I started out with the best intentions, but it seems that my body has decided to veto the idea of running on a regular basis.

It began rather well. I tried to be careful not to over-work myself. All the experts warn that it's easy to do too much too soon. So I paced myself.

I decided to try for every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. I started on a Friday. It was hard. The first time was all about feeling my limits and how my body would respond. I'd walk for a few minutes, run for one, and repeat. I did the before and after stretches.

My body was clearly not used to this.

I skipped the next Monday and tried again on Wednesday. Much to my relief, it was quite a bit easier. And the iPod helped too, I'm sure. Friday wasn't bad either.

The next week, I walked/ran on Monday but noticed something odd. My legs were unhappy. There was pain. I've yet to accurately pinpoint it, but it's just below the front of my knees--I think. Anyway, it's not good.

An old college injury (nearly breaking my right ankle) also decided to remind me that it could bother me if it wanted to.

I took off Wednesday, expecting to be better on Friday, but I wasn't. In fact, I'm still not. It's now mildly painful to walk. Climbing stairs isn't fun either. I can do it, but I don't enjoy it. Actually, climbing isn't so bad, it's going down that gets me.

Needless to say, this is quite a setback. I'm going to probably go back to biking as soon as I can. I'll try tomorrow, but I'm not sure how my legs will react.


I hate you, Murphy.

Posted by jzawodn at June 28, 2003 08:34 PM

Reader Comments
# jim mcmurry said:

I was wondering how your running was going..... I was thinking of starting as well, but wanted to see what you went through for the first couple of weeks or so before starting on my own.....(Im a chicken)

Maybe you overdid it in the beginning? twisted something?

I joined a Gym about 1.5 months ago, and I know I overdid it the first 2 times...and suffered for the next 2 weeks. I kept going though, and it has gotten better....

on June 28, 2003 08:49 PM
# Charles said:

You have the classic symptoms of shin splints.

on June 28, 2003 09:13 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


on June 28, 2003 09:14 PM
# jim mcmurry said:

So what can you do for shin splints? Ice them, heat pad or?

on June 28, 2003 09:21 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Apparently, yes. :-)

Here is some info that Google turned up.

on June 28, 2003 09:24 PM
# chuqui said:

Best treatment for shin splints is -- rest.

Suggestion: don't run. walk. Running is a high impact activity with a high rate of injuries. Walking is a lot lower impact with pretty much the same cardio impact, but without all of the stress injuries.

I almost hate to quote Time on anything, but...

on June 28, 2003 09:41 PM
# mitch said:

As a long time sufferer of shin splints and
Osgood-Schlatters let me just tell you that the surface you run on makes a HUGE difference. I used to run along the shoreline in the wet sand leaving me with little/no pain. During soccer season, it was the inside or outside of track in the grass.

If asphalt and sidewalks are your only choice, consider in-line skating.

on June 28, 2003 09:53 PM
# jim mcmurry said:

so there you go jeremy, you need to run during the work day along the great paths next to Yahoo! buildings. Take in the great views of the bay, just dont breathe through your nose on low tide days :)

on June 28, 2003 11:19 PM
# Ayron said:

when i had pain below my knees like that it was from a muscle imbalance in the quads. the inside muscle just above the knee wasn't strong enough. cycling will strengthen this muscle and as far as fitness work goes is a lot less impact also

on June 29, 2003 01:44 AM
# Chris said:

I agree with the horde; sounds like shin splints :)

What kind of sneakers have been wearing when you run? This can make a huge difference. For me, running shoes made the difference between major foot and leg pain and an enjoyable jog.

on June 29, 2003 10:21 AM
# Chris said:

I agree with the horde; sounds like shin splints :)

What kind of sneakers have been wearing when you run? This can make a huge difference. For me, running shoes made the difference between major foot and leg pain and an enjoyable jog.

on June 29, 2003 10:23 AM
# Charles said:

I mentioned your plight to my brother, who is a serious runner. He says you should take your running shoes to a store that deals with pro runners, they can take one look at your sole's wear pattern and see if you have pronation or other problems that could be solved with a better shoe fitting. But he also says if you're prone to shin splints you'd be better off cycling or swimming or at a maximum you should alternate running with other low-impact exercises.
OTOH, my brother is always overtraining and constantly gets sports injuries, so take this advice for whatever you think it's worth.

on June 29, 2003 06:24 PM
# Chris said:

As the others have said: Shin splints. Staying off your feet for a while (aka no serious running) is really the only true cure but icing after you run (and elevating the leg!) helps to dull the pain as does heating (icy hot works wonders) before you run. Lot of stretching can help minimize the pain while you run as can a tight wrap around the legs but see a trainer on that. Sometimes it can do alot more damage then it helps, we only resorted to that for the really important games. ;)

If you still want to keep running but can't stand the pain, there are specialized sports medicne doctors you can go to and they can probably set you up with a special insole/pad for your shoe (but get a good set of running shoes first) that can really help with the problem. A couple of people on my soccer team continiously had problems with their shins no matter what (and the pains also extended intot he knees) but after they got the insoles it basically fixed the problem.

Finally, Nike basketball shoes with the gel/air pad underneath are BAD for running! A couple studies have shown that it really throws off the balance of your body (mind doesn't quite know where the foots impacting) and can lead to alot more/accelerated damage to the knees/shins/ankles.

ALl in all, might want to look at cycling. All the workout (but I'm not sure about the stomach/pecks area??) but far less stressful to your body. Hope it helps, runnings hard to get into once you've stopped!

on June 29, 2003 08:51 PM
# brandt said:

just to add my two cents Z...

one thing you might want to try is briskly walking for about a week before you try to pick up running...the book i've been using as my guide for running suggested i walk 20 minutes a day for four days, and then 30 minutes a day for another four days before I started my program (i cut two of the 20 minute walking days out so i could start on a Monday)

also, where are you running? i've been running exclusively on a track at a local high school football stadium and i have noticed that there is not nearly as much wear and tear on my legs as when i used to run on concrete. those tracks are specifically designed to work as shock absorbers and i highly recommend running on one if possible.

on June 30, 2003 08:24 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

If I believe the diagram here then shin splints is not the problem I have. My pain is much closer to the knee.


on June 30, 2003 11:18 AM
# brandt said:

you can delete 3 of those comments if you wish Z, since the Google API issue ganked me.

and i'm glad that Better Health Leads to Better Dancing...

on June 30, 2003 12:24 PM
# dusty said:

Could be ITBS. If it is, my condolences, as I have had ITBS before and it was quite painful.

on June 30, 2003 01:40 PM
# Dave Cordle said:

Sounds like Patella Tendonitis (Jumpers knee). If the pain is just below the kneecap.



on July 3, 2003 08:07 PM
# RickySilk said:

Jeremy you're right it's not shin splints. As the name suggests shin splints are along your shin. It's not ITBS either as that is caused by a tendon that runs along the outside of your knee. It's not the imbalanced quad issue because the pain from this under your kneecap as opposed to below your knee cap which is patellar tendonitis as someone else posted. You have patellar tendonitis. This injury is commonly lumped in with others in the knee area and called "runners knee". This pain you mention is a chronic or overuse injury which means you need to go easier on your body until it adapts. You didn't mention the duration of your runs but if you have knee pain you went to long. Also, work towards a quick foot turnover rather than a lumbering jam-your-heel-into-the-ground type of stride. Avoiding hard surfaces will help. Concrete is the worst, asphalt not as bad, trails are good and more fun too.

As far as your training goes, do yourself a favor and don't train for mileage at this point. Set time goals instead. Go out with a goal of X minutes and run/walk at a pace that doesn't force you into labored breathing. At this point you just need to gently let your body adapt. Keep track of your training so you know what kind of load you've put your body under. I like http://www.coolrunning.com/log/index.shtml .

Hope that's not overwhelming but this is the first time there's been any opportunity for me to return something for all the knowledge I've gained from reading your posts. Plus I'm in full on militant training mode right now so I get pumped to talk about running.

Don't give up on your running just go easy until your body adapts. Let me know if you need any help/motivation to stick with it.

on July 7, 2003 12:23 PM
# Warren Christianson said:

Running is hard on the joints. Brisk walking, cycling, swimming at aerobic levels are much healthier for the long haul. Also, it is much easier to maintain a consistent exercise program that does not cause pain to your joints from beating them to death. I work in the medical field helping people after joint replacements.

on October 2, 2004 09:13 AM
# Mcgill said:

Yeah! That's why smary people say, " Slow and steady always wins." :D

on January 25, 2006 04:58 AM
# Dan said:

Hey di you ever find out what you had- i recently started running and have been experiencing strong pain in my knees- or just below my knees to be more precise. as with yourself, walking down stairs is an effort and nowmal walking is labouring. unfortuanatly i am a chef working splits so dont get to sit down much!

on September 4, 2006 10:36 PM
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