health

DO: Run like a man with a heart condition

As the year draws to a close, I do the typical things like think about the year past and the year ahead and all that – you know … reflect. And I did some good stuff last year. A few things particularly good for me.

Also, my blog feed is filled with advice on how to keep resolutions, so I’m thinking about good changes I made & stuck with last year.

It’s no secret that I like good drinks. And good food. Eating and drinking – that’s, like, fully half of the things this blog is named for. I’m not giving either up for 2015. But it’s probably not surprising that all of my pants stopped fitting this year.

I’ve taken up running a few times before and it’s never stuck. But this year, for some reason … it’s pretty stuck. I did a couple 5ks, my first 8k, and in a fit of “sure, that seems like a great idea” I signed up to start my next birthday by running 10 miles. Which is crazy. You know who thinks running 10 miles is fun? Honestly: not me. But I’m also weirdly looking forward to it? Or maybe I’m looking forward to it being over.

What is more my speed, though (heh – see what I did there?), are the 5ks. My favorite is one that runs through my neighborhood. It’s small, it’s close, and I got to run it this year with this guy. (Also we ate pie after the race this year. I like pie, too.)

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That’s my dad. When I was 19, he went to the hospital. He stayed for a little while. He couldn’t work for several months, and didn’t work full time for months after that. He was in his early 40s. So he slowed down (eventually), did the work in cardiac rehab, took his drugs till he didn’t need them anymore, and then kept running.

My sister turned 40 this year and had a heart procedure done the year before; I think I’ve almost talked her into trying the Shamrock Shuffle with us in the spring (maybe).

Was that enough motivation to take better care of myself? No.

So far so good with my ticker, but I had to outgrow all my big size pants to get going. And a friend invited me to join the Whole Life Challenge with her and her friends. And that did the trick. Some days I would have cut someone for a box of cookies, but most of the time, the eating wasn’t too hard. Some of the “lifestyle challenges” were a little ridiculous. But I drank more water, ate better, exercised, stretched, slept better. Pretty good, on the whole. Pants I expanded out of a few years ago are out of storage, and I’m still running. It’s winter here. It’s cold. It’s 18F today. I went for a run. Tick tick tick tick tick tick ….

I am even packing my running shoes for work travel – I’ll be taking them on a work trip in a couple weeks and I’m looking forward to the possibility of running on the beach along the Mediterranean.

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