Well, here I go again. My name is Jeff Hardisty and you may have read one or some of the articles I've submitted to BT under the "It Takes Heart" title. To encapsulate that series I'll simply say that while training for the 2005 Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington marathons, I had to have immediate open heart surgery. That was in April of 2005.
Open heart surgery
By August of '05 I had graduated from the Oregon Heart Center's cardio rehab program with a chip on my shoulder. It wasn't that I had to have surgery—well, yes it was that—but heart disease took my father from my when I was six, and when it tried to claim my life too, it became personal. I trained with a vengeance and on November 27, 2005, I ran the Seattle Marathon and beat my previous time by 31 minutes. This was seven months and two days after open heart surgery. I felt at the time that I was running for others as well as myself, but I didn't know who. I do now.
Spreading the word
After the marathon I became a volunteer in the Pulmonary Care Unit of my local hospital, and would spend time visiting patients fresh from heart surgery. To say that my running the marathon so soon after surgery inspired them would be an understatement. You see, when you've been split open and wired back together, you kind of wonder if you'll still be able to lead a productive life once things heal. I've made it my life's mission to tell and show heart patients that it’s possible. So after the marathon I looked for other ways to challenge myself and inspire others, and entered the world of triathlons.
Pushing the envelope
That's where this story comes in. In 2005 I competed in four sprints and one half Ironman. I loved every minute of them, even when I was fighting for my life amid hundreds of thrashing swimmers. And so, wanting to push the envelope a little farther, I registered for the 2007 Coeur d'Alene Ironman to be held this coming June 24th. It's one of the ultimate tests of physical endurance and willpower, and I've always wanted to do one. As they say, "If it was easy, everyone would be an Ironman." It's a very unique category to be in, and I hope to do honor to the title "Ironman."
My plan is to use all the resources available to me through the BT website to train and prepare for this event, and I will post articles along the way on how I'm progressing. Starting Monday, Feb. 5th, I'll be following the 20 week Full IM training plan available in the BT training plan page to prepare myself physically and mentally. This is such a great site, and I've found answers to all my questions just by exploring the various articles available and reading the blogs of others. You can find tri plans, core exercises, excellent nutritional information, and inspiration from others all from this one site! If you're new, or haven't taken the time to go exploring, I strongly encourage you to do so. You can also read my daily training log.
My next article will be a recap of the first month of training and nutrition and everything I've learned up to that point. I know that some of you are signed up for IMCDA, and I've been in contact with you or tried to, and I want to wish you all good luck in your training. For those of you doing other IM's or even you first year sprinters, I wish you all well too.
See you at the starting line!
I love my family, football, tri training and racing, seeing heart patients smile when I share my story with them . . .