Today I started proper road running and hill training ahead of my first ever half marathon, the 21.1km run at the Mandela Day Marathon. It didn’t go well.
I used to get horrible shin splints. So much so that even just a brisk walk would send bolts of pain up the front of my legs. The reason for it was a combination of bad shoes and far, far too much fat — effectively, I was carrying more weight than my shins could handle. Fortunately, a combination of decent shoes and dropping 20-ish kilograms meant shin splints were a thing of my past…until today.
About 1.8km into what was meant to be a 10km run I thought my legs were going to fall off, of my shins would just completely peel off. That didn’t happen, needless to say. But the pain was excruciating. And shin splints — I know from experience — are one of those things that you can’t ignore and run off (I tried, but couldn’t).
My only consolation was that it was a tough route with loads of steep climbs and dips. In the end, thanks to as much walking as running (and I use that term extremely loosely) I got to just over 5km. But it wasn’t fun at all.
If you’ve ever experienced shin splints and have some advice for me, please pop it into the comments section below. This 1/2 marathon is a big deal for me (I’ve never done a competitive race in my life and, until a year or so ago, had ever completed a 5km) and really, really don’t want to mess it up.