I am pumped about it being Friday, wooo hoooo! My legs were well rested today, I got a decent night sleep and was ready this evening to rock it.
To my delight, the sidewalks were fully clear of ice and begging to be run on. I postponed my 8mi run last night so I was itching to get it in tonight. I incorporated a little more pre-run stretching tonight than I have been previously. There are a few studies out there warning against too much static stretching before your body has warmed up...something my chiropractic friends/family have study a little bit on as well. Each person is different and for me, I believe a good static stretching (after warming up my legs) is an absolute must. My body responds well to it.
I burned out of the gates at a 7:30 pace on the first two miles. The cold air in my lungs was telling me I had to back down a little but my heart was telling me to kick up one more step. The cold air won. I did slow down a little and tried to find a pace that would be sustainable for the remainder of the run. I settle in somewhere around an 8:45 and just kept humming along.
I read a little more on shin splints and found a common thread amongst runners experiencing problems. Running on slanted or uneven surfaces. Running on a slanted surface essentially creates a shortened step on one leg and a lengthened stride on the other and by running like this for an extended period can cause biomechanical inefficiencies leading to stress on muscles situated between the bones of your lower leg. All sidewalks are slanted for drainage purpose which is fine if you run out in one direction and return in the same direction. You are off setting the stride differential when you change directions, evenly working each leg in the same way. Well, often I run this two mile loop around my neighborhood and on 4, 6, 8, etc. mile runs I run 2, 3, 4, etc. laps around the neighborhood in one direction, never changing the angle of the sidewalk.
I realise this is a very simple concept but it took me until now to catch on and make a change in the way I'm running these laps. Tonight, I ran a lap (2 miles) in one direction and then turned around and ran another lap in the opposite direction. It made a huge difference.
That was my big learning for the day. In terms of results, see stats below. I'm proud of tonight's run and overall effort.
Stats -- Distance: 8.25 miles -- Time: 1:12 -- Pace: 8:44
FYI - I thought this posted on Friday night, I can see now that it didn't. All references to tonight were actually Friday.