January 2019

Wow..that month flew by and what a month it has been!

As you may know the last part of 2019 wasn’t great for me as I had a bit of a breakdown due to life and work stresses that put me under a dark cloud and I suffered with anxiety and depression. I was signed off of work for 6 weeks and returned to work on January 21st, it was daunting at first as I had been away from work for so long but the company I work for were absolutely fantastic. I’m now back in my previous role at Head Office working with some amazing people and everyone really has made me feel so welcome. I’m actually waking up with a spring in my step again and look forward to going to work instead of dreading it so much it makes me ill. My advice is that if you are ever in that position get it sorted, make a change, don’t just carry on and make yourself ill. Many businesses understand mental health now, the stigma is going and more help is available. To ensure I help others I have volunteered to become a Mental Health First Aider at work and have started to help put a team together at our Head Office, no one should ever feel trapped and alone or fear the stigma of talking about issues like this.

I took some advice earlier in the month that was given to me by one of my running friends and also my Doctor, my wife and I attended a half day course on meditation for beginners at Thornby Hall Buddhist Centre. I first heard about this place on a group cycle ride when we stopped at their amazing coffee shop for the most delicious carrot cake I have ever eaten, it was Vegan and I was dubious but it really was tasty. Anyway my wife and I turned up at the course not quite sure what to expect but were greeted by the most friendly and down to earth people you could meet, even though at the time I was still having anxiety issues they put me at ease from the off. The course was fantastic, our Teacher, Kelsang Mondrul, was funny and made us feel at ease, she also made a lot of sense, the room had a great mix of people attending and at the end we all shared a meal together, the most delicious vegetable curry ever. There’s a food theme running here isn’t there! We shall certainly be going back, it was great just for us to have some time out from the kids but to also come back chilled out with a different look on life and a belly full of delicious food all for £20 it was a bargain.

The following day, yes we were doing remarkably well for childcare, this is totally unusual, Kerry and I visited the running show at the NEC in Birmingham. We had a great time and met some great people including Anita Bean (see below) who gave a very informative talk on nutrition and signed a copy of her latest book for Kerry. We have tried a few of the recipes so far and they are delicious!

My wife had a chat with the lovely ladies at Run Mummy Run and as we were chatting I mentioned my blog, I’ve since been asked to write a guest blog for them which I’m pretty excited about, hopefully it’s another chance to help and inspire others that have had similar issues as myself.

We also made some great purchases including some buffs for Kerry as she has just started running and loved mine when she borrowed one earlier in the month, although these were a tad brighter than what I’d wear! Other purchases included an awesome Ledlenser headtorch, at 600 lumens I won’t have trouble in a pitch black ploughed field again!

I have also had some bad news this month, for over 6 months now I have had a painful right shoulder, it clicks when I lift my arm above shoulder height and hurts like hell in certain positions such as putting a jacket on. After an ultrasound and an MRI it was discovered that I have Osteoarthritis in my shoulder, there is wear in the joint but also some calcium deposits have grown on the bone creating a spur. Apparently it’s this spur that is causing the pain by tearing at my rotator cuff.

The good news is it can be fixed to some degree and I have an operation on February 22nd to shave the spur off and repair the rotator cuff. Unfortunately that means I have had to cancel two races, one was going to be my first marathon in March and the other the Naseby 16:45 run. However I should be recovered in time to train for and run the 35 mile ultra I have booked in for June. It’ll be a challenge running an ultra before a marathon, but hey I like a challenge.

My running hasn’t been too bad this month and I’m on target for my 100 mile challenge, this month I have run 98 miles. Below is a link to a mini blog I wrote on Facebook about one of my runs, it wasn’t a great run even though I managed a PB mile!

Well that’s about it for now before I bore you all to death, feel free to add me on Twitter or Facebook, the links are above. Next month I’ll be able to update you on how my operation went, chat about my runs during February and talk about what I’m doing to stop myself going stir crazy while my arm is in a sling. Happy running, watch out for that ice, enjoy yourselves and be happy!

Gav.

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