Oakland Marathon Training Recap: Week 15

Oakland marathon recap 15

The cathartic role of writing and blogging has been proven to me as I work my way through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief about the new Oakland Marathon course.

I wrote the first draft of last week’s recap while still solidly in the anger stage. Through the editing process (toning down the worst of the vitriol) I was able to move through to the bargaining/depression stages. I’m glad I have this outlet to process my psychic gunk.

I don’t know that I would call where I’ve landed ‘acceptance.’ It’s something closer to what I would call ‘passive resignation.’

But passive resignation is sufficient to get me through to race day.

Read Prior Recaps

Oakland Marathon Training Recap

Oakland marathon recap 15

Training Goals

  • I am a pace group leader for Saturday group long runs, so my main goal is to hit my pace – 11:00 (+/- 10 seconds) on training runs
  • 1 strength workout a week
  • Run 1 new route each week
  • 1 Yoga/Stretching/Pilates workout a week
  • Regular Foam Rolling – I won’t define ‘regular’ but I’ll know it when I do it (or not)

The Plan v. Reality: Week 15

PlanYoga/Stretch5 miles5 miles5 milesStrengthRest20 miles @ 11:00 min/mile pace
Actual3.5 miles5 miles5 miles
Foam roll class
5 milesYogaRest/stretch20 miles @ 10:55 min/mile pace

Area of Focus This Week


The Week That Was


After my 3-day 2-year ultra earlier this year, I became interested in doing a multi-day staged ultra so I went to an event tonight at GU HQ in Berkeley about the Transrockies Run. There was a 3-mile run around Berkeley’s Aquatic Park followed by beer and a presentation by the Race Director.

The run was billed as ‘all-paces welcome.’ As I kind of expected, it was (ahem) a touch faster than my usual 3-mile run pace would be, but I felt surprisingly strong.

The best part of going to events at GU HQ? I went home s’mores Stoopwaffles and birthday cake GU. I love GU parting gifts.


Back up into the hills. Cool, crisp and super windy today.

How quickly my priorities have changed-  I spent the first part of my run distracted, wondering if the wind noise would make it too loud to film my little YouTube segments.

But I’m getting better at finding little corners that are sheltered from the wind, so filming went on as planned.


I decided to do my ‘old’ go-to route to break up my 5-milers this week.

I heard about a new gym in Oakland – Truve – that has (at least) one free community class each day, so I thought I’d give them a shot, taking ‘Flex and Stretch.’

Loved it! Very stretchy and foam rolly. I’ll for sure do this class again, and I’m curious about some of the other free classes they have- spinning, pilates, kettlebells, you name they have it (for free!).


It was raining this morning, and it was obviously not going to let up anytime soon. I eventually accepted that I had places to be and the rain wasn’t going to stop, so off I went.

While starting a run in the rain sucks, it gets kinda fun once you get going. Added bonus that I had the sidewalks all to myself.

I came home soaked to the bone.

I’m glad I kept an old pair of shoes that I could wear in the rain. It wouldn’t have been good for my new shoes to get soaked.


Waking up to hear rain gently tapping on the window is much more enjoyable when you know you don’t have to head out and run in it.

Our long run this week is Sunday. It was scheduled as a Sunday run when it was going to be a course preview run sponsored by the marathon people and open to the public.

It is no longer open to the public, but we are still running on Sunday, which should make today a cross-training day.

However, I don’t want to do too much two days out from a 20-mile run. So something yoga-y and stretch-y it is! I ended up going back the one Sworkit video that was better than fine Yoga For Body Toning.


I get into such a routine during marathon training with Saturday being a long run day, I’m a bit out of sorts this morning not doing a long run.

With my recent flirtation with Sworkit videos and getting back into real live classes at Truve, I realized I’ve been ignoring the Asana Rebel app, so I did the Asana Rebel workout of the day – Base Lift.

Short, but tough.


After all my ranting about the new Oakland course, today the proof would be in the pudding (not sure why that was the idiom I came up with- my ability to write coherently after a long run is turning out to be iffy) as we run 20 miles on the marathon course.

It says something about the course layout that we saw all of the course while only running 20 miles of it. The other 6 miles will come from running parts of the course more than once on race day.

There is something to be said for low expectations. I expected a zero-star, F-rated course. It turns out to be a 1-star, D-rated course.

So better than expected? I guess?

It is pretty desolate, and I struggled with route finding a bit since many of the roads near the port aren’t marked. ‘Turn left on Burma Rd.’ is a wonderfully clear direction, but when there is no signage indicating which road is Burma, it makes for hard wayfinding.

Physically, I again felt great, but mentally I was a bit of a mess.

I was trying not to get lost, trying to keep pace, trying to remember to fuel, trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to be a supportive pacer for my group, all with the refrains of ‘I hate this course’ and ‘Wow, Oakland needs a good street sweeping and trash pick-up detail, this is kinda gross’ running through my head. The sheer volume of trash on the course will give Oakland a bad name on race day.

But it is done.

Relive ‘Oakland Marathon Course Preview’

Week Overall

  • While I kinda joke about going through the stages of grief about the new marathon course, it’s kinda true. I’ve made peace with it by not thinking about it. Maybe that’s denial, but I prefer to think about it as focusing (entirely) on the journey while actively ignore the destination.
  • I’d give the course 1 star instead of zero since I’d imagined the course going more inland from the port, where there are concrete walls on either side of the road. The course runs nearer the port, so we can see shipping containers and the cranes. It’s not a terribly exciting view, but it is better than sheer concrete walls.

Next Week: Week 16


PlanRest5 miles4 miles5 milesRest15 miles @ 11:00 min/mile pacecross-train
ActualRest5 miles4 miles
Stretch & Flex Class
5 milesRest15 miles @ 10:51 min/mile paceBack Strength work

Area of Focus

Mindset. I’m sticking with mindset. I’m beginning the marathon taper, I often struggle with the taper.

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

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