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17 year old runner, previously a 37 min 10k runner after just one year of running.
Been out since April, and I guess I've been blessed by the distractions of carrying the Olympic torch, climbing Mont Blanc and fundraising £6000 to keep me busy since then whilst I couldn't run. But now all that stuff's worn out, it's starting to take it's toll. I love nothing more than running. I have big dreams and aspirations in the sport- and I want to make the most of being in the U20 category whilst I can! I know I've got many years ahead of me but being unfit is frustrating as hell. I've been working on my core, learning about sport science and nutrition so I come back stronger but it's not enough. I can't swim anymore either as my gym membership ran out. There was worries of a stress fracture and I guess being busy earlier in the year stopped me getting it treated properly quickly. There were worries of a stress fracture and lots of scans and it was a case of resting, getting pain, resting, starting again for ages. I cycled a lot between April-July with no issues and running was on and off, and I was doing extra miles as well as speed work. I climbed Mt Blanc with no pain at all. I got back and joined a gym for 8 weeks to boost fitness and with cycling, rowing and treadmills the pain came back worse than ever. It was a silly mistake. The pain had stopped completely for a period of 2 weeks before Mt Blanc.
I finally saw a decent physio who said that he wasn't sure it was a stress fracture. This was later ruled out by my GP too. In the end, I found out I've literally got shin splints (MTSS) and that tight calf muscles are pulling on my tibia and that's causing the pain. They are also weak calfs too. As well as that I have issues with my hip balance and one is stronger than the other, so my right knee 'collapses' inwards on impact and flicks back at 90 degrees which has caused a lot of the issues too. I have had this all along and it never caused any issues and I had gait analysis back in March which never picked it up. The 'stress fracture' was in fact Osgood-Schlatters disease. All of my issues are apparantely because I'm still growing.
With regular calf massage, stretching and strengthening to loosen and increase the bulk of my calf muscles as well as core hip strengthening, you'd think I'd be getting somewhere. Well I've ran out of money for physio and massages for one. I've been referred to the NHS podiatrist but have been told my appointment won't come for another 3 months. My physio who I saw about a month ago told me I could start rehab running on a treadmill again which I did and had no issues for 2 weeks but at the same time I was cycling still and the pain came back. Not as bad as usual and it went after a couple of days of rest and icing, but when I saw her again she said it'd take another 2 months of rest to strengthen the calf before I should try again. I successfully managed to start running again and build it up in the 2 weeks before and after Mt Blanc but I think both times the climb and the gym stopped me progressing so she said I could try running again next week when the pain has stopped (2 weeks ago). Well I've been cycling every day to school, 10 miles a day, as I have done for 2.5 years- I've been more gentle than usual, have been doing it for 2 weeks now. Since I saw her, the pain has gradually come back and now I'm having to take MORE time off from the bike. 6 weeks ago I took a month off the bike to let myself rest and heal more.
So why the hell am I now unable to cycle gently?
Has anybody else successfully managed to escape the wrath of shin splints? If I can't cycle, swim or run I'm going to lose the plot. Any hope out there for me?