Today should have been the day I got another YTD 10k PB, when taking part in the Alderley Edge Bypass race; a closed road out and back along the A34. I was really looking forward to this race for the fabulous medal and the live music along the route.
As I write this (Saturday evening) I have yet to find a willing runner (or fast-ish walker) to take my place and transport my son to and from the event, which gives me a problem… if I’m driving him there I will want to take part and the only thing stopping me is common sense, but when it comes to running my common sense often takes a vacation.
Over the past few weeks I have been complaining of pain, first in my right hip – which started when I recommenced running, and then in my right shin – from when I started walking Jess. The shin pain I diagnosed as shin splints, the hip pain I disregarded as muscle stiffness. Following last weekend I rested my legs in preparation for a three race week and by Wednesday I was pretty much pain free.
My first race of the week was a ladies only 5k at Birchwood Forest Park, a multi-terrain run on woodland paths, grass and road. It was a warm sunny evening and I was looking forward to it. Almost as soon as I started running the pain in my shin returned, and yes, maybe I should have stopped but really, who likes quitting? Anyway, I made it to the end and finished in just over 32 minutes, had a picnic with the other ladies from the club while massaging my shin, took anti-inflammatories, drove home with a constant awareness of discomfort, and thought ‘hmm, this just isn’t getting better‘. Following ice, more anti-inflammatories and some sleep it felt somewhat better on Thursday morning.
Unfortunately I had agreed to take older son to a nearby BMX track, which would have been fine had the track not been a half-mile walk from the car park, and had we not walked around the lake to look for the swans and their cygnets, before going back to the car: a little over 2 miles in total. And my shin was hurting. A lot. We didn’t see the swans, but did see a heron.
Back home and more ice and more anti-inflammatories and the realisation that I needed a professional on the case, and that I couldn’t wait for NHS timescales. I found a physiotherapist who seemed to fit what I needed, decided it would be worth the money if they could make this better, and booked an appointment for Friday evening.
After a thorough assessment and heavy massage, the physio determined that I had, as I thought, shin splints also known as medial tibial stress syndrome and this was likely linked to my previous torn calf muscle. Nine months on the strength in my left leg is still reduced, which means that my right leg is under more stress and this is causing the inflammation and pain. Basically, it’s an injury resulting from an injury… and I blame the dog(!)
So, how do we fix it?
- ice, anti-inflammatories and rest
- further physio appointments with targeted massage
- regular physio exercises and stretching
- strength work at the gym
- biomechanical assessment (looking at how I move)
- correct shoe/insole use
- graded return to normal activities and running
No running for a month or two, which means my half marathon in September is off.