Of Shin Splints and Motivation

Last Thursday, during my walk on the treadmill at the gym, I noticed that my right leg felt really tight when I walked the faster intervals. The pain started in the front and kind of wrapped around the outside of my leg. I was able to finish my workout, but it kind of sucked. As soon as I stopped walking (not when I slowed down, once it started hurting, it hurt through the workout), the pain left.

So I took yesterday off and did my new Heavyweight Yoga DVD instead. Which rocked. I’ll post a review maybe tomorrow.

I went back to the gym today, even though I have a sinus-y cold thing brewing. I was fine through the warm-up and the first, slower interval. But when I went up to 3.0 mph, I felt the same achy, tense feeling in my right leg. And then it started in my left leg. And then it got worse and worse. I finished that interval, but the next, slower one was really painful, too. I quit after about 20 minutes. I ended up doing 15 minutes on the exercise bike, so I got my full work-out in. My legs didn’t hurt on the bike, unless I leaned forward and grabbed the aerodynamic handlebars. Weird.

So I got home and did what I do when something feels off–I Googled. And then I talked to my brother, the super runner. Yep. Shin splints. Painful and sucky, but survivable.

You wouldn’t think that shin splints would be something to celebrate, right? I mean, who wants them? I would have rather did my walk in peace, because I was really looking forward to adding five minutes today. And I could have done it, too. My heart rate stayed stead–about 18 points below what it was when I first started this. (130 vs. 148, even in pain. My workout on Wednesday, pain free, my heart rate was only 125.) So, yeah, I had one more five minute 3.0 interval in me. So you wouldn’t think I’d find anything good about stupid shin splints.

Except, man. I feel like an athlete today. One that has to baby her legs for the next few days. But back in the day I wouldn’t let achy shoulders, ear infections or anything keep me from training. I figured out a way to work around it. And that’s how I feel today. Tomorrow I’ll be back. And maybe I’ll just do the bike for the whole 40 minutes. Or maybe I’ll try the elliptical, like a friend suggested. Maybe I’ll see if I can stay at 2.5 for the whole time, pain free. Regardless, I’ll be there.

That’s the important part, isn’t it? Being there.

I read an article today about a woman who lost 170 pounds training for the Ironman Triathlon.   She weighed about what I do now. Maybe a smidge more, but not enough to matter. She was a swimmer in high school, too. She did her first 5K after 4 months of training and came in second to last, in front of a man pushing his wife in a wheel chair. But she did it.

And so can I. There’s a big two-day event at Lake Tahoe in September. And I’m going to enter the 5K. That gives me 7 months to get to where I can run 3.2 miles.

But first, I need to ice my shins.

 

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