Our YMCA has a path loop outside that circles a little playground and soccer field, so I drove there late morning to do speedwork.
I was wearing shorts in the 30 degree weather, so I wore a sweatshirt + long sleeve on top and fought the wind on my first (and only) lap. After one lap, I was freezing and my shins hurt, so I changed gears and went into the Y. After a lot of convincing and a little more stretching, I did speedwork on the treadmill.
After a 2 mile warm up, I completed 2 x 1mi (@ 7:13 pace) and 2 x 0.5 mi (@ 7:00 pace). One of the stipulations I gave myself for doing treadmill intervals was that I could get off the treadmill as soon as I finished my last interval, so I cooled down on the elliptical. The pace wasn’t too hard, but my shins cramped for the first few miles.
My shins only bother me occasionally, but when they do, it’s a pretty extreme feeling. It feels like my shins have too much pressure inside of them and they cramp up. When this happens, I stop and strech–I stretch my shins by sitting on my folded legs with the tops of my feet flat with the ground, and I also stretch my butt. Sometimes my shins feel better after a few miles, and sometimes they don’t and I have to stop running. From what I’ve read, it sounds like compartment syndrome (here’s an article from Runner’s World); in compartment syndrome, the fascia in the anterior compartment of your lower leg doens’t stretch enough to accomodate the increased blood supply from running. I’m hoping that if I strengthen my left hamstring, some chain reaction will happen and the shin pressure will go away…
Anyway, today the shin pressure went away after a two-mile warm up. Yay!