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Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Feliz Ano Nuevo!!!

Here is wishing EVERYONE a New Year filled with




you can handle in 2011.

I am looking forward to take on the new year and see what it will bring.

The STOP THE CLOT >>> Clot Buster Polka-Dots will continue to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

If you see the polka-dots out at the races please make sure to stop by and say hello. It is a pleasure for me to meet as many people as I can and learn about their stories.

We much continue to fight and spread the word as much as possible so everyone knows about the dangers of blood clots and how we can all be in the lookout for them.

All the Best in 2011!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, December 17, 2010

December Athlete of the Month

The world is small.

With every life turn that ones takes there is the chance for you to meet someone that without you knowing is associated to you or your loved ones.

I don't think that I will ever stop being amazed about the people that I get to meet simply because I was wearing the CLOT BUSTER polka-dots to an event in which I participated in.

December's Athlete of the Month is one of my most memorable stories of benig at the right place at the right time wearing the CLOT BUSTER polka-dots.

But I am not going to tell you the story... I much rather let December's Athlete of the Month MR. BOB SCULLY tell you the story as he answers my questions... enjoy!

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
Well, up until about 2002 (age 46), my primary sport was running. Unfortunately, in 2002, the arthritis in my left hip became bothersome enough that I no longer enjoyed the sport; and I began spending more time bicycling and playing tennis.

2) How did you get started in that sport?
Who knows?! My father played a LOT of tennis, and I followed his example. As for running/cycling; for some reason I've always enjoyed the challenge of seeing how far I could run or bicycle. I've never been very fast, but I can keep going for a longtime! As a youngster I often challenged myself to see how far I could run or bike without stopping. I'm not sure my parents would have been pleased to know their 9 yr old had bicycled through the corn fields 10 miles to the next town and back! More officially, I ran Cross Country and played Tennis in high school; and I raced in the "Little 500" bike race in college.

3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
I wish I HAD a recent milestone to report, but due to the bad hip, my milestones are still stuck somewhere in the 1990's! So, if you'll allow an old man to reminisce a bit: I've run about 32 marathons, and as many half-marathons. I've run Boston about 5 times, which is also where I ran my PR of 2:52. My best time for the half is 1:17, and 10k is 35:00 min.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
Fortunately, my clotting episode was fairly minor on the scale of such things, and all resolved fine.

The story: Finally, in April 2010, I had Hip Resurfacing surgery (as an aside, the hip feels GREAT now). One fact I missed in my research about joint surgery was over 50% of patients develop clots. Even though clots were mentioned as a possible side effect; I felt young (relatively so) and strong, and I really didn't worry much about clotting. I just figured a few "other" patients developed clots, and it was a rare side-effect that wouldn't afflict ME! Therefore, I was shocked, when one week after surgery, a routine follow-up ultrasound indicated I had a clot in a peripheral vein below the surgical leg's knee! The chosen treatment was mild, i.e. Aspirin and "Watchful Waiting." After 3 more ultrasounds (about 1 per week), we determined the clot was stable. It is no longer being monitored, and it's my understanding I'm now "out-of-the-woods."

When I learned of the clot, I did some research, and became quite alarmed/scared. I learned it's a SERIOUS condition, with possible SERIOUS consequences! That's when the man in the RED POLKA DOT SHORTS came riding to my rescue!

Just prior to the surgery, I rode in the Alumni Little 500 Bike Race at DePauw U. Another rider (well, actually, LOTS of riders) lapped me several times; but I remembered one rider in particular, because he wore Red Polka Dot Shorts, and the shorts displayed, "" Somehow, I tracked down the name of that rider, and it was Roland Varga, the host of this outstanding Blog!

Roland, and his wife, Elizabeth (who I've come to learn is a National Expert on Blood Clots) were absolutely wonderful to me. Both Roland and Elizabeth answered my questions, and helped educate me, so I could make informed decisions with my physician regarding the treatment of the clot. I can't tell you how nice it was to have their expert help at such a time!

Fortunately, my story has a happy ending, but I'm now very aware of clots; and I've spread the message to anyone who will listen, and especially to a few of my friends who have had recent surgery.

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
Fortunately, the clot only slowed me down during my recovery from surgery. Because of the Hip Resurfacing, I need to wait a bit longer before I can jog or train hard on a bike; but I AM allowed to take long walks, and it feels WONDERFUL to walk without the pain of arthritis.

By the way, if anyone has questions about Hip Resurfacing vs. Traditional Total Hip Replacement, please feel free to contact me:

6) What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? (Bike brand, running shoes, perhaps a running singlet or the Clot Buster's Running Polka-Dot Technical Shirt...)
Anything made by Pearl Izumi!

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
Mainly just enjoying walking now. Looking forward to April 2011, when I hope to be given the go-ahead to train hard again!

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout.
Warm Chicken Broth was THE best drink I ever had after a marathon in cool weather. Boy, did that ever hit the spot! I wish all race organizers would provide Warm Chicken Broth for Fall/Winter events.

9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
Bicycling in Ireland.

10) What would like to say to someone who is going through a clotting episode, perhaps very similar to yours? How can people return to do what they enjoy? Tells about your concerns and what you look out after as you got back.
My main message would be to those about to have surgery, and that message is to be SURE to keep flexing those muscles, and doing all you can to keep that blood flowing during your recovery! Avoiding the clot in the first place is the way to go.

Mr. Scully - A MILLION Thanks for taking the time and your willingness to share your story. There is a great deal of inspiration that can be taken from you incident and how it is very important to be in the look out for symptoms regardeless of how fit you are.

I am looking forward to see you at DePauw University again during the Alumni race next year. Who knows by then you may be able to keep up with me... or better yet lap me a few times!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Holiday Season

Enjoying time with the family.

Attempting to get used to the colder temperatures (not easy at first - can't seem to find my running gloves nor my hats nor my tights... Ian must have miss-placed them for me).

Starting to get re-introduced to the indoor trainer. Can pedal forever but go no where.

Trying to keep my weight in check so that in 2011 I can get to an "ideal" weight that can let me race as far and fast as I like.

Setting up our Christmas Tree with the help of our son. This year he actually helped setting up the tree, decorating and cleaning up afterwords.
Of course baking cookies will not help the quest of my weight but really during the Holiday Season I can give my self some slack. Plus last night was the first time I got down to make some "running" ginger bread men.

Whatever is you are doing this Holiday Season enjoying it very much as you spend time with your loved ones.

Finally, keep spreading the word about our STOP THE CLOT message. The more people know about blood clots the better. Simply we cannot do enough as people continue to suffer and die from these silent killers. Our fight is far from over.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Race 2010 - 11 years in a row...!

Thanksgiving Day Race 2010 coming up on Thursday.

10K race course in downtown Cincinnati.

Best time = Last year 41:53

This year = Will be much much slower than that.

Also this year = Be in the lookout for the Clot Buster... new polka-dot shirt design to be revealed to the world... STOP THE CLOT!!!

Looking forward to the HUGE crowds and hopefully nice weather.

Finally... I am THANKFUL for YOU and your willingness to stop by and reading my posts. I very much appreciate your curiosity and time!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November Athlete of the Month

Is it really the end of November already?

Is it really time for Thanksgiving?

Is it really time to make the very difficult choice between Pumpkin Pie versus Pecan Pie after the turkey dinner?

Hard to believe that it is this far in the year.

Even harder to believe is that I did not get around to post about November's Athelte of the Month until now...

As of late I've been in "search mood" looking to see if I could find an inspiring story out there I could share with you guys. The right combination of search words got me to find the following article I would like to share with all of you.

Please allow me to introduce to DENESHIA LARSON from Gainesville, GA. Although I have not been fortunate enough to meet her I've been luck enough to find this article about her.

Please read and get inspired to overcome anything!

"Dave Larson will be carrying a big sign to show support and jumping up and down for his favorite athlete in Sunday’s Aflac Iron Girl triathlon at Lake Lanier Islands. Larson knows the potentially fatal health issues that his wife, Deneshia Larson, has overcome. Now he wants to celebrate as she tackles her first race with the swim, bike ride and run all tied together in this race designed solely for female competitors.

“I’m very proud of my wife,” Dave said. “She’s the kind of person that when she picks a goal, she goes after it.
“I just want to be as supportive of her as I can during the race.”

People take part in distance races for all kind of reasons. Some sign-up to celebrate the conquering of health issues. Some participate simply to stay in shape or improve on last year’s time, others to celebrate a milestone.

Still, Larson has to have one of the more remarkable stories. Doctors didn’t even know if she was going to live after she suffered from genetically inherited blood clots, which surfaced with scary symptoms while she was running in the spring of 2009.

Originally chalked up to stress, those symptoms couldn’t be ignored any longer after Larson almost passed out after running only about 50 yards near her home in North Hall one day. She scheduled a doctor’s appointment for the next day and was immediately hospitalized, doctors originally believing she may have suffered a heart attack.

It wasn’t a heart attack.

After almost a week in a hospital bed and a number of tests, including blood tests and chest X-rays, it was determined that her ailment was pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis — blood clots in the legs and both lungs. Both of these conditions are potentially deadly and doctors told the Larsons she would not have survived had it not been for her good physical condition.

Now, just a little more than a year removed from a shaky prognosis, she’s been cleared compete in her first triathlon.

“I just want to be able to finish the race,” Larson said. “Being able to complete the race is very important.”

She will not be competing in the race alone. Her sister, Jessica Warren, will be making the drive up from Jacksonville, Fla. to be right by her sister in the race. Aside from a little friendly trash talk between the sisters about who will finish first, Larson’s younger sister is just glad she’s got this opportunity to be going through such a grueling event together.

“I feel really privileged to be able to do this with my sister,” Warren said. “It really scared me when it happened because she was in the hospital for about a week.

“I know it’s a miracle she survived.”

After a long period of uncertainty during which she was unable to do any athletic training, Larson was given a clean bill of health by her hematologist on Oct. 26 of last year. After taking blood thinners for six months to combat the blood clots, she is back to a normal lifestyle, except for relatively minor precautions she must follow: taking an aspirin every day, staying well hydrated and limiting Vitamin K intake.

Shortly after getting the go-ahead to start training, the Larsons saw the previous year’s Iron Girl event televised. Deneshia immediately gravitated to what the race had to offer and was drawn to sign up. However, she had to take it easy at first.

First it was baby steps running. Then she would run a mile. On race day, it will be a three-mile run that women have to complete on a moderately hilly course.

Now, as a pair, the Larsons train regularly to have Deneshia ready for the race this weekend. Her biggest worry going into the race is the 1/3-mile swimming portion, since she’s only been training for stamina in the water for a few months. As for running, the Larsons train a few days each week during their lunch break from their respective jobs in Alpharetta.

Training on the bicycle is probably the most thorough.

After a ride of about 20 miles on Mondays, the couple will do a 30-mile trip on Wednesdays with friends from Reality Bikes in Cumming, then on the weekend they try to tackle about 60 miles.

Now, it’s all come together for Larson, who has previously competed in a number of half marathons — 5Ks and 10Ks — with her husband.

“She’s been training hard for this race,” Warren said. “And I know she wants to be able to place too.” "

Be Thankful this week because we are able to experience come-backs like Deneshia's. Anything is possible once you get the bill of clean health like she did. Never ever lose the hope that you can come back.


Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Sunday, November 21, 2010


As I see these news articles I will pass them along for all to share.

Knowledge is power.

This article in particular can resonate with those of us who find ourselves attempting some sort of endurance event.

What ever your condition or level of athletic ability BE AWARE!

Please CLICK HERE for the article.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, November 18, 2010


As I see them I will try my best to pass them for all of us to share.

Knowledge is power.

Knowing that blood clots affect people of all walks of life can serve as an indication that we need to be aware of all the signs and symptoms ALL THE TIME.

Please CLICK HERE to read this article.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, November 15, 2010


Congratulations to my friend and CLOT SURVIVOR MARTY BUSEKRUS in becoming an IRONMAN at IM FLORIDA!!!
Very proud to be able to share this as it is very inspiring to see him go the distance.

See the progression of his race day below.

Get inspired people!
We may not do an Ironman but we can get out there and do whatever is that we want to do even after a blood clotting episode.
Thanks for Reading,
The Clot Buster

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

UPDATE on June 2009's Athlete of the Month

Last week I got a nice note from June 2009's Athlete of the Month - JIM FENTON in which he was telling me that he completed the CANNON BALL Half -Marathon wearing his polka-dots.

Mr. Fenton also told me that in this race he got a new PERSONAL BEST of 2:03 which destroyed his old PR of 2:32...!!!
Can you believe it!?!?!?

But that is not all, he also told me that through the NATThlete Program he was able to raise $1025.00!!!

JIM - THANK YOU for your efforts in spreading the word and rasing funds for our cause against blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

JIM - CONGRATULATIONS!!! on a Fantastic Time on your Half-Marathon. You got some speed my friend!

You are truly an inspiration to all of us looking to make a difference by wearing our polka-dots!

I am thrilled for you and I can't wait to learn more about your upcoming adventures!

Good Luck!

Thanks for reading AND GET INSPIRED!!!,

The Clot Buster

Monday, November 01, 2010

IM World Championships

How about this year's race in Kona?

I can't believe that Chrissie Wellington whitdrew from the event. That sure opened the door for the women's field and the crowning of a new champion.

I can't wait to see the broadcast later on this winter.

The men's race was also very interesting. Fun battle on the run amongst all of the favorites.

The ability of these competitors to push themselves to such limits is simply beyond what I can understand. I admire anyone who can do an IM race. I drool and wonder if I can do one someday but I very quickly return to reality and think of the pain that I have felt attempting Half-Iron Distance races before. How in the world would I ever be able to double that distance and effort...? For now, the answer is NO WAY JOSE!

I am wondering however, when is it that we will have an American athlete as a winner of either race?

It is nice to see the international flavor of the event but I am tired of seeing other countries dominate the event with Americans significantly out of the runnig for the top podium spot. As Tim DeBoom announced that he was not racing at the Big Island anymore I wonder where is the next American Champion of this race in either gender. It just seems that we don't have what it takes anymore to contend for the title.

As a follower of the sport I see some American Stars in the distance and some stars fading away in the lava fields but in the near future it seems that the IM World Championships will continue to belong to the international field.

If that is the way it is then so be it. I like the sport far to much that it does not matter to me in the end because the competition and ability is what I am interested in regardless of its nationality.

So as I drift away again day dream about racing in Kona some day...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, October 28, 2010


You probably saw my tweet about it...

But if you did not catch it please check out the following link to a news article the NATIONAL BLOOD CLOT ALLIANCE posted on their website a couple of weeks ago...

This another alternative that will be available to people when treated for blood clotting episodes. Although this anticoagulant is currently only indicated for atrial fibrillation there is a good chance that eventually down the road it will be approved for other DVT/PE related indications as it is the case in other countries.

In the mean time do everything that you can to be aware of the sign of symptoms of potential blood clots. Ourselves are the first line of defense in combating clotting episodes. So, be on the look out!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, October 08, 2010

October Athlete of the Month

October is one of my favorite months of the year.

Partly because fall is really taking hold of the season.

Partly because cinammon spice is again available for consumption... I also dig some pumpkin items but I am not as crazy about it as Mr. Clot Buster.

Partly because the swimming, the biking, and the running are less intense and I get to do whatever without really any structure.

Partly because European Soccer (Real Football) Leagues get finally under way and I get to follow my beloved teams.

And Partly because the IRONMAN WorldChampionships are in play the second weekend of the month. How I wish that I was good enough to some day do that race... For now I'll put that away in the "IN YOUR DREAMS" box...

However, I wanted to take this month's ATHLETE OF THE MONTH post to celebrate those I know who have completed or soon will complete and IRONMAN race and that are of course blood clot survivors!

I wish that I knew someone that is in Kona, HI right now who is about to race the IM World Championships... how cool would it be to follow that person? I am not that fortunate this year but I am sure there is someone racing tomorrow who has had a blood clot and it is survivor like all of the Athlete of the Month folks I've been able to write about.

So, let's remember and celebrate those that I have written about as OCTOBER's ATHLETE OF THE MONTH!

DEIDRE CALLAHAN - November 2008 - IRONMAN Lake Placid 2005

KRISTOFFER PERRY - October 2009 - IRONMAN Wisconsin 2009

MARTI BUSEKRUS - March 2010 - IRONMAN Florida 2010

My goal is to someday have a long list of people I could celebrate in October as finishers of IRONMAN events. However, any event is a tremendous accomplishment for someone returning to "normal" life after a clotting incident.

I am alawys inspired by what people can achieve with determination and inspiration.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

September Athlete of the Month

Where is the time going?

I am not ready for the summer to be over.

I refuse to admit that soon I will have to put away my shorts.

This year I am going as long as I can but somehow I don't think that the fall colors will allow for me to go much longer...

So, with little of the summer left and hoping that cycling time comes back faster than last year, September's Athlete of the Month sure can provide some serious inspiration to all of us to get out and enjoy every moment to be best of our abilities...

Please let me introduce to JEANNE KRULL - September's Athlete of the Month.

Come on and CLICK HERE for JEANNE's story of survival.

If I am lucky enough some day I hope to personally meet Jeanne and get to ride with her. I am sure she has some stories to tell besides the one she shared with all of us. I need to ask her about bike touring in Tuscany... how cool is that?

I am always amazed of how fortunate people in shape are when faced with a deadly blood clot. I am very Thankful to have the chance to share these stories with you because everyone of them keeps me inspiraed to spread the word about STOP THE CLOT!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

STOP THE News + Racing this Weekend

If you have time to spare this article is currently on NBCA's website and it is an interesting read

>>> FDA Approves First Generic Enoxaparin Sodium Injection

It is great news that there is a generic alternative to the costly blood thinner currently available on the market. Of course any questions that patients may have concerning this generic prodcut should be discussed with their treating physicians.


As I slowly recover from my monster 107 Mile ride of Saturday, I just came to the realization that I am racing a triathlon this weekend.

Yes this will be my very first Olympic distance race of the season.

Many questions I have about my current condition...

Will I be ready to ride well or will I be fatigued from the long ride the previous weekend?

Running a 10K...? I have no idea how am I going to do that.

I suppose we will know by 10AM Sunday morning so stay tuned!

If you happen to be near Oxford, OH come on by and checkout the race... More information can be found here >>> HUESTON WOODS TRIATHLON

Wish me luck this weekend.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August Athlete of the Month

Greetings from the Clot Buster!

Is it really August already?

Summer please don't go away so fast... I could use a few more warm months... slow down, stay a while!

Well, another month and again the time to honor a clot survivor as they make their way back to a normal life style.

This month's CLOT BUSTER Athlete of the Monhth I am borrowing from NBCA's web site... please let me introduce to you Mr. TIM ALLEN.

Please read Tim's story by clicking on the link below. Enjoy and get inspired >>>

National Blood Clot Alliance - TIM ALLEN's STORY

Mr. Allen's story is one that I will remember for a long time. I wish him the best of luck on his bike ride around Oklahoma and I will keep you posted as to how he does on his ride.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Riding around...

Yes, for an entire a week the Clot Buster family did a whole lot of riding...

1915 Miles of riding in the car... from Columbus, OH all the way to Cape Cod, MA and back.

Mrs. Clot Buster and I had the chance to race a triathlon in Falmouth, MA and it was called the FALMOUTH SPRINT TRIATHLON.
It was a fantastic course with the swim in the Atlantic Ocean... that part was new for the two of us. Luckily it was calm and we did not have to fight any currents. But once out of the water the bike course was a treat along the coast and through some hilly terrain that tested my legs even if it was only 9.5 Miles...

Got to ride all over Yarmouth, MA on very nice roads with some views that were photo worthy... too bad I am not smart enough to take the camera with me.
We camped for two nights in the Pocono Mountains of Easter PA and I have to tell you that the hills out there were no joke... I had to grind my way up some of the hills I was able to find within a few miles of the campground. Again, not smart enough to take a camera with me to provide proof... but if you could feel what I felt on those grades you would understand.It was a FANTASTIC time in our first long vacation with Junior. He was sensational even after being many hours cramped in the car.

So, we are back and better than ever...

Looking to do a couple of more races before the summer is over. I am not sure which ones yet so I better get busy with my research... I toyed with the idea of a half-iron race in September but for the first time in my 50+ triathlon racing career I just don't think I can prepare for such a long event and be where I want to be. So, Olympic distance races it is for the rest of the year.

Be in the look out for the polka-dots near you... you never know they've made it all the way to Cape Cod and the Atlantic Ocean...
Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, July 12, 2010

July Athlete of Month

In this edition of the Athlete of the Month we are going PRO...

But we are going pro VERY FAST...

NASCAR Fast...

Very recently I surprised to learn that a very popular NASCAR driver came down with a very serious episode of blood clots that unfortunately have parked him on the sidelines for this season...

It is unfortunate that I first learned about Mr. BRIAN VICKERS through the STOP THE CLOT network available to me. Thankfully he is fine and on his way to recover fully. Although there is a question about his eventual return to racing due to risk of being on blood thinners and the potential dangers of severe crashes that cause some serious complications. As far as I can read from the information available in the media he remains very involved with the sport and I have no question that somehow someway he will be back and putting the pedal to the metal.
Perhaps someday I will get the chance to meet Mr. Vickers and get to know him better and learn about his story to complement this post and make it more personal. I did not get the chance to ask him my usual 10 questions that I could share with all of you out there. But someday I will. My path as the Clot Buster surely will intersect a NASCAR drivers at somepoint through the bonding expirience of STOP THE CLOT.

Take a look at Mr. Vickers' website and follow along through his road to recovery.
I wish that next season he makes it back behind the wheel making those laps as fast as he can. How cool would it be that someday a red polka-dot NASCAR with the number 83 would make it in a race track out there just to spread the word about STOP THE CLOT at fast speeds?!?!?

Cheer for him!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, July 05, 2010

HAPPY 4th of July!

Amazing how time gets away from you when you have fun.
Since Thursday it has been non-stop...

Thursday = Work Full Day + Celebrating Mrs. Clot Buster's Birthday with fancy dinner and cake...

Friday = Work Half Day + 50.85 Mile Ride + 888 Meter Swim + Tail gating from 6PM until the fire works in downtown Columbus...

Saturday = Attempted to rest... instead full day of sports on TV (are you kidding me... Germany VS. Argentina and Spain VS. Paraguay in addtion to the start of the Tour...) + picnic at Alum Creek Beach which included some Kayaking by all even Cacheton.
Sunday = Triathlon in the AM... Short and sweet sprint race that was an ALL OUT EFFORT with the polka-dots in FULL DISPLAY... 5th in my age group and 17th Overall out of 241 participants - not bad + 4th. July Parade for Ian to see Fire Trucks and Police cars with their lights on + mowed the lawn ahead of the brutal heat tomorrow + and a lovely cookout with some friends.

Monday = NOT WORKING... FANTASTIC...sorry to all of you out there but I enjoy my time away from work any way possible... Early morning hike with the family at Highbanks Park top it all off milkshakes on the way home. Now, Ian is sleeping and I am off to do more of my little "side-kick" projects around the house.
I would not change anything about this weekend. Just the way I like it!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June Athlete of the Month - Part Two


Please read on about more about the inspiring words from KATHERINE SIRON...

6) What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? (Bike brand, running shoes, perhaps a running singlet or the Clot Buster's Running Polka-Dot Technical Shirt...)
Can't live without my RoadID, GU, iPod, Saucony shoes, and DryMax socks! That care of your feet and they'll take care of you! We have awful humidity and heat in the summer here and good socks are a must! My RoadId is an absolute must! It's more important that anything I carry. It has all my contact info, doctors name and number, blood type, my DOB, drug allergies, and most importantly my HISTORY OF DVT AND PULMONARY EMBOLISM! I always wear it when I workout and travel. ALWAYS! Check it out for yourself!

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
I've got a pretty busy schedule, so training and racing can be a little bit of a challenge. I'm in medicine and currently applying to graduate programs to become a Physician's Assistant and get my Masters in Public Health. Work, volunteering (which I do a lot of), and grad school applications take up a lot of the day, but I like to use the phrase "work hard, play hard". My long runs are on the weekend and I try to sneak in a spin class or evening run a couple days a week. Summers are hard here because we're already at high humidity and temps reaching the high 90s in the day. Some have snow and ice, we have HEAT! At least you can layer for the cold, with heat, you can only get so naked.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
I'm a definite food lover, so to pick just one would be too hard. When I was in Europe, I ate everything in sight! Always on my list are sushi, Chipotle salads, and a good hotdog ( I know! i know! Not healthy . . . but I have a favorite joint in Charleston that serves up the BEST dogs! Also ballpark hotdog can be pretty fabulous too! I'm a big Cubs fan!) :)

9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? Humm . . . good question! I LOVE to travel! Languages and culture are such a gift! I try not to act like a typical American when I'm abroad. Eat what they eat, do what they do, and soak it all in. Africa and New Zealand are next on my list. My family hosted a Bishop from Uganda last year and I promised him that I would come do medical mission work once my doctors cleared me to fly that far. Try breaking a promise to a Bishop! :)

10) What would like to say to someone who is going through a clotting episode, perhaps very similar to yours? How can people return to do what they enjoy? Tells about your concerns and what you look out after as you got back.
My best advice would be to talk about it! You feel like you're all alone and no one else could possibly know what you're going through. Sadly, there are too many people out there that know EXACTLY what your going through. Support groups and education people has been my saving grace. Knowing that my story might prevent one persons DVT episode and increase funding to spread the word about coagulation problems and veinous disease. Surviving the unsurvivable is a heavy load to bear and getting back on the horse is scary and difficult. You've got to live in the light and not think about the "what if's" too much. Yes, be smart. I'm not advocating you do something foolish and risky, but returning to what makes you happy is part of your recovery. Blood thinners aren't a prison sentence, they just need a little extra precaution. Wear your RoadID or other form of identification. Don't let fear rule your life. Pray, eat healthy, exercise, and live life to the fullest! Oh, and don't forget . . . STOP THE CLOT! :)

That is correct Katherine - STOP THE CLOT is what we are all about as we need to spread the word and let as many people know as possible so that we don't have any more close calls such as yours.

Thank you for your willigness to share your story. Without a doubt is great inpiration to all of us!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June Athlete of the Month - 2nd year of postings about people that INSPIRE us all!



Hard to believe!

Two years = 24 postings = A whole lot of inspiration to all who have had a blood clot and want to return to do whatever is that they love.

To celebrate the Second Anniversary of the Athlete of the Month Postings I want to introduce to you someone I got the chance to meet thanks to the magic of the web. I hope that I can someday meet her in person just to see if some of her abundant energy can rub off on me just by being around her...

Please allow me to introduce you to KATHERINE SIRON. Hers is a very interesting story of survival that was possible thanks to her being in shape. This time around I will start my post with an article that was written about Katherine that explains her ordeal much better than I can ever can so please read on... "That Katie Siron survived for weeks, backpacking through Europe as two massive blood clots took hold in her lungs, astonished her doctor after her return to the states. And if she hadn’t been in above average cardiovascular condition before her trip, training for the Chicago Marathon, she might not be here to tell her story.
It begins with an overnight flight from Charlotte to London in the spring of 2008. After staying awake for the first hour and a half of the flight, then 24-year-old Katie took an Ambien and slept hard until it was time for landing, even as she wound up in an awkward position.
As she traveled with her and her friend from high school through England, France and Germany, she never noticed anything wrong in her lower body, just the aches you would expect after backpacking several miles a day and climbing stairs to explore sites like the Louvre. But by the time the pair hit Italy, Siron’s cough started, and she felt like she was coming down with something. Then at her hotel in Assisi, she sat up in the middle of the night and couldn’t breathe. “I had this stabbing pain in my back, almost as if I had pulled a muscle or had a pinched nerve.”
She pressed on, taking Ibuprofen for the pain, but it was still so severe she couldn’t lie down and she struggled while walking. After 48 hours without sleep, she went to a hospital in Rome, where the doctor noticed her backpack, dismissed her problem as muscular and gave her a prescription for anti-inflammatory medicine and muscle relaxers.
The medicine masked the problem, allowing Siron to stick it out, visit the Vatican and, amazingly, ride to the top of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. It would be several more weeks, before a CAT scan in Columbia revealed the bilateral pulmonary emboli as well as the tissue that had died in her lungs as a result.
“Katie,” Siron remembers her primary care doctor telling her, “You should have come home in a box.”
A Doppler scan did not show any evidence of clots in her legs. Her doctors suspect the clotting may have started in her pelvic region before migrating to her lungs, and they decided to quickly insert a filter in her inferior vena cava to stop any other possible clots from reaching the heart and lungs.
While Siron is seeing Charleston hematologist Dr. David Ellison to determine any blood disorder, it’s apparent that her blood is prone to clotting faster than most people. As a result, she no longer takes birth control pills, which were intended to counter a history of ovarian cysts, but likely elevated her risk. In fact, she took the heavily marketed Yazmin birth control, which has been linked in lawsuits to blood clots.
Now she takes an aspirin every day to thin her blood and the anticoagulant Heparin when flying for more than three hours. She wears a heart monitor when running, but she still intends to enter the Chicago Marathon someday, and it’s as important for her to stay active now as it ever was.
She also plans to become a physician’s assistant and get her master’s in public health. Along the way, she hopes to help educate people about the dangers that blood clots and a pulmonary embolism can pose.
“She considers her story a miracle, but realizes that others who are suddenly stricken by deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism aren’t always as fortunate.
“God has given me a tremendous gift – the opportunity to tell my story and help others. Take charge of your health care. Be educated. Know your risks. And never assume it won’t happen to you.”

If you are not satisfied by the article above then keep on reading to learn more about the amazing Katherine!

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
Such a tough question. I grew up playing multiple sports (volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis, golf, etc) I never concentrated on one thing. Since high school, I've had to readjust to staying athletic and finding alternatives to a once "team sport" junkie. Running and triathlons have been my love since 2002! Triathlons are a great way to stay fit, injury free, and allow an athlete to find one of the three disciplines a strength. Mine is the bike. I've never been a fast runner, but I'm a decent swimmer and can crank 20+ mph on the bike. Running is on the list because I love a challenge. I lost lung function after my PE's and it's almost a game for me to find out how to better use my remaining lung capacity. Yoga, swimming, & running are the best. Or so I'm told by my doctors. :)

2) How did you get started in that sport?
I saw my first triathlon in 2000 in Kinston, Ontario and watched a woman complete in the race with one arm and no hair. She apparently had suffered or was suffering from breast cancer and they had removed her entire right arm. I had never heard of a triathlon until that day and I remember thinking "If she can do it, anyone can." I came home inspired, bought a bike, and started training in all three disciplines. My first race was two years later, the summer before starting college.

3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
I just completed the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon and I'm registered for the Chicago Half Marathon in September and the full Chicago Marathon in October. I'm also doing the Charleston Triathlon Series this summer.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
My story is a pretty unique one. I was 24 years old when I left for Europe on a backpacking trip with a close friend of mine. I wanted to avoid "jet lag" and was given a sample of Ambien to take on the way over, considering I've always had trouble sleeping on planes. He also gave me several prescriptions, per my request that would cure just about anything I could possible encounter (several antibiotics, anti nausea/vomiting, etc) You get the drift. Ironically, I had everything except for the one thing I'd need on my adventure. I took my Ambien, curled up to the window seat on my giant Airbus plane, and slept from Charlotte, NC to London's Gatwick airport. I arrived refreshed and ready to hit the town. That first day, we walked at least 1o miles touring London. We were full of adrenaline and life seemed perfect. About ten days later, in Venice, Italy, I felt as if I was coming down with a cold. My body ached all over (especially my back), but seemed manageable with a little ibuprofen. The next day we were off to Assisi, a short overnight before hitting Rome. Upon arriving in Assisi, we went to Mass at the St. Francis Basilica and then crashed at our hotel. That was the night everything turned for the worse. I woke up gasping for air and had pains shooting down my back. I had trouble finding an English speaking doctor, so I headed to Rome and found the Rome/American hospital where they dismissed me as having back pain due to muscular strain and sent me on my way with a prescription for a pain medication and muscle relaxer. When I arrived at the pharmacy, barely able to walk, I was given two boxes of vials and a box of syringes. My medications were inter-muscular injections that I would have to give myself. I was in so much pain at that point that I didn't even care. I hadn't slept in three days and there wasn't a big enough shot in the world to keep me from feeling better. I started feeling relief after the first round of injections and continued my "four times a day" routine until I got home. During that time I went to the top of the Alps, saw the Vatican, and continued my trip throughout Europe, only by cab instead of by foot. When I got home, I made an appointment with a local orthopedist to rule out my back being severely injured. He did some tests and several x-rays and told me that my chest xray looked "a little funny", like I had contracted a viral pneumonia while on my trip. That made perfect sense to me and I figured that's where my pleuritic pain was coming from. He dismissed me and told me to follow up with my primary care physician. While leaving the office, I called my internist, told him the story, and he worked me in. After taking my history, he told me that I was going to need to go downstairs to their imaging center and have a CT scan. I went downstairs, drank some berry flavored barium, IV in my arm, wondering why he was doing this test. I remember asking the tech why they were looking for and she said "He's ruling out blood clots in your lungs." I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard! "Who get's those!" I thought. Once we finished the test, the tech sent me directly back upstairs and told me my results would be ready shortly. When I walked in the office my doctor and his nurse were waiting there with a wheelchair and told me to get in. Apparently the radiologist was shocked that I was even walking an immediately called upstairs before I could even get out of the elevator. I had blood clots in both lungs and a pulmonary infarction (dead lung tissue from the clots). My clots were HUGE and my doctors only comment was that I "should have come home in a box." I was rushed to the hospital where they started a heparin drip and put me on immediate bed rest. After 24 hours, an interventional radiologist put in an IVC filter to prevent any further clots from making it up to my heart, lungs, or brain. I still have my filter today and I like to refer to it as my "safety net." I'm now considered high risk pregnancy, can no longer take birth control pills, and must use Lovenox shots while traveling, immobile, or pre/post surgery. My doctors feel comfortable keeping me off Coumadin since I have a filter in place, but if I encounter another clotting episode, I've "bought it for life" as they like to say. When you have medical professionals coming to your hospital room asking to see "the miracle child" and realize you survived something incredible is the most humbling feeling imaginable. So many do not survive and don't get to tell their story. I have been given a second chance and plan on using it to live everyday to the fullest, run like I've never run before, and spread the work about this silent killer than affects so many people. Blood clots may not be in the mainstream media, but they are mainstream in the population.
Take charge of your health care. Be educated. Know your risks. And never assume it won’t happen to you.

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
It took me a while before I was allowed to be active again. I felt like a caged animal and wanted nothing more than to go outside and run 'til I couldn't run anymore. It's one thing to not run and a completely other story to be told that you CAN'T run! I had been training for the Chicago Marathon before my trip and went from running the race to watching the race. That was torture! My first run was two months after Chicago and I was in tears when I laced up my shoes for the first time. My cardiovascular fitness was gone, I was starting from scratch, but I was outside and able to run! What an incredible feeling. A second chance!

A second chance indeed...

But don't fear this post is not over yet. Second part of this post to follow I just want for you to enjoy this post and look forward to the second part..


Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

First Triathlon of 2010 coming up...

Hard to believe but at last the first triathlon of 2010 is finally here...

I will be racing in the Wendy's Triathlon this coming Sunday...

I hope that I remember how I should be doing this. Am I in shape? I think that I am but I guess that we will find out. You never know during the frist race you have to shake off the rust.

I am very looking forward to racing you don't have any idea. Hopefully the first of many races that will end up with racing a Half-Iron distance race in September up North in Sandusky...

As you may remember back in June of 2009 I had the opportunity to feature a good friend of mine as the Athlete of the Month - JIM FENTON. This year Jim was able to arrange his racing schedule to participate in the NATIONAL BLOOD CLOT ALLIANCE Athlete Fundraising Program... Please checkout his page here >>>

Although, it is been a while since I posted anything and I will keep trying to post updates through Twitter... these days 140 characters is all I can afford these days.

Ian just turned 2 and he got not one but two bikes he needs help learning how to ride so stories of his trials I am sure will be abundant. For instace today we had a little battle trying to agree on the use of the helmet. Ian has only had his tricycle less than three days and already he is going down our driveway enjoying the speed. So, a helmet on that head is a MUST. Pictures to follow once available...

So, on we go with the training and fitting it in whenever possible...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May Athlete of the Month

On my previous post you learned about the bike race I participated in during the middle part of April.

You also learned that, as always, the NATIONAL BLOOD CLOT ALLIANCE polka-dots came out to the event and as expected they drew some attention towards me. This attention generated some conversations and in the process of of talking to several different folks I met Mr. Steven Greene.

Although we were there to race bikes and talk about our "war" stories from past Little 5 races my conversation with Mr. Greene headed a different way once he learned the real meaning of the polka-dots and the reason behind wearing them. I am amazed about how easily a connection can be made by simply talking about the silly polka-dots I wear at the races... but enough about the power of the polka-dots and let's learn more about my new friend Mr. Steven Greene...
picture below first from the right.1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
I do enjoy many sports: basketball, running, tennis, racquetball, weight lifting, downhill skiing, but cycling is my activity of choice. Since I was in school, cycling has been a way to cross train while participating in the main stream sport programs, football, wrestling, baseball. It gives a great cardiovascular workout and you get to see the countryside at the same time. When I hit DePauw the Little 5 caused the interest to explode into USCF races, etc.

2) How did you get started in that sport?
It started when I was in Jr. High and Mr. Thompson (our counselor) had the idea of a Little 5 race between the Jr. Highs in Elkhart, IN. Mr. Thompson attended Ball State which also has a Little 5, and was on a team that changed the race strategy forever. They were one of the first teams to have the riders train to be able to ride 5-6 laps at a time instead of changing riders every lap. Our race was on a cinder track (Very Messy if You Crash!) and we shared the bike. We trained both on the road and on the track. I bought my first 10 speed at that time, a Schwinn Varsity. (I road that bike into the ground by the time I was out of High School.) We also had to master the art of the bike transfer which was an adventure each and every time. It is kind of like being in the pits in a NASCAR race. I was able to participate in the race for two years. It was 3 years before I would get back into serious bike racing when I got to DePauw, but in the mean time I was still riding out on the road.

3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
My milestones are to keep riding in the MATTS Time Trial Series in the Chicago area, and doing some longer rides occasionally. We have done the 75 mile Swedish Days loop, and I would like to repeat this year. There is a 100 miles in 5 hrs. or less 5 man TT for Parkinson’s Disease that Kent Billingsley is trying to talk us into which would push me to the limit I’m sure. It is in early September which gives me some time to try and train. I also try and make the Illinois Special Olympics Pumpkin Peddle Charity ride every year which is about 28 miles long to help out Area 2 which my son is a part of. And of course getting through another Little 5 at DPU is always a goal for us.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
Oddly enough my injury occurred while I was enjoying one of my other favorite sports, downhill skiing. We were at the Illinois Special Olympics Winter Games in early February 1995 or so, and we had some down time between my son’s events (Downhill, and Giant Slalom). It was a bit warm and the snow had a layer of water forming on the surface. Now I have been to Colorado a number of times, so skiing in the Midwest again has always been a let down. In order to try and make up for that I was pushing my speed to try and get the same feeling as out West. Big mistake! As I shot over a ridge at about 35 mph. or so I realized that I was running out of ski slope quickly. We were at Chestnut Mountain and the runs end at the Mississippi river edge in Galena, IL. I tried to stand on my edges, but had to pull off a cut back to keep it on the slopes. As I made the turn I caught my right ski tip and instantly was flipped head over heals. The force of the crash pushed my boot top into my right calf. The new boot styles are taller and help distribute the blow without breaking your ankle which is a good thing according to my physician. I was laying there thinking, “I wonder if it is broken?” Of course the Ski Patrol had seen everything (they are everywhere) and a gentleman skied up and asked if I was alright. At that point I was pulling myself up and hoping my leg didn’t fold under the weight of my body. As a guy you never admit you are hurt or that you didn’t mean to do that, so I told him “Oh that’s OK I’m fine.” Meanwhile I’m thinking, “Damn my leg hurts!” My leg seemed to be otherwise functioning normally, so I put my skis back on and skied down to the chair lift. Wouldn’t you know it that right as I was about to board the lift it shut down. I stood there for about 5 minutes as they got it back up and running. I really didn’t need that much time standing, and by the time I was finally on the lift my leg REALLY hurt. I did admit to my wife that I had a small fall, and that my leg hurt a bit. I indicated that I may not ski in the afternoon. I decided during lunch that I better put some ice on the calf since it was starting to swell up. I managed to get through the night with a lot of ibuprofen and more ice. I hobbled around the final day of the Winter Games, and when we got home I went to the ER to have it checked. There were no broken bones, but the physician said she didn’t like the look of the calf and scheduled an ultrasound for the next day. Upon examination they determined that I had the clot. CIGNA has a slightly different treatment regiment whereby they have you stay at home and they send in a nurse to check your clotting factor. I had to give myself 6 injections of Lovenox per day until the Cumaden oral blood thinner took effect. Due to some diet mistakes (spinach and salads) it took me 11 days to get the clotting factor where they wanted it, so I had a lot of holes in various places around my body. Being on blood thinners while having a major bruise was very difficult, and it took quite a while for it to heal to where I could begin to get active again. I was on Cumaden for 4 months, and only after I stopped taking it did I begin to try and work out. It was a year or so before I felt like I was completely healed. I am not on blood thinners at this point which I am very thankful for.

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
It was about 9 months after the fall that I got back onto the bike. It was difficult getting my wind back when I did start riding. The leg was a bit sore and the muscle is still deformed to this day compared to the other calf.

6) What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? (Bike brand, running shoes, perhaps a running singlet or the Clot Buster's Running Polka-Dot Technical Shirt...)
My favorite bike is either of the new ones I have. My Trek Madone road bike, or my Scatante TT bike ride about the same. I ride with Sidi shoes, and a Bell helmet. I would gladly don the Clot Buster’s uniform if offered.

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
I usually try and ride every other day at least, and lift weights/ run on the off days.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
My favorite food after riding is usually some yogurt and a sandwich. My weakness is also Mexican food (spicy veg. fajitas) and some hard cider to wash it down.

9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
If I didn’t think it would kill me I would like to ride some of the tour de france routes, or maybe a ride across Colorado. Hawaii would be fun if you could get a decent bike to ride while you were there.

10) What would like to say to someone who is going through a clotting episode, perhaps very similar to yours? How can people return to do what they enjoy? Tells about your concerns and what you look out after as you got back.
Blood clots are devastating to you and your schedule. It takes over your whole being. You feel completely compromised as soon as you begin taking the blood thinners. You have to watch what you do, and where you go. As my doctor said to me, “No major projects, God help you if you fall off the roof or cut yourself with a chain saw.” Even with all this going on it is important to never give up, and work as hard as you can on your physical therapy. Don’t allow yourself to say that I can’t be the same as I was before the clot. If you do the Clot wins. It is your enemy, fight it with every cell of your body. Find a good doctor and listen to their advice. They can be there to listen to your concerns and frustrations as you fight your way back to what you love to do. Start slow but give yourself goals and challenges to achive and before long you will be back to your old life and loves.

Mr. Greene - THANK YOU very much for sharing your story. I am very lucky to have had the chance to cross paths with you and meet you at the Alumni Little 5. You are truly an inspiration to everyone out there reading this blog and wonder if it is possible to get back to what they love doing.

Once I get around to get the new Clot Buster's kits with the new NATIONAL BLOOD CLOT ALLIANCE logo I will be sure to have one sent your way so that you can also spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders across the events that you do.

It was a PLEASURE to meet Mr. Greene at this year's race and I will be sure to make it a point to get out there again next year and by then maybe have the two of us racing with some polka-dots kits... I have a full year to work on this so I definitely will make it happen.

Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster

Monday, May 10, 2010

Picture Update of my last two events...

This time around the pictures took a little longer than the updates themselves... just could not get around to get the pictures up until now.

The first set of pictures belong to the bike race I went to during the weekend of my birthday at DePauw University which is one of my two Alma Maters. We were celebrating the Alumni version of a very popular bike race that takes place every year on campus called the "Little 5". Back in the day (the better part than 10 years ago) the race was much different than what is now... you can find more about the race and it's evolution HERE.
One thing remains and that is that race takes place on the track which brings a whole new dynamic to the event... at any rate, it was sweet to get back and see the campus and experience racing on the track again. The polka-dots came out to spread the word about the National Blood Clot Alliance...they were not very fast to contend for the win, as I got lapped a few times, but I was not last just not in shape yet...The next set of photos belong to the VERY SOGGY Flying Pig Half-Marathon I ran two weekends ago... outside of the rain the only other highlight of the day was the debut of my very own "running shorts" which I have to say I enjoyed while racing but I need to wear more often to even up the tan on my legs...Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, May 03, 2010

Survived... but I am still drying off...

Key word here... survived.

Although, it was only a half-marathon it was a challenge.

I am not sure what made this race so hard...

My lack of trainging as I recovered from my plantar issues?

The rain when we got out of the car?

Perhaps, the rain as we ran down to the start line?

Maybe, the rain as we waited around 14 minutes to make our way to the start line because we found our selves WAY back in the crowd?

Or the thousands of people I passed and dodged on my way through 13.1 Miles in which I was never alone?

Or lastly, the very hilly miles 5, 6, 7, and 8?

Really, I am thrilled that I was able to participate and finish this race. More than anything that my heel held up nicely and today as I am writing this there is no pain. This is GREAT news for me as I can look forward to race some triathlons later on this summer as long as I keep up with my stretching and other treatments.

So, all things considered I am delighted and looking forward to continue improving.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Returning to the Flying Pig on Sunday!

It is been two years since I toed the line at the Flying Pig Marathon and completed it... First Marathon EVER and still my best time.

This Sunday I am returning to the race but only doing the Half-Marathon as I am making way back from the heel issues I was facing at the start of the year.
I don't have a clue as to how my body will hold up as I signed up for the race without much training under my belt... now, this can be a good thing or a bad thing... I will let you know on Monday.Regardless, I am very excited to get the NATIONAL BLOOD CLOT ALLIANCE polka-dots out there again... If you see the polka-dots give a me a shout! When I did the marathon here, about Mile 19 I passed this little kid, could not be more than 4 years old, who turned and said to his mom..."Mom, there goes LADY BUG MAN"... so say what ever you want to me!

First race of 2010... ready or not here I come!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster
P.S. The weather forecast for Sunday in Cincinnati does look very promising... it may end up being a very wet race... Don't worry the polka-dots are water-proof.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April Athlete of the Month

This month's athlete of the month was a difficult selection for me as I had a number of candidate at my disposal that I would have liked to honor with this feature.

But after pondering this for a while it was evident that I should only focus on one person in this post based on the fact that she has come a long way in so many ways that it is simply time...

Can you guess who is "APRIL's Athlete of the Month"...?

Well, it is something very dear and close to my heart... someone who has been involved with NATT since the very beginning and today continues to be very much a part of the organization holding some key positions that are guiding NATT - well now the NATIONAL BLOOD CLOT ALLIANCE - into the future.

Also, goes without saying that aside from being one of the leading member of the organization she is a FINE ATHLETE and one that can be a serious inspiration for everyone.

By now you know who I am talking about... but if you still don't know let me introduce you to APRIL's Athlete of the Month = My Lovely Wife Mrs. CLOT BUSTER or as she is known by others ELIZABETH VARGA.
Her dedication to the organization along with her discipline and commitment to her workout routines is legendary. She is without a doubt a HUGE inspiration for me to keep at it and make it happen.About two weeks ago she completed in the St. Louis Marathon and now she (and all of us in this house) is a very proud Marathon Finisher. Running the marathon was a huge challenge that she was able to take head on to complete in tremendous fashion.
Although she was never suffered from a blood clotting episode we are always concerned because she is a carrier and under the right combination of circumstances she could develop a clot.

You can read more about Liz's story at the following link

I am very proud and honored to have the opportunity to share Mrs. Clot Buster with all of you out there. I am constantly amazed of what she can do and how far she has come. We have been together the better part of 12 years and let me tell you that I am looking forward to spend the next 50 years along side her...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mrs. Clot Buster - CONGRATULATIONS!!!

If you followed my twitter posts over the weekend you probably already know...


26.2 Miles >>> 3:54.16
She finished in 11th place in her age-group which had 119 participants!
We are VERY PROUD OF HER!!! and she is not even sore anymore... I cannot believe that...

CONGRATULATIONS Mrs. Clot Buster! You did an awesome job!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, April 05, 2010

Marathon Preparation Week...

Here we are at the door step of another marathon.

Mrs. Clot Buster is about to get introduced to the fraternity of the 26.2 Miles.

She is about to find out how amazing and painful it can be to finish those 26.2 Miles.

We ran together yesterday and her stride feels strong and confident.

I am looking forward to cheer her on on Sunday and I hope you follow along as well.

Heading to St. Louis on Saturday AM and Junior and I will do what we can to keep her off her feet.

We are VERY PROUD of her and look forwar to learn how it goes for her.

The first time is just very exciting.

As we do in the Clot Buster household the she is representing the NATIONAL BLOOD CLOT ALLIANCE and as such she is fundraising so that we can continue to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

Checkout Mrs. Clot Buster's page here >>>

I will post updates on twitter as much as I can.

Sunday is going to be a sweet day!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

3rd Annual - DVT Awareness Month AUCTION

March is the month to be aware of Blood Clots and Blood Clotting Disorders.

March is the month to learn all there is to learn about Thrombosis and Thrombophilias.

March is the month to learn all of the symptoms of potential blood clots.
March is the month to help the NATIONAL BLOOD CLOT ALLIANCE (formerly known as NATT... yes we are changing our name!) by participating in the 3rd Annual - DVT Awareness Month Auction...

Thanks to the help to the kind folks at DPM Sports, this month I am auctioning off a Spiuk KRONOS helmet.

The auction opens at $115.00 (which is much less than half of it's retail cost...) Don't miss your chance to get this nice helmet while you help a very worthy organization that is trying to educate, prevent, and create awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

Please email me your bid at I will post the bids as they come in. The bidding time is set to start on Wednesday March 24th and set to close on Wednesday March 31st. To make this auction more attractive the shipping of the helmet is on me!

So, send your bids and get prepared to look awesome and ride faster at your races this season!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March Athlete of the Month

As part of the celebration of March being DVT Awareness Month I am honored to have the opportunity to introduce to you a truly inspiring story of coming back from a clotting episode to take on some massive events.

I love having the opportunity to have this blog and to start the polka-dot movement which has afforded me getting in contact with some incredible people and their stories of survival. Well, meeting Mr. MARTY BUSEKRUS was not different as I believe he read about me through my blog and looking for the chance to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders. But better yet he agreed to share his story with all of us as I know you will find it as inspiring as I did.
Please follow along to learn Marty's answers to the series of questions I like to ask all of my guests...

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
Triathlons/marathons - I enjoy them because I'm terrible at them. Running does NOT come natural to me. I've always been a decent athlete, but could never run. I stayed with two friends of mine throughout 2005 who would get up every morning and go for a run. I thought they were nuts! I was slightly overweight and lethargic so I decided to see if I could run a mile. I couldn't. I realized it was a lot harder than it looked, so I started running because it was very challenging for me. Then in 2006 I had my first child. Since my father died when he was 39 and I was 12, I knew I really needed to get in shape and stay in shape for my son. Running seemed to be a decent avenue for that and I was perplexed at how hard it was! My friends were running 5 miles at 7 minute mile paces and I was just flabbergasted that anyone could do that! My 5 mile time was about 11 minute miles on a really good day. I did a marathon, suffered through that, but learned a lot. Then in 2008, a friend of mine convinced me to do a sprint triathlon. The swimming came natural as I had swam all my life semi-competitively. Biking was pretty easy for me, but the run was still my weakest point. I did it anyway and loved every second of it.

2) How did you get started in that sport?
Another friend of mine (shown in one of the attached photos) had done a few short tri's and he talked me into doing one with him. I said "sure" and that was it really.
3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
I'm signed up for my first full ironman (2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). 4 years ago I knew that the people that did those races were out of their minds! I feel the same way now that we're out of our minds, but I have SO much more respect for those that accomplish the full Ironman because now I know what it takes to compete and it's A LOT more than I had initially thought being an outsider. If I finish, that will be the biggest milestone of my life.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
First blood clot was when I was 17, playing collegiate volleyball for Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. All of the doctors thought it was a pulled hamstring, so no one even thought it could be a clot. After weeks of hobbling around and it getting worse, finally one doctor suggested I get a venogram (where they shove that HUGE needle into the top of your foot and inject the dye). After passing out during the test at the sight of the needle, I woke up to the news that I had a HUGE blood clot that ran from my ankle to my groin. 10 days in the hospital on heparin, then 6 months of coumadin and I was back in business. I never really had any other issues, I wasn't on blood thinners, I didn't wear compression stockings, etc. Then, in September of 2008, nearly 13 years later while I was increasing my running mileage, I started to feel those pains again. Long story short, I had the sonogram test done (thank goodness it wasn't that needle) and ended up back in the hospital for 2 weeks this time getting rid of a 2nd clot in the same leg. Got out of the hospital and 10 days later did a sprint triathlon. Looking back, it probably wasn't the best idea as I did terrible and still had some type of respiratory thing that I must have caught in the hospital. The 2nd clot was slightly different because this time I had a LOT of superficial blood clots that get inflamed every once in a while. When I run in very cold weather, I really have to be careful s they don't get inflamed even 2 years later now. I am on 12 mg of Warfarin/Coumadin and wear my medical grade stocking every day. I also wear the athletic compression stockings when I exercise and race. They help out a TON! Not to plug any one brand, but I'm kind of partial to the Zensah sleeves. Outside of normal swelling I don't seem to have any long term side effects though.

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
I kind of tricked my doctor a bit I think. When I got out of the hospital in 2008, I asked if I could ease back into biking/running, etc. He said yes I could ease back into it. I asked if about an hour would be okay and he said "yes." What I didn't tell him is that it was an actual race that I'd be doing and my goal time was a little over an hour. My leg felt okay, but just had some respiratory problems from something I picked up in the hospital from laying there for 2 weeks.
6) What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? (Bike brand, running shoes, perhaps a running singlet or the Clot Buster's Running Polka-Dot Technical Shirt...)
I wear my clot buster racing shirt at most of my races and even during my training. I often get asked about it. I also wear the clot buster arms bands that have the polka dots. Very cool. My bike is excellent. I bought a used Quintana Roo Tri-bike for $700 and then have changed out almost everything on it with the exception of the frame. The one thing I couldn't live without is the ISM Adamo racing seat. Again, not to plug anything specific, but that seat with the split nose just rocks.

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
I have a gym by my office that opens at 5 am. I am standing outside the door at 5. I do about a half an hour-45 minutes of weights followed by at least an hour and a half during the off season and up to 3 hours of cardio 5 days a week. Then on weekends I do an additional long day which is either a 3-4 hour run or a 4-5 hour bike. As long as I've got my compression gear on to help the bloodflow to my right leg, I'm fine.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
I can't seem to eat enough pizza and french fries combined with Mich Ultra. although a Chipotle Steak Fajita Burrito sounds perfect right now for breakfast! This is my downfall. I eat terrible. I have a high metabolism because I work out so much, but if I ate like most athletes do I'd lose that extra 10 pounds and look like one of those tri guys on the covers of the magazines. Just not ready to give up my pizza, fries and beer.
9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
Europe. Pack my bike, spend about 2 weeks biking Europe. Sounds like a nice get-away to me. I'd probably sign up or a race there to, just to say I ran the Paris Marathon or something like that.

10) What would like to say to someone who is going through a clotting episode, perhaps very similar to yours? How can people return to do what they enjoy? Tells about your concerns and what you look out after as you got back.
Everyone is different, so I shouldn't say this with 100% certainty, but blood clots don't hinder your life. They adjust it, that's all. After my first blood clot, I never really returned to competitive volleyball. I had gained a lot of weight while I couldn't play and then used the clot as an excuse not to return I think. If the blood clot stops you from doing something you love, my advice is get a different doctor that will fix the pain. Get rid of the pain and you'll be able to do what you want. I'm sure there are situations where this can't or doesn't occur, but don't let the clot be an excuse. If your activity or sport ha a risk of you getting injured and bleeding (i.e. crashing your bike) you NEED to get one of the road ID bands that tells people you're on blood thinners. Again, it shouldn't stop you from doing anything, but you do need to adjust and think before you do things.

Marty, THANK YOU for sharing your experience with us.

I wish for you THE VERY BEST on your Ironman... I can't believe that you will be doing that... I admire the distance, I follow it, and I probably know more that I care to admit but to ever race that distance I think it will not happen any time soon... so Marty you got the STOP THE CLOT polka-dots to carry for 140.6 Miles! Just think about pizza and beer that will be waiting for at the finish. Without a question I will be rooting for you and enjoying the same pizza and beer upon your finish of the race.

Who knows someday we may be able to race together and double the effort to spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

I am about to get on my trainer to ride some because people like Marty make me push that much more.

Get inspired and STOP THE CLOT!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!