I’m running out of time. 

That’s how I’ve felt for the majority of this week as the Manchester Marathon comes firmly into view. 

It’s been another very interrupted week from a running point of view as the calf issue sustained during the Cambridge Half Marathon continues to trouble me. 

We’re at the stage now where, unfortunately, I’m starting to lose hope that I can make the start line. 

The tightness in my calf continues to present itself during runs and whilst fears have been allayed that anything too serious is going on down there, its timing is presenting a problem. 

So much so, that if I can’t get a decent long run in, pain free, between now and next week then I’ll be going to Manchester as a spectator. 

The frustration is that I know there’s a good run in the legs still, perhaps not as good as it could have been, but I believe I did enough in the lead-up to the Cambridge Half Marathon to challenge the PB I set in Berlin last year (3:26). 

But that almost makes it more difficult because I don’t want to run the marathon if there is a big risk of jeopardising all the races I’ve got planned over the summer. 

I had to take a couple of months off last year through injury and no race is worth that.  

MORE: Love running? Join the Run Anglia Facebook group here

The good news is that I saw Kyle Brooks earlier this week and we think we’ve found the root of the problem in my calf (posterior tibialis strain). 

So, I’m confident I’ve got the right strength and conditioning program to alleviate my symptoms. Whether it all happens quickly enough before April 14 remains open to question – 26.2 miles is a really long way and needs to be respected as such. 

There is a huge temptation to launch myself into the strengthening moves I’ve been prescribed but you can have too much of a good thing. Rest and patience are equally important, and I don’t like the thought of either. 

I’ve set myself certain deadlines between now and Manchester but I’m finding it mentally exhausting as much as anything trying to decide when to run, how far to run and how fast to run. It really is all a lot easier when you’re not injured... 

I’m maintaining fitness on the stationary bike, which thankfully, doesn’t seem to aggravate the issue and, when I have been able to get out running, the legs feel very fresh. 

I’ve got a huge amount of respect for the runners that have made the call already to save the fight for another day. 

There’s still part of me that hopes I’m going to wake up one morning and it will have gone. Yes, I know, logic has left the building. 

You can take advice from people on what they would do but there’s only one person that can make the final decision; only I know what it feels like. 

I can at least be grateful for a really good running year so far and even if I do miss Manchester, I won’t let it define 2024. Hopefully, it can be a mere footnote on plenty more running memories to be made. 

There’s life in these old legs yet.