I was allowed to run today, but I decided to skip the group run. I told the doc that I thought my running buddy was going to be running about 18 today. You'll do some real damage if you try 18, he said. He suggested half that. I talked him up to 10. I was going to run 5 with the group and then turn around and run back.
Instead, I decided to run on my own. That way, I could (a) run on a flatter course (going to ease back into hills, since hills are more bothersome than flatness), (b) monitor my own pace rather than wanting to keep up with other people, and (c) quit when it hurt too much. Technically, I could do the last two with the group, but I'm much more likely to do so when it's just me.
Oh, was that a good idea. I decided to run the airport playfield trail, which is a 5 mile loop. I figured that way I could do it once, and if I was up to it, then I could do it again. But when I got out of my car, I realized I wasn't entirely convinced that I could WALK 5 miles. Running wasn't bad, though. It was slow - it was painfully slow, it felt almost like I was running in place - but it was a run. I kept thinking how really really great it felt to get out there and be running, even if it was a bit labored. I felt way more worn out than I should - running that course usually feels like nothing. I started to hurt - really hurt - around 2.25, but it wasn't worth turning back at that point. A mile later, the entire back of my right shin seized up. I started running with a limp. That's when it was time to stop. Training with a limp is not going to do me one bit of good. Plus, I was getting progressively slower, which is a good sign that I'm not hanging in there as well as I should be.
I was a little bummed, but I hadn't known what to expect, and I had a goal of assessing where I am right now more than anything.
So I decided to make the most of it by taking pictures. I've always wanted to take some pictures on this trail, but I'm usually too busy running to do it.
On my way to that hill (about 4 miles around the loop, or 1 mile, depending on which way you're facing), a guy flagged me down and said that the rest of the trail was pretty much flooded. Well, no way was I walking 4 more miles back. He told me to get to the top of the hill and check it out.
The guy who had warned me had suggested that I could maybe cut through the golf course beside the trail....
I did manage to make it back, although both socks and shoes were thoroughly soaked by the time I did. I tried starting up a run again several times, but each time I was overwhelmingly vetoed by every muscle in my lower right leg. Even the top of my foot, as I was thinking, why the eff does my foot hurt??
I went to the chiropractor after that. I even got a smile out of him when I told him about my adventure - first time I think that's happened. He's sooooo serious. And then, even though I was hobbling after that adventure, he told me things looked really really good. "Your left leg is pretty much fine, and your right leg is doing weird things," he says. Weird things are good??? Yes, any change is good. The fact that it doesn't feel like shin splints anymore is good, and it looks like my other leg muscles are just rebelling due to overuse because they've been compensating for the crappy shin.
His advice: take the rest of the weekend and Monday off. Maybe cross train if I want. Stretch and ice, plenty of sleep and even eat extra food to refuel. (That is probably the best thing a doctor can say to me. Bring on the extra food!!!) Honestly, it helps that I'm fighting a cold right now because most of that advice is good for that, too. Plus, fighting a cold makes me WANT extra sleep and extra food. (Husband picked up Bob Evans chicken and noodles for me - I could eat my weight in that stuff when I'm sick.)
The part I don't believe - he says I'm going to be surprised at how much better I feel on Tuesday. Considering I've only felt marginally better after a week, I'm a skeptic. I'm also worried about the half marathon next weekend, but I've decided to worry about that on Tuesday. I'll either be feeling fantastic (as Dr. Seriousface alleges) or I'll still be hurting and I'll have a big WTF for the doc and then we'll discuss the half.
For now, nothing I can do but bask in the familiar post-run endorphin rush and enjoy my weekend of taking the doctor's advice to pretty much sit on my ass and eat food.