Zenman's 2013 Training Journal: 18 November

small zendurance cycling logoMonday, 18 November

Update for: 2013 One-Two-Three: 3 Events, 3 Causes:
Recovery and Event One: Philadelphia Marathon


In the last three Entries 29 October, and 03 November, 11 November, I shared my vision and ongoing preparation to run a single marathon, a double marathon and a triple marathon in 14 days as a response to three diseases that devastate mobility and life:
  • MD (Muscular Dystrophy Association)
  • ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association)
  • MS (Multiple Sclerosis Society)

You can still contribute - it's easy! Contact me.

In this Entry, I discuss a mild week of recovery and the First Event.

Training Log:

Sunday, 09 November, I had the great fortune and honor to work with an 11-year old girl who aspires to complete Hawaii Ironman when she is 18. This was a one-day private swim workshop. Her dad - a former ultra runner who has completed Badwater 135 and Marathon Des Sables - drove from Toronto for this.

I was really impressed with the balance between the clear goal-setting motivation of the athlete and the playful approach of the child. This balance will enable her to sustainably pursue her dream without burning herself out. And her parents’ low-pressure support is a huge asset as well.

She held her focus through the two 90-minute pool sessions remarkably, and absorbed the Power Point classroom material that I composed with an adult audience in mind. I am grateful for the opportunity to support her and look forward in the coming years to see how she does. I gifted her and her dad a copy of my book “Zendurance, A Spiritual Fitness Guide for Endurance Athletes”. He informed me that she began reading it in the car as soon as they left. Wow.

Before heading to Island Health and Fitness for our Sunday workshop, I ran easy for 40 minutes in the Vibram 5-Fingers. The occupation of two consecutive all-day private workshops (Saturday and Sunday) “supported” me in limiting my training. This - in combination with a complete “zero-exercise” recovery day on Monday - was vital in preparation for the “One-Two-Three”.

Tuesday morning, I headed out from home for a “no-fuel” 90-minute hilly run at an easy, fat burning tempo - predominantly soft surface, in the Vibram 5 Fingers. In the evening, a 20-minute “zen swim” before leading Swim Mastery.

Wednesday, I arose at 5 am for my early-morning Pilates-yoga session before the Greenstar Co-op Bakery shift. Midday, I ran 40 minutes flat terrain and finished with 10 minutes of jump rope. In the evening, I swam briefly before leading Swim Mastery.

Thursday morning, I biked to the Cornell track for a 45-minute run with drills and strides. In the evening, a 25-minute “zen swim” with some butterfly, breast and backstroke before the final Swim Mastery session of the season.

Friday morning, I headed out on my favorite hilly, mixed-surface running tour of Cornell. I ran “no fuel” for 40 minutes, including 4 short hill repeats. I ran in my new New Balance Trail Minimus shoes that I will use for the JFK 50. I was fairly caught up with all of my office work and the weather was glorious. I returned home, made a smoothie, then headed out for hilly 80-minute bike ride.

Why the bike ride - if my focus is on running? Uh, my justification is that this served as a non-impact strength session. While it may not be much benefit for the “One-Two-Three”, it does serve as training for the final event of my 2013 season in mid-December. More on that after the “One-Two-Three”...

Saturday, I rose early for a revitalizing Pilates-yoga session, and swam easy for 20 minutes midday, before heading to Philadelphia for...

Event One: 20th Annual Philadelphia Marathon:

My “plan” was to run this event at an 11:00 mile-pace - finishing around 2:48. The weather was ideal for the 16.000 of us running the marathon, and the many thousands running the half marathon. It started out overcast and mid-50’s, then very gradually cleared, with temps rising into the low 60’s.

The course offers a beautiful tour of the city and surrounding areas, passing many historic landmarks - including the Liberty Bell. This is the first big-city marathon I have run since Honolulu in the late 90’s. I enjoyed the constant sideline cheers, the vast diversity of runners, clothing, running styles, etc.

Also entertaining were the many signs that spectators held up. Some memorable ones: “You Run Better Than Our Government”, “Run Like You Stole It!”

The challenge for me at Philadelphia was maintaining the deep meditative zendurance focus and silence and I am so accustomed to when I train and race. There was so much wonderful activity and scenery to absorb!! And this is a precious part of the big-city marathon experience. Attempting to shut it out would be to deny the wonderful spirit of the event.

I kept a very consistent pace through the first 23 miles - ranging from 9:54 to 10:46 over the rolling course. (The 3 splits slower than this - 11:09, 11:11, and 11:25 - included “pit stops”.) I ran through the 13.1-mile midpoint at 2:16:37. After mile 23, I picked up the pace a bit - running 9:42, 9:39, and 9:05 through Mile 26.

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High Fives with the Mayor!

I “High-Fived” Mayor Michael Nutter as I crossed the finish line in 4:30:09 - for a negative split and an average mile-pace of 10:18.

I was not expecting to feel sore during the race. In hindsight, I attribute the soreness I felt through the first 15-16 miles to my lack of training at this slow of a pace. I had trained at 9:20-9:55 mile-pace. And I confess, my pride would not allow me to walk except a few steps at aid stations. Perhaps, it would have been “smarter” to run faster and then walk. However, I enjoyed the continuous running as an even meditation.

This morning (Monday), I ran 50 minutes and felt good. I don’t feel that my faster-than-intended pace in the marathon will negatively impact the remaining events of the “One-Two-Three”... Next up: JFK 50 (plus 2.4 miles). Stay tuned...


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