I have made it a habit to not stretch prior to, or after for that matter, running. I know. I'm headed straight to running purgatory.
I've never had any muscular problems, other than some slight soreness the day after a hard run. That's not a problem since I never run back-to-back days. Ergo, no need to stretch. On top of that, I have done the requisite research into the benefits and threats from stretching...and found very little either way that sways me. I can theoretically see the benefits, but it doesn't work for me, and I just don't see the downside based on my results. So there.
But I do have a caveat: at about mile 10 of the 2007 Houston Marathon, the only other marathon I have run besides the 1984 Dallas Marathon (yes, 23 years apart!), I had a severe calf problem that caused me to stop running and find a tree near Rice University to stretch against. It gradually worked and within three miles I had forgotten about the issue. What caused it? I can only guess it was all the stride-shortening and -chopping I had to do in the first 3-4 miles. Since I never run with other folks, this congested running early on was a little disconcerting. Maybe this had no effect on the calf, but maybe it did.
We'll see in January, right? The proof is always in the results. The clock don't lie.
Speaking of being on the clock, today was a cross-training day with 40 minutes of fairly hard stationary bike riding and about 15 minutes of upper body weight training, the only kind of weight training I do. A decent day following my fast Kingwood greenbelt 4.3 miles yesterday (32:43, or 7:36 a mile). Let's hope the weight work won't leave me as sore as the one session last week!