“Don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now.”
Suite Judy Blue Eyes; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
It’s so easy to be hard on yourself when you under perform. But is that fair? Is it even accurate? This can be a pretty rough sport, particularly when you are your own harshest critic, and you’re out for results, results, results! I learned a long time ago that from one year to the next, any given race course can change dramatically. Although the transition area and the bike and run courses are the same, there are many variables that you can neither control nor account for in a measureable fashion. Sure, you know that the wind can significantly alter the face of the bike course but how about the way it changes the swim? White caps, current, shifting of the buoys on their tethers, just to name a few of the variables which could slow your performance in a number ways. And that’s just one variable.
So in May, at the post race party of your inaugural race of 2013, try to be aware of the host of variables that are really out of your control, but need to be taken into account to judge 2013 to any previous year. And as CSNY sing "Fear is the lock, and laughter the key to your heart." See you at the post race party.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Why This is Important to You
It’s almost Spring, Summer’s coming, airline travel, extended car rides to races, and for those at risk the potential for formation of a blood clot, usually in one of the deep veins of the leg. Sometimes these clots will dislodge, traveling through the venous system back to end up in one of the lungs in what’s known as a pulmonary embolus (PE). A PE can be a life ending event!
One of the major risk factors is extended immobility, sitting in one position for a long time – like flying coast to coast – or some athletes with certain medical conditions, some medications, or those with recent trauma like a bike crash may be at increased risk. Anytime blood flow is compromised or the vessel damaged, the risk is higher. The list below, while certainly not all inclusive, gives you some idea as to the breadth conditions to consider when considering the potential for DVT:
Smoking Oral contraceptives
Previous DVT Recent Surgery or trauma
Obesity Advancing age
So What Do We Do to limit Our “Exposure?”
In short, the answer is by not staying immobile. By moving your legs at regular intervals, walking the aisle of the plane, stopping the car at the occasional rest stop or restaurant. Even simply exercising in your seat be it calf raises, knee to chest, toe ups, etc.all help. Avoid crossing your legs or ankles for extended intervals, avoid caffeine and alcohol to excess, and do your best to stay hydrated.
While some DVT’s are silent, others yield swelling in one leg, sometimes both, even redness on occasion. Symptoms of a PE are not so subtle, heralded by chest pain, acute onset shortness of breath, even a pink frothy sputum in some cases.
But, if we follow these simple tips we reduce our chances of DVT. That said, if you think you or one of your fellow travelers has a clot, seek medical help immediately. It could easily be the difference between life and death.