This time the swim was tough and I found myself suffering and sucking air rather hard. The warmup started with 200m IM - that means the first 50m were butterfly - and the rest of the warmup was all IM as well. My HR was high for the whole thing and I was extremely cautious and aware of my heart rhythm. I wasn't concerned about my physical condition in the water but I was very frustrated with how this abnormal rhythm was affecting me. I was pissed.
It wasn't until far in the main set that I realized my HR and effort level were back to normal when doing freestyle. All other strokes were wiping me out. I started questioning the real impact of the heart rhythm - how much of this is psychological?
I think I have been highly distracted by this recent HR stuff, and focusing too much mental effort on "watching out" for that terminal blip that stops me in my tracks. Consciously and subconsciously I listen to my heart and try to figure it out (a side effect of being an engineer). I think of all these situations that could arise and try to figure out how they would be handled. And that causes a boat-load of stress and anxiety.
I have been distracted so much that only last night, nearly a week since this all started, did I realize just how scared I am.
But when I wasn't distracted last night, my form in the pool was better. All the butterfly work was starting to pay off. My freestyle was more efficient. My backstroke was actually coming together. And I realized that, not so surprisingly, that the initial fatigue and weariness from the "warmup" was because I am weak and haven't done much IM (or anything) lately. I am simply not where I was before getting sick. And I felt better realizing that.
Yet I still cannot toss this worry aside. If it were an arm or an ear, maybe. But this is my heart - there is no redundancy model in place for that. And for as helpless and scared as I am, I need to try to just live my life as I did before. The tests will be done. The cardiologist will be seen. An answer will be found. I just need to remember that and be patient.
And really, can it be that bad? I have run twice now this week, and I am at 4000m in the pool this week. It can't be that bad.