Breaking the Wall

April 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: 162.86 Year: 2872.42
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 903.91
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
309.6432.0012.915.25359.80
Green Crocs 5 Miles: 346.80
Night Sleep Time: 215.00Nap Time: 3.50Total Sleep Time: 218.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph and Jacob 2, Julia 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.300.002.200.0013.50

A.M. Total of 13.5. Benjamin did 8. I did a workout with him. We ran 2 miles down the Provo Canyon on our usual course. The target was 10:40 - 5:20 pace. I pulled him for the first 1.5, then he took over for the final push. The splits were 79, 80, 79, 80 (5:18), 79, 81 and then 2:34 for the final 0.5 miles, 5:14 last mile - total time 10:32.9.This is Benjamin's fastest time for the course, and I was very pleased with his performance. He also commented that this was not as miserable as when he ran 10:37 last year. The road was wet from the rain. When we got home our backs were covered with dirt. Jenny asked us if we had had a mud fight. This was partially true - we did what we could to run each other into the ground.

I felt much stronger that a couple of weeks ago. 5:18 felt very comfortable, when it became 5:08 at the end it felt manageable. If Jeff was there, I think I would have had another mile in 5:10 behind him today. So far I am seeing the most remarkable results from any form of weight training that I ever tried throughout the years. In the past I tried leg extensions and curls. Those did help a little bit, but apparently not as much as a one-legged vertical leg press. My guess as to why is that it works out several muscle groups in sequence that is very similar to running. My intuition also tells me that in order for weights to be effective, you need to hit the magic sync between aerobic training and resistance training. I think I've hit it somewhat on accident in the last two weeks.

Jenny did 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, 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
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.001.0013.50

A.M. 13 total. Benjamin did 8. I did a workout with him. 4x400. First 3 down the canyon with 400 recovery, the last one after a long recovery up the hill by our house. Used this as a chance to test the new split function in the Fast Running Friend. I got the splits, so the test was good. There was a distance recording glitch, which I fixed later. The splits were 71.7, 72.2, then Benjamin ran around 63.8 and I did 64.5 on the last one in the canyon. The very last one up the hill was 70.7 for me and about 70.3 for Benjamin. I think this is my fastest time on that segment, if not the fastest, then one of the fastest. I do know that I never cracked 70, and I am too lazy to look up if I ever cracked 71.

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

P.M. 0.5 (800 meters) with William on the track. His time was 4:50.

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
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Total of 13. Benjamin did 8, Jenny was sick - 0.5, Julia 2, Jacob and Joseph 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.0010.000.000.0022.00

A.M. For the first time in a long time I did a 20 miler with a 10 mile tempo at the end. I ran the warm-up 10 uphill in 1:16:14. On the way back I ran 58:01. Benjamin ran with me for the last 4. He dropped me in the last 200 meters. His time for the last 4 was 23:17, I got 23:20. Felt strong, but for the life of me could not consistently stay under 5:50, kept slipping. Perhaps a subconscious fear of the distance. Nevertheless I am happy that even though I did not feel super speedy at the start, I was able to maintain the pace throughout the tempo and never really felt too miserable.

Benjamin did 10,  Jenny 3, Julia 2, Jacob 1, Joseph 2. When I got home Sarah had not yet done her run, so I went with her for another 2. So I ended up with 22 miles.

Listened to General Conference. Had a bit of trouble staying awake, but it was not too bad. Was able to understand the talks.

P.M. Took William and Stephen to the track with Benjamin to help me. Asked Benjamin which one of us was more out of commission. He thought it was I. So he ran 0.5 with William while I followed Stephen around.

Listened to General Conference again. Then went to the Priesthood Session with Benjamin in the evening.

Some General Conference highlights. Elder Uchtdorf explaining our relationship with God. He does not set up commandments just so we would fail to keep them and then just sits there and anxiously waits for us to trip up. Rather, He sets them up to show us the way out of trouble. He rejoices at our successes, and when we fail, He helps us recover, just like any good parent would.

Elder Scott - if the young generation reviewed a scripture for every text message they send, they would become great scholars of scripture.

Elder Callister - the idea that young men should accelerate their spiritual development and arrive in the mission field more mature. A few weeks ago in Sunday School we talked about Joseph Smith's vision, and in particular what it was like for his father to have a 14-year old son come to him and announce a vision. Most members of the class found it rather remarkable that the father believed the son right away. The reason given was that a 14-year-old is so immature that anything he says that is unusual would hard to believe. I did not say anything at the time, but I thought about what it would be like if Benjamin came to me and told me he had had a vision. I realized I would not have a problem with that. Yes, just like many young men his age he occasionally experiences a lapse in judgement. But overall he is on top of things. He is spiritually in tune, he knows what the voice of the Lord sounds like, frequently he is able to correctly point out my errors in a mature way. If he told me the Lord had spoken to him, I would not doubt for a second because I know he would not speak of such things lightly.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 22.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
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Day of rest. Watched General Conference. One talk that stood out to me was by Elder Holland. He talked about a man that said: "I believe, help my unbelief". Elder Holland applied it like this: we should acknowledge our strengths before we deal with our weaknesses. When we acknowledge the strengths, it makes us aware of the tools we have to deal with the weaknesses. But if we do it the other way around, as is frequently the case (at least I see that as a common theme in many blog posts), in worlds of Elder Holland,  it is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak.

I also was impressed by President Monson's talk. He talked about how he was being disobedient as a little boy and started what could have become a forest fire. When I hear him speak, he reminds me of a master chess player that keeps making what appears to be inauspicious  moves. But then the opponent realizes he is faced with a dilemma which piece he would rather give up to stop checkmate and realizes that it is no dilemma at all because it has to be the queen, so he resigns. In the simplicity of President Monson is hidden vast spiritual depth of a prophet. He simplifies and frequently repeats to help the simplest of the simple understand.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 2, Joseph and 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
12.000.000.500.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12. Jenny did 4, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a pickup for 0.5 uphill in 2:51.

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
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin. We repeated what we did a week ago - 2 miles down the canyon. It was colder today that last week, so we wore more clothes - pants and jacket instead of shorts. Our time was 10:32.6, 0.3 faster than last week with very similar splits - 5:17 for the first mile (vs 5:18) and then 5:15 for the last mile (vs 5:14). Benjamin said the effort felt harder. For me it felt a little easier.

Jenny did 3, Julia 2, Jacob and Joseph 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
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 6 in anticipation of the track meet the next day, and also due to bad sleep from upper back tension. He has always had a tendency to develop back tension, and once in a while it pops up and causes problems. So we massaged him, had him hang upside down, and do tennis ball sit-ups. Jenny ran 3, Julia did 3 as well. Joseph did 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

I did a little pickup on my 1.02 or so out-and-back hilly course in 5:49.

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
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 2.5 warm-up for the track meet in the evening. We took Joseph and Jacob to the track at Orem High to do a mile time trial. Benjamin paced Joseph, while I paced Jacob. Jacob ran 7:04.2 with the splits of 1:46, 1:45, 1:47 and 1:43 - the remaining 3 seconds rounded off go to cover 9.34 meters extra.This is Jacob's new PR by 5 seconds. He is headed for being the first child in our family to break 7:00 mile before turning 7. He turns 7 on July 21.

Joseph opened with 1:41, then fell asleep to 1:47, then 1:45 and a kick of sorts in 1:41 finishing in 6:57, 5 seconds off his PR. Benjamin is still learning how to pace a kid,and Joseph is difficult to pace because he has a mind of his own. Jacob is much easier - you tell him to run faster, he just does it. Also Joseph runs to win, not for time. So he stops pushing once he feels is safely ahead of Jacob. So perhaps this year Jacob will just get faster, maybe run 6:40, and this will force Joseph to run 6:30. Or maybe we should just have Jacob race him for the last 800.

Jenny did 4, Julia 2, William 0.5. Joseph and Jacob ended up with 2 total.

P.M. Took Benjamin to a high school track meet at Juab High in Nephi. This was our first experience with the high school track. First for Benjamin period, and first direct experience with the US high school track for me. When I was of high school age I was in Russia, which back then was part of the Soviet Union. I raced, but it was a very different system. Running in the US I heard a lot about US high school track, I read race reports, but I had never actually been to a high school track meet.

So two surprises I ran into. One - I did not realize that in a little town of Nephi you could have such a big deal of a track meet. We struggled finding a place to park. There were as many people around at you would see at the Moscow city-wide youth championship, perhaps even more. Expect in Moscow most people came by public transportation - no cars or school buses.

The second surprise was the spread of abilities, particularly as the distance got longer. In all the meets I ran in Moscow, in 14-15 year old division in 3000 last place would finish in around 11:00 even though there was no official qualifying standard. If you could handle being laughed at for being last, you were in. The winner ran maybe 9:10-9:20 in the city championship. Converting this to 3200, that would be maybe 9:50-10:00 for the winner and 11:45 for last place. At this particular meet in Nephi the first place was 10:08, but the last place was 14:36 and it did not appear to be a statistical fluke - all the gaps were evenly filled. Last place in the "fast" heat was 12:04. That was in spite of the age limit being around 18 years old.

So those two surprises caused us some problems. I did not realize until the day of the meet that there would be 43 people on the starting list, which means two heats, the fast one and the slow. Benjamin did not have an official 3200 meter mark, so I just entered nothing instead of giving some info indicating his abilities. So they put him in the slow heat. I asked the course clerk to change that but he told me it was too late. So we figured we'd make the best of the situation.

3200 was the next to last event. It was difficult to estimate when it would start. The meet director gave me a lower bound of 5:00 pm at the earliest, so we got there at 4:30. Benjamin did not get to run until 7:45 pm. With the slow heat, the delay, and some intimidation factor of being crowded by older boys in his first high school track meet, I was not expecting much and I told him to just go out and enjoy it. However Benjamin outperformed my expectations.

Being without a mark he ranked lower than the boys with any mark, so they put him on the outside in the second row. During the first lap he worked his way out of the pack hitting it in 82.4. I yelled at him to get out, but he did not quite understand what I meant. He passed a couple of guys, and then comfortably settled behind the leaders. After the second lap of 86.4 he finally got the message, pushed his way out, and went for it. From that point on he was completely alone. 80.4 - good. 82.7 - acceptable, but the slowdown is a cause for concern. Is he getting tired maybe, perhaps the stresses of the day are wearing on him? Not wanting to discourage him I told him to just try to hold it. 5:31.8 at the 1600. Second place is 5:57 at that point.

80.6 for the next lap. I guess he is not really tired. Later he told me he was just having a hard time gauging the effort and was afraid to push too hard. 82.7 for the sixth lap. I yelled at him to start his kick. At this point he was passing lapped runners in herds, which provided some encouragement. The spectators started cheering him - "Go Crocks!". This was a rather unusual sight I suppose - a home-schooled 14-year-old wearing a plain looking Fast Running Blog singlet and a pair of Crocks lapping team-uniformed high school boys wearing all kinds of fancy spikes. Maybe it was good that he ended up in the slow heat, it created a chance for a little bit of a show. His next to last lap was 78.9.

And then he started his kick for real. I was pleasantly surprised. He was moving, it was quite a sight to watch. At the start of his lap I yelled at him to try to lap the field. He thought I was kidding. But I knew that if somebody runs 82,86 then 3:09 for the next 800 they are Benjamin-lappable. He blew by the second place right before the finish line with the last lap of 72.2. His official time was 10:46.64. I had 10:46.1 on my watch. 0.25 of the difference goes to automatic timing. The rest probably from me not seeing the finish line at a good angle from where I was. Second place in his heat was 12:12. I know all kinds of things happen in high school track meets, but I suppose lapping somebody  you were with at 800 in a 3200 meter race on a 400 meter track is rather rare. Benjamin ended up finishing 8th overall, and 2nd among freshmen. Fastest freshmen was 10:37, which is a bit of a bummer because Benjamin could have run with him. But he got to Crock-lap the slow heat instead, so I suppose it is all good.

On the way back home Matthew was crying. Without being asked Benjamin moved right next to him and sang songs to him all the way. Sarah pointed out that not many 14 year old boys would volunteer to do that after finishing a hard race.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.005.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Ran 20 with Chad. We warmed up the first half uphill in 1:17. On the way back we started out on pace for 58 minutes but it was too fast for Chad, so we slowed down to about 6:10-6:20, and then to 6:40-6:50 at the end. Total time for the last 10 was 1:02:55.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
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. It was a Fast and Testimony meeting. Benjamin bore his testimony. Public speaking is not one of his talents, but he knows the Gospel is true, and it drives him to overcome his natural fear of public speaking. It was quite a treat to watch it. He progressed a long way from the time he was 12 when he got up one time, his face was pale, he did not say anything, and immediately sat down.

And that is the beauty of the Gospel - when we know it is true our fears do not matter, we are able to find the power over them.

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. Easy 12 total. Mostly with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph and 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
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Sarah could not sleep, so figuring that since she cannot sleep anyway she may just as well run I suggested a midnight run. We ran 2 miles. It woke me up enough that I did not feel like going to sleep for some time, so I did what I would normally do later in the morning - read the scriptures. Then after some time I finally fell asleep. Then ran 10 more in the morning with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5, William 0.5, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, Jenny 3, Julia 2.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 4.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.000.003.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. All with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5. I did a 3 mile tempo run down the canyon with Benjamin on my usual course from Nunns to the mouth of the canyon. It was a historic run. Benjamin gapped me in a tempo run at the end for the first time while I ran well. He also pulled me when I was struggling. I suppose it was time for the son to give back to the father. A special moment.

Our target was 16:00 or 5:20 pace. The plan was for me to pull Benjamin until the last half mile, then he would take the lead and push if he felt good. We opened with 82 quarter on a slow part, then once we hit the nice downhill I pushed a bit to make up the loss, and we hit the mile in 5:16. Then we did 79, 79, 81. Seeing the drop in the pace and not feeling strong enough to fix the problem, I asked Benjamin to help me. He moved forward and I sat on him for the rest of the run. Our next quarter was 82 (he took over in the middle and being caught by surprise was a bit cautious), giving us 10:37 (5:21) at 2 miles. Drafting made things easier for me, so 81 was quite comfortable, but I decided I will not do anything about it until the 5:20 guy catches us. So we did 81, 81, and now the 5:20 guy was just a second behind. So I told Benjamin to hit the gas, which he did and we ran the next to last quarter in 79. Then we pushed at the end. In the last 100 meters Benjamin shifted gears into the range that I found inaccessible. So he ended up finishing in around 15:54.3, while I got 15:55.0.

I was happy with my result, especially given the lack of sleep and the heart skipping beats during the tempo, which I think did contribute to my weakness in the last 1.25 miles. But the legs were strong from the leg press exercises, so they made up for the deficit somewhat. But I was much happier with Benjamin's.  Prior to this I had never been schooled by a 14-year-old over 3 miles in any condition, definitely not in my current condition for sure.

With the good news we got bad one, of course. Just as I was getting excited about Benjamin's abilities, I learned that it was against the rules for him to run in high school meets unless he affiliated himself with a high school team. If I went back to my old Russian habits, I would have had a few special words to say about that, in Russian for strong effect, as Russians are the masters of swearing,  but when I was baptized I made a covenant to avoid this form of expression. So I will try to express my feelings in a more mature way.

People ask me why I would not just sign Benjamin up to run for Orem High or some other eligible school. I have nothing against Orem High or other hard working and not very well compensated high school coaches, some of whom are on this blog. But I do have an issue with the whole system. I believe home schooling is a superior way of education. The key predictor in the future success of a child is parental involvement, which tends to lack when the child spends countless hours away from the parents. Yet for one reason or another home schooling tends to be marginalized in our society. You have to work extra hard to prove that you are legitimate. The UHSAA rules regarding home school athletes is case in point.

Aside from that, I worked hard to make sure that Benjamin got the best chance to develop his running talent. I have sacrificed my own training and my own professional development to make it happen. When he races well, I do not want the average result peruser  to assume that his performance is a result of our high school system. Not because I want the credit, but because I want the truth to be known. I want people to know what it takes to run fast and do it. And that, I believe, starts not with the school, but with the family.

So for now the plan is to stick to road races, USATF events, and next year he should be ready to run respectable collegiate times, and we should be able to put him in collegiate meets which tend to not have affiliation requirements.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(40)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5. Joseph and Jacob did a mile time trial at Orem High Track with me, Benjamin and Jenny assisting. Learning from the experience last week where Joseph was content to run ahead of Jacob the slowest possible so that he still could feel he was winning we changed the arrangement. Benjamin, Jenny, and Jacob started 20 seconds ahead of me and Joseph.  This produced much better results for Joseph, and still another PR for Jacob.

Splits: Joseph: 1:39, 1:40, 1:40, 1:36 for the last lap total time 6:38.1 - new PR by 14 seconds, the balance goes to the extra 9.34 meters.

Jacob: 1:45, 1:47, 1:45, 1:43 - 7:02 - new PR by 2 seconds, the balance goes to the extra 9.34 meters as well.

Joseph caught Jacob on the last lap and ended up about 4 seconds ahead. Jenny joined Joseph once he caught up and ended up with 6:58 for her mile.

Jacob now holds the family 6 and under record. Joseph technically does not yet hold 8 and under family record, but he is going to get it. Benjamin ran 6:32 shortly before turning 9, and Joseph has 9 months before that happens. Benjamin barely broke 7:00 at Joseph's current age.

I realized that Jacob has another unique family record. Fastest time in the mile while still having all of the baby teeth in place. Benjamin had the misfortune of losing his first baby tooth at the age of 5, so we are looking at around 9:00 - 8:20 level performance. We have not yet figured out exactly when his first baby tooth fell out. Joseph's fell out at the age of early 7 when his mile PR was only 7:53. But Jacob has already run 7:02, and if he can hold on to his baby teeth for another week or so and the weather cooperates, he has a good shot of becoming a sub-7:00 miler with all of his baby teeth still in place!

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
11.500.000.500.0012.00

A.M. Easy run - 12 miles. Most with the kids, but I got 5 on my own at 7:00 pace. Benjamin and Julia were at grandma and grandpa's house. Benjamin ran 8, Julia did 3. Jenny did 4, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a short pickup uphill by the house for 0.51 in 2:49.5, so about 5:30 pace.

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
6.5013.500.000.0020.00

A.M. Today was my last run as a young man. I am turning 40 tomorrow and will become a master. Started the run late today due to the ward cleanup that did not finish until after 10:30 AM. But it was actually good because it was raining earlier, but then it stopped. So I did 3 with Joseph and Jenny, then 1 with Jacob, 2 with Sarah, and 0.5 with William. Benjamin did 8 and Julia did 2 at grandparent's house. After I was done with the slow portion of the run I decided to do something that I have not felt I was ready for in a long time but it seemed to just be falling into my plate given a relatively slow pace in the first 6.5 and the need to finish the run in some reasonable time. Well, the pace was not that slow - Jenny and Joseph averaged under 8:20 on a hilly course , Jacob ran 8:00 pace on the same hilly course, Sarah averaged sub-10:00 and so did William. But it still justified an extra effort in the remaining 13.5 of the long run. So I decided to run 6.75 out from the house into the Provo Canyon, and then back. This not a happy course for a tempo run for sure, and the distance was long. So I said fight for sub-6:00 average, but realize it might not happen and do not get depressed if so.

Fortunately, I somehow managed to dip under 6:00 average finishing the run in 1:20:58. My split for my 3 mile Provo Canyon course going up was 18:02. At the turnaround my time was 40;53. With that I was getting quite encouraged about gapping the 6:00 guy by a minute on the way back, but I forgot about two things. One, it was 1 pm already, and the wind had turned around becoming an odd cross wind which was friendlier when you ran up than  when you ran down. Two, running 6:00 pace up the canyon took some juice out of me. So coming back I was running sub-6:00, but only marginally. The 3 mile stretch down was only 17:41. Nevertheless, it was enough to build enough gap before the final half mile uphill that I did not lose it all, and ended up 2 seconds ahead of my virtual nemesis.

I am quite encouraged by this run. Whenever I can hold sub-6:00 for 13 or longer at the end of a 20 miler even on a flat course with no wind, that is a big positive, but it is particularly positive when there is no net elevation drop, there is a lot of climbing, and we add head wind into the picture. I attribute the success to my recent discovery of vertical leg press which I have been doing faithfully 3 times a week.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(8)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Got a lot of happy birthdays. 40 years old officially.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5. Jacob set a PR for our 2+ mile course- 16:09, an improvement of 36 seconds. His first half was 8:18, second half 7:51.

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
9.290.006.210.0015.50

A.M. Total of 15.5. Did a 10 K time trial with Benjamin. We drove to the Canyon View Park and warmed up 3.25 miles to the start of our 10 K course which was about a quarter mile past Bridal Vail falls. Then we ran to the house from there. The course has an elevation drop of about 380 feet according to Pachev Uneventful 10 K, but it does have uphill in the last mile. Actually the profile I made is not 100% accurate - it completed missed the uphill in the last 0.2. I can understand why - there is one road that goes sharply up, while there is a road right next to it that stays flat, and in between those two there is a steep wild hill part of which is actually on our property. USGS data shows average elevations for squares, and coupled with a possible geo-coding error we have a problem. In any case, the profile is accurate for the first 6 miles of the course, and the Course Tool suggests that we get a speed up of 8 seconds per mile from the downhill not accounting for the final climb. That is within the range of believable.

One thing for sure is that this course is slower than Deseret News 10 K measured correctly with police not taking runners the wrong way. I wanted to see what Benjamin had in him over a longer distances, so the target was to run 5:40 down the canyon until failure, then see what kind of failure we got if any.

From the start Benjamin was tailgating me, so I figured he was full of juice and decided to build a lead on the 5:40 guy while we could. So first mile in 5:29, then 5:32. Around 2.5 Benjamin groaned, and I figured we should ease off. Next mile in 5:37, 16:38 at 3 miles. I am figuring we went through the 5 K in around 17:13. Then Benjamin started to wear out, I am suspecting it was more psychological as he had never run this fast for this long, so I eased off the pace to 6:00 for a quarter or so to let him rest.  I wrote this and observed that it is quite remarkable that I am calling 6:00 pace for a 14-year-old boy in the middle of a 10 K "rest".

I would have been happy if he had just run 6:00 pace all the way home, but he did a bit better. Our next mile was 5:52, followed by 5:54. The closing mile uphill was 5:53, which I was very happy about. Our total time was 35:30.2 which comes out to 5:42.8 average. Closing 5 K on a more difficult part was 18:17 in spite of the crash, which is still quite respectable.

This was a good confidence builder for Benjamin. He's never run more than 4 miles at sub-6:00 average. He learned today that he can go out aggressively, and when he crashes it will still be faster than 6:00. This is a very important mile stone.

Jenny and Julia did 3 on their own. I ran 1 with Jacob earlier before we drove to the park, and then did 3.25 with Joseph back to the car, and then 2 more with Sarah. So I ended up with a medium long run.

And I suppose I should record my own master's PR of 35:30 for a 10 K.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Jenny for a mile time trial at Orem High Track.  This was an important step for her. She is 12 years old and has struggled with growth. Her muscles grew faster than the bones, and the bones in turn grew faster than the heart and lungs. Last year was the first time she ran PRs since she was 8. Her training runs have been difficult. Yet she has endured well. That ability has come from knowing that she is a daughter of God, and having a testimony of Christ. The Lord knows I am weak, so He sends me strong children.

Jenny recently started running 4 miles for 3 days of the week alternating it with 3 on other days. This was a step of faith for her, and she wanted to measure the progress.  Her PR was 6:42. With Joseph running 6:38 she also felt motivated to retake the the non-Daddy non-Benjamin family record. Benjamin and I paced her. The target was 1:38 laps, then kick in the last lap hoping for a 94 and 6:30 for the mile.

The plan was executed perfectly which was quite remarkable. I was able to hit three 1:38 laps exactly. I think the reason is that Jenny is a very rhythmic runner. I remember back when she was 6 or 7 she would hit the exact same split on every quarter - this amazed me. Sensing her rhythm helped me run evenly. It did help that she never lost contact and I did not have to worry about asking for a low five. Then she kicked and ran the last lap in 92, which gave her 6:28.2 for the mile - a PR by 14 seconds and a huge mental breakthrough.

Jenny ended up with 3 for the day. Benjamin did 8, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.500.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Today was a significant day in our family history. A child with all of his baby teeth did not break a tooth, and did not break a window (another child did earlier), but he broke something else - 7:00 barrier in the mile. This child was Jacob, which now makes it 7 people out of 10 who have broken 7:00 in the mile, while those who have not are all under the age of 5.  We also now have the distinction of having somebody in the family who broke 7:00 before turning 7. This would not have meant much to me if it was my first child, but with the fifth it means a lot because now I know how impossible it is for a 6 year old to crack 7:00 barrier in the mile.

First, I paced Joseph through a 400 in 86.6. This was not quite what we were hoping for - well, you cannot have success all the time. Joseph for the life of him was afraid to really sprint and it was subconscious - there was nothing he could do about it. But this is normal and is not too hard to fix. All we need to do is have Jacob start ahead of him.

Then Benjamin, Joseph, and I helped Jacob break 7:00 in the mile. Unlike with Jenny, the pacing was less than ideal. I blew it in the first 200 opening in 49. After that Jacob did not trust my pacing, so we had to do a lot of low fives to get him going at the right pace. So our first lap was around 1:45, then 1:47. Things were not looking good for sub-7:00, but then Jacob was able to shift gears and hit the next lap in 1:41. That was quite remarkable. He held his own in that last lap with a high 1:42, which gave him 6:57.8 for the mile, and he got his 800 PR by 1 second as well - 3:23. Jacob runs like no other kid I've ever seen - not just in terms of speed, but in terms of pacing. He looks like he is struggling, like what he is giving is all he's got. Then somewhere mid-distance he can just surge, and then he lives after it.

Then I ran more, most with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5,  Joseph and Jacob 2 total, Jenny 4, Julia 3, 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
14.250.000.001.2515.50

A.M. Total of 15 miles. Benjamin did 9, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Jenny 3, Julia 3. I did a workout with Benjamin. The purpose of it to get an idea of how much speed he really had, and also to rattle the cage and try to help him not be afraid of higher speeds in longer distances. I was looking through the Utah USATF records in the 13-14 year old division and to my surprise realized that Benjamin is seriously threatening Josh Rohatinsky's record of 9:49 in 3000 meters and the 1500 record of 4:29 as well. Benjamin ran 10:46 in 3200, if you subtract his slowest 200 from the time, that yields 10:03. The splits were not ideal for a record - 5:32/5:14 with the last two laps being the fastest, and the last lap 10 seconds faster than the average pace in the first 7, neither was having to run alone and having to pass a large number of lapped people on the outside lane - he lapped everybody in the heat at least once. So I see how even without an increase in fitness he could have found those extra 14 seconds needed for the record.

Now, in all honesty I do not think the record is that strong. I think Conner Mantz, for example, could have taken it down when he was 14 if he tried - but he just never ran in a 3000 meter race in a USATF meet, I suppose - I do not know for sure that he had not, but I am suspecting if he had we would have had a different state record. This reminds me of Porter Rockwell's defense in the murder attempt on the governor of Missouri trial - the governor is still alive, that proves I did not shoot, because if I had he would have been dead. 

But take it or leave it, the record is what it is, and we decided to try to break it this year. We are tentatively planning on going to Eugine to run in the Hayward Field Meet in July. That is cheating, because Josh ran his record in the Summer Games in Cedar City at altitude. But I do want to know what Benjamin can run at sea level when he is not winning (or at least when he is pushed) for a benchmark. We might do the Summer Games as well to have a fair comparison.

So anyway, I wanted Benjamin to psychologically prepare for the assault. So the workout was 800-600-400-200 down the Provo Canyon. Well, more precisely the distances were slightly longer - 0.5, 0.375, 0.25, and 0.125 of a mile, but we were on a net downhill of 1-2%, so this was probably equivalent to running on a windless day on a really good track like BYU for the above mentioned track equivalents.

Benjamin again took me to school. 800 - 2:18.5 for him, 2:18.9 for me.  1000 recovery jog, then 600 - 1:41.5 for him, 1:42.8 for me. 800 recovery, then 400 - 62.3 for him, 64.8 for me. 800 jog, then 200 - 29.4 for him, 31.6 for me. That was better than I was expecting. I thought he would run something like 2:20 - 1:44 - 67 - 31.

One thing I miscalculated is how much this workout was going to take out of him. His gluts and hamstrings were almost post-marathon type sore. I assumed incorrectly that he simply would not have the speed to run himself into the ground. He did. His speed is ahead of his resilience. I knew that, but I just did not realize by how much. Well, now we know what we need to work on. There is really not that much to do except be more moderate with the speed, just keep working on the base, and wait for the muscles to become more resilient as he grows and his conditioning improves. Then we can really work on speed and seriously kick some trash.

P.M. 0.5 with William.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.003.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Ran with Chad, Collin, and Steve Ashbaker. We started with a 2 mile warm-up taking Joseph for 2 miles. Jenny and Jacob started with us. Jenny did 4, Jacob 1. Julia did 3, Benjamin was at the camp out and ran 4 miles. 

We ran 18 more making it a total of 20. The last 8 miles we did a tempo. The pace started out around 6:10-6:20 range, then we visited 6:05 and maybe even 6:00 range on occasion. Chad was sick and backed off around 4 miles into the tempo. Collin started having problems with about 3 miles to go and told us to go ahead. Steve was a little edgy with 4 and even 3 miles to go, but knowing that he might not be quite in shape on endurance, I gave him some words of caution, so he held back.  Once we pulled ahead, he started having issues with around 1.5 miles to go. So it was good that he held back. Our last 8 miles was 49:45 - 6:13 average. Collin finished about 50 seconds back.

Based on this workout I predicted that Steve's condition was 2:47 in the Top of Utah if he were to taper and run it in two weeks. He will get into better shape, though.

P.M. Jenny did 0.5 with William. Benjamin wanted to run more, but he had some issue with his hip from the combination of yesterday's workout, and sleeping on hard ground during the camp out. We did some stretching, icing, and massage.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
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. Learned some good things. The lesson in the Elder's Quorum was on the two great commandments - love the Lord, and love thy neighbor as thyself. Was tired when I got home. Took a nap.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.800.000.000.0013.80

A.M. Ran with the kids and Sarah. Total of 13 miles. Benjamin did 7, including a mile with William. He is still recovering from the double hit of the Friday workout and the camp out, but is doing better. We had to stop and stretch/massage him multiple times, but he got through the run. The problem is tight piriformis on the right causing pain at the attachment point to the sacrum in the SI joint area. Tight hamstrings as well contributing to the problem. Not sure if we would be able to do the Uneventful Provo River Half practice on Saturday. But at least he was able to run today - Saturday afternoon after all the massage and stretching he could not even take three running steps.

Jenny did 3, Joseph 3, Julia 3, Jacob 2. William ran a mile with the hand held in 9:57.

P.M. 0.8 for transportation purposes from a car shop to a gas station. Sarah could not find the car shop, and needed to go to the gas station anyway, and I needed a little shakeout run.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 0.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, including 1 with William in 9:27 holding his hand. Jenny did 4. Her aerobic fitness is starting to finally develop. Finally. It has been a struggle over the last 3 years or so. She grew really fast, her muscles could not keep up with the bones, while the heart and lungs could not keep up with the muscles. But she remained in good spirits, we toughed it out together, and she is beginning to break out of it. Today she ran 4 miles in 32:45 with a reasonable degree of aerobic comfort initiating 7:30 pace mid-run unprovoked. She is still having muscle issues - tension in the neck and lower back today. Julia did 3, Jacob 1, Joseph 2. I did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:48 uphill near the house.

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
309.6432.0012.915.25359.80
Green Crocs 5 Miles: 346.80
Night Sleep Time: 215.00Nap Time: 3.50Total Sleep Time: 218.50
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