So I had some tightness in my calf. I really thought that I had hurt myself bad – like a micro tear or something. Not career ending but career halting. In years past I would have tried to run on it the next day and dug myself into a deeper hole. I preach 3 days off will save you 3 weeks; 3 weeks will save you 3 months. But in reality I have pushed through the pain. Not smart.
This time I called my friend, a PT and fellow runner PT Dan. I cannot stress how important it is to see someone that is also an athlete. PT Dan fit me into his schedule and before even looking at me he questioned exactly what I was doing when I started to feel the discomfort. Dan knew what and why I was experiencing the pain that I was going through.
He told me that pushing the limits and changing shoes probably caused the pain. I was experiencing shin splints. I was dumbfounded! Me, shin splints? I am experienced runner who racks up hundreds of miles a month. Well, the test shoes were minimalists and there was next to no arch support. On top of that I was a bit fatigued.
PT Dan massaged, did some ultrasound and next taped my aching calf. It still hurt some the rest of the day. However, the next day it was much better. In fact it was so much better by Sunday that I decided to go ahead and run the First Light Half Marathon that I had already signed up for; al be at a much slower pace (I paced a friend to a PR for the half).
I have become smart enough to know that I depend on my running for so much more than athletic needs (my mental health depends on my running) that I am quick to seek expert advise when necessary.