5 miles

5 miles…that is how many I ran on this cool, crispy, 30s fall morning at 5AM with Steph, 3 dear lovely young ladies and an old geezer who I won’t reveal his name to protect his reputation.  At an 8:39 pace, this averages out to about 6.9 mph.

I usually run in total silence in the mornings but this morning, I hooked myself up to Neppie so I could hear the chatty ladies behind me.  But feeling the cool crisp air in my face while trying to keep up with the old geezer is totally worth it.  Some people think I am nuts for getting out of bed at such an ungodly hour.  Others marvel me at how I can do it.

It wasn’t long ago…about 3 1/2 years since I had 2 pen springs inserted into my heart.  Ever since, I still get up at some ungodly hour or I wait till it is the hottest part of the day to achieve my almost daily ritual…running.  In between, I have done countless number of 5ks, 8ks, 10ks, half marathons and just this past summer, 4 triathlons.

I really don’t know why I do it besides the fact that I have met millions of people along the way, made thousands of friends, managed to stay healthy and knocked off a few items on the bucket list.  It is also my demeanor…the competitive fires within.  I love to compete.  And when people encourage me, those fires are even more intense.  And five of the people who really encourage me at now at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii!  Those people are truly my heroes.

The 5 miles are just some of those hundreds or perhaps thousands of miles that I have logged throughout my journey in life.  Its a God given gift that I am able to do this.  Part of the reason is health.

My dad died at the age of 50, just shy of my 16th birthday.  He had a massive heart attack and on top of that, he was a diabetic.  Back then, a heart attack was almost always fatal.  He also didn’t really take care of himself…his passion was golf and his Yankees and Giants.  His side of the family didn’t live much longer either.  Because of his history, I was a candidate.

My mom….well, she is a whole another story.  Still kicking, feisty, stubborn and fiery independent at…..90!  She was playing tennis well into her 70s and was a champion in the community she lived in Florida.  Now while I rather not inherit her disposition I surely marvel at her health and I certainly hope to live as long!  Don’t tell my kids that…since I’ll be spending their inheritance!

So…even though I started running in 2005 after 30 plus years of smoking, the toll had already taken effect leading to the 2009 episode.  It wasn’t as bad as it could have been but at my last checkup this past March, the doctor not only proclaimed me completely healed (whatever that means) but he even took me off of Plavix.

All because of those days of 5 miles (and more or less).

Don’t forget, I’ll be at Gateway-Longview in Williamsville doing the Pumpkin Run a really fun-filled 5k (3.1 miles), tomorrow.  Not only is this race for a great cause but it promises fun for everyone, runner or non-runner!  BE THERE!

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