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Blue Lips

First I would like to give a huge THANK YOU to the two girls selling lemonade along the Tobacco Trail this morning.  If it weren’t for them, I’m sure I would have slowly been walking back to my car.  You see, it was hot today and I didn’t refill my bottle with enough fluids.  Therefore, around mile 17 when I was about to run out of my GU electrolyte drink, I thought I might start begging strangers for water.  🙂  Luckily two sisters along with their mom were selling lemonade and cookies at mile 17.9.  Although I didn’t have any money with me, they filled up my bottle with the coldest, most delicious lemonade ever. I immediately felt like I came back to life and when I got to my car, I drove back to where the girls were to pay them.  They’ve got a good thing going and I’m going to start carrying a little cash with me from now on.  Next time I might want a cookie!

When I got home today, I noticed the same thing I notice every time after a run longer than 15 miles – my lips are blue.  It never fails.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw this back in 2005 – I was so concerned.  But then after a shower and lots of fluid, they returned to normal.  However, I still do not know why I get them and it still makes me a little worried.  I spent some time reading today about what others have to say about the cause of blue lips.  Here are some things I found:

Healthline:

Blue lips may represent a type of cyanosis caused by a lower level of circulating oxygen in the red blood cells. It may also represent a high level of an abnormal form of hemoglobin in the circulation. If normal color returns upon warming and/or massage, the cause is due to the body part not getting enough blood supply due to cold, constriction (of the tissues or the blood vessels that supply the tissues) or some other reason. If the lips remain blue, then there may be an underlying disease or structural abnormality interfering with the body’s ability to deliver oxygenated red blood to the body.

Julie Boehlke, Livestrong:

If you are experiencing symptoms such as blue fingers, fingernail beds, lips or skin when you exercise or overexert yourself, this could be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you have a pre-existing medical condition which affects your oxygen levels, you may notice the bluish tint, which is called cyanosis.

Lecom.edu:

Severe Dehydration: All of the signs of mild and moderate dehydration, plus: blue lips, blotchy skin, confusion, lethargy, lack of sweating, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing, rapid and weak pulse, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, high fever, little or no urination

Dacia Rivers, Livestrong:

After a cold run…

If you look in a mirror, you might also notice that you look paler than normal. Your lips might even look blue because of the cold and exertion. In general, you don’t have to worry about cold hands and feet and even blue lips at the end of your run, as long as you feel fine otherwise.

 

For me. I’m going with my blue lips are due to dehydration. As Dr. Timothy Noakes suggests, drink to thirst. Well I was super thirsty and had nothing to drink. Therefore, I was probably a little more dehydrated than I should have been.  Perhaps lack of oxygen might have something to do with it also, but I’m not sure how to determine that one. Either way, I feel fine now so as long as they keep returning to a normal color, I’m not going to worry too much.

I’m considering shortening my out and backs so I can refill more frequently to try and avoid the really thirsty situation again.  Once I got that amazing lemonade, I felt like I had just started running.  It was amazing.  Something to keep in mind for next Saturday…

And check out my delicious lunch this afternoon: An organic bison burger with guacamole and sweet potato fries.  It was amazing!

I ate every last bite. Yum!

 

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

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