#GetPiggyWithTCH: Running with Heart

I wasn’t always the biggest fan of running, and still have days when the thought of a long run makes me cringe, but I’ve learned to love the sport, and all of the ups and downs that come with distance running.

In 2004 I started having chest pains and an elevated heart rate that would leave me feeling exhausted and pretty sluggish. I was diagnosed with Afib and AVNRT and underwent a cryoablation to correct the issues, and get me feeling back to normal. Over the following years my heart rate would continue to creep back up until 2010 when I needed a follow-up RF ablation to correct the issue. In addition to the two procedures, I had talked to my doctors about ways to naturally try to slow my heartrate down, and distance running came up in conversation. Distance runners tend to have a slower resting heart rate, so I was willing to give it a try. From there, I started running shorter races and gradually worked my way up to longer races and eventually marathons.

I ran my first Flying Pig event in 2014 when I completed the half marathon. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Pig weekend, and after enjoying the half marathon course, I decided to train for the full marathon in 2015. For the half, I trained alone and figured I could do the same for the full, but I quickly learned that training for a marathon by yourself is both mentally and physically exhausting. After completing the marathon, I took a year off and focused on shorter runs, since I found them more enjoyable.

When training season came around for the 2017 marathon, I decided I wanted to try the full again, but this time, signed up for a training group, rather than going it alone. If you’re looking for accountability and the best running routes to ensure you’re prepared for race day, in my opinion, running groups are the way to go. Comparing my training from 2015 to my 2017 plan, I learned my 2015 routes did not incorporate enough hills or speed work. The 2017 marathon was a night and day difference compared to 2015, so I’m again training for my running group and am excited to get out there and cross the finish swine for my third Flying Pig Marathon this May.

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In celebration of the Flying Pig Marathon's 20th Anniversary on May 5 & 6, we've asked some of our physician and employee runners to blog about their experiences, share tips they've learned along the way, and provide inspiration for those who might interested in participating this year for the first time, whether for the 5K, 10K, relay, half marathon or full marathon.

Are you planning to walk or run one of the events? Be sure to share your preparation and inspiration photos on Instagram, Twitter or our Facebook page using the hashtag, #GetPiggyWithTCH, for a chance to be featured on our social media channels!