Breaking the Wall

January 2007

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Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.

Personal:

I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 12.00 Month: 155.37 Year: 2223.23
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1909.35
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1317.07
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
276.8255.283.000.40335.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.805.000.000.0012.80

10.04 in 1:06:38 in the morning with 2x2.5 in the middle, first in 14:33, second in 14:30. HR stablized at 154 on the first, and at 157 on the second towards the end. The last mile of the second (first mile of the first) was 0.5% net uphill grade.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Updated the donor list on the Fund page. Please report errors/omissions if you find any.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
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Ran 10.04 in 1:05:50 in the morning at a steady pace. HR fluctated between 133 and 139 once I got going, while the pace fluctated between 6:40 and 6:20.

Saw Dr. Jex. He had my the X-Ray of my lower back in a sitting neutral position. The L1-L5 angle has changed from -5 to 5 degrees over the period of 4 months. However, the ideal angle, according to the Pettibon system is 35-45 degrees. Interestingly enough, I get fairly close when standing up, but something is out of whack when sitting down. I suspect running falls somewhere in between. I tried feeling my lower back with my hand when running, and it felt closer to the sitting position than to running.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Added a little bit of a run from the car to Home Depot on the way to Dr. Jex's.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
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Ran with Ted in the morning. Usual 10.04. Chatted for the first 4 miles, then got serious about the 7:00 mile guy. Sped up to 6:30-6:40 pace. HR at 6:30 was 132 when I arched my back the right way, otherwise 137. Arching the back made a noticable difference. I noticed Ted was starting to suffer when I did that while I did not increase the effort, and HR dropped. On the rough parts of the trail, I could not concentrate enough to think about arching the back, Ted was putting in the same effort, while I had to work harder to keep up. Total time was 1:09:02.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Jenny wanted to get a special prize - a treat from Good Earth. I told her she had to run 1.5 miles at sub-9:00 pace. She cruised at 8:48 pace for the first 1.25, then kicked in 1:55 on the last quarter.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
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Ran with Ted in the morning. 10.04 in 1:09:42 with a light fartlek in the middle - alternating a quarter in under 1:30 with a quarter in 1:50 8 times to catch the 7:00 mile guy.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. I told Benjamin I'd get him a Palm Pilot if he breaks 7:00 mile. His scriptures got ripped up quite a bit and are reaching the point of being unusable, so I figured a Palm Pilot would be a nice replacement with some extra features as a bonus.

Benjamin has a hard time running fast in the cold, so we waited. Finally it got warm enough, we thought, so we decided to try it. The Provo High track was covered with snow. As soon as we got to the Orem High track it started snowing pretty hard, but the track was still clear. Benjamin still wanted to give it a shot. He ran 7:13.9, not bad at all for the conditions. We'll have to wait for another warm day, though.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
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Ran with Ted in the morning. Usual 10.04. Lots of snow today, we had to slow down. On the way back, we ran into a guy named Tyler, and he joined us. Turns out he is dating the oldest daughter of Doug Padilla. Well, it was very fitting for him to be out for an 18 mile run on this cold and snowy morning. If you want to have the honors of dating a daughter of a great runner, you must show some character!

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

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Ran 13.5 with Ted in the morning. Warmed up 2 miles. Then did the standard 10 mile tempo on the 2.5 stretch between Geneva Road and the Utah Lake parking lot. The roads were mostly covered with snow with occasional dry patches. It was also cold - probably 15 degrees at the start. Ran with Ted the first 7 miles. He was tired. We did the first 2.5 in 16:09, then 16:04 coming back. Then at 7 miles I decided to go ahead and push it a bit to measure the conditions of the road more accunrately. Hit the next 2.5 split in 16:03. On the way back, decided to chase down the 6:20 guy, but it was difficult - had to slow down on ice for safety reasons. Made up only 8 seconds on the next mile. A song I heard a few times on a BBC English learning program back in 1990 in Russia came to my mind - "have to catch an early train, got to be at work by 9, but even if I had an airplane I still would not make it on time". The dry strethes were not long enough to get going, and then you have to ease off early enough before an ice patch. Pushed it on the last mile, managed 5:55, half of it was solid snow, put in a valiant effort, but ended up a second behind - 1:03:21.

I like to re-write popular songs sometimes when I am working hard, usually when things are going well. One of my favorites when drafting behind a tough competitor in a race - "and I swear, like a shadow that's by your side, I'll be there. For better or worse, till kick do us part, I'll hang on with every beat of my heart..."

Cooled down 1.5 to the house. Ran with the kids in the evening.

Tested my vertical jump. It was 18 inches. An improvement from 1.5 years ago when Ian Hunter tested it on the force plates (he says it gives you a very accurate estimate), and it was only 13 inches back then. The reason I decided to test it was that the whole body was feeling jumpy. I attribute this to the improvements in the lower back. Today I felt more like a pouncy cat than I can ever remember.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.500.000.0013.00

Ran with Ted in the morning at 4:45. It was a cold and early morning. My bed felt good, and I missed it. Ted started from BYU and I met him on the trail. We ran to his turnaround, and then back to BYU. There we did a strength test for a mini-experiment - max leg extension on a weight machine with one leg. Ted was my guinea-pig to establish a comparison base. The test measures your raw quad strength. My expectation was that I would outperform Ted by a lot more than you would expect from our running difference. My expectation turned out to be correct. I was able to lift 200 lb and failed at 220 lb, while Ted lifted 140 lb, and failed at 160 lb.

Then we did a vertical jump. We did not have any way to measure it, so we just did a basic visual evaluation by the number of blocks on the wall. Our vertical jump was essentially the same.

I think the preliminary results confirm my suspicion that I have very much below average spinal resilience. And also, that the spinal resilience is critical in the running economy, and just as important as the raw leg strength for sprinting. That is why you can see a guy with skinny legs run 100 in sub-12 quite often, while somebody with bigger legs may not be as fast. The skinny legged guy has to be very well coordinated and has the back of a cat.

However, I would like to do more of those tests. Ideally, it would be nice to find a graduate or P.H.D. student who wants to do a study for his paper/dissertation and do it with him. But at least doing some informal measurements is a good start. If anybody wants to participate, let me know. The catch is that the leg extension test needs to be done on the same machine and with the same starting angle, so you'd have to come down to Provo for it.

On the way back caught the 7:00 mile guy. Ran a bit of a tempo on the last 0.5 at sub-6:00 pace. Total of 11 miles in the morning.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 13 miles for the day.

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Ran with Ted at 4:45 AM again. Was thinking about my warm bed the entire run. We did a fartlek, 6x400, then 4x800, all at around 5:45-5:50 pace. The recoveries at 7:00-7:20 pace. HR readings were normal once I worked up enough sweat. 10.04 in 1:07:48.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

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My cellphone woke me up with the "Serenade" at 4:30 AM to run with Ted at 4:45. It says on the menu - Seranade, 4:30 AM, Daily. A most lovely melody that would get a corpse to arise. Sarah asked me if I could put it on something less lively. I explained it had to be lively enough to get me out of bed. I also get dressed faster while that tune is still vividly playing in my mind.
Met Ted on the trail - he ran from BYU. Saw a runner from afar in the dark and wondered if it was Ted. Should not have wondered. The probability of it being somebody else was extremely low. In fact, I believe the last time I saw anybody other than Ted running before 5 AM was in the Wasatch Back Relay. We were both asleep and ran at 7:20 pace or so most of the time. I proposed a 6:00 mile to wake up, but Ted's legs were tired from yesterday. Followed Ted part of the way to BYU until it was time to turn around. Then I had 1.5 left to the house, which I decided to do at marathon pace. Turned out it was 1.58 because I miscalulated the turnaround. No problem. Ran 1.5 in 8:41 at a steady pace, HR eventually climbed to 150, total time for 10.08 was 1:11:49. Ran with the kids in the evening.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.302.500.000.0011.80

Ran with Ted in the morning. Did a tempo 2.5 in 14:23. The rest was at a very relaxed pace. Total of 10.13.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Worked all night figuring out little and  not so little bugs in the new text editor. It is still buggy, but at least functional. Please report bugs as you find them. One thing I really need tested is try entering some text, then wait about 5-10 minutes to submit it. If you can reproduce it posting the numbers, but not the comments, please report. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.800.000.000.0011.80

Easy run with Ted in the morning at 4:45 AM. 10 miles through some serious snow. Ran very relaxed at about 7:40-7:50 pace in chat mode. Then ran with the kids. Went to Sarah's youngest brother's wedding afterwards. He and his wife were sealed in the Jordan River Temple.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.103.000.000.0012.10

Today was a big sleep-in day. I slept until as late as 6:30 AM. Ted had a hard time getting out of the snow, so we did not get going until 7:30. It was cold at the start (12F) and lightly snowing. When the temperatures are around 10F and below the snow becomes brittle and starts cracking under your feet. This provides decent traction, almost as good as asphalt. So we had good traction at the start. I decided to do mile pickups. Ran the first one with decent traction in 5:45 with HR at 152. Started slipping more as it got warmer on the second - 5:52, HR hit 154 and went back down to 150 probably as I lost motivation from slipping. And then one more in 6:00, slipping even more with HR at 152. Towards the end we were struggling to keep 8:00 pace conversationally, while at the start we were cruising at 7:10 pace. Ended up with 1:12:59 for 10.24 - a little longer because I kept coming back to Ted after the pickups.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.900.000.000.0011.90

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Did 10.04 in 1:11:43. The temperature varied from -8F to -4F during the run. Wore anywhere from two to three layers of clothing, including gloves and socks. That was perfect - very comfortable, but not too much. Special emphasis on on the extremities and the crotch. Years of running through Russian winters have helped.

The entire time we discussed Ryan Hall's 59:43 in the half. I want him to run 2:03 marathon to prove the pundits wrong. I love proving the pundits wrong or see them proving wrong. One of my favorite scriptus is 2 Nephi:9:28-29 :

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

I think the "pundits" start making wrong predictions when they are out of tune with the Spirit of God and start placing their own wisdom above it. I think the prediction of 2:04 limit for the marahton world record fundamentally underestimates our potential, and I am looking forward to watching it proven wrong by somebody who has the talent and obeys the laws of breaking 2:04.


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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.903.000.000.0011.90

Another cold day. 0F at the start, -2F at the finish. Ran with Ted at 4:45 AM. Usual 10.04. Did a tempo 2.5 in 14:59. Hard to run fast with 2.5 layers of clothes, on snow, in the cold, and that early. Not sure how much it slows you down, we'll find out when the roads clear up.

Afterwards, read Lesson 2 Tragedy or Destiny out of the church lesson manual. After the challenges of the run, my mind was very open to these words of President Kimball:

Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. All three set a record for the coldest they've run it - 7F.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.800.000.000.0011.80

10.03 miles in the morning at 4:45 with Ted in 1:09:58. Met him on the trail - he started from BYU. Another cold day - 0F temperature.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Got a K-TEC blender in the mail today. Sarah made soup in in for dinner, as well as some apple sauce and salsa.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
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Ran with Ted. Today was our sleep-in day  - we ran at 5:30 AM instead of the regular 4:45. Did a tempo. Ran 14:37 on our standard 2.5 mile stretch from Geneva Road to the trail entrance partking lot by the Utah Lake. The road conditions were a lot better, although the first mile still covered with snow for a good part. Still cold, 0F, wore the standard 2.5 layers of clothes.

Ted was feeling tired. I encouraged him to run 7:40 pace the rest of the way. This also gave me a nice mental break after the tempo. Although I am not putting in a lot of physical effort into those tempos, mentally they are very hard. It is dark and cold, the road traction is not the best, it is early in the morning, and the clothes weigh enough and block the movement enough to cause some serious mental resistance. That's why I keep them down to only 2.5 miles and run them at 5:45-6:00 pace. 

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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No sleeping in this morning. Met Ted on the trail. Did not feel like I had a good attitude the entire run. Missed my warm bed all the way long. The inversion dampened my spirits. I can feel the quality of the air that is going in when I pick up the pace. And when I feel the quality is not good, I do not want to pick up the pace. And I feel depressed, a bit of a panic from the realization that something I depend upon for life is does not have very good quality.

Finally decided to do an attitude improvement tempo pick up. Ran the uphill mile (the last one of the standard tempo course, 0.5% grade) in 5:55. That made me feel better. My mind has a natural tendency to notice or recall connections or associations. So I remembered Pushkin's cure for dampened sprits that I had to memorize in the Russian equivalent of grade school or some time early in junior high: 

Выпьем с горя; где же кружка?
Сердцу будет веселей.

which in my translation, is:

Let us drink from sorrow, where is the mug?
The heart will be merrier.

Combine that with the fact that your average Russian literature teacher approaches Pushkin
the same way a devout Christian would approach the Bible. No wonder Russia has serious alcohol
problems.  While Pushkin wrote beautiful poetry, I think the teachers should emphasize that had he chosen not to drink, it would have been even better. And he probably would also have had a less explosive temper which would have given him the wisdom not to duel.

 

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Found a story that just cracked me up about how a bug in a cake printer produced a very
interesting birthday greeting message for an 80-year old Italian lady. I could not stop laughing for about 5 minutes. Good exercise for the abdominal muscles.

 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.0011.000.000.0016.00

Tempo run with Ted in the morning. Sleep in day - we ran at 7:15 AM. Warmed up to Geneva Road, and did the standard 10 mile tempo. I had too goals - stay with Ted as much as possible, and catch the 6:00 mile guy eventually. The trail was partially covered with snow, but a good part of it was dry. However, you did have to swerve from side to side to catch the good parts. Also, it was around 1F, so I had my standard 2.5 layers.

We ran together for the first 1.5 miles at 6:15 pace. Then stopped for a bio break, while Ted kept going. I started chasing him, and sped up to 5:45. It felt easier than I expected, and I felt some extra bounce in my stride. There are a couple of things I did different last week. Ted brought me some Synflex to try. It is a glucosamine-based supplement that is supposed to promote the growth of cartrilage. My hope is that it will improve the quality of my spinal disks and thus increase the resilience of the spine. I also changed my Pettibon exercise routine to walk around carrying a medicine ball above my head while wearing the headweights.

Hit 2.5 in 15:08, then caught Ted 0.5 miles later, along with the 6:00 guy. Decided to stay with Ted until we were 30 seconds behind the 6:00 guy. Ted was not feeling good - a bit sick, and a bit overtrained. We ran at 6:20 - 6:25 pace, and then slowed down to a 1:38 quarter. We were 28 seconds behind the 6:00 guy, and I decided it was time to take off. The road was covered with snow, so I fell behind even further - 30:32 (15:14) at 5 miles. That was bad news. So I pressed it a bit harder, and managed to not fall behind any further on the way back through the snowy section. Then with the same effort, I started closing the gap when the road was dry. 45:17 at the turnaround, 14:45 for 2.5. Now I was fully aware of the conditions of the trail and the difficulty of running 5:50 pace on it with all the clothes on, so I got down to business. Still 7 seconds to close with a mile to go, and it is uphill and covered with snow. Barely made it - 59:59.7, 14:42 on the last 2.5. 

Ran back to Ted, finished with him, then we ran to my house. 13.7 for the run. Ran with the kids a short while later, and then went cross-country skiing with Benjamin at Sundance. This was his first time cross-country skiing, and my first time in 20 years. I did a few tempo stretches, all I could do was 9:00 mile pace putting in 6:00 mile running effort. However, I believe, cross-country skiing is exactly what I need for my back. It bends it and stretches it in a way that feels just right when I lean forward and push off with both arms. I remember that in the past I felt cross-country skiing made me run with better form. I need to find a time and cost-effective way to do it as often as possible. If anybody knows of a good place to buy a pair of boots and skis, please post a comment or send me an e-mail. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

Sleep in day today. Ran at 7:30 AM with Ted. Met him on the trail. He started from BYU. Then Ted headed back to BYU, and I stayed on the trail. Found a runner named Cameron. He was going pretty fast - about 6:40 pace through the snow. Ran with him a bit. His marathon PR is 3:07. Suggested to him he needed to increase his mileage - based on how well he was handling 6:40 he should be able to hold it for the marathon with proper training. Invited him to join the blog crowd.

Afterwards, running alone and focusing on the form (nothing else to think about), noticed it was better than normal. The push off felt more effective. The hamstrings were working. The pace also showed - according to The Toy I was going 6:20-6:30 pace, and it did not feel that fast in spite of the 2.5 layers of clothes. The questions are: Is this for real? Will it continue? If yes, is it from Synflex?  Carrying the medicine ball above my head with headweights? Stretching the the muscles in the upper back? Cross-country skiing? Or possibly all of the above. Or maybe none, just another fluke, I've had many days when I felt great at 6:20 pace, but terrible at 5:40 immediately afterwards,  

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. After dinner they wanted carob cookies. Each sufficiently mature child had to earn it by solving a math problem.  Julia had to do 6+1, solved with no hints. Jennifer had to do 6x7, needed a hint (6x5+6x2).  Benjamin had to calculate the cosine of 60 degrees. Solved after he had drawn the picture of a circle on a coordinate plane.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.502.500.000.0012.00

Tempo 2.5 in the middle of a 10 mile run with Ted at 4:45 in the morning. Still cold. It snowed some more, the trail is almost entirely covered with snow. Still cold. Felt sleepy, missed my bed. 15:01 was all I could do. The form did not feel good - the spring in my stride I felt yesterday was gone. But yesterday it did not come through until later on in the run either.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Did a quarter with Julia on my shoulders in 2:05. It felt like 6:20 pace. Julia is 4, and weighs about 30+ pounds.

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Easy run with Ted early in the morning. The form was not good. The quads were being overutilized. I wonder if it has to do with the degree of wakefulness, perhaps some critical point at which my nervous system kicks it, adjusts something a little bit which puts it past the critical point.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.402.200.000.3011.90

Ran with Ted this morning. It was our sleep-in day - we started at 5:30 am. With the extra sleep I felt livelier in the tempo run, and so did Ted. We ran our standard 2.5 tempo. Most of the trail was covered with snow, but there were a bit more dry spots than on Tuesday. First mile in 5:59, trying to wake up. Next time I had a chance for a reliable split was at 1.5 + 1/16, which was 9:14, 8 seconds ahead of the 6:00 mile guy. Then around the 2 mile mark I really needed to take a bio-break. This gave Ted a chance to pass me. However, I was quick enough to put Ted within reach. I knew I had to work, because I could tell that he was having a good day, and he usually runs much better the further he goes this time of day. At first I had a hard time getting going (The Toy reported 1:26 quarter), but then my tiger chasing a pray instinct turned on. The Toy reported a quarter in 1:18, and I managed to catch Ted. My total time was 14:24, which gives me 5:10 for the last 15/16 of a mile, this is 5:31 pace average. However, I did not start going fast until the last 0.5, so that 1:18 quarter was probably really 1:18. Ted ended up with 14:48, a record for him for the comparable conditions.

This goes to show that perhaps the biggest factor that makes me struggle to break 6:00 pace on those tempo runs is not the extra clothes, the cold, and the snow, but rather the lack of excitement at this early hour. Once I had a reason to run sub-5:20 pace, it came without a superhuman effort that I would expect from the difficulty of running 5:50 on those runs.

The economy felt average. Quads worked more than I wanted them too, but not terribly out of the ordinary. The spring from the back felt average, maybe even slightly better than average.

Afterwards, my adrenal glands did not want to work, I think. We ran 8:00 pace the rest of the way, and it felt fast. If 7:00 felt fast, I could have blamed it on lactic acid buildup, maybe. But in this case, I think it was just running out of mental energy to push.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

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12.000.000.000.0012.00

Easy run with Ted at 4:45 AM. Met him on the trail. He started from BYU. After my lips got used to the cold, I could finally carry a conversation. That made the run less tedious for me. Ted told me about the red necks in Alabama that drive as if they were trying to hit you, see how close they can get, and then swerve at the last moment.

Saw another runner on the trail later, I believe it is the second one I've seen on those runs. This was after my turnaround, so Ted missed her, but he had a good chance of spotting the rare creatures near BYU.

Weighed myself with clothes I've been running in - 155lb. Then changed to summer running clothes - 151lb. So 4lb difference. According to the Daniels Running Formula Vdot tables, this should translate to about 5-7 seconds per mile loss just from the weight. There is probably also a movement restriction factor involved. With the cold temperatures, and the snow on the ground you lose some more. Plus being asleep at the early hour. So struggling with 6:00 pace over 2.5 miles perhaps is not that bad in those conditions.

Curt Catmul came by and brought me a pulley contraption to simulate the cross-country skiing movement of the back, and do other stretching and strengthening exercises. I tried it and liked it so far. I am still doing Pettibon exercises and treatment, but I am starting to suspect I've reached the limit of the method for my problem. The last X-ray showed no improvement compared to the previous test - 20 degree angle (decrease from 23, ideal 45), and the unchanged head forward tilt of 8mm (ideal 0). So I improved very fast from the start, but have now plateaued. This is not to say that eventually it could not work, but something needs to be done differently.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. They are starting to get used to the inversion.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.8010.000.000.0015.80

Major sleep-in day. Tempo run with Ted at 7:15 AM.  10 miles on the standard course between Geneva Road and the Utah Lake. Ted was not feeling well in the morning, so to make things interesting we decided to give him a head start of one minute. The conditions of the trail for the first 2.5 miles were better than Thursday but worse than last Saturday. Later on, they became significantly worse as the snow became wet and lost its crispiness. As it was warmer (14F), I decided to wear 1.5 layers on my legs (shorts over tights).

First mile in 5:56 on snow, felt good. The snow was still crisp, decent traction. Stopped for bio break at 1.75.  First 2.5 in 14:45. Ted was about 1:40 ahead already. Turned out he actually opened up 10 seconds on me on top of the head start and the bio break. 23:37 at 4 miles, still decent pace. Then I hit a solid mile of wet snow - 6:10, 15:03 for the 2.5, 29:48 for 5. Ted is a minute ahead, and the 6:00 mile guy is gaining on me, not good. I thought with me wearing only one pair of pants  he would never be gaining on me.

Next mile in 6:09 on wet snow, hanging on trying to hold off the charging 6:00 mile guy. He runs like a moose on wet snow, he does not care. Next 1.5 miles have frequent dry ground patches, time for revenge. However, the patches of snow are killing the pace. 44:50 at 7.5, 15:02 for 2.5, Ted is now only 30 seconds ahead.

On the way back working hard to build a nice cushion before the last mile. Who knows, it might get even worse than 6:10 for that mile. Passed Ted with 1.5 to go. 1:03:44 at 9 miles. Let's hope 16 second lead is enough. Figured out a trick from desperation - surge hard on every smallest dry patch, then coast on the snow - it does not pay to push there. Exponential increase in effort results only in marginal increase in speed. Finished in 59:50, 10 seconds ahead of the 6:00 mile snow-plowing hard charging moose. Last mile in 6:06, last 2.5 in 15:00.

Jogged with Ted back to my house, put on ankle weights, jogged some more to make it 14. Worked out on Curt's contraption, liked the feeling afterwards. Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

As got back home and we knelt down for a family prayer, I saw a flock of moose trophies on the shelf that I've collected from 8 Top of Utah "in the moose" finishes to remind me of today's run.  

 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

Easy run with Ted at our standard 4:45 AM time. The pace was not fast enough for long enough to test the form/spine spring. However, I did hit a quarter in 1:38 at the end that felt easy.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Warmer weather and less inversion. Benjamin and Jenny ran faster. Benjamin ran the last 0.5 in 3:45 rather comfortably. I think he is ready for another sub-7:00 mile attempt. We will probably try on Thursday if the weather is good.

The Fast Running Blog is overdue for a number of improvements.  We have added a few more runners to the point where even I find the current blog navigational system inadequate, and that is bad - I can use a very rudimentary user interface and be happy. I have had plans to do a predictor with GPX course uploads, or even better - a plotter like gmaps-pedometer.com. Also, need to find a way to place the Google ads better - in a way that is not annoying, but effective for generating click-throughs. The click through rate on the Fast Running Blog pages has not been very good - I hope mostly because the pages have been too interesting to read to leave them. Just need to find the time to code it all up.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.503.002.000.0012.50

Early morning tempo with Ted. Standard 4:45 AM. Short warm-up, then 2.5 in 14:11. Ted and I started at a good pace. I had to do a bio-break at around 0.75. After that kicked into gear to try to catch Ted. Hit the mile in 5:47. Caught up sooner than I expected - Ted had to take a bio-break at 1.5, I think I am infecting him with the decease. Went passed him, did not wait. Stayed in gear except for getting out of rhythm on short snow patches. The trail was in good condition except for the first 0.5 miles. Ted finished in 14:13. I think were it not for the bio breaks we probably would have pushed each other into the sub-14:00 range.  Not bad for the cold, early, and lots of clothes.

On the way back tried to trick Ted into running another 2.5. He went about a quarter, then did not feel good. I coasted putting in a marathon pace effort. Total time was 14:44, but the last 0.5 was 3:02, and I was slipping a lot more than in the first repetition.

The stride was far perfect, but better. I felt like I was using the full length of my legs, that is the best way I can describe it. What would be nice is to come up with some measurement devices/techniques and record the measurements along with the feelings. Then after some calibration I'd be able to tell what is going on, just like I can tell the pace and the heart rate correctly by feel right now.

Did back exercises on Curt's contraption. Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.800.000.000.1011.90

Easy run with Ted at 4:45 AM. It was snowing.  The roads were quite slippery. Both of us almost fell a couple of times.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. It warmed up, and it looked like the inversion had cleared a bit. Benjamin wanted to do a mile time trial. So all of us went to the Orem High track. However, the cold wind was too much for the kids. All Benjamin could do was 7:37. Jenny was supposed to race the Fast Running Mommy, but being still little she had some breathing problems and did some sort of a stop and go. She did run about 8:00 pace during the go. Not having Daddy around did not help either (I was pacing Benjamin). The Fast Running Mommy set a post-Jacob record for the mile in 8:19. Afterwards, Julia wanted to run a special lap with Daddy. Jenny joined us and surged ahead. Half way through Julia changed her mind. That was OK, since she had already run her daily quarter. By that time Jenny had gotten quite far ahead. I wanted to be there at the finish to time her, so I sped up. With 100 meters to go, I realized I really needed to speed up. Ran 15 seconds for the last 100, which I was pleased with. I was in street clothes, it was cold, I had not done any speed work recently, and it did not feel like an all out sprint. My best 100 m ever is 13.9.

Worked out on on Curt's contraption. It is basically a bucket with weights attached to a rope on one end, the rope goes over a suspended pulley, and comes out attached to a handle on the other end. So you pull holding the handle, and the bucket comes up. Then you can hold on to it at any angle or height you want, and it can stretch the spine or the muscle group of interest as the weight of the bucket pulls on the rope. Simple, clumsy looking, but very effective. I feel like I am getting a quality workout on it.

Added a long-overdue fix to the race entries - now they show not only on the race entries page, but also during the regular blog viewing.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
276.8255.283.000.40335.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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