Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Start of the Training Plan

Yesterday I began the ten-week training plan for the Berlin Half Marathon on 28th March with a 9.5 KM trott along the Landwehr Canal. Despite the icy conditions and occasional flurries of snow, I enjoyed it. It was not possible however to stay within the 70% of my HFmax (maximum heart frequency) which the plan demanded. To run so slowly is hardly possible, so I kept to around 80%. Even at this pace I would take considerably longer to complete a half marathon than I did last year. I'm going to give the plan the benefit of the doubt and trust in the cumulative effect of the training.

On Sunday I led the first event in the new premises of the Buddhist Gate Berlin in Kreuzberg, when around 35 members of the Berlin Sangha celebrated the first ground-breaking ceremony (Erster Spatenstich in German). We dedicated the event to the Buddha Ratnasambhava. The event lasted three hours and included a dedication ceremony, walking meditation, mantra-chanting, as well as chanting the Ratana Sutta. The ceremony concluded with a seven fold puja and finally we had hot chocolate and cake in a coffee shop nearby.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The start of the year

I spent a very pleasant few days with Claudia in her weekend cottage in Luckenwalde over the new year period. Berlin can be a wild place at this time of year and we prefered to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside to the constant din of fireworks spread over several days that Berlin usually offers.

This year we had heaps of snow. I went for a run through the woods on January 1st in six inches of snow, which was very hard work, comparable Iin my opinion to running over sand dunes. The following day we had another six inches of snow and I haven't been running since. Even Berlin, to which I returned yesterday, is covered by a considerable coating of snow and ice. Tomorrow I'm off to Dhanakosa in Scotland for a meeting of European Buddhist centre Chairs. We'll see if the weather is any better there. When I return in a week's time, training for the Berlin half marathon on March 28th begins in earnest.