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, 2016

Day 1 Silverton

Finally back in Siverton, Colorado. I can feel the difference in altitude coming from sea-level to 9,000+feet or over 3,000m. Very hard to sleep and it got very cold overnight. Reminder for drop bags: warm clothes for the night. I am checking my pulse and O2 saturation levels in the morning. As much a curiosity as to help gauge how my body (read heart) is coping and adapting.

Yesterday in Durango at around 6,000ft it was 97% and 67bpm. Very happy with that. My resting pulse has never come down much from around 80bpm after the surgery. My cardiologist suggested that was my new norm given all the scar tissue in there now. So to be in the 60s is a really good sign. The sats are OK.

First morning in Silverton I am at 90% and 65bpm. Which is a good starting point. But a bit headachy still. Which is always hard to tell how much is lack of sleep after a 30hr transit and then poor sleep on arrival.

The town of Silverton looks the same, spectacularly framed my steep mountains. A few shops have closed and a couple of brave new ones have opened. The outdoor store still has the same father/son team behind the counter. My motel has worse than dial up speed wifi if you can get on. The owner is a great character (like so many that end up in such a place) and still does his bookings in an old pen and paper style calendar notebook. He reckons there is no chance of double booking or losing a booking. Fits with the style of the place.

The town is full of tourists and many many off-roaders who love the rough back country roads. Mind they drive them on the main roads as well. In fact it is not uncommon to see kids riding in the back of pick-up trucks. It is July 4 weekend and the town sells to over 20,000 from around less than 1,000. The parade and fireworks are renowned far and wide. Warn the local wild life!

I will skip the fireworks and indulge in a meal at the Tibetan restaurant in Durango before collecting Spud from the airport late tomorrow night. With only one road into town the traffic is pretty ordinary when the fireworks finishes. So I will get ahead of that game.

OK, sun is up. Time to test those O2 sats with a bit of trail and some elevation. One of my fav sections of the course is the last few kms into town along the Beaver Lake trail. I will bring back some pics!

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