View Full Version : Thanking god to be swimming.....

August 17th, 2009, 06:26 PM
I've spent the past four summers training for tris, swim races, run races, etc. This summer had a significant roadblock thrown in my path. On May 28 I got shot out the tail end of our 3K masters workout barely able to catch my breath, and performing very poorly. Spent the next 5 weeks with pretty bad shortness of breath, and getting misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis (asthma, bronchitis, etc). until I presented to the ER with severe pain on inhaling, and was diagnosed with multiple bilateral pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs). they failed to see it, but apparently they can be common in young (42) relatively healthy and active people. Wasn't until I got out of the hospital that I realized how dangerous PEs really are (30% fatality rate)

Spent 6 days in the hospital, and put on blood thinners. I rode my bike on the trainer once (can't really ride outside with blood thinners, or am not supposed to), and ran once last weekend, but the thing I was able to do most quickly was get back to swimming. About 3 weeks out, went back to masters. Started at 1600, then 2K, then up to 3K, but slowly and at the back of the lane. Last week started to move up a bit and even led some sets. Haven't gotten back down to my usual 100 pace, but close... Got one 1 mile OWS in weekend before last

Since I was feeling a bit better, and missing the racing game, decided to sign up for those races I could. So yesterday I did the Naples Island 1.25 mile swim. My wife had instructed me to "take it easy," good adivce anyway. Being on blood thinners, I can't get hit or kicked in the head, so I had to forego the scrum at the front (I am an ex water polo player so it doesn't bother me), and start at the rear of the 150 or so person pack.

When the siren went off, and I dived into the 64 degree water, I was back in my element. I loved every second. It's a race that goes around a "canal" on a small island in Long Beach ringed with very expensive homes, all with docks. other than avoiding the moored boats and the woman who was bouncing off the edges of the canal like a pinball machine, it was a pretty easy race. I found myself taking it easy the first 1/4 mile or so, and being amazaed at the speed with which a couple groups got away from me, but once we got into the canal I picked it up a bit to hang with a group of women.

Popping out of the canal the women hammered to the finish. I picked it up as well, but didn't have the speed to stay with them. Came out at 36:26. Half ironman swims are 1.2 miles, and my last three have been right on 30 minutes. So it was quite a bit slower, but good enough for 37th overall and 3/7 age group.

This was the first non wetsuit swim medal I've ever gotten. I am a decent tri swimmer, but a MOP "pure swim" swimmer, so I was very happy to place where I did, especially considering I was in the hospital 6 weeks earlier, and just getting up to go to the bathroom was exhausting.

I am really glad I found OW swimming when I did. Even when i can't do the other things I love, I can always swim.

Chicken of the Sea
August 17th, 2009, 07:45 PM
Congratulations :banana:

August 17th, 2009, 07:51 PM
Glad you found the problem. Stay with swimming for as long as we all are allowed to !! :cane:

August 19th, 2009, 01:18 PM
Somehow I missread the title as "Thinking god while swimming" :rolleyes:

August 20th, 2009, 06:29 PM
That would not hurt either !!:applaud:

August 21st, 2009, 12:58 PM
Scary stuff! Congrats on surviving and making your way back! ... and on the age group placing!

Glad your story had a happy outcome!