Remember when you were little and you really wanted that new toy, the one that looked so cool in the commercial and you HAD TO HAVE IT, but your mom or dad said “No, you need to wait until Christmas and ask Santa for it.”? And then you realized that Christmas was a million years away (or several months)? Waiting is no fun. For anyone that’s been injured, realizing that you are hurt and need to stop what you are doing (running in my case) and take a break is so hard. Resting and taking time off from something you enjoy doing and need to be doing (so your body doesn’t fall apart when you attempt 26.2 miles) is overwhelming and frustrating.
I’ve dealt with horrible shin splints before, but this time was especially hard because I knew I needed to be training. I ended up having to go almost 2.5 weeks no running, which felt like an eternity when I knew the marathon was less than 3 months away. I’ve read so much about recovering and coming back from injury, and wanted to share a few things that helped my shins so much and got me back into training.
1. Icing–I have two ice packs that velcro around my legs (from CVS) that I try to use EVERY NIGHT. I’ve tried to make it a part of my routine, get ice packs, get dessert, sit in front of TV and multitask.
2. Foam roller–I can’t remember when I didn’t have my foam roller. If you don’t have one and you like to exercise, stop reading right now and order one-like this one. Oh, and I recently discovered you can foam roll your shins. And it feels so good.
3. Stretching–I TRY to take a few minutes every day, either just after a workout or at night before bed, and really stretch. Quads, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, back. SO IMPORTANT and can prevent injury (or so I think/have read/have heard).
Being on break this week has allowed me to really focus on recovery and getting back into running. I am very impatient but have learned that you can’t rush your body. Getting back into running or whatever activity you do before you are ready will only lead to more injury and more time off. Cope however you need to-substitute activity, candy/ice cream binges, Bachelor viewings (I didn’t do any of that), and just wait it out. I waited until this week, and what started out as baby steps on the treadmill turned into a full interval workout yesterday. Fingers crossed the weather cooperates and I successfully run 10 miles Saturday!! Snow, please hold off until I am finished with the run.
Thank goodness I didn’t have to wait until Christmas and ask Santa for healed shins. Happy Almost Weekend!