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Back in the Saddle Again

By Scott Simpson

March 29, 2010

I was hoping to give this blog entry a title with a super positive spin -- something like "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands" -- because I hadn't had any 'anxiety' attack episodes for an entire week, only bouts of nausea -- and they seemed to be lessening as the days passed -- and mild abdominal pain that failed to recur mid-week. Sunny skies.

Alas, I had another episode late Saturday for 30 minutes, so my mini theory that the episodes had occurred over 10 days with their intensity peaking in the middle -- such that if graphed it would reveal a bell curve distribution -- is doubtful. Unless I attribute the most recent episode as an 'outlier'.

I saw an internal medicine doc this week and he said that my primary doc was already doing all the rights things -- "very thorough" -- to check for heart trouble or that rare tumour. He also suggested that I could be having anxiety attacks without the anxiety and I told him I was totally cool and perfectly happy with that theory.

Lots of people seem to live with anxiety attacks -- and with the fear/flight symptoms, which must really suck -- so I'm fine with that diagnosis and clean urine and CT scan results will support it.

But my own personal unscientific theory goes like this: whatever was making me ill initially -- and from which I'm slowly, but decidedly, recovering -- infected or affected my adrenal gland(s) and now they are easily aroused and periodically release adrenaline for a while. I figure as I continue to recover -- I still seem to need 10+ hours of sleep at night -- they will fade away.

Also inspiring a lot of hope that I was getting over it all, was the return of my energy and ability to start training again to no ill effect. In the last 7 days I've managed to ease back into training:

3 swims -- 30, 40, then 50 minutes, total 2 hours -- continuous, very easy pace
3 bikes -- 60, 70, then 80 minutes, total 3.5 hours -- continuous, very easy pace
3 runs -- 30, 40, then 50 minutes, total 2 hours -- continuous, very easy pace
3 weights / core workouts

Compared to my pre-illness week:

4 swims -- total 3:35 hours -- continuous, easy pace
5 bikes -- total 6:45 hours -- hard days would include intensity
4 runs -- total 5:45 hours -- hard days would include hills
3 weights / core workouts

I'm aiming to test my body a little with a 'real' training day on the last day of March: a 60 minute swim in the a.m., then later a brick workout of a 2.5 hour bike with a 30 minute run. It will mark my first hard training day in exactly 6 weeks. It also means that Ironman Louisville is just over 21 weeks away. And as long as nothing major goes wrong between now and then -- like I get too eager and over train and suffer a health setback or injury -- I should be able to get enough fitness to get to the start line. Emotion will get me to the finish line.

Giddy up!

Send Scott an e-mail.




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