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1608 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Apr 1, 2011 1:43 PM by Johnny Webb
Johnny Webb Amateur 26 posts since
Feb 3, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 1, 2011 1:21 PM

Running after an angioplasty

After running a half marathon last Oct and a full marathon in Nov, I got back to running in Jan after the holidays. In Feb I had my annual physical and after several test, I discovered I had a 95% blocking in one of my arteries. I NEVER had any symptoms other than some minor, very quick twinges in my chest muscles. I had an angioplasty 5 weeks ago and I wanting to get back to running. My cardiologist is saying take it easy, so I have. Walking at the cardiac rehabiliatation center just doesn't seem like exercise. They want to keep my heart rate down under 120, while I usually ran with it over 150. So I'm chomping at the bit to get back to running. Anyone had any experience with starting back running after an angioplasty?


Also, I thought I'd test things a little today and found that after as little as 15 seconds of slow jogging my heart rate would spike up to 150. When I walked again it came down to well under 120 just about as fast. I'd do it again, and the same thing. I'm now on a beta-blocker. Could that be causing this unusual behavior in my heart rythmn?


Obviously, I'll be asking my cardiologist about all this. I'm just looking for others' experiences.

PR - 5K = 27:45

PR - 4M = 38:50

PR - 10K = 58:30

PR - Half Marathon = 2:01:05

PR - Marathon = 5:22:32

  • ThreeBeez Amateur 10 posts since
    Feb 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 1, 2011 1:35 PM (in response to Johnny Webb)
    Re: Running after an angioplasty

    Hi, there,


    I'm sorry about  your heart problem, but on the other hand, I am glad you found it and have dealt with it.


    I did not have an angioplasty, but I suffered a cardiac injury last August called Takotsubo.  I am relatively young, and quite healthy, so it was bizzare.  It was due to a serious adrenaline rush on an adventure outing.  Some people's heart's just can't deal with a rapid rush of it.  But, to rule everything else out, I had a lot of tests, including an angiogram.  Basically, my left ventricle did not move for several weeks.  Thankfully, this injury generally stuns the heart, doesn't do long term damage.


    What I learned after the angio was that the seal takes 2-3 days to heal.  They told me I could run, but it would throw me right back into the classic heart attack symptoms.  (I think that is when the right specialist realized what happened to me).  The pain of the site was pretty annoying for at least a week.  Although one doc suggested beta blockers, I opted not to take them.  Other cardiologists agreed with my fear that I'd have an extremely low BP given my "runner's heart".


    Once I had a stress echo, and did very well, I was cleared to run.  Have you had one?  That may be the proof you need to get back out there.  But, the biggest issue was mental.  I was sort of scared.  So, I gradually built back running with other people most of the time and always carrying a phone.  And, I talked myself out of speedwork for a few months.  (the silver lining!)


    It is interestesting that all of the cardiologists in the hospital where I was told me to keep running...that is what would take me from a healthy 40 year old to a healthy 70 year old.  And, there was also speculation that having a strong heart to begin with limited the extent of the problem.


    I've gotten over the mental aspect and did my first half at Disney recently, and somehow I think that was the proof I needed to know I am basically over this.


    So, long post simplified:  Not sure what to say about your beta blockers.  Perhaps a stress echo would make sense.  And, if you have any residual fears, take baby steps.  They'll eventually diminish.

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