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

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 5: Friday 25th

What a difference some sleep makes. Felt great so headed out early to climb Mt Kendall again. It is close, convenient and constant climbing from the go. The plan was to go out a couple of hours and turn around. Not far up the climb I crossed paths with a lady coming back down so stopped for a chat. She knew my name and rather bewildered I inquired and turns out she is on the Hardrock Board so pretty much knows everyone. She told me if I find Rodger asleep at the top to wake him up. He has been pressed for time to train so got up in the early hours and was now on his third repeat of the mountain. Nothing like cramming at the last minute! Not long after leaving Caroline, he came flying down with another HR veteran, Rick Hodges. Rick looked in great shape despite being only a couple of months out of major surgery. Wow it was like Bourke/Pitt Street out here. 

I switched my ipod on and started plowing up the steeper incline climbing to 12,000 feet (from 9,200 in town) in just 4 miles. Another runner came towards me. Turns out he wasn't a Hardrocker but was on for a chat nevertheless. Despite all the people out here the little ground squirrels were still flitting across the road. Everything was so green. The big-leaved skunk cabbage plants were in flower and looked somewhat like triffids with their gangly stalks.

I turned around short of the top but with 5+miles and 2 hours up I was ready to go back. I tightened my pack and cranked up the pace a notch. When the Hilltop Hoods clicked onto my shuffle I had the perfect rhythm going and a smile from ear-to-ear. 

About half-way down another runner was slogging up towards me. Marcie, my saviour at the Putnam Aid station, mile 95, last year. We had a great catch-up and then I ran into her partner, John, further down the hill, trying to catch up with her. He is in the race this year and Marcie will pace the back half. It was really cool catching up with all these familiar faces. 

I ran the last part hard and my knee held together which is promising. 11 miles in 3+hrs. Trail marking starts tomorrow. Can't wait.

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