Apr 25, 2018

A-Fib...My Little Heart Problem

One thing we all worry about as we get older is heart problems. Up until recently I stayed clear of such issues. A few weeks ago I developed A-fib which I detailed in my previous post. Now, three weeks out, my cardiologist has looked at my data and given me some guidelines to follow. The good news is I can run as much as I want.

Since the initial episode I have been on a couple of medications and also cleaned up my diet. My bad eating habits had nothing to do with my heart except the excessive caffeine intake. I'm now down to 2 cups of coffee a day. The challenge with this change was having the second cup late enough in the day to help me stay awake in the evening without it preventing me from falling asleep later at night. My cutoff for coffee seems to be 3:00pm. I have also managed to eliminate or reduce the junk food snacks each day. I now realize that running long distances does not allow one to eat anything in any amount. My new diet consists of more salads and less saturated fats. I feel better and my weight is coming down.

Testing results...My echo showed that the heart muscle was in great shape but I have a leak in my mitral valve. Not unexpected at this stage in my life but it does impact my running performance. Not a big deal but its definitely there. I have one more test, a stress test. Both these tests are purely to determine if I have any physical damage to the muscle. It is expected that the stress test will be normal. If all clear I will be weaned off Eliquis and started on full aspirin.

All this was great to hear since the Lake Waramaug 50K ultra is this weekend. It will be my 5th 50K(4th at Lake Waramaug). I will run it but am ready to shift to a run/walk routine if needed. Going forward I will continue my running streak and running long distances. I'm OK with a little heart problem instead of a big one or some other health issue. I can enjoy running as always. just a little bit slower.