Hill Running Again! Echocardiogram Stress Test Success!


After a little over a month I was finely cleared by my doctor to start running hills again. I love running hills but on December 2nd at about the 3 mile mark in one of my hill runs I got a fast sharp pain in my chest, I happened again after about another 75 yards. Even though, I continued my run finishing after about another 5 minutes.

That evening I sent my doctor an email telling her what happened and asking if I should be concerned; when she got back to me she responded saying that she didn’t think it was anything to worry about because I’m in good health but asked me to run only flat courses for now and that she was ordering an Echocardiogram Stress Test be done to me.

I’ve got one of the best doctors in the entire universe and I always listen to her advice; even though I’ll have to admit that I did do a cross country course when I was testing the toe socks that I shouldn’t have.

I had my Stress Test last Monday January 12. I’ve never had an echocardiogram and I was a little freaked out by it. After wiring me up for the stress test, electrodes hanging from me like an octopus tentacles, they did the echocardiogram by having my lay on my left side. Using a wand called a transducer and some lovely lubricant; the nurse took three videos of my heart from three different areas or angle this was so they could look at my heart at “rest”. I was so strange looking at three tiles on the computer screen seeing my heart beating.

I was told that I would need to do the same procedure within 60 seconds (or something of that nature) once I completed the Stress Test on the treadmill. From the echocardiogram bed I got on the treadmill that was less than 3 feet away. The test starts at a very brisk walk and every 3 minutes increases in speed and incline; by 9 minutes I had reached my max heartrate and was at I think a 22 degree incline; they had me go to 12 minutes and then stopped the treadmill and rushed me back to the bed so they could do the echocardiogram while my heartrate was still at or near max. To take the video I had to take a breath in and hold it, I did that a number of times and then had to exhale and hold a number of times. When you are out of breath from running this is really hard to do!

When the doctor came in he looked at the results of the treadmill stress test and then cycled though and inspected the echocardiogram video. He told me that everything was perfect; my heart looked like it should for someone who exercised. It was the best feeling to know that the old ticker is doing well! He said I was cleared to for as much hill running as I like.  Later that day I also received an email from my regular doctor telling me the same.

So yesterday I did hill running for the first time in a long time and it felt great!!!  4.14 Miles in 42:57 minutes –  10:22/Miles. Tomorrow I’m pushing up my runs to 5 miles / 6 days a week. !!!!

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