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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Debating...

There are some thoughts going through my head at the moment and I know that for some of you out there is also a debate going on about helping NATT or not through my Triathlon Mileage fundraising.

All you need to do is determine if you would like to donate a nickel ($0.05), dime ($0.10), or a quarter ($0.25) for each of the 300 Miles I ended up racing this summer. It could not be simpler. Just go ahead and write your check out to "NATT" and let me know so that I can send you my mailing address.

There is always something going within the blood clotting community. This past week I learned that someone I know through this Clot Buster effort, who suffered a clot less than a year ago and was successfully treated, will be comepeting in the World Triathlon Championships in Hamburg, Germany! Can you believe that! JOAN PERRY from North Carolina the Clot Buster is rooting for you all the way. She even has a Clot Buster jersey that she will be taking for a spin in Hamburg she promised. As soon as I get some fotos of the polka-dot jersey in Europe I will let you know!!! GO JOAN PERRY!!! Make us proud!

Well, back to my debating... there is one more triathlon that I can do on September 15th in Akron. At this moment I am 60% sure that I want to do it but the training is not coming as easy as I would think. I really enjoy racing, no question about it but at this moment I know that I completed my goal of 300 Miles for the season so the motivation is fading a bit... I will think about it some more and make a decision for sure after the holiday weekend. People in Akron get ready because I may be coming and I am bringing the polka-dots with me...

So, if you have something to say that can guide me towards the right decision please feel free to drop me a line.

Well, I've had some marathon posts lately so I want to keep this one short.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Saturday, August 25, 2007

IN TRANSITION…


WAY TOO LONG!!!

Sad but true. My Great Lake Escape experience last Sunday had a lot to do with spending too much time in the transition area. Without a question the course at this race is one of my favorites ever, even when it’s pouring down rain. Somehow every time this race pushes my limits farther than I ever thought possible. Not because the course is changed every year but because the weather has been very different the last three years I found my way to Lakeside Marblehead to take on this race. The first year it was a picture perfect day with sunshine and clear skies, last year the wind and the cold made for a duathlon instead of the planned race, and this year we had some heavy downpours we had to deal with. All things considered I am VERY LUCKY to have the chance to race so I am going at it regardless of the conditions out there.





This year, Mrs. Clot Buster and I decided to give camping a try before the race. We went up to Lakeside Marblehead on Friday night and met up with our friends Sara and Donovan at the East Harbor State Park and started our camping experience. We had a good time hanging out Friday night and all day Saturday. We explored a great deal of the park both on land and water. We brought our kayaks along and we spend a number of hours out in the water just paddling around. Liz had a rough start to the paddling experience when she turned over her kayak but thanks to Donovan’s help we were able to get her back above water and let her continue with our exploration. Sara and Donovan were the brave ones on Saturday as they fought their way through the access channel (they had to contend with some heavy boat traffic that day) to reach the waters of Lake Erie. They were rewarded for their efforts with a serious pre-race Clot Buster style dinner and of course a well deserved s’mores dessert. I even had my share of dessert by the campfire, I could not resist!

So, with my stomach full and a light rain falling off and on I packed in. At around 2:30 in the AM the rain beating down on the tent woke me up along with Liz. It was really coming down and I thought to myself that in these conditions I would not race. I just did not think it was worth my while to put myself through this. After falling back to sleep my alarm went off and to my surprise it was not raining so it was time to go. Sleeping on the ground made me a little stiff but I was able to get my act together and ride my bike to the transition area without waking too many of my fellow campers. But as soon as I got to transition the skies opened up and it did not stop until the next day… Luckily I has some trash bags with me so I was able to keep most of my gear relatively dry under the circumstances.

I had to hurry a little to get on the bus and get going to Port Clinton to get on the Jet Express. I felt very relaxed as we watch the rain come down and shore get pretty small on our way out. Talking with people through the ride helped the time go by fast. My friend Ryan Fugate (who also moved from Kansas City so that he could continue to beat me…well, not exactly, we met in Kansas City while racing in triathlons and he just moved to Columbus because of a job transfer. I don’t appreciate having more competition around but I do enjoy having him around to make me better) was pretty excited about jumping of the ferry which is a really cool feature of the race. Everyone who gets to do this race enjoys jumping off because the rush is like nothing else out there. Especially when you see the shore so far away.

Once in the water you only have one choice, swim to shore. That of course if you can figure out which way shore is. All of us were aiming for the white beach house between rock piles 1 and 2 from the left. Well, good luck with that! If you have the misfortune to time your sighting when you are the bottom of the waves you are not going to see much other than water and sky. I wish that I could have a video recorded from above me so that I could see my “true” route on this swim. So, after a 28:38 split I was finally touching bottom and running towards transition on the knee deep water that lead us towards the beach. Here is where I started my championship fight with my wetsuit in route to an ALL TIME SLOW 3:13 T1!

As I was attempting to get out of my suit I could hear Liz’s encouragement turn into concern and wonder, what is taking him so long she asks Sara and Donovan. Before I continue I need to give Liz, Sara, and Donovan A HUGE THANKS for their support during this race. They were out there enduring the down pour from the start and I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH for words of encouragement and the cheering. I can’t say much when I am flying by but I DO APPRECIATE IT very much! Same goes to all the volunteers who probably are still drying off from all the rain THANK YOU!

Yes, usually my transition times are well under 1:30 if not under 1 minute but during the race I was going for a world record in slowness. Finally, after much struggle I get on my machine and head out telling my self to watch my turns because in this rain anything can happen. Although the rain was coming down I was able to be as aggressive as possible. All together, the bike split came out to be 1:12:06 but once again I had to go into transition. After spending the time on the bike my fingers and arms were more less locked in place and I could not move them fast enough. So, once again this transition time came to be one of my slowest ever clocking at 2:23. It was frustrating not be able to put on my running shoes. So, after a grand total of 5 minutes 36 seconds worth of transition times I had to go on the run.

I never know what to expect from this run course. It is a lot of fun because of the different terrain. Amazing enough my legs felt good and I was able to keep a faster than normal pace for this course and I clocked the 10K distance in 47:46 which is more than a 2 minute improvement from my previous results on this very same course.
Coming across the finish line on this particular day was a great experience. All of us who were out there under those conditions will have some fond memories of this race. So a time of 2:34:06 was good enough for 28th place overall and 7th in my age group. The results would have been different if my time in the transition was to be shorter. I guess that is something I will need to improve upon next year.
As the mercury around these parts is reaching for new heights our tent and the rest of our gear are finally drying.

Hard to believe that I COMPLETED my 300 Miles of racing for the year. It is been a blast having the opportunity to do it and tell you about it as well. The polka-dot colors have been everywhere this season spreading the word about NATT and looking to raise funds. Please consider matching a donation to the total number of miles I raced this summer so that together we could help NATT. A nickel, dime, or a quarter per mile can go a long way as we continue our work to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders. Please think about it! If you decide to participate, please make checks payable to “NATT” and let me know so that I can tell you my mailing address.

Well, what to do next? There is one race in Akron coming up in September that I would like to do. In many ways, I want to improve my transitions times. More less I have a thorn on my side that I need to get out.

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I am still drying off...

from my race at Great Lake Escape in Lakeside Marblehead, OH.

300 Miles of racing COMPLETED!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?!?

Now, that you have all season to think about it, this is your time to match a donation to the number of miles I was able to race this season. There is nothing to it just pick a value of a coin and multiply it by the number of miles I raced. Here is the breakdown:

$0.05 per Mile x 300 Miles = $15.00
$0.10 per Mile x 300 Miles = $30.00
$0.25 per Mile x 300 Miles = $75.00

Please contact me if you are interested in making a donation. Please make your check payable to "NATT" and let me know so that I can send you my address!

In the meantime please checkout this fun pictures from the Greater Cleveland Triathlon... The SPIUK Kronos Time Trial Helmet was a hit at the raffle...


Soon enough I should be able to write some more about the Great Lake Escape. We will see how soon.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, August 16, 2007

BOOYAA!!!

5:19:01 – CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?!?!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon I was able to turn in MY BEST TIME ever at a half-iron distance event. I think that all of the events of the weekend inspired me to keep my pace on the run, even through the dreaded miles 9, 10, 11, and 12, to get across the finish line and setting a new PR at this distance by more than 16 minutes!

I don’t even know where to begin… I remember setting out in the run and thinking to myself that I needed to stay steady and find a pace that I could keep the entire length of the 13.1 Miles. So, off I went knowing that in my Fuel Belt I would have a little pick me up for the dreaded miles 9, 10, 11, and 12. Having Coke in the little bottles kept my mind at easy for some reason. I used the combination of water with coke during my last long brick and this time around I decided to give it a try. Of course, I learned during my training that I needed to let the fizz out otherwise I would have the little bottles exploding left and right during the run. So, I had my secret weapon with me but during the first loop the sun was cooking and I was concerned about how would I complete the second loop. Luckily the triathlon gods were looking after me and a cloud cover rolled over the run course so it was manageable. I have no doubt that my mile splits got larger as I went but I never stopped running outside of the aid stations. I can’t even begin to describe how good it felt to be well inside the 5:30 mark and even sweeter to be inside the 5:20 threshold. I think that Cleveland provided me with enough support get through and set a new PR. RUN TIME = 1:59:01.

The Greater Cleveland Triathlon was a very well organized race. So well, that I almost missed my swim start as I set out on my mile walk from transition a little bit later than I should. I jumped in the water with my heat but I had just enough time to zip up my wetsuit and fit my goggles in place before the gun went off. I could not believe how calm Lake Erie was that day. It made for a very enjoyable swim out there for sure. SWIM TIME = 28:57 (6th fastest I believe).

Next on the bike it was difficult to get in a good pace because the first part of the bike course took us through some rough roads. I have to say that because due to the bumpy ride both of my bottles from my saddle rack flew off leaving me without fluids very early on the bike. Once we got past the rough section the roads were smooth and it was time to fly. I am fortunate that the first aid station was about 10 Miles in which allowed me to keep drinking and get my head back in order. After that mishap the ride went well. I tried to keep an even pace on the up hills and be relatively aggressive on the flats going back towards the lake. So all together we had two large loops (25 Miles) and then two small loops (3 Miles) to contend with. I enjoyed seeing all my competitors at the different turn around points. My friend Bill McIntosh with his 6’10’’ frame was coming after me. The first time we got to the smaller loops a buck with a pretty sizeable rack (Bill will say 5 or 6 pointer) came out of the woods to run along us. Unfortunately, this guys some other business on the other side of the woods so he crossed the four lane run plus median about 10 yards in front of me. That was scary as I was going pretty fast at this point and stopping would have been rather difficult. That encounter pumped some additional adrenaline to get me through the rest of the bike. I was very pleased with the effort and the ISM saddle worked like a charm keeping me free of numbness. BIKE TIME = 2:46:53 (20.12MPH).


I was more than thrilled with the results of this race. So, here we are one last race away from completing the 300 Miles challenge I set out to do way back in May. It is been great fun to train and race but also very inspiring to work to raise funds for NATT and meeting some great people along the way. NATT is helping a lot of people by raising awareness about blood cltos and blood clotting disorders but we can't really do it without your help. So, I am one race away from putting down my 300 Miles, it is now your turn to step and match a donation for the tolal miles that I raced. Here is breakdown for you so that your decision is even easier...
$0.05 per Mile x 300 Miles = $15.00
$0.10 per Mile x 300 Miles = $30.00
$0.25 per Mile x 300 Miles = $75.00

Please contact me if you are interested in making a donation. Please make your check payable to "NATT" and let me know so that I can send you my address!

To everyone involved in the Greater Cleveland Triathlon THANK YOU! The Clot Buster and Mrs. Clot Buster had a blast!

Next up, Great Lake Escape Triathlon in Marblehead, OH. I don't have a clue how my body will react ahead of this racing. I went for a 25 Mile ride today and I was flatter than flat. No power in the legs at all. My stretching afterwords was great so we will see how it goes on Sunday. My Lovely wife and some friends are going to spend Saturday kayaking in Lake Erie and East Harbor State Park. It looks like it will be an amazing weekend weather wise so it should be fun. Second swim in a row in the big lake up north. Last weekend it was nice, let's see what we get this weekend.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

THANK YOU!!!

I don’t even know where to start since we had such a successful weekend at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon.
First off, I need to give THANKS to everyone who stopped by our booth and participated in our raffle. Not only you bought yourself a chance to win any of the superior prizes we had available but you helped raise funds for NATT. Every dollar that we were able to raise this weekend will allow NATT to continue their mission to educate and create awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders. If you get the chance don't forget to take some time and read more about what NATT is doing at their website http://www.nattinfo.org/

Secondly, I could not continue without giving a HUGE THANKS to Mickey Rzymek - GCT's SENSATIONAL Organizer, Deirdre Callahan and her family - for hosting the Clot Buster and being a POWERHOUSE fund raiser, Bill Deiter from 2nd Sole - for giving us the chance to have two ZOOT Zenith Wetsuits available for the raffle, and DPM Sports -for the great products they provided for the raffle.

All together we were able to raise a grand total of $659.00 THANKS TO ALL OF YOU who participated in the raffle.

Of course all of the goods found a good home and here is the list of all the winners. I have to apologize in advance if I mess up your name. There is a chance that I did not understand it from the ticket stub so I am sorry!

** Polka-Dot Socks - EM MONTENGANO
** Polka-Dot Socks - LIAM McINTOSH
** Box of SNICKERS Marathon Bars - LARRY McGAIN (?)
** Box of SNICKERS Marathon Bars - UJCIC (?)
** Box of SNICKERS Marathon Bars - JEN COLLISTER
** 2 Gatorade Water Bottles - JAMIE CLANCY
** 2 Gatorade Water Bottles - JUAN
** Hammer Gel Goodie Bag - ERIC DOMBBROWSKI
** Hammer Gel Goodie Bag - EDDIE POLICE
** Gatorade Hat and Shirt - B. MARUT
** Gatorade Hat and Shirt - KEN BEECH
** Case of Gatorade (Berry Flavor) - KATIE SPEAR
** Case of Gatorade (AM) - MATT RICHARDS
** Gatorade Cooler - J.R. EYLER
** Ritchie's Goodie Bag - MARK DURNO
** Ritchies's Goodie Bag - SUSAN DOMBROWSKI
** AquaSphere Goggles - TRICIA (?)
** SPIUK Tri Top - MATT LUCK
** SPIUK Tri Top - UJCIC (?)
** SPIUK Tri Top - DEREK MARQUARAT
** SPIUK Tri Top - KATIE SPEAR
** SPIUK Winter Vest - DAN PIERCE
** SPIUK Yara Sunglasses - MARIE JO McELYEA
** SPIUK Kronos Helmet - JOANNE COLLINS
** ZOOT Zenith WetSuit - KEVIN KERWIN
** ZOOT Zenith WetSuit - NICK SPIRTUS

To all of the winners CONGRATULATIONS!!! If you are any of the people above mentioned and we have not contacted you yet please get in touch with me at polka40@hotmail.com so that we can make arrangements to get your prize on its way.

Sometimes after fundrasing so hard you need to try and recover...

So, all together it was a great weekend for racing and fund raising. For now, you need to sit tight and wait for my race report coming up on my next post.

Thanks again for helping NATT on this event and hopefully next year we can aim a little higher and reach above the 4 digit mark. I am already working on getting with my contacts to secure better goods for next years's raffle. So don't forget your money when you come to expo. You never know if you are going to get that lucky ticket number.

Thank your for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Cleveland Here I come...!

I am very excited that the weekend is almost here.

We have been planning for this weekend for a long time now. You are not going to believe the items we have been able to collect and we will have to offer for the raffle on Sunday. If you are going to participate in the Greater Cleveland Triathlon you have to allow yourself some extra time at the packet pickup on Saturday and stop by the polka-dot tent and check out what NATT and the Clot Buster all about. Of course if you stop by you will need to participate in our raffle and get your chance to win some really cool prices.

I am not sure if I should give anything away but I can't resist so here is a little something to peak your interest...

Yes, you too can have an aero-helmet like the one the Clot Buster wears. However, the one we are offering for the raffle will not have any polka-dots but I will have them available if you would like to "decorate" the new helmet that you could potentially win!

So, how am I feeling three days before the race? Well, I am ready to rock and roll. I have done everything that I can to put myself in a position to complete the run without my usual walk during the last 4 miles of the half-marathon. I am also keeping an eye oy my salt consumption as I think that it may be the source of some of my problems. I am very pumped to get going on this race. The new ISM Saddle from Blackwell Research is also something new I am trying out in a race for the first time. I have some miles on it but no race miles yet. This should be interesting for sure.

GCT is my second to last race of the season. That much closer to complete my 300 Miles of racing for this summer. Have you thought about matching a donation to each mile that I race? It is not too late to help NATT to continue their mission in spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

I hope to be smiling like this before the race on Sunday.

See you in Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Preparations Continue

A week from today I will be racing at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon Half Iron Distance race. This is a race is one I am very excited to because of what we have planned for both Saturday and Sunday. I don't want to tell you too much about it because if you happen to be around the Cleveland area next weekend you need to come out to Headlands State beach and check it out for yourself.

My preparation is going well. This weekend I had a good brick workout on Saturday that may put me over the edge in terms of my troubles coming off the bike and going onto the run. Stay tuned because I may able to do a first on my half iron distance racing. We will see how it turns out. I am looking forward to it.

If you are in Cleveland don't miss your opportunity to meet the Clot Buster and learn a whole lot about NATT and their mission.

Of course not all is workouts... I do get the chance to do an array of other things, especially on my days off so tha I can recover and begin my tepering. Today we got the chance to the Dublin, OH Irish Festival. Bring on the Irish Stew and a Killian's Irish Red before noon! I do love Irish Festivals. The Irish Music is one that I enjoy a great deal . It is always a treat.

So, we go on to the last week before the Greater Cleveland Triathlon.

Has anyone seen a helmet like this out there for sale?

I keep trying to find one of these at a reasonable price but they keep avoiding me. I am going to find one someday. In the mean time I need to find some red paint to paint my aero helmet with the "Clot Buster" colors. I hope that I stay within the lines...

Thanks 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