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PLEASE HELP US CELEBRATE CLOT SURVIVORS and spread awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.
If you are a CLOT SURVIVOR you need polka-dots to inspire others and CELEBRATE that you are Survivor.
If you are a FAMILY MEMBER or FRIEND of a blood clot survivor you need polka-dots to spread the word, create awareness and CELEBRATE your Survivor's Accomplishments!
(If you don't see the size you need we can make special arrangements so just ask @









Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Get Yours!!!

Never too late to get your very own
Help me and NBCA spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

Order your very own polka-dots and stand out to STOP THE CLOT.
Check the top right hand corner of this blog to get your order in.
All proceeds from this sale are targeted back to NBCA in order to help accomplish their mission.
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster

Friday, October 19, 2012

October Athlete of the Month


Any Athlete featured in this "Athlete of the Month" blog = INSPIRATION.

Blood Clot Survivor as "Athlete of the Month" = INSPIRATION.

Now, when a blood clot incident survivor is taking on the challenge of a Marathon you can't find a measuring tape large enough to measure the inspiration that story can provide. 

This month a blood clot incident survivor took on the CHICAGO MARATHON and ran through all of the 26.2 Miles carrying the STOP THE CLOT message for all to see.  Please allow me to introduce you to ERIC O'CONNOR a CLOT BUSTER Athlete with a story that you must read!

Chicago Marathon

Please take the time and get inspired by the answers Eric was able to provide to my interview questions...

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?

Marathons are my favorite. I love the race and the training. I have had a few health issues in my life and I find marathon training mirrors those times. When I was faced with a few daunting physical and mental issues I found my marathon training helped give me the mind set of tackling them one day at a time. There is no replacement for the freedom and energy I feel when running. I love the mental exercise as well. Running for me is about pushing beyond limits in my mind and body. It's about setting goals and breaking them. Sue and I have 3 little boys, 7, 5, and 2. I hope I am setting an example for them. If they put in the time they'll be able to accomplish anything they want.
2) How did you get started in that sport?

I was always athletic. Soccer, baseball, and yes marching band kept me busy in high school. Running however was not my first choice. I remember trying out for cross country and immediately coming up with ways I could roll my ankle so I could stop running. I ran to stay in shape for sports but never enjoyed it. Then came my first year out of college. My father in law was a marathon/triathalon competitor until he hit 50. The man is a machine. So I picked up my two favorite habits from him, smoking cigars and running marathons. Not simultaneously of course. In the last 11 years I have run 13 marathons.
Strange History: I ran the 25th anniversary Chicago marathon. I was hooked. However by December I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without a rest. I had Hepatitis C and had to go on a one year intense chemo-like treatment. My goal was to run the Des Moines Half Marathon 4 months after my treatment. I had a long way to go. I dropped from 175 pounds to 130 in that time frame and didn't have much muscle left. I did end up running it and then ran the Des Moines marathon in the fall.

3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
My first race back from my clotting episode was the Chicago Marathon. I took it easy and ran with a friend. We shattered her time from last year by 20 minutes. It was great to be back and there is nothing like running in Chicago! Next up is the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Antonio in November. We'll see if I can get some speed back for that one.

Boston of course is on my list. Prior to the PEs and DVTs I was right where I wanted to be to qualify. 1 year later I'm still a long way off, but qualifying is still on my to-do list.

I want to run a 50 miler in Arizona in March. I'll start training for that after San Antonio.

4) Tells about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
In 2010, I ran 3 marathons and had full intentions on running in 2011. I tore my meniscus playing soccer with my son so I needed surgery in August. My doctor assured me I would be back training in time to run Chicago in October. A week later while standing in the garage with the boys I felt like I had just done a 10 mile speed workout. I was short of breath and sweating. My wife rushed home from the ER and took me in. Turns out I had massive blood clots in my calf and multiple bilateral Pulmonary Emboli in my lungs. After getting through the initial diagnosis the doctors did a bunch of blood work and discovered I have a Prothrombin Factor II mutation. I then went on a 6 month battle with Coumadin. I was lucky though and stopped at 6 months. My PE specialist explained the episode was a provoked incident due to knee surgery. Had it come without the surgery he would have recommended Coumadin for life.

Getting back to work was a struggle. I'm a wedding photographer. A normal day is 12 to 14 hours of running around. It was tough to breath and the near 100 temps an humidity didn't help much. The first couple weeks my heart rate would elevate and every time I felt a pain in my leg or chest I wondered if I should go back in. I actually developed a little anxiety. Funny to think how much mental prep we do for marathon training then your brain can actually convince you have problems that don't exist. I would have sworn my heart was racing in the 140s-150s but sure enough I took my pulse and it was 60 or lower.

The doctor told me I could get back to running anytime I wanted. Of course I tried running a few days after I got home. 1 mile, 15 minutes. Realizing there was no way I could run I then took 4 months off. I spent some time in the gym but that was almost as hard. My heart rate would hit 175 or higher lifting. I had to take breaks to catch my breath.

San Francisco Marathon

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
I finally started training again in January almost 6 months after the week in the hospital. I tend to have 1 speed, all or nothing. So I went straight into training for a spring marathon. I stress fractured my left foot and spent 3 months in a boot. If anyone every has to spend time in a boot try P90x2. It's an awesome workout and about the only thing I could tolerate while not running.

Finally, the boot came off this July and I started training for Chicago. By this time I was READY for training. Training has been a lot of fun and also frustrating at times. I am almost 1.5 minutes per mile slower than a year ago. It's a long process to recover and I've come to terms with that. I'm just happy to be running again.

6) What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity?
Favorite gear would be my watch. My coach, Andrew at McMillan Running sends me workouts and I dump them in my Garmin. 405. I want the new 610 but sadly the 405 won't die. Second on my list would be my Yurbuds headphones. They sound amazing and never bother my ears.

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? 
I have 3 training runs a week and 2 easy 30 minute recovery runs. I do one of the P90x2 workouts on the 30 minute recovery days as well.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout.
Pancakes are a must for me after training runs. I eat as many as I can.
9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
I want to run marathons in other countries. I don't really care where I just want to do as many as I can. As our boys get a little older the exploring will start. My 5 year old wants to go to Africa, China, and Hawaii, so those are on the list.

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.
If you are reading this blog you are already on the road to recovery. You may be just starting but this was actually a huge help for me. I immediately wanted to find people like me. Doctors and even a lot of friends don't understand the love of endurance sports. The days and weeks after a clotting incident are lonely. All you want is to get back to normal. There really is not a ton of information out there for endurance athletes recovering from blood clots or PEs. I read Rolands posts every morning when I woke up. They were and still are a constant reminder that I could work my way back. There are so many amazing stories here.

I'm so fortunate to be back to running. I really don't have any concerns going forward. I take a few precautions. I take a littler more care to stay hydrated. I have to get out of the car every hour on trips and take Lovenox when I fly over 5 hours. I really have it pretty easy.

Here is hoping that someday I get to keep up with you while running a marathon.  For sure that day we will be wearing the CLOT BUSTER Stop The Clot polka-dots and continue to spread the word.

Thank you for your willingness to share your story.  No doubt that others will draw from your experience which will lead them on their path to recovery.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

IRONMAN World Championship...

Could not get enough of it last Saturday.

So many memories from our time there back in 2009.

I am still drooling about the event.

Not sure that I will ever stop drooling about it.

How do I come around the thought of having to double the suffering and pain that I have felt from doing a half-ironman race?

Someday when I don't have any more hair... well I am passed that deadline... never mind.

I am looking forward to see the coverage on TV but kudos to the coverage on line which had me glued.

At any rate, random thoughts of the race that it is slowly becoming my virtual Mount Everst... there available to me but difficult to attain.

Someday when all of the stars line up I will get the CLOT BUSTER Stop The Clot to the Big Island of Hawaii...


Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!