What a better place for me to start than introductions. I recently posted a blog post with most of the gritty details of my origin story on my blog if you're interested in checking it out. In short, I've been trying to better myself ever since I discovered a love of skating. My big nemesis has been my weight though. At 260 pounds, a more active lifestyle was much more challenging than it needed to be. Diets just don't work for me with a family and work environment that doesn't really leave me a lot of choice over food options.
My solution was running. When I learned about C25k my first thought was "You never see fat runners. You just simply can't stay over weight and be a runner." So I decided to be a runner and here I am today. I still feel like I'm earning the title of runner but I'm getting closer every week and every week I'm looking forward to each new accomplishment. I see slapping a number onto my back and tackling a 5k in the not so distant future. The idea of a half marathon some day doesn't even scare me too much. At the risk of sounding like a self help seminar, it's incredibly empowering.
I'm a bit upset at myself this week though. I pushed too hard. In addition to the program, I went out Tuesday morning for an unscheduled run which included running up a stretch of very steep hill. For my efforts I developed shin splints or perhaps something less forgiving in my left shin. I assume it was the hill since I've had no issue with shin splints before this and that was the only thing different that happened when they started.
I can't fall behind though. I won't let myself. I must run tonight. Hopefully I don't make things worse. I'm on week 5 day 2 and I've lost five pounds since I started. This is too important to me. The plan is ibuprofen and icy hot before the run and an ice pack when I get home.
Skip the Icy Hot. It doesn't do anything to help the problem (it feels good, but doesn't help the muscle repair itself).
Use real ice during the first 24 hours following the injury. Heat works better after that (but not before a run). You should also use some ibuprofen.
You should also scale back your training for now -- the guide for treating injuries is RICE -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest means just that.
I also recommend that you invest in compression sleeves and socks. Runner's World has a very recent article (September edition?) on compression socks. I've tried socks and sleeves, and strongly prefer Zensa compression sleeves. They look dorky, but they provide relief and seem to help if worn while running. Also, you'll look like a "real" runner if you wear them to a race!
Don't let this setback discourage you. Shin splints are part of being a runner.