Day 4 --effing shin splints

It’s Week 2 already, and Day 4.

3.23 miles in 45 minutes. Walking 2 minutes at 3.6 mph, alternating that with running for 5 minutes at 4.7 mph. Toward the end, I tried 4.8mph, and I think that will be my new default running speed. It felt good without being too fast. My average pace was 13.57, which is decent.

I think I tried to go too far, though, since I got a nasty shin splint in my right shin. I just thought, “Oh, I’m feeling pretty good, and I have extra time, so I’ll run for 10 more minutes!” Yeah. It was in those last 10 minutes my shin said, “Hey, that hurts. That really hurts. OMFG, dumdum, why aren’t you stopping?”

Honestly, I didn’t stop because I didn’t want to be a complainer. Shin splints happen, and I figured I could just run right through it instead of being sidelined by <strikethrough>just a flesh wound</strikethrough> a minor pain. Just like side cramps–take a different posture and keep going. That was stupid. It hurt to walk when I got off the treadmill, but willpower pushed through the pain.

Then I sat down and googled “shin splints” and found out that I should have stopped. Derp. They can happen for many reasons–the shin muscles not growing as fast as the calf muscle, poor posture, gait that’s a little off, and bad shoes are just some of the things that can cause that pain. Not to mention that little thing called “stress fracture. ” Yes. If you run too much too soon (a common mistake by newbie runners who are enthusiastic about their new hobby–nope, not me. Totally not me.) you can give yourself a stress fracture from pounding the pavement. Or the bottom of the treadmill, for that matter. That’s why some runners advocate running on dirt or grass instead–it has a little “give” to it instead of the sidewalk.

Uh, if you were in Chicago yesterday you would understand why I wasn’t running outside last night. And like hell I’m going to run outside in the next two days, what with the wind and rain warnings.

Anyway. I followed the suggestions in the link above. I iced the part that hurt the most. That helped. Then I went to take a warm shower, and apparently the combination of ice and warmth was just the ticket. The shin splint pain went away. That was good news–that means I don’t have a stress fracture. I ended up not needing to take any pain pills. Even then, I really shouldn’t go running on Thursday, to give my leg bones a rest from the pounding. I don’t want to take a break though–every exercise¬† break I’ve taken usually involves me falling off the horse and becoming a sedentary bookworm again.

My exercise room has elliptical machines, and that doesn’t involve much in the way of constant landing pressures on my legs, I don’t think. So, Thursday, I will be doing the elliptical. Let’s see how that goes.

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