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Tufts University: The President's Marathon Challenge

Coach's Blog

January 27, 2009

This Email depicts 'What it is all about!!'

Prior to the Carlsbad Half Marathon, held on January 25, 2009, PMC runner Dr. Richard Payne and I reviewed his race strategy. I was emphatic about proper pacing ... making certain that he pay close attention to the second portion of the run, and hold back during the first half! I remember telling Dr. Payne to, 'Run within yourself ... and let the race unfold ...'

The following email describes Dr. Payne's account of the run ... I told Dr. Payne ...

Hi Don -
I just finished the most satisfying race of my life. 1:54:54!!
I felt like I was floating - and in the "zone" the whole dang time.

Although I had to watch many race ahead of me in the first half, I forced my
self to run 'within myself' and didn't even feel I was breathing hard - (Odd
that that feeling translates to a HR of 150 or 80% of max - very
You advised 1:02 - however, I went out in a comfortable 59:10.

Ah, but the sweet feeling of negative splits.  I gradually picked it up (to
about 8:30-40 minute miles ).  This had an amazingly good effect on my mind.  In the 3rd quarter of the race my HR was around 160 or 85% - in control but now feeling the work. For the last 4 miles I felt I knew exactly how much gas I had left in the tank.  I have never felt this way before in a race. My last mile was 7:50 and I felt like I blasted through the finish line. My 2nd half was 55:44.

Something has just now clicked in my head. I ran a complete race.

It was time to check the ego when folks just blew ahead - ahhhh, but the
feeling of reeling them in!
Anyway, it was lots of fun.

Going forward, I will not try to focus to much on "the zone" - because in my
many years of golf, the time spent in the zone goes "poof!" when you try and analyze too much.
I've learned something about myself.  It is best to restrain my wants
(and goals), work hard (but with joy), and allow the future to unfold in the

Again, I thank you for the gift of being my coach.

Regards, Richard Payne


Thank you Dr. Payne. What a beautiful email...and more importantly, you are now able to enjoy the fruits of your labor making both of us very happy!!!
This is what I live for...reading emails like yours.
Your self-discovery opens up an entire new process for you...I especially enjoyed your quip about the moment!!!

Beautiful ... simply beautiful, and if you do not mind I would like to share it
with the runners ... now take some time off to recover... this phase of your post race is just as important as the training leading up to Carlsbad Half Marathon!

Your devoted friend,
Don Megerle


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