I’ve spent every other day for the past week doing at-home PT exercises and the Runner’s World “IronStrength” workout (well, some of exercises, and not as many reps or sets as RW recommends even for a “beginner”…), and icing and resting the rest of the time. I’ve also taken a two-week break from running, which was easier than it should have been even though it gave me nightly highly-realistic dreams about earning various DNFs at marathons.
Since the Hatfield McCoy Marathon is less than a week away, I went for a 3-mile run today to test how my shin splints are doing. I wore some new Zensah calf compression sleeves (pictured above – USA pattern for patriotism!) as people say it’s supposed to help with posterior shin splints, even though it was sunny and 86 degrees out and left no skin on my lower body exposed, plus it made me look like the biggest dork and poser runner in a park filled with dorks. I’m Queen of the Dorks!
The good news is my leg felt pretty good! If anything, my knees hurt more than my shin. The bad news is that it also felt like I have never run before in my life. I was gasping for air and taking walk breaks every couple minutes. Whose bright idea was it to take a two-week break from running? Oh right, that was my idea. Well, it literally sucks wind.
Actually, I can’t say it was a terrible decision, because it does seem like my leg has healed to some degree and I feel like I can at least run a little bit without pain, but I definitely feel even fatter and slower than ever. The Blerch and I have become one. Despite the fact that even the modified Runner’s World workout left me breathless and drenched in sweat, it’s apparently no substitute for running or cardio. I could have (should have) gone to the gym to bike, and I definitely should have scaled back on the chocolate and granola, but I did not, and now it’s only 5.5 days until I have to run 26.2 miles.
I’ll save my full “expectations” of the Hatfield McCoy Marathon for my next post, but in terms of actually being able to finish it, after today’s run I’ll up my odds to a 60/40 chance of finishing (much better than my initial 30/70 prediction), but I expect it to take over 6 hours.
As for the Zensah calf compression sleeves, I don’t know if they helped all that much, but they didn’t hurt (except for making me marginally warmer on a warm day). They feel supportive but not constricting, and the material is soft although it does leave subtle imprints in my skin (but I have tissue-paper-onion-air-mail skin that bruises when I scratch an itch, so your results will vary). I plan on wearing them until I’m confident my shin splints aren’t a problem anymore. I’d wear them anytime I run except I really do look like a Grade A dork in them since I wear 3/4 capri tights instead of those shorty “runner shorts” that look cute with a knee high sock, and the tights overlap with the sleeves in a decidedly awkward manner. Not that looking like a dork has stopped me from making many, many questionable fashion choices in the past, nor will it in the future (I wear more clothing to swim than is required by certain religions to avoid the wrath of God).
What’s the dorkiest thing you wear when you run? Do you find this mild summer weather to feel like 1,000 degrees since we’re still not acclimated yet? Or did you spend all weekend inside binge-watching Orange Is The New Black? Share in the comments!