Wallmans Week of Wonderment & Woe

It’s been a strange old week, from receiving awards to having my groin dug out!

Since my operation last week I’ve received many ‘get well’ messages and notes of support and visits, thank you very much, they’re all greatly appreciated.

Many of these people have had Hernias themselves and have offered excellent advice on recuperation towards the road to recovery. Now, I’m feeling a bit of a fraud here, as I haven’t had a true Hernia! What I’ve been suffering with is a Sports Hernia. A Sports Hernia is also known as Gilmores Groin but its correct medical name is Athletic Pubalgia I believe.

Since my running streak started in October 2015 I’ve had a terrific time running every day and entering a few fantastic races around Europe along the way.

In May 2016 I took a nasty fall whilst running the Ultra Transvulcania on La Palma. At the time I only suffered cuts, bruises and a massive dent in my pride. It’s hard to pinpoint when my condition started but I now feel that this could have been the beginning of it!


Before Transvulcania I’d had a slight problem with Sciatica, afterwards, I seemed to have a permanently sore groin with sharp stabbing pains slightly higher. I could run, I just had no oomph to train or push myself!

In my usual manner, I just thought that my body would fix itself eventually if I left it long enough. Well, there’s only so long that you can wait to heal and when it became apparent that I was slipping further down the wrong side of fitness, I knew I had to do something about it!

Anyone I described my symptoms to said it was likely to be a hernia. I took to my friend Google and within a few minutes, I found the likely cause was Gilmores Groin.

Luckily my doctor was familiar with this condition but the course of action looked likely to be long and drawn out. Further down the line and two months later I was no further forward with treatment so on the advice of my doctor I approached a private surgeon who was apparently a specialist in Sports Hernias.

After an in-depth consultation with Mike Scott, I was convinced I’d found my savior and booked in for the operation.

Before the operation I found myself doubting my condition, as it suddenly didn’t seem so bad. Was I imagining my symptoms, was it really worth going for the operation, perhaps I’d over-analyzed everything, the doubt crept in…

All those months in pain, not being able to lift my legs out of bed in the morning, a knife to the groin when I sneezed or coughed, a debilitating feeling after running in the left side of my groin, anything abdominal related was a massive no-no. Added to this that I just couldn’t push it hard or even do a good tempo run was bringing me down! With all this going on I owed it to myself to get it sorted out properly.

My running everyday streak was going to come to an abrupt end but once I’d committed to the operation I was at peace with that. I set my last run day to end on a good one and it sure was.


The Spartan Xmas Sparty was on Saturday 3rd December and as always we run with Xmas hats and the like before the main party. This was to end my streak and be my last run of 2016.

2942.9 Miles run. That’s almost to Kuwait!

7.3 Miles average daily distance.

387,722ft of elevation (13.3 times up Everest)

25 days, 21hours, 3 minutes and 54 seconds clocked in running time on my feet.

My mood (not that I was in a mood) was massively lifted at the Sparty when I received an award for the most Inspirational run in the club and to top that I managed to take home the most coveted award of all in Spartan history the Spartans Sparta Award (I think it’s got something to do with being a bit bossy in the club!).


So here I am, five days after my Athletic Pubalgia operation lying comfortably on the couch. I’ve got no burning desire to run just yet but I did do a very gentle one-mile walk yesterday and three miles today.

My surgeon did make a big point of saying how badly messed up I was inside and that recovery would be excellent but not quick. I’m happy to take my time over the next few months to see how my body heals and feels.

I plan to take it steady away in 2016 and give Steph maximum support for her relay Channel crossing swim in September 2017. I’ll enter the odd ultra or two if I feel up to it but I’ll be hopefully looking at a bigger picture for 2018!

My support while I was streaking and after my operation has being phenomenal. A massive thank you must go out to all my friends and especially my wife and number one fan, Stephné.

Dave Douglas

Delamere Spartan



Note- I’d be really interested in hearing from other ultra runners who have suffered from the same condition or think they may be suffering from it.

Mike Scott is based at Fairfield Independent Hospital, St Helens, WA11 7RS.

8 thoughts on “Wallmans Week of Wonderment & Woe

  1. Pingback: Ultramarathon Daily News and UROY Voting, Wed, Dec 14 - Ultramarathon News, Podcasts, and Product Reviews

  2. Hit your post from Ultrarunner Podcast. Didn’t click on it when I first saw it, but I’m trapped inside today due to sub-freezing temperatures and thought I’d see what’s what. I would describe myself as a slow, mid-packer with good climbing legs. I’ve had abdominal/groin issues matching your description on and off for a year that were off enough that I upped my running ahead of The Bear 100 last year. The training went well, mostly. The Bear was an epic day of rain and snow and mud and the effort took a toll to where I was struggling to lift my left leg just to hobble into the aid station at mile 61 so I could drop out. I read your paragraph of symptoms/complaints and I could have written it myself. Check, check, check, check and check. Left side, too. Your post offers a lot of food for thought, but I’m not sure I like what’s on the menu.

    • Hi Scott, I didn’t know my Blog had hit the USA!!! It’s early days for me (2 weeks in) but my fingers are firmly crossed for a full recovery. I’ve still got a lot of discomfort down there and I’m slightly worried that I may not have rested enough (I’ve only been walking). I’ll be posting an update in January. In the mean time I think you must keep moving but just avoid the really gnarly, slippy, technical stuff that we tend to love! All the best, Dave Douglas #1Wallman

  3. Hi Dave, I was injured playing 5 a side football in 1994 and diagnosed with a groin strain.
    I had the same symptoms as you described- permanently sore groin and intermittent sharp pains.
    I tried resting then physio and finely cortisone injections , but every time I started running again the symptoms reappeared .Eventually in 1998 I saw a private consultant Dr Lloyd George at Lourdes hospital in Liverpool. He agreed to carry out an exploratory operation and found a tear in my Inguinal wall which he repaired using layers of stitches. It was quite uncomfortable for a while but after a few weeks I was able to gradually start exercising again and have been ok ever since.
    I still run though not as much these days and i climb regularly at Awesome walls Stockport.
    To anyone with the same symptoms I would say be persistent and eventually you should get the right diagnosis.
    Andy B

  4. Still checking periodically for an update and spending odd moments wandering around my neighborhood in Montana wondering about some guy in England I hardly know. The wait makes me think you are putting off blogging about bad news. I wish you well. Hang tough.

    • Hi Scott,
      Sorry, I’ve fallen off the radar a bit while I’ve willed myself back to fitness! All’s going well so far and I’m happy to say that the operation has been a huge success (fingers and toes crossed, touch wood!).
      I’m still not as fit as I should be but hell, I’m working hard on it!
      Are you on Strava?

      Thanks for asking about me

      All the best

      Dave Douglas

      • Hey! Good to hear you are on the mend and so positive about the surgery!
        It’s definitely a bit frustrating to have to rebuild your fitness, but great to know you are heading back to what you love doing.
        I broke my left arm slipping on the last of the winter ice, so I am in a forced rest. I think it’s advantageous in that I don’t much feel like running now, so my abs and associated problem areas will get a good rest. I got a young dog back in November so for now just lots of walking/hiking with him. When I am feeling less impaired by my old-man-falling-down injuries, I will start at the beginning, focusing on strengthening my weak core with the goal to run easy later in the year and look into entering trail running events in 2018. That’s assuming the damage has not already gone too far…
        This Luddite is not on Strava.

      • Hi Scott, I’ve really seen a big improvement in the last month or so. I’ve got the ‘bit’ between my teeth and I’m going out chasing my old records. I’m still not there but at least I know it’s lack of fitness and not pain that’s thwarting me!
        It will be interesting to see how I perform in Transvulcania next month as I wasn’t injured when I did it last year plus I was much fitter…
        Great news about your new companion. I’ve got a little Springer Spaniel that runs everywhere with me. She’s great motivation to get me out when the weathers not so good!
        Get yourself a target race in 2018 or earlier and start power hiking.
        Wishing you a speedy recovery,
        Dave D.
        Ps- Get your arse on Strava, it’s great for motivation😉

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