Oakland Marathon 2014 training: 1 week out!!!!!!!!!!

Oakland Marathon 2014 training: 1 week out!!!!!!!!!!

Week of March 10, 2014 – week 11 – 1 week out


Hard to believe that I just wrote “one week out” in my title, that my 22nd marathon is less than a week away, but it’s **almost** that time, guys! Pretty wild and exciting stuff.

Last week ended on a bit of a crappy note with me getting ill and deciding to pass on my 17 miler, my last real LR, though I knew it was the wise choice. This week, I slowly but surely felt like I was regaining strength, even with the reduced volume that comes with the territory of a marathon taper–and finally getting off all the cold medicines that made me feel like I was floating above myself helped, too, no doubt. It’s a bit bizarre because before I got sick, I was feeling pretty invincible about everything–not like this marathon was in the bag (because, newsflash, that never happens…) or anything, just a good, solid feeling of confidence–and once I got sick and was pretty much on my ass for a couple days, suddenly I had this ridiculous crisis of confidence and wondered if I’d even be able to finish a marathon, without any regard whatsoever to time goals.

Part of this so-called crisis is just taper nonsense for me, wherein my emotional and my rational sides duke it out in the confines between my ears, but typically, if I start to freak out about anything, I just think of what I would tell my running family if they told me the same stuff… and I generally tell myself to STFU, though (usually) in nicer terms. πŸ™‚

I should write a separate post about this stuff, but suffice it to say that a week out from Oakland, I’m feeling well–healthy, strong, confident in my training, and really pretty eager to see what’s there. Oakland is a bit of a mystery to me because the race has only been around for five years now, I don’t personally know anyone who has run it, and I can only glean so much from what I find online, from people’s blogs (and of course, the quality control is all over the place)… so unlike before NYC (and many other races), when I felt like I knew everything I needed to know about how to pace myself, what the course/topography was like, and all the secret little ins and outs of how to run a successful marathon there, Oakland is a bit more of a surprise. It’s fun that way, maybe a bit unnerving, but mostly just fun. I’m beginning to get tangential, so I’ll cut myself off now and take you to this week’s training!

Monday, March 10

p: rest

a: rest

Like a champ.

Tuesday, March 11

p: GA + speed – 8 w 6x100m strides

a: GA + speed, 8 w 6x100m strides (8:24 pace)

This run was much more mentally and physically taxing than it should have been. It was also my first day of running after 48 consecutive hours off (a rarity for me), and my legs felt gelatinous, I felt like I was going to keel from dehydration (it wasn’t hot; it was 5am and probably high 40s!), and though I was feeling a lot better from my cold that sidelined me over the weekend, I just still felt meh. This was also my last day of being on a cold medicine cocktail which, if I can help it, I want to avoid in the future. No doubt the medicine helped, but I hated the way it made me feel.

Wednesday, March 12

p: recovery 5

a:Β  recovery 5, 8:33 average

A rare afternoon run for me. We’re a sharing family, so by this point in the week, the cold that sidelined me for a couple days, and was an annoyance to my toddler, was full on rockin’ out in my husband (hence the afternoon during-the-kid’s-nap run). Lots of mental nonsense still about the race, though I was feeling a lot better overall and finally off medicine.

Thursday, March 13

p:Β  VO2 max 8 mi with 3x1600m at 5kRP; recovery jog bt

a: VO2 max – 8.58 with 3x1600m at 5KRP; 3 min RI (avg for 1600s: 6:40, 6:41, 6:34Β  [goal: 6:40])

Just what I needed, both physically and mentally. This workout usually smokes me because I pace myself poorly and end up just about death-marching it in. I vowed I wouldn’t do that today, and it helped tremendously. I’ve also never done mile repeats on a track (only on the LFT back in Chicago), so that was a bit of a change as well. I managed to squeak in most of these before the school day began near the PCP track I was using, but a PE instructor was out there with his class and ended up shouting my splits to me each 400m, which was kinda fun and made me nostalgic for track season.

Anyway, I was THRILLED with this workout. Just thrilled. It has to be the only time I’ve done this that I actually succeeded in realizing that which I wanted to, and it was nice (read: reassuring) to see that one cold, that took me out of commission for a LR, didn’t totally deplete my fitness or somehow squelch any remote possibility of running 26.2 here in a couple days now (as ridiculous as that all sounds to admit). Awesome. And with this workout, the taper was officially official.

Oh, and I got some pretty pictures from the track and the sunrise. If you see my stuff on IG/fb/twitter, you might have noticed this lil photo-a-day thing I’m doing as part of the ZOOMA Napa promotion. It’s fun. πŸ™‚ The photo prompt that day was ‘favorite,’ so I wrote that my favorite time to run was with the sunrise.

PCP track (on the way there, anyway), then Chicago, Chicago, Chicago :)
PCP track (on the way there, anyway), then Chicago, Chicago, Chicago πŸ™‚


After the mile repeats, my gal and I headed down to the aquarium in Monterey and oogled over jellyfish for the better part of an afternoon. That has nothing to do with my training this week, but dammit, jellyfish are really pretty cool.

we're fans
we’re fans


Friday, March 14

p:Β  recovery 5

a: recovery 5.03 (9:03 average)

I’m totally embracing the easy recoveries and keeping them as easy as possible. My levels of vertical oscillation are probably horrendous, but the pace sure is fun. πŸ™‚ Not a whole lot else to say about this one.

Saturday, March 15

p: GA + speed, 7 mi with 10x100m strides

a: MLR 13.07 (8:21 avg)

Little switcheroo with putting my LR on Saturday instead of Sunday. For a change, I drove over to the section of the GRT where I first began running here, when we were in temporary housing on the north side of the city, so it was hard not to be nostalgic (even though it was just two months ago!) for a while. Started pre-dawn on a path lit only by my headlamp and the light of a really gorgeous full moon… and it was just all kum-bah-ya. This MLR was also one of the only times this cycle where I’ve run by myself without having my phone jammin’ to some music; I didn’t want the musical distractions to interfere with the birds chirping that I wanted to hear more. πŸ™‚Β  Anyway, kept the run nice and easy, and once I hit halfway, I allowed myself to do a little mini-progression but not quite approach GMP, going a lil somethin’ likeΒ 9:07, 8:47, 41, 45, 47, 40 for .47 – screwed up my watch when I dropped off my headlamp at the car (moron), 8:41, 25, 7:59, 53, 53, 49, 47, 33 for .6 .

Again, rationally, physiologically, I know there’s no benefit or no adaptation that’s going to occur that will give me any sort of competitive edge a mere 8 days out from my race, but emotionally, it can be hard to tell myself to calm TFD sometimes about this stuff. πŸ™‚

pre-dawn on the GRT with the big full moon over the new stadium
pre-dawn on the GRT with the big full moon over the new stadium


the sunrise, as seen from Alviso
the sunrise, as seen from Alviso


doesn't do it justice, but the fog rising from the riverbed was really cool...and kinda looked like a bunch of ghosts
doesn’t do it justice, but the fog rising from the riverbed was really cool…and kinda looked like a bunch of ghosts


Pretty fun (and early) run though before the family and I trekked into SF to meet-up with my first supervisor post-undergrad (read: one of my first ‘real world’ job supervisors). We had a great relationship when I worked for him, and he has long been a source of awesome encouragement and motivation, both in my personal and professional life, and I always feel like I leave our get-togethers feeling super charged and ready to just take on the fuckin’ world. That’s a pretty good feeling to have before your first marathon of the year, folks…

yay mentors!
yay mentors!

And, how cool is this– he was also a D1 hurdler back in the day, has also run several marathons, and has been a lifelong vegetarian (and vegan, for a while). Maybe it’s not so coincidental after all that we jibe as well as we do.

Sunday, March 16

p: MLR 13

a: GA 7.0 (7:57 avg)

Very awesome day for the running community. I was jazzed all morning and day from my friends’ race reports comin’ in from all over the country, and while I had planned to run pre-dawn, my 4am alarm came and went… as did my 5… and before long, I got to go over to volunteer as a course marshall with some other Wolfpack runners at the Go Green St. Patrick’s Day half marathon/10k/5k in Los Gatos, about 20 minutes from home. It was a beautiful morning for a race, and being a course marshall so early in the race, between miles 2-3, just rocked. I had a ton of fun cat-callin’ to all the racers, and they seemed to appreciate my nonsense.

and the view wasn't too bad, either
and the view wasn’t too bad, either

It wasn’t until I got home, then, and well after brunch, and after I fell asleep in my daughter’s bed waiting for HER to fall asleep… and after I came this close to not running because I awoke to her totally cuddled up in my arms… that I ran. 2pm, 79 degrees, unadulterated sun, and about 15mph winds from the north. It made for an interesting run, that’s for sure; I typically am running in temps that are nearly 30 degrees cooler, so my body was a lil’ WTF about the drastic change.

And that’s a wrap, folks. On to race week! Let’s go, OAAAAAAAAAAKLANNNNNNNDDDD!

This week’s mileage

p: 47

a: 46.79 — damn, so close!

How ya doin’?!

10 thoughts on “Oakland Marathon 2014 training: 1 week out!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Still a pretty awesome week of training despite the short time off. Glad you are feeling better! Nice pics (as usual)! The excitement is building… πŸ™‚

  2. Ahhh, one week out – exciting! I think it’s pretty cool to run a race that no one else (that you know) has run before! You can be the one to discover all the tricks to making it a good race πŸ™‚

    The fog in that one picture reminds me of steam vents on a volcano. But that probably just means it’s been a while since I’ve seen fog around here.

    1. haha Anne, I’ve never seen a volcano (I think…), so I’ll have to take your word for it πŸ™‚ but yea! less than a week now!!!!!!

  3. Duuuuude! I’m so freaking excited for you! You know I’ll be stalking the results and virtually cheering you on Sunday!

    I feel exactly the same way about the course (being a big question mark). I’ve read some non-quality blog recaps about Knox, and I am a bit nervous because asides from analyzing the course profile, I’ve got nothing.

    BUT, at the end of all this we are both prepared and ready to tackle our respective courses. All we can do is take it step by step and just enjoy ourselves πŸ™‚

  4. One of my favorite parts of this was that the PE teacher was calling out your splits to you! That is really cute and made me smile! Also your general attitude just feels uplifting right now. I think you are going to have a great day this weekend!!

    1. thanks for the love, Corey! the PE instructor was darling; I’m just glad I didn’t get kicked out for being there after 8am πŸ™‚

  5. So I was meaning to offer my comments on this earlier in the week, but somehow neglected to do so. Anyway, best of luck on Sunday! I’m sure you’ll do really well. You’ve put in the miles and have had an incredible training cycle, so now it’s time to show ORF what you’re made of! Oh, and in the event that your legs don’t want to go anymore, run with your heart. πŸ™‚

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