I had really cut back on running a couple of weeks ago because I was having tremendous pain in my shins. So happens, I had an unrelated visit to my doctor and brought this up as a side note. She says I am developing shin splints. That sounds bad. It also feels bad. Her words made me feel like marathon running might not be my thing.
But, maybe all is not lost. What can I do to overcome this? My doctor suggested that I cross train - a little running, a little biking, a little swimming. This starkly contrasts what my book says to do (remember, I am consulting Marathon Running for Dummies). It says if you want to be a runner, then you have to run. But I think I agree with my doctor. I have not been a regular exerciser. To start out, I might be better off trying to get used to just exercising rather than being so concerned about my marathon progress.
So I need to focus on solutions. The shins feel much better when I stretch really good after the run, or whatever exercise I do. I also noticed that I seem to have more pain when I run on cement so I have been running on gravel. Last Saturday, I ran around Greenlake in the gravel areas only and my shins didn’t hurt at all. This concerns me a bit though, I imagine the whole half marathon is on concrete. At some point I am going to have to get used to running on a hard surface. I am hoping that this condition is just a manifestation of my poor fitness to date and as my fitness improves, shin splints will be less of an issue. Then I should be able to run on the concrete with the greatest of ease . . .