Hi, Eric. You said you were interested in some stories related to cardiac recovery. Last April, I underwent sudden open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve and repair the aortic root. Thirteen days days later, I had to have emergency pericardial surgery to drain fluid that was accumulating (1 liter’s worth).
I was already registered to ride the 2009 Make-A-Wish Foundation Wish-A-Mile 300 bicycle tour in July (100 miles a day x 3 days), and set a goal to try and ride it. I am happy to say that I was able to ride a full 100-mile century 116 days after my open heart surgery, 103 days after the 2nd surgery. I took Day 2 off, then rode another centuiry on Day 3.
As I reflected on it, I have begun to wonder if anyone else has completed a century that soon after such a surgery/episode. Do you know?
This Saturday is the Ave of the Oaks metric century ride. I choose this one because while riding 63 miles is not that hard for me at this point, doing it and 6000′ plus of climbing is. I’d say that’s a pretty decent climb for someone without a heart attack so it would be a good goal for me. I try just to be happy that I can ride at all but it’s hard not to compare myself with someone who has no heart problems and I love riding up hills, always have, even though I’m not good at it I’m just persistent that way. Below is the elevation chart.
Ave of the Oaks Century elevation chart.
I’ll be riding it with my PT from my old cardiac rehab program and one of my cardiologist. Which makes my wife extremely happy, even though she wishes I didn’t do it at all. I think I’m ready. While I haven’t ridden that distance in a while I have been riding lots of hills and doing 3,000′ climbs in 28-30 miles rides and some hill repeats so I feel ready and the best riding shape since my heart attack.
I’ll do my best to keep track of my ride and bring you a crank by crank report.