I think the idea of having a blog has always appealed to me but I held back for a variety of reasons. One being I always felt that it was somehow a little self indulgent to write about yourself and expect other people to be in the slightest bit interested. Secondly, there wasn’t anything that I felt passionately enough about to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard about. What the last 12 months has shown me is that actually, running is something that has really captured my imagination and has become an increasingly important part of my life.
Whilst it may very well be a little self indulgent I am comfortable with this now. I think this might be a good way to record what I manage to achieve through running (however big or small these achievements may seem to others) to have a record of what it means to me and the effort that I put into get there. This is mainly due to the challenges I have had battling shin splints (hence the title of this blog) and how this has affected my running and also, how it has affected my overall well being. I now have a better understanding that these 2 things are inextricably linked.
So, if you too have been struck down by this frustrating and mysterious injury (I mean really……who injures their shins????) then you will know how annoying it can be, particularly when the best treatment is often to not run……the exact opposite of what you really want to do. To those of you wouldn’t know a shin splint if you bumped into it, then firstly count yourself lucky, and secondly I hope there is something in this that you might be able to take away too. If not then it’s not a problem…..this is for me first and foremost anyway.
I am by no means a particularly good runner….yet…..I’ve tried a couple of times to get more active and run. I did a half marathon in Budapest in 2008 and was horribly unfit and unprepared for what I was attempting. This was when I discovered the “joys” of shin pain. I gave up relatively quickly after this as the pain got so bad I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without being in agony. I tried again at the end of 2014 and slowly but surely improved my fitness to the point I could manage a 10K. I even got cocky enough to join Warrington Running Club 😀. However, after only 3 sessions with the club I was again struck down with shin splints. I probably spent the next 6 months being miserable about my running and my injuries. It seemed just as I got to the point where my fitness was improving and I was beginning to enjoy it, the shin pain would flare up again.
I was encouraged by people at the club to enter the English Half Marathon in September of 2015, which I did. I wasn’t able to train as much as I wanted to because of the shins but managed to drag myself round in 2hrs 8 mins and 8 seconds. I think this was when I decided I wanted to persevere and keep running. Shin pain blighted me for the next couple of months and really limited my ability to run with Warrington Running Club (WRC) which I had joined specifically for the encouragement and to build new running friendships and I was in a really negative place. That’s when I gave myself a talking to and signed up with a personal trainer too….at least that way I could shift a bit of weight, even if I wasn’t going to be the next Mo Farah. I also had a trip to London for a detailed gait analysis to have my “technique” critiqued.
So that is my story so far. There’s a lot more I could have written but this is about moving forward now and not looking back. I’ve plenty to be going at with my exercise programme, hip and foot strengthening exercises in particular and my once a week running plan in the lead up to the Silverstone Half Marathon on the 13th of March. Hopefully what I share in the future will be of some interest to someone, even if that is just me 😀