Tag Archives: Colds

What will this day hold?

Time to get on the ball... literally!

Time to get on the ball… literally!

Today I am supposed to execute my Time-Crunched Cyclist Field Test. It is still on my to-do list, but I’m having second thoughts. It all has to with something that started happening late yesterday afternoon.

Sitting in my office I began to find myself getting off my train of thought. Then I noticed I kept clearing my throat. That was followed by a dull ache in the lower part of my ears.

I could tell that I was having some sort of sinus issue arising. As I went through the evening, I begin to feel more pain in my right sinus behind my nose. There was no improvement in the drainage. I went to bed hoping I would wake up feeling better.

It didn’t help that I had a hard time getting to sleep because of the continued drainage causing me to clear my throat and cough. I did fall asleep and woke up 8 hours later feeling pretty much the same. I considered that a victory!

I’ve always operated by the adage, “Ride if it is in your head. If it is in your chest, rest instead.” Well, so far it is just in my head. I don’t see any reason why I can go forward with the Field Test. My only fear is that I will not be at 100% and I’ll end up with a lower number than would like for a baseline.

So, I am going to mount up in the early afternoon and give it a go. If I croak, I’ll just abort. If I make it through, I will just use that FTP number and plan to retest when I get over this crud.

Stay tuned….

In other training news, I record today that I am at 176.6 pounds. I’ve started a new habit of using an exercise ball as my seat while watching football, etc. I’ll do crunches periodically. This is in addition to my established routine. I’m also using the ball as my chair in my home office. I’m sitting on it right now as type this.

From the pot to the bottle

Here is a quick update on my “nasal irrigation” story from last week. I had been asking about what people thought of the Neti Pot. Lot’s of people told me I should give it a try and a few offered an alternative to the classy looking piece of ceramic.

Here... stick this up your nose

Here... stick this up your nose

So, what did I think? Well, it wasn’t so bad. I thought I would end up sputtering and choking while I gagged myself. However, once I figured out how to direct the stream of water through my nose it felt pretty good.

What I expected was to feel a sudden openness in my nasal passages. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. While the soothing warm water did clear mucus out of my nose, it did not reduce the swelling of my membraines. So, I still had a feeling of constriction, but it did help me breathe a bit better.

I figure that during this season of colds and mold allergies, I’ll keep doing this a couple times a week. I’ll also keep using my saline¬† sinus spray to keep those little cilia happy. With a little luck, I might be able to be ready for the big throw down with Kirk Flinte on Paris Mountain on January 30th. If you can, come out and support this fun event on eveyone’s favorite climb.

Digging out of a hole

It has been a challenge since starting my training back in November. With a full-time job, along my responsibilities with The Worthwhile Company, church, community, and – of course, family, time for training is hard to come by. So far, I’ve been pretty good keeping up the plan.

Last week I just got hit with a cold. Unfortunately for me, it happened during one of the biggest weeks so far. The plan called for 12 hours. I’m looking at the numbers I actually got finished and see 9:46. Most of those lost hours happened in the last two days. Friday was supposed to be three hours.

It would have worked because I was supposed to ride up to a camp located in Rosman, NC. That would have given me four hours (the plan called for three). Because of the frigid temperatures and snow in the mountains, my buddies canceled the ride. Even with the cold, I tried to go out and get some time in. After two hours and having my Garmin Edge 500 locking up in temperatures in the 20s, I called it a day.

Then on Saturday, I had four hours slated. These hours should have been simple to get. The plan was to go out to the UWBL. Had things gone as planned, it would have four hours.  However, the UWBL got altered again because of the weather. Had I been able to go, I still would have only gotten three of the five I needed at this point.

I ended up dragging myself up onto the trainer and spinning out (and I mean easily spinning!) 2.5 hours. On a day when I was supposed to get 300+ TSS points, I ended up with less than 100. It wasn’t a good finish to the week.

I guess you could call this the “training hole.” Now, any self respecting coach will tell you (as mine did) that this is no big deal. You should just get back on the bike and you’ll get it back. One week does not a season make!

My problem is that my confidence isn’t that high. I feel as though I’m starting in a hole already. As a 40 year-old who will be racing against guys in their 20s and 30s, I sense I need to be even more prepared than they are. I have the feeling that things are going to have to go perfectly for me to be ready. I guess this added pressure creates the stress that comes when I miss the goals.

Now, of course, I realize that the biggest objective in my plan right now is to get rested and beat back this cold so I can get back at it. That is going to be the challenge, finding the balance of when to back off and when to get back at it. I’ve got the day off today.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow…

To do the pot or not

I’m fighting a bit of a cold. Other than the sinus congestion and a little continued soreness in my hip, I’m doing quite well physically. As a matter of fact, I was starting to feel the old strength returning just before I awakened in the middle of the night a couple evenings ago to find my nose plugged.

At first I just chalked it up to a reaction to something – I do tend to fight mold allergies in the winter. However, after a day I realized this was just one of those colds that you get. Now the question is just how to deal with it.

Lots of fluids – check. Rest – well, I’ve had a few late nights recently, but pretty much get the sleep I need. Zicam – check (perhaps it is just a placebo effect, but the stuff really does seem to help me). Is there any thing else I could try that I haven’t given a go?

Oh yes, the Neti Pot.

I’ve seen them before. Initially I thought it was for making tea – or perhaps it was used for bringing out a genie. However, I learned that this was for pouring salt water in one side of your nose and out the other!


I’ve toyed with the idea of using this “nasal irrigation device.” My sister has used one and gives it a thumbs up. Of course, she also uses those candle thingies that you stick in your ear and catch on fire. It is supposed to pull excess wax out of your ear canal.

Bottom line is that medical science seems to back up the claims of Neti Pot users. However, it could be that the same thing can be accomplished with a bottle of nasal saline that you squirt up your nose regularly. The reason both work is irrigation.

Your nose has little hairs (not just the ones that some of us have to keep trimming back) called cilia. These are the traffic police for the snot in your nose. They direct it towards the back (where it is swallowed) or to the front (where you blow it out). Word from the researchers is that when you are facing a sinus infection or cold the little traffic police get confused. They start pushing stuff in an uncoordinated fashion causing your mucus to hang around and do bad things.

A properly irrigated nose helps keep your little cilia happy. They are better able to do their job when their not drowning and confused. Before you know it, they can direct that bad stuff right out of there and you’ll be feeling much better.

Here is the problem, I hate having foreign stuff in my nose. I think it goes back to that time in high school when I was eating a hamburger with friends. Just as I was getting to swallow a well-prepared-to-be-digested mouthful, a friend made me laugh. Instead of going down my throat the little burger particles went up my nose. I was blowing burger out of my nose for hours afterward.

I think I’ll start with a bottle of saline nasal spray. If my cilia don’t have burger flashbacks, then hopefully they will straighten themselves out and my symptoms will improve. If by Saturday I’m not feeling better, then I may take up the pot.