Today was the first day I went running again in almost two weeks. I thought that two weeks should be an appropriate amount of time for my shin to stop hurting, but I was wrong. Usually I don’t like it when my shin hurts for a long time, but right now it’s okay, because everytime someone asks me how long my shin has been hurting I get to do this:
The bad news is, people don’t usually ask me that specific question. People are idiots sometimes.
The small amount of running I did today was at the track workout I’ve been going to. I knew I might not be able to run very much, but I wanted to see if it’s possible to leave Salem at 4:35 and get there (downtown Portland) in time for the 5:45 workout. It is, but barely. It involved making some questionable changing-clothes-while-driving decisions that I don’t plan on repeating. Once I got there, I did the 2(ish) mile warm-up, and then went to the MAC to swim. I couldn’t remember the locker combination to my mom’s locker though, and my swimsuit is inside, so I wandered around the gym for ten minutes and then got super sleepy and went home.
Do you remember when I had shin splints a couple of years ago, when I was training for the Timberline Marathon? I don’t know exactly when this picture is from, but it pretty much portrays what my shin splints looked like at the time:
I assume you’re curious about what my shin splints look like this time around. They look like this:
This time it kind of hurts in two places, as I have clearly marked. You can also see here what a giant terrible scar I got from when I fell on Leif Erickson earlier this year. I made sure to use better lighting in these pictures than I did two years ago, so you can fully appreciate my shin.
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest searches that directs traffic to my blog is anything related to shin splints. I do a lot of really great demonstrations on how to complain when you have shin splints, and I know these pictures just speak for themselves. But just in case even that’s not enough, here’s a couple of things that I’ve been advised to do in order to treat my shin splints:
- Heat your shin splints. This will improve circulation and promote healing.
- Use ice, or alternate cold/hot therapy. This is conflicting with number 1, which says to only heat. Number 1 was advised to me by a doctor (my mom), who does not specialize in sports injuries or anything like that. Number 2 was advised to me by a marathoner/running coach, who is not a doctor, but has probably seen a lot of these injuries. As always, when it comes to whose advice you should listen to, most of all follow your heart, even if it tells you to do something stupid like apply ice directly to your leg and get frostbite (nobody actually advised me to do that, I just did it on my own for fun).
- Stand in a doorway, and put a tennis ball under each of your heels, and do squats. Then take them out from under your heels, and put them under the balls of your feet. You’re standing in a doorway so that you don’t fall over. The tennis balls in different spots builds strength around your entire leg. A lady at Fit Right NW told me to do this, and I believe her because she works there. I haven’t tried this yet.
- Wear these. My mom/the internet told me about this one, and it seems to help a lot. They’re just like compression socks, but they cost $20 less and they don’t compress your feet. If you have feet splints, you might want to consider the whole sock, but I don’t think feet splints is a real thing so you’re probably okay with just the sleeve.
Trying to give out real, actual advise is exhausting, so I’m going to stop there. If these ideas aren’t enough for you, try rubbing some crazy magnet on it or something, I’m sure that will do the trick.
Miles run in 2012: 371