Feeling strong…

The usual injury process in my experience is as follows –

1. Denial

2. Realisation/submission

3. Confirmation

4. Fixing

5. Planning

6. Returning

Strictly speaking I am still at stage 3/4.

As usual for me stage 1 and 2 went on too long.

I continued to run with many doubts about my physical health. I thought time and time again that one more run might resolve the issue.

Actually I was distracted because I had discomfort on 3 fronts. My focus was on my shins and left ankle but through rest I came to realise my real enemy was my left groin and abdominal issues.

But I refused to submit and admit to myself that I had a problem that wasn’t resolving and that running was causing and persisting the symptoms.

I am still in stage 3 because I have just confirmed an appointment with a specialist on Tuesday 8th May. I still do not know exactly what my issue is although Gillmore’s Groin AKA sportsmans hernia is suspected.

I am slightly into stage 4 fixing because I am cross training to maintain cardio fitness and also completing a conservative programme of stretching and core work to ensure I am as strong as possible pending any requirement for a minor operation.

And I’ve come to terms with plans shelved and goals delayed.

I’ve been here before but I am older and wiser now. I can see this process for what it is – a process.

It is not the end of the world.

Unlike previous times I don’t feel annoyed at missed races etc.

Time will pass but I will come back stronger and even wiser.

Seeing Callum Hawkins strength in failure last week and the amazing performances at the Boston marathon this week gives me great motivation to see through this set back and come back a strong runner with a smile on my face and an appreciation to be involved in this great sport of ours.

Never take it for granted.

Special mention to my running mate Michael Hedley who is also in this “process” with an injury that will take time to recover but can also be overcome.

Thanks for reading.


A new challenge to overcome…

Well it’s been over a month since I last posted a blog here and it’s been a tiring period for me both physically and mentally as far as my running is concerned. That’s despite there not being much running happening…

The shin issues I was experiencing worsened particularly on the left leg and developed into an ankle issue which meant I had to rest from running.

Unfortunatly I was tackling injury issues in 3 areas – both shins right and left plus left ankle (suspect post tib related) and also the strange abdominal pain on my left side that was reappearing anytime I decided to try a run.

I trace that back to some running I did on the snow and ice where I had noted that my core muscles were really sore.

To cut a long story short I have been told by a physio that I am showing classic signs of Gillmore’s groin which is known as Sportsman’s hernia and is very common amongst footballers.

As it’s not fully confirmed I’m not sure it has sunk in yet. I need to see my GP and then perhaps a specialist in this area if the GP confirms the suspicion of Gillmore’s groin.

It sounds like if it is this issue the advised solution is an operation meaning perhaps 4-6 weeks rehabilitation.

As I said it hasn’t really sunk in as it’s not fully confirmed but I can say I am feeling pretty low as this is the 2nd injury following the broken rib in November 2017 where I feel a little helpless with what to do. Like the rib it seems like there is nothing I can really do.

One of the things I am coming to realise is how much time is flying by with these injury issues and how little is being achieved in the way of my racing. And the doubt is always in the back of the mind about whether you can get over another injury and come back stronger – of course so much in life is about positive mental attitude and overcoming negative mental attitude.

On the positive side I must report that I finished the 2017/18 cross country season in 23rd position overall in the senior men’s individual Grand Prix which was my highest ever placing.

Back to the injury, the physio has given me some core exercises, some of which are uncomfortable and feel like they could only aggravate the thing.

I am trying to keep up with the cross training – mainly bike and elliptical. I’m pleased that the non impact nature of the elliptical means I can do that as it’s the closest thing I have to running and I’ll be able to mimic run training hopefully both in terms of duration and intensity.

I feel a little resigned to this spring/summer being a write off. I’d like to think not but I’ll hopefully know more in the next few weeks.

It has been particularly disappointing to miss out on the chance to compete for my new club Tyne Bridge Harriers at the Northern 12 stage and the National final but it is what it is.

I contacted the club today and I’ve already received a lot of support and advice as it seems a number of lads have experienced this issue or something similar. That gives me a lot of hope I can come back stronger and one things for sure I will not be giving up…

Thanks for reading.