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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.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Athlete of the Month (#StopTheClot #MarathonTraining)

Team STOP THE CLOT accomplished something remarkable during the first weekend of November...

Outside of raising funds (and I mean ALOT of mula) to continue NBCA's mission to create awareness against blood clots and blood clotting disorders something very remarkable happened during the first weekend of November...

The TRULY remarkable thing I am talking about was the fact that 5 blood clot survivors completed the 26.2 Miles of that windy Sunday race after each of them faced the incredible challenge of dealing with their own clotting incident and coming back to do something that pushed them to the limit.

I've wrote this before but I am writing it again, I am very fortunate to have had the chance to run in the marathon representing the STOP THE CLOT cause but I am even more lucky to have had the opportunity to meet all of the 5 clot survivors and better yet with this post get to share their inspiring story with all of you...

Please allow me introduce to you SUSAN GRAHAM who has been kind enough to take sometime and share her story of survival and come back with all of us.  Without a question another inspiring story that certainly can get anyone going.


Go ahead and read on about what Susan had to say to my usual set of questions...

1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
Triathlon (swim/bike/run). I like the chaos of transitioning from one discipline to the next, the camaraderie of training with friends and the sense of accomplishment at the end of each race.

2) How did you get started in that sport?
In March 2008, I was finding my bearings around New York City, having moved there nine months earlier. In the midst of a cold winter and workout funk, I wanted to switch up my lackluster gym routine. That is when I discovered Asphalt Green, a not-for-profit sports and fitness organization and athletic complex that houses an amazing 50-Meter Olympic pool. While signing up for a swim membership, I noticed that Asphalt Green also had a Triathlon Club and I joined the Asphalt Green Triathlon Club (AGTC) that same day and have been a member ever since. That summer, I finished my first tri, the Mighty Hamptons Triathlon in Sag Harbor, NY.

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 fund-raised $2,700 for the National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) and completed the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 3rd along with my amazing Team Stop the Clot teammates! My next goal is to complete a full Ironman distance Triathlon (2.4 mi swim/ 112 mi bike/ 26.2 mi run) sometime in the next two years.

4) Tell us about your clotting episode. Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
I suffered a bi-lateral Pulmonary Embolism (PE) in July 2009, just days away from competing in the New York City Triathlon. I had numerous blood clots in all five lobes of my lungs. Currently, I am not on blood thinners, despite having one copy of Factor V Leiden, the gene that causes the blood clotting disorder. I bounced back pretty quickly and began running again two weeks after my PE. My recovery period included five months of blood thinners, so I did stop cycling during that time. I was very lucky and I am grateful every day to be alive and well.

5) When were you able to get back into your activity? How did it feel that first time?
Two months after being hospitalized for my PE, I joined a team of eleven runners that competed in Reach the Beach, an adventure running race across the state of New Hampshire from the mountains to the beach. The following month, I did the swim portion of a relay team for the MightyMan Montauk Half Iron Triathlon in Montauk, NY. I was scared to do both, but I knew I had to get back at it.

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...)
These days, I’m partial to my Asics GEL-Nimbus 15 running shoes as they practically ran themselves through the five boroughs of New York City!

7) How much are you getting out doing your sport? (Every day you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
For the Marathon, I trained five days a week—three maintenance runs, one long run and one Vinyassa Flow Yoga class (day before long run). The other two days I rested.

8) What is your favorite food? Either generally or after a workout. For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
A Chipotle [Veggie] Burrito ranks high on my list too! My favorite food was ice cream, though we needed to break up—our relationship was just not healthy!

I follow a pescetarian diet and eat pretty much everything (on the healthy side), but land animals and birds. I try and take in a combination of protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of finishing a workout as it helps the body recover faster from the stress and muscle breakdown. I like low-fat plain Greek yogurt and a banana.

9) If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
I often dream about cycling in the Swiss Alps.

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 is to always listen to your body and modify your activities accordingly. Be proactive about your health. Since my PE, I have completed three Half Ironman distance Triathlons, three Century (100 mile) bike rides and one Marathon—it is possible to return to do what you enjoy! I am always concerned that I could have another blood clotting episode, but thanks to organizations like NBCA, I know the signs to look out for.

Susan THANK YOU for sharing your story and your experience.   I know that you will do that IRONMAN you are looking to accomplish in the next two years.  Reading about how you have been able to recover there is no question that your drive, dedication, and discipline will get your there.  I just hope that you can bring us along because your inspiration to push the boundaries can lead many others to achieve their own story of survival.  

Thanks for reading,  

The Clot Buster

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My 60th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 60th Triathlon Finish !!!
First Time ever My Son got to cross the finish line with me. Without a doubt a Wonderful Experience