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Guest Post from My Sister!

Posted Oct 23 2009 12:00am
Hi everyone! This is Kelly’s younger sister, Caroline, who you may have read about in earlier posts (I did the Triathlon with her!). As you may have noticed, Kelly hasn’t posted for a couple days, which is SO unlike her and as a dedicated follower I started to get concerned. She is super busy preparing for conferences and lessons and has another bachelorette party to go to this weekend. Lately, I have been getting really into this whole blogging thing, I’ve been reading some other blogs and thinking about starting my own! So I decided it would be fun if I wrote a post for Kelly and see how this whole thing works!

I am a college student pursuing my bachelors in Marketing and Finance. I love sports (watching and playing). Growing up, they pretty much took over my life but I loved every second of it. Now that I’m in college and not playing organized sports anymore, I have to be more creative in terms of working out and staying in shape. Surprisingly, motivation isn’t really the issue… I love being active, but throughout college other obstacles have prevented me from being as active as I like.

Which brings me to my topic: Shin splints.

Shin splints might just be my biggest enemy. I first developed shin splints when I was a sophomore in high school playing soccer. They got really bad simply because, I hate quitting. When my coach would say get on the goal line it’s time to sprint, I wasn’t about to say I couldn’t because of a little leg pain. However, I think this ended up really hurting me. After my senior year, when my sports career (sadly) came to an end, I picked up running. Within the first week, I was having shin pain again. I immediately went to my school trainer and he gave me some exercises to do with a resistance band in order to strengthen my shin muscles.

This didn’t help. For the next TWO years I battled consistent shin pain. Just walking around campus would hurt. I wasn’t able to run more than ten minutes at a time so instead, I tried swimming to fill my exercise deficiency. I went to at least three different doctors/physical therapists to try to figure out why I couldn’t even run a mile without severe pain. This shouldn’t happen to someone at my age!

Finally, I scheduled an appointment to meet with a doctor recommended by my parents. After only couple minutes of observing my feet, he said I have slightly flat feet, causing me to “over pronate” and that I should get customized orthotics to fix this problem.

Over pronate? How had no one ever told me this before? As soon as I got home I obviously researched it and information about shin splints connected to over pronation is EVERYWHERE. I found that over pronation is when the foot rolls inward too much causing stress on the inner shin. How did I miss this? Or better yet how did the THREE other doctors who I went to before this miss this? (One doctor actually told me I needed surgery!)

For the next six months, I wore my orthotics everywhere. I didn’t run and instead waited until the inflammation went completely away (yes, this took SIX months). However, it was all worth it the end! Four months later, I have since been able to run my first 5k and participate in my first triathlon!!

Even with my orthotics though, I sometimes my shin splints come back if I run too far, too fast, or outside. I’ve found that a shorter stride and landing on the middle part of my foot often helps, but sometimes I wish I could enjoy a nice fall day by running outside. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of chronic shin pain? If so, do you have any advice for running outside shin splint less? I’d love to hear all your thoughts!
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