I did something a little different over the weekend and ran the Dallas Half Marathon with some friends. The running part wasn't different, but this time I wasn't running for a personal best but just to accompany them and enjoy the run. This wasn't just their first half marathon; it was their first race ever! Congratulations to them both for the great accomplishment. It was great to get together again, enjoy each others' company, and share a running milestone.
The only drama for me was that about 6.5 miles into the race I felt a little pop in my left calf that immediately hurt a bit and then got progressively worse even though I was just jogging along at a pretty slow pace. At 10 miles I picked up the pace from the 10:45 pace we were running and dropped down to the 8:00-8:30 range and my calf felt better. I actually felt really good. The weather has been so warm in Austin this year that it's been difficult for me to judge my fitness, but I was able to run the last 3.1 miles significantly faster than I would have guessed so I think I'm actually on track to be able to try to run under 4:00 in the marathon.
The bad news was that after I finished my calf immediately started tightening up and getting painful. Last night I was having trouble walking and couldn't raise up on my toes. I was a little worried, but this morning I'm walking without a limp and it's just sore. I'll get a massage tonight and take a week off from running to let it recover. In the meantime I'll hit the elliptical trainer hard so I can keep building fitness.
Last week I ran 41 miles. This week was planned to be a recovery week anyway. I plan on doing my first 20 miler of the year and a 22 miler this month and be ready to taper for the first couple of weeks of January in preparation for the Houston Marathon on January 13.