October 15, 2012


Today, everything hurts.  My legs are sore.  My belly is sore.  My neck is sore (that I have no idea why, must have slept weird).  The bestie and I finished our last long training run yesterday, we covered  a teeny tiny bit over 10 miles.  The run actually went really well for me, my legs were only uncomfortable for maybe the first mile.  Which is part of the reason I'm surprised I'm so sore.  Hopefully taking today off from exercise will help.  Only two more training runs before the half!

hello gorgeous trail during our run

Moving on, I've decided to stop pretending my right leg calf/shin soreness is just tight muscles.  I'm pretty sure I've developed some massive shin splints.  A little on my left as well, but for the most part the pain is localized to my right leg.  I'm pretty bummed about it, because I am relatively certain I should take a decent break from running after the half to help it heal.  Pretty much every website I've searched highly suggests not working through the pain (I don't follow rules very well when it comes to things like that, and I'm a terrible paitent, FYI).  The first tip on this site is pretty straight forward:

"1.  Don't work through the pain.  At best, shin splints won't get better and at worst, you'll be setting the stage for a more serious injury.  At the first symptoms of shin splints, stay off your feet, or at the very least, decrease your mileage."

Yikes.  I don't so much like the sound of that.  But of course, I'm too freaking proud, and have pushed myself too far to give up on this half now.  So I'm doing my best to be gentle on my legs up until the half.  Then I will re-evaluate.

There are several causes for shin splints, including doing too much too soon, increasing the intensity or duration of your workouts, your shoes, the surface on which you exercise, high impact exercises and your anatomy (see more information here).  In my case I'm going to go with a combination of a couple of a few things, my shoes (I think I hit about 500 miles walking/running in this pair, it is time for some new ones), increasing the intensity of my workouts (just adding mileage in general), and anatomy (I'm assuming the pregnancy is putting some new stresses on my body).

The next question is how to deal with them right now.  Really, I can't just give up on the half.  I can't do it.  And the pain only bothers me during the first couple miles of a run, especially on a treadmill.  I'm not too concerned with a stress fracture yet.  Obviously I can't take anti inflammetories to reduce the swelling.  Boo.  And I'm too scared to get a new pair of shoes before the half because, um, blisters.  No thanks.

One of the first tips for treating shin splints that I have seen (ok besides the whole take an exercise break thing), is active rest.  Essentially switching from running or walking on hard surfaces, to something low impact such as cycling or the elliptical.  So last week I split my longer treadmill run between the treadmill and the elliptical.  And after the half I plan to log a little more time on it, even the I loathe the thing.  How I hate it more than the treadmill I have no idea, but I do.

I've also been wearing my compression sleeves a little more.  Hopefully that will help reduce swelling, and takes some of the pressure off the muscles.  Lastly, I've been trying to be better about stretching, something I am usually terrible at.  Why I'm so bad about doing it, I don't know.  It isn't like it is that hard to take five minutes after a workout to stretch my muscles, but I usually don't.  Bad plan, very bad plan.  So yes, stretching.  More tips on dealing with shin splints here.

For now that is what I've got.  I'll grab a new pair of shoes after the half and try to take it easy.  But for now if you have any other great tips for dealing with shin splints I'd love to hear them!


Who else is racing this month?  I know there have to be some of you.  I'd love to hear about them.  Link up your health and fitness related posts below.


Caitlin MidAtlantic said...

Get new shoes! STAT! They will seriously help with the shin splints. It's true, the only real cure is rest... but proper support for your feet will really help.

As for blisters, Band-Aid is making this blister block stuff? It looks like a tiny little deoderant, that you rub on your feet. IT WORKS.

Vanessa said...

I have not been able to get rid of shin splints..it has been a couple of years. But I do ice my shins after running and it helps alot. I also wear my compression sleeves all the time and stretch! I have taken breaks but it doesn't seem to help..I don't know what else to do!

Anonymous said...

Shin splints suck. I had them several years ago so bad I had to quit running (and cross train) for months before they went away. I say get through the half and then take time off running. Sucks, but gotta listen to your body!


Crazycurls said...

I think it's great that you're not discouraged, you are fighting through it and trying to find a solution. It could be so easy to use the pregnant excuse and just hang it up. Keep it up (but do listen to your body :-) )!!!!

Amanda said...

I think you are doing an amazing job! I would definitely be the same way and not back down from half either. You have come so far!

Just keep in mind if you injure yourself that you won't be able to run at all!

Good luck!

Nicole said...

You seriously inspire me. Just thought you should know. Running a half while pregnant? You rock!!

Jen@Living a Listful{l} Life said...

I don't have any tips, but I am so inspired by your dedication in the face of pain...and while your pregnant! That would be my first excuse to stop working out. That'll show me to use that as an excuse if and when I get pregnant again. ;)

loverstreet said...

i used to have really awful shin splints when i was a dancer (due to split sole shoes with no arch support). one of my tricks was to massage my arches multiple times per day, especially over a tennis ball or other thing that could really get in there and loosen things up. it helped at least temporarily, so maybe that can help you get across the finish line for your half!

Nikki said...

Definitely new shoes. If you get them at a running store they shouldn't give you blisters. I'm running a half this weekend. My first. In pretty excited.