Monday, August 31, 2009

Hit it

"Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.

Jake: Hit it. "

This is how I feel.

It's 40 days to the Oil Creek 100 Race. I weigh the most I have in the last five years, I've done little to almost no running in August, and I have no training plan.

Hit it!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Run with Mikey

Mikey came over from Columbus for a trail run on my loop around Hosak's cave. To my dismay, I found half the trail under construction-a bull dozer was making the single track much wider-but it still was okay footing, just soft dirt. Mike and I had a wonderful time-I think it did both of us alot of good to get some trail talking done.

Final mileage: 6.7 miles. Ooops. I told Mike it was something like 5 (I never can remember..) so he got more miles for the week. Thanks
Mike! I sent him the raw pics (no, not nude pics, just not edited..) so he should post those soon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Game on

Ok, I am going to run The Oil City 100. The race director was pretty crafty, just ignoring my withdrawal from the race.

I don't feel I really have a chance of finishing the race, but I will give it my all while running. It will be a nice change of trails to run on and I can encourage other runners out there.

Perhaps I can look at my schedule and see if I can make it over there for a run before the race and check out the course.

Tom is suggesting I focus on hill work in the month here before the race, and that sounds like a good plan for now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Personal Accounts

A continuation of the dangers of DVT's in athletes. Two personal accounts below-and another person's story in the comments section from Sunday's blog.

Tom from Illinois:
Hi Kim. I am currently recovering from a DVT which also spread into both of my lungs (PE). Though I am a little older (age 56), I have been keeping myself very fit for the last five years. My first full year of running I ran 2237 miles, currently I am more around 1300 per year. After I run I stretch, and do exercises with my dumbbells, cable machine, and dip and chin-up station. I also had gone to yoga twice weekly over the last eleven months. And I am a UPS service provider with 32 years of service which is sort of an industrial athlete-like life.
Around ten days ago I awoke with significant pain in my right calf and a bad limp. I finished out the last two days of the work-week in this condition. Over the weekend, thinking that I had a bad calf strain, I used Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, but things continued to get worse.
Finally on 8/4/09 I went in for the duplex doppler on my right leg, they found a thrombosis which is around a foot long, and I went straight to the emergency room, and was later admitted to the hospital. I was released on Lovenox, and Coumadin on 8/6/09, and I know that I will be recuperating for weeks if not months. I am hoping that I recover enough to return to my job, and eventually to full fitness. If you or your friends want to say hi, I am Tom, Joliet, IL.

Rob's account:

I am lucky to be alive today and I mean that with all of my heart. Even though I was receiving recent medical care I had a blood clot not treated in my left calf. I think sharing my story; my signs and symptoms may educate you on this scary event and just may save your life.

As you know I have spent past 7 days in the hospital with DVT in my left leg and PE in both of my lungs and multiple clots at that. I do believe that when I completed the Pig May 3rd I failed to hydrate and keep stretching as I then drove home for 3 hours. I do carry 98 to 99 % O2 in my lungs even with the PE.

My DVT symptoms were pain in my left calf that it felt like a muscle pull. My PE symptoms was I had some limited shortness of breath when running but severe pain in my back to lower rib cage in the front. This pain felt like a muscle pull but came and went and hurt more when I breathed in. I also was coughing some blood.

As I lay in my hospital bed the past week I reflected over the past few months and trying to figure out what has been happening to my health.

At 38 years of age, I recently ran a 4:12 at the Green Jewel 50k and a 3:34 at the Cincinnati Pig Marathon all while maintaining 50-70 mile training week(s). The high mileage weeks were to train for my need complete the Mohican 100 Mile trail race. Not bad for a 190-195 lbs man.

In the period of time from my marathon in May to today I have been hospitalized for 9 days so far with two of those days the result of back surgery. The past week (7 days), I have been hospitalized for blood clots in my left leg and both lungs. I am sharing this with you now to try to get the word out about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

The cause of my blood clots is really not know for sure as of yet. I am receiving tests to help determine if I have a genetic predisposition to having blood clots or a medical condition. It is possible that it occurred as a result of my back surgery (June 4th). I think that you will draw the same conclusion that I did my signs and symptoms developed before my back surgery.(read my blog)

In fact I think it is likely I have had a blood clot (leg) since May the 6th and I received blood clots in my lungs in the last two weeks. I think that I received the blood clot in the leg after the Cincinnati marathon after not taking a break and then driving home while having limited stretching.

This is a very serious situation and I am lucky to be alive. Time will tell if I will ever be able to run again. I will need medication that will make me bleed like crazy and presents a new hazard. Of course the Drs found other things to poke and prod so go get a physical blood work chest x-ray etc.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Endurance Athletes and DVT's (blood clots)

Two of my running friends have developed DVT's in the past six months. Two healthy runners in their early 40's. This surprised me, as I always think of DVT's (blood clots) as something that happens to an older, more sedentary, less healthy population.
As I did some research, some very interesting information has come to light. If you are an endurance athlete, please read on. DVT's do not just happen to folks in hospital beds, if you are an endurance athlete, you need to be aware of this condition and a few facts!!

What it is: DVT- deep vein thrombosis. Layman's term: blood clot. Why this is bad: this blood clot can break off from where it's formed, travel through your bloodstream, block oxygen and blood to your brain, and KILL YOU. Or the blood clot can stay in your leg (or arm) and cause swelling, pain, even tissue necrosis in the area if left alone long enough.

SO why is this happening to an otherwise fit athlete? Atheletes tend to have a lower resting heart rate. This results in blood flowing slower through the body.
Dehydration-this plays a factor in your blood viscosity. More dehyrdation leads to thicker blood.
Trauma? Falls, bruises? Nah, this never happens in an ultra. (Non runners would call this "trauma") Ultra runners? Well, we took a face plant eight hours ago. No big deal, right? I got a little banged up. Due to this trauma, there may be a clot forming at the spot in the cell wal. This is your body functioning normally.

After the race is over, we get into our car, or onto an airplane, and travel hours back to where we came from. We spend hours in a cramped position. Meanwhile, the thickened blood is pooling.The body is still dehydrated. The body is forced into the worst position to get the blood pumping throughout the body again. This is where the start of a clot in the legs (in the deep veins) can begin.

According to a 85% of air travel thrombosis are atheletes.

What can you do to help minimize your risk of a DVT?
Keep hydrated or get hydrated after the event. Keep hydrated on the plane! Keep legs moving. Get up and move every 15 minutes. Do not stay seated for prolonged periouds of time. Stop the car every 1/2 hour and get out and walk. Move your legs and change position during the car ride. If you inured yourself or became dehydrated you are at a higher risk!

What are some symptoms of a clot forming?
If a clot forms, it usually feels like a cramp in the leg, sometimes causing significant pain and swelling. There may also be a bruising or swelling behind the knee. If your doctor says it's just a sprain ask for an ultrasound of the area.

If you have chest symptoms and you are being told you have a chest infection, anxiety attack, heart attack, or anything else other than PE (pulmonary embolism), ask for a blood oxygen measurement. They will attach a pulse ox to your finger. If the reading is less than 80, you should be checked for a PE.

What else can you do?


Movement-as much as possible after a race

Compression Stockings-compression stockings (not support hose) work by being very tight around the ankles, and become looser up the leg. By being constrictive, they will force the increase of the velocity of the blood. The blood will move faster.

Being aware of your body. publishes a free leaflet that you can use as a wallet card to help remind you of what else to do after that long run!

Oh, it won't happen to me.....
It happens to athletes. ALL THE TIME. I have 2 friends in 6 months. Some other names and their accounts:
Frey Maxim professional triathlete
Steve Lehman endurance biker

More articles:

And on a personal note, I am going to have my calf checked out. I've had a pain in my left calf for about 2-3 months now. The pain comes and goes. I've had a massage, which has not helped, and the pain is still there. I've been thinking it is just a knot, but with all the reading I have been doing, I think I would like to rule out a clot!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I am in the curious stage of having no goals. I don't have any target race to work toward; I withdrew from Tom Jennings
Inaugural 100 Mile Oil City Race. I simply do not have the enthusiasm or motivation to enter another race that I cannot finish.

I thought about entering the Groundhog 50K, but I would have to leave late Friday night, probably sleep in my car, and then run a 50K by myself. Again, just not seeing the motivation or summoning up the energy for that. I can stay around here and run a 50K if I like.

About the only sure plans are a relay section of the Akron Marathon, and I am planning on running the Bobcat Marathon on Novemeber 8th.

I haven't even been for a run. And I really am not upset/worried/caring about it. (Well, actually I had Monday off work, then I worked my 4 10 hour shifts).

I just don't know what I feel like doing right now. I am kicking around the idea of a Laurel Highlands run, maybe in October. I do feel like exploring some new places, maybe doing some new things. But what new things, I don't have a clue about either.

I'm still alive and out here. Just kind of apathetic.