Oakland Marathon 2014 Training: 10 weeks out

Oakland Marathon 2014 Training: 10 weeks out

10 weeks out / week 3 – Week of January 13, 2014




The theme of this week seemed to be two-fold: mental callousing and opportunities… or maybe they’re one in the same. This week also marked our first full week in our new digs in SJ. Just when I had gotten used to the GRT and had begun to get my bearings in our old ‘hood on the north side of SJ, we moved. Lots of miles this week = lots of exploring opportunities though, so definitely no complaints. I thank my lucky stars that I have the luxury to do this stuff for kicks every day.


I also learned this week that I was selected to be a social media race ambassador for a race here in SJ, the 408k, which is part of the Run the Bay Challenge (run with me! discount code for $4.08 off: 408hookup). The race is pretty fantastically timed with my Oakland training, so I’m pretty stoked. I love to race (not sure if I love to train more… it’s a close call), but I’m really looking forward to meeting more SJ runners in the process and, on race day, to run through some new-to-me ‘hoods.

408kIn addition, I also learned that I’ll be running on a Ragnar SoCal relay team headed up by fellow #TSFM and Nuun hydration wonderful ambassador extraordinaire, Chris, in early April, just a couple weeks post-Oakland, and in part to help promote #TSFM. I’ve run two Ragnars before, from Madison-Chicago, and they’re a blast. I am really looking forward to exploring SoCal with a bunch of somewhat strangers. 🙂


Tangential, but related to #TSFM mention: consider trekkin’ to SF and running with Chris and my fellow ambassadors and me in July at The San Francisco Marathon! 🙂 The full course is awesome, but if that’s not your bag, the first half is super scenic and hilly, the second half is wicked fast, and there’s always the 5k option, too. And, uh, pretty perfect race-day weather in late July. 🙂 (discount code for $10 any event: DSC10TSFM2014A26)


Anyway, training…


Monday, January 13

plan: R/XT

actual: rest + push-ups 🙂


Rocked the rest day. It also helped that all our stuff arrived from Chicago, so I relegated myself to sitting at our table, or standing in the kitchen, so I could stay out of the movers’ way. So begins Boxapalooza that has since taken over our townhouse.


Tuesday, January 14

plan: general aerobic + speed: 9 miles with 10x100m strides

actual: 9.1 miles, [7:51 average; 8:41, 7:53, :42, :48; :36, :45, :45, :54, :42] + PUs


First run from the new place. The East Foothills are pretty close to us, but since I’ve only been there once so far—with friends, and during the daylight hours—I didn’t want my first time sola there to be in the pre-dawn darkness. I’m a little freaked out by the bobcats. Instead, I stuck to running on Capitol, which appears to be a main road in our section of SJ. It’s extremely well-lit, and I only felt like I needed my headlamp a couple times. Bonus: I got to run by some sort of executive airport. Seeing the planes up close and personal like that was pretty neat. In the absence of running with people, I get amused by the little things on my runs these days… Anyway, I started doing the 100m strides at my turn-around, and everything felt good. No complaints.


Wednesday, January 15

plan: MLR 14

actual: recovery 4.6 with A [average: uncertain: botched my watch] + PUs


Fuck. Woke up to run and decided (for reasons I can’t remember now) that I’d do this run later, and partially with A, with the plan being do something like 6 with her, drop her off at home once C got back from work, and then do the balance by myself. I was pissed with myself for most of Wednesday for blowing off this run in the morning because there are fewer variables for me for early morning versus late afternoon/evening runs—read: smaller likelihood of having a ‘shitty’ run—and yeah… this run gave me a big smack in the face reminder. Once my stomach probs began around 2.3 miles in, and I had to stop to use some sufficiently disgusting bathrooms three times on my 2.3 miles back home, I swore to myself that I’d use this run as a great reminder the next time I’m “too tired” to wake up in the 3 o’clock hour to run at 4am. Lesson learned. And man, my stomach kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilled for the rest of the night. To the fetal position I promptly went.


Thursday, January 16

plan: recovery 5

actual: 14.01 [8:10 average; 8:26, 07, 01, 08, 11, 22, 16; 13, 14, 7:58, 59, 8:14, 19, 7:56] + PUs


So much better than Wednesday’s run fewer than 12 hours prior. Went back the same way on Capitol as I did on Tuesday and noticed that my stomach was rockin’ the audible slushy sound/feeling, so I decided to stop at my place on my loop before picking up Capitol in the opposite direction. My idea was that I could pee out the slushy feeling, that perhaps I had drunk too much tea and water that morning, but post-pee, the feeling was still there. Ugh. Though counterintuitive, I thought that drinking about 8 oz of Gatorade—which I rarely drink, because it usually gives me intense GI issues—would somehow settle my stomach, and surprisingly, it did. The back 8 of this run were far more enjoyable than the front 6. Of course, once I finished the run, when I got home and drank the rest of the Gatorade, I doubled over in searing pain from what felt like knives stabbing my midsection and radiating inward, but hey… at least it didn’t happen on the run, right? Yeeeouch.


Friday, January 17

plan: MLR 12

actual: 12.03 [8:16 average; 8:25, 14, 03, 07, 15, 24; 27, 20, 26, 18, 23, 7:54] + PUs


Lots of mileage for me in the second part of the week due to some schedule shuffling, and though my legs weren’t lead, I could feel the fatigue setting in around miles 5-8 of this run. After doing 8 miles out and back on Capitol, I swung by home again to see if I could dump the slushiness feeling, but again, no dice… and again, a small amount of Gatorade seemed to do the trick. After the first 8 miles of the run, I headed out into a neighborhood near mine, one that is decently lit, for the 4 mile balance. I saw more people out on Friday morning on Capitol and in the neighborhood than I had seen all week, on all days combined, which was a little strange. My stomach felt fine once I finished the run—no knife-like searing pain—so I’m thinking the issues earlier this week were either caused by poor timing or by poor dietary choices. Again, lessons learned. This is what training’s all about.


Saturday, January 18 – #megsmiles

plan: recovery 5

actual: 18.02 on the Oakland Marathon course! [8:09 pace; 9:29, 25, 8:37, 10, 36, 7:32, 53, 53, 52, 49, 8, 7:54, 8; 02, 7:48, 8:03, 8:12, 7:35] & AG & water around 4.5, 8.5, 13.5




Honored to be part of the worldwide movement to commemorate the life of Meg Cross Menzies, a SAHM of three young children and runner, training for Boston, who was killed by a drunk driver on her morning run earlier in the week. The running community is one-of-a-kind, and the fact that a running group in Richmond, Virginia, could spark a worldwide virtual run to memorialize a runner whom 99% of us had never met is just awesome. I couldn’t read any of the #megsmiles postings throughout the day on DailyMile or Twitter without the waterworks flowin’. This just hits too close to home on so many levels. This can happen to any of us, at any time of day or night, and it just sucks when it does. Absolutely, positively sucks. My heart and soul ache for Meg’s family.


Saturday’s LR was special, then, not only because of the solemnity of running to memorialize a fallen sister but also because I got to run part of the Oakland Marathon course as a supported LR with others training for the half or full. It was absolutely worth the drive, and I’m so glad I went. Right from the start, we tackled the hills that Oakland’s known for; the joke is that there’s only one hill in Oakland, but it’s from miles 5-11.



the Oakland full course profile
the Oakland full course profile, according to the ORF website


for perspective: Oakland vs TSFM course profile. Thanks to http://www.atrailrunnersblog.com/2010/03/fun-and-hilly-oakland-marathon.html for this
for perspective: Oakland vs TSFM course profile. Thanks to http://www.atrailrunnersblog.com/2010/03/fun-and-hilly-oakland-marathon.html for this


This run was a huge boost of confidence for me because I think if I pace intelligently during the race, I’ll be able to do well and chase the experience that I’m after.


Also cool: I had the pleasure of running with a small group of runners, including John, whose group, the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders, is the pacing and training program responsible for the ORF; Allen, who was our unofficial pacer (and who has similar race-day goals as me); Cynthia, the only other woman in our little group (and who gave me the compliment of the year by saying that I look beautiful when I run and that I make it look effortless… someone give this woman some money!); and a Masters runner, whose name I didn’t catch, who led the run with us and literally marked the course for everyone else. In other words, Mr. Masters ran with a roll of arrow stickers, and every time we needed to make a turn, he stopped, affixed an arrow in the appropriate direction on the pavement, and caught back up to us.


At least 100 people came out for the sunny run, and it was a blast, in no small part because Oakland kept things interesting. Parts of the city are quite beautiful and cute—little downtown area, neat little local shops, gorgeously enormous churches and temples, eclectic and diverse neighborhoods—while other sections are pretty ugly–graffiti-ed up highways overpasses, prostitutes walkin’ the streets at 9am, drug use out in the open. In a way, sections of Oakland remind me of Uptown, so it’s hard not to get nostalgic. I’m looking forward to returning in early March for a 20+ mi supported LR with my new-found buddies.


just a handful of the Oakland course runners congregating before we took off
just a handful of the Oakland course runners congregating before we took off


Sunday, January 19

plan: LR 18

actual: recovery 6.02 [9:22 avg] + PUs


Easy like Sunday morning was the name of the game. Last weekend, I had set out to find Penitencia Creek park but didn’t—practically only a half mile from my front door—but I finally came upon it during a MLR during the week. It’s not super long, so it wouldn’t be ideal for LR or MLRs, but for these short recoveries, it’d be wonderful. I kept things leisurely after some big mileage this week and just enjoyed the scenery, including the aforementioned ‘creek’ in the park name.


part of the 'creek' in Penitencia Creek
part of the ‘creek’ in Penitencia Creek


Very happy with my training this week. I completely slacked on any formal strength stuff, outside of the nightly push-up routine (which, regardless of what I tell myself, isn’t sufficient), so that’ll be a goal for next week. Peace and love to all from SJ.


Weekly Mileage

plan: 63

actual: 63.78


How were your runs this week? Did you dedicate any of your week’s miles to #megsmiles? What safety precautions do you take on your runs?

12 thoughts on “Oakland Marathon 2014 Training: 10 weeks out

    1. Thanks, Pete! & yes– I agree! It’s a HUGE downhill (assuming it’s the same that I did on Saturday), and the top has several Greek Orthodox temples and churches… super pretty and a really nice view from the top of the hill of Oakland!

  1. Dayum lady! You’re smoking your training! I’m loving all the recaps of your runs- getting me all fired up for when I tackle another marathon sooner than later. 😉 I’m so happy you have settled into SJ life and are enjoying it!

    1. Thanks,Xaar!! Very excited to see what’s in store for you this year with your (marathon) running. I sense very great things… 🙂

  2. I am amazed at how much you have ingrained yourself in the local running community so quickly. I always think that I want to be more like that, but then get a little overwhelmed and don’t really know where to start. Great week of training!

    1. Thanks, Corey! You had a good week, too! & I agree– putting myself out there and just getting used to doing a lot of this stuff solo has been a bit of an adjustment, so I’m sure I’m ridiculously happy when I get to run with/meet other runners. The opportunities are infrequent, so I’m tryin to milk it for all it’s worth! xo

    1. Thanks for the sweet comment and support here (and on DM), Jeff! Appreciate it! Stoked to see you rock your IM in a few months!

  3. I haven’t run since Sunday and you’re making me want to find my shoes and run 🙂 (crazy busy week) Anyways, 64 miles!?!? Holy geez. You kick ass.
    If you follow the Penetencia Creek trail east, it eventually leads you into Alum Rock park. I was out there on Saturday .
    And that Oakland marathon elevation graph is what kept me from signing up for that. Looks like Everest!

    1. thanks for the sweet response, Sonia! yea, I just recently discovered the east side of PCP–very pretty. And AR is cool, too (ran over there a few weeks ago)! Hope you’re able to get some miles in soon and that life calms down for you a bit. And c’mon… Oakland will be fun 🙂

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