Day 3 Week 1 – Steady Run In Base Training

4 miles, easy pace with a steady run for mile 3 (my split: 9:14, 9:00, 7:41, 9:15) , overcast & 57 degree.  It should be obvious from my splits that I injected a steady run within today’s easy runs.

The easy runs were right on pace between 8:19 to 9:20.  But the steady run pace was too fast* and pushing my current lactate threshold of 7:39 (making it like a tempo run).  And I will not be able to handle the steady run later when its distance gets longer.

Since I am in base training, the purpose is to build my endurance.  It makes sense for my steady run pace during this phase be closer to 8:22 (my current estimated marathon pace).  So I can stay within the aerobic zone.  Glad that I caught this mistake before I injure myself.

*A mistake on my part from reading the wrong chart.




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Day 2 Week 1 – What Motivates Me

3 miles easy pace, cloudy & 59 degree

Rain in the forecast motivates me.  It makes me go out and run (to get ahead of the rain).  Today was such case.  Later on when the dark clouds gathered and precipitation started, I felt relieved because I got my run in.

Moving through life with ease and grace also motivates me.  It signals to me the person not only got his or her things together but more likely has mastered them.  Such mastery and finesse earn my admiration.  And I strive to arrive at that state.

Such were the thoughts that ran through my mind while running this morning.  Granted, three miles was not much time to ponder them deeply.  But I like the idea of  starting my training easy – easing my mind and body into the routine of running daily.

So perhaps one day I too can move with ease and grace.

What keeps you going day after day?

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Day 1 Week 1 – A New Beginning

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4 miles with fartlek surges. Sunny, 66 degree.

Without fanfare, today marks the kick-off for my marathon training.  I am training for the Erie Marathon in September.  That’s why my 20 week training started earlier than usual.  Might as well, I am getting fidgety about the prolonged cold weather anyway.

Perhaps my prayer has been heard. The sun was shining and the temperature pleasant when I embarked on the 4 miles easy pace run.  I threw in fartlek surges during the third mile to introduce speed work early for two reasons: 1) to take advantage of my fitness level  and 2) to have fun.

The concept of better-fitness and more-fun is not new.  What new is how I incorporate them into my marathon training.   The fartleks today is a case in point.  And staying injury free is another.  Nothing revolutionary, but for me, it is exciting  being able to implement them after all these years.

Stay tune.

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Week In Review – 22 Apr 2018

Three weeks into April.  Temperatures here in Washington DC have been between the high 30’s to low 60’s.  Safe to say the threat of snowstorm is passed.  Also passed is the U.S. tax filing deadline for 2017 but not without its drama.

Maybe it’s both a sign of the time and my advancing age, I am actually enjoying slowing down my pace to smell the roses.  It sounds cliche but works for me.  Life is a process to be enjoyed since we know the destination is certain.

Another key event is my decision to run the Erie Marathon in September.  As I focus 20 weeks prepping for the race, it is not a decision that I make frivolously.  In fact my training will start this coming week.

A pleasant surprise  I discovered when I ran the benchmark 5 K race on Saturday is that I am in better fitness level than anticipated.  This will influence my training strategy (more on this later).

Have a nice week.


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A Pleasant Surprise

My Parkrun 5K time this morning was much better than anticipated.  I had a time of twenty-two minutes and twenty-nine seconds (22:29) which is a better fitness level than I was ever able to achieve in 2017.  This was a surprise considering my marathon training has yet to start.

As before, I plugged my 5K time into the McMillan Calculator and out popped my projected marathon time 3.39:05 and pace 8:22.  Last year, my actual marathon time was 3.40:41 (or 8:25 pace) and the 5K benchmark paces were 8:40, 8:26, and 8:34.

Two factors may have contributed  to today’s outcome: 1) I wore my trail sandals minimal shoes which gave my feet the most freedom, and 2) my daily yoga practice which kept my mind-body tightly focused.  In any event, I will take the good news.

Besides, being more fit allows me to experiment with various training methods, to have more fun with the training, and to have a better shot at reaching my target marathon time of 3:35:00 (pace 8:12) at the Erie marathon.


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It is late Friday night, many are celebrating the weekend, but not me.  I am here alone thinking about my Parkrun 5 K race tomorrow.

Since my last marathon in November I have been “off-season.”  Tomorrow’s 5 K will help to determine my fitness level and set my current pace for the upcoming training.  I am running the Erie Marathon in September.

Tomorrow’s race will not be a PR for me as I am both heavy and out of shape.  That is precisely why I need the baseline to benchmark my fitness condition at the beginning of the training season and more later on.  Regardless, I will give it my best effort.

Better get some sleep. Good Night.



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Slow Down!

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Not too often we hear words like “release, slowdown, or patience,” in our busy work environment.  Certainly not here in Washington, DC.  Unless you chanced to be in a yoga or meditation retreat, those are special circumstances. Or are they?

Our busyness is in part due to the advent of the digital technology and eCommerce.  Speed is king. Why wait for an answer when you can get it yourself with just a few clicks.   As a result, fast and faster are becoming the norm.

It is easy to be pushed and hurried along.  For crying out loud, competition is eating our lunch. Who can afford to slow down!  But as the experience tells us “haste makes waste,” rushing to judgement invites mistakes.  And pulling the brakes may be the right move.

Not suggesting one has to do yoga or meditation.  But do take the time to double check, verify, and validate.  These are good business practices.  Skip over them for the sake of expediency, and the consequence could be a price that is too high.

Have you had opportunity to slow down?

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Erie Marathon

I have decided to run the Erie Marathon in Erie, Pennsylvania on 9 September 2018.  Because the early September race date, my 20 week training will start next week.  Hoohoo.

The marathon course is around the Presque Isle State Park which sticks out into the Lake Erie (see below).  One loop around the park is Half Marathon, so twice is the Marathon.

Presque Isle 2018-04-18 at 2.55.06 PM

It is a flat and paved course.  Of course it seems every race claims to be flat, but the Erie Marathon has less than 250 foot total change in elevation from start to finish.  In fact, it boasts a 44% Boston Qualify rate in 2017.  Double hoohoo.

Now that I have decided on the marathon, next is figuring out my training plan insofar as what goals will I be targeting to accomplish, which aspect of the training will I modify to fine tune my body and fitness level, etc.  I will sort them out in short order.  So stay tune.

Which race are you training for?

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SNAFU Tuesday

SNAFU is an acronym that stands for Situation Normal. All Foul Up (slightly edited version).  It seems to be a good descriptor today for the White House and our government operations.  Below are examples of what I mean:

IRS’ online efile system crashed today, the official tax filing deadline for 2017 – it should be expected when the government sets a deadline that its system must be able to handle the traffic from last minute rushes.  Oh, surprise, surprise.  That appears not the case.  And as a result of the crash, the tax deadline has been extended another day.

White House walked back on the Russian sanctions – after last week’s airstrike on Syria, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was left in the dark about the President’s change of mind before announcing the sanctions Sunday on national television.  This is a real doozy, and I hate to be in her position.

And President Trump filed for extension on his taxes – this is a carryover from the candidate Trump who refused to make his tax returns public during the campaign.  Now as the president Trump’s tax returns will be audited automatically when he files.  But I have a feeling that the hell will freeze over before we ever see that happens. At least not while he is in the White House.

How was your day?

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Finesse Of Life

In my younger days, speed was my guide.  Get there fast, finish quick, so I can enjoy  the outcome.  There were so much to see and do and yet so little time.  Needless to say that I was impatient and did things in broad brush strokes.

Now older and slower, I still want to enjoying the outcome.  How I approach life (i.e. my path) is different – speed is no longer king.  In fact,  just the opposite.  I purposely slow down so I don’t miss the finesse of  life like change of season, relationship, etc.

Call it quality over quantity or aging over youth, I come to realize the finer things in life are manifested in the details.  And when rushing, I miss the details. The process as we go through life is as important as, if not more than, the outcome.

Take yoga for example. Instead of hurrying through the motions and claiming the poses, I take my time and pay attention to the details.  The nuance of my core movement, difference between my body’s right and left side, are all subtleties that can contribute to the enjoyment of my practice.

How do you discover the finesse of your life?

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