Running after a break
April 29, 2010
Once again I’ve returned to running after a long break. This time regular running was interrupted by a couple of months of feeling run down followed by a trip to hospital with severe chest pain and a suspected pulmonary embolism. Luckily no clot was visible on the scan but some D-Dimer tests were positive and I was given anti coagulant shots “just in case”. The scan did show evidence of recent infection in one lung so maybe that explains my lack of enthusiasm.
I was worried by the possibility of a PE but it seems many people continue to run after having one. I found that DVT doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop running and discovered there’s even a facebook group for Running After A Pulmonary Embolism and an interesting forum post on exercise after a pulmonary embolism. I also came across some useful useful forum posts on running with DVT and exercise with DVT. www.preventdvt.org also has some helpful information. In retrospect I should have visited a doctor sooner and not forced a run when I was feeling down. On the plus side I’ve found that I’ve no DVT or PE and even took a long overdue ECG in the process. Having had tachycardia (SVT ) fixed some years ago, I suppose I should know better.
After previous breaks from running I’ve started at week 13 of the beginners running plan to get back into the swing of things. This time I’m going out for slow, 20 minute runs instead. I’ll keep these going for 2 or 3 weeks before extending the time or distance even if I feel like running more. Adding some bodyweight exercise once a week during that period should help the return regular resistance training.
It’s a bit disheartening to get out of breath after a slow 20 minute run but I know fitness should return fairly quickly. That middle age nagging feeling that you can’t afford to lose a week is a real bummer though. This experience has made me appreciate running even more and realize my good fortune for being able to enjoy running even when it’s a struggle.