Running through shin pain takes the spring from my step.

No pain, no gain. Right? Or maybe not.

OK, I’ve read the warnings about training through pain. I’ve heard the old adage, “Listen to your own body.” And I honestly try to do that.

But this is something weird.

Ever since I took a tumble with my pup on a January jaunt, I’ve fought some shin pain. It seems to start after about a half a mile of running and persist until somewhere between one and two miles. Then it gets better.

Adapted by this user from Pixabay public domain photo.

And it’s way worse on the treadmill than on the trail or open road.

Maybe it’s the bouncy surface. Possibly, my gait is just different enough on the ‘mill to aggravate things. Anyway, on the treadmill, I sometimes have to pause the machine for mid-workout stretching, just to keep on going.

A few weeks ago, I had a consultation with a sports medicine guy. He ruled out shin splints (although that is sort of where the agony is located). He said he doubted I had any fractures or tears. But the lower-leg region was extra knotted and tight and sore – right where the colorful bruising had been (after the dog-running debacle).

This may be my fault (or can I blame the dog?).

I’m still stomping out miles, trying to keep up with my year-long goal of 2,017 miles. And I am nearly on-track, which is more than OK at this point of winter. (I tend to run longer distances in the warmer months, so I can make up a few extra miles then, if I need to.) But I am pushing myself more than I have in past years.

Maybe I’m not taking enough rest days (like any at all). And I know that’s the universal cure for running-related injuries of all sorts. But I really want to keep chugging away at that 2017 goal.

So I am living in compression socks. I’m foam rolling like a fiend. (I’m even taking my chiro’s advice and using a baker’s rolling pin to work the sore shin muscles more aggressively.) Let’s say it’s helping. It’s gotta be.

After all, my sneakers are calling.

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