Throughout the first several months of the year, I had a nagging pain in my shin. I’m no stranger to shin splints – they plagued me terribly when I first started running, and I had a hard time believing that there would ever be a time where they weren’t my constant companion. However, the longer I’ve run the more they’ve faded into the background.
So back to that nagging pain. It was annoying because, in addition to shin splints not being all that common for me these days, I didn’t feel that I’d done anything to deserve them. No crazy mileage increases. No sudden ramp up of speed work. Shoes replaced regularly. A new yoga routine. Yet, there I was.
So I iced. I rested. I wore compression. I trained for and ran the Lincoln Half Marathon in early May. And that was around when that pain started to get worse. This was worrisome for a number of reasons, though primarily because I was slated to start training for the Chicago Marathon in early June.
So, the very week I was supposed to be taking my first steps toward my goal race, I went instead to the doctor. Within in an hour, I was diagnosed with a tibial stress fracture and sent on my way with a boot.
So now it’s been eight long weeks. I graduated from boot to air cast after four, and now I’m cast free. In two weeks, I can start the “Back to Running Program,” which incrementally builds me back up, a quarter of a mile at a time. I. Can’t. Wait. I’m pretty sure that 10 weeks is the longest I’ve ever gone without running since I started in 2009. I was so looking forward to morning summer runs, and it looks like this year those will have passed me by.
But, it’s all forward motion now. I’ve really focused on my yoga practice, and have made a lot of gains (physical and mental) there. I’ve tried to keep up with cross-training, which my doc said should keep my tendons and muscles in a good place to return to running without an issue.
Chicago is out for this year. Letting go of my goal race was really, really hard. But, I’m trying to figure out now if I can run an upcoming half marathon, and there are a few other good races I might be able to do before the weather turns.