Seven months ago this weekend, I had a stroke. My Swimrun partner and I had less than 500 m left of a 42 km course. Even to this day it stings to think about that DNF. At the time of the stroke I remember being disappointed that I could not finish the race. I remember thinking that my partner would be mad or disappointed as well, that I couldn’t hold up my end of the race. Thoughts racing through my mind as I come to a stop and have to sit down and have a race volunteer radio for an ambulance; did I eat too little, did I not drink enough. I was around 108 kg on race day, not something that I was truly aware of, even if I did see it, and everyone around me knew. I know that my weight made the day tougher, but I am not sure it was the cause of my stroke.
I have never felt as tired or weak as I did at that moment. Even after Kalmar IM 2014, I was up and about, eating, drinking laughing and cheering on the rest of the field. I was on my feet until 30 min after the final finisher.
Flash forward to this week, and I am slowly getting back into shape. I have been a stable 102 kg for the last 9-10 weeks. People have been commenting on my body in a more positive way. I have been able to squeeze in 9-11 workouts a week, and have felt better and better with each passing week. So starting i March I am going to start to look at the size of my belly and not the numbers on the scale.
For the longest time I was keeping my heart rate under 155 bpm. But in the last 7-10 days I have been letting myself push my heart rate closer and closer to 180 bpm. I do not have my speed in the water yet, but I can see that I am getting faster and my endurance in the pool is improving with every week.
After a real 40 hr rest from any training, today I managed to keep pace with others at my box. That is something I haven’t been able to do since July. I know that I have a long way to go to get to back to the old me, or maybe I should say new me. But it felt really good to push myself, sweat like a pig and then make sweat angles on the floor when the workout was over.
Tomorrow is race day in Lund. My times tomorrow will dictate what I am willing to swim in 5 weeks at nationals.