Running Injuries and Momentum

So I screwed up this week.  Apparently I’ve done my leg some disservice with some poor decisions.  From my previous entry you’ll note I mentioned running a mile in the mornings before work.  To lay out the whole picture you need to understand that my C25k runs are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at dusk.  This is also not something my body is used to doing so I’m still building the muscles and endurance to do this.

Tuesday morning I went for my morning run and, due to time constraints, I changed the route significantly.  The new route included some steep uphill sections which I powered through.  Also consider that since this was the morning the day after my evening run, it had been less than 12 hours since the previous run.  There was no time for my body to recover and it did not appreciate this along with all the extra effort and I damaged the muscles in my leg as a result.  Nearest I can tell it’s shin splints.

Shin splints are not uncommon among runners and they’re very painful.  There isn’t a whole lot that can be done for a quick treatment.  There are some exercises you can do to help strengthen your shin muscles but that doesn’t help once you already have them.  The only real treatment is rest.

There are a few things you can do to improve the situation though.  Lee wrote an excellent blog post of how to deal with shin splints over on therunningcouple.com.  In addition to his advice I’ve also heard from a couple sources that walking on your heals for a couple minutes also helps.  Personally I found there to be some truth to this for me.  It does seem to reduce the pain enough to allow you to move about when it’s really bad.

Try as you might, however, there are no quick fixes.  I’ve postponed morning miles until I get a better handle on this.  Wednesday’s C25k run was delayed a day.  It’s been difficult but I’ve been scaling back walks as well.

My issue is momentum though.  I’ve been moving along through C25k pretty well.  I’ve become totally addicted to running at this point and the thought of skipping a run devastates me.  It took a lot of convincing to get me to postpone my Wednesday run.  I can’t put into words how passionately I don’t want to lose momentum.  This is incredibly important to me.  I am changing who I am and I love it.

Last night I was feeling well enough to try my C25k run.  I changed the route to one that was fairly flat.  I focused my pre-run stretching on my shins and calves.  When I started out and through the run I was feeling pretty good.  We had to drive to our running location and we had a quick stretch before the short drive home.

When I got out of the car, I nearly collapsed from the pain.  My knees were shaking and my lower legs were refusing to hold my weight.  I went straight to putting ice on my legs soon as I got in the house.  Half an hour of iceing and massaging my lower legs worked wonders but things are still quite sore even today.

Tomorrow night is my next scheduled run so this has to heal up quickly.  I don’t have the years of training and conditioning that allow me to just put it off for a week or two then just pick it up where I left off.  I’m doing this thing.  I have to.

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