Anatomy of an Injury

I have been struggling with this calf/shin/Achilles/IT Band thing. I don't even know what to call it. Maybe the "entire-right-side-of-my-body" thing. My right leg is .... unhappy. Some days my calf hurts. Some days my shin hurts. Some days my Achilles is tight. Some days what I think might be my IT band is tight.

I was reading in one of my running books about injuries. The first question is --- Have you been doing anything different? Well, yeah, pretty much EVERYTHING. (Therein lies the mistake, I'm guessing.)

1. I changed shoes. I've been running in lighter weight Nikes instead of the old Asics Kayanos.
2. I changed the way I train in a BIG way. I started doing strides at faster than 1-mile pace (just for about 45 seconds at a time). I added tempo runs. I added short hill sprints and hill repeats. (Not all at once, of course, but speed work one or two times a week.)
3. I started lower body strength training 1 to 2 times a week. Lots of squats and lunges will hopefully give me more strength on the abovementioned hills.

All of this together probably caused the issues. I should have eased into the shoes--alternating with the older, more supportive ones. I should have added in a speed session every other week instead of every week and sometimes twice a week to allow my body to adapt.

What I have been doing right is only running about 3 days per week--down from 4 or 5 during marathon/half-marathon training. I've been cross training once a week. And finally, I've been LISTENING TO MY BODY. I met my running group last Saturday morning and walked 5K while everyone else ran. I realized on Friday my shin hurt to run, but walking was ok. I will say it is SCARY for a runner to not be able to run 3 steps. That has only happened once before when I had an inflamed tendon on the top of my foot.

This was week one of the 16-week training for the Women's Running Magazine Half in Nashville. I didn't get in all my miles or speed work from my Runners World training plan, but I am feeling better, and that's the most important thing!

It's funny, as a running coach, I am my own GUINEA PIG! I test what works and what doesn't so I don't inflict it on others! :-)

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