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Little (Beach) hiccups

Looking towards McMasters Beach
For today's blog post, I was planning to write about one of my favourite local 10km runs, the Little Beach circuit, and set off to walk it with my camera.  This was to be my longest walk since I stopped running two weeks ago, but I reckoned that provided I didn't push it I would be OK.  Going clockwise, the first section of this course goes along the beach to the village of McMasters Beach.  It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning and the beach was busy with holidaymakers walking and jogging its length.  The fairly steeply sloping beach meant walking up on the softer sand to avoid getting my shoes wet by the occasionally larger incoming wave and I could feel I was working harder than if I had been walking along a road.

McMasters Beach
I didn't slack off, keeping up a good pace and left the beach at McMasters to climb a steep concrete path that would take me towards Bouddi National Park.  I walked quickly up the short hill, but near the top began taking huge gulps of air and could feel my chest pounding, as it had done on a few runs in the week before being diagnosed with Pulmonary Embolism (PE).  Not good!  Only a month ago, I would have run up this hill without even noticing it.  I slowed to strolling pace and decided to cut my walk short and head home.  On more gradual gradients at an unpressured pace, I was fine and got home without further concern, but the whole episode was quite depressing.  Not knowing whether the problem is the PE or Atrial Fibrillation (AF) or both, and what can be done about it, just compounds the problem.

I know I just have to be patient, and although I'm determined to keep walking up to 10km a day, this morning's episode reinforced the need to avoid pushing the pace.  According to my Web research, there's no standard time for blood clots to dissolve, whether in the legs or lungs and I must resign myself to several more months of limited exercise, at least.

Cockrone Lagoon at the end of today's walk
Today was also the day on which the 64km Bogong to Hotham race was held in the Victorian Alps, an event I had been training for before the PE hit.  Several times during the day, I thought enviously about where the runners would be on the course, and that hasn't helped my mood.  I have a consultation scheduled with my GP tomorrow, and although not expecting any new revelations, I do anticipate getting referrals to specialists where I'm hoping for more clarity about my condition and prognosis.  However, it won't be a speedy process.

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