Heart Care to Marathon Chapter 1In June 2017 I was most definitely a coach potato. My life style was work at a desk for 9 hours a day, commute in the car for 2 hours a day, snack on rubbish throughout the day, come home and eat a big meal, drink wine (too much), watch TV and go to bed.I was 60 but not clever enough to realise what this life style was leading to.It would be great to claim that I made that life changing decision to change my life but actually it was more by chance. I had been raising money for Acorns Children’s Trust doing things like abseiling and fire walking and it was Acorns who asked me if I would run the London Marathon for them in 2018, I said of course without thinking about it.I set out on my first walk and struggled to manage one mile, I needed help. With a friend’s help I set out to do couch to 5k by going to Parkrun in the Walsall Arboretum and I joined Aldridge Running Club.In October I completed the Birmingham half marathon and between July 2018 and April 2019 I ran over 1,000 miles in all weathers.In April 2018 I completed the London Marathon in 6 hours 16 minutes.I hadn’t become a super athlete running fast times, I was a slow runner quick walker but I was out there doing it. After London I competed in numerous 10k races and ran the Great North Half Marathon and the Birmingham Half.At 62 I was in the best place, both physically and mentally that I had been in for decades.Chapter 2After the Birmingham Half which had been running for two and a half hours in constant pouring rain I began to struggle for breath and over the next few weeks it got progressively worse but I put it down to a chest infection. It got that bad that I could hardly walk up the stairs and when my chest began to feel tight and I had pins and needles down my left arm, it was my wife who insisted that I went to the doctors. I continued to get worse and it was actually in the doctors surgery that the doctor told me that I was having a heart attack and I was rushed to hospital. I burst into tears, my life was about to end and I wouldn’t see my wife and 3 daughters again.Chapter 3I survived but after many tests and scans I was told that the state of my arteries wasn’t good and I would require surgery.Quite a few people remarked that it was the running that had caused it, but it wasn’t it was the years of my unhealthy couch lifestyle, 2 cardiologists actually told me that the 18 months of running had probably saved my life.In February 2019 I was admitted to hospital and had two stents fitted.Chapter 42019 was a bad year, more mentally than physically because I thought that although I was alive my life had ended because I couldn’t run anymore.I started going to Heart Care (Walsall) who started me on a rehabilitation course and I started back at Parkrun but mainly as a volunteer just to be involved in the running community. Gradually I started to improve.Chapter 5In a fit of stupidity I had entered the ballot for London 2020 but no one gets in through the ballot do they.Guess what I did and in January 2019 I started a 17 week training plan to complete the 40th anniversary London Marathon.Heart Care (Walsall) are helping me on this path with cross training and monitoring of my heart but in week 2 I have managed over 20 miles with a longest run of 6.1 miles. I can only walk as I have to constantly monitor my heart rate, my time will be slow but I truly hope to finish. Kevin hosted a Curry Night for Heart Care and helped to raise money!