Coming out of week 20 I was concerned about my shin issues and was feeling pretty tender after the long run on Sunday.
On Monday I was able to complete a treadmill run but it was starting to feel a bit foolish to push through and it was a case of accepting that I needed to rest from running and get it checked out.
Clearly my shins are taking the stresses caused by weaknesses elsewhere and I need to fix the source of the problem.
On Tuesday I completed some cross training in the gym including exercise bike and also a little treadmill walking.
Around this time the snow in the North East was particularly bad which meant outdoor running was tricky. On Wednesday I took a full rest day as the local gym was closed.
The weather conditions were so severe that the last Cross Country fixture at Alnwick was postponed. In many ways I was pleased as I was becoming concerned of the impending decision as to whether I should race with a niggle/injury. I am keen to complete all 6 fixtures and finish the season strongly.
My shins seemed to settle down nicely for the break from running and I was able to get back out on the snow for a run over the Town Moor on Thursday. The snow actually gave some welcome cushion and I felt like it was a good workout in terms of building some core and leg strength.
On Friday I built a little in terms of both duration and distance knowing that I had a physio appointment on Saturday to talk through the problems I was having.
I noticed on the Friday run that my core muscles were really being tested by running on the snow – a sure sign to me that I have some weakness there and certainly something I need to work on.
The physio appointment confirmed that I have some neural nerve issues in my shins probably caused by glute and core weakness. I felt like I had made quite a bit of progress in this area last year but clearly this underlines the fact that core strength is something you must constantly work on. It doesn’t merely get fixed and thats it – you have to work on it to improve and maintain it.
So I’ll be looking to get back on the glute strengthening exercises whilst managing my running based on “pain”. In other words I will continue to train provided the shins don’t worsen and become too sore.
Again I was able to get out on Saturday and build a little more on Friday. The conditions in terms of the snow were still poor and overall difficult to run on. And again I felt first hand how my core was having to work to try to stabilise every step as I was still sore in that area.
On Sunday I had 60 minutes planned as a long run which was less than previous weeks as it had been scheduled as coming the day after the cancelled cross country race. I went with it given the issues ongoing.
The snow conditions were similar in terms of what lay on the ground but the temperatures had increased a little meaning rain.
I decided to drive down to the Town Moor to run controlled laps on part of the Newcastle parkrun course. As I’d been doing most of the week I decided not to wear my HRM and just run on feel given the ground conditions were still testing.
Despite the wind and rain I felt quite good and I had some music to keep me going. I noticed there were very few runners out and about and the conditions were pretty grim. But there’s an enjoyment to be had from the dedication to a pursuit of personal venture.
I’m in it for the long haul. I’ll get stronger and better. I am confident of that.
In summary I completed approx 35 miles running in 4hrs 40.
I’m back on my travels to Italy this week. That means more treadmills which may not be a bad thing as I seek to find continual improvement in these shin niggles. But overall I’m hoping to get the weekly mileage back above 40mpw as attention stays focussed on the results scheduled Alnwick XC race and slightly further ahead the Northern 12 stage relays.
Thanks for reading.