When You Cannot Run

When You Cannot Run

I had another doctor’s appointment with another specialist on May 31st. It is always such a victory when  I feel like a doctor has listened to me and validated my concerns. This doctor did. She promised me that we would all work together as a team to get me feeling better. My mom and I were filled with hope as we realized that I was in good care.

Though she did give me some difficult news and a good reality check. She informed me that it will take me many months to fully recover from my Adrenal Crisis on April 19th. During these next few months, my body is still in an extremely weak and fragile state. I must guard my energy, limit my amount of stress, and to be at peace with my current situation. She basically quoted me the Spoon Theory, but used medical terms. Then came the difficult news.

I could not run.

“Amber, I am going to tell you something different that no other doctor has ever told you. Do not exercise. Not while you are still in this fatigued and weakened state. And absolutely no running.”

My mom reached over and grabbed my hand at that moment, as tears started to form in my eyes. My mom explained to my doctor that not only am I a runner, but I am also a long distance runner who ran a half marathon not even two months prior! And now I’m told I must give up running for possibly six months?! I had a 5k race the very next day with my former college roommate. She was set to arrive at my place in only a couple of hours! But then my doctor added a caveat.

“Walking is fine. Just do not over exert yourself.”

I left that appointment hopeful, yet somber. I’m slowly realizing this isn’t something that has a quick recovery time. If I push myself too far too fast, I will get worse. I need to allow myself proper time to recover. This is hard because I just want to fix it. Sadly I can’t. I must come to terms with my new reality and I must accept it. I could not run that 5k Mud Run on June 1st.

But I could walk.

I walked that 5k. I walked the entire thing. Well, I might have hurdle jumped over some hay, but I figured twenty-five yards wouldn’t hurt me.


Photo from 2013. Before and After.

To give you some background, my fastest 5k time was 26:09, and I had plans to drop that time even lower during my next race. This 5k took us over an hour to complete. By my old standards, that’s ATROCIOUS! However, I cannot be held to my old standards at this moment. My standards must be redefined to meet me at where I am right now.

And it was amazing.

I had an amazing time at that 5k. We finished it. By the end, we were covered in mud. Our running shoes were destroyed. AND I did not require a trip to the ER afterwords. Victory!!!!

When you cannot run…
… and be thankful for every blessing you find along the way.


Photo from 2013. I had an incredible amount of fun at this event.