Archive for October 19th, 2009



Monday Morning Dad

Back from my extended weekend trip to Iowa.

I took my father for his angiogram on Friday morning. It showed he had 90% blockage on one artery and some more blockage, to a lesser degree, on the same artery. They put in four stents and in he spent Friday night in the hospital.

Thanks to the staff at the new Mercy-West Lakes Hospital in West Des Moines.

It opened about a month ago and is more like a five star hotel than a hospital. The service was great and the hospital itself was beautiful. Spacious rooms, flat-screen tv’s, internet service, in-room fridge and very quiet.

It was so nice I wouldn’t have minded spending the night in the next room!

Cough, cough!

All that aside, I was grateful my father received terrific care and didn’t require another bypass operation. He had quintuple bypass surgery 13 years ago and the recovery from that is much more difficult.

My father was a huge smoker when I was growing up.

He has had a couple of heart attacks and was very close to not making it when I was 12 years old. I had a couple of uncles, who weren’t so lucky.

I don’t smoke and because of my family history, I watch my diet and I exercise. As the doctor explained to me on Friday, it doesn’t eliminate the risk for me, but it certainly helps lower the chances that I’ll have a heart attack.

We got my father back home on Saturday and he was resting comfortably, so I decided I would go ahead and run the Des Moines Half Marathon on Sunday morning.

My parents live about 60 miles from Des Moines, so it was an early wake-up call for me Sunday morning. I made the drive to Des Moines and got there about an hour before the race. I hung out in a hotel, close to the start line, that had a lobby full of runners trying to keep warm before the race.

Did I forget to mention it was 32 degrees?

The race started at 8:00 and I finished in a time of 1 hour and 49 minutes.

It was actually a pretty nice day to run. It was sunny, cool temps and the wind for the half marathon wasn’t too bad.

It was close to 50 degrees by the time I finished.

There was a strange twist about the finish…

I later found out that the full marathon winner, who finished his “full” marathon about a half hour following my “half” marathon had a surprise waiting for him with about 400 meters left in his race.

He was leading by 10 seconds when he made the final turn to the finish.

Only one problem…

He had to cross a set of train tracks and at the moment he came through there was a large freight train using them!

It delayed him 40 seconds and the second & third place runners caught up!

Thankfully, for the leader, he was the best sprinter of the group and rightfully won the race!

In this morning’s news the freight line did take full responsibility for the “mistake” of the train coming through during the race.

My time of 1:49 in the half marathon was good for 530 place out of approximately 3,200 runners.

I also beat one freight train bound for Omaha, that’s a first for me!