Over the last couple of years I’ve upped my running since having 2 children and I decided to book the 10k at Goodwood in April last year.
I increased my training and in December, the previous year, I had a painful foot so I decided to have a short break from running to let it heal. After a month of walking around with a sore foot I finally decided to get it x-rayed, which unfortunately showed a stress fracture in my 3rd metatarsal!
I think I remember the day I did it, it was a freezing cold day in at the beginning of December and my new trainers had arrived that day on the post just as I was about to go out for my run. Where I live is basically all fields and mud so I thought I would save the new trainers until a drier day. Bad decision… I’m pretty sure the ancient old trainers and freezing weather caused the stress fracture as I remember feeling a big pain when I was running downhill on one of the country roads.
After 6 long and boring weeks in a big plastic boot, I was free to start exercising again. Everything I had read about returning to running had said that I couldn’t start running until I was pain free when walking for more than 60 minutes. So I did a lot of 5-6km walks to keep my fitness up and exercise my feet and legs and did lots of ankle strengthening exercises.
I rescheduled my 10km run for July to give myself more time to recover and started running again and built up my mileage slowly. But then I had a new problem … Shin splints! I’ve had them before but this time they were bad. It was so disheartening, as I had already had so much time off from running and I felt as though my body was failing. I tried everything possible to try and get rid of them; new shoes, gait analysis, chiropractor, sports massage, trail running, compression socks, resting for 8 weeks, strapping, praying to the running gods… You name it, I tried it and I almost quit running.
Anyway, fast forward a few months and I decided to reschedule my 10km run again to December 2022. I’ve persevered with running short distances and doing a mixture of trail and road running, I’ve stuck with the compression socks and I’ve decreased my stride length.
The shin splints are a lot better and I’m so glad I persevered. It’s not just been a physical recovery from injury but also a massive psychological push to het myself to persevere and keep my goal in sight. I never thought I’d be able to get back to running properly but I’m all set to run the 10km at Goodwood next weekend and I can’t wait. I have my sights set on a half marathon next year, so fingers crossed the injuries stay at bay!
The race at Goodwood went really well, albeit the freezing cold temperatures. I managed to take 10 mins off my 10k time and did it in 1.03h. I’ve now started training for a 15km race with the aim to do a half marathon this year but the shin splints are back with a vengeance unfortunately, for the time being…
…BUT she will be back! Well Done Emily!