When life throws lemons at you, run 4 marathons and have surgery in between.

Yesterday I had my bastard gallbladder out, the pesky little body organ that has given me so much grief for the past 6 months.


Post surgery and off my chops on Endone. God bless Endone.

When I saw the surgeon this morning as I was being discharged from hospital, he said, “Your gallbladder was septic and full of large stones. You couldn’t have gone much longer without it causing severe complications. I took some photos for you so I’ll give you them at your follow-up appointment”.

Yummy. Do I frame it and add it to my vanity wall?

Vanity Wall. And me in my pjs with no bra on. So classy.

Vanity Wall. And me in my pjs with no bra on. So classy.

So I have 4 weeks and 3 days until the New York Marathon. Today I can’t get out of bed unaided so I’m a little worried how I’ll run 42.2km very soon without having done any running since the Sydney Marathon less than 2 weeks ago. It’s certainly not ideal but I’m no stranger to things going pear-shaped around race day.

The day before the Sydney Marathon I was having my nails painted to match my race bib (as you do) when I had the worst gallbladder attack I’ve had to date. The only thing I can liken the pain to is a severe contraction. Can’t talk, can’t walk, can’t think straight.


Matching ones nails to your race bib is crucial for a successful race. Fact.

I had to leave the salon with my nails half done and scramble back to my car. I couldn’t get my keys in the ignition so I called Rob and because I was so incoherent he told me to ring an ambulance. While the ambulance was on its way to me my heart started to sink with the knowledge that my marathon hopes were dashed, I’d made it to the day before race day and now this. Devastating. This is the only marathon I’ve ever run in my home town and likely the only time I’ll ever do it. So it was extra special.

Then I remembered I’d picked up my friend Lee Maree’s race bib and I needed to get that to her before the race so in a panic I called Rob back and told him he’d need to drive it to her hotel. I had friends who had flown in from Perth for the race and the thought of not running with them killed me.

I waited about 15 minutes for the ambulance and in that time the pain started to subside a little. So because I’m an idiot and was so desperate to run that marathon I called them back.

“Um, it’s Stephanie Deck calling. I just rang you earlier and you have an ambulance coming to me? Well look I’m actually feeling a little better now so I don’t need you to come anymore so I’d like to cancel it. I actually have a marathon I really need to run tomorrow and I feel much better so don’t worry anymore, okay?”


So off I drove home. Then I looked a the state of my nails and rang Rob. “Babe, I cancelled the ambulance. I feel a lot better now. The gall stone attack passed so I’m going to go back and get my nails finished okay?”.

Now Rob and I have been together for a very long time. He knows I’m a bit loopy so rather than yell down the phone that I’m insane, he very quietly told me he doesn’t understand the desperation to run this marathon but that if I needed to get my nails finished then I should do that. Ever the diplomat.

God love him. I married a good egg.

The next day, run the Sydney Marathon I did. It was a bit slow and painful and I think I underestimated how much the gallbladder attack the day prior had taken out of me. And the other 2 marathons I’d run not long ago. By 11km I was feeling fatigued which if you’ve ever run a marathon before you’ll know is dire. You should not be fatiguing until 32km. So I panicked the whole way around the course until I saw Rob and the kids waiting for me at 30km and that gave me the boost to get to the end.

I love my little family so much it hurts and I love that they support my passion for endurance running. Seeing all my kids cheering me on and knowing that they all rally around each other when they’re doing something important means the world to me. I love the little close-knit family Rob and I have created.

As I ran towards the finish line, wanting to die, there they all were again in the pouring rain with their hands out for me to touch. It was my race highlight by a mile.

Marathon no.4 DONE! What a relief to cross that one off the list.

In true Stephanie fashion, being the neat freak organiser that I am (read, control freak), I managed to convince my surgeon to schedule my gallbladder removal in between marathons so I’d have a few weeks recovery until my last race for the year. So less than 2 weeks after Sydney when my body had recovered a bit I had my surgery done with what my surgeon thinks is enough time to recover in time for New York. I can’t believe I’ve nearly done it. 4 marathons in a little over 6 months with so many obstacles in between I’ve lost count.

I am so blessed to have so many special people in my life, you all know who you are. My people. The ones who get my weird and who accept that I make semi reckless decisions that most people don’t and who understand that I take risks that most people don’t and they accept me as I am anyway. Thank you!

Life is there to take risks and sometimes that’s exactly what you need to do to get amazing shit done.

Keep running x





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *