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Tuesday, July 30, 2019


Hard to believe that I have been able to do 100 Triathlons...So lucky to be ale to pursue this crazy hobby and to push the boundaries of my own limits. 

For me it was truly a celebration of doing these 3 sports... It felt easy as crazy as that sounds... 

I was inspired by multiple racers throughout the event letting me know that THEY WERE BLOOD CLOT SURVIVORS... IT WAS FANTASTIC to see them go and get after it.

Very much enjoy what the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots can do while out training and racing... 


Here is hoping that I have another 100 races in me...!

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

July Athlete of the Month

Love Summer Time!

Bring on the Heat!

Can't get enough of being outside when the sun in shinning.

Every day Blood Clot Survivors complete huge achievements as they battle to overcome blood clots and blood clotting disorders.

July will bring a major challenge for me... Checkout twitter through my handle @CLOTBUSTER to learn more about what I will be having going on.  It is not going to be easy but if blood clot survivors can overcome monumental challenges so can I in mid-July.  WISH ME LUCK!!!

Speaking of being able to overcome.  July's Athlete of the Month ALEXIS has remarkable story to tell which I am certain that you will find very interesting.

MANY THANKS to Alexis for her willingness to share her story.  Read on and get inspired to overcome any challenge!

1)  What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it? 
 I love to run. I truly believe that I love this sport because of my fellow runners and the comradery we share on the trails and roads. Runners are a special group of people and I’m thrilled to be among them!
2)  How did you get started in that sport? 
 I started running in middle school as a 400 meter track athlete. I continued to focus on middle distance racing in high school, also running cross country as a means to build up a solid base prior to track season. 

3)  What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?(Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did) 
 I recently ran my first 10 miler post-clot in preparation for my upcoming comeback (I’m calling it a “clot-back”) full marathon. It felt amazing to be able to comfortably increase my mileage and heart rate. MCM 2019, here I come!

4)  Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission? 
 My clotting episode occurred in October 2018 amid a myriad of work, travel, and activity. I was 24-years-old and just weeks out from my second full marathon. I was working full-time as the Marketing Director of a Pittsburgh-based law firm, training for the marathon, and applying for MBA programs in my evenings – talk about a full schedule! I had no time to slow down, let alone get sick.
I had just spent two days in South Bend, Indiana interviewing for a seat at Notre Dame’s MBA program when I returned home to Pittsburgh via midnight train. I was traveling alone and was admittedly afraid to spend the night sleeping on public transit, so in order to ease my nerves and get some shuteye, I popped two Benadryl pills, put my legs up, and crashed for a full 8 hrs into the city. When I awoke the next day, I noticed a lump and tightness in my right leg, just behind my knee, of which I foolishly attributed to a tight IT band from a rough night’s sleep. As it turns out, I had a big race planned for the following morning, so when I stopped at the race expo to pick up my bib, I had a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and nurse check out my leg to ensure that I was fine to race…and got the all clear. No one realized that my “tight IT band” was actually a DVT!

The next day, unaware that I had a serious medical problem, I ran my race as planned. I PR’d in the 10k, knocking 5 minutes off my best (I was in the best shape of my life) but noticed that my heart rate was lingering above 195 (a first for my Garmin!). My leg pain, however, was gone, so we no longer thought anything of it.

The next day, I began to feel short of breath. It started gradually – a feeling of windedness on that first early morning run – and progressed to major SOB walking up short flights of stairs by the week’s end. I was stubborn and on a strict schedule, however, so I persisted into my last 20-miler of training that Saturday morning. That run went terribly as I struggled at mile 2 to keep my heart rate below 175. I felt lethargic, my vision spotted/blacking in and out, and my body just not wanting to move. I shut the run down at mile 9, and the next day attempted my 20 again, this time only reaching mile 6 before I called it quits. Something wasn’t right and I knew it, but my coach, running mates, work demands, and MBA dreams were counting on me to keep going, so I continued to press on. 

The following week – 1.5 weeks post-DVT to be exact – I finally went to see my PCP. I told myself I felt fine aside from this annoying inability to breathe, and just wanted to feel better in time for race day. Upon examination, my doctor told me I must have had a virus and sent me home with a prescription for a Z-pak and script for bloodwork, which thankfully included a d-dimer…even he initially missed the signs and symptoms! Thankfully I was called the following morning as my d-dimer was positive. One CT-scan later and I had the entire emergency room staff scratching their heads – I had 3 acute pulmonary emboli residing in 3 different lobes of my lungs…and I RAN that morning! 

5)  When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?   
 When I finally mentally allowed myself to get sick, I got really sick. After spending 2 days in the ICU on a heparin infusion, I was discharged with strict orders to stop running and overscheduling! I felt relatively fine leaving the hospital (and actually drove myself home as the determined and willful woman I am) but after 2 days of fighting myself, the intense dizziness, chest pain, increased SOB, constant elevated heart rate, lethargy, and nausea began. I spent weeks at home trying to rebuild my stamina and regain balance. After six months spent on anti-coagulant therapy (I took 1xdaily Xarelto, of which I cannot speak more highly!), I was finally approved to run again! 

My clotting episode is still baffling medical professionals to date. I saw three different specialists, one of which blatantly admitted to having no idea how to treat such a young PE patient, before being diagnosed as having an unprovoked clotting episode. I’ve tested negatively for all hereditary clotting disorders, including Factor V. My new hematologist believes that the combination of extensive travel, paired with 10+ years of daily hormonal birth control, caused my DVT. We hypothesize that my racing the day after I contracted the DVT day caused the clot to break off and travel in parts into three different lobes of my lungs, and the length of time between clot break and treatment caused the clots to grow.

I’ve had many medical professionals tell me that I’m lucky to be alive, of which is true on paper and considering my continued attempts at training mid-clot. However, I genuinely believe that my running is the reason I’m so fortunate! Had I not been so conditioned, I may not have realized that my shortness of breath and elevated heart rate were out of the norm. With so few symptoms to base such a serious, life-threatening diagnosis, I am fortunate that my self-awareness and absurd training schedule allowed me to know that something wasn’t right, and am thankful for my amazing PCP for running that “just to be safe” test to ensure my safety and proper recovery. 
6)  What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? 
 I’m partial to my SPIbelt and Powerbeats wireless headphones for long runs, but I am SO looking forward to spotting my dots at MCM this fall!

7)  How much are you getting out doing your sport?  
I train with a running group 6 days per week. When time allows, I also like to incorporate strength training, yoga, piyo, and/or cycling as a second daily workout.

8)   What is your favorite food?  
I am obsessed with cheese – I have yet to meet a cheese I haven’t liked!

9)  If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
 I’m planning a trip to Africa in 2020!

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. 
 You have to be your own health advocate. No one knows your body and your health better than you do, so listen to it and speak up/out often! Many amazing and talented medical professionals missed my initial DVT diagnosis because my age and overall health didn’t fit the stereotypical criteria for a DVT patient…if it can happen to me, it can happen to you. Stay vigilant!

To those running MCM this fall, I’ll see ya on the course! Let’s make it a “clot-back” to remember!

Here is hoping that Alexis gets her "CLOT-BACK" !!! 

For sure all of us will be looking forward to see you crush your come back race.


Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!