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50 weeks from heart attack to 10K! (Read 768 times)


Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

    I finished my first 10k last Sat, the Cowtown 10K, 50 weeks from a blessed heart attack. I trained to finish in 85-90 minutes and knew I could do 90. I finished the official route in 76 minutes, a 12:17 +/- official pace. My GPS said I ran 6.74 mi in an11:18 pace a minute faster than my 5K pb, so I was trucking - for me at least! This from a guy who never ran unless shot at and that was over 40 years ago in Vietnam! I can't believe how I've fallen in love with running. Anyway, I ran the outside line and not the "fall line" (my term for the shortest distance a race is measured along) because I run/walk following Jeff Galloway's approach, so I ran long. I didn't want to run through the middle of the pack just to have them pass me before I past them again... A good lesson. Next big race I'll try to stay closer to the fall line... link to the race workout: http://www.runningahead.com/logs/e020354dbcc74c33b9c2011b4621fe57/workouts/171f9f9bb16d4ba7812609dd5d9bf0fd Anyway, the short version of my blessed heart attack. I was awakened during the night by severe indigestion that wouldn't go away. I finally got back to sleep to be awakened again a few hours later, around 4am or so. I was sitting in a recliner belching and flatulating (polite word for farting!) like crazy with severe heartburn. I went clammy and thought now this is different, so I took my blood pressure (Have had severe hypertension since 1992) and it was thru the roof. I woke my wife and off to the ER we went. Got there they hooked me up to all the machines, did an EKG, and I was not having a heart attack, angina or reflux they said. I was still belching etc. So they gave me nitro under the tongue to ease the pain - it works for both. the first eased it a little, then the second crashed my bp and I was blacking out. Hit the call button and had a Dr and 3 nurses at my side. When they tried to raise my bp I threw a clot and had a massive heart attack right there! Talk about blessings! Who the heck do we know that has a killer of a heart attack in the ER, with IV's and O2 already in, an EKG still hooked up, and a Dr and 3 nurses at their side! Well the Dr hit the EKG and confirmed, "Now your having a heart attack!" Like I didn't know. Classic symptoms, very painful. Between pains i could see the panic on my wifes face. Well I finally got a ride in a copter to a heart center and had a stent put in and went home 3 days later. Two more trips to the ER with same symptoms before they finally figured out I also had reflux. On the second visit I had two angioplasties because they still thought the pain was arterial related. Having been in good health prior to the event I was able to pass a stress test 2 1/2 weeks after the attack. Lesson for everyone: Know your family history. Not realizing that I had 6 out of 6 immediate family members with heart conditions almost killed me. Even with "normal" cholesterol (I have records going back to 1992 when I had an angiogram which showed no blockages) I had developed blockages and probably had periodic angina and reflux for a few years. The left ventricle was over 90% blocked, two others over 50%, and a fourth smaller one over 70. I had been working out 5-6x/wk with no symptoms other than very occasional heartburn combined with belching and flatulation. So I had to get LDL down and HDL up as high as can be. Researching things (I'm an engineer) I found that very few drugs raise HDL and some foods help. But that cardio can really push it higher, so I started the C25K program in July 2009 and fell in love with running. I now run 4x/wk, have run a number of 5k races and last Sat ran my first 10k - 50 weeks from the heart attack. That's the longest distance my cardiologist will allow at the moment. But I have a stress test scheduled for July which should clear me for a half. In anticipation I'm starting to train for a 15k on Labor Day. Bottom line I guess is that it wasn't my time and that the Lord setup the situation as a warning to me and my siblings (and others with the same family situation) to be aware of our numbers and take action. I see the hand of God in what happened to me. Its just more than luck. It doesn't matter what folks think about it tho, what matters is that they pay attention to their bodies, know their numbers, and don't let it happen to them! Keep on Truckin' folks! Gotta love that running!

    bob e v
    2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

    Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

    Break the 1000 mi barrier!

    History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.


    De-slacking in progress

      Congrats and great job. Guess I better not complain during my 5k race today in the pouring down rain. Hopefully you get cleared soon from the Dr to run your goal of the HM.

      started running @ age 48 [lost 70#+, quit a 30 year pack/day habit>> ran HM]  Ran a few years then quit. Gained 70#+ back and smoking like before. Time to get healthy again @ 52 years over with the C25K program and beyond again. RE-start date 1-13-14

      RunsForCake


        Fantastic! Congrats on regaining your health! Can't wait to read your HM report. Big grin
          Outstanding --- nice story with a happy ending. About 20 Years ago I worked with a guy (320 lbs) really bad shape and he had a heart attack. After he got back to work he started walking and I finally convinced him to start running (his DR said it was ok). So for 5 or 6 months we went at lunch time and I coached him thru the build up towards a 5 miler. He completed it and ran a few more -- doing 11 to 12 mins per mile.........but I can tell you that watching him come across the finish of his first 5 miler was probably the most rewarding running event of my life. You'll make your Half........but after you do, make sure to post a race report because I will want to read it.

          Champions are made when no one is watching


          Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

            Thanks Guys! I'll post the progress reports, especially the 15k and HM. btw: I forgot to mention another thing. I was diagnosed in 1992 with a slightly enlarged heart due to untreated hypertension. It was reconfirmed in 2003. Another echo cardiogram this Jan showed my heart is normal - another benefit of running!

            bob e v
            2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

            Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

            Break the 1000 mi barrier!

            History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

              wow just wanted to add that Smile

              First or last...it's the same finish line

              HF #4362

                Ok, that was an inspiring story! Surprised I just finished my first 10K today. I've never ran a race before, but I maintained an average Pace of 10.05, I was happy. I've been doing some reading about heart attack prevention and after reading your story and completing some of my own research, I'm dedicated to continue running. Right now, I weigh about 226, I was 250 in January, when I started running. I was just waiting to have a heart attack. Thanks for your story. You have inspired me even more.
                  Inspiring, really. I'm young and seeing people so joyous at older ages after such difficulty makes me want to just keep running. Luckily nobody in my family has any other genetic problems than alcoholism (and being an 18 year old who has never drank makes me proud). My mom has had random holes in her tissue in her chest and my dad's body has a 3 year relapse timer on his alcoholism. I'm the only person in my family who kept up with athletics and had I not blown out my achilles for a year and a half of phys. therapy I'd be running my tail off. Keep pumping and staying healthy you're obviously doing a great job.
                    WOW! You should make your log public, as 1. it may/will serve as inspiration, 2. I can't access the link about your race, and I presume that may be why. You sure you're an engineer, or is bobev short for Bob Evans, the sausage guy Wink Glad you're here. I wish you many happy miles ahead.