On Thursday and Friday of last week I had the two worst runs I’ve had, likely since I first started running. On Thursday I started out okay and then my legs turned to lead and my shins and calves started hurting so much that I had to walk back home. On Friday it was even harder! I wanted to cry. I’d been doing well, slow but steady, and now I hit a road block. I decided to post on facebook and see what my friends had to say about the problem:
Last Saturday night I ran 8 miles without a problem. On both my Thursday and Friday runs my legs hurt more than they hurt even when I first started running and I could barely run a mile. Advice?
Here are the replies I got. I’ve used initials to identify who was replying!
HM: Where in your legs?? What was he longest run you had done before that?
Me: it’s hurting in the shins/calves. that wasn’t my longest run overall and not the first time running 8, but the one right before that was 2.
LK: Wow first of all, props on the long run!! But the only time I’ve ever had shin pain like that was from bad shoes. You wouldn’t think that would come on all of a sudden though…?
Me: thanks. I don’t know my shoes are the same as they have been since June. I may need new ones but this does seem pretty sudden!
UZ: sounds like shin splints. if you upped your run by 6 miles, that probably did it. When you mix a long run in shoes that might not be good for long runs, that’ll happen. Try some cushiony insoles and ice/heat your shins. Also stretch really well. I remember those quite vividly from playing tennis & soccer.
LM: i was going to say it could be the shoes. and wow 8 miles?! that’s great!!
SL: I was going to say shin splints. I agree with UZ.
Me: yes but this didn’t happen two weeks ago when I did the same pattern! (2 friday, 8 sunday, 5 thursday, 2 friday, then the 8 last saturday night followed by the pain this thursday). I do have inserts in my shoes. my shins don’t hurt when I’m not running either! hmm.
AR: Was there something different about the run? More up hills? Faster pace? Anything that could have worked the legs harder or differently?
Me: just that it was at night.
MP: Agree. Shin splits and it is all about the shoes. There are some great running stores here but that is getting close to your race for breaking them in….
AK: Were you wearing the same sneakers?
MP: Actually you’d have a month.. pretty good timing
Me: no the race is on november 10 only 2 weeks later. I could go here, but I was wearing the same shoes as always! (new in June, got the inserts about a month ago).
LM: try changing your shoes. seriously…i had an issue (well still do since i pulled a muscle in my left food) around august and bought new shoes. they made such a difference!! and i would def go see a dr to rule anything else out (pulled muscle, shin splints)
MP: Sara says it’s not the shoes…. pavement runs can do that if you are used to treadmill. Did you change location?
Me: nope I’ve been running outside for awhile. it does seem like shin splints from the description on webmd. I need this to be better so I can keep training!!!
MR: 8 miles?!??!? What a woman!
MP: Can you mix in some treadmill or trail running? The softer the surface the quicker you heal. But don’t stop running entirely or your body won’t adapt
Me: looks like I’m switching around my schedule and doing the treadmill tomorrow. then wednesday I’ll hopefully go get some better shoes.
SC: Dara, sometimes I have this problem when I dance; it’s often related to a pair of shoes I wore all day BEFORE I danced. You can do a really good stretch to help prevent it: slowly rock up on your toes and hold for ten seconds then slowly rock back down and flex your toes upward and hold for ten seconds. Repeat 10 times. It might take a couple days of those, but usually they do the trick for me and it only takes a few minutes to do them. But you may want to hold on to a wall or something so you don’t lose your balance.
This conversation took place on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, Dave and I went to the local running store to get fit for new shoes. It was hard to decide which pair I liked best! First of all, I learned that I needed to size up for running shoes. I used to wear a size 6.5 shoe until my feet had a sudden growth spurt (after all 3 of my kids were born, so not due to pregnancy!). So I was wearing a 7. However, the shoe expert told me I need an 8. Who knew? I tried on 4 pairs of shoes and chose this one:
That afternoon I ran on the treadmill. I had switched my schedule from a long run of 9 miles to a break week of 4 miles. I ran it slower than I might have normally run on the treadmill, but I really needed to take it slow and hope my shins heel fast. The run was still painful, but much better than the previous 2 runs. Today and Friday I am also planning on doing the same treadmill run, before venturing back to the long run on Sunday. Next week I will also be able to get back to my regular work out schedule without so many break days due to holidays!
The 1/2 marathon is in 1 month exactly! Perfect for breaking in these new shoes.