I got a cross bike and was excited about racing next fall in the Chicago area. i'm a total cross noob but an experienced roadie. just got diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis and will be on warfarin for life. other coumadin/warfarin lifers out there who are racing? i know how much risk i accept is my decision but would appreciate advice from experienced riders about my chances of serious injury if i'm racing 4a/4b. thanks. John
John, first of all plavix is nothing like coumadin. With coumadin in the doses you will be taking, you will have a propensity to bleed. Not a big deal if we are talking about a nick when shaving, but huge deal if we are talking about internal bleeding (like a fractured spleen) or worse an intracerebral hemorrhage. In my opinion, (I'm a pulmonary/critical care physician) it would not be worth the risk.
I have to second Thomas Wilcox's answer. I'm a trauma surgeon / surgical critical care physician (and the 90 hours a week I put in explain my 'cross mediocrity).An emphatic NO to any contact or potential contact sports while anticoagulated with coumadin - even a relatively minor impact could result in a fatal brain injury; as he stated, your risk of a bad outcome from a splenic (or other solid organ) injury is also high. Even in the absence of a major injury, you're going to wind up with a lot of soft tissue hematomas from the usual contact with the bike, etc, even in the absence of a crash. Sorry to be a downer - this is a far different ball game than anti-platelet agents like Plavix where racing is a calculated but not unreasonable risk. Check with your doc - unless you have a hypercoagulability disorder (protein C, protein S or AT III deficiency or similar), you may not need to be on coumadin for life - six months is standard treatment duration for PE. I wish you good health, but no cross !
Thank you Dr. D'Amelio i will try to appeal my warfarin life sentence. i'm a two time clotter and the docs are stern. you and Dr. Wilcox (above) scared me away from CX. just ran a 50 miler on pavement and am normally sore. I'll go for an OT freebie on a CX forum: do the muscle micro-tears caused by ultra distance running pose a serious internal bleeding issue with warfarin? John
It won't pose any serious risk of injury. I've run a couple of marathons and had a little hematuria (blood in urine) afterwards - it's not unusual for long distance runners, even in the absence of any blood thinners. You won't experience any unusual muscle damage from ultrarunning being on coumadin. If you pee red a day or two, I wouldn't sweat it. If it continues beyond that after an ultrarun, I would check in with your doc to rule out an underlying urologic condition, especially if you're over 50. Good luck.