Posted by: runsinthefamily | December 19, 2010

My Dad

My Mom and Dad, May 1990, with age group trophies


It has been a busy and eventful month in our household.  Christmas shopping, work, school, and of course running.  I decided early in December to register for the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach in March, and started gradually upping my mileage.  A snowstorm last week chased me indoors to the treadmill, but with my trusty ( until it gets too sweaty at least!) ipod the treadmill really hasn’t been too bad.

Then, this past Wednesday, on his 83rd birthday, my Dad had a stroke.

We are very lucky.  His guardian angel was watching over him for sure.  It happened right after dinner, my mom was sitting with him and noticed a funny look on his face, then he wouldn’t answer her.  My brother and his girlfriend are staying with them for  a while, and she called my brother to come over and help.  They immediately called 911, and he was quickly taken to the hospital.  Because they reacted so quickly, the doctors were able to give my Dad tPA, a clot-busting drug, which has to be given in the first 3 hours after a stroke.  According to the doctors, his body had already started to break up the clot in the left side of his brain, and little bits scattered to different parts of his brain, with his right side and speech being most affected.   He has been in the hospital since that night, and is doing a little bit better every day – he can now walk almost normally, and his speech and the ability to “find” words, which was dramatically affected, is  getting better too.

My dad is the person who started our family running.  When I was about 3 years old,   Kenneth Cooper’s book Aerobics was published, and my parents both read it.  My dad and a friend decided to try running to get in shape, and my dad discovered he could run faster, easier, and longer than his friend.  He kept it up as we moved to Northeast Ohio, and met other runners who were running local races.  I will always remember watching him run his first marathon, in borrowed shoes that didn’t fit quite right and left him with black toenails and bloody blisters!   I also remember watching the other races that day, a 10k and a half marathon, and it seemed everyone who crossed the finish line promptly threw up.  I was only about 9 or 10, had already run my first race, and told my mom I would never run a 10k, it must be really far if it made everyone get sick!!  As my younger brother got a little older, my mom started running, and then my brother did too.  A main activity for our family was going to races on the weekends.  In that time before treadmills existed, our family joined the local health club with an indoor track for the winter and my brother and I would play, run, play, while my parents trained for marathons on a 20 lap to the mile indoor track.  My dad at age 50 ran a 3:13 marathon to qualify for Boston, and was undefeated in local races for a whole year.  He still ran quite frequently until a year or so ago, and he still gets on the treadmill to run now,  just not as often as he used to.

I’m really hoping he will be able to get back on that treadmill in the future.  I love you Dad.

Dad finishing the Jim Fixx Memorial 5 miler, May 1990



  1. Sending lots and lots of prayers your way Connie. I hope your dad is back on his feet very soon. I am also very glad that his guardian angel was there to catch him!

  2. Just read your comments on my blog and wanted to check in on you. I’m sorry you are dealing w/ this. I hope by now you guys have seen some improvement. I know those first few days can be completely gut-wretching. Not sure what to say, but just to tell you that you aren’t alone. I’ll send some prayers your way, if that means anything. (((HUGS))))

    • Thanks Rebecca & Jodi – he is doing a little better every day. He is at a rehab center now, and the therapists are saying maybe for 2 weeks, depending on how he does. He is walking fairly well, a bit unsteady, but without a walker. His speech is pretty good, although he loses his train of thought part way through his answers – but it is improving every day. Prayers help so much – thank you!

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