Oakland Marathon Training Recap: Week Nine

Oakland Marathon 9

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. 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 9

Plan4 miles
7 miles4 miles
18 miles @ 11 min/mi pace
Actual4 miles
40 min NTC
7 miles4 miles
45 min NTC
18 miles @ 10:54 min/min pace
30 NTC

Area of Focus

I had two areas of focus this week:

  1. Continue with week 2 of the 30-day upper body/push-up challenge.
  2. Mindset- break out the Headspace app and do regular meditation. See if I can focus my brain a little bit.


I didn’t do a gosh darn thing today, and I don’t feel remotely bad about it.

After a weekend filled with a long run, a hike, a bit of yoga and more than a bit of strength training, I reveled in not doing any formal workouts. I only did my morning stretching and push-up challenge moves (15 tricep dips).

I have a gig taking care of kittens awaiting adoption at a local animal rescue (where all my Monday ‘rest day’ Instagram photos come from). We’ve had a minor bout of fleas, so I did find myself pondering if cleaning cat condos counts as cross training. Lots of squats are involved. It has to count, right?


Did my usual 4-mile route in the Piedmont hills this morning. Felt, both mentally and physically, really great. I think just identifying the source of my blahs has settled my mind a bit. Plus, I’ve done two sessions with the Headspace meditation app, coincidence or seeing results? Who cares, as long as I get to where I want to be.

The 40-minute ‘Answer the Bell’ NTC workout was another tough, hard-core, strength workout with lots of barbell action. I’ve lifted more weights in the past week than I have in months.

Pleasant surprise last night – I’ve been taking part in a Strava Challenge the past two weeks sponsored by Lululemon.

I figured it was just another track your distance challenge which most Strava challenges are – a virtual badge is all I’ve ever known the challenges to award.

But no! How wrong I was!

As part of the challenge, if you ran 40k in the two weeks, you got a free shirt. Run 80k, you get a shirt and shorts. I ran 97k (around 60 miles.) So for doing what I would have done anyway, I scored over $130 in gear. Love it! Stopped by Lulu today to get my gear. Best challenge ever!

It’s not very often you can place #11,669 in a challenge and still score some serious swag!


Dare I say this? I may jinx it, but I feel like I’m getting my mojo back. 7-mile run this morning felt good, my pace was well faster than I expected.

I’m not going to over analyze it, I’m just going to enjoy a good, strong run.


My week of coming back strong continues! A hilly 4 miles felt easy? What is going on? Again faster than expected in my pace too.

The 45 minute NTC workout this morning was called ‘Burn Through The Core.’ This last week of NTC workouts have been a killer.

Usually, the NTC programs mix up 30 & 45-minute programs, some are easier and some are harder. Not this week. The last 4 workouts have been 45-minute, hard-core, break out the weights and go. Today was no different.


A much-needed rest and recovery day. While I’ve felt great in my runs this week and I’ve felt strong in spite of the unusually intense NTC workouts, I know I shouldn’t push too hard.

Today I slept in a bit (because I could), did my stretching and push-up challenge moves (15 reps of push-up to side plank), then saved my energy for tomorrow.


Running is a strange little monster sometimes. Last week the 16-mile long run felt like a slog. This week’s 18? Piece of cake. Every time I looked at my watch, we’d ticked off 2 or 3 more miles.

Oh, if every run could be like that…

I could have easily kept going, maybe knocked out an ultra. Instead, I went home and knocked out a 30-minute strength workout ‘The Descent.’ This maybe was pushing it, but I’ve done this workout before and I know it isn’t too terrible, mostly upper body and core. I toyed with the idea of moving it to tomorrow, but why put off to tomorrow what you can do today?

There were bouts of jump squats and split jumps I half-assed a bit near the end, but other than that it was all good. I’m glad I got it done.


This has been an all or nothing week kind of week.

Either I’ve been all out with running and strength or it’s a total rest day. It’s just the way the schedules lines up sometimes. Today was a nothing day.

I only did my usual stretching routine and my push-up challenge moves (15 modified tricep push-ups), plus a little more stretching to work out the few kinks left from yesterday’s 18 miles. I actually feel really good after yesterday’s extravaganza of movement. The post-run strength work worked to my benefit and kept me moving.

Week Summary

I busted out of my meh’s something fierce!

I did a few Headspace meditation sessions this week. I’m not sure if it was that or if it was just identifying the cause that made the difference. Maybe it was both. Maybe it was totally unrelated. In any case, I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders so I’ll focus only on that.

Next Week


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

Area of Focus

I’m going to stick with the same two areas of focus as last week:

  1. Continue with week 3 of the 30-day upper body/push-up challenge
  2. Mindset- Continue with the Headspace app. Do regular meditation to focus my brain a little bit.

Oakland Marathon 9

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