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Saturday, March 04, 2017

March Athlete of the Month

March is BLOOD CLOT AWARENESS MONTH

Don't miss the opportunity to learn and be educated about blood clots - Your Risks + The Signs & Symptoms + Preventive Measures.

You can start learning at STOPTHECLOT.org

But learning about this silent killer can also be done by reading personal experiences from Clot Survivors.  There is a great deal of inspiration that we can all draw from when learning how others managed or are currently managing the struggles of being told the blood clot diagnosis...

You have to admire the determination and dedication of survivors in order to overcome the challenges.

One of those people currently managing this very issue of being a Survivor is an individual that has some serious running speed and can take the CLOT BUSTER Team #StopTheClot polka-dots flying any given day... It is hard to imagine knowing some of his background but DAVID PINSONNEAULT (@dcpinsonn) has a story to share from which all of us can learn something... The text below David was willing to share with us is from his very own blog... http://dcpinsonn.blogspot.com/ 

THANK YOU David for sharing!


"the doctor said I have blood clots...
It's been a while since I have written a post. 2016 was supposed to be my year. For the first 10 months, it was. Work was going great. I was adjusting well to my new Oregon home. I was logging some of the best miles of my young life.

I closed out 2015 with a 1:17:50 PR in the half marathon in late November. I trained all winter and ran the NYC half marathon two seconds faster (1:17:48) in March, 2016. The result was solid but a little disappointing. Workouts were indicating that I was closer to 1:15-16 shape. I then set my sights on the Eugene Marathon. For whatever reason, this race did not go well. I ran 2:59 but my 2:47 PR from fall, 2013 is much faster and I was in much better shape heading into Eugene. I accepted this race and figured I would get my chance in the fall. I trained hard all summer and ran PRs in the 1500 (4:27 = 4:47 mile or so) and the 10k 35:32. The 10k was a little weak and was run on a warm day on a hilly course. I then started to attack marathon training for the Twin Cities Marathon. Here is a little sampling of the training:

8/17- 3.5 @ 5:54, 2.5 @ 5:42, 1.5 @ 5:30
8/21- 18 w./ 12 @ 6:01 pace
8/28- 19 @ 6:31 average w./ a 4 mile push from 13-17 in 5:55, 6:02, 6:05, 5:57
9/3- 21- 2 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo @ 5:55 pace, 9 miles easy, 4 mile tempo @ 6:05 pace, 2 mile cooldown
9/7- 4,3,2,1 x mile(s)- 4 miles 23:39- 5:56, 5:57, 5:55, 5:51 (4:00 rest), 3 miles 17:28- 5:48, 5:52, 5:47 (3:00 rest), 2 miles 11:29- 5:44, 5:45 (2:00 rest), 1 mile 5:36
9/11- 24 @ 6:44 average w./ a 4 mile push from 17-21 in 5:53, 5:57, 5:53, 5:45
9/18- 18.5 total miles w./ Albany Half Marathon as a marathon simulator run in 1:18:52 (6:01 pace)- rainy/muggy day, 1st AG
9/28- 4 x 3200m- 11:25- 5:44, 5:41 (2:11), 11:24- 5:44, 5:40 (2:10), 11:23- 5:45, 5:38 (2:09), 11:06- 5:39, 5:27

In short, I was in the best shape of my life and was ready to run under-2:40. I flew to Minneapolis and crashed with a good friend. On Saturday morning, the day before the race, I woke up with my calf cramping. This was not good but I had worked too hard to let something like this stop me from competing. On Sunday morning, it was cold (low-30s) but I like that for running. I had to, however, wait for a decently long time before starting my warmup. It could be that my body never got fully warmed up and that the lingering calf cramp played a role but the 6:00-flat pace I ran for 13.1 on tired legs 3 weeks ago felt much too fast. By 10k into the race, my legs felt like they were cramping. I tried to settle in with a group hitting 6:10/mile but I fell off it a little after 11 miles and went through the half in 1:22-mid. I was perplexed. I'm not a quitter so I just kept going even though my body was protesting with another half to go. At 22ish, my right calf cramped so bad I had to stop and walk for about 10:00. I started running once I could and crossed the line in 3:00:23. I didn't even break 3 when 6:00 pace was feeling pretty comfortable in training.

In the couple weeks after the race (which was on 10/9), I started to log some miles, determined to get in a good marathon in 2016. I signed up for the California International Marathon. It is always the first weekend in December and is a point to point, net downhill course. The drop a couple hundred feet so it is not as downhill as other courses can be. It still counts, for example, for US Olympic Marathon Qualifying. I got back into workouts and hit a particularly good long run (10/30 22.3 total miles 2:26:55 (6:35 pace overall): 5 x (2 miles easy, 2 miles @ MP)- 14:31/12:09- 6:09, 6:00, 14:10/12:00- 5:58, 6:02, 13:53/11:55- 5:58, 5:57, 14:07/11:57- 5:59, 5:58, 14:05/12:01- 6:02, 5:59, 2.3 mile cooldown 16:05 (10 miles easy 1:10:45 (7:04 pace), 10 miles @ MP 1:00:02 (6:00 pace), 2.3 mile cooldown 16:05)) but my legs were cramping during the whole thing which was very weird and made things significantly tougher. What was going on?

The next night I woke up in the middle of the night to some pretty intense chest pain/pain in my lung. I went for my run that morning and to work. There was pain when I took a deep breath during the day. I woke up again in the night for the second time. I repeated the process and went for a run and to work. I then woke up for the third straight night and was sensing something was wrong. I did a workout on 11/2- 3 x 4 miles in 24:35, 23:57, 23:39- and then went to the hospital. The doctors did not seem overly concerned. My vitals looked normal. They were just going to do a CT Scan of my lung/chest just to make sure that everything looked good. A new doctor came into the room after the scan and told me that I would be staying the night. I had a blood clot in my right lung.

I don't think I was able to process this news in the moment. I'm 24. My health has always been good. I had never taken any sort of medication. My routine for the last 6 years had been to go for a morning run and then take on the day. I was given a series of shots and told that I was to be on blood thinners for the next six months but possibly longer. I was told not to run and to take things easy. I was told that I would not be running a marathon next month. 

I started to run again after taking two weeks off. My PCP said a few miles a day would be fine. I was starting to feel more like myself after the first month since finding the clot. The doctor had told me that I had to be careful because the clot could, at any time, detach and move to my heart or brain which could cause some serious medical problems (heart attack, stroke, etc.). The day before Thanksgiving, I was picking up a pie at a local bakery and everything went from being good to not so good in a matter of seconds. I felt dizzy, my heart started to race, my body was shaking. I did not feel in control. My partner was with me and she immediately drove me to the ER. After being there for 6 hours or so, everything was just fine. Things were better than fine. All of the blood testing was normal and we did another scan to see if the clot was getting bigger but the clot had actually fully dissolved. The problem was that I just did not feel well. I stopped running for a month and went back to the hospital once more feeling the same way. I checked out again. It was starting to sink in that I was having panic attacks. I was feeling anxious 24/7. I was not running. It was difficult to work.

When the calendar year switched to 2017, I was relieved to leave 2016 behind. I started 2016 feeling like anything was possible and closed out the year scared to live my life. Over the last few weeks I have got back to running. Work has gotten much better. The anxiety is still there and that is the biggest thing holding me back right now. I am fearful of developing another clot. I am fearful that if I feel a twinge in my chest that the worst is about to happen. There are days where I am unsure if I will ever be happy again, days where I forgot what happiness feels like. Anxiety/depression are often stigmatized and they are hard to understand if one has never experienced them before. It takes an incredible amount of patience to help someone through this and I am beyond grateful to people in my support system who have been helping me. I do not know what the future holds but I am determined to keep fighting. I am going to run a spring half marathon. I signed up for the 2017 NYC Marathon and will raise money for Team Stop the Clot. The race will be almost exactly one year after my diagnosis. Right now, things are still very difficult. I go through good days and bad days. But I'm not done.

I am a survivor. I will keep moving forward.

(shout-out to the entire blood clot community that I have connected with online- the support/love I feel from this group has been huge over the last several weeks)"

David without a question the GOOD DAYS will outnumber and crush those bad days you mentioned in your piece.  You will overcome this challenge and enjoy the NYC Marathon from start to finish... with that speed you have worked so hard to obtain. Perhaps over the summer you can share some "Speed Tricks and Tips" that I could use so that I can become one of the faster runners in my household... right now as it stands I have some significant work to do...

The CLOT BUSTER Team #StopTheClot polka-dots will be speeding away with you not only in 2017 but for a long time in the future.

Thank Your for reading,

The Clot Buster

MARCH is BLOOD CLOT AWARENESS MONTH

#STOPTHECLOT

STOPTHECLOT.org


Friday, February 03, 2017

February Athlete of the Month

Come on winter!

Time for you to go.

Can't help it but without having snow to play in I really do not like the cold... I can deal with it when the sun is out and I can be teased that wearing my sun glasses somehow makes me feel warmer inside...

However, now that we know that we will have 6 additional weeks of winter I just have to accept the harsh reality and continue to sip my hot chocolate to achieve that coveted warmth inside...

Now, I can also reach that same warmth inside by reading blood clot survivor stories.  It is hard and uplifting at the same time to read about the surprise/shock, struggle, and eventual recovery that blood clot survivors can make after a clotting incident.

Of course every story is different and unique to each individual.

Our bodies will dictate the actual pace of the recovery and there is nothing we can do about that other being patient.  From my experience talking to blood clot survivors with many diverse backgrounds the "being patient" component is the most difficult to master as you listen to your body...

How do you explain to a teenage athlete to be patient...?

Well, personally I don't have the answer but I know someone who share her story about her clotting incident with STOPTHECLOT.org so you can find out from the source how to overcome the "being patient" component of the survival equation...

Please read on for JENNY's STORY...


I hope that you are able to get the same "warmth inside" as I did by reading this personal account.

No doubt that Jenny will not be going through the worst time of her life again and she will overcome this hurdle of the second knee surgery without any complications.  Their past experience gives her and her medical team the arsenal of knowledge they need to be successful.

Here is wishing Jenny the BEST OF LUCK on her recovery.  Looking forward to hear what else she will be able to accomplish!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, January 06, 2017

January Athlete of the Month

For 2017 I get to open up my series of blog posts with an athlete story that I am driven to share because it brings home the very reason as to why NBCA (www.STOPTHECLOT.org), myself, and many others do what we do.

In early December I saw in social media a post that I could not believe...

Through my readings of triathlon news I've heard of CRAIG PERCIVAL's and his accomplishments as a triathlete.  One of those had to do with being the first person to complete 8 Ironman-distance events in 8 consecutive days, in the 8 states and territories of Australia, which he achieved!!! 

During this monumental challenge he was able to raise over $80,000 for the John Maclean Foundation, a foundation that helps kids in wheelchairs achieve their dreams.  This is truly a testament as to the character of Mr. Percival. Nothing other than dedication, care, and support of everyone around him.

Unfortunately very tragically and suddenly Craig Percival was taken away from his family.  


"Craig passed away on December 4th 2016, following post surgery complications after undergoing knee surgery a few weeks earlier.  A clot passed through to his lung causing respitory issues, triggering a severe heart attack, starving the brain of oxygen.  7 days after the heart attack, Craig's life support was switched off and his organs donated to recipients."

I am not sure about you but this hit me like a ton of bricks would.

I was simply stunned.

Devastated that a World Class Athlete with a World Class Heart was taken away because of a blood clot...

It is hard to believe that a preventable blood clot caused this tragedy.

Even harder to believe is that Mr. Percival is just one of hundreds if not thousands with a similar faith that can in fact be prevented if the appropriate precautions are taken.  

So it is fitting that on this first blog post of 2017 we celebrate the life of Mr. Craig Percival and re-focus on our mission to spread awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders because that awareness can save lives.

As a result of this tragedy Mr. Percival's family is in need of some help... If you have it in you please consider donating via the following link...


Every little bit can and will help!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 60th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 60th Triathlon Finish !!!
First Time ever My Son got to cross the finish line with me. Without a doubt a Wonderful Experience