Why Do People Do This?

Well, I have completed my first half marathon! And let me say, I almost made it my last. I never knew how much of a battle of mind over body it could possibly be.

If you read Dang This Hurts! I talked about how I crammed a sixteen week half marathon schedule into eight weeks. And yes Virginia, there is a pain monster! He lived in my legs. But no matter how much it hurt, I had made the decision that I would run the Oak Barrel Half Marathon in Lynchburg Tennessee, which was four weeks earlier than the Country Music Half Marathon, which is what I originally committed to. (Hence the now eight weeks of training.)

I barely trained the two weeks before the Oak Barrel due to a pretty hefty shin splint. It wasn’t until two days before the event that I did a little bit of running. Again, pain, but no biggie since I was going to do this thing! Fast forward to the event, it was a decently cool morning but my legs felt pretty good. At 8 AM we were off! I waited for the crowd to get spread out enough for me to jog through them when needed, and then I crossed the start line.

I did pretty decent for the first mile. I blew past the power walkers and felt pretty good about that. I mean seriously, if I can’t beat the power walkers, I should just turn in my running shoes right there! My music was crankin’ and I started picking people ahead of me to catch as I went on, so it was a little game as well.

As I started on the second mile, my left shin began to freeze up. About a half mile later it was hard as a rock. I stopped a few times to stretch with no relief. I began to pound my shin with my fist to try to release the muscle, but nada. I tried for the next four miles to run whenever possible. When I got to the top of Whiskey Hill, a mile long hill that you need mountain climbing equipment to get up at the end, my shin finally released. But I had overcompensated for so long, that my right leg was now hurting pretty badly.

Again, I ran as much as I could for the next four and a half miles. At nine and a half miles I just couldn’t run any longer. At this point everything hurt! I proceeded to walk to the finish with the hopes that I could run the last couple of miles in. Yeah, no! As the miles went on, my body began to argue with my mind.

OHHHHHH another cliff hanger!! Check back tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “Why Do People Do This?”

  1. Congrats on your first half. The next one will be better. Make sure you stretch your calf muscles. There are two of them and you need to do them separately. They are the gastrocnemius and soleus. The calf muscles will fight with the ‘anterior compartment’ where the shin splints happen. Stretching the calves will decrease the strain on the anterior compartment muscles. Any questions? you know where to find me.

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