Guuuuuuurl, my shins are sore. Running is hard.
I’ve always had weakling pathetic shins and have suffered from shin splints before. But ever since I got over them last time I’ve been spouting my cures to anybody who’ll listen.
Well, now is the time to prove my advice works I guess because they’ve come back with a motherfucking vengeance since I started running again.
I told you in my last post that I won an amazing coaching programme with Love My Sport to train for the Manawatu Half Marathon at the end of May.
I have genuinely been so excited to start this running programme, and so I nailed the first week… but then trailed off during the second because of the shin thing.
I kind of expected it tbh, but I’m feeling positive. I still got dis. I believe in me.
Here’s my training diary for the first two weeks:
We started the week with an hour of stretching. Who does a whole hour of stretching? I can barely even be bothered holding one stretch for the whole 30 seconds.
But I’m a stellar student, so I did what I was told. It was actually rather pleasant, especially seeing as I got so excited I decided to run on Sunday – the day before my programme started.
There’s a ginormous list of stretches to get through, including upper body and a lot for my back and legs. Also, if I had time, which I barely did, then I had to chuck in a few bodyweight squats, lunges, calf raises, planks and other similar stuff.
My favourite one on the list is to work on proprioception (balance). You stand on one foot and then close your eyes. I basically fall over immediately.
By ‘favourite one’ I pretty much mean my arch nemesis of exercises.
Today was an ‘easy’ 30 minute run and a 1-hour lifting session (because girl don’t wanna lose her gains k).
At this point in time I wouldn’t really say running for 30 minutes is all that easy so god help me if there’s going to be runs not classified as ‘easy’ in the future.
I am happy with myself though because I did it and that’s two runs, only a day apart. I am a magnificent land mermaid.
However, today is the day that my shin splints decided to make their unwelcome return.
Track session day. I actually did one of these sessions last week as well but this one was much harder.
This is a session with coach Chris and a few others under his watch at the local athletics track.
What an absolute fraud I feel like running around an actual athletics track where actual athletes train and actually run further than 500 metres without wanting to spew up a lung. But oh my the track is so squishy and the grass so lush.
We do all sorts of fancy things that I barely understand the reasons for. Skipping and waving our arms about and jumping around and running backwards and forwards.
The main focus is what Chris calls ‘positive running’ – where you’re up on the front of your feet and feeling bouncy and light.
Because apparently running on your heels or with flat feet is naughty naughty.
We did some barefeet running on the grass as well, which was a delight. It turns out it’s almost impossible to run with flat feet or heel strike when you’re not wearing shoes.
Today I did a 1-hour lifting session and my programme said ‘optional’ 30 minute run.
I took the ‘optional’ seriously and decided not to push my shins too much in this first week because there’s still two runs left this week.
DAY OFF ALERT! Yussss. I did absolutely nothing today (apart from like breathe and eat and work and eat again) and I went to bed super early and slept like a sweet angel.
This weekend was always gonna be tough with a run today and on Sunday. I did 30 minutes and my shins absolutely HATE me. So so so so sore.
Sweet jesus somebody throw me off a bridge please. Today was ‘long run’ day, which meant running for one hour. Excuse my negative nelly thinking but I knew it wasn’t going to go well before I even started because of the burning fire of one thousand hells in my shins. It became very much a run/walk situation. I bumped into coach Chris while out there and thought ‘oh thank GOD someone to complain to’. But he basically gave me the most positive pep talk ever and I ran all the way home.
Monday’s session was all about injury prevention. How ironic then that I couldn’t get through the whole thing because of shinjury (see what I did there?).
Although Chris tells me it’s not an injury or a stress fracture or something terrible, but just that I need to build the strength in my shins and get them used to the impact of running.
The session today was a bunch of jumping and shuttles and balancing. I tried my hardest but it felt like my shins were going to explode so I quit like a Quitty McQuitter halfway through.
Today was supposed to be an easy run, but there was just no way I could do it with this much pain so I didn’t go.
Wednesday was a wonderful workshop where Chris talked to us about all things running and ‘being a runner’.
He talked about your invisible ‘toolbox’, which is the ideas and tools you can use to be a runner. Things like consistency, running smart and injury-free, adaptability, making running fun, being determined and patient. All of the things that you need physically or mentally to make running an easy and natural part of your life.
I found it so interesting to hear the personal stories from Chris and his own life, as someone who literally runs for a living. He certainly made the whole thing sound easy.
But forget all that serious stuff, the most important thing I took from this workshop is that I need to go shopping and buy lots of cool clothes and like 10 pairs of running shoes. Joking. Sort of.
Not gonna lie, the rest of the week was a complete write-off because I was out of town for a family wedding. But I think the break was helpful for my shinnys.
Bring on week 3!