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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"What am I on...?" Series Continued

Slowly I am catching up... THANKS for stopping by and reading! Currently I have "1 Official Follower" signed up through Blogger... I sure hope that many of you out there are reading my rambles and "Un-Officially" I can say that I have more than one reader... I guess that I can only hope.
So, making our way up from the bottom to the top we already covered my running shoes, so next up it is time to talk about my cycling shoes.

In my opinion your cycling shoes can be a deal breaker when you are attempting to dial in your riding style. For a number of years I used a brand and I felt comfortable...imagine me shrugging my shoulders as I say comfortable... in the shoes. However, I had the feeling that I could improve my experience with a better pair. So, I did some research and thanks to the fantastic help from my friends at DPM SPORTS I found a shoe that completes my riding experience.
The Spiuk CASTA Triathlon shoes are a dream. The extra stiff sole makes all the difference for me. Not sure why but I feel that in each pedal stroke the power transferred from my leg to the bike is much more efficient and less fatiguing. Over the years I've only used triathlon specific shoes so I am used to the one big strap and on the CASTA the grip of the one strep is very strong to keep that smooth rotation of the pedal stroke.
I am very pleased with the performance of this shoes. Last year I began to use them and I have to confess that while on the bike they are on and the enjoyment is topo notch.

So, what else do I need to complement both my running shoes and cycling shoes...? The answer is SOCKS... looking through the web I found these...
What do you think? Should I make the investement? Would I look good in knee high tube socks? I believe that is up for debate... even I need to warm up to the idea of tube socks before I take the plunge. They would be a grand eye catcher for sure... but are they too much?

Your comments on these issues are appreciated. I will take all the help that I can get...

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fun June so far!

Lots of catching up to do here so no times to get cute here...

Busy month no question about that. The Clot Busters here in Ohio have been doing all sorts of things stretching every day to the max... just the way we like it.

As a side note before I continue, REALLY COOL that my Athlete of the Month Series has completed its first year. I am very excited about that. If you know of anyone that should be featured in this series please let me know. Sharing personal experiences is a very powerful instrument.

So, let me start on Sunday 06/07/2009...the opportunity of a life time for me to race a Team Triathlon in which my brother "TIO" Clot Buster would swim, I would ride, and Mrs. Clot Buster would run. For a long time I looked forward to this opportunity and finally it came through. I very much enjoyed the experience to have this team event and share the experience with my brother. We were solid throughout the event and finished with a smile on our faces. As the only team doing the Olympic distance triathlon we won the race but the experience of playing together was sensational.
Next Sunday 06/14/2009... another triathlon event but this time with a very different set up. Tio Clot Buster would be going at it alone to do the whole event, so would I, and Mrs. Clot Buster would race the run portion for her corporate challenge team. I too raced for my company but in this case as an individual. What a blast seeing my brother go through his first triathlon. Honestly, I never thought I would see the day this would happen. He hammered it all out and from what I can tell on his smile he hurt a lot but enjoyed him self. For someone who has never riden a bike for 18Miles or run a 5K thereafter I was floored to see my brother run the whole way and finish the race as stronly as he did. This event was one that I will remember for a long time to go. I guess I enjoy very much having my family close together and share a little bit on the things that I love and enjoy doing.Finally, Saturday 06/20/2009... Mrs. Clot Buster and I made our way back to the Loveland Amazing Race... After doing that race back in 2006 we always wanted to return. It is a very different event that will challenge you in many different ways... would you attempt to picture me trying to impersonate Madonna as Mrs. Clot Buster guessing... not a pretty sight.
We did really well even with 10+ waiting extravaganza at one of the stations... we came in as the 16th fastest coed team out of 200+ coed teams at the race. Mrs. Clot Buster and I were booking it and our efforts definitely paid off.

This is one of a kind race in which you can have some great fun. For example, I've never kicked a football before through the uprights and on Saturday as part of the race I got my chance... My soccer background sure came in handy on that station. If you get the chance and you are in Cincinnati in June of next year you should definitely look this race up. It is a good time. Many thanks to all of the volunteers participating in the event. Their enthusiasm was fantastic!!!

Pictures from that event to follow I am sure that there are some good ones that all of you out there will enjoy.

So, that is been the month of June so far and we are not done yet. Mrs. Clot Buster is participating in a triathlon this Sunday so the fun continues... this time for me and Junior to cheer her on! Pay attention out there you just never know when you will be able to see the Clot Buster at a race near you.
Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June Athlete of the Month - ONE YEAR DOWN MANY MORE TO COME!!!

Hard to believe that it has been a year already and I continue to go strong with showcasing as many survivors from blood clots as I possibly can. There are many many many more to go I know that so as long as I can find them and bugged them to be featured I will not stop.

I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity every month and I very much look forward to continue meeting as many survivors as I can because you out there provide all the inspiration that I need to do what I do and to get others to do what they hope and dream about.

So, many thanks to all who have been willing and thank you in advance to all who will be featured in the future.

On this edition of the Athlete of the Month I am very pleased to introduce to you Mr. JIM FENTON. I've had the chance to be in touch with Mr. Fenton for some time now as one of the first to ever purchase the now available Clot Buster Technical Shirt. It was a pleasure to meet Jim down in Virginia at the Shamrock Marathon where he was supporting his wife as she walked the half-marathon the same day I raced.

Please read on and be inspired by Jim's story and never ever give up on the things you want to do!

My sport and how I got started are directly linked. I lost my father and grandfather to blood related cancers when I was a young boy. In 2005 I became aware of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies Team in Training and got involved. I became an endurance athlete and began raising money to fight blood related cancers. After not being able to run even 3 miles in May of 2005 I ran the Chicago Marathon in October of that year. I was hooked, there is nothing like being cheered on by a true HERO, a cancer survivor, as you run a race. Since then I have run the 2006 Country Music Marathon, rode the 2007 Fletcher Flyer Century ride, and completed the 2008 Wilmington YMCA triathlon, all with TNT all to fight blood cancer.
My personal troubles began after the century ride in late May of 2007, a week after the ride my family and I took a trip to Ohio. Eight hours in a car with only one break and we repeated this 3 days later. The following weekend I began having troubles breathing and had a sharp pain in my back every time I took a deep breath. I could not sleep so I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with chest wall pain, give Vicoden to sleep and sent on my way. The following week I began to run again, and it was horrible, I could not catch my breath and my legs hurt, specifically my left leg. I felt there was something not right, I was in great shape I just rode 100 miles. So I took a couple of days off and tried again, same thing happen, but this time two large welds developed on my left leg. By noon the next day I could barely walk the welts on my enter thigh and calf just below my knee were killing me. So I went to the doctor again that afternoon. This time the doctor was suspicious and had me have an ultrasound on my leg. As you have already guessed the welts were subdural hematoma, the ultrasound also found a DVT behind my knee. I was immediately place on blood thinners and told to rest that evening and come back to the doctor the next morning.

The next morning I was sent for a CAT scan to further investigate the pain I had in my lungs the week before. The scan reveled I had 6 PE’s one of which was large enough to kill a golf ball part of my lung (a pulmonary infarct). I was placed on long term Coumadin therapy as we tried to determine why I got the clot. After many months and many tests the Hematologist in Greensboro were unable to determine a direct cause of my clot and I was referred to Dr. Stephan Moll at UNC hospitals in Chapel Hill. In late October of 2007 Dr Moll was able to determine that I have APLA (antiphospholipid antibody syndrome), which places me at a higher risk of having clots. In short, I had created the perfect storm, I was dehydrated from the ride, I took 2 long car rides with few breaks, and I have APLA which predisposes me to clots.
I was placed on long term Coumadin therapy and went back to living my life. I signed up for the Wilmington triathlon as soon as I was medically cleared and life was good. Getting back into training did a lot for my mental health. Even though the doctors say you are fine and the Coumadin will protect you mentally it is hard to get over because there are no symtoms leading up to your clot. Training helped me with that. Even with the training and the doctors monitoring my care I still went in for a check up the week before my triathlon to get the ok. I placed a lot on the triathlon as a benchmark to being healthy again and once I had completed it I was releaved beyond belief.

Then another set back, a week after my event I noticed a blind spot in my left eye. The cause of this was a blood vessel growing through my retina. I received a shot of Avastin to my eye and have recovered fully from the episode, but there is some debate on why my blood vessel did this. Some doctors believe it is a combination of the APLA and the Coumadin other doctors are not so sure. Evidently I am the only case of this in the world with my medical make up. Due to this issue I have ended my Coumadin therapy and have began a asprin regiment to combat my potinical for clotting. Of course staying thoroghly hydrated and taking regular breaks while driving long distances are high on my list as well.

After all of this I feel healthy and am back doing what I want to do, endurance events to fight blood related cancers with Team in Training, oh and wearing a Polka Dotted jersey as well.

I have signed up for the Rock n Roll half marathon at Virgina Beach labor day weekend with TNT. I train 5days a week and throroghly enjoy being healthy and clot free. Saturdays are long run days for me and nothing tops off a long run better than Japanese steak and rice from Kyoto.

For anyone going through a clotting episode my advice would be “get as many smart doctors looking at your case as you can” I had a lot of people work with me to figure out what was going on and eventually we found out why this happened and what we could do to return to a high quality of life. Secondly I think the mental side of DVTs is harder than anyone can imagine. You don’t “feel sick” but you could have died, having good doctors and having a strong family and good friends to talk to was how I got through. I believe having groups like NATT will go a long way for people not to have to go through this alone in the future, DVT survivors are out there, just like me.

Jim THANK YOU for sharing you story that others can be inspired as well.

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

Monday, June 01, 2009

"What am I on...?" Series

I don't know about you but I am always intrigued about what people use in their training and racing. What different things they believe will help in their quest to whatever is they are looking to achieve.

Over the years I have tried a number of things that work for me now and I hope to be able to use as long as I am doing the swimming, biking, and running. Not to say that you need to use any of these stuff but you may find the information I am about to share interesting.

I debated about where to begin these series of posts for a while and I decided that I would go form the bottom up just because. So, please read on to find out "What is the Clot Buster on in his choice of footware..."

For the endless number of miles I've been running my choice of running shoes is the MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 10. This pair of shoes are perfect for me. Not only they have the Clot Buster colors but the feel of them is exactly what I need. I don't if it is the cushion or the support their offer but I don't dare trying anything else as I don't want to mess with the match I am enjoying now.
I hope that I can still find these shoes when I need them but as the years go so do the shoe designs. I know that Mizuno has the Wave Rider 11 and Wave Rider 12 out there. I am not sure which I should try next but the 12's continue to have the Clot Buster colors so I may just lean on that direction. I know silly reason but one that is important for me. For now, however, I hope to find some more Wave Rider 10. If you see them out there let me know as I need all the help that I can get.
So now you know how my dawgs travel when is time to run. In the next post I will give you the details on what I use for my cycling shoes. You will not want to miss that...
In the mean time, keep spreading the word about blood clots and blood clotting disorders anywhere that you go. We need to let as many people know as we can so that someday we can STOP THE CLOT.
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!