Breaking the Wall

Striders Winter Series 10 Miler

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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: 207.91 Year: 2917.47
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
238.3333.0050.724.95327.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.900.000.000.0011.90

Easy run with Ted on the Provo River Trail. Yesterday Julia wanted to skip after her run, so I did it with her. Then I thought I'd show her some other plyometrics.  I tried a bum kick and it felt really good for the form. So today I decided to try some bum kick and high knee in the middle of the run. Ted remembered doing those with Bill Dellinger , his coach at Oregon State who took bronze in the 1964 Olympics in 5000, where Bob Schul won the gold. With some instruction from Ted I finally got the hang of the bum kick more or less to where it was effective. My goal was to learn how to lean forward without bending at the waist. Ted remembered a secret - if you think lean forward, you will bend at the waist. If you think run tall, you will still lean, but you will not bend at the waist. We ran 10 miles at an easy pace.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.402.500.000.0011.90

Another run with Ted in the morning. He started at BYU, I met him on the trail. He wanted to go a bit longer than normal. We went faster than usual, the pace was under 6:40 once we got going. On the way back, we kept picking up the pace. I suggested we run a tempo on the standard 2.5 stretch and try to beat the 6:00 mile guy since we were almost going that pace already, and then run easy. Ted said he'd try. 

We hit the first half of the tempo in 3:04. Ted did not seem to want to go any faster, but the scent of the 6:00 guy ahead was too tempting for me to resist. I went after him. Next two miles in 5:53 and 5:52. HR stayed between 150 and 152 once it stabilized. Finished the tempo in 14:49. Ted ran it in 15:24.

Did bum kick plyometrics after the run. Also started working on the back in addition to my standard Pettibon routine and abdominal strength work.

Saw Dr. Jex. He had me stand on a vibration machine with the head weights, shoulder weights, shoulder harness, and hip weights on. Afterwards he took a couple of X-rays. He'll have the results next week.  

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Planning to run early with Clyde tomorrow. Need to be back early - Benjamin is getting baptized.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.5011.001.000.0016.50

Ran in the Provo Canyon with Clyde  . It was 10F and 7 mph wind blowing out of the canyon. Did a short warm-up, then ran the standard 12 mile tempo (4 stretches of the standard Mouth to Nuns Park 3 mile tempo). There was some snow on the ground, not too much, but enough to knock you out of rhytm when going up.  Kept  6:25 pace on the good parts of the up, slowed down to 7:00 on the bad parts, on the way down went a bit sub-6:00 once we got going. HR was low, probably because of the cold conditions - hovered between 135 and 145 depending on the effort. Ran the last mile in 5:35 to catch the 6:15 guy. Total time 1:14:41. I told Clyde he were to race today he was ready to run about 2:40 in Boston, maybe faster. The cold seemed to affect his nervous system - he would push the pace at times, and then all of a sudden lose the momentum, then repeat. Cooled down, total of 14.8 miles for the run.

Came home, and as they say in Russian, from the ship to the ball. Benjamin was getting baptized. I have performed many baptisms before, but this is the first time I got to baptize my own child. I have waited for this for a long time. When a person is baptized, he makes a promise to God to be faithful for the rest of his life. In our church we often talk about enduring to the end. Baptism is the starting line. Then it is all about enduring to the end. Very much like distance running.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Afterwards, Sarah and I went to the temple for our date. When I came home, there was still work left to do. Got it done. Now is the end of a long busy day, I am looking forward to hitting the sack.
 

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Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.004.750.2512.00

Another early morning run. Met Ted on the trail - he started from Smith's Field House at BYU. Figured since I was rested I'd better do a tempo. Ran 5 miles on the standard Provo River Trail course. Ted ran 2.5. We hit the first mile in 5:40. Then he had to stop for a bio-break at 1.75. I continued. Next mile in 5:40, and 14:10 at the turnaround. My heart rate monitor was not working. I think the battery is dead. But that is fine. I can tell my heart rate by feel most of the time, and use the heart rate monitor mostly for entertainment.

Next quarter in 1:27.7 - the turnaround always knocks me out of rhythm. Quickly sped back up to 5:40 pace. 17:03 at 3 miles (5:43). The next mile in 5:39. I kept hitting the lap split button, mostly to be able to see the time at the quarter instead of using the auto-split feature. I do get annoyed when The Toy gets the splits in wrong places even if it is only a couple of seconds off. If it was not dark, I would not even have bothered with lap splits, but it is a good way to turn the light on. I wish that Garmin had a feature to turn the light on for N seconds every M seconds. I also wish it would show your split with 0.1 second precision, or at least round it off to the nearest whole number rather than truncating the fractions. Seeing the splits of mostly 1:24 and only one of 1:25 misled me into thinking I was headed for a 5:37 mile. But those 1:24s were high 1:24s, and 1:25 was also a high one. So the mile ended up being 5:39, and I was a whole 2 seconds behind the 5:40 guy. And now I had to run the last mile uphill, and my quads were feeling tired.

I did the next quarter in a high 1:26 followed by a high 1:25. Now I was 4 seconds behind the 5:40 guy. On the next quarter I just about said, forget it, I do not want to chase him, I am too tired, it is too early in the morning, 5:41 is as good as 5:40 when I should really be in bed. While I was having those attitude problems, I ran it in 1:26.8. This gave me enough of a break to improve my attitude. I decided to give it an earnest try and put in a solid kick. I decided I'd start right with a quarter to go, and take 60 hard steps, then ease off. This was a mental trick. Two things were going to happen in that time - I would get good momentum, and I would be close enough to the finish to where I could take a few easy steps, and then push all the way through. It worked. I managed 1:17.8 on the last quarter, and 28:18.7 for the whole run beating the 5:40 guy to the tape.

Overall I felt I was not exerting myself cardiovascularly, but my quads were starting to quit when I tried to go sub 5:40. This is usually what I feel limits me most of the time. I suspect I run in such a way that overworks my quads and underworks other muscle groups. Fast 400 meter repeats in the past have helped me to some extent. I think I'll do them on Wednesday. 

Ran with the kids in the evening.


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Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.700.000.000.8011.50

Ran the usual route with Ted this morning. He uploaded our route to the Course Tool, as well as the tempo course. It is amazing what a military helicopter pilot can do with  a GMap. Ted has the eye of an eagle and amazing attention to landscape detail. Too bad the elevation profile supplied by the US Geo Survey does not have the right resolution. I think it put up the start of the 5 mile tempo at the right elevation, but it averaged in the drop to the adjacent Provo River for the rest of it. It says there is a 17% grade drop in the first 0.01 mile. The only way that is possible is if you jump down to the river.

I did some bum kick drills and short strides on the way out. On the way back we did 8x100. My splits were - 17.3, 16.9, 16.3, 14.9, 14.5, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3. The last two were up a slight grade. We did a fairly brisk 300 meter jog in between. The form felt better. I could feel some power on acceleration. I think I would have PRed in 100 on the track - it was dark, and early, I had to watch out for the mark, and those 100s are actually 1/16 of a mile which is about 0.5 meters longer that 100 meters. I am going to run 100 on the track on Thursday so I'll stop wondering if I would have PRed.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Julia surprised me - she ran half a mile in 4:55. That is the fastest a child has done it in our family prior to turning 4.5. Jenny did not like it - she likes to start out at 11:00 mile pace. It is nice to have a younger child to motivate the older. I do not think Benjamin would have been running as well had it not been for some positive pressure from Jenny.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.330.000.001.5012.83

Was originally planning on 12x400. However, I caught the same scratchy throat type of cold again. Decided not to push the body too hard, but I still needed some anaerobic speed. Figured 6x400 would be the right type of workout. Did them with Ted, he ran them a bit slower, but not too far behind.

Warm up, then we started on the flattest portion of the trail. First 5 very consistently between 70.2 and 70.9. The recovery was usually a very slow 200 meter jog except one time we did 300 to get to a better place, one time we stopped for my bio break,  and another time (before the last one) we stopped for Ted's. But that is OK, this workout is more about speed for me than recovery, I just keep the recoveries fairly short to get it done in a reasonable amount of time, and I can get away with a very slow 200 meter jog.

On the last one pushed a bit on the last 200 meters. Got 68.5. In all repetitions the anaerobic bear started to climb on me at 200, and was comfortably (for him, not for me) sitting on my back by 300. However, as the last repetition shows, I could run through it for a while with a little bit of willpower application. Probably all of the repetitions were about 0.5 to a full second slower from having to ease off before the mark so as not to miss it. It was still dark.

Did a fairly long cool down. Ran to the library and back with the kids in the afternoon. Benjamin did well on the way back - hit a mile in 7:39 fairly relaxed, and in spite of a side ache.

Treating the cold with large doses of onion mixed with agave to make it somewhat edible.

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Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.700.000.500.4011.60

The 100 meter sprints on Tuesday have stirred my curiosity as to what I could do on the track in an all out 100. Today was not quite the best day to do it, but there will never be a best day. So I decided to give it a shot. Ted and I warmed up to the Provo High track. Then I did a few accelerations to get ready. Then Ted timed me from a standing start. In two attempts I managed 14.8 and 14.6. Nothing unusual - just about what I used to get in the past, although I had never tried them in the dark before, or at least never ran that fast in the dark and that early in the morning. It felt awkward to run from a standing start.

I can think of a few reasons why the sprinting felt a lot better on Tuesday. One, is I had not done it on Tuesday yet. Two, I had not done the 400s the day before. Three, they were not from a standing start, which I think for me makes a lot of difference - having to accelerate that fast tenses me up for 60 meters or so before I can finally get into the groove.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. My cold got a bit worse during the day, and I've even considered skipping the 10 miler, but then I attacked it with large doses of garlic and fluids with electrolytes (EmerenC) and it got quite a bit better. 

Now what is the big deal about 100 meters? I believe regardless of what distance you train for, if you are a runner you need to know how to run. 100 meter sprint is a good home test of your running form. Let us think of a bike for an analogy. Let us say we have untrued wheels. Riding a slow speed will take more energy, but you can still do it. However, riding at a high speed will be impossible even if we try to do it for a very short period of time. If your distance performance suffers, there is an equal probability that the problem is endurance or biomechanics. However, if your sprint performance suffers, the endurance factor is eliminated. The element of natural or trained explosiveness comes into play, but I believe it is not as important as the endurance for a long distance event. It is not unusual to find men that do not do squat for exercise of any kind, and can still run a 12.0 100 meters or faster. That is only 20% slower than the world record. 20% slower than the world record in a marathon is 2:30. How many guys can run a 2:30 marathon with no training?

Thus, training in a marathon can obscure or compensate for the effects of bad biomechanics. But it is much more difficult to do it in a sprint. And it is nearly impossible to do it for somebody with dominant slow twitch fibers. On top of the untrued wheels bike effect, he has another problem. If you train him to sprint, he has very little he can train. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that if a slow twitch dominant runner can do a decent 100 meter sprint, he is doing it mostly off good form. And, if the sprint is slower than a certain threshold, the problem is biomechanical.

So I would roughly put people into the following groups (some adjustment might be needed, it would be nice if somebody did a research on this):

GroupIdentifying Qualities
Sprinters
With proper biomechanics, 100 meters under 11.0 for men, under 12.5 for women. Trained for distance, slow down way more in longer distances than what McMillan calculator estimates.
Middle-distance runners
With proper biomechanics, 100 meters under 12.0 for men, and 13.6 for women. Trained for distance, slow down according to the McMillan calculator from 100 to the mile, then a bit more towards 5000 meters, then much more after that.
Regular distance runners
With proper biomechanics, 100 meters under 12.7 for men and 14.4 for women. Trained for distance, slow down a little bit less than the McMillan calculator curve from 100 meters all the way to the marathon.
Distance runners with unusually high proportions of slow twitch fibers
With proper biomechanics, 100 meters under 14.0 for men, and 15.8 for women. Trained for distance, hardly any slow down from 100 meters to 800 meters - can almost run 800 in 8 times their 100 meter PR. However, the slow down from 800 to the marathon matches that of the Regular distance runners.

I would be a regular distance runner with bad biomechanics. Sometimes we explain away the poor performance in 100 meters of a regular distance runner by saying he just does not have a lot of fast twitch muscles. I think it is a mistake. First, if he does not run 100 under 14.0, he either has biomechanical issues, or some form of mild muscular dystrophy or some other health issue otherwise. Second, if he indeed is so slow twitch, when properly trained, he will very closely approach his 8x100 PR time in 800 meter race.

The above is an expression of my intuition I've gained from  22 years of running experience. I would really, really like to see some research on this, though. If anybody has any feedback on this, feel free to comment. I am very much open to correction/clarification of my ideas. 


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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

I was originally planning on doing my regular distance today. However, the cold has changed my plans. I figured even if I did not have to race tomorrow, going 10 miles in the morning still would not have been as beneficial as 6. I met Ted on the trail and we ran at an easy pace.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Went to see Dr. Jex. He said the hip weights would do me no good, at least the kind that he tried on me. X-rays showed that if I put them on, my hips become even more imbalanced that in neutral position.  So we scheduled a long session Monday to try all kinds of things, take X-rays, look at them, and then decide what to do next. I think he has a lot at stake now. First, professional honor. I know that if I am working on a programming project for somebody, and it does not quite work, I really do not like to say, well, too bad, I've tried my best. I'll try my very thorough best before I say it, especially when it is something critical to the business of the client. I think he is the same way - if it does not work right away, he will not just quit. 

Another aspect is that I have already maxed out my potential with what training and diet can do. I suppose there is some room for improvement if I could run 120 miles a week and sleep 10 hours a day, but that is not happening, not at least until I find a way to make money without being there doing it all the time. Which is still at least a few years away. My current regimen has produced very consistent results for the last three years. To the point where I go to a race knowing exactly the time I am going to run. It is good my times are not getting worse, but they are not getting better.  If I improve even only 5 minutes in the marathon due to his treatment this will serve as a loud indicator that he has some magic in his hands.

Started working on integrating a Google Map into the Course Tool, so you would not have to go to GMap Pedometer to make maps. 

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Race: Striders Winter Series 10 Miler (9.86 Miles) 00:59:02, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.140.009.860.0015.00

Winter Series Striders 10 miler, 59:01.8, 6th place. To to a mistake by the race director in laying out the course the morning of the race, we ended up cutting off a certain distance that was 0.14 according to my Garmin 305. But in the end it does not matter, as we all ran the same race, and the course was so hilly that the time is meaningful only in comparison with other people in the race.

My cold started getting better the day before. However, I was still not quite healthy. As Ted and I drove up to the race, I decided I would pace Chad for the first three miles, if I felt healthy enough. Then take off if I felt good, or just hang on and finish the race if not. When I got to the race I remembered that Chad was not running. I convinced Steve Ashbaker to hang around with me for the first three miles. He agreed, figuring a slower start could do him some good.

We went through the first uphill mile in 5:54. It felt easy. Too easy. Ted caught us and told us to speed up. Joe Wilson was way out front, followed by Paul Petersen and Bob Thompson a distance behind. I was in a group with Steve, Ken Richardson, Ted, and Albert Wint.

Second mile was downhill. We pushed a bit harder, and got a good split - 5:11. Only 10 seconds behind Paul and Bob. The pace felt good. I even thought of making a move to catch them, but decided it would not be a good idea for a couple of reasons. I was not fully healthy, and I know that in that condition the early miles for me feel a lot easier. And the hills were coming up.

The wrong turn happened some place during the third mile. For the record, the split at mile marker three was 17:05, which was long. The race director guessed that one, it was not at the certified location. By that time I was with Ken and Steve. Shortly after, the climb started, and I fell behind. Running up the hills I decided to pay attention to two things - first the feeling, and second the heart rate to catch possible errors of perception, and also for the purpose of gaining experience and understanding. I figured as long as those hills were, I needed to stay right at my anaerobic threshold for best results. If the competition is pulling away, do not worry about it. They are stronger on the hill, and there is not much I can do about it now. The time to worry about it was before the race. All I can do by pretending I am as strong as them on the hill is lose it half way through the hill, not be able to go fast on the downhill, and end up further behind. Otherwise, with proper pacing, I might even be able to catch them on the downhill.

Official mile 4 (3.86 on the GPS), 21:44. Steve and Ken are within sight, Bob and Paul are out of sight. Hills are getting nastier and there seems to be no end of them. 28:07 at the official mile 5, 6:23 mile. Now the official mile markers are actually separated by exactly one mile since we are back on the certified course. The next mile has a nasty climb, I saw one quarter in 1:57 on the GPS, and otherwise were comparably slow. However, there was a downhill stretch towards the end which saved the mile split somewhat - 34:58 at "mile 6", 6:51. I closed a bit of a gap on Ken on that stretch. I wished it were longer.

Now the infamous 10 K hill. Paul called it the stairway to the place for those who sin and do not repent for a good reason. I am hitting 1:50-1:55 quarters, and Ken is not gaining much distance on me, and I can still see Steve, and he is not separating from us either, at least not by very much. Interestingly enough, as I kept the effort at my perception of anaerobic threshold my heart rate dropped from 162 in the early sections of the hill to 158 later on. I have seen this before running up Squaw Peak. The heart rate starts to drop towards the end of the hill. The hill has to be fairly long, though, so that you cannot get through it with a surge of effort. And it needs to be steep, about 6-7%. The way I feel the threshold is by the feedback from the quad. Right around there it starts feeling a bit sour, that is the best I can describe that feeling. On a flat or slightly downhill sections I get that feeling at around the heart rate of 161-163 if I am well rested and having a good day. On a bad day, I might get it at 157. It is that feeling that keeps me from going faster in a tempo run or a 15 K/10 mile/ half-marathon.

What is interesting is that in the past, I used to go by breathing to determine the correct pace for the half-marathon. Now it is not the breathing that limits me any more, it is that feeling of muscular fatigue in the quad. I suppose going up a steep hill for a while overworks the quad, and it starts quitting, which drives the heart rate down.

The hill keeps going up and up. I am starting to believe there is no end to it. Finally, we reach a point where I see no roads above us. That is a good sign, the hill is over. A short downhill stretch at the top give a bit of a saving grace for the mile split. 42:07 at the 7 mile marker, 7:09 for the mile.

Now the downhill. Here the mind is playing tricks on me, I knew it would. My heart rate goes down to 155 for a second. I push it a bit, now 157. Starting to get into a good rhythm. Now 160. Next mile in 5:24, starting to close a bit on Ken. Headwind is not helping. Next mile, less steep down in 5:32. Ken now is only 3 seconds ahead. I decided I'd do my best to pass him. But I think he decided he'd do his best to not get passed.

Nasty climb on the last mile. He pulls ahead, then comes back a bit. The climb is over. Now he shifts gears faster than me and is gone for good. I am pressing as hard as I can, but I just cannot shift my gears that fast. Right as I am approaching the finish chute my heart rate is only 161. And I am thinking kick, kick, get him! 59:01.8, last mile in 5:59, Ken is 13 seconds ahead, Steve  37 seconds ahead.

Short cool down to not make the cold worse, then the Zmei Gorynovich treatment after that (a clove of garlic). Zmei Gorynovich is a three headed flying fire-breathing serpent in  Russian fairy tales. My mom calls me Zmei Gorynovich whenever I eat a lot of garlic.

Overall, I thinking although the cold was a factor, mostly it was the hills that killed me. Nothing new. The hips and the spine need to be fixed. I am happy I was able to run somewhat decent under the circumstances. I am looking forward to the half-marathon, which is mostly downhill. 

Ran some more with the kids in the afternoon.




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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.000.0011.75

Easy run on the Provo River Trail with Ted in the morning. Averaged 7:27 pace, Garmin 305 reported the average heart rate of 119 in spite of going crazy at some point and hitting a max of 151. I never ran fast enough to get that heart rate, so I assume it was off for a small segment of the run. Felt sleepy. Getting over the cold. Apparently it is only at the respiratory level, otherwise the heart rate would have been higher.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Figured out a new way to motivate Benjamin - let Jenny out of the stroller at the end of his fast 0.5 segment with 0.1 to go. Today this resulted in a fit which kept him from catching her, but he ran the last quarter in 1:47 nevertheless. Afterwards we had a talk and he did some attitude improvement core strength exercises. He needs to do them anyway, and he gets in trouble enough during the day to get his fair share. I also made him write about the experience in his blog, which he did, although rather reluctantly.

Went to see Dr. Jex. He took lots of X-rays. The good news is that my neck curve has made the most significant improvement since we started the treatment. The curvature angle is now 27 degrees with the forward head tilt of 5 mm. An improvement from 16 degrees/18 mm in the beginning, and 20 degrees/9 mm about a month ago. The ideal measurement is 35-45 degrees and 0 mm tilt. So we are on the right track in the way of neck correction. The shoulder weights we added have helped a lot.

However, the lower back is still acting odd (which is the reason he decided to spend some extra time with the X-rays), and right now we have the following issues:

  • The lumbar curve is almost normal while standing up, but I lose entirely (down to 0) when I sit down.
  • The lower spine has a lateral curve towards the right. In theory, hip weights should correct it. However, with the hip weights on it becomes worse (always bending towards the right) regardless of the direction of the torque the hip weights are positioned to create.

Dr. Jex was rather perplexed by this. Indeed my lower back is both literally and figuratively is throwing him a curve. He decided to take a more thorough look at it. We are going to have even a longer research session on Thursday. I am excited about this. Finally we are getting somewhere. For a while I felt like we were trotting in place. I have always felt that a thorough research is what this problem needed. But I could never find a specialist that would recognize the need and be willing to do what it takes.

I think I have a clue as to where the whole problem came from. Between the ages of 12 and 13 I ran 4 hard track workouts a week at the Znamenskiye indoor track in Moscow (Maria would know that one very well). They were all high volume and high intensity. Here is an example of a three day segment from one week that I recall: Monday, 6000 m in 21:42 (5:45/mile pace). Tuesday, 1000 in 3:09, 800 in 2:30, 600 in 1:48. Wednesday - 600 m in 1:47, 400 m in 67, and 200 in 32. My coach loved to give us tempo runs on the indoor track which I would do usually at a pace faster that 6:00 per mile. I can only imagine what that could have done to the developing  bones and muscles - you hit a sharply sloped curve that is about 25-30 meters long that gives you a 180 degree turnaround 16 times a mile and at a high speed times and again.

So, yes, Dr. Jex is dealing with a very unusual case. Very few people get this sort of damage. And the few that do rarely even think about it, much less care to get it fixed, just happy to run where they are at if they continue to run at all. Not me. I am persistent. I will not let this be in my way. I will not give up hope, I will not quit. I'll find a way to get it fixed and run at my true potential.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.900.000.000.0011.90

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Very slow and relaxed. Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

In the evening started feeling chills and very fatigued. Sinus infection, this time a bit stronger than normal. Went to bed early. Taking it easy for the next couple of days. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.450.000.300.006.75

Slept in this morning to allow myself to get over the cold. Took the whole day easy. Did not run until late afternoon. First ran with the kids. We had an adventure with Benjamin being chased by a dog. It was a small dog, but he got really scared and swerved in panic. But he still managed a good last 0.5 in 3:38 with the quarter splits of 1:49 and 1:49. The dog quarter would probably have been 1:46 or maybe even faster if he had not panicked. 

Afterwards, I went for a 5 mile run and Benjamin rode his bike with me. We started out at 7:30 pace, then gradually warmed into 6:35-6:40. The construction around Geneva road slowed us down. My heart rate was hovering around 140 at 6:35 pace, which is about 6 beats per minute higher than normal.  That is to be expected with the sinus infection.

On the last 0.4 Benjamin decided to test my limits. Sick or not, I still have some competitive spirit, so I responded to the challenge. Then with 0.1 to go I decided to show him class and picked up the pace. He held up fine for as long as we were going 5:20 pace, but his little bike could not go any faster. The turn with 60 meters to go did not help either. The last quarter was 1:19. At first, I thought it was only 1:29 and figured I must be really sick if I had to work that hard to run that slow. The good news is that it felt easy enough for me to consider it could have been 1:29.

Worked some on the GMap for the Course Tool. I got it to the point where you can go to a location of your choice, zoom in and out, toggle between satellite, hybrid, and regular map, and plot course. I still need to figure out a way to save the course data, and obtain the elevations. Hopefully will have it ready in a few days.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.050.000.000.0010.05

Felt better this morning, although still not 100% over the sinus infection. Ran with Ted early in the morning. 8.3 miles, easy pace. Ted told me about Weldon Johnson's training method that he credits for the improvement from 29:30 to 28:17 10 K. First, all speed work and tempo runs must be done by feel - do not look at the watch until you are done with the workout. Second, easy runs must be as easy as the body wants them. For Weldon, this often went going 7:30 per mile. He often ran 140 miles per week with the page averaging 7:00 mile including his speed work.

First day of Benjamin's Team Provo practice. Ran some with him. He ran some extra afterwards.  

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.350.000.000.0010.35

Feeling better, but still not 100%. Ran easy with Ted, 8.6 miles. Pretty much the entire run we debated the issue of the correlation between 100 meter sprint and marathon potential in the same runner. His point of view - there are way too many factors that could either make a good marathoner sprint slow, or a fast sprinter run  a poor marathon for the correlation to exist. My point of view - while a fast sprint does not guarantee a fast marathon, and a slow sprinter has some hope in the marathon, a slow sprint puts a cap on your marathon performance. Being able to sprint not too terribly slow is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a good marathon performance. We agree with each other to a point, the disagreement is in the numbers.

My contention that Ted disagrees with - unless you have an extreme proportion of slow-twitch fibers ( Alberto Salazar style) which is found probably in no more than 3% of all distance runners, 100 meter time of 15.0 means you will not run much faster than 2:30 in the marathon. This actually makes a nice rule - take your 100 meter time in seconds, do it times ten. That is your limit in the marathon in minutes.

We also had a disagreement on how fast a slower runner (that runs a marathon in over 3:00 even with some decent training) could run 100 meters. So I thought it would be helpful to gather some data for our future discussions, and perhaps also for inspiring some more serious exercise physiology research. If you would like to contribute, please submit the following data in the comments - does not have to be current, but needs to come from the same time period: your marathon performance, the training you did to achieve it, your 100 meter performance from the same time period, and the specific 100 meter training you did to achieve it (for most of us it will be nothing more than some strides and short speed work intervals at best).

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Feeling a bit better towards the evening, good sign, sinus infection pain is going away.

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Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.754.000.000.0012.75

Felt better than the day before, but still not 100%. Still yellow stuff coming out of my nose, some sinus pain, cough, and a bit of overall weakness. Ted wanted to do 15 miles. I was not quite up to the distance. However, I figured a few miles at marathon pace would be helpful as a health test. We went up the Provo Canyon. Almost hit a gate over by Bridal Veil Falls, good thing it was white and Ted has good eyes, we stopped soon enough. Then we hit a few patches of ice. Then we turned around and ran back to the start of the standard 3 mile tempo at Nunn's park.

For a change, I decided to try Weldon Johnson's idea of not looking at the watch during the run. We ran 3 miles down, immediate 180 turn, and then 1 mile back up. My splits were 5:42 (HR 142), 5:42 (HR 151), 5:29 (HR 154) and 6:20 (HR 155). The effort felt harder than the HR feedback, but the breathing was appropriate for the level of HR. I think the respiratory congestion created a false perception of difficulty. I think I really like the idea of looking at the watch afterwards. Total of 11 miles of for the run.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.751.000.000.0011.75

Easy run with Ted. I've done so many of those that my blog now ranks number 2 on Google for the search term "easy run with Ted". Feeling better. Ran the last mile in 5:48, felt strong, but did not like my form.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Jenny impressed me with an 8:02 mile after 0.5 warm-up. It's been a while since she's run this fast. Benjamin was playing rather crazy in the back yard and fell on a rock. He could run, but his form did not look good. I told him to take a day of rest.

We went swimming in the evening. I timed myself over 50 yards - 55 seconds. That is the fastest I've swam 50 yards since 1994 when I took Intermediate Swimming at BYU from Tim Powers, the BYU swim team coach. He tried hard to teach me good form, and made enough progress to where I improved from 60 seconds to 51 seconds in the 50 yard distance. But even with the improvement I was still significantly slower than everybody else in the class including all of the girls. Since then, whenever I would occasionally time myself I was consistently between 58 and 60 seconds. I think this improvement shows that the recent addition of shoulder weights in my Pettibon routine has been effective. I also felt more power in the right arm in the water.

I am very excited about this development. This is the first time something changed measurably in my athletic performance since the start of Pettibon if you do not count my informal vertical jump test earlier. This one is a lot more significant - with the vertical jump it could have easily been a measurement fluke, and I am thinking it was. I did not have standard measurement procedures, and the improvement was not recorded on the same type of test. A small thing, but I am excited. For the first time something improved. This small development strengthens my faith that running can also improve. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.855.000.000.0011.85

First day of feeling almost normal. Only a little bit of runny nose and sinus pain. Ran a light tempo with Ted. We went on the standard 5 mile tempo course on the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road. Again, used the Weldon Johnson hit the split but do not look method. It produced interesting results this early in the morning (the tempo started at 5:00 AM). Splits by 0.5 - 3:10 - 3:10 - 3:06 - 3:06 - 3:07 - 3:04 - 3:00 - 2:58 - 2:55 - 2:49. Total time 30:25, first half in 15:39, second half in 14:46, last mile in 5:44. The first two miles felt way too easy cardiovascularly, but there was enough of a neurological stress for me to believe we were going a decent pace. Ted did not push it, so I did not either. Then I began to suspect that we were probably going way too slow, and started pushing it a bit. Then I started breathing.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Then went to see Dr. Jex. He showed an exercise with it he wanted me to do.  I am supposed to lay in a very strange position 6 minutes a day that produces the correct reverse twist for my hips. We'll see what it does.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.501.500.000.0012.00

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Started to feel recovered from the sinus infection. The naps have been helping. Ran 1.5 at marathon pace effort at the end, timed the last 0.75 of it - 4:17. Heart rate of 148 at the end.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.208.002.000.0014.20

Woke up from an interesting running dream. My dreams have become very close to reality when it comes to running. When I run in a dream, I feel the pain, my splits and times are very realistic. In the dream I was running against Paul Petersen in a 5 mile road race. The race started out flat, then had a downhill section, then flattened out again. It was a fairly fast course. In the beginning Paul pulled away. Then gathering all of my strength I closed the gap on the downhill right before we got to the final flat section. We had a mile to go.  Paul put in a surge to get rid of me. I first thought of letting him go, but then decided no way, I worked way too hard to catch him, and I have nothing to lose. There was another short runner with us I did not quite recognize. I tucked in behind Paul and tried to hang on. It felt very painful. The short runner dropped back a few seconds but was still within striking distance. Then we approached the finish and the kick started. I moved out into the passing position, and tried to turn on top speed. My legs felt like I was at the end of a mile race, they felt like lead, I could not pick it up any more. Neither could Paul, but he managed to stay ahead no matter how hard I tried. We ended up finishing with 25:03.1 for him, and 25:03.3 for me.

Now reality that followed the dream. Tempo run with Steve on the standard 10 mile tempo run course. We did it using Weldon Johnson's method of hit the split do not look at it until you are done. Went through the first 2.5 in 14:42. Heart rate eventually climbed to 150. Then as we turned around Steve started pushing it. I started feeling uncomfortable and asked him to back off. Next 2.5 in 14:24 with the pace fluctuating between 5:40 and 5:55. I would get the heart rate of 155 at 5:40 and 153 at 5:50. Not a big difference in numbers, but 5:40 required a lot more effort. It was probably mental - I was expecting to coast through the run at my marathon pace effort and did not want to push it. I should not be hurting that bad with the heart rate of only 155.

We turned around and in the same pattern continued to another 2.5 in 14:28. Then another turnaround. I decided this time I would not hold Steve back, let him run whatever he feels like, and just grind my teeth and hang in there. But I did tell him I wanted it closer to marathon pace than threshold. The pace eventually became 5:40, the heart rate this time climbed to 158, and this time it felt more comfortable. Perhaps now my mind came to terms with the idea that it was going to be hard. Then on the last mile Steve picked it up. I tucked in behind him hanging on for dear life. Without a watch and the split times to look at to soothe the pain, I began counting 100s - 1500 to go - still alive, 1400 to go, still alive ... 300 to go, can't believe I am still alive. Finish, I made it! 57:43 for 10 miles, 14:09 on the last 2.5, 5:30 on the last mile, probably about 5:23 flat mile equivalent. We even split the last mile. The heart rate climbed to 163 in the first half, and then to 165 in the second for split average, maxing out at 166.

Ran with the kids in the evening. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.600.001.250.0011.85

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Dropped him off at 6.5, then went on for more. Decided to do a short tempo to feel the waters. Ran 1.25 in 6:42 from the DI bridge to the railroad bridge on the trail. It is a slight down, about 0.5 %, but it does roll. Heart rate eventually climbed to 159. Legs felt strong, I felt I was getting a lot of power in my stride.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Got the GMap plotting feature in the course tool to the point where I could make it public. Check it out. Lots of little and not so little things are still lacking, but at least you do not have to go to GMap Pedometer and do the GPX dance to upload your course. One step at a time we'll get there.

The new feature helped me discover an interesting problem in Google Maps. There appears to be a shift or a small discrepancy between what you see, and the coordinates Google Maps API gives you. Here is my evidence for it - I clicked around the parking lot where the Provo River Trail intersects the Geneva road to get an idea of what the actual elevation of it is. I figured, I am getting averages of 30 meter squares from the US Geo service. Well, the parking lot is big enough, and it is nearly perfectly flat, you should not be getting any variation more than 1 foot or so. Well, the elevation data I am getting shows there is a 10 foot deep hollow right in the middle of the parking lot, which matches the width of the adjacent Provo River. When you click on the Provo River, there is no drop in the elevation, and it actually happens to be above the hollow of the parking lot. I am still not quite sure what to do about it. Paul, any ideas?

I do have a friend who is a runner who works for Provo City, and does survey measurements. Maybe I should have him stop by and get the actual coordinates of some easily identifiable point in that parking lot, then file a bug reports to Google Maps.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.005.000.0013.00

Tempo run on the Provo River Trail. Warmed up. Then ran 2.5 out in 13:46. Did not look at the watch until I was done. I was anticipating 13:55 and thought I had slowed down on the last 0.5. It turned out that quite the opposite happened - my splits by 0.5 were 2:49 - 2:44 - 2:44 - 2:44   - 2:43. The heart rate eventually made its way up to 162. On the way back, which is always slower due being a slight uphill, I had quite the opposite experience. I thought I was running 13:52. It turned out to be 14:04. The splits were 2:52 - 2:50 - 2:46 - 2:50 - 2:46. The heart rate was much higher - it climbed to 165 on the last 0.5 for average, and maxed out at 167. Nevertheless, I did feel strong and in control through the run.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Need to do more of those runs to get used to the pain of running at threshold. I wonder about the whole physiological model of threshold, how accurate it is. There have been some recent studies that showed the concept of threshold is rather artificial. I define it as the pace you can sustain for an hour in a race situation. Physiologically, it is defined as the point where you break down lactic acid at the same rate you are producing it. When I reach the threshold pace, my quads start feeling funny. It feels like I am eating a lemon, but the feeling is coming from the muscles. It is as if I could actually taste the acid that is building up. When I was a teenager, I never felt it in the muscle, my breathing would just become uncomfortable to the point of feeing like I was about to vomit. Now I still breathe pretty hard, but I could breathe harder if my muscles would let me. Although I can hold that effort for an hour in a race, when I am in good shape it becomes very uncomfortable and requires a lot of concentration. When I get out of shape or if I am just having a bad day, I feel like I am not working very hard, but just cannot go any faster. 
So I have a strong suspicion that the threshold for me is not so much about the lactate level in the blood or muscle, as it is in the ability of the nervous system to deal with it, and still keep firing at the muscle even if the muscle is fussing and trying to inhibit it. I have had quite a bit of experience where an anaerobic workout once a week in combination with tempo runs would raise my threshold pace past the level that I was reaching with tempo runs alone.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.250.002.000.0013.25

Ran with Ted in the dark today at 4:50 AM. He told me about his adventure race. On the way back I ran a 2 mile tempo in 11:15.7. Splits by 0.5 - 2:49 - 2:46 - 2:49 - 2:50. Heart rate averaged 155 for the last 0.5, and maxed out somewhere at 158. I went to bed late last night, so I was sleepy. I felt that I was reaching threshold way too early, again using the threshold definition to be the quads feel like I am eating a lemon. I think this is a neurological limit. When I have had enough sleep, my heart rate can get up to 163 and sometimes even higher before I start feeling that the quad lemon is holding me back, and I am running faster too.

Took VanGoGo (our GMC Safari van) to Computune to get checked out. We do not want any car problems during the relay. On the way back ran with the kids. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.002.502.0016.50

Ran with Ted in the morning. He ran easy and did my warm-up/cool-down. I did 4x400 with 200 rest, then a tempo run 2.5 miles coming back to Geneva road (slight up), and then 4x400 to follow up. Did not look at the watch during the interval session, only after. In the first session, did 75s in the first 3, then 74 on the last one. Got sprayed by a skunk for the first time in my life. However did not notice the problem for a while.

Then the tempo run in 14:04. Interestingly enough, I started at 5:30 pace, but then kept slowing down doing the last mile in   5:43. It was not that bad, though, as that one mile is a rolling uphill, and probably about 7 seconds slower than flat. The heart rate peaked at 162, but was steady at 160 at the end of the run.

Then on the 400s after the tempo I was quite a bit slower than  on the first - 77 - 75 - 78 -78. It probably had to do with having only 400 meter jog to recover from the tempo. And I had only 400 meters to recover from the 400s before the tempo. So the fatigue built up, but I think it was more of a neurological nature (not surprising, I did the fast running between 5 and 6 AM), and not having a watch to look at allowed me to get as lazy as I wanted.

Ran to Computune to get Vangogo with the kids. Then in the evening took Sarah out for her tempo run. Determined her max heart rate, or I should probably say the lower bound for her max heart rate - 190. She ran 2 miles in 16:15 on the first mile of my standard 2.5 tempo run stretch, out and back.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.800.002.000.0011.80

Ran with Ted early in the morning. It was snowing and unpleasantly cold. A little bit of wind. But we've had it worse. I was planning to do a 2 mile tempo. I want to experiment with 4 fast workouts a week with on of them being a 2 mile tempo instead of my usual three. This morning I was sleepy, Ted was dragging me along. The first 4 miles my legs refused to go faster than 7:20, and my heart refused to above 120. Finally I woke up, the cold wind helped. Got the pace to sub-7:00 and the heart rate to 126. Finally, after 6.5 miles of this weather I made it to the tempo run spot. 2 miles coming back, so slight uphill. Did it without looking at the watch. Felt very good, the legs were responding well, felt like I got into a good rhythm. I was sure it was going to be at least 11:09. I was shocked to see 11:31 on the watch. However, the mile splits were good - 5:45 - 5:46, with the last mile being a slight up, 7 seconds slower than flat. The heart rate stabilized at 155 on the last mile. I suppose when your feet get thoroughly wet, your perception of fatigue changes. I was guessing the heart rate to be 162, as hard as I was working. I think I am going to do some of the tempos the old way - splits every quarter, and others the splitless way to see how it changes things.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Now packing for the trip to the Ragnar Del Sol relay. 

 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.060.000.250.006.31

Drive to Mesa, AZ for the Ragnar Del Sol Relay. Got in as many miles on the road as I could jogging in between stops. I probably could have done more, but I figured about 6 would be enough - a bit of a taper for the relay.

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Race: Ragnar Relay Del Sol (187.2 Miles) 19:10:57, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.700.006.990.0013.69

Ragnar Relay Del Sol. First Day. Went for an easy jog in the morning. Decided to try a tempo mile. Ran it in 5:13, lower elevation and good sleep made quite a bit of a difference. Took Benjamin to a track. He ran a mile in 7:02, new PR. Took Jenny and Julia for their runs.

Then picked up the team and we went to Wickenburg. From the very start, the contention for first place was between our team (MarathonGIS) and Google One. I ran legs 3, 15, and 27. The first one was a gradual roll uphill. I got the baton about a minute behind Google. The length of the leg according to Garmin 305 was 5.99 miles. I ran it in 33:22, 5:34 pace at a steady pace. It started at the junction of Highway 60 and Highway 74 and went towards New River on Highway 74. I was running against Chris Estwanik. He is a 3:39 1500 meter runner, has been running for Nike, but stopped running professionally 8 months ago cutting down the mileage from 80-90 a week to only 20. He ended up opening over 3 minutes on me on that leg in spite of not being in top shape. I maintained a steady heart rate in the 162-165 range. Felt strong. Overall pleased with the effort in spite of being beat badly.

The race continues...

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Race: Ragnar Relay Del Sol (187.2 Miles) 19:10:57, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
3.700.0012.320.0016.02

Ragnar Relay Del Sol continues. Midnight leg 15. 6.93 miles according to Garmin 305 down a fairly steady 1.5% grade. My specialty. Not so much because I am a great downhill runner, but more due to the form challenges I have that are mostly apparent when running uphill. A downhill reduces them and evens me out with the competition a bit. I ran it in 36:49, 5:19 pace, steady. The nervous system began to shut down, and for me this is bad. I have combination of a weak nervous system and a strong cardiovascular system. When the nervous system cooperates, I can run at 93% of my max heart (163/175) for over an hour and maintain flat 5:30 pace at 4500 feet elevation. When it does not, I can get stuck at 88 % (155/175) running 5:40-5:45 miles, which is slower than my good marathon pace. I came up with a creative way to deal with the problem. I had my team mates stop at 2 miles, get out of the van, and sing "There was a farmer, had a dog, and Bingo was his name" fast, loud, and clapping. Now imagine that, somewhere in the middle of nowhere near Scottsdale 5 guys get out of the van under a full moon, and start singing and clapping while another is running past them as fast as he can. That did help though. I had that tune in my head for the entire leg, and was able to hold my heart rate at 159. Chris opened up 2:45 on me, a little better than on the first leg. We are now 7:45 behind Google. Still pleased with the effort in spite of being beat.

Afterwards, Dan held his ground, and Paul made up 5 minutes on an uphill leg. When the other van was done, the gap was down to 20 seconds, and the Dave cut it down to 12. Clyde was running against a tough competitor, and lost a little bit on his leg. I got the baton about 30 seconds behind Chris. Now this would be an interesting test. With only 20 miles a week, I was expecting him to hit the wall on this leg at least to an extent, and hoped to be competitive. Apparently, a smooth runner with good form can go a long way on 20 miles a week for a while. I felt I was running strong, but he gradually slipped away from me outside of visibility and ended up beating me by 2:10 on this leg. Lesser gap, but still quite impressive. The leg was 5.39 miles (according to Garmin 305) on a dirt road, and featured a steady climb for the first
3.4 miles at a gradually increasing grade culminating in a stretch at 10% grade. My teammates sang me the Bingo song again to get me going. The first mile was  5:48, second in 6:17, third in  6:44, then there was a quarter in 2:15 on the steep grade.  The heart rate dropped to 154 as I was climbing. I was not hitting the wall, though, just could not find the right form and the right rhythm to push the heart. Then a steep drop. I was able to shift gears and start driving the heart at 158-160. Next two quarters in 1:18 and 1:14. Those felt fast on a dirt road.  Next mile in 6:10. Then the decent gradually flattened out, and it was uphill again. Next mile in 5:44. Last quarter in 1:35 giving it all I've got after that. 33:17 for 5.39, 6:11 pace.

Google ended up pulling away and beating us by 11 minutes in the whole race.

Interestingly enough, before the race we were talking about the importance of biomechanics in running. I made a point that pure endurance without good biomechanics does not get you very far, it is like riding a broken bike. And I did get to experience the truth of this personally on my legs running against somebody with inferior endurance but superior biomechanics. 3x6 miles in a 12 hour period was a win hands down for better biomechanics. I am reminded of Ether 12:27 in the Book Of Mormon:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

I have a biomechanical weakness, but I am determined to turn it into strength. Already it has pushed me to develop a strong cardiovascular system, and strong leg muscles. Now the challenge is to fix the actual weakness. I have succeed at what originally appeared impossible in the past. I will keep trying at this problem until it is fixed. With the Lord's help, nothing is impossible.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
238.3333.0050.724.95327.00
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