Run Your Race, Find Your Strength

Race Recap: Oaktown Half

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Oaktown Half as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

If you haven’t heard by now, I’m pregnant with my first biological child and due in November.  I, therefore, had no idea how this race weekend was going to work out.  I’m SO pleased to report despite being nearly 26 weeks pregnant, I had an epic weekend completing both the 5k and half marathon at the Oaktown Half!

The 5k

At first, I was just going to run the half marathon.  Then, when Oaktown Half announced that they were adding a 5k and participants who ran both the 5k and half marathon would get a challenge medal, I was in!  The 5k was at 4pm on Saturday and the half marathon was at 7:30am on Sunday.

At the start of the 5k, some runners were released to begin running, but then suddenly the rest of the pack was told to stop.  They announced that there was an issue with a road closure.  After about 8 minutes, the rest of the pack was released to go.  I didn’t mind this wait because it gave me an opportunity to get a pic with one of the giant Oakland As players. (Don’t ask me who the player was because I don’t watch nor follow any sports.)

Some of the highlights of the 5k were seeing the cool mile markers, the artwork scattered throughout the city, and the post-race celebration that included food trucks, music, and various booths!  Oh!  And also running into some awesome runnings friends… Pavement Runner and David of FitFam6!

As for my finishing time for the Oaktown Half 5k, I knew going into the race that it wasn’t going to be fast.  1) I haven’t really been training 2) I am over 6 months pregnant 3) It was nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit at race start time!  Overall, I am proud of my 5k performance.  I ran some, I walked some. 🙂


The Half Marathon

Initially, I had booked a hotel close to the race start/finish, the Frank H Ogawa Plaza.  Since my husband decided to stay home for the weekend, I chose to cancel the hotel.  To get to the Frank H. Ogawa from my house, it was a two-hour drive one way.  It may seem like a lot to drive four hours on Saturday and then drive another four hours on Sunday, but to me, it was worth it.

I arrived at the half marathon at 7:00am.  The race started at 7:30am.  Since many parking garages were not open yet, I ended up parking on the street… for free!

Shortly after walking to the starting area, I ran into fellow BibRave Pro Janelle. I then waited in line to use the porta potties. Shortly thereafter, I headed to line up in the starting corrals. Next thing I know, a lady came up to me and said hi.  It was another BibRave Pro Rory!

Before I knew it, it was time to start the race!  This time around, I decided not to do timed run/walk intervals. Instead, I decided just to just go based on how I felt at the time and try my best to keep a consistent 13:45 pace (a 3 hour half marathon finishing time).  By mile 2, I already had to go to the bathroom.  I approached an aid station at about 3.5 miles and asked when was the next bathroom.  I thought the lady said, “At mile 5,” but two gentlemen who were running around me said, “I think she meant in another 5 miles.”  At mile 5, my heart sank when there was no bathroom in sight.  I ended up spotting a restaurant and ran inside to use the toilet.  A HUGE shout out to the Fat Lady restaurant.  Thank you for allowing a pregnant woman to use your toilet!

Fat Lady

I was fairly successful in keeping my 13:45 min/mile pace until about mile 9 when I started having an uncomfortable feeling in my gut. Intestines? I decided to keep on moving forward one step at a time. Can you tell which of the below pictures are from the beginning of the race and which one is from around mile 9?

As far as scenery is concerned, my favorite part of the race was the few miles around Lake Merritt.  Anytime I can run with a water view, is a good run!


A fire was lit at mile 12 knowing that the finish line was drawing near. At mile 12, I also spotted two gentlemen ahead of me. We first met at mile 2 and went back and forth for most of the race. I caught up to them with a smile on my face and said, “We’re almost done!” I ended up running the final mile with an overall pace of 10:38… my fastest mile of the whole race!

IMG_3853 (1)

The last time I ran a half marathon was June 3rd at the San Diego Half Marathon.  My time was 3:32:48 for 13.29 miles.  My time for the Oaktown Half was 3:03:28 for 12.77 miles.  I’m going to count this as an approximately 25-minute pregnancy PR!  Woohoo!  (Nowhere near my half PR of 1:52:32 set in 2016.)

Overall, a fantastic race and definitely one I’d do again. Thank you Oaktown Half for an epic weekend! I hope to see you again next year! Oh, and check out these sweet medals I collected this weekend!


Want to know what it’s really like to run the Oaktown Half in Oakland, California?  Check out my video and SUBSCRIBE!

Until next time,


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Christian, wife, mom/stepmom, no meat athlete, runner, teacher

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