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.
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.