I've been plagued by shin splints off and on for the past year. If you've ever had them, then you know just how much they suck. They are sneaky little bastards, they really are. One day you feel just fine and dandy and the next day you can hardly take a step without splitting pains in your shins. The following is historical account of my shin splints:
Day 1- Ouch. My shins are really aching. I wonder what's up. Do I have shin splints?
Day 2- Ouch. My shins still really hurt, but its a dull sort of ache...maybe I can just run through it. Yep, I'm just going to run through it. I'm tough. I can take it.
Day 3- Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. The dull pain is no longer dull. Now the pain feels like little knives stabbing my shins every time my foot hits the ground.
Day 4- Ouch. It hurts to walk. This sucks. I guess I'll have to take a few days off from running.
Day 6- Break
Day 7- Break
Day 8- Hmmm...My shins are still aching, but only just a little. I think I can run through it. I'm tough. I can take it.
And basically that's it. Throughout this vicious cycle, I also tried all the other stuff like icing, ibuprofen, stretching, strength training exercises for the calves and shin areas, and rest periods for much longer than 3 days. But alas, nothing seemed to work.
Finally, I decided that it was time to up the exercises. I also got new shoes and I've been trying my best to stay off the concrete and asphalt if at all possible. And guess what? I think that maybe, just maybe, all of that is starting to pay off!! I experienced some pain during a 5k on Saturday morning, but an easy run after the race, a second race on Sunday (race reports to come) and this morning's run went great! No pain at all! It was awesome. I just hope it continues.
Last week, I made an appointment for this morning with my doctor to have some x-rays made. I wanted to be sure I didn't have hairline fractures in my shins...and I don't. So that is super good news and I'm pumped!
Something else I'm looking into are calf compression sleeves. Has anyone used these? Do they work? I'm going to take every step possible to prevent because hard-core April training mode is just around the corner!