Sunday, November 18, 2012


I'm beginning to wonder if I should carry an air horn when I run. Today, as I was crossing a side street, running on the left, on the sidewalk, a driver in a minivan, who never bothered to look right, ran a stop sign and almost ran me over. I shouted "Look out!" at him three times, and he didn't see me until I was past him, on his left. Of course, he looked at me with an expression of "what happened?"

Maybe, instead of an air horn, I could carry a small object that I could throw against the windshield of a car driven by a clueless driver that's about to run me over. That would probably get the attention of the driver.

On a much more positive note, this is four times this week (my training log begins weeks on Mondays, which drives me crazy) that I've run and finished without pain. I think I'll take it a bit easier next week, maybe only run three times -- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I've increased my mileage, just a bit. I've gone from 1 mile about twice a week to about 1.7 miles, every other day. I have to increase my mileage slowly, and take it easy in order to let my ankle heal.

I am off the PT for now, doing the exercises that I was given by the therapist and icing my ankle every time I do them and after every run. I spent the summer riding my bike, so my endurance should be ok, but the first time I ran after an entire summer of riding, every muscle in my legs felt like they hadn't been used at all. Now I'm commuting on my bike on the days that I don't run.

I have to get my mileage up to the point where I can really train so that I can start a program in July. I have a goal in September of 2013 and I am putting together a training schedule so that I can perform well at that race.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

OK, so I haven't been updating very much at all lately. That's about to change. Last August,  I ran a 5k     in 20:27, and discovered that I still have a bit of speed. That was just shy of one year after my heart attack, and the first time since college that I had a real training plan, rather than just making it up as I go along. Shortly after that race, I hurt my left ankle. Once again, it's my posterior tibial tendon, which apparently has some small tears. I'm in physical therapy for it, and icing it on a daily basis

I had a scare this week; I was sitting at home when I started having chest pains. I have no baseline for "heart attack," since I have absolutely no memory of my "event" so I had no idea what was going on. My wife took me to the hospital, where the emergency department whisked me right through triage and into an exam room. It turned out to be my acid reflux, but the whole time I was pretty nervous, although I was trying not to let on. I don't really know why I was trying to seem calm, I think the ER docs, PAs and nurses would have understood if I looked or acted nervous, but I guess I just have this need to cover up any nervousness and look like nothing bothers me.

I was sent for a stress test after that. The initial appointment was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy (or, more accurately Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy). Around here, we just had some minor damage to trees and some power lines down for a few hours, but it was enough to close the heart center for nonessential things.

The stress test was quite an experience. They used an ultrasound to get an image of my heart (it took them some time, because I apparently have such massive, powerful lungs that they couldn't get an image through them). They had to put the contrast dye into my arm, so for the second time in 4 days, I had an IV in my right arm.  Then they put me on a treadmill. Every three minutes or so, the treadmill would increase in speed and pitch, so by the 18th (or so) minute, it was like trying to run straight up a very steep (about 6 or 7% grade) hill at about 6:30/mile pace. When my heart rate hit 160, I quickly jumped down and lay down on the table, where they took another ultrasound of my heart, to see if there was any portion of it which was getting less blood under stress.

Apparently, my heart was exactly as they expected to find it. No more damage than they had expected to see since my "event."

Since I started my PT and got a set of orthotics, I've been able to run again, so I've started with a couple of one-mile runs in the neighborhood. I'm not running every day, but about t every two or three days. there's still some occasional "discomfort" after running, but icing and stretches take care of that.

I'm planning to update more often, now that I can run again. I'm hoping to update, with at least a few words, every time I run.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dead man running. Almost. that picture was taken about 8 minutes before I went into cardiac arrest. It was almost the last picture of me ever. Thanks to the efforts of my fellow athletes and the Sheriff's Deputy, and the EMT in the ambulance, I'm still here.

That guy doesn't really exist. I don't remember running in that race. I don't even remember the day.

I'm back up to about 3 miles at a time again, every other day. Before too long, I'll be adding a day or two to the cycle. Then I up the mileage.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Posterior Tibial Tendonopathy

That was the diagnosis. At least I get to have a normal injury again. I've been out since September 19th. I imagine my bp was getting higher, and I know that my pulse was higher than it had been. Of course, higher than before means that I now have a low-normal pulse, somewhere in the low 60s. I'm looking to get it down into the low 50s soon. Last night, my pulse stayed mostly in the 130s while I was running. Right after I started running again after my injury (about two weeks ago), I went up into the 150s several times over the course of a three-miler.

My cardiologist has instructed me to keep my heart rate below 150, so when my heart rate gets up that high, the first thing I do is slow down. If that doesn't get my pulse down, I slow down some more. If that doesn't work, I walk. That always works.

I ran in a race in August, just before I hurt my ankle. I did very well -- it was a 5K, and my finishing time was 20:27. I was first in the 50-55 age group, and also the first person over 40 to finish. My cardiologist had told me "It's OK to race, but don't try to win." I was wearing a heart monitor, and I never heard the signal that told me that my heart rate was over 150. At about 2 1/2 miles, I looked at my watch, and my heart rate showed as 102. the battery was low and the monitor was reading incorrectly. I have no idea what my heart rate actually was.

Now I'm back running a few times a week. I'm taking it a little easy so that my tendon has a chance to heal. This summer, I hope to be in racing form. One of my college teammates is trying to organize an "Alumni Mile" and I think I can do pretty well against all the other old men, and if it's age-graded, I think I can show those youngsters something, too.