Friday, February 27, 2009

Woe is me.

I've been sidelined. For the past week, I've been running with some painful shin splints. I haven't had a good run since the Valentine's Virginia is for Lovers 14K. I started having pain when I ran 3 miles in my Under Armour cross trainers so I was thinking once I switched to my new running shoes I'd be fine. That day I ran 3 miles, I ran on a treadmill, with an incline, which I never do, and tried to up my speed. I think my body just wasn't ready for it and that's what's causing the pain in my legs, not running 3 miles in the cross trainers.

I was going to keep running through the pain because I didn't want to fall behind on my half marathon training. The half marathon in April will be here before I know it. After asking my wise, fellow running enthusiasts on the Purse Forum and Krystle, a Body Step instructor at Golds, what I should do, I have decided to take at least a 1 week break from running. I don't mind running through pain but, it seemed like running through shin splints without trying to recover, could lead to worse injuries, such as stress fractures.

Here is some of the great advice I've received thus far and am trying to follow:
(Thanks again Krystle and Purse Forum running thread friends, especially Ali, Frankie, Cristina and WestEndGirl.)

1. Verify you are wearing the correct type of shoes. I never used to think buying the right shoes made a difference but, now that I'm trying to run 15-20 miles a week, I can definitely feel the benefits of having the correct shoe. I'm no expert when it comes to running shoes but, there are various types of running shoes for overpronation, underpronation and neutral pronation. The first time I was fitted for shoes I was told I overpronate slightly and was recommended stability running shoes. Two weeks ago when I was fitted for shoes, I was told that the stability running shoe was over-correcting and switched to a neutral shoe. I haven't been able to determine if the neutral shoe is better because the shin splint pain is all I can really focus on during my runs.

I've also read that running shoes should be replaced after approximately 500 miles. Old shoes with inadequate cushioning could also be a cause for shin splints.

2. Avoid high impact activities until your shin splints are gone. Some low impact activities you can try are biking, swimming, walking, hiking, elliptical machine and weight training. You can do step aerobics but, limit yourself to one or no risers and keep the intensity low. For the week that I won't be running, I will still try to cover the mileage in my half marathon training but, I'll be doing it through walking, hiking, and the elliptical machine. Yesterday I was scheduled to run 3 miles but, biked to the park instead and walked 3 miles.

2. Apply ice for at least 15 minutes to areas where you are in pain, preferably within 30 minutes of finishing up your run. I did this for the first time last night (while watching America's Best Dance Crew), even though I didn't run. I'll try to be more diligent about applying ice as I increase my running.

3. Increase your intake of Potassium and drinks with electrolytes. Some common foods that are high in Potassium are bananas, milk, cantaloupes, oranges, meat, poultry and fish. Those with diseases, such as diabetes, should not be increasing their Potassium intake drastically.

4. Apply Kinesio Tex tape. According to the Kinesio tape website, Kinesio tape "gives support and stability to your joints and muscles to prevent over-contraction without affecting circulation and range of motion." Basically, Kinesio tape will assist you as you try to go through your normal physical activities and prevent you from injuring yourself further as you try to recover. I've been told that it is extremely important to watch the videos on how to apply this tape. If applied incorrectly, the tape will be useless and a waste of money. I want to check out the running store before I try to order this online. You know I hate shipping costs.

Four great tips I hope to be following as I recover and try to stay injury free.

It's frustrating because I was starting to really enjoy running. I've always been into sports but, hated running by itself. I'm just grateful that physical activities aren't completely out of the picture.

Okay, end sob story.

Have a great weekend! I will hopefully be going to Joe's Crab Shack tonight and finally get to order the steam bucket. I don't want to get too excited because last time I did there was a last minute change of plans.


Janelle said...

Aww that really sucks! Hope the shin splits go away soon so you can get back to training. In the mean time, it is important to take care of yourself.

Thanks for sharing these great tips! I haven't been running much because I still get shin splits too. I've been sticking to the elliptical & I still get a great workout.

jim said...

here's the kinesio tape Kerri Walsh uses:

If you want to buy from your local running shop have them call us and we'll make sure they have product in the future.

MakeupByRenRen said...

wow hope you get over the shin splints! i had those when i used to do lacrosse in high school and they suck! you're such an inspiration to us, you go girl!

A. Rose said...

UGH. Shin splints were a pain back in high school. I hardly ever get them now, but when I do, I definitely rest up and take it easy. You're right about not running through the'll just make things worse. Icing it helps A for 15, leave it alone, then ice it up again. Hope it goes away soon!

Jen said...

Geez, woman! You're like a running beast! I wish I could do that, but I'm such a wimp! LOL! I used to run and exercise a lot in high school... but uhh not sooo much now

Thanks for the comment! Small world, I know your brother, but I don't think we've officially met before.. haha! Oh well...

I have not been to Twist, but I've always wanted to try Wink (or Winks). It's off of Laskin, I think, but I heard it's really cute and trendy there! Like the blow dryers are hanging from the wall and stuff (I hope I'm not exaggerating!) .. I'm too scared to try other salons, I've had my fair share in getting busted cuts! Plus my friend that works for Bubbles would beat me! PUAHA!

Sorry for the novel.. eeks!