I suppose it had to happen, eventually.
Today, the doctor confirmed what I’ve known for a week. I have shin splints from running. Possibly even a little stress fracture in my tibia. All from doing too much, too soon. It’s totally my fault. When you run, the weight of your body is absorbed three or four-fold into your legs and feet. If they’re not prepared for that, if the muscles haven’t had the chance to strengthen, then the bone absorbs more of that impact than it can take and you end up injured. And then, you get that injury confirmed by the doctor, sit in the car for a bit, have a cry, go home and angrily eat a handful of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, what with it being Easter and all, and then you calm down and look for a Plan B.
If you’re me, that is.
I’d planned to run the Fountains 10K at the end of April. That’s off the table now. Whilst it’s rubbish, and really frustrating, it’s important that I keep the bigger picture in mind. I wanted to get fit for Iceland. For being naked in a communal shower. For a two day trek across landscape that I’ve wanted to see for years. But mostly, I want to get fit for the rest of my life. Although forty isn’t old, it only feels like moments ago that I was celebrating turning thirty. If that is anything to go by, my fifties are only round the corner. And then the rest. I want to be fitter so that I am better equipped to deal with ageing. And because, even though I’m no longer in my twenties, I’m not done with being adventurous yet. With making plans. With seeing what I can achieve in my life. In fact, I’ve never been more determined. I’ve got stuff to see. Places to go. Races to run, mountains to climb, kids to explore the world with.
Six weeks’ rest from running is a pain. But it’s six weeks in which I can swim, walk, stretch, eat well. Plant the seed potatoes on my allotment that are strewn everywhere around the house. (As usual, I forgot, when ordering, that I don’t own an actual farm…) It’s time for me to regroup, spend time on my Lark business, maybe even write a bit more. It’s six weeks in which I can improve my nutrition and continue to lose weight so there’s less of me for my legs to carry. It’s a tiny window of time to wait before I start to run, slowly, with plenty of walk breaks, again.
I remembered, after I’d finished weeping and feeling sorry for myself, that before my life went belly-up last year, I’d really loved writing monthly goals and got a lot out of planning ahead just for one month at a time. I got a lot done that way too. I think that it’s time to take that back up again. I shall turn April into the first month that I have a set of goals; it’ll help me find my way to the end of this rest period and feel as though I’ve accomplished more than just waiting for it to come to the end.
So I shall be patient, give the Mini Eggs away, amend my exercise regime and carry on. I will be stronger where I have broken. I will not be beaten by this. Watch me…
PS: Do you know of any ace 10K races happening later this year? I need a replacement!
PPS: Or any advice for shin split recovery?
PPPS: The ace image of Iceland above is from Unsplash. You should check them out. I’m definitely done with the PS now…