Oakland Marathon Training Recap: Week 16

oakland marathon recap week 16

Ah the taper…

I’ve never liked the marathon taper. I like the discipline of marathon training, the challenge.

When you hit the taper, training is all but done. It’s all about easing up and chilling out. It’s just too much time to stress out over everything that could go wrong between now and race day. Everything that could make all the training go to waste.

Read Prior Recaps

Oakland Marathon Training Recap

oakland marathon recap week 16

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 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 This Week


The Week That Was


I’m very surprised that I’m not at all sore from yesterday’s 20-mile long run.

It’s a rest day, but I did some extra stretching, even breaking out the Asana Rebel app for the workout of the day – Goddess Flow.

It is one of those days where it felt really good to stretch.


I was going to run into the Piedmont hills this morning, but my energy levels aren’t at 100% after Saturday’s 20 miler, so I gave myself a pass on hill work (but not on running) and stayed in the flatlands.


Today was the first day I felt like I was actually in a marathon taper.

Only 4 miles on a Wednesday?

Like last week, I went to the (free!) Truve Strech & Flex class. It again was good and stretchy and foam rolly, but this week there were a few more strength moves mixed in.

Push-ups!? I know they are good for me (and I’m usually way too quick to ignore them), but I wasn’t expecting push-ups in a stretch class.


I very often don’t want to get out the door to run. I can stall with the best of them. I get most of my household chores done as a procrastination from running.

Today was a new variation on the theme. I got out the door just fine, but I really didn’t want to start running. I very often walk a few blocks to warm up, especially if I’m running first thing in the morning.

Today, I really didn’t want to start running. I just kept walking and walking. Seriously staling on beginning to run.

I eventually started running.


I woke up with the idea to go to the Truve Pilates Mat class that I’d noticed on the calendar last week. I went online to register, only to discover that it wasn’t going to be offered today.


I ended up only doing my old school daily stretching routine and not much else.

I just couldn’t make myself do more. The taper blahs are already setting in.


Another long run that I admittedly did (almost entirely) on autopilot.

I really struggled with this run. Not physically, physically I felt great. This last month of long runs has been the best stretch of long runs, from the perspective of physical strength, I think I’ve ever had.

But mentally I just wasn’t firing on all cylinders

Part of it is the taper. I know physically I’m capable of doing the marathon, so doing shorter long runs always irks me.

Part of it is the psychic energy of focusing on a single event for 18 weeks begins to wear thin – usually about the same time the taper starts. I’m ready to move on to the next thing.

Part of it is that I’ve never regained the zeal for Oakland that I lost after the course change debacle.


I didn’t have any great ideas for cross-training today so I went back to the Sworkit app and did the Back Strengthening workout.

I liked this workout although it didn’t seem very back focused.

I’ve already mentioned my confusion about the total lack of flow in Sworkit workouts (the stand-up, sit down, stand-up, sit down of them). I’m also confused why they use different terms for moves than every other app and class ever.

In today’s class we did ‘hip lifts’ several times. Perfectly descriptive name, but every other workout I’ve ever done has called this move ‘bridge.’

I know these are minor quibbles. Overall, I do like the Sworkit app for home workouts, but these minor things may very well keep from doing their workouts.

Week Overall

  • Notice I went a whole recap without once ranting about the new Oakland course? I acknowledged it, but didn’t rant about it. I’ve done a pretty good job of putting it out of my mind, but while I haven’t thought (much) about the new course, it has continued to drain my enthusiasm for training
  • I’m also more than a bit melancholy knowing this will likely be my last Oakland Marathon. I don’t want it to be (and if the current owner sells the race to someone who actually cares about Oakland and it’s runners, I’ll gladly participate again), but I won’t support these race organizers going forward so this may very well be my last marathon in Oakland. That is making me sad.
  • Not helping my blahs is that after months of focusing on my current thing I’m ready to move on to my next thing, but I still don’t know what that is. I’ve been as-of-yet uninspired by the marathon (or maybe ultra!?) options this fall so I don’t have a next thing to focus on.

Next Week

Schedule: Week 17

Planrest4 miles3 miles4 milesrest10 miles @ 11:00 min/mile pacecross-train/rest
Actualrest4 miles3 miles
Stretch Class
4 milesrest10 miles @ 10:51 min/mile pacerest

Area of Focus

Sticking with mindset.

After the physically great but mentally less than stellar long runs of the past few weeks, I know I need to keep focusing on where my mind is at.

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