Running on Empty, Jackson Browne

People, the following is all about running and my decrepitness. I am so sorry.

As you know, I started the whole Couch to 5K thing back in September. At the three week mark, I stumbled and messed up my left ankle. I then went through a few months of physical therapy and was cleared to run again during the last week of December. SO, on December 31st I started up again. This past Sunday was my fifth run of the year and although I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary happening during my run, I *did* notice that Monday morning found me having all sorts of crazy pain where my left shin meets the inside of my left knee. (They meet a lot in the kitchen near the Keurig. They also meet fairly often at the Indian restaurant down the street. HA HA HA! Get it?! It’s like they’re friends and not body parts! That’s a funny one!)

I got really angry about the pain yesterday morning when I was scheduled to run again, but couldn’t. I was beyond angry when I went to bed last night, because I’m now off schedule with my Couch to 5K plan. (Please know that I know how ridiculous this is all sounding. Wait! It gets better! I’m about to consult Google for medical advice!) This morning I typed all of my pain information into Google (See? I told you!), and Google and I believe that I have posterior shin splints. Google gave me a kiss on the forehead and told me that it’s probably because of my flat feet coupled with the fact that I’ve been quite sloth-like, and this new Running Every Other Day thing is shocking my lower half.

I remembered that the guy who fitted me for my running shoes also wanted me to buy inserts, but I didn’t buy them. My migraine doctor (who is a runner) also told me to get the inserts. But I didn’t. (Apparently, I don’t take advice unless I’m limping.)

This morning I drove to the running store and asked the nice young man to hook me up with some inserts. As he untied my shoes, I sang to him about my woes.

Me: …something about a sprained ankle and three months later I’m cleared and now my leg is all screwed up where my knee meets my shin on the inside…

Him: Where are you running?

Me: I run at the J. It’s an indoor track.

Him: Well, there’s part of the problem. That’s a tiny track!

Me: It takes twelve laps to make a mile.

Him: You’re like a car driving at 60 miles per hour, and then making 90 degree turns every 15 seconds!

Me: I know!

Him: AND, chances are, if you’re going every other day, you’re mainly running in the same direction every time!

Me: Preach it!

Him: If the track is flat and you’re doing all of that turning and your body isn’t used to running, you’re on the road to disaster.

Me: Are you trying to make me cry?!

Him: What sort of program are you using for your running?

Me: It’s a Couch to 5K app.

Him: Those are really good if you know what you’re doing, but if you’re a beginner and all you’re getting is “Walk! Okay, now…RUN! NOW WALK AGAIN! RUN!!! WALK!!!”, it’s really not that great of a program.


Him: We offer a program. It’s one hundred dollars, and it goes from March 28th until June 2nd. It meets weekly, and you get the benefit of a personal trainer who talks to you about technique, hydration, and the importance of warming up and cooling down.

Me: Warming who and cooling what?!

Him: PLUS, you get to run with people who are at the same exact level as you.

Me: I hope they’re not terribly pretty or chatty. I also hope they want to go out for mozzarella sticks afterwards.

Him: They meet at Creve Coeur Lake.

Me: That’s embarrassingly close to my house.

So, there you go. I’ve been sidelined again (I’ve been told that shin splints should take less than two weeks to clear up) for the time being, but it looks like I have the springtime option to run around a lake with a group of people who aren’t any better than me! Definitely something to consider. I cannot even begin to express how discouraging my 5K journey has been. (I hate it when people talk about their journey, by the way. And here I go, being all “My 5K Journey” and crap. I’m exasperating!) I *will* run a stinking 5K with my sister (Unless I have bone cancer and have to have both legs removed. Google briefly mentioned that while I was doing my research, but I told him to settle down.), and I *will* do it before August.

(Unless, of course, I don’t. BUT, I’m sort of impressing myself with this newfound fortitude action. The sprained ankle didn’t bring me down. The physical therapy didn’t bring me down. The shin splint weirdness isn’t bringing me down. I’m a runner living in the body of someone who is not a runner! I need an exorcism in reverse. Or something similar! (Mozzarella sticks sound really good, too.)) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

17 thoughts on “Running on Empty, Jackson Browne”

  1. The inserts are as important (if not more important) than the shoes. I have super flat feet, so I feel your pain. Literally. Group runs are so much fun, and you will also learn a lot from the trainers. You let me know when you are running your 5k. I will run with you and your lovely sister. You’ve got this! <3

  2. This is TOO funny.

    I so admire your dedication. I would have taken all this physical stuff as a sign that I was supposed to stay in and watch more tv. Go go goooooo!

  3. You go girl! I am a very sloth like runner, who learnt what you are learning the hard way too! My small track had banking on the sides which really screwed up my hip too. I am not a social runner, but perhaps you just really need this program and coaching to get you going. I hope you keep it up, I feel so much better when I do it.


  4. Are those Vegan Mozz sticks. I’m 47 and I keep thinking there is a runner in me, sadly I’ve never worked out more than a walk on the beach…ever. I’ve tried C25K but, I agree with the runner dude, if you’ve never run, it is hard to learn that way, safety first. However! In November I started working out at a “bootcamp” style gym and I LOVE IT!!!! Actually today I just did my first advanced class. Here, Look! it is soooo fun, and this is coming from someone who has NEVER exercised. Maybe you could find something like this and build up to the running thing. That is what I am doing. Also, in my first month I gained 2.6lbs of muscle and lost 2.5% fat. I can’t wait to see what this month brings.

  5. You have almost (ALMOST) convinced me to try a couch to 5k thingy. Even with all your issues. :-)

  6. Well, there’s not much more discouraging than getting yourself all geared up to get in shape, only to be derailed, twice! I tried the C2-5K program too, and ended up quitting, though without a very good excuse, such as an injury. No, I quit and joined a gym because I now know this about myself: I am reliably unreliable when it comes to working out on my own. Here’s hoping you recover quickly!

  7. I love everything about this post and wish I lived near said lake so I could surreptitiously join the group and we could agonize over our shin splints together.

  8. I have a great exercise for flat feet. Sit with your legs out straight in front of you (dandasana) point the feet, then flex the toes, then point the toes, then flex the feet. Repeat over and over until you’re tired. I tell my yoga students to do this during commercials. Also, when you’re standing, leave the pinky toe and big toe down as you lift the middle toes. Eventually you get to where you can lift those middle toes up and down while leaving the big and pinky ones down. This strengths the shins andnlifts all the arches in the feet.

    You’re doing great. Just lacing up those shoes sets your intention.

  9. Here’s the best shin splint strech I’ve found. Kneel on the floor with the tops of your feet touching the floor. (You know what I mean? Your toes should be pointed back.) Then slowly lower your butt down onto your feet until you’re sitting on the bottom of your feet. You should be able to feel the stretch in the front of your shins.

  10. I have very flat feet also, but my shoes have a really high arch. Foot comfort is important!

    I would recommend saving up and doing the group run. When I started last January, I started running on my lunch hour with two other people who also couldn’t run five minutes without feeling the need to vomit. We have all completed 5Ks now (I did FOUR last year!)

    You can do this, I just know it.

  11. Mmmm….mozzarella sticks.

    That running group sounds great! The only time I ran regularly was when I lived near a great running group that had levels from beginner to marathon training. I started out as a run/walker and worked up to running 10 miles at a time before I moved away! It helps having support and, for me anyway, the accountability of a group. I miss it.

  12. I’m too lazy to figure out where you live, but if you have a Running Room (which may or may not be a Canadian only company – see lazy note above)…anyway, it sounds like the same sort of idea that you are speaking of…and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

    The group has me running outside in Ottawa CANADA in January – We are looking at 15 cm of snow tonight (uh…6 inches), and most of the group will be outside early morning in the -30 degree (damn it uh…like 0 degrees F) and loving it…

  13. ZUMBA ZUMBA ZUMBA ZUMBA BABY 0 it’s the only way to go – especially with a HOT instructor – it’s all danced on dance steps and if you screw up NO ONE CARES!!!! It is JUST A PARTY!!!

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