Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Shin splints. I’ve got ‘em. describes them as:
“…pain along the shinbone (tibia) — the large bone in the front of your lower leg. 
Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints often occur in athletes who have recently intensified or changed their training routines. The muscles, tendons and bone tissue become overworked by the increased activity.” tells the story of my life, (my shin’s lives) with the comment, “ Shin splints are very common. Runners might get them after ramping up their workout intensity…”

As readers might know, I achieved my pledge of March 9th L.A. Marathon, 1st Place, Females 70-74. Work-outs for weeks before L.A. included a string of 50-mile-weeks.

Expecting to come out of the experience sore, I paid no attention to the shin splints. 

Now I’m paying attention.

First, they’re not going away. 

Second, I’ve paid $128  for the OC  Half Marathon this Sunday, May 4th, 2014 


Last Saturday in what should have been my last long run before the half marathon I fell way behind other runners. Sweet Catherine waited for me. As we ran along together, I confessed, “I have shin splints. This 12-minute pace protects my shins.”

“Get off the trail,” Catherine commanded. “I raced with shin splints which led to a stress fracture which ended in a broken leg. We want you running with us for a long time. That means rest now. NO RACE.” 

I listened to her, turned and ran the grass around the Corona del Mar track where cushioning left me pain free.

Further reading of WebMd describes;

-“Irritated and swollen muscles, often from overuse. That’s me

-“Flat feet —when the impact of a step makes the foot’s arch collapse. That’s me. 

-AND both sites say: Rest, ice, arch supports, occasionally use of anti inflammatories, range of motion exercises, physical therapy. 

WebMD says,”You’re not recovered until you can exercise without pain.”

Wondering whether to run the OC Half, I looked for a compromise.
I told my Saturday Runners, “I will run the half marathon with my number but without my chip. Therefore, I won’t be tempted to race.

Murph, a former champ said, “Relax, take the slow time. I used to tell people that the day I ran a 4-hour-marathon, I’d quit. Then I had the car accident and broke my leg. Now I’m glad to be out running 4-hour-marathons.” 

My friend, Geoff, a doctor, said, “Do not race injured.” 

Annie, a hiker, biker, golfer, said, “Race the half marathon and then rest for a month.”

Returning home after all this advice, I found my husband at breakfast, and said, “I don’t know whether to run the O.C. Half next Sunday. I’m running so slowly protecting my shin-splints.” 

“Here’s what you should do, but you won’t like it,” he said. “Don’t hike Monday, don’t run all week, and don’t race.”

I know when I’m really injured. I postponed Boston for a year because I could hardly walk, I missed Marine Corps Marathon because I couldn’t straighten my leg. Both times, I took a few months off. Today, I can power hike, run slowly, walk without pain. 

I’d say this is a minor injury, one that will affect my time but not exclude me from the fun. So, who’s advice do I take? 

I’ll wait until Sunday morning to decide.  

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