Breaking the Wall

March 2013

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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: 151.56 Year: 1152.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1909.35
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 674.37
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
308.752.0028.202.00340.95
Green Crocs 5 Miles: 340.95
Night Sleep Time: 195.00Nap Time: 5.00Total Sleep Time: 200.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 1.5, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, William 0.5. Last night I could not sleep so I decided to be productive, and added an HTTP daemon into the Fast Running Friend. The idea is that you enable WiFi, it connects, tells you its URL (something like http://192.168.1.178:8000), then you go to that URL and configure it or view workout history, your routes, or upload the data to the Fast Running Blog. I suppose data upload and limited workout viewing  can be done via local menus as well, but a web browser is much nicer.

The configuration part is not working yet, I just have the daemon than says Hello, World when you go to its URL.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 2.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 2.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.002.000.0016.50

A.M. Made up on the lack of sleep from the night before. Did the longest run since Matthew was born. Total of 16.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 1.5, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Benjamin and I did a 2 mile tempo down the canyon in 10:55 with the splits of 5:27 and 5:28. The pace was not super fast, but the effort felt healthy.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.50
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a blessing of Matthew. He is now official. A child is not put on the records of the Church until he has been blessed. Then we had a Fast and Testimony meeting. I bore my testimony of tithing. When I first joined the Church I did not understand the principle but I decided to obey it on faith figuring if I promised something to the Lord I'd better do it. After the first year I knew the promises in Malachi 3 of the windows of heaven opening and blessings poured so that there shall not be room enough to receive them were true and I never struggled with the idea since. I have my weaknesses, but I do have a good memory when it comes to matters of importance. I could never forget those blessings.  Over the course of my life I have literally seen the windows of heaven open. We had to move twice because the Lord has blessed us with so many children that there was no room for them. But he also has blessed us with the ability to feed them off one income, no debt, and for a bonus with me working at home and being able to participate in the home schooling. All that through thick and thin of the bad economy. But those are the material blessings to help remember the more important ones which are less tangible.

Then we had Sunday School and the Elder's Quorum. Benjamin played the piano in the opening exercises. This was the first time he ever played the piano in public with others singing along. Amazingly aside from tempo change issues there were no other noticeable problems and we sang all three verses of God Speed the Right. Perfect hymn for running, and some even appear to be singing it while driving as well. Benjamin impressed me, though. He has many talents, but not all. Playing the piano is not one of them. Neither is performing in public - he gets shy. But he has faith and he uses it to reach beyond what appears to be his natural limit.

Got home, took a much needed nap. It filled me with strength. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Sarah ran 1.5 on our hilly course in 14:11, this is significant progress for her with Matthew being only 2 months.

Green Crocs 5 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
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Benjamin was not feeling well today and ran only 2 miles. I did a total of 12 including a 2 mile tempo down the Provo Canyon in 10:51 with the splits of 5:26 and 5:25. Felt like the effort was healthy and would lead to improvement.

Julia did 2, Jenny 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran total of 12. Benjamin did 3.5, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5. I did a pickup in the canyon going down but into headwind for 1 mile in 5:27. It felt too hard, I thought. Not sure if I was just tired from not sleeping or if it was just the headwind. Probably a combination of both.

The Fast Running Friend did the biggest oops in the distance department since I've added the new algorithm. As I was passing the big rock in the Provo Canyon it reported immediate pace of 5:22 while the actual pace was only around 7:30. When I got to 3 miles it reported 3.03 for total distance. On the way back it measured the return distance as 3.07 but most of the displacement happened again in the area of that rock. During the mile pickup, though, it reported the immediate pace reasonably when I looked, but it must have gotten confused when I was not looking.

I probably should investigate the matter, but I am not particularly motivated to dig through the data dump as I have a pretty good idea of what is going on as I already know that the Motorola GPS driver is of less than stellar quality and I need to write my own if I want the GPS part of the Fast Running Friend to be trustworthy.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.001.000.0012.50

A.M. Did 12.5 total. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I repeated yesterday's pickup to see how much of a difference one night of good sleep would make. The difference was 9 seconds per mile - I ran 5:18 instead of 5:27 and it was more of a positive experience - feeling strong all the way as opposed to the struggles in the second half.  There was still about the same headwind coming out of the canyon.

Fixed the HTTP daemon in the Fast Running Friend so that when you go to its URL  you see the configuration menu with the current settings instead of just Hello, world. The next step is to make those settings actually change when the user clicks "Update Configuration". While the technology is not any kind of rocket science, there is something intriguing about interacting with a watch that is not connected to anything and is just sitting on your wrist through a regular web browser without having to install any kind of special communication software.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.006.000.0014.00

A.M. Did a 14 mile run figuring I would not be able to run much on Saturday due to the Utah Elementary Chess Championship. After the first 6 did a 6 mile tempo down the canyon and back to the house.  The time was 35:27, and I felt I could not go any faster. I definitely got out of shape over the winter with all of the adventures. The lack of sleep and speed training showed itself. Will work on correcting the problems.

Benjamin was in charge of running with the kids today. He did 5, Jenny did 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.000.0014.50

A.M. Got up early and ran 10 miles in the dark. Then took the whole family to the Utah Elementary Chess Championship. Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William played. Benjamin helped as a volunteer official. Stephen and Matthew did the best they could to not cause trouble. Sarah and I with the help of Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia did the best we could to keep them out of trouble. 

Jenny got 4 points out 6 placing 24th out of 83 6th graders. I think she was the second highest placing girl. She said she felt bad checkmating the boys - she had not played one single girl. I told her she was doing them a service by teaching them how to win against somebody their level.

Julia got 4.5 points out 6 placing 12th out of 123 4th graders. Again playing no girls. I think she was the highest placing girl.

Joseph got 3 points out of 6 placing 41st out of 99 2nd graders. This was better than his performance in the last tournament, He is a little stubborn and is reluctant to play strong players because he does not like to lose, but he learned his lesson watching his siblings score higher than him. I think he is beginning to understand that when a stronger player beats you he teaches you how to win against your peers. Ironically, if you do not like to lose, you should seek opportunities to lose, and then you will stop losing. Chess is a great way to teach that principle, Benjamin eventually learned it.

Jacob got 4 points out of 6 placing 13th out of 45 kindergartners. In practice he was getting brutally beat up by Joseph on a regular basis, but then what Joseph did to him he did to his opponents when it mattered. I was quite impressed with his performance.

We were not certain if we should sign William up as his knowledge of the chess rules was fuzzy and his attention span rather low, but he wanted to play and we could not say no. Being only four years old he was the youngest participant in the kindergarten division. He lost his first game, then in the second game he found his match - a five year old girl named Sarah that also barely new the rules. The game was fun to watch. Sarah took William's queen illegally with her queen jumping over pieces to capture to which William did not object, then William pushed his pawn two squares forward on the move that was not first for the pawn and she did not object to that either. Then William put Sarah in check, but she could not figure out how to get out of it. The rules of the tournament are that if you cannot figure out how to get out of check, your opponent wins, so that earned William his only point for the tournament. In his third game he got tired and stopped playing which gave his opponent the win. After that we withdrew him from the tournament figuring he's done enough already. But he did manage to come back with no emotional outbreaks and more than zero points, which was about the best we hoped for at his stage of development.

The tournament also had a team competition among schools, but we were allowed to enter as a family. The rules are that your top four players score. We ended up scoring 15.5 points taking 22nd place out of 64 teams. It felt good to outdo more than 2/3 of the field with most of them  being schools. To rub this in, if we spent as much per child on education as does the government, it would have sent our family into bankruptcy a long time ago. Can we have some of our taxes back?

Benjamin told us some interesting stories from observing the games. The most notable one was where the players managed to get out of stalemate (which would require moving the king into check or allowing him to stay in check) three times. He was not allowed to say anything - the player were supposed to figure out on their own if the moves were legal or not, and the volunteer official could say something only if asked.

P.M. I ended up doing 4.5 miles running with the kids. William did 0.5, Jacob and Joseph 1, Jenny and Julia 0.5 - they both were very tired, Benjamin 3.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Benjamin spoke in the Sacrament meeting and gave a good talk on honesty. In Sunday School we talked about the restoration of the Priesthood. The Elder's Quorum lesson was on our relationship with God. It discussed the principle that because we are His children and more than just his creations we have the ability to become like Him just like every child has the ability to become like his father.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 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
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Did a workout, then ran with the kids for part of their runs. The workout was 2 miles down the Provo Canyon in 10:48 with the splits of 5:23 and 5:25. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did some pickups. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.250.006.000.0015.25

A.M. I knew I could not do a long run on Saturday due to the Utah Junior High Chess Championship, so I did it today. Warmed up 6 miles, then ran 6 miles hard from Bridal Veil Falls down the Provo Canyon for the first 4.5 miles, then a climb back up to the house for the last 1.5 miles. Same as last week, but I did better today. The time was 34:43- 5:47 average, 7 seconds per mile improvement. I also felt stronger. Then I ran some more with the kids and Sarah. Total of 15.25. Benjamin did 4.5, Jenny 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

A.M. Ran early before the chess tournament - total of 10 miles. Julia ran 2 miles. Then took Benjamin and Jenny to the second day of the Utah Junior High Chess Championship. Benjamin came out of a huge blood bath with 5.5 points out of 7 losing 1 game, drawing 1, and winning 5 which was good enough for second place in 8th grade. Jenny got 3 points out of 7 which was good enough for 3rd place in 6th grade. There were only 5 6 graders, though, so this is not that hot of an achievement. But nevertheless it was good for her to play older kids and beat some of them. We got the 3rd place trophy in the small school division with 8.5 points. I usually do not make a big deal of trophies but I have to about this one. It says our home school is a legitimate small school.

P.M. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 11.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual then again took a much needed nap.One talk from the Sacrament Meeting stuck in my mind. A member of the Church was doing something, I do not remember exactly what, that required attending conferences with all the parties, etc. He did not drink alcohol. One time somebody brought him a drink. He felt uneasy about it and checked its contents to discover that it had 1% alcohol. His friend said to him - what's the big deal, it's only 1%. His answer was that when you are 100% committed, 99% is not good enough. I really like that answer. Many things that we fail to achieve would have been achieved if we properly understood this principle.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. 12.5 total. Most of it was with the kids.  Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, Julia 2.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.002.000.0012.50

A.M. Did a tempo run. 2 miles down the canyon in 10:46.4 - splits 5:22, 5:24. Got home, finished the run with the kids, but Benjamin handled most of it. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Most with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.001.0013.50

A.M. Did total of 13.5. Ran 8 with Benjamin - did 4x400 down the canyon. It was windy, may just as well have been up. First one was 76.5, then 74.5, then 70.5 as the we found a less windy stretch. The last one we did up the hill by our house in 76.5. Jacob did 1, Joseph 2, Jenny 3, Julia 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.500.0015.00

A.M. It snowed today. I ran 2 miles, then plowed the trail, then ran with the kids. By the time I was done I was at 15 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a pickup for 0.5 at 5:40 pace.

My training right now is not optimal. Some of it due to having a new baby at our house. Some due to the kids being at a point where I feel they need more individual attention during their runs which ends up slowing me down for all runs except Benjamin's, having to take more breaks waiting for each kid to get ready, and changing the route which affects the workout. But it is all worth it. I have spent a good amount of time working on my own fitness. Now is the time to work on theirs. Some time in the future there will be a time to work on mine again. Now the goal is to not lose much fitness and do my best to forestall the aging process.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00
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. Got a strength workout rocking Matthew to sleep during the meetings, but was able to participate nevertheless. Again was tired when I got home and took a nap.

Sarah made new friends with a neighbor family  and we had them over for dinner in the evening.  They asked me how I managed the transition from living in Russia to living in the United States. My short answer was that the first 20 years of my life (while in Russia) were a long culture shock even though I had never been outside and did not know any different. When I came to the United States, the shock was over and I gradually recovered.

I suppose the subject deserves a slightly longer explanation. When I was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a realization hit me that I would feel at home with the people that have made the covenant to follow Christ and were serious about it. When I moved from Moscow to Provo I found a higher concentration of such people. We may complain about Utah Mormons, or various shortcomings of BYU students and professors, and perhaps for a good reason - with all the knowledge that we possess we should do better than what we are doing. But the truth of the matter is that it is the "Utah Mormons" that make Utah what it is - a place with the lowest smoking rate, lowest alcohol consumption, a place where you are more likely to be helped by a stranger, a place where people have more reason to trust each other than anywhere else in the United States that I visited. In spite of all the shortcomings of Utah that the natives grumble about, this is where I feel at home. While there are people that are not doing a good job living their faith, and I have had plenty of disappointment with that, we still have more of those who take it seriously here than anywhere in the world, and it shows in a number of ways. It all depends on what you choose to see.

Right now I have the ability to live anywhere in the world. I can move anytime almost anywhere. My employer would not notice much of a difference as long as I had a good internet connection. But I am still in Utah and am refusing to move.

When I travel to other parts of the United States, I do not quite get that feeling. Visiting a big city makes me feel like I have taken a step back in the direction of the Soviet Union. I begin to feel a portion of that oppressive spirit.

So coming to Provo from Moscow was an easy adjustment. If it had been New York I think it would have been different.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.800.000.200.0012.00

A.M. Easy run. Total of 12. Did a little pickup with Benjamin for 0.2. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.700.002.000.0012.70

A.M. Total of 12.7. Did a workout with Benjamin. He was finally healthy enough to try the 2 mile tempo run down the canyon. I did not have any particular goal for him, we decided to start out trading quarters and then see what happens. I took him through the first quarter in 84, then he did his in 83, I did mine in 82, then he was headed for around 85 on his, and I did not like that, so I took the lead early and made it 84 to hit 5:33 for the mile. After that I decided he had the ability to break 11:00 if he drafted, so I told him to just sit on me until he was ready to come out, and I took him through the next two quarters in 81 and 80. He handled it fine, and took the lead around 1.5 mark to pull me for the rest of the tempo. I was very pleased for two reasons - one was that I did not have to lead anymore. The other was that Benjamin was showing he was in good shape. We ran the last 0.5 in 2:33 (5:06 pace) and finished in 10:47.7 - my second fastest time this year. Our last mile was 5:14, which makes it for my most negative split in this workout with the second mile 19 seconds faster than the first. Prior to that I had been consistently 2 seconds slower in the second mile. Benjamin is becoming a great training partner.

It is a lot of fun to run with your 14-year-old. Particularly when somebody we meet on the trail tries to guess the relationship. A few days ago a runner said to us - why aren't you boys in school? I had him guess who we were and what we were up to. His guess was that Benjamin was in high school and I was 23 years old, married, and in college - after he had observed my wedding ring. With Benjamin he was not too far off, but with me he was off by 70% on the age part, and off by 15 years on the college part, but he was correct on being married.

Jenny ran 3, Julia 1, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 4.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. 12.5 total. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia was sick, did not run, Joseph and Jacob did 2, William 0.5. 

P.M. Oil change time. 1.5 miles back from the car shop.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.001.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William and Julia 0.5. Benjamin and I did a workout. 4x400 uphill near our house. The first 130 meters are actually down, starting at maybe 1-2% grade, then maybe a 30 meter segment of about 6-8% down, then about 90 meters up at 6%, 90 meters at 3% up, and the remaining 90 meters at 6% up. The recovery was jogging back. My times were 74.8, 75.8, 74.8, 72.4. Benjamin stayed with me in the first 3, and dropped me in the last one finishing it in around 71.2. All of that came in the last 120 meters. I was very excited about that because it shows he has recovered from his winter issues and is getting into good shape. And this was the first time he gapped me by so much. He has edged me out before, but never really truly gapped me until now.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. 12.5 total. Most with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia was too sick to run, Joseph and Jacob ran 2. Jacob set his course PR of 16:45. This "2" is really around 2.05, and is hilly. I would have to work hard to break 12:00 on it. Jacob's last 800 meters was 3:43 (uphill), which I was very happy about given that his track PR is only 3:24. Joseph took off with 800 to go and ran 16:36, with the last 800 in 3:35. William ran 0.5. Joseph then added 2 more with me, Sarah, and her friend Shelly, and ended up with 4 miles for the day.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.002.002.000.0020.00

A.M. Finally got respectable sleep. First 20 mile run since the Rocket City Marathon. Ran with Chad. Benjamin joined us for 8 miles after we had already done 6. So 4 miles into Benjamin's run and 10 miles into ours we ran a 4 mile tempo from around the magic bridge in the Provo Canyon back to the house. The course is the first 2.25 downhill, the last 1.75 rolling up. The target was 5:50. We went around low 5:40 down the canyon, and hit the 3 mile mark in 17:05. The last mile was 5:52 for me and Benjamin, and we finished in 22:57, which is Benjamin's PR for 4 miles. He did not drop me this time - the distance neutralized his top gear and helped me survive. We slowed the pace down for Chad a little after the first 2 miles for the next 1.5 to help him get a good time, but then in the last 0.5 I wanted to break 23:00, so Benjamin and I went for it. Chad finished in 23:14, which is also a very good time for him.

I felt stronger than I ever have this year. The strength was in the legs, I felt like I had more support, and the form felt smoother. I attribute this to two factors:

  • Tempo runs
  • My new toy - leg press machine. I've been working out in the last couple of weeks three times a week with 165 lb on each leg in 3 sets of 10. This idea came to me during a tempo run. I realized that the best muscle to compensate for my L-4 defect was actually the quad. Which is why my quads are so large from running. The body knows what it is doing. Then the hamstring, the glut, and the calf working together provide some additional support. I used to think big quads were bad because they meant I had a problem and they hog energy without providing much return. I realized that this was not quite correct. I do have a problem, but it cannot be solved by having smaller quads. Precisely because of that problem, until an angel from heaven comes and heals my L-4, I need to have huge quads. So a natural way to hit the quad, the hamstring, the glut, and the calf was a leg press. So I found a machine for $317 on Amazon including shipping, it comes without weights, but I had a total of 165lb already so it was perfect.

Joseph did 2, Jacob 1, Jenny 3, William 0.5, Julia 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. With this being the Easter Sunday we had a lesson on the Atonement. It was a very good lesson. The Sacrament meetings talks were on faith. One of the speakers mentioned a story of healing in Matthew 17 that is one of my favorite stories because it teaches some precious gems about how faith works. The apostles try to cast out an evil spirit, and fail. Then Christ does it. They ask Christ why they could not. He tells them this is a difficult one, and you need to have more faith. Those were the apostles who have succeeded in performing remarkable miracles before, but now they ran into a difficulty because they were not quite as strong as they needed to be. This gives me encouragement. I have had many of my prayers answered. In fact, most of the time I ask the Lord something I eventually get it so I need to be very careful about what I ask. Sometimes it takes a minute, sometimes a  year, sometimes five years. But there are a couple of things that are just too stubborn and too "impossible" that I've been asking that just do not want to come, it seems. Even though it is just a couple of things, at times I feel frustrated, I wonder if the Lord really wants me to persist, and then I remember Matthew 17. "This kind goes out not, but by much prayer and fasting...".

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
308.752.0028.202.00340.95
Green Crocs 5 Miles: 340.95
Night Sleep Time: 195.00Nap Time: 5.00Total Sleep Time: 200.00
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