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.