Tag Archives: shin splints

The Ups and Downs of Running

4 Apr

I’ve had a bit of a rough trot (again!) with my marathon training and so I’ve reluctantly signed myself up for the 10KM race at the Geneva Marathon in May instead of the half-marathon I’ve been training for. *sigh*

I haven’t really posted anything related to running or my half-marathon training recently because, well, there’s nothing report on as I’ve managed only 5 runs in the past 4 weeks. According to my dear husband, I’ve been going too hard (again) and haven’t given my legs a chance to really strengthen up for the speeds I want to be running at. I know he’s right but there are some days, very few days, but there are some days when I have a really amazing run at my goal speed and it fills me with so much hope and thoughts of being able to continue forever. But then there will be one day, just one day, when my calves start cramping at 10KM or 12KM mark just to spite me and force me to a halt for at least a week. This up and down cycle of running has been happening for a few weeks now, to the point where I now no longer run to a set pace, where I am no longer following any sort of training plan and where I am no longer running more than 12KM. And so my half-marathon in May has flown out the window and doesn’t look like returning any time soon.

I’m really enjoying my runs at the moment – the one’s that don’t hurt. The spring weather in Geneva is gorgeous and I’m having such a great time running along the lake and taking in the beautiful surrounding mountains, newly planted spring flower beds and boats out on the lake. I love being outside, filling my lungs with fresh air, wind in my hair, dodging the tourists crowding the Jardin Anglais.

I’m happy to be running and signing up for races but I just wish I could do more. I just wish I could run for more than 1 hour without a hiccup. I just wish my legs would once and for all sort themselves out so that I can get in some damned proper training.

I’m off to run in Z√ľrich this weekend. The husband will be running his 4th Marathon whilst I run the 10KM and then wait patiently for him at the finish line.

Wish us luck x

Marathon Training Week 17 : My New Frenemy (aka Foam Roller)

16 Sep

2 weeks to go…

Eeeek! It’s getting closer now. With less than two weeks to go it’s fair to say that I am nervous. Actually, sorry, I lied, I’m not nervous, I’m terrified! I had another bad week of training so it’s no wonder I don’t feel ready for this race.

What I Was Suppose To Do:


What I Actually Did:

Tuesday, 8 x 800m did not happen. I was tired and my legs were still a bit sore from the long run last Saturday. I struggled through 6 rounds before calling it quits. I was annoyed at myself, well actually my legs, but I knew that stopping short was better than injuring myself further. Smart move! I was not so smart on Thursday though. I didn’t get out for my run during lunch so I had to go after work. The problem was that I was going to farewell drinks for a friend of ours that night also, so I needed to get this run over and done with quickly. Bad move! I was running well and completed the 13KM in just over 1 hour and made it to the drinks by 8PM. I was pretty happy with myself until I woke up on Friday morning with sore shins and a sore right hip (newest addition to the family of injuries). I rested all day Friday and headed out early on Saturday morning for my easy 21KM run. Right from the first step I knew I was in trouble. The pain in my shins and in my hip was more than what I had been experiencing lately and after only 2KM I turned around and headed for home. My total 4KM felt like the last 4KM of a 40KM run, not the first 4KM of a 21KM run. Seriously, what has happened to me?! One good run is all it takes to set me back a week. Now do you understand why I’m packing my dacks?!

One thing that has helped slightly is the arrival of a new friend-enemy in our house. Enter foam roller aka tower of terror, inflicter of pain, your worst nightmare.


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Marathon Training Week 15 : My thoughts on my training so far

2 Sep

4 weeks to go…

I’m sorry, what? 4 weeks to go. Yes I heard you the first time, I just don’t believe you. How can there be only 4 weeks until the Berlin Marathon? I’m not ready yet and I’m pretty sure I won’t be anywhere near where I had expected myself to be when I registered for this marathon 10 months ago.

I was coming off a high after completing my first half-marathon in Amsterdam in October 2012. There were advertisements and leaflets everywhere promoting the 2013 Berlin Marathon. I had sworn never to run a marathon, what lunacy! I don’t know what compelled me to do such a crazy thing, but on the 25th of October 2012, just days after the half-marathon, I, and 40,000 other mad people, pre-registered for the 2013 Berlin Marathon. What was I thinking?! A few months later I signed up for the Geneva half-marathon in May 2013 thinking this would be a good race and good warm up to my full marathon training. Good thinking 99! I was planning for a 1h45m half-marathon and a sub-4 hour marathon. That’s when disaster struck and my training took a nose dive. Shin splints. The reason for my withdrawal from the Geneva half marathon, the reason for my significantly adjusted training plan and time goal, and the reason for this weeks sucky performance.

There is simply no other word to describe this past week of training, sucky. Ok there’s probably plenty of other more appropriate words and I’m sure my husband will gladly show me a list of them when I get home tonight, but let’s just go with sucky shall we.

My Plan:


What Actually Happened:

If you one of my regular readers you will know what a fantastic long run I had last week and how deserving I was of a slower week of training. As with most training plans I’ve seen, every 3-4 weeks is a “rest” week, and my plan is no different. I’ve been increasing the distance of my long runs significantly over the past 3 weeks so I was looking forward to a relatively easy 21KM run this week – plus a trip to Budapest but more on that later this week ūüôā

Unfortunately my shins were sore on Sunday and Monday following my long run on Saturday and the 6KM of sprints on Monday certainly did not help. I skipped my spin class and struggled through 11KM on Wednesday. Probably a bit too much because on Friday I lasted on 6KM. It was an early morning run on Friday and fortunately my husband was up early as well preparing for his run because as soon as I got home I just cried. My ever supporting and faithful husband was there to pick up my soggy mess from the floor.

Now that I think about it, I’ve had one good long run in August. Just one. Damn these shin splints, damn my crazy idea to run a marathon and damn my determination to be at the start line in 4 weeks.

On a side note, here’s a little pic from my run on Wednesday night. Not such a bad place to be running, even if every step is painful.

Sunset Run in Geneva

Sunset Run in Geneva

Where is your favourite place to run?

Marathon Training Week 14 : Why I Should Not Run

26 Aug

5 weeks to go…

It’s marathon Monday! But you already knew that. You, my loyal readers, know what time of the week it is. It’s time for my weekly marathon training update and boy are you in for a good read this week.

My plan:


What Actually Happened:

As with last week, I’m just going to skip over the relatively boring shorter runs on Tuesday and Thursday (nothing new here; road run, not quite full pace, full distances achieved, minimal shin pain) and get straight into the long run report.

If you have read my reports on my last two long runs (27km and 32km), you will know that I haven’t been performing too well. Well by jolly do I have some good news for you this week. I ran 35km with no stops in 3h38min. Stoked!! I re-jigged my training plan so that I could run on Saturday morning instead of Sunday afternoon. Why? Because we’re off for a weekend away next weekend and so needed to shuffle things around to accommodate our holiday plans (naturally!).¬† I’m learning that I am much more of a morning runner than an afternoon/evening runner. I love the cooler air in the morning and I have no problem with rising early, even on a Saturday. I was up at 6am for a breakfast for Weetabix and a banana before heading out the door shortly before 7am. Thunderstorms were forecast to come through Geneva from 11am so I knew I had to get out early.

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Marathon Training Week 13 : My Lowest Run Ever

19 Aug

6 weeks to go…

My Plan :


What Actually Happened :

This week I’m going to skip over the intervals on Wednesday and the tempo run on Friday since these were relatively uneventful sessions and would not be very good reading for any of you. I’m sure you are all more interested in hearing how my long run went considering that’s my weak point and well basically where all the action happens. Continue reading

Marathon Training Week 12 : Weekly Training Update

12 Aug

7 weeks to go…

My Plan:


What Actually Happened:

This last week was a super week of training! Wednesday was a wet day so I was forced to take my run indoors to the gym Рnot my preferred location or terrain for running. My shins were sore after this run  and I put that down to running on the treadmill. Overall the run was ok but I think I could have done better on the road. Friday afternoon I had a beautiful run along Lake Geneva. It was a hard 10km as I pushed myself  the whole way and I struggled with a very painful stitch at the 7km mark and ended up walking most of the last kilometer but I was really happy with my performance for the faster 7km part of the run where I averaged 5:30 min/km. Continue reading

Marathon Training Week 6 : Weekly Training Update

1 Jul

13 weeks to go…

This last week was a great week! I managed a full week of training, plus cross training, plus physio, with minimal pain in my shins.

My plan:


What Actually Happened:

The short, fast run on Wednesday went really well. I was very pleased with my pace and finished in 30 minutes. This is still far off my optimal pace but considering I am working back up slowly I think this is a good effort. I had a little stiffness afterwards, but I stretched thoroughly and had a physio appointment that afternoon so by the evening I was feeling great. Unfortunately, for the next few days after my run, my shins were complaining more than I would have liked and this meant that I needed to cut down my road run to 6km rather than 8km to avoid further pain and injury. It was¬†most definitely¬†a wise decision because the 6km road run was tough on the shins. I rested all day on Saturday before my long run on Sunday to give my shins a chance to recover. The weekly physio sessions combined with the additional exercises and stretching I’ve been doing have certainly made a difference in strengthening my legs (shins and calves) and feet.

In the meantime, I¬†purchased myself a new¬†running buddy, an iPod Shuffle! In pink! Eeek!¬†It’s¬†only the small 2GB¬†shuffle, but¬†chf59 for 15 hours of music was¬†exactly what I wanted.¬†My¬†dearest hubby set it all up for me including¬†adding a whole lot of songs for me to run away to. I’ve started with¬†the music we have on our computer currently but I¬†am¬†eagerly taking¬†ideas of awesome running tunes for me to add so please send in¬†your suggestions.¬†¬†We might even be able to come up with a top ten list ūüôā

On another side note, I needed a larger grassy area¬†for my longer runs as the 170m round children’s¬†soccer field was¬†going¬†to become¬†tiresome (more than 50 laps for 10km, you get the idea). Once again, my darling hubby was on the case and found a rugby field¬†about 3km away.¬†Perfect!

So¬†early Sunday morning (it was 7am so yes, it was early!) I boarded a tram¬†and walked a short distance to the rugby field. It had rained all day Saturday and¬†so¬†it was a¬†tad soggy underfoot but¬†otherwise there was not a single soul¬†in sight as I started out on my¬†13km run. I had planned to run at 6:40 min/km but somehow I could not force myself to run that slowly. I was so difficult to run at that pace, I felt as though I could have walked faster. It’s funny because I always thought that road running felt faster than running on grass, but it was certainly the opposite feeling that day. Perhaps it was the music that was making me run faster.¬†I¬†averaged 6:10 min/km for the 13km to finish in 1h18min. Again I had some pain in my shins after the run but¬†not nearly as bad as earlier in the week, or even a few months ago. I am definitely improving¬†however I need to stay mindful and keep my pace as slow as possible, for now.

Send in your¬†best running songs this week and I’ll come back to¬†you next week with some of our favourites.

Marathon Training Week 1 : On The Road Again

22 May

Well I might not be back on the road just yet but we are 18 weeks and 3 days from the Berlin Marathon 2013 so the time to get back into running has come.

As you might recall from my previous posts, I’ve developed a case of Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (or Shin Splints on the inside of the leg) since the beginning of this year which has completely thrown out my initial race plans for the year. The Geneva Half-Marathon was run a few weeks ago¬†without me and in fact I haven’t run more than a few kilometers in the last 8-10 weeks because of the pain in my legs.

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