Shin splints

OK, here’s the thing about Midwestern weather: it’s all about extremes, about the unexpected.  I woke up a few minutes late this morning, which wouldn’t normally be an issue, but something seemed wrong about the light in the house.  I glanced out the window and saw—nothing.  I turned out the light and looked again, but all I saw was fog; no car, no street, nothing but grey.

Crap.  Waking up late + fog = late to work.

Part of my drive follows a lake shore, so I turned off early hoping that  a climb away from the lake would see some clearing.  It did, just a little, but enough to get me to work on time, which is fortunate as I’d double-booked my seven a.m.

My patients give me a good run down of the hour-to-hour weather.  The first few complained about the fog; the next few the pouring rain; after that, the unseasonably warm temperatures  (mid-50’s).  Then the wind; that report was redundant as the windows were vibrating with a low tone, rain falling sideways in sheets across the parking lot.

I was hoping the warm temperatures would hold out until after work.  It’s been two days since my last run and I’m trying not to skip two days in a row.  When I stepped out the office building door, the wind hit me, driving sharp pellets of sleet into my face.  Crap.

But I’ve got gear.  I got home, got out of my work clothes and into my running outfit which gives my daughter no end of giggles.  The balaclava didn’t slow those down any.  I hit the road and immediately my left knee started to complain.  At forty-four, I figure that’s not unexpected, so I ran through it until the sleet hitting my face distracted me.

I’ve discovered a lot since I started running.  One of the most startling discoveries is that I can actually do it.  Sometime in the middle of a run I look down and think, “I can’t be doing this.  How could I be doing this?”  It almost paralyzes me until I turn up the music.  The other thing I’ve found is that foul weather makes me run faster.  Today I ran fast.  Too fast.  The frozen peas on my shin are telling me I better lay off a little.

So that’s what I’ll do—for now.  As the roads ice up, I’ll keep icing all the sore bits and set the alarm a little early.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a rough drive to work tomorrow.


  1. Jojo

     /  January 19, 2012

    When I get shin splints I know I need a new pair of running shoes. I’ve also discovered that I only get about 350 miles out of a pair as well. If you haven’t gone to your local running store to get fitted, it might be worth the time and energy.

    I started running at 37 and 3 years later I’m still surprised I can actually do it. But what’s even more amazing is that my dad started running at 70 and at 76 he’s still doing it!

  2. Loved this post! I started running about two years ago and I have the same reaction as you….I can’t believe I’m doing it. The first time I ran 10K I thought for sure my gps was wrong!

    I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can enjoy running again. Treadmill…not so much.

    Thanks for sharing!

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