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More theories

I unexpectedly struggled midway through a long trail run
near the Barrington Tops four months ago.
The longer it takes to see specialists about my Pulmonary Embolism (PE) and Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the more time I spend on researching the conditions on the Web, talking to other people, retrospective self-analysis and theorising about my prognosis.

I was quite depressed following the surprise (to me) AF diagnosis, but after researching athlete experiences for yesterday's blog post (see Endurance athletes and A-fib), I'm starting to feel cautiously optimistic that I will be able to resume running.  Maybe I have had Paroxysmal (occasional) AF for some time, triggered by exercise fatigue.  Many people have AF and are unaware of it.  Maybe AF explains the unexpected and sudden onset of severe fatigue during some long runs in the past six months, including the Melbourne Marathon (see blog post Reality check).  I had put them down to lower back issues affecting my stride, for want of a better explanation.  When AF occurs, the heart beats inefficiently and less oxygen reaches the muscles causing fatigue.  The long runs when I had trouble were all at a time when I was building from a lay-off and possibly going a bit too hard for my level of fitness.  Later long runs, when I was fitter, but running within myself, were faster without trouble.

Struggling in the Barrington Tops
This is all amateur conjecture, and perhaps there will never be certainty, but it does make me think, that once the PE and Deep Vein Thrombosis conditions are resolved through time and Warfarin, I will be able to make a return to running, much more aware of my situation and more able to manage it.

It was a beautiful summer morning for the regular Terrigal Trotters Saturday run.  I was there early to take care of runner registration as Kev, the Club Registrar was away in Parkes for the Elvis Festival, and enjoyed greeting the 100+ runners who turned out.  Many kindly asked after my health and I later had the benefit of talking to a couple of club-mates who recently had surgery for similar heart issues.  My regret at not being able to join everybody for the 11km "Round Drive" run was somewhat tempered by a pleasant 6km walk with some great coastal views and the usual post-run bonhomie.