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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Athlete of the Month

This month's featured athlete provided me and STOPTHECLOT.org with the article you will find below. 

This is an exceptional read and I hope you enjoy learning about Alexander's journey as much as I did.

I would never ride as fast as he can but I hope to race with him in the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots some day!

Read on...

Out Sprinting” a Silent Killer”
By Alexander Rapavi
Alexander RapaviImagine being an hour and fifty minutes into a three hour solo training ride in rural Virginia – a region with spotty cellular telephone service, of course – when out of the blue, you begin to feel dizzy, disoriented, significantly short of breath and start having sharp pains in your chest, uncontrolled coughing, and a debilitating ache deep within your right calf. Definitely not a pleasant thought. A better description might be nightmare scenario. The script of a very bad dream, to be sure.
Two weekends ago that’s exactly what happened to me, and it wasn’t just a bad dream.
My thoughts raced. Am I dangerously dehydrated? Having an allergic reaction to something? Did I tear a calf muscle sprinting up that grade? Am I having a heart attack?
Luckily, I was able to get to the emergency room for treatment. I ended up hospitalized for five days and hooked up to a host of monitoring equipment. The doctors and nurses who took care of me at INOVA were fantastic. So was my wonderful fiancĂ©e Nancy – she didn’t leave my side for one second, sleeping on a makeshift bed in my hospital room every night. I can’t express in words how unbelievably thankful and fortunate I am to be with her.
My morale was high, despite the circumstances. I knew I was in good hands.

So What Happened?

As it turns out, I had blood clots blocking portions of two veins in my right calf. Clots in the lower extremities are known as Deep Venous Thrombosis or DVT and are extremely dangerous if not treated properly. That’s not all, though. Portions of the clots in my calf broke away, ultimately lodging in my lungs, effectively compromising my pulmonary function. When clots travel to your lungs, it’s called a Pulmonary Embolism or PE. PE’s are life threatening. They preempt normal lung function, starving vital organs and tissues of oxygen.
PEs are sneaky, too. They mimic the symptoms of other health issues including bronchitis and asthma. Consequently, diagnosing PEs can be quite difficult. Thousands of people die from PEs every year – including athletes.
PEs are silent killers.

Hitting a Wall

Interestingly, my training had been going quite well the last couple of months. I increased my functional threshold power from 295 to just over 300 watts for 20 minutes and my five minute power was through the roof; my time trial field test times were decreasing, I was able to get my weight down from 185 to 177, I routinely ensured I was getting adequate rest, and was decidedly eating clean.
I had an especially awesome breakfast that morning (my without-­‐a-­‐doubt-­‐soon-­‐to-­‐ be-­‐famous cold muesli). It was so good I actually found myself looking forward to breakfast the following morning. Prior to starting my training session that day, I remember feeling positive about the 2014 race season, my prospects for setting some solid personal time records, and possibly hitting the podium at the Mid Atlantic Championships having missed the steps by one place in 2013.
About an hour and a half into my session, my heart rate began to skyrocket while my power numbers declined. Trying to maintain 300 watts for ten minutes felt more like trying to maintain 1000. Every pedal stroke felt labored.
I simply couldn’t get through my prescribed 10 and 15-­‐minute intervals. Not even close. Not possible. Even backing off to power zones one and two in an attempt to recover brought no real relief, just frustration and concern. I hit the wall, totally fatigued.
Was I just having an extraordinarily bad day on the bike? If so, why? It just didn’t make any sense.
A bit further into my training ride, as I plodded along at a meager 17 miles an hour at barely zone 1 trying to figure out why the heck my output was so out of whack, the chest pain and shortness of breath started. So did the deep pain in my right calf. Fortunately, I was at a bail out point along my training route and was therefore, able to get back to where I needed to be in a relatively short time, and to the medical attention I desperately needed.

DVT/PE in Endurance Athletes

Apparently, DVT/PE is more common in endurance athletes than you might think. I had the opportunity to do a lot of research on these conditions during my hospital stay, and have continued my research while convalescing at home. Below are some of the risk factors for DVT/PE in athletes. The factors in the list apply to anyone, really, but athletes and especially endurance athletes should commit the list to memory. Please note, the list below is not all-­‐inclusive.
  • Traveling long distances to and from competition by plane, bus, or car;
  • Dehydration during and after strenuous sporting events;
  • Significant trauma (Pro cyclist Chris Horner developed a PE after suffering trauma from a crash during the 2011 Tour de France);
  • Immobilization (brace or cast);
  • Bone fracture or major surgery (broken collarbone and related surgery anyone?);
  • Hypertrophy of muscles (constricts veins);
  • Excessive use of caffeine (caffeine is a vasoconstrictor with diuretic effects);
  • Performance enhancing drug use (yes, pharmaceuticals to include Erythropoietin (aka EPO) which thicken the blood, and stimulants which constrict veins and increase blood pressure can contribute to clotting, development of DVTs and PE).

Here are some things athletes (and everyone else) can do to help prevent DVT/PE.

  • Stay mobile, move around on long flights; stop, get out and move around during long road trips to and from races;
  • Consider staying in a hotel before and after races instead of driving to and from within a day. I have driven to and from races in a day a multitude of times and yes, it is definitely cheaper, but could cost a heck of a lot more in the long run;
  • Stay hydrated, stay hydrated, stay hydrated;
  • Wear compression socks;
  • Consider taking an 81mg aspirin every day. Aspirin helps reduce the body’s clotting mechanisms. Check with your health care provider prior to going on an aspirin regimen;
If you exhibit any symptoms of DVT/PE, don’t wait. Athletes are more likely to explain away symptoms that might be key indicators of something more insidious than a pulled muscle (DVT can mimic muscle or tendon trauma) bronchitis, or asthma (PE can mimic these health issues). Don’t wait.
Waiting could cost you your life.

Looking Ahead

It’s appearing more and more like I will have to remain on anticoagulant (blood thinning) therapy for life. I have to undergo more testing in the coming weeks to determine if I am genetically predisposed to hypercoagulability (increased clotting factors). As of this writing, I’m 90% certain I’ll be on anticoagulants for the foreseeable future.
As you can imagine, anticoagulants and mass start bike racing tend to get on poorly with one another. In short, if I’m involved in a crash, the impact could cause organ rupture, internal bleeding – and worse.
Regrettably, by necessity, I am now officially retired from mass start bike racing.
There is a silver lining, though. Notice I said I’m retired from mass start bike racing. I didn’t say I’m retired from racing Individual Time Trials. Far from it. In fact, once I get back on track, I fully intend on training for, and competing in time trials across the Mid Atlantic and Northeast regions again.
No matter the situation, there is always a bright side.
At least I think so.
I hope to see you on the road soon.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, December 05, 2014

CLOT BUSTER - DVT Survivor Athletes - NEED YOUR INPUT!!!

Calling on all CLOT BUSTER - DVT Survivor Athletes!
 
Calling on all CLOT BUSTER - DVT Survivor Athletes!
 
Calling on all CLOT BUSTER - DVT Survivor Athletes!

Please take a moment to help with your thoughts on the link below.
 
Help Gather Information on Venous Thrombosis in Athletes?


Calling on all CLOT BUSTER - DVT Survivor Athletes!
 
Calling on all CLOT BUSTER - DVT Survivor Athletes!
 
Calling on all CLOT BUSTER - DVT Survivor Athletes!
 
 
Your help in providing your opinion is very much appreciated.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
The Clot Buster

Friday, October 31, 2014

November (and also October) Athletes of the Month

Doing it a bit different this month and the previous one as it is time to highlight the individuals (blood clot survivors and friends) who will be running in the 2014 edition of the NYC Marathon spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders!

All of the athletes participating this year are running to show that blood clot survivors can indeed overcome their blood clotting challenge...

All of the athletes participating this year are running to celebrate themselves but also loved ones (family and friends) who are suffering and suffered from blood clots...

All of the athletes participating this year are running to raise funds to support the National Blood Clot Alliance - NBCA - STOPTHECLOT.org and their mission to create awareness against blood clots and blood clotting disorders...

If you have it in you and you think you can donate please check out the following link...

It is simply AMAZING and INSPIRING what these guys are doing to get ready for the marathon.

Please read on to meet half of the Team STOPTHECLOT and a little bit of their personal story... ENJOY AND BE INSPIRED! If they can do it so can you! Anything is possible!
Natalie Smoliak


Chances are that you or someone you know has had a blood clot.  Blood clots do not discriminate.  They affect healthy athletes, babies, children, adults, anyone.  The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) sees a future in which the number of people suffering and dying from blood clots in the United States is reduced significantly.
In 2011, I suffered from a blood clot and discovered that I have a genetic blood disorder.  This is something that will affect me for the rest of my life.  It is something I have to think about and manage every day.  The experience inspired me to start my own foundation, The Garnet Foundation, and to proudly support any opportunity I have to help spread awareness about blood clots and blood disorders.

Brittany Connor


Chances are you, or someone you know has had a blood clot.  It may have been called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), but nonetheless, in everyday terms, it was a blood clot. And, there's a good chance it was very serious, maybe even fatal.  
Two very important people in my life have passed away from blood clots. One of my best friends, Ashley Medlin, died at the age of 16 on December 3, 2006. She was brilliant, hilarious, and way too young. My former softball coach and mentor, Keith "Poppa" Tuck, died at the age of 52 on November 7, 2013. He no doubt helped me become the person I am today.
Blood clots have impacted my life and the lives of a lot of my friends. I am running this race in memory of Ashley and Coach Tuck in order to raise money for a cause I truly believe in. This will be my first marathon and I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of such a great team.
Take a look at profiles of people of all walks of life who have been affected. Some of our stories are stories of survival – often against great odds of misdiagnosis or simply being unaware of the signs, symptoms or risk factors.  Others are stories told by family members whose relative’s lives could not be saved. All have asked us to share their story in raising awareness of the impact of the public health challenge imposed by blood clots.  

Chris Kaiser



Chances are you, or someone you know has had a blood clot.  It may have been called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), but nonetheless, in everyday terms, it was a blood clot. And, there's a good chance it was very serious, maybe even fatal. 
Be it a baby, child, teenager or a young adult, or perhaps a person in the prime of their life or a senior citizen – blood clots do not discriminate. They can just as easily affect athletes as well as those less physically fit.  They affect men and women; rich and poor – blood clots do not discriminate.
I am one of those people.  I am 25 years old living in Ventura, CA. I love running and athletics and “play” as much as I can. September 18, 2013 I was riding my bike home from work and was hit by a car that ran a stop sign exiting the freeway. I hit the vehicle head on, rolled into the windshield and then to the ground. I suffered a Tibial Plateau Fracture and a Grade IV separated shoulder. By some miracle, my head was untouched. My knee would require surgery to place three screws across my tibia and my clavicle will “poke” out unless I have surgery to correct.
One week after my knee surgery, I began to have calf pain. I thought maybe I accidentally stepped down with my recovering leg and aggravated my calf. I saw the doctor exactly one week after surgery and complained of this pain and showed him bruising on the back of my knee. He dismissed it quickly saying that I just had surgery and I will have some discomfort and that I am Young and Healthy. Young and healthy, perfect, all I wanted to hear. That night, I went to bed with some discomfort in my stomach, specifically ribs. I woke abruptly at 2 am with horrendous pain now in my ribs. I could not breathe deeply, nor lay on my back without tensing up. I called my mom. My family lives in St. Louis, MO so they would not be able to take me to the ER if need be. And of course, this night, my two roommates were out camping. I am in a wheelchair and cannot drive. I told her I thought maybe I had a collapsed lung from slouching in the wheelchair or something? She told me to go to the ER immediately. I’m the kind of guy that disregards most pain, but something was telling me this was serious. I called a taxi and went to the ER. No collapsed lung, so I did the CT and found that I had a Pulmonary Embolism. They located where the clot originated in my calf and showed me on the ultrasound. No doubt about it, that vein was completely blocked.
I had to give myself shots of Lovenox in my side until the blood thinning medication reached therapeutic levels. This turned out to be two months and I took only the pill for one more month until I was cleared, saying the clot was completely gone.  My doctor said that I will most likely not be able to run like I used to and I may have knee complications the rest of my life. No way, I’m not hearing that. The second I was cleared for physical therapy, I was on it. I would ride the bike while I was still in my wheelchair to build strength for the day I was allowed to walk. For months, everything I did was aimed at getting back into shape.
A goal of mine, from before the accident, was to run the NYC Marathon. I’ve been dreaming of this since I went to school in NY and watched my friend run it one year. In January, I started running again. I ran for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 2 miles, 3 miles and got to a half marathon February 2, 2014. My buddy had run for a charity when he did NY, so I browsed the site and stumbled across Team Stop the Clot. Wow, this hit home with me. I went to the National Blood Clot Alliance website and read all the stories. Prior to my accident, I had no idea what a pulmonary embolism was, or how common blood clots are. And yes, they DO NOT discriminate. Had I known more about blood clots and PE’s, maybe I would have pushed the doctor to do a simple ultrasound that takes 5 minutes to see if that bruising and calf pain was due to a blood clot. I want to get this knowledge out there and raise as much awareness as I can, because again, blood clots do not discriminate. I couldn’t be more excited and thankful to have this opportunity to run the NYC Marathon with such a great organization, the National Blood Clot Alliance.

Amaris White (also the featured August Athlete of the Month)



Two years ago I nearly died. I was 25. As most of you know,  I was diagnosed with a massive blood clot spanning from my left ankle to my heart–I had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolisms (PEs).
I’m lucky I’m alive and didn’t lose my leg.
After the initial shock, the worst news I received was from the doctors, who told me that although my life would be mostly normal, I should probably come to terms with the fact that I would never run again. Even though I had never considered myself a runner, I was devastated.
DVT left the veins in my left leg a scarred and clotted mess. I couldn’t stand for more than a few minutes without excruciating pain. And because I had been bedridden for so many months, the muscles in my leg had atrophied.
But I was determined to regain use of my leg.
It was slow work, but I started going to the gym. Sometimes my workouts consisted of no more than walking down my stairs and to the gym a few blocks away, but these walks slowly became five minute walks on the treadmill. Soon I could slowly jog 100m on the treadmill. And then 200m. And then 400m.
What I did not realize was that the more I ran, the more my body worked to compensate for my activity. Although I did not have use of my deep leg veins, my body created a web of new veins (collateral veins) to meet the demands I was putting on it. The harder I ran, the harder my body worked.
Six months after I was told I would never run again I ran the Brooklyn Half.
I’ve run more than a dozen races since then, including five more half marathons.
This is where the marathon comes in.
A marathon was something I thought impossible two years ago when I was healthy. A marathon was impossible a year and a half ago when I was in the hospital. A marathon was still impossible when I signed up. But by training for and running the NYC Marathon, I want to prove to myself (and hopefully to you) that anything is possible.
I also want to use my first marathon as an opportunity to spread awareness. By sharing my story, I have already been able to warn all of you about the signs, symptoms and dangers of a blood clot, but I’m hoping that you will help me spread that awareness even further.
TEAM STOP THE CLOT for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon is raising money to spread awareness and save lives. Each team member is running 26.2 miles with a common goal: Raise funds and spread the word to STOP THE CLOT.
I’ve spoken with and worked with the National Blood Clot Alliance and every cent I raise will be used to STOP THE CLOT (I do not have a charity bib, so none of the money will go to New York Road Runners or another intermediary). The funds you help raise will create awareness for the general public and hopefully prevent more stories like mine from occurring.
Thank you all so  much for all your support over the last two years. Without support from friends and family like you, I would not be where I am today. Marathon training has already paid off -- I'm faster today than I was two years ago (I recently set a new personal record time for the half marathon), and I cannot wait to run on November 2. :)
If you donate to my campaign, I will RUN WITH YOUR NAME on my shirt during the race. No donation is too small, and any amount will help STOP THE CLOT.
Let’s take this TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!

John Posthumus

Chances are you, or someone you know has had a blood clot.  It may have been called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), but nonetheless, in everyday terms, it was a blood clot. And, there's a good chance it was very serious, maybe even fatal. 
Be it a baby, child, teenager or a young adult, or perhaps a person in the prime of their life or a senior citizen – blood clots do not discriminate. They can just as easily affect athletes as well as those less physically fit.  They affect men and women; rich and poor – blood clots do not discriminate.
Take a look at profiles of people of all walks of life who have been affected. Some of our stories are stories of survival – often against great odds of misdiagnosis or simply being unaware of the signs, symptoms or risk factors.  Others are stories told by family members whose relative’s lives could not be saved. All have asked us to share their story in raising awareness of the impact of the public health challenge imposed by blood clots.

Here is wishing all these athletes THE BEST OF LUCK ON RACE DAY!
ENJOY IT ALL! It is a remarkable event.

ENJOY THE SWEET PAIN OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT once you cross that finish line!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

October Athelete(s) of the Month

Doing it a bit different this month and next as it is time to highlight the individuals (blood clot survivors and friends) who will be running in the 2014 edition of the NYC Marathon spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders!

All of the athletes participating this year are running to show that blood clot survivors can indeed overcome their blood clotting challenge...

All of the athletes participating this year are running to celebrate themselves but also loved ones (family and friends) who are suffering and suffered from blood clots...

All of the athletes participating this year are running to raise funds to support the National Blood Clot Alliance - NBCA - STOPTHECLOT.org and their mission to create awareness against blood clots and blood clotting disorders...

If you have it in you and you think you can donate please check out the following link...


It is simply AMAZING and INSPIRING what these guys are doing to get ready for the marathon.

Please read on to meet half of the Team STOPTHECLOT and a little bit of their personal story... ENJOY AND BE INSPIRED! If they can do it so can you! Anything is possible!

Amy Kearbey
 

Chances are you, or someone you know has had a blood clot.  It may have been called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), but nonetheless, in everyday terms, it was a blood clot. And, there's a good chance it was very serious, maybe even fatal.  
I am one of those people.  At the age of 29, I was diagnosed with a PE – a blood clot in my lung.  It was actually a bunch of blood clots that combined to make for a very serious and very scary situation.  My symptom was back pain – severe, electric hot back pain in one spot that radiated.  Never in a million years did I think I had a blood clot. By the grace of God, my doctor connected the dots and insisted on testing to see if I had a PE.  By the end of the day, I was in the hospital experiencing a pulmonary infarction. Months later, further testing would reveal that I was at continued high risk for blood clots and would be on blood thinning medication for life. In the years since, I have come to learn how very lucky I was that I went to my doctor and that he insisted on testing me for a clot.  With the care and support of an amazing team of doctors, I have also been able to bring two amazing little boys into our family, with no clots and no complications!  My gratitude runs deep, and it is time to give back.

Carolyn Leslie
 
Chances are you, or someone you know has had a blood clot.  It may have been called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), but nonetheless, in everyday terms, it was a blood clot. And, there's a good chance it was very serious, maybe even fatal.  
Blood clots do not discriminate. They can just as easily affect athletes as well as those less physically fit.  They affect men and women; rich and poor – blood clots do not discriminate.   
I am one of those people. One night in late March of this year, I started experiencing pains in my ribs as I'd breathe in. I didn't think it was anything serious, and went to my chiropractor the next day thinking he could "adjust it" away. He thought it was intercostal neuritis and sent me home with some biofreeze. That night, the pain became so bad, I felt like I was being stabbed in the ribs and could not breathe. My husband took me to urgent care in the middle of night, even though I was stubbornly reluctant. The doctor there diagnosed me as having Pleurisy, and sent me home with some Vicodin. The pain continued for the next day and a half - which I spent propped up with pillows all day and night. I knew Pleurisy was painful, so I put up with this pain as long as I could. Thankfully I went to my GP when I was not getting any relief with the Vicodin. When he saw my symptoms, he sent me straight to the ER and ordered a CT.  Within minutes they came back and informed me that I had several blood clots in both lungs. Wow. It did not even occur to me that this might be the cause of my pain! 
Thankfully, they found them in time, and as soon as I started taking the blood thinners I started to feel some relief. If I hadn't questioned that Pleurisy diagnosis, and just toughed it out, I could have been in serious, serious trouble. 
I had some other warning signs that I was oblivious to at the time. I had a major calf cramp shortly before the rib pain. I thought it was just a sore muscle from running. 
The reason I am so passionate about this cause, is that some simple information and awareness can literally save lives! There are things you can do to lower your risks and there are warning signs that can alert you to see a doctor. I just want everyone to know these things, and that is why I was so excited when I discovered Team Stop the Clot!

Samantha Shelton


Chances are you, or someone you know has had a blood clot.  It may have been called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), but nonetheless, in everyday terms, it was a blood clot. And, there's a good chance it was very serious, maybe even fatal.  
I happen to be one of those people. As an 18-year-old avid soccer player, I had reconstructive knee surgery after tearing my ACL, MCL and meniscus. Unfortunately, that surgery led to the development of seven blood clots in my left leg—putting me at high risk for a heart attack or a stroke. Fortunately, we caught the problem in time (the immense amount of pain gave it away) and walked away with a year's worth of blood thinners and a varicose vein.
Then, 3 weeks before I began training for my first marathon—the New York City Marathon to fundraise for the National Blood Clot Alliance—I discovered I would need leg surgery once more: this time to fix some (not all is reparable) of the serious vein damage left behind by the clots, remove my varicose veins and improve blood flow in my leg to reduce the risk of future clots. 
While some would say this is all rather unfortunate, I'm glad it happened—it led to my diagnosis of a rare genetic disorder, Factor V Leiden. Five to eight percent of Americans have this disorder, but very few even know about it until it becomes a major health risk, like what happened to me. I can no longer take any hormonal medications, and at the time of diagnosis, I was told I likely wouldn't be able to run more than six miles at a time due to my vein damage. 
Six years and 10 half-marathons later, I'm proud to say I've disproved that notion about running. When I met with my surgeon just a few months ago, the one thing he said likely saved me from having more clots: running. Funny how things work out.  And now, I'm ready to run my first full marathon. While doing so, I want to help those who have also been affected by blood clots.

Stef Rubino


In the Fall of 2013, we nearly lost my sister, Meg, to multiple pulmonary embolisms - only 10 days after she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
After battling increasing pain over the course of an evening, Meg woke up in excruciating pain at 2am, gagging and unable to breathe. Her husband (a SWAT officer) was able to stabilize her until she was transferred to the ER. An emergency CAT scan found multiple clots in her lungs and a lower right lung infarction - clots that could easily have killed her, leaving her newborn baby and 2 year old son without a mother.
The NIH estimates that 300,000 to 600,000 people are affected by blood clots each year - and approximately 30% of those cases are fatal.
On November 2nd, almost a year to the day since multiple blood clots almost killed Meg, I'm running my first marathon (the NYC Marathon!) to raise funds for, and awareness of, the National Blood Clot Alliance - a group dedicated to significantly reducing the number of people suffering and dying from blood clots in the US.

Rachel Jemison


Chances are you, or someone you know has had a blood clot.  It may have been called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), but nonetheless, in everyday terms, it was a blood clot. And, there's a good chance it was very serious, maybe even fatal.  
I am one of those people.  At the age of 23, I was diagnosed with a DVT – a blood clot in my leg.  After being laid up with a respiratory infection, I had been having pain in my calf that began to radiate through my back for over a week.  I initially thought I pulled a muscle and later thought I had a bladder infection.  Thankfully, I had an already scheduled follow-up doctor appointment from being sick and mentioned this pain.  I was lucky that my doctors felt the lowered pulse in my ankle and suspected a DVT.  They put me in an ambulance and at the ER I was diagnosed with a clot that ran from my ankle to my groin.  I was in the hospital for a week and was put on blood thinners for a year. 
Further testing revealed that I have a genetic mutation called Factor V Leiden.  Men and women with Factor V are at an increased risk of blood clots.  About 3-8% of people with European ancestry carry this mutation.  Women with Factor V are at an increased risk of blood clots when levels of estrogen are high – birth control, pregnancy and estrogen therapy all increase this risk.  Having Factor V and taking birth control pills could have been a deadly combination for me.  I am blessed to have 3 healthy daughters – through each pregnancy I was required be on blood thinners.  I credit my healthy pregnancies to having the knowledge about Factor V – many women don’t know they have it and suffer recurrent miscarriages or clots during pregnancy and post-partum. 
I will be running 26.2 miles on November 2nd with Team Stop the Clot to raise awareness of DVT and PE – to let people know that blood clots do not discriminate – that they can happen to anyone – good or bad health, men or women, young or old.  I am raising awareness so people know of risk factors and symptoms. 

Here is wishing all these athletes THE BEST OF LUCK ON RACE DAY!
ENJOY IT ALL! It is a remarkable event.

ENJOY THE SWEET PAIN OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHEMENT once you cross that finish line!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster 

Friday, October 03, 2014

From the back...

The view of a race is far different...

The people around you are very different...

The people around you get the chance to talk to you...

The people around you are much more nicer...

This year I've been both at the very front of some races but also in the very back... I mean DEAD LAST in one case...

But regardless of how last I was I NEVER GAVE UP...






















Perhaps because I am older now I can process the frustration of falling behind but at the same time continue to move forward...

Perhaps because I am older now I want to make sure that I get my money's worth of everything the race has to offer...

Perhaps because I am wearing the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots I feel that if I don't keep going I am not honoring those blood clot survivors who are truly battling to overcome the challenges of their clotting incident...

I tell you what wearing the polka-dots always keeps me honest and provides an additional level of accountability from which I cannot shy away...

There have been a number of races this year that smacked me on the face...

Perhaps my preparation was not on point...

Perhaps I got hit by a car...

Perhaps I drank too much of an energy drink that I was not used to..

Perhaps I suffered 7 flat tires in the course of 20Miles due to poor equipment selection....

In the end each and everyone of the races in which I battled myself left behind a mountain high pile of lessons learned from which I know I can draw pointers and improve.

There is plenty of room to improve.  However, one thing I don't need to improve is racing in the polka-dot kit because it definitely gives me wings... Not necessarily to fly but to just keep going and finish.

Not much racing left now in 2014.  Just a couple of more running events for me and a lot of tweeting and blogging about clot survivors running the NYC Marathon and other endurance events before the end of the year.

For now it is time to prepare the roster for my oldest son's 1st Grade Soccer match and see if we can remain undefeated...and of course rest so that my body can heal and recover.

Looking forward to racing and spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders in 2015.  Definitely some of my luck HAS to improve next year.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, September 05, 2014

September Athelter of the Month

2014 has not been my year as it relates to my various bikes...

I am fortunate, a million times over, to have the "various" bikes that I own and even more lucky to be able to ride them as much as I get to. 

However, this year has been rough.  First in in June I got hit by car during a local triathlon which caused some damage to my newly renovated triathlon racing bike; the today as I was attempting to commute from home to work my commuter "work horse" bike finally could not keep up any more and gave up about 3 Miles away from work... After the better part of 7 years of commuting at least 3 times per month weather permitting losing this frame is a significant set back for my training expectations...

But really how can I speak / write of "set backs" on material stuff when the month of September is upon us and it is time for the September Athlete of the Month post.

It is rather foolish of me to have a "pity" party over the loss of my work horse bike when I should be talking about REAL, LIFE ALTERING "SET BACKS" due to blood clot incidents...

So, with that mind, please allow me to introduce to you the following blood clot survivor who did have the life altering blood clot incident that re-shaped his life and has propelled him down the road of MAJOR and INSPIRATIONAL accomplishments.

Please meet MARTIN SCHNEEKLOTH and read on about his story...

1)  What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
I have two true loves when it comes to sports, soccer and ultrarunning. Growing up in Germany, I've been playing soccer since I was 5 years old. However, I haven't played since my ankle surgery and the associated clotting incident 19 months ago. I also having been running for general fitness for the better part of the last 15 years. I got involved in Ultrarunning just 5 years ago and it has been my passion ever since. Ultrarunning (also called Ultramarathoning) is described as running any distance over the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

2)  How did you get started in that sport?
I was getting ready to run a local 15K road race in preparation for running my first marathon, when I recognized a guy I had played soccer with in a local men's soccer league. We started talking and when I explained to him why I was running this race, he said "why don't you just run the Dizzy Fifties 50K with me and my buddies, instead? It's barely longer than a marathon." The rest, as they say, is history. I was hooked as soon as I crossed the finish line of my first 50K trail race.

3)  What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?(Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
My biggest athletic achievement to date was the completion of my first 100 mile trail race. It took me nearly 28 hours of continuous forward movement to cross that finish line and when the race director handed me my very first 100 mile belt buckle (traditional finisher's award for 100 mile ultramarathons), I was crying, both from complete exhaustion and from complete elation, all at the same time. You do learn a lot about yourself, physically and mentally, when you complete such a demanding event.

4)  Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
In December 2012, I sustained an ankle injury playing in the final soccer match of the season after turning to chase down an opposing player. I felt a sudden sensation of pain in my left ankle and knew something was wrong. Unable to walk, I was helped off the field and the next morning, I made an appointment with a sports orthopedist to have it checked out. Unfortunately, the initial diagnosis missed the true nature of my injury and rather than scheduling corrective surgery right away, my left leg was placed in a boot and I was prescribed physical therapy. The traumatic nature of my ankle injury combined with having to wear a boot to stabilize my ankle caused a severe clotting episode, which exhibited itself fairly suddenly with severe chest pain 5 weeks after the initial ankle injury. 3 hours after arriving at the ER and after undergoing extensive tests, I received my devastating diagnosis, multiple DVTs and multiple bilateral PEs. This was definitely the scariest moment in my live as doctors would not even give my wife a prognosis at this time. Luckily, I did recover after I spent the following week in hospital receiving treatment multiple times a day to prevent the clots from growing further and to allow my body to slowly break down the clots.

However, leaving the hospital a week later was only the first step in my recovery. I still had to receive reconstructive ankle surgery to address an ankle fracture and tendon tear that had initially been diagnosed as an ankle strain, but that could not proceed until my blood clots were under control. I was put on blood thinners (initially Lovenox injections followed by daily doses of Coumadin, later I was placed on Xarelto after discussing the ease of use of this newer drug with my hematologist). I had to be taken off blood thinners and undergo surgery to receive an IVC filter before they would be able to proceed with the actual ankle surgery, followed by another procedure to remove the IVC filter. Once all of these procedures had been completed over the course of 4 weeks or so, I was placed on a daily dose of Xarelto for another 4 months. Since none of the extensive blood tests showed any genetic predisposition to blood clots, my hematologist and I decided that I would be taken off blood thinners once this treatment cycle had been completed. However, any new clotting incidents would mean blood thinners for life.

5)  When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?
While on blood thinners, I was able to start rehab pretty soon after surgery, but I was constrained to the PT office and a local indoor pool. Once the ankle cast was removed, I was allowed to start walking right away, but nearly 6 months of immobility in my left leg had caused severe atrophy. However, having been given a second chance, I was determined to not only get back to walking, but to get back to running as well. While on blood thinners, I mainly did my rehab on the treadmill, but as soon as I was cleared to try to begin running again, I was out shuffling through my neighborhood. I toed the starting line of my "first" trail half marathon after recovery 12 months after my clotting episode and it felt fantastic, like an immense load was lifted of my shoulders. I immediately started setting my next goal, finishing another 100 mile ultramarathon. Since then, I have completed 8 ultramarathons and multiple shorter road races setting PRs at every distance. I've been training hard for the goal of finishing another 100 miler for the past 6 months and I plan to toe the starting line for this race on November 1, 2014.

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...)
There are two things I rely on when toeing the starting line of an ultramarathon, my Clot Buster tech shirt (I'm already on my second one as I've literally worn out the first one I owned) and my Altra running shoes, which have literally eliminated my "Morton's Neuroma", a foot issue I've experienced in long distance events.

7)  How much are you getting out doing your sport?  (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
When you train for a 100 mile ultramarathon, you have to make a serious commitment to training, which often means running 7 days a week and running very early in the mornings to avoid the heat of the day and to try to minimize the impact of your training on your family. However, a commitment like this also requires the understanding and support of your family.

8)   What is your favorite food?  Either generally or after a workout.  For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
My wife and I have this weekly ritual. She's also caught the running bug having completed a few half marathons and a triathlon and is currently training for her first marathon. After every long run on Sunday mornings, we reward ourselves with a huge breakfast at our favorite local spot that consists of banana pancakes, omelette, home fries and biscuits. Other than that, I prescribe to a pretty "clean" diet.

9)  If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
These days, almost every place I want to visit is tied to some type of amazing endurance event. In fact, I'm still working on a bucket list of places to go and experience. On the top of this evolving list are the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) 100 mile foot race in the Alps of France and the Marathon des Sables (MdS) 150 mile foot race in the desert of Egypt.

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.
Never give up, no matter how devastating your diagnosis might initially seem. Reach out to others with similar experiences to help you through this, answer questions you will have and point you towards other helpful resources. I found the most effective way to get back to what you want to do is to make sure your doctor understands your goals. If he/she does not understand them or makes no effort to help you get there, find another doctor. No matter how big or small your goals, make sure you come up with a plan and find people (both health care professionals and friends) who will help you get there. I found my biggest challenge to be not physical but mental. Even though my doctor assured me that I would likely make a full physical recovery, in my mind, there still is that fear of a relapse, both of re-injuring my ankle and of experiencing another blood clot. And then there is the occasional phantom pain in my chest. But I try to look at the positive of this experience. I have received a second chance and I plan to live life to the fullest. Finally, be sure to share your experience with others and show your support for the National Blood Clot Alliance in any way you can. We as blood clot survivors should be the biggest and strongest advocates for this cause that, in my humble opinion, still does not get the attention and support it deserves.
This guy is a MACHINE!!!

Simply amazing that it is possible to recover from a significant blood clotting incident and get the body turned around to thrown down in Ultramarathons.  And on top of all that be competitive at them.  Just browse on over to Martin's own site www.ultrakrautrunning.com and you can see for your self that this guy is a top performer.

Simply INSPIRING. 

I need Martin to become my personal runner coach so that I can break through my barriers and unlock some of the speed that I know is somewhere deep inside... It may not be in ultras but in the marathon it could be a possibility.  2015 will be a new year and since I am running out of bikes to ride then I guess running will be it...

You can be sure that tomorrow I am running not only because Martin's inspiration but all those blood clot survivors who are crafting their very own come back story.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, August 01, 2014

August Athlete of the Month

How is August already here?

Now that my oldest is attending the official school system our mindset about summer is taking a serious re-adjustment.

We can't no longer plan for get aways or races in late summer or fall that are not exclusively on the weekend.

And then WE are going to start fall soccer and I say "WE" because now it is going to be a family project... I will be the coach of a group of 1st graders looking to learn about soccer.  This proposition either will turn out to be an amazing experience or it could turn out to be a complete disaster... Stay tuned as I will do my best to keep you posted.

Speaking of interesting experiences getting to know the clotting story of this month's CLOT BUSTER Athlete of the Month really blew my mind.  Not only because of where it went down but how the road to recovery has shaped this young individual on to a youngish adult who is training for the NYC Marathon and enjoy life each and every day.

Please let allow me to introduce to you AMARIS WHITE your AUGUST CLOT BUSTER ATHLETE OF THE MONTH!

Read on to find out about her extraordinary story...


1)      What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
I've never considered myself an athletic person, and I've always been a bit of a klutz, but over the last few years running has become a huge part of my life--for social, mental, and health reasons. It helps me clear my mind of daily stresses and gives me a social outlet. Most importantly, running saves my life.

2)      How did you get started in that sport?
I used to run high school track, but I was never much good. I started running during my third year of law school to clear my head. It was a good way to de-stress and be outside.

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 training for the NYC marathon! After my DVT doctors told me I would never be able to run again. Running had never been a huge part of my life. I had run two half marathons in the year before my leg clotted, and I was really upset to hear I'd never be able to do so again. Five post-DVT half marathons later...I'm determined to be better and stronger than I was before and run my first 26.2!

4)      Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
My clotting episode was particularly traumatic because I was traveling abroad in Malaysia with my friends. It was two years ago, and I was only 25 years old. My roommate and I went out for dinner one night, and suddenly my leg became tight and swollen, and within an hour I could no longer walk. My leg was a darkish color and progressively more and more painful, and my foot was becoming blue. It took doctors two days to diagnose me, and when they finally did, I learned that I had one giant blood clot going from my left ankle all the way to my heart. I received the wrong treatment because the Malaysian doctors had never seen a clot as bad as mine!
I ended up flying to Japan (where I have family) to get treated more aggressively and was in the hospital for a month. The doctors discovered multiple PEs, gave me an IVC filter (which ended up getting stuck), and they hooked me up to an IV to melt my clot. Unfortunately the treatment wasn't aggressive enough, and by the time I was back in NYC, my clot had become scar tissue. Doctors told me the clot was now permanent and that I would probably not run again.
Thankfully I found a doctor in California that removed my IVC filter, gave me a stent, and has been more aggressive with my treatment. With his help and a lot of exercise/running, I have been able to get to where I am now. Overall, I have had seven surgeries in four hospitals over the course of about four months. I'm on xarelto and a baby aspirin, maybe for the rest of my life.
 
5)      When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?  
It took me a while, but I finally started going to the gym about four months after my initial diagnosis. I think this time would have been shorter had I initially received aggressive treatment.
The first few weeks of working out were terrible. My leg was filled with permanent scar tissue (clots become hard after the first few weeks) and the blood could go in my leg, but not out. I definitely wanted to just go home and give up. But I kept going to the gym every day and gradually pushed myself to walking, jogging, running. The more I pushed myself, the more my body compensated by making new collateral veins. Running was therapy. The more I ran, the healthier I became.
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 would definitely love to get my hands on a polka-dot technical shirt, but for now my favorite new toy is my Garmin Forerunner 10 watch. It's simple--keeps track of time, distance and pace. I can leave all other technology behind and focus on just my run.
7)  How much are you getting out doing your sport?  (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
Currently with marathon training, I'm trying to do 4-5 times per week. It's not easy while working, but I'm doing my best. Weekends are for my long runs and I will definitely be sure to do all those runs!
8)   What is your favorite food?  Either generally or after a workout.  For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
Lately I've been getting into chocolate milk. Gives me protein and calories--and it's delicious!
 
9)  If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
That's a tough question. I love to travel and want to see the whole world (and space). At the top of my list right now are Taiwan, Korea, and Iceland.
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.
Don't give up. Don't let yourself become the victim. DVT and PEs are horrible, and they can derail your entire life and leave you with lifelong physical struggles. But with patience, discipline and sheer determination, it is possible to make a recovery and be better and stronger than before. Your body is amazing, and if you work with it, you can make enormous progress. When I first started running, I honestly could not imagine that I would be running multiple half marathons a year and training for the NYC marathon. But I took it one day at a time, and I slowly realized that my body was capable of a lot more than even I realized, and so I kept pushing. You can too! :)
 
Thank you for your amazing and inspirational website!! I'm sure there are many people that read this and are motivated to keep going!

I don't know if there's space for this, but I am trying to share my DVT/PE story by getting on the cover of Runner's World Magazine. People are allowed to vote daily and any support would be great (Runner's World picks 5 men/women to interview to be on the cover of the magazine. Social medial helps, but you don't need to be top 5 to get an interview. I just want to be on their radar so they will hopefully share my story.)

http://covercontest.runnersworld.com/entry/1003/

Also I'm trying to keep up a blog where I talk about DVT and my learning experiences. My goal is to post weekly with an update on my marathon training. I learned a lot about DVT and recovery through debacle and hope that this site can be a small resource to someone!

www.fightdvt.com

Sadly blood clots can happen to anyone and at anytime.  But how we overcome the challenge that clots throw in front of us can be the galvanizing force that can shape the rest of our lives.

Certainly Amaris is an example of that process.  THANK YOU so much for sharing your story with all of us.

Please be sure to vote for her to see if we can one of us CLOT BUSTER Stop The Clot Athletes on the cover of Runner's World.  Go ahead vote for Amaris and VOTE OFTEN!!!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't Train Like I Train...

Based on my results from last Saturday EVIDENTLY I am not doing too well...

After several days of playing the race back in my head I have to say that I AM VERY LUCKY to be able to participate and complete the event.

Since the accident on June 22nd it has been a battle to get back to form and shake out both the internal and external injuries.  But getting to cross that finish line last weekend it was a sensational feeling!

It was a tremendous feeling to overcome the last several weeks and despite the stomach cramps my soul was dancing because I was able to finish.

Now, clearly something I consumed between the start of the race and the start of the run did not sit well with me. 

I have a number of guesses as to what it could have caused the issue but I can't be sure... Also, I DID NOT DO ENOUGH and LONG ENOUGH BRICKS...

 
 If you listen to me at all please listen two things...

1)  Get your CLOT BUSTER StopTheClot  polka-dots to CELEBRATE ALL BLOOD CLOT SURVIVORS and TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT BLOOD CLOTS and BLOOD CLOTTING DISORDERS.

2)  When you are training for triathlons make sure you do ENOUGH BRICK WORKOUTS to get your body ready!

This season has been up and down but outside of more "bricks" I would not change anything.

Being at the back of the race provided me the chance to extensively talk about the CLOT BUSTER StopTheClot polka-dots and why I was wearing my jersey. 

LOVED THE OPPORTUNITY to spread the word and hopefully I said enough to get people to remember STOPTHECLOT.org

So, on we go.

Working on building in some more "bricks" as I have two more long races coming up.  I am looking forward to them and hopefully see some more polka-dots out there racing with me!

Keep it at it!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Thursday, July 03, 2014

July Athlete of the Month

The CLOT BUSTER Stop The Clot polka-dots are truly going global!

Never in my wildest dreams I would have imagined that this simple polka-dots that represent this cause of creating awareness for blood clots & blood clotting disorders and to celebrate blood clot survivors found their way to AUSTRALIA!!!

Soon enough I will have to put up a world map and start pinning all the places where the polka-dots are going...

Of course the polka-dots are not getting anywhere without the valiant participation of a blood clot survivor or a family member willing to spread the word.  In this case, the CLOT BUSTER Stop The Clot polka-dots were requested by TIM GUNTON who his a blood clot survivor living in Tasmania and your JUYLY ATHLETE OF THE MONTH.

Why is Tim July's Athlete of the Month you ask...?!?!

Well, how about I allow him to tell us on his own words via the report he filed to me about his latest athletic achievement...

Please read and get INSPIRED!

"
I thought I would give you a brief rundown on m Ironman at Cairns so here it is:

 I won an entry into Cairns Ironman through Wiggle and High5 so someone does win those competitions! I found out I had won the entry about 8 weeks prior to the Ironman which was quite ironic considering my history. Cairns is about a 4 & ½ plane flight from Launceston, so the day before flying I thought I had better see my Doctor and ask what precautions I needed to take prior to flying. My Doctor advised that seeing my INR was steady at 2.7 that I would not need any Clexane, just wear compression sock, do the standard leg exercises , stay hydrated and no alcohol. The conversation changed to how much exercise I should be doing (I occasionally run with my Doctor so he  has an idea about running and exercise) he advised me that there is no set limit, however whatever I make sure I take it easy. So I told him on my holiday I might do a little swimming, maybe a little bit of bike riding and a few easy runs, he warned me about being careful on the bike so I said I would not ride in any packs. The good news was my Doctor did not say not to do an Ironman  - he will probably point out to me that I did not tell him I was planning to do an Ironman! (the reason I did not tell him was I knew what he would say and this way I did not completely ignore his advice). It was about 14 weeks since my second PE – which forced me to pull out of Melbourne Ironman in March this year and about 13 months since my first bilateral PE that forced me to pull out of Cairns last year. I am now on Warfarin for life.

 My support crew (my wife Sharon, who competed the year before) arrived in Cairns a few days before the race and I did a few short easy runs and rides, there was another fellow Tasmanian who I had trained with, Maggie, doing the race so it was great to have her and her son (Tom) with us. As Tasmania where I live is the coldest state in Australia and Cairns is in the tropics I thought the heat could be a problem, little did I know that on the day of the Ironman it would be the coolest June day in Cairns since 1967 and that it would literally rain all day. 2 days before the race I bought a sleeveless wet suit and this was the best investment I have ever made, as there is a small chance of being marine stingers in the water wetsuits are allowed and are advisable in the swim, I tried the sleeveless wetsuit out the day before the race and it felt incredible, it provided buoyancy even though it felt like I was not wearing a wet suit – in a full sleeve wetsuit I have always felt constricted in the chest and I did not want that uncomfortable feeling which can lead to shortness of breath.

 To the day of the race: The first thing I did was write a motivational message on my forearm, for me his motivational message was quite easy – I recently joined a Facebook page called I run for Michael, where basically runners team up with kids and adults that through different reasons are unable to run. The week prior to the Ironman I was matched with my buddy Chris, so I was lucky enough to be able to dedicate my Ironman to Chris , so I wrote on my arm ‘I Tri 4 Chris’.  Lining up at the mass start of the swim I made my way to the back of the pack and tried to stay calm (trying not to think about my first triathlon where I got pulled out of the water after 100m after suffering panic attack and thinking I could not breath). I started slowly and kept a comfortable pace for the whole swim and did not feel any discomfort with my breathing for the whole swim and finished the swim in 1 hour 33 minutes, I was aiming for 1.40 to 1.45 so I was quite happy. In T1 I sat down and took my time to dry off and get changed, remembering that I was there to complete the event not to set any records, so I took 14 minutes

On to the bike leg, I planned to ride smoothly for the whole distance and watch how my breathing was going and slow down if my breathing felt labored, I planned to take it fairly easy and average about 25kph to do the ride in a little over 7 hours. I averaged 28kph for the first 100k’s and felt pretty good, there were a few hills but they weren’t too bad, a few times I started to push it a bit, but thought I had better slow down a little. As expected the last 30 k’s or so was a bit hard and there was a slight head wind but I looked at my motivational message and made it to the end of the ride. The ride took 6hrs 37 minutes and it rained the entire time on the bike, which was probably a good thing because it kept me cool and made sure I watched my speed. I averaged 27.2kph on the ride so I was happy with that, once again in T2 I took things nice and easy and fully changed – this time taking 8 minutes.

Starting the run I knew I had 8 ½ hours to complete the Ironman before the cut-off time so I thought I could take it easy without pushing it, I ran/walked the first 12 k’s in 1hr 30, at 7.30 km pace. This left me with about 7 hours to complete to last 30k’s, I still didn’t have any pain in my lungs or chest and I thought I would not take any chances so I changed to a quick walk for the last 30k’s, during the run which was 3 x 14k loops I passed my wife about 6 times and received fantastic support from her. Surprisingly to 30k walk in the rain went quite quickly as there was a lot of opportunity to talk to other competitors who were also having long walk breaks. I had a few short jogs to keeps the legs moving but nothing for over 200 metres.  I finally made it to the 41k mark and knew that I would finish the event with a final look at my motivational quote and a thank you to Chris, I was near the finishing chute I saw my wife Sharon and had a quick cuddle, then it was onto the finishing chute where I heard the words “Tim Gunton You Are An Ironman” I felt pretty good, I had a quick bite to eat in the recovery area, then I went to see Sharon, as it was still raining we decided to head back to the Hotel.

My run time was the same as the bike 6 hrs 37 minute at 9.24 min per k pace, for a total time of 15 hrs 11 minutes, which was 1 hour under my estimated time. Throughout the race my lungs/chest felt pretty good, there was the odd pain now and then but it only lasted a few seconds, after showering and more food and a beer I laid down and tried to sleep, this was probably the time I was most worried as we know once the exercise stops there is the fear of possible chest/lung pain – luckily I had almost no pain at all that night and the next few days basically no pain either.  Apart from a few blisters on my feet and tight quads I was relatively pain free after the Ironman.

That is basically it for my Ironman experience, I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to complete an Ironman after having a couple of PE’s and being a warfarin lifer, but I also believe that almost anything is possible if you cover all the risks and take it easy – and always check with your Doctor before doing anything (just sometimes don’t tell him/her the full story)

Regards

Tim Gunton"
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE is one saying that has pulled me through many difficult situations throughout my life.  Without a question it helped Tim push on and achieve the finish line of his Ironman event as a  survivor of multiple blood clotting events.

I am AMAZED of what survivors can do.

Can't help but to be inspired by the story that was shared with you above.

I can't wait to hear what will be Tim's next adventure but one thing is for sure blood clots WILL NOT BE STOPPING HIM NOR EVEN SLOW HIM DOWN!

Thank you for sharing your story Tim.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

 
 

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