Confessions of a Fitness Junkie

Running Hiatus

Posted on: July 6, 2011

I am declaring a running hiatus. Well, for a few days at least.

I’ve dealt with shin splints almost my whole life. At least since I started running on the track team in middle school in shoes that were terribly worn out and not intended for logging miles a day at track practice. (I remember the pain got so bad, I could barely walk out of the locker room after a practice. One of my friends had to get my mom to come in and help me out to the car.) Ever since then, if I’m not careful about how much I’m running, and what kind of shoes I’m running in, my shin splints will rear their ugly heads.

That time has come.

I really started training for the half-marathon in late May. That’s when I started to log the miles and use my oh-so-fancy SportBand and really keep track of my training. I’ve had my current running shoes (Nike Frees) since January, and was hoping I could make them last until the end of July. But, then the oh-so-familiar nagging pain – usually on the inside of the front of my leg, sometimes on the outside or in the ankle – began. Knowing my Frees were on their way out, I switched to my clunky, yet comfy, trail runners (Adidas). Wow – my legs did not like that. So, back to the worn out Frees I went.

I ran 4.18 miles last Friday with a lot of pain and effort. I decided to give myself the long weekend to recuperate, did some research on stretches for shin splints and exercises for strengthening the fronts of my legs, and get back to running last night. I started at a decent pace (treadmill), and really concentrated on my form, leaning forward and shortening my stride. And, I felt good. So, I increased my pace. Then, a little pain. So, I tried running on my toes for :30 intervals. That seemed to help, and I was able to keep a 8’40” pace.

Keeping the running to a minimum, I stopped after 25 minutes. Then, a lot of pain. Excruciating pain through my heels, backs of ankles and calves. But, it didn’t feel like injury pain, more like soft-tissue extreme soreness. I went home, iced both legs, and today I don’t have any pain. But, the pain right after the run last night was CRAZY. Almost need-someone-to-help-me-out-of-the-locker-room bad. It’s for that reason I am declaring a running hiatus, at least until next week. I have to let my legs heal, and also plan to get fitted for new shoes. Perhaps I will try to run on Sunday, but for now, I think I need to take it easy.

I still intend on running the half-marathon in October, but I think I will need to re-start my training in a couple of weeks. The whole reason for doing all of this running, lifting, exercising is to get my body healthy. If I injure myself beyond repair in the process – well, I guess that defeats the purpose. It makes me sad to take a step back, but I gotta do what I gotta do.

So – the half-marathon training updates are on-hold for now. Sorry. 😦

Anyone else suffer from shin splints? What have you found that helped prevent or get rid of them?

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