So I Can't Run Marathons

Joel
Joel

7:28 PM - Jun 04, 2001 #1

I used to have another string of this one running but today while trying to bring it up I inadvertently deleted the whole thing. Christiana and a few other people had some pretty good points there and I apologize for the loss. The board is still pretty finicky here and a little tricky to navigate.

Anyway, it is getting to be summer time now, although the weather here in Chicago isn't necessarily expressing it. I do hope that some of you around the world are having good climate conditions conducive to outdoor vigorous and fun activities. Always remember how cigarettes may have restricted past activities and if left unchecked, how they could have taken away so many others and eventually your ability to do anything strenuous, and even non-strenuous activities over time. To keep your ability to be able to experience life, not just witness it from the sidelines, always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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cathym GREEN
cathym GREEN

10:28 PM - Jun 04, 2001 #2

Thanks Joel
LOL......when you first posted this, I thought it was going to be something like..........Maybe I can't run a marathon, but at least I can run
And that's what I have been doing lately (after 6 mo of not running) I have begun again........and the first time out, I was amazed at how far I could go without feeling winded.........it gets better each time, and finally I am not so sore today, as I was the first time I ran
I have always been a runner, but have never known how effortless it seems now, that I have wind!!! I love it even more and when the endorphins kick in, it's even more noticeable....
So I am breathing deep and feeling the Freedom!!!
Thanks
CAthy
PS--CANT GET ANY EMOTICONS TO COME UP!!!!!!!!
One month, four days, 9 hours, 25 minutes and 17 seconds. 687 cigarettes not smoked, saving $103.18. Life saved: 2 days, 9 hours, 15 minutes.
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Joel
Joel

6:17 AM - Jul 19, 2001 #3

In honor of Fat Tony's first marathon. Keep it up and we will soon just be calling you "Tony." Congratulations.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

6:18 AM - Jul 19, 2001 #4

I meant Tony's first 5K Run. Pretty impressive for a new runner.
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Hal Gold
Hal Gold

6:37 AM - Jul 19, 2001 #5

Joel, this thread described me to a T. As you know I live at beautiful Lake Tahoe which is at 6400 feet.
I am almost 70 and live 1000 feet higher at 7400 feet in a three story house.
I knew I has the start of emphysema, and the Doctor confirmed it.
If I brought groceries from the first to the second floor I had to sit down for a few moments to catch my breath.
After finishing two or three trips, it was the perfect time to lite up and relax.
It was a few nights later on November 28, 2000 I had a coughing fit where I couldn't breathe.
That was the night I quit cold turkey, and I have never looked back.
I found Freedom 20 days later, almost Xmas time.
I knew if I didn't quit, I would not be here much longer.
Thanks to Freedom's education, motivation and support I am now smoke free, able to go up and down the stairs, and even cut the grass and garden which was previously impossible. I am
HAL @Seven months, two weeks, six days, 3 hours, 41 minutes and 14 seconds. 9286 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,160.56. Life saved: 4 weeks, 4 days, 5 hours, 50 minutes.
Last edited by Hal Gold on 4:02 PM - Jul 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

6:15 AM - Jan 13, 2002 #6

From: Joel. Sent: 8/9/2000 8:18 AM
Again, one of the benefits is all the things you will once again be capable of working toward. Not smoking doesn't mean you can automatically run, cycle, or do some other fun activities further or faster, just that you have the ability to train for it. As a smoker, cigarettes robbed you of that training effect to some degree and for some people, totally wiped them out or even made certain activities dangerous. Life can become fuller in many ways if you decide to pursue other options.

But be careful in the beginning. It wouldn't hurt to get checked out by your doctor, let him know you have quit and make sure everything looks OK from his or her perspective before incorporating any new major exercise activities. You have been assualting your body for many years and you just want to be careful that things are intact to train. But once you get the OK, the sky may be the limited. Odds are you will see your legs will be your limiting factor early on, before it was probably your lungs and heart that lost their steam.

Joel

From: Joel.                            Sent: 1/9/2001 7:00 AM

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I saw in an earlier post of how one person is taking up running again after eight years. I thought this article would hit home with the person. It is amazing the things that people give up to sustain smoking. Basically, people give up breathing in order to sustain long term smoking even if they don't recognize that is what they are doing.



Exercise is something that is not an easy option for many people while they are smokers. Ex-smokers often have an exercise option opened up to them, but they also have an option not to exercise too. Ex-smokers may develop the ability to train to become an olympic class athlete or work real hard at becoming a total couch potato that doesn't have the interest to stay awake long enough to watch an olympic competition. It is just as an ex-smoker your body is more able to accommodate a more active and vigorous lifestyle if you choose.



But be careful of feeling you have to exercise not to smoke. Your ability to exercise is a bonus of quitting, not a tool for it. Check out the article on Crutches to Quit Smoking to further address this issue.

Last edited by Joel on 8:21 PM - Jan 27, 2010, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

9:21 PM - Feb 15, 2002 #7

I thought this would be good for people watching the Olympics. While they are not doing marathons being winter events and all, the same concepts still apply. Being able to do extraordinary feats is wonderful and exciting to watch--but being able to do life sustaining activities like breathing is important to us all. It is important to remember that to be able to carry on such essential abilities longer requires always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

7:41 AM - Feb 19, 2002 #8

It's funny that this should appear near the top of the board when I walk in. I was JUST thinking about this one during the last few minutes of my beach walk. I was thinking, "MAN, I've got some serious energy today! I was walking the soft sand, instead of the hard-stuff near the surf line. I was jogging up slopes. My legs felt powerful. I was thinking, maybe that dream I used to have of running a marathon someday isn't out of the realm. Now it's a long way off, and a lot of pounds to shed between now and then, if it ever happens, but it's not completely nuts. At least I've given myself a chance.

3 months ago, the same walk was getting slowly less and less enjoyable. I'd usually be jonsing for a cigarette somewhere in the middle of it, so I wouldn't really be enjoying the surf, sea-life, or the exercise. I'd be more out of breath, and struggling to keep up with my wife, grumpy that she was outstripping me. And I knew it was getting worse (slowly).

Today, she was working to keep up with me. We did twice the distance, and I felt stronger when we got back than I did when we left. And that was when I remembered this thread. Lo and behold, here it was when I got back.

The marathon's a long way off, but not smoking has made it a bit more of a possible dream. AND it's made so many lesser things so much more doable.

Cheers,

Bob
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knowbutts Gold
knowbutts Gold

1:04 AM - Mar 24, 2002 #9

Go for it OBob!
I too am enjoying exercise again. In one month I will be running my first 5K race. I look forward to coming in last and being proud of it! It will be the furthest I've run since Basic Training 25 years ago.
A marathon? maybe when I'm 50.

Cheers,
Knowbutts
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Joel
Joel

7:22 PM - Jun 17, 2002 #10

It is summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere, I hope our members are getting out and testing out your new and improved bodies. Just know you will always be able to do more in the way of physical activity without cigarettes than you would be able to do if you were still smoking them. Just about the only physical activity you may find yourself not doing since quitting is leaving your house in the middle of the night and "running" to the store because you ran out of cigarettes. Other than this you will hopefully look a little more forward to activity, being more motivated and physically capable of improving your fitness by always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

9:12 PM - Jun 30, 2002 #11

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!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

8:00 AM - Jul 11, 2002 #12

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.
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John Gold
John Gold

8:32 PM - Sep 05, 2002 #13

Last edited by John Gold on 4:05 PM - Jul 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

12:01 PM - Feb 24, 2003 #14

For a clinic graduate looking likely looking in.
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phiwho40 GOLD
phiwho40 GOLD

5:41 PM - Feb 25, 2003 #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!
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Joel
Joel

9:44 PM - Oct 14, 2003 #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,

Karl
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Joel
Joel

7:49 AM - Nov 06, 2003 #17

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

8:30 PM - Nov 24, 2003 #18

Young smoker gets 2nd chance

Erie Times-News (Penn. USA)
By David Bruce - [url=mailto:david.bruce@timesnews.com]david.bruce@timesnews.com[/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 4:08 PM - Jul 29, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

8:58 AM - Aug 18, 2004 #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.

Alex
1 year 7 months nicotine free
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Joel
Joel

10:58 PM - Oct 10, 2004 #20

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.
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John Gold
John Gold

10:14 AM - Dec 14, 2004 #21

From: LordlyCrayon (Original Message) Sent: 12/13/2004 4:55 PM
It's true. Yesterday I finished my first marathon in 5 hours and fifteen minutes. I was a pack a day smoker for five years and quit exactly one year and ten months ago.

You could not pay me enough to take even one puff of one cigarette today. The sense of accomplishment I felt as I crossed the finish line was huge. My thoughts were many as I ran the last few miles, but very prevalent in my mind was how lucky I am that I stumbled on this website all those months ago, desperately trying to quit in order to save money.

Did you know I could hardly sleep some nights as a smoker because I had such a hard time breathing? I wanted to be an athlete but every time I would try to run I had to stop to catch my breath. I could never run more than two miles at a time as a smoker.

I breath easy, now. Hold on to those quits, people. The dividends it pays are huge.


Oh yeah, I'm Alex, also known as justme, and I have been nicotine free for 1 year and ten months
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GoldenDivamom1972
GoldenDivamom1972

10:51 PM - May 01, 2005 #22

It's interesting that this comes up today.

See, yesterday I did my first 5K. Today, I'm hurting, but triumphant. There's no way I would have even tried to do this as an active nicotine addict.

I ran most of it, did my first mile in under 10 minutes. I finished the thing in 39 minutes and change. And guess what, I didn't even come in last in my age group! Go me!!

There are more running events going on in my area this summer, some of which my company will pay the entry fee. I'm kind of excited now. It makes me want to really get out there and run instead of walk! Maybe not today though...today is *definitely* a rest day.

Blessings, and cool runnings,
Amy--Bronze!!
118 days
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CarolJJ3
CarolJJ3

12:01 AM - May 02, 2005 #23

Oh, Amy! I'm so proud of ya! Go YOU! ...for sure.

You've inspired me! Everybody on Freedom has inspired me. I won't be running marathons any time soom (I'm sixty, smoked for 47 years, have been quit for 19 days and 15 hours), but as soon as I catch this pooch I'm gonna take her for a slow stroll around the block. Baby steps, right? The dog is hiding from me cuz when she sees me with the lead she thinks "VET".

Carol
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GoldenDivamom1972
GoldenDivamom1972

1:23 AM - Jun 08, 2005 #24

Can't help but use this thread to brag just a little bit.

I took up running about six weeks ago, just after a local 5K run. I finished, but boy, was I hurting afterward!

Well, just like with nicotine cessation, progress comes with practice. Yesterday I went to a local state park and ran on that trail. I totalled 10 miles, 8 of it running. That's the furthest I have run in I-don't-know-when. The only reason I didn't run the last two miles was because my legs quit. My lungs were perfectly capable of continuing, but the legs just weren't up to the task...*this* time.

Now, as I prepare for my next 5K event, I feel even more blessed that I took the NTAP challenge. Every day I NTAP means another chance to break personal records.

Blessings,
Amy--Bronze+Double Green
155 days
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mslindy6
mslindy6

12:48 AM - Jun 09, 2005 #25

Amy
Brag away, I know how great it feels to do something you never thought possible
You did an awesome thing! Congratulations girl! That is so great.

I too am bragging away to all my friends about my trek to Yosemite - I even out trekked some never smokers - I wrote the details in my diary link here The first post - finally message #51

I feel that what ever the accomplisment - conquering a flight of stairs, getting out of a lazy boy chair and walking to the kitchen or running the 5k or trekking 12 miles it is all good and all part of us getting free from nicotine forever - the more accomplishments we can see that are directly smoking related the more we can see the value of NTAP and when and if a trigger comes we can shoot it down with so much ammunition!

I have been quit for 3 Months, 6 Days, 10 hours and 46 minutes (98 days). I have saved $787.58 by not smoking 1,968 cigarettes. I have saved 6 Days and 20 hours of my life.
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