Monday, April 18, 2011

Relaxing in Luckenwalde

 After my illness last weekend it was a great feeling to get back to running yesterday during a restful weekend with Claudia in Luckenwalde. The sunshine and warm temperatures were an added bonus to the pleasure of getting out into the country for a short break, and doing a little physical work, enjoying the sights and sounds of the natural world, as well as reading and listening to music. After an early breakfast on Saturday we went for a stroll through the woods for an hour, and then I mowed the grass and turned the compost heap. Claudia and I set up the swinging garden seat after lunch and while reading my book on the life and works of Mozart we were joined by a beautifully marked green woodpecker who hopped back and forth a few feet in front of us for five minutes. As well as finding time to listen to some of Mozart's piano sonatas, I enjoyed an hour's snooze, before meditating outside in the still warm early evening. The garden is looking particularly spring-like with the opening of the daffodils I planted in the autumn.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sickness, Celebrations and the Mara Marathon

Last Thursday, less than a week after the half marathon I was sick with a stomach bug and couldn't eat anything, which of course meant I couldn't train either. Since yesterday I feel I've got my strength back and look forward to training again at the weekend.

WG Chintamani 2011
On Saturday my community hosted the annual Triratna Day celebration to mark the anniversary of the founding of the Triratna Buddhist Community (formerly the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) 44 years ago. We held the celebration in the community because we also wanted to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of our community, named 'Chintamani', the 'Wish-Fulfilling Jewel'. Of the original four members, three of us are still living together and we have been joined by three more, who see living together on the basis of our common spiritual ideals as supportive to our individual spiritual practice.

The Berlin half marathon seems a long time ago already. While having a look at the clips of it on YouTube I discovered the this clip of a somewhat different half marathon in Kenya, won by Geoffrey Kipsang, who also won in Berlin.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Photos from Sunday's run

Today I saw my brother Llion and my cousin Pauline off to the airport. They'd been in Berlin for almost a week and it was a delight to be able to spend some time with them, much of it in restaurants and cafes of various sorts. On Sunday they followed the runners along different parts of the route, and I was very happily surprised to see them at Ku'damm, a little over half way around the course, where Llion took the following sequence of photos. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Personal Best

Despite not achieving my goal of running under 1 hour and 45 minutes I was pleased to have run a personal best time of 1:45:29 in yesterday's Berlin half marathon. The first really warm and sunny weekend made the going tough for the participants, and I have to admit to struggling in the blazing sun. I made a point of stopping at every refreshment point to tank up with water, which also slowed me down a bit,  and I also set off at an overly ambitious tempo. It's my third Berlin Half and each time I've improved my time. How long I can carry on like that will be interesting to see. Next year I'll be in a new age group, so I will have the advantage of being one of the youngest in the over-55s. Even if I don't improve my time, maybe I'll improve my placing in my age group. 
Here are the statistics with last year's in brackets):
net time: 1:45:29 (1:46:35)
10 km time: 47:59 (50:12)
overall position: 2929 (4408)
position (age group) 291 (442)
4:59 per km (5:03)
average speed: 12.00 km/h(11.88)

And now I'm looking ahead to the Berlin Big 25 in five weeks time, which I've entered twice before, but never actually run due to ill health.