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Tales of Training: Toe and Tummy Troubles

Let's start with the positives:
1. Right now, as I type this, I feel great - no pain or discomfort whatsoever
2. As long as I remain this way, I will be running the Towpath Half Marathon next weekend
3. It's Easter weekend - I'm excited to celebrate and spend time with my family!

I haven't blogged for nearly two weeks because it's taken me that long to find some positives amid my training troubles ... So let's talk about what led to this point.

First of all, the corn on my right foot made me eat my words. In my last post I said, "I'm too cheap
and stubborn to buy new shoes this close to a race again." Ha! Hahahahaha! Karma can be such a bitch. I hobbled through most of the next week, and by last Friday, I could barley walk, let alone run, because I was in so much pain. I knew my shoes were the problem ... and I knew I had to do something before I REALLY hurt myself.
Soaking the evil corn (located between my fourth and pinky toes) before removal.
Unfortunately, I wasn't laughing when I walked out of Three Rivers Running Company with a new pair of shoes and a decent size credit card bill last weekend. Oh well. I went back to the same New Balance shoes I bought before Fort4Fitness - they're the only ones I know of that have a wide enough toe box to keep my corn at bay. No matter the price, they've already proven to be worth their weight in gold. Since I scraped off the corn (Yes, SCRAPED OFF ... my child was traumatized watching me), I haven't had any more pain while running in the new shoes. That'll teach me to stray from what works ...

Now the title of this post also mentions tummy troubles. I don't want to get too graphic or detailed, so let's just say a series of problems built up over the last week or so ... and it all ended this past Thursday, when I went to the ER with severe abdominal pain. The doc there diagnosed me with colitis and suspected I ate some bad produce which led to an infection or irritation in my colon. That could be true ... but Kyle, Dr. Google and I think I may have had acute pancreatitis, which can be linked to my history of gall bladder problems. (I'm not a doctor, but apparently gall stones can get caught in your pancreas and cause pain. Like, a lot of it. Trust me.)

No matter the diagnosis, the suggested treatment is a liquid diet for a day or so, then being very careful with what I eat. Thursday night, after stopping at the store for some broth, saltines, Sprite and Gatorade, I just tried to relax at home. Friday, I felt pretty good with just a little residual pain, so by the end of the day, I decided to try potato soup for dinner, and that seemed to agree with me. Today, I've done fine with oatmeal, more potato soup and some goldfish and animal crackers (Kenlee shared some of her treats with me after our community Easter egg hunt).
I could think of worse things I've had to eat ... 
So what do I do now? Well, I'm going to be very careful to avoid fatty foods as recommended by the doctor (and the Internet). That's not so hard because I already eat a very low fat diet. However, the doctor also recommended avoiding fresh produce for a few days ... that's not as easy for me. I'm going to stick with bland foods for the rest of the weekend, and then try returning to my normal nutrition next week. Unlike my previous gall bladder attacks, I'm not so sure that there was a particular "trigger" food that caused all this ... I think a week of feeling "off," digestionally speaking, combined with my period (TMI I know, but I think it's a factor), may have just culminated in a REALLY bad day for my digestive track, and my gall bladder/pancreas took the brunt of it.

Looking ahead, I plan to discuss these issues with my family doctor ... when I finally get to meet her in June. (UGH - don't get me started on our local medical practice.) And if I continue to have tummy troubles coinciding with my period, I'll get in to see my gyno, too. (Thank goodness I'm already an established patient with her.)

As our "Family Medical Director," Kyle agreed that I can run again tomorrow as long as I continue feeling well. At this point, I don't know if hopping back on my training schedule will do me any good ... I had to stop at mile 5 of my 12-miler last weekend because my stomach was so upset, and I managed only one decent run this past week. I don't know if I should feel lucky or cursed that all these issues hit at the start of my taper for the race.

Like I said before, I plan to run the half marathon as long as I continue to feel well, but I'm not sure how fast or focused I'll be. I don't want to have a pity party and throw away the race because I missed the last week and a half of training ... but I also don't want to get my hopes up and feel disappointed when I don't reach my goals. Just two weeks ago, I was feeling sooooo strong and confident after my 15-miler. So can I still pull off a PR? Or am I being delusional?

BOTTOM LINE? I'm currently happy and healthy, and that's all that matters. If I can stay that way and just get back to my normal eating and exercise habits, I'll be happy. In the meantime, if you've ever been sick/sidelined this close to a race, I'd appreciate any and all advice you have. Same goes for those who have experienced recurring gall bladder attacks/gall stones. I realize I might have to get the little bugger removed eventually, but I'd like to keep it in there as long as possible. I'm staying positive!

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