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Oakland Marathon - Run

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Oakland, California
United States
Oakland Running Festival
60F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 37m 53s
Overall Rank = 117/852
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 1/38
Pre-race routine:

I went into this race wanting to BQ and break my '07 PR. Training had gone well so I figured the BQ was almost a given since I'm so old :) and the PR was within reach. I got sick with a cough two weeks before the race and was still battling it when we left for Oakland. We ate dinner out on Friday night before the race and I got food poisoning. I spent most of Saturday, eating and having food zip through me. When I went to bed on Saturday night I had no idea how I would feel and what I could pull off.

I got up Sunday morning, ate my race breakfast and it seemed to stay put. Yeah. With that in mind, I did some race visualization and was out the door.

Event warmup:

No warm-up other than finding the 3:30 pace dude. I've never used a pacer before, but coach thought it was a good idea since my MP pacing had been around 7:54 in training.
  • 3h 37m 52s
  • 26.22 miles
  • 08m 18s  min/mile

I ran with the 3:30 pacer for the first 8m. He was faster than what he had put on our pace bands but since i felt like I was running the appropriate RPE I stuck with him. Once we hit the hills his intensity did not change. When I hit threshold HR this early in the day, I knew I had to back off and let him go. I was ok with it. The hills were hard but I felt like i stayed within myself for the remainder of them. Once I hit the descent, I found myselt anywhere between 7:20-7:40 pace and even that felt fine. My quads were taking a beating given the steep descent but I tried to stay loose. My HR was a little higher than what we had set, but not outrageous so I kept going.

I realize I don't have a clue how to drink water on the fly. I tried to drink at 2m and got maybe an 2 ounces. This is the first marathon where I did't wear a fuel belt so I decided that I'd better walk a little to get in enough H20. That seemed to work fine and while I lost time doing it, I felt like I made it up once I got going again. I also took a PowerBar Gel Blast at every station just like training.

I was feeling good and by the time I hit the 20m mark, I was sporting an 8:04 pace. I know this is the place where things can go south so when I started feeling a little crappy, I promised myself it would pass, started thinking about my mantras and kept going. I was slowing down some and I was walking a little longer during those water stops and starting to feel bad. The last 3m were solidly in the pain cave. My back was tight when I got up in the morning and now it was tightening up even more. I also felt light on calories despite taking in the right amount. Not sure if that was because I didn't hold food from the day before or I had been a little overzealous on the front half of the course. Either way, I was in trouble. I kept doing the PR math in my head. My pace at 24m was an 8:44 and told myself to get moving or I was going to lose the PR and that pissed me off. I was running crooked because of my back sort of veering to the left, but trudging my way to the finish line. There is a hill right before the finish and I was bound and determined to get it over with. I crossed the line knowing that I had gotten the PR and my 4th BQ. Very happy! Found out when I got back to the hotel that I also was #1 AG 45-49. Since I am basically leaving this AG in less than a month that made me happy!

What would you do differently?:

not be sick with a cough, not get food poisoning two days before the race.

I believe I left something out there the last 3m. I need a little more grit to keep me strong when my brain is screaming at me to slow down or stop.

really need to figure out this back issue. I had a similar problem for part of the IM bike and all of the IM run last year. I thought all of my TRX/core work would have solved the problem, but apparently it didn't.
Post race
Warm down:

Hung out with Paul, Kathy and my good BT friends Kim and Linda.

Event comments:

The Oakland Running Festival is a well run event. The course was tough, but managed well.

Last updated: 2012-10-18 12:00 AM
03:37:52 | 26.22 miles | 08m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/38
Overall: 117/852
Performance: Good
Course: The first 11m of the course is very hilly with one long Cat 5 climb, 3m of descent and then it flattens out with a few rollers including one at the end.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-03-25 11:54 AM

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: Oakland Marathon

2013-03-25 12:35 PM
in reply to: #4673455

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Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
Congrats on the PR and the BQ!!!

And wow, I can't believe I didn't know you were at this race. I could have met you! And not cheered you on, since I was doing the half, heh. Anyway, glad to hear you enjoyed the course. I'm thinking of going for the full next year (I wanted to this year but my training has sucked lately).

2013-03-25 3:07 PM
in reply to: #4673455

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Tosa, WI
Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
Rock on Minnow, Rock on! 
2013-03-25 3:30 PM
in reply to: #4673455

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Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
Suzy, you are so full of awesome. Congratulations!! Love it, love it, love it. You've earned that fancy new PR and the BQ. Super impressed!!!
2013-03-25 4:26 PM
in reply to: #4673455

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon



After all the cold and GI stuff leading up to this race it is AMAZING from this perspective to see another PR knocked down and a BQ made!  I don't think all that much was left on the course, had to be careful given the issues leading into race day.

2013-03-25 5:44 PM
in reply to: #4673455

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Frisco, TX
Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
Great job Suzy!  You are and ever will be a machine   Congrats on the BQ as well - you were doing Boston when I first joined the MG, so I guess we have come full circle now

2013-03-25 6:44 PM
in reply to: #4673455

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Sendai, Japan
Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
2013-03-25 7:18 PM
in reply to: #4673455

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Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
Like everyone else has said, this was simply awesome! Congratulations!
2013-03-26 12:54 AM
in reply to: #4673455

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Wherever the trail takes me, WA.
Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
You totally nailed it! Congrats big sis! I'm happy for you!
2013-03-26 2:14 AM
in reply to: #4673455

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Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
BQ!!! Fantastic run, glad to see you were able to enjoy your time in California afterwards.
2013-03-26 8:56 AM
in reply to: #4673455

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washington state
Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
Fantastic!  especially with the health issues!  You are an inspiration

2013-03-26 9:33 AM
in reply to: #4673455

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Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
Great job Suzy.  And you've got plenty of grit!!!!  I don't know too many people who can suffer on course like you!
2013-03-26 12:00 PM
in reply to: #4673455

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Subject: RE: Oakland Marathon
Awesome run, you are tough, no question about that!  congrats on the BQ!
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