Hello, shin splints. Are you telling me it’s time to buy new running shoes?

Stretching does a body good, especially if said body is injury-prone.

I’ve picked a hell of a goal race for coming back from my latest injury — a half marathon in Chicago at the end of January.

To be clear, I’m excited about it. So much so that I’m a race ambassador for this year’s F^3 Half Marathon (and 5k)!

But I’m worried I’m on a path to hurting myself if I’m not careful.

I was given the all-clear to strategically ease back into running in late August, and finally was able to run 3 miles without stopping a couple of weeks before CARA’s Winter Half Marathon Training program started on Nov. 12.

Our first long run was four miles, and this week’s was five. I’ve been careful not to up my weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from the previous week, as is the standard, in order to safely add miles.

But ever since my Hot Chocolate 5K ankle incident, I’ve been getting shin splint-like symptoms for the first two miles of any run… and then (like that!) it goes away.

I figured it was that my shoes were too tight (I laced those bad boys up so tight after my ankle kind of rolled to prevent swelling). Then I figured I wasn’t warming up enough before training runs (I usually walk for five minutes, then I run slower than normal for about a half mile). Then I figured I wasn’t stretching enough (I’ve started foam rolling my shins).

As noted in this post’s photo above, I’ve really tried to take a lot of time to properly stretch after running. But still I continue to have this shin splint feeling for the first couple of miles into my runs.

As such, I’m now thinking that maybe my shoes are toast (they probably have about 350 miles on them). And, as an article on about.com says, “As your shoes begin to give out, you may begin to get some aches or pains in your bones and joints. You may also notice slight muscle fatigue, new tightness, or possible shin splints.”

So I’ll keep stretching. I’ll keeping being careful about weekly mileage increases. And apparently, I’ll head to my nearest running shoe store.

(Race ambassador note: If you’re registered for this year’s F^3 Half Marathon and 5K, you can get discounts on merchandise when you pick up your packet at Universal Sole. You’ll also get the typical coupon in your goody bag at packet pick-up. If you’re a CARA member, you’ll get 10% discount on merchandise now through the race. If you’re not registered, do it now. Wink.)

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Filed under F*cking Freezing Frozen Lake Half Marathon, Injuries, Races, shin splints, Shoes, Time to replace

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