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Ugh! Can I run on my stress fracture?

March 10, 2010

I’ve been having leg pain pretty consistently for about two months. Five weeks ago it became pretty clear that I had shin splints. I tried to be smart rather than stubborn. I decreased my running, started icing my leg and increased my stretching.

I was scheduled to run a relay half-marathon with my fiancee’s company because they needed the runners and plans were made before my injury really progressed. Due to the pain, I volunteered for the 3-mile leg of the 13 mile race, meaning my team members would each run the 5-mile legs.

The 3-mile leg kicked the race off. I decided that since I was running a short distance, I would try to run it at my normal pace rather than slow things down. I wasn’t able to run my regular pace, but it wasn’t a terrible time either. I ran the initial 3 miles in 20:31. When I got to the checkpoint, my teammate was nowhere to be found. He decided to run the first 3 miles as well because he wanted to run the full half-marathon. This would’ve been fine except it left me with nobody to give the timing chip. I decided instead of waiting several minutes for him I would just run to the next checkpoint.

As a result, my short 3-mile run turned into a still short, but not as short 8-mile run. Again the time wasn’t horrible, but at mile 4 I felt my shin splint get worse–painfully worse. I trudged on and made it to the 8-mile checkpoint about 15 minutes before my teammate that was running the whole race did, so in terms of race results it was a very good idea to continue on. Unfortunately, I knew that my body paid the price for running a longer distance than I should have while trying to recover from injury.

By all accounts, my shin splints have evolved into a stress fracture. I’m not too happy about it. Scratch that, I’m very unhappy about it. It’s particularly distressing because it comes 2 weeks before a marathon I was scheduled to run in Washington DC.

I know its not smart, but what does everybody think about the prospect of running on a stress fracture? The majority of people out there seem to think its a terrible idea.

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