From time to time people tell me that they've taken up running or are considering starting. I always celebrate the first successful 5k with them, and sympathize with the new runner aches and pains. When newbies want to stop running, it's almost always for one of a very few reasons:
1. Shin splints
2. Joint pain
3. The realization that it really hurts to power through the period when your cardiovascular capacity catches up to your ambition to run.
All three of these things pass after a few weeks. If joint pain doesn't pass you might need to get it checked out, but it can often be treated or ignored until it passes. Once you've been running for a while, another set of things crops up that can stop you or at least slow you down. There are a lot of sports-related injuries. Some popular ones are IT-band issues, acl tears, and stress fractures.
After taking close to 6-7 weeks off from running, Meg and I jumped back into it with a vengeance a few weeks ago. A little over a week ago, I started getting odd shin pain. Since shin pain affects new and seasoned runners alike, I can't readily tell what the problem is. It could be a very odd shin splint (since we just started back), or a stress fracture (since we started back really hard), or just new stress from a changing gait. Consequently, I've been ordered to stay away from my running shoes for a week to see if the pain stops. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Stay tuned.