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Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Athlete of the Month

By now you should know that March is BLOOD CLOT AWARENESS MONTH.

For all of us associated with work of spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders March is VERY IMPORTANT.

As such, I get to feature someone on this series of posts that will blow you away.

Please let me introduce you to DANIELLE HINDE who is without a question one of the most inspiring individuals that I have ever met. Her drive and determination are incredible as she has decided that a blood clotting inciddent is not about to slow her down with her goals.

Speaking of goals DANIELLE is running the L.A. MARATHON on Sunday 03/18/2012 and as celebration of that event she set up a fundraising page in order to raise funds to help the misssion of The National Blood Clot Alliance to Let's give Danielle a hand in pushig the needle up on her fundraising effort.

Are you ready to be energized?

Please read on...

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
I am an endurance junkie. I crave the seemingly impossible events like Ironman, Half Ironmans and Marathons. It's my therapy and my religion. After a tough day, all I need is a long run with my ipod and the stress of the day dissipates. I also love pushing my body and mind to limits that are almost inhuman and then pushing it further than that. There is nothing more rewarding than that, as painful as it may be sometimes.

2) How did you get started in that sport?
I didn't know how to swim properly and water actually horrified me so I figured what better way to get over that fear than to repeatedly swim 2.4 miles in open water. I loved to cycle and run so once I was passed that swim portion, I was good to go.

3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?(Longbike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
I am racing the LA Marathon this upcoming weekend, my third time doing it. My "first" marathon was three years ago and it was a much different experience running a marathon without having to swim 2.4 miles and 112 miles before it.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinnersnow? How long were you out of commission?
In late August of 2011, I was suffering from pretty severe chest pains on my left side and my breathing was pretty restricted. I thought I was just having allergies or pulled a muscle from the gym so I was about to leave my office and go home and rest. Fortunately my very concerned boyfriend made me drive straight to the hospital once he heard my strained breathing. Five hours later after a barrage of tests, the doctor tells me I am the case study of the night and I have pulmunary embolisms in both lungs. I wasn't on birth control, I don't smoke, I'm insanely active so how did this happen to me? I spent the next five days in the hospital trying to figure that out. I got an ultrasound on both legs and they found a blood clot in my right leg and an old blood clot in the left leg that was scarred over. All the missing pieces finally came together. Over the past two years I went to an orthopedic to figure out why my calves and ankles were often so swollen and painful. He did an ultrasounds three separate times over the years, all below the knee, and just said I strained my muscle and to not run for about four weeks. If he just looked above my knee, he would have seen the clots. It was frustrating to know I was misdiagnosed so many times and to think back on all the dangerous situations I put myself in like doing Ironman New Zealand with a blood clot in my leg. I also found out I had Factor V Leiden and all my international traveling contributed to my clots. I am thankful that I now have a handle on it and can prevent any further clots. I was put on Coumadin and Lovenox. I had a horrible aversion to coumadin and ended up staying on Lovenox for 4 months. I am now taking Xarelto which has been working great thus far. I was in and out of hospital for about two weeks and then laid up in my bed for another two weeks. I would take long walks but that's about it. Finally about three months later, I went on my first run which was the best feeling ever. I felt like a caged animal set free. I wasn't given "permission" to do this but I'm also the girl who did an Ironman with a broken shoulder so I have a habit of listening to my body and it usually tells me when I'm ready. And now 7 months later, I'm doing a marathon.

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
See above.

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 Mizuno running shoes are my favorite, been running with them for about 7 years. I am also obsessed with my stella mccartney running top, it's survived every Ironman I've ever done.

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
I train almost everyday, I take one day off a week. It's my entire culture and lifestyle.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
I never drink soda but I always crave diet coke after a very long run or race.

9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
I would love to disappear to Maui for a few months and just run and lounge in the sun everyday or go to Montana and ride horses.

10) What would like to say to someone who is going through a clottingepisode, 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.
The WORST thing to do is to scare yourself with all the information online. You can work yourself up into a panic reading all the stories. I know I did, I thought I was dying everyday. I was hyper aware of everything my body was doing, even if it was just indigestion. Obviously, everybody is different and has their own experiences but listen to your body/doctor and don't be too fearful. I feel like I'm the wrong person to ask when you should go back to what you love because I always jump the gun, I always return to something when I feel like I'm not in danger anymore and that my body can handle it. It's all about coming back super slow, giving your body time to adjust. However, if you feel like something may be off, don't be scared to say something to your doctor. A few weeks ago my calf was feeling strained so I got an ultrasound. Everything was totally clear and it was just a running pain as I was gearing up for this marathon but it doesn't hurt anyone just to double check and be sure.

Thankfully I am doing this update to the blog way late in the night because otherwise I would have laced on my Mizuno's as well and would have gone for a run...

The human body and mind are amazing. Even more amazing is the fact that I can share these stories and experiences with you.

Danielle - THANK YOU for your willingness to share. I can't wait to check the results on Sunday 03/18/2012. If and when I do an Ironman I will be calling for you for some tips and motivation!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

1 comment:

Sean said...


The above story could nearly be written about myself. I've been doing triathlons for about 20 years and have done 7 marathons over 30 years. I got a clot 5 years ago in my lower leg and could not believe it! I do yoga, train, eat fairly well and so on, I really had no idea what was going on.

During the last 5 years I've built up my training again and have done a couple of half ironman triathlons, a double olympic distance and had a go at an Ironman last year but just miseed the bike cut off time on an extremely hilly IM in Wales. I went on and did a half marathon anyway.

Well two weeks ago I ended up in hospital this time with a clot which had travelled to my lungs! I and my Doctor thought it was a chest infection but alas my breathing kept getting worse and worse so I knew it was something more serious.

I tested the training just this weekend with some gentle cycling and actually felt better than I have in months. I will admit I was a bit tired the next day though.

Anyway I love your story as it's great to know that I'm not the only one who lives a very active lifestyle and still gets a clot!!!

What can we do to avoid future ones. Well I'm on warfarin for 6 months now so that will help.


My 95th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 95th Triathlon Finish !!!