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

Friday, February 29, 2008

6' build up

My sore glutes deteriorated tonight on an easy run. I had to stop and
all I could think of was that Dog was sticking a needle into the arse
of his Whippet doll. Damn. I was feeling so good. My main concern had
been shoe selection. Now it's injury concerns. I was going for a long
trail run tomorrow to break in a new pair on Leonas but I am not
going to waste them if I am going to be hampered by injury next week.
And I can't afford to risk exacerbating it. Maybe I should skip 6'?
Or drop back into a slower wave and just jog through? Bugger.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Endurance capital of Oz?

I ran with W and T down to their dog club this morning, along the
river. Dropped them off then ran back past the start/finish of the
Barwon Banks Fun Run. There was a track meet going on at Landy field
with athletes warming up and the PA blaring out. The river was packed
with rowers. There was a rowing carnival going on. The banks were
packed with spectators, for the rowers on one side, and runners on
the other. Then a big pack of professional women bike riders flew
past on the road. They were warming up for a World Cup race around
the town. Man, athletes everywhere of all levels and ability.
Ran for over an hour before picking up W and T again and running home
back along the river. Over 30kms and over 3 3/4 hours of low
intensity easy running. Pulled up well. Will try to slot a couple of
longer runs in during the weeks ahead to build up the base. Apart
from a hit out at 6' will keep the intensity low. Really looking
forward to 6' now.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Maroondah Dam 50

This was my seventh Dam run. I set my pb here way back when I first
started running ultras around 99 or 2000. That was 5:20 I think. I
bettered that last year off some solid Western States training (it
was delayed until April due to fire danger) down to 5:18 and second
place in a depleted field. This year I was hoping to go sub 5:30 as
an indicator that I was in good shape but I didn't back off in the
lead up and spent the afternoon before running some tough parts of
the course to help mark it. So I was pretty happy with a solid finish
in 5:34. I actually think I was ahead of last years pace (we got lost
near the start last year) up to the 20 km mark. But without the
incentive of a podium and someone to race against, I drifted on the
back part of the course. After stopping for a wee in the first 2kms I
was near the back of the field. I then worked my way back past a heap
of runners for the rest of the race. I caught up to Kelvin at about
the 30km checkpoint. He was surprised to see me. I think he thought
we were on a better pace than we were as well. He took off and stayed
in front of me all the way to the top of Mt St Leonards. I really
didn't want to catch him. I knew if I did, it would become a match
race. We almost ended up racing down one big hill while course
marking the day before. I flew past him on the really steep downhill
off the mount. I quipped to him that he was getting old. He hates
being beaten and is not a bad downhill runner so I spent the next
10km to the finish looking over my shoulder waiting for him to catch
me. I really cranked it up and was redlining all the way to
Donnelly's Weir. If he caught me after that it would have been all
his. He told me he caught glimpses of me but never got close,
finishing a couple of minutes behind me. Phew. It was hot but a
really great run. There was some controversy on CR about the course
markings cutting the course short but it was insignificant and I
reckon a more scenic singletrack than the open rutted fourwheel drive
track. My quads were shot for a couple of days. It would be good to
run parts of that course again before going to the states but it is a
long drive. Only 2 weeks now until 6 foot. Looking forward to that one.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hardrock entry

Wow, what can I say? I am slightly shell-shocked by the fact that I
have been drawn in the lottery again. This is it. This race is the
focus of my whole year. I cannot let this chance go to waste. I will
train like I have never trained before. Well, I'll train hard. I felt
some guilt that the others missed out. Especially Bill, who is
running out of opportunities to run this great race. But he has been
there before. And even if I missed out he would have still been way
down the list. So, I just have to run it as best I can for the guys
who missed out. And for me. I really want this one.

Friday, February 01, 2008

You Yangs bush bash

After a short run around the river with the dogs I drove out to the
You Yangs for some hilly trails. Took a loaded camelbak and had on
the Hardrocks but felt really tired and stiff to start off. Decided
to try the foot trails as opposed to the open gravel roads. Came upon
an intersection and chose the uphill direction on a path called
"Urinal Wall", I kid you not. Not far in and I came across some rock
climbers. Well, trainee climbers. I said hello and went straight up
the side of the rock face they were attached to by ropes. The only
problem was there was no trail when I reached the top of the rocks.
Choice: back down past the climbers looking like a dwebe or push on
through the scrub and pick up another trail or road higher up. There
are lots of trails and roads and the whole park is not that big with
a circumferential road so I wasn't worried about getting lost.

Well there wasn't any trail or road up there. Up, up I went. I was
making slow progress but figured there would be a trail at the summit
so kept going. There were sharp thorny shrubs everywhere. Bugger. It
was a secondary summit. I was a long way across from the real peak. I
stopped to eat a summer-roll. I worked out where I needed to go and
just scrambled the best I could until I was in open ground and could
get to a road. Took the best part of an hour to cover 1km. Good
training for the Barkley if I ever lost the plot and entered it. My
legs looked like I had been fighting with a tom-cat and lost.

Picked up a really good tempo on the open road and with the gentle
downhill gradient found myself clicking off 4 min ks. Hit a trail
that lead up to the summit and climbed to the peak. Really hammered
the downhill and wound it up again around the base of the hill back
to the car. 3 1/2 hours of hot trail. I think I should be recording
time not distance. Either way, I was surprised how strong I finished
after feeling so sluggish at the start. Maybe there's hope for me yet?