Sunday, July 31, 2011

Scary Run: Heart Palpitations

Learning is fun!
Now where is the "blow shit up" button??
For me, part of blogging is not only writing about the successes, but also the failures. It is a reflection of what is going on in the microcosm of "me".  Honestly, the failures would certainly be easy to not post.  I could remain silent, hell I could even post about something completely unrelated (ZOMG, did you hear that NFL football is back!?).  But that wouldn't sit well with me. Sometimes things (runs) go well.  When they do, I gloss over the details and talk about poop post about it.**  When things don't go well? I still post about poop, post about them and try to learn from my mistakes.***

On Saturday I had 18 miles on the schedule.  Nothing fancy, no pickups, pace work, or cartwheels. Just some boring old "move your ass the required distance" miles.  It was supposed to be balls hot out**** so the night before I didn't have any beer, I hydrated as best I could, and went to bed early.  The day of, I followed my normal routine (contacts, poop, water, stretch, run), and ran the first 9 miles at a 8:00 pace.  It was hot, but I live in Arizona so that is to be expected.

At the turn around (all of my runs are out and back) I stopped for 10-15 seconds to get a drink and my heart started RACING. Like, 220 beats per min racing.  My chest got tight and I decided that it would be best to find a place to sit down. No sense passing out and hitting the ground like a sack of potatoes.  I sat down for 5 min or so, realized they weren't going away and decided to just start walking back home.  I walked a mile or so and they did eventually go away.  I then ran/walk my way home to take it easy for an overall pace of somewhere in the 9:50ish range.

Now, I get heart palpitations on occasion*****.  Usually when I drink too much caffeine late in the day or, based on this Mayo Clinic article, whenever my menopause is flaring up.  According to the internet, they are totally normal and you actually won't pass out because the heart is beating normally - just really really fast. Also, based on the internet the other causes can be:
  • Strong emotional responses, such as stress or anxiety (not really, but I was running?)
  • Strenuous exercise (oh yeah, got that)
  • Caffeine (actually, not before they happened this time)
  • Nicotine (gross)
  • Fever (I was really hot, so possibly)
  • Hormone changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy or menopause (BINGO)
  • Taking cold and cough medications that contain pseudoephedrine, a stimulant (I take a 12 hour allergy med, but hadn't taken it for 24)
  • Taking some asthma inhaler medications that contain stimulants (nope, haven't huffed for years)
  • A low blood sugar level (a very high possibility)
  • Some types of low blood pressure (possibly from the heat)
  • Dehydration (Ding ding ding - we have a winner)

Soooooo, my chest hurt when I ran and my heart tried to jump out of my chest. Now what?

Well, I am going to try to drink even more water.  I normally carry 40 oz during my long runs and that just doesn't seem like it is going to be enough for Arizona's 97 degrees at 7:30am.  So, on long run, hot days I'll also carry my handheld.  Also, I'm going to possibly call a doctor and see if he thinks if it is worthwhile to come in and get checked out.  Finally, I'm going to not be so reactionary to completely change the way I operate because of one event.  I've had 100s of runs that haven't had any issue so this might have been a fluke.

Oh right, and I"m going to continue to enjoy sulking after a shitty run with a cold beer.  Sulking tastes delicious.



**Comments of "nice run!" rain down from heaven like lollipops in a Wonka factory
***Comments of "nice run!" still rain down from people who skimmed the post
****Swear to god, that is what the weather lady said "Balls hot out"
*****Some people call it "Bieber Fever"

36 comments:

ShutUpandRun said...

Scary stuff but seems your internet researching has paid off and you've got your answer!! I think beer is a reward for everyting including heart palpitations.

Run with Jess said...

Yikes, kinda scary! I had 18 today too, and had to take a couple walk breaks too (which I never do). Hydration was my answer too... Not sure why I wasn't hydrated enough since I spent all day on the beach yesterday drinking (oh,right, alcohol has the opposite effect!)

giraffy said...

Beer is always a good idea, duh.

The weather person actually said that? On air? Awesome.

Be careful with that heart stuff. Honestly, if that happened to me, I'd probably collapse into a freaked out puddle of tears. And called my husband.

MotherRunner said...

Yikes. I would've crapped my pants. I'd probably call the ol Doctor to see what's up... but don't call Dr. Acula... he's just after your blllooooodddd!

Brian said...

Nice run!

Brian said...

Just kidding...I read it.

Good luck and be careful. I only ever had anything similar to this happen to me. I took like a 7ish mile run, which was as far as I ran all last summer, on a hot day (not AZ hot, but hot nonetheless), got home, got my car with my wife to run out and grab breakfast, and just all of a sudden I felt dizzy and it seemed like I was going to pass out. Very scary. Pulled over, switched drivers, stopped for gatorade and hydrated like mad the rest of the day, and was ok. But definitely weird.

If you don't mind my opinion, I think you're right not to panic, but talking a Dr. is probably a good idea. Didn't something similar happen to you a few weeks ago?

Stephanie Anne said...

Hope you get it sorted out & enjoy that cold beer!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

I'm glad you didn't die.

I'm disappointed you didn't shit your pants.

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

Well, I'm glad you didn't die. Not sure anyone could torture me the way you do.

We have the same brown leather chair and those exact same curtains... I just don't have a beer.

My run sucked today too. It's nice to have company. Of course mine was due to lack of poop... I actually would've been thrilled to poop my pants just to get it out. (Gotta love TMI!!!)

Peeping Gnome said...

usually when I look up symptoms on google I end up with Morgellons Syndrome, Von Hippel-Lindau or Kuru (and being a vegetarian who's never been in Papua Guinea doesn't really make me feel safer).
Good luck on the next run!
Sara

WannabeRunner said...

Ok, that is pretty scary. Glad you are being smart about it...i mean, you have to take care of that baby inside you right??

In all serious, hope this was a fluke & everything's ok!

Char said...

Definitely have it checked out. It's worth knowing that it's all okay so you can not freak out when it happens. I've had them for years but rarely when I run. I've cut way back on caffeine, try to avoid stress (try that with 3 kids and running your own business) and when they happen I hold my breath like I need to push out a big one - apparently that puts pressure on the vagus nerve and can pull the heart rhythm back to normal.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

oh wow very scary. definitely see someone about it, just one of those things you never know about. Do you carry your phone with you when you run or are you like my husband and think "nah there's no reason to.."

Tricia said...

Nice run man

Oh wait, I have to READ the whole thing?!

Seriously scary stuff. Take care of yourself and ummmm....maybe seek the opinion of someone other than your genius blog followers. I hear there are people that actually spend years in school so they can learn the answers to your health problems. What are those people called again??

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

We're, like, running-problem twins. I keep telling you, put salt on your morning oatmeal. It's a wonder drug. Helps you retain water, keeps your pressure up, prevents bottoming out at work after your run. It's a life saver.

Running Through Phoenix said...

Nothing to really say except OJ is as guilty as hell.

Cynthia O'H said...

Sounds like classic dehydration to me. I should know because I've been there and it is scary as hell.
I've found that I do better by planned hydrating two and three days before a long run, then drink normally on the day before. I'm hydrated and I don't have tons of water swishing around.

XLMIC said...

Be careful! That sounds scary. (Is this where I say "nice run!"?

C2Iowa said...

Never could get my hr up that high. As you are doing - best to be cautious. Almost too dang hot everywhere.

Jamoosh said...

That is the most horrible sulking picture ever. But the cold beer makes up for it.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Nice run.
Beer is always the answer!

I've been there but it was from pushing a person in a wheel chair up a hill (during a race). If it goes super high in your next run, go get it checked out, provided you don't keel over and die first.

SupermomE12 said...

That is definitely scary! I am glad you are ok though. I have heard from my grandma that menopause stinks, so hang in there. :)

Runners Fuel said...

So scary!! Glad you're doing better!

Running Moose said...

You should try ultra marathons, then you can walk every hill (or what ever you want to call a hill)...Sounds like it was probably dehydration (and you have a new max heart rate?). I hope your next run is uneventful!

Nelly said...

Wow, scary stuff indeed.

Might be worth a trip to the doctor sometime if it happens again, it might have been a mix of dehydration, low blood sugar, overtraining, etc. I know you are on a new higher mileage plan it sounds like, and I've heard that training too much can elevate your heartrate sometimes. Powermultisport talked about it:
http://www.powermultisport.com/2011/07/resting-heart-rate-and-overtraining.html

My heart has started racing really fast once when I took too much cold meds with pseudoephedrine when I was sick, I felt like I was having an out of body experience! It was like I was on meth, lol

kilax said...

That sucks! :( I do think you should see a doc if it becomes a regular thing. :(

Christina said...

It looks like you have 5'oclock mustache growing.

I've had chest pains where it hurt to breathe. What did I do? Run through it of course. As someone who suffered from anxiety, I'm familiar with chest pains and know they are all in the mind. If it feels different that stress chest pains, then my Road ID will give the medical guys what they need to know. Otherwise...run through it. :)

Glenn Jones said...

Hmm. Have you thought about seeing a doctor?

Scallywag said...

It'll be because youre totally ancient... Ha ha ha just kidding! Enjoy your cold one. If I had to run in the Arizonian heat i would be dead by now- its like 20 degrees celsius in britain today and Im already thinking its boiling!

One warning- beware Dr Google, he may be okay sometimes but at others hes definitely on crack.

Jackalope said...

I think I had my HR up that high at one point. Of course I was licking a car battery at the time.

Christ be careful, don't be shy about visiting a dr. . .

Kathy said...

From what you described (and I'm no doctor) it sounds more like tachycardia than palpitations. A palpitation is when you're hyperaware of your heart beat (even normal) but tachycardia is abnormally fast HB. I'm hoping this is solely a question of semantics, because VTach or AFib should not be taken lightly.

Kate said...

I'm a little sad that I wasted a good 30-45 seconds of my time trying to figure out which swear word you were concealing with the asterisks in "balls hot out****"...only to find that it was just the key to a footnote. Hilarious that they weather lady said that, though, even without any cursing.

Jill said...

Are glowing red eyeballs part of the heart issues? Yikes!

I get that racing heart thing now and then. The first time I raced to the doctor and had them set me up on a heart rate machine with electrodes and all! Nothing happenend. Not one tiney heart paloitation! She told me to lay off the caffeine (Aka: Diet Coke) and de-stress (bahahahah!!). Haven't really had them bad since (though the stress never went away!).

Hahah, I'm totally laughing at Kate's comment above. :)

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

I had a couple of scary runs like this and thought I was plenty hydrated with water and also some MiO during the day. I came to find out the hard way that drinking MiO did not qualify as hydrating, and because of how my body dealt with the artificial sweetener it did the opposite. So, if you are drinking some of these new things with artificial sweetener, that may be your cause. Be careful.

Steve said...

I've been there with the chest pain scare before... not fun, keeps running through you mind day and night. I'm a mild hypochondriac anyway, so that doesn't help.

Panjeani Rockwell said...

that is classic heart attack symptoms, just so you know lots of people die while running, and most of them are around the 40 yo mark. The heart racing and not slowing down, its important to cool down, most heart attacks occur after the run when someone just sits down, while your heart rate is still high from running, this enables the muscles to help the heart while its still stressed to return the blood to the heart, otherwise the heart gets double overloaded, when you just go from a run to a stop. The heart is still trying to replentish the muscles, and also pump the blood around the body. Moving your muscles just a little bit helps with venous return and doesnt stress the heart out at the end of a workout.