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 with AF. I was forced to miss Hardrock in 2011 due to my AF but my long term goal was to get back to a level where I could enter the lottery for 2012. 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 qual for 2015. I ran Fatdog in Canada instead. That was tough. Now back to Hardrock.

The heart problems all started back on May 25: http://howmanysleeps.blogspot.com/2011/05/out-of-hardrock.html

Friday, July 14, 2006

Nearly a zen moment.

Headed down to the Ironbark Forest to start the trail marking for my
Fat Ass run on Sunday. Not sure why I'm bothering to mark it out. It
seems like I could be running it on my own. Well me and the whippets. I
don't mind though. It's given me extra excuses to get down there and go
for a run on my favourite track. I just hope it doesn't rain too much
between now and Sunday.
Parked above Southside on the road after marking the track in and out
of Bells Beach and across Southside carpark. I had my Mule on with the
new bottle holders that I wanted to try out and was carrying a bag of
flour in my hand. About 100 m into the bush and I tripped and had a
really heavy fall. Luckily the bag didn't burst or I would've been
covered in flour. I blame Tim. It was just after he had been
complaining about the possibility of falling while wearing Skins and
here I was in my linebreaks eating dirt, literally. I opened the wound
on my hand from my fall on Tuesday. Twice in one week. I never fall. I
trip occasionally but I can count all the falls I've ever had on one
hand. I reckon it's because of my sore toe. I am not pushing off
properly and that foot is not lifting as high. After recovering from
that I was out for just under 2 hours marking the major track
intersections. Ran to Point Addis and back, easy pace. I popped the
shuffle on close to finishing with only the trip down to the Jarosite
mine left. I flew down there and just cruised up the long climb out.
About halfway up I stopped and looked around. I love this place. I had
one of those epiphany-like moments where you realise just how good it
is to be out there. I think that is as close as I get to the infamous
Spud-zen-moment.
Only 7 weeks until GH. I am getting really psyched out by all the hype
on CR. Everyone seems to be full of confidence while I am struggling
just to get out the door. I have adjusted my goals to meet my
limitations but am still worried how my toe will stand up to nearly 30
hours of pounding. Not to mention my ankle that aches just thinking
about it. Perhaps I should just do the 100km? I'll give it some
thought. Maybe I should just crew? I'll see how I go at 12'. Only 4
weeks away. That will be the real test. I'm really looking forward to
12', despite the injury woes and limited prep.

Friday, July 07, 2006

59 Sleeps 'till GH100

Man, I'm running out of time. I read somewhere recently a quote by
Deeks that you learn more from your bad runs than you do from your good
runs. There is so much truth to this. My only good run this year was
the Prom 100 where I finished the 80 km loop really strongly and if I
hadn't missed a turn on the last 20 km loop would have finished the 100
in a good time and in good form. Contrast that with my 100 on the
track/road at GC100 which was a disaster, and I have subsequently
reassessed my approach and plan to get me to GH100 in condition to
finish. The main hassle is recovering from my toe problem. That aside,
the GC100 taught me I need a more consistent mileage and not just rely
on the odd ultra. I have fleshed out a plan to get some fitness back
but there is precious little time and I will walk a fine line between
fitness and injury. With this in mind I have put my old road bike on
the rollers and climb on occasionally in lieu of a run. I will still
aim for the minimum 3 runs a week, including the longer weekend one. I
haven't got back onto the stairs yet. But with the bike and at least 2
weight sessions a week I hope I can get there. As I like to say: you
can bluff your way through a 100 km but 100 miles will find you out.
Just look at the DNF list for any 100 miler. I guess that's why I
didn't really feel like an ultra runner until I had finished GH. Gotta
love that shirt!
I am back running but still not pain free. But when am I ever totally
pain free these days? And it feels good to actually go for a run. The
focus in the next few weeks will be to get my long run up enough to get
me through 12'. Times will be irrelevant. In fact I will be running GH
very conservatively. Bugger the 24hr sirens. I have seen too many
shipwrecks chasing that one. No, I am now in build up mode for next
year.