Mini-taper before the Ogden Half-Marathon tomorrow. Ran 3.11 miles with Stuart. Then went for some more. Decided to do a 1.25 tempo for a tune-up/nervous system check. Ran it from the DI bridge to the Union Pacific bridge. Union Pacific, and the fact that it is going to Utah, has a special significance in my life. Back in 1991 I was learning English. My goal was to learn it so well that I could score very high on the verbal section of the SAT test. America for me was a land of opportunity and I wanted to make a statement that I belonged there. I read every book in English that I could get my hands on, which at that time was quite easy - there were not many English books around within my reach. It happened that I got my hands on a book that detailed the history of the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. I read it start to finish. It was a very tedious reading. But the text contained many uncommon words which were likely to appear on the SAT test. I looked up every one of them along with their synonyms and antonyms, and thoroughly studied usage examples to make sure I knew those words as well as regular common speech English words as if it were my native tongue.
The railroad construction progressed through the United States, and eventually Utah was mentioned. Along with that, the book mentioned a religious group that lived in Utah - the Mormons. I felt a desire to learn more about that group. That interested eventually led to my conversion and joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which I have now been a faithful member for almost 15 years.
And along with that, reading the railroad book along with my other efforts of similar nature to acquire proficiency in English also paid off. I scored 720 out of 800 on the verbal section of the SAT, which put me in the 99th percentile among mostly native speakers. This was a miracle of hard word magnified by the inspiration and the light of God. Three years earlier I had no knowledge of English and started by looking up the word "WE" in a dictionary.
So I ran the tempo to the historic bridge, historic for me in 6:47 at a steady pace. The course rolled downward. I wanted to know exactly how much the downhill helped. So shortly after I finished I turned around and ran a quarter backwards putting in the same effort. Got 1:25. Going out it was 1:22. Applying the 2:1 rule for uphill downhill, we take the 3 second difference and split it at the ratio of 2:1. This gives us a 2 second slowdown for the uphill, and a 1 second speedup for the downhill. Thus the flat equivalent of this tempo run is 1:23 quarter, or 5:32 pace on that stretch.
Did some more easy running. Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Total of 10 miles.