Kansas Review, running, shin splints, fascia, etc…

I’ve had a plethora of different things I’ve wanted to blog about over the past few weeks but hardly anything has been inked.  I was quite impressed with Overland Park, Kansas which was one of the nicest cities I’ve ever been in.  My hotel in Davenport, Iowa was considerably nicer but there was basically a highway on one side of the hotel and modest residential housing on the other side of the hotel which lead to my running path.

Davenport Iowa has a population a little over 100,000 people and is one of the quad cities.  I noticed Kansas City had a population of around 496,000.  Highway 435 is the bypass around Kansas City much like hwy 270 is the bypass around St Louis.

I do believe everything I could have needed for living the next year in Overland Park could be found within a 5 mile radius of the hotel where I was staying.  Even the two stadiums, Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadium were only 20 minutes away.  The sheer quantity and diversity of places to eat was rather impressive also.  Multiples of every kind of restaurant you can imagine.  Not just one BBQ place but maybe 1/2 a dozen including Korean BBQ.  I’m not even exactly sure what that is. Thai, Mediterranean, Chinese, Italian, Indian – you name it, it was bound to be close by.

Recalling …I indulged in Chinese, Pizza, Mexican, another Pizza place, Denny’s and Subway …..got a feeling I’ll be weighing in tomorrow in the mid 250’s 😉

The running path took a little more to figure out than in Davenport but, I believe the one I was on in Kansas was about 26 miles long.  In a few areas it would come up to a street then you had to know which way to go down the street in order to hook back up to the path.  I went West on the path my second time out and that direction was nicely contiguous.

I’m still having a bit of a tough time with my differentials.  A diagnosis (dx) is one thing – it’s just flat out what a person may be suffering from or what disease (dz) they have but a differential (ddx) is what you think an ailment is along with what you think it’s not.

I’m looking at x-rays and it’s pretty obvious that it’s not a case of Multiple Myeloma the same way it’s obvious that 2 plus 2 does not equal 5 but …in some cases I have to pick MM as one of the differentials.  I thought I was getting the hand of it but, in other cases we may skip cancer as a differential all together.

I did get one of my case studies 100% correct today so that was pretty cool.

idk – I’ve got a friend who is a pediatrician at a local air force base and he hated his Part 3 as well.

Shin Splits is kind of a bug-a-boo of mine – almost a nemesis.  I’ve actually heard it best described by the clinician who is teaching the board reviews I’m taking as minor compartment syndrome while inflammation in the posterior compartment or, more commonly, the calf would be a major compartment syndrome and could require emergency surgery.


In the picture above you can see an axial view with the tibia and fibula, this is around midcalf but, as we go distal, those two bones are going to approximate.  The thing with the anterior tibialis muscle in the anterior compartment is that those bones will limit where that muscle can expand.  Anybody who has ever lifted weights or tried their hand at bodybuilding knows that when a muscle is worked intensely enough that the muscle can be engorged with blood and become measurably larger.  That muscle gets worked a lot when a person runs and especially with new runners, when it does get worked, it will become engorged with blood and become larger – but, it’s only got so much room to expand, the bones and other compartments limit it’s posterior expansion so it’s going to press outward (anteriorly) and cause strain against the fascia of that compartment.   It’s my contention that the strain and pressure against the fascia of the AT muscle is what causes most of the pain in most beginning runners and, those do tend to be the ones who are often afflicted with this temporary condition.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has stated in some of the articles I’ve read that fascia does not stretch.  Well …with all due respect to the NIH, that is wrong.  And, it’s easy to prove.  If fascia wasn’t able to stretch or expand then bodybuilders would not exist.  Bodybuilders do exist, ergo – fascia can expand, stretch and accommodate musculature of various sizes.  It’s probably more accurate to state that fascia is not elastic but, over time it can accommodate.  This is probably an area where Graston or a good massage therapist can help combat the pain and help a patient/runner adapt to the pain of “shin splints” as quickly as possible.

I’m currently sitting at 96 miles for the month of August and should be getting my first Platinum trophy from Nike Plus in the next day or so.

I’m still pondering over my back to back to back to back ideas of running a half marathon each weekend for 4 weeks straight – then having almost two weeks off before the full marathon in Wynne, Arkansas.

There’s only 9 weeks and change left before that run.  I’m having a bit of a challenging time believing that I’ll be ready to run that marathon the way I want to run it.  I still have a long weight to go but …. 9+ weeks is still a bit over two months of training.

Some Great Runs
There have been a few times in the past month were I’ve had some really great runs.  I guess it was about a week before I left for Iowa when I had a trio of runs on Tue, Wed and Thursday.  The Tuesday and Wednesday runs were 4 and 6.2 miles respectively and they were my very worst runs in terms of time that I’ve had all year.  However, on Thursday night after Karate I headed out and did a 4 mile run that I practically fell in love with.  I just ran and ran and ran …I didn’t have any need to walk any parts of it, just a nice constant running.  I think more of my runs lately are becoming more pain free which is helping a lot.  I usually put two bandaids on each foot then a strip of athletic tape around them and that helps with chaffing in the areas around the lateral malleolus and just proximal to the calcaneus.   There is a chance that my shoes might be a little too big since fat feet at a bodyweight north of 300 probably are a bit different than those same feet at 250.

The other night in Kansas I had a 6.2 mile run and however long that took, there were only about 3 minutes of the entire run where I was walking, maybe a few minutes longer.  Once was towards the beginning of my run because my path was pitch black and I had to use my phone to help light the way.  I walked that part since I didn’t want to hit a tree.  Then after about an hour, I walked and checked my phone to figure out where i was and how to get back to my hotel.  Then one final time when I found myself running by Cleveland College of Chiropractic to take some pictures.

Without even realizing it, when the run was over and I looked at my splits I saw a 10:04 mile pace for mile number 4 🙂  There was a long stretch of path that ran adjacent to the highway and I could tell that I was moving faster but it seemed like with less effort than normal.  The form and everything just kind of flowed and felt great.  I think there was a slight decline to the path so that probably helped as well but I seem to be a sucker for nice, long straight paths 🙂

My running is coming along but it really takes a long time to reap significant improvements. That’s what it’s seeming like to me anyway.

Sometimes, it feels like when I got my first motorcycle and even though I barely knew how to ride it I would go out maybe 8 or 10 times a day just to ride it around the neighborhood because it was something new and kind of exciting for me.  It’s almost getting that way with the running again.  It’s like i’m developing a new toy or something …but, it’s an ability that I haven’t had for quite a long time so it’s very welcomed back into my life.

Just have to keep at it.

Biomechanics of Fat Runners
That kind of sounds like it could be the name of a magazine article, doesn’t it?  It is something I’ve been becoming more aware of over time.

The Japanese have a very advanced robot they have been working on for quite some time called Asimo.

Asimo Running

Asimo Running

I was watching some videos of Asimo running and realized I do about the same thing when I run.  In the picture above you can see that Asimo’s lead leg ends up striking the ground with the leg still flexed, that is, it’s bent when it strikes the ground.  With running humans, the front leg is more extended and the front leg, with the heel strike phase of running is where you have maximum pressure and force on the cushioning elements of the knee, things like meniscus and articular cartilage.  I don’t have a huge gait when I run and often the lead leg will strike the ground like Asimo and still have a fair amount of flexion when it hits the ground.

I’ve talked to a few other runners who were a bit larger and heavier than your typical runner and found out that it is common for them to also have a faster pace walking than running.

well ….looks like my two little nephews have joined me here at the Ozarks so I’ll have to finish this up at another time 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s