After a fairly successful run on Monday, I went to sleep Monday night full of hope and excited for Tuesday's seven miles. However, I had some pain when I woke up on Tuesday, and I wasn't confident enough to hit the road just yet. I headed back to the gym and started up the treadmill, and almost immediately, I was in pain again.
I managed to keep myself going through an entire mile for a couple reasons. For one thing, I wanted to have a nice round number that I could be proud of. For another, there was someone else in the gym, and I didn't want him to think that I'd just run too quickly and couldn't finish even a mile. Finally, I was hoping that it would get better with time, and I was very unhappy to discover that it did not.
After completing the mile, still in a pretty good time, I took a second and thought about what to do. Clearly, I'd overrun myself once again, and would not be able to finish seven miles. However, I was already at the gym, and I didn't want to waste that time, so I decided to do some strength training, using the run as a warm-up. I felt very frustrated about my inability to do the miles that I needed, but I used the frustration to push myself harder on a core and arm workout, including dumbbell bench presses, shoulder presses, lat extensions, push-ups, curls, and sit-ups.
At the end of all of it, I got back on the treadmill for a half mile cool down, and couldn't run the whole thing. It was very disappointing.
So, now I'm back where I was a couple weeks ago, and all I've really done is waste a couple weeks. Hopefully, if I start going more slowly on my training runs, I can build up the muscles around the injured site without straining them.
You see, I've been reading Runner's World these days, and in the injury-prevention issue, everything I'm reading sounds like I've got shin splints. Dad gave me some stretches, but the pain has been there anyway, despite the fact that I've stretched it out. The only real treatments are rest, which I've already done, and decreasing the intensity of the workouts. I don't want to back off on the miles too much, considering that I've got a marathon to run in less than three months, but at least I've got to slow myself down. Just until the pain goes away.
It is certainly not going to be easy. I feel great for the first two miles of most runs, which makes me want to pick up the speed, but in doing this, I doom the second half of the run. So, for next week, I'm going to try and slow myself up, but continue to run.
I just wish that the whole thing would go away. It is almost impossible to force myself out onto the road when I don't enjoy the run. Perhaps I've got to find some new running paths. Doing the same thing over and over again takes a lot of the fun out of the workout, so I've got to mix it up as much as I can. Getting an Iron Man would make this a little easier, as I wouldn't have to plan out the course ahead of time, but that's four or five big purchases down the line.
In the meantime, I want to run. I need to run. And if I can just get myself out there, maybe I can make the whole thing better.
If I can just get myself out there.