Training Log: Injuries and Shin Splints

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Muscles of the front of the leg.
Muscles of the front of the leg.

Over the last three weeks I have developed a pain on the lower inner shin of my left leg, close to the ankle. The pain developed to the point where running wasn’t possible- too painful. What was it?

I couldn’t work out of it was just overtraining (this might have contributed, but wasn’t the injury), sore muscle or tendon (difficult to isolate the pain to a discrete area or movement- it does relate more to the stepping up and off when running), or ‘shin splints’ which is an expression used for small damage on the calf muscles when they start to pull away from the shin bone due to overuse.

I rested, iced, applied massage and acupuncture…

Stretching and strengthening seemed to have the best result, although not an immediate or quick fix to the injury. It is awesome to feel your body responding to exercise or stretching as you feel the muscles loosen and fill with blood.

It feels as though there is some congealed gunk from a past injury hiding inside the leg which is wanting to escape. I don’t think I have fully recovered yet, but am developing clear signs of healing.

Shin splints are best avoided, rather than treated. They are both treated and avoided by strengthening the muscles on the front of the lower leg through exercises like walking on your toes and walking on your heels.

Consequently, because of the injury I have decided to postpone (again) the start of the running until 24 November. That will see me finish in Seoul before 23 November.

So what about the G20 and the petition…how does that all work in with this delay?

Actually, it becomes more important, as it should be. The focus always ought to have been on what ‘we’ are doing as individuals, with the run as a symbolic act for the event.

The design challenge which frames the petition is being pushed out now. Looking back, to try and ramp up the petition and design challenge while I was running would have been too much to ask. The G20 remains pivotal, next to the role individual’s play. As a collection of global citizens, the question remains: is there anything we can do aside from sublimate ourselves through an organisation? can we bring any meaningful pressure to bear on the G20 itself?

Starting running 12 days after the G20 ends gives time to analyse the decisions made by the G20 leaders. It gives a focus to what is being asked for in the petition.

Each delay is not a failure. It is a prototype. This is a necessary step in moving forward.

In the meantime, I am doing everything to help my leg heal and be fully fit to run on 24 November.

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