Tag Archives: cardiac rehab

9 Weeks – Recovery

25 Aug

My second week training has gone well. Last week I managed 2 runs and 1 gym session and felt great! Today I attended my second cardiac rehab class and enjoyed the company. It was humbling to hear the stories of others who had suffered heart attacks. Several people described the psychological impact of coming to terms with an unexpected cardiac event. I compared my experience to theirs and certainly feel lucky that my heart condition was easy to resolve. I know I did nothing wrong in terms of lifestyle, diet etc to cause the defect so there is no guilt for me to deal with. All my focus has been on returning to my level of fitness. I am so grateful that I have no heart disease and hopefully never will have!

My main concern this weeks is a very sore neck. This is likely muscular pain following my surgery and is a bit of a pain! I have reduced most of my painkillers down and I am keen to stop them completely. I had a reflexology session on Monday which was fascinating and very accurate about my problems! I am trying Indian head massage on Friday so I am hoping this will relieve the ongoing pain.

I have dropped back on my walks in favour of runs, I completed 2.3 miles today. The endorphins I get from running are incredible. I almost had forgotten what they felt like! It all feels real now, and I am not afraid to tell people I am training for a marathon and fully intend to have a good triathlon season next year. I have even had my first offer of sponsorship from the cardiac rehab team.

3 more weeks until I can get back on my bike and into the pool!

44678_10150259220800343_694765342_14303770_1276627_nMe and my healing scar!

8 Weeks – First Run!

20 Aug

This week I hit my 8 week date, 2 months since my heart surgery. This for me meant I was able to go for my first run in 5 months.

I started the day with my first cardiac rehab session at the local hospital. I had almost been put off before attending, wondering what I would get out of the session and if I would look out of place. Still, always curious to learn more about exercise, I went along and really enjoyed myself. I got chatting to many people with varying heart conditions. I was the youngest there but could still relate to others who had gone through heart surgery. As I told my story, I felt pride at what I have been through and humbled that my return to normal life and exercise has been fairly smooth.

The circuit of cardio exercises and stretches was fun and I was able to push myself in a safe environment. This gave me the confidence to push my heart rate on my first run.

Again, to feel safe, I used my friend’s treadmill with the door open and safety key firmly attached to my shorts! I gingerly warmed up and gradually fell into a jog. Over the 30 minute session I did 2 minutes running followed by 1 minute walking. I remembered the Borg scale taught to me the cardiac rehab class and kept my exertion to 4/10 in order not to push my heart too much. On future runs, I will wear my heart rate monitor to keep my heart rate below 164. I covered 2.2 miles in the session and felt good afterwards. I had no chest pain, discomfort or shortness of breath but my legs did ache!!

After a busy few days with family down and lots of walking, I have decided to limit my runs to one more this week, on Sunday with my friend. This will allow me to recover in the meantime and start out fresh for run no. 2!

I have read about others who have returned to running quickly after heart surgery (some after only 2 week!) but I felt I should follow doctor’s orders and stay within my limits. With a tough marathon time to work towards, there is plenty of time for the pain, strain and sheer exhaustion that accompanies running. For now, I am focusing on little and often, slow and steady :)