Monday, 29 October
The 2013 "One-Two-Three": 3 Events, 3 Causes
In my last Entry 16 October: In Perspective: 2013 Tri Season Wrap-up, I shared the experience of my 10th and final triathlon of the season. The focus was not so much on my race performance as on “The BIG Picture Perspective”. Our ordinariness as mortal human beings has a way of “inspiring” us to find that Big Picture Perspective.
Most recently for me, that inspiration comes from my step-brother who is progressing through ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The question I posed in that recent Entry: “How do I respond to this? As someone who celebrates and promotes the empowerment of mobility in my service as an athletic educator and in my craft as a “zendurance athlete”, what can I do?”
Can I make a difference at all?
A Humble Gesture
In the previous Entry, I also shared my personal commitment to train and race as a way of praying to make a difference. This commitment was a foundational element in the 2012 Triple Ultra Challenge.
For November 2013, I will once again engage my passion for mindful movement as a form of prayer through a series of running “events”:
- 17 November: Philadelphia Marathon
- 23 November: JFK 50-Mile Ultra
- 28 November: NCR Trail Marathon course (self-supported)
- 29 November: NCR Trail Marathon course (self-supported)
- 30 November: NCR Trail Marathon (actual event)
My intention is to add 2.4 miles to the JFK 50-Mile (to make it a double marathon). Then, after 4 days of recovery, beginning on Thanksgiving Day, I will “run” the NCR Trail Marathon on 3 consecutive days - the third day being the actual event. Hence, the “One-Two-Three” - one marathon, then a double marathon, then a triple marathon.
My family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving at my sister’s house - just a mile from the North Central Rail (NCR) Trail that provides most of the soft surface out-and-back course for the NCR Trail Marathon. This event starts and finishes at my nephew’s elementary school - a 20-minute bike ride from the house. I have enjoyed running the NCR Trail Marathon 3 times in the past as part of my Thanksgiving weekend, and finding my family at the finish line. This year, I will rise early on Thanksgiving Day, run the first round of this course, and be back in time to gather and celebrate all that we have and hold to be grateful for.
Perseverance... and Joy
Like the 2012 Triple Ultra Challenge, to the “logical mind”, this challenge may seem like an ordeal. However, during both my training and the actual events, I celebrate the joy and empowerment of mobility. I am mindful of every stride and every breath as a prayer. I am grateful for this life and the freedom to practice zendurance each day. It is an honor to undertake this endeavor.
For this year’s autumn ultra endeavor, I am inviting you my “aerobic o’hana” (o’hana is Hawaiian for “family”) to contribute, through the power of money - as well as prayer. I am seeking donations for three organizations:
Again, hence the “One-Two-Three”.
- MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association)
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Association
- NMMS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
I have chosen these three because they are diseases that diminish mobility - for me such a source of joy.
How it Works
First, to gain entry to the JFK 50-Mile, I contributed $500 for a charity slot to MDA - specifically for Duchenne’s Disease. (I paid the entry fee separately from this contribution.) I will split the money I raise evenly to each of these three causes. Yes, the first $500 for MDA will re-imburse my initial contribution to gain entry to JFK. Beyond that, 100% of the funds you contribute will be evenly donated to these three organizations.
I am suggesting donations of $10-$30. I am seeking lots of small donations to encourage a broad energetic foundation.
For donations of $30, I will send you a download link so that you can receive the 131-page PDF book “2012 Triple Ultra Challenge” that chronicles my training and racing experiences last year. This chronicle provides some great insights for anyone who seeks to enter the ultra frontier. It also includes some inspiring photography of the Hudson River Valley and Shawangunk Mountains by Robert Fagan who assisted me with the layout and publishing.
To collect the money, I have set up a Pay Pal account under firstname.lastname@example.org. As money is donated into this account, I will forward it to the three organizations equally. Again, I reiterate, the first $500 for MDA will reimburse my initial charitable donation to gain entry to JFK 50. (And I must collect at least $1500 for full reimbursement.)
When you send money to this Pay Pal account, choose “I am sending money to family or friends” to minimize processing fees. If you have any questions, or wish to donate directly contact me.
Training and Preparation
In the next few Entries, I will chronicle my training and preparation for the “One-Two-Three” - as well as my experiences of the events. Below is a summary through Saturday, 26 October:
I felt residual fatigue for 7 days after my final tri of the season - the Rev3 Half Iron that served as USAT Long Course National Championships. Finally, on Sunday, 20 October, I felt the fatigue begin to fade. On Monday, I was regaining my appetite for training - and specifically for running. The weather has been beautiful. I am so inspired this time of year to get out and “run long”.
On Sunday, I ran cautiously for 60 minutes in the morning, and then another 40 minutes in the evening - enjoying the autumn colors around Ithaca. While I didn’t feel especially fast, I felt steady and healthy. These were unstructured assessment runs.
Monday morning arrived cool and clear - a classic fall day! I biked to the Cornell Arboretum and ran for 2 hours and 20 minutes - all on grass. My feet were wet from the first minute. However, with Injinji toe socks, I have never had a blister problem. When I run in this glorious park, I run “willy nilly”: I just run up and down the knolls, around trees, back and forth - following no particular path. To some, I must appear as a lunatic - an inspired lunatic!
I love this running format. I choose my path spontaneously. I feel like a 5-year old. As I run, I enjoy the beauty of the hundreds of species of trees. So many colors, so many shapes and sizes, in all different phases of autumnal senescense. It is such a joy! The time goes by quickly! Monday evening, I ran again for 40 minutes, mostly around town, enjoying the evening light, shaking out my legs.
On Tuesday morning, I left the house with a full bottle of HEED and a gel and headed uphill to the Cornell Campus - this time in the Vibram 5-FIngers, also with Injinji socks. I did not have a definite plan, but inteded to run about 3 hour It was cool and overcast with a very light drizzle that let up after a short time. I stuck to grass medians and trails up to and through the campus and headed again to the Arboretum. I could not resist! Once again, I ran all over the park, inspired by the beauty of the trees.
This time however, I focused a bit more on hill intervals throughout the 3-hour run. These hill intervals were longer and at a lower intensity than my usual short intense hill intervals. I kept the ascents within my aerobic range.
These two consecutive Arboretum runs on constantly varying topography and surface angle, and frequent changes in directions, increase running-specific joint and connective tissue stability and durability.
Tuesday evening - rather than my usual pre Swim Mastery “zen swim”, I rode 40 minutes - a circuitous route to Island Health and Fitness. I chose the bike over the swim for active recovery to my legs.
Wednesday was a “no-run” day. I rose very early for my usual Pilates-yoga mat session before my shift at the Greenstar Co-op bakery. Midday, I rode again - very easy - for 45 minutes. In the evening, I swam for 20 minutes before leading Swim Mastery.
Thursday morning, I ran from home to the Cornell track and practiced some running drills mixed with easy running and then 8X strides, before running back home. Total time: 75 minutes. In the evening, again I swam 20 minutes as a zen meditation before leading Swim Mastery.
Friday, I rose early and drove to Treman State Park for a very hilly and fairly technical trail run in the Vibram 5-Fingers. Another glorious, crisp autumn day! This 4-hour session was a great strength run. In the 5-Fingers, I have to be very cautious on the rocky trails. This slows me down a bit and requires that I be nimble footed - keeping my strides short and cadence moderate.
Friday afternoon, Betsy and I drove to New Paltz (4 hours), so I could teach at the Total Immersion Swim Studio over the weekend. The drive was beautiful and my legs were grateful for the rest. Saturday, I rose early for a Pilates-yoga mat session. After that, I felt ready to teach. It was a full day in the pool and classroom with swim clients. While teaching is very intense and demanding - it “forces” me to recover. No time (or energy) to train.
I ran a total 13 hours this week. All systems still “GO”.
In the next Entry, I will share the next 7 days of training and preparation for “One-Two-Three”, and report on the progress of fund raising. Thanks to all of you for your support and your interest. I hope that my “experiment of one” provides you with insight for your training and racing endeavors.
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