C’Mon, Put It To Rest!

For years many have subscribed to the media’s hype about running and the incidence of heart attack causing them to avoid exploring this sport. Can you imagine giving up the trails for a media inflicted fear of someone having the big one?  I don’t know how many serious runners pay these things much attention: first they listen but quickly put things into perspective (here’s what the doctor says) and secondly, their love for running has become an addiction–you know, like booze to an alcoholic–and they would run even in inclement weather just because…they run.  That’s what they love doing.

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Now let’s try put a few more things into perspective.  Neglect your health, check into a hospital, and your chances for dying of a medication error is a ratio of 1 in 40,590. Get sick, check into an ICU, and your chances of dying of a hospital acquired infection (nosocomial infection) is 1 in 300 chance.   Get hyped up, sign up, and run a marathon, and your chances of having a heart attack is about 1.01 in 100,000.  And if you were chosen to run that marathon you were eager to run, the chances of your number being called from a divine entity above is…are you ready?  0.63 in 100,000 participants (less than 1 in 100,000)!  According to the New England Journal of medicine that is your chance of dying from “the big one” in a marathon.  Men have 5 times higher risk  of having one than women.

So what do you say to this Mr. Media?  My point is, these events area bit rare.  Not like the famous sentinel events you will find buried deep in the healthcare arena.  Please note that I don’t have a problem with the media.  I only have a problem when the hyper-inflate situations and things.  Also, I don’t have a problem problem with the healthcare system.  I work for hospitals and have lost loved ones in this institutions.  I’ve almost lost my mother a few years back because of medical negligence, but let me say, no good nurse or doctor or hospital personnel walk in the door with a plan to kill your bellowed Grandma.   We mean well even when we have to work through a gruesome 16.5 hour shift–neglecting to feed ourselves and use the bathroom–because of staffing shortage (at least this is what they tell us).  Truth is, we do the best we can on any given day.  So, if you are sick, please go to that hospital, clinic, or nursing home and get care for your illness.  Sure the system needs much work, but the alternative when you are critically sick may not be so good.  This is why we want you take care of yourself and do your best to stay clear, well, and the hell out of the disease-care setting!

Okay, like the Jamaicans say here in South Florida, “‘Nuff-a-dat (that’s enough).”  Let me tell you about my last run.  Last night I ran 14.51 miles on the beach with my Five Fingers Vibram shoes.  This time I started my run in Hallandale Beach, Florida.  The sun was threatening to set, and I felt good.  A modest number of folks were hanging out, and a few brave souls were swimming in that cold water.  As usual, I stretched and warmed up for about 5 minutes and said a quick prayer for protection from the Boogie Man.  I had planned to run a half-marathon (13.1 miles), but ended up running from Hallandale Beach through Hollywood Beach and to Dania beach, and headed back to Hallandale beach, completing  14.52 miles.

While running, I got a lot of smiles and well wishes along the way, as well as some crazy stares–probably due to the neon green long sleeve running shirt I was wearing which I am sure lit up the sky and the cosmos.  People in India could probably see me.  Those coastguard helicopters flying above my head and the boats coasting the sea could easily spot me, Mother, so don’t worry.  I felt very safe and I carried my cell phone with me.

Hallandale Beach, FL

Someone made a "Happy Birthday" heart wish for their mom

The weather was beautiful but the water felt a bit cool undermy feet.  Along the way I found many interesting sand art people drew in the sand, and folks fishing with fishing poles that had neon green tips which matched my shirt.  I saw families playing games; young and older lovers holding hands; a cruise ship going southwards; and planes  heading to Forth Lauderdale Airport.  Ahhh, I remember the feeling I normally get just before my plane lands on that airport.  My heart usually leaps (a PVC or two) with love, admiration, and joy.  I love South Florida!

The beach was a mystic scene and I was feeling ecstatic.  I felt blessed, alive, and was running with ease.  My NikePlus program on my Itouch alerted me to each mile I ran and the speed I was running.  I started off running something like 9:33 min/mile and ended up running 9:03min/mile.


Big pink Jellyfish

It was much darker when I completed 14.52 miles, but the lights were on in some of the condos on the beach which made the water at the seashore resemble a crystal ball.  I passed many pink jellyfishes trapped on shore, and by then the water felt warm under my feet and on my legs.  This was a great run.  I will keep pushing my boundaries as I need to be running a 18 mile run once a week  by next 3 week!

OYE!  Now that you are quite aware of the latest statistics mentioned above, please consult with your doctor to see if running is for you. No one wishes their number to be called while running.  I can think of a few activities I would rather be doing when “they call my name and number.”  If you are already an avid runner and are flying with the wind, you may tuck away those statistics in the pocket of an old shirt you no longer wear and keep enjoying your runs.  This part is beginning to sound like a church appeal, but if you have a story you would like to share, please feel free to submit it to ruth@runningnurse.com.


Horse head with beach components










Mr Turtle, after a 5 year old tried to kill him










Hollywood Beach



I dream...