Tag Archives: Sinuses

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.

Bike therapy continues

I’m continuing to improve and starting to generate some more positive feelings about Saturday. Those positive vibes aren’t going to turn into a win, but I think I should be able to stay with the crowd and not get dropped on that lonely course known as Fork Shoals. After the last couple of weeks, that would be a victory!

Now that I figure I’m dealing with sinus issues, I’m not as afraid to push it a bit. Yesterday I went out for two hours and put in some sustained efforts over 300 watts. It included a climb of Altamont Road. I started up at a reasonable pace with no designs on pushing it. Based on the way I felt, I was surprised by the 13 minute climb.

On another topic — this was my first ride up the mountain with the new Felt. Really there didn’t seem to be that much of a difference climbing. I wasn’t pushing hard so the extra weight didn’t come into play. When a difference jumped out at me was when I started descending. Again, I don’t think it really is the brand of bike as much as I am now on a frame that fits me perfectly. I was able to take the turns off of the mountain with utmost confidence and comfort. The larger frame definitely improves my balance and distribution.

One thing is for sure, my sinuses let loose. Not sure how to say this politely, but there was more than sweat dripping off my nose! You can tell when its allergies. It isn’t mucous that comes out of your nose — it is “water.”

Once again, things felt great while I was riding. However, an hour or so later the pressure comes back with a vengeance! It isn’t the riding that is hard, it is recovering afterward. Makes me want to just keep riding.

Seeing how the riding helps clear things up temporarily, I decided to ride the fixed gear into work today. What a beautiful morning to do so! I arrived at the office feeling great. I’m looking forward to spinning back home here at lunch.

Sinus problems or not, it puts a smile on my face.

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!

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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.