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!

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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.

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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!).

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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

#1Wallman

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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.

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Facebook Masters Guild 2013

Facebook Masters Guild 2013

I’d never heard of the FMG (Facebook Masters Guild) until the email arrived, but come to think about it I’d never really had anything to do with Facebook until my daughter decided to go to Australia solo last year! I figured the only way to know she was safe and enjoying it was to follow her antics on Facebook, with her permission of course (a dangerous thing for a father to do!)

I learnt a trick or two over in Dublin watching the media savvy Dave Ayton (Mr Awesome Dublin) spinning his web of enthusiasm over Ireland. Before AWCC Dublin was finished I’d found a building in Sheffield and set up the AWCC Sheffield Facebook page. Without the chaperone of Mr Ayton monitoring my every click I tentatively started to post. Getting ‘Likes’ on your Facebook page is like getting the thumbs up off people that they ‘Like’ your page.

Winning people over and gaining their trust is a hard thing to do and there’s a fine line from being enthusiastic to being a cock-sure outsider! The line was mine to walk…

Now I’m sat here after 12 months of Facebook marketing with a line of interviews lined up for me to attend should I choose to accept. As I’m not really that socially involved with the outside world many of the names were alien to me, one or two I admittedly knew- Parkinson, Paxman but who the hell was Zuckerberg?

Now my strategy was simple just go from the heart to the heart. Post honest interesting material with a slight dusting of humour and see what happens. It’s now been explained to me that it’s not all about the ‘Likes’ that you have (apparently you can buy ‘Likes’ on Facebook for very little money) on Facebook it’s about the interaction that your fans have with your site! I look at the figures and statistics as well as the next keen person but as busy as I am there’s two things that I notice- Green is good and Red is not as good (always keeping a positive here). When I see green more often than red I’m happy and keep posting onwards.

I hear footsteps coming down the hall and towards the office but I’m too slow, caught in the act, I feel like I’ve been looking at something seedy. The words come out- ‘Are you on that bloody Facebook AGAIN?’ I’m shaken out of my day dream with no where to hide. Guilty as found with no worthy retort.

It was a self flattering day dream though…facebook-2

Early Ramblings

From thinking the unthinkable 12 months ago I’ve gone and done it again, Awesome Walls Sheffield is now open and ready for action! How on earth did all this begin?

I opened The Climbing House in Liverpool 1999 against the odds and thought life couldn’t be more stressful. The local council had backed me, given me money, a slap on the back with a wink that the planning application would sail through- NO, deferred it was, the planners deemed it necessary to do a site visit before they could make their minds up if a unit that had been stood empty for 5 years could be turned into a climbing centre that would employ 5 people and possibly turn into something larger!

The big day came and I stood alone in the empty unit armed with enlarged pictures, a 5 page presentation and a speech fit to make the queen proud. I waited and waited, mobiles phones were newish but not quite Star Trek. I checked my brick very 5 minutes but to no avail.

 I’d boiled the kettle, lined the cups up, placed the milk into a nice jug, moved the handles towards the door, removed the spider from the window and eventually 2.5 hours after the agreed rendezvous a bus pulled up outside the unit. My heart skipped a beat, this was it, my life depended on this, already feeling a failure I needed to prove to myself than I could turn my life around and help other people in the process.

 25 bound documents in my arms ready to convince the Council of Sefton that I meant business, I stood tall, took a deep breath and watched eagerly as one party member departed the bus and headed towards my door. A quick tie straiten and ‘BAM’ the door opens I thrust my hand out to welcome the person that’s about to introduce the council delegates on the bus to me and…… the words fall out like soggy lettuce “the council representatives don’t deem it necessary to alight the bus Mr ……….. Douglas”. Let’s just say that I practiced a little bit of restraint and passed the documents onto this bearer of ? and kindly asked him to hand them out to the cautious council sat on their warm dry bus.

After the bus departed my mixed emotions ran wild. I didn’t know whether to run amok or curl up and cry. For the last six months I’d put everything on the line to prove to myself that I wasn’t a failure that I thought my little girl was going to grow up thinking I was. This was my chance to prove to a few people that I could make a difference and in return my life would turn around and I could go forth and stand proud again.