It's rather ironic that even though I ran track and cross country in high school, I've always said, "I hate running." A couple years ago when Rachel, Adam and I did the Devil's Lake Sprint Triathlon, I found a great pair of shoes and insoles that really helped my flat feet. Indeed, my feet no longer hurt! My chiropractor also fixed the misalignment in my lower back that gave me so much pain.
Over the past few months of running, I've really taken to it. I now say, "I love running!" When I ran my "McNaughton 10" during Ryan's race, I decided to do the Madison Half-Marathon. I've been training for it pretty seriously, and losing weight as a benefit. I'm 6 or 7 pounds lighter than I started; given the muscle I've been putting primarily on my legs, that's pretty good!
However, being the all-or-nothing guy that I tend to be (well, not always ;-] ), I've been overdoing it. The 9-miler I ran a few weeks ago in the Dells went very well. A bit after that, my left IT band started acting up, causing pain in my knee and some in my hip. This past Saturday I was scheduled to run 10-12 miles. I mapped out a 3-mile loop near my house and set out. The first three miles my legs ached, yet by the end that worked out. Miles 3-6 my IT band started tightening up, and I kept that in check. Starting at mile 6 I started feeling a pain at the bottom of my left calf. What the heck is THAT? It got worse and worse, and by the end of 9 miles I had to stop--the pain was too much. Well, to be precise, I could have kept going, and I knew I'd be doing damage, so for once I found a brain in my head and didn't run through the pain.
Ryan suggested it was Achilles tendon problems. However, upon researching it I discovered it was Posterior Shin Splints. Huh? Shin splints on the BACK of the leg? Yup. My calf is stronger than the muscles on the front, and the differential is causing problems.
I've been using the vibrating massager on it and taking ibuprofen. Yesterday I saw my chiropractor, and he suggested wrapping it and some exercises (toe lifts) to strengthen the front of my legs to balance out the strength.
This morning I went on a 3-mile run. I walked several times when my left leg hurt in general. the wrap definitely helped. Even with the walking, I still ran 6.22 mph! I guess that's my preferred pace, since it's so predictable when I'm not tracking it in any way.
I'm concerned about my being able to run 13.1 miles in a week and a half. I think I'll mostly take it easy until then with just a few short runs. I've already decided that for the race I'll do cycles of running 20 minutes and walking 5. That should help my legs stay in ok shape, and I should complete the race in 6 or 7 cycles.
Off to shower and work.