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A Runner’s Diary: Shin Splints – Ouch!

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My shins have been bothering me a little bit when I touch them or when I walk, but nothing like the way I’ve been feeling. My right leg has throbbing pain that radiates up and down my entire leg.

When did this happen? Last Sunday, I ran nine miles with Marti Dipaola. Two days later, I ran three miles on the treadmill at the gym. During the first two miles on the nine-mile run, I was hurting, but I ran through it. When I ran the three miles at the gym, I was in so much pain. I could barely run. After that, I stopped. I figured the pain would subside and then would go for a run again. Instead, it just kept hurting.

I called up my orthopedist on Friday to get an appointment. He couldn’t take me until Monday. I made the appointment and waited. In the meantime, I posted a query on Facebook to my Facebook friends regarding shin splints asking them what to do. The obvious answer was RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Some people said that I should stretch, while others said I should walk it off. There was one person who told me to wrap my legs before training and make sure to ice them often. Another person said that rest is the only way to get rid of the pain. Marti, who is also my Facebook friend, said that I should drink a half bottle of Merlot. Funny, huh?

For the most part, the people who had advice for me were talking more about preventative care as opposed to care after the injury occurred. Some of the preventative measures included:

• Stretching
• Walking backward

• Take Glucosamine
• Walking forward

Unfortunately for me, it’s a little too late. So when I went to the doctor today, he told me to stop running for at least a month. However, since the Disney Marathon is only four weeks away, that can’t be the case. I have two races left–the Jingle Bell race on Saturday in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and then a 15K in Central Park the following weekend. I decided I won’t run before or after these two races but will cross train. The doctor recommended the bicycle and swimming. “The elliptical may hurt you,” he said.

I actually tried the elliptical at the gym a few days ago, and my leg was absolutely burning from it. That indicates that he is right.

So what now? I’m not going to get depressed. I’m going to run this half marathon in Disney no matter what! In the meantime, I’ll continue working with my trainer and cross train. And of course, I’ll take anti-inflammatory medication and follow RICE.

“Don’t worry Hilary,” said my running partner. “Every time you train there’s always something. It’s never easy. …”


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About Hilary Topper

  • Lily Zajc

    Hilary, I feel your pain! Especially because of your upcoming races! Today, after having a great spin workout in the morning, I just got up from my chair to to let the dog out, and felt a searing pain in the center of my knee…not good, since I planned on cardio at the gym tomorrow. I will do what I’ve been doing thus far, try and ignore it. But practically for you, there are sports medicine docs who specialize in working with you through your injuries, understanding that you need to continue to train. I’m not sure if that’s an option for you, but good luck and hope you heal quickly!

  • Hilary Topper

    Thank you Lily! I appreciate your support!