Setbacks and Breakthroughs

I finally had surgery on my teeth last week. 8 days ago. Two of my teeth had root canals that failed and I learned there is an even more in depth procedure to help that – an apicoectomy. And I learned there is a specialist for it called an endodontist, also known as root canal specialist. I had no clue before this.

My teeth started having problems in January. I scheduled an appointment with regular dentist and he said that he couldn’t see anything on xray so maybe just some trauma to tooth from bumping it. He expressed that there are rare cases when root canals fail and their xrays don’t pick up on it. However, he was positive that wasn’t my case. A couple weeks later and pain worsening, he referred me to the specialist who I had to wait to get in for 4 months. Finally in May, the appointment showed 2 of my root canaled teeth were severely infected. So she explained her best approach was an apicoectomy – going through gums to take out the top roots and leaving my crowns untouched. The surgery finally came (after a cancellation on their part making me wait almost 2 more weeks for new appointment) and finally last Thursday, it happened.

I was not expecting how bad the surgery would make me feel. I was in so much pain and I didn’t couldn’t run at all and only 1 day I managed a short walk (more so for my canine running partner than for me). I didn’t also expect a diet of mashed potatoes and soft foods (ice cream, Popsicles, smoothies) for so long. Sure, I thought one or two days but not the 5 days it lasted as it hurt so much to even eat soft foods. Opening my gums was painful.

I wasn’t too upset missing Friday. Saturday I was a bit glum….and it killed me to miss long run Sunday. And then Monday and Tuesday too. I had swollen up so bad on my left cheek thst it looked like I had actually been beaten. And the pain… wow. I was on a few meds (antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, pain meds, a special oral rinse) and those also made me feel worse in some ways. I missed 3 days of work and tried to return Tuesday. I barely survived the morning.

By Wednesday, I was beginning to improve but I felt bloated and disgusting. The 4 pounds I had just lost in May came back plus another 4. I wasn’t 100%… my gums were still sore and I tired easily. I planned to try a run/walk (more walk) in the morning) but meds made it hard to get going in morning. After surviving my first full day back and school, the last thing I wanted to do was run. But in the exhaustion and slight pain, I tied up the runners and went for an evening run. I decided to run 4 or 5k. When I hit 2k, I felt ok. I was slow but I was ok. I managed 5k… and it was humid, hot and sticky. Thank goodness for a running partner to look back at you with grateful brown eyes to keep you moving. After her hiatus, I could tell she also was struggling a bit but if I kept going, she didn’t give up either.

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Before Wednesday's 5k run
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After Wednesday's 5k run

It was a hard slow run but just taking the step to get back at it was amazing. I took Thursday off to do a kettlebell workout. My motivation, and also my stressing, has been coming from a 14k Trail run I signed up for that is tomorrow  (Saturday). I signed up for back before I even knew I had to have surgery.

Today I woke up and it was a teacher pd day. Prep and staff meetings and all that jazz. I decided to test myself for tomorrow. If I could manage 8k, even if slowly, I should be able managed the 14k tomorrow.

Well, it ended up being an amazing run and not a bad paced run at all.

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It felt great.

My other setback was my eating habits. I was doing so good with making sure my most carbs were eaten after workout with less throughout day. More veggies and protein. But a soft diet does not help. The carbs and sugars I was eating through ice cream, Popsicles, smoothies and mashed potatoes definitely made my newly reformed body feel worse.

To be honest, I was being hard on myself. I would try to not eat just because of it wasn’t my typical diet but by day 3, I realized not eating made the nausea from meds worse. So I gave in for a couple days and just let it happen. As of yesterday, day 7 post surgery, I started eating my normal again. And it feels great.

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One of my favs - chicken teriwacky

This chicken recipe from looneyspoons cookbook is one of my favs. Chicken teriwacky they called it. It’s chicken teriyaki haha. So good.

And the breakthrough. .. I can survive a setback. I can survive a few days of no exercise. I can survive a few days of crap food. I need to take care of me and then when ready… I just gotta lace up those shoes and take one more step forward yet again.

I stepped on the scale today. I felt better after just 2 days of returning to my eating habits and 3 days of exercise. I wanted to see what the scale said. Even in just a short 2 days, the extra weight from the food or no exercise or just bloating has actually already disappeared.

My other breakthrough the past couple days has been the realization that my new eating the way I have changed me physically and helped to lose weight. It also helps me run better. I feel like I’m using my body and not the carbs I use to eat so much of. And I’m still eating carbs for those of you thinking “oh carb free diet, not good for you”. No… I eat them. I just plan for the main serving of them to be after a workout and then tiny or smaller servings at other meals. It is great. I’m actually getting full after better portions and not hungry all the time like when I ate carbs for everything.

But… I still know when it’s time to have a glass of wine… and after 6 months of teeth pain and no alcohol from constantly being on antibiotics and pain meds… today I am pain med free and having that freaking glass of carb loaded wine. I may even indulge in a second.

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Wish me luck on that 14k Trail run. 😊

Everything can change in a day…

Wow. 48 hours ago I was feeling down because I was struggling with running and my usual pace.

I woke up yesterday not feeling any different than all week. I, once again, planned a full weekend with little down time. I planned a 5k fun run with my run/walk club – a club I started at school in March. We were meeting at 9:45 so another colleague and I had to get out there at 8am to walk the course and get the signs up. So that meant walking the 5k before even running it. I’m suppose to be tapering for my half marathon on May 1st… oh well. I said I would do it.

Of course, good old Saskatchewan ruined a sunny day with 55km winds gusting up to 70 km. This made setting up signs slightly more challenging and also the walk to set up was much more chilly. We got it done and made it back to meeting point in time to drive to a gas station for bathroom break before the actual event.

While I was walking the course, I was going back and forth about just walking it again, forcing myself to be last, and collecting signs as we went. Or to run it and give it my best. Partially because I didn’t want overdo it but also because I didn’t want my students to see me at my worst. I also had brought my  canine running partner with me and she hadn’t been feeling 100% after a bladder infection and strong meds for it. I was unsure if she’d want to run after walking the course with us already.

But when when the 4 kids showed up along with 3 moms who also decided to participate, I decided to run too.

1 km. .. 7:30 a km pace… whhaaattt?

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And I continued to run decent splits all the way through even though I had to stop once to fix a sign and take one extra 100m walk break to give my dog a rest.

I felt great and running just made sense again. My body was agreeing with me and I was alive! My time showed it…I was back where I had worked so hard to get to.

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I don’t know why. Maybe a group run is what I needed. Maybe I just had a bad week of running. Maybe I was overdoing it. But for whatever reason, I was back at it.

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My school run/walk club Saturday fun run

Today was my final long run before my half marathon next week. I had planned 12k but after yesterday, I knew that would be overkill. So Ginny and I ran an easy 8k.

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And I still felt great. It was windy, rainy and cold but we pushed through it. Ginny even had her first swim of this spring/summer. She begged…I sure wasn’t going in but who am I to judge a water loving black lab who hasn’t swam since September? She never complained about the cold, or choppy water She kept diving in several times to catch a stick that I threw for her.

And just like my lab keeps diving into cold water with the sticks not going where I wanted them to go because of the crazy wind…I am reminded of how running also requires you to keep lacing those shoes and getting out there even if the elements and results aren’t what you expected or wanted. It’s the moment of embracing it all and what you make of it that really counts.

Pace, Pride, & Priorities

I’ll be honest. It’s been a rough week of running. My body seems to be fighting me. I feel heavy and slow. No…not sick or injured. But I don’t have the normal energy I am use to feeling in my runs and during the day. The snooze button has been hit way more often than usual. Maybe it’s how busy I am right now. End of school year (hard and busy time of year as a teacher) and the excitement and planning of our summer trip has consumed me.

My running pace was typically 7:30-8:45 km/minute – I run 1.3 km and walk 100 metres. Something that it took me a year and a half to get to. But since Sunday, I cannot get my mind and body to stick with the intervals. I’m taking double the walk breaks I normally do.

So today… I went for a run before heading to the final part of my first aid training. And I said no matter what, I’d stick to the intervals and I’d see an under 9 minute per km pace and get 6km done today.

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Ha… I didn’t. And not for lack of trying. I just couldn’t do it. So I was pretty hard on myself mentally and felt the lowest I have in awhile.

All while I was showering and getting ready for the day, I started second guessing myself and belittled all the big life improvements I’ve worked hard on the last 2.5 years. Then I saw this on my time hop app:

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The me who used to be 60 pounds heavier, a lot less healthy, and very untrained beginner runner had a way more positive attitude than the me this week.

I can’t give up. I’ll get back out there tomorrow…and the next day. Maybe my pace will return and maybe it may even improve. Maybe it won’t. Maybe I’m getting old and slowing down. (KIDDING!!)

But the point is that I’m out there each day running and/or walking. Each day I’m bettering myself, even if not my pace. Slow is better than stationery.

Besides…if I don’t keep getting out there, I’d miss moments like this:

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And views like this don’t care about my pace or pride. They just encourage me to keep shining and keep going. 

First aid…

I am finding anything I can do except the 4-6 hour long online first aid training I must complete before Friday’s hands on training. So why not start a blog?

I really wish I would have started one when I first changed my life. Oh, the stories I would have loved to look back at. Oh well. Better late than never.

Blogging became an interest for me after I spent time going back into old childhood journals for my grad studies paper. It’s my first class. I am working towards a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction. It is nice that university offers course route option. I plan to do mine by completing the 10 classes instead of a thesis route.

Back to journals – the childhood diaries and journals reminded me how much I loved writing. I wanted to get back into it. Plus – it might help me reduce the amount I post to Facebook. Which I always consider getting rid of as it is such a time suck. So here goes blogging. Blogging will give me more time to reflect and write, instead of simply just posting simple posts or photos.

The best reason to blog besides to humour myself and my readers (if I even have any) with chronicles of my running attempts, my successes and failures of teaching, the hair pulling fun of grad classes, my foodie obsession, and my addiction to my lab who has me wrapped around her paw? To blog about the bucket list item that my husband and I are finally crossing off this summer.

Europe all of July! Paris, Nice, Munich, Vienna, various unknown places in Ireland (Shannon for sure), London, Bath, York, and Edinburgh! I cannot wait. And blogging will be a great way to keep in touch with family and friends about our adventures while away.

But I should go…first aid is calling me back. I really need to know what to look for in nose bleeds – their answer is shocking “blood coming from the nose”. I never would have thought to look for that!