Friday, October 23, 2009

Guest Post from My Sister!

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!


  1. Hi Caroline! What a fun idea to go a guest post. I am one of Kelly's loyal readers and just like her, I am a teacher.

    Funny that you mentioned orthotics in your post because I just got some a few months ago. Ironically, I was not having any issues with pain, however my pedi lady told me I had callousing on my feet that was not normal and suggested I go see a podiatrist. The doc said for sure I needed custom orthotics because my big toes are not as flexible as they should be which causes a lot of unnecessary rubbing on my toes when I run. Now that I have the orthotics, I am having pain in my knees! Ugh! I don't know what the deal is, but I shelled out a LOT of money for my inserts and I hope that my body is just adjusting and the pain will go away. Like you mentioned, that may take a long time so I am trying to really be consistent in wearing those babies.

    I think you should definitely start a blog. It is really fun and you make a lot of bloggy friends/connect with a lot of people in the process. I will be your first follower! Make sure to have Kelly post the address if you decide to start up.


  2. i have shin splints too. I've done physical therapy, and just like you it didnt work. my physical therapist said that i dont pronate too much and didnt think i needed orthotics, just the exercises...WRONG. im gonna have to go for a second opinion on this one because my shin splints are exactly how you describe yours. i cant walk down or up a set of stairs without wincing.

    thanks for guest blogging. I'm with should start a blog. I'll be another follower :)

  3. Ugh, shin splints are no fun! I had terrible ones when I first started running but then I got new shoes (Asics Kayano's) and they went away! I almost never get them anymore!

    Stretching and icing helps me alot too!

  4. Hello Caroline! I remember battling shin splints the first year I started running. I think, for me, it was because I went out too far and too fast to begin with, never really building appropriate leg muscles to prevent those shin splints. Also, I was wearing old New Balance shoes and then got fitted for my Asics and never really dealt with shin splints since then. Now I wear Brooks and love 'em!

  5. Thanks for the guest post.. The Blogging world is FUN and so is your sister...hope she can dig out soon..

    I have been blessed thus far but this week have had little twinges of pain. I feel it more when I get tired and lose my form.

  6. I have had shin splints my whole life, but doing toe taps and the wall stretch has helped. The most important thing is to listen to the pain, I didn't and ended up with a stress fracture. Ouch! Please feel free to email me if you have questions!

  7. I have absolutely no advice on shin splints. BUT, since you're Kelly's younger sister, I'll assume that you're also a Red Sox fan. So, that being said, I must make a stupid Red Sox themed joke: "Sweet Caroline, ba-ba-ba..." OK, I'm done! Great job filling in. Now go write your own blog, and I'll follow it too!!

  8. Ugh, thats horrible. I've been lucky enough to not get shin splints, but when I was in high school I did play soccer with a girl who got them very badly. You could tell she was in a lot of pain. She had orthotics too which helped alot.

    That's great your able to start doing some running events!

  9. Hi Caroline! Great post! I suffered from shin splints a while back, but nothing compared to what you went through. I've found that running on the treadmill doesn't bother my shins, but road running tends to irritate them. Maybe you should start on a treadmill. Good luck!

  10. Welcome Caroline! Great post!

    Luckily I have never had trouble with shin splints. I feel that by saying this, I am just asking for them to be a problem for me down the road, though!

    Good luck coming up w/ a solution!!

  11. Thanks for all the great comments guys! I'll be sure to let you know when if/when I start up a blog : )

  12. (belated) welcome sister! :) glad you finally got a good diagnosis on your shins, and also that they weren't anything more serious. i've never had anything too terrible with my shins yet, but they do get sore from time to time. i "stretch" them with the "seated shin stretch" found here: maybe it, or one of the other ones, will help? i also ice/self-massage them if needed.

    hope you are able to find some relief! and hop on the blogging-bandwagon already ;)

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