Stress dreams and medial stress syndrome

So the amount of running I’m doing, or rather the amount of thinking about the amount of running I’m doing is obviously getting to me. Last night I had my first running stress dream.

I was headed to the start of a marathon in a wheelchair and was about to ‘run’ the race in the chair when someone came up to me and urged me to get out of the chair and try running. When I did so, I set off injury free and at a really good pace, convinced I was going to run in less than 2hrs 30mins (hey, it was a dream).

It all probably stemmed from yesterday’s visit to the physio department at the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace. Like my sports masseuse at Virgin Active, Caroline, the physio who saw me spent a lot of time just saying: ‘why?’ before getting down to business. Luckily, like most people who deal with runners, she recognises the obsessive streak.

Anyway, after much prodding and poking and pulling about, she said everything was in good working order apart from the lower part of my legs where I am suffering from Tibial Medial Stress Syndrome. If you Google it, you’ll find ‘shin splints’ coming up a lot. So tell us something we don’t know right? I was told I had shin splints weeks ago by Lillian.

Well, apparently, its not that simple. Shin splints is a bit of a generic catch-all term for any lower leg pain around the shins but there are several different conditions that can cause it – and as such, medical professionals are loath to use it to describe one injury. According to Caroline, the traditional ‘shin splint’ pain should be right on the front of the bone with the very thin layer of muscle in front of the bone gets tight, whereas I am suffering from an inflammation of the soft tissue that links the muscle to the bone on the inside of the shin.

Caroline said: ‘The main cure is rest but I know you are not going to do that so let’s see if we can nurse you through the marathon and then take another look when your mileage drops back to three miles a day.

And so as a first attempt, after massaging the affected areas, she has strapped the front of my shins with tape in an attempt to take some of the pressure. I need to see her again on Friday to see how it’s all going. We’re also going to have another look at my gait – how I run – and see if that affects anything and if I need a different kind of trainer rather than the support ones I currently use.

Click here for a link to Garmin Connect for a map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 600
Miles to date: 790.09

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