Plagued.

Since February, I have been plagued by one sort of running injury after another.  I’m starting to get annoyed.

First it was the Achilles tendon issue which resulted from too much running in the snow and running hills.  Then, as I tried to address that and started running more on the midfoot strike, I developed a calf/shin/soleus issue on the opposite leg.  I call it a shin splint (or medial tibial stress syndrome) but it also involves the soleus muscle itself and from everything I’m reading, it’s likely caused from too much mid-foot striking when I run.

“X” marks the spot. I’ve had pain right there on both legs now. Ugh.

Great!  (insert sarcastic eye roll here)

So while the Achilles tendon feels much, much better, the left leg felt awful.  So I rested, stretched, ran short distances and thought I was over the hump when I went for a short run the day before I started back to work, on March 31.  I stuck to the most natural foot fall, the heel strike, and to my amazement, not an ache at all when I ran. And more importantly, no pain a few days later.

And then I ran home from the office for the first time since starting back to work and bam! The next day, the RIGHT shin/calf/soleus started acting up.  In the exact same spot as on the LEFT.  Seriously, WTF?????

Okay, so maybe I haven’t been resting as much as I should.  Dammit, I love running and I love how it makes me feel. I don’t want to stop!  Running with my girlfriend last week was amazing!  I took Advil before the run and the leg felt great, but it’s 5 days later and it feels awful.  I totally masked the inflammation by taking the Advil, I know this.  We are supposed to run this week, so today I tried a mini run to the grocery store but had to stop after 50 meters.  50 METERS!  God dammit!

I am part of an online running group and a lot of the women there are having issues – one in particular has just been diagnosed with a tibial stress fracture after being plagued with shin splints for months.  Now, she’s a half-marathoner, so obviously running much longer distances than I am, but I fear if I keep going I may end up in the same boat.

So, I will try to listen to my body and rest up until this Wednesday.  Seven days off should be sufficient time to heal, right?  Right???

In the mean time, these will be close by.

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Getting Close. (Yes, another running post)

I managed another running milestone today.

I cracked 7km.

7k

After dealing with the Achilles issue, weak stabilizer muscles and the development of a particularly nasty (well, for me) case of shin splints on the opposite leg, I never thought I’d get close to my goal of 10K.

But today I did.

I have to thank a friend of mine – he runs marathons, so I believe his advice wholeheartedly.  I complained about my shins hurting during a run about a week ago and he told me that if I had warmed up the legs longer,  the soreness would likely develop into a dull ache if I kept running.  After 3-4km, I had to stop early. I thought he was crazy.  Run more on sore legs?  Really?  Well, turns out he was right.  On the next run, I slowed down a bit made myself run through the soreness.  Let me be clear, it wasn’t pain.  It was just sore.  To my surprise,  the soreness did indeed develop into a dull ache and nothing more. I also stretched the calves and the shins a lot after that run.  And by a lot, I mean, for at least a half an hour, so much so that the next day my hamstrings were feeling it.

I have to say, I was pretty stoked about the whole thing.  Over the course of the next few days, the shin splint settled down. I didn’t feel it every time I walked down the stairs.  I planned my long run.

I can’t lie.  After the first 3 minutes of running, the soreness came back.  I kept going.   I ran in 10:1 intervals, had to stop a few times at traffic lights and stretched the legs whenever I could.  My route had a few hills.  I worked hard.  About half way, I thought I might throw up; that was something new.  I listened to my body and slowed my pace down.  I got some energy back and ran for home.

7km! And the shin feels good.  Not 100% but definitely on the mend.

Damn, I love running!