Wednesday, July 15, 2015

When 50 Fights Back

I had a plan for 2015. And you know how that tends to go.

When I finished the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon, I figured, I got this. New PR, feeling great, and I'm ready to tackle SLO Marathon. Took a few days off to recover and then started building up again.

And then March happened. aka, 50 Fights back.

Went into my doctor to get my allergy meds renewed, and instead ended up at the Cardiologists. Doctor didn't like my BP, which led to a EKG, which showed a potential event, which led to a Echo Cardiogram. Having had most of my health issues in my life be self inflicted, and therefore mostly avoidable, being told that I might have had a heart attack, and didn't know it,  was a complete shock.

Who do I tell? Who don't I tell? Who needs to know who do I not want to worry? What if this if for real, do I have to completely change how I live? Can I handle the stress and hours at work? Can I be active and alive? Am I looking at something even more dire? The days in between the first doctor visit and getting to Cedars for a full workup were mostly a blur of stress. Sleep issues, over thinking, creating scenarios, lots of "If... Then's". None of it productive. It would be a massive over statement to say I came face to face with mortality. Nothing that grand or dramatic. I was mostly just confused and my thinking was directionless.

Make a long story short, there was no cardiac event. Cardiologist thinks that as a runner (he actually called me an athlete and I tried to correct him), my resting heart rhythm has a very short alpha/upstroke, but a normal deep beta/downstroke. The EKG read this as potential damage resulting from an event. The subsequent tests and the Echo came back as normal, no damage. So as usual with me, all the over thinking and stress was completely unnecessary.

What was the real impact? The real impact was the addition of new meds to deal with my BP and cholesterol, etc. They have effected my energy levels, left me with some occasional dizziness, and changed how I feel when I run. Net, I can't run like I could just a few months ago.

Took some time off running though March and April, tried to get back out there in May. Didn't feel right, so I shut it down again, and here in July I'm getting back on my feet. Now 5K's feel like half marathons, and 10K's like ultras. My split times are two and three minutes slower, and my recovery time is longer. So it's going to be a long process getting back to where I want to be.

I missed SLO, and I'm not running SF Marathon this month. I'm only running two to three times a week right now, and I haven't tired a long slow run yet. I'm signed up for Chicago in the fall, but I'm not sure I'm going to get there yet.

What I've learned about this is that age is in fact not just a number. As I get a little older, there are going to be changes in my health that I need to adjust too. I need to stay active, but I need to pay attention to what I'm feeling. I need to not over react (big news there) and stress about every little thing. I need to be willing to change, but not give up. To adjust without surrendering. I need to take care of myself, in all of the different ways that means.

And hopefully through it all, I need to #Keeprunning.