Oakland Marathon Training Recap: Week Ten

Oakland Marathon Training Recap week 10

Welcome to my weekly training recap for the 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

  • Do strength and general fitness workouts 3 times a week. The past few months I’ve been using the Nike Training Club (NTC) app for my workouts. I’m in the midst of a 6 week ‘Get Fit’ program with 3 or 4 workouts a week
  • Do my morning stretching routine every morning

The Plan v. Reality: Week 10

PlanNTC4 miles8 miles4 miles
16 milesNTC
Actual4 miles
45 minute NTC
8 miles4 miles
20 minute NTC
30 minute NTC17 miles45 minute NTC

My Focus This Week

  1. Continue with week 3 of the 30-day upper body/push-up challenge.
  2. Focus on my mindset. Use the Headspace app to meditate regularly to try to focus my brain a little bit.


I’m switching up my workout days this week. I’m thinking of doing a day trip somewhere on Thursday, so I’ll rework the schedule to make Thursday a rest day.

I really switched it up today and reversed my workout order – doing the 45-minute NTC workout ‘Controlled Blast’ first, then heading out for my run.

The workout brought the return of the endless mountain climbers. Urgh.

It’s interesting to see how different my runs feel when I do them after I workout and my muscles are already a bit tired.

It makes the hills that much harder.


My workout rearranging continues. Today I did Wednesday’s 8 miles. I did my usual mid-distance run to Jack London Square. On my way out, I noticed that I hit almost every stop light green, which is beyond rare. I was feeling pretty good about myself. I thought it was an omen of positive things to come.

Then I got to the Amtrak railroad tracks and got stuck behind a freight train crossing for a few minutes.

I guess it all evens out in the end.


Uneventful 4-mile run, followed by a first: I bailed mid-way through an NTC workout.

I have a rule with running. Since it’s always hardest for me to get out the door I have a designated ‘turn-around spot’ about a half-mile from home. If I head out for a run, and I’m still not feeling it when I get to that spot, I give myself permission to turn around guilt free.

I decided to do the same thing with my strength workouts. I wasn’t feeling it even before I started, but I still started it.

I wasn’t feeling the idea of the 45-minute workout ‘Perfect 10’ even before I started, but I still started it.

After 20 minutes, I still wasn’t feeling it. It was the following sequence that killed me: 1 minute of burpees followed by 1 minute of mountain climbers, followed by 1 minute of split jumps. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t bear the idea of doing another 25 minutes.

But I still started. I get at least partial credit for that, right?


As expected, I did a little one-day road trip today, so no running.

I headed up to Mendocino via Highway 128. I love the stretch of 128 from Cloverdale in Northern Sonoma County to Mendocino. The best parts of wine country without the crowds and the pretension.

I just felt like I needed to get out-of-town for the day, blow the stink off and be on the road for a bit.

It was raining off and on, so no major hikes, but I probably hiked around 3 miles in a few smaller outings. I also found my favorite heart-shaped shell ever on the beach.

The off and on rain also led to more than a few rainbows.


A 30-minute NTC workout this morning ‘Pace Breaker.’ I almost wrote a ‘short NTC’ workout. Should I consider a 30-minute workout short? My sense of timing has been skewed since so many of the recent workouts have been 45-minutes.

When it comes time to re-up for a new NTC program, I think I’ll have to set it up to have fewer workouts or at least shorter workouts.

The results of all of the NTC strength workouts has been amazing – I continue to lose weight, I am noticeably stronger than ever and my muscle definition is amazing (if I do say so myself), but I think it’s wearing me down a bit mentally.


This week, there is no running club group run. The marathoners are scheduled to do an optional half marathon in San Francisco. When I did the half marathon in question a few years ago, I finished just as a guy who finished about 5 minutes ahead of me was getting CPR. He’d had a heart attack and died. Needless to say, I don’t have the best memories of that race and haven’t been interested in doing it again.

When I woke up this morning, my bed was warm and cozy. I could hear rain gently falling on the window. It was soooo tempting to not get up at all. But responsibility took over, and I got up and went for the scheduled run.

I went out to my usual flat long run spot- the Iron Horse Trail. Many runners hate this trail because it’s flat and kind of boring. I love it for long runs because it’s a good chance to zone out and just go.


Woke up a little sore after yesterday’s 17 miles. I had done some post-run stretching, but apparently not enough.

Luckily today’s strength workout, the 45-minute ‘Pace Breaker’ started with more than the usual amount warm-up. I needed it. The rest of the workout was more heavy-duty dumbbell moves and medicine ball twists (that I have to modify for dumbbells since I don’t have a medicine ball).

Week Summary

The upward trend for my running and my running mindset continues. This week wasn’t quite the blazing success last week was, but I do feel stronger and more focused than I was a few weeks ago. I did a few more Headspace meditation sessions so that helped too.

I don’t even remotely regret bailing on the last bit of the NTC workout on Wednesday. I started and I tried. That is all I can ask of myself.

Next Week


Plan5 miles
8 miles5 miles
19 miles @ 11:00 min/mile pace
Actual5 miles
6 minute NTC benchmark
8 miles5 miles
45 minute NTC
19 miles @ 11:06 min/mile pace
45 minute NTC

Area of Focus

  1. Week 4 of the push-up challenge
  2. Hydration. I took my eye off the ball for a few weeks on hydration, and I’ve killed my last 2 plants in the Plant Nanny app because I haven’t been drinking enough.

Oakland Marathon Training Recap week 10

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

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