I decided to take part in Non-Runner Nancy's virtual 8 on the 8th. I was slated to run 12 today so figured I'd dedicate 8 of the miles to the race.
Let me start by saying that something is up with my left shin. I have had a long, sordid history with my right shin, but the left has barely ever complained. On Tuesday it was starting to nag a little and my left calf was a little tight. Wednesday was a good rest day. Thursday I was supposed to run 4 miles but cut it back to 3 when I recognized the signs which precluded the major blow-up of my right shin in the past. More NSAIDs, icing and stretching ensued. This morning it wasn't feeling horrible and I geared up for my long run. A smart runner would have called off the long run. A smart runner would take a nice relaxing run vacation. I have never been a smart runner. I am working on it.
I decided to run from home today which means 1.3 miles of downhill concrete pounding to the beach to start. This is probably the last thing you want to do when you've got shin splints. I'll be honest and say after the first 0.5 mi I was debating trying to be a smart runner and calling the entire thing off. At about mile 1, I decided to be a smart runner in-training and figured I'd cut back to 10 instead of 12. When I hit the beach, the terrain flattened out and I was able to run on the dirt/sand shoulder of the bike path. My shin immediately felt better. Shin splints are terrible for the fact that they generally loosen up a bit once you get going. By mile 2, I was back on the mental track to run the full 12. I kept to softer surfaces as much as possible the rest of the run.
Shin-pain aside I had a great run today. The weather was perfect for running -- overcast, cool, with a slight breeze that never got categorized as "wind." I listened to the newest Phedippidations episode and an archived 4 Feet Running. I kept my power songs at the end of my playlist to help me power back up The Hill towards home. My Garmin auto-laps every 0.5 mi and I haven't enough energy left to figure out mile splits for just 8 miles of my run today. So, total mileage was 12.4 mi in 2:11:30 (10:36 pace). The 8 on the 8th has gotten me into the Olympic spirit. I can't wait to watch the Opening Ceremony this evening.
My run was great and I'm really hoping it won't prove to be my last long run for a long while. I immediately iced when I got home but my shin hurts even when walking now. From past experience I know this is a VERY bad sign. Ironically, my right shin which has been threatening to self-combust the last few weeks (and really, the last 2+ years) has suddenly decided everything is dandy in the world. Thanks, Shins. I appreciate the lack of tag-teaming me.
Today's run was powered by homemade gnocchi: Boyfriend's Italian grandmother is in town visiting us. Yummy.