A quick update on health stuff. Oh, and MCM training!

– because, you know, my many readers are wondering what happened at the cardiologist. I know, the wait was killing you! Here is your answer:

I got an echocardiogram (after having a normal EKG). It was *awesome* because I got to hear and see all of the ways my heart moves blood around and it was all sorts of colorful and squishy-sounding. A few pokes in the ribs, sure, but otherwise it was one of the neatest things I’ve ever had done to me in a doctor’s office. It turned out completely normal, save some very very minor regurgitation (I think that’s the word the cardiologist used) that isn’t supposed to be a Thing. So, I asked: what next? Off to see a primary care physician, to try a more general approach.

To sum quickly, what I’ve been dealing with is a month-plus of panicky feelings – near panic-attacks, but never having an actual one – plus difficulty breathing, dizziness, tingling in extremities, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, pain in lower legs, thumping-heartbeat feelings, elevated heart rate, aaand I think that was it. Blood clots in legs and lungs were ruled out, heart issue was ruled out, anxiety is still on the table as a possibility (but why? I’m not anxious about anything, really; could be hormones from switching birth control…), but PCP said hey, maybe it’s something in your lungs, which sound clear but let’s try inhalers to see if we can’t open up your breathing passageways. (Going up a flight of stairs puts me very much out of breath, and I run 20ish miles a week. Laying in bed makes breathing difficult too, regardless of how I am positioned.)

So, that’s where we are now: albuterol before exercise and every 4-6 hours, and fluticasone every twelve hours. I’m learning quickly that albuterol – known for causing the jitters – is not combining well with caffeine, so I need to watch that combination. I feel like I’m slowly turning into my mother, who used inhalers for most of my childhood and may still do so, for all I know. 😛  We’ll see how this goes for about two weeks, and then re-assess as necessary.

Anyway, yeah. This week is/was week one of MCM training. 24 miles, 11 of which I’ve already done – 5 tomorrow, 8 on Sunday – and I’m feeling okay about this. I wasn’t so jazzed a couple of weeks ago, but I feel better now. My runs have gone slightly better since then, and I have a feeling this training will be harder than the training for my first one, not just because of the breathing issues but also because it’s a more advanced plan. That’s intentional, because I’ve realized that running more miles in training = faster time on race day, and I want to break *ahem* 4:30 in this race, and I think I can do it.

One week down (mostly), 17 to go…

And with that, I’m off to teach and then off to South Carolina for the weekend. Woo!


I went to London. I ran. I came back from London…

…and I’ve run, but I have a somewhat tenuous relationship with running right now because something weird is going on with my body. (This is nothing that anyone should freak out about, btw. But you know when something just isn’t right? That’s what this is.)

London was great. It was beyond great; it was all of the superlatives you can ever assign to a vacation, and I intend to write about it at great length eventually. Running in London was great, too, and when I got back I had some nice runs before things went weird. That was a little over two weeks ago; I’m seeing two doctors this week (one was pre-scheduled for a follow-up, but the other is a cardiologist), so I hope I can get to the bottom of whatever is going on, because I want things to not be weird. This morning was the first time in a while I’ve felt close to ‘normal’ during a run – like I always do – but I haven’t really had a run lately where I felt strong or good or good-tired during or afterwards. It’s all been blergh or bad or bad-tired or ‘my legs can’t hold me up any more’. I don’t know. I broke my daily running streak on June 1 – this was the one that had been going on since November 21 – and took off June 2 as well, and have run no more than 3 miles at a time since then. I could maybe go further, but I ran an 8-miler two weeks ago and felt like absolute crap.

I may just be exhausted or fatigued or overtrained. I don’t know. I’m supposed to start training for the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of this month, and I want to feel normal again by then, but I’m afraid I won’t, and that irritates me because I was just trying to build a base before training begins so I can run more miles during training and finish stronger and faster. I was running 30-35mile/week weeks without any issues; these first two weeks of June, I’ll be lucky to hit 16mile/week weeks.

Blergh. This sucks. I’m sure I’ll have more to write after I see the doctors, but for now, I’m just wondering what the hell is going on. Didn’t Tom Petty sing a song about the waiting being the hardest part…?