It’s 2 weeks to race day and I have battled a week of sheer frustration. It started about 2 weeks ago. We were on a run and I began feeling a faint bit of anger in my leg as we went along. I was hoping it would be like other instances I’ve had of shin splints, where sometimes just running it out makes the world of difference. But this wasn’t so simple.
This pain has stayed and as we keep training, is becoming a persistent nag in my lower leg and ankle. I have cared for it with icing, elevation, epson salt baths, stretches, you name it. Give me something that you once heard might help shin splints and I will try ANYTHING at this point.
The kicker was this past Saturday. I had put on a compression ankle hold on my left foot which in some ways made it feel a ton better, but as we went along I could tell my right leg was taking the brunt of the run and started feeling the impact on that side as well. By the time we hit 17k, my running partner was well ahead and I just wanted it to be over. By the time I got to the end of the 18km, I asked her to look the other way and bawled like a little girl. Since then I have taken a break from running and have even given in to trying acupuncture for the first time. Good friends have suggested new shoes, others have suggested taping..I will try it all. I just want it to feel better.
I have done other training in the meantime, (swimming and biking throughout this week) but am cautiously planning on trying a run this evening. The weekend also brings a 21k practice run and I feel as nervous as a pre-teen at her first dance.
I’m really trying to focus on the positive belief that I will be ok but have had a few warning conversations from a number of friends/family about not pushing it. That you have to be careful at this point and straining it could cause much worse damage.
I hear that. But I also have an incredibly hard time giving up on something that I have been working towards. We even have a standing joke in our family that the “Powells aren’t quitters”! (Sidenote: This is something my husband actually said to me in the delivery room as I was in labour and about to go in for an Emergency C-Section and yes, I am still married to him…)
It’s true though. We don’t quit and really like to show examples of finishing what we started to our kids. I keep looking at running as a metaphor of what we are going through in working with Autism. Even though you come up to a wall, you have to keep going. If we don’t keep going, who’s going to advocate for my child? I am fighting through this with a determination I haven’t had in the past but I’m not stupid. If it gets too much, I will defer the race but I can’t help looking at so many people who overcome far greater obstacles and think “who am I to cry about a wimpy shin splint”?
If you ever want to feel truly motivated and inspired by what people can overcome…watch this clip of Team Hoyt. (Get the tissue)