Wednesday, 10 December 2014

I HEART Running....and of course some random bits

Everything was going great until I got a call from Trudy (My youngest sister) last Tuesday evening. I had had a super duper stressful couple of days at work and I had warned her that if she was calling with bad news, I could not spare the mental space...I was sort of joking, sort of. 

Then the next words she said sounded a lot like Charlie Brown's teacher, you know the voice. The only words I heard were "Dad found out.... he has a heart condition...it's genetic, so you've got to be tested....and oh yeah, no running marathons until you do. Got a pen? Hypertrophic Cardio..." "Myopathy?!" I replied. "How on earth did you know that?" she asked confusedly. With my heart booming through my chest I said, "Because I've read about marathoners and super fit athletes dropping dead from it!" I leaned over my kitchen counter put my face in my hands and just lost it. I felt like I lost everything. Everything anyone who knows me by anyway. The crazy girl who runs all the time with the blonde ponytail, Heather-from Girl Goes Running and yada yada yada. And I also felt like I had lost everything and anything that I was good at, without any warning. I knew there was a chance I didn't have it, but the chance I did was controlling me at this point. :(

My brain was spinning uncontrollably. I knew I'd have to stop running temporarily or permanently depending on the outcome. What if I'm just one marathon away from you know what?! What if I was running in the trail and I collapsed?! Have I just been lucky these past few years and my heart was about to call it quits?! How will my life change if I have it?! It did not help that my Boston Marathon Acceptance letter was staring at me bold face on the fridge while I tried super hard to catch my breath. It felt like someone was sitting on my chest and I couldn't push them off. Not to mention the bad news my Dad had received and my two sisters who now could also have it. 


"Hellooooo, you there?" she asked. I can't even remember where the conversation went from there but I'm pretty sure it involved my little sister consoling me and assuring me that I've run so many marathons that I'd probably be fine and it was just good to get checked. You know, just in case. 

So that's what I did. I visited my family doc and he encouraged me to not run long or hard until I was checked. Even the receptionist told me that I would likely have to stop running while I was in the waiting room. :(  The wait would likely be 2+ months! :( You can check out HCM on Wikipedia.

Matthew did some super searching and got me into a private facility very swiftly! It was my first ever Echo cardiogram. I was fascinated by seeing my own Heart and hearing it. I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the screen was coming from inside my chest! You could even see the valves moving....it sort of made me queasy after a while...lol. The test took 45 minutes and I felt surprisingly calm. I had realized while laying on that bed that if I in fact had HCM, then I'd HAVE to deal with it and crying over it wasn't going to get me anywhere. 

Matthew was very supportive: "If you can't run, I won't run!" "Don't talk crazy," I said with a raised eyebrow...lol.

A possible deadly combo:

Yesterday morning we got the report. From researching, I see that the likelihood of inheriting HCM through genetics can be upwards of a 50% chance.

The moment of truth.....
Deep sigh of relief for sure!!! 

I realize this post sounds super dramatic, but I realized this past little while that I had invested so much of my life into running and when it could possibly suddenly get taken away, I didn't know who I was. I'll be the first to tell you to pour your heart and soul into your passion, but I've learned that it's also a very good idea to have a back up. ;) Especially when things are out of your control. And no matter what, your health is #1!!!!!!! 

Now onto my first run post super duper stressful week: 7 Spectacular Miles!

It rained the entire run but I didn't care one bit! I knew my heart was strong and I felt so awesome to be out there with the streets again. <3 I wanted to yell out to passers by that my heart was healthy, but I figured they'd think I was  super nuts...lol.

If you live in the Halifax area you know that it is raining cats and dogs tonight with mega winds. Well, I had just received a bill of clean health and didn't run in a week, so I whipped out the poncho!

It was so windy that I must have looked like quite the sight to drivers as the yellow plastic was blowing all about. I figure I can just deny that it was me by suggesting that it was likely one of those inflatable Christmas lawn ornaments on the loose. Hey, it could work? ;) LOL.

Sam and I also 'shuffled' the Santa Shuffle 5k on Saturday morning. Even though I had phantom pains in my chest the entire time from worrying about my Echo results, I still enjoyed the run. 
how cute are these guys??? 

At the start....so much red! :)

Hey look, it's Joggling Santa! And he's pretty fast I might add!
Why my tutu is so high here, I have no idea, lol.
 Sam and I chowed down all classy like in my car post run...lol. Quite generous chilli portions I might add. :D

Check out this cute medal!

Friday night's cookie swap provided us with some sweet treats to enjoy as well :D

Jodi hosted another successful Cookie Exhange! 

Well I think I've rambled enough...lol. Thanks so much for being patient with my posts and for the supportive messages I received from friends. I am completely psyched to begin Boston Training at the end of the month with a clear healthy mind and heart. 

Have a beautiful day!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

27 comments:

  1. I am sooooooooo glad that you are healthy....I felt like I was on your shoulder....living your biggest fear! Now you can run like the wind (no pun intended) and kick ass in Boston!!!! PS...you might be a tad bit crazy to ruin in the rain storm we are having...LOL

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    1. Thanks!
      agreed to the crazy! It was pretty darn windy!!! LOL.

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  2. lol your shuffle was still faster than my RUN! Congrats on the healthy news!

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  3. Thank you for the update! You are not being dramatic at all. The way you described it... feeling like everything you are good at is taken away in an instance- that was a good way to convey your feelings to us! How is your dad doing? Does he run?

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    1. Thanks for your support Meg! My Dad is doing okay. Luckily it's treatable for him, but not curable. My dad definitely is not a runner....this question made me smirk...lol. Is that mean? ;)

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  4. I am SO happy and relieved for you!!!! I'm sorry to hear your dad has the condition, but it's got to be so freeing to know you're okay. Plus, nothing makes you appreciate what you have more than a brush with losing it.

    What's going to happen with your dad? How did they find out he has it?

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    1. Thanks Ali! My dad has been having frequent tests to see what's going on with him. He's been having a few other issues this year. They found his HCM via a Echo Cardiogram. It's not curable but it is treatable for him.

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  5. So happy that everything is okay with you and that another Boston is in your future! You know Matthew is a good one if he was willing to give up running for you! ;)

    Echoing what the Meg and Ali have said about. I hope your dad is doing okay and your sisters too!

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  6. Thank goodness you results came back negative! Also thank you for raising awareness to this issue!

    That jingle jog looked like a cute race! -M

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    1. The Santa shuffle sure was fun! Thanks so much Miranda!

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  7. I have totally been out of the loop with blogs. I am so happy that you are okay and you are cleared to run. I am sorry that this affecting your family. Being healthy is very important! Sending well wishes to your family!

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    1. Heather! You're back! :) Thank you so much :)

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  8. How the heck did I miss this...HUGE sigh of relief coming from this side of the internet. Very glad that your test results came back good. I would have run through all that crap too given everything you went through.

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    1. Thanks so much Richard! It was certainly a stressful week and running through the storm just seemed so perfect. :)

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  9. What an awful feeling to have to wait through. I am glad you could get the test done and didn't have wait two months, that would have been torturous. i hope your Dad is doing okay. This will be some happy training for you knowing you are healthy and strong and ready to roll :) I see you got dual use out of the tutu- awesome :)

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes, that tutu certainly came in handy ;)

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  10. Gosh! How scary! I am so happy the results came back okay and that you took the break and got the test! I hope your sister's results come back good too, and your dad's!

    Love that medal!!! :)

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  12. So happy for you, I have had the same thoughts about running and I am nowhere near as competitive as you are! How are your sisters? Inst your dad a runner as well? How is he doing with all of this?

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    1. Thanks so much! My sisters are getting tested as well. My dad is not a runner but he is being treated. I think he was more worried about me since he was scared I'd go running regardless....I guess he thinks I'm totally crazy. ;)

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  13. Oh, how terrifying! I'm glad it all turned out okay for you. How's your dad dealing with it?

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    1. Thanks so much Cassie! Dad is actually doing well. He is being treated now so it's manageable.

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  14. I don't think you're being dramatic at all! I would react in the same way. Runner is part of my identity. Everyone knows me as a runner. They know it's my therapy, my stress relief, my way of escaping. If I couldn't run, I would feel as though my life was ending. I am so, so, so glad that you are okay. How's your dad holding up?

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  15. I'm glad that you don't have HCM! That sounds so scary!! Glad you and your Dad are ok!

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