Breaking the Wall

SLC Track Club Winter Series 10 K

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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: 0.00 Month: 148.02 Year: 3163.85
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 903.91
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
461.7417.4523.362.78505.33
Night Sleep Time: 139.11Nap Time: 6.86Total Sleep Time: 145.98
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
23.701.000.000.0024.70

A.M. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy, so I decided to do my long run today. Ran the first 10.1 with Jeff. At first, the roads were so slick that we were trailing boltushkas - 43:37 for the first 5.05. I had never run 20 miles at the average pace of slower than 8:00, and thought today would be the day. On the way back at first things did not look so good, and then we ran a mile in 7:46. I could not believe it, double checked my calculations, yes, indeed it was 7:46! Something happened to the snow and we got more traction. We were able to run 2 more miles under 7:30 and finished 10.1 in 1:22:53.

Dropped Jeff off, ran the second half alone . Now I was excited about catching Ded Moroz, the 8:00 guy. At first things looked great - closed 42 seconds in the first 2 miles, thought I'd get him easily. But then it started snowing, and the trail got very slick again. So for the next two miles I lost ground. I thought perhaps today Ded Moroz would win. But then I got out on a good stretch of road where the snow composition was just right and gave much better traction. I took advantage of the opportunity and ran a 6:12 mile. The rest of the way was decent - it kept snowing, and the snow started covering the ice well enough to be able to run 7:30-7:50 pace. I ended up with 2:39:46 for 20.2, 7:54.55 avg.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:28, 2 miles with Benjamin in  17:12, and 1 with Julia in 11:15.

Night Sleep Time: 0.13Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.13
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.303.800.000.0015.10

P.M. A very long day, but managed to squeeze in a 15.1 mile run. Warm day, around 35 F, ran in shorts. A lot of snow has melted. First 2 with Benjamin and Jeff in 15:35, Jeff went another 10.1 with me. We did a tempo pickup on a dry section for 1.05 in 5:50, 5:33 pace. Hit 12.1 mark in 1:28:30. Then went for 3 more to finish off 15.1. After about a quarter realized it was dry enough to run sub-6:00, so just went for it. Ran the last 2.75 in  16:07, 5:51.6 avg. Slipped on snow, but then made up on dry ground. Total time for 15.1 was 1:46:22, 7:02.65 avg. Jenny and Julia ran there regular distances with Sarah.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Got good sleep. Went to church. No nap in the afternoon - was busy with home teaching. Decided to study Bulgarian. Figured it sounds very odd to Bulgarians that a guy with my last name would not be fluent. Like a guy with the last name of Williams not being able to speak English. Sarah joined me. Due to our Russian background we were able to read and understand a lot right away. We read a general conference talk. I kept a version of the same talk open in separate tabs in Firefox in English and in Spanish. I would not have even bothered with the English version, but the Spanish translation omitted a phrase with the Bulgarian version retained. Otherwise, with the help of Spanish, I could understand everything in the Bulgarian version, but Russian and Bulgarian are different enough that I would definitely not have been able to understand it without my cheat sheet.

To me Bulgarian sounded like something spoken by a very drunk Russian. To Sarah it sounded like just like some advanced Russian that she had not yet learned.

Night Sleep Time: 10.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.200.000.000.0020.20

A.M. Another morning of chasing Ded Moroz. We got some new snow. It was slick, but not too bad. First 2 miles were very slow (17:36), after that we were fairly consistently sub-8:00, and even low 7:00 in some really good places. Ran 10.1 with Jeff in 1:19:07, then added 5 more. Total time for 15.1 was 1:59:03.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:24, 1 with Julia in 11:08, 1.75 with Jenny in 17:14, another 0.35 alone in 2:42.

Night Sleep Time: 0.13Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.13
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
22.350.000.000.0022.35

A.M. Slippery roads but not as bad as in the last few days. 1.75 with Sarah in 19:36, then 14.2 alone on the trail in 1:45:47, 7:26.97 average. Much better than the recent Ded Moroz chases.

Got a punching bag yesterday. A little family history about a punching bag. My great-uncle, whose name incidentally is Sasha Pachev as well, lived in a small village near Sukhumi, a town in Abkhazia on the shore of the Black Sea. He had a son. When he went to school at the age of 7 he was getting beat up by older kids. Uncle Sasha solved the problem by getting him a punching bag. Soon enough his son was not getting beat up anymore.

We do have a different purpose for the punching bag, though. I want to see if hitting it might activate my arm muscles, which I hope in turn will result in the improvements in the nervous system in general. It is good for Benjamin as well as he happens to be exceptionally feisty some days.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:44. Jenny joined for the first 1.5 in 13:12. 1 with Julia in 10:48. We saw the BYU team. Somehow all those good looking young men got Julia, who is only 5, thinking about dating. She said to me: "Daddy, what did you do when you were a teenager?" I replied that  I ran. She clarified: "No, that is not what I mean. What kind of girls liked you?"  

Then we went to the Hobble Creek Canyon. The kids were sledding, and I cross-country skied 3 miles. The road was very rough the entire way, however there were a couple of good spots in the parking lot and around it, which gave me a chance to discover that I could skate at a good speed with my new poles. The entire time I did not realize that my old poles were too short. So I never got a good push off from the arms. I just thought my arms were too weak. With the new poles I could skate up a 3% grade and feel strong, while with the old ones I felt like I was going to stall even on a 1% down. I think now I am beginning to understand why I beat everybody in my school, and even in my district, but then got beat by some ridiculous amount in the Moscow championship. In the school and in the district everybody was skiing on whatever they happened to have. In the city championship I was racing serious skiers that had proper gear.

One day I should go to Soldier Hollow and see what I can do a well-groomed course with my new poles.

Ran random errands for 0.4 miles. Afterwards we went to vote. We spent 2 hours in line. Our friends watched our kids. We considered going home to avoid the socks/hand-written Russian dictation punishment for missing the bed-time curfew, but figured that fulfilling our civic duty was a noble exception. We ended up being only 5 minutes late.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.600.000.000.0018.60

A.M. Easy 10.1 with Jeff at 5:10 AM in 1:14:19. Ded Moroz was ahead of us in the first 2 miles, but then the road cleared up, and we woke up on top of it, so we caught him quickly and left him in the dust.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:51. She was wondering if we'd see the BYU team on the trail again, but we did not. Then took VanGoGo to Computune to check the power steering system and the coolant leak (another one), and ran from there with Benjamin and Jenny. 2.25 in 19:55. Jenny thoroughly beat the 9:00 girl with Benjamin's encouragement closing the last mile in 8:28. Then 5 more by myself in 36:56. Some slippage on the trail, but a lot less compared to my recent Ded Moroz adventures. A random errand - 0.25 later in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.11Nap Time: 0.01Total Sleep Time: 0.12
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
21.000.000.000.0021.00

A.M. Ran alone. Uneventful 15.2 in 1:46:13, 6:59.28 avg. The roads were decent, although still quite a bit of snow and ice. But they were decent enough to average sub-7:00. One of those rare special times lately.

P.M. Eventful afternoon. Logistical problem. Tasks: take kids for their runs, take them to the library, retrieve VanGoGo from the car shop, get some running in, and go cross-country skiing. Solution: put the skis and boots in Zhu, take the kids to the library on foot via a scenic route. Sarah picked up Julia at 1.12 mark (12:10). We then continued on to the library with Benjamin and Jenny reaching it in 21:03 (2.03 miles). I continued to Computune (3.05 in 28:29), turned out they found nothing wrong with power-steering, and they could not reproduce the noise that bothered us. I demonstrated the noise, they will be diagnosing it tomorrow. Took VanGoGo to the library, left it there for Sarah, now she had a way of taking them back home, took Zhu to the Provo Canyon, skied 2.5 miles in 27:29, the conditions were not good, either deep snow, or hardly any snow, cannot push off well with the poles.

Also ran a short errand (0.25 miles) later.

Night Sleep Time: 0.13Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.13
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.300.000.000.0020.30

A.M. Ran with Jeff. More snow today. He is getting married in a couple of weeks. As we were talking about it, we noticed that somebody drew a heart on the snow. How appropriate! Dropped Jeff off at 10.1 (1:19:16), and ran some more. Ran into a guy named Drew and joined him. Then we found Tyler, and he joined us. Drew then continued to BYU, and Tyler and I ran to my house. About 15.3 in 2:00:55.

P.M. A warmer evening. Some snow melted. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny  in 13:00 pushing Jacob in the double stroller. Then 1 mile with Julia in 10:16, and 2.5 alone in 18:03. The last 2.5 were somewhat of a steeplechase without the hurdles, but with a water pit nevertheless. Landed in a big deep puddle of water under the bridges 4 times.

Night Sleep Time: 0.13Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.13
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Race: SLC Track Club Winter Series 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:32:59, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.400.004.002.2123.61

A.M. Raced SLC Track Club Winter Series 10 K in 32:59.6, 3rd place after Aleksander Thomas (31:46.5) and BJ Christensen (32:22.7).

Brought Benjamin and Jenny with me to the race. We picked up Steve Ashbaker on the way as well. Warmed up with Steve and Adam 2 miles. The weather was close to ideal, about as ideal as you can expect it in February - about 34 degrees, 8mph cross-wind which I thought at first was going to be neutral, but it ended up overall favoring the second half.

Benjamin and Jenny were both in the race with the following compensation package from Daddy:

Benjamin (age 8)

  • Appearance fee - $2
  • Bonus for finishing the race - $2
  • Quality time bonus - $1/minute for the gap on the 50:00 guy
  • Competitive bonus - $0.10 for each defeated male competitor, $0.05 for each female

Jenny (age 7)

  • Appearance fee - $2
  • Bonus for finishing the race - $2
  • Quality time bonus - $1/minute for the gap on the 1:00:00 girl
  • Competitive bonus - $0.20 for each defeated male competitor, $0.10 for each female

I knew that given my focus on base and virtually no speed work aside from a few races and tempo pickups, my threshold pace would be very high and would feel very comfortable, but I would not have very much room above it both in the dimension of how much faster I could go, and in how long I could stay there. So the plan was to run threshold pace to 4 miles, and then if I felt good, go into the 10 K race pace misery zone and try to make up some time. I figured the threshold was somewhere around 5:20.

Steve and I worked together from the start. In the first mile there were a couple of guys with us, but they fell back shortly before the mile mark. First mile in 5:20, second in 5:20 as well. 2.5 K in 8:18, 3 K in 9:57, 4 K in 13:18. BJ and Aleksander were around 5:05, and it did appear that Aleksander was pressing the pace while BJ was just hanging on hoping for the best.

Felt some unfriendly wind, but it was not a killer, especially when trading leads. On the third mile the wind picked up, or maybe we just changed the direction a bit to make it more unfriendly. We slowed down to 5:29. I think we slowed down more than we should have, though, because I felt a bit of an easement in the effort. Shortly before the mile marker 3 I moved up and pressed the pace a bit.

16:44 at the 5 K mark. The 5:20 guy is ahead, not good. Oh well, hopefully he would not put too much distance on us. Thinking maybe 33:25 is possible with a strong last mile and if we do not lose focus in the next 2. 20:05 at 6 K, 21:32 at 4 miles. That is an improvement - 5:23 mile with a 180 in the middle. I was encouraged. Saw Benjamin around 19:10 into the race, and Jenny around 20:37. Not enough oxygen to figure out how fast they were going, especially now that Steve started to press the pace and take me right into that 10 K misery zone. However, still enough oxygen to calculate that the 5:20 had 12 seconds on us. That is better, we lost only 3 seconds, and the next mile would have no headwind (hopefully), and no 180 turn.

22:40 with 2 miles to go. 7 K in 23:25. That was 1 K in 3:20, a bit faster than 5:22 pace. Lost some ground on the 5:20 guy, but looks like were are not going to lose any more, Steve is pressing the pace pretty hard trying to lose me. I am experiencing what one could call tepid comfort, like you are sitting in a bathtub, the water keeps getting colder, but the room is even colder than the water so you try to stay in the bathtub for as long as you can. In this case, Steve's back was the bathtub, and he was trying to lower the temperature of the water as much as possible.

7.5 K in 24:59. We are still behind the 5:20 guy, but we are now 1 whole second ahead of the 3:20/km guy, very encouraging! And we closed 5 seconds + gained one in just 500 meters!

5 miles in 26:48. That is progress. The 5:20 guy has only 8 seconds on us. We ran the last mile in 5:16. 1 mile to go - 27:55. I add 5:20 to that, this gives me 33:15 and brings a smile to my face. I know that barring a major disaster I have a 5:20 mile in me with the help of a kick, and 33:15 would give me a 24 second 10 K PR for a non-aided course. But Steve is not happy with that, he keeps pressing. I see Saltair in the distance and it keeps getting bigger fast. I like that.

32:02 at 6 miles. We just ran a 5:14 mile, and we are headed for a very low-33:00. I was just about to open my mouth to share the good news with Steve, but three things precluded me: a) I was out of breath b) it was time to kick c) I realized that there was a remote chance of dipping under 33:00.

So, time to kick. I do not like that. The bathtub was still quite comfortable even though the water kept getting colder and colder. Very appropriately, I had the frozen Great Salt Lake in my view. A kick is like jumping from a lukewarm bathtub into a frozen lake. Steve shifted gears, I am still there, the water got colder, but I am still in the bathtub. If I am going to do my best today, I need to get out of the bathtub. So I reluctantly move alongside Steve with about 250 to go positioning myself for the final dash. My instincts tell me now is the time to strike.

Out of the bathtub! I floored it for about 50 meters knowing that once you get up to speed you can run off the momentum for a while even if the anaerobic bear jumps on your back. Steve did not respond. I am approaching the clock. It says 32:52, 32:53... I was already satisfied with the race, and felt like just coasting to the finish, but somewhere deep inside me there came an urge to break 33:00. It worked against my will. I felt the finish line pulling me towards it, except my legs had to do the work to accomplish the pull. I leaned forward right as a crossed the finish line to make sure I would get every fraction of a second available to me. 32:59.6 official time, a 40 second PR for a non-aided course. 57.6 from 6 miles to the finish, that is a 67 second quarter speed! This is a 4 second PR for the 10 K kick! Last mile in 5:04, last 2 miles in 10:19, last 3 K in 9:34, and last 5 K in 16:15! PR for the last mile of a race 5 K or longer with the exception of Alta, PR for the last 5 K of a 10 K I think even if you count the last 5 K of Magna. And all of that from pretty much pure base!

Steve had a great race as well finishing in 33:02.0 with a new 50 second non-aided course PR.

Immediately after we finished we ran back to meet Benjamin and Jenny. Steve paced Benjamin while I paced Jenny. Benjamin finished in 45:38.8 with the splits of 22:27 - 23:11, 58th place out of 230 finishers, and earned a total of $21.80. Jenny finished in 53:06.4, 111th place, having chicked 67 out 141 men. I hope getting chicked by a 7 year old girl running her first 10 K would give them a reason to get on the Fast Running Blog and start training better. Jenny did a negative split of 26:50 - 26:16 with the last mile in 8:01. She earned $29.49.

Note that Benjamin runs only 2 miles a day, while Jenny runs only 1.5. But they do it 6 days a week. No longer runs. Their longest training run is when our cars needs attention and we run 2.25 from or to the car shop. And this fortunately does not happen often enough to have any lasting training effect. Nevertheless, with this kind of training they are able to not just finish a 10 K but race it and hold their own in the closing miles. What this tells me is that the frequency of the runs plays a very important role in building endurance, and a decent level of endurance can be built when the frequency is good even if the length is lacking.

FRB had a decent showing, with Adam Wende taking 5th place in 34:33.0, James Barnes 9th in 36:08.0, Terry Bean 11th overall and winning the masters in 37:46.4, and Tom Lee running not only a huge 10 K PR, but beating his possibly short course 5 K PR time from last summer doubled by 12 seconds with 38:39.7, 16th overall and 2nd master. A number of other runners set PRs and won or placed high their age divisions.

P.M. Ran 11.7 miles in 1:27:35, met a runner named Austin, a BYU student, ran with him for a while. Also ran a mile with Julia in 11:18 later in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments(13)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Got good sleep. Went to church. Went with missionaries to help translate for a couple of adopted teenage kids from the Ukraine. They spoke a dialect that was some mix of Russian and Ukrainian that I was able to understand without problems to my great surprise. They understood my Russian as well without problems. What I thought was interesting, though, is that apparently they were not able to speak real Russian. I have talked with Ukrainians before, and they have always spoken the cleanest Russian they knew, maybe with an accent, once they realized that was the only Slavic language I could speak. This was the first time I've ever spoken with a Slavic language speaker in the gift-of-tongues mode - I speak Russian, he does not know it, but understands it, he speaks whatever he speaks that is not Russian, but somehow I understand it as well.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
19.101.250.000.0020.35

A.M. Finally the roads are clear enough to go a more normal pace the entire way. Warm weather, around 32 degrees, ran in shorts. Ran 5 miles with Ted and Jeff at around 7:30 pace, dropped off Ted, then we ran a bit under 7:00 pace, then the devil entered into us and we ran a 6:10 mile. We decided to chase the 7:00 for 10 miles, and closed with a 5:49 mile. I continued for 5 more miles, ran some with Matt Anderson who I found on the trail, ended up with 1:43:54 for 15 miles. 

P.M. 1 mile with Benjamin and Jenny in 9:56, 0.35 with Julia in 3:36, then 4 alone in 29:45. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.500.000.000.0020.50

A.M. Easy 6 with Ted in 46:08, then about 1.5 with the missionaries. They are supposed to exercise 30 minutes a day 6 days a week according to the mission rules, but they have been slacking off. I had a scripture for them ready - Hebrews 5:8, and told them that this morning they were going to learn obedience by the things they suffer. Then ran 3 miles with Sarah, and 4.5 more by myself. Total time for 15 was 2:01:40.

P.M. 3 miles cross-country skiing, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 14:23, 1 with Julia in 10:45. Had the missionaries over for dinner. They were taken to task for being out of shape by the mission president's wife as well.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.33Total Sleep Time: 7.08
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.750.000.000.0018.75

A.M. Ran with Ted and James. Dropped Ted off at 6 miles. Total of 10 miles in 1:17:30.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:20, 1 with Julia in 11:18, 4 alone in 29:16, 2 with Benjamin in 16:33, and a small 0.25 mile errand. It snowed a bit, and it was windy, but I enjoyed good traction while I could.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
23.070.000.000.0023.07

A.M. The morning was off to a bad start. I looked outside and the ground was covered with snow. Ted was running over 10 minutes late. This was very much unlike him - he is usually at least a couple of minutes early. I figured maybe he decided not to risk his knee this morning. I was not looking forward to running 15 miles all alone through several inches of snow. Then suddenly out of nowhere Adam showed up. We had barely run 0.05 out when we saw Ted's car. He lives further up the mountain and it took him a long time to dig himself out of the snow this morning. We turned around, and started the run again with Ted. Ted and Adam ran 6 miles with me. Then I decided to go for 10 more instead of 9 since I did not know where the 9 mile turnaround would be. The pace was very slow, I decided not to fight the snow and enjoy nature. Ended up with 2:14:47 for 16.1, 8:22.3 average,  plus the initial 0.1, which makes it 16.2 for the run.

P.M. Took Benjamin cross-country skiing at Soldier Hollow. Was pleasantly surprised that it takes only 40 minutes to drive there. Benjamin really enjoyed it, he stood on skis much better than the first time  a year ago. This was his second time ever cross-country skiing. I ended up with 3.87 miles in 32:48, some of which included towing Benjamin with a harness. I went out and back to him the rest of the time. Soldier Hollow course was not as flat as I thought it would be. Going up by myself I slowed down to 10:00 in some places, then going down I went 6:15. On a short stretch that was truly flat I was able to go 7:30.

Then ran with the kids later. 0.5 with Benjamin in 4:19, then Jenny joined us and ran 1.5 in 13:25, this gave us 17:44 for 2 miles. Then another mile with Julia in 11:48.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.501.000.750.2520.50

A.M. Discovered that Clyde was in town from his blog. Called him and invited him to run with us. He was without wheels so I picked him up at his hotel. We started early and ran 6 miles before meeting Ted and Jeff. The trail was mostly clear with occasional snow/ice patches.

We started slow, 8:47 for the first mile. Then gradually sped up to 8:00. Half way through I realized we were not going to make it on time unless we sped up to 6:00 pace, so we did. Clyde was cold at first, then he got feisty, and hit a quarter in 1:23. That hurt. I missed the time on the next one, but it was probably just as fast. But it hurt less. On the last quarter before my house Clyde pushed the pace again, and we ran a quarter in 1:21 with three 90 degree turns, one on ice. That hurt as well.

We waited for Jeff then decided he was not going to make it and started without him. Clyde and Ted mostly chatted about wrestling, and I just listened. Which was just fine as the pace quickly progressed into the low 7:00 range. Even though I can race a marathon at 1:20 per mile faster than that on the same terrain, I do not enjoy conversations at 7:00 pace, I cannot maintain it without focus, and it is hard to focus on the pace and the conversation at the same time. Then about 2.5 miles away from my house I hit a VPB, and this gave Jeff a chance to catch up. Turned out he had a hard time clearing off his car windows.

Dropped Ted off 12 miles into the run at his 6 mile mark. Went for another 4 with Clyde and Jeff. Clyde needed to be back by 8:00. So we gradually picked up the pace to around 6:20 range. It took just as much effort at 7:00 earlier - both felt hard. Then I noticed we were on track to catch the 7:00 guy for the whole run. With 0.25 to go I announced that we needed to close 9 seconds. I did not realize that Clyde was bad at math. All we needed to do was continue at 6:20 pace. Clyde picked it up to 5:20 instead. Then with 100 to go he shifted gears again. We ended up running the last 100 in 18 seconds, which included a 90 degree turn on ice. Our last quarter was 1:18.5, and we beat the 7:00 guy by 17 seconds. Our time for 16 miles was 1:51:43.

P.M. 2 miles with Benjamin in 15:25, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:20, 1 with Julia to her friend's house via a scenic route in 11:01, 0.35 from the friend's house alone, back to the friends house later (0.25) to pick Julia up. 


Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.0010.000.000.0025.00

A.M. Long run. Cold morning. The temperature was 12F at the start at 6:00 AM. Wore racing flats for a change. My feel felt like they have missed the feel of the ground.

Started with Ted, Jeff, and Tyler. Tyler's ankle started hurting, so he turned around after 0.2 to be safe. Talked about politics the first 6 miles. Averaged barely under 7:30 - 44:38. The road conditions were good - very little ice or snow, mostly dry ground.

Dropped Ted off, continued with Jeff. We gradually progressed from 7:30 pace to sub-6:30. Passed a large group of runners. One of them acted liked he wanted to challenge us. I encouraged him, but he was only kidding. This got my adrenaline flowing a bit, and the pace dipped under 6:20. It felt good. We gradually closed on the 7:00 guy, and passed him about 11.52 into the run. Jeff pressed the pace a bit afterwards. I needed to go to the bathroom bad, but figured the quicker we ran the quicker I'd get there, so I just toughed it out. Our last two quarters were 1:29 and 1:25, the 6 mile stretch in 38:47, and 1:23:25 at 12 miles.

Dropped Jeff off, went to the bathroom, prayed with the family, talked to Logan on the phone, then went for the remaining 8 at a tempo pace. I figured with all the clothes, the cold, the bridges, and being at the end of a 20 mile run, anything under 6:00 would be good. Hard to get going after a stop. First two quarters in 1:33 and I felt like I was pushing it. Then I got into a groove and started hitting 1:27 - 1:28 quarters when the road was good. A few 1:30 - 1:33s with slippage, micro-hills, and sharp turns. A couple of 1:29s when I let my mind drift. Somehow a song from Кавказская Пленница movie came to mind:

Где-то на белом свете,
Там, где всегда мороз,
Трутся спиной медведи
О земную ось.

"Somewhere in the world where it is always freezing the bears are rubbing their backs against the rotational axis of the earth."

I felt I was in that place with the bears, and maybe even helping them rotate the axis with my legs.

Ended up with 47:28 for the last 8 miles, 5:56 average. Total time for 20 miles was 2:10:53, 6:32.65 average. Felt strong but not fast at the end, probably due to the cold and the clothes. Interestingly enough, it took me almost 4 minutes less to run 20 today than it did to run 16.1 on Thursday.

P.M. It was much warmer. I ran in shorts. 2 with Benjamin in 17:02, continued on to finish 5, threw in a couple of tempo pickups to test the nervous system. Ran 0.5 in 2:54 up 1% grade with a bit of a roll, and then 1 mile in 5:35 down 1% grade again with a roll. Total time for 5 was 36:47.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Went to church. In spite of a good night sleep, I managed to drift off during Sunday school. Got woken up by everybody laughing. I wondered if they were laughing because somebody asked me a question, but then I realized they were laughing about something else. Took a nice nap afterwards.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 10.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
21.400.000.000.0021.40

A.M. First 2 with Daniel, Ted, and Jeff. Daniel turned around. Dropped Ted off at 6. Dropped Jeff off at 10. Was planning on only 15, but ran into John Kotter from BYU, and decided to add a little extra with him. He told me a story about being chased by a pack of seven stray dogs in Moscow while on a run with a bunch of top Utah high school runners. He said it was somewhat similar to that joke about two runners and a bear: "You think you can out run a bear?" "No, but all I need to do is outrun you!" Ended up with 2:17:00 for about 18.4.

P.M. 0.5 with Benjamin in 4:19, then Jenny joined us and we ran another 1.5 in 13:12, total of 17:31 for 2. Then 1 with Julia in 11:07. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.550.200.400.0021.15

A.M. 10.1 with Josse and Jeff in 1:16:04. I noticed Josse was conversational at 7:20 pace, and suggested we test her fitness, to which she agreed. We let her set the pace for 0.5, which we did in 3:10. Then I had a VPB, and did a bit of a tempo pick-up to catch up. Afterwards, we paced Josse to a 6:23 mile, which would have been about 6:21 without an ice patch. Dropped Jeff and Josse off, and went for another 5. Did a 300 meter pickup in 59 seconds to probe 15 K race pace.

The original plan was to do a mile time trial indoors. I was curious how fast I could run a mile all out. But after some thought I decided it would be a bad idea. I get injured on the track easily, and the dust, the germs, and the stress of an all-out mile, all being something I have not adapted to, could easily bring on a respiratory infection or some other illness. So I decided I should be satisfied to know that I can run a 5:04 at the end of a flat 10 K and leave it at that.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:09, Jenny joined for the last 1.5 in 13:05. 1.05 with Julia in 11:42. 3 miles cross-country skiing in the Hobblecreek Canyon.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.000.000.000.0018.00

A.M. Ran with Ted and Jeff. Dropped Ted off at 6 miles. Total of 10 miles in 1:13:17. 

P.M. It was warm. Around 35-40 F. Ran in shorts. Benjamin announced at the start of his run that it takes  220 muscles to take a step. Then he proceeded to use all of those very well to run 2 miles in 15:20 without too much of an effort. Pushed Jacob and Joseph in the double stroller for this portion. Then ran 3.5 alone in 24:17, 6:56.29 pace. Then 1 mile with Julia in 10:18, and 1.5 with Jenny in 13:02. Met Brad Skidmore on the trail. He is going to run with us tomorrow.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
19.290.000.810.0020.10

A.M. 10.1 with Brad in 1:22:42. The trail was slippery. You would not think it should be with so little snow, but it was. I could barely move. Dropped him off and decided to go the other way. It was a lot better. I decided to run a bit a race pace or close to feel it better, so hit 0.8125 in 4:26, this is 5:27.38 pace. Had a hard time getting going, but eventually eased into 5:20 pace. Total time for 15.1 was 1:57:16.

For those who read my blog, but do not read the discussion board. We need a babysitter for this Saturday. Click here for details.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:11, then 3 alone in 20:53. Jenny and Julia did their usual runs with Sarah.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.200.000.000.0020.20

A.M 15.2 in 1:56:09. Had Brad and Adam with me in the early miles, and found Matt Anderson at the end.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:38, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:01, 0.5 alone in 3:31, and 1 with Julia in 10:41. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Race: SLC Track Club Winter Series 15 K (9.321 Miles) 00:50:43, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.600.209.000.3222.12

A.M. Raced in the SLC Track Club 15 K. Warmed up a bit over 3 miles at a Kenyan warm-up pace - around 8:30 at the start with the entire FRB team. Then it was time to race. My goal was to run under 50:00, which is slightly sub-5:22 pace. I figured we'd go out at 5:20 and just try to hold it. Maybe slip off in the middle, then gain back on the kick.

BJ Christensen and Aleskander Thomas took off as I expected them to. Steve and I worked together trading leads. There was a slight head wind. Or so I thought. First mile in 5:18. It felt easy, but at the same time I got this feeling - I do not want to race even though the pace is easy, in fact I do not want to race at all. I've had it before. I think I know what it means - nervous system fatigue. That is bad news, I've had nervous system fatigue before. The pace feels aerobically easy, but at the same time with every exertion of effort I cannot break 5:40. I was expecting it today in some degree, though, as I have not been sleeping very well - waking up too early from excitement about life with everything that is going on. I tried to mitigate that as much as possible with naps, but apparently it did not work as much as I hoped. Nevertheless, I decided to cross my fingers and just hope for the best.

6:38 at 2 K, 8:17 at 2.5 K, 10:40 at the mile (5:22). Still alive. 4 K in 13:19, still alive. 3 miles in 16:08 (5:28), no worries, I'll blame it on the wind. 16:43 at the 5 K, 21:34 at 4 miles (5:26), seems like the wind picked up. Steve and I are still trading leads somewhat informally. Whoever is feeling the pace is getting too slow moves up front.

25:08 at the turnaround. 8 seconds off pace, but no worries, we'll get tail wind on the way back, and when we start racing each other hard with a couple of miles to go, we'll catch up. Or so I thought until we had completed the turnaround. What I thought was a headwind on the way out was actually a friendly cross-wind. I guess sometimes we mistake friends for enemies when they ruffle our feathers. So the turnaround made it an unfriendly cross wind.

27:01 at 5 miles (5:27), I move up and press the pace in hopes of getting back up to 5:20 or at least close, but all we could manage was 5:37 on the next mile with 32:38 split at 6. That's bad, the 5:30 guy is starting to close on us. I try to take it in stride.

32:38 at 6 miles (5:32). The good news is that we sped up. The bad news is that the 5:30 guy is closing, and is threatening to come close enough to make me not PR (50:57). And also I am literally falling asleep. Where is the pillow? I'd like to take a nap. The lips feel numb, the quads feel numb as well. Typical night or early morning relay leg feeling. I suppose good practice and confidence builder as well for next week. 33:48 at the 10 K. Last 5 K in 17:05, however, last 2.5 in 8:40, not good at all. If things go like that, the PR might not happen.

38:10 at 7 miles (5:32). We are perpetually stuck at that pace. Trying to pick it up, but not much is happening.

40:41 at 12 K. 10:20 for the last 3 K would not be good enough for a PR. The torch under my fanny is getting lit up. I am feeling good, perhaps even too good, but there seems to be nothing I can do about it. Just cannot get out of the rut. Unfortunately, Steve is the same way. I am starting to wish he would put the hammer down and try to lose me, but he is not feeling up to it either. 12.5 K in 42:24.

43:42 at 8 miles. Another 5:32! Third in a row. We are having a love affair with that pace, and we are in a serious need of repentance, or there might be no PR for me today. 45:27 with a mile to go, a sub-5:30 is good enough for a PR. Fortunately, Steve starts smelling the barn and picking up the pace.

The last mile had quarter marks, thanks to the SLC Track Club. A quarter in 1:21, wow that hurt good enough for 1:19, followed by 1:22. sub-2:47 for the last half gives a PR. Steve picks up the pace even more. I breathe a sign of relief. The PR is happening. We pass mile 9, and now the race is for real. Steve picks it up, I respond, warm into the pace, then try to pass him, he speeds up, I tuck behind him. 49:42 with 0.214 to go. With about 0.1 to go I move out again and start gradually opening the throttle with the intent to reach the max RPMs and hold it to the finish. It is scary, but I know that the momentum will carry me through even if the anaerobic bear attacks me. Steve responds, I keep revving it up and manage to pull away. 50:43.0 for me, 50:43.9 for Steve. Last mile in 5:16, and a 14 second PR for a non-aided 15 K.

Aleksander Thomas won with 48:37 and BJ was second with 48:49. Amazing times for them with the conditions, I was expecting to see them somewhere in the 49:30 - 49:50 range with the wind. But they must have gotten in better shape.

Ran a long cool down to make to the 20 miles for total. Paced Brent in the middle. He had a good kick - 1:36 on the last quarter. Towards the end, Steve started to push the pace, and we ran the last quarter in 1:29. With about 3 miles to go I felt hungry as a lion, and ate accordingly when we got back to Saltair.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:34.


Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(10)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
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Got good sleep. Went to church. Visited a family I home teach. Took a nap.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.600.000.000.0020.60

A.M. 4 with Ted and Hyrum in 34:39, another 2 with Ted in 16:02, then 10.1 by myself in 1:06:09. It was raining, and the rain was cold, and I was alone, so I picked up the pace to get warm, and then just could not slow down. Ran into Matt with 1.5 to go, and ran with him for a mile as well. Total time for 16.1 was 1:56:50. Hyrum did better than I thought he would after a break of over a year. Ted was alive as well, that is a good sign.

P.M 2 with Benjamin in 15:55, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:53, 1 with Julia in 11:13.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
19.700.000.500.0020.20

A.M. Started the run with Ted and Josse. Had 2 VPB stops, that gave me some pace at threshold catching up. Timed 700 meters of it - 2:23, almost 5:20 pace. Started out with a 1:03 300, and then eased into 5:20 pace for the remainder. Was happy to see that 5:20 pace came to the surface fairly quickly and painlessly at 6:00 AM in the dark on a somewhat slippery surface. Was originally planning on doing strides, but figured this was good enough - all strides combined into one segment. The pace eventually progressed to a bit faster than 8:00. Dropped Ted off at 6, Josse at 10. Eventually eased into sub-7:00 pace, which soon became 6:40. Then after another VPB the rhythm was broken and 6:50 was what felt natural. Ended up with 1:51:46 for 15 miles. Looking forward to Del Sol. No wrong turns this time, no more people getting sick or injured. Everybody wash your hands, stay away from sick people as much as you can, sleep well, and do not do anything stupid. I hope I can follow my own advice.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:45, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:46, 1 with Julia in 10:38.

Night Sleep Time: 0.12Nap Time: 0.02Total Sleep Time: 0.15
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.100.000.000.0020.10

A.M. 10.1 with newly married Jeff. Started out slow, took 3.5 miles to catch the 8:00 guy. Then woke up and went slightly sub-6:40 pace in the last 4 miles, last 0.5 in 3:02. Total time was 1:12:38. Jeff's car decided to give him a wedding present. Refused to go even after a jump start, so it is sitting in front of our house right now waiting to be taken to Computune.

P.M. Took Zhu to Jeff's house so he and his wife would have a car at least while we are gone. Brought Benjamin, Jacob, and the stroller with me. Ran 2.03 with Benjamin running, and Jacob in the stroller in 15:47. Then put Benjamin on a bike, and ran 5 miles in 37:10 pushing Jacob in the stroller with Benjamin on a bike. Then 1.5 with Jenny, no stroller, in 12:53, 0.5 alone in 3:29, and 1 with Julia in 10:29.

Night Sleep Time: 0.11Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.11
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.030.000.500.0010.53

Traveling to Mesa for the Del Sol relay. 1 mile with Benjamin and Jenny in  Kingman, AZ. Then 0.5 with Jenny in 4:21, followed by 1 mile with James W and Benjamin in 7:55. Then 7.03 with James with two 0.25 pickups at 5:10 pace. Felt good and ready to go.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Del Sol Relay (181.7 Miles) 17:04:37, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.007.400.0016.90

A.M. Easy 6 with James W, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny, additional 0.5 with Benjamin, and 1 mile with Julia.

P.M. Brief report, more details when I have time. Ran Leg 10 of Del Sol (7.4) in 42:20, average pace technically 5:43, but with adventures.

Now details. Our team was as follows in leg order: Van 1 - Dave Holt, Logan Fielding, Nick McCombs, Clyde Behunin, and James Barnes with Steve Hooper driving. Van 2 - Adam Wende, Ted Leblow, Kory Wheatley, myself, Jeff Shadley, and Steve Ashbaker (the Air Darkhorse).

Google was supposedly the team to beat, but after checking their performance history in other relays, I knew that they would not be breaking 6:00 average by much if at all. Barring an exceptionally catastrophic event, our team should not have had a problem outperforming this. I was more concerned about some Arizona running store bringing current and post-collegiate runners together. We did, however, consider putting http://google.com/search?q=fast+running+blog on our van to taunt our competition, but it was a last minute thought and we lacked the materials. Apparently, according to one of our team members who talked with Google, they indeed had done the above search and knew they were in trouble.

I considered beating Google by a lot one of the main reasons for coming to the race. Why? There was a mission to accomplish. I want to see the US companies to start following the pattern of the Japanese corporations. I want to see strong corporate teams where winning a race is a matter of importance to a corporation enough to actually do something about nurturing the runners. From what I've observed about Google, of all the US companies they appear to be one of the most open to the idea of promoting the company by winning a race. Most corporations spend millions on maintaining their public image but are perfectly content to send a team that will not break 8:00 average pace. Google is different. They care. At least some people inside the company do. I wanted them to seriously ask this question - How in the world are these guys from Utah and Idaho manage to beat us so bad? What do we need to do to beat them next time?

However, beating Google would not have quite done the job had we not won the race outright. After the first leg, we saw that this would not be easy. Although we had no problem separating ourselves from Google as I expected, The Running Shop team from Tuscan was strong. Their runner finished together with Dave. Logan opened a 1:30 gap on his leg, then Nick increased it to 3:42, and Clyde to 4:19. Walter increased it further to 4:27, and then James to over 5 minutes in spite of being sick.

Van 2 took over. Adam ran strong ahead of his projection, Ted and Kory ran strong as well. We were not timing the gap any more as we could not afford to wait. My leg was interesting. I was projected to run 5:28 pace for 7.4 miles on rollers with a net elevation gain which I felt was a bit overoptimistic for a number of reasons. Nevertheless I should have been close. The leg started with 1.5 miles of 2% grade uphill and a steady headwind. I had forgotten by GPS at James and Lybi's house and borrowed one from Adam. Unfortunately, it did not start right away when I pressed the button. However, about a quarter into my leg I got it started for real. I was running a steady 5:50 pace in the initial section. Then I hit a 1:18 quarter on a short downhill, and settled into 1:22 - 1:24 quarters once there was no headwind. Had a hard time hitting my true threshold in the dark and at this late hour (11 pm). Had an adventure with about a mile to go. My flashlight fell off. It took me a few seconds to realize it was gone. I figured losing a few seconds by going back to get the light would be better than losing the light and possibly getting our team DQ'ed on top of it for running without the light. So I went back and got it. I do not know exactly how much I've lost on it, Adam probably could figure it out since it is on his GPS. My overall time was 42:20, 5:43 average assuming the leg was indeed 7.4. I do remember that the GPS had an auto-pause, and afterwards was showing 5:36 pace average for the timed portion of my run (7.15). So the leg could have been a bit longer than 7.4 as well. I ended up being 1:42 slower than the projection, and Jason from the Running Shop gained 2:35 on me.

To add injury to insult, once I got in the van I realized that my cell phone was gone, and we could not possibly go back to get it. Fortunately, I knew that most likely it went down at the same place as the flash light, and we could figure out exactly where later from the GPS.

Jeff and Steve ran very strong on their legs and more than made up for my adventures. We handed off to Van 1 with 7:48 gap on the Running Shop.

.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
461.7417.4523.362.78505.33
Night Sleep Time: 139.11Nap Time: 6.86Total Sleep Time: 145.98
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