London Marathon: Weeks 9-12 (Victory Half Pacing Recap)

Hi there! I’m still alive and training for the London Marathon. I’m not hitting my target weekly mileage, but the good news is that I’m still healthy and intact. Better to show up undertrained than injured, as they say.

Rather than get into the nitty gritty of specific numbers, I thought I’d just go through Weeks 9-12 in a quick summary fashion and throw in a short recap of the Brazen Victory Half Marathon, which I paced for the second time.

Week 9 (2/18): I was in LA for work, so this week consisted of a lot of treadmill runs and long hours (boo) but also amazing dinners with friends (yay). I got to see Mike and Katie, as well as family friend LO. I wrapped up the week with pacing at the Victory Half (see below) and an Orangetheory Fitness class (OTF) with KH.


The hazards of outdoor dining: it’s too dark to read the menus!

Week 10 (2/25): On the road again…this time in Hawaii. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I did two of my runs on treadmills again — mostly because I get up so early due to the time difference and it’s still too dark out for my taste. I did manage one outdoor run/hike up to Diamondhead for the sunrise. Last time I was in Honolulu for work, I got up there too late and missed the sunrise, so I was really committed to seeing it this time. While it was very beautiful, I don’t think I need to fight those crowds again anytime soon. Over the weekend, I did a long run of 15 miles (sharing 5+ with KH) and another OTF class.


Sunrise from Diamondhead. Not pictured: a couple hundred of my fellow hikers standing to the right of me.

Week 11(3/4): My 4th and final week of scheduled work travel. The destination was San Diego. Unfortunately, I was at least a mile away from the ocean, and none of the roads looked that appealing to run on, so it was back to the treadmill. 3 runs during the week and 16 miles on Sunday, with an OTF class on Saturday.


The best thing about my hotel was that it was walking distance to lots of good restaurants and food places, like 85 degrees (Chinese Bakery). (Yes, I got all of this for myself…don’t judge)

Week 12 (3/11): Home sweet home!! Finally, I didn’t have to fly anywhere and got to sleep in my own bed every night. It was wonderful. It was also a step back week, so only 12 miles for the long run and another OTF class over the weekend.


12 lovely miles at Lake Chabot

Summary: As I predicted, I haven’t had time (or motivation) to do the longer midweek runs. (I’m supposed to be up to 9 miles at this point.) This would require me waking up at 4:30 am on Wednesdays and running laps around my neighborhood. Not going to happen. On the other hand, my long runs have been really good in that I’ve kept consistent pacing and haven’t run into any big problems – physically or mentally, so I’m happy about that. I’m still hoping that the crosstraining (in particular, the strength training) I’m doing at OTF every week will pay dividends when it comes to the later miles of the marathon.


Pacing Recap: Victory Half Marathon 2019

This was the second time I signed up to pace Brazen’s Victory Half Marathon in Richmond, CA. I had a decent experience last year, minus the missed turn towards the end (my fault entirely). I thought I would sign up again to get a supported long run done, and hopefully help some people along the way to achieve their goals.


With the TVRC Pacing Crew

We lucked out with the weather — it had rained every weekend before the race, and we got clear blue skies on race day. Like last year, it was very chilly at the start, so I ran with new arm sleeves that DD gave me for my birthday.

Even though it’s a super flat course, I did expect wind and other factors to increase the difficulty. Then, before the race started, Sam announced that they had to make a slight detour at the turnaround, increasing the overall distance by ~a tenth of a mile. As a result, I aimed for 10:30/mile pace instead of 10:41.


If you squint, you can see Oakland on the left, the Bay Bridge in the middle, and San Francisco to the right.

Most of the race was uneventful. I ran with a mother/son pair for about a mile, then chatted with a nice lady for a couple more. I lost her at the turn around at the Albany Bulb. This is the only section where you go “off-roading” onto gravel and dirt. There’s also a tiny hill. I made sure to grab some fuel at this aid station both at the start and at the end of my loop because there’s 3.5 miles between aid stations.


Pacer jazz hands 😀

I was by myself for most of the way back. I chatted with a few people here and there, but nothing of significance. Despite running ahead of pace, I was still a minute behind according to the mile markers. This panicked me a little bit, so I dropped down to 10:00/mile pace for the 12th mile. As it turns out, I was stressed for nothing — I think the mile markers were a little off, because I made the final turn and had a full minute to run 100 meters. Oops. I jogged it in and still finished a tad early, 2:19:19 according to my Garmin.


V is for Victory

As always, Brazen does a bang-up job with organization, swag, and post-race treats. This isn’t the most exciting course, but it does offer some nice views across the Bay if the weather is good.


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

Posted in Pace Group, Training, Travel
4 comments on “London Marathon: Weeks 9-12 (Victory Half Pacing Recap)
  1. Mike says:

    Great seeing you in LA, dim West Hollywood lighting and all! 🙂 Hope we can do it again soon. And glad you’re done work-traveling for a while, the mind and body can only handle so many treadmills. You look relaxed in your Victory photos and like you said, better to be undertrained than injured for London… with your aerobic base you should be fine. Sounds like one big party over there anyway!

    • Jen says:

      Yes, great to see you and Katie (twice now!) in LA. I will soak up the atmosphere in London and take a million photos. 🙂

  2. Angela says:

    Ugh, I feel you with all the dumb work-travel-related treadmill runs. Even in places where it seems like it should be completely possible and easy to run outdoors, it seems like it just almost never is for some reason or another. Keep up the good work not getting injured!! #priorities 😀

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, the treadmill is just the easiest and safest option when you’re in the middle of nowhere, and/or in unfamiliar environs. I have to say that it was nice to have a week in SF (staying at the Wharf) and know exactly where to run.

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On the docket…

4/28/19: London Marathon

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