Breaking the Wall

March 2009

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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
345.9539.974.6211.90402.44
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 105.30Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 100.80Saucony Type A Miles: 61.75
Night Sleep Time: 191.25Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 192.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. 10.1 in 1:14:00. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Matt. Did explosions. Also ran 200 in 39 and a quarter in 79 catching up.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:16, 2 with Jenny in 18:33. Julia ran the first mile with Jenny in 8:56.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.350.000.000.7514.10

A.M. Warm day. Ran in shorts and Five Fingers. Usual company - Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. In light of Jeff's difficulty in going under 5:10 we introduced a mild injection of speed. We do have to be careful - Jeff gets injured very easily. However, on the positive side of things, since he's done very little speed work lately, even a very mild injection of speed would serve as a stimulus. 

So he did 5x400 with full rest in 70. I was not sure if I was healthy enough for that (yes, that's pretty bad, but you have to live with the reality), so I decided to do 200s with him. Mary Ann and Daniel skipped the speed due to the fear of being injured. My 200s were 34, 35, 35, 36. On the last one I felt good and decided to go the full 400 about 100 into the interval. I was happy that I was able to run 71 and it felt good. Total time for 10.1 was 1:19:51.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:23, 2 with Jenny in 17:58, Julia ran the first mile in 9:11.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.100.000.000.0014.10

A.M. Ran early with Jeff and Mary Ann. Instructed Jeff on PHP programming for most of the run. 1:22:44 for 10.1.

P.M. Pushed William in the single stroller. 2 with Benjamin in  16:52. 2 with Jenny in 17:22. Julia ran the first mile with us in 8:57.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. Ran with the usual group. Continued the micro-injection of speed experiment. Jeff's assignment was 1 mile in 5:00. Due to poor health I ran only the first half (2:28). It felt hard, but I was thankful that I could run sub-5:00 pace for at least half a mile and live. So I must not be doing too bad. Jeff finished the mile in 4:58. Mary Ann skipped the speed due to a tender achilles. Total time for 10.1 was 1:18:15.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:53. 2 with Jenny in 19:00. Julia threw up last night and felt tired today so she ran only 0.5 with us (5:10).

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.340.000.000.1014.44

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Matt. Usual sequence of events. Did explosions. The total time for 10.1 was 1:19:22. Ear still congested. I have considered using an antibiotic, but decided against it. Let the illness run its course, let the body learn how to fight it. I have read a number of posts on health forums of people having much worse symptoms for months in spite of using antibiotics and their doctor having no clue how to make it better. In my case I can run, I can work, and aside from feeling like my left ear is underwater all the time and running a bit slower, yes a bit slower, 15 K in 54:39 vs 50:43 is only a bit slower, it could have been 1:15 or worse, I can still average 5:51 for 15 K, aside from those two there are no other symptoms. So I'll keep on treating it with natural remedies, and just be patient.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:58, 2 with Jenny in 18:51. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:02. 0.34 with Joseph in 3:45. Jacob also wanted to run today. I took him for 200 meters in 1:43.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Had to get my run done early because Sarah was going to Salt Lake for Benjamin's singing concert and for a home schooling conference. Ran alone at 5:00 AM. It was dark. I thought I'd be dragging. But my legs were actually quite energetic. I started at 8:00 pace, then sped up to 7:20, then 7:00, then I decided to go after the 7:00 guy and sped up to 6:40. Did explosions in the middle. Then decided to run the last 2 miles at 6:00 pace. Once I sped up the legs felt not too weak, but I had a hard time at faster speeds because the increased breathing was bothering my ear. I did manage to hit the last 2 miles in exactly 12:00, although I did have to run the last quarter in 85. On the positive side of things, I could run a quarter in 85 at the end once I focused in spite of the darkness. Last week my last quarter of the 15 K was 89 in broad daylight. Total time for 10.1 was 1:09:05.

Had some struggles with the new Fast Running Blog/St. George Running Center server. I am planning to host it at my house again to save money and to avoid being dependent on a data center in Michigan. Solved the problems and in the process discovered a New Definition of Happiness.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:40, 2 with Jenny in 18:05. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:12. 200 with Jacob in 1:31. Almost fast enough to count towards mileage.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Kids are getting older, becoming more self-sufficient.

Had an interesting moment in the Elder's Quorum. A discussion started of which one of us was the oldest. Two elders were trying to figure out which one of them was older, and both were around 31. Then I asked if anybody could beat 35. I got a few surprised looks, and nobody confessed to be older than that.

Also, somehow I lost weight, don't know if it is good or bad. In the morning before breakfast and without going on a run I weighed 140 lb. By the evening I was at 148 lb, yes I do eat a lot. Then Monday morning I was down to 144 and after the run was again back to 140 lb. So that is a loss of about 5 lb on average compared to three months ago. Not sure what happened and not sure if it is good or bad.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Matt. 10.1 in 1:21:27. Mary Ann was having what appeared to be blood sugar problems, so we ran a bit slower. Did explosions.

P.M. We got some surprise snow. Ran 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:28, then 2 with Jenny in 20:19, Julia ran the first mile with us in 10:13.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.280.000.620.1014.00

A.M. Jeff slept in. Ran first 8 with Daniel and Mary Ann, then the remaining 2 alone. It was very slippery. Mary Ann and I tried doing quarters, but after the first one in 82 decided it was too slippery to get anything out of it, and postponed speed until tomorrow. Was able to do explosions. Did a pickup of 600 meters on a dryer section of the trail in 2:04. Felt a lot stronger than on Saturday. No ear pain from harder breathing, and the will to win, or "the killer instinct" as Mike Kirk calls it, is returning. The ear is still congested, though.

Running without the will to win is hard. I learned something in the last race, I should say I learned it better, because I already knew. The will to win is 90% if not more physical. Spiritually you could be willing to die to win, but if the physical will to win is not there, you will coast through the race, finish not so tired, but for the life of you would not be able to go faster. On the other hand, you can come to a race wanting to just jog it, but if your body is brimming with the physical will to win, you will run yourself into the ground against your spiritual will, and you will run a good time.

On another subject, the infamous Reset Button was recently mentioned in the news. It was given by Hillary Clinton to the Russian foreign minister to symbolize a fresh start in the relationships between Russia and the US. The button had the word Reset written in Russian and in English In the true spirit of American Superficiality (TM) the State Department made two grave errors. One - the Russian word was written with the Latin alphabet. Bad move. Russians are every protective about their alphabet and their language in general. I remember learning a poem as kid in reference to the Second World War: Our people will not allow our sweet-scented Russian bread to be called by a German word brot. The thought of that alone would have been enough to give millions of Russians the strength and the courage to fight the fiercest battles.

As if that were not enough they got the word for Reset wrong by leaving out an important suffix. That changed the meaning of the word signficantly. Instead of Reset, it became Overload. Based on that description I would expect the button to trip the circuit and shut everything down in case of a dire overload emergency. When a Russian kid makes a serious spelling or language error, the teacher or his parents often sarcastically award him the title of a grammar scholar. I remember receiving that title from my mom on numerous occasions. One Russian newspaper very rightfully so called the creators of the infamous button American Grammar Scholars.

The embarrassment could have been easily avoided had the button design been previously shown to one native Russian. But apparently that was too much work for the State Department.

I find the incident symbolic of a lot of things, too many to mention. It reflects a general level of not being on the ball, out of touch with reality, looking for a quick fix, and failing to slow down and understand how something really works. The current recession is a fallout from that mentality. I expect it to last as long as the mentality itself, which will be longer than a couple of years.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:58. 2 with Jenny in 19:00, Julia ran the first mile in 9:44 with us.


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.501.000.500.1014.10

A.M. Ran with the usual gang. We had a late start, and I needed to be back early enough because we were headed to the Draper Temple Open House. So we just ran 10.1 brisk, more of a tempo pace for Mary Ann. We started with a 7:30 mile, then progressed to about 6:30-6:40 pace with occasional bursts to 6:25. Then I took a VPB and caught up hitting a quarter in 81. I was happy about that. Mary Ann started struggling with about 2 miles to go. With 1.5 left she decided to back off and jog in, and Jeff and I went ahead. We picked it up to 6:00 pace, and then did 87 and 80 for the last two quarters, which gave us 5:47 for the last mile. I was happy I was able to do it because I could not do it last Saturday.

Total time for 10.1 was 1:05:56.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:06 including explosions. His explosions were my explosions as well because I was pushing William in a stroller. He ran the last mile quick as well - 6:44. So that made it a brisk day for me. Then 2 with Jenny in 18:30, Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:20.

Analysed recent Mary Ann's crashes, and then it dawned on me - no fuel, she has not been eating enough. Asked her in detail about what she's been eating, sure enough, I was right. So we had her over for dinner and I used the opportunity to teach her how to eat. I loaded her plate with a large serving of mashed potatoes and told her to eat all of it. She did after some encouragement. Then I realized why girls get injured so much when they try high mileage. At 30 mpw a girl can survive off a mouse/bird diet. At 70 mpw she is going to have all kinds of problems if she does not start eating more - persistent fuel shortage, sore muscles, stress fractures, and who knows what else. Girls are often hesitant to eat like pigs, especially in our culture of slim models and the fear of being called fat, so often they do not even though they very much should.

For a guy it is a bit different. His base metabolism is high enough so he is already eating OK even if he runs only 30 mpw. He can up it to 70 with a lot fewer problems without a change in eating habits. Although, of course, he still should start eating more, it is just not as drastic of a change as it is for a girl. Plus the culture does not tell him he needs to eat less, so there is no pressure that way.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.750.8514.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, Mary Ann, and Steve Ashbaker. We did our speed micro-injection. Jeff did 5x400. Mary Ann's assignment was 5:20 pace until failure. Steve and I paced her. She did OK for the first 0.5 (2:41), then fell off pace, and we stopped at 1000. I missed the mark, so we do not have the time. But it was probably 3:23 for myself and Steve, and about 3:25 for Mary Ann. Then I did 3 quarters with Jeff in 67, 68, and 71. 67 was hard, 68 not so hard, and 71 almost enjoyable. I felt a lot stronger than last week. I was happy that I could run 67 in winter clothes and not feel I was putting my body over the edge.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:20. Julia ran the first mile in 9:50. Then 2 with Benjamin in 17:17. We did a couple of explosions when he'd get a head start and I'd chase him, and then ran 100 in 19.6.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.900.000.000.2014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Matt, and Mary Ann. Jeff was in a hurry, so we made sure the pace stayed faster than 7:30. Spent most of the time discussing the merge sort algorithm with Jeff. It was an adjustment for me to focus on the pace so it does not slip to 8:00 while in the middle of deep thoughts. Did explosions. Total time for 10.1 was 1:14:11.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:42. Did explosion chases with him. Then 2 more with Jenny in 17:59. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:27.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.608.501.500.0024.60

A.M. Long run with Jeff. First long run since Feb 7th, and first since getting sick. Was not sure how I was going to handle it. Was not sure if it would be healthy to go full 20. Was not sure how much of it should be tempo. For Jeff it was supposed to be a relaxing long run if there is such a thing. With those constraints we decided to do a short warm-up, then a 10 mile tempo, if I finished the tempo, then jog the rest of the long run, otherwise, Jeff would jog with me home, and then run the balance of the tempo at the end afterwards.

I did OK during the tempo. I made it through 10 miles. Total time was 57:48. Splits:

miles: 5:47, 5:49, 5:49, 5:50, 5:53, 5:49,5:47,5:48,5:39,5:37

2.5 segments: 14:31,14:37,14:31,14:09

5 mile segments: 29:08 - 28:40

Did not think we'd break 58:00 until about 3 miles to go. Then thought maybe. Then Jeff hit a half mile in 2:47 from 8.5 to 9 and I knew it was a done deal, although done with quite a bit of pain. My legs held better than I thought they would, but in the last quarter 5:20 pace followed by a little bit of an uphill turned out to be too much, they caved, and I slowed down to 5:52 pace in the last 200 meters. In spite of that failure, I still credit leg strength from the explosions and speed micro-injections for surviving this tempo.

I was happy about the progress. I calculated my last 15 K of the tempo was 53:53 compared to 54:39 in a race two weeks ago. Also, last week running 10 miles at an easy pace I had a hard time running 12:00 for the last two miles. This week my last two miles were 11:16 off a tempo pace. Ear still congested, but it was not bothering me nearly as much as it was last week at tempo speeds.

Then we ran the balance of the 20 miler, which was a bit less than 9 miles. We started at a bit slower than 8:00 to rest from the tempo, then picked it up to about 7:20-7:30. At around 16 miles total I started feeling hungry, and also uncertain about my ability to make it to the finish. Low blood sugar sometimes causes panic, and I was feeling a bit of it. I calmed myself down by thinking about how running in the zone is similar to fasting and could be good for cancer prevention. We also picked up the pace to about 7:05. My reasoning was run brisk while you can, you'll be closer to home when you bonk. Then at 18 I noticed that I was not feeling any worse than I was at 16, and decided to pick it up even more. So we speed up to about 6:40, and I did not feel any worse. I told Jeff I wanted to run the last half at 6:00 to prove a point to myself. We ran it at 5:50 pace.

This gave me 2:12:05 for 20.1 for this run, 6:34 average.

P.M. Pushed William in the stroller. 2 with Benjamin in 16:37. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:40. 2 with Jenny in 18:39. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:30.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. 

Started the day at 143 lb, ended at 150 lb. Did not feel bloated at the end of the day, in fact felt like I could have eaten more. I should create a Fast Running Blog Weight Gain Special program to compete with Weight Watchers.

Night Sleep Time: 17.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 17.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.400.000.000.7014.10

A.M. Ran 10.1 in 1:15:07 with Jeff, Mary Ann, and Matt. Had a couple of VPB tempos, probably associated with yesterday's weight gain. Felt good, ran 500 in 1:37, and a quarter in 78. 5:12 pace. Also did explosive sprints. 

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:24, 2 with Jenny in 18:41. Julia ran the first mile in 9:37.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.800.000.001.4014.20

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Did the speed micro-injection workout. For Jeff, the target was 4:40 pace until failure or the mile. For Mary Ann, 5:20 until failure or the mile. I decided to be a bum and pace Mary Ann, but nevertheless still finish the mile on pace if she did not make it. Jeff fell asleep in the second quarter (72) but otherwise hit perfect 70s and ended up with a 4:42 mile. Mary Ann made it to 1000. My split was 3:21, she was about 1 second behind. Afterwards I did not worry about her and got back up to pace, and a bit faster to make up for the slow down. Last quarter in 78, mile time was 5:19. Incidentally the fastest mile since I got sick. The last quarter felt a bit hard, legs started to feel heavier than I thought they would based on the VPB pickups yesterday. Mary Ann slowed down to a bit sub-6:00 and finished the mile in 5:35.

A few miles later Mary Ann began to wonder if the reason she was struggling was that it was the first interval, and she was not quite in the groove. I did not think it was the case, and suggested a test to prove it. 5:20 pace again until failure. We made it to 600 meters, I hit it right on (2:00), she was about a second or two behind. Then we got down to the root of the problem - asthma. Understanding the problem in this case is a lot easier than fixing it, though.

Total time for 10.1 was 1:22:11.

I like those workouts when you maintain your target pace until failure or reaching a reasonable overload protection distance. They provide more insight into why you cannot run the time you want to run than either racing, regular interval workouts, or tempo runs. They also teach you to run your target pace vs a slower pace, thus you can override a mental block.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:11. 2 with Jenny in 17:53. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:27. 200 with Jacob in 1:26 - new record. This is now fast enough to count for mileage for me.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.300.000.000.7014.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, Mary Ann, and her friend Elana. Elana ran 4 miles with us then we ran 6 more. Daniel turned around 2 miles into it. I did two post-VPB quarters, each in 79. Also, explosive sprints. Total time for 10 miles was 1:22:57.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:02. Did explosive sprints with him. They are sprints for me as well because I let him go and then catch him, so I have to run full speed. Besides that, he probably could run a low 17 in an all-out 100 anyway, so if I just stayed with him with no chase it would still be fast for me. Then 2 with Jenny in 18:48, Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:49. Ran into Matt K, he joined us for a half a mile.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.600.000.001.5014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Again, speed micro-injection. Jeff repeated his 4:42 mile with the exact same splits as on Tuesday, but did not feel inclined to go to 1.25. I paced Mary Ann again through the 5:20 until failure or to 1.25. Mary Ann fell back a bit around 0.75, then closed the gap with a kick by around 0.9, then she wanted to kick to the end, but I told her to go to 1.25 instead. She went through the mile in 5:19, and fell back after that. I wasted the second she gained on yelling at her to close the gap, then got back to pace and finished 1.25 in 6:40, 5:20 pace on the dot. She coasted through the last quarter in 87 and finished in 6:46. That is significant progress, though, compared to the last three attempts. Eventual goal is for Jeff to hold even 4:40 pace for 2 miles, and for Mary Ann 5:20 pace for the same distance. 

My thoughts on 5 K training. Once you can run 12 quarters with 90 second rest significantly faster than your dream target 5 K race pace, the traditional VO2 Max training (12x400, 6x800, 3x1600) is not very productive. The only exception would be 3x1600 with 1 minute rest at dream pace. The interval should be at least 2000. Otherwise, you learn to run the first mile of the 5 K at dream pace, but you fade in the second. You can cheat in the first mile by running anaerobically. You cannot cheat the same way in the second. Once you can run a mile at 5 K dream pace and live (400, 800, 1200, and 1600 get you there), the next step is to work on the second mile. So you need to learn to run 2000 at dream pace and live, then 2400, then 2800, then 2 miles. Once you can run 2 miles at dream pace in training and live, the race day magic can carry you to the end of the 5 K on race day at that pace.

It is very important to keep the pace even on those long survival intervals, not die in the last quarter, not buy yourself a cushion in the first, and not rely on the kick to catch up to pace in the last quarter after fading in the one before it. The reason is we need to maximize aerobic involvement and minimize anaerobic cheating, because we cannot use much anaerobic power after the first mile.

On the way back I ran a post-VPB 79 second quarter. Total time for 10.1 was 1:19:37.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:02. 2 with Jenny in 17:58. Julia ran the first mile in 9:27.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(11)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. Easy run with Jeff, Matt, and Mary Ann. 10.1 in 1:15:47.Did explosive sprints. Also ran my unplanned tempo - 600 meters in 2:00.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:53. 2 with Jenny in 17:58. Julia ran with Sarah.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.709.000.000.0022.70

A.M. Long run with Jeff. He was not feeling fully recovered, so we did a mild version of the workout. Well, mild for him, not so mild for me, especially still not being 100% recovered from the ear infection.

We ran our 10.1 course twice. Started with a short warm-up that quickly progressed into the brisk pace (6:25). We kept winding it up but were careful not to break 6:10 by much, and sub-6:00 was the forbidden zone for a while. It was still conversational, at least Jeff was trying to carry a conversation, and I provided two sentence answers when motivated. Our first 10.1 was 1:03:54, 6:19.6 average. Then we ran the next mile in 6:07, followed by 6:02, and I said, let's just run 6:00 to the end. Jeff is an overachiever, so I knew it ment we'd be doing some 5:50s, but I felt good enough, and I wanted to test the trouble waters anyway. I tucked behind him and tried to relax.

We cruised at around 5:53-5:58 pace up until mile 16, and then Jeff pushed it to 5:47. That felt like it was too much, even though we had only 3 miles left. My legs started caving a bit. So we took it easy in the next 3 quarters (90,91,91) and it did not feel easy at all. I started wondering how much more I was going to slow down. Then Jeff saw a biker in front of us and got excited about passing her. That gave us an 88 quarter up a slight grade, and I survived it. This gave me confidence that I could do 90s to the end, at least on flat quarters. The exhilaration of passing somebody on a bike that did not seem to be totally out of shape or loafing gave me some energy.

From that point we were doing 89 second quarters, and I felt thankful for every one of them. Then with a mile to go with hit some rollers under the bridges, and that was too much. I told Jeff to go ahead. Nevertheless, I made it through the next two quarters without an exceptional embarrassment - 93, and a 92. That is about what I did a couple of months ago before I got sick in a similar run, except we loafed through the first half in 1:15, and then ran a bit faster in the second half than today. Then once it flattened out I was able to pick it up to 90, and saw that an 86 would give me 2:04:00 for 20.2, and an 85 would give me 6:00 for the last mile, which will be 6 seconds faster than 2 months ago, and will allow me to say that I stayed true to the 6:00 or faster split goal for the last 8 miles. So I worked as hard as I could, and managed to squeeze an 85 quarter out of my tired legs.

Total time for 20.2 was 2:03:59, 6:08 average. Last 10.1 was 1:00:05,  5:57 average.

A.M-2. Set up Mary Ann's course, did about 0.6 of running with Benjamin, and then paced Jenny through the mile in 7:30. Julia ran 8:23. Benjamin missed the start of his 5 K and threw a fit. We put him in the mile, but he was still upset after the quarter and threw another fit, and refused to run further. He will be doing some attitude adjustment work for the next while. Thanks to Benjamin Jenny ended up chicking the field. Small field, but it still feels good.

P.M. Benjamin's attitude adjustment run. After his fit he was in major trouble. He lost his friend's playing privileges and had to gradually earn them back. Step one was to run 1 mile hard without fits, complaining, or any other form of negative talk. He ran splits of 1:46, 1:41, 1:39, 1:38 for the total of 6:44. No complaining, good attitude. This earned most of his privileges back, but not playing with Jared, his most wanted privilege. I felt he needed an experience that would teach him the consequences of bad decisions last longer than a day.


Saucony Type A Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Watched the Draper Temple Dedication.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.000.000.5014.00

A.M. Ran with Matt, Michelle, Mary Ann, Jeff, and Carolyn from Colorado. Did explosive sprints, and a quarter in 78 as well for standard reasons. Carolyn was conversational at a slightly slower than 8 pace. Very interesting. She just raced a half averaging a slower pace. With half mile to go I wanted to test Carolyn's speed and level of freshness and told her to run fast. She did two quarters of 1:39 and 1:43, 3:22 for the last half mile. With proper training I think she could run a 20:00 5 K.

Then we added 2 more miles. My total time for 10 was 1:19:06.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:36. Julia ran 1 mile with us in 9:46. Then Benjamin wanted to gain his Jared playing privileges back. I told him he needed to run 2 miles under 14:00 or finish his 2 mile run with a sub-6:40 mile. He chose to go for under 14:00. Good attitude rules apply, no negative talk. He did great in spite of the wind. Quarter splits of 1:42, 1:44, 1:42, 1:46 (6:54), 1:40, 1:41, 1:40, 1:37, total time of 13:32, new PR. Incidentally, he also broke 6:40 with his last mile in 6:38. That got him all of his privileges back. 


Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.850.001.250.2515.35

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Josse and Carolyn came as well, but they ran without us because Jeff slept in and was late. Mary Ann and I waited for Jeff.

Did a new variation of our workout. Wanted to see how Jeff handles 4:40 pace off tempoing at 5:20 for a bit over a mile. Also, wanted to experience some pain trying to hold 4:40 pace myself in those circumstances.

So we paced Mary Ann at 5:20 pace to failure. She started falling back after 0.75. I yelled at her, this slowed us down to an 83 quarter, so we were 5:23 at the mile, she was a second or so behind. Then Jeff and I sped up to 5:20 pace, while Mary Ann finished 1.25 in 6:47. Our split at 1.25 was 6:43. Then was the moment of ultimate pain for me. I felt I reached the limit of my leg strength. I stayed with Jeff for about 300 meters, and stopped at 1.5 with the quarter split of 71, and total time of 7:54. Jeff had a hard time with 4:40 pace himself, and slowed down to 75s finishing 2 miles in 10:23. That is interesting. I am thinking neuromuscular failure. Aerobic would have produced 70, 73, 77, not 70, 75, 75. A high end failure, not many people would think of slowing down to 5:00 at altitude in winter clothes as a failure, but for our goals it is a failure nevertheless.

Then we ran into some horses on the trail. They had escaped from the farm. Police was trying to round them up. On the way back the police was gone, so I assume everything went well.

Total distance was 11.35 miles.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:47, Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:12. 2 with Benjamin in 17:15.

Saucony Type A Miles: 11.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Matt, and Mary Ann. Carolyn and Josse came, but started ahead of us not waiting for Mary Ann since they were going to run a little slower anyway. Did explosive sprints. Also ran my catch-up tempo 600 in 1:59.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:49. Julia ran 1.5 in 14:22 with us. 2 with Benjamin in 15:18.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. Ran 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:21:26. It was colder and snowing at times.We tried a couple of quarters. I did 67 and 72. Jeff did 66 and 65. Decided it was too cold and windy for more.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:48. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:45. 2 with Benjamin in 16:32.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.500.000.000.1018.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Matt, and Carolyn. Jeff slept in, so we met him near DI. Carolyn was going to drive back tomorrow so she wanted to do a long run. We warmed up 1.5 to DI at around 9:00 pace, then I wanted to see how Carolyn would handle 8:00 pace. After a mile in 7:57 she picked it up to around 7:40-7:45 range. She was breathing hard but was maintaining the pace. I figured 8 miles would be good, with a surprise to follow. So she finished 8 miles 1:02:13, average of  7:46.6. Then she jogged a mile in 9:12 and a little more at about 9:00 pace. As soon as the 8:00 girl caught us I told Carolyn to go after her and PR in the half. She ended up running 1:45:20 for the half, a 4 minute PR on a slower course beating her Moab time 6 days ago.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in  15:36. 2 with Jenny in 18:00. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:42.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 14.60
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.6817.720.000.3023.70

A.M. Long run with Jeff. He had diarrhea since Tuesday. That was perhaps good. Otherwise, he would have to run 5:40 pace for 20 miles to cause glycogen depletion. So you could not do the depletion without the muscle tightness. This way, there was no tightness, and we could study how he runs without much glycogen, learn what to do when you bonk, and build some confidence that we would not see a repeat of St. George even in a bad case scenario.

So we warmed up a mile in 6:39, and then I suggested we run 6:00 pace until something bad happens. Jeff thought it was interesting that I was so sure something bad was going to happen. Towards the end of 10.1 Jeff was not feeling good - fuzzy head, using more effort than normal for the pace. We got to 10.1 which happened to be at the house in 1:01:03, 6:02.7 average. He was just about done with running fast, but I suggested we get some fuel in, and see how much longer he could go after that. For the fuel we used a drink made of evaporated cane juice with EmergenC for flavor and electrolytes. I fueled myself just in case the drink would work on Jeff better than I thought, because it could have meant 5:40 pace for the last 6 miles.

Then figuring it would take a couple of miles for it to kick in we decided to go another 3 miles at 6:00 pace and decide what to next after that. Like magic, 2 miles into it the pace picked up to 5:50 and Jeff asked me about the possibility of planting bottles in the Salt Lake marathon. That was a good sign. Then 3.5 miles into the tempo Jeff says, this stuff does not last long. I told him that's why they have aid stations every two miles. He also asked me about how long you could go off ingested carbs once you hit the wall. My answer was that you could go for a long time, but not very fast. I've been able to speed up to 6:25 after slowing down to 7:10 in TOU 2005. This does not work, though, if the body is not healthy enough at the moment to ingest carbs while running.

Jeff said he wanted to turnaround at the 4 mile mark, but keep tempoing, so we did. Then 15.1 into the run he thought he was done. I suggested we go another 0.5, he agreed, he is a very easy going guy when it comes to matters of pain. Then I suggested we go another 0.5 so our total tempo mileage would go over 15, and he fell for it. "...and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever" (2 Nephi 26:22).

So 16.1 into the whole run we eased off to a little sub-7:00. With 1 K to go I suggested  we speed up again, and we did running it in 3:47. Jeff was done, I turned around and ran another 2 tempo miles to finish the 20.1. First one was a slight uphill in 6:05. Then coming back I ran 5:47. Total time for 20.1 was 2:02:07, 6:04 average. The tempo 15.1 was 1:30:18, 5:58.8 average.

P.M. Jenny's mile time trial. Benjamin helped too. We warmed up 600 in 3:27. Then I set the pace, and Jenny broke 7:00 with the splits of 1:42, 1:42, 1:44, and 1:44 - 6:52 total time, and became the fourth sub-7:00 miler in the family. For her effort she earned a bike and a Palm Pilot. Then we cooled down 1000. Benjamin was itching to go after about 550 so I let him. Then I realized I wanted to time him, so  at about 680 I went after him and ran the last 300 in 58. Could not catch him, it was too late, and he was going too fast, but his time for 1000 was 4:44, mine 4:46. Jenny finished the cooldown in 5:22. Hard to believe this is now her cooldown pace. The later ran 1.5 with Julia in 15:05.


Saucony Type A Miles: 20.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Spoke in the Sacrament meeting on missionary work. This gave me a chance to notice that  speaking at the pulpit is a lot easier than taking care of the kids. 6:00 pace feels like a break after 5:00.

Ate a lot of mashed potatoes for dinner. Have noticed in the past that I feel an infux of energy from mashed potatoes when training hard. Makes sense. Starch is very easy to absorb, and it is not sweet, so it is easy to eat a lot of it.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Mary Ann, and Jeff. It was slippery, so we ran slow. 1:22:17 for 10.1. There were a couple of dry stretches, did explosions there.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:41. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 15:03. 2 miles in 16:39 with Benjamin.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.051.750.001.5515.35

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. We did our usual Tuesday magic, except with a new twist. An interval of unknown length. For the first 1.25 Jeff and I act as Mary Ann's treadmill trying to hit 5:20 pace on the dot. If she falls behind, she is off the treadmill. Then this time Jeff's target was 4:48 pace to failure after that instead of 4:40. For me, try to stay with Jeff to failure.

We did 1.25 in 6:40 with near perfect pacing. The only quarter split that was off was 0.5, we were 1 second ahead. Otherwise, I checked the split at every 1/16th mark and we never varied by more than 1 second. Mary Ann fell off the treadmill at 0.75, but still finished 1.25 in 6:46.

Then Jeff was my treadmill. We did the next quarter in 73, and I fell off 100 meters later finishing 1.5625 miles in 8:12. Jeff, being the fastest, did not have a virtual pacing treadmill. He did  three 74 quarters after that. Amazing. He can hold 78s at the end of a 20 miler for 3 miles, but cannot hold 73s even for a mile after running 5:20 pace for as little as 1.25. Yet he can hold 70s for 1 mile without a 1.25 tempo prior to it. Next thing we'll try is 5:20 pace for 1.25 then 0.5 all out.

Then Mary Ann caught up to me, and we could not find Jeff for a while. When we finally did, I quoted a scripture out of the Book of Mormon: "..so speedy was the flight of Kishkumen that no man could overtake him" (Helaman 1:10).

Then Mary Ann said she felt she wanted to run fast. So we paced her through a mile in 5:57, and then later she still was not done, so we ran the last 0.75 in 4:29.

Total distance was 11.35.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:48, Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:26, last 0.5 in 3:55, almost half mile PR for her. Then 2 with Benjamin in 17:28.


Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
345.9539.974.6211.90402.44
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 105.30Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 100.80Saucony Type A Miles: 61.75
Night Sleep Time: 191.25Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 192.25
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