ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hi, My Name is Rachel, & I'm a Recovering Runner.

Updated on March 16, 2016

As a recreational runner, I have been running since early high school.  I would run for a couple of weeks, usually no more than a couple miles each time.  I would do some simple stretches before running, and run around the field that encompassed my childhood home.  But my life would get busy and I wouldn't run for a few days, then a few days would turn into a few weeks, and then I was out of the habit again.  I could never seem to stick with it longer than a week at a time because life would get in the way, and then I would lose motivation and that would be the end of it for a while. 

This cycle continued all through college.  I spent the 2 months before graduation running every evening after dinner, where I averaged about 3 miles. 

After graduation, and after I finally got a job working at a preschool, I would come home and power through my exhaustion for an occasional run on my treadmill.  This habit would easily come and go, however, as still living at home with my parents meant I was on their schedule and not my own. 

I lived at home for about a year and a half, during periods of employment and unemployment, where my running stayed as haphazard and periodic as my jobs. 

After becoming engaged to the man of my dreams, I realized that I still loved running and desired to stick with it long enough to actually start seeing results.  My fiance and I had already decided that we wanted to live healthy, active lives, and to encourage each other to pursue this goal in whatever way each deemed necessary. 

I wanted to run.  So I ran.  I ran almost every day (with 1 or 2 rest days off per week) for the 2 months leading up to my wedding.  I wrote it into my schedule book, wrote it on my calendar, delayed dinner, and got up at the crack of dawn to make sure I fit my workout into my day.  I did pretty much whatever it took to fashion my day around running, to teach myself to stay motivated and to finally make running a daily habit. 

Now, after almost 5 months of marriage, I run almost every day, with 1 or 2 days off during the week.  Or should I say that I was running almost every day.  Before I got injured. 

I had never had specialty running shoes.  I had always worn the department store special, usually $25 Nikes or New Balances.  But after upping my mileage and running an average of 4 or 5 miles daily for a few months straight, my upper & lower back constantly had so many pulled muscles that I was asking my husband for a back massage every night, just to relieve the pain. 

After realizing that this was not normal and getting sick of my back aching after every run, I realized that my cheap shoes were probably the issue.  I did research online and talked to runner friends, and they all said one thing:  most back pain can be traced back to one source:  wearing the wrong, unsupportive shoes. 

So I took Christmas money to a specialty shoe store and had my first-ever foot & gait evaluation by a trained staff member, who felt my arches and watched me run in different types of shoes.  It turned out that my arches were somewhat high, but they moved much more than the normal person's arches.  It was decided that I needed shoes with super-supportive arches, and maybe even some arch-support insoles to insert into my shoes.  I ended up buying both supportive shoes and the most supportive insoles the store carried. 

Following the advice of the knowledgeable staff member, I eased gently into running with my new shoes & insoles.  Because my body was not used to having such strong support, new & different muscles ached for the first week or so.  My back seemed to be slowly getting better, and I never had knee or ankle pain. 

But about a month into running about 5 or 6 miles a day with my new shoes, I began to feel dull pain in both lower shins, near my ankles.  At first, the pain seemed to come and go during runs.  I thought it was just another small ache that would go away on its own.  Then, the pain would come and stay until after I was done running.  Then my legs started hurting to the touch, when I pressed on my lower leg.  Before too long, my lower legs were hurting almost too much to run at all, and were even hurting on days that I didn't run.  If I crouched down or put excess weight on that part of my legs, they would scream in pain. 

Everyone I told about my pains thought I was suffering from shin splints, an extremely common running malady.  But shin splints usually come and go while running and don't hurt while resting or walking.  I had had shin splints in high school and college, so I knew what they felt like.  My pain was not shin splints.  I was becoming very worried.  I was afraid they were stress fractures. 

I did some online research, which affirmed my worst fear:  my leg pain seemed to be stress (hairline) fractures on my tibia (the big bone in the lower leg).  The tibia is apparently a very common spot for stress fractures, and it occurs with overuse.  Tibial stress fractures occur often when a runner runs repeatedly without giving the body enough time to rest in-between workouts, which was apparently what I had been doing.  I had been unknowingly working my lower legs so much without giving them time to adequately rest & recover, even though I was trying to eat post-workout meals with protein, carbs, potassium, and calcium. 

On an online web site about stress fractures, it said that usually 8 weeks of rest is required to heal a stress fracture.  I was not happy, but I wanted to heal. 

So I bought 2 Ace bandages, with which I wrapped my ankles & lower legs with daily, every time I left the house or was doing anything on my feet.  I rested my legs, put ice bags on them for the first week or so, and had my legs wrapped whenever I was on my feet for an extended period of time. 

I did more research online, and found that runners usually have very strong quadricep muscles (the big muscle in your thigh), but weak calf muscles (muscles in lower leg, near my injury).  So I did calf-strengthening exercises every day.  I also found out that, to avoid future injury, I should do ab exercises to strengthen my core.  So I designed an ab workout routine and spent about 20 minutes a day performing them.  It hurt, and still hurts, but I'm doing them. 

At this point, it has only been a little over 2 weeks since I've stopped running and started the recovery process, but the pain in my legs is gone.  I am going to give it a few more days, then try running a mile or so at a slow pace.  Then I will see if my leg hurts again.  If not, I will continue to slowly up my mileage until I can run 5 or 6 miles again, all the while monitoring my leg to see if pain is starting.  I will be thrilled if I'm healed after only a couple weeks, instead of 8!  But I know not to be too hopeful.  Healing takes time, and I'm willing to give it time, so I can heal properly, so hopefully I can run longer in the future.  I want to still be running when I'm 90 years old, so I am taking care of my body. 

I will also continue to do ab & calf exercises.  Once all of me is stronger, it will help fend off injury & sickness.

I wrote this very long story for every athlete out there, from beginner to advanced, know that injury is just a part of being an athlete.  Injuries are bound to happen, but you should take the proper time for recovery so you will heal properly.  If you take the time now, you'll be rewarded for it in the future. So don't rush it!  And get better soon! 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • amber lynn profile image

      amber lynn 

      10 years ago

      Hi!...So I just went through that exact scenario 2 weeks ago. I started running again from being out for 2-3 years. I ran every other day realizing the muscles need time to recuperate. I did however ignore that detail one weekend running 3 days in a row and I definitely paid for it. I believe I did have shin splints though. I also bought new shoes realizing my "new balance" weren’t going to cut it. It still got so bad it hurt to walk. Therefore I had to stop running for a week and also ice my shins, and buy ace wrap. It really sucks to feel great running again only to have to stop. But as you said it comes with being an athlete. Thanks for the encouragement and great hub!



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)