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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

May the new year bring you all of the HAPPINESS, GOOD HEALTH, and GOOD FORTUNE you can handle!!!

2009 should be another great year for the Clot Buster and everything we are trying to do in order to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

THANK YOU a thousand times over for stopping by in 2008 and read about what I am doing. It has been great fun yet again this year.

Come along with me in 2009... STOP THE CLOT!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HAVE A WONDERFUL Holiday Season!

To all The Clot Buster Family wishes the VERY BEST in this Holiday Season!

We wish for the new year to bring you all the Happiness, Good Health, and Good Fortune you can handle.

We look forward for the new year and the challenges ahead as we continue to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders... STOP THE CLOT!!!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Danish Butter Cookies

One of the treats of the this festive season is having the chance to eat things that normally I don't get to eat... Danish Butter Cookies are one of those foods... I LOVE those darn little cookies, espcially when I get to put some Nutella and/or some sort of jam on them... wow!

Of course I have to earn the right to enjoy these and there is no better way than training for a marathon. I have to say that over the last two weekends I earned my right to eat half of a giant can... well not really that much but enough to enjoy every bite I had with a nice cup coffee.

Last weekend I ran a total of 26.5 Miles broken down on a track workout for 5.5 Miles, a short tempo run of 6 Miles and finally a long of 15 Miles on Saturday. This week, I was able to hammer out a track workout of 5.0 Miles, with a tempo run of 5 Miles and a long of 17 Miles... of course it did not end up exactly that way... the short tempo run was actually 2 Miles and the long run I hammered out yesterday and it ended up being 20 Miles!

Rough going with wind and rain throughout the entire run not the best planning on my part... but I survived. Also, it is worth mentioning that I ran from work to home... ALL 20 Miles of it!!!
Enjoy those Danish Butter Cookies but make sure you earn them!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December Athlete of the Month

It is hard for me to believe that this month's athlete of the month is someone who came down with blood clots a year ago last December...

If you were to see him around on his daily activities you would never think that he has protein C defficiency and therefore more prone to suffer from blood clots.

Please sit back and read on what I was able to learn about this MACHINE of an Athlete whose name is JOHN VERHEUL. Without a question another inpiring character that can help to drive and motivate the Clot Buster Nation on our continous quest to come back and rebound from a clotting episode as we chase all of our dreams and goals.

Below you will find a question and answer sequence I was able to have with John not too long ago...
Would you provide more detail for me about your story and all of the racing you do?
2008 was my 22nd year racing, the focus was on timed events instead of mass-start due to the anticoagulation meds and the safety issue. In mass-start racing (road, criterium, etc), it's more a matter of when you will crash, not if. That's normally not a big deal, except if you're on anticoagulants...in which case when you crash there's a serious risk of death. Anyway, I race primarily road, criterium, cyclo-cross, time trials...I've done some track and mtb, but probably fewer than 20 of each of those (out of a total of probably >1000 starts over 22 years).

(...the protein C defficiency) didn't get diagnosed in me until I clotted up (multiple clots in my lower leg) after a race last December. Fortunately my doctor is a personal friend (so he got me right in) as well as an athlete himself (so he understands about endurance athletes), and he sent me to get an ultrasound as a first course of action. He actually thought the swelling miht be compartment syndrome, but was covering his bases with the ultrasound.So then 2 weeks of lovenox injections twice daily, followed by the warfarin that I'm still on. I had to fly to cyclo-cross nationals while I was still injecting myself with the lovenox, it was interesting to have to do that in a hotel room with the team that I was coaching. It did suck to not be able to race myself, but racing's been mostly a hobby for a long time, coaching is my job.
How did you feel after the clot? How long did it take for your to shake off the shock of having clots discovered?
Having been an athlete pretty much all my life, I got over the shock pretty easily. I just treat it as another injury (athletes get injuries, we have to deal with them), and focus on what I need to do to "get better". Given that I'd already decided to go to law school this fall, I knew my career as a competitor was going to kind of end, so this just brought that end a little closer. I'm 41 this year, and it gets a little tougher each year to compete with younger athetes anyway.

Do you have any special inspiration to keep you at it?
Well, right now it's a bit different for me to continue to ride/train, when really I don't know that I'll race again. Racing has been the motivation for training over the last few decades, and now the focus shifts to using cycling as exercise for health and stress release. Frankly I'd prefer to mix in other sports, but many of them (running, basketball, soccer, etc) have been ruled out do to a back injury. But in my first 4 weeks of school I've managed to ride 6-8 hours per week, which I think is good for just staying healthy. It's a different mindset though, exercising to be healthy instead of to win races.

What is your favorite food?
My wife would list (for me) cinnamon rolls and beer.

What is your absolute favorite piece of gear you love to use?
I'm not really a "gear" guy, to me the stuff we use is a tool that enables us to do what we do. That said, probably the most important piece of gear I have is a powermeter, the most advantageous piece of gear is my Trek TT bike, and my favorite is my brand new JBV Coaching clothing (that's my company).

John, THANK SO MUCH for being an inspiraton! I am going to need to get some tips from you to get better with my cycling so that I can improve on my times for upcoming races. You know there is nothing better than seeing the Clot Buster Polka-Dots flying on a race course!

GOOD LUCK IN LAW SCHOOL!!!

Thanks for Reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Race

Another fantastic running of the Thanksgiving Day Race for the Clot Buster Family...

10th Running for Mrs. and Mr. Clot Buster

1st Running for Clot Buster Junior... well, unoficially his second as last year he was alredy in "the oven" when the race took place.
For the Clot Buster clan we stopped the clock at a very respectable 48:43 with Junior crossing the finish line ahead of us. I really tried to beat him but I just could not get around him...It was an incredible experience to race together the entire way and cross the finish line together. We don't get to do it very often since racing together is not always an option. But this time it was and for our 10th time doing this race for sure was special.As you can see the polka-dots were once again out if full force spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders... I am not sure if this time around I was getting strange looks because of the polka-dots or because I was passing people while pushing the stroller... I did not have time to ask.

The marathon training is coming along... freezing is actually the word I would use... can I get a break in which I could have a day to run outside above 32 degrees... that would be so nice...

Tomorrow, I have 13.1 Miles to do and a high for the day of 28 degrees here. Are you kidding me?!?!?

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, November 27, 2008

2009 Challenges...

With the cold weather settling here in Columbus, I can't help but start thinking of what I should do in 2009. Outside of changing diapers and watching Clot Buster Junior grow I have a few options of what I could to get the polka-dots out there and continue to spread the word.

I've been thinking long and hard about the possibilities available to me... considering the limitations that I have with time and the fact that at my work we work using "Flex Time" the choice is obvious to me... for 2009 I will attempt my SECOND MARATHON and it will take place in Virginia Beach at the SHAMROCK MARATHON on March 22nd.
However, this marathon will be special because I am aiming very seriously to run under 3 hours and 10 minutes in order to qualify for Boston... it is going to be a HUGE TALL ORDER for me but one I think that I can do... I just need to shave 19 minutes from my previous marathon time... what do you think? Can I do it? Honestly, I believe that the power of the polka-dots will carry me there and I will be able to reach this goal that is within my grasp I think... stay tuned to see how things progress.Of course, like this year, I am still doing my beloved triathlons. Greater Cleveland Triathlon if they take me back... Not as many as I used to do but enough to continue flying the polka-dot colors for everyone to see. I would love to have the chance to train and race a Half-Iron Distance race some place around here but I think that for 2009 I will have to just hold on to Olympic Distace races which is perfectly fine by me.

For now I am just doing minimum training when possible, a swim here and a bike there but the running sure is increasing, as the holidays begin to roll around.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Older and wiser...

That is what you would think I am with my 31 years of age...

Just take a look at the weather conditions during my run today...

Temperature : 30 Degrees (Feels like 22)

Wind: From the NW at 20MPH

Snow falling.

Now, you would think that with those conditions I would stay inside and find more than one excuse to put my mind at easy with the decision. But for some reason, while at work, I don't have time to ponder so before I know it I am out there running regardless of the conditions. Yesterday, during my speed workout, I was at the track with similar conditions only that time rain was falling but I did my 400, 600, 800, 800, 600 intervals no problem. I can't really explain what it is but I like being able to just get out and do it. A few years back I would have found the excuses... so I guess that now I am a lot wiser...read determined.

Couple of weeks ago, the Clot Buster Family was out in Dublin, OH competing at the Trot for Tots 10K. First time Clot Buster Junior was racing in his stroller. Together we were able to clock a time of 45:42 which is respectable considering that pushing a stroller is not easy. Mrs. Clot Buster had a great showin with a 47:23. The conditions were rough but we were glad to be out there... Junior did not even realize we race as he slept the entire time!

Coming up... Cincinnati's Thanksgiving Day Race... 10th year for the Clot Buster and who knows how many for Mrs. Clot Buster. She is saying around 15 or 16... as a native of Cincinnati I would believe it. This time around Junior will stay under the loving care of Grandma... he is better served with her than with us in the cold. We know that Grandam will not mind...
Have a WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY everyone!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, November 17, 2008

Few and Far between but still trying...‏

Yes, that is the truth in regards to my posts lately... what can I say when I have Clot Buster Junior looking at me with those chubby cheeks' I can't resist to play with and push everything else aside.
It is fascinating to be a parent and see the little one change every day right in front our eyes. Couple of weeks ago he was less mobile than today. Very soon here will be flipping over from his back to the front and we anticipate that thereafter crawling will be just a matter of time... all considered we are very fortunate to have him. We could not be happier.
Speaking of happy and returning to the triathlon world... have you had the chance to see the times the winners of the 70.3 World Championship clocked? These people pretty much sprinted a distance of 70.3 Miles... The male winner clocked a time of 3 hours 40 minutes 10 seconds... are you serious!?!?! How low can these times go? Could they every push below the 3:30 mark? Who knows but the times for sure are insane... I guess that in this particular distance I can relate because I have race Half-Iron Distance race a few times now and my best time of 5:19 and some change was fantastic for me. I just can't imagine how fast those guys went to clock a time well under 4 hours... unreal.

I wonder when are we going to have another Half-Iron Distance event available to race in this region. The closest one I know for the 70.3 series is the Steelhead Race in Benton Harbor, Michigan. There is the Muncie Endurathon in Muncie, Indiana and the Greater Cleveland Triathlon (which is no more as the organization has decided not to organize the half-iron event) but outside of that this area full of eager triathletes has been largely ignored for this type of distance. I wonder why?
Lucky this past Friday to have a break on the weather with a 60+ degree day to ride home from work... normally a 20 Mile ride that I can increase to more if the legs let me... I hope that you were able to get out there and enjoy the weather if you can.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster
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Check out some pictures of the Clot Buster Family going to a Wild Wild West Halloween Party!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

November Athlete of the Month

This post is very special to me because I get the opportunity to honor a friend of mine and her family, who have been instrumental in the Clot Buster's success in the activities that have taken place at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon.

You are not going to believe how I met this lady who is truly an inspiration to anyone out there who suffered from a clot, has a full time job, a familiy with two very active boys, and who actively races in triathlons including an Ironman finish in Lake Placid. Well, this amazing lady I saw for the first time while we were racing the Mountainer Half-Iron Distance Triathlon in Morgantown, West Virginia. I will never forget that race as I had a very rough day and as I was struggling along I remember getting passed around mile 11 by this lady with a huge grin on her face as she made her way across the field encouraging everyone in her wake. As I was getting passed by her she noticed the polka-dots and we have been in touch ever since.
I hope to have the same amount of energy she has with everything that she has going on with her boys, work, training, and just enjoying life. She is truly a breath of fresh air as she gets things done. She is definitely a champion not only in sport but also in being an example on the fact that life does continue after a clotting episode and you can look back on the episode and tell about it as you participate actively in spreading the word. Please read more about Deirdre's experience HERE. I am honored to have the great fortune to post about Deirdre and share her enthusiasm for life with all of you out there.
Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster
P.S.: It is likely that Deirdre will hate me for posting some of these pictures but I am sure that a nice bottle of wine will resolve whatever issue we will have.
If you know of anyone I should feature on this post for "Athlete of the Month" please let me know as I would love to learn about this person and share their inspiring story with everyone out there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SPIUK Represented...

For the past two years I've been fortunate to have had a relationship with the fine people of DPM Sports who represent the Spiuk brand here in the US. I can't say enough about how kind DPM Sports has been to me and to the cause that I represent through this blog and at the races in which I get to participate in.

The Spiuk brand is truly a fine product and one you will not regret trying out. Starting from their helmets, down to jackets, jerseys, vests, shorts, eyewear, gloves and shoes everything is GOOD! I can tell you from my own experience. But if you don't want to take it from me then just check out the people below who REALLY know about this fine products as they get to use them far more often than this age group fool...
ENEKO LLANOS - 2nd @ Ironman World Championships.

VIRGINIA BERASATEGUI - 6th @ Ironman World Championships.
FELICITATIONES!!! Congratulations to both of them!
It was pretty cool to see those professionals sporting the same brand I am very fortunate to wear when I train and race. The STOP THE CLOT movement is very fortunate to be in a relationship with DPM Sports as you too can have the opportunity to have the same gear these fine pros and The Clot Buster get to use if you have the chance to take part in the many auctions and raffles we do throughout the year to raise funds for The National Alliance for Thrombosis and Thrombophilia - NATT and their mission to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.
So, checkout all of the goods the fine folks at DPM Sports have to offer. I am sure you will find something that your REALLY want or something that you REALLY need.
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster

Saturday, October 25, 2008

She is back...!

Last weekend Mrs. Clot Buster took another step in her return to full force after the birth of Clot Buster Junior.Last weekend she participated in her first Half-Marathon here in Columbus, Ohio. I am so proud of her as she had a kick "rear end" race. She looked great everytime we got to see her at different points of the race. Now she is telling me that she has the "running bug", I am not sure what that means but maybe just maybe she may consider doing a marathon... that I don't know but what I do know is that I will be cheering her on the entire way.
I have to confess that following a race with your son in a jogging stroller is no easy task. Trying to coordinate feeding times with race course locations with diaper changes with race pace predictions was a challenge that I was not exactly ready for. I have a new appreciation for what Mrs. Clot Buster does when she is out there cheering for me at the races.
Outside of cheering for Mrs. Clot Buster and changing Junior's diapers I've been thinking about my race schedule next year and how I will get things arranged... but really I've been sharpenning my dart throwing techniques...Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The start of a new era...?

Did you get to watch/read about the developments of the Ironman World Championships?
I very much enjoyed the coverage of the race on-line. The former pro-triathelets did a good job broadcasting the race, which I magine cannot be easy... somehow they find something to talk about for the better part of nine hours which in my opinion is very impressive. Granted, I did not sit around and watch all of the coverage but everytime I tuned in they were going at it talking about something.

It seems incredibly hard for the men to have a repeat Champion... could this be some sort of curse? Every year the defending champion has been out of contention early... I am not even sure what was wrong with Macca.
But, how about the ladies?

Can anyone beat Chrissie Wellington cannot be stopped. Did you hear about her race? Not even a flat could keep her from catching up to the leaders, pass them all, and then go on to break the marathon record time...! Are you serious? Talk about potential. I am very impressed. If I can be smiling like her after surviving an Ironman I probably would be just waking up from a dream...Hard to believe but 5 years ago Mrs. Clot Buster and I were in Kona volunteering at the 25th Anniversary of the race. I even made the TV coverage when Lori Bowden is getting of the bike and she passes right in front me as I was volunteering catching bikes... of course you really have to slow down the tape to see me but I was there... it was an incredible experience to be there and see it all go on right in front of you. I hope that someday we get to go back... hopefully to race (you never know what could happen in the lottery... keep your fingers crossed)
It was a treat to be able to follow the race on-line and see it all unfold. I am looking forward to the TV special later on in December. Now, I wish I could go out an race... winter triathlon anyone?
Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, October 10, 2008

October Athlete of the Month

Our athlete for the month of October comes from North Carolina and his name is McCrord Rayburn.Just like many of you out there, McCord found me on the web while searching information about blood clots and blood clotting disorders after suffering from a clotting episode himself. Thankfully McCord was able to get the appropriate care and treatment during his clotting episode and consistently he has been able to return to "almost" his top form... I say almost because law school and being newly married is keeping busy in all fronts!

Despite being this busy he tells me that has been able to ride his beloved bike, and with him he takes his Clot Buster Jersey... I can tell you that the Clot Buster's polka-dots are well represented by Mr. McCord. As I always say, "McCord you make those polka-dots LOOK GOOD!!!"
A few weeks ago McCord wrote me an email with some updates about what he is up to and I wanted to share those with you so that you can see that this kid can ride despite of having to deal with the awareness of possible clotts...

"I have returned to relatively high levels of cycling training with the help of my doctors' direction. My doctors' and I concluded that we would maintain my INR (i.e. my coumadin dosage) at a low enough level that would provide me with protection from potential clotting episodes, while allowing me to safely cycle (with all of its potential risks). I cannot be more thankful of my doctors' understanding of my love of cycling.

In late May, I married my girlfriend of the past 5 years. She has experienced the whole process of learning what it means to be a "clotter" right with me and actually took me to the emergency room when I had my serious clotting episode. I can't thank her enough.

Between late April and my marriage I was able to complete some "epic" or "milestone" cycling rides. One of them included a ride up to Mt. Mitchell (the highest point east of the Mississippi River) from Marion, NC. This particular ride was only a 60 mile ride, but during the first 30 miles (the uphill part) the ascent was 5,920 feet. I had completed a shorter version of this ride in February, but the addition of miles and climbing were intimidating. Despite the intensity of the ride, I enjoyed (almost) every minute of it because on that day I was wearing my NATT cycling jersey and knew that upon reaching the top of Mt. Mitchell I was going to be able to capture a picture that nobody else had ever taken. I reached the top of the mountain, and sure enough nobody was around to take my picture in the NATT jersey... Unfortunately, the highest point and observation deck of Mt. Mitchell were closed due to construction when I was up there. However, that gives me another reason to return in my NATT jersey!"
Defintely GREAT to hear how it is possible to get back and do all of the things that you love to do. Reading updates like this inspire me even more to get out there and spread the word that much more.

McCord, THANK YOU for staying in touch with me. I very much look forward to hear some more of your adventures in your Clot Buster Jersey!!!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster
P.S.: If you know of anyone who has had a clotting episode and he/she is back doing what they love in whatever sport, please let them know that I would love to hear from them and give them the chance to share their story on this blog!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Let the DEBATE begin...

... you thought I was talking about politics... well not really. I am sure there is plenty of that to go around everywhere these days no need for more of that here.

I am talking about the debate in my head about what to do next year with regards to the Clot Buster effort. With Clot Buster Jr. on board it is hard to commit to a lot training when I don't to be away from him for long periods of time. Right now, I have only a few hours on Friday afternoon to do any sort of long training as my work schedule goes 4 days of 9 hours and on Fridays I get to do a half day. Really not a bad deal when you consider that a lot of chores can get done during that time...
So, what should I focus on next year. I have the option to train for another marathon, this time however, with the focus on qualifying for Boston. OR, I could focus on a half-iron distance race sometime in the summer and call it good. OR, do a handful of races around here and just get the polka-dots out there just like I've done until now. I have to confess that doing another marathon with a few tri's in the summer is a formula that worked great this year. I very much liked the turnout I had of donations for the marathon fundraiser. Can I do that again next year? I guess there is only one way to find out...

For now stay tuned. The only sure thing is that I am very fortunate to have the chance to ponder these things thanks to the support of my family. Thanks to them the Clot Buster's adventures are possible and I can share them with you...

Thanks for readig,

The Clot Buster

Monday, September 29, 2008

A CALL FOR ACTION!!!

Dear friends of the Clot Buster,

A good friend of mine sent me the following link that I wanted to pass along as we continue with our mission to educate and spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.


Deep vein thrombosis and thrombophilia are a VERY SERIOUS CONCERN and we need to stay alert to let as many people as we can know about the dangers and symptoms of blood clots.

There is a lot more that we can do to avoid the tragic news that come when a life is lost due to this silent killers that so often can be misdiagnosed.

HELP US STOP THE CLOT

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, September 12, 2008

September Athlete of the Month

You just never know who you will have the chance to meet... Back a few weeks ago while we were doing our 2nd Annual Greater Cleveland Triathlon Raffle to STOP THE CLOT, we had the chance to meet a lot of people (definitely one of my favorite parts of the whole event). Amongst them we met an ER physician, mother of two and a pro triathlete (world cup circuit racer for Team USA) who was/is a victim of a massive blood clot that ended up in her lungs (PE) and was of such serious nature that she had to be on coumadin for 2 years...

...it is important to mention that it is during that 2 year span that this lady became a pro-triathlete and an inpiration to anyone out there who is going through a clotting episode.

Please let me introduce you to Julianna Batizy-Morley (check out her website by clicking on her name...!)

Although tests have not been able to find why Julianna suffered from her clotting episode, she does not have a lot of risk factors, she sremains very active and had this to say to me in a recent email... "The cool thing about my story is that not only did I recover- but I was not a pro triathlete when this happened. I raced age group back then. The following October (1 year later) I won my age group at world championships and then turned "pro" at an age that is considered old to make such changes. Anyway- that is the part I love the best- instead of remaining sick, I was able to get to a higher level than before. And I raced 1 year as a pro on coumadin (although my doctor was less than thrilled about draft legal racing on a blood thinner....)"

I was/am thrilled that Julianna stopped by our booth at the Greater Cleveland Triahtlon. She is a survivor and another example of people who was able to get back and do what their love... in her case to an even higher level... Wow!

You know, I don't think that I would have a prayer against her in a race... Maybe I can stay wit her for about 20 yards in the water before she would take over the lead and leave me and the polkadots eating her dust...

Julianna,

THANK YOU for letting me share your story. I know that you will inspire many people with what you are doing.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We should NEVER FORGET...

Seven years after and I can still remember how shocked I was...

Our country was changed forever and I hope that we never have to face something like that again..

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Impressive - She ROCKS!!!


Mrs. Clot Buster was impressive a couple of weekends ago (I know, I know... a little bit behind but I am making my wat back... I hope) when she ran down her competition on the run portion of the triathlon to take a very much deserved 3rd place in her age group.All of the Clot Buster boys are VERY PROUD of her. I have to confess that I enjoyed very much cheering for her and seeing her compete. Not often I get the chance to cheer her on so this time around it was a pleasure for me to run around with Junior and my brother to provide her all the support that we could. Although she was concerned about the swim she got through it and it was time for her to make up some ground. She really looked strong on the bike but she threw down the hammer on the run... by my count she passed about 5 women ahead of her on her way to the finish... VERY IMPRESSIVE!!! I loved seeing her face expressions at the finish line as she was pleased to finish but more so that she got to compete and place so well.Mrs. Clot Buster you ROCKED!!!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 95th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 95th Triathlon Finish !!!
WHAT A JOY TO SEE THAT SMILE!