Disclaimer: I received an entry into Oaktown Half as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.
Oh, Oakland, for being a flat city (that I’ve seen) you sure give me my ups and downs.
After a rough night’s sleep or lack there of, I was up early and out the door to make my way to race start. The perk of my hotel was that the start was only 2 blocks up. I thought there would be more runners there or out and about but there weren’t. It was kind of odd.
Picking up my bib and shirt were fairly easy. I got the feeling I wasn’t the only person whose expo in a box hadn’t arrived. I folded my shirt as small as I could then shoved it in my pack instead of gear checking. I then stood in the longest bathroom line ever only to discover the port-a-potties had no TP. What?!?
I met up with a couple other BibRavePros before heading to the start line.
Miles 1-3 10:09, 10:24, 10:50 I had loosely planned on taking it easy and just trying to run consistently, pace be damned. I felt pretty consistent the first few miles as we headed towards the Jack London part of town before turning back. This is also where I took most of the mural photos.
Miles 4-6 11:16, 11:00, 11:28 I was feeling ok and only walking through aid stations but it was getting warm. It felt very muggy. We were looping around Lake Merritt and as much as I was looking forward to running around Lake Merritt I knew I was about to hate it.
Miles 7-9 11:22, 11:36, 11:53 Oh my god, get me away from this lake. The lake was the mother of all out and backs- run almost all the way around it on the street then move to lake path and run all the way back the other direction. As pretty as the lake was, I felt like I was losing my mind. I did wave at another Pro when we passed each other on parts of the out and back. These were also the miles that I realized I was going to be beat by a 7 year old. Not that we were really racing but I was torn between being impressed and slightly chagrined.
Miles 10-11 12:00, 11:19 Finally off the lake, I never thought I would be so happy in my life. We were headed back towards downtown and I was lagging. My legs felt good, I just felt really hot. I also died a little inside when I saw the finish line but we turned right.
Miles 12-13 12:12, 11:47 Ok, no I really died inside when I realized there was another out and back…no make that 2 out and backs. I think this realization also slowed me down. I was so over the out and backs. I tried to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Fittingly enough, Skillet’s “Finish Line” came on with around 1/3 of a mile left to go. And I picked up the pace.
Fastest half in a year-not sure how I feel about that. Actually my body felt pretty good during the race despite the very flat terrain. I don’t know if I was mentally there. Also I felt really hot- I never checked the humidity but it probably wasn’t my friend. Especially now that I don’t work and run in a beach town. Ha!
While this route was more scenic than my last race in Oakland, the repeated out and backs messed with my head. Boo.
Race week arrived and I don’t think I’ve had a bigger case of the whatever’s.
I worked hard for 13 weeks and then the last 2 was eh. Life, right?
Things were a little crazy last week as I canceled my hotel room on Monday and then rebooking another on Thursday. Work had it’s moments and asthma and I aren’t getting along. But I had a great race weekend to look forward to and I was bringing multiple people with me this time. More fun, right?
Except, I need to stay out of stores that sell purses. Full Stop, seriously.
Running wise though, my runs went surprisingly well.
Plan vs Reality
Monday- Up/down 1.5 miles, 2x 1 mile at goal pace/ 3.5 miles I set out to do the workout but wasn’t feeling it. Instead I ran- ok mostly walked- a warmup and then ran 2.5 of the steadiest miles I’ve run in a long time. I’m counting it as a win.
Tuesday- 1.5 miles/ MM 100 7 I had post work plans and just decided to not even try to run. I did however squeeze in a MM 100 workout. While I love the workouts, I decided after this to put them on hold until after the race- my hamstrings were so tight.
Wednesday- 1.5 miles/ 1.3 miles Ever have that vain moment where you think -“I’ve done a week of MM100 workouts, those cute shorts should work for running now”? Haha, nope. 1.3 was all my thunder thighs could handle.
Thursday- 3 miles w/strides/ 3 miles w/ strides I did exactly what the plan said! Yay!
Friday- 1.5 miles/ Rest Nothing but work and heading home to pack for Oakland.
Saturday- Road trip! We all packed up and away we went. We did a little shopping, some pizza eating before checking into the hotel. Then it was more shopping and more eating before trying to get some sleep before the race.
I don’t know if it was cumulative fatigue with it being week 15 of my training plan or if I was fighting something. I was so damn tired all week- it was a struggle to get up in the morning, every morning. I was coughing more and every thing felt hard. To the point where when I found out I had been in close contact with someone with pneumonia, I thought “oh, that would make so much sense”.
I also took more than a few liberties with my training plan. Ok, a lot. But it wasn’t all bad- I took a great nap on Saturday. I went and saw Hobbs and Shaw– loved it. I did some shopping- possibly too much. I added 2 new beauties to the family too-
Oh and I started a new workout program- Morning Meltdown 100. Cuz’ that makes total sense 2 weeks before a half marathon, right? Oh and mine is more like evening meltdown.
Plan vs Reality
Monday- 1.5 miles/ 1 mile- MM100 1- 1/2 mile dog walk I was moving really slow for some reason and I learned that my new running shorts did not agree with me, ha! I bailed after a mile. Instead of being lazy though, I started the new Morning Meltdown 100. Yeah- not in the morning. Then I grabbed the pup and headed out for a short walk.
Tuesday- 6 miles @ HMGP/ 5 miles trying not freak out And once again, I have a panic attack during the run. What the what?? This is getting annoying. So instead of trying to nail the pace and make it worse or bailing on the run- I slowed down and made it a game instead. I changed my watch face to heart rate only and just tried to keep it under 165. I didn’t care about any other metrics, just tried to go slow and easy- walking if need be. I did one big loop back to my car. So not a total loss.
Wednesday- 1.5 miles/ ?????? MM 100 2 I ended up getting off early since I worked last Saturday. Normally I would have said no but this was one of my most tired days so I went with it. I made an appointment to finally get my tires rotated and my car washed. While I was waiting for my car, I headed over to TJ Max for some browsing time. Apparently I bumped my watch at some point and it turned on. I realized when it buzzed at the mile mark. Can I count that as a workout?
Thursday- 1.5 up/down, 5x 800 repeats/ 3 miles MM 100 3 Yeah, I didn’t even try the repeats. I just played the heart rate game again. It kept my mind distracted and wow, I have to run slow to stay under 165.
Friday- 1.5 easy/ nope I worked in 2 locations so I didn’t even bother packing a bag of running gear.
Saturday- 7 miles/ 2 hour nap Another one of those so stinkin’ tired days. In fact I was so tired, I decided my long run wasn’t happening. At all. Over both weekend days. At this point, the missed run isn’t going to hurt me at Oakland next week but pushing things might.
Sunday- Rest/ shopping and .5 mile puppy walk, MM 100 6 Shopping counts as cardio right?
10ish miles for the week. Not great but could have been much worse. I don’t regret missing my long run. For once my common sense out weighed the guilt of missing the run completely.
I love getting toys and things for my dog. Seriously, she has way too many toys. And I love buying her new collars.
But she does not get walked enough. And we are both getting a little fluffy. Most of it is my bad but part of it is that finding a harness that doesn’t drive her crazy. She doesn’t play well with the just the leash- ok, well she’s not the best behaved on the leash.
Put a harness on her and she looks like she is being tortured. Seriously, the woe is me look is priceless. She’s tried on numerous harness’s at Petco- yeah, sorry about that- but no luck. And the one she does have? She runs when she sees it in your hands.
When it arrived, she was super excited like she is anytime I tell her I got her something. Then she saw it was a harness. Then I put it on her. Cue not happy face.
It was a few days before I got her outside with the harness- thanks 108 heatwave- and at first she was her usual sour puss self, Then it was like she realized she didn’t find it annoying and looked at me like “let’s go!”. So we went.
The next time I brought the harness out she actually looked excited and ran towards me and stood still while I put it on her. Say what???
Now, I am not saying it’s all sunshine and roses now. She still comes to a dead halt to sniff something and I have to literally drag her away. But she no longer reacts like she choking when I muscle her away from whatever “awesome” scent she is smelling.
Now, it’s been hot hot hot here, so full disclosure we haven’t been on that many walks in the short time we’ve had it. However I am looking forward to more. I really need to work on getting up in the morning and taking her, but well, me and mornings are not the best of friends. She actually came running into the room one morning last week and I think she wanted to go for a walk but I told her no. I’m sorry!
For reference- Zoey is around 65 pounds and wears the large.
I am looking forward to more walks with Zoey- maybe I’ll turn her into a runner someday.