A Running Hiatus

Well, my running ambitions have been put on hold. What? You didn't know I had running ambitions? I do. I have remarked to various people off and on that I'd like to do the TC Marathon in 2013, when I turn 40.

Side note: People who actually run marathons are NOT the best marketers of the experience. Everyone I have ever known who has run a marathon has talked about how much it SUCKED. Apparently, after 20 miles your body just revolts and it's all a mental game. As a particularly lazy person, I'm not sure why this sounds like something I want to do.

David and I have signed up for the entire Monster Series (Polar Dash 5K, Get Lucky 7K, Minneapolis Marathon Relay, Minneapolis Duathlon, and Monster Dash Half-Marathon). Yes...I am going to do a half-marathon. But first, I needed to get ready for the marathon relay. I found a nice 10K training plan which didn't use any words I didn't understand such as fartlek, tempo run, or lactate threshold.

Instead it encouraged me to run for 30 minutes moderate. 45 minutes light. 30 minutes moderate with 5 short bursts of speed (30 seconds each). I can handle that.

What I couldn't handle was going from running maybe twice a week to four times a week and then five times a week. Oh sure...at first it was great. I was running faster. Faster to me is a few times running a 10-minute mile. A miracle!

I was also running farther. 4 miles easy. 5 miles a couple times. I got to week 5 and was looking forward to a 60 minute run one Sunday, when I realized I just could not ignore the pain in my shins anymore.

Shin splints. I had these in high school when I was on danceline, and at that time I thought it was kind of cool. There was always a debate about whether those of us on the danceline were athletes. Well, athletes get shin splits! I am an athlete. But this...this was different. No doubt this can be attributed to the fact that I am now 20 years older.

I ran for about a week with the pain...I think the longest run I did was 50 minutes and when I was done I was hobbling around like an old lady. This coincided with a cold, so it seemed a good time to take a rest. I took about a week and a half and then headed out again.

Problem was, not my left calf was really starting to hurt too. I got on the treadmill one day and oooh....not good (I can't think of anything witty to say. It hurt).

I managed to make it through the marathon relay with no problems. Some pain, but not too bad. I ran a couple times this past week, but stopped and took many breaks. The last time I ran was Sunday. I did three miles while we were in Winona. And then I decided to stop. My left calf really hurts and my shins protest when I chase the bus (another reason I should be biking to work). Actually, they kind of hurt just walking around, but that might be the heels.

I am on hiatus, like your favorite TV show. Let my poor shins heal. And my calf. Stupid calf.

This is so disappointing to me because I was having such a good time running. I was so proud of myself. Sure, I'm slower than just about everyone else I run with...but I could do it. I could do 5 miles, propelled only by ME. I was getting faster and having a good time. And now...sigh.

So, what now? Well, the elliptical and I will become friends. In the past we haven't really enjoyed one another, but I think that might change. I'll also be getting to know my road bike really well. And I might hit the pool for the first time in a year. With any luck, I'll be back pounding the pavement in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said…
Rest up, you'll be back at it in no time!
Greg Overtoom said…
Shin splints suck, there's no other way to look at it. I used to get shin splints a lot when I ran, but then I read the Chi Running book and started using that technique. That was about 3 years ago and since then I haven't had a single case of shin splints.

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