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A Runner’s Diary: Preparing for the NYC Half Marathon

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It’s been six long weeks of suffering through shin splints. I still can’t believe how painful it has been. During this time period, I have not even been able to run a block. All I’ve been doing is some weight training, elliptical and spin. But what I’ve really been doing is shopping! Even if I could hardly walk, I trolled the racks at TJ Maxx and Marshalls to find bargains for running attire and actually found some amazing deals, So, I was happy I had the opportunity to use my extra time to spend a little money on running gear.

One item I bought online was The Stick, a device that helps massage your shins and calves. It actually worked pretty well. I was introduced to it in Disney at their expo. The Stick people had a big booth there and one of the sales people let me try it out.

I also purchased Kinesio tape. I’ve seen athletes at the gym wearing the tape and I’ve seen athletes at the Olympics wearing it too. I figured I would try it out. It worked well with my compression sleeves, so I wore both for weeks at a time.

This past weekend, I finally felt better. I don’t know if it was the new products I purchased or the time off, but I couldn’t believe how easy it was to walk up and down the stairs again without feeling pain. I knew that since the NYC Half Marathon was only eight weeks away, I needed to get a schedule together, so I searched on the Internet and found several different programs.

Some of the programs kept to short runs throughout the training, while others encouraged the runner to run long runs. I’m going to try a combination of both in order to be injury-free.

I ran yesterday on the treadmill for the first time since the nine-mile long run in Central Park and it felt good. I ran two miles and definitely felt pain in my leg, but ran through it.

After the run, I iced, stretched and took Naproxen. I also took out The Stick and used it on my leg. I felt a little uncomfortable, but also felt satisfied with myself that I was able to run the two miles after such a long stretch of time not running.

Interestingly, the charity that I am running the NYC Half Marathon for, Team for Kids, which helps combat obesity and offers running programs for inner city children, offered me a coach and various seminars to take prior to the race. Some of the seminars include: core training, wearing the right gear, and preparing for the Half Marathon and more.

I just downloaded the NYC Half Marathon Course Map and am literally scared. The toughest part of the run will be around Central Park. After that, the run goes to 42nd Street and cuts across to the West Side. From there, runners go all the way down to Battery Park. Even though I’m nervous, I know this is going to be amazing. I’m looking forward to the views and the journey.

The only thing is, I have to run faster than 13 minutes a mile. I know I can do it. It’s just a long run. So hopefully with the training, I’ll be able to complete this Half Marathon and put this one under my belt for good.

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About Hilary Topper