I have a strange thing happening with the section numbers in my running heads.I can fix it manually as a layout adjustment for each occurrence, which isn't so bad when there are just a few pages. I would prefer that they work correctly, though.
On some pages they appear correctly:
But on a page where a section begins, I just get that section number:
In this case, "3" is the chapter number and is called into the header independently. Below are some of the macros I use. Let me know if I need to show anything else.
It looks from the beginning of the second line of the line editor in the wrong version that you have a thin space being stored - I suspect the running head is calling "first" which looks therefore as if its the thin space.