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.
My arsenal against shin splints.
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.
I didn’t want to do it. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the iPod was fully loaded. Everything was ripe for good run, but my stankitude.
The past few weeks I’ve been running away from running. I didn’t realize how my tough 8K kinda affected my attitude toward running. I know I didn’t train as well as I should have for that race, but it was only 5 miles and for a long time I’d been cranking out 3 mile runs with ease, so figured I could grind out the other two. I certainly didn’t expect to start hurting after mile 1.
My running since that race has been spotty at best. A couple weeks ago I tried to give myself a kick in the arse by signing up for Chicago’s Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon. I feel obligated to run it because it’s on my Bucket List. And, hell, I told everyone I would. (Me and my big mouth…)
The only progress in the Get She’sWrite Running Movement was that online registration. Then today rolled around. In a moment of strength (insanity?) I got dressed to for a run. I packed up the jogging stroller. Meanwhile, Ethan fell asleep.
I kept prepping. Water bottle. An extra diaper. Burp cloth. New playlist. Cell phone. Then I did the unthinkable: I woke up my son. I put on his jacket and tossed him in the stroller with hopes he’d go back to sleep. I had to run now or I didn’t know when I’d find the chutzpah to do it.
Thankfully Ethan dosed back off and we hit the road. You can connect your iPod to my stroller and it has speakers so you can listen to music and hear if your baby is crying. The bad thing is that everyone else can hear your music too.
When we breezed past the local elementary school with Rihanna’s S&M ringing out, more than a few ladies chatting outside their minivans stopped their yapping to ogle. I just smiled and waved. I like being unconventional in my conventional ‘burb.
Besides, it’s not like Ethan *knows* what S&M is. The run was good, very exhilarating and though pushing the stroller, which weighs about 30 lbs and Ethan is about 14 lbs, I never got tired.
So I’m going to claim that the Get She’sWrite Running Movement has begun. I got bucked off the running horse but I’ve climbed back on and am ready to train for this half. Even if it’s for no other reason than I said I would.