So I Can't Run Marathons

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Jun 2002, 21:12 #11

Image I was watching a family member at a 5K race yesterday that had 2,000 runners in it. I kind of hung around the finish line afterwards and watched people as they crossed the line and went through the water and food lines. I was only there about 15 minutes, actually got paged by a smoking clinic person and had to get to a quieter place to hear--but the whole time I was there I didn't see one person drink their water, eat their food and smoke a cigarette. I watched several hundred people in this time frame. Didn't see many people smoking in the crowd family members and supporters for that fact either. The ads out there (see Anti-smoking ads from the past, I am going to attach a post to that one today too addresssing this) and still sometimes the perception of many people is that smoking is an activity done by healthy active people and that it is a lot more prevelent than it really is--at least here in this part of America. The way to look healthier and actually be healthier is by always remember to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Jul 2002, 08:00 #12

Image We have a reporter looking in for information on ex-smokers and exercise. I thought this would be a good article for her to read.

John Gold
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:43

05 Sep 2002, 20:32 #13

Last edited by John Gold on 29 Jul 2009, 16:05, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Feb 2003, 12:01 #14

Image For a clinic graduate looking likely looking in.

phiwho40 GOLD
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:48

25 Feb 2003, 17:41 #15

I alway wanted to run a Marathon and thanks to Freedom, Joel, and all others here I finally did!!!

Feb. 7th 2003 I completed my first marathon in 3hours 26 minutes.....only missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 6 minutes. (a goal for next year.)

After 22 years of nicotine addiction I finally stopped: 10 months, 1 week, and 4 days ago. Though the length of my smoking addiction was relatively short (less than 9 months) I had been using smokeless tobacco for the previous 21 years and had begun smoking in an idiotic attempt to quit using snuff.

Fortunately I found Freedom, increased my running, and began training for a marathon about 7 months ago. I also used the "So I can't Run Marathons" article as motivation during training and to remind me of why I never need another puff.

During the 26.2 milesof the race I thought of many things. None more intense or pleasing than the recognition that the race was a celebration that I was now nicotine free and accomplishing something I had thought impossible as short as one year prior.

Thanks to Joel and Freedom!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Oct 2003, 21:44 #16

I just got this email this morning. I thought it seemed appropriate to put it in this string here.

Joel - I completed your quit smoking seminar in May 1996, relapsed in September 1996 and tried again in February 1997. I have not smoked since quitting in February 1997 following your approach.

This past Sunday I completed the Chicago Marathon with a time of 5:01:48! I credit what I learned in your stop smoking seminars with playing a vital role in my having been able to "stay stopped." Another factor has been a simple change in mindset - rather than thinking that I am denying myself something I want (i.e. a cigarette) I adopted the thinking that I am rewarding myself with something I want *more* (i.e. my good health.)

I am enjoying my good health. I would be thrilled to participate in any upcoming "stop smoking" seminars as an alumnus. I wish you continued success in your mission.

Best regards,


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Nov 2003, 07:49 #17

For Andrew: Look two posts up, you will see another clinic graduate who had also ran his first marathon this year.

John Gold
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:43

24 Nov 2003, 20:30 #18

Young smoker gets 2nd chance

Erie Times-News (Penn. USA)
By David Bruce - [][/url]
November 24, 2003

Ten years of heavy smoking has turned William Powell's lungs dark gray. He can't run a block without gasping for breath.

Still, the 21-year-old Clearfield man sneaks onto his family's porch and lights up whenever he feels stressed.

"My mom yells at me constantly. She says, 'If you want to die, just die,'" Powell said. "Every time I pick a cigarette up, I know it could kill me."

Doctors have diagnosed Powell with emphysema, a smoking-related disease that destroys the lungs' air sacs and makes it difficult to breathe. Most people with emphysema are diagnosed in their 50s or 60s.

No cure exists for emphysema. A landmark national study recently determined, however, that lung-reduction surgery helps people with severe emphysema function better than those who undergo traditional rehabilitation.

"Removing the most diseased portion of the lung improves the efficiency of the rest of the lung," said Christopher Strzalka, M.D., a Hamot Medical Center cardiovascular-thoracic surgeon who removed a quarter of Powell's right lung in July to help him breathe easier.

"Of course, the patient needs to stop smoking or else the emphysema will worsen," Strzalka added.

Powell didn't realize he had emphysema until he was nearly killed in a car accident while driving home from work July 1. He fell asleep at the wheel, and his car tumbled over an embankment and struck a tree.

His right lung collapsed, and doctors had trouble reinflating it. Powell was transported by medical helicopter to Hamot, where scans revealed that his lungs were damaged by smoking, not the car accident.

"Small, dark gray bubbles had formed under the surface of both his lungs," Strzalka said. "Air could still go into his air sacs, but not enough oxygen is making it into his bloodstream. It's unusual to see this kind of lung disease in a 21-year-old."

Most 21-year-olds haven't been smoking for 14 years. Powell was just 7 when his sister offered him a Newport as they walked to the store.

Powell said the cigarette didn't make him feel lightheaded or nauseous. Four years later, he was smoking regularly.

"I was stealing my mom's Dorals," he said. "She never caught on, until someone followed me down under the garage. By that time I was smoking about half a pack a day."

By the time he turned 20, Powell was smoking up to three packs a day. He cut back in October 2002 but couldn't stop smoking altogether.

Strzalka told Powell after the scans that he had emphysema. The diagnosis shocked him.

"He said that my lungs were so black that it looks like I have worked in a coal mine for 20 years," Powell said. "How could this happen? I have a friend who has emphysema, and this person needs oxygen 24 hours a day."

No one in Powell's immediate family has emphysema, but Strzalka said it's not that uncommon for a young man or woman to develop what is typically viewed as an old person's disease.

"If you have the ability to put a camera inside the lungs of a 20- or 30-year-old person who has smoked since they were a kid, you would often find the beginnings of lung disease," Strzalka said. "It is unusual to see this advanced of a case, though."

Powell will fight the effects of emphysema for the rest of his life, including shortness of breath and an increased risk of chronic bronchitis and other lung-related illnesses.

He said he felt better shortly after the surgery.

"I was able to breathe easier and I was able to get off oxygen shortly after the operation," Powell said. "I'm breathing fine now. It's like a breath of fresh air."

The lung-reduction surgery is not without risks. People with particular emphysema-related complications are six times more likely to die from the surgery than from traditional treatments, and don't usually benefit from the surgery.

Powell did improve. If he quits smoking, Strzalka said, Powell could live a long, relatively healthy life.

"He could have a normal life span, if he stops smoking," Strzalka said. "If he continues to smoke, I believe that if he lives to be 50, he will be severely impaired."

Powell vowed he would try again to quit. He used the nicotine patch for a while, but he said it irritated his skin. Nicotine gum made him feel nauseous.

"I wished I had never picked up smoking in the first place," Powell said.
Last edited by John Gold on 29 Jul 2009, 16:08, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Aug 2004, 08:58 #19

Since I quit smoking, I attempted the Honolulu marathon--had to bow out at mile 17 because my knees were killing me. After that I completed an 8 mile running race and a 10.8 miler. On Sunday I ran a 15k. I'll be running the Honolulu marathon again this December and am optimistic about completing it.

When I was a smoker I could barely run a mile. Now I run 6 miles almost every day, and usually between 8 and 12 miles on the weekends.

My best friend used to run with me, but she has not been able to quit smoking and now she can only walk. She is 23, people. This is one of the saddest things I have heard of. I hate smoking. I hate what it takes away from people, and I hate how the addiction makes it easy for them to turn a blind eye until it is too late. I hate how too late can be as early as someone's twenties. Every time I catch myself thinking of having a cigarette (it almost never happens anymore, but I can't lie. Once in a while I do get the urge) all I have to do is remember what a terrible thief a cigarette is.

1 year 7 months nicotine free

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Oct 2004, 22:58 #20

Image Today is the Chicago Marathon. I have had some clinic graduates run marathons since quitting and I do think a few Freedom members have done so also. I figured if any of them are here they may want to chime in on this one.