Not as anticipated…

Thursday, July 30, 2015

One of the major factors in my deciding to drop at Western this year was the thought that I would avoid the 2 months of painful and frustrating recovery I dealt with last year. However, this shin issue just won’t go away. I’ve started running twice, both times after taking at least a week off, only to have the pain come back after 2-3 runs. So instead of last year where I kept pushing my body to do something it clearly didn’t want, I’m backing off even more. I’m going to take as much time as this thing needs to get itself sorted out. I’m rather frustrated, as I’m missing all this lovely summer daylight running, but at least I don’t have any races on the calendar (officially) until TNF50 in December. I had been toying with the idea of jumping into the Headlands 50k on Aug. 29 as a long run, but that doesn’t seem prudent right now. However, that may change depending on how this thing resolves.

In the meantime, I’m getting familiar with the paved and dirt roads around Tam on two wheels. I’m getting some ultrasound done today to see if they can spot anything in particular, but other than that, it’ll just be PT a couple times per week in effort to get this thing to work itself out. On the up side, the couple of runs I’ve been on have been lovely. I’ve gotten to run with Rachelle which doesn’t happen too often when I’m training and I was feeling good enough to participate in the Widowmaker run last weekend. Despite the shin feeling solid during that, it got sore again on Sunday night and forced my hand to take a larger chunk of time off.

View from a run with Rachelle. On danse sur le pont.

View from a run with Rachelle. On danse sur le pont.

Look at all these people I found at the summit of Tam!

Look at all these people I found at the summit of Tam!

For those unfamiliar with the shin issue, it first cropped up in the couple of days before the World Championships in Annecy. It was just shin tightness and it didn’t bug me at all during the race itself. I would have taken more down time afterwards, but just 2 weeks after Annecy was The Dipsea. So instead of healing, I was just trying to get it good enough to race on again. Mixed biking and running and PT sessions got me to the start line and again, I didn’t notice anything during the race. Then, 2 weeks after The Dipsea, it was time for Western States. Once more, biking, running and PT and I toed the line having run only a handful of times since The Dipsea due to lingering shin pain. The shin pain was not the cause of my drop at Western. In fact, like the prior 2 races, I didn’t feel it at all during the race. It’s amazing what your mind can block out when the adrenaline starts flowing.

If you’re still wondering why I haven’t seen the obvious yet, I have. Clearly spending 4 weeks of running/racing trying to get my shin just good enough to get me to each sequential start line took its toll. In an ideal world, I would have rested and gotten everything back to 100% immediately after Annecy, but the race calendar doesn’t always work that way and it just so happened that 2 incredible important races fell in the following weeks. I’m paying for it now, and while I am frustrated to be missing out on all this summer fun, I hope to be back relatively soon. In the meantime, I’ll be on the bike. Anyone want to keep me company??

Two wheels on Hoo Koo E Koo fire road. A strange sensation.

Two wheels on Hoo Koo E Koo fire road. A strange sensation.

About afvarner

Runner. Donuts. Sneakerhead. Not necessarily in that order. Nike Trail Elite. Picky Bars. Gu. Vicory Sportdesign.
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5 Responses to Not as anticipated…

  1. Sam says:

    Hi Alex,

    While my training has never been as intense or high in mileage as yours, running barefoot on the sandy beach makes all my pains and soreness disappear. I hope your shins problems go away!


    • afvarner says:

      Thanks, Sam. Not sure why I’m just seeing this comment now, but I feel like you’re probably benefiting indirectly from that toe yoga Joey is speaking of in his comment today. Running barefoot in the sand is certainly great for your feet, but I find it makes my arches sore if I do it for too long 😛 moderation, i guess hahaha

  2. Joey says:

    I had a shin issue about 2 years ago and Torrence sent me a bunch of foot exercises. I believe they are called “toe yoga” now. Eventually my feet and lower legs built up proper strength and the issue went away. You might already be doing that stuff with your PT, just thought I would share.

    • afvarner says:

      Thanks! Yeah, a lot of the shin issues tie in with the foot in that manner. I’ve been doing all sorts of stuff and it seems to be paying off, finally 🙂

  3. Pingback: 2015: A year in review | And miles to go before I eat…

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