Sunday, July 03, 2016

4 weeks to SFM, pacing Mark Zuckerberg

4 weeks out to SFM, I was supposed to do a long run (18-20) but when I woke up I was pretty tired...the speed workout on Friday was still with me and Saturday I had done a ton of boxing of books and tromping up and down stairs and such..we're getting ready to repaint our entire house interior.

Feeling blah I decided to just go out and play it by was already 7:30am and the clouds would break up soon and the sun would be full bore so off I went.

First mile was pretty stiff and slow but gradually warmed up and was hitting low 10's ..a good long run pace for me..not working too hard to do it, but not nearly as easy as usual.

At about mile 8.x I heard a very loud-breathing person making little noises and such.. a bit unusual.   He was  coming up behind me on the left and as he passed me I turned my head to greet him, (as I often try to do) and said "Good morning! Hot enough for you yet?" He nodded and said..."yes, that's why you have to get started early..".  Off he went... very slowly passing me.. ..probably running @10:00 mile place.  

He was running with no hat and a bolt-upright forward lean at all. Given how young he looked I thought all the noises were pretty funny....I did notice some earbuds so probably he wasn't aware he was doing it.

As I saw his profile there was a brain tickle of recognition, but I wasn't sure. However, right behind this guy was another guy on a bike. This guy was really physically fit, his bike was new, and it had a little orderly pack on it and was staying about 40 feet behind the runner.

Hmm..clearly a bodyguard type.  At that point I suspected it was Mark Zukerberg that I'd seen. I decided to check him out again and so I took off at a faster (sub-9m/m) pace. See
the blue splits below:

2016-07-03 Sun
Split CMiles  Pace      HRElev+Elev-

I caught up to him after about a half mile and blew by him on the dirt shoulder to the side. He was still making lots of mouth noises and madea couple of loud 'ssshhhh...shhhhh'  noises just as I passed him.  View was good enough..yup, it was him.

I wondered if he'd take the long loop out to the dam (as I was) or if he was cutting back. But in any case I was enjoying running fast...I dropped down to the lower track on the berm (which is softer and more varied terrain..and closer to the water birds) and kept up a fast felt good and sustainable. 

After a mile or so I stopped to take off my shirt for a bit as I often do on that part of the trail. (I am very fair skinned, so I only do that for a mile or so but it feels good to have the bay breezes so I do it on that part which is a bit more private). I could hear Mr Z. above me on the crushed rock trail . goodness.. so noisy! ;)

Anyway, shirt off and running again...same pace. Felt good...eventually got to the dam and stopped to put shirt back on and Mr Z passed me and said "Good run!", now he had identical looking buff guys pacing him on two nice identical black new mountain bikes with identical little packs. One of them was also holding the leash to a large brown dog..some kind of bird dog, I think.

I put my shirt back on and then started following them. As they approached the parking lot and water stop I pulled up about 30 seconds behind him to fill up my water bottle. He was starting some stretching routine and I said hello and asked him "Your name is Mark, isn't  it?"  He admitted it was...ok so confirmed it's him,  and he said "you paced me!". 

We chatted for about 5 minutes about running. I asked him if he was training for something and he said "I'm thinking of doing a triathlon" and then he asked me "what about you?". I told him I was 4 weeks out from SFM. He asked me what my target time was and I said probably about 4:20..just under 10:00 pace. He was doing a calf stretch with his foot up on the curb and said "don't you stretch after a run?" ...I replied, pointing to his foot, "well I've tried a lot of things and don't do static stretches much these days"....also that I still had 2.5 miles to go to get home but no, mostly I did foam rolling after a run and flexibility exercises. 

I thought about asking for a photo with him...I knew Toni would give me a lot of grief for not doing it...and after all this guy is the enabler of 1.5 billion selfies per month or some ungodly I'm sure he wouldn't mind. 

But.... I just couldn't do that to him after having a normal runner-type me it seemed a rude thing to do.  I wished him a good day and went to top off my water bottle at the nice bubbler they have there and then took off for home. 

I guess these days it's 'no photo: didn't happen' so I guess this didn't happen ;)

37 miles for the week, only 14.25 miles today...but 4 faster miles in there thanks to Mark Z. ;)

.....still have a two more Sundays before taper to get some longer fast-finish runs in. 


  1. Haha! Quite the experience on the run, Bravo Paul for outrunning him..and since you took the trouble to write this blog, it did happen, photo or no photo!

  2. Haha! Quite the experience on the run, Bravo Paul for outrunning him..and since you took the trouble to write this blog, it did happen, photo or no photo!

  3. Way to go, Paul. Thanks for sharing your 'run in' with Mr.Z. Good story.


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