Yearly Wrap Up: 2016

2016 was my toughest year of running. Compared to 2015, my total mileage decreased and my average pace was slower. I missed one of my goals. I’m pretty sure I was in better shape at the beginning of the year than I was at the end of the year.

I know that the popular opinion is that 2016 is the worst year ever, and at a glance, my year of running fits that narrative pretty well. And yet, I see moments, several moments, that were actually pretty good.

First, let’s review my 3 running goals for the year.

Goal 1: 1500 miles

I finished the year with 1400.03 miles. (Running Ahead shows it as 1400.0, so I had to export my data to Excel and add up the miles there to make sure I really made it over 1400. Whew.)

I’m disappointed that I fell short of my goal by 100 miles, and that was after setting a goal that was lower than my 2015 mileage (1550.8). Of course, when I set my goal, I didn’t know if I was going to get in to the New York City Marathon, and if I didn’t get in, I wasn’t sure if I would have run a full marathon in the fall. (Given how the year played out, I really don’t think I would have run a full if I hadn’t gotten in to NYC.)

I missed a lot of running with my ankle injury, though. I missed a few more miles because of my toe, and then I missed a run right before Christmas with a shoulder (!) injury. So, yeah, I missed my goal, but it’s a minor miracle that I only missed it by 100 miles.

Goal 2: 5 races, including 3 races that are 13.1 or greater

Nailed it. Here’s the full list.

That’s 7 races, with 3 (Charleston, Tobacco Road, and NYC) that were 13.1 or greater.

Goal 3: Run in a state that I haven’t run in before*

Entering 2016, I had run in 5 states. In chronological order: North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Oregon, and New Jersey. The asterisk in the goal is to indicate that I’m only counting runs as an adult. Growing up in New York, “running” in P.E. class sucked, and wasn’t my choice, so I don’t count it, and that’s why I didn’t include New York in the list.

I actually waited until after I entered the lottery for the New York City Marathon to come up with this goal. I had a few ideas for backup plans to add a state if I didn’t get in (The most likely states would have been either Virginia or, uh, Washington state. Really.), but since I did, I was able to add New York to my list as soon as I crossed the starting line for the New York City Marathon. I’ve now run in 6 states, and I don’t need that pesky asterisk any more.

I ended up running in North Carolina (duh), South Carolina, Oregon, and New York this year. I was in New Jersey to visit my cousins right after the New York City Marathon, but I was in no condition to run while I was there. I haven’t been to Ohio since…well, you know.

So, that’s 2 out of 3 goals. Again, considering everything, that’s not bad.

Also, hey, I started this blog in 2016, on July 2, my 5 year anniversary of running, with a post appropriately titled 5 Years of Running.

My first run of 2016 was on January 1, 5.16 miles. (Yes, the .16 was on purpose.) My last run of 2016 was on December 30, 6.16 miles. (Ditto.)

I suppose I should do a weight check. Until I looked at my notes from the beginning of the year, I forgot that 2016 was when I got a new scale, back in early March. The old scale didn’t do tenths of a pound, so at the start of the year, I was at 166. On the morning of December 31, I was 165.0. I’m down 1 pound for the year, which I suppose beats the alternative, but I know I gained a few pounds right at the end of the year, primarily due to Christmas. So it’s a little disappointing, and it also means that I’m overweight again, but I should be able to get back down below 164 pretty soon. Over the course of the year, I struggled at times. I got all the way up to 175.3 in late May after my ankle injury, because I decreased my running without decreasing my eating. I worked my way down, and even got under 160 during marathon training, but my weight crept back up a bit with the holidays.

There were a few highlights.

On January 23, the day after we had gotten snow, ice, and sleet, I drove over to the Y (half of their locations hadn’t re-opened yet), and due to the number of people, they had a strict 30 minute limit on the treadmills. I decided to make the most of my time and run as fast as I could for those 30 minutes. I ended up running at a 9:06/mile average pace, and the only time I’ve had a faster average pace was in the 2015 Yiassou Greek Festival 5K.

In the Charlotte 10 Miler, I ran the last 6.2 miles (which included a killer hill) in 58:54, the first time I ever ran 10K in under 60 minutes, and I ran the last mile in 8:25.3, my fastest mile ever. From a performance perspective, that was my best race ever.

In the Charleston Half Marathon, I beat my previous PR by over 7 minutes.

There were some lowlights, too.

The summer was absolutely brutal weather-wise. At one point we had 30 days in a row where the temperature never dropped below 70 degrees. It was also really humid pretty much every day.

I had my inflamed toe, a shoulder injury which luckily only caused me to miss one run, and I fell down during a run thanks to a little black dog named Emma. (Eventually, that story is going to turn into me getting knocked down by a huge Doberman named Killer.)

The Tobacco Road Half Marathon is memorable for the wrong reasons, since my ankle gave out around the 9.5 mile mark. Still, I finished the race, even running at the end, and at no point did I consider quitting.

I was lucky, though. The podiatrist was able to figure out what was wrong with my ankle, and had a solution – orthotics – that would allow me to continue to run. I still remember how relieved I was when he said I could keep running.

And then there was the New York City Marathon.

Hands down, it was the highlight of my 5+ years of running. My performance wasn’t great, but I managed to rally at the end. And the experience was absolutely amazing, running through the city where I was born. I’ll never forget turning on to 1st Avenue and hearing the wall of sound from people cheering, or, when I got to the borough where I was born, seeing the sign that said “Welcome to The Bronx.” My parents got to see me run for the first time, and I got to hug them during the race.

I guess that race pretty much sums up my 2016. The numbers don’t look great, there was a lot of difficulty (I almost forgot to mention the 59th Street Bleeping Bridge), but there were still some great moments.

The thing I keep coming back to when thinking about this past year (besides New York City, which was great) is my improvement mentally. Throughout the year, I was resilient, and I never gave up. Whether it was the last 3+ miles of Tobacco Road on a bad ankle, or the run where I fell down, ran home, slapped on a couple of Band-Aids, and went back out and ran 4 miles, or the tail end of the New York City Marathon, where I kept running as fast as I could even after I realized I wouldn’t be getting a PR, I always found a way to keep going.

Overall, I might not be satisfied with the numbers, but I know I gave it everything I had in 2016. That’s really all I can do.

I’m ready for 2017.

Weekly Wrap-Up: December 19-25

First, a belated Merry Christmas!

Second, I know this is late, partially due to traveling and visiting my family, and partly because of something else.

I had a plan. I was going to finish my wrapping on Friday afternoon/evening, run Saturday (Christmas Eve) morning, write up this post because my running week would be over (Christmas was a planned rest day), and my official weigh-in happened on Friday, and then I’d be done until either my December 26-January 1 wrap-up, or my 2016 wrap-up, whichever came first.

My plan was derailed by something unexpected. My right shoulder (!?!?!) started hurting on Friday and got progressively worse through the day. It made it impossible to finish wrapping, and since it was painful any time my arm moved, I couldn’t run. I never thought my shoulder would keep me from running. So I made the decision to not run Saturday morning. I didn’t write the blog post because I was trying to take care of my shoulder, and decided to wait until I got home on Wednesday to write it.

Saturday night, I struggled to get comfortable when trying to get to sleep. Somehow, I managed to fall asleep, and when I woke up, it was almost like a fever broke, and my shoulder was just a little sore, but there was no pain when I moved it. I was still careful, and tried not to do any heavy lifting, but from then on, it was OK, and I was able to run on Monday, but that’s a story for my next weekly wrap-up.

I still have no idea what caused my shoulder problem, but knock on wood, it seems like it’s gone now.

Weight Check: 161.8, down 3 pounds from my last weigh-in. OK, first of all, I had two 10 mile runs in there, and second, I screwed up, and before my Friday run, I forgot to weigh in. So I weighed in after my Friday run, and I guess I lost some weight during the run. I didn’t do that on purpose, and I’m pretty sure I would have had a loss even before my Friday run. Of course, the lower reading makes it more likely that I’ll show a gain on my next weigh-in.

As far as my diet, I did drink a bunch of Mountain Dew at work on Monday and Tuesday as I scrambled to get everything finished before the end of the year, and there were a few Christmas cookies that someone brought in, but otherwise I did OK.

I’ll do my next official weigh-in on Sunday, January 1, so then maybe I’ll get back to a normal schedule. Also, as I write this on Wednesday evening, I haven’t stepped on a scale since Friday. I suppose I’ll see where I am tomorrow morning.

Christmas Present Check: My parents gave me 3 pairs of running socks (They’re not Balega, but I’ll give them a shot), a new short sleeve tech tee (It’s blue-ish, and I don’t really need another blue shirt, but it’s the thought that counts), and 2 packets of Gu, one Strawberry Banana (my favorite) and one Chocolate Outrage (which I guess I’ll try out sometime). Also, not strictly running related, but they gave me a 500 tablet bottle of Ibuprofen (which I could have used on Saturday, but my parents had some Ibuprofen that I could take.)

My sister gave me a reflective vest for running in the dark and a pair of socks (Balega, but she got XL and I’ll need to exchange them for L. Luckily, she got them at REI, who has excellent customer service and I know I’ll have no problems there.) And in the not strictly running related category, she got me a pair of quick-drying underwear. This time, they’re briefs. Last year, she got me one pair of boxer briefs and one pair of briefs. The problem with the boxer briefs is that they’re a little big for shorts, so I can really only wear them with long pants. The briefs work with anything.

Nephew Check: My nephew Jack (about 2 and a half years old) got a small roller coaster and absolutely loves it. My nephew Quinn (just over 6 months old) loved the wrapping paper about as much as the presents inside. They’re the best.

This Week’s Runs
Day Total Miles
Monday 5.16
Tuesday 5.17
Thursday 10.03
Friday 5.21

Total: 25.57 miles

Yeah, the total is a little disappointing because I missed my planned 5 miler on Saturday. On the plus side, that Saturday run would have been in my parents’ neighborhood. I love my Mom and Dad, but I don’t love running in their neighborhood.

Monday wasn’t a great run. It was cold and windy, and while it wasn’t raining, everything was still wet from some previous rain, so it was pretty miserable all around. My legs felt OK for the day after a 10 miler, but it was yet another run where they just weren’t moving very fast. It’s frustrating.

Tuesday was much better. My legs felt good, and they actually moved like they felt better.

Now, Garmin tells me how many calories I’ve burned during each run, but I don’t know how it calculates that number, so I don’t really pay all that much attention to it…unless it tells me I burned 666 calories, like it did for this run. That explains why it went so well.

(Side note: I kid you not, the song that is playing right now is Hell by Squirrel Nut Zippers. I swear I didn’t plan that.)

Thursday I decided to do my long run for the week. I ran 10.03 miles just so it would be longer than my last 10 miler. It went pretty well. I was pleased.

Friday, there was no sign that I was just a few hours away from experiencing debilitating shoulder pain. I ran fairly well, especially considering it was the day after a 10 mile run. I don’t think anything that happened during this run led to my shoulder problems.

This week, well, it’s already underway, I’ve got two runs under my belt, and I’ve got 3 more to go, including, yes, a New Year’s Day run. I’m closing in on 1400 miles for the year. It’s going to be closer than I’d like. I’ll check in with my 2016 wrap-up at some point over the weekend, hopefully on Saturday, if not Sunday. I may wait until Monday either way for my next weekly wrap-up. We’ll see how it goes.

Weekly Wrap-Up: December 12-18

This week was mostly bad, although I managed to salvage a decent run this morning in unexpected (but not good) conditions.

Weight Check: 164.8, up 2.0 pounds from last week. Lots of Mountain Dew while I was frantically trying to get everything finished at work before year end, plus some beer, and since I had to do my long run on Sunday, my weigh-in doesn’t include those 10 miles. I know next week won’t be any better, but hopefully I can limit the damage.

This Week’s Runs
Day Total Miles
Monday 6.01
Tuesday 5.21
Wednesday 5.01
Friday 5.01
Sunday 10.02

Total: 31.26 miles

On Monday, I went out, and my legs were dead. I managed to get through 6 long, miserable miles.

On Tuesday, my legs felt worse than Monday. I cut back my mileage, but my pace was still slower.

On Wednesday, my legs felt even worse than Tuesday. I cut back my mileage again, but my pace was still slower than Tuesday. When I got home I wanted to take all of my running gear, throw it in a pile, and kill it with fire.

Thursday was a planned rest day. I’ve sometimes tried to do some core exercises, like push-ups or planks, on my non-running days, but I figured I’d better just do as little as possible and hope that my body would recover.

Friday I went with the treadmill. I was considering the treadmill for Wednesday’s run, and in retrospect, I really should have tried that, but the forecast for Friday morning had looked really cold, and I couldn’t bear the thought of two treadmill runs in one week. As it turns out, it was around 27 Friday morning, which isn’t very pleasant, but I can handle it. Still, I figured after my previous 3 runs, my legs needed some treadmill time. Also, I made it 5 full miles on the treadmill. I hadn’t done that in a while, and it was definitely a mental thing, so I was kind of proud of myself for that. Of course, the treadmill is still mentally excruciating at any distance.

Saturday would normally be my long run, but we got some freezing rain that morning, and the roads were pretty bad. I probably could have waited until Saturday afternoon when it warmed up a few degrees and the ice melted, but I had stuff going on, so I had to push it back to Sunday.

Sunday, I was surprised to find that, about 24 hours after getting freezing rain, it was 64 degrees and humid. Welcome to June. I still drove over to the McMullen Creek/Four Mile Creek Greenways, and got in the 10 miles I had hoped for. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, but I took it easy, especially since they had turned off all the water fountains for the winter.

Next week, I have no idea what my schedule’s going to be like. I don’t know when my next official weigh-in will be (probably not Sunday morning). I don’t know when I’m headed to see my parents, and I don’t know exactly when I’ll be going from my parents’ house to my sister’s house. Also, because I had to push my long run to Sunday, I might not be able to front-load my week like I normally would try to given the uncertainty. Oh, and I probably won’t be posting my next Weekly Wrap-Up on Christmas Day. The only thing I know for certain is that I’m working Monday and Tuesday, then I won’t be back at work until January 3.

We’ll see how it goes.

Weekly Wrap-Up: December 5-11

I signed up for my next race, the Joe Davis Run For Recovery 10K. It’s got a new name since the last time I ran it. Alas, the 10K and 5K start together this time, so I won’t be able to run both unless I get a DeLorean with a Flux Capacitor for Christmas.

It got really cold at the end of the week. I survived.

Also, as I write this, I’m still on call for work. Knock on wood.

Weight Check: 162.8, up 1.6 pounds. Yeah, it wasn’t a good week. I drank lots of Mountain Dew, I drank beer, and I ate junk food due to stress while I was on call. Hopefully this week I can buckle down.

This Week’s Runs
Day Total Miles
Monday 6.36
Tuesday 4.81
Wednesday 6.31
Friday 6.01
Saturday 4.61

Total: 28.1 miles

Monday got off to a rough start. My legs did not feel good at all, and I considered stopping early. I pushed through, and eventually my legs felt a little better.

Tuesday featured a cold rain that chased me inside to the treadmill. It was mentally excruciating, but it was dry. Well, at least it was dry until I started sweating. It was a solid run, and I’m inching closer to being able to get through 5 miles on the treadmill. Obviously it’s a mental thing, since I had 3 runs over 5 miles, and could have had a 4th if I wasn’t worried about getting paged for work.

Wednesday I was back outside, and it was really foggy. Also, my headlamp’s batteries were about to die. I wonder if I subconsciously slowed down due to those factors. It was an OK run. I was frustrated when I got home, though, because the Garmin servers were down and I couldn’t upload my results. I don’t think that’s happened before, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Friday should have been my longest run, but I put off going outside because it got really cold. It was cold enough that I considered the treadmill, but I had no podcasts to listen to. I finally got out there, but only had time for 6 miles. My pace was decent. I’m not sure how my legs felt, because they were numb most of the time.

Saturday I managed to get in 4.61 miles, and didn’t get paged, so there’s that. I waited until 9:45 to go out there, which is really late for me, but I didn’t have any other plans, so I figured I’d wait until it wasn’t quite as cold. It was a balmy 31 degrees when I started, but there was a little bit of wind to keep me from getting too comfortable.

I’m pleased with my total mileage. Even though I couldn’t get in a true long run, and my Friday run was a little shorter than I’d hoped, I still beat last week. I wasn’t expecting that.

Next week should be back to a more normal schedule, although the weather next weekend is looking dicey. We’ll see what happens.

Race Report: Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot 8K

I didn’t realize it until afterward, but this was my 25th race.

It’s been a while since I had a race where I did a lot better than I expected. Granted, I went in to this race with zero expectations. Part of it was because I’ve never raced an 8K before, and part of it was because I heard that it would attract a really big crowd, big enough to potentially slow me down. Still, I was hoping I could finish somewhere in the 50 minute range. I ended up doing better than that.

While I was very pleased with my performance, I have to say, I wasn’t as pleased with the race. In my previous 24 races, I’ve had some minor quibbles here and there, usually with the time or location of packet pickup being somewhat inconvenient, but really, nothing major to complain about. But this race, while there was nothing earth-shattering, there were a bunch of little things that added up.

First, some background on this race. My sister’s best friend lives in Charlotte, and she invited my sister’s family, my parents, one of her nephews, and me for Thanksgiving. I moved to Charlotte 20 years ago, and this was the first time I was here on Thanksgiving day, because every other year I traveled to either my parents’ house or my sister’s. My sister’s friend came up with the idea of doing the Turkey Trot, since they’ve got an 8K and a 5K, and lots of people walk the 5K. My brother-in-law and I signed up for the 8K, and everyone else signed up for the 5K, and planned to walk it. My sister probably could have run the 5K, but she was also pushing a stroller with both my nephews in it, so she walked it too.

I’ve never done a Turkey Trot before, mainly because of travel, although the last few years I’ve still managed to get a run in on Thanksgiving morning.

Normally I’d start with packet pickup, but my sister’s friend volunteered to go pick up everybody’s stuff, so I can’t really comment, other than to commend them for having packet pickup on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday packet pickup for a Thursday race is like Thursday packet pickup for a Saturday race, and I always appreciate that, so at least on this front, they got it right.

Everybody got a t-shirt, but we had the option during sign-up to pay extra for a tech t-shirt. I could use another long sleeved tech tee, so I spent a little more and got one.


The lighting is a little off, but it’s actually dark gray. The important thing is that it’s not another blue shirt. I’ll take it.

They also gave out lip balm, mints, and coupons for 10% off at Dick’s Sporting Goods, since that’s where the packet pickup was. Mints were kind of a strange giveaway, and I gave mine to somebody else, because I can’t stand the taste of mint. Lip balm was also unusual, but potentially useful. They gave out safety pins, but somehow we didn’t have enough pins for everybody. I volunteered to re-use some safety pins from an old bib.

The morning of the race, I got up, used the bathroom, showered, ate a Clif bar, brushed my teeth, and used the bathroom again. We lucked out on the weather, it was in the low 50s, so I wore a short sleeved t-shirt and shorts. My parents were staying with me, so I drove them to the race. There was lots of parking, since the start and finish were on the edge of Southpark Mall.

The 8K started at 9 AM, but the 5K didn’t start until 9:30. We got there around 8:10, and my parents stayed in the car for a bit while I wandered over to the starting area. (Side note: I brought a spare car key that I gave to my parents so they could lock up the car when they were ready. I could have just left my car key with them, but then I wouldn’t be able to take a picture with my car key after the race. Priorities.)

I waited in the middle of Morrison Boulevard for the race to start. There were a few port-a-potties near the start, but probably not enough, because the lines were pretty long. I actually thought about using one before the race, but I realized with the lines I might miss the start, so I decided to take my chances. (It turns out I was OK during the race.)

I saw two people wearing official 2016 New York City Marathon shirts. I didn’t wear mine, because it’s long sleeved, and like I mentioned earlier, it was warm enough that I wanted to go with short sleeves. Still, it was good to know that I wasn’t the only one who went from NYC to this race.

I took a picture of the starting line a few minute before the race started.


Yeah, a guy with a turkey hat. ‘Tis the season.

At 8:59, a gun went off to start the race. I didn’t hear any countdown, and pretty much everybody around me was surprised, but we started moving towards the starting line.

Mile 1: 9:57

Like I said at the beginning, I was worried about the crowd slowing me down. I noticed on a couple of the turns early on it got crowded, at least if you were trying to take the inside of the turn like I was. Later the crowds thinned out enough that I had no issues, it was just the turns on the first mile where I had to slow down a bit.

Near the end of this mile, I noticed one turn that my Garmin and I disagreed about.


I stayed on the streets, thank you very much. I found a few other turns where it looks like I cut the corner a little, but nothing quite as egregious as this. I think this turn is the main reason why my Garmin said I only ran 4.88 miles total, instead of 4.97.

This mile had a few rolling hills. Nothing worse than my neighborhood, though.

I didn’t see the 1 Mile marker, but my brother-in-law did.

Mile 2: 9:36

There were still some hills, but with the crowds thinned out a bit, I was able to speed up a little. My Garmin said this mile was all downhill, but again, considering the picture above, I take that with several grains of salt. I’d be willing to buy that there was more downhill than uphill, though, and that would explain my time for this mile.

Again, I didn’t see a marker for 2 Miles, but my brother-in-law did.

Mile 3: 10:01

This mile had more uphill, so I slowed down, but I hung in there. There were two water stops early, although the second stop was sponsored by a church and most likely unofficial. I skipped both of them. I wasn’t really all that thirsty, and I felt like it would slow me down more than it would help.

Also during this stretch, someone was giving out mimosas and (I think) something with apple cider and alcohol in their driveway. I have to admit, I considered it, but ultimately declined. Kudos to the people giving them out, though.

At 2.87 miles, I saw the 3 Mile marker. Uh, OK.

Mile 4: 9:46

The course flattened out a bit, and I rallied. I felt pretty good.

Last…uh, 0.88?: 7:47.3, 8:48/mile pace

I didn’t see the Mile 4 marker until around 4.06 miles. Also, there was one final water stop shortly after the mile marker, but I skipped it. I really poured it on through here. It stayed pretty flat, which helped. I passed several people along the way.

I crossed the finish line, and my Garmin said 47:07, with a distance of 4.88 miles.

I got my medal and went looking for food and water. It was really chaotic once I got past where they were giving out medals. I completely missed the tables with the water and food. After wandering around for 5 minutes, on my second loop I finally found the tables. The first 3 were empty, then I found some cups of water on the 4th. There were no volunteers that I could see. I then got a granola bar that was literally cut in half. They weren’t exactly huge bars to begin with, so cutting them in half just looked cheap. I had to check a few to figure out what kind of bar it was, chocolate chip. I also got an orange slice.

I stopped to take my usual picture with my car key. I got it on the first try, so there’s that.


By the time I got back to the finish line, my brother-in-law had already finished. He sent me a text asking me about where the water and food were, and I tried to describe it as well as I could. He eventually found it. We ended up meeting near the finish line on the 5K side – the 8K finished on the left side, the 5K on the right – and waited for everybody else.

Interestingly, as I was standing there, they had started handing out awards, and I was surprised to hear my co-worker’s wife had won her age group. (Actually, initially, I was like, “Wait, did I hear that right?” Then I checked the unofficial results on my phone, and yeah, she won her age group.) I sent a quick congratulatory text.

(Edit 2/19/2017: I just wanted to clarify that my co-worker’s wife is really fast, and I’d never be surprised if she finished Top 3 in her age group. My surprise wasn’t with her performance, I was just surprised that she ran the race, since my co-worker hadn’t mentioned she’d be there.)

My sister finished first, pushing my nephews in a stroller. (I’m pretty impressed by that, even if she walked most of it.) My brother-in-law followed them to the finish. My parents showed up a few minutes later, and I walked the finish with them.

By the time my parents finished, they had run out of water. That was disappointing, especially considering it wasn’t really that warm.

Also, you may have noticed, I haven’t mentioned my official time. That’s because I’m not 100% sure what it is. My gun time showed up on the website by the time I got home from the race, and it was 47:33. OK, that sounds reasonable. Then I waited to see when they’d post my chip time. They posted 47:28…on Monday, 4 days after the race. First of all, 4 days? Really? Second, I’m pretty sure it took me more than 5 seconds to get to the starting line. In addition, my Garmin said 47:07. Even if I didn’t start it right at the starting line, over 20 seconds difference is a lot. For now, I guess I just have to accept 47:28, but if something changes, I’ll come back and update this.

Between the surprise start, the timing, the chaotic finishing area, the half granola bars, and running out of water on a day that wasn’t really that warm, I’m not really happy with the organization for this race. And this is the 28th running, it’s not like it’s a brand new race. Also, they’re not exactly the only game in town. There’s the Turkey Dash, which is in South Charlotte (even closer to me than Southpark) and is a 4 miler, and the University City Turkey Trot 5K (which would have been a haul for me). There’s the Lake Norman 10K/5K in Cornelius that one of my co-workers runs every Thanksgiving (even more of a haul for me than University City). The point is, there are options, and honestly, if I’m in Charlotte again on Thanksgiving day, I’d rather check out one of the other races first than go back to this one.

On the plus side, the lack of organization meant that it took 5 days for them to send out an e-mail trying to get me to buy race pictures. (Even if it had been a well organized race, I’m still not buying pictures from an 8K.)

Anyway, I did manage to have fun at the race, and I ran really well, so I can’t complain too much.

Vital Stats

Full Name of Race: Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot 8K (Also included a 5K race)
Location: Morrison Boulevard near Roxborough Road, Charlotte, NC
Date and Time of Race: November 24, 2016, 9:00 AM (Actual start: 8:59 AM)
Bib Number: 2478
Official Finishing Time: 47:28, 9:33/mile. 1,491st of 2,927 Overall, 993rd of 1,379 Men, 105th of 155 in Age Group (Male 40-44)

Weekly Wrap-Up: November 28-December 4

I’ll post my race report from the Turkey Trot this week, I promise. It’s pretty much done. I have a chip time, although I still think it’s off. But hey, it’s a PR no matter what.

This week was a lot tougher than I expected, so I didn’t exactly run as many miles as I’d hoped, but I think I finished the week strong. The trick is to make sure I can keep it up next week in spite of the fact that I’ll be on call for work. If it was easy, everybody would do it, right?

This week, I got a free Finisher’s Certificate for the New York City Marathon, and found out my Age Group (Male 40-44) rank: 4,701st out of 5,188. Yeah, it’s a tough age group for a slower runner like me. I’ve updated the Vital Stats at the end of my NYC race report.

Weight Check: 161.2 pounds, down 0.2 from last week. OK, that was a pleasant surprise. I still drank too much Mountain Dew this week, but I guess my eating wasn’t terrible, and even though my total mileage was down, I ran just enough.

This Week’s Runs
Day Total Miles
Monday 6.01
Tuesday 4.51
Thursday 3.11
Friday 4.14
Saturday 9.01

Total: 26.78 miles

Last week, I did my long run on Saturday and another run on Sunday. Normally, my Monday run would be after a rest day, not after 2 days of running including a long run. So my legs were pretty much dead on Monday, but I managed to run the entire neighborhood, big hills and all.

Tuesday, I decided that the treadmill would be a good idea for my legs. It’s never a good idea for my mind, of course. My legs actually felt a little better than I expected, and I ran pretty well.

I normally would have run on Wednesday and waited until Thursday for a rest day, but I knew my legs needed the rest.

Except for some reason, the rest day didn’t really help. I went out Thursday, and my legs just didn’t want to go at all. I cut my losses after getting in 5K. It messed me up in more ways than one. First, I knew it would limit the number of total miles I could put in for the week, which was disappointing. But more worrying is that it did a number on my head, and both Friday and Saturday, it was really hard to get myself to get out there.

I got a late start on Friday because I was stalling and didn’t want to run. My legs didn’t really feel much better, but for some reason, they did move faster than Thursday. Go figure.

Saturday, I figured that based on my mileage the rest of the week, I should stick to around 9 miles, so I did. I started a little later than I wanted to, but overall, it went fairly well, and I sped up on the last mile, so there’s that.

So, I was mildly disappointed by my running this week, but I’m hoping it doesn’t carry over into next week. Of course, with me being on call for work, my quantity of running will be limited, but I’ll have to aim for quality. We’ll see how it goes.