Friday, February 22, 2008

Back From DC

What a trip. It was cold. In your face, windy, bone chilling COLD. Now I am back in the 'ham and it is warm. We had some great rain last night when a big ole T-storm rolled through the area dumping a good deal of rain that we need.

Prior to the flight home last night, I had a Guinness followed by an hour's worth of flutter. Needless to say, I did not cash in that free drink on the flight home.

I have not run in several days. I still have this persistent cough, as does my son, so we both headed to the doc-in-the-box for another round of antibiotics. I hope this will knock out the cough. I will plan on running Sunday since I have to officiate a track meet all day tomorrow (if this work issue that popped up this afternoon does not override it).

I got my cousin to read my blog. I am sure she will be thrilled with my prose...maybe not.

My flutter overall has improved with (mostly) eliminating the alcohol. Sure is a bummer, but it is a worthwhile trade.

Mercedes pics are posted....finally a decent pic with the finishing time. I just wish I had a better race time. Check them out. Buy one and post it on your wall....throw darts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

San Diego...

I spent a couple of days in San Diego. I got up early Friday morning for a run around Coronado island and it was absolutely fabulous. I ran about 12 miles, did not feel to well (legs were a bit tired), but I recovered pretty well. I drank a lot of fluids afterward because I had to go to work. I had a slight case of flutter, but I think the rapid refilling of fluids helped mitigate the flutter and it finally went away.

That Friday in San Diego was probably one of the pretty days I have ever experienced there. It was sunny all day with nary a cloud in the sky. The temperature was cool in the morning and moderate the remainder of the day.

Got in a little work, saw my cousins Friday night, and then headed home Saturday. I took my wife and daughter to eat at Shogun's since we missed Valentine's day together (which we never do anything on anyway).

I have run since my return (10.5 on Sunday and 5.5 today) and did not have any flutter. I had a couple of drinks during my stay in San Diego and none since I returned. Seems the alcohol is a MAJOR factor in my flutter. So little or no drinking and a good diet seem to do the trick.

Heading to DC tomorrow and return late Thursday. Traveling very light so no running on Thursday. I am officiating a track meet on Saturday (my first).

Well ready for the rack cause I did run hard today and got up early for a bible study at church. Just plain tired.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Work, Run and Cardiologist

I went to work today and worked. Illuminating, huh?

I also ran today at lunch. I did an easy 45 minutes (5.54386 miles...approximately). No flutter during the run and I have not had any flutter up to the time that I am writing this blog entry.

Went to the cardio doc. Based on my recent improvement after cutting out the alcohol (even with the set back on Sunday's 1/2 marathon), he agreed that there was no reason to go on drugs (yeah). We had a pretty good conversation regarding running and my flutter (I may have mentioned in the past that he is a runner and has run 4 marathons). The doc said that I may have a sensitivity to alcohol (and caffeine). He advised staying off the alcohol, staying with the 500mg (twice daily) of magnesium, keep running and come back in 3 months. He stated that the longer I remain in normal rythym, the less likely that I will have these episodes. So I will stay on the blood thinner, drink a beer on a rare occasion, keep exercising and see the doc in 3 months.

It is aggravating to have this problem with no underlying reason for it. But life goes on and I will do what I need to do to get through this.

My co-worker appears to be recovering quite well. He is awake and has good color. It will be likely that he will be moved to regular room soon. Thank God for His healing power.

Time to start prepping for another race...thinking about the Music City 1/2 marathon (I cannot get excited about a marathon right now due to Sunday's performance).

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Day After

It is somewhat humorous watching your son waddle around like a duck. Some lessons are only learned at the school of hard knocks. My daughter has little soreness which I attribute to not running hard enough and she attributes to being prepared. Both of them wore their finisher shirts to school and my daughter even wore her bling (each finisher gets a nice medal on a ribbon) to school. They are certainly proud of their accomplishment. My friend Jim thought I may have the unique distinction of having all of my offspring in the race this past weekend. Since I only have two, it was pretty easy.

Now my daughter and her friends are considering the Music City 1/2 marathon. Once you get them hooked....

I did not run today. Some soreness set in during the course of the day (delayed onset soreness or something like that). Otherwise, I feel pretty good. No flutter at all today which is typical of all my non-running days. My plan tomorrow is a nice easy run at lunch followed by a visit to the cardiologist. I am sorely tempted to try a drug; however, I am apprehensive due to the unknown effects. All the stuff that I researched yesterday does not paint a pretty picture. I think I will give drugs a try to confirm my suspicion that it will not be a pleasant experience so that I can move on to a catheter ablation. I am more inclined to go after a permanent fix rather than a lifetime of drugs. I sure would like to run again unencumbered by flutter!

A co-worker at one of our plants suffered a major heart attack over the weekend. He is in a drug-induced coma and on a ventilator. Apparently, one side of his heart had full blockage and he had been under the weather for several weeks. Fortunately, he went to the doctor on Sunday where he collapsed. Please say a prayer for him and his family as they struggle through this ordeal.

I will update tomorrow after the doctor visit...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Beatiful Day for a Race

Well the 2008 Mercedes marathon / 1/2 marathon have come and gone. This was a good news/bad news race. First the good news.

Both of my kids completed the race today in fine fashion. I am very proud of the way they trained and the effort they put into the race. I only hope that they will try it again next year and improve their times. Nonetheless, a dad cannot be anymore pleased with their fine accomplishment. That was the good news.

Now the bad news. I started the race with flutter in full flutter. I kept hoping that my heart would revert back to normal, but it would only do it when I stopped to walk. I had positioned myself behind two people that I can normally run with. Now these two folks ran their best times in several years. They dropped me going into mile 5 at the beginning of the 1 mile uphill to the 10k point. Running with flutter in full force is like driving a 4-cylinder with only 3 firing. What I believe that basically happens is that with flutter, the blood flow is lessen some percentage (10-15% or more). So basically when running at my usual 1/2 marathon pace, I am draining the energy faster from my body because it cannot recover when less oxygenated blood is reaching the critical running muscle groups. My pace was off nearly 30 seconds per mile which resulted in a 1:38. Now granted, that is pretty good time for most people so I cannot complain (too much). I just hate the fact I could not perform at maximum capacity especially on a perfect running day like today.

Fortunately, I see the cardio doc on Tuesday and more than likely I will try the beta blockers which will control the flutter (I hope), but knock down my max heart rate some amount (probably 10-20%). So with that said, my fastest days may well be behind me. It really sucks the big one.

I may have to find another hobby...basket weaving anyone?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It is February

I know I have been MIA on the blog. Just been busy. You may want to know what is going on (or not) so I will give the brief synopsis.

Running - recovered from minor foot injury noted in my previous post. I believe that my Nike lightweight trainers were contributing to the injury. It seems that the hurt would flare up almost every time I ran in the shoes. Solution - don't run in those shoes. I have been training...getting in some long runs...getting in some fast runs. Now it is a couple of days until I get to do a long fast run. The Mercedes 1/2 marathon is Sunday and I think I am relatively ready. What I am not sure on is the status of my speed. I have done a couple of 10 milers on a hilly course in about 1 hour and 12 minutes. Not blazingly fast; however, I think on a flatter course with proper warmup, I would be running a lot faster. Plus, I have been running with my kids because they are now both running the race. Last weekend was our last long run. We ran in my neighborhood (extremely hilly) and I got in 16 miles. The problem is that my calves were tighter than a drum for the past couple of days. Last of all, I am just getting over a cold and still have not hit a 100%. Now my wife and son have strep....

Heart - been pumping regularly. I have had increased amounts of flutter and finally went back to the cardiologist. He has me on 500 mg of magnesium twice daily and 7.5 mg of blood thinner. He told me to stay off the alcohol and come back in a month to discuss beta blockers. I tried everything but the alcohol and did not notice a lot of difference. That was 2 weeks. So I have not had any alcohol for the past 2 weeks and have noticed quite a reduction in the flutter factor. I really don't want to go on the beta blockers, but I am sick and tired of dealing with this flutter that comes and goes at will. He said the blocker will knock my heart rate down and basically I won't be able to run as fast. I really don't like that idea since I am not a real speed demon, but a reduction in what speed I have will be depressing. I go back next week to see the doc and figure out the next step.

Other - busy, traveling, doing kid stuff, dealing with wacky weather, going to church, etc. I will try to spend a little more time on the blog and less time doing something else.

Note to slowtwitch - coping as best I can with the flutter. Just a fact of getting older (in my case). I am trying to figure out what I can do to minimize it.

See ya soon!