First off, I'll admit my ignorance when it comes to running. The pain I mentioned in my last post was a case of shin splints. I had heard of shin splints, but I have never been very athletic and cannot recall ever having them before, so I did not know what they were when I had them a few days ago. Now I know.
I also know what I was doing wrong. The following day, I went to the bookstore and bought a book called Chi Running. I'm not sure how I feel about Tai Chi, but Chi Running's form is apparently very close to barefoot running. I picked out some points that I needed to improve in my form and went for a run, focusing specifically on those.
I found that I was able to run much longer than before and finished feeling much more refreshed. It was exciting. Plus, My legs felt as they should have rather than feeling pain in weird places. However, I still don't have the core strength and coordination for perfect form. I still felt like I was bumbling around a bit, but it was still by far my best run yet.
I still have a ways to go, but I am feeling a little better about my goal to run the 5k next month. The problem is that half of the run is uphill and the other downhill. The Chi Running book says not to start running hills too early because it's hard to get the form right on a hill unless you already have it down on flat ground. However, though it may not be the smartest thing, I'm going for it. I still have a month though, so I can work up to it.
I'm feeling really good about my running. I plan to read the entire book and see what I want to apply to my runs.