Self Diagnosis: Shin Splints

So yesterday I posted about how I my first olympic tri is less than ONE month away. ONE month! Then, later in the evening, I ended up like this:

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Let’s back it up. Over the past few weeks I have had very mild pain in my right lower tibia. It was barely an ache so I thought nothing of it. I had been increasing my mileage very slowly and haven’t been running on any concrete so I wasn’t thinking about an actual injury. After running six miles on Monday (my longest run of this training cycle), it was a bit more than an ache, but again I just brushed it off and went about my day thinking that maybe it was the sandy/dirt trail I ran on it activated my lower leg muscles a bit more than I was used to.

I woke up Tuesday morning, feeling fine but throughout the day there was this pressure/achy/burning feeling along the lower third of my right shin and I settled into panic mode. You see, in the fall of 2014 I was diagnosed with a stress reaction, which is a precursor to a stress fracture, and per doc’s orders, I had to take four weeks off from running. Not exactly something I want to do right now.

After a little Googling to compare symptoms of a stress reaction/fracture versus shin splints and I am erring on the side of splints.  I did some DIY tests–I passed the hop test-no pain at all, plus I measured about 4-5 inches of pain down my shin, whereas if it was a stress fracture/reaction there would be specific area of pain. Plus, thinking  back to Monday’s workout I was able to do burpees and box jumps without pain. So I popped a couple of ibuprofen, iced my shin and put on a compression sleeve before we went out to dinner. The pain subsided and I went about my business.

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This morning I woke up with a little aching in my shin so I iced, did some Achilles tendon stretching and plan to walk to the coffee shop after I finish this post.

So what’s my plan? I’m going to ice, wear my compression sleeve and take a few days off from running completely. Cycling, swimming, yoga and lifting are all still on the workout schedule. When I resume running the volume will be way lower and at a much easier effort, focusing on form.

As for the Jamestown Olympic? I want to race it. I know the course and I’m excited to race my first olympic tri, but I have this little voice in my head asking “is this one race really worth messing up your next three races?” This is also my first race at this distance and I don’t want to worry about an injury on top of the nerves I’ll already have! I’ve made the mistake in the past with my IT band, pushing through the injury only to end up on the sidelines for several months. I’ll see how running next week goes then make the decision. I have the option to defer to 2017 up to 15 days out (5/29) from the race for a small fee.

Have you ever dealt with an injury so close to a race? 

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2 comments

  1. Oh my god, girl, I am right there with you! My first tri in 6 years is in about two weeks, and I have a horrible pain in my ankle. It seems to only crop up when I walk right now, running and cycling are fine. I have no advice for you. Just commiserating!!

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    • Right?!? It’s like I finally got my IT band settled down and my body decides, nope let’s attack something else! I’m just doing more cycling and swimming for now, hopefully a week of no running will help! I hope your ankle feels better!!

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