On the path to healthy

Randy Middaugh, Patient

I was a fast food junky for 20+ years and clogged 5 arteries. On May 4, 2004, at the age of 40, Dr. Halpin performed an emergency quadruple bypass at Bronson Hospital, and a week later Dr. Wunderly placed 3 stents in the fifth artery.I was told that if I had waited one more day that I probably would not have made it and I decided that I needed to become healthy and enjoy the second chance that God had given me. While spending a week in Bronson’s cardiac unit I had a chance to reflect on where my life was headed. This led me to the conclusion that I needed to eat healthy and exercise. After talking to the dietician at Bronson Hospital I was able to start my journey to healthier eating. In November of 2004, I took up running with the help from Steve and Ted at Bronson’s Cardiac rehab located at Bronson’s atheletic club. I ran my first 5k race 1 year and 10 days after my open heart surgery. Since that time I have run fifty-nine 5k races, two 10ks, one trail half marathon (North Country Trail Run in Manistee) , and 5 road half marathons. At this time I belong to Kalamazoo Are Runners (& Epic Crew) and I am training to do the Kalamazoo Full Marathon on May 6th 2012.

I was a runner in middle school as well as in 9th and 10th grade. In high school I was a quarter miler, but then I gave up running for a few years. I started running again at age 23, but then life got in the way. My motivation now is my health, family, and my running family. Between KAR and Epic Crew I have a lot of new family members. The support they give me both in training and during the races is awesome.

My best running memory to date would be the North Country Trail Run with all the Epic Crew members that were there for my first half marathon. # 2 would be running 2 half marathons back to back. I ran 1 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday in November this year(2011). I enjoy playing music while running, whether it’s a race or just a training run. I set goals and pick them off one at a time. This year I have reached a few goals, such as my first 10k and 5k race in the same day (Kalamazoo Klassic). I ran the 5k with my wife as it was her first 5k race. I also ran my first 22 minute 5k this year Averaging 7:15 miles, as well as my first trail and road half marathon. I also reached the goal of 2 half marathons in 1 weekend. After that I have set my sights on the Kalamazoo full Marathon after saying I would never run a full marathon. I would have to say the half marathons are the most fun distance for me.

If I was to give any advice for staying healthy I would say start with your diet and start exercising. Find someone to exercise with as this makes it alot easier. Then enjoy what God has put in front of you. Exercising for me is by far the best stress reliever I have found. If you get the chance to check out Bronsons cardiac rehab I would highly recommend it.