Training in the City of Angels & the City of Lakes

I’ve had an interesting week of training, to say the least.

After taking yet another 2 weeks off from running due to my angry shins, I decided to start back up again last Saturday. I also happened to be in Los Angeles visiting family, so I took advantage of the nice weather (75 and sunny!) and went on a 3-mile run downtown. It was definitely the most scenic run I’ve ever done – we passed the Staples Center, the beautiful library, the fancy Los Angeles Athletic Club and even ran down Grand Avenue, where filming was taking place. However, despite the fun factor, it was definitely not my best run. I’m not sure if it was the smog, the long break from running or the cement sidewalks, but I struggled the whole way through. I felt very out of shape, and my lungs could hardly keep up. It was a little embarrassing, actually, and it only got worse when I went hiking the next day.

After returning to the Twin Cities (and a depressing 60-degree temperature difference), I attempted another outdoor run on Tuesday with very different results – I ran 3.85 miles (a personal best!) with no problems. My shins and lungs did great during the run, and I wasn’t exhausted at the end; I felt like I could have easily gone 4 or 4.5 miles. But as it turns out, even though I felt fine, I apparently pushed myself too hard again. When I tried running yesterday, I got intense shin pain and had to limp a mile back to my house in the cold, wallowing in defeat.

So, here I am again – back to square one with my shins. It seems I’ll never learn my lesson, but this time I’m committed to doing things the right way because honestly, I’m out of time. My 7K is next weekend! I’ve done even more research on both healing and preventing shin splints (and actually plan to follow through with it), and I made an appointment to see a doctor next week. Mainly, I want to make sure I don’t have a stress fracture or exercise-induced asthma, and I want to find out if there is anything else I can do before my first race. I’m desperate!

The good news is the weather should be fairly warm for the Get Lucky 7K – next Saturday is projected to be 57 degrees, but there is a decent chance of rain.

And for more good news – Minneapolis/St. Paul was recently voted the #8 best city for runners in the U.S. by Forbes! Ironically, L.A. didn’t even make the list. Score one for the City of Lakes!

Now share your training stories with me! What has been your biggest challenge? And where is your favorite place to run or work out?

 — Amanda

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