Wednesday, October 28, 2015

More than A "Better Runner"

So this week I'm taking it easy at the urging of my running buddies. They are tougher on me than my cardiologist or PCP, but I respect them. They are experienced and are looking at my present health issues from an objective point of view. I, on the other hand, are raring to go! That's what makes it wise to listen to others - there's a proverb that says there is safety in a multitude of counselors. I'm seeing the wisdom in that - even though I'm squirming to get back out there and see what I can do!

So, now that I'm feeling better I have had a lot of time to think. The trouble with feeling better (not that I mind...) is that it makes it easy to forget how sick you were. I'm trying to sort everything out - my head, emotions, running, my life....

Earlier this week I decided to get online and find some evidence that would support me NOT having congestive heart failure. I mean, really, does it make any sense that I would have CHF and not have heart damage or something blocked? It all seems to be functioning good on the tests. Why did my cardiologist send that diagnosis to my doc when it doesn't make sense to me? (I am not sure he cared about that part of it! lol)

So I sat and searched for about an hour. I found this chart and realized that not only did I have every.single.symptom.... I was in the red zone before I sought help last week. Well, actually I'd been dogging the doc for a few days before I even went in.

I still find it confusing and honestly I'm still in straight up denial. This really cannot be happening.. ot to me. It can't be real. Maybe it's something else - maybe it's nothing at all. But I know I am going to have to figure out a way to adapt and move forward. I saw a saying one time that said Adapt, Adjust, and Advance. That's where I am  right now.

So I can at least say I'm running with a chronic condition. It definitely keeps coming up over and over. I keep overdoing it and having to start over and that's where I am again. So I have learned some things that I can take with me as I proceed.

First of all, I know I can still run - the last 10K I did was great. It was the 2 miles I did after that got me -- and not really even that - but the 5 I did just two days out. I have to change some things up - and when I do a longer run I have to give myself a couple of days to rest period. Do I like that? Not one bit. But for now - if I want to run - and I do - that's the way it's gotta be.

I also think I need to go back to a run/walk interval run. That gives my body a chance to rest every so often. I got off of that as I started to feel better. But now I understand that I have to make a plan that is reasonable and smart - then stick with it even when I feel good. That's going to be really tough because you get out there and feel great and think I can grab one more mile. But I am determined to develop a reasonable plan - and I think I can do that. The difficult part will be sticking to it, especially when I want  to do more.

I really can't afford a lot of trial and error as any errors can really backfire. We're not talking running on a sprained ankle or with a pulled muscle - I can't run at all if I "pull" my heart! lol So I have to proceed cautiously as I go back into running in the next couple of weeks. But I am determined to do this and to do it right. That means I have to go a lot slower than I want - but - it means I am going.

Time to suck it up- figure it out - do it right... and keep moving. This running with a chronic condition is rough on the head, I'll tell ya. It's hard on the attitude too.... I'm guessing maybe I'm developing more character in the process. ... I hope I'm becoming more than a "better runner" during the process of working through CHF - I really want to be a better person.

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