Two weeks ago, I finished a 7 mile run with numb extremities and blue lips. During the week, I struggled to run, so on my Friday run, I was DETERMINED I was going to complete ONE stinking mile before I walked. I was training for a 1/2 marathon for goodness sake, and I should be able to run one, lonely, stinking mile without stopping for air!!! It doesn’t matter that I’m running at 6800 feet because I live here and I’ve been running at elevation for 3 years now.
By the time I finished that first mile, I couldn’t see. I was running with my eyes closed because I was blacking out — but dang it, I finished that mile!
I grabbed ahold of the fence next to me for a few seconds and smiled as I told Ray all was good. I jogged and walked the rest of the two miles. It was a crappy run, but I at least finished that first mile.
An hour later, I was walking across the gym floor to take my position as Zoe’s volleyball coach for her first ever volleyball game. As I reached the chairs, I lost my vision and decided I better take a seat before passing out. After a few seconds on the chair, I was fine. The Volleyball games went on (Zoe’s team won one and lost two).
Many friends suggested that I should get to a Dr. So, this past Friday, my physician was concerned enough that he performed an EKG. ran blood work, and sent me to a cardiologist.
The EKG showed a long QT rate which along with the symptoms I had displayed, suggested it could have caused me to die while running the week before.
I was told that until I was cleared by the cardiologist, I could not exercise beyond walking.
Ray and I have a race in May for which we are going away for a few days to wine country in CA — this news was not welcome for many reasons — running is LIFE! Some people smoke cigarettes, some people have yoga, or soda, or beer, or…. — well, I have running — to not run, is sort of like not breathing to me.
I assumed my running career was over after learning about Long QT rates and finding that my blood work showed a normal, healthy Renee’. Because we are going to live life to its fullest no matter what is thrown our way, we have been planning our life of yoga and golf – destination running for Ray and me finding new ways to embarraas him as a cheerleader while he runs and enjoying the adventure of life without my running.
But guys, today I went to the cardiologist. I DO NOT HAVE A LONG QT RATE!!!! The EKG machine said I do, but the cardiologist said, “I have not yet been replaced by a computer.” I have a “u” wave which caused the machine to read my QT rate incorrectly. (“u” waves are common for runners with a slow heart rate)
She believes the symptoms were caused from a combination of
1. having been sick for two weeks prior
2. running before I was completely healthy
3. needing more sodium for my low runner’s blood pressure
(Ray learned that Cheetos are the best source of salt when in need while running the Pike’s Peak Ascent a few years ago)
My grandfather died at 52, my dad at 37, and my brother has had multiple heart attacks — so….she’s going to run a battery of other tests on me just to be sure she is not missing something.
In the meantime, she told me to RUN — I get to BREATHE again — I have to take it easy and not push it until the other tests are done — but I get to RUN!!!!!!!