A common type blockage that gives little warning and is deadly:
A widow maker is a nickname used to describe a highly stenotic left main coronary artery or proximal left anterior descending coronary artery of the heart.
This term is used because if the artery gets abruptly and completely occluded it will cause a massive heart attack that will likely lead to a sudden death. The blockage that kills is made up of platelets streaming to the site of a ruptured cholesterol plaque. Even a small amount of plaque in this area can (for a variety of poorly understood reasons) rupture and cause death; bypassing chronic blockages or trying to open them up with angioplasty does not prevent heart attack but it can restore blood flow in case of a sudden blockage or heart attack. An example of the devastating results of a complete occlusion of the LAD (Left Anterior Descending) artery was the sudden death of former NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert.
From the minute a widow maker hits, there is a five-minute window of time to get to a hospital or receive emergency care.
A common type blockage that gives little warning and is deadly:
Article about a cardiologist who survived the widow maker
He had very little warning and had undergone a recent stress test which did not show any problems because the problem is kind of like a sudden avalanche of plaque breaking loose.
The important thing to note is never ignore symptoms and know which er to go to.
To say that there is a "5 minute window of time" to reach the hospital is really untrue. Certainly, some people do die quite immediately if they don't get CPR and/or an EMT's care, including advanced CPR. But as the article noted, the "gold standard" for opening an occluded LAD or LM is 90 minutes, and that will eventually be pushed to 75 and to hopefully 60 minutes.
I can personally relate of a patient who spent 90 minutes in the field recently, including several instances of defibrillation, prior to getting into ER and on to the cath table. His was left main disease, and very several, at that. A "widow maker" is a dramatic term and the damage can be fatal, but not always and not always in just 5 minutes.
The article on the physician actually had incorrect info in it, saying that ST elevation indicated LAD disease, and it does not, it only indicates a specific kind of MI. ST elevation can occur in several EKG lead locations, and gives a general idea of which artery is involved. The article was probably written by a hospital PR person.
Ric Sayer’s death affected me but, disturbingly, it’s not a new story. Although I’m lean and run 20 to 30 miles a week I do indeed take a statin due to my family history of heart disease. I think the story here is to be cautious, listen to your body, and get checked out if you suspect problems. My risk is with skin cancer which also runs in the family. But, you know, as I age I’ve needed to pay attention a LOT of things I used to ignore.
My week last week was 21 miles with two hard workouts: One an 800 foot climb in 1.8 miles and the other 5 quarters on the track. I can’t do long miles, I break down when I do that.
My job is sedentary so I actually walk during lunch and my breaks. I do 25 pushups and 25 crunches a day for maintenance.
I found several ACSM sessions dedicated to activity and not just exercise. Interesting that the research appears to show that if we exercise but have a sedentary job, we are less protected from early death and disability, so there are some researchers already urging us to just move more. Taking the lunch time for walks is certainly a good idea, and there are other ideas, too, such as sitting on an inflated ball (the kind used for exercise) instead of a chair. Some researchers are urging treadmills that are connected to a desk, that just go at one mile per hour or so. I have found that I have started to like doing weights a couple times weekly, but certainly don't do more than 30 minutes worth each session in the gym.
Did Rick ever get autopsied? Fortunately, his story is very rare, as we know most often we can live long and productive lives when we care for ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
You'll be phuked very soon on statins.
muddy girl wrote:
Lucky - I've been doing an IT stretch for a couple of weeks and I think it helps - It also hurts so much because I'm tight there.
It's from one of Pete's RT articles on stretching. Sit in a modified hurdler's stretch, except keep you knee close to your outstretched knee. Bend forward towards your outstretched leg. I can't tell you how painful this little stretch is for me - but apparently it is helping.
Did you run in the xc club nationals when they were in Lexington? Despite having a severely sprained ankle, I enjoyed that course!
Thanks MG, sorry I've taken so long to get back to the thread. My father-in-law had me working pretty hard in the yard. He's an old farm boy, and when something in the yard should be done, well, it's gonna get done. Even in his upper 70's he is a formidable presence with whom one finds it easier to just go along with...not only that, he's usually right. So I spent 3 days pulling out honeysuckle bushes along with my usual summer school teaching. If you'd seen my yard, you'd know that was a major chore...and it's only half done!
At any rate, lot's of interesting stuff this week. I'm always pointing to the wealth of training material on Running Times. I've always found it extremely helpful. I have been doing those stretches and other related exercises that can all be found there. It's slow going, to be sure.
I did run the XC Club Nats. in Lex. It was a bad day for me, but not unexpected. I was really wiped out from an unsuccessful (at least as far as I was concerned) fall marathon, and my leg strength was still pretty shot by the race. Even so, it was a fun event and I agree it's a nice course. They expanded the dog park, so now that nice long tapered start will have to be redone, but I'd sure like to see it return to Lexington.
With all the talk about Ric, it really just reminds me about how tenuous life is. We're probably all living beyond the original warranty period for the human body, as humans didn't evolve to live this long. At any given moment in life, there is a likelihood that something will get us. It's not zero for any of us, no matter the condition, no matter the precautions we take. We take actions to minimize those things that we can control, but we can't make them it go away completely; there is always that chance. I'm reminded of a relative of a friend of mine who went in for routine knee surgery, only to have the operation somehow loosen something up in there leg, that manage to travel all the way to their brain and put them in a coma. They never recovered and died about 7 weeks later. Truly tragic, as they were in otherwise excellent health. But it serves to remind us that despite our best efforts, we can't know for certain what tomorrow brings. We should therefore cherish the lives that we have everyday; live them fully today and everyday; and be vigilant in enjoying and loving the people we care about. Even as a scientist, I can appreciate that.
I know, that last bit is a tad schmaltzy...but I'm OK with that.
Well, I'm not going to add too much, as I posted a fair amount late in the week. Knee is still about the same, but will be scheduling to see a sports doctor soon. Along with all the honeysuckle that we pulled Mon-Wed, yesterday I had to repair the fence that my father-in-law backed into. That ended up being quite a chore, as I had to dig out one of the posts that was cemented into the ground 3 feet. I used one of those 6-ft long iron breaker bars, and it took me a few hours to get it out. My hands have no gripping strength in them today. I'll chalk all the yard work last week as core exercises. :-)
Saw a few results from the World Master's T&F meet. Looks like the weather has been pretty hot, but maybe it'll cool down a bit for this second week. I'll let those in attendance speak to the races and the general ambiance. Anybody have a report?
Topic: What one race do you look most forward to each year and why? For me, it is what would otherwise be an awful 5k race held in the middle of August starting about sunset called "A Midsummer Night's Run". It's usually hot and humid, but the atmosphere is great. The race is at the end of a day-long festival, with lot's of food, performances, activities, and crowds of people. They start the evening racing with a bunch of "fastest in town" races, before finishing off the day with the main 5k race. I look forward to it because there is a lot of good competition (not that common around here) and it has sentimental value as it was the first race I ran since I started back to running. Hope I get to run it this year, but it's not looking too promising.
As usual, I hope everyone is having a great week! Hope to hear some nice reports.
....OK, so my post ended up a little longer than I thought it would be.
Ooooh, I've got honeysuckle, too - we cut it back a lot last year, but it needs it again. My biggest challenges in my yard are blackberries and some kind of wild vine and hitchhiker weed. Right now the three are choking out everything and swallowing the bunny hutch, playhouse and starting in on the chicken coop. I need an army of men bearing chainsaws!!
The only race I do in the summer is Hood to Coast - a 12 person relay run from Mt. Hood to the oregon coast at Seaside. This year it is 200 miles and each person runs about 15 miles in 3 legs. The last 12 years, I've been on a team that is either first or second in our division and we are trying for a three-peat this year. It's lots of fun. It's kind of fun to run a distance (which may or may not be accurately measured) as fast as you can in the middle of the night as part of a team. No splits, no meaningful times or chances for personal records - just the simple joy of running as fast as you can manage for the sake of the group.
Need to catch up...didn't check in last week.
Just banging out the miles. 78 & 79 the past two weeks. Mostly steady running with a couple pretty good tempo's. Long runs of 13-15 have been going very well...
I've committed to running a 5000 on the track next Saturday nigh but the weather is supposed to suck! 89 degrees, humid & heat index of 97. Don't want to be a wuss but I may save it for a better day...
The past few years I have looked forward to the Club XC Champs in December. Not sure if we'll have a team this year...
All the Best,
Sorry to hear about your knee lucKY2b. Hope you get healed up soon. I can empathize. I had a strange issue with my left knee that, amazingly, folks here helped diagnose, pes anserine bursitis. Since them I’m slowly improving. 21 miles a few weeks in a row now. I’ve gone from a hopeful half marathoner to a half miler in short order!
Hope we hear more from folks at Sacro. From what I’ve seen it’s been ridiculously hot there.
On the topic, our local electric company has put on a 5 and 10k for 30+ years now. I used to run it representing Athletic Attic. Anyone remember them? I always seemed to peak in early June right at race time so this race became my fav. I missed it this year for the first time in a long time and that bugged me quite a bit.
Thanks Rtype. It's just been frustrating, mostly because it is the one place on my body where I've not had a single problem whatsoever. Glad to see that you are getting back to some consistent running; that pes anserine bursitis is not a knee malady I was aware of.
Athletic Attic sure does ring a bell; Marty Liquori and Jimmy Carnes old business venture...sponsored a lot of great runners back in the day.
racerbd, you just keep cranking it out; amazing durability, for sure. Are you still doing it all in singles or have you started running some doubles?
MG, I remember blackberry thickets well from our days in Seattle. We would simply walk out the house to the bushes, grab some blackberries and we could make some great pancakes. Around here, they charge an arm and a leg for a pint! Hood-to-Coast has quite a history. I was sorry I didn't get to see the documentary. It showed for one night, but I was teaching that night.
Are you in it?
FYI-The Weekend Masters Races and Runs thread has a lot of discussion regarding Sacto meet as many of them are there.
Bump for the week.
Some progress on the knee this week, continuing doing strength and flexibility exercises. I probably could begin running easy, but I've chosen not to run until I can at least do repeat step-ups without pain. I figure if I can't do those without pain, there is no point in running. I've talked to several of my friends who have had knee issues, and they've all said that it really doesn't benefit to rush through it. So I won't. But definitely less pain this week than last.
Lotta results out of WMA 2011 in Sacramento. Any reports? I know that Spikez toughed it out for a couple silvers despite Achilles issues. Kudos to you. Hopefully a good rest and recovery will ensue. msr can chime in on how he felt about his races; I'd have been ecstatic with his times, but I suspect msr had higher aspirations. Care to tells us how it went down? Pretty tough competition all around. Good to see Keith Bateman set the 55-59 1500m record, and to continue marveling at Ed's assault on the 80+ record books. Any other results that really made you take notice?
Topic: Well, it's on my mind, so injury recovery. As a master, what's been your longest downtime due to injury and what did you do for it? I'm in the midst of mine, so I don't have a complete answer yet. Some time ago, I did also suffer a groin pull, that kept me out about 3 months, did a lot of resistance and balance exercises.
Hope you all are in a good place.
It was a good volume week for me. Even with some work travel, I got in 50 miles this week.
As far as injury recovery goes, the longest that I have been off was 4-1/2 months about 5 years ago when I got my first ever stress fracture. The stress fracture was in my foot and I couldn't even walk without a limp for two months. I did some weight work, some cycling and some swimming while I was waiting for it to heal, but clearly not enough as I found out when I started back to running. I still remember my first run back. I ran 1k and it took me 8 minutes and I felt like I had run a hard 5k. It took me the better part of a full year to get my conditioning back. The good part of the experience was that I had about 7 years of chronic achilles problems going into the injury, and it completely cleared up with the healing process and time off. I have been much more conscientious about post-run stretching since then, and I have had absolutely no achilles issues in the last 5 years.
L2b- good that your knee is making progress, even if it's really slow... tough to take the needed time off when anxious to get going again.
Have been having hamstring issues for about 5 weeks now. Seemed like it was starting to get better last week, and tried to do a small bit of running, but it reversed, so this time it will be time off until there is no hint of pain at all.
Did go up to worlds for a day and saw the 5ks, getting to see lots of friends run, and meet some new people including msr.
Saw one of my team mates in the 45 div, run a very smart race and finish far better than any of us would have guessed. Also ended up with a good sunburn on my nose.
I'd guess the longest forced time off was about 8 years. During that time I could run 2 or 3 times a week mostly slow, but as soon as I tried to do a bit more to become more competitive, I'd quickly be back to doing nothing at all. Other wise it is usually injuries that last a week or two, but can go up to about 4 to 6 months.
Stay healthy, or get healthy!
Longest injury as a master was right when I turned 40 and I broke my sacrum sledding. My daughter and I were going down a hill and I wasn't able to steer us away from a big mogul. We apparently got some major air and landed square on my butt (her weight and mine). I didn't know if was fractured for a few days (after an x-ray), but I was positively green with pain. I was out for 3 months, I think and I cried when the doctor said I'd be off running for that long. But he did say that I'd be back to normal in 6 months and sure enough, I was running better than I had been in that time. I still think I have some flexibility issues from the injury, even 11 years later.
I'm still hanging in there at 70 mpw (2nd week, with two prior weeks at 67), but I'm feeling some little niggles. I am really going to try to get a massage this week to ward injury off and I've been stretching and being careful.
Re: HTC, no, we're not in the movie (and I didn't even see the it!) I've run it every year save one since 1995 when I moved here, even once when I was pregnant. I've been on a mixed masters team for most of the years since 2000, on a team that holds the divisional record and has either placed 1st or 2nd in the division every year -- including one year when we had to run in the men's division since we only had 5 (not 6) women. It's pretty crazy, but it's fun. The hardest part (other than sleep deprivation) is the organization and that's fell on my shoulders for far too many years. Right now, we're short a guy and finding replacements can lead to many sleepless nights of worry.
Congrats to all that ran in Sacramento, whether they had great performances or not. Looks like it was fun!
Modest output, but grateful to have these past two weeks. 45 and 50 mile weeks, with 4 weight sessions (geared for xc skiing, doing 80-90% max weight), some rollerskiing, plus coaching. Ran local 8K, 84% WMA/WAVA score (we don't talk times here when you're as slow as me).
I've counted 10 or 11 injuries in my career, and 3.5 or 4 since turning 40.
Patellar tendonitis - knocked me out for most of 2 years (age 43 to almost 46). Took many months of sitting it out 3 rounds of PT to finally knock it back.
Coincident with that injury, and extending it (age 45), was a hyper-extended posterior tibialis tendon, which took almost a year to correct itself. So I was out for almost 3 years.
Metatarsal stress fracture - (age 48) 6 weeks out, and then it took 2 months to get back to 90 or 95%, on which I tried to run a marathon. Should have done a half, because I bonked pretty bad without the base.
Infamous fracture in knee and subsequent arthritis - (age 51-52) out for about 12 months (2 bouts) in 2009-2010. It's still there but I'm hanging in there too, which is why I'm grateful for the less than superb running training and performance level.
not much to report exercise-wise, since i still can't run and didn't happen to tote my bike with me on my business trip to paris. i'm back home and back in the saddle now, though.
i had a bit of a wake-up call after walking around airports and in the neighborhood of my hotel for a total of a few hours, still wearing my backpack. my foot was feeling better enough to leave the stiff cycling shoes at home and just wear my nike free 3.0s for the casual parts of my travels (my limping subsided at 4-5 weeks). interestingly, the muscles in my feet felt very worked over -- not painful, but used. i guess that's what i get for not running and basically not walking for six weeks. my plan going forward is to add some hiking to my cycling starting one week from now (8-9 weeks post-metatarsal stress fracture) to warm my feet back up, and then to cautiously introduce running on a trial basis a week after that. if all goes well, i'll ramp it up from there, while keeping a substantial volume of riding in the mix through mid-september.
i've had long-term soft-tissue issues (notably hamstring insertion and medial shin), but they tend not to keep me off the trails for any length of time when they surface (thanks are due to my ART guy!). each time i get a stress fracture it puts me out 8-12 weeks, but i emotionally manage the situation by knowing that if i give it the time to heal, i'll be fine thereafter, and i physically manage by cycling like crazy (or whatever activity the season dictates). after five stress fractures, i figure they're just a part of my personal exercise environment, so i try to take them in stride. given the time off some of you report, i definitely consider myself fortunate.
L2B: glad your knee is coming around, and also glad that you've come to terms with the negotiations you've had with it.
nice mileage muddy girl, old guy II, and AK-53. and, rich, heal up quick.
although i haven't been following the goings-on in sacramento due to work obligations, it has been amazingly inspirational to at least read briefly about ed w and keith b; kudos to those of you who toed the line.
Sacramento was an interesting racing experience,
the kind we don't see very often in races with younger people.
There were some exceptional runners, but very thin competition beneath them and a lot of wind made for races of attrition between a few people.
The top two in the M50 5000 and 10000 were
1. Sergei Polikarpov (Kazakhstan): Class of the field. Very aggressive from the gun and took no prisoners. He ran 15:39 and 32:30 racing by himself.
2. Grzegorz Kielczewski (Poland): Clear number two. Very steady early on, broke the wind for the rest of us, then ran away in the later stages.
He ran 16:17 and 33:43 (the only one not lapped by Polikarpov).
After these guys, it was 3-4 Americans competing for the last medal.
Heat was not an issue as we all thought it would be, but it was windy in both races, so we were single file most of the way.
5000: In order, the pack was Keilczewski, Ian Mickle, Brian Pilcher and me. For some reason I found it very hard running, even though it was slow (5:13 at mile), and was just hanging on. With 3 laps to go Mr K took off and Mickle managed to stay with him enough get away. I had promised my wife I would wait until the last lap, so I sat on Pilcher for 2.5 laps and then outsprinted him with 200 to go. Fourth place in a slow time, but it was about the best I could do.
10000: This time it was Keilczewski, Mickle, me, Dan King and Pilcher for 8 laps (10:43). Pace just tolerable with the wind break. Then Mickle and King dropped out with injuries and Mr K took off. Now it was a hurting me breaking the wind and slowing down, while Pilcher was happy to run behind me for 15 laps. I tried to save something for the finishing showdown, but by the time he went (3 laps to go) I had nothing left. Fourth again.
I had expected to do better in this race,
and was disappointed not only missing the podium again but the time was much slower than my road races and was close to some tempo runs.
This post is long enough, so I won't go into Lessons Learned.
Suffice to say the best thing about the whole trip (besides meeting rlb!) was seeing Ed Whitlock run the 10k and sharing his breakfast table the next day.
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply there were no other people in the races besides those mentioned above. These were just the guys in my pack - those I was aware of during the competition.