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May 18, 2005

There is this side of me that wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and fly the whole mess into the sea

I'd heard about them; every runner has heard about them. I knew they were something to worry about. But it wasn't really until this past weekend that the evil pain of shin splints decided to visit my very own legs. Fuck.

This month I started taking harder swing dance classes; on Thursdays, I've got three hours in a row. The first night, May 5th, was hard, and the next morning I definitely felt like my knees were trashed, but we'd learned this crazy step called "shorty George" that specifically trashes your knees. The second night, the 12th, wasn't as hard on my legs, and I ran three miles the next morning without too much difficulty. That night we went out dancing for about three hours, though, and we danced pretty much the whole time -- when we weren't "social dancing" we were practicing some steps I'd been having trouble with, and by the end of the night my legs were exhausted.

Saturday morning I skipped running so that we could walk to the greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza. This is a pretty good walk, through Prospect Park, a couple of miles, at least, and noticed my legs were tired, but, you know. I ran three miles Friday morning and danced three hours Friday night -- it was understandable, right? Then Sunday morning, I had a crappy workout. I didn't want to go, then I didn't have much time to run, then I didn't feel great when I was running, and my legs felt twinge-y and weird: the beginning of the problem.

Monday and Tuesday I noticed my legs feeling kind of achy, and I tried to stretch them when I had opportunities, but I also wasn't doing anything too hard to them. Then Tuesday night I went to swing dance practice, and yep, my shins were hurting. Definitely. Then this morning, I ran a mile, and they just felt shitty. I got off the treadmill and used the elliptical machine instead, and felt all fretful.

Argh! I know there are stretches and exercises and things to do to help with this, but I am feeling very frustrated! I really love swing dancing, and I really love running, and it didn't occur to me that they might not mix well with each other! In the short term, I will try not to panic, and I'll try some stretches and ice packs and whatnot. Historically, I'm bad at not fretting, though.

Posted by Rose at May 18, 2005 05:49 PM


Hi Rose! Just wanted to drop in and say hello because I was doing some spinning and I thought of you. (I took your drop spindle class about a month or two ago). I'm so sorry to hear about your shin splints! I had the same problem last year (hooray for icepacks) but this year I'm back in the marathon lottery and I'm going to give it another try. Maybe I'll see you at one of the NYRR races!

Posted by: Beth at May 19, 2005 09:33 AM

You have to do the toe raises. Put your heels on a block, put some weight on your toes, and pull your feet upwards. It will strengthen the muscles on the front of your lower legs.

Posted by: Alexa at May 26, 2005 05:25 PM