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.

12 comments:

  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...

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  2. TIME FOR NEW SHOES PERHAPS???

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  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.

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  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.

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  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

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

    -jeanette

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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.

    marc

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