The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The one where I talk about my shins

The last time I pretended to call myself a runner was my freshman year of college. I was on a college campus with a gym and had an amazing daily schedule that allowed me the freedom to spend a couple hours each afternoon in the gym in peace and quiet. This was also the last time I remember being at my healthiest and happiest weight and all over healthy mind and body. I researched running plans with the idea that I wanted to run a half marathon and finally be able to call myself a runner. I found a good plan and set out on the treadmill…. There are two key mistakes I made that I wish I could go back and tell that ambitious freshman in college: first of all I made the mistake of logging all my miles on the treadmill because I was too afraid to run in an unfamiliar town and wouldn’t know where I was or how far I had gone. And secondly, I chose poor running shoes; I had no idea what I was doing. Both of those led me to a very painful overuse injury called Anterior Tibialis Tendonitis.

Being the type of person that I am, I pushed through the pain thinking it was just shin splints and that eventually my body would get used to me running and be fine. However, it got to the point where it hurt so badly, I could barely walk across campus to class, let alone run at all. I got very discouraged and hung up my running shoes. Over the years I kind of tried to run again, but always let any type of shin pain scare me and just never fully embraced it and took care of it.
Now let’s talk about nine months ago when this journey to call myself a runner truly began; I knew I needed something in my current state of distress to get me from point A to point B, so running the YMCA 8M Turkey Trot became my goal. I honestly never thought I would stick with it past the class. But God knew things I didn’t know, as always. Once again I was nervous about my shins but just told myself I would be diligent with icing them and pray that I could make it. Miraculously, I never once experienced any shin pain at all, I did have some knee pain but that was quickly fixed with new shoes and orthotics. I can’t really explain it, except that God gave me healing in my shins because I needed running in my life to heal bigger things.
Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago and my anterior Tibialis has been acting up again. Thankfully, though it is only my right shin this time, it’s minor pain and I’m a smarter runner (did you see that, I called myself a runner, no pretending anymore!).  So what am I doing about it this time?
This time, thanks to countless hours of anatomy classes, my personal training days and my degree I have a better understanding of what EXACTLY is causing this type of pain. First of all, tendonitis stems from overuse. And secondly, I pronate my right foot. This is something I have known for a couple of years and although it really doesn’t affect me that much, it can cause problems with training, clearly. So that means I do a LOT of single leg squats! Not only is that a good exercise to strengthen all my leg muscles, it’s a great way to force my muscles to work together in the PROPER way.  I also listen to my body (no more high heels!!). And I have become hard core about the icing after each run, whether it hurts or not. And lastly, foam rolling. This is something that I have been neglecting and I am reminded that it needs to be done. I have to care for my muscles if I want them to take care of me.
So why have I told you this whole long story? Honestly, I have no idea! But I guess for me what I get out of it, is once again, our bodies are so much more precious than we make them. We only have one body to live in, yet we abuse it all the time. We can’t replace it in a few years, we can’t trade it in for a newer model and we certainly don’t get any do overs. I chose my major of kinesiology for many reason (job security and making money were definitely not one of them!) but the main reason would be this: no matter what else in this life goes, changes, comes, breaks down, your body is yours and yours alone to live with.
 It’s not a house you can move in and out of. It’s not a car that you can have things replaced in (I know you can thanks to technology but that’s not the point here).  And it’s most certainly not something that someone else can own. In 20 years, technology could fail us; in 30 years cars could be obsolete; in 50 years we could all have access to Mars, but the one thing that will never change is the body you live in. Sure, healthcare is incredible and research is being done all the time (I know, I live that every day) but that doesn’t mean you have the right to violate the one, most precious gift that God has given you.
Ok, stepping down from my soap box now….I will leave you with this, your body is so much more amazing than you can ever imagine and it communicates with you all the time, so just listen.

Go check out the new tab that I added at the top of my page that involves all my training workouts!


Amanda@runninghood said...

Thanks for this girl! Wise words. Lovely.

Sean and Rain Gowens said...

You always give me something positive to think about it! I am always thankful that I have the health to run....our bodies really are amazing!