Saturday, 24 June 2017

Downtime

I have continued to feel better today giving me some confidence that the issues I was having with my heart last week may not be ongoing.

As I mentioned yesterday I didn't ride with the BYL Juniors this morning, which is a decision that I am happy with. I have been doing some exercise today but I my gut feel is that the longer sessions (such as long rides) are something I need to be careful around and probably best avoided at the moment. I can't help but wonder how much of the heart issues I had last week relate back to the mega 150km ride I did with the juniors last weekend. Long duration exercise like that, even at low intensity, is something to keep an eye on I think.

The exercise that I did today was another couple of sessions on the paddle board. Exercise that I can tightly control, isn't going to push my heart rate too high and isn't too long. Looking back at my Garmin files for the paddles I can't see any spikes of VT which is good. I did have a few uncomfortable moments on the board, but the heart rate seemed to mostly stay under control. No spikes up to 190bpm or anything, which is a relief. If I can continue to keep getting good nights sleep and also train without seeing VT then I am going to start to relax a little bit again. Baby steps though.

This last week has really been a bit of a wake up call for me. Going back to February I was getting some scary symptoms with my heart that really focused my attention. However, since my ablation the heart has been going so well that I have been getting a little blase about it. Doing more and pushing harder. However, this last week has reminded me that I do need to be careful and listen to my body and that I can't just continue on as if nothing has happened, no matter how much I would like too.

I am hoping things will start to settle down again now, however, even if they do this has been a reminder that I need to remain mindful.

Other than a bit of good exercise today has been just about relaxing and basically doing what I want. The past week I have felt very thinly stretched and pulled it lots of different directions. I am sure that hasn't helped my heart and it certainly hasn't helped my frame of mind. Today was a refreshing breath of fresh air from that stress. Not that the day has been spent sitting on the couch knocking back cold ones, it has still been a busy day, but just not flat out and not busy in a stressful way, more busy doing fun things.

That sentiment is going to continue tomorrow with a hockey tournament for my daughter before catching up with some Triathlon friends in the afternoon.

This may all seem pretty trivial, which I guess is the point. This week has been a reminder to me about watching how hard I push physically, but it has also been a reminder to watch how hard I push mentally too. I have always been a very laid back person and stress hasn't really been a factor in my life. This week has shown me that stress is not to be underestimated when it comes to well being. Just like we include down time in our exercise to let our bodies recover, it is also important to include mental downtime to let our state of mind recover.  No matter what we do in our day to day, no matter what our exercise regime is like or what we do for a living I think that is an important message to remember. Certainly something I am going to be trying to remember more from now on.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Taking it easy

Things are feeling a bit better today. I got a bit more sleep last night and took things a bit easier today and as a result the mind and body are feeling a bit improved.

I did a little exercise today with a brief outing on the SUP board and from what I can see from the heart rate data I seem to have had one bout of Tachycardia. Not exactly what I was after, but an improvement from yesterday.

The paddle today was the only exercise that I did. Other than that the day has been a quiet one with the morning spent helping out with the Swim Smooth session down at Claremont.


Another really great session down with the squad today helping put the folks through a nice solid Threshold session. Today's session was a relatively simple set of 100s, but with a 400m threshold effort in between. Not an easy proposition once the 400m effort was taken into account. Still in usual form the squad stepped up to the challenge, with a number of very impressive performances in the pool, including a few lanes swimming well above their perceived threshold speeds. A few lanes also got a painful lesson in what happens during a 400 if you go out too quickly in the first 100m. I will give you a hint, it is nothing good.

Tomorrow my plan to take things a bit easy continues. I will still be doing some exercise but I won't be heading out with the BYL Juniors. I don't want to put my heart through several hours of riding until I have a bit more confidence in what my heart is doing. I will probably still go out for a paddle, but other than that I will be aiming to take it nice and easy and keep trying to catch up on sleep. I am still hopeful that a bit more sleep and a bit less stress will see the heart regain its balance.

Watch this space.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Not to Plan

Not been a day that has particularly gone to plan today.

As I wrote yesterday, the plan today was to head to Front Runners this morning before heading down in the afternoon to have a bit of a jog and then observe some of the Front Runner coaches in action. That wasn't how the day panned out.

This morning's part went okay. I got down to Front Runners in Wembley with no problem and we got the Kickrs and bikes set up with surprising ease. The setup that Front Runner has is pretty impressive, with a studio containing six Wahoo Kickr Snaps with software linking them all together and projecting the relevant data on the wall.  Very slick. The morning's activities also further reinforced my positive opinion of Wahoo products. I am not a huge fan of on wheel indoor trainers, but of the ones I have tried the Kickr Snap would have to be one of the better examples. I still don't like the wear they produce on your tyres and the slippage that you sometimes get, but given you get the functionality of a Kickr at around half the price, the Snap does make a compelling case. Once the Snap was up and rolling there was very little to differentiate the feel of the Snap and the full blown Kickr. Proper Wahoo quality and indestructibility at a reduced price is hard to argue with. Although, if forced to choose I would still take my direct drive Kickr (simply because I much prefer the direct drive design), the decision would be a harder one to make than I expected.


While the set up of the bikes and indoor trainer system was impressive and surprisingly easy, my body didn't play along quite as well.

Yesterday I mentioned that my heart had been playing up a bit and this morning that trend continued. Basically what I have been noticing over the last couple of days is some bouts of what I presume it ventricular tachycardia. That is certainly what it is feeling like anyway (compared to my previous experiences). This is a similar symptom to what I was getting pre-ablation. In short tachycardia is when you get a crazy fast heart rate. Because the heart is beating too fast it isn't filling properly and so it isn't working very efficiently. To give you an idea this morning my heart rate would shoot up from 120bpm to around 190bpm. As you can imagine it doesn't feel very good and it is also kind of dangerous. Each time the heart did it I would stop and let it calm down, but frustratingly I had a couple of bouts of it. In the end I was able to complete a very easy spin for 40 minutes or so without further incident, but it was not a great morning out.

Exercise has been going so well for the last little while this new development is a real kick in the guts. My cardiologist has warned me that no matter how good things are feeling I can have a return of symptoms at any point. This could well be that, but actually I am hoping that these current issues may be caused by something else. My suspicion is that my current heart issues are being exacerbated by a lack of sleep. I haven't really been getting enough sleep for the last two weeks and I suspect that accumulating sleep debt has come back to bite me. I have certainly been feeling very tired and that does tend to make the heart worse.

My plan is to try and improve my sleep patters in the immediate future and see if that helps things. I will also be taking the exercise easier for obvious reasons. I am really hoping that will some more rest I will see some nice improvements in how the heart is behaving. As I said it has been going along so nicely of late, it would be great it that continued.

With my heart playing up the way it was I decided to forgo any exercise this afternoon and simply come home and spend time with my kids. Sometimes that is the best medicine available.

Now that the kids are in bed though it is probably time for me to start thinking about heading in the same direction, after all I have a sleep debt to work on.