Oakland Marathon Training Recap: Week 16

Oakland Marathon Recap 16

Welcome to my weekly training recap for the (rapidly approaching!) Oakland Marathon. Read the prior week recaps.

The full intro to my training recaps can be found in my week one post. The short version is that I am training for April’s Oakland Marathon. I am also a coach and pacer for my local running club’s weekly training group runs.

My Goals for Oakland Marathon Training

  • Hit my assigned pace every week in the group training runs
  • Do my morning stretching routine every morning

The Plan v. Reality: Week 16

Plan5 miles4 miles5 miles15 miles @ 11:00 minute/ mile pace
Actual5 miles4 miles5 miles15 miles @ 10:57 minute/ mile pace

Focus: Post-run stretch


I didn’t sleep very well last night after yesterday’s 20-mile long run. My muscles were just sore enough to prevent me from getting comfortable.

I woke up not terribly well-rested, but physically feeling pretty good. I expected to be sorer, but I did a bunch of stretching yesterday and again this morning.

The stretching is doing its thing.


I am in the taper for the Oakland marathon. The taper is the last weeks before the race as training mileage decreases and you begin to rest up the marathon to come.

The taper seems like it should be such a good thing. Shorter runs, more rest time. And yet, I almost always struggle with it.

It’s too much free time to worry about the upcoming race while also losing running as a stress relief.

I also struggle mentally, I start to think of runs as ‘only’ 4 miles or 5 miles or 15 miles and then expect them to be easy. While those runs are shorter than the runs that I have been doing, no run is ever easy. Expecting them to be easy only makes them seem that much harder.

Today was no exception. ‘only’ 5 miles, but I felt heavy and out of shape. I suppose I’m also still recovering from the 20-mile long run. The Spring heat wave isn’t helping.

Not my best run ever. I’m glad it’s over.


Today’s 4-mile run had me running up into the hills of Piedmont.

Another ‘Urgh’ type day. But today that is a mixed blessing- I was nearly to the top of the biggest hill when I realized I had run up the entire way, instead of switching to my uphill power walk like I usually do.

That is likely why it felt so much harder, I actually ran it for a change.


I think after so many years of struggling with the taper, I now find it hard because I expect it to be hard. It’s an entirely made up struggle.

I felt totally blah on today’s run. There was no real reason for it. There is no reason any of my runs should be so consistently blah except for that I’m tapering and I think it should be hard.

Today was the last 5 mile run of this marathon cycle. Yeah!


Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Holidays where the point of the holiday is to go out and get drunk (St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and increasingly Halloween), are totally lost on me. I didn’t really ever have a ‘yeah let’s go out and get smashed’ phase of life and I like to avoid contact with that crowd entirely, so I’ll stick close to home and hermit.

An extended at home stretching session was more than enough for me today.


This week’s run was along the Hayward Shoreline. It is a course I almost always come home from sunburnt- it is flat and entirely exposed. Thankfully, it was cloudy and super calm this morning.

I thought the lack of wind would be good, but that meant the gnats were out in force. It’s been a long time since I’ve been around that many gnats.  It was hard to talk with each other without eating a gallon of bugs.

I felt not too terrible of this run, but was ready for it to be done.

One of the runners in the group had brought cupcakes as a post-run snack. I was sure they would be gone by the time I finished (the downside of being in a slower pace group), but to my great surprise, there were some left! Score! The post-run chocolate-mint cupcake seemed especially good.


A long walk around the neighborhood this morning followed by some stretching.

I think I’ll do one of the shorter Nike Training Club workouts tonight, probably the ‘Runners Strength and Stretch’ one. I haven’t inflicted any mountain climbers on my body recently. I’m overdue for that misery.

Week Summary

The taper strikes again. More than anything, after so many weeks of focus, I’m just ready for training to be done.

Even when training has gone really well, after 16 weeks, I’m over it. This Oakland Marathon training has probably been the best marathon training cycle I’ve ever had, but still… I’m over it.

But I’ve also starting plotting and laying out my next marathon training cycle (starting in June for an October marathon), so it’s not even that I want to take a break from running, it’s just shiny object syndrome.

Next Week: Week 17


Plan4 miles3 miles4 miles10 miles @ 11:00 minute/ mile pace
Actual4 miles3 miles4 miles10 miles @ 10:58 minute/ mile pace

Area of Focus

I’m going to continue to focus on hydration and post-run stretching. Those are the areas that have been my weaknesses, I need to finish strong.



Sara is a runner, running coach, writer, blogger, and a lover of all things written.

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