Showing posts with label pressure headache. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pressure headache. Show all posts

Friday, October 17, 2014

I'm early middle aged fit

Weather induced headache
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles 

TGIF and I mean it. This week has been tough and the traffic during my commute has grown increasingly worse since the end of summer. Yesterday's rainy weather provoked one of my sinus headaches, along with pounding pressure and exhaustion. I took advantage of working from home today by sleeping a little later. That, plus a couple of ibuprofen, helped minimize the discomfort.

I haven't had a chance to run since Monday, so once I felt a little better I headed outside. Cool temps, clear skies and low humidity made for great conditions. I felt some residual fatigue due to the sinus pressure, but I got around okay. Not my hardest effort, but still a good workout.

During my run I thought about a test I took on this website that supposedly calculates your "fitness age." The site is put on by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the test covers a lot of factors. This is not "Find out what kind of tree you are in five questions."  I answered honestly and my fitness age calculated to 41. Better still, my VO2 Max score was 48, which is considered excellent for my age group.

My buddies SIOR and TPP scored in the "teen to grad student" age range, not a surprise because they are both extremely fit. If you don't believe me, try keeping up with them on the hills at Bethpage. If I truly have the fitness of the average 41 year old man, then I have to conclude that 41 year olds run slower than I thought.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fighting a migraine to a draw

Helpful, but no cure
Today's run (treadmill): 3.5 miles

I woke up with a dull headache and pressure on the right side of my head. The telltale signs of a developing migraine. On occasion, I've been able to minimize the effect with a combination of Excedrin, Pseudoephedrine and coffee. It's an imperfect solution because, even with all that, there's usually some residual discomfort.

With icy roads and 12° temperatures this morning, I returned to the treadmill. I gave myself enough time to metabolize the Excedrin (analgesics can do damage when used during a run) but the decongestant had a tiring effect that discouraged me from pushing too hard. I didn't finish the run with my usual sprint at and beyond anaerobic threshold. Still, it was the right workout for the way I was feeling.

The endorphin response temporarily quelled the migraine's mild, but still present symptoms. I had a fairly easy business day today, which allowed me to catch a 15 minute nap. That got rid of any remaining pain, although the pressure remains. I'm hoping a good night's sleep will get me back to normal. I'd like to go for a long outside run outside this weekend, although predictions are for wind chill temperatures in the low teens. Even so, I'd rather deal with the cold than go through another migraine.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

All trails lead to Mount Olympus

Back to the woods
Last night, sometime between the start and finish of dinner, my headache disappeared. My daylong discomfort and exhaustion were suddenly lifted. I don't know if it was the Ibuprofen, or the nasal decongestant that did the trick. I'm guessing it was neither. My theory is that my fresh New York bagel, full of carbs and covered with real butter, cut through the migraine. Forget Imitrex, this is the cure.

Relief from that headache completely changed my level of engagement and I felt like a human being again. The rest of our night was great and I was able to give full attention to our guests. This morning I woke up headache-free, but I delayed my workout until after our guests had left. At that point, I thought about the benefit of resting versus getting in a run. I decided on rest, but not completely.

Around mid afternoon, my son and I decided to go for a hike at Trailview, a park that connects the Greenbelt Trail north of Jericho Turnpike. The skies looked dark and there was a little rain coming down. We put on hooded jackets and headed into the woods.

A stop along the way
Trailview, unlike Stillwell, is a simple layout with two paths. The segment between Jericho Turnpike and Syosset-Woodbury Road is closely contained so it's virtually impossible to get lost there. Still, Trailview's paths are interesting, with twists and turns and some steep inclines and descents.

The view from Mt. Olympus
We saw a few other hikers braving the light rain, as well as a couple of trail runners. We ended up at the overlook where Woodbury Rd and Syosset-Woodbury Road meet. Crossing that intersection brings you into the south side of Stillwell Woods. For some reason, we've dubbed that "the view from Mount Olympus." At that point we headed back, talking the whole time about the history of PC's, handheld calculators and gaming systems, along with discussions about sentient computers and our common fascination with the movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey."

A hike in the woods with my son beat a run on the streets by a mile. The trails posed a few challenges, but nothing we couldn't handle. I got my workout without pushing so hard as to invite a relapse of yesterday's headache. All in all, a pretty good day. I'll have to decide whether to take tomorrow as my usual rest day or go for my first Christmas week run.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Deflated by my run

I know that feeling
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

Yesterday I wrote about my tendency to always get sick at the end of the year. I made the mistake of saying that I've avoided that situation over the last few years. This morning I woke up with a painful migraine-like headache that has kept me exhausted throughout the day. No amount of analgesics, decongestants, running or showering has helped the situation. All I can hope for is relief after a good night's sleep.

We have guests staying with us this weekend and this headache hasn't helped my sociability. I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances. I thought a run might help the situation, but when I went out this morning I immediately regretted the decision. After a half a mile I knew it would be a struggle to get through even a three mile run. I had the opportunity to cut it short when I looped around to a road that's close to my house, but I couldn't bring myself to head home.

I ran as fast as my leaden legs could carry me. My head was pounding and the relief that I thought might come from aerobic breathing never materialized. Along the way I noticed how many lawns were covered by deflated Santas and snowmen. Apparently these large balloons are the new decoration standard. I'm guessing that people wait until dark to inflate them as part of their Christmas display. It amused me to see house after house with what looked like colorfully dressed people passed out on the lawn.

I was happy to end the run, but I felt no better after the workout. In fact I felt worse. The rest of the day has been filled with activities and my participation has been on the low side. I regret the timing of this annoyance because I only see our guests a few times a year.

The Ho Ho Ho Holiday 5K happened today and, because of our schedule, I've had to miss it. I guess that worked out in its own way because I would not have been in shape to race this morning. The Petite Pacer ran it today and I'm betting she had a much better running experience than I did today.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Running happiness in a squeeze bottle

Doping the right way
Today's run (treadmill): 3.2 miles

Oxymetazoline HCl is my new favorite drug. I've recently found that a minimal dose of this OTC nasal spray provides a lot of relief to my pressure headaches. Using it seems to negate the need to take ibuprofen or pseudoephedrine. I don't like to take either of those, especially when I'm planning to run. I get these headaches during certain weather conditions and they are tough to treat, but a couple of sprays have put me back on the mend.

This morning's weather was windy and rainy. Fallen leaves on the roads made for slippery conditions and I resigned myself to another treadmill workout. I'd used the nasal spray as soon as I got up and felt instantly better. I was ready to push hard today and I set the speed a full MPH faster than yesterday. Today was warmer and more humid than Thursday, yet I felt much stronger throughout the run.

The good thing about running faster on the treadmill is that you get through your planned distance sooner. I had plenty to do today so that was a bonus. The nasal spray, unlike decongestant tablets, doesn't make me dizzy or tired. Treadmill running is scary enough without having to deal with those concerns.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Managing through the pressure

Still plenty of choice at Chez Emerging Runner
Today's run (treadmill): 3.2 miles

Happy Halloween! So far I've successfully avoided the candy we bought for Trick or Treaters. Among the mix are Mounds and Almond Joy bars so you should be very impressed by my willpower.

I've had a couple of days of sinus pressure and the headaches that come with that. I decided to do my workout on the treadmill today to keep things simple. I also had early morning calls and needed to save some time. My goal was to move but not push enough to exacerbate my sinus issues. It was a decent session and I learned that the average commercial break on CNN is .36 miles.

I'm hoping that sleep and a change in the weather will bring me back to feeling strong enough to run hard this weekend. It's my last chance to train for the Hope for Warriors 10K on the 10th. My base is definitely below 6.2 miles right now, but I'll give it my best shot.

Friday, October 11, 2013

No rain, pain, or running strain

Today's run (street): 3.6 miles

Earlier this week the weather people on TV were talking about significant rainfall and flooding by the weekend. I was resigned to the probability of having to do my longer runs on the treadmill. While yesterday's run was wet, it wasn't anything like running in storm conditions. I expected this morning to be much worse. Happily, it was much better.

Sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 AM this morning, my energy sapping pressure headache disappeared. Between that annoyance, and the cold and rainy weather we've had, running can be more pain than gain. When I realized that the pounding from my sinuses was gone, my outlook brightened. After looking outside and seeing white, rather than gray skies, I felt even better.

Yesterday's run, while feeling low, was more symbolic than beneficial. Although my headache had cleared, I still held the expectation that today's run would be challenging. I considered not tracking my speed and distance so I wouldn't feel bad about my expected mediocre (or worse) performance, but I decided that I needed to face up to it. Besides that, I'm racing in a week and I have to focus on speed at some level.

Since you are reading this, there's a good chance you're a runner. And being a runner, you know that the first minute of a run can speak volumes about how the rest of your run might go. This morning I was surprised, in the best of ways, to find my energy level at the high end of the spectrum. I knew right away that this run would be much faster than yesterday's, and it was. The fatigue I experienced on Thursday was completely gone, replaced by the feeling that I could run all day.

I felt great all the way through but, due to my business schedule, I needed to cap the length of my run. This was quite a contrast from yesterday when, by the end, I felt like I'd just run a 10K at race pace. It was a nice way to finish out the week, especially one as tough as this. I'm looking forward to my last race training workouts this weekend before I taper down throughout next week.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A good run to start but then came the pressure

Cold-triggered annoyance
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

This day started great, with a nice early run in conditions that were close to yesterday's. I've been running hard lately, so I backed off in terms of intensity. I had a deadline to meet, so I knew I couldn't go out too slowly. Just before I hit mile three, I saw that my time was out of acceptable range. I decided to turn up the jets and ran the last half mile like I was finishing a race.

Things got a little tough after that. We did a family activity at the Cradle of Aviation museum and the building temperature must have been set to the mid-50's. This triggered one of my pressure headaches and, in the course of about 90 minutes, I went from feeling great to needing to lie down. I got home and took a decongestant before settling into a recovery nap.

Sleep minimized my headache but it was still there in the background. That made for a very long afternoon of work. Spending so much time in front of my laptop didn't help the situation and my headache, though better, is still there. I hope a good night's sleep will help knock it out completely. I have a tough trail run planned for tomorrow afternoon and I want to be at my best for it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Running off a pressure headache

Last November's food panty effort
Today's run (treadmill): 3.1 miles

I had another tough night due to the onset of a pressure headache. I woke up at 4 AM and treated it with the usual combination of pseudoephedrine and aspirin. That combination helps, but it doesn't quite eliminate the problem. It also makes me groggy and I spent a few hours trying to sleep with little success.

About midway through the morning, I needed to decided whether I'd do a run or skip it for the sake of recovery. I usually reserve the weekends to do my long runs, with Sunday typically being the longer of the two. I listened to my body very carefully and decided on a treadmill workout. I thought that made sense because I could dial in a comfortable speed and use the big floor fan to stay cool.

I covered my "distance" slower than I would have outdoors, but that was fine because I was more interested in the overall time I put into the workout. The act of running seemed to help my sinus pressure and, though I felt tired at the end, I also felt a little better. Later today, we're heading to East Northport to volunteer at a food pantry. We did this last November and felt great about the experience. I'm glad to have done my run today, I think it will keep me energized for the work ahead.

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