Since I was busy with the clinic yesterday, I saved my long run for today. I was still a little tired and sore from the drills so the run wasn't fantastic. It was an improved time from last year, which is good. Even with fatigue I ran better due to the improved form. I did encounter something that haunted me a lot before: post-run headaches.
Seeing as how I have several more weeks of training to look forward to, I did a little googling to see if there was something I could do about these headaches. So far the common culprits seem to be dehydration, low blood sugar, electrolyte imbalance, and tense muscles. One comment mentioned that maybe we're all wearing our hats too tight, but I can't see that being the case.
For today's run, I drank water before and during the run. I admit I should have been better about it after the run, but even after I started drinking a lot more water the headache persisted. I also ate salty food last night and after the run. The banana I had before the run contained the potassium I needed. It should have had some magnesium too. My neck and shoulders actually feel okay, so I don't think they're tight. My blood sugars seemed okay, but I have no means of measuring it exactly. Suffice it to say I didn't feel any other typical low blood sugar symptoms like shakiness and irritability.
So do I have a solution? Maybe. I've been toying around with the idea of magnesium supplements since I sweat a ton on these runs. I need to check the supplement levels in salt tablets and in the snacks I will eat on the longer runs before deciding. Taking vitamins and supplements are iffy because it's known that eating foods rich in whatever you're lacking is best. It turns out that means eating a lot of beans. As a runner, we often try to avoid eating too much fiber in case it ends in gastrointestinal distress during a run. Maybe the solution is to eat more of the right foods at first? Yogurt is supposed to be high in magnesium, and I've been eating more of that lately.
Overall it seems that these kinds of headaches are actually fairly common. It's just hard to me to deal with because of my already chronic headache issues. I'll do a little more research and report back.
On a more positive note, I invested in a large foam roller to help massage larger groups of muscles. It's going to take a little time to get used to it, but let's just say it hurts so good :) My recovery today has been great aside from the headache, so the good form is still working. We will see how everything goes after I incorporate more of those drills. They fit perfectly with cross training days, so I will end up working out a lot now. It will all pay off in the end!