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Month: May 2017

Training, terrible teeth and, er, troubled toes!

Training, terrible teeth and, er, troubled toes!

Training, teeth, injuries…wow, it’s all happening – oh, and the end of my year of therapy…

I’m writing this during an enforced rest following a tooth extraction yesterday. After my treatment for the abscess a while ago, the dentist said they’d bring forward my extraction date. Well, after 15 days of hearing nowt, I felt that they were maybe extracting something else from me (sorry!) and rang up. I know! I actually made a phone call – and with success!

I was given an appointment for that day, which was perfect as it meant I could fit a swim in beforehand. Despite not having swum for about three weeks, I felt all right and my speed wasn’t that much slower than usual. Actually, it felt really good to be back in the water again, even though the pool was packed for much of the session, meaning that it was difficult to find any rhythm for quite a while.

The tooth extraction went well, touch wood (oh my, now I have images of wooden teeth – why did I choose that phrase?!), although I had expected the dentist to clean out the area as I still had an infection in the gum. I had the injections and then the tooth was pulled, after much wrangling and pressure. And that’s it! I’m hoping that it’s a simple recovery…I’d intended to run this morning, but I’ve read many warnings of blood clots being dislodged because of the increase in blood pressure. I’ll attempt a short bike ride tomorrow morning, I think.

I now have a huge gap in my mouth and only one half-tooth on that bottom side. I daren’t feel it, or even look at it. As soon as I’d left the surgery I (rather feebly) burst into tears – I’ve been in pain for such a long time, and have had so many abscesses in that area, that I think I was relieved that it was all over (I hope). But it also hurts to know that I’ve brought this upon myself. All the guilt and sadness flood back, and I feel shame and embarrassment too about it all. I can’t just hide it away in my mind as I have the tangible reminder of my past behaviours and their causes… Stupidly, and perhaps unhelpfully, I’ve also read about how tooth loss affects both functionality and facial bone structure. I have a huge dread that I’m turning into this old hag, with sunken cheeks and a slowly caving-in lower face. I’ve read about ‘bite collapse’, which can happen some of the rear teeth are missing (yep, tick that box) – this may result in the teeth at the front being squished forward. I don’t think those certain people in my life (who scoff at my distress about my teeth) really appreciate the consequences of having horrid, bad, post-bulimic teeth. It’s far, far more than mere vanity – it’s psychologically extremely distressing, and the functional damage has a deeply negative impact too.

Training-wise, I’m not entirely where I want to be, but then again it could be far worse. I’ve actually left the house! I’ve managed a few 80mile cycles, and the running (despite ever-present pain and injury) is slow but at about 15miles. I’m not concerned about the swimming really, that should be fine (famous last words eh…). When I did the half-ironman, I was diligent in doing brick sessions, usually sessions such as twenty minute runs straight after 50mile bike rides. I was fortunate then because I could do this in rural areas, which meant that there was little likelihood of people seeing me. I have great difficulty now in arriving back home and then going out for a run, because of the sheer amount of people who are around when I return chez moi. Even if I leave home at 5am, by the time I’m in my last (wheezy, painful, slow) stages of the bike ride there are – of course – more people around. I’ve also found that I’m increasingly anxious about seeing cycle groups when I’m out – I worry that they’re laughing at me, or cursing me because I’m so slow (my cycle average is about 17mph). I wave and say hi etc, as they whizz past, and tell myself that I’m only so slow because I need to maintain a zone 2 heart-rate (ahem…yeah, right!). I also tell myself that surely they’ve only just started their bike ride (PLEASE don’t tell me I’m wrong!!).

My time in therapy is now also at an end. And that important process deserves its very own post, I reckon…

Injuries, poorly footsies, and hamster-cheeks

Injuries, poorly footsies, and hamster-cheeks

Oh my! FAR too much to do – and worry about! And lots to catch up on…including one success amongst a pretty dire backdrop of illness and injury, and bleak moods and hopelessness.

It’s seems like a long time ago now, that little chirpy success in my training a few weeks ago.

Back at the start of the year, I decided to enter a half-marathon. It wasn’t intended to be integral to my training, I just signed up because I’d done it before and I thought it’d be good to have something to work towards…and yes, I signed up because at that time I was very low and I did my usual desperate “Let’s hope this serves as a graded intervention for m’self…”!

I’d had a few good sessions of running leading up to the half-marathon: nothing amazing, but I was managing to increase my distance (if not my speed). I felt reasonably ok about the event and almost looked forward to it…and then my ankle and little toe plotted revenge and decided to have a meltdown. Bizarre – no tumble, or trip, or stubbedness, no bruising, even…just a painful sensation that was similar to a sprain, and a throbbing li’l pinkie that ballooned in size. Six days before a half-marathon! Aaaargh!

After lots of ice, compression and elevation (of foot, sadly, not my mood), nothing had improved. My inner stubborn donkeyness kicked in and I refused to withdraw from the event.

Ended up running a PB in hefty sunshine, knocking 17 minutes off my previous best. I’d had a sense that I was running well, then I noticed the 5mile sign. I wasn’t checking my watch, and thought that I was up to only around 3 miles. Definitely a psychological boost! I was enjoying the wonderful crowds who’d turned up to support us all, and grinned as various superheroes whizzed past me (how on earth they manage to run at speed, especially in such heat, is beyond me. They have my utmost respect and admiration).

Oh yep, forgot to mention that my grotty tooth had developed into an abscess, and that I’d decided to run partly because I thought the pain of my tooth would cancel out the foot pain. It almost worked..!

At about 7-8 miles, I really started to hurt.

I think I managed such a good time (for me) because I just wanted it all over and done with. I was experiencing a combination of enjoying being able to run and be outside, and panicking inwardly because of all the crowds around me. I really wanted to get away from everyone, even though it was such a great, friendly atmosphere. And the pain from both the upper and lower ends of my bod were beginning to grate and hurt.

By the time I’d crossed the finish line, I was limping quite badly, the abscess had swollen massively, and I looked like a demented hamster with a wonky leg. But I was so chuffed about my time that I really didn’t care about what I looked like!

I saw the dentist the following day, was finally seen and sent away swiftly with antibiotics (Metronidazole) and a promise that the tooth extraction would be rescheduled for an earlier date (er, this hasn’t happened yet…). By now my tooth was black and I was also having problems with swallowing because my mouth was so swollen. But that’s all for another post, as I am definitely not happy with the treatment I’ve received from this dentist.

I then experienced massively horrid side-effects from the antibiotics. I’ve never had problems with other ABs, but these wrecked me: headaches, dry metallic mouth, nausea and sickness, cramps…nothing was staying in my digestive system. I felt as if I’d been in a fight, and ended up being out of action for 14 days. NOT what I wanted with the heavy phase of training looming…I’d been doing so well, and now this.

My mood plummeted too. The combination of foot and ankle agony, tooth pain, daft amounts of painkillers and revolting antibiotics really hit me – along with the panic of having so many days out of training. Depression really settled itself in…