After 40+ years of smoking and weighting around 250 lbs, on December 16th, 2005 thinking I was having a cardiac event, I drove myself to a local hospital. Prior to checking in, however and having just bought a pack of cigarettes, I had one last smoke before going into the emergency room (Very very, very stupid!). That was my last cigarette!!!
Well, they did all sorts of testing and blood work ups and even a catheter procedure. Thank God, I did not have a heart attack, but they did find that I had to 2 blocked arteries and that I also had GERD, Acid Reflux. That was the primary culprit. Stomach acid was entering or irritating my bronchial tubes (I wonder why I did get some form of pneumonia from it). Since my arteries were at 50% blockage, no stents were put in, but I was put on Plavix, which I still take religiously to this day. Along with that I was also put on proton pump inhibitors and blood pressure medicine and told by the discharging physician that if I continued to smoke I’d die at a really young age and since my mother died at 45 from coronary disease, I had better start getting in shape.
THat’s all it took. As soon as I got the clearance from my primary care physician I began a work out regimen designed solely to build and restore my heart health. My workout plan was based on a 5 day schedule: days 1, 3, and 5 were Cardio workouts; days 2 & 4 were weight training. Every so slow I started noticing changes, my clothes were starting to get loose and I needed to buy a new belt…I dropped from 250lbs to 210 lbs and I was feeling great. I was doing so good that my doctor took me off all my blood pressure medicines. It was then that I decided to up the workout to include running. So I researched and found the Couch Potato to 5K (C25K) running plan. Following it religiously by the time week 8 rolled around I was running 30 minutes non-stop! I was overjoyed. I signed up for my very first 5K (The Kinesiology 5k) I ran it in the very slow time of 33:19. After finishing, I thought well that was a nice experience but I am not sure if I want to run anymore races. Until….
I was relaxing at home watching ESPN and a special was being televised…It was all about the “Badwater Ultramarathon;”- a 135 mile race that runs smack thru Death Valley and up the side of Mount Whitney California. I was enthralled; the spirit of the event captured my spirit. My testosterone levels spiked for sure. I knew I couldn’t run Badwater, but hey I could run a marathon (Yeah that’s right, 1 race to my credit and I was going to run a marathon)…
So began my journey, the year was Oct 2006. In November 2006 I joined up with Team in Training and a little less than 7 months later I successfully ran (waddled is more like it) my first marathon, The Vancouver International Marathon and 4 months later still I ran the Rochester NY marathon.
Yes, I admit it. I am hooked! I love distance running and I love that I am able to run for my Little Buddies….If you can’t run, then won’t you please help me, help them too.
PLEASE Say Yes to Grandpa John and make a generous donation to the Band of Parents.
Here for the sake of fond memories I post a few pictures for your enjoyment