Superior training weeks fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen recap

I had some health troubles during weeks 14-16 and got very little training done while feeling generally crappy and worried. On June 16 (end of week 13) I went for a 20 mile run in the hills and struggled on the climbs. I was unusually out of breath and after I finished I was a bit dizzy. The next day I was mildly feverish and I continued to have an elevated temperature and noticeable lethargy during my run on Tuesday, the 28th. I took a COVID test and it was negative. On the 29th I went out for an interval workout and quit after my warmup. I felt dizzy, achy, without energy, and was seeing a heart rate on my Garmin watch that conflicted with what I was feeling: anomalously low at times. I took another COVID test, again negative. Friday, July 1, I had a virtual visit with my doctor, who recommended a PCR test for flu and COVID and some blood work. The PCR test was negative and the lab report said I was normal on all counts. About this time I became aware of twitching in my chest, which I noticed most when I was laying down before falling asleep, or in the middle of the night. At first I chalked this up to anxiety, but after several days of no relief and some very confusing heart rate measurements on my run on July 5 (after which I joked "Getting confusing HR signals from my watch. Either it or I am about to die.") I got a live, in-person visit with my doctor and a ECG, which revealed premature atrial and ventricular complexes (PACs and PVCs). My heart really was malfunctioning.

I got fitted with a wearable ECG to collect more data and had a generally crappy week of heart twitches, poor sleep, anxiety, and no running while waiting to get a echo scan of my heart and a consultation with a cardiologist. In week 16 (starting July 11), I began to feel a little better. I found that I could hike and run at a super easy pace and not feel terrible, so I began to treat it like an ordinary recovery week (every 4th week of my training blocks are recovery weeks). On July 14 I drove to the UC Health hospital in Greeley, which has some extra capacity, and got an echo scan (sonogram) of my heart. The initial assessment said that I had an enlarged right ventricle. That didn't sound good. My heart palpitations continued to subside, but I still had five stressful days of waiting before my cardiology appointment on Tuesday of this week (week 17). The cardiologist disagreed with the initial assessment of my echo scan and didn't recommend any other scans. I don't have an enlarged ventricle. Other than the PACs and PVCs, which continue to diminish, my heart is in good shape. I had a treadmill stress test on Friday and passed. We measured only a few PVCs during the test.

This week I started running a little harder and have been feeling fine. It seems like I only had a temporary episode of premature contractions that were likely triggered by an unknown virus. My watch's measurement of my heart rate is back to normal, too. Neither it, nor I am going to die soon.

Here are the numbers for weeks 14-16.

Week 14:

  • 3 hours, 11 minutes

  • 15.1 miles

  • 3,428 ft D+

Week 15:

  • 1 hour, 57 minutes

  • 9.6 miles

  • 1,056 ft D+

Week 16:

  • 3 hours, 45 minutes

  • 18.1 miles

  • 1,631 ft D+

I had been aiming for 120 miles of running and 20,000 feet of climbing in weeks 14 and 15 and got nowhere near that. I missed two big weeks of training, but I'm trying not to sweat about that. I've had enough worrying in the past three weeks, I don't need to add worry about training to my problems. I'm still on track to run the Superior 50 in 7 weeks.