25K Training – Week 12 – Shin Splints and Cold Weather

I’ve lived in Michigan all of my life and it still never ceases to amaze me just how quickly the weather can change around here. Last week Saturday, at 8 AM in the morning we were running in 60+ degrees and by the time we finished it was in the 70’s.  This morning we started our run at just above 32 degrees and it was in the 40’s when we finished, although I must admit that I would much rather run in the temperatures we had today than last week!

This week we saw a lot rain (over 3 inches between Tue./Wed.) and that made for interesting running conditions with the temps running for highs in the 40’s each day and even snow flurries on Wednesday! The winds were gusting above 30 MPH two of those days which makes route planning a must unless you really enjoy running into the wind.

Last weeks 12 miler felt pretty good but it left me for some reason with some rather severe shin pain that stayed with me through Thursdays 7.5 miler. I hadn’t fought with severe shin splints for a number of weeks and I’m not positive why they returned this week with a vengeance, but they did!  On Tuesday I iced them for about an hour to reduce the throbbing and reacquainted myself with my good friend Ibuprofen for a couple of days.

On Thursday I cut my pace way back and that seemed to help and then I took Friday off before making today’s run and so far so good. My calves have the normal pain I usually feel but my shins, though sore, at least aren’t throbbing at this point. I guess I’ll take tomorrow off or maybe just go for a bike ride. No wait! Golf! I can’t believe I haven’t already done that. Tomorrow will be golf with my best friend and wife as my off day!

Today I decided to practice using GU during my run. I took the usual 6 bottles of water in my Fuel Belt along for today’s run and the usual Black Cherry Shot Bloks.  I also brought along a Chocolate GU gel pack. Someone told me that you should practice eating these products while running and I will say it’s a good idea to see how they react with your stomach while on a long run.

I seem to have a pretty good tolerance for all of the stuff I’ve tried so far, although I wouldn’t want to ingest the stuff without some water to help wash things down. I will say at least for me, the GU gel packs are the easiest for me to eat while I’m running, but I still like the extra caffeine boost I get from the Shot Bloks too,  They don’t taste quite as good and some people complain about the hardness of them but I haven’t found that to be the case for me at all.

I also decided to take the orthopedic inserts out of my shoes for my last two runs. Not understanding what is causing the recurrence of my shin pain, I decided to give this a try. I didn’t feel uncomfortable or sore after today’s run so I think I’ll continue to run without them for a while and see how it goes.

With that being said, today is going to be beautiful with sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s by early afternoon. I just love springtime! I hope someone out there is getting inspired with this journey to start on their own weight loss or exercise program and start getting yourself in shape today! I actually got asked by a co-worker this week to be their “accountability buddy” with their own exercise regimen. Go figure! This for the guy who weighed 280 lbs. just 2 years ago. It is possible and you need to start today if you haven’t already. You can do this! Leave the overweight and out of shape you behind just “one pound ago”!

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