Running quote of the week

“I love track running. There’s something about that red 400-meter circle that lets my brain switch off—no roads to cross, no bikes to watch out for.” – Kate Carter

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My running buddy's race day nightmare


Today's run (street): 5.25 miles

Two years ago I was near the end of my recovery from a serious bout of pneumonia. It was so severe that I was forced to spend a week in the hospital. This was an awful experience, but it could have been far worse. I'm still thankful to my friends, family and work colleagues who supported me through that long ordeal. As sick as I was, I never felt it was a life and death situation. Now let me tell you about my friend Dave.

Through this blog, I have connected with a number of great people, some of whom I've been fortunate enough to meet for a run or two. Dave and I both live on Long Island and we've got together to run a number of times. Dave is a strong runner, with an enviable ability to increase his speed as he went along on longer runs. In races, Dave would usually cross the finish line a couple of minutes before I did. But on long runs at Bethpage, our conversation helped us settle into a mutually agreeable pace.

The last time I saw Dave was at the Dirty Sock 10K last August. We both did well on that challenging course through the woods. Afterward, we talked about doing a Cow Harbor practice run in a few weeks, but we didn't get around to doing that. In fact I hadn't heard from Dave until I got a note from him this weekend. He wrote to tell me that he'd suffered a heart attack during a ten mile race last weekend.

I was completely shocked by this news. This is a guy who runs and bikes and lives a very active life. But on this race day morning, Dave discovered that he had an undetected blockage that brought him down at mile six. In those situations, the severity of the problem may not be obvious. There's only a small window of time to recognize the difference between electrolyte depletion and a life-threatening event. Thankfully Dave had the presence of mind to flag down a race volunteer and request an EMT.

Even after the EMT's arrived, Dave's troubles continued. He endured quite a bit as they worked on him in the ambulance before arriving at the closest hospital, where the ER doctors struggled to stabilize his condition. They smartly sent him to a another hospital that was better equipped to handle the situation. It was there that they discovered the blockages and got his vitals back to normal. Amazingly, he was released after a couple of days.

I'm thrilled that Dave came through this so well and he's taking steps to correct his issues. He's a strong, fit guy and I know he'll get through this fine. I can only imagine how fast he's going to be when his heart is back to full working order. Even if that's the case, I'm sure Dave will graciously run at my pace when we return to Bethpage for another long run.

2 comments:

  1. My wife and I ran that 10 miler last weekend. She heard an ambulance when she was at Mile 8 and I saw it passing by the finish line. We hope he will be ok. I remember you introduced us at the Dirty Socks Run.

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  2. Yes, you two met right after the race. It's always disturbing to hear sirens during a race. I remember the 2010 Cow Harbor race when I came down Main Street and was passed by an ambulance going the other way. I think seven people were sent to the ER that day.

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