That side effect has been wearing off slowly over the past four months, and I am now able to run moderately without discomfort. In early July, I took a treadmill and my heart rate topped out at 140 bpm. In October, I was up to 160 bmp. That's still a long ways from the 185 bpm I managed back in 2003, but it is improvement nonetheless and I can certainly feel it when I run.
After Western States, I decided to take the rest of the year off from racing to allow my heart -- and soul -- time to recover. The end of 2013 is now approaching, and I'm starting think about racing again. I just signed up for the Avalon 50 miler on January 11, 2014, and I am looking forward to a brighter year ahead.