Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Wrist-Slashing Despair of the Long Distance Runner

I am currently in the midst of the longest period of down time from running since the mists of early 2006, when it went from an occasional thing to a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad daily obsession. I have been down because this last round of shin splints steadfastly refuses to go away, its persistence helped in no small measure by my extremely wise decision, last Saturday, to put in a very long run before the shin was really ready for it, followed by a moderately long run last Monday, for which the shin was even less ready.

Trying to learn from my own stupidity, I have not run a single mile for six solid days, and it only compounds the despair that these days have seen some of the most alluring and lovely running weather imaginable. Nor does it increase the fun to note that over and above the shin splint -- quite literally -- I am nursing a nasty-looking and painful ice burn on the bad calf from the super-duper-cold ice pack I applied along the way.

no need to thank me for illustrating this one

I would welcome any sage advice from runners (or similar fools for sport) out there. While I am riding the stationary bike in lieu of running, and while I've put in a little time on the elliptical machine -- a few notches short of manly as these things go, but more running-ish than cycling and just as shin-splint-friendly -- I still can't shake the fear that my 'running shape' is circling the drain. And just in time for what should be the height of my training for a certain marathon coming in April, which is considered something of a big deal.


Laura said...

Wow, Dale, that does not look good! Whenever possible, keep the leg elevated. You're still have a long way to go! Save your legs.

Dale said...

Thanks, Laura. It's not as painful as it looks. The underlying shin splint doesn't even hurt that much, I just wish it would go away so I can run again.