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, July 18, 2010

Mission accomplished

Wow, one week after Hardrock and I am back in Oz, trying to get over another dose of jetlag.
I will write a full and thorough race report but meantime the short version is: I finished.

This was my toughest one yet, despite being the fittest I have been. I was conservative the first day and was confident I could run home strong in under 40hrs (my goal) the last climb in the night (Engineer's Pass) and early the next morning I suffered terribly from the altitude. My vision went all blurry then started to funnel down on me and I was all light headed and wobbly. At first I thought this was just fatigue but it got worse the higher I went and then my lips got all tingly. I realised I was hypoxic and descended. I sat and faced the DNF for nearly an hour before trying again and taking it really slow. I made it over American-Grouse and then over Handies so just plugged away until I felt good again by late afternoon.

Time became irrelevant except for the cut-offs which I knew I could beat. I don't know what else I can do for this run. I have trained harder than ever, spent 3 weeks acclimating and I know the course now. There is no way of predicting the effects of altitude and I suffered more in the lead up this year.

But a Hardrock finish is a finish, and I will take that anyday, regardless of time.
3 from 3.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


As you say at HR a finish is a finish.
Hope the recovery is going well.
You are due a good year I think.