How to Hang Up Your Running Shoes While Dealing with Health Issues (Without Going Crazy)!


I was gonna wait.  Wait to post this.  Wait to sign up for another race.  Wait to hear a definitive diagnosis.  Wait just because as of the last month, all I’ve done is wait.   But when it comes down to it, I’m pretty sick of waiting, I guess. 

Let me rewind.

At the very beginning of May (the 1st to be exact), I woke up with HORRIBLE stomach pains so intense that I drove myself to the ER.  After a long and rather torturous five days spent in the hospital,  I checked myself out and decided it was best to 1. find a doctor that would listen and 2. advocate for myself.  That’s the gist of it but if you want all the deets feel free to read all about that experience in it’s entirety before we get into the nitty gritty here. 

Following all that jazz, I got myself an appointment with a new GI.  After my initial intake and assessment, she decided the best course of action was to do a Gastric Emptying Study.  I advocated to *at least* rule out my gallbladder which she agreed to and set me up for a HIDA Scan. 

A couple of weeks later I had the test performed which showed that my gallbladder wasn’t functioning.  In fact, it had a 23% ejection fraction range meaning that it wasn’t doing it’s ONLY job.  With those results I was sent to the surgeon for a consultation.  After a lengthy chat with her, she confirmed what I already knew – a cholecystectomy (fancy name for gallbladder surgery) would solve SOME of my symptoms but not ALL of my symptoms and recommended that a colonoscopy be performed.

SO back to the GI I went and politely asked (demanded) that a colonoscopy be done.  She agreed and just last week I willingly subjected myself to the hellish torture of prepping for the test.  Yes, it really is the prep (aka the DRINK) that’s the worst part.

While the prep was far from fun, the test was totally worth it and provided a much clearer picture of what the F is going on with my body.  To summarize, the colonoscopy found that not only do I have a redundant colon (that ish is too long and twisty for my body), I also have diverticulosis PLUS there were some areas of concern (erythema) so biopsies were taken.  

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The results of those biopsies? Inflammation.  Or better known as Chron’s or Colitis.  Blood has been drawn and sent out to some lab in California to differentiate/get a management prognosis and that’s where I am at now…just waiting.  

Which is what (finally) brings me to the topic of today’s post.  

How to Hang Up Your Running Shoes While Dealing WIth Health Issues Without Going Crazy

 

Ever since my whole ordeal started, I have been doing a whole LOT of waiting and not a lot of running. To say that I haven’t been running at all would be a lie.  I actually just ran a race at the beginning of the month and am signed up to do another 5k this weekend….each more or less a gamble.  The last race I finished without any issues.  This upcoming race will be a “fair well” before I get my gallbladder out. 

As far as running for exercise though…that’s just not happening.

I have tried a few times just to see how my stomach would react but long term pounding on the pavement seems to be a no-go.  Depending on the day and my current stomach status I either want to vomit or want to double over in pain.  

It’s incredibly frustrating and has made this whole “waiting game” all that harder.  Still, I have found ways to keep myself sane and keep the running FOMO at a minimum. 

1. Find something you CAN do.

Even though I am not running much, I am still working out.  Strength training and spin workouts have become my best friend over the last month or so.  Finding something you can do whether it be yoga, stretching, strength training or walking will keep you from going crazy. 

2. Become part of the cheer squad. 

They say if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em and by join I mean cheer them on.  Unfortunately, there were a few races I already had on my calendar that I just couldn’t run over the last month.  Instead of sitting at home sulking and stalking FB for race photos, I went and cheered on my running family.  Not only does does it feel awesome to be supportive, it also helps ease the FOMO. 

3. Volunteer if you can. 

If you really want to feel like you’re part of the race but running just isn’t in the cards, try volunteering instead.  It’ll make you feel included and not feel as left out when you hear all your running friends chatter about the race. 

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4. Reconnect with that hobby you ditched for running. 

As we all know, running takes up a lot of time.  Before I ran, I crocheted, read bunches of books and had time to actually go get myself a Saturday morning pedi.  While it might feel strange and sorta like cheating at first to reconnect with your long lost hobby, after a while you’ll realize all the things you can accomplish with more time on your hands.  I finally picked up a book I bought 2 YEARS ago and started reading it and have been loving every second. 

5. Remember that it’s only temporary.

Just like that last minute of a workout or that last mile of a marathon, this too, shall pass.  You aren’t destined to give up running forever.  You don’t have to throw away your shoes, you just have to give them a little rest while you get back to yourself.  Use that runner’s determination and spirit to push you through the difficult and frustrating time – recognize there will be good days and bad days just as there are good runs and bad runs.  You never give up, you never give in, you keep your eye on the finish line.  At least that’s the way I’m looking at it. 


 

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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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