Oakland Marathon Training Recap: Week Twelve

Oakland Marathon training recap week 12

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

  • Hit my assigned pace every week in the group training runs
  • Do strength and general fitness workouts 3 times a week
  • Do my morning stretching routine every morning

The Plan v. Reality: Week 12

PlanNTC5 miles8 miles5 miles15 miles @ 11 min/mile pace
Actual45 minute NTC5 miles8 miles5 miles18 minute NTC15 miles @ 10:53 min/mile pace1 hour strength training


At long last, I’ve finished my latest Nike Training Club (NTC) app 6-week program! Hallelujah!

The final workout of the program was the 45-minute ‘Perfect 10.’ Like so many other workouts in this program, it was an intermediate level workout that is rated as high intensity.

This was a tough program to get through, I must have set something up differently to get this many high-intensity, 45-minute workouts.

I’m better for having done it, but I’m sooooo glad it’s done.


It feels strange to go out for a run when the sun is shining. The worst of the puddles are even starting to dry out.

Today’s run was utterly eventful in the best possible way. I felt strong, but not invincible. Like my training is doing its thing but not enough to get me cocky or give me the idea that I can (or should) become lax.

Today is also the last day of the push-up challenge – capped off with 20 real push-ups. It wasn’t pretty.

I do feel like my upper-body strength improved as a result of the upper-body strength focus in the last 30 days, but I can’t say it translated directly to an improvement in my ability to do real push-ups.

Much like my latest NTC workout program, I’m glad I did the challenge, but I’m really glad its over.


The wolf from the Call of the Wild prowls Jack London Square. #seenonmyrun

A post shared by Sara Kurth (@puffincoaching) on

I very rarely manually pause my Garmin while running. I have it set to auto-pause and auto-start.

Today out by the Jack London Square estuary I got watching a big boat go by, so I took an extended walk break. I manually paused my watch so I wouldn’t mess up my pace too much.

Then I made the total rookie mistake of forgetting to unpause it. I’m pretty sure today’s run was closer to 9 miles instead of 8, but who knows.

Such a rookie mistake. Insert facepalm here


Spring is springing! 🌸 #seenonmyrun

A post shared by Sara Kurth (@puffincoaching) on

This is turning into a week where I don’t have much to say about my runs. I’m just doing what I’m doing, and it’s going well. Not so spectacular that I have to gush about my amazingness, but not so horrible that I need to vent.

It’s maybe not so great for the blog to have nothing to say, but it’s the best case scenario for my running.

As expected, I’m not nearly as consistent doing NTC strength workouts when they aren’t pre-scheduled as part of a program. Even knowing that, I can’t make myself start up another program just as I’m reaching peak running mileage.


This morning, I did a short 18-minute NTC yoga class (‘Yoga Ready’) instead of my usual morning stretching.

It was an odd class. Each move was held for 20-seconds then there was a 10-second pause while we were supposed to move into the next pose.

It felt very choppy. I never got into the flow of the workout.


Like all my other runs this week, the long was delightfully uneventful. We avoided the worst of the rain that occurred yesterday and that is supposed to move back in tonight. I was pretty close to hitting my pace, and I felt well fueled and well hydrated.



We had a special running club workout clinic at the East Bay Athletic Club this morning: Strength Training For Runners.

I was very happy to see that many of the recommended moves were similar to the stuff I was doing with the NTC workouts. It felt good to get confirmation that I’ve been doing the right things.

Week Summary

I feel like I should analyze this week a little more. Figure out what I did right so I can do more of it, but I can’t come up with anything that I did differently.

This is the week before the first peak training week next week. At this point in training, I’m usually mid-abyss (the blahs that come in the time period where the mileage is long but is still going to get longer), instead its all going well.

I suppose I just hit my blah period a few weeks early (see: what was it, week 8? week 9). I got it out of the way.

Did just OK with my water intake. I’m glad it was my focus. Even consciously being aware of it, I barely kept my plant alive in Plant Nanny. I have lots of room to improve with my water intake.

Plant Nanny app
My not-fully hydrated snowbush. He’s not dead, but is perilously close

Next Week: Week 13


Plan5 miles5 miles5 miles20 miles @ 11:00 minute/mile pace
Actual17 minute NTC5 miles5 miles5 miles7 minute NTC20 miles @ 10:54 minute/mile pace

Area of Focus

With the first 20-mile long run coming up next week, I’m again going to focus on mindset and staying happy and healthy.

Oakland Marathon training recap week 12


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

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