Saturday, July 09, 2016

Oakland Marathon

March, 2016.

I thought it would be fun to drive down to downtown Oakland, so that I could run back up to our neighborhood, give my kid a hug, and then run back down to get the car that I left behind.  So I signed up for the Oakland marathon.  Also because I was itching to run another road marathon after being heat-limited at Vineman last year.

My view at the start.
Overall, it went well.  Coming into West Oakland, with the sun and lack of breeze in many places, I slowed down to keep a consistent effort that would last.  I ended up with a PR time of 4:12ish.  For me, marathons are a fun way to mix up my running focus for a while.  But what I really loved about this race was the diversity of neighborhoods it passes through, many that I've only driven through, and some that I've never even been to.

My view at the finish.
* Tailwind and clif cube thingees worked really well here.  They've been working well in other races, but this is the first time I've limited myself to them in a faster long race.
* Heart rate was really important again, especially on climbs and when I got too warm.  I'd adjust it to  a 165-170 based on how this race went.  I let it run a little higher this time.
* This race made it really easy to see family on the way, since it runs right through the farmers market we visit almost weekly.

* Everyone went out too fast in the first mile.  Even the pace groups.  This was the first time I've run relative to them at the start to set a pace, so I don't know if this is consistent.  Next time I should just go with what the watch says at the start.  It's rarely off by so much that I wouldn't be able to make it up if I paced right overall.
* I probably should have drank more water in the first half to be better prepped for the second half; overheating a little when the breeze died in West Oakland was my bottleneck.
* My right big toe started acting up in mile 26.  It had bothered me a little after a fast run earlier in the week.  I've since narrowed down the problem to a design change in the upper supports of one of the road shoe models I wear.  The support thing bends stiffly and repeatedly compresses the top of the toe.  Lightly and barely noticeably, but enough to really add up after a lot of miles.  I also noticed that running in them a lot leading up to this race reinforced some muscle tightness/form asymmetries, which probably contributed to this coming up on one side.  I'm switching to mostly Altras for a while since they always provide a good sanity check on form issues and make it easier (for me) to address them.