The Road Back: Sound to Narrows

I’ve written about my heart attack in January and my journey to recovery. This is another report on that journey, but one that is brighter and marks what feels like a personal accomplishment.

My wife and I joined a group of our friends yesterday for the Sound to Narrows race; run or walked as either a 12K or 5K through the neighborhood and park near Point Defiance in Tacoma.

The original plan from several months ago was for me to join the group on the last section as they returned. But I started the race with them – they were all walkers, except for one of the guys who ran the 5K; congratulations to Larry who finished second in his age group. (As it turned out – most of the group decided to walk the 12k, except my wife Terri ( who had her dog Hannah with her) and Jackie, one of the other women).

Everyone started to outpace me, which was fine with me. And then I decided I was going to do the entire 5K. And once I started I knew I’d finish it – no matter what it took.

And so I continued. The first part was mostly downhill. Great, except for me knowing what goes down will eventually have to come back up.

After passing the 1 mile mark, the routes diverged. Those going for 12K continued on straight into the park, with those of us going 5K turning to the right – up a steep hill.

I knew I’d have challenges on that first steep section, and I did. I had to stop at times and stretch my abs. The months of coughing had really hammered my abs and diaphragm muscles. So 30 seconds or so of stretching and I was back to moving.

Soon, the steepness eased a bit (though still an uphill walk through various streets) and I just kept walking. Some passed me by; others I passed.

Finally, I made it to the last section where a local high school cheerleader squad was cheering on the runners. Though it wasn’t directed at us walkers, I took it as cheering for me.

I know my wife Terri and her friend Jackie were surprised when they saw me walking under the finish line.

I walked to the organizer’s tent and received my ribbon for finishing. Certainly not the greatest thing I’ve ever done. But yesterday it felt like a lot after the last five months.

I should add we had to park 0.7 miles from the starting line, so that meant a total of 4.4 miles of walking (and again – the walk back to the car was all uphill).

Next year, I’ll be back. Maybe walking, but if I continue to improve it’ll be the 12K.


Author: Tom

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