In June of 2013 I participated in a 3-day 150 mile ride for the Lung Association. I trained for months and tried to be as prepared as possible. The day before my ride I had an appointment with my cardiologist. I had gotten his approval for the ride months ago, but he wanted me to see him right before the ride.
That day was as normal day as any. I biked to his office from my home, 9 miles. Easy peasy ride considering I was logging about 30-40 miles average a day. As I sit in his office and they do the all too routine EKG, I suddenly had a heart hiccup. A heart hiccup, what’s that you ask? Well, I call them “heart hiccups”, but the technical term would be ventricular tachycardia. I have a handful of these hiccups daily. They last 1/4 to 1/8 of a second! I mentioned them to my cardiologist on one of my previous appointments but he didn’t seem concerned since they don’t happen at a specific time, they last less than one second and I had no adverse affects from them (not lightheaded, not dizzy, no shortness of breath, nothing). Well, the EKG caught one and he had a ton of questions for me after that and then asked me to wear a Holter Monitor for the first day of my ride. Oh what fun! At least he didn’t say no to doing the ride. And he wasn’t concerned about the hiccup but wanted to see how many I was having, etc.
Well, I wasn’t happy about having to wear it, but it didn’t get in the way and I hardly noticed it. The ride was difficult. I trained in Chicago, on the lakefront path and in the gym taking back-to-back spin classes. I had never ridden my bike on a country rode. The ride started in Crystal Lake, IL and we rode north to Lake Geneva, WI. I will happily admit that I had to walk a few hills. Hey, at least I didn’t give up and get in the support wagon!! So, I walked a few hills, but I crossed the finish line on my bike! I actually did it!!! I was sooo proud. 50 miles a day. 50 miles is a lot!!!
This is a picture I took on the first day. Actually, it’s the only picture I took. I was born and raised in Chicago, and spent many summers on a farm in Humacao, Puerto Rico….but midwest farmland is quite beautiful. On my ride I saw; chipmunks, a bald eagle, barn kittens and sadly way too many types of roadkill. I rode with a pack of cyclist at the very beginning of the ride and then they smoked me. I was left with nothing but the sound of birds chirping and my heart valves ticking. No seriously, it was that quiet, I heard them! Well, I actually always hear them, but I heard them quite well when I was all alone on these country roads.
The ride was a fabulous experience. I am so proud of myself for completing it.
Fast forward to the results, please.
The results came back showing I have lots of “heart hiccups” but none severe, or serious enough to warrant any further testing. It’s just a good baseline reading to see how often, how prolonged they are. Good cardiac news – imagine that?!
Hmm, been thinking about this for a while. I really am not sure. I’ve sorta taken a liking to this physical fitness stuff. Funny enough it’s a similar feeling to when I was training for the Chicago Marathon in 2000 and I sorta liked that too. Oh geez. No, no, no, I have no interest in running a marathon. But I do want to set some other sort of fitness goal….