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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!
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Friday, January 31, 2014

I miss the outside world...

... that I usually see while training and playing.

At this rate, I don't believe my Garmin even works as I've been forced to stay indoors for a while now.

Thinking warm thoughts...

Without a question over the last 10 days I experienced the coldest temperatures of my life.

Thinking sunshine thoughts...

Don't mean to sound down but it is getting difficult to get on the "dreadmill" and run.

Thinking warm thoughts...

By now, I am running out of ideas as to what intervals to do on the trainer.  Can't really do the same training video again.

Thinking about less layers and no fleece...

On the bright side I found a new rhythm to be consistent with yoga time.

Thinking warm thoughts...

Feel lucky and constantly try to process the irony that I get to go swim while it is so cold outside the water would freeze instantly.

Thinking about racing in the CLOT BUSTER polka-dots to represent and spread the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

Come on spring!

Get here FAST!

I need you!

Back on the covers...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Saturday, January 11, 2014

January Athlete of the Month

How were your Holidays?

Here is hoping and wishing that you were able to receive 2014 in grand style and that the new year is bringing you ALL the happiness, good fortune, and good health you can afford.

I am looking forward to 2014 and getting the chance to continue to spread the word about blood clots, get even more exposure to the CLOT BUSTER STOPTHECLOT polka-dots, and of course continue to post some more of these inspirational stories from blood clot survivors.  I simply cannot get enough of learning what the human body is capable of once your mind is set and your body cooperates.

The 2013 series of Athlete of the Month posts end with a fantastic story of a blood clot survivor throwing down with an Ironman Triathlon.

Well, I could not see any other way to start 2014 than with another story of blood clot survival and come back that involves a recent tango with another Ironman Triathlon.

Please allow me to introduce to you JESSICA LEHMAN who very graciously has agreed to share her story of survival and come back with us.  I am VERY THANKFUL to Jessica and for willingness to sit down and go to town on the write up you will be reading below. 

Are you ready to get your 2014 started with a story that will get you off the couch and going... please read on!

" Hi guys! My name is Jessica and I’m so excited to share my experience with Team Stop the Clot.

Less than a year ago I was sitting in a hospital bed thinking my life as an athlete was over. My pity party came to an end when I found this blog. Reading all of the Clot Buster stories gave me hope and inspiration. I hope you find some in my story too.  Please please please contact me if you are newly diagnosed with a DVT/PE and want to talk to someone ( I promise you that you can come back from this! And you will race again J  Here we go….

In January 2013 I had the adventure of a lifetime- summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world with an elevation of 19,341 feet.

(You can check out my whole Kili trek here:

During the final descent off the mountain (day 8) I developed a sharp pain in my calf. I assumed it was a pulled muscle from summiting. It seemed obvious to me, I mean I did just climb the highest mountain in Africa!
After another week of safari in the Serengeti we flew home and it was time to get serious about my triathlon training! I was 5 months out from EagleMan 70.3. I remember e-mailing my coach telling her I had a pulled muscle and wasn’t able to run. So I started training by only swimming and biking. My calf was very painful, but triathletes have a very high tolerance for pain (and are just that stubborn) that I refused to go see the doctor.  I knew that if I rested it, iced, and took anti-inflammatories it should go away. And sure enough it did! My leg felt better after a couple weeks. (Later we find out this is because a giant chuck of clot broke off and went to my lungs). So with a healthy leg I started running and training hard.
I realized that my splits were much slower than usual. I told myself that this was because I took a month off to go to Africa and was out of shape. So I started pushing myself harder. I even almost blacked out in the middle of the pool during a time-trial test. I just figured I was dehydrated. Writing this makes me realize how stupid I was… ALWAYS listen to your body!
During the 4th week back from Africa I started getting out of breath doing simple tasks- walking up stairs, talking on the phone, making a sandwich. The last straw was blacking out during a track practice. That night I went to the ER. And drum roll please…….. DVT in the leg’s popliteal vein and massive bilateral PEs in the lungs. For the amount of clot I had I was lucky to be breathing still, let alone trying to swim, bike and run.
The doctors could only hypothesize what happened. The long plane flight to Africa, my slow heart rate, altitude sickness caused by high elevation, severe dehydration from summit day and birth control pills was my perfect storm of destruction. Sometime after returning home the clot in my thigh to groin broke off and went to my lungs. This is where I count my lucky stars (30% of people with untreated PEs die. I went over a month before going to the ER).
So I got nice and settled in the hospital while they monitored the PEs. I chose to go on the new blood thinning drug Xarelto over Coumadin. No more Lovenox shots in the tummy! This is where I spent my days googling the scary statistics of blood clots (which I’m sure some of you are doing right now). I feel so fortunate to have found Stop the Clot and the Clot Buster athletes. I went to them for inspiration during the following months of recovery. Which were TOUGH. Small victories were climbing the stairs in the hospital, going for a walk, then finally jogging one whole mile. But there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel!

I wanted my light to be something huge. I wanted to go out there and celebrate life! I felt so fortunate that I wanted to do something monumental for those that have suffered from clots, those that have passed away, and those that will suffer in the future. I registered for Ironman Cozumel knowing that even if I couldn’t cross the finish line, showing up at the starting line was already an accomplishment.
I made it my personal mission to raise awareness and prevention of these nasty little blood clots by racing for the National Blood Clot Alliance. I raised $6000 along the way!  Most importantly I wanted to set an example that having blood clots does not mean you cannot continue to do the things that most inspire and challenge you.
On December 1, only nine months after being diagnosed with DVT/PEs, I became an Ironman! I really took the whole experience in and enjoyed every second of it. I had a smile on my face for almost the entire race (ok last few miles were ugly). 


(check out my full race report here:

Check out my support crew’s Stop the Clot shirts and visors!

So even if you’re on bed rest right now in the hospital or still on blood thinners, keep your head up. Take it day by day. And always live life to the fullest. You’ll be back before you know it!"

What else I can see to add to this story...?

We are so lucky that Jessica shared her story with us to provide us with the spring board we need to get 2014 going.

Get INSPIRED and let's get out there.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!