Thursday, March 24, 2011


The scene opens in the operating room.  A surgeon is working on the lower legs of a young man.

Doctor: NURSE, I need the scalpel!
Nurse: Right away doctor.  Here.
Doctor:  Thank you.  More suction.
Nurse:  Suction.
Doctor:  Scissors!
Nurse:  Scissors.
Doctor:  Ok, I've almost got it.  Just a little more and the muscle will be gone.
Nurse:  You've detached the upper tendon.  Be careful of the lower ligaments.
Doctor: Ah, yes.  There we go.  One more snip...  Just have to keep from clipping any of the ankle's ligaments and we're good.  Viola!  Do we have a pan for this?
Nurse:  Yes, right here.
Doctor:  Very good.  Now let me just sew this guys legs back up and we're good to go. 

I'm just about ready to ask a doctor to remove my tibialis anterior.  It's not necessary, right?  It's just there to annoy run-a-muck runners.  That's right...

Shin Splints Strike Again!

I knew I had them when I went out today, but I was hopeful that an extra long warm up and some stretching would diminish them so I could runWrong!  Of course, it would only be helpful if my legs did what they were supposed to (according to my version of reality); we wouldn't want that! 

Since meeting with Mona (Chelsea's aunt) to try and figure out why my shins are hurting, I thought it might be my lack of a warm up and subsequently running with tight calves and hamstrings.  My warms ups have helped make my legs feel more relaxed prior to a run, but the splints still came back.

While my previous bet as to the culprit (my shoes) still stands, the fact that I had splints last fall with my old New Balance shoes puts a hole in that theory.  Therefore, I'm left with the idea of needing MORE of a warmup and stretching, the fact that I run mostly on roads/sidewalks, running too much too soon, my form (though Mona said it looked fine), or something else I haven't thought of.  After an extended walk today and short bursts of a light jogging pace, my next target to knock off my list is the road.  I'll check out some parks and see if they're clear enough to run at.  Maybe some softer (more forgiving) terrain will help.

1.  Has anyone else dealt with recurring shin splints?
Please tell me I'm not the only one (lie to me if you have to).

2.  Any other thoughts on possible causes?  I'm open to ANY suggestions no matter how off-the-wall.
Icing helps with the pain, but they don't go away.  I'm doing exercises to strengthen the muscle, but I know that will take time (if that's even the issue).

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.


5 Miles 2 Empty said...

hm...I hope it isn't stress fractures in which case all you need is time...time off your feet. I know, them's fightn words. =(

Good luck! No fun at all...i'm still saying get you some CEP compression socks, that has helped mine somewhat BUT they weren't as bad as yours.

JohnP said...

been there done that.

What worked for me:

1. shorten up your stride/higher cadence, dont heel strike.

2. a combinaiton of slow down and too long too soon. overdoing it is common, its most likely because of this. back RIGHT off immediately.

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

Amanda, those ARE fightin' words! Don't make me come down there.

Jonh, I'll try the shorter stride tomorrow. And I'm trying to be hopeful that it's not too much too soon, but I have a hunch it is (damn body can't keep up with me).

Chelsea said...

By tomorrow you mean when your shins splints are completely gone right? ;-) Sorry to hear they are back in full effect. One way they probably won't get better, considering they are a chronic problem, is by running on them. (Sigh) I COMPLETELY understand you not wanting to take time off from running, but here's your silver lining: More time in the pool! Hooray!!! And yes, I realize what a hypocrite I am...

Kristin said...

You are on the right track. Are you a heel sticker when you run?/ If you are you are putting major stress on the tibia. Making sure you are planting your forfoot down first will eliminate some of the stress to the lower leg. How about running fast every time you are out there?? Have you done long slow endurance runs too?? Have you ever tried compression socks?? I use them with every long run. Also Tight calves tend to strain the leg as well because it isn't as flexible. Hope these help!!

Richelle said...

The only thing that helped my shin splints was taking time off, and then only running every other day when I started running again. I hope you find something that works for you!

Julia said...

Things that helped me:
Changed shoes
started wearing compression socks to sleep and also on long runs
foam rolled and stretched shins and calves
stuck to short distance running for a while
tried to run on trails as much as possible.

I think the first two things helped the most. Amazing what a difference shoes made! Good luck