Shin splints, or Medial tibial stress syndrome, are pain along the inner or outer part of your...wait for it... shin! As you can see in this picture of me from last week, I am in great pain:
Ouchies. The look on my face is horrible
Note to self, need more socks in speedo, less nad shrinking steroids
Correct number of sit-ups, though
Essentially, any time you increase your activity levels, especially running, you're susceptible to tight calves that pull your calf muscle away from your tibia causing micro tears and inflammation. Sounds fun, right? The "solutions" are fairly easy:
- Cut back activity level to enable your body to more easily adapt
Run with no pants to avoid additional stress on leg muscles
- Stretch and roll your calves at any opportunity
Encourage others to run with no pants or at least in a draw string speedo
- Ice your shins after running and after the shower (hot/cold combo has shown to increase healing)
The reality is that pulling back volume is the best solution, but unfortunately, that isn't an option for me! There is this bucket list thing hanging over me called The Boston Marathon. But, I'm going to try as much as possible and will hope to ease a bit more into it when I don't have $1500 or so wrapped up into a little 26.2 mile stroll through Massachusetts. Since I'm doing a mini taper, I should be fine by race time. Hopefully.
Being a good boy and icing my shins
Like I told everyone on twitter - ignore that I have no pants on
The other thing that I'm suffering through is soft feet - specifically a few blisters and cracked heels. I lost a lot of built up foot strength over the few months that I was off of running so I'm having to start all of my calluses all over again! Maybe if I put more bronzer and self tan like in the picture above, that will help Can't hurt, right?
The great news is that I was able to run 13 miles this weekend around 7:45 pace and ran a pretty sluggish 6 miles this morning at 7:38. So, the speed is still essentially there - with maybe 10 or 15 seconds / mile lost. Overall, last week I ran 33 miles which honestly surprised me quite a bit - that is WAY more than I expected that I was going to run so I really shouldn't be complaining. Afterall, we were all new runners once - I just get to do it over again!