Breaking the Wall

February 2012

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15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!

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: 93.66 Year: 93.66
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Camouflage Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 938.88
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1168.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
302.207.0058.406.00373.60
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 373.60
Night Sleep Time: 203.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 203.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.504.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Benjamin and Jeremy. Did a 4 mile tempo, 2 up and 2 down. The wind was strong again. Mile splits tell the story. 6:15, 6:14, 5:39, 5:21 - total time 23:29. Benjamin and Jeremy joined me with 0.5 to go. Benjamin stayed the entire half getting 2:36, Jeremy fell back after the first quarter and finished in 2:50.  Then we ran 1.93 or so with Sarah at almost 8:00 pace (15:42), which was her tempo run. Then I did more miles including my circular 0.5 tempo pickup, and 2 more with Jenny and Julia.

P.M. Ran 1 with Jacob and 1 with Joseph. Had Tobler kids with us as usual. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.001.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Total of 12. Jeremy did 6, Benjamin later ran 4 with me, Jenny and Julia 2. Did some pickups including the circular 0.5.

P.M. 2 total, 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Tobler kids joined us. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.001.5014.00

A.M. Ran with Benjamin, Jeremy, and Gary. Did 6x400. They did portions with me. The first 2 were into the canyon (up, headwind), then 3 more the other way, and the last one up the hill by my house. The splits were 74.9, 73.7, 70.9, 69.9, 69.0, 73.3. Gary stayed with me on the last one, which helped a lot. He is getting into better shape. Then ran more, including 1.5 with Sarah, and 2 with Jenny and Julia.

P.M. 2 miles total. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1. Tobler boys joined us. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.006.000.0020.00

A.M. Splits the run into two because of a chess tournament. So did 12 with Gary including the standard Saturday 6 mile tempo - 2 down, 2 up, 2 back down. The wind had record strength today and the splits showed it: 5:27, 5:32 (10:59), 6:31, 6:44 (13:15), 5:29, 5:21 (10:50). Gary stayed with me through the first mile. This is great progress for him. Once you can run a full mile at a good pace, the upper rungs of the ladder move within reach. Then he blocked the wind for me for about 600 meters on the way back, which is a good part of the reason the mile was 6:31 instead of 6:44, and stayed with me through a half in 2:42 in the last 2 miles. I felt I experienced a positive development in the form in the last mile. The hamstrings were working and were getting tired. That is good for me, as mine tend to be idle while the quads fatigue and become the limiting factor. But when the hamstring works the quad has to relax. 

Jenny and Julia ran 2. Afterwards, I took Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph to a church chess tournament. Among all the stakes of Orem there were enough chess players that they got around to organizing one. Benjamin and I played in the advanced division, while Jenny, Julia, and Joseph were in the intermediate. The games were rather informal, no time control. Benjamin played 7 games and won all, although he did have close calls in a couple. Jenny played 7, won 6, lost one. Julia had the same score. I saw the end of one of them, and was pleased to observe that she was able to win the exchange (rook for a knight), then stop the opponents pawns that threatened to queen, then queen her own pawn, capture the knight with a fork, and then mate with the king and the queen. She remembered all the things I've taught her in her seventh game. Joseph won 1 game and lost 3, I think. I drew two games, and won 2.

P.M.  Total of 8. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Tobler boys joined us. Then 6 with Benjamin. We discussed the chess games the entire time. There were 11 games to review. It took up most of the 6 miles. But we still showed the 8:00 guy who's the boss in spite of the brutal canyon wind.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a fast and testimony meeting. There were so many people that I did not get a chance to bear my testimony. Then we had a lesson on 1 Nephi 16-22 which talked about the contrast in the attitude of Nephi and his older brothers. One more reason for the Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible. While the Bible does mention here and there that it is not good to complain, I do not recall any stories or sermons that highlight this sin and its consequences to the extent that the Book of Mormon does. The Book of Mormon, on the other hand, teaches a powerful lesson on the subject that is easy to remember. You can just say "like Nephi or like Laman and Lemuel" to an LDS person and he will know exactly what you are talking about. Even those who are inactive will joke that they are choosing to follow the example of Laman and Lemuel.  The Elders Quorum lesson was on prayer, but I missed a good part of it because I took Stephen to the nursery for an introductory visit. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.501.500.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran 6 with Benjamin and Jeremy. We paced Jeremy through his first sub-6:00 mile - 5:59. Afterwards I did my circular pickup, ran some more, then 2 with Jenny and Julia, total of 12.

P.M. 2 total. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Tobler boys and Mandy ran with us. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.500.000.5014.00

A.M. 7 with Jeremy, 5 more with Benjamin. The last 2 of it was with Jenny and Julia as well. Did a circular pickup, and a few more pickups. Total of 12.

P.M. 2 with the kids. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Tobler kids and Mandy ran with us. Julia did 1 with Mandy. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.300.000.000.0011.30

A.M. Had plans for a tempo run, but got hit with a stomach bug and could barely run at all. Running at any pace was painful. Benjamin was also having problems from a stubbed toe, and could only run 3. I ended up running a total of 9.3 or so including 2 with Jenny and Julia. Jeremy went 4.5 and had a calf problem after that. So it was a day of affliction. 

P.M. Next time I get a stomach bug I should just say a prayer to open the fast and fast formally. That way at least I'll be going without food with a spiritual purpose. So aside from drinking some water and a smoothy I did not eat anything until dinner. This did the job of running the bug out of resources and making it die out, and I was able to run in the PM with much less trouble. Ran with Jacob (1), Joseph (1), Tobler boys and Mandy. Benjamin's toe was feeling better and he ran 2.  

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 11.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.500.500.0014.00

A.M. Did 5 with Jeremy including a short pickup, 1 more alone including circular pickup, 4 with with Benjamin, and 2 with Jenny and Julia. Total of 12.

P.M.  Total of 2. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Tobler boys and Mandy joined us. Benjamin did 2, Julia 1.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.001.5014.00

A.M. Felt better. Ran with Gary, Benjamin, and Jeremy. Jeremy had to turn around after about half mile because of his calf. Benjamin felt a cold coming on so I told him to keep it easy. Gary and I did the quarters. I did the first two up the canyon ( 76.6, 74.4), then three more down the canyon (70.0, 69.8, 66.1), and the last one up the hill by my house in 71.0, which is a new record. Gary did the first two with me finishing about a second back, then skipped one, did one more finishing a couple of seconds back, then stayed with me on the on the one that was 66.1, then finished 1 second back on the last one. Ran some more by myself, then 2 with Jenny and Julia.

P.M. Had a physical therapy visit with Sergio Orozco to try to diagnose and treat the hip imbalance that has plagued me for years. He observed two things on the right side: mainly tight piriformis compressing the sciatic nerve and thus causing weakness/lack of control down the leg in the muscles that it innervates and also a tight IT band. He did some manipulation to restore pelvis mobility and electrical stimulation of the piriformis. Afterwards I ran with Jacob (1 mile), and Joseph (1 mile), total of 2. Tobler kids, Julia, and Mandy joined us. Julia ran 1 mile.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.501.506.000.0020.00

A.M. 20 mile run. Did a good part of it with Chad. We did a 4+ mile warmup, then I ran a 6 mile tempo - 2 down, 2 up, 2 back down. The splits were 5:27, 5:22, 6:06, 6:11, 5:29, and 5:17 with the total time of 33:52. The wind was quite significant, but not as bad as last week. However it was bad enough that my splits in the 3rd mile were 94, 86, 91, 95. On 94 I was running by myself, on 86 Chad blocked the wind for me, on 91 he was still blocking it but was getting tired, on 95 I was by myself again. I felt very strong in the last two miles. Was able to shift gears quickly after the turnaround with a quarter in 86, and after that the remaining 1.75 were at 5:20 average slipping off the 5:20 pace by 4 seconds up to the last quarter, but then making it up with a kick in 76. Overall the improvement from the best time for this 6 mile course was 34 seconds. Some of it came from wearing shorts, but I think some from the PT session the day before. I am estimating about 3 seconds per mile from the PT session, although it is difficult to say exactly. I have 5 more sessions scheduled and will be doing tempo runs the day after, so this will allow me to document the results with more reliability. Also, if the treatment is effective I am anticipating the results to continue improving of over the course of several months. Some things produce immediate improvement, such as better balance, less waste in movement, and immediate muscular activation, but other things take time - strengthening the muscles that were less developed due to deactivation, improvement in muscle coordination, and the improvements in recruitment that require practice. 

Then we went home and got the kids. Benjamin did 6, Jacob 1, Joseph 1, Jenny and Julia did 2 on their own. Tobler family joined us.  When I was done with everybody I added a quick 1.5 tempo on the hills. The wind was blowing and blew me away - I ended up with 9:11. But there is something about this course that makes it hard - even without the wind 6:00 average on it feel so much harder than it should.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a ward conference. The stake presidency spoke in Sacrament meeting, and in other meetings. The talk was on service, then there was a lesson on the Book of Mormon.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.001.000.0014.00

A.M. Did 6 with Benjamin, then 2 with Jenny and Julia, and 4 more alone. Did a few pickups. Noticed that I really did not like the wind. 500 into the wind was 1:52, barely 6:00 pace. Then on the way back that exact same stretch was 1:36, which is 5:07 pace, with pretty much the same effort.

P.M. 2 miles. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Tobler kids and Mandy joined us. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.002.000.0014.00

A.M. 6 with Benjamin and Jeremy. 2 with Jenny and Julia. 4 alone. Did some pickups. Total of 12.

P.M. PT session with Sergio. He taped up my back, right buttock, and foot to try to encourage the piriformis to let go of the grip.Ran total of 2. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Had our usual running club with us.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(16)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.004.000.0014.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with Benjamin and Jeremy , they did 6. Did a 4 mile tempo. The road was covered with snow, so it was a battle. Fortunately the headwind was relatively mild. So I managed 6:06, 6:15 (up), 5:42, 5:21 which gave me 23:24 for the 4 miles. As the splits show, there was more snow on the second/third mile. I was rather cautious after I turned around at first, but then I got going in the last mile.

P.M. 2 miles with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1 as well. Julia ran 1 mile with Mandy. We had a bunch of other kids as well. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.001.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran 6 with Benjamin, 4 alone, and 2 with Jenny and Julia. Paced Benjamin through a 5:14.5 mile down the Provo Canyon. His splits were 77, 80, 80, 77. He is now a sub-5:15 miler, we are going to work on sub-5:00 next. Crocs are now over 2000 miles. Still no holes.

P.M.  Ran 2 with the kids. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Julia ran 1 mile with Mandy.  

 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.002.000.0013.50

A.M. 6 with Benjamin. 4 alone. 2 with Jenny and Julia. 

P.M. Rescued the Fast Running Blog server and moved it in the process as well. I had very little time to do the job, so I ended up grabbing the family computer that had more or less the same hardware and swapped out the hard drive. Then I had to do the DNS switch as well because I moved it from the old house. I still have not gotten around to diagnosing what exactly was wrong with the old server, but I am suspecting motherboard failure because the power supply fan spins when the motherboard is unplugged and does not otherwise. PT with Sergio. 1 with Jacob and Joseph, 0.5 chasing other kids around. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.009.500.0021.00

A.M. Started with Gary, but he only ran with me about 3 miles and turned around as he was not feeling well. So I ran alone the rest of the way. It was total of 21. After 4.75 warmup I did a 7.5 mile tempo run - 2.5 down the canyon, then back up and down again. The wind was strong today, but not the worst. My splits were: 5:33, 5:33, half mile in 2:49 - 13:55, then 6:18, 6:22, half mile in 3:16 (15:56, 29:51), 5:35, 5:30, 2:38 for the last half mile - total time 43:34, last quarter in 76. Felt odd, not sure what to make of this run. Definitely struggled into the headwind, and I think more than I should have. Sergio think is has to do with the stability of the pelvis.

Did some more jogging, then ran the last 2 miles hard. It might have been more than 2 miles, but I call that stretch 2. The first "mile" was 5:51. In quotes because I never measured it, but it is close enough to be called a mile, and I timed a measured quarter in 87 in the middle, so it was close. It was down a small grade. Then the second mile was 6:07, and it was uphill. The last two miles were difficult because I was low on fuel, but I got through them.

Then I came home and ate a snack - pita pocket with peanut butter and jam. I remembered the can of jam from The Other Side of Heaven book/movie that helped Elder Groberg survive the famine. Then I ran a mile with Jacob and Joseph.

P.M. Recovered the family computer that was sacrificed to be the Fast Running Blog server.  This involved getting a new system, doing a maneuver to pull the family hard drive out of the running server, which I managed to do without shutting it down, a major mechanical accomplishment for somebody as clumsy as myself, and then putting it into the new computer and sorting out issues. The only issue I had to sort out was the video driver, but it was not too bad. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 21.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. A couple spoke in the Sacrament meeting that is going on a mission to manage the Perpetual Education Fund. Then we had a lesson on agency based on 2 Nephi 2 in Sunday School, and a lesson on Jesus Christ in the Elder's quorum.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.001.000.0014.00

A.M. 12 total. 6 with Jeremy. 6 with Benjamin, 2 of that with Jenny and Julia. Did some pickups including 0.75 600 into the wind, 600 back in 4:07 with the splits of 2:08/1:59. Total of about 1 mile of pickups.

P.M. Total of 2. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1. Neighborhood kids joined us. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.002.000.0014.00

A.M. Slept in. Ran 6 with Benjamin, 4 alone, and 2 with Jenny and Julia. Did a 2 mile tempo with 1 out and 1 back. There was little wind and it was blowing into the canyon. The first mile was 5:46, but then the second mile was only 5:39. Part of it was the wind, part was that I was having a hard time after the turnaround. Total of 11:25 for the tempo.

P.M. PT with Sergio. 2 with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1. Julia ran another mile with Mandy. We had the usual neighborhood kids crew. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.005.000.0014.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Warmed up with Benjamin and Jeremy. They did 6 miles. I ran alone after the first 2.5 because I did a longer tempo. It was 5 miles. I wanted to measure what yesterday's PT did for me and set a target of sub-29:00 on the course assuming the wind was not too bad. It was OK, mild tailwind going up the canyon. I ended up with 28:49.7 with the half-mile splits of 2:54, 2:54, 3:00, 3:02, 3:01, 2:53, 2:50, 2:47, 2:47, 2:41. Finished the run with 2 miles with Jenny and Julia.

P.M. 2 with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1, Julia 1 pacing another girl. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.4014.00

A.M. Ran with Jeremy (6 miles), then 6 more with Benjamin including 2 with Jenny and Julia. All easy except one 600 meter pickup in 1:52.

P.M. 2 miles with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.901.500.502.1015.00

A.M. Ran with Jeremy, Benjamin, Gary, and Ryan, a new running partner. Decided to do something different, longer intervals, but still quite intense. The wind was strong blowing out of the canyon. I started with 600 in 2:00 into the canyon. That was hard. Then 800 into the canyon in 2:45. I was headed for maybe a 2:43 but in the last 200 my heart skipped a beat, I got confused, and eased off the pace. I did those alone. Then I did the mile in the opposite direction. The target was 5:00. For some reason (lack of sleep, maybe overdid it a bit in the last few days on speed, although it does not seem like I did too much) I felt sluggish. Dragged myself through the first quarter in 76, that was all I wanted to do. Then gave myself a motivational talk and did the next quarter in 74. It was hard. Started to think that I was going to lose the steam, but I was able to maintain and did the next quarter in 75. Then with 200 to go I found another gear for some semblance of a kick, and Ryan was with me and he also found another gear. So he pulled me through the last 150 meters or so, and we finished in 4:59. Gary ran the first 0.75. Benjamin just did the first quarter, but then coasted fast enough to run the mile in 5:49.

Then we did the usual 400 at the end up the hill. Gary was able to pull away from me by a couple of meters. I ended up with 71.5. Ryan and Benjamin made it to 300. I suppose Ryan was worn out from the mile.

Afterwards I ran a mile with Jenny, and then picked it up to catch up to Sarah. I figured I'd use this as an opportunity to practice running relaxed. I am feeling something different in the hip, I am able to stand on the ground with more firmness. But how to use that advantage when running after having run for at least 25 years with the instability is a different question. It will take some practice. The cage door might indeed be open but the captive bird is in no hurry to fly to freedom.

So I decided to put in about a marathon pace effort and see what happens. There was a strong headwind. Strong enough that I struggled with 6:00 pace on a net downhill. Ended up doing 9:08 for the stretch that I think is 1.5 miles. Then I ran with her and told her I would start going fast again when I needed to run 6:00 pace to the end to hit sub-8:00 average for the last 6 miles, which included an 8:53 mile with Jenny. Sarah was actually able to cut the fast segment to only a little more than 0.5 which I did in 2:51 in spite of the uphill. The quarters were 82, 85. I think on that stretch I hit good form and was letting the captive bird out of the cage some. The change from PT is that I am able to extend the right hip better, but it appears that that extension is not very helpful unless you fix the timings of the stride. I felt like I was slacking a bit, but it actually produced faster pace than when I tried to run hard. So perhaps the trick is to know when you are trying to hard and working against yourself.

P.M. 2 miles with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1, Julia 2. Neighbor kids as usual. 

 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.007.500.0020.50

A.M. Long run. Total of 20.5. Ran with Chad and Ryan. Did the same workout as last week - warm up of 4.75 miles, then 7.5 mile tempo with 2.5 down the canyon, 2.5 up, and 2.5 back down. The wind was less and was blowing into the canyon. I do not know if that helped or hurt. On one hand it produced more even splits, which in theory should result in faster times, although I do not know if that works in this case. On the other hand with the way I was doing it you get the headwind for 5 miles total instead of 2.5. Chad and Ryan made it through about the first mile, then dropped back. But it still helped to have them around in the first mile. Then Chad paced me through a mile on the way back and that helped a lot. On the final 1.5 stretch Chad and Ryan saved the day for me.

 Splits - 5:34, 5:36, 2:50 (14:00). In the first mile I felt comfortable, but then in the second mile I started getting sluggish and really did not want to run any faster than 5:44 pace. But I made myself go faster regardless. On the second 2.5 stretch this sluggishness was magnified. I ran 3:09 half mile, but then Chad came to save me, and made me do a more decent pace. So I ran the next 0.5 in 3:00, then Chad pulled me for another half mile or so, and then I had to pass him and take off. So my next mile was 6:13, followed by 0.5 in 3:08 with 15:30 for 2.5 and 29:30 for 5 miles. Seemed like when left to my own devices 6:15 was all I was willing to do, but with help I could do 6:00. Then I turned around again, and tried to give it a push. But 86 quarters with one in 87 was all that came out finishing that mile in 5:45. I was frustrated, and ready to abandon the workout, but nevertheless I said a prayer to have the strength to run 14:00 for the last 2.5, which by now appeared impossible given how I was feeling and the splits that I was getting. The prayer was more of the type "Lord, have mercy on me, but if not I understand that I need to suffer the consequences of something I did that I should not have done so that I can learn". I've had many of those. Nevertheless, my prayer was answered. Chad and Ryan met me with 1.5 to go, and Chad was able to hit the next 4 quarters in 83, 82, 85, and 82 with the mile being 5:33. I tucked behind him, and the pace actually felt easier than my 5:45 mile earlier.

This is making me think of Matthew 11 verses 28 and 30: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.". The 5:33 that felt easier than the earlier 5:45 showed me a practical illustration of that scripture in a way that I find difficult to explain, but it speaks to me. Sure it does! Only a runner will understand how much and how well.

This little break allowed me to find a better rhythm, so once Chad was out of juice, I was able to shift gears a bit and run the last 0.5 in 2:42 alone, which gave me exactly 14:00 for the last 2.5, and 43:30 for the tempo. So I ended up 2 seconds faster than last week by a miracle.

Chad finished the last 1.5 in decent time, 8:28, which is sub-5:40 average. 

Then we ran to the house, dropped off Ryan, and took Benjamin for 6 more miles. At first I felt terrible, but then I started to feel better, although still a little fuzzy.

Jenny ran 2, Julia was on the move and ran 4.5, Joseph and Jacob did 1. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Day of rest. Went to church as usual. The talks in the sacrament meeting were on service. I missed a good portion of the second one because Stephen got fussy and I had to take him out. But I caught the first which discussed the need to serve without delay and without waiting for what appears to be a more convenient opportunity. 

Then we had a good lesson in Sunday school on 2 Nephi 4 which contains the Psalm of Nephi. The teacher played a rendition of that for us by the BYU men's choir to the tune of Be Still My Soul, which has an interesting history. To the Latter-Day Saints it is Be Still My Soul, but the tune comes from a Finnish patriotic hymn that was originally written to protest the Russian oppression of Finland. So I remembered two things during the lesson. One time back during the winter of 2003 when I was struggling to improve my times, hit a seemingly impassable plateau with no apparent hope, was out on another training run, 7.5 miles into a 15 miler and found myself in deep snow. At that point I just wanted to lay down in that snow and not move. I was wondering why I was even trying and ready to give up. Then a hymn came to my mind, and it was Be Still My Soul. By September I made a breakthrough, and won the Top of Utah marathon.

Noting the connection of the tune with Finland, I recalled Lasse Viren's win in the 5000 meters in 1972 Olympics. Many American runners experience that event through the movie Without Limits about Steve Prefontaine in which he finishes 4th in spite of running the last mile in 4:01. Well, Viren is the guy that won that race. In my mind I visualize the last 600 meters of that battle with Finlandia/Be Still My Soul tune playing in the background, and Viren saying: "The coach said take the lead with 600 to go and stay there. I did". The power of quiet peace which gives the strength to persevere. Indeed we would truly run without limits if we could understand that.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.700.000.300.0014.00

A.M. 12 total. 7 with Benjamin and Jeremy. Did a short pickup. 2 more with Jenny. Julia did 1. 3 more alone.

P.M. 2 with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 2. We had the usual bunch of neighbor kids. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.000.500.0014.00

A.M. 7 with Jeremy, 5 with Benjamin. Jenny did 2, Julia 1. A couple of pickups.

P.M. PT with Sergio. 2 with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1, Jenny 1, Julia 1. Usual bunch of kids. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.700.005.600.0014.30

A.M. Ran the warm-up with Benjamin and Jeremy, then did the tempo. 5 miles, 2.5 up the canyon, 2.5 back down. No significant wind that I noticed, it was not bothering me going in either direction. Some snow on the ground, but not enough to cause serious problems with speed. Maybe occasional loss of a second per quarter or so. Splits by half-mile: 2:54, 2:55, 3:01, 2:56, 3:01 (180 turn), 2:52, 2:47, 2:43, 2:47, 2:39.  Half-way split 14:47, second half 13:47. Total time 28:35 which is an improvement over last week by 12 seconds.

Yesterday after PT with Sergio I got a better understanding of what muscles are contracting and when, and how to tell what is contracting. Then I practiced standing on one leg with the other hip and knee flexed and the hand on the piriformis of the leg that is on the ground to check how hard it is contracting with the goal of making it contract less. I figured out what it should feel like when it contracts less and tried it in running. The feeling was rather interesting. When I first started I felt like I had to slack quite a bit to avoid the piriformis contracting feeling, and thought I would hit the quarter in 92, but I decided to take whatever that effort produced without complaining. It ended up being 87, and then it did not get slower until the hill got steeper or I hit some snow, or maybe some headwind sneaked up, but whenever I slowed down I was always able to recover. On the way back at first I thought I would not be able to go very fast, but then I was going 5:30 before I knew it. I felt still that I was slacking some, but  I could not push harder without getting the tight piriformis feeling, so I did not.

In the last quarter I tried to speed up without the tight feeling, and something was out of sync, it felt like some muscles were contracting out of sync, but I still did manage a 79 quarter. 

 Ran some more with Benjamin, including a pickup for 0.6 or so. Benjamin ended up doing 8 miles total. 2 more with Jenny and Julia. Total of 12.3.

P.M. 2 with Joseph, 1 of it with Jacob. Jenny and Julia ran 1. Neighbor kids came as usual. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.30
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
302.207.0058.406.00373.60
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 373.60
Night Sleep Time: 203.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 203.50
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