New Year, Old Pharmacist

January 5, 2015

Those of you who have been reading my column for a while know that I've been pitching a running comeback with a subsequent return to physical fitness for the past few years.

Those of you who have been reading my column for a while know that I've been pitching a running comeback with a subsequent return to physical fitness for the past few years. I'm sure you are sick of hearing it, much like I’m sick of reading a running magazine that uses a "New Year, New You" cover every year.

Since the Steamtown Marathon, I’ve only run about 8 miles. In my opinion as a clinician and a patient, 2 factors have contributed to my decline and subsequent cessation of running. The first is actually qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon. For a runner of my former caliber, running Boston was my Mount Everest. Once you summit Everest, what else is there? Had I lost another 40 pounds, I could have become fast enough for the Olympics, but I'd never be able to hold a weight that low.

Second, my burning desire to train to run 26.2 miles while punishing the people around me into submission, and then moving on to do it to the next group, disappeared on February 4, 2008, when the ziprasidone kicked in. When that happened, I felt like I never wanted to run again. When I did run, I was slow and didn't want to run far. The part of my brain that once said "further, faster, stronger" had been completely unplugged, and I still miss it terribly.

However, that desire comes with a Louis Vuitton set of baggage that would have rendered me broke, friendless, and divorced. In order to get that back, I'd have to stop taking my meds. If I miss a dose of my medication, I am insufferable. I can't deal with myself, never mind subjecting myself to someone else.

When I went into holiday mode starting on Thanksgiving, whatever motivation and restraint I had completely disappeared. I'm 10 pounds lighter than I was at this time last year, but I still look a lot jollier than I'd personally desire.

I know my muscle memory is there. It helped me cruise through a half marathon and survive a full one without training for either. This year, I'm more serious, as I asked for a GPS running watch and top-level running shoes for Christmas. Now, there is too much money invested in them to collect dust.

Heart disease is in the family cards, and a lot of it could have been prevented through lifestyle changes. An ideal weight and strong heart could keep me off the surgeon's table. I think I just found my motivation.

Jay Sochoka, RPh, was born to run.