Saturday, April 20, 2019

April Awakenings



If you have signed up for Ottawa Race Weekend you may have seen an option for Run Coach. Run Coach is an online coaching app that helps you build a training plan to achieve your goals. In the past I've signed up for the Running Room Clinics and I've also dabbled in the Peak Performance Training. I'm taking a look at this app as 1) it was free with registration 2) it's about accountability when I felt I didn't want to be with an actual program that I couldn't adjust as if I'm at a clinic or with another plan it would have been tricky as my recovery/rehab has taken priority. With that being said I've been slowly returning and using the RunCoach to lay out my progress. What the app does it syncs to my Garmin data and calculates with its algorithm to develop a plan for you. 
Campus RUNch

Selfie outside my building
So I'm giving it a try and will keep you updated. It's about 35 days to Ottawa Race Weekend and I'll be ready for my 10K. So we shall see if I'm ready for my goal, but realistically I'm running it for Team Heart and spreading the word of awareness for the Heart Institute.
RunCoach Online Dashboard

Cardiac Athlete Meeting

I got a chance to meet with a fellow CA in Montreal when we went to bring Lia to a concert of one of her favourite artists Conan Gray. So we had a chance to chat over coffee.
She is an amazing athlete and overall amazing person that has overcome a lot since her cardiac arrest.
Nicole and I by McGill and Mont Royal

Run to Beer - Pint Series

On April 7th I participated in the 2019 Run To Beer - Pint Series and it featured my teammates from Team Awesome. It was great to meet fellow ambassadors IRL, It was nice to get out to run. I had registered for the 10K, but knew that I needed to keep it low mileage so I started out at the back of the 10K crew and decided to go and see if I can turn around at some point and head back. It was a great day and a great run to head out for a run with the crew. I found a great place to turn around by the giant steps on Colonel By and headed back around Echo drive and did a Bank Street loop.
Run To Beer - Dan's modified route
If there's beer you may find my teammate Jenn aka OmmMama

Warm up with Yoga on Tap Ashley

Jenn was doing an IG takeover of Ottawa Marathon.

Post photo of the Team Awesome crew

Q/A with the crew

Road Race #2

Rather than regurgitate the post I did on Facebook. I will link it up here to show and post some extended photos. I made it public so you can read the race recap I did.

The route!
Equipe formidable/Team Awesome

Team Awesome/equipe formidable

Flat Dan

Team Nuun represent

10K mass start

The turnaround

Joelle caught up with me!

Cheer Becky in the distance

She's da best!

All MEC races end with a banana reward

Post Race Selfie



David from the Bushtukah Trail Runners




It's been a busy month already and I'm ready to take on the next set of challenges. Look out Turtle mode.

Four Month Post Ablation

Four Months

I'm not too sure where to start as it has been quite the whirlwind week with Jury Duty selection and Dental check ups and then the 3rd item which I didn't reveal last week was my Holter results.
In general I feel totally fine for the past several weeks. I've done an outdoor run here and there and trying to get back to my new normal. In fact I'll be honest it is a HUGE struggle to hold back, but I know that it is best for me to allow my heart to heal.
I'm not going to dwell to much on the report, but there is good news and uncertain news. I don't want to say bad as I have not met with my cardiolgist so this is just my interpretation and no one else's.

Good News

During the two week monitoring I was in normal sinus rhythm and no Atrial Fibrillation! Greatest news ever. The ablation did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Uncertain News

As a result of this monitoring I had this one during one snowboard adventure, about five OTF workouts and a run. Of course the report doesn't say when it was and the day so I can only say there were three episodes of Ventricular Tachycardia. So Dr. Google says that's not good.
Soooo what do I do now? I either stop and do absolutely nothing or I wait for the call. Of course I got access to this report April 2nd so IF there was something to be concerned about then the cardiologist would have called me. That was advice from one of my classmates in my Stress management workshop. It is what it is. You now need to hear and wait for the doctor and no matter what "experts" are out there, they are not your doctor. They don't know you as well as your cardiologist.

So I'm taking that advice seriously and proceeding with caution and staying active as best as I can and within my limits.

Back to where It Started

I took the advice of my friend Heather when I met with her to see her sister play ultimate in a tournament in Gatineau. She had taken the week off and the above news I wasn't ready to share publicly until I found out more and her suggestion was to talk to my GP. At least talk to someone who sent me to the Heart Institute in the first place. He's always had a gut feeling or a hunch when it came to my medical problems. So her advice was perfect timing to set my anxiety levels back at ease. However, he was off for a week and I only saw him just before Good Friday. 
I brought in the paperwork from my Ottawa heart dashboard. The reports, ecg's and the one piece that I wanted interpretation is the Holter results. We talked about the V-tach and he basically gave a list of potential causes and basically the end result was that it's only been 4 months and it is possible I am still healing and I need to follow the original plan of moderate pacing and to stay the course. He said that for V-tach it is different for everyone and one factor he mentioned was stress and it could be a link to the V-tach, but it would be ideal to take it easy. I mentioned if my work allowed to go to 4 days/week if that might help. He said that he would medically approve if my work needed that as support. I think my original plan of working back the full 5 days was aggressive and maybe pre-mature not knowing what could be in place. In fact I had lunch with Erroll a couple of weeks ago and we compared our AFib stories as he was 3 weeks post ablation and was recovering well and following the blog to figure out how far to push and using my experience as his baseline. We compared our work strategies and I discovered that maybe I was pushing myself and just not realizing that I'm not getting younger and that I really need to give the body time.
Since it was a long weekend I've asked to meet with my bosses and propose my idea and see what happens. So for now I'll just keep myself in turtle mode and do what I'm allowed to do and to keep myself stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

March Out like a Lion


It's been awhile since my last post so I may/will be doubling up as I've been quite busy with activities, planning trips and just all the things.

I gave in my Holter on the 20th of March and now I wait for my appointment to meet with my cardiologist/electrophysiologist.
In the meantime, when I registered for Ottawa Race Weekend there was an offer to use an online coach for "free" and when I say free it means you have to register and link up your stats from Garmin and/or Strava or whatever fitness app you use.

Choose your app wisely 😄
So I decided to give this a whirl and input/sync my data. It takes in all your activities (if you've synced" asks you a bunch of questions on your goals and fitness and it spits out a training plan. Pretty easy.
I'll be honest with my moderate pacing and desire to run is pretty high I have to take this schedule with a grain of salt until I get the all clear. So far my review is positive that it was easy to configure, but I don't really have access to a physical "coach" and if I want to talk to the virtual coach then guess what it is extra. Surprise!
For now I will let this play out for race weekend and give a proper review as so far it's relatively easy and I don't see any issue with using it, but you have to be more religious with following the plan. It is something different for me.

Snowboarding/Smuggler's Notch

I went out I can tell you when I was wearing my Holter on my 1st outing of the 2019 season it was at Calabogie. Of course I went with my snowboarding wife Eunice.
Top of Calabogie overview of the lake
Then of course once the Holter came off I was off to our annual trip with the ski club to Vermont and to shred three mountains. We pretty much go every year and some disappointment and some stellar shredding. You can never rely on mother nature and old man winter to agree on what will happen in March so this year we decided to go early for peak season access and we were not disappointed as a Nor'easter headed up the coast with about 58cm of snow that fell Friday and well into Saturday. There was a lot of snow. In fact my SUV got stuck in the parking lot and the girls had to push me out.
The following morning after arrival

So Much Snow
Lia and I waiting for the lift


Follow the leader

Mix of Rain and snow over 48 hours

After the Nor'Easter

The winds were wicked

Snow Shower
Sun came out
Girls and I dug the SUV out
SUV has been freed

Cardiac Rehab Follow Up

It had been almost six weeks that I had met with Guy-Anne to go over my exercise routine to see how I would adapt to the exercise program. Unfortunately I was WAY too eager and from what my Garmin stats showed she was not happy that she saw some of my max HR numbers were hitting beyond the agreed to levels. So I will head back to 😡 turtle mode to make sure I let the ♥ heal.

Random News and No April Fool

On April 1 I had to do my civic duty and head down to the Ontario court house to serve as a potential member for the jury. IF you have never done this before you bring the Summons with you (filled out the bottom portion as I forgot) and register with the clerk. You are herded into a waiting area for all the potential jurors. Once you register with their little white cards with your juror number you take a seat once they verify the information on your form. Once all 185 potential jurors have been screened into the waiting area you get to watch a video on becoming a juror and how great it is. That's not the official title, but it was a 10 minute video explaining the process and what to expect. It was ok, but it was a little over the top. They tried to make it more personable which to me made it even more "fromage" so I took it with a grain of salt and awaited to be called en masse to enter into the court room.
Usually the court sessions start at about 10a, but it was started a bit late. So once the judge was ready we all proceeded into the court through a side door and we all sat in the gallery and awaited for the judage. So just like in all the movies and tv shows it is a very formal proceeding and we all rose and sat when told to. The judge apologized for the delay and eventually told us that a last minute resolution was reached prior to the call and that our services were no longer required. As a result everyone was dismissed, BUT apparently we are all to return the following Monday to start the process again, but on a different case. Almost all of us were a bit perplexed, but now I get to go through this again.

Dental Cleaning

So also the next day my visit to the dentist office was the most obscure. I arrived to a construction zone of the office and I didn't realize until I arrived and had to enter through a side door. In any event I found where I had to go and eventually I made it to my hygienist's chair. I've been at this office for years and this is a new hygienist that put me through the gears. I had xrays, a 20 question on my meds and then let her know I had heart procedure in December which ensued a whole other line of questioning and of course Dr. Google. Long story shorty they did everything but clean my teeth so I had to call my cardiologist office just in case something happened and bacteria could get into my blood stream and infect my heart. Yep! But I appreciate the due diligence and the fear of erring on the side of caution. BUT the story doesn't stop as the cardiologist asked for a fax of the dental hygienist concerns and of course I call the dental office back and they don't have a fax machine. So yep you guessed it snail mail request...
 Tune in for that follow on these two events and much, much more 😞