I don’t consider myself a beginner runner anymore. Not really. I have been running pretty much solidly for a year now. Ok, so it’s not that long but this year alone I have run a total of 1236.73km / 125:41:18 h. That’s even with the 6 weeks I took off after my hysterectomy. So no – I don’t consider myself a beginner.
So when I finally dragged my sore self to the doctor yesterday to see what he made of my messed up leg, I couldn’t help but feel irritated by his flippant diagnosis of shin splints. Really, shin splints? I used to suffer from this when I ran on the treadmill years ago. That pain felt very different to what I am experiencing now – it was less defined in one spot.. And anyway shin splints in my book are a problem you get when you start running or suddenly up your distance or do something very different to what you are used to. I have added more hill training into my running but my gut still disagrees with the diagnosis.
I should have been relieved as I was really worried I was running towards a stress fracture but how do I know this doctor knows his stuff? Running injuries can be very complex to diagnose. He told me he himself “often gets shin splints, not that he runs outside – just on the treadmill every now and again”. Hmmm.. That is a little different… (.. aaaand I sound very arrogant…)
The facts are:
– the pain has gone from only being there during a run to being there even at rest or when walking
– the intensity of the pain varies; sometimes it just hurts more without any reason that I can gather
– any sudden jumps or impact on the leg hurt (like running for the bus)
– putting weight on it and then shifting it off hurts
– ibuprofen helps; in fact I would not be able to run without it
– the pain is felt at a pretty precise point, it is not hot or red or lumpy
I was sent off with advise to rest. Yes, advise that I know to be good no matter what the cause of the pain is. However, if I was a smoker and had seen the doctor about a cough – he would understand why I could not just stop smoking. That is how I feel about running. I NEED my fix – I am not a pleasant person if I am not running. Have you seen those grey faced people outside hospitals, smoking in their gown flapping open at the back whilst hanging onto their drip. Yep – I am the running equivalent of that. Sad but true. I may have reached a point where I stopped defining my running and my running started defining me.
Has the thing that made me feel sane actually made me crazy?