Thursday, September 19, 2013

TFL and Shin Splints

You would think after 12+ years of endurance racing that I would be a little smarter.  I thought because I ran through my pregnancy and kept myself mostly in shape that I would have no trouble transitioning back to running.  I guess I forgot that my body had changed shape; I'm still carrying around 10 extra (stubborn) pounds; and really I was walking 10 miles a week, not running.  And for a while I took it slow, but then I quickly ramped up my miles and I started to get aches and pains, niggles and jiggles.  The pains have not gone away and my mileage has started to slip.  I've got big, long races coming up and I'm a little nervous.

I first started noticing some pain in my left hip.  This pain is pretty usual when I reach higher mileage (40ish miles per week, for me) and I had been to the doctor and PT before about it so I kinda knew what to do.  I would ice and do some exercises, but the pain wasn't going away.  So I went to the doctor who sent me to PT (duh) who told me I had a weak TFL muscle.

I went to a session of PT and was given a better explanation of exercises and stretches.  I've been doing them and the old hip seems to be getting better.

However, I kept running through the hip pain which means I was favoring one side, which of course means things started to hurt in other places.  And that's how I developed some bad shin splints in my right leg.  Further complicating the pain in my shin is the fact that I got a bad calf cramp in the same leg while I was running on vacation.  So, I basically have pain from my ankle to my knee on my right leg.  Awesome.

I'm taking my running slowly and carefully.  I'm icing and stretching and strengthening and doing some cross training.  My running has moved to the elliptical and treadmill for softer surfaces.  Hopefully things will improve soon so I can keep up with my training and racing schedule this fall.

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