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 03, 2011

Bad days and bad days

I seem to be stringing together more bad days than good days. I have been free of AF for about 3 weeks now so that is definitely a positive. But I have also been off work pretty much the past 4 or 5 weeks continuously. And not doing much else besides lying on the couch. I have eliminated all obvious stimulants: no alcohol, no tea or coffee and even turned to decaf green tea. I was finding that if I ate too much my heart would go beserk for the rest of the night so I have cut down my portions. Seems to have helped. I try to avoid lying on my left side, sounds bizarre but it tends to give me arrhythmia. It was so bad one event that I actually started to pass out. And still the incredible lethargy. And frustration. That never ends.

Tomorrow is 4th July celebrations at Hardrock. Americans celebrate Independence Day like you wouldn't believe. Silverton holds a festive parade and the Hardrockers 'march' behind the start/finish banner. It is a fun day out culminating in the Rhubarb Pie Fair in the park and then the local fire brigades have a 'hose-off' where they try to kill each other with their high pressure hoses. How they don't take out an eye or rupture an ear drum beats me. But it is quite the scene, especially when they finally turn the hoses on the crowds. I will miss not being a part of all that.

Photos are filtering though from the Hardrock course marking. The snow is simply amazing. Way more than in 2008 when I was worried it would be cancelled because it exceeded the allowable depth in the lead-up. But it does melt out fast. Though there will be some scary sections. None worse than climbing the pitches up Virginius. A lot of runners will go through there in the night and early morning when the snow is turned to treacherous ice. I remember hauling myself up the fixed rope in 2009 and being shit scared of slipping. I also remember getting to the top and claiming that 'there ain't nothing like that at Badwater!'

Back home the You Yangs Trail Races are fast approaching and a few of us spent some time clearing trails today. The park has been closed for 6 months after flood damage and the trails are largely covered in leaves, bark and sticks. We raked, scraped and blew the trails clean. Well the guys did, I was worn out by the end of the morning and went home to sleep on the couch. But it was great to get out in the bush for a while. I appear to have suffered as a result, on my run tonight my heartrate went out of control towards the end of a very slow and easy 8km. It hasn't done that at the end before so I was disappointed. And totally trashed when I finally got home.

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