Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Past Few Months - Highs and Lows

I know that its been a while since updating my blog.  I want to start off by SINCERELY thanking all of you who have written me either via facebook or e-mail to check up on me to see how Ive been doing, and for everyone for sticking with me all this time!

My last official race was in December, the rutgers Big Chill 5K, where I paced my wife Gail to finish her very first 5K ever! It wasn't my personal best 5K time, but it was just as good to see the look of pride and achievement on the face of my wife.  Before training for this race she used her asthma as an excuse to not run and felt that because of it she wouldn't be able to.  Well she kicked that fear to the curb, trained her butt off and she DID it!

After that race, things started to take a turn for the worse.  I started to suffer blackouts and dizzy spells.  I wasn't sure what the cause was, but they had gotten worse.  The last week of the month I passed out and collapsed.  I managed to pick myself up and go to work after that, but when I got to work I was admitted to the hospital.  I never was officially diagnosed with anything, other then perhaps I was losing too much weight too fast, and I needed to add more to my diet.  More Calories (increased from 1800-2K to about 2K-2400)  More Sodium (1800 MGS - 2K MGS to about 2K MGS-2500 MGS) as well as increasing my water intake.

I followed the doctors orders and took medication, and for some reason, my stamina and energy levels remained at an all time low.  This time was very frustrating for me, because I'm at a point where I want to and NEED to be active.  Not having the same energy level I had was really getting to me, and was taking a toll on me emotionally as well, which may have helped lead to my second hospital visit at the end of January.

Not much came from this hospital visit other then an increased dosage of meds, but more importantly as a result, I had my heart fully examined.  My cardiologist after all tests were done was willing to say my heart was strong and capable of running a marathon!

Well within a week or so from my 2nd hospital visit, my energy started coming back to me, and I started to feel like my old self again a little bit at a time.  I started to get back to the gym, lifting weights and doing cardio.  I then after another week or so, felt well enough to attempt some short runs on the treadmill.  I built myself up to 5K, although my time was pretty bad, it felt good to be running again for more then 5 minutes.

Between my improved health (as of today no major blackouts or dizzy spells and Ive finished taking the meds) and my cardiologist clearing me, I felt comfortable enough to make it official.  I am registered to run in THIS years ING NYC MARATHON!

Put it on your calendars, November 4th!  This former 500lb guy will be running in the biggest marathon in the world!!!!!

However, there are some other things that happened in the past couple months.  Most importantly to me, was meeting a very special person.  I received an e-mail from a man who had a lot of weight to lose, and came to me for some help.  He asked me about what I had done to start the journey, and what he can do for himself.  He showed interest in taking charge of his life and joining Weight Watchers.  Well, that weekend, I met my friend Sean for the very first time, at my Saturday Weight Watchers meeting.  After stepping on the scale for the very first time, he realized that his road would be long, but that did not matter to him.  Sean to date has lost about 30 lbs and is well on his way.  This man, whether he has a bad or good week, has the most heart and determination I have ever seen in anyone!  Sean and I started doing a walk on Sunday mornings.  Before we started these walks, he would've struggled walking 1/4 mile.  Well our first walk, Sean completed 1 mile!!  The next week, 2 Miles!!  Two weeks later, 5K!!!!!!!!  We have also had another friend of ours from Weight Watchers join our weekly walks, Neil.  Neil is also another great source of inspiration, hes lost over 50lbs and is rediscovering what he is capable of doing, walking and biking!  So proud of the two of them!

Sean is not only my friend, but a constant source of inspiration to me.  Not only that, being that he was a former instructor in the arts of Jeet Kune Do and Wing Chun, he has started training me personally, and I must say I'm loving it!

Me, Neil, and Sean
One last note, I am now in the process of training for the Brooklyn half marathon on May 19th.  This was the end of week 2 of training, and I had a long run of 8 Miles planned.  Yesterday I had to cancel due to a schedule conflict and this morning I woke up not feeling well.  I wasn't gonna bail on our morning walk, and on the way home, Sean made me promise to do my training run.  I went home took a nap and woke up knowing I HAD to.  I went out and ran that 8 Miles in 1:39:15!  I felt great!!

I will be posting as often as possible with training updates.

Thank you again for your continued support and for all the well wishes I have been receiving!  

2012 is gonna be a great year!!!!!