I have blogged about DVT Awareness since 2009, where two of my runner friends developed blood clots.
I’ve blogged on this topic before, due to several runner friends developing these. Some of them went as far as pulmonary embolism. All my friends were lucky, they have recovered and are back to running.
Excerpt from that blog post:
Yes, I want to scare you. A bit. OR actually, I just want you to be aware.
You think of blood clots in ..old people. You don’t think about ultra runners, or triathletes, being the ones who who develop these blood clots.
Yet we are prime candidates for these.
Okay, Athletes 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 dehydration leads to thicker blood.
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. Got some bruises on my quads, knee, arm. No big deal. That huge bruise on my quad? That’s no thang.
Due to this trauma, there may be a clot forming at the spot in the cell wall. 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.
Fast Forward from 2009, to 2015, where the internet social media and web speed has advanced. There are now many new resources.
BUT YOU RUNNERS STILL NEED TO RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS.
From Stop the Clot: Deep Vein Thrombosis:
- Swelling, usually in your leg (can also occur in your arm especially in weight-lifters, gymnasts, rowers, etc.)
- Leg (or arm) pain or tenderness, usually described as a cramp or Charley horse
- Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
- Leg warm to touch
Pulmonary Embolism – PE
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
- Rapid heart rate
- Fainting or passing out
- Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus
There is also a private group on Facebook called Running After a Pulmonary Embolism: A group for runners who have been stricken by a pulmonary embolism, but have gotten back to running. (Maybe the group motto should be “Running: It’s In Our Blood!”)
Please be careful and be aware of these symptoms. Rehydrate after your run/race. Get up and move in the airplane or make more than one rest stop in the car after your ultra. DVT’s can happen to athletes!!