Breaking the Wall

March 2011

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

Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

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

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

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

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

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

Long-Term Running Goals:

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

Personal:

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

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

Favorite Quote:

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

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 93.66 Year: 93.66
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Camouflage Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 938.88
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1168.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
308.0516.7031.2515.50371.50
Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 358.75
Night Sleep Time: 218.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 220.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.003.000.5013.00

A.M. Repeat of last week more or less, except I ran 13 miles total and did 2x400 towards the end of the run. The 3 mile tempo went like this: 5:37 - 5:44 - 5:44 -  total 17:05.8. Last quarter was 84. Pretty much an identical repeat of last week except it was 3 seconds per mile faster. I'll take those 3 seconds. It also felt more manageable, even though I still slowed down after the first mile. The legs still were feeling weak in the last mile. The problem likely was low glycogen from the long run on Saturday. I ran with the kids - Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. In the last 1.5 I did 2x400 - 75.2 (rolling), 74.5 (down). I could really tell in those quarter that the legs were fatiguing fast and were in slow motion. A quick quarter surprisingly is a great test of fuel levels. Even though you theoretically have plenty of glycogen to run a fast quarter at almost any time, when the levels dip below a critical threshold there is some negative feedback mechanism that reduces the muscle activity to protect the supplies. So if we know the runner well enough we can check the muscle glycogen quite reliably without muscle biopsy by just running a quick quarter. If anybody has doubts about that, try this - warm up, do a few strides, and run a quick quarter. Then go out at the pace you optimistically hope to be able to finish the marathon in. After about 90 minutes it will become unsustainable. As soon as that happens, run a quarter all out and be done. Compare the times of the quarters. The second one will probably be about 10 seconds slower than the first. Now, rest a week, and try the same pace, except run your all out quarter after 45 minutes. It will probably be only 5 seconds slower than the first. You will see that the quarter speed very much correlates with the fuel levels.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.000.5013.20

A.M. 8 miles early before going to the temple. Jenny and Julia did 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Benjamin waited to run with me in the afternoon.

P.M. Total of 5.2, 3.2 of it with Benjamin. Did 2x400 - 75.7 up and 70.8 down. Benjamin was about 0.5 s back in the first one, but stayed with me and got a new 400 PR on the second one. The purpose of those 400s for me was to test the glycogen levels. Looks like some rest and frequent snacking on dates helped. Unlike yesterday, I felt strong in the second half of those quarters even at the very end of the day.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.20
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.700.000.001.5012.20

A.M. Did 6x400 spread throughout the run. I timed it so that I would be doing two of them in the last 1.5 miles. Again, the idea was to test the glycogen level as well as to train the nervous system to override the low fuel negative feedback. I believe a quarter is long enough for that particular purpose. The reasoning is this:

a) In a low fuel situation I cannot run a fast quarter,  and pain/slowdown is felt particularly in the second half of it 

b) In the past I have been able to correct the symptoms of low fuel shutdown by doing a few fast quarters a couple of times a week.

c)  There was a study a few years ago that demonstrated that a 3 minute bout of maximum effort greatly enhances the ability of the body to absorb glycogen over the next 24-28 hours. I do not remember all of the science behind it, but I believe the basic idea is that if you squeeze the toothpaste tube very hard for a brief moment the vacuum creates a momentum for the new toothpaste to come in if a source is available.

From this I intuitively conclude that a couple of quick quarters at the end of any run will stimulate glycogen absorption and teach the nervous system to work with less fear in a low fuel situation. A good marathoner must learn how not to panic when low fuel signals are being received, and it must happen on both the conscious and subconscious levels. After having run 50+ marathons I am OK on the conscious level, but the subconscious is much harder to train.

So anyway, the theory aside, I did this; 74.5 up - 71.1 down - 74.4 up - 70.8 down - 72.3 rolling and 69.7 down. Total run was 12.2 mile. Benjamin did 3.2, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Joseph asked me during the family scripture study what "endure to the end" meant. I explained the idea using examples from running. He has been remembering it during his runs.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. 12 miles as usual. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 towards the end. 72.2 rolling and 70.4 rolling down. Both had minor headwind. I felt strong.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.005.000.5017.50

A.M. Did my 5 mile tempo on the Fast Running Blog course after a 2 mile warmup. It started well, but deteriorated after two miles. The splits were 5:36 - 5:40 - 5:49 - 5:48 - 5:51 - total time 28:44, 8 seconds faster than last week, in spite of the positive split. I felt strong in the first 2 miles, but then the legs were tired and had no zip. HR refused to rise above 160, and preferred 156 with a slower pace as a consequence. So I finished the tempo, jogged home, (11 miles at that point), ate some dates and waited for them to assimilate while I did some computer work. Then I ran with the kids. 2 with Jenny and Julia, 1 with Joseph, 0.5 with Jacob, and 3 with Benjamin. In the last 1.5 I did 2x400 - 73.4 rolling and 70.9 down. Benjamin kept up with me on both. Due to the fatigue earlier I cut the long run to 17.5 total to be on the safe side and also as an experiment to see how I would feel on Tuesday.

I have always thought that cardio weakness would only manifest itself by HR going through the roof, but something is making me wonder if it could also manifest itself by HR refusing to go above a certain threshold. After all, tired legs do that - your leg turnover goes down along with your stride length when you are tired. So I went to Good Earth and got some hawthorn berry pills just in case as well.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 17.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Much needed day of rest. Went to church as usual. The lesson in Sunday school was on the life of Christ. We watched the video of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testifying of Christ. All twelve, plus the First Presidency. All testified of the divinity of Christ, and His Atonement. I find the argument that the Latter-Day Saints are not Christian an odd one. There are arguments against the LDS faith that I can understand and appreciate, but this is not one of them. Calling a church non-Christian implies that you have been given the authority to define what is Christian and what is not. Most of the critics as far as I know could not reasonably claim such authority or try to explain how they got it. I am aware of the "authority of the Bible" argument, and it does not hold water. We read the Bible just as much as anybody else, so even if the Bible did give one authority to judge, we would have it as much as anybody else. I suppose the Catholic church could have some form of a claim for this authority, but what is ironic is that most of the criticism does not come from the Catholic church. But if it did, in order to maintain some form of logic, I would expect them to state that every church that is not Catholic is equally not Christian because they lack the inspired understanding of Christ or authority to act in His name.

What we really get the flack for is being different from the established Christian tradition. While being different does not always imply being right (although some people think that all they need to do to be right is be different), if you are right, you will  often be different. When you have found the truth, it will differ from error. When the error has been well established and perpetuated through centuries of tradition, the truth will be in conflict with it, and will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows. So what? Stick with the truth regardless.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.5012.50

A.M. 12.5 total , 6.5 of it with the kids. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 towards the end - 74.3 rolling and 70.1 rolling down. The pace on kids runs is actually quite decent - Benjamin averages around 7:40, Jenny and Julia around 8:45. Joseph and Jacob are about 9:00 - 9:30.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.003.000.5013.00

A.M. Total of 13. 3 mile tempo after a 2 mile warmup. Got 16:57.9 with the splits of 5:36 - 5:42 - 5:39. This marks poking my head out of the zone of desperation - not being able to crack 17:00 in a 3 mile tempo. Granted, the course is not the fastest, it is on the Provo River Trail which tends to be slower than most race courses, and it has a 180 turn, and I am doing it alone, but still struggling to break 5:40 average over 3 miles and failing does not feel good. I am finally past that, I still struggled, but at least it was 5:39 average, not 5:4x. Some positives: I was only 3 seconds slower in the last mile than in the first, and only 6 seconds slower in the second in spite of a 180 turn. There was an odd quarter at the start of the second mile that somehow ended up being 82, and there was a slight uphill quarter at the start of the third mile that ended up being 84. Those surges did not last, and did have a negative effect of slowing me down later, but at the same time I did not realize I was surging, I just put in a little bit of effort to prevent a slowdown. The last quarter was 83, not very good, but what I liked about it is that I smelled the barn with about 100 meters to go and started moving my legs. I was not able to do that in the previous runs.

Then I ran home and ran with the kids. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. I did 2x400 in the last 1.5 miles - 72.2 rolling and 70.3 down. Benjamin did the last one and ended up with around 70.5 which is his PR. He now boasts being able to run for a quarter at a pace that is a little bit faster than the world record marathon pace. He said to me - "And some people run full marathon like this?" I think it is a good idea for every runner to practice running world record marathon pace for as long as he can, even if it is only 100 meters, so that 4:44 per mile marathon will mean to him more than just words and a superficial wow.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12, 6 of it with the kids. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 - 72.1 rolling, and 69.5 rolling down. Was happy that I could break 70. 

P.M. Got my orthotics from Dr. Brady. Orthotics in Crocs is a rather unusual combination, but I am willing to try it. A good rule that I learned from chess is that the winning move is often unusual. Not every unusual move wins, in fact most of them lose. But what wins often needs to be unusual enough for your opponent to have missed when analyzing what you could possibly do.  Therefore you do not limit your creativity and consider odd moves as you analyze their consequences and possible continuations. Most of the time you will rightfully reject those moves, but one time out of a hundred or so you will see the light beyond the madness. So the secret is in inspired rather than random creativity.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.000.001.5012.00

A.M. Did 6x400 workout in the middle of my 12 mile run. First 3 with orthotics. The splits were  72.8 up - 68.9 rolling - 68.1 down ( Benjamin stayed with me on this one for a part, then fell back and finished around 73) - 72.1 up  - 69.4 rolling - 67.9 down. About 2 seconds per quarter faster than last week. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5.

So there was a definite improvement. Did it come just from training or did the warmup and walking around in orthotics help? Time will tell. Some observations: during the warmup I felt that my right foot was being stretch somewhere deep in the arch. Once I took off the orthotics, the right foot felt on plantar flexion to push the body more forward and upward with a reduced (compared to "normal") lateral component. The last 100 also did not feel as hard as it normally does, and I was getting surprised when I would discovered that the finish was closer than I expected.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Did 2x400 into a headwind - 70.4 rolling, 69.8 down. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.005.000.5018.00

A.M. Long run - 18 miles. Did the 5 mile tempo on the Fast Running Blog course in 28:25, splits 5:39 - 5:40 - 5:41 - 5:46 - 5:39. HR was steady at 162-163 at 5:40 pace, dropped to 159 in the fourth mile, and peaked at 167 in the last mile. Last quarter was 82. Positives: improved the time by 19 seconds since last week, HR at 162 and peaking at 167 shows improved neural drive - the quarters are doing their job, and ability to pick it up in the last mile. Negatives: aerobic fitness still lacking - 5:40 pace HR should be no higher than 158, and HR of 167 should produce 5:10 pace, not 5:30, loss of pace/drop in HR in the fourth mile.

Ran with the kids as part of the long run. 3 with Benjamin, did 2x400 72.9 rolling, 70.1 down - Benjamin stayed with me on that one and got a new PR. Jenny and Julia ran 2, Jacob 0.5, and Joseph 1.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. The lesson in Sunday school was on the Atonement. The Sacrament meeting talks were on overcoming addiction. 

Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.5012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Ran with the the kids - Benjamin 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 towards the end - 70.4 rolling, and 68.7 down.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.003.000.5018.50

A.M. Total of 13.5. Did the 3 mile tempo in 16:52 - splits: 5:32, 5:40, 5:40. Felt strong in the first 1.5, then lost the rhythm after 180 turn. I am wondering if I should do those tempos without a 180 for a while to better diagnose the loss of rhythm problem. Positives: 5:32 felt very easy in the first mile. Negatives: 5:40 felt very hard later on, I felt the form was a whole lot worse. Perhaps I can see the glass as half full. The form felt bad later because it was much better earlier. Did 2x400 while running with Benjamin (he did 3 miles), 70.4 rolling, and 69.1 down. Benjamin did the last one with me and I could not drop him - this is his new PR. Jenny and Julia did 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5.

P.M. Got my lazy bum out for an eventing run for the first time in a long time. Was motivated by the latest HRM observations - HR being 5 bpm too high for the pace in the 5:40 range. Ran 5 miles at about 7:20 pace.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 18.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.250.5012.75

A.M. Did 12.5 including the kids runs. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 - 70.4 rolling and 69.5 down. Benjamin did a pickup at the end of his run and we ran the last 400 in 86.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.950.000.002.2512.20

A.M. Today I tested my Android project. I have been working on a running tool. The goal is to have a 100% replacement for Garmin + more. Android phones have a GPS, an accelerometer, a magnetic field sensor, and Bluetooth capability. So you can read HRM data from a Bluetooth-capable strap, and the with the combination of GPS and accelerometer get a better estimate of the distance than just the GPS. Additionally, accelerometer allows you to detect form abnormalities. 

I started with what was the easiest, but at the same time a stepping stone to more complex operations. Detect a simple form abnormality - excessive lateral swing. So you hold the phone in your hand and try to keep it in the plane that is perpendicular to the ground and parallel to the direction of running. If the angle of the phone's acceleration relative to that plane exceeds the chosen lateral swing tolerance level, the phone vibrates. The goal is to be able to run without making it vibrate.

So I learned my Android basics, and after some trial and a good amount of error came up with something that I could test on my run. I did 6x600 spread throughout 12.2 mile run. The times were 1:49.1 (rolling) - 1:48.7 (down) - 1:47.8 (rolling) - 1:48.1 (down) - 1:49.1 (rolling) - 1:49.8 (down). The "down" is really not that much down - only a second per quarter faster.

I was happy with the performance of my tool for the most part. The core part worked OK - it vibrated like it was supposed to. What I missed is being able to time the splits with the phone as well, which is the next feature. And I need to fix it so it will not let the phone power off half way through the run.

Benjamin ran 3 miles, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.302.700.000.0015.00

A.M. Did a medium-long run today of sorts - 15 miles with a couple of pickups. First a mile in 5:51 then another in 5:45, which felt so good that I wanted to just keep going, so I kept going all the way to the house even though it was an odd distances, and ended up with 8;27 for 1.45 or so miles. Tested the phone some more. 

Benjamin  did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Benjamin picked up for a quarter at the end in 87.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.000.0014.50

A.M. Ran in the Emigration Canyon today because Benjamin was playing in the Utah State Elementary Chess Championship. He played well, winning 5 games out of 6, while losing 1, and took second place in 6th grade. This is the highest he has ever placed. His work paid off. I ran 11 miles. The winds were fierce on the way back,

Jenny and Julia ran 2, Joseph 1, Jacob waited for me to get get back.

P.M. 0.5 with Jacob, and 3 with Benjamin.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Had good lessons. The Sunday School lesson was on the Priesthood. The lesson in the Elder's Quorum was on service. Then we had the Sacrament meeting most of which was taken up by the change in the bishopric - we now have a new bishop and councilors.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.5012.50

A.M. 12.5 miles. Ran with the kids. Benjamin - 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 at the end - 73.2 rolling and 70.5 down. Carried the Android and tried to not make it vibrate. 

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.003.000.5013.50

A.M. In my latest experiments with  my Android form coach I began to wonder if perhaps the increased lateral acceleration component was inevitable when running fast because I had a hard time running sub-4:50 pace without making it signal that the acceleration vector was too far out of the correct plane. So today I decided to see what would happen in the 3 mile tempo run. I decided to not worry about the pace, and just do whatever it would take to not make the trigger go off.

The tempo run actually surprised me. Based on what I was seeing in the quarters, I was expecting that I would be lucky to run 17:15 this way. I actually ended up with 16:45 with the splits of 5:36 - 5:35 - 5:34. At first the pace felt easy but I could not go any faster without the alarm going off. Then I realized something - I have tested the threshold setting while standing, and it allows quite a bit of freedom for the arms to move sideways. Thus, it is not the lateral arm swing that triggers the alarm, but probably the hip rotation. So instead of worrying about the arms, I focused on keeping the hips straight, and was able to speed up without the alarm. The entire tempo run felt much easier than the ones before, and I felt strong all the way to the end.

Later in the run I did 2x400 - 74.2 rolling and 72.7 down. Benjamin ran the last one with me. Again, the focus was not speed, but to keep the alarm silent.

Those results make me suspect that the reason I have a hard time maintaining the pace is that somehow I learned to associate running faster with rotating my hips harder, which is sustainable for a short distance, but eventually is not sustainable. Regardless, I was happy that my Android experiments produced some form of a positive result.

The total distance was 13.5 miles.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.5012.50

A.M. Ran 12.5 files. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 - 74.3 rolling and 72.7 down.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.450.000.002.2512.70

A. M. 12.7 total. Did 6x600 - 1:50.3 - 1:50.7 - 1:51.3 - 1:53.0 (wind) - 1:51.7 (wind) - 1:51.3 9 (wind). Benjamin ran 3 miles and did the windiest one in 2:00. Jenny and Julia ran 2, Jacob did 0.5, and Joseph ran 1.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12, did 2x400 in 72.6 (rolling), and 70.0 (down). Got an armband for the Android, so that changes the alarm dynamics some, as you cannot steady the phone as well artificially when it is in the armband as when holding it in the hand. So when it starts buzzing, better straighten out the hips, it is more difficult to cheat. At the same time wiggling the hands does not trigger a false alarm. 

Benjamin ran 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.206.003.000.0020.20

A.M. Started the run with a warmup and a 5 mile tempo on the Fast Running Blog course. It was a new experience because I wore my form correction buzzer on the armband for the first time in a tempo. The first mile was good - 5:40, then I held the pace to 1.5 and all of a sudden started fading - the legs felt dead. The buzzer was going off once every few steps, so the form was not perfect, but it never is. I normally would focus on just pushing when I feel like this, but this time I decided to focus on keeping the buzzer quiet. It was an odd experience as I was not running any slower than I normally would when feeling like this, except it was rather easy. I just could not figure out how to speed up. So my second mile was 5:44, then 5:53, and 5:52. In the last 0.5 I finally figured out how to speed up without tripping the buzzer, and ran the last two quarters in 86 and 81, which gave me 5:43 for the last mile and 28:51 for the tempo. It was an odd experience because I finished quite fresh in spite of losing the pace and being unable to go faster. 

I originally planned to cut the long run short if there were problems in the tempo, but I felt that I should go full 20, and run a short tempo at the end of it to see what would happening. So I came home, did the kids runs - 3 with Benjamin, 1 with Joseph, 0.5 with Jacob and 2 with Jenny and Julia, and then ran a 4 mile tempo to finish the 20. The course was not the best, especially the first 2 miles because they are a slight uphill with turns and tunnels. When you run those downhill, the downhill still does not quite make up for the mess, so when you run them uphill you get a double hit. So I did 6:02, 6:08, then turned around and stepped on the gas a little because I now did not have any fear of crashing on fuel. The last two miles were 5:52 and 5:50, and felt quite easy, but I could not go faster without tripping the buzzer.

I guess the buzzer shows that I am like an old car. When it goes 55 you cannot tell it is old. But when you get it up to 75, it starts rattling. I suppose today the magic pace was 5:50 - I could coast just fine at 5:50 forever, but trying to go faster resulted in bad form, so it was not sustainable.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Day of rest. Went to church as usual. Some people do not see the point of going to church every Sunday and learning essentially the same thing, something they have heard before many times. A runner should know better than that. We run the same course almost every single day, and that is what gives us our fitness. It works the same in church. We learn the doctrine of Christ and partake of the Sacrament. That gives us our faith.

Back a while ago before I joined the LDS church I considered the idea of developing faith rather odd. After all, things are either true or they are not, and if they are true you believe it, otherwise you do not.  Since then I learned that faith is more that just believing things that are not so believable. There is power behind true faith. I have experienced it. It was the faith that has allowed me to transition from a poor Russian student that could bare

Thus increasing your ability to recognize what is true through your spiritual senses and believe and act on it as if you could see it is of vital importance. In fact, that is the whole reason we have come to Earth. That is why you do not see God in plain sight. If you could be aware of His existence without having to exercise your faith, that would defeat the purpose of living.

The lesson in Sunday school today was on the organization of the Priesthood. The lesson in the Elder's Quorum was on Elder Bednar's talk in the last General Conference on inspiration by the Holy Ghost. Our new bishopric and their wives spoke in Sacrament on various subjects.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.503.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Usual 12.5. Did 3 with Benjamin, 2 with Jenny and Julia, 1 with Joseph, and 0.5 with Jacob. Ran the last 3 miles in 17:44  focusing on not triggering the buzzer.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.505.000.000.0015.50

A.M. 15.5 total. Did a 5 mile tempo on the Fast Running Blog course at the start. The goal was to run without making the buzzer go off. I struggled - the legs felt dead, and I had a hard time maintaining good form. Nevertheless, I just ran at whatever pace I could manage without tripping the alarm too much or tensing too much. I noticed that the two correlate - if I can relax, the alarm quiets down, if I try to force a faster pace and tense up, the alarm goes off. So I did 5:55 - 5:51 - 5:47 - 5:50 - 5:51 - total of 29:14. Did 3 with Benjamin, 2 with Jenny and Julia, 1 with Joseph, and 0.5 with Jacob.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.003.000.0013.75

A.M. I had one of the oddest running experiences today. The negative odd is not that odd, as confusion exists in multiple combination, so to find more confusion is easy. It was positively odd, for which I was thankful as order is scarce.

Based on my past experiences I knew that for me several days in a row of at least 3 miles at sub-6:00 pace result in progressively increasing fatigue and deteriorated performance. So based on that, and the results of the tempo run yesterday, I was expecting to be in a condition where maintaining 5:50 pace would be difficult, the leg would feel dead, etc. So the logic would dictate that I should rest. But I was still curious what would happen, as there was something different this time. In all of those runs, while I was unable to go faster, the pace did not feel like it was knocking me out as much as before. So intuitively I felt there was some value in picking up the pace because I was receiving and responding to the continuous feedback on my form from my Running Form Coach, and I felt that I needed to go at least a couple of miles for the learning to take place, and the pace needed to be sub-6:00. Additionally, during the easy part of the run, which included 3 miles with Benjamin, 2 with Jenny and Julia, 1 with Joseph, and 0.5 with Jacob, my legs felt unusually springy.

So I decided to start the tempo, and if it was obvious that I was more fatigued that yesterday, discontinue it as soon as possible. I planned to start it exactly 3 miles away from my house on the way to the Provo Canyon, but the plan was sabotaged by the flooding under the University Parkway bridge. So I decided to just start it at the closest mark and go until I ran into construction on I-15 which would give me a little over 2 miles. To my surprise I went through the first mile in 5:41 on a less than ideal setup (two sharp 90 turns, bumpy trail, going under the bridges) and it felt easy. The next one was 5:35 on a slight downhill, but still with a couple of bridges. I was almost at the construction point but I felt good enough to want to go further, which is a good sign. It means that there is a solid reserve of energy. You first reach the point of not wanting to run more at the target pace, then not being able to do so quite a bit later.

I decided to do a 180 and run backwards. This would be a real test of fitness. Third mile, 180 turn, bridges, net uphill. If there was fatigue, it would definitely show. I managed a 5:41 on that mile, pushing some, but without a superhuman exertion, which gave me 16:57 for the 3 miles. During the entire run the buzzer was more silent than usual, mostly fussing only when I hit the bumpy portions of the trail.

During the cooldown I ran into Jerry Henley. We had a good talk. He saw me during the end of my tempo and observed that my form was smoother than normal. This was another interesting coincidence, as back in 2002 he mentioned that I would not be able to run 2:25 on the Ogden course without a fluidity fix to my form. I have pondered his comment since quite frequently. He was dead right. I have not been able to run 2:25 on the Ogden course. The best my form could give me was 2:30:02, and that was backed up by some serious endurance. Also, this is the first time I've run into Jerry during a run in probably at least 5 years, if not more, and for it to happen right at the time when I would want him, and I mean him in particular, to look at my form is perhaps more than just a coincidence. 

So what did the trick? Running Form Coach instruction finally caught up? The fitness is finally there, and a better form is a part of it? I have been messing around trying to understand the cause of my imbalance, and this morning just intuitively tied my legs together at the knees and tried to walk. It felt like the imbalance went away, so I stood and walked around like that while I read the scriptures and got ready for the run. Could that have stretched something? Who knows what did it, but at least I can say the combination works, so do the combination, do not mess with the magic recipe.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.75
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.003.000.0013.50

A.M. More interesting "coincidences". I put that in quotes because I do not believe in coincidences. God allows circumstances to occur, and none will without His permission. We may not understand the reason, or be able to figure out the pattern, but the pattern is still there, and exists for a reason. He plans and sets up things in subtle ways so the pattern is not obvious, and it requires faith to discern it. Being mortal, I do not yet have enough faith to know all things, but I do have enough to observe the easy patterns that speak to me loudly.

So just right after my breakthrough run yesterday Jeff called me up and said he would be in town for a couple of days. This gave me a chance to test my fitness today. Given the results of my run yesterday, and counting in possible fatigue, I rather optimistically told Jeff to pace me for 16:30 on my standard 3 mile out-and-back tempo course. So he opened with two 81 quarters, and then sped up to 79, 78, 78. The pace felt easier than I anticipated, but still too hard for me to make it to the finish with a 180 turn in the middle and some uphill on the way back. So I told him to back off. After that it was 81, 82, 82.5, 83.5, 84, 84, high 79 to give us 16:13.9 for the run. Quite a bit better than I expected. To put things in perspective, my weekly progression had been 17:16, 17:05, 16:57, 16:52, 16:45 - very small improvement increments. All of a sudden, instead of 5-9 seconds, it is 31 in just one week! Having Jeff around did help a lot, but at the same time, mid-run 78s almost entirely canceled the benefits. I did not tell him to back off earlier because I wanted to dare the devil and see if I could live through a tempo with a few 78s (5:12 pace) thrown in the middle of it. I did for the most part. Mile splits were 5:19 - 5:23.5 - 5:31 . The buzzer was set to a lower tolerance, so it was going off more than yesterday, but I was able to keep it quiet on and off.

Did 3 with Benjamin, 2 with Jenny and Julia, 1 with Joseph and 0.5 with Jacob. Total of 13.5.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
308.0516.7031.2515.50371.50
Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 358.75
Night Sleep Time: 218.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 220.00
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