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Saturday, March 28, 2009

LUCKY - SATISFIED - DISAPPOINTED in Detail... Shamrock Marathon - Virginia Beach, VA

It is been a week or so since the event and the recovery is going well. My legs are still experiencing some fatigue but that is to be expected. I am slowly getting back into the swing of things but I am taking my time as I don't want to extend the fatigue in my body by jumping back in the routine too fast.

Doing this marathon was a fun experience for many different reasons. I am very lucky to have the support of Mrs. Clot Buster and Junior on everything that I do. Even when I am decked out with polka-dots from my head all the way to my socks. I also appreciate how easily people can see me and that comes in handy the most when people is out there looking to cheer me on. I need to give a HUGE THANKS to the Fenton family for their support during the race. It was incredible to be out on the course and see the Clot Buster STOP THE CLOT shirt on the side waved by Jim and his little girl, while Liz (Jim's wife) was on course doing the Half-Marathon. Look for Mr. Jim Fenton to be featured on an upcoming issue of Athlete of the Month. Once again guys, it was a pleasure to meet you in person and THANK YOU for spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.
I am also, lucky to have the chance to finish the race running. There were times after mile 22 where I was thinking that I could walk all the way to the finish but I never did more than getting through an aid station. So, I am thrilled with the notion that I am maturing on my marathoning experience and I was able to keep it at far better than in 2008. Ironically however, this time around I was slower than last year by more than a minute... see RESULTS HERE.3:30.57 is the main reason behind my disappointment. I am both very lucky and satisfied but the disappointment lingers with me simply because I was not able to improve on my performance on last year. It is strange to feel this way but the competitor in me is driving this feeling and it is not easy to walk away from it. I trained hard put in the miles and speed work through, cold, rain, ankle deep snow and driving winds but I don't have a PR to show. And that is what makes me feel disappointed.

On the other hand, I realize that it was a HUGE challenge to go under 3:10 and I came to terms with that as I saw the 3:10 pace group speed away from me half way through Mile 16. First it was just a few feet as I was hanging on the back of the group. I was focusing on following this one guy in a blue shirt that was holding on to 2 gels on each hand (don't ask me why I remember that...). Then, Mile 17 came by and I was still on the back of the pack feeling the pain in the legs and mind screaming "let them go!". I held on all the way to Mile 18 when I finally I had to slow down and take care of my needs... get the get, drink the coke, water and gatorade... by the time I was ready to resume the 3:10 pace the pack was long gone and I was left alone to keep at it. I guess, that I am capabale of keeping the 3:10 pace for 18 Miles so I need to work on keeping that pace for another 8.2... or I just have to wait until I am 45 year old and qualify for Boston when I can use the 3:30 as my qualifying time...
Because I was alone naturally my pace dropped from what it was but I did not feel that it was too dramatic. Miles 19, 20, 21, and 22 went by and I was enjoying the sand dunes around me, the signs with jokes and trivia along the course... Did you know the new light house is 264 Feet tall? Did you know the old light house was only 90 Feet tall? How about this one "Why do we wash bath towels? After all we are clean when we use them?"... So, as you can see my mind focused on something else other than the running. But half way through Mile 22 I came face to face with "the wall" and once again the wall won slowing me down to a shuffle... I was at 3:07.45 at this point with less than four miles to go and no matter what I tried the legs did not want to go any faster. Strange sport this is... simply hard to predict how your body can react to the pounding and the exposure of such high intensity effort. I made it to the finish once again with the polka-dots on and my green shorts in honor of the irish spirit of the race. No luck of the irish for me this time but all things considered an experience that I will remember for ever.

THANKS TO ALL of you out there who once again helped in the fundraising effort. Your contribution will help in helping NATT continue spreading the word to STOP THE CLOT.
So, now it is time to concentrate on the summer and what events I will do. I am thinking about doing a half-marathon on the first part of May and see how I would do after all of these miles on my legs for trainig... is there a PR for me in the Half-Marathon distance? I will let you know if that is the case... But during the rest of the summer Ohio for sure will see its fair share of the polka-dots. I hope the Buckeye state is ready for that...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Stay tuned for the detailed report on the race coming up...
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Five Days to go...

Although I am much more relaxed this time around I am still thinking about the distance...

26.2 Miles is a LOOOOOOONG way...

Yesterday, as I was running my last track workout of the training plan (6 x 400 Meters) I realized that I need to run this workout of 5.1 Miles at least 5 more times next Sunday...

Am I ready for this?

Is it really possible that I've been training for the better part of 18 weeks to get to this point?

Will I be able to hold the pace that I need in order to beat that "Everest" of marathon somewhere under 3:10?

Am I ready to drive 9+ hours to Virginia Beach and take on this challenge?

Have you DONATED to the 2nd Annual Marathon Fundraiser TO STOP THE CLOT?

My friends the ansswer is a very simple one... YES to all but the last question.

That one is for all of you out there reading this blog to answer.

Please help NATT continue their work to educate about blood clots and blood clotting disorders all over this great nation.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, March 13, 2009

March Athlete of the Month

Spring is almost here... I am tired of the cold. It is been a long winter that does not want to go away just yet. How can we go from a high of 70 degrees one day down to 40 degrees the next...?

Let me see if I can bring some Florida heat up north as I introduce you Jennifer Gray our March Athlete of the Month with her account of a clotting incident and the come back to do the things that she loves...

"I’ve always been a woman on the move. Growing up, I was a dancer and a gymnast for nearly 20 years. Ever since, I have been an active runner and just recently have gotten into sport fishing. Being a girl on the move, moving to Miami two years ago was a dream come true. I’m 26 years old and a meteorologist at the NBC station here. Whether it’s in studio covering a severe storm, or reporting from the Keys during a hurricane, there’s so much adrenaline and the job keeps me busy – I love it! However, six weeks after moving to Miami, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I felt tired and had flu-like symptoms for nearly two weeks before doctors realized they were misdiagnosing multiple PE in my lungs. I spent the next several days in the hospital, and the next few weeks at home recovering. Doctors later discovered it was due to my birth control pills combined with what I learned I had Factor V Leiden. The combination nearly killed me. I was on coumadin for the next year, with doctor appointments nearly every week. I suffered through high anxiety over the next year, that I had never experienced before the incident. It was a daily struggle on the air, as I tried to get through a forecast sounding solid and relaxed – when my insides felt like they were sprinting. But I stayed focused and determined. I wasn’t going to let this setback slow me down. Now I am grateful for every day given to me, and every breath I take.
I was back running just six weeks after my blood clots. I ran a 5K nearly four months after the PE, and continue to run everyday. I was scared to get back into it after the incident, but I knew my fears would only defeat me. I had to learn to trust my body and pay close attention to any pain or weakness I had. Now I can run with confidence that I will be okay, as long as I take care of myself and take every change in the way I feel seriously.
I have spoken out at every opportunity given to me to tell my story and spread the word about the dangers of birth control and blood disorders. I recently did a story on the news about what happened to me to try and raise awareness. I got responses from people all across the country who had been through the same ordeal. Most of them were scared and lived with fear everyday. I always tell them to try and live as normal of a life as you can. Yes, having PE changes you, and changes your lifestyle, but you can’t let it take control of you. God has allowed us to be survivors of this, so it’s our job to spread the word of awareness and hope for prevention. I hope every female realized what she is putting in her mouth when she takes birth control. I hope to continue to educate young women with my story, and I hope to inspire others who have been through this, that life doesn’t have to stop. I feel so much stronger now and I feel smarter. I won’t let Factor V stop me from living my life and I hope it doesn’t stop you."

As Jennifer explains above there is a way to come back from a clotting incident even if your life gets turned upside down. There is always a way we just need to find the way that suits us the most. Will it be an easy road? Probably not, but it will be one that can provide you with incredible rewards.

Thank Jennifer for your willingness to share your story and your experience. I look forward to see more pictures of you catching those big fish!
Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

P.S.: If you know of someone that I should consider contacting to feature on the Athlete of the Month blogs please let me know at .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mrs. Clot Buster's Domination...

This last weekend Mrs. Clot Buster showed up at the Muddy Feet Trail Run to simply dominate the race and come to the finish line with the title of women's overall champion! Checkout the results HERE. Clot Buster Junior and I cheered on Mrs. Clot Buster as much as we could to celebrate her victory at the finish line. Junior definitely had the best sit in the house...!I was very much impressed with her. I am always impressed by Mrs. Clot Buster and what she can do. Her potential is endless regardless of what she is doing triathlon, trail running, or half-marathonning. For me she is a tremendous inspiration. After everything she does for us "her Clot Buster boys" her performance is awesome to see.
HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to her on the her performance this weekend. I just hope that some of that potential can rub off on me so that I can do well in the up coming Shamrock Marathon I will be racing on the 22nd...
Speaking of this marathon here we are at the door step of the event. The taper stage of the training program has started and I am very much looking forward to the chance of racing the 26.2 Miles. I am very lucky to have had the chance to train all through the winter and be in this position. I have no idea how will I hold up this time around as this time I did not run anymore than 22 Miles at once. Perhaps that will help but who knows...

At this point the legs are feeling strong but at times I feel a large degree of fatigue but strangely it goes away once I start moving. Hey, I don't care if that is the case as long as on the 22nd I am ready to go.

If you have it in you please consider donating to the CLOT BUSTER'S MARATHON FUNDRAISER and help me and NATT continue our efforts to educate and create awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

How can you cope with 23MPH winds head on?

The last long run of the training program, as I posted on my last post, turned out to be a hard one... My friend the wind did not let up and it punished me good for 21 Miles worth of running. I think that my face still recoverying from the exposure... I can't smile without feeling the burn.
So, here we go, I am at the top of my mountain of training. It is all downhill from here... the weekly mileage drops off a lot as I am beginning to taper. I need to make sure I watch how much I eat in order to stay at this weight all the way until race day. It makes a difference when you are a few pounds lighter.
I am looking forward to the challenge of the race coming up and see how fast I can conquer the 26.2 Mile challenge. Speaking of challenges, how about this one for you guys reading this blog...
Roland "The Clot Buster" Varga's 2nd Annual Marathon Fundraiser to STOP THE CLOT‏
Please click here >>> STOP THE CLOT Marathon Fundraiser if you would like to donate.
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!