Variation In Exercise Program – The Road To Healing

Another month is quickly rolling by and I find myself still in physical therapy 3 days a week. I had done zero running in over 4 weeks but last week I decided to try a little bit again anyways. I have not yet been released by my physical therapist to do so but I needed to see how the healing process is coming.  Surprisingly it went fairly well and I didn’t seem to do any extra damage to anything while doing so in that I didn’t pick up any new swelling and the pain while running was fairly minimal.

On Thursday I went out for a very slow 3.3 miles. I wanted to be sure not to do any damage so I kept the pace to just over 10 minutes miles and ran for about 35 minutes. My shin felt quite good after the run. Saturday was supposed to be a biking day but it was raining so I once again decided to break the rules and run. I ran for 4 miles and again kept the pace very slow and ran for about 42 minutes. My shin felt pretty good after the run but I iced when I got back after a good bout of stretching and doing my therapy exercises.

All in all, healing my shin splint problem has been an extremely and agonizingly slow process but I believe I am finally on the way. Following the PT advice and not running at all seems to be the key to healing at this point and even though I broke the rules last week, I need to continue to vary my exercise program augmenting heavily with the exercises they give me and biking for at least the next two weeks to finish this process.

I found that when I ran last weekend that my body seems to cause me to do something strange when I run. I think this comes from running in rather severe pain for so many months but it’s almost as if my body goes into a “protective” mode when I run. What I mean by that, is I noticed that my gait is a bit strange at times if I’m not paying attention in that I seem to plant my right foot in a way that is protective of my shin. This is going to take some time to break I’m sure as it almost has become a habit now.

Good form running is something learned and now I have to relearn how to do that once I start regularly running again to prevent injury. I have never had a running coach but it may be time to find one if I find that I keep running with the protective gait I’ve picked up as that will lead to additional injuries I’m sure if I’m not careful.

Next month I return to the doctor for my quarterly visit and update for all my of cholesterol and diabetic testing to see how I’m doing. I know I have gained about 8 pounds since not being able to run which I will need to keep an eye on as well.  With that, it’s time to head off for another day and enjoy some of this beautiful fall weather that has set into Michigan at this time. Have a great one and as always the old you can be left behind just “one pound ago”!

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