Shins & Smoking…

Ok, so I think I have become a bit preoccupied with times over the last few days so decided to change my training a bit today as an experiment.

After a long warm up I decided to just run.  Not run to a particular timing, just run at a nice comfortable but steady pace that suits me for as long as I could and then take a walking recovery break until I felt ready to run again.  I was hoping that I might surprise myself.   Well at least that was the plan..I had been running for about two mins, I felt quite comfortable and was getting into my ‘zone’ when I suddenly developed a really bad pain in my left shin and a moderate pain in my right shin.  The pain would shoot up my shins each time my foot would strike the tarmac.  It pretty much stopped me in my tracks.

I stopped for a minute and the pain lessened considerably when not running.  So I walked for a while and although I could still feel pain while I walk it was nowhere near as bad.  So I tried to run again…the same thing happened again and I had to stop.  Is this shin splints?  I don’t believe that this is my shoes as I have had a gait analysis done and bought shoes according to the result.  The shoes I have feel like a dream are very comfortable to run in. I have spoken to my trainer and she has suggested icing the area and reducing the running intervals, which I will of course do but I feel like I am going backwards!!  I am trying very hard not be disheartened by this setback.

Something I have never mentioned before is that I am a smoker…something I am not proud of but it is unfortunately a fact.  After my Tuesday training session I was wheezing all day, this was the first time I have felt like that since I started running and I am going to assume that now the training has stepped up a bit more (5 to 7 mins of continuous running) my lungs appear to have reached their limit.  I have now smoked for almost 20 years.   For the first couple of hours at home on Tuesday my chest was quite painful and I was finding it difficult to breathe…I couldn’t smoke a cigarette if I had wanted to!

I always said that one day I would try to give up but felt that until I really wanted to give up, it would a pointless effort, I still stand by that now.

I have thought a great deal about that since then and I know that I enjoy running more than I enjoy smoking so I now know that it is time to try.  I have made the first step…I have an appointment on the 27th March at the Smoking Clinic that is held at my GP’s surgery…it’s a start right?!  I now want to quit because becoming a runner is now so important to me.  I can already feel the benefits of the running as all the little aches and pains I used to get through inactivity are gone.  So the time has come…I just hope I don’t put too much weight on 🙂



12 thoughts on “Shins & Smoking…

  1. It just sucks to get an injury when you’re working so hard. But the onset of shin splits doesn’t mean you’ll get them any worse. Warmup your shins and calves before you run with some toe lifts and consider shortening your stride – at least as you start out your run. Good luck on the smoking but that’s a good sign your lungs are feeling it.

  2. I used to smoke, I used to have asthma and I used to get shin splints. Felt very much like you are describing in. I had to run backwards and forwards on grass (on a field) a couple of times a week to avoid running on solid ground all the time, but with the cold weather it might not make a difference.

    On the smoking side of things, you will probably not put on too much weight if you keep training (and you’ll lose what you do put on through running), but it is going to be tough because your lungs natural habitat is low oxygen, and you will be pushing them to take in more oxygen than their used to within the first 6 months. Just keep going with it, I never get shin splints any more, I haven’t had a cig for a LONG time and my asthma has gone, completely! It’s all possible Lass! And were all routing for ya! :0)

  3. Hi Jules, dont be disheartened by your shins you’re doing fab, and good luck with stopping smoking, you will feel so much better for it coupled with the running you will be a new woman! and dont worry about the weight as long as you keep exercising you’ll be fine.:-)

  4. My shins hurt like that every time I run and now I come to think of it, every time I do Gymnastics too. It is directly related to the impact and like you say, as soon as you walk it dies of quickly. Personally I just ignore it because I know as soon as I have finished it will go quickly. As for your lungs, I think that is normal. When I haven’t run for a while and start going again, the first few times my lungs complain like that, it can take hours to go away. If you keep up the running on a regular basis they stop doing that as they adapt to what you are asking of them. I’ve no doubt smoking will also have an impact but even if you weren’t a smoker you would get that wheezing but to a lesser extent. Good luck.

  5. I hope you figure out the shin pain! I have only experienced something similar right after my first half marathon. I basically didn’t run at all for a week after that, and then on my first run out my shin really hurt after just a few minutes into the run. I had to take it easy and walk/run that whole “run”, but on my next run it was fine. All that probably doesn’t help you at all, but I sympathize.

    On the smoking front, I wish you the best luck! You can do anything. I used to smoke, for over 20 years. I don’t talk about it on the blog AT ALL (I know it’s hard to believe that there are some things I don’t talk about on there, but it’s true), but I quit about the same time that I lost the weight about four years ago. I use Nicorette (a generic version) and am still addicted to that. My doctor and dentist have assured me that it is fine to keep chewing the Nicorette. I think I have an oral fixation, which contributed both to the smoking and to my overeating issues. Chewing the gum keeps me from smoking and from eating. I truly have no desire to smoke any more, because I prefer the gum to cigarettes. You probably don’t wish to trade your cigarette addiction for a nicotine gum addiction, but I’m just sharing my experience.

    • Thanks Caroline 🙂 The shins feel a little better today but I am just going to take it easy and today would have been a rest day anyway. I am hoping not to replace one addiction with another but to be honest if I stopped smoking but started chewing gum I would still consider that a huge success 🙂

    • Aww Thank you…It’s always great when someone considers themselves to be your fan…I have not been reading your blog for long but I am loving it! Keep up the great work! You can definately count me as one of your fans 🙂

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