Beware of the DVT!

So sometimes my inner physical therapy student has to come out.  This happens to be one of those times.  Knowing that I will be finishing Boston and getting on a plane within 4 and a half hours (so crappy, but the best I could do) this concern became very real.  This isn’t something well known or talked about (unless you are in PT school) and I know that I am not the only person in this situation.

DVT stands for Deep Vein Thrombosis.  What that means is that a blood clot forms (commonly in the leg, especially in runners).  This is bad, then have that blood clot break free and travel to your lungs and this could become a deadly pulmonary emboli (PE).  If this should occur, death often occurs within one hour of the event and half of the individuals who die wouldn’t be suspicious of this (aka, runners).

Though there are many risk factors associated with poor health that can cause a DVT and subsequent PE, there are a few particularly relevant to traveling runners.  The two most important are prolonged immobilization during long periods of travel and injuries to the leg. Your body treats the trauma from running a marathon as an injury.

So what can you do about it?

  • Walk around post race as much as possible
  • Stretch it out
  • Foam Roll or use “The Stick”
  • Hydrate
  • Get up and walk around the plane
  • Perform isometric muscle contractions (just squeeze your muscles without moving your body segments)

What are the signs of a DVT?

  • Swelling of the extremity
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity over the area suspected of clot
  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Tenderness and pain when squeezing the calf muscle

If you are ever suspicious of this, it is important to get to the emergency room ASAP!

This was not the post I was expecting to write the night before I leave for Boston but I thought this was kind of important to share.

In other news, Casey is here.  We are all ready to go.  I took my last practice exam that I am going to take before boards tonight and did very well on it, helping me to feel better about going away for the weekend and not studying the weekend before boards.

I will try my best to be up on Instagram throughout the weekend and post when I can.  Catch you in Boston.  Bring on Marathon Monday!!

Sources:

Hillengass E.  Essentials of Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy.  Elsevier Saunders.  St. Louis, MO.  2011.

Giles S.  PT Exam: The Complete Study Guide.  Scorebuilders.  Scarborough, ME.  2013.

Recovery. What’s best?

Standing on a street corner wearing my most recent race shirt, waiting to cross today while I was out for a jog I saw a man on the opposite corner also rockin’ the same shirt. He yelled across the street

“Full or half?”

“Full” I said.  “Pretty good race huh?”

He simply replied, “You’re crazy!”

We both laughed and I continued on my way.

For the rest of the way home, I thought about all of the different ways I have gone about recovering and how it is such an individual part of training and racing.

After my first marathon, the best my memory can recall is that I did absolutely nothing.  Going to class seemed an olympic event to me I was in so much pain.  Likely due to the fact that the day of the race I crossed the finish line and sat/laid around for hours.

Since then, I have learned that pretty much for everyone it is a good idea to do some walking around the day of.  But where to go in the following week or two is totally up to you and your future goals.

Today, I went out for a short, slow, easy jog with no distance in mind just to get myself moving and kind of assess where my problems lie and how to progress from here.  I have always in that active recovery camp.  Be it biking, swimming, yoga, pilates, walking; for myself, getting moving is the best way for me to get back to moving.

I think the most important thing in these first two weeks is to do what you want to.  You have to give your brain a rest from the constant scheduling of certain distance runs and speed work and the obligation of running.  Take some time to remind yourself why you love it.  Even though I certainly didn’t feel even close 100% (my toe is going to be an evolving problem for a little while), today was one of my best runs mentally in a long run.  I was running because I wanted to!

So for the next few weeks I will be here in Charleston, falling in love all over again with running just to run!