Sunday, October 21, 2012

Surviving A Heart Attack

I've always been active in sports since my school days. In fact, I'm getting increasingly into sports in recent years. Since I started running road marathons a few years ago, I've expanded my scope to running ultra trail marathons of up to 100km; and more recently I've gone into triathlons too. For the most part, I'm doing all these sports as a hobby, but I also join races for the excitement of the competition.

Although I don't have it in me to win races, I try my best to perform reasonably well—the idea of joining a race merely for the sake of finishing it is not very appealing to me. I can always run, say, a full marathon on a Sunday, for example, at my own slow pace; there is really no need to join races if the aim is just to finish. However, the thing about joining a race to race—as opposed to just finish—is that one has to train seriously for it. Otherwise, one is bound to end up with poor performance during the race day.

Nevertheless, sometimes there will be days when the body simply refuses to cooperate. That is perhaps a cue to take one step back to relax for a bit; maybe even take a few days' break so that the body can start fresh again.

In two weeks' time, I'm gonna attempt a duathlon in Putrajaya—The Malakoff Powerman Asian Duathlon Championship 2012—for the first time. Yesterday morning, I joined some friends for a short ride of about 50km. It was meant to be a "slow and easy" workout. But during the tail end of that workout, it suddenly became a race!

Then this morning, I went for my usual long run. It wasn't a very long run, really; just a 21km workout. But I felt very tired somehow. Even during the first few kilometres of the run, I could feel the exhaustion in my quads. By the time that I'd finished the run, I was totally spent. I arrived home feeling very weak in my legs; thinking that I'd just have a quick shower and deliberate toilet, and then probably spend the whole day in bed recuperating...

(insert commercial break here)

Elsewhere in the world, a baby monitor lizard (biawak) of perhaps 8 inches long was roaming around a nice grassy compound. And as fate would have it, the poor little fellow found its way into a cozy septic tank in the ground. It proceeded along the drain pipe (what was it thinking?), much the same way how Andy Dufresne crawled his way to freedom in The Shawshank Redemption

But instead of crawling its way to freedom, the lizard ended up in the toilet of the master bedroom. Arriving at the S-trap of the pipe, it dove through the shallow murky water and emerged on the other side. It was a different world—it was in fact the bottom of a well with smooth and slippery porcelain wall. There was a naked male human sitting on top of that well with a curious object dangling from his bottom! Apparently, he was engrossed in a flat rectangular electronic device in his hands. But after a while, the human noticed the lizard at the bottom of the well. They stared at each other—the human apparently unsure what was that thing at the bottom of the well. A few seconds later, the lizard moved its eyes, and the human whose legs were supposedly weak and exhausted from extensive workouts, suddenly found the strength to spring up from the well; heart racing like crazy. Although it was a tiny little creature, it is not very often that you'd see something alive in the well, you know.

It was unclear if that was a heart attack; but it felt very much like one! A quick action resulted in water rushing down the well, thus washing away the lizard down the pipe.

A strange encounter no doubt, but it had a happy ending—the human survived the heart attack, and the lizard is back to the septic tank where it will hopefully find its way out onto the grassy compound again, and then perhaps proceed to the nearby drain by the roadside...

Or is it still in the pipe, contemplating another visit to the well?


Jonas said...

Hi Cornelius, really happy to hear that you are fit and well - so we can attack the hills next weekend.

Cornelius said...

Oh! Jonas, I was afraid that you'd suggest something like that! But I'm not sure if I'd still run very much next Sunday, as I'm kinda paranoid that I won't recover fast enough for Powerman, which will be on the following Sunday. Or perhaps what I can do is to just do the Signal Hill and Istana road portion and back to the sports complex, i.e. about 12km. We'll see how it goes.

Juin Yi Ng said...

Oh. So you're joining Malakoff Powerman as well? Cool! I'm looking forward to meet you in person. Are you joining the sprint or relay category.

Me and my friends signed up for the relay category, but we're quite new to this, and we can't run fast. Chances are we might finish last. :/

Cornelius said...

Yes, Juin Yi Ng, I'm doing the individual event. I think about 11km run; 64km bike; 11km run. I have a feeling I will suffer in the bike leg, as the terrain in Putrajaya is quite undulating I think. OK, hope to see you there.