Lynsey Macready: Running scared over time off for injury

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Panic has officially set in. An injury during this process was inevitable but I wasn’t expecting to lose two weeks’ worth of training, smack bang in the middle of reasonable progress.

According to my training plan, I should be up to the seven-mile mark but I’m currently still sitting at five.


The first week was taken out by shin splints – hugely inconvenient and hideously painful. In a desperate attempt to get shot of them, and because training for a half-marathon isn’t tortuous enough in itself, I chose to subject myself to some new experiences – a sports massage and an ice bath.

I’ve yet to decide which was more horrendous. Never have I used as many expletives as I did whilst forcing my aching legs under that freezing water, but the masseuse repeatedly pushing her thumbs into my screaming calf muscles was (on more than one occasion) very close to receiving an “accidental” foot in the face.

Despite the pain, they worked, and after a week of “active rest” – I say active, more an occasional swim and a guilt-free opportunity to catch up on Hollyoaks – I managed an easy three-mile run.

The next day I was greeted by an angry looking, small egg protruding from my swollen ankle.

As a particularly squeamish person, having to deal with that thing every day wasn’t ideal. Apparently the only remedy was RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation. I like what they did there but it wasn’t overly helpful considering the race is in 29 days, not that I’m counting . . .

Saying that, after doing almost no running for two weeks and constantly watching people sprinting comfortably past me, I started to feel a bit odd.

I imagine it’s how The Grinch felt after the unexpected revelation that he did actually have a heart, but instead I was harbouring my own shameful secret – running envy. I’m actually jealous of people pounding the pavements who aren’t sporting a grimace and oddly-shaped legs. The shame.

I’m taking this as a positive though, as at least the motivation and determination still seem to be there. Fortunately, as I now only have five weeks to progress from five miles to thirteen. Possible, yet still completely and utterly terrifying.