Archive | October, 2010

Amazing What The Body Can Do In 4 Months

28 Oct


From open heart surgery in June, to achieving a target of running 6 miles in 60 minutes. This is one snapshot into my journey back to recovery after repair of a congenital heart defect. To many athletes, 10 min/miles is barely a recovery run. To me, it is a small achievement that allows me to track progress back to my previous level of fitness and beyond. I am not a bionic woman, just very determined and prepared to work hard! My run today was hard, hurt all of the way but meant a lot to me. The desire to succeed is far more powerful than a nagging tiredness. You have to REALLY want something if you are going to aim high. I have REALLY wanted to get better!

Many of my friends and family have become accustomed to having the ‘old Corinne’ back. I, however, do not take any of my physical efforts for granted. Each time I push my heart and legs just a little bit more, I remind myself of how lucky I am to be able to exercise.

First Flight Post Heart Surgery

26 Oct

Funny how sometimes I can completely forget about my fixed heart defect and continue life as if nothing happened! Instead on focusing on every twinge and missed beat, I am now so busy with work and life in general that I often forget about my operation. Then I get a little reminder. Something to make me remember and consider myself extremely lucky.

My recent reminder was during take-off of my first flight since my heart surgery. Over the weekend, I went to Germany to see family and I hadn’t considered the travel nor had any nerves. Once on the plane, I began to feel a little scared and looked to my partner for support. ‘Will I be ok?’ I asked him nervously. Bearing in mind I was clear to fly after 6 weeks, I had nothing to worry about. Stories about the ‘patch’ coming dislodged at attitude filled my mind and I felt very worried. All was fine and I didn’t get so much as a tiny palpitation!

Over the coming months I expect to have occasional moments of anxiety about my fixed heart, especially as I slowly increase my training and push myself further. I believe a little worry is healthy and allows you to gain perspective. I certainly had my feet firmly on the ground whilst taking off in a plane!

Heart surgery has given me time to reflect on many aspects of my life, including career aspirations, life ambitions and what makes me happy. Maybe as a result of my pondering, we have recently sold our company to focus on an exciting new business. I have also applied to start a diploma in coaching. My ambition (other than completing Ironman Florida) is to help others achieve their dreams. I also feel very privileged to be asked to be part of the IronHeart Racing Team. Check out the amazing website for inspiration overload!

16 Weeks Since My Heart Surgery

13 Oct

To start with this week,  a link to someone who has inspired me on my own journey to Ironman – Kyle Garlet.

Kyle Garlet – Heart Transplant to Ironman Hawaii

As Kyle puts it, anything is possible! This week, and for the last few weeks since I began training again, I  have had such incredible support from the Twitter community. From Kona athletes, age groupers and local women runners and triathletes, I had received the most lovely comments, all of which have spurred me on. I have been constantly reminded that my recovery has been quick and successful as I was back running after 12 weeks. Now, 16 weeks post my surgery, I am feeling great and excited about the future.

Reading and watching stories about the Ironman championships in Kona at the weekend, should be enough to motivate even the biggest coach potato! Or is it just me, with my obsession with all things triathlon and the magic of the race? The most heart wrenching stories emerge from race reports and sheer human effort is apparent in all cases. This week, I have shared my experience with someone who is about to go through similar heart surgery. I hope he has found it useful to chat about fears, expectations and returning to Ironman training. Remember, (my motto of the month) – anything is possible!

On Twitter, I set myself a October wish – to complete 6 miles in 60 minutes. So far, I’m not there with reducing my min/miles although I’m seeing an improvement on each run. Persistence and patience are required! I am so excited to observe my potential speed increase over the next few months and surpass any of my previous records.

Scar news: I have no red areas now and all seems healed. Soon, it will be a fine white line and much less obvious. I get a couple of stares but no more than the usual male ‘boob glance’!! :)

Thanks for reading!