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Murray River.

Most of today was spent driving the 1,000km from Melbourne back to Copa.  I was on the road by 5:00am, after a night during which I woke several times.  I suspect the real reason for the disturbed sleep was that I knew I had an early start, but each time I woke, I found myself lying there, very conscious of my heartbeat and trying to determine whether the beat was regular.

After my 5km run yesterday morning, I was checking my pulse and it seemed that there was a double beat about every 20 to 30 seconds, although it could have been my imagination.  I hadn't experienced any breathlessness or palpitations while running, but nevertheless I'm now a bit worried that the double beat, if it's real, signals the early stages of the return of my Atrial Flutter.

Bike path along the Murray.

As I drove north along the Hume Highway in pre-dawn darkness, I wondered about the wisdom of running again today.  However, after three hours of driving and feeling a little tired, I stopped in Albury and set out along a bike path by the Murray River.  It was a pleasantly cool morning and I was pleased to feel more like a runner than earlier in the week, though somewhat apprehensive.  I wasn't running hard, but was moving faster with less stiffness in the muscles and joints.  The faster speed meant my lungs were working a little harder, and I was breathing in on two steps and out on one, but still controlled.  Nevertheless, I was constantly self-assessing myself, looking for any sign that my heart was racing or my blood pressure dropping.

Billabong at the turnaround.

After about 3km of following the full and fast-flowing river, I reached a billabong and the end of the bike path and turned round.  It was nice to see the Murray River looking so healthy after a number of dry years.

Hovell Tree Park.

The path returned through the Hovell Tree Park, where I had finished my 440km three-week hike along the Hume & Hovell Track about ten months ago.  The Hovell Tree was marked, nearly 190 years ago, by one of the explorers after whom the walking track was named.  I could vividly remember finishing there at dusk, completely exhausted after compressing the planned last two days walk into one 50km day.  Despite my exhaustion on that last day, I had a great trip, and being there again made me wish it was a year ago when I was preparing for the trip, with no heart or lung problems in sight.  Just another reminder to make the most of my time.

I was again checking my pulse again after the run, and still wonder if there's an occasional double beat.  Generally, it seems regular and strong (and back under 50bpm at rest), but I still have a nagging concern.  I have an appointment with the cardiologist next week anyway, and he'll confirm one way or the other.  For the time being, I think I keep running daily.