10 June 2009

Days 18 and 19

Day 19, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

35 Kilometers.
I decided, at the suggestion of several people, to take one day off and see if things got better with my shin. It hurts pretty badly all the time, if I roll my ankle around. Actually, now it makes a creaky sound as well. My host Aurelie called up a couchsurfer friend Antoinne, and I had a place to stay for a day of rest in Lille. Aurelie took me around town, and I got a French SIM card and boadloads of calcium and some strange (I think not very effective) versionof Icy Hot. I iced my shins some more with the Disney Otterpops.
At Antoinne's house, we played Cranium in French with his roommates. I am pretty surprised by how fast things are coming back in terms of language...I wasn't as completely useless in the game as I thought I would be.
The next day (today) I wasn't really sure if I should go onwards. My shin felt a little bit better, but still not very good. It was raining very hard off and on, and I had slept later than usual (11). After much deliberation, the terrible conditions somehow did not win over, and I decided to start limping towards Lens (35 km) around 2 o'clock. The rain kept starting off and on, and about half way I found myself soaking wet under an enormous cloud, knowing that at my current pace I would not arrive in Lens until 9 pm or later...and that I still didn't have a place to sleep. Whenever it would start raining I would move my backpack to the front, and put a little green trashbag over myself (I couldn't fit it over my backpack if it was on my back). The hole I made for my head was too big, so I ended up getting soaked regardless. The rain stopped long enough for me to take the above photo. I decided to make a serious face for once. Notice the clouds behind me.
Once I was about 10 km from Lens, the rain really started coming down, and I started smiling again. In such a crazy situation, all you can do is laugh at yourself. People started to pull over and offer me a ride. After the third time of explaining myself, I decided that I should start running so that people didn't feel bad about not picking up a cripple with a backpack on his stomach wearing a tiny green bag. I found that if I ran toe to heel, letting my foot absorb the impact, that I could actually move. I made it into Lens, the heavy rain stopped. Wet and cold, I forgot about my shin. I needed to find a place to sleep. Once again, I made a list of covered places, so absurd this time that I will not go over it. I ended up outside an arena of a concert for a famous French rock star, Billy Hallyday. I started feeling cold, standing among crowds of people who were listening from outside the stadium, so I headed back towards the center of town. I was incredibly hungry, and cold. I stopped to ask two women if they knew where a cheap restaurant would be open at ten pm, and ended up finding a place to stay.
Once again, I am incredibly lucky. I would have been very cold sleeping in the unlocked McDonald's playcenter.
My leg does not feel good. I hope it starts cooperating soon, otherwise I might have to drop kick it.


  1. I am hoping that your shins feel better soon. That has to suck..but please dont push past the pain too much..I dont know any suggestions, but PJ's meds sounds like a plan..give it a shot..it would probably relax the tension at least...So many people are "with you" Ryan, I am glad to see you smiling...Thinking of you always, I miss you but am glad you are following your dreams...


  3. Well, it is the morning now, and I think I will walk the about 20 km to Arras. My clothes and backpack aren't quite dry, and it isn't quite dry outside either.
    My shin hurt still when I woke up. I think that running on it yesterday was less than a good idea. I have been doing everything involved with shin splints, including taking huge amounts of ibuprofen, doing strengthening drills, icing, etc. I am really hoping it is shin splints, but as it continues being very painful as I walk and sit, I am thinking that it might be a little more serious. Keeping my hopes up though. I think that soon I will probably go to a doctor if it keeps up, but I need to figure out how that works over here, and if my health insurance will cover it.
    I didn't plan on getting a new pair of shoes until somewhere around germany, but I am thinking I might get a pair in Paris maybe, as I think they are wearing out much faster because I am not alternating, and I wear them all the time. Hopefully I will figure out what's going on soon.
    Thanks for all of your support/suggestions.

  4. Sorry about the shin splints, hopefully a new pair of shoes will help. Has the rain stoppped any yet!! Keep your spirits up, thinking of you.

  5. New pair of shoes? this sounds like a great time to get sponsored!

    and congrats on the bwog pickup. at the pace they're moving you'll be front page for the next month

  6. hope that shin gets better

  7. hi Ryan!
    this is so awesome, good luck with the shin! I'll be keeping up with your progress for sure.


  8. Maybe run backwards every now and then to use different muscles? Just a very random thought.

    BTW - I'm totally inspired to skateboard across Europe now. Good luck dude!

  9. hey ryan,
    try to find a compression sleeve to keep your calf and shin warm...not sure it will help, but it should provide some temporary relief.

    best of luck.