Shin splints can take a hike

Apparently, when an out-of-shape person with old tumbling and cheering injuries decides to try and become a runner in the dead of winter on frozen pavement, it doesn’t fare well for the shins. I learned this the hard way last winter. Even though I took it slow, it was still too much. I have old scar tissue on my shins from who-knows-what old injuries (what didn’t I break or sprain at some point), and when I started running, that scar tissue was like, “Nope!” and caused immense pain. Like, so bad I couldn’t even walk around my house in slippers, pain.

In addition to torture physical therapy, good running shoes and orthotic insoles, my trainer recommended compression leg sleeves. At first, he was taping me with KT tape when I left my twice-a-week appointments, but that meant I couldn’t shave…ever.

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I put up with it for a while because the tape made a world of a difference, but eventually I knew I wasn’t going to have him around to tape forever and wanted an easier alternative (I tried but really never could quite tape myself the way he did). So I picked out the Zensah sleeves.

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Oh my stars – what a difference! I wore these daily under my pants for probably two months. The way they are stitched mimics the kinesio taping method designed specifically for shin splints, so it was exactly what I needed.

Now, I only wear these when I’m running or, occasionally, doing other cardio when my shins feel sore. But my shins never actually hurt anymore – at least not yet – so these are doing their job. My only complaint is that after a year, they’re starting to lose elasticity, which is to be expected considering how much mileage I’ve gotten out of them.

My reward to myself for doing my first run-only (meaning, no walking breaks) training session on the treadmill will be a new pair of these. I have always had giant calf muscles, and now they are just giant calves, so I ordered a S/M but now that I’m losing weight and know how they fit, I’m going to order an XS/S next time. The ones I have now are white. What color should I get? I’m thinking neon pink or green. But this accomplishment is still a few weeks off, so I have time to decide.

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