I'm in the final countdown to the Boston Marathon. I have put in the mileage. Balancing hills, interval runs, long mileage days, and rest days. My body has been physically exhausted, but I am in the best shape of my life. For the first time, about a month ago, I admitted that I have a chance at a career PR at Boston-which is a very challenging course. I was excited. Things have changed since then. It may no longer be about a PR but about simply finishing. Sometimes that's all you can do. But I know that my God heals, and so I hold on to hope.
I made a large error. I know better. I have been running in a pair of shoes since October (average 50-60 miles per week, you do the math). Too many miles on a pair of shoes. The Asics Gel Nimbus received the abuse. It's a heavier shoe, but boy is it comfortable. I finally decided to migrate to a lighter shoe (only about an ounce difference), thinking I might feel faster ;). I went to Run n Fun, and they suggested the Asics Gel Cumulus. It is basically the same shoe, with a little less cush. I ran one run in them, and decided I didn't like them as much as my other pair. Rather than going back to Run n Fun and getting a new pair of the Gel Nimbus, I decided to go back to running in my old pair of Gel Nimbus. For a short run, I may have gotten away with it, but not for a 22 miler. I have been struggling with pain in my shin for about two weeks now.
I have been doing everything I know to do for what I thought was shin splints (with the exception of not running) which will happen after the marathon. I have been icing, compressing, elevating, foam rolling, using The Stick, and using a golf ball for more direct self-myofascial release. Nothing was working. I have been numbing the pain with ibuprofen to get through runs. I took Saturday and Sunday off completely to run. I did my last long run (16 miles) on Monday morning. Everything felt difficult. My stride felt off (from over compensating), my breathing felt heavy (the mechanics of my running were off, thus tiring other muscles that aren't used to working as hard), and my calves started tightening up. Physically, my body felt beat up after the run. Mentally, I felt defeated and disappointed after all the work I've put in.
I got up and went to Lifetime to run today. I ended up simply showering and getting ready for work--completely skipping the workout. Yep, that much pain. When you go to the gym, simply to shower and get ready, you know you've reached the end of your rope. Today I finally went in to the chiropractor to see if their was anything that could be done. Whether chiropractic care or progressive rehab massage. After assessing the situation, he said he doesn't think it's actually shin splints as much as it is calf strain, wrapping around to the front. I think that's good news, as that can heal faster than shin splints. He adjusted my ankle, did some excruciatingly painful myofascial release with a fancy doctor tool, and taped my calf with hot pink ROCK tape (http://rocktape.com/). For any nerdy readers of mine that care to know what it does, it lifts and supports the muscle, and encourages increased blood flow to the injured area. I go in for another appointment on Friday. I was excited because today was the first day I was able to walk around and not feel the pain while walking!!!
Here's a picture of the tape job. The Rock website actually has instruction on how to properly tape, based on injury.
Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I will take courage, face the option of failure, and try again. But I have hope.
"All our troubles and all our tears God our hope has overcome. All our failure and all our fear, God has overcome. All our heartache and all our pain. God our healer, He has overcome.
So take heart, let His love lead us through the night. Hold onto hope, and take courage again."