A couple of weeks ago I experienced dull pain in my chest, near my heart and after looking up symptoms online thought that it may be the way I was breathing while running. I tried a couple of new techniques while running and the pain went away and was not reoccurring so I thought that I was fine.
Wednesday morning I woke up at 4:30am with a sharp pain in my chest. I was immediately frightened because it was the middle of the night, I had been having intermittent pain after running, and I have very high cholesterol. I of course began to think of anything that could be wrong---I am too young to have a heart attack, aren't I? Could I have a growth in my lungs? Could I being having an aneurism. But I am healthy, aren't I? My mind was playing tricks on me.
I took some advil and calmed myself down. I went back to sleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up the pain was still present. I called my Dr. and because of the storm, she had several cancelled appointments that morning and she was able to fit me in right away.
At the Dr.'s office they asked me if I had ever had heartburn. Yes, I have. And this is not heartburn. They asked me a series of other questions and my Dr. listened to my chest and back. She then pushed on my chest in various areas and when she pressed between my breasts on the bone I thought I was going to cry. It hurt so bad. It felt like a deep bruise.
A nurse came in and did an EKG on me and the Dr. informed me that my heart looked perfect. In fact, she said, "You have a runner's heart. Slow and steady is the line on the EKG." Of course my pride swelled.
She told me that I have what is called Costochondritis which is inflammed cartilage in the chest cavity. It is often unknown what can cause this but it is not deadly; it just hurts like h-e-double hockey sticks. Dr. told me that I should take advil and rest. I asked if I could still run and she told me that I could if I wanted to and that it should not aggravate my chest anymore. She said it could go away in a week or two and it could come back at some point also since it is not known what caused it.
In the few days since my diagnosis I have been itching to go for a run. But at the same time I do not want to do anything that will cause this annoying pain to stay around longer than it needs to. I have been resting and napping and taking it easy. I have been running some around the block just so that I do not go crazy and it does not seem to hurt things but I am just worried about running my daily mileage...
I will be out running soon. For now I think it is best to give my heart a break.