Bear Mountain 50k Training – Week 6

Well, this week was my first overall negative week. I’m definitely glad it didn’t happen until now, but I’m determined to get back into it and prevent more injury. After a few runs on the treadmill in the cold weather, I started having some more serious pain in my right shin. I’m wondering if maybe the treadmill just somehow makes me change my stride significantly, but it could also just be from running so many miles. I took enough time off this past week and took it easy enough that so far in week 7 my runs have felt pretty good, though!

Tuesday was my second treadmill day, and the first day my shin really started to hurt.  I did 2.8 out of my planned 5 miles on the treadmill before I called it and went downstairs to immediately ice my shin and have a small panic attack. Matt talked me down and told me to just take it easy this week and see how it goes, so thank the lord I have Matt to keep me from going crazy.

Wednesday I did an easy 5 on the esplanade that went pretty well, despite my shin being a little sore still. I took advil, rolled/massaged/iced my shin after, and decided to call my Thursday run the next day after some sleep.

Thursday I was feeling pretty good and had my first hill repeats scheduled for my training plan, and felt like I should at least try to do the workout. I did a nice 1.5 mile warm up and was feeling pretty good, so I headed over to Summit to do some hills and almost immediately regretted it. My shin got much worse and I decided to just run the hill home and call it after only 2 miles. I felt very defeated and worried about the rest of my plan. I knew I had Friday to rest, and that I should try to take Saturday easy instead of jumping into my long run right after a painful run.

Saturday I decided to do my miles on the elliptical, and I’ve never made a more difficult decision. It was straight up GORGEOUS in Boston on Saturday. I walked my puppy at the park in SHORTS AND A SWEATSHIRT. It took every bit of my willpower to not run outside and to force myself on that elliptical. I’m thankful I did it though, since the extra impact would have made my long run Sunday pretty miserable. I did a 50 minute elliptical workout while staring outside at all the people jogging and walking and enjoying their life much more than I was at the moment, but was just thankful I had the ability to do a low-impact workout. Plus, I took Gustav to the park twice that day to get my fill of sunshine!

Sunday I woke up feeling much better and decided to go for my long run. When I was in the boot, I bought some cushioned 33-m ASICS, which are more like Hokas in their level of thickness. Something nobody warns you about when you get a boot – none of your shoes will be tall enough to keep you from walking lopsided! So I switched to my ASICS and decided to do an 8 mile loop, instead of 16, just in case my shin was too sore for the full 16. I ended up doing all 16 and felt barely any shin pain!

This week was scary, but I’m proud of what I accomplished despite the shin pain. I’m monitoring the pain as I go and making sure I do even more strengthening exercises and stretches throughout the day. I have been to physical therapy before for shin splints specifically, so I’m fairly confident I can work through it and adapt my training plan to my needs. My plan has me getting up to at most 52 miles in a week, but I’m confident even if I kept my runs all generally the same as they are now (with the exception of my long runs) I will be in better shape for this 50k than my last!

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