My nose was running this morning; I think I may be coming down with pneumonia. I sometimes get a pain right above my belly button when I do sit-ups; I think my hernia may be back. If I'm feeling this fatigued on only 50 miles a week, does that mean my iron could be low? And most urgently, there's a specific spot on the front of my right shin that's been hurting when I run and lately, even hurts when I walk; could it be a stress fracture??
We become so sensitive to the feedback we get from our bodies that it's incredibly easy to start analyzing and overanalyzing to the point that we just know that we're always on the verge of injury. You're probably especially prone to this tendency if you've ever struggled with a chronic strain or pain that just won't go away, even after icing and resting and taking time off and doing all the things that are supposed to make you whole and healthy again.
According to a family medicine website that I found, "significant injury occurs in 50% of runners each year." So maybe we're not so much paranoid as we are acutely aware of the risk we are putting ourselves at.
So as I sit here on the couch poking and prodding the achy spot on the side of my shin, I'm doing a little online research as to what it might be besides a tibial stress fracture. I'm comforted by the idea that I probably have shin splints, which is a little sick in itself, but I feel like shin splints are a diagnosis I can handle. There's something else called exertional compartment syndrome that doesn't sound too terrible either, but few things do when you're comparing them to a stress fracture. Everything I'm reading recommends rest, which seems like a luxury I can't really afford during the three weeks before my target 10K, but as another runner used to say to me, the first rule of training is always Don't Get Hurt.
Luckily, tomorrow is a rest day anyway and according to the somewhat overly cheerful folks at Road Runner Sports, I've got a brand new pair of super cushiony, supportive shoes running to my door as we speak, so I'll reevalutate next week and see what's best to be done. I haven't yet taken advantage of the indoor trainer that I got for my birthday, so this may be the perfect time to balance out my outdoor track work with low impact endurance workouts on the bike. I guess I need to start adjusting to the idea that I may not reach that goal of 2,000 miles for the year after all. I just went over 1,700 today, so it will be close...