ORN: 1/2 mile. That's it. That's all. Nothing more. My main goal today was to strap on a pair of oldish shoes and do a quick lap around the block. It's a half-mile (give or take 10 yards), and I wanted to actually listen to how my feet are hitting the ground.

The verdict is not good. At any reasonable pace, my left leg starts slapping the pavement far too quickly. This is the cause (most likely) of the shin splints. The new shoes are not the problem, though I do strongly suspect the shoes I was in today. No, the problem was that, even though I took some time off after the Disney half-marathon, I didn't take enough off, and I started back up too quickly, and too hard.

So, this time I am taking the rest of the week off. Friday, I'll evaluate it, and decide whether or not it's improving. If it isn't, I'm finding a doc who specializes in sports medicine. If it is, I might take next week off as well - I want at least a week with no pain before I start up again. I see no reason for continuing a training program that is causing a potentially serious injury. I'd rather be sidelined now, and miss one race, than push through it and sideline myself for the rest of the year.

The Martian Marathon was probably a no-go anyway. It's looking like a serious scheduling conflict might arise, and leave me with no babysitter and a long drive home right after I run. Doable, but not something I want to attempt on the first marathon.

Things change - so it might still happen. But I am going to concentrate less on my hypothetical schedule for the year, and more on the joy of running with good form and for the sheer heck of it.


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