Monday, June 4, 2007

I got cut loose

I had my final PT appointment today. I didn't know it was going to be my final appointment but my PT decided I had recovered enough to make a go of it on my own. My goal for the last few summers, and especially with this round of PT, has been to get rid of the shin splints for good, but it's become apparent that I will probably always suffer with them. My goal now is to simply try to manage them.

This means:
- no more running on pavement or paved trails
- walking for at least 5 minutes before running and doing my first mile at a grandma-like pace
- walking for at least 5 minutes after running and stretching my calves
- icing for *at least* 2 hours after running
- doing shin massage after running
- using the slant board to keep my calves stretched at least 3 times/week
- doing my PT exercises to strengthen a weak gluteus medial muscle
- cross training on my bicycle
- doing toe-taps and shin stretches several times/day

What's the deal with my shins, anyway? Well, as the PT explained it, I have a whole lot of muscle in not a lot of space. When I run, the muscles expand and, since there's nowhere for them to go, they get constricted which causing the feeling of tightness and burning. The great news is that I'm not experiencing any pain during my runs, only after. I guess it's not even all that painful. On a scale of one to ten, I'd say it's probably a one. Nothing more than a low-grade headache, really.

So that's it. I'm going to continue with my training and exercises and try not to loose my mind constantly running the Houghton to Chassell trail.


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