Oakland Half Marathon Race Recap

Time: 2:13:58

Pace: 10:14 min/mile


Pre-race evening and day of: I usually get major pre-race jitters, like I go into hibernation for the day before and just wait for the race to come. I am proud to say that on this racing eve I was able to enjoy myself. I met Tara and headed to the expo, which was super tiny, but I think that was expected. There were still many local vendors and familiar faces which felt great! I then had a brilliant idea to represent my high school by wearing our school’s colors. Best.Idea.I.Had.All.Weekend. (oh, besides the idea that I made to actually finish the damn race). I stuck to my usual pre-race meal of a veggie burrito, no alcohol, and lots of other proper hydration during the day. [this is key in a bit].

I went to bed at a good time and woke up at 7! YES. 7 am! What a gift to be able to sleep in for a race, hop out of bed, and walk to the Bart station that takes you to the starting line. I even got to spectate a bit since the marathoners were passing the Bart station. [More volunteers at mile 5 for marathoners would have been good, since you had one woman telling the crowd to go left, while the front runners were coming back in the other direction and didn’t know where to go!!] I met a woman from my running group and we headed in together. So convenient and I was feeling great!!

Race: Things went smoothly for the first two miles. I set into a good pace and was feeling great. Then a wave of stomach cramps overcame me and it literally sucked all my energy out. I am talking about the cramps where you feel your stomach constricts and turns inward. This also happened diagonal to my stomach so I am guessing intestinal area. Runners Worst Nightmare. My legs felt like they were so heavy and any pace felt HARD. This was at mile 2.5. I felt defeated by my own body and it was as if I hadn’t put the training in like I had.

I spent the rest of the race struggling. Gosh, how many times I wanted to just jump off. I even stopped my garmin because I was so pissed. These cramps came and went for a few miles, but in between them I just felt like crap. But what counts is that I kept going.

The atmosphere of the race itself was great. As a teacher, I experience Oakland in its “finest” moments, so it was wonderful to see the city come together this weekend to allow this race to happen. The spectators were great. There were the obvious inaugural hiccups that occurred and I am sure that if I wasn’t feeling like crap, I would have noticed them more. A lot of people recognized the school’s colors and you could see some visible excitement, which was encouraging. The crowd around Lake Merritt was unbelievable. Lots of people lined the streets for the finish too.

Post Race: I located Tara from the beginning and we redeemed our beer coupons!! Sweet. I mean, if I am going to pay X amount for a race entry, beers would be nice πŸ™‚ We just sat out on the lawn and drank our beers. The area for the post-race events was nice. Initially it was congested, but it eventually thinned out.

Overall thoughts:

  • Why my stomach did what it did? I don’t know. I am going to track my eating and drinking habits before each run to see if there is a trend. If anyone has suggestions or has this happen to them, let me know. This is the second time it has happened to me.
  • The race logistics itself went smooth for me (maybe that’s because I didn’t have to drive anywhere)! Transportation to and from was easy. I really enjoyed the race atmosphere and Oakland came together for the race. (Stunk if you weren’t a spectator and you were stopped in traffic though)
  • I am proud I didn’t give up. There are other races and I will go out again – no worries.
  • Today, the body feels fine! Little tightness in the IT, but I will roll it out.
  • I completed my fourth half πŸ™‚

How did your weekends go?

This entry was posted in Race Recaps and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Oakland Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. Lacey says:

    i love your jersey!!!

    congrats on not giving up. super congrats.

    congrats on your fourth half, too!

    i’ll be interested to know what you find out from tracking eating/drinking around running. this is REALLY something i should do, too. i just get so damn impatient to write everything down.

  2. sarah says:

    I am sincerely floored with how you stuck with the race, even though your body was not having it. I am not sure – actually, pretty sure! – that I would have continued under those circumstances. So I’m happy they rewarded you with beer.

  3. oh yuck! sorry about your cramps. that is a long way to run not feeling good. it sounds like you have a good perspective on it, though, and I think it’s great that you were able to finish in a time so close to your previous pr despite feeling absolutely crummy. cute pictures, too πŸ™‚

  4. aron says:

    you did great out there girl, i mean think about what you were going through and you still were able to pull off the same time as SJ! plus it was hot out (what were you doing in long sleeves you crazy lol)… lets definitely try and get this stomach thing figured out because that is no fun! glad you were able to soak it up and enjoy some of the race despite stomach pains.

    there are TONS of halves coming up too, you WILL have a great one very soon, i know it!

  5. awesome job staying in the race when you didn’t want to. that takes so much guts and perseverance! you earned that beer and then some πŸ™‚

  6. d.ar. says:

    I am so impressed and inspiring by how you gutted it out, even with cramps and dead legs!! Sometimes, you have to have those races, you know? Especially after #4!!! It’s hard to remember that not every race is going to be “the one”, if that makes sense.

    Hope you find the culprit!! Congrats on #4!!

  7. kbwood says:

    WOW YOU ARE AMAZING!! great job girl! you are soo dedicated-i love it!

  8. BostonRunner says:

    Aw sorry to hear about the tummy troubles, but you still did AWESOME considering! Great time and way to keep going and fight the urge to stop!
    I think keeping a record of when it’s happening/what you’re eating before hand is a good idea. I sometimes have similar issues and I’ve realized it has a LOT to do with what I’m eating/drinking the night before (I run early in the morning). I find some of my trigger foods are dairy, (too much) peanut butter, and alcohol.. super random I know.

  9. Layla says:

    Considering the stomach cramps, you ran a very good race! Definitely nothing to be ashamed of, that’s for sure.

    I don’t know much about stomach issues (I DO know about knees and feet…), but tracking your food is a good idea. Maybe it’s something to do with the veggies in the burrito? I’ve heard that bell peppers can give people indigestion, so I would assume that some veggies can affect people.

  10. Congratulations on your 4th half, Kerry!!! You are right, the important thing is you persevered and that time is nothing to shake a stick it, it’s awesome!

    We can’t get that ‘perfect’ day for every race so just take some lessons from it for next time. Every race gives you something, whether a PR or food-for-thought, and that is my favorite part about racing. Pay attention to what you have been eating the night before, morning of and during races….I feel like sometimes that takes as much figuring out and tweaking as training.

  11. Tara says:

    You did great out there! I know from 1st hand experience that stomach issues are NO fun 😦 I just kind of deal with it….I know it’s not helpful, but sometimes no matter what you do your body will rebel. With that said I tend to avoid caffiene, alcohol, high fiber foods.

  12. Danielle says:

    Congrats on the race!! You should be proud for finishing πŸ™‚

    I get stomach cramps if I eat/drink anything too soon before running. Sometimes, if you get a cramp and you change your breathing, it will go away. Slow & deep in –> Slow & deep out. Works every time πŸ™‚

  13. Way to push through it! I don’t know if I could have made it through the race if I felt the way you felt. Congrats on pushing yourself!

  14. Pingback: March Rewind « Running on Faith

  15. Pingback: Spectating weekend 2 of 2 « Running on Faith

  16. Pingback: Editing Running Memories | Running on Faith

  17. Pingback: 7 links | Running on Faith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s