Monday, April 8, 2013

Running N00b: Shin Splints - and blisters!

N00b is internet slang.  It rhymes with boobs and it helps to have the zeros instead of the letter o...makes internet nerds feel important.  Essentially it implies that someone is new to something and doesn't really know the ins and outs of what is going on. (I just described my life just then.)  Well, I haven't known what has been going on for quite some time, but I do know that I have one of the most common beginner running ailments:  Shin Splints.  I've honestly always battled super tight calves, which are the cause, but I had them mostly under control when I was running high/fast mileage.  Oh, but just like hipsters love Pabst Blue Ribbon, what is old is new again.

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?

Ugh, gross

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!


Sue's Ramblings said...

Tried any compression sleeves? It helped a bit with my shin splints. Also maybe pomegranate juice...with alcohol! :P

The Banter said...

I'm a big fan of words with a "oo" sound in the middle. They are just fun words to say. You try it: noob, boob, goober, doobie, loogie, and monkey.

Gracie said...

Any chance you need a slightly more stable shoe?

Ivayla Wadsworth said...

Just so you know, a bag of frozen peas works wonders!

brian72975 said...

Towel scrunches and for the love of Santa put some pants on!

SupermomE12 said...

Argh with the shin splints! I found that compression calf sleeves really helped when they bugged me. I will be cheering you on in Boston! Wish I was going!! Enjoy the experience - it is awesome.

runningsurvivor said...

I just recently got over shin splints..and I too felt like a, blessings bud, heal those blisters fast...ouch! Funny picture captions...hmmm

Kate Geisen said...

Your abs look hot, but your posture needs work.

Hannah said...

You are pretending to have a good attitude and I like it.

Half-Crazed Runner said...

Heel walking helps with shin splints - but the all time best is placing a weight (I use a 5lb plate) on the front of your foot, and raise your toes about 50-75 times. With the calf rolling - they will be gone in no time! PS I like the 1st pic of you, best!

Running Librarian said...

so odd that you lost all of your "tan" from the first picture to the second picture..I agree more self tanning products will help your shin splints...always does ;)