Friday, May 31, 2013

You Are What You Eat

So I've been giving thought to my nutrition habits lately.

About 5 years ago I made a conscious effort to eliminate excess fat and sugar. It was not a total deprivation thing. It was things like switching from 2% milk to fat free milk; no dressing on my salad; no sugar on my cereal; swapping out sodas for unsweetened green tea or water; and in general watching my portion sizes. I allowed cheating though. I concentrated on being "good" but allowed myself a piece of cake at our work birthday parties for example and the occasional sweet treat or soda as a 'reward'. This actually worked for close to a year.

Then I was diagnosed with exercise induced anemia. This was easily brought under control by iron supplements but then I started training for my first marathon. So my iron counts were good but I was still tired. Two things kicked in. First, I "needed"to reward myself for reaching mileage milestones. Second, being tired makes me crave and give into comfort food. Same thing happens when I'm sick. And let's face it, comfort food is mostly junk calories. Good thing I was running a lot. And lately, I've been a little down about the heart thing lately so more junk calories.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Okehocking Preserve

Today I did my wander walking at Okehocking Preserve with my friend Maggi. We have been trying to get to this place for a weeknight run for probably close to 9 months now. For one reason or another we couldn't make it at the same time or the weather bonked -- all kinds of reasons. I'm not walking these days and I suggested if she didn't mind could we try again this week. Today was the day.

What a great place! Crushed gravel or grass or dirt paths meandering over rolling hills, around meadows and along two creeks. I suppose if one went there often enough you could get a feel for where all the trails led (or if you took the map with you). I think we had a better time just wandering around seeing where we ended up. There were a few trails that we skipped making notes to go back when the weather was cooler and we could wear long pants and sleves and protect against tics. It was close to 90 today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

If You Need A Beach Chair, Go To The Beach.

On Saturday we went shopping. On the list were an egg slicer, a bag of weed and feed, possibly a bush for the front yard, belts, shorts and a beach chair. We managed to get the egg slider, the weed & feed and the belts. We decided we need some expert advice on the bush for the front yard and could not find any beach chairs or the right kind of shorts.

I have (had) a sand chair that I love to use on our front porch. The straps have been hanging on by a thread. All the stores we went to had resin, high off the ground chairs. We decided that we should go to the source to buy one. So this morning we went to Ocean City for the day.

It was a gorgeous day. The winds of the past two days
were much milder and it was warm in the sun.

We took a walk to the water's edge and I got sand in my shoes

Dave got his Taylor pork roll sandwich from Litterers

And I bought myself an OC jacket
to make up for the medal I didnt get this weekend.

Oh and we did get a chair too!
Before I sign off I want to thank everyone who sent me private and public well wish messages this weekend. I heard from so many different people in one form or another. You all made me smile. Thank you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Careful What You Wish For….

Ok, I didn’t actually WISH for this but the title more or less fits anyway. Today I got an unexpected call from Michelle at the GP’s office. She wanted to share the results from the echocardiogram. I thought we had covered that in our last call but apparently not.

She said the test revealed a valve issue. She wanted to make sure that I did make an appointment with the cardiologist. I told her I had an appointment for July 1st. I have to admit my brain went a little funky when she told me this and I probably asked her three times before hanging up if she was sure I didn’t need to get there earlier. Each time I asked she replied very patiently that no, my appointment was fine but given the potential long term consequences she wanted to make sure I HAD the appointment. She apologized and said she wasn’t allowed to give anything more over the phone. She offered to make an appointment with the GP if I wanted more explanation before going to the cardiologist but I declined. On the one hand more detail might help and then again it might not since I can’t get to see the cardiologist any earlier anyway. I’m tempted to call cardiologist and see if they can move my appointment up in light of this but I’m too discombobulated to think about that right now.

So part of me feels vindicated for giving up the marathon and stopping my running and cycling activities. Another part of me went from feeling 53 to 80 in less than 60 seconds. When I told Dave that he reminded me that if I’m 80 he is 93. That’s not really fair to him so I’ll see if I can improve my outlook sooner rather than later. My poor boss (the only one in my office who knows about this) and I had a meeting shortly after I heard from Michelle and the first words from my boss were “You don’t look so good”. I told her about the call. Except for the 80-93 thing, she and Dave had the same comments more or less. “You were smart to go early” and “Medical technology and medicine are pretty advanced these days it will probably be fine”. All good and mirrors my own thoughts but quite frankly it would be much more comforting if it weren’t ME we were talking about.

*HUGE SIGH*. Ok. I know that to avoid going absolutely bonkers over the next month I have to avoid hyper focusing on this. I know I should probably be telling myself “Nothing has changed. It’s just words right now. Physically you are the same person you were yesterday. It’s just the words ‘there is a valve issue’ that are making you feel like crap.” But I think it may take few days for that to work.

My running friends will understand this analogy best – right now I feel like I’m in taper mode. It’s the final weeks before the race and you start to feel all kinds of things that may or may not be real. And you just don’t know which is which. If I were really tapering for a race I’d be writing it all off to that. But I’m not so I guess the only thing to do for the next 5 ½ weeks is to keep smiling keep moving and try be aware - but not obsessed with - what’s going on inside.

The practical side of me has one more thing to be pissed off about. I bought a brand new bike last November L I’m sure I’ll be allowed or feel comfortable riding it again but for now all I can  think of is I HATE that I spent money and it’s just sitting there looking pretty and collecting dust. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Red Light Green Light

1. 2. 3. Does anyone besides me remember playing that game as kids? I'm probably dating myself aren't I? *shrug*. And with that I haven't even begun the post and I've already digressed. LOL

Today I got what I'm calling a yellow light from the doctor. I spoke to the diligent Michelle who was able to track down the results of the tests and enough interpretation of them to learn that neither revealed anything urgent. There is no immediate need for me to see the cardiologist. I refrained from pointing out that that was a good thing since it took two weeks to get that answer. It isn't Michelle's fault. In hindsight it may be mine. Perhaps I didn't ask enough questions after that first visit. I'll explain that in a minute.

Michelle recommended I get an appointment with cardiologist #2. A suggestion with which I agreed since cardiologist #1 turned me away TWICE! I called C#2 and got the earliest appointment they could give me. July 1st. That is not a typo. The earliest appointment for a new patient with no urgent need is July 1st.

I asked the very kind and patient person at C#2's office my question about needing more tests and should I do that first. She said no. They way I understand her answer is the purpose of the first two tests was to rule out an emergency (again two weeks later??) and that now I needed to see the doctor and go through history and Q&A to determine what other tests will help him figure out what is going on. I wish someone had told me that two weeks ago. If they had (and this is where I think maybe I should have asked) then I would have made the appointment then and possibly gotten an earlier one. It could easily be cancelled if the tests had shown something urgent. I'm blessed with never having to see the doctor for anything other than routine visits, pregnancy or a cold. The downside is I didn't know how to handle this.

The question of whether I can run or cycle wasn't answered exactly. I should have asked what 'normal activities' mean. I'll probably test the waters between now and my appointment but I am also content to continue "wander walking". I enjoy it.

Tonight's miles were done at the Valley Forge Loop. I saw Julius and Sue at the start but once we got to the top of that first hill they - perhaps a bit reluctantly as most of us tend to do at that point - took off running. It was humid tonight but there were some breezes that made it ok.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday Stroll and Some Decision Making

I missed the Perkis People meeting today. The alarm went off at 5 am for Dave and again at 6:45 for me. However, after I turned it off the second time I don't remember a thing until I saw it was 8:05. The group was meeting at Oaks at 8:00. I wasn't going to make it.

No worries. I got up, had breakfast and went out for my own solo miles around Media. This time I headed west-ish (that's assuming that 252 really is a north-south road which it very likely is not) toward Rose Valley. Here is the map. I wore the garmin for the distance and for the heart rate monitor. I haven't worn the monitor in a while and it was annoying at first. (more on that later)

Today it's cloudy. We are expecting rain and possible thunderstorms tomorrow and it shows. The air was cool (about 65 ish when I started out) and it was a tad** humid but nothing like it will be in a few weeks or so. I was not uncomfortable by any means. It's been a long time since I wandered like this around the area and I forgot how much I enjoy it. I stopped to take photos and read historic markers and notice the many unique houses that are part of this area.

** That was just for you Carolyn. :) Oh and that's LA Carolyn G not PA Carolyn G. ;)

Which leads me to part two of this post - Decision making.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

True Weekend Update

Yesterday was a long day with the "Rode To Joy" challenge. Exhausting yes, but really a lot of fun. Kudos to my friend Pete for organizing such a great day for all the challengers. Running buddy Michelle S posted about her experience here. She gives a good account of the event in general and details from the participate perspective.

The challengers ran as many of 7 stages as they wished along various routes all of which started at base camp along Yellow Springs Road (near the  covered bridge if you are familiar with Valley Forge) to the summit camp where the Horseshoe Trail meets Forge Mountain Road. Here is a photo of the route for Stage 1 to give you an idea. Base camp is at the bottom of the photo and summit camp is where the black line ends on the left hand side. All but the very beginning of that black line is hilly, dirt packed terrain - about 2 miles worth.

Each stage was variations on getting from base to summit all over this map. The plan was to eliminate a % of participants after each stage and only 7 (out of the 26 that started) would do the final stage. As it was the group diminished on it own - some had other appointments, some knew their limits and stopped when they knew they should, etc - so that only 7 did the final stage anyway. The event officially kicked off at 8:30 am (although the volunteers were there at 7 to set up) and the final challengers returned to base camp just over 6.5 hours later!

Our view of the trail from summit camp.
My friend Candy and I covered the summit camp. As each challenger reached us they turned in three tokens they gathered along they way. This ensured that no short cuts were taken. We exchanged tokens for a descent fortune which told base camp they were eligible to continue on. Many of the people we knew but there were a few new faces. Pete assigned everyone a state so as they arrived at the top they told us their state so we could log them in. Pete also encouraged folks to represent their state for the challenge. This guy did the best and most complete job of dressing the part. He kept most of the costume for half of the 7 stages (he was one of the 7 who did all 7. You do know what state he represents right?

Even after he ditched the hair and basket - and his signs came unattached due to the humidity - we could see him coming up the trail because of the "munchkin" striped socks he wore They flashed through the trees as he approached. If I remember correctly his real name is Chris but to us he was Kansas all day.

It was a long day (I was up at 5:30 and did not get home until almost 4) but I had fun. Each challenger arrived at the top exhausted but smiling. And although many times we heard - I think this is my last stage - more often than not they would return for at least one more. They all had so much fun that I really hope I can be a participant for the next challenge - tentatively scheduled for the fall at Forbidden Drive in Wisahickon.

The rain held off until the very end. I got poured on getting stuff into my car at the end. It rained and thunder stormed off an on the rest of the evening. That combined with how tired I felt meant that I skipped going into Media for Second Saturday.

Today I decided to go for a walk. Oh, Emma called last night and warned me that she wasn't feeling well after work and that I should call her before heading up to Mt. Holly. I called and woke her up. She wasn't feeling much better - probably allergies.  So we postponed our plans to get together for another time. So I decided to go for a long walk.

Since April 27th I've only gone out about 2 miles at a time. I was feeling a bit down today about the whole thing - wondering if I did right to pass on the marathon, etc. So I decided a longer walk would do me some good. I ended up doing 9.71 miles in a loop from Media to Swarthmore and back. It was a gorgeous day although a bit windy with  gusts at times. But for the most part I had a nice time. I stopped my garmin while I stopped in the Giant to pick up a few things- figuring I'd lose the satellite in there anyway. Hence the difference in elapsed time and moving time. I haven't walked this route since the days when I was training for the MS Walk in 2008. It really is a pleasant walk. Mostly on the streets/pavements but a little bit on the Leiper Smedley Trail which runs alongside the Blue Route mostly. Despite that it is a nice peaceful trail.

All in all, I was fine for about 7 miles. Then I started to feel really tired and the flutters came more often. That last hill did me in. I felt like I was 103 not 53. Grrrrr.... the silver lining is that it became obvious that I did make the right choice skipping the marathon. Hopefully the doctor will have some answers for me this week.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Health and Weekend Update

I guess it's not really a weekend update until the weekend has happened. I meant this is my plans for the weekend.

I am a softball widow this weekend. Ok nothing new there. It happens every year about this time and will be this way through the end of July at least. But this time Dave left on Wednesday before I got home from work and won't be home until Sunday (or Monday depending on weather.) He is working a NCAA Division III Regional tournament. It's a tribute to his work as an umpire to be selected for one of these. He's happy as kid on summer break! Last night he reported the games are excellent and despite the weather related late start on Thursday so far they are on track.

Tomorrow I will be out early headed to Valley Forge to help with the "Misery Loves Company Ode to Joy Challenge". Our running group has two parts. Perkis People (complete with mascot turtle named Perki after the Perkiomen Trail that we so often run on) is for 'regular' runners and walkers. Misery Loves Company or MLC for short is an adjunct group of crazy hard core trail runners. There is lots of overlap between the two groups. The MLC folks prefer to run on dirt paths (often filled with rocks and trees and other obstacles) that go sharply up and down while Perkis people run a combination of paved paths and dirt paths but our dirt paths are nowhere near as steep or rocky. The MLC group welcomes the trail novices of Perkis People with open arms. They will run 5-6 miles at our pace and then go out for 10, 20, or more on their own. Yes, trail runners put the LONG in long distance running. Anyway, Lead MLCer, Pete, has devised a trail running adventure for tomorrow. Both groups have representation. I, and a few others are volunteering to help out with various duties to keep the day running smoothly. If it doesn't rain too much (the forecast keeps changing) it should be a fun morning. I might have photos in my next post.

Saturday evening is Second Saturday in Media. I'm not sure what is planned. These events typically showcase local artists and musicians (not that musicians are not artists just wanted to mention them too). Some months there is an additional theme. For instance in July there is the celebration of Bastille Day complete with re-enactment. In June there is the Blues Stroll. So, weather and fatigue permitting I will take a walk into Media tomorrow night to take in the festivities.

On Sunday, I'm going up to Mt Holly to spend some time with Emma. She called last night to see about going for a bike ride together. I had to explain my temporary hiatus from biking and running so we settled on a flea market near her and a walk at a local park. Of course with Emma there's no telling what else might happen. I'll let you know.

Health update. I got a call from the GP's office today giving me the results of the blood work. The bad news there is nothing there that would contribute to the heart flutters. Of course the good news is that all the tests were good. I am 4 points over ideal on LDL cholesterol and 29 points over on total cholesterol. Not too bad,says the doc, but of course she still suggested I work on that. My nutrition habits are not horrible but there is always room for improvement. Now I've got motivation to work on it some more. I hate not acing the test! LOL

Still waiting on the results of the Echo and Holter Monitor. I'll call if I don't hear anything by Tuesday.

Personal analysis: Today was the first day since this whole thing started that I had very little irregular heart beat. I had a small one early this morning and then nothing until I was out walking tonight. A span of more than 8 hours. Compare that to getting bunches of them every 2 hours before this. It's also the first day I haven't felt like I want to sleep all day. I do intend to follow up with the cardiologist but if this trend continues and I get two days in a row without incident I'm probably going to try an easy run and see what happens. Stay tuned!

What are your weekend plans?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Marathon Deferred

It's official. I filled out the form on the Bob Potts Marathon website a few minutes ago. I won't be running it this year.

My thoughts these past ten days or so have been that if I could run this coming Sunday (two weeks before race day) and run long (say 15-18 miles) and well (a long shot given two weeks off but worth a try) then I'd keep my date with Bob Potts. However, I won't even get to find out the results of today's testing until sometime into next week. And even assuming the results tell the doc something then we have to come up with a plan to work with whatever that is. So the spring marathon plan is busted. As I said to Dave after I told him the news, "They better find something wrong. Fixable, mind you, but wrong".

I will likely second guess myself for awhile - at least until the doctor gives me some answers I suppose. In 53 years, though, I've learned that my instincts are right more often than they are wrong and my gut (well my heart really) is telling me to sit this one out. Since the episode April 27 that started this detour it's like a switch was flipped. I went from getting these flutters once in a blue moon to everyday. They are most present when I walk for a time or go up the stairs. (Talk about feeling old!) But they also happen now at random odd intervals when I am not exerting any effort at all. The just before sleep ones are extremely un-nerving, btw. So all that considered I think I'm making the right choice.

It could end up being nothing serious and totally manageable. I sincerely hope so anyway. But the answers won't come soon enough for me to be ready for May 26th. I so wanted this marathon to be the one where I did more than just finish. I wanted this to be the one that I finished spent but strong. And that can't happen now. Too much downtime.

It is what it is. A person's just gotta keep smiling and keep moving :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Random Musings about State History Day Weekend 2013

Whew! I'm exhausted! It's all good though. And just in case you get bored before getting to the end of this long post let me say now that if you have a chance to promote or participate in NHD in your local school district or state I highly recommend it. You don't need any special training or background. I was a general science major in college. I enjoy history but I'm not all that great at it. In fact, I learn a lot at these competitions. All you need is enthusiasm and a desire to see kids succeed in something THEY love.

Ok on to the weekend.

After work on Thursday I drove to my brother and sister in law's house in Akron, PA. My brother and I would be judging in the National History Day in PA on Friday and Saturday. The competition is held at Cumberland Valley High School (CVHS) and it's just easier to go to The Gormley's first. This is my second year working this event and Thomas's 4th (I think). My sister Meg has been there for two years but had a conflict this year. She plays a large variety of musical instruments in local theaters. The Gormley's first got involved in it when Carolyn (Cara) entered I think 6 years ago? This year Cara would be in the Senior (GRADE 9-12) Individual Performance in which she tells the story of Nathaniel Bowditch and his contributions to modern navigation. Her sisters, Elizabeth (Bippy) and Kimberly (Kim) were entered in the Junior (Grade 6-8) Group Performance category in which they told the story of Lewis and Clark. Each had won their regional competition back in March to earn their spots this weekend.

Thomas and I arrived at CVHS at 10 a.m. for orientation, to meet our fellow judges and lunch. The rest of the family would arrive later in time for the girls' performances. On day one I was assigned to judge Junior Group exhibits with two other judges. I found out upon arrival that I had been made team captain. This is simply by default as my two partners were only in their first year of judging. This was my second. The whole judging thing intimidates me a little but being thrust in this position made me suck it up and act like I knew what I was doing. "Fake it, till you make it", right? My partners were Rich who works for the PA Dept of Education and is retiring in two months and Maryann who after raising her family (she was a very young mother) joined the Army and now works at the War College in Carlisle. Both were very interesting and I was glad to meet them.

Sitting at our table for lunch this first day was Catherine Gorn, Executive Director for the National History Day Program. It was neat to meet her. The NHD program won the 2011 National Humanities Medal and Dr. Gorn accepted the medal on behalf of NHD at a reception at the White House. She told us - we asked - about the visit. Dr. Gorn is shorter than me. I'm barely 5'2". She said she wore here highest heels and still the President and Mrs Obama towered over her. She was embarrassed that when the President greeted her and said "How are you?" all she could think to say was "I'm really nervous right now". This prompted the President to give her a hug. Like THAT helped. LOL Here is a photo of that Dr. Gorn is a lovely person. I enjoyed meeting her and it was a treat for the children to have her there this weekend.

So off to judging. My partners and I viewed 16 exhibits created by groups of 6-8 graders from around the state. We had to pick three. Another team was evaluating 16 others and their top 3 and our top 3 would move on to run offs. This is soooo hard. First off how do you tell 13 groups (not face to face but still) that all their hard work wasn't enough. Well basically you don't. We pick the top three (or 6 as it were) and evaluate all of them with as much constructive criticism as we can. Many of these children enter multiple years in a row.

To judge exhibits we get an hour to view them alone without the children (that's just under 4 minutes per exhibit) Then, one group at a time, at 15 minute intervals we meet with the kids so they can tell us about their exhibit and answer our questions. One question we asked each group was how did they come up with their topic. Two young ladies told us that their project started out as a joke yet here they were at the state competition. Their subject was the toilet. They didn't quite make the connection to this year's contest theme "Turning Points in History" but it was a clever exhibit; shaped like an outhouse with various historical pictures and items. One item was a bowl shaped object that one of their aunts had purchased at a flea market thinking it was a casserole dish until someone informed her it was actually an chamber pot! We had a good chuckle over that. Two young men did an exhibit on Charlie Chaplin because, they said, one of them liked music and the other liked to act and it worked for them. They didn't quite make the connection to the theme either but they did have some good historical research. Another exhibit was on the telephone because the young ladies told us "Mom said we spend so much time on the phone we might as well learn about it". Our three choices to move forward were exhibits on "The Berlin Wall", "Valley Forge", and "Jonas Salk's Polio Vaccine". Each of these came closest to capturing and demonstrating the theme. "Jonas Salk..." ended up taking overall first place for the weekend.

Day one is a very long one. Thomas and I did not get to our hotel until close to 9 PM. We took an elevator with three other people to our rooms. I HATE elevators but I was tired and going with the flow. We get in and it doesn't move right away. Great :(. "What floor are you on?" I asked Thomas. "Three", he replied. I was on 4. "Great, I'm getting off with you and walking up". At 3 the elevator stuttered for a looooong time before the doors opened. I was first off and headed for the stairs. Sheesh! I walked down to breakfast in the morning. :)

Today was run off day. My judging category for this was Senior Group Documentaries. I and two different judges looked at the 6 top documentaries selected yesterday and after watching them ranked them in order 1-6. The top two go to the national competition in June and 3 is on standby in case one of them can't make it. We don't get to interview the kids in this round so it's not quite as much fun. Although it's easier because we do not have to provide ratings on each section just comments and ranking 1-6. Yes, it's subjective but in my experience so far the top rated one usually blows away the competition so it's easy to choose.

I completed my judging tasks by 10:30 and the awards ceremony doesn't start until 2:00. Since Carolyn had made it to run offs I decided to stick around for that. (Bippy and Kim did not make it past round one. They will be back next year I'm sure). I decided to kill time by first going to get gas which at $3.22 was about 23 cents/gallon cheaper than at home! Then I went for a walk around the CVHS complex which is huge. It was a gorgeous day and I found the cross country trail which was very conveniently marked with big blue and white signs "XC". I followed it in both directions around the campus and off into a nice wooded area. I was surprised that I didn't see any walkers or runners there. If this were near my home..... :) Not that we don't have lots of trails where I live but can you really have enough? Maybe next year I'll bring my running gear.

I walked the trail today since a) I didn't have running gear/sneakers and b) doc said not to run, duh! I tried not to think about the not running thing but that was next to impossible. I won't share my thoughts because quite frankly it's too early to really have any realistic thoughts until I see the doc on Tuesday. The course was beautiful and the day equally so. It was a very refreshing and restorative walk. I returned to the school campus just in time to help Thomas help the organizers get cleaned up so that they could leave quickly after the award ceremony.

When the announce the top three in each category they tell the school and the school district. We do not know this information when judge. We only know the children's names. I learned that one of the documentaries that my judging group picked to move on to Nationals is from the local high school here (Penncrest). I didn't know they participated. I'll have to check that out and see if I can help at the local regional competition. Carolyn took second in her category and will be returning to Nationals in June. Very exciting for her and the family.

I had a lovely - non-turnpike - drive home and now I'm ready to veg. The only thing I wish was different about this weekend is that I had remembered to bring the camera.

Cara, I know you are reading this. Congratulations!! Love, Aunt Paula,

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"No Running until.....

.... the cardiologist gives you the ok"

So back up to Saturday when I had heart palpitations of a sort during my run. If you read that post you know that I wrote them off as "It's just not a good day for running". A good night sleep Saturday and on Sunday and I felt fine. Monday at work, still fine. Monday evening I opted for the bike trainer. It had been raining all day and I wasn't in the mood for an outdoor run. Monday is usually my rest/strength day but I have a short week this week. I'm off Thursday to Cumberland County, PA to judge the State History Day competition so I decided to get some work in Monday. About 10 minutes into it my heart did it again. Ugh. I slowed down and then tried again and again a blip. I stopped, got off and sat on the couch - pouting. And as I sat I could feel my pulse beating against my chest. This is not normal for me. I felt like the cartoons you see where the imprint of the heart comes through the chest. Damn.

So obviously my analysis from Saturday was not accurate. I called the doctor Tuesday morning and was given an appointment for this morning. I explained what was happening to my boss and took a vacation day. The doctor I saw was awesome. I've never seen the same one at this practice more then twice in a row. The last time I was there - last year when my hip flexor issue flared - I loved the doctor and determined I'd let her be mine, but she is no longer with them. The one I saw today though was fabulous. Even though I'm not thrilled with her statement above I trust her. She did practically an entire physical on me. Asked lots of questions and actually listened to what I had to say.

I likely do not have any coronary disease she said because I have no other symptoms. My blood pressure was where it usually is 90 something over 60 something and all signs point to being very healthy and in good shape. Yay me! BUT she wasn't thrilled with the two episodes so close together especially. That makes two of us.

She did an EKG in the office. I learned that EKG's are not timed based ( I thought they were). Instead the sections of the lines represent different parts of the heart. There was an odd configuration coming from the lower left of my heart. But she said, "You could have moved ever so slightly and it would do that." So it's off to the cardiologist for an echo-cardiogram, a holter monitor and likely a stress test. Doc also ordered blood work to check my cholesterol, any signs of anemia (I've battled that before and take iron every day for it) and thyroid issues.

That's when I asked her about the race.
ME: Maybe this is a question for the cardiologist, but I have a marathon in three and a half weeks. I don't want to do anything stupid but I don't want to give up on it if I don't have to.
DOC: No running until the cardiologist gives you the ok. It could be nothing, or something simple to correct. I don't want you to run because you don't want to risk setting it off (starting the palpitations)and having it not stop.

At least she gave me a real answer and explained it. If she had left it up to me to decide, I'd be stressing over what to do. Walking is fine and so is my yoga class tonight. :)

Awesome Doc did call the cardiologist though and explained my situation and asked to see if they could fit me in as early as possible. She said sometimes the schedule is what it is but she'd try. I left GP's office and walked up three flights of stairs to the cardiologists office. If you know me, you know that my claustrophobia keeps me off elevators as much as possible. I got to the 5th floor and stopped in the hallway for a minute laughing at the thought of going into the cardiologist office panting. I walked in and the receptionist said, "Are you Paula Tansey?" Freaky but nice.

The good news is the cardiologist was willling to take me tomorrow, the bad news is my insurance requires a referral from the GP and they insist on a week to process it. :( I asked if there was any way to make it for tomorrow but they said no. Which is stupid but not worth fussing over any more. So I have an appointment for next Tuesday. It will likely be a few days after that - at the earliest - before I get any answers though. At least one day if they want me to wear the Holter monitor for a day. *sigh*

I've done 20 miles. I'm officially in taper mode now but taper does not usually mean stop running completely. I'm expecting the doc to say I CAN do the marathon when all is said and done but the question remains will I lose too much before they clear me. It's already 4 days and will be over a week before I even get to the cardiologist. *sigh* again.

Everything happens for a reason right? Stay tuned ......