Aging Awareness Day And The Life Of An Ironman Triathlete With An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Stent Graft

I’m aware of aging every day!

aging awareness day

Rory is a great cycling training partner.

Aging awareness day made me smile.

We face aging everyday.

Ironman saved my aging and keeps me going.

Thank goodness I’m back in training.

Wonderful 75th birthday party behind me.

US National Aging Awareness Day is on September 18th. Had no idea!

2017, a tough year, with two major surgeries and pneumonia. However! Once you’ve worked out what to do, DO IT! This thought reminds me of my great coach, Chris Hauth of AIMP, who lectured me one day, with this memorable statement, Kevin, this is training camp, not complaining camp!

aging awareness day

Image built from CT scan, showing my Cook Zenith Stent Graft, along with an installed extension into the external and internal (hypogastric) arteries, stabilizing the distal left arm in the common iliac artery. This was further strengthened with an additional inner stent at a kink point in the common iliac artery.

2018, getting back on track, which to this guy means signing up for a few of races: Four on the Fourth (July 4th, 2018 – took second place in my age group, 75-79), Maine Marathon (September 30th, 2018) and Cozumel Ironman (November 20th, 2018).

Exercise safety for those with aortic disease, or any disease for that matter, means understanding your situation, and solving problems accordingly. I recommend the OQS Method.

Examine the two adjacent images, which portray my current aortic challenges. The peripheral vascular challenge, claudication, is another matter, entirely.

Imagine you had this situation, and then consider how you might change the way you train. Clearly, intensity is a bad idea, as are bike wrecks, such as the one that displaced the left arm of Rupert, my AAA stent graft, in 2013.

Changes can be made, as part of the benefit-risk assessment process: minimal hip flexion, stand up on the bike on bumpy roads, don’t use the rowing machine for warmups in the gym, instead use the elliptical trainer, no low squats, avoid impacts to lower abdomen, low impact running style, no deep flip turns in the pool, focus on endurance rather than intensity – plus getting nutrition, hydration, and electrolytes dialed in for full Ironman distance.

This really is fun for this ol’ codger, you know!

aging awareness day

My situation. Just imagine the danger of flexing my leg (lifting my knee) too much, which is an issue on the bike. See final image to clarify any concerns about jiggling the internal iliac branch of the stent extension. This image made me feel better about cycling – why, do you think?

Completed the benefit risk analysis, including a brief discussion with the endovascular surgeon, about the challenges of cycling with my current stent-related risks (see images). I agree that you should minimize hip flexion on the bike, if I were you, Kevin, he said, looking at me as if I’m crazy.

Remember: No exercise is not safe exercise. Your body will slowly decay, and your aorta weaken.

Next trick: find suitable training partners, who wish to exercise at the same intensity and endurance levels. I’m lucky to have Rory as a friend, and cycling coach. He taught me how to deal with the pain of cycling, and painful it can be.

Did my first real training ride yesterday, 50-mile bike ride, 1-mile run, brick (one event straight after the other). Kicked my ass, and felt wonderful.

Damn, it feels great to back in training.

You have no idea!

Wishing you happy trails,

kev aka FitOldDog

PS Time to work my swims back to 5,000 yards, don’t you think?

PPS Oh Yes! Don’t forget to prepare for aging, before it’s too late.

aging awareness day


aging awareness day

Why does this image lead to less concern about jiggling my internal iliac (hypogastric) branch of the AAA stent graft ‘complex’ on the bike?


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.