Slow Down Woman! Running a New Liver

In January this year Ellie had acute liver failure and needed an emergency liver transplant. This blog follows her recovery journey all the way to the British Transplant Games at the end of July…hopefully.

I’ve just this second got in from my run. Currently settled at the table with a cuppa and a Nakd bar (two ingredients! TWO. the mind boggles.). It’s a beautiful day today, the perfect spring-is-in-the-air sort of day – bright and cool, if a smidge windy (but that gives my hair the excuse to look wild so I’m quite happy with that for the most part), it felt lovely to be out enjoying it properly.

Today’s run was, like my first two recovery runs, a delight – being outside, making progress, getting back to normal! However…today for the first time I was definitely ready to stop. On the second rep (of ten) I started getting a pain low down in my abs. It wasn’t a big pain. The sort of pain you wouldn’t take any real notice of…if you hadn’t quite recently been sliced open in that general area. So I faced the problem I’ve faced so so many times as a runner coming back from injury…to stop and prevent a niggle from getting worse, but miss a run. Or to keep going, bag the run, but run the risk of making a niggle into an injury.

I hope you’re all frowning at your screen thinking ‘she’s just had a large operation, I assume she stopped’…but I didn’t, I kept going and finished all ten reps. And I’m sitting here, with my Nakd bar for comfort (actually that’s a lie, it’s long gone), feeling like a bit of a fool for it. I’ve been given an extraordinary gift and pushing myself physically, for no real benefit, feels very much like looking a certain horse in the mouth.

Whether the pain gets worse or gets better, I’ve learned a lesson today and I’ve realised what I’m racing – absolutely bloody nothing! So slow it down and use your brain you silly sod.

Run three, just under 7 weeks post op
5 x 90s slow jog [120s walk]
5 x 60s slow jog [120s walk]


It’s the day after and the pain has been getting progressively worse since the run, it’s now fairly significant. And I’m pretty furious with myself.

When I was told I needed the transplant I kept thinking “I’m never going to be able to live normally, I’ll question every sensation, every twinge, second guess everything I do…”. It’s actually been the opposite; I’m struggling to believe I’ve got somebody else’s organ inside me. I feel so like me, more like me than I have in months. The scar and pain probably should give it away to my brain but I’m really battling with acting, physically and mentally, like I probably should be.
I suppose I needed this as a wake up call, but can’t help feeling my positivity ebb away just a little.