It kinda feels like someone is repeatedly slashing a razor blade across my shins. They’re shin splints. I’ve got ‘em. And it sucks.
I’m training for the Chicago Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon on Aug. 14 and it’s turned into a painful journey. I noticed the problem a month or so ago, so I got new shoes. They still hurt. I got compression sleeves (which are as sexy as old lady knee-highs.) When I ran the memorable 5K last month, I rocked my sleeves and my shins felt awesome.
Then I did something really stupid. I went to a “Medicine Ball Madness” class at the gym without my sleeves and with all the up and down and up and down and up and down on the stupid step, my shins took a beating.
So now I’m taking the shotgun approach to fixing these shin splints. I recently got inserts for my shoes. I stretch my shins and calves (even have a special calf-stretching thingymadoodle.) I use Biofreeze (think: high-end Bengay.) I also do three strengthening exercises. One is where I place a pole or weighted bar atop my foot and do toe taps. Another is where I put my feet on one end of a towel and scrunch up the towel with my toes. The third exercise where I’m standing backward on the stairs with my heels hanging free. I lift up on my tippytoes and then I dip my heels down. And repeat.
All of this and I’ve taken two weeks off of running. I was loathe to do this, but after a talking-to from my trainer, I’m actually listening.
Not running for two weeks makes me nervous because I worry about losing my conditioning, let’s face it 13 miles in the middle of August is nothing to sneeze at, especially since I’m not the superfit type.
But I know I have to get better. So I’ve been hitting up the elliptical and bike, including checking out spinning classes. (My instructor scared me in the beginning because she had uber thick, muscular thighs and talked about doing Ironman competitions for 10 years.) I hope to pound the pavement again next week, but without the pain.