Hi there, I totally empathise. I am something of a novice runner who is meant to be running my 1st half marathon this Sunday. I started a training programme seriously back in june, and have been sensible in my approach (joined a running club, bought a foam roller etc etc), everything was going great & I was on track for 2 hours when 2 weeks ago after my longest run to date (19k) followed by a 15k 4 days later I developed shin splints (both legs, its Worse in my left leg). Up until that point my distance increase and plan had been mapped perfectly and I was feeling really strong. I'd been stretching, having some Massages, and I just think the 2 runs was too much for me in a short space if time (I hadn't been able to do them a week apart..)
in the past 2 wks I have had 3 lots of massage&ultrasound, along with reg icing, resting, stretching, ibuprofen etc etc. my legs were feeling a lot lot better so 2 days ago I set out (after lots of stretching) on a gentle run to test my legs (as advised my my running coach), but unfortunately 1.5k in the pain in my left leg. I gave up at 3k as i didnt want to make it worse. Many tears followed (I've put a lot into this over the past 4 months, plus I'm running for a charity so feel like I'm going to be letting my sponsors down if I can't run). I have had so much conflicting advice, everyone had a different opinion about whats best it seems. the bottom line is this is an incredibly frustrating affliction not least to say painful too!
Today I am going for some acupuncture as a last minute attempt at a miracle so I can run this Sunday. I have been promised this will gets through it (am cautiously optimistic). If not I will have to look at alternative half marathons over the next few months. I'm trying to stay positive but I'm not going to lie, I will be gutted if I can't run Sunday.
For me the massage did help, (I appreciate its costly but I agree maybe you could do 1 every other week) I just probably needed a few more weeks on my side.
Good luck with your recovery, on a positive you have youth on your side which is a wonderful thing!