Weekly Wrap-Up: December 24-30

Hey, look, my New York City recap is finally done!

My left calf decided to flare up last week for no good reason, which sucked, but I got through it. That’s 2018 in a nutshell, parts of it sucked, but I got through it anyway.

Christmas Present Update: Directly related to running, I got 4 Gu packets and 2 pairs of Balega socks. Adjacent to running, I got a pint glass with the New York City Marathon course etched into it, a framed poster of the New York City Marathon course, 3 photos from this years race in a nice frame, and one more picture of me crossing the finish line. (I’m not sure why I didn’t get gifts like this after I ran NYC in 2016. Not that I’m complaining, of course.)

Weight Check: 168.5, up exactly one pound from last week. I ate and drank a lot, and to only gain one pound from all of that…well, it doesn’t quite qualify as a Christmas Miracle, but I’ll call it acceptable. It could have been a lot worse, I guess.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 4 miles easy 4.01
Wednesday 15 minutes easy, 20 minutes comfortably hard, 15 minutes easy* 4.01
Friday 3 miles easy 3.11
Saturday 12 miles easy 12.01

Total: 23.14 miles

Yeah, there’s an asterisk next to Wednesday, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Monday I was at my parents’ house. It was cold, 37 degrees, but not too uncomfortable. My legs felt OK. I’m not sure what happened in mile 2 that caused me to slow down, but something clicked on mile 3 and I got through the last 2 miles at a faster pace. Considering how I don’t like running in my parents’ neighborhood, it turned out pretty well.

I took off Tuesday. We drove to my sisters’ house in Raleigh after my run on Monday, so I got to see my nephews open all their presents on Christmas morning. They’re the best.

I expected Wednesday to be tough, the day after a holiday. I didn’t expect my calf to start feeling sore during the warm up. I tried taking a walk break to see if that would help, but it didn’t. I was a little late starting the main workout (that was mostly just a brain fart, but I was probably a bit distracted by my calf). Anyway, after a few minutes at an increased effort, I was struggling to stay under an 11:00/mile pace (a minute per mile slower than my recent workout paces), and my calf didn’t feel any better. So I took a 1 minute walk break after 7 minutes, turned around about halfway through the walk break, and tried increasing my effort again for 7 minutes. I was a little faster, though still noticeably slower than on my recent workouts, and my calf was still hurting, and after 7 minutes, I started my cool down with some walking. I resumed running more slowly, and my calf started to feel a little bit better. I added a little bit to the end of the cool down to get to 4 miles.

I originally had a run scheduled for Tuesday, but my coach noted that I could push it to Thursday (my normal rest day) if I wanted to. And that was my original plan, but after my calf problems on Wednesday, I decided to rest on Thursday. My coach agreed with this strategy.

Friday, I was back home. I got on the treadmill one last time before the Resolution Runners show up. My calf wasn’t quite 100%, but it felt a lot better than Wednesday. Still, I took it somewhat easy, starting out at an 11:32/mile pace, going to 11:19/mile after 1 mile, then waiting until around 2.8 miles to bump it up to 11:07/mile for the finish. My mind hated it as usual, but I think it was good for my legs in general and my calf in particular.

On Saturday, the temperature was pretty comfortable although it was pretty damp. My calf seemed to be OK. On the first few miles, it may have felt just a little bit off, but I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t been focusing on it so much, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

My legs in general felt a little sluggish, though. It was a long week, and while I enjoyed seeing my family, I spent a lot of time eating, drinking, and playing with my nephews (who are still the best), and all of that probably didn’t help my running.

It had rained on Friday, and while it wasn’t as bad as previous weeks – none of the greenway was flooded – there were a couple of muddy spots, one that I walked through to keep from kicking up a whole bunch of mud, and the other I took a detour around. It had stopped raining sometime Friday evening, so there weren’t many puddles left.

I found one water fountain that hadn’t been turned off, and stopped there at around 2.3 miles. I had a Gu (with some more water) at around the 6 mile mark. I did take a couple of quick walk breaks on miles 10 and 11, but I did manage to speed up a little on mile 12.

Overall, it wasn’t a great run, but I got through it, and my calf seems to be doing better. I’ll take it.

This week, well, I start tapering for Charleston. I did wrap up 2018 this morning, so now I need to do a December wrap-up, a 2018 wrap-up, and a look ahead to 2019. You’d think finally finishing up my New York City recap would free things up, but no. Stupid calendar.