Whatever the Ides of March are they certainly got their teeth into me. It started with a cold. Having read that the cold virus can be forced into the heart by exercise (with fatal consequences) I've long since given up running off colds. As soon as the cold went I did a first (for me) and pulled a calf muscle. Hopes that it had gone a week later proved vain as I pulled it again. Off to the physio. Another change to my old habits: The first few miles of a run no longer counts as warming up and stretching. Three weeks later I'm given the green light only to get a new cold. I woke up last Sunday thinking my cold had gotten worse only to have the new feeling develop into food poisoning complete with all the usual evacuations from all available orifices. Could it get any worse? Oh yes.
I've had the very occassional episode of heart fibrillations ever since I can remember. I get about one a year. They only occur when I stop exercise and last between one and fifteen minutes. Apart from the strange feeling of my heart going beserk there are no other symptoms such as dizziness or pain. So, having captured one of these episodes on my heart rate monitor (Polar S625X if you're interested) I took myself off to the doctor with a view to getting checked out before I really start the training properly. Anyway, as a result last Friday the hospital fitted a 3-day heart recorder. They got this back on Monday and on Tuesday (while I was still off work recovering from the food poisoning) I received a call from a worried sounding cardiologist asking if I could come in for more tests as my heart rate was worryingly low, even for a runner. I've always had a low resting rate (I measured 32 bpm recently) so that, combined with being extremely dehydrated with the food poisoning, probably produced some interesting results. So it's off to the hospital on Friday for a treadmill test. Look out for the next exciting installment.