I did what I said - I babied my shins. I went to circuit class and did only the exercises that I could do with NO shin pain. Luckily, that was most of them - a lot of upper body and core strength, squats, lunges - which got a bit iffy so I half-did them, and calf raises, which surprisingly were painless. Plyos were completely out.
Thursday I squeezed in a half hour of yoga because I ended up with a very long work day, followed by the injury clinic. God love exercise tv on demand. Injury clinic was very promising. I met with a chiropractor who ruled out a stress fracture or anything serious, said that previously bad shoes + overpronation + hills had done a number on my shins (which I already figured), and told me that three sessions with him over the course of the week should pretty much get me back into good running shape. Worst case scenario would mean skipping a week of training, but he told me to keep running while I see him.
He also cleared me to run the 10k today. Well, kinda. His exact words were, "You're going to do it anyway, aren't you?" I told him probably, but I wanted his opinion.
Over the last few days, the shins have gotten better, although the pain is still there when I walk. (Unlike Tuesday - cute boot day - it no longer hurts to push on the gas pedal. Yes, it's that bad of a case!) I met up with my running buddy for a jog across the bridge - .6 miles - to the start line. It wasn't too bad. I was a little surprised to discover how well my legs worked. And then we stopped. And THEN I felt it. That lovely feeling in my right leg like it's made out of glass and my own weight may shatter it. I lined up between the 10 and 10:15 pace coaches, who noticed my taped up shins and gave me some sympathy. Someone asked how long I've had the splints. I told her a month and a half and she looked shocked. One of the coaches asked if I was in the half or full training group, and she looked worried when I said the full. Eek. I tried stretching the right leg, to no avail.
The beginning of the race wasn't bad. I settled into a 10-ish pace, which felt very doable. My shins felt better once I got going. I planned to take it very conservatively at first, as the race route featured the Flying Pig's worst hill - about 3/4 mile of uphill running. My first mile was just under a 10. I fought my way up the hill, which was when people started passing me like crazy. Sigh. I considered walking - caught myself doing it for a few seconds - but I made it up to the turnaround, where I had to walk because I had phlegm caught in my throat. I pulled off to the left side, almost to the curb, to slow down, when a guy who was really moving suddenly squeezed into the tiny space between me and the curb. I almost (accidentally) spit on his shoe.
With the mucus gone, the downhill felt awesome. I felt like I could fly. To my surprise, that feeling stuck with me once I got onto flat ground. Running felt invigorating. I felt like dancing. That lasted until about the third mile. By that point, the tape had turned into shreds flapping from my calves. (I'm beginning to think that KT tape isn't all it's cracked up to be.) And I started to hurt. I tried to take it easy, but it was disappointing that my easy pace wasn't a 9:50 anymore. I developed a new mantra - "You CAN do this, and you WILL do this!"
The race was weird in that we passed the starting/finish line between mile 4 and 5. A HUGE part of me wanted to quit. A mile and a half. 15 minutes. I could at least do that. There was a water stop and I took a quick walk break to regroup, drank half the water, made myself run again.
The last couple of miles were not fun. They hurt. I pulled it together and sped up during the last mile, and ended up running with someone who was very enthusiastic and encouraging, which helped even though I didn't have it in me to reciprocate. I was TIRED, too. I don't know if I can still blame donating blood, or maybe running through pain just sucked all the energy out of me. I managed a final sprint when I saw the time clock at the finish line. I knew I finished under my thanksgiving time, but barely, and I was a little disappointed with that, even though I knew going in that it was going to be a struggle.
I walked back across the bridge just fine - and my running buddy (who kicked ASS btw, and finished in 54 something) was very sweet to listen to my grumbling. Running is what makes me feel good, and it SUCKS when it makes me feel crappy.
Got home, and when I got out of my car, I realized I could barely walk. My left shin, oddly, feels nearly fine. My right, on the other hand, was barely mobile. I made my way up the stairs to my apartment, pulling myself on the handrail. The limp I had was bad enough to get a genuinely sympathetic "awwww" from my husband (who, while sweet, is not the overly pitying type, especially not for pain that people bring on themselves.) And honestly, the fact that I'm now walking with a huge limp is incredibly validating for me. It proves to me that yes, I did just give that race everything I could. I AM hurt and not being a wuss. And that time was damn good, considering how much I hurt. Yes, I'm still disappointed to see that time. I think it's normal to see something in print and know that it wasn't representative of my ability and feel crappy about that. I guess the only solution is to replace it soon.
(By the way, my garmin totally said 6.3....which is some consolation.)
Today is full of ice, aleve, foam rolling, and activities that can be done from a sitting or reclining position. I see the chiro on Tuesday. I ordered some shin compression sleeves that have gotten rave reviews from other afflicted runners. I'm hoping to bounce back for the half in two weeks - I've got an old PR that still needs to be shattered - so long as it's the PR and not my shinbones. :)
Splits: 9:58, 10:14, 9:42, 10:16, 10:43, 10:20
-Beat previous PR