Breaking the Wall

April 2006

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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
225.7179.0734.6220.90360.30
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.3026.200.000.0026.50

Ran the Moab Marathon for a marathon pace tempo run as the opportunity presented itself. 2:35:20, first place. Felt very strong. Race results are available here. This race was a rather interesting experience. Six years ago I volunteered to help my friend Curt, who directs a number of local races, to help with his website. This eventually led to me becoming in charge of timing his races. Timing a race means you need to be at the start when it starts, and at the finish when the first person crosses the line. I also need to get a hard run in that day. The logical solution to that problem is, of course, to run the race. I have a back-up person who knows enough to push the button for me, and in case I get beat, for the winner, but otherwise I am in charge. So I have two conflicting goals - to win the race with enough margin to take care of potential problems with the computer, and to arrive at the finish line with the blood sugar level sufficient to operate the timing equipment for a couple of hours. Fortunately for this occasion, Curt does not go out of his way to recruit a strong field, which allows the timing to go smoothly. As you can see from the Course Map and Elevation Profile, the race starts at the Dead Horse Park, follows Hwy 313 to the junction with Hwy 191, then two miles south towards Moab along 191, under the bridge, and back to the Archview campground. First 8 miles a gradual climb on rolling hills at 6000 feet, then downhill to about mile 19 with some rolling hills in the middle, then pretty much flat and rolling to the end. Last 2 miles on dirt. This run was going to answer an important question for me. Do I need long runs to do well in a marathon, or are my 16 milers with a 10-13 mile tempo in the middle sufficient? Since the St. George marathon in October I never went longer than 16 miles in one run. Curt sounded the horn, and we took off. Tried to recruit some company in the first minute, but everybody said they were shooting for 3 hours. So I went alone. Steady 6:00 pace through the first 8 miles. Not bad at all - at 6000 ft with rolling hills going up I was expecting about 6:10. Ate a banana at 6 miles. Then a turn, and we got some tailwind in addition to the downhill bonus. Maintained 5:30-5:40 pace up until 16 miles. Got a low fuel signal at 12 miles, and drank some Powerade. Less than ideal, but better than nothing. Drank some more at 15, if I remember right. Then some headwind came. I got a side ache on the right. This could be just an irritation from the headwind, or could indicate that the liver is running out of fuel. Slowed down to 6:00-6:10 pace, and costed to 20. Half in 1:16:34. 20 miles in 1:56:32. Refueled with Powerade at 20. Tried to be thorough and drink the whole cup. Refueled again at 22. The side ache is gone, and I am feeling very energetic. But now we have some serious headwind and we are going slightly uphill. Was very happy with a 6:30 and 6:44 miles. I was expecting 7:00. Then under the bridge, and two more miles on dirt. But it is slighly down, and with a solid tailwind. Feeling exceptionally good. Too bad it is dirt road, and there are no quarter marks to pace myself. I wish I were in the Provo Canyon. Now if only I could stay on the course. There are so many trails going in all directions. I still see the cones - that is good. With about a quarter to go I saw a mark, but somehow I ended up taking a wrong turn and when I got to the finish, a barbed wire was separating me from the chute. This sure makes for a good story for an April Fool's day - crawling under a barbed wire at the end of a marathon. Could not have thought of a better joke if I were trying to make one up. The marathon did not end there for me. Fortunately I had enough time to get changed, and even tried to find a radio station that had the LDS General Conference. No luck - will have to catch a rebroadcast of the first session later. Another almost three hours of timing the race. The marathon is still not over, though. I've got General Conference and a drive back to Provo coming up ahead. I think I am going to tell Curt I will not time a race on a General Conference day again. However, I am very happy with what I learned today. Adjusting for the conditions of the course, I had probably just run an equivalent of 2:27 in St. George. What is more important is that I felt strong on the last 4 miles, probably strongest than ever in a marathon. So I have strong reasons to call this race a success. As I suspected, going long is not what does the job for me to prepare the marathon - it is going medium long, but fast. I also learned something about refueling. Powerade has simple sugars. They give me a funny feeling during the first 10 minutes after the intake, but then the body cleans up the mess and I feel strong. My intuition tells me that a more complex sugar would work better. Maybe I should try Ultima.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.004.001.000.0015.00

Started the morning with a 1 mile jog. Jogged another mile around 11 am. Then in the afternoon drove to the Provo River Trail and parked at the parking lot on Geneva Road.

My body told me this morning that a 5 mile marathon pace tempo run would be just perfect for recovery. I warmed up 3 miles, and then started the tempo run. From Geneva road to the end of the trail by the Utah Lake and then back. First mile in 5:46. It was way too easy. I knew something was up - probably tail wind. 14:26 at the turnaround, and 23:07 at 4 miles. Around 3 miles into the tempo run I asked my body what it thought about the threshhold pace for the last mile. It communicated it was looking forward to it. So as soon as I reached the 4 mile mark I shifted gears. I love this feeling - the breathing is intense, the heart is pumping, the blood is flowing, the face is twitching, but you feel nevertheless you could hold this for a long time. And I was right about the tail wind on the first mile. Except now it was a head wind.

Nevertheless, I was feeling strong. 5:26 for the last mile, with the last 600 in 1:59. 28:33 for 5 miles.

Then Sarah came and brought the kids. I ran with Benjamin and Jennifer, and then followed Benjamin as he rode his bike. Total length of the run was 12 miles.

Added another always on the run mile in the evening to bring the total to 15.

Legs feel very interesting. They are not sore in a traditional post-marathon sense, but nevertheless I can tell that something is up with them. So while I can move, I need to be careful not to do anything abrupt.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.750.000.250.0013.00

Slept in this morning and missed George and Eric. Ran easy 10 miles in the morning, including the run with Benjamin and Jennifer. Added some always on the run miles during the day and in the evening. On one of them felt like running tempo pace for a quarter, and did it in 1:23. Total for the day 13 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.403.000.003.6013.00

Started the morning with a one mile jog, then went to the temple. It was raining hard went I got back. Waited a couple of hours, it calmed down as I expected. Here it Utah the rain fortunately does not usually last too long.

Drove to the Provo Canyon. Did 10x500 downhill. Fairly strong headwind. Got 14:48.2 for the sum of the intervals, which is a 5 K, 0.3 second faster than last week. On the last one, hit 1:26.3 with the last 200 in 33.5. I guess the marathon did not take that much out of me after all.

Afterwards, 1.5 tempo uphill to get the jacket in 8:44, and the same stretch down at a tempo pace in 8:30 this time I guess to get the whole thing over with quicker. 10.5 miles for the workout.

In the evening, jogged another 1.5 to reach 13 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.500.0013.00

Got up this morning and it was raining hard. Got out, and the last thing I wanted to do was to run 10 miles. Did it anyway.

Ran with Eric and George. We did a 20 seconds fast/20 seconds slow fartlek. I did my magic hop drill during some of the fast ones. At the end of the loop, George extended the interval into a quarter and hit it in about 1:20. He surprised me, so I did not clock him exactly at the start of the quarter. It took me a good tenth of a mile to just catch up - he was going so fast that I had to go through a few gears before I was up to speed.

At the end of the run, I was thoroughly wet and cold. So cold that I asked Sarah to untie my shoes - my hands were too cold. The shower felt very good.

It rained pretty much all day long. Nevertheless, I did my always on the run miles, and ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Total of 13 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.002.000.500.0013.50

Much better weather today. Ran with Eric and George in the morning. Did the magic hop, and some marathon pace running in the middle. Total length of the morning run 10 miles.

Ran with Benjamin and Jennifer later, and did my "always on the run". Total length 13.5 for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.008.000.0014.00

Went to the Provo Canyon in the morning. Did the "reboot" tempo. The wind was deceptive. It did not feel strong, but the pace pattern indicated it had more impact than it seemed it should.

The wind was blowing out of the canyon, so headwind on the uphill.

Started with 16 100 m strides at tempo pace. Then ran 1.5 uphill in 8:36. Felt the quads were cramping up. Stopped, did a stride downhill, then continued. A mile up in 5:43 for the total of 14:19 for the first 2.5. Again a "reboot" - some jogging and a stride down. Then 2.5 downhill in 12:49 for the total of 27:06 for the 5 miles. When I reached the top, I did not think I would get anywhere close to 27:00. I thought I was just tired and running slow. But it turned out to be just a stronger headwind.

Turned around again and did 14 strides going up. Then a tempo mile down in 5:04. 11 miles for the run.

In the afternoon did my "always on the run" and ran with Benjamin and Jennifer to make it a 14 mile day.

Bought a pair of ankle weights in the evening to work on the hamstring reflex.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.754.000.003.2516.00

Got up in the morning, read the scriptures, and drove to the Provo Canyon hoping to catch some tailwind for my downhill speed workout. Turned out this time I could not have both - the wind was blowing into the canyon. Parked at the Canyon View Park as usual.

Warmed up to the Canyon Glen Park. 4x100 strides. Then 8x300 down with 200 recovery. Averaged 49.9 into a mild headwind. Then ran to the car, and put on ankle weights. Jogged a mile, tooks the weights off, and started another session of 8x300.

The head wind picked up quite a bit, so I had a hard time telling if I slowed down because my legs were tired, or it was just the head wind. The form felt better, however. I averaged 50.7 with the last one in 48.6.

Jogged a bit to recover, and then ran a light 2 mile tempo up to get my jacket. With the tail wind it was 11:42. This tempo is actually a good recovery after the intervals. If you start it soon enough after the last interval, you actually feel better towards the end instead of being more tired.

Put on my jacket, and started a return tempo back to the car into a head wind. 1.5 miles in 8:28.

In the afternoon, did my always on the run, and ran with Benjamin. Also followed Benjamin pushing a double stroller with Jennifer and Joseph as he rode his bike. Probably got in about 0.5 miles of tempo doing it - Benjamin is getting faster on a bike and the stroller is heavy, although we've fixed the flat tires. Total of 16 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.001.000.000.0013.00

Woke up to the sound of thunder. Then it started to hail. Thought of Helaman 5:12 and went back to sleep hoping it would not be there for the run. Easy 10 miles in the morning with Eric and George. Did a forced half-mile pitstop tempo. George was surprisingly lively after his trail marathon on Saturday. He even volunteered a mile in 7:16. In the afternoon, did my always on the run, and ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Decided to do a half-mile tempo on one of the always on the runs - 2:52. Total of 13 miles for the day. Legs are feeling good after the ankle weight maneuvers on Monday. The stride is feeling better but I am not going to get too excited until I see faster times.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.153.500.003.3515.00

Started the day with a 1 mile jog before going to the temple. In the afternoon drove to the Provo Canyon for the speed workout. It was warm - probably about 70 degrees.

Warmed up a mile. Then another mile with ankle weights (2.5 pounds each). Then a 1.5 mile tempo uphill to the Canyon Glen Park in 8:45. Tailwind.

4x100 strides. Then 10x500 down with 200 recovery. Fairly strong headwind, but I think the warm temperature mitigated the effects somewhat. Hit the first one in 1:25.5. Then the headwind got stronger, slowed down to 1:27-1:28. The one with the uphill which is always the slowest was 1:29.7. Sped up back to 1:27s afterwards. 1:24.9 on the last one with the last 200 in 32.8. Total time for the 5 K 14:32.6, more than 15 seconds faster than last week. This is a siginficant improvement.

The form felt like I was using my muscles better, so I was not getting as tired towards the end. On the kick on the last one, I did not feel extremely anaerobic. Rather, I felt I did not go faster because I just did not know how to recruit the muscles to go sub-32. Normally, it takes me a few all out strides before I can break 30 seconds on 200 meters.

A little jog, and a tempo for a cool down. Also to measure the wind. 2 miles, one up, and one down. First mile up was 5:48, then 5:38 down on the way back with the same effort. 11:26 for two miles.

Later, ran with Bejamin and Jennifer, and added another always on the run mile. 15 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.500.000.0013.00

Easy run with Eric and George in the morning. We did the Slate Canyon Loop in 14:41, a PR for George. He also hit a mile PR of 6:30. Not bad only 5 days after a marathon. The moral of the story - if you want to set a mile PR, run a marathon 5 days earlier.

Then I put on my ankle weights and ran another loop in them. Had to make a pitstop. Catching George and Eric uphill was ... an interesting experience. All of a sudden I realized I did not have my tempo pace gear. And I had to catch them again after taking the weights off. It was much easier this time.

The whole run was 10 miles. Another 3 of always on the run and running with the kids to make 13 total.

I am having an interesting experience. It seems like all paces start to feel more alike. I timed a mile in my always on the run. I start out at a 10:00 pace for the first 100 meters, and that feels just right. Then gradually speed up to 9:00, 8:00, 7:40, 7:20, 7:00, 6:40. It all feels almost the same other than the ground moving a bit faster, and the legs moving more. Then I realized I need to run sub-6:00 to break Benjamin's mile record (7:31), so I shifted gears and now am going 5:30. Feels almost the same. It seems like the slow pace is starting to feel harder, while the faster pace easier.

My explanation: the ease of a certain pace correlates with the levels of adrenaline. When the body is recovering, adrenaline is low. So starting out feels very hard. However, if there is a need, the adrenalene can be mobilized. However, let the sleeping dog lie. If your adrenalene is low, that is good. The body recovers better.

Therefore, it is not a good idea to push the pace in the recovery runs. Occasional surges to overcome the boredom, but otherwise jog and enjoy the conversation with a slower training partner.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.002.000.000.0013.00

Easy run with Eric this morning. Threw in some tempo surges. Ran 0.75 in 4:14, and a mile in 5:45. Also, a mile with ankle weights.

In the evening ran with Benjamin and Jennifer as well as the always on the run. Total of 13 miles for the day.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.5015.500.000.0020.00

Started the day with a 1 mile jog. Later in the morning, took Dakota with me to the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road to do an experiment with Ultima. The night before I mixed Ultima with fructose to see how my body handles this drink.

A warm-up and then 15 mile tempo. 2.5 out, 2.5 back three times. The course looks flat but secretly rolls enough to be slow. Probably comparable to the rolling hills in the middle of the Ogden marathon.

Dakota rode a bike and handed me my drinks. First 2.5 in 14:33 - no drinks yet. Back in 14:41 with one drink at about 3 miles. Next 2.5 in 14:29 with a mild tailwind an a drink at 5.5. Then 14:49 with a drink at 8 and a mild headwind. Next one in 14:43 with two drinks, one at 10.5 and one at 12.

Now the moment of truth. Last one, give it all I've got. Turns out I do not have that much after all. 14:26, and I can feel emptiness in the legs. Tried to sprint on the last 200. 41 seconds was all I had. Total time for 15 miles 1:27:41.

Conclusion. Ultima + fructose does not cause any damage, but does not do any miracles either. The glycogen left the leg muscles at a normal rate. The early intake of the drink did not restore or hold off the muscular depletion. I felt good enough to keep going at 5:55 pace for a while, but the gear that requires muscular glycogen was essentially gone. There was some poor semblance of it up to 13.5, but then it was gone bye-bye. Good to know. Need to taper and make sure to eat very well before Ogden.

Cooled down 1 mile to make it 17 for the whole run.

In the afternoon, ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Jennifer set a record on the mile - 9:17. She also set a record on the half - 4:15, 400 - 1:51, and 200 - 53 during her kick. Benjamin really had to work to be one second ahead of his little sister. Little feisty furious red-haired Jenny...

In the evening, when it was already dark, I decided to do my always on the run mile. It was too hard to resist the temptation to measure my muscular glycogen levels. So I decided to run the last half mile hard. Of course, I knew the results would be skewed because it was dark, I had only 0.5 mile warm-up, and I was wearing street clothes. Nevertheless, I decided to do it just for fun. First quarter was 1:31 - really hard to get going. I finally got going on the second somewhat and hit it in 1:27. The muscles felt they had some fuel, more than at the end of the 15 mile run, but not a lot. 20 miles for the day, and 90 for the week.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.504.500.002.0013.00

In the morning went to the Provo Canyon. Parked at the Canyon View Park. Warmed up a mile. Another mile with ankle weights. A 1.5 mile tempo uphill with tailwind in 8:37. Then 8 100 meters strides down. Then 8x300 down averaging 50.5 with 200 meter recovery. Mostly into a headwind.

I wanted to do 16, but the rain with some hail changed my mind. I figured it would not be a good idea to jog the recoveries since I just had a T-shirt. So I decided to do a 3 mile tempo run instead. 1.5 up, immediate turnaround and 1.5 down. I finished off my 8th repetion in 48.8, jogged 200 meters, and started the tempo run.

The wind kept changing direction. It was easy to tell when it was a foe. You could kind of tell when it was a friend by the unusual ease of the fast quarter splits. First mile up 5:41. 8:38 (2:57) at the turnaround. Two miles in in 11:24 (2:46, 5:43), next half in 2:44, last half in 2:40. Last mile 5:24, total time - 16:48.

After the sprints, the form felt really good in spite of the cold. The hamstrings were working very well, much better than on Saturday.

I suspect that part of the problem Saturday was something weird I got Wednesday from running hard in the warmer conditions. Afterwards, my eyes have been irritable for the next two days, the throat was slightly sore, and my weight Thursday morning after the run was down to 139 from regular 143-144. I have regained it since. Sunday rest + eating a lot did the job and felt much stronger running today.

Now Benjamin picked up a new trick from me. The other day he got on the scale, saw his weight , and said - "Daddy, see, I weigh only 47 pounds - this means I need a snack!"

Ran with Benjamin, and Jenny later in the afternoon + a bit of always on the run. Total of 13 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.502.500.000.0013.00

George was running trails today as the roads started bothering his shins. So I just ran with Eric. Turned out he skipped his Saturday long tempo, and also did not get to run Monday. I suggested we do a tempo then, since that would have made him very well rested for one. We did three Slate Canyon loops, and then added a rolling 1.75. His time for 8.08 was 1:01:45 - steady 7:39 average, not bad at all for all the hills, the cold weather, the wind, and some extra clothing. It is an indicator that he will not completely die in Ogden. Not before 8 miles at least... I suggested he should start out at 8:15, and do that for as long as he feels good, then when that stops feeling good, back off and jog to the end for a cooldown. We live in a politically correct times - so let's not call it a wall anymore, let's called it a premature cooldown.

Dropped Eric off, jogged a bit, and did a 1.25 mile tempo in 7:14. With an earlier pitstop acceleration, that gave me 2 miles of tempo running for the morning, and 10 total.

During the day, ran with Benjamin and Jennifer + always on the run. Did a 0.5 tempo in 2:50. Total of 13 miles for the day.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.843.083.080.0014.00

After last Wednesday I decided it was time to start doing all fast workouts in the morning, as the afternoons are getting hotter. Wednesday mornings are challenging because I need to be at the temple at 8:00 am, but I really like to have a fast workout on Wednesday. So I had to come up with one that does not take a long time, and that I can do near my house. After some thinking, I invented one.

4 Slate Canyon loops with a tempo from the highest point magic mark to the lowest point magic mark (1.5405 miles) with a jog uphill in between. This non-standard strech is 12 extra seconds at 5:00 pace over 1.5, 13 at 5:20, and 14 at 5:40 approximately.

It was dark at 5:40 am when I started the workout. As dark and as early as it was, I did not expect much out of the first repetion. Got 8:49 - I just wanted to break 9:00. Then as the sun was rising, and as I was gradually waking up, the speed increased. 8:30 - 8:16 - 8:04. The stride felt good - wide and relaxed, just what I need, although I feel it still ought to be wider, smoother, and more relaxed. 9 miles for the workout with the warm-up and cooldown.

Ran with Benjamin, Jennifer, and Julia. Did always on the run. Ran with Joseph in the stroller + ankle weights for a mile. Total of 14 for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.211.790.000.0013.00

Ran easy this morning with Eric. Dropped him off, and did some tempo running. First half a mile in 2:49. Then jogged up the hill, and did the 1.29 stretch from the Slate Canyon trail entrance to my house in 7:19. Felt good, quite relaxed, the stride felt wide.

Did a run with Benjamin and Jennifer. Jennifer had an assignment to run a sub-10:00 mile. She started the first quarter in 2:34. Then we saw two teenage girls jogging ahead of us. I challenged her to catch them. She took the challenge, and gradually reeled them in right before the turnaround. This resulted in a 2:05 quarter, and a 59 second 200. Now with the half in 4:39 Jennifer was on record pace for the mile.

We turned around, and she only slowed down a little from the chase gear. Next quarter in 2:14. With 600 to go Benjamin decided to take off, but Jennifer was holding on strong, hanging in their only a couple of seconds behind.

Benjamin kicked into a high gear trying to drop her,but Jennifer had a high gear of her own. He ended up 3 seconds ahead of her at the end with 8:44 (so much for his easy run), and Jennifer got a 30 second PR of 8:47 with the last quarter in 1:53. She also set a PR on half mile - 4:08. Joseph in the meantime witnessed this historic moment from the stroller, while Julia was taking a nap at home.

Did another 2 miles with ankle weights for always on the run, one of which with Julia in the stroller. Total of 13 miles.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.961.501.540.0013.00

Eric had to go to work early. George was still running trails. So I had to run alone. Jogged a bit, then got bored and ran a 0.5 mile in 2:53. Jogged to the top of the Slate Canyon loop, and ran a solid 1.54 tempo down in 8:00. Felt good. Jogged some more, and got bored again. Ran a mile in 5:47 with the last quarter uphill, but the third one down. The mile was a net up. Then I finally was over my boredom, and jogged some more to make it 10 miles.

In the afternoon and evening did my standard always on the run, and the runs with Benjamin and Jennifer.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.300.0010.000.2016.50

Ran the Salt Lake 10 miler from the East Canyon Gate to the This is The Place Monument by the Hogle Zoo. Got 2nd place with 52:12. The first two miles gain 300 feet, then the rest is a gradual 1500 foot drop. I hit the first mile in 5:15. My teammate Bob Thompson and Delfino Arevalo were ahead a bit. Delfino had 5:07, while Bob 5:10. I did not expect it to be so fast going uphill, but it hurt bad enough for me to believe the mark was accurate. The grade increased on the next mile. I did 6:17, and Bob and Delfino opened up another 5 seconds on me. I liked the next mile a lot better. We reached the top of the Little Mountain, and started going down. Nice grade. 5:06. Believe it or not, Bob and Delfino still opened up some more distance. I should have expected it of Delfino - he is a 29:02 10 K runner, and although somewhat out of shape, should be able to go sub-5:00 pace on this type of grade no problem. But I had never seen Bob run like this. Another mile - 4:54, then 4:57, 5:09, and 5:08. I like the pace, but not the sight of Bob and Delfino moving away further. All of a sudden Bob stopped at mile 7 and started walking. Still not sure what happened to him - probably an injury. Next mile, 5:23. It flattened out a bit. Then the downhill resumed in full force - 5:08, and 4:55 for the last mile. Delfino got 49:47. Not sure what to think of this performance. I felt good all the way, but at the same time, I felt that if I'd put the hammer down, my form would get worse, and I would just be working harder to run the same or even slower pace. Overall, I would describe this run as enjoyable. I liked the feedback I was receiving from my muscles as I went down the hill. I also liked being able to shift gears quickly after running hard on the uphill. My quads did tense up a bit during the climb, but I was able to relax them quickly. Did some more always on the run, and ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Also ran a mile with ankle weights. Total mileage - 16.5 for the day. Jennifer set a record on the last half-mile - 4:02, and on the last quarter - 1:49, as well as on the last 100 - 25. She sure made Benjamin work. Good for him. He needs it.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.250.002.503.2515.00

Got up this morning and it was raining. A speed workout in the Provo Canyon was the last thing I wanted to do. However, I know one thing, something they say in the General Conference and other church meetings a lot - you are free to make choices, but you are not free to choose their consequences. The consequence of missing a speed workout is failure to develop speed. I did not want that consequence, so I went and did the speed workout anyway. Warm-up, then a mile with ankle weights, then a 1.5 tempo uphill in 8:35, 4 100 meter strides at then top, and then the real workout begins - 16x300 down with 200 recovery. Managed a sub-50 average for the first 8 with some tailwind. Then it turned into a headwind, and I slowed down to barely sub-51 with a couple of slower than 51. The slowest was 51.6. Gave it pretty much all I had on the last one and got 49.0. Average of 50.4 for the whole workout. A little bit of jogging, and then a 1 mile tempo down in 5:16 into a headwind. I liked how that mile felt. I had to work, but it was relaxed and felt sustainable. Total of 12 miles for the workout. Legs felt a bit sore from the 10 mile race on Saturday. Ran with Benjamin, and Jennifer, in the afternoon and also did a mile of always on the run in the evening. Total of 15 miles for the day.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.001.000.000.0014.00

Easy run with Eric this morning. He did a tempo run - 3 Slate Canyon loops (6.33) in 47:44. Had a pitstop-forced tempo pickup to catch him in the middle. Dropped him off, and ran a mile with ankle weights in 7:05. Picked up at the end. Trying to run with ankle weights fast is an interesting experience. Nothing really hurts, it seems, but you just cannot go any faster.

During the day and in the evening did my always on the run, a short tempo pickup on one of them, and ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Total of 14 miles for the day.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.004.501.5013.00

Did my fast workout in the morning. Again, 4x1.54 downhill on the Slate Canyon Loop. Gradually get accelerating as the more light came in with the rising sun and I was waking up. Started out with 8:38, then 8:17, 8:03, and 7:54. Interestingly enough, every one of them was almost exactly 12 seconds faster than the corresponding one last week.

In the afternoon, ran a mile with ankle weigths, ran with Benjamin and Jennifer, and added another always on the run mile in the evening. Total of 13 miles.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.500.000.750.259.50

Mini-taper for the track meet at BYU (Robison Invitational) tomorrow. Ran easy 7 miles with a couple of tempo pick-ups with Eric in the morning. Had quite a bit of fun running with Benjamin and Jennifer later in the morning. Towards the end, we passed a rather slowly moving excavator. Have you ever had to pass an excavator while pushing a stroller with a 3-year old, and pacing a 7 and a 5 year old at the same time? It was during their kick, so we were going about 7:00 pace by then, and that excavator was coming to us fast. We managed the maneuver, though, and hit 9:01 for the mile.

Ran to the Stake Priesthood Leadership meeting because I was late and also to get some always on the run miles in, and also back to make it somewhat on time to do my hometeaching.

Total of 9.5 for the day.

College track meets are probably as close as it gets to racing in Kenya around here, perhaps even better. If tomorrow's meet is like the others I've seen or heard of, the poor guy who runs 16:40 will finish last get lapped by the winner in front of a crowd. With that time, he'd be able to win probably 75% of all the 5 K around the country, and place somewhere in the top of the pack in others. But in a track meet, there is no pack of joggers to beat, and to make things worse, there are a lot of people watching.

So my goals for the meet. Not to get beat too bad by the college runners, which includes not finishing last, and not getting lapped. If somebody like Bryan Lindsay or Josh Rohatinsky shows up, this could be a challenge. They could do 14:30 even here at altitude. In that case, to avoid being lapped, I would have to run at least 15:45.

I also want to break my track PR of 16:19. I've raced only once on the track before since coming to the US, and it was raining hard that day, and the track was wet. So this should be too big of a challenge, hopefully.

But most of all, I want to be able to run strong and relaxed start to finish, not have any laps slower than 79, kick in 73 or faster, and determine the strengths and weakness my training has given me so far this year.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.800.000.003.5015.30

Did a warm-up run with Eric in the morning. Two Slate Canyon Loops with a 600 m acceleration in the middle in 1:54. Then ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. In the afternoon, went to the track meet. It was windy - 11 mph going exactly along the home stretch. You get 100 m tail, 200 m cross, and 100 m head wind. So the times were slow. I was able to get some of my goals, but not all. I avoided being lapped, but only barely. 10 people started the race. If you count the two guys that were already behind me when they dropped out, I did not finish last. The time, however, was more suitable for a tempo run than a 5 K track race - 16:51. I was able to stay with the pack for the first three laps, which we did in 76 seconds each. It felt good. Then on the fourth lap, the pack started to separate. I figured the slower part of the pack would not slow down very much, and provide some windshield for me. This was a mistake. 4:45 at 1500 m. Then the guy in front of me I was using to draft off all of a sudden slowed down to a pace that felt like a jog. We did this 100 m in 20 seconds. I waited for the end of the headwind stretch, and then passed him. In the next two laps I found out why he slowed down so much so soon. The wind had an effect of making you work harder, and get tired sooner. I hit the next lap in 80, and it went downhill from there. 9:50 for 3000 m (3:25, 82 per lap), 13:20 for 4000 m (3:30, 84 per lap), and last 1000 m in 3:31 (84 per lap). Barely escaped having Joe Bendoski lap me. Ran back to my house from the meet. Benjamin insisted on joining me, so I took him. He had already done his hard run earlier, but nevertheless he ran another 3 miles back home at 9:00 pace. The experience confirmed to me that the correct strategy for running on a windy day is to stay with the front pack as close to the leader as possible, but behind him until you are ready to puke. Then back off, and every time you get passed, if you do, draft behind the person who has passed you until you are ready to puke. Too bad it was not a normal race. I do not really know what this performance really means. To what extent did I slow down because of having to break the wind by myself, and to what extent because I lacked the fitness to do 76 second laps? I noticed that the end of that 5 K started feeling more like a threshold pace tempo run, but there seemed to be nothing I could do to make it faster. This is also how I felt in the other 5 K ran earlier this year. First mile in 5:02, and then 5:20-5:25 pace for the rest of it, does not hurt, but cannot go any faster. This is not how I felt when I ran 15:37 in Draper Days in 2004. It hurt start to finish, and I was anaerobically tired for the rest of the day. I suppose to run a good 5 K takes some practice to teach your body to run anaerobically for the 15 whole minutes of it, not just the first 5. I need to look more closely at the log entries to see what works well for this.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.003.002.000.0013.00

Ran in the morning, 12 hours after the track meet on the Provo River Trail by Geneva road. Warmed up, then a mile with ankle weigths, some more jogging, and started the tempo run. Figured 5 miles a marathon pace would be a good idea, since I ran hard only 12 hours ago, and a marathon is coming up in a week. Gradually warmed into a good aggressive marathon pace, and hit 2 miles in 11:14. Then 14:02 at the turnaround (2.5). Felt very relaxed at that pace, although I could tell that I had run a 5 K some time not too long ago. But at 5:37 pace it did not bother me very much. 3 miles in 16:51, and I decided to run the last two hard for fun to see if I could do it faster than in yesterday's 5 K. I sure did - 10:58, and 27:49 total. In the 5 K, it was 11:11. Interestingly enough, I ran the last 5 K of this tempo run in about 17:10, only 19 seconds slower than a race 12 hours earlier! Looks like I am starting to suffer from the Mike Kirk syndrome - racing all distances from 5 K to the marathon at almost the same pace. Of course, as Paul has pointed out, the wind can really knock you out of rhythm in a track race, and make you run a lot slower than any logic would suggest is possible. But still, the whole thing does sound rather funny. Got home, and took Benjamin and Jennifer for a run. It was another big records day for Jennifer. We hit the first half mile in 4:50. Then she sped up to almost 8:00 pace, and kept saying it was not fast enough. So we picked it up even more. Hit the next quarter in 1:59. Then Benjamin decided to start a kick, and Jennifer decided to not let him escape. So that gave us the last quarter in 1:46, and 8:35 for the mile. Last half was 3:45. This shows that Jennifer should be able to break 8:00 on the mile without too much difficulty if she went out hard from the start. Did some more "always on the run" miles - 13 for the day.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
225.7179.0734.6220.90360.30
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