Oakland Half Marathon


I am still, speechless.  Not in my dreams did I ever think this would happen.

It’s a good thing of course, because well, I PR’d for one.  Never thought that was going to happen today.  But two?  By THREE FULL MINUTES.

It was, beyond amazing!

So, the day actually started Friday evening when I drove up to Oakland with my running buddy to have the entirety of Saturday to get our packets and walk around downtown Oakland and test out how far away the Bart (subway) would be for us from our hotel. I had my leftover Black Bean Enchilada for dinner with an apple and I’m sure something else I don’t remember.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the hotel (English muffin w/ pb and apple, small bowl of dry honey nut cheerios) before toughing it out in the rain to get to the expo downtown.

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Of course I still had the Natural Products Expo on my mind so I was a tad bit disappointed at this one being kinda small…or really small.  Well, compared to any Rock n’ Roll expo I’ve been to.

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Afterwards it was time for lunch and we were ready for lunch!  We found the nearest WF and set out for something to fill our bellies!  It was a tad bit cold, and since I was wet from the rain, I stuck to my favorite: Soup!

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I chose the White Bean and Garlic one because it was the only vegetarian kind they had (Minestrone with Beef Broth?  Come on now!?) along with 1/2 the wheat roll I got on the side. I even bulked up the soup by adding extra steamed veggies from the hot foods bar! 

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And yes, there is fruit in there but they didn’t go in the soup.  I actually at them after we got back to the hotel because that soup left me full!

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Anyhow we got back to the hotel to rest up a bit as we’d been walking all morning and afternoon and I snacked on some organic dried mango from WF and a Banana Walnut Muffin.  Held me over pretty well till our later dinner at Saturn Café in Berkeley!

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(Downtown Berkeley…made me miss college!)

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How cool is that table!?  It had legos right underneath the glass!!!  And the décor!  It definitely had a “Berkeley feel”…if that’s even a feeling.  The menu is pretty big and provides a nice variety, and even though my normal pre-race day dinner is pizza, I went with their house burger: The California Burger.

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I had it without the cheese and mayo and it was pretty good.  Reminded me of a Dr. Prager’s burger that I get at home, with less salt.  I did like the addition of the avocado, which helped with extra flavor. I ate about 2/3 of the fries which let me tell you, was at first not an easy task, but I’ve had a revelation recently that I’ll write about and explain tomorrow.

We headed back to the hotle to shower up and hit the hay before a 6am wakeup for our 9am race!

The moment I woke up I was automatically on the tv to check out the weather. It had been raining on and off all weekend and with the temps down in the 40’s, I was deathly afraid of getting cold.  My body doesn’t handle cold well at all, and to say the least, I did end up with numb fingers by the time the gun went off for the race!


I ate the other half of my wheat roll from yesterday with some pb and had my apple about 45 minutes before the race.  Alas, we left to walk and catch the Bart to get the start which was right off the station exit in Downtown Oakland.  First thing we saw was the START LINE!


The marathoners were already out and running as they started an hour and a half before us, but ran the end with us!

The was a bit of a breeze which wouldn’t have been too bad if the temps weren’t in the low 40’s, but we sucked it up, turned in our bag and headed to the start!  I started in the 9min/mi pace group and when 9am hit, we were off at the bullet!

It was taking my garmin forever to register and when it finally did I was happy since we hadn’t started yet.  But man oh man, was it messed the heck up!  I mean, it said I ran 14 miles…um, pretty sure I didn’t run an extra mile!


I had no expectations for this race because I didn’t think I’d done enough training, so throughout the whole race I only looked at my watch once, at mile three.  I came in about two and a half minutes before I normally do so I was quite surprised, but I wasn’t feeling the race so I just decided to run and whim it.

There were no clocks at any of the mile markers so I had no idea what kind of splits I was running.  I just kept going and kept certain runners in mind to pass up and draw inspriration from.

The craziest part about the race for me though was that I didn’t remember to bring my hydration pack I normally use during the race!  I was super nervous because I’ve gotten so used to running with water whenever I want, so I had to adjust.  I had a pack of orange gu chomps which were surprisingly way too sticky and stuck together that I only ended up eating three.  But I used the water breaks starting at mile 5 and every one after that because I could feel the dehydration!

Anyhow, I hit mile 10 and was still feeling ok, but figured I was running much slower than I thought.  I got to mile 12 and started book’n it as hard as I could, as I was just ready to finish.  When I turned the corner at Mile 13 and hit the last straight away I was so way surprised when I saw the clock say 1:56:xx!!!!

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!  There is no way in hell I was running that fast!!!

I pushed all that I had left into my legs and passed the finished with a 1:56:05 chip time, 3 minutes faster than my 1/2 marathon PR from last September at the Oregon Wine and Country Half Marathon


Wow just wow. 

I crossed the finish line and into the runners festival with absolute “ah’” written all over my face.  I grabbed a small cup of gatorade, chugged it, and slammed down a 1/2 a banana while I waited for my running buddy to finish!  She also ended up PR’ing by almost 4 minutes, and that’s with a cramp in her calf since mile 2!!! Woot woot!

We had to hightail it back to the hotel to shower and get out before our very much pleaded with later checkout time so we didn’t stink on the way home!  I was starving so I had a mini clif bar that was being passed out after the race, and a muffin with pb slathered all over it.  Then it was time to head back home!

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I was feeling really good after the race as I had no real pain throughout my whole body…well, minus all the chaffing I discovered upon taking a shower.  Lets just say I hurt in way more spots than I anticipated.  Arg.

We chatted and snacked on some triscuits on the way home, along with me being starving and also having an apple and a clementine.

By the time we got back home I was absolutely starving!  I made the quickest thing I could before eating my arm off.

Dr. Prager’s Burger with an egg on top with
hummus, mustard, spinach and tomato…

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Unsweetened applesauce with 1/3C heart to heart cereal,
1/4C kashi go lean crunch and blueberries.

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Dessert was three mini york peppermint patties and now I’m spent!!!  I can’t wait to get some good sleep in my own bed with my kitty I’ve missed all weekend!  She missed me so much she’s kneading my leg…ouch.

But thanks to everyone for all the twitter and facebook comments!  I can’t thank you all enough for all your support!!  You rock!!!

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25 Responses to Oakland Half Marathon

  1. Mama Pea says:

    Yayyyyy you! Although I'm a little sad you broke your Oregon PR. You'll forget all about little old us. :)

  2. Haley says:

    Awesome race!
    I'm proud of you for PRing! I know how awesome that feels :) Fueling your body is really important, too. Good thing you seem to be doing a good job at it!
    Keep up the hard work, and you'll do amazing things!

  3. Christine (The Raw Project) says:

    Great race, you totally rocked it! Congrats on the PR!

  4. leftcoastcontessa.com says:

    Congrats on the PR! So excited for you!

  5. CH says:

    Congratulations Melissa! That is awesome. :) Very happy for you!

  6. Katy says:

    CONGRATS, MELISSA!! When I read your tweet earlier I was so proud of you!!!!!!


  7. movesnmunchies says:

    HOORAY!! that is SUCH A great ime!!

  8. Erica says:

    awwwwwwwwwwww! Congrats!!!!!!! Thta is so so exciting :) Minus the weather, sounds like the whole weekend was just a great experience. White Bean and Garlic soup actually sounds really yummy. Its rainy here today, I think soup will be on the menu for lunch. Congrats again on the PR. So much love to you!

  9. Faith @ lovelyascharged says:

    Aaah, CONGRATS on the PR!

  10. eliz@thesweetlife says:

    Congratulations!!! How exciting.

  11. proudpatriot07 says:

    Congrats on your PR! That always happens to me too- I think I haven't trained enough or that I'm running slower than I actually am. Still, it's exciting that you PRed and had an awesome time in Oakland :).

    Those veggie burgers look awesome! I love the Dr. Prager's ones too.


  12. Katy says:

    So exciting! And even better since you didn't have the expectation of PR'ing … there was no chance for disappointment, just pure bliss.

  13. Tessa @ Amazing Asset says:

    Congratulations of your PR! This shows how much your training and proper fueling is paying off :) Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration for me!

  14. Evan Thomas says:

    Congrats on the excellent PR!

  15. Heather says:

    Congratulations – sounds like an amazing race!

    Be very proud of yourself!

  16. Biz says:

    So excited for your PR!!!! I am proud of you!

  17. Krista says:

    That's just freaking AWESOME, Melissa! HUGS!

  18. Gabriela says:

    Ahhh that's SO AWESOME, Melissa!! Congratulations!! We're like almost exactly the same speed (though now I'm probably a slowpoke since I haven't run in awhile)….next time we're together we need to be running buddies!!

  19. Katy (The Singing Runner) says:

    Congratulations on a FANTASTIC race! You definitely rocked it! :D I'm so proud of you!

  20. Abby says:

    Way to go on the PR!

    Yes, Berkeley is totally a feeling :) And isn't Saturn yummy? I just ate there last week.

  21. fittingitallin says:

    CONGRATULATIONS MELISSA! I ran my fasted when my Garmin was broken – crazy how sometimes knowing our pace slows us down!

  22. Mica says:

    Congratulations on the awesome race and PR! PRs come when you least expect them, I guess!

  23. Natalie says:

    CONGRATS! so proud of you girl!

  24. Jenn (eating bender) says:

    You have no idea how happy I was when I saw your Facebook status last weekend. I did a little jig for you! :o) So excited about your PR and how happy this race made you. I loved reading the recap and I look forward to following in your footsteps in my next race, by trying to beat my slow-as-molasses time! Congratulations, Melissa!

  25. mymarblerye says:

    And THIS is why you should be proud of yourself. Fueling to run has really made a difference!! You FLEW girl!!!

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