OK, I know I've had you on the edge of your seat, and I'm sure you've been losing sleep over it... :)
The Stick came! On Friday, and I like it. I used it to roll out my hamstrings, quads, calves, and shins and I was surprised at how many large knots I had in my calves. I am not one of these limber, never-forget-to-stretch runners... in fact, the only time I've been able to touch my toes is when I had a few too many beers in college and asked my roomate to push down on my back until I could... Anyway - yeah, I'm stiff as a board, so I guess it's no surprise I've had this injury for so long.
My shins aren't magically better, but I was able to do my seven miler relatively shin-pain free. But, the big benefit is I've started to look at my whole body a bit more closely and I'm going to try to treat it to stretching and massages and (I can't believe I'm even going to write this..) ice baths. Oh! the horror.... I hate ice. The thought of an ice bath makes me shudder.
So I had that seven miler yesterday with two of my buddies from my running group, plus one girl's dad, and it was an adventure! 32 degrees, 35 mph sustained winds, and wise running guide that I am, I directed us onto a trail covered with three inches of crunchy snow. I can't think of much harder running than that - a mile trudging through the snow with the winds gusting at our face.. at one point I looked down at my Garmin, saw a 14:30 mile, and laughed out loud. It was an awesome workout though, and I'm feeling it today! I was so proud of everyone.. we averaged around 10:15 miles, busted out a 9:00 minute mile at the end and finished with a few hundred yard all-out run. It was fun.