This week, I got shin splints for the first time in my life. And I've decided after some contemplation that thy are evil. The frueeeets of the deveeeeeil even. I should have retired my running shoes before this happened, but I really am a novice at this whole "fitness" thing - I ran my very first step EVER February of last year when I started the Couch to 5k program. I had no idea that running on broken down shoes could result in so much pain. Mark one down for the learning process.
My plan is to get back on the horse around Saturday at the soonest and do a lot of sitting and elevating and icing my poor shin in the meanwhile. It's a good enough excuse to sit on my derriere. All right, MAYBE I'll break out some Jillian Michaels and do low-impact modifications (but I wouldn't count on it).
Any clown can put on runners and hurt themselves. That's just hurting yourself, though. This is a SPORTS injury. ATHLETES get sports injuries. That's right. I'm an athlete. I have trouble writing that without a sarcastic snort. But! I'm comfortable running a distance I never thought possible, and even more than that, my time is getting shorter, my gate is more comfortable, in short, I'm IMPROVING at this running thing.
And do you know what else? I LIKE it (gasp). Running feels good. Even when I'm out there. I like the way I can feel my muscles warm up and get in the rhythm of carrying me along. I like the feeling of pushing myself. And even though I like it, let's be perfectly honest, the best part is how I feel when I'm done.
So whee! I'm obviously awesome, right? Sunshine and flowers and rainbows and kicking ass! Right? So I get a little bit cocky and sign up for a half-marathon in June.
And subsequently crap my pants.
13.1 miles of hills -HILLS! - is a far cry from a leisurely 3-4 mile jog on the mostly flat trail. I think that I can do it. (Go positive thinking!) But it means starting now. I've already got nervous tummy about it and I don't see any end to that nervous tummy until June. One of the 1/2 marathon tips that I've read said something to the effect of "think of it as a 10 mile run with a 5k at the end!" And I'm all "AH! Cinch!" *sarcastic snap*
Now I really do have to be an athlete. I have to watch my eating so that my runs are more efficient. I have to take good care of my body so I don't get any injuries adding milage. It's SO MUCH PRESSURE!
The diet portion of this, I think might be a different post, but it's a brand-new feeling to re-examine my nutrition not from a weight-loss point of view, but from a fuel-for-a-running-machine point of view.
My money is invested (another thing I learned: marathon and 1/2 marathon fees are expensive!) and there's no backing out. I'll start the actual training program in March, but until then, I am on the lookout for some 10k's to run, and getting my body into the best possible shape.
Talk about a challenge...