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Saturday, December 02, 2017

December Athlete of the Month

How did we arrive already to the end of this year...?

I was just getting started on this MilesStone Year for me.

But with 2017 coming to an end a new set of possibilities will come with 2018.

Certainly 2018 will be another MilesStone Year for me and this very blog.  Stay tuned for more information as it will be time to celebrate!

Speaking of celebrating let's get this season going with sharing the insights of this Clot Survivor which, I am sure, you will find unique and inspiring.

Please allow me to introduce to you my very first Stair Runner Clot Survivor MELISSA HINOJOSA.  Without a question Melissa's input will be one you can value after all she always go high and to the top.  I sure hope she takes the elevator down once she reaches the top...

1)  What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
I love stairs! Vertical running is a little known sport with many health benefits. There’s also the thrill of looking at a building knowing that you made it to the top!

2)  How did you get started in that sport?
I was in my mid 40s and looking for an indoor winter sport when I came across the 2015 Fight for Air Climb Detroit. Although I’m a marathoner it was quite a challenge! I've increased my speed and endurance over the past couple of years with the help from supportive climb mentors.
3)  What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
This April I climbed CN Tower’s 144 floors in Toronto, Ontario. It’s my favorite climb, and I’m currently training for the 2018 event. My dream is to one day win the Empire State Building Run-Up lottery!

4)  Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
In August 2016 I felt faint while running with a Detroit Marathon training group. I chalked it up to slight dehydration. Over the next two weeks my right leg ached, but assumed it was due to training. Shortly before leaving for a California vacation my right leg was swollen. Once again I wasn’t too concerned. While climbing Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Los Angeles I was out of breath and needed numerous breaks. By the end of the trip walking on the beach was exhausting. After a red-eye flight back to Detroit my leg was more swollen and in extreme pain. Two hours later I was in the ER being diagnosed with three large DVTs. One clot went from below the calf to the groin area. The ER team placed me on Eliquis and stressed how lucky I was to have survived the California flights. I was eventually sent home to rest, which I didn’t do. The following week I was coughing uncontrollably and had shortness of breath during a staff meeting. An hour later I was back in the ER with several PEs in my lungs. It was 8 months before I was able to get back to a normal workout routine. During that time there were endless tests for blood clotting disorders and autoimmune diseases. All tests came back negative and the fourth doppler ultrasound showed clots had dissolved. I was taken off blood thinners, but do suffer from Post-Thrombotic Syndrome. Thankfully I’m able to be physically active most days without much pain.

5)  When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?   
After a month I walked my first (SLOW) mile at the YMCA indoor track. It took 8 months before I was back to my normal routine, but those first steps felt amazing!   

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’ll be sporting my new Clot Buster’s technical tank in stairwells soon, but my favorite running shirts are Team Playmakers apparel. I’m a member of the Michigan running store’s fun and supportive team.

7)  How much are you getting out doing your sport?  (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
On a typical week I climb twice, go on a group run once, and strength train once or twice. During the Midwest winters spin bike classes with my husband and/or strength training with friends are a welcome change of pace from outdoor running.   

8)   What is your favorite food?  Either generally or after a workout.  For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito…
After a good workout nothing beats Mitten Munch P B & J Trail Bars! Of course I also wouldn’t turn down a Drummond Island, Michigan pasty!

9)  If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
I’d love to explore the Bisbee outdoor staircases in Bisbee, AZ.

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.
Be your own advocate and seek a second opinion if something doesn’t seem right. Listen to your body and take recovery at your own pace. It’s perfectly normal to suffer some emotional setbacks as well. There are wonderful online support groups to help you through the process. It takes time to get back on your feet again, but always remember that you are a survivor!

Many Thanks Melissa for your willingness to share your story. One day I hope to try one of those stair running races as long as the way down is via the elevator.

Here is looking forward to see the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots climbing stairs and reaching new heights!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

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My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!