Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dodging the Wrench

One of my favourite film training scenes of all time is when O'Houlihan says to the dodgeball wannabees: "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball." and proceeds to throw wrenches at them. Up until that point in the film, I wasn't barely even cracking a smile. When that happened, I lost it. What can I say, throwing wrenches at people is HILARIOUS!

So then, life decided to throw some wrenches at me. Less funny. When last I posted, I was doing great! I'd just completed my first week of Project: Cyprus - I worked out 6 days of that first week, with 4 Nike Training Club cardio workouts, 3 runs and 20 minutes of Yogamazing podcasts daily.

I was feeling amazing! I was working a ton, true... In front of the computer roughly 12 hours a day, but with 2 workouts a day, and 3 healthy meals (tons of fresh fruits and veg in Cyprus), I was feeling great. And then the wrench came hurdling at me, outta nowhere!

I went for a run on that 8th day, the beginning of week two of Project: Cyprus, and noticed little flashy lights out of the corners of my eyes. Almost like there were reflective bits on the ground where I was running. When I tried to look straight at them, there was nothing there. Odd, I thought, but decided to ignore that and keep going. The run went quite well after that, and when I came home and showered, I felt amazing! Talk about runner's high.

A few hours later that evening, after dinner, it went rapidly downhill from there. Incredibly bad nausea, intense photophobia and pain that basically kept me up till 2am or so. Long story short, my first full blown migraine. I've had hints of them a few times in my life, over the past 4 years, but nothing that developed into this monster. For the remaining week and a half that I was in Cyprus, it became a game of dodging the headache and trying to make it through the last days I had to edit this film without killing myself. Working out sank far into the background.

Since then, I've returned home, had a slew of medical tests and doctors visits, recuperated a bit after almost 2.5 weeks of lingering headache, slowly gotten back to working out and then returned to Cyprus. I've been here a day now, and have already done two 20-min yoga sessions and one Nike Training Club Core workout, but haven't managed to talk myself into a run yet.

Here's where my struggle is: I feel terrible. I've basically been barely doing anything physical over the past 3 weeks in the attempt to feel "normal" again, but I know that I won't feel well until I start really working out again. I'm in Cyprus for another two weeks and really want to take advantage of the lack of other life distractions and tackle working out to balance out my work. That's the beauty of Project: Cyprus - When I'm here, I could fit in workouts, stretching, yoga twice a day if I wanted to. And I know that no matter how much I try to take it easy, not push myself too hard and relax, this work that I'm doing is incredibly taxing and the next two weeks won't be all that easy.

But I need to work out and I'm dying to get back on track with my running... I have a 10k several days after I get back to the U.S. What to do? Will a run trigger my migraine again? I feel a touch shakey at this point, but that's to be expected given the jetlag, the crazy travel schedule and the first long day at a computer. I can't tell if the pressure I feel in my head, around my eyes is just exhaustion or more. The 90º weather probably wouldn't be that great for running either.

So for today, I've decided to give myself one more day of "taking it easy" - which in this case means Yoga for headaches in the morning and another yogamazing podcast this evening - and then to go for a short run tomorrow to begin easing my way into a better training schedule.

In the interim, I'd love advice! Any of you folks out there suffer migraines? Do you have workout advice? Prevention tips? What do you for your fitness when life throws a wrench at you?