Oakland Marathon Training: Week 18 and Overall Training Recap

Oakland Marathon 18

My last Oakland Marathon training recap!

This time I’m recapping not only this week (which fair warning is pretty dull due to the taper) but also my overall training experience for Oakland.

So for one last time, here is my weekly training recap for Sunday’s Oakland Marathon. Read the prior week recaps.

The full intro to my training recaps can be found in my week one post.

The Plan v. Reality: Week 18

Plan3 miles2 milesOakland Marathon 26.2 miles
Actual3 miles0 miles????

Focus: Mindset


Marathon week begins, as usual, with a rest day. Did my morning stretching (and I did a bit more than usual, just ‘cuz), and not much else.

I’m trying to think happy thoughts and drink more water than usual.


My last real training run! Yeah! I decided to go out without a watch so I have no idea about my pace or exact mileage, but I did a lap of the lake which is just over 3 miles. So close enough.

I felt pretty good, so my guess is that my pace was slower than usual, but for race week, who cares?


In my nearly 20 years of marathoning, I don’t think I have ever done the 2 miles that’s on the schedule for today. I’m not getting changed into running clothes for 2-miles.

Today is no different.

I did my stretching and went for a walk over to the lake, but I didn’t run 2 miles.

I walked past where the start/finish line is going be. They aren’t yet setting up for the race, but there is a bunch of maintenance work and mowing making everything look pretty. There’s a playground that has been fenced off and under construction all winter. For two months there was zero progress. Today it looks like it finally got done.


I’m already starting to go a little stir crazy.

Stretching and walking today. I’m not yet doing the real carb loading, but I have started noshing on pretzels. The only time I buy a big bag of pretzels is marathon week. I’m not a big fan of pretzels, but they seem to do the trick during taper and carb loading time.

I did realize today I’m not drinking nearly enough water. I need to change that.


It’s still early in the day as I write this, but so far today is an exact duplicate of yesterday.

I am a creature of habit.





Week Summary

With greatly decreased running mileage this week for the taper, there isn’t much to review for the week. As is usual with the taper, I’m a bit more anxious than usual this week. Fretting about every tiny little ache and pain that any other week I wouldn’t even notice.

I’m ready as I’m ever going to be for the race on Sunday.

Training Recap

My Goals

This is my last training recap, so I thought I would do a wrap up of the entire training process.

Regardless of what happens at the race itself, I’m happy with my training.

Specifically, my goals over the last 18 weeks were:

Hit my pace on group training runs

I considered ‘hit my pace’ that to be within 5 seconds either way.

I was pretty close every week, if not 100%. I don’t feel the need to go back and get the actual stats, but I know I was never too far off.

Do my daily stretching routine

I was nearly 100% doing either my usual morning stretching routine or some other stretching. ‘Some other stretching’ was post-run stretching if I ran first thing in the morning, or a Nike Training Club program (which all include some stretching).

I did miss a few days, but close enough to be within an acceptable margin or error.

2-3 Strength or general fitness workouts a week

I was 100% with this for the first 12 or so weeks of training.

These workouts were great for both my running and general fitness. However, they got to be too much mentally and I burned out with them as running mileage peaked.

I decided to drastically cut back on them so I had close to a 100% failure rate in the last month. I’m totally OK with that.

My sanity is worth more than sticking blindly to a goal.

Training Overall

Overall, I think this was the best training cycle I’ve ever had. My times were faster than they’ve ever been and I had more runs that felt easy.

I also think this was the first time I didn’t bail on a single run for an entire marathon training cycle.

Ok, I bailed on the 2 miler on Wednesday, but I don’t count that as a real run.

Doing these recaps helped a lot. There were several times I wanted to bail on a run or a strength workout, but I did them anyway since I didn’t want to admit I bailed.

I don’t even know if anyone is reading these recaps (is anyone reading them? Is anyone out there?), but in any case, even if it was only for my own record, I didn’t want to document a skip day, so I did them all. I never would have guessed that this kind of accountability would impact me as much as it did.

Race day is almost here. Bring it on!


Oakland Marathon 18

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