prom runs. I love that
place. Headed north for a cameo appearance at the GH50miler. Ran hard
with Spud and Dom for the first half then limped home on a sore itb for
a good hour pb. What's a few soft tissue issues between friends? For
some unknown reason I then decided to run the GC100 again. I guess the
kids holiday thing combined looked like a good package. Had probably
the worst run of my life and came away with a lasting momento of an
arthritic big toe. That was it for road/track races forever. I now had
a definite WS qualifier and the wait was on. Got the confirmed entry in
July. Lost a good month to the toe. 12' track in August was an
excursion into the familiar territory of ultras on no training. Well,
not quite. Once my toe allowed I had started logging some consistent
miles, albeit low volume, with a wish to avoid ever repeating the GC100
disaster. 12' was a race rather than a run this year. I was unprepared
for the competitiveness and was caught napping. That and some more itb
issues saw me tird to round up the mellum podium still in a pb of 12:20
something. Only 3 weeks until GH100. At least I didn't have a
Trailwalker to worry about. Given my limited prep I had no
expectations. Realistically I hoped to go 25 hours. That would have
been a pb and a good run. 22:38 and finishing with a near sprint over
the last 8 km was beyond my wildest dreams. Gave me endless confidence.
Went to Brindabella to see what everyone raves about. With a bit of an
affinity for down hill runs I thought I would have some fun. Boring
firetrail that pounded my quads and blew out one of my shoes midsoles
leaving me with a trashed achilles. 3 weeks to GNW and the pressure was
on. Tried a 10km run 2 weeks out and couldn't walk the next day. That
was it: no running and intensive rehab and icing for 2 weeks. It was
still tender through GNW but held together and another surprising
success with a finish after 5 weeks of averaging less than 15 km per
week (including Brindy). For the first time I actually thought I
wouldn't mind a crack at Kosci. Not this year, though. Crewing turned
into pacing after Tim pulled up lame and I managed to run/walk with
Spud for the last 90km up the mountain. Good taste for what is needed.
Maybe next year? So I haven't worked out my average mileage but I
wouldn't be surprised if I raced more than I trained. But it worked
when it counted. It confirmed my belief that running ultras is way more
mental than physical. Next year is WS year and everything pretty much
revolves around that. But I'm kicking the year off fitter and healthier
than the last so hopefully I can convert that into some good races.
Starting with 6'. This will be my launching pad. I have filled in my
calendar for the year but I am focused on 6' for now. Time to get
serious. Lets see what can be done when I really put my mind to it.


Spud said...

You've had a great year mate, some extraordinary running off little mileage, me dips me lid ;-)

Looking forward to sharing a few more miles with you in 2007!

Horrie said...

Congratulations on a great year Whippet. You certainly put those demons to rest after your ordinary start to the year. Good luck with the training for 6 Foot Track.

tim. said...

The better you run the more obnoxious you are!!