Breaking the Wall

May 2013

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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: 207.91 Year: 2917.47
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
303.6540.9023.853.15371.55
Green Crocs 5 Miles: 344.05Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 23.00
Night Sleep Time: 210.00Nap Time: 8.50Total Sleep Time: 218.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, William 1 in 9:11 holding Benjamin's hand, Jenny 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia 2.25. Jacob and Julia did a time trial on the track. We are focusing on getting Jacob to break 90 in a 400. This is the qualifying standard for the Hayward Field Youth Meet in Eugine. I am not sure if they have the 800 for sub-Bantams, so to get our basis covered we try to get a qualifier in the 400. Plus it is a good goal - sub-90 400 at the age of 6. 

So Jacob raced Julia in the first lap. I thought she would go with him, but she was to scared. He blasted the first 200 in high 42, then faded and finished with 93.1 - a new PR by 3 seconds. Julia still could not catch him and went through the first lap of her 800 in 98. She finished with another 98 and a total time of 3:16.9, which is a repeat of her PR. The conditions were not very good - it was cold and a little windy. We will try again in a couple of days.

I did a couple of pickups. 0.5 from the house going down in 2:45, and then on the way back the same stretch in 2:45 again. It was odd. The stretch looks like it should be much faster going away from the house. But there is a little bump with the grade reaching 9% which just kills the momentum. Also the downhill is hard to get going on - only about 0.15 in length - I need more than that before I find my downhill stride.  Then the bump, then more or less flat, then downhill again about 100 meters of 4%, and 100 meters of 2%. That one is nice, and I start finding my stride there, but the interval end just when I got going. If you go further, it is not nice - a turn, then concrete pavement going uphill. Concrete is not good - bad traction. So anyway, long story short, that 0.5 interval is slow both ways.

One thing I forgot to report is that last week Benjamin broke the 1700 rating barrier in chess for the first time, and his rating now is 1708. He is starting to pull away from me - mine is 1653. 


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.751.001.500.0012.25

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin's piriformis is still not 100%, although it has been slowly recovering. But we decided to postpone the Uneventful Provo River Half until May 18. He also has 4 AP tests coming up - Chemistry, Computer Science, Calculus BC, and Physics C: Mechanics next week. To keep his brain functional, we will run easy next week. We have an ambitious plan to get high scores, then take the ACT hoping the score is good as well, and apply for the winter semester at BYU. If it does not work, we can always try again, we are used to that. However, Benjamin already has a 4 on Calculus BC to his credit from the last year, which is good enough for BYU Math 112, but it would be nice get Math 113 out of the way as well for $89, so he is taking the Calculus BC test again.

He will run in a USATF track meet in Park City on May 11. The goal is to get the qualifying standard in 3000 for the Hayward Field Meet which is very low - 11:30, but it needs to be an official mark. He will try to crack 10:00, but it might be challenging doing it alone and at 6500 or so feet. But we take what we can get.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 1. I did a pickup for 0.5 at around 5:40 pace, then I did a 2 mile tempo coming back to the house from the canyon. The first mile went well - 5:38, which is good for that course, but then I had an odd incident  - my hamstring seized up, and I had to slow down. I still could run the last uphill mile in 6:00 in spite of that, but that was all I could do. So I ended up with 11:38.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.25
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.500.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2.25, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5. Jenny ran 23:58 for 3 miles - her first easy run in a long time that was sub-8:00 average. 

Jacob and Joseph did a time trial on the track at Orem High. Jacob did 400 while Joseph did 800. We started Jacob just a little bit in front of Joseph after Joseph had already run a lap. It was quite interesting. Joseph opened with 43 high 200, then he got a little cautious and slowed down hitting the first 400 in 90.4 or so. With Jacob in front of him he pushed harder in the second lap. But Jacob, being fresh and starting 2 seconds in front, was way too fast and gapped him by a good margin in the first 200. Then Jacob started to wear out, while Joseph maintained the pace and started to close, but he ran out of road.  Jacob ended up with 91.0 400 - new PR by 2 seconds, while Joseph ran 3:00.4 for the 800 - a new PR by 7 seconds.

Benjamin stood and watched to avoid aggravating his injury by fast running, while I paced Joseph. Benjamin commented on Jacob's turnover. Well, he is not even 4 feet tall yet, so to run a 91 quarter you have to turn over like crazy.

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
10.0010.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, William 1. I did a long run - 20 miles. After running the first 5 I realized I really did not want to go any further at any pace.But yet I knew that if I dug deeper I would find another 5 easy miles followed by 10 hard ones. And I did - I ran my first 10 uphill in 1:15:07, and then came back in 58:56. It was a struggle to do alone, but whenever I slipped to 6:00 pace, I always found another gear that took me back up to 5:50 no matter how late into the run it was, and no matter the terrain. That is a good sign.

I did however feel that I need to get more sleep, so I took care of that right after breakfast. It felt good to take a nap.

I realized not too long ago that I could not name a single sub-2:07 marathoner that did not have some kind of religion in his life. I understand why. Up to a certain point of speed you can run the marathon off your natural talent and conditioning. But there comes a time when you cannot progress any further unless you use your faith. I have been there. When I ran my best marathon I approached the start with trepidation because I knew I would be sprinting from the gun. Yes, to some 5:29 pace is a jog, especially on the St. George course, but to me it is very close to sprinting. I have a good excuse - I have only about two-thirds of the L-4 vertebra. Regardless, it was a scary experience, a step into the dark.

Now, there are people you have a healthy spine and other subsystems, and who can condition themselves to be able to go much faster than that without having to visit that zone. But I believe the limit is around 2:10-2:12 for the most talented, well-trained, well-nourished, and well-rested. To go faster, therefore, even the most fit will have to step into the dark, and move their legs by faith. Where does that faith come from? You need to believe that your running has some kind of a higher purpose. You need to more than believe, you need to know. And that knowledge naturally comes when you have faith in God, and God to you is more than a fictional character or concept, but somebody who sent you here, and somebody who will meet you when you are done with this life.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(30)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. We had a Fast and Testimony meeting, then a lesson in Sunday School about gifts of the Spirit.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.001.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a pickup for a mile. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Benjamin took the AP Chemistry test today at Orem High. This is going to be an interesting benchmark of our educational method. Last year he took Calculus BC test and got a 4, which I thought was a good result for a 13-year-old, but I know calculus well enough to teach the AP test material. I know some chemistry, I successfully challenged BYU Chem 105 19 years ago, I do have a good memory, but it is not perfect, I have not done anything with chemistry since them except occasional curiosity reading, and I found that I did not know enough to teach Benjamin, and I did not have enough time to learn it all either. But I found out that I did not have to. We came up with a study plan, used  KhanAcademy.org, sample tests, Google, and a textbook. He learned what I could not teach him and he taught me some of that in the process as well.  Benjamin came home feeling quite confident in the result, but we will find out how well he learned this when the test scores come out in a month or so.

The concept of an environment where the student exceeds the teacher is something I consider critical for effective education. Not just home school but at any level. When you have a real job, you have to self-learn, you have to figure things out that nobody can teach you. It is a good skill to learn at a young age.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 4, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, Julia 3, William 1. Joseph took Stephen for a short run as well. Stephen is still in diapers, so he does not run regularly as a workout.

Benjamin took the AP Computer Science test. Of the four he is taking this year - Chemistry, Computer Science, Calculus BC, and Physics C: Mechanics this might be the easiest for him because he has quite a bit of programming experience. He had to learn Java for this test - most of his experience is in PHP, although he has programmed in Perl and C as well. He felt quite confident after the test, which is a good sign. He also was the only one taking the test. There were about 20 students at Orem High taking the Chemistry exam, but Orem High does not offer Computer Science as a course so Benjamin was it. But they were nice enough to order the test for us and administer it. They only have to proctor, and send it somewhere else to grade, so it is no big deal for them.

I was perhaps naively surprised that nobody else had thought of learning Java on their own and taking the test like Benjamin. If you get even just a 3 (out of 5 graded on a curve) that is a 3 hour credit at BYU for the introductory Computer Science course. Only $89 - compared to around $500 or so worth of tuition - quite a deal. Well, I am posting it here so the cat will be out of the bag.

I did a 3 mile tempo run from the magic spot in the canyon to the house. First mile downhill, then a rolling climb back to the house. Ended up with 17:08. Did not think I'd be running much faster than 6:00 due to the hamstring tension, but it partially went away, and I realized how much had missed my hamstring. But then in the last mile I started to struggle with the pace I think due to not getting good sleep the night before - for some reason I woke up and just lay there from a little before 5 until I finally decided to get up a little after 6. My time was 17:08.

Julia did 800 meter time trial today at the Orem High track. I paced her. She started out a bit too fast going through the first 100 in 21, but I did not hold her back because she had held herself back too much in the past. I also noticed that if I hold my kids back when they are starting out, they get the wrong idea and settle into a pace that is too slow. So I just let them go and follow them. Once they drop below the target pace, I step forward.

Her 200 was 45, then 1:34 at 400 (49), 2:24 at 600 (50), and the last 200 in 46 finishing in 3:10.8 which is a new PR by 6 seconds, and her first PR of the year.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.0011.50

A.M. Ran with the kids. Total of 11.5. Jenny did 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob did 2.05 miles on our nasty course in 15;48 with the splits of 8:08 for the first half, and 7:40 for the second. I was quite impressed by that. It all started with me challenging Jacob to catch an adult runner ahead of us. He did it without too much of a problem, I invited the runner to join us but he was too intimidated to run with us even though I told him Jacob was only 6 years old - maybe that had the opposite effect. Once Jacob got going, he was maintaining a decent pace, so I challenged him to break 16:00 and he did with vengeance. William did 0.5.

Benjamin took AP Calculus BC today. It took quite a bit out of him. The stress of a third AP test wore on him, and early on he felt his mind was clouded. But then it cleared up and he felt more and more confident in his answers. So we'll see what he got - the worst thing that can happen is that he did not get a 5 - he already has a 4 to his credit from last year. So he ran only 3 miles today to avoid getting sick as he felt a cold coming on - we do have a little cold going around the house.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 11.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Today finally was the day when Benjamin did not have an AP test. I finally got to run with him for the first time this week. We took it easy because he felt like he was catching a cold last night. I also was aware of the stress of those tests, so we had to adjust the mileage to make sure it did not push him into the red zone from that. This made be appreciate home schooling. We do not have to worry about external academic stress except when it is time to test. This has academic benefits, but it also has general health benefits which translates into running benefits among other things. We give academic stimulus when we feel the child can take it, and in the amount that we feel is beneficial. In running the timing and the amount of stimulus is critical - if you do it wrong you either overtrain or undertrain. I believe the same is true in schooling.

So Benjamin just ran 4 with me and Jenny today, and then 5 more with William. Then I took Jacob for 1 mile, and then Joseph for 2. I learned something about Joseph today, it just came to me. Again, another benefit of home schooling and home coaching at the same time made possible by having a telecommuting job. There is no way I could do those things if I had to be at an office all day - even if the scheduling worked out, the stress would have made it difficult for me to observe those things. We started the run, and around a quarter into it I challenged Joseph to beat Jacob's time of 15:48 from the day before. Eager to prove that he is faster than his younger brother,  Joseph accepted the challenge. About a mile into it he started slowing down complaining about a side-ache. But I could tell that it was more than that. Yes, the side ache was making it difficult, but he was not dealing with it right. I let him stop and do a few squats to stretch things out but also for a mental reboot. He when he started running, he was still having a bad attitude, and going a slower pace. Then something clicked, and he sped up. By that time he was a good 20 seconds behind Jacob's pace. He shaved off the difference down to 4 seconds by the end, but still ended up behind with 15:52.

Then it just dawned on me - Joseph has a hard time doing things that require effort and need to be taught how to do it in a special way. Not uncommon for an 8-year-old boy, but he struggles with it more than our other children have so far. A famous quote from him a couple of years ago. Jacob was telling him that he (Jacob) was feeling lazy. Joseph's response: "You are not feeling lazy, you are feeling tired. Lazy is when you have the energy to work, but you do not want to work". We all laughed because we knew Joseph was intimately familiar with the matter.

So I thought of a remedy. It was a non-running remedy but I felt it would benefit his running among other things. I told him to read Benjamin's physics textbook. Joseph objected saying that he had tried and it made no sense to him. Then I knew that this was exactly what he needed. I told him: "When you find something that does not make sense, do not just lay the book aside or read past it. Find me or Benjamin, and ask us to explain to you what that means. Spend more time than 5 seconds fighting with it before you declare that something does not make sense."

The next day later I found him reading that textbook on his own initiative at 9:00 pm in the van while we were coming back from Jenny's play.

Julia ran 3 miles. I added 2.05 at the end on the same Joseph-Jacob nasty course in 11:46.9.


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
8.008.000.000.0016.00

A.M. I did my long run today because of the kids' track meet the next day, except I kept it medium long because I had to work immediately afterwards, and I knew I was not going to get adequate recovery if I made it full 20.  So I ran 8 out uphill in about 59 minutes, and then 8 back down in 46:20- 5:47.5 average. I struggled in the last 2 miles, and especially in the last mile. It did not feel like fuel, I think it was the heart. In fact, for the last two weeks I've felt like I've had a hole in my heart. Well, I do not think there is really a hole, otherwise I would be dead, or at least would not be able to run at all. It is probably just the thinning out of the muscle and it is probably very minor, but to me it is not because all of a sudden my pace drops by 10 seconds per mile terrain adjusted in the last two miles of an 8 mile tempo at the end of a long run, so I call it "a hole".

I have actually considered the idea of training runners to recognize what is going on with their heart by performing the tests at the times they felt there was something different. The idea is this - a trained runner with some HRM experience knows his HR without having to measure it. He knows his pace by feel. With some training he could be taught to identify his stride rate. By the same token he could be trained to identify his lactate concentration and blood glucose level by feel. What else? How about the thickness of the heart muscle in different parts of his heart? Probably a good number of important parameters. Why is this important? A runner with some scientific training paying close attention to his body overtime would be able to formulate a hypothesis about some process that a scientist would never think of because the runner has 24x7 access to a multitude of sensors and can processes their input subconsciously - a luxury not available to a scientist even in the best equipped lab. Then the scientist could test it and prove it in a lab.

I wrote to a couple of researchers about it. They agreed with me that it was a good idea, but as far as I know it never progressed beyond the status of a good idea. I suppose if I really wanted to push this beyond it I could get a degree in cardiology, get my hands on the equipment, and start doing it. Or maybe there is a better way - I need to become good friends with a cardiologist that has access to the equipment, is a bit of an unconventional thinker, and is interested in exercise. If you know anybody, give them a reference to this post.

Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, William 1.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.003.000.0012.50

A.M. Did 12 total with Steve Ashbaker and Chad. We ran out 6, then on the way back did the 3 mile tempo course from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. On the positive side of things, I woke up without the feeling of "the hole" in the heart. One difference between this night and others was that when Matthew woke up Sarah did not wake me up to get him. I have been getting up and bringing him to her to nurse because if she gets out of bed, she has a hard time falling asleep. I have been falling asleep after getting him right away, but I think he has been timing his wakefulness just when my sleep was in the middle of doing heart repair. 

In any case, because I ran hard yesterday, my plan for the tempo was to just keep company to Chad and Steve. I was hoping the pace would not be much faster than 5:40, but I was wrong. We went through the first mile in 5:19. Then I knew that the heart repair was good because this pace felt very manageable in spite of the 16 miler with an 8 mile tempo the day before.  Shortly after 2000 Steve dropped back, but Chad was still pushing it. We hit 1.5 in 7:59. I was sitting behind Chad for two reasons. One is that I was lazy and I did not want the pace to be any faster than it already was. The other was that I felt that if I had approached the run taking responsibility for the pace, I might go too fast for both of us because I was not sure that Chad could hold 5:20 pace all the way. But when Chad's pace started to slip I decided to step forward and help him - I felt that 5:30 was good for my health, and that it would also help Chad get a really good time and a confidence builder for the Ogden marathon. So we ran like that to the end. We hit 2 miles in 10:45 (5:26), 2.5 in 13:31, and then finished in 16:16 (5:31 for the last mile).

Jenny ran 3 miles including 1 with William.

P.M. Took Benjamin, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob to the USATF track meet in Park City at the Park City High track. The reason we were there was to practice competing, and get some official times for the track meet in Eugine on July 13 which requires qualifiers. Jenny could not do it because she was in a play - she would have to get her qualifier in the next meet. The meet qualifying standards are here. So Joseph and Jacob had to run 3:30 for the 800, Julia had to run 3:20 because even though she is still only 10, she counts as a Midget because her birth year is 2002, and Benjamin had to run 11:30 for 3000.

With Benjamin we had several plans - plan A was to break 10:00, plan A+ was to take down Josh Rohatinsky's Youth state record of 9:49, plan A- was to run a little slower than 10:00, and plan C was to hit the qualifier of 11:30 for the Eugine meet.

There were some things against him - the track is located at the altitude of 6770 feet, his race started at 1:30 pm with the sun shining brightly, there were only 3 other runners in the race, which was better than the worst we were afraid of, but none of them could help with the pace even for a lap, Benjamin had done no speed for two weeks - the first week due to the injured piriformis and the second due to the AP tests and a minor cold, and he did take three AP tests this week which took quite a bit out of him. So I held the A+ and the A plans out there, but I knew that it would be difficult to get them. However, trying to get them he would do the best that he could under the circumstances, so I told him to pace for 10:00, and if things were good, go for the record, and if not, hang in there and just do his best.

He ran 10:10.3 with the following splits: 78.9, 79.2, 79.6, 83.0, 84.9, 85.1, 85.1, 34.6. The altitude got to him on the fourth lap. This was a good learning experience and it reveals something we need to work on - aerobic conditioning. Well, his conditioning is OK, but he is aerobically underdeveloped, which is not a surprise - he is in the middle of maturation, which creates an imbalance with the body being too big for the cardiovascular system, but I've seen it worse. In fact, I think because of his training this growth-related aerobic capacity lapse has been mitigated so well that you have to take him to 6700 feet or have him run a fast pace past 3 miles to notice the problem. But it is good to know the problem exists. I was very happy with this performance, and particularly with his ability to muster a 34.6 kick with no competitor in sight unless you count the ones being lapped after struggling with several 85 second laps.

For a comparison, Josh ran 9:49 at 5782 feet when he set his record. So now I think we can say for sure that Benjamin is honestly within 21 seconds of that performance by all counts.

A well-meaning coach suggested that next time Benjamin should run in "real shoes", which Benjamin wisely and politely corrected explaining that he has run all of his PRs in Crocs including a 200 in 29.

Joseph and Jacob were in the same heat and they dominated it. Joseph went through the first lap in 95. I yelled at him to speed up, and he did hitting the next lap in 91 high finishing in 3:06.97. Jacob was second with the first lap in 97 and the second lap in 99 finishing in 3:16.15, which is his new PR. Both qualified for the meet.

Julia ran the first lap in 92, but then on the second lap her low iron came into play at the higher altitude and she struggled. But she still held it together and finished in 3:11.8 (still do not have her official time) in third place in the Midget girls and hitting the meet qualifier of 3:20 with room to spare.

I ended up jogging about 0.5 going back and forth. Joseph and Jacob ran about 1 each total, Julia around 1.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. The talks and lessons naturally focused around Mother's Day. Afterwards the children put on a mother's day celebration for Sarah. They sent me and her on a date of sorts - they set up a table outside and made us lunch for two.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.250.002.250.0016.50

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 2.5 (easy before AP Physics), William 0.5, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2. I did a pickup for 2.25 in 13:04- 5:48 pace - over the rollers to catch up to Sarah, then ran with her. She did a total of 3. With Benjamin getting a bunch of AP tests at once instead of one every two months or so I remembered a Russian joke back from the Soviet days:

A man dies. He has lived a sinful life and is condemned to hell. However he is offered a choice - the socialist hell or the capitalist hell. He inquires of the difference and is told that in both hells he will have 30 nails pounded into his back every month. The difference is that in the capitalist hell he gets one every day, while in the socialist hell he gets all 30 at the end of the month.

After some thinking I realized also that Benjamin was subjected to a form of cruel and unusual punishment on Saturday having to run 3000 alone on the track in Park City at 6770 feet at 1:30 pm with the sun shining bright and clear above him and the air temperature of 75F - not a lot after 6 PM when sunlight is indirect, but earlier in the day it is not pleasant . Well, I knew that, but I had not quite thought it through and had not felt the depth of it. But it was good, because it pushed him to the limit psychologically, and revealed some things about his aerobic conditioning that would not have been so apparent otherwise. And he did run 10:10 and now has a respectable and official 3000 meter time.

P.M. Benjamin ran 1 back from the AP test. Later in the eventing he and I went for an easy 4.5. Both of us were having stomach problems, but we each had a different mode of issue. He was throwing up small amounts of liquid, while I had diarrhea. He felt worse than I did as my emissions were more effective. We remembered Bob Kempainen in the 96 Olympic Trials. It is rather symbolic that the KemPAINen has PAIN in it. My kids know this story (throwing up while running 4:55 pace at the end of a marathon), as well as the one about Lasse Viren falling but still winning the Olympic 10,000 in 1972 with a world record, as well as they know the one about the wolf and the three little pigs, and others of the kind - and you can guess why.  Sometimes they struggle when they run, and when they are younger, they complain. When they are older, they just recall those stories and draw strength from them.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.600.002.001.0013.60

A.M. Total of 13.6. Ran with Dave Taylor. We did the 3 mile tempo from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. The purpose was to evaluate what's up with Dave's fast starts. So I told him to just start like he would in a half-marathon, and then we'll see what happens. The deal was that if he was going sub-5:00 I would slow him down, but otherwise we'll just let the pace he chose stand. In the first 100 meters the pace was sub-5:00, which resulted in a warning, and a slightly slower pace afterwards. We got to the first mile in 5:09. I tucked behind him hanging on for dear life and wondering what would happen if he kept it all the way. On one hand the prospect of breaking 15:30 sounded exciting. On the other hand, the pain of was was not so. I felt that if I could just find the right spot behind him that minimized air resistance I could perhaps run around 15:30 today, but I would need that magic spot.

At the start of the second mile the pace eased to 5:20, and finally became manageable. After 2000 it dropped off to 5:28, but I was in no hurry to step up and help with the pace because I wanted to rest from that 5:09. Our split at 1.5 was 7:51. That quarter in 82 gave me enough of a break, though, that I felt ready to step up and pull Dave for the rest of the tempo at 5:20 if needed. I made an effort to shift gears and get back to 5:20, but I saw that Dave was dropping back, so I corrected to around 5:30-5:35, which I did not mind too much. We hit 2 miles in 10:37 (5:28), then 13:23 at 2.5, and 16:09.9 at the finish with the last mile in 5:32.

Dave and I had opposite experiences in this run. He felt the first mile was easy and then it got progressively harder. I felt that the first mile was hard, and then it got progressively easier. My partial explanation of that is that he has been running only 40 miles a week so his aerobic conditioning is lacking. So he runs the right pace from the gun, but he just cannot hold it. We will work on fixing that, though. Our next workout will be even 5:20 pace for all three miles. In between, I recommended that Dave should run 8 miles a day at an easy pace.

We ran the cool-down to our house, and then I ran with some of the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Benjamin 8, William 1.

After I ate breakfast and got the kids going on their math practice, my body asked for a nap, and I obliged. Felt much better after a nap.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.503.002.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Did a workout with Benjamin. The purpose was to evaluate his aerobic conditioning, and to develop it. We did 10 miles from the house into the canyon, and then back alternating fast and slow miles. The target for fast was around 6:00, for slow no slower than 8:00. We started with a slow mile. Our fast mile splits were - 5:59 (up a small grade into headwind), 5:53 (up, less headwind), 5:50 (down), 5:54 (down), 5:50 (up to the house). The slowest recovery mile was 7:45. Total time for 10 was 1:08:13. This workout is difficult psychologically because you think you are resting, but in truth you are not quite resting. The first fast two miles took a lot of out of Benjamin and strained me as well because of the headwind and the uphill. However, I recovered faster - that is one difference between us. He can drop me in a 3 mile tempo, but because of the difference in aerobic development I recover almost instantaneously after a near maximum effort that, as my mother likes to say, makes me "see Paris", while Benjamin is not quite there yet, and needs more recovery even from a very much sub-maximal effort.

So when we finished the second mile repeat he was hurting both physically and emotionally - uphill running into a headwind beats you up in both ways. On the way back he recovered some as we dialed down the effort, and was able to give it a good push in the last uphill mile making me work.

With the better understanding of Benjamin's recovery process we decided it would be better for Benjamin to do a 10 miler at 6:00 pace on my regular 20 miler course on Saturday instead of the Uneventful Provo River Half.

Then I ran 2 with Joseph and Jacob, while Jenny and Julia ran 3. Then I ran 0.5 with William.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.400.100.0015.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Took Jenny to the track and we did 800 meter time trial. The goal was to break 3:00 and retake the non-Benjamin non-Daddy family record in the distance which was currently held by Joseph (3:00.4). We started out a little fast - Jenny was a bit edgy, and I had to run faster to take the position in front of her. This resulted in the first 100 in 19 seconds. I realized my mistake and gently took the foot off the gas, but the damage had already been done. To make things more interesting, there were two ladies with a small dog walking around the track. Jenny is a big girl (5'5'' at 12 years old) but has a strong dislike of little dogs. So she swerved into lane 4 or 5 to avoid the dog. With all the excitement we got to the 200 in 41. At this point I just hoped that she would survive, and also that she would not get tripped up by the little dog on the second lap. Fortunately, things worked out and she was able to get her goal.

We hit 400 in 87(46), and got to 600 in  2:13(46). At this point I emphasized the urgency of a strong kick. Jenny gave a good push. We caught up to the dog. I warned Jenny not to swerve this time. The dog went after Jenny. Jenny kicked harder to outrun the dog and finished in 2:57.1 with the last 200 in 44 and the last 400 in 90. This is a PR by 11 seconds. Now she needs to do something like that in an official meet. She needs to run 3:05 to qualify for the meet in Eugine.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny ran a total of 3, Julia did 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1.

P.M. We got a new stroller from Amazon. It is a Schwin double-stroller. We paid $215 for it. It is very nice - has suspension, the front wheel swivels, and it is very light. Clearly the strollers have made some improvements in the last 10 years or so. So tonight I tried it out with Matthew in it. Of course, after running the first 600 meters I realized that I needed to go to the bathroom really bad - when I start doing doubles I run into this problem - just cannot clear out my stomach properly before the run. Possibly a side effect of my spinal problem. This resulted in a route change and I barely made it to the house. Total of 3 miles.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1. I enjoyed watching Joseph and Jacob take it easy as they coasted through the run at slightly faster than 9:00 pace, and then with about 500 to go they decided to get down to business and sped up to around 7:00 and just blasted their way up the hill at the end. So they ended up running 17:19 (Joseph), and 17:22 (Jacob). Jenny ran 4 miles in 32:39 which is her fastest training run time on that course. I am happy to see that 8:00 pace is becoming more natural for her again after her growth spurt. During Julia's run I pushed Stephen and Matthew in the stroller.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.0010.000.000.0023.00

A.M. Total of 23 miles in 2:37:39 which is 6:51 average which is on pace for 2:59:43 marathon. Today was a rather unusual run. First, Benjamin and I drove to the park at the start of the Provo City Half Marathon in South Fork, left the car there and ran about 0.5 warm up to the start of my 10 mile tempo course. Then we ran the 10 mile tempo to the house. The purpose of this workout was to help Benjamin remove the fear of running 5:50-6:00 pace for a long time in preparation for the Utah Valley Half. We also wanted to test his capabilities in running long. I was not sure exactly where he stood over such long distances and wanted to see if it would even be wise right now for him to race the half.

Benjamin did better than I expected. He groaned a few times in the early miles as he pondered the reality of running this fast for this long. Then around mile 3 he began to feel more confident and to lose the fear. The pace was quite steady - I tried to hit all quarters in 88. If I saw 89 I sped up, if I saw 87 I took my foot off the gas. Benjamin was keeping the pace up until we hit 9.5. Then the combination of the fatigue from the actual running and the fear of the hills over the last 0.5 leading back to the house ate him alive and he slowed down to 93 going uphill. In the last quarter he rebooted and sped up to 90. We finished in 58:34, 5:51 average. So hopefully he can run around 1:16-1:17 in the Utah Valley Half - we'll see.

Then I ran 3 with Joseph in 26:22. Jenny and Julia did 3, William 1, Jacob 1. I drank some EmergenC mixed with dextrose for energy and headed back to the car. My original plan was to just go a little faster than 8:00, but I felt good and I wanted to be done with the run sooner, so I averaged around 7:10 up the Provo Canyon, and at times was hitting 6:40. I was happy that I felt healthy in the last mile, the heart was working well. That is a good sign for the marathon.

Come to think of it, it is quite remarkable how much easier it is to run a marathon when you slow down even if the pace is ridiculously uneven. On this type of course - no net elevation drop, highest point at 5500 feet, lowest point at 4700 feet or so, I would be quite lucky to break 2:40.  Yet slow me down by 20 minutes, and even though some of that was at 5:51 pace and some at Joseph's pace (8:50) I am quite happy - this is now a normal training run.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 23.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Heard some goods talks in Sacrament. They were on joy. There is temporary joy, and then there is lasting joy. One speaker mentioned that there are only two days that a boat owner is happy - the day he buys it, and the day he sells it. The same speaker mentioned that the oldest user of Facebook is 105 years old, followed by a quote from somebody else that no matter how old you are you can always find a way to waste the little bit you have left.

Took a much needed nap in the afternoon. Then we visited Sarah's parents. Maybe it was just bad luck today, but it appears to me that drivers in West Valley do not like 15-passenger vans or at least do not appreciate what it takes to maneuver one through traffic. I had trouble changing lanes from left to right every single time - I turned on my blinker, let it run for long enough, watched the mirrors waiting for other drivers to make room, then eventually I just had to gradually move over in one case, and another time I lucked out with another car in the right lane in front slowing down to make a turn which blocked the pursuing lane-change obstructor in the right lane and gave us enough room to do it safely.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran total of 12 - all with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin is recovering well from the 10 mile tempo on Saturday - the damage appears to be only a little bit of fatigue noticeable in the last 2 miles of the run today and some soreness in the calves. This is perfect, better than I expected. This Saturday he plans to attack the 1500 meter Utah State Youth record (13-14 years age division) in the UVU USATF track meet. The record is 4:29 and belongs to Josh Rohatinsky.  Benjamin ran 5:03.7 in the 1609.34 (full mile) on the track last year in a time trial, which is on pace for 4:43.1 1500, and Mt. Sac Relay conversion chart gives 4:41.3 1500 for that performance. This year I can tell from workouts and races that his speed is better, but will this be enough to improve by 12 seconds in who knows what kind of conditions - the UVU track tends to be windy? We'll see.

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
11.600.003.000.0014.60

A.M. Total of 14.6. Ran 10.6 with Dave Taylor. We repeated our workout from last week except this time the goal was to hold an even 5:20 pace for the whole thing, and I was setting the pace. Matthew is teething, so he did not go to sleep right a way, and woke up in the middle of the night more than usual - I recall getting him twice. So during the warm-up I felt a little sluggish and reluctant to run anything faster than 8:00, and was concerned about my ability to even just run 5:20 even being paced, much less pace it myself, but it turned out OK.

Dave came wearing a shirt from a fundraiser 5 K for a bathroom in a Kenyan village. In honor of his shirt I went to the bathroom twice before the run, and three times during our 5.3 mile warm-up. This is not an upset stomach for me - upset stomach will make me stop every mile. This was just slightly higher than normal. Paul would have called this a five star performance.

We opened with 81 quarter which was actually OK because that quarter is a little slower due to a nasty rhythm-breaking uphill bump half way through it. But I hit the gas to make up, and overdid it a little with 77 on a nice downhill quarter. Then I eased off a little and we did 79, and 79 high, which gave us 5:16 high for the first mile. I proceeded with caution and we did 80 high, 81, 80, and 81, which brought us to 2 miles in 10:39 (5:23 for the mile). Dave was quite edgy in the first mile, but towards the end of the second seemed to struggle some. At the start of the third mile he got right on my shoulder and I figured he was ready for a good push, so I hit 78 in the next quarter. But then I sensed that he was struggling and eased off to 81. He struggled more - I did my best to keep the pace fast enough to hold off the 5:20 guy, but slow enough to keep Dave in contact. It was difficult because it was close enough to my limit that I did not have the granularity of pacing, yet I could not just go for misery and give it a good push because it would have been too fast. However, having a mark every 330 feet really helped. Next quarter was 82. In the last quarter Dave gave a push, and managed an 80, which was exactly what we needed to hit our goal.  The total time was 16:00.4 with the last mile in 5:21. I suppose now that I am a master I should record this as my master's record for this course.

During the cool down Dave started pushing the pace immediately. Then I realized that he has a problem controlling his adrenal glands - he has a hard time turning them off when they should be turned off, and revving them up when they should be revved up. So I think the next workout he should do is the same 3 mile tempo run, except with the splits of 5:30, 5:23, and 5:15. 

When I got home I ran 1 mile with William. Benjamin ran with Joseph and Jacob and then 4 more miles alone, total of 8. Joseph did 3, while Jacob did 1. I ran 3 more with Julia, and the stroller which had Matthew and Elsie - Sarah's training partner's daughter. Total kid weight in the stroller was 46 lb. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.60Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.500.000.000.0015.50

A.M. Ran with the kids for most of the run. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1.

Decided to study more about Einstein's mass-energy formula (E = m*C^2). Found what I needed, then followed a few links, studied alpha decay, then found a list of incidents of radioactive poisoning. On that list there was the case of Nicholay Khokhlov with the date of 1957. Read more about it. He was KGB agent that defected after refusing to carry out an assassination order. In retaliation the KGB attempted to poison him with a radioactive element claimed to be thalium, but according to some KGB sources it was actually polonium-210, the same substance used in a more recent radioactive poisoning case of another KGB agent that defected (Litvinenko). But Khokhlov miraculously survived, and lived another 50 years after that. In 1957 he wrote a book in Russian, which was later translated into English. This is quite a story - he talks about how he was recruited by NKVD in 1941, his training in secret methods, his mission as a supposed German officer implanted in the midst of a German army, other activities, and how overtime he realizes that the Communist system is fundamentally corrupt. Great read if you know Russian - this was one time I was very thankful to have it as my native language.

P.M. 3 with Jenny and Matthew in the stroller. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.750.002.000.2512.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. I did a pickup with Benjamin for a quarter uphill in 80.5, the way Benjamin felt gave us a concern that he might have forgotten how to run middle distances, so we are going to do a little reminder tomorrow. I did our 2.05 or so course in 11:45 at the end. 4 miles with the stroller and Matthew and Stephen in it. I realized starting the run with Jacob that it was going to get interesting and was quite concerned about Jacob's tendency to pick it up to 6:40 when we reach the 6% uphill grade at the end. This was exactly what he did - barely survived it, it felt like 5:00 - %6 uphill grade with the stroller weighing around 50 lb takes a lot out of me. We ended up doing 7:52 for this slightly longer than the mile course.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.000.000.4012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a middle distance running reminder with Benjamin to be ready for the 1500 tomorrow - 600 pickup down the canyon in 1:46.9. Benjamin did a total of 5. Jenny and Julia did 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1. 4 miles with the stroller and Matthew and Stephen in it.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.507.000.000.0016.50

A.M. Did a short version of the long run before the track meet today. Ran into Jeff Gagen, and he joined me. I paced him through an 8 mile tempo run on the way back in 48:28, around 6:03.5 average. About half way through I told him about Lasse Viren, Be Still My Soul/Finlandia, the Finnish word "sisu", Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon, and then combining all of the above persuaded him to run all of the 8 miles to my house at that pace. He found some "sisu" and made it.

Late A.M/Ealry P.M: Track meet at UVU. Benjamin ran the 1500 in 4:35.0 with the splits of 72.7, 74.1, 75.1, and 52.7 for the last 300, which is 70.3 400 pace. No state record today, missed it by 5.6 seconds. Combination of wind and running alone. Nevertheless, he got an official 1500 meter PR and won the race by more than a minute. I am happy that he won the race, but I am not happy that again he had nobody to run with for any duration of the race. That is the nature of racing in his age group at least in Utah. Kids start running for a high school or a junior high and stop coming to USATF track meets. Unfortunate, but not unfortunate enough for us to just surrender to the system. There is competition at the national level in such meets, and there are adults to race in road races. And once in a while we fight windmills by trying to set a record in what ends up essentially being a time trial under adverse conditions. This is a good way to learn mental toughness, and if we actually get the record, there will be an extra bonus.

Benjamin's performance today, however, gives me hope that given some oxygen and somebody to follow in Eugine he could tuck in behind the guys that are running a low-9:00 in 3000 and make it to 2000 or so. Then if he could just hold on and run something respectable like a 3:20 for the last 1000, and finish in 9:30 low or even a little under, I would be quite happy. And it would be an official Utah State Youth record, although Josh recalls running 9:20 at the age of 13 in Florida in the national USATF championship, but for some reason that performance was not registered as the Utah record and I cannot find anything official online.

Joseph ran 3:05 with the splits of 89 - 96. He was running well until a Bantam boy in the same heat passed him. Then I think he mentally just could not deal with it. Jacob opened courageously in 94, but it might have been too fast - he faded and finished in 3:16. Julia and Jenny I think were both affected by the heat - the temperature got to 82 degrees. Julia could not get going and opened with a 98. She held the pace, finishing in 97 for the second lap with 3:15.8. Jenny started ok - 44 seconds, but then I think she was just not handling the heat and the competition emotionally and slowed down to 51 with 95 for the first lap. Then she sped up a little with 48, and finished with a 45 200 - 3:08.9, and missed the qualifying mark which I though she had pretty much in the bag after her 2:57 time trial. Well, she'll try again.

I jogged around 0.5 warming up with Joseph and Jacob. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a dual missionary home coming. One just got back from Romania, the other from Minnesota. The one that returned from Minnesota was actually originally from Ghana. He came to study at BYU, joined the Church, then decided to go on a mission. But he did not have a home ward, so our ward "adopted" him. His situation was quite similar to mine in some way. I got "adopted" by a ward in West Valley half-way through my mission, and my "home coming" was in that ward.     

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran 14 with Chad. Some of it was with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.600.002.001.0013.60

A.M. Total of 13.6. Did a workout with Benjamin and Dave Taylor. The plan was the same 3 mile tempo with the splits of 5:30 - 5:23 - 5:15. We did the usual warm-up of 5.3 miles, which perhaps was too long for Benjamin, but I figured it would be good for him since he'll be running a half marathon.

Benjamin and I ran in front for the first two miles, while Dave sat back. Our first quarter was too slow - 86, but that was OK for this run since its purpose is to turn up the heat gradually. Then we did 80, 83, and 80 - a bit unsteady, my fault, arriving at the mile in 5:29. Then 82, 81, 81, 80 - 5:24 for the next mile, and 10:53 at 2 miles. Benjamin groaned in a whiny manner at around 1.75. I know very well what that groan means, and I told him to man up. But apparently he was caught by surprise by the gradual pace increase, and it mentally fried him like the proverbial frog frequently mentioned in church lessons on temptation - if you turn up the heat quickly the frog jumps, but if you turn it up slowly it does not know when to jump. So when Dave turned up the heat even more after 2 miles, that delivered the final punch - Benjamin completely lost confidence and stopped. I followed Dave, but he was too fast for me - my quarter was 77, his was more like 75-76. However, over the next quarter he slowed down and I was holding even, and then I started to gradually creep up on him, but was not closing much. But in the last quarter he was out of juice, so I was able to catch him and pass him with 200 to go. My total time was 16:04, last mile in 5:11, he got 16:05, last mile in 5:12.

Benjamin stood for about 20-30 seconds, regained his senses, and started running again. He actually still managed 16:56 even with that mental breakdown stop. Such mental breakdowns do happen at an age that is much older than 14, and in races at a very high level. Gordon Pirie got broken like this in the epic duel against Vladimir Kutz in the 10,000 meter race in the 1956 Olympics. This is the very well known part. The less known part is that the Soviet officials asked Kutz after the race what he would have done had Pirie remained with him in the final surge. His answer was as honest as it gets, and is quite shocking given the circumstance - "I would have dropped out." Kutz was running at his physical and psychological limit as well.

I enjoy the moments when my children run well, but the moments when they experience trouble are in some way particularly special. I appreciate the chance to be with them to teach them resilience when things do not go well. Long-term those moments are more important for their development than when everything goes as planned. Because in life things often do not go as planned, and you need to deal with unexpected problems. So Benjamin and I had a good talk. He wanted to know why he broke down like this. I explained to him that there were several factors. Physically there was some fatigue from the 1500 meter race on Saturday. There was still perhaps some fatigue from the 10 mile run a week ago. On top of that, there was a 5.3 mile warm-up which was about 2/3 of his usual daily mileage. But there was also a psychological aspect. He started the run expecting 5:30 pace to be easy. After running 5 miles uphill at a slow pace it was not. As he thought about having to speed up from that he began to panic. As the fatigue increased and the pace increased he panicked even more. On top of that Dave had more juice that he was expecting. Finally it all came together, and broke him mentally. I explained to him that things like that have happened to Ryan Hall, and are actually quite common among world-class athletes. We developed a plan to move to a new level of psychological strength where he would have resilience against this turn of events. Part of the plan is to repeat the workout next Tuesday.

With Dave everything was perfect except that he started his kick one quarter too soon, and also perhaps too hard. I would have thought that two slower, but still quite fast miles would even out his adrenal throttle control, but he still managed to repeat the microcosm of his usual half-marathon pacing in the last mile of the tempo. Next time we will repeat this with kick starting with 0.75 to go.

When we got back I did 1 with William, and 2 with Joseph and Jacob. Jenny and Julia ran 2 on their own.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. All with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. Julia set an unexpected PR on our 3 mile course. She started out a bit quicker than normal hitting the first half in 12:09. When she turned around I challenged her to break 24:00, and maybe even her record of 23:42. She outdid my expectations and ran 11:03 for the second half, so her time was 23:12. it has been a while since she wanted to push in a longer run, so this came as a surprise to me. She has struggled with low iron over the last couple of years which affected her endurance and competitive drive. As I mentioned in my post on Tuesday, I am happy when my children succeed, but I am also thankful that I can be there to help them when they struggle, and I am thankful there are struggles and problems to solve because that is when the real growth comes - for them and for me.

Last night I finished Nikholay Khokhlov's book about his life as a KGB agent, and subsequent defection. There were some valuable lessons in that book. This would be the next book that I will read with Benjamin in Russian. We have been reading "The Story of a Real Man" about a Russian pilot in the Second World War that gets shot down behind the enemy lines, shatters his feet, manages to survive for two weeks crawling through a forest during early spring, then is discovered by Russian villagers that are hiding from the Germans in that forest, eventually recovers, and flies again in combat. The story is based on actual events - the pilot survived the war, actually managed to live past 80 years old and died in 2001. We are progressing through it at snails pace, only a few paragraphs a day, but it has been a great learning experience for Benjamin - his Russian has been improving. He learned some things that I have always taken for granted - for example, that there is a verb in Russian that means "to carry out insurgent operations against occupying enemy force" with all kinds of freely used derivatives that are still found in day-to-day speech even though the war ended almost 70 years ago.

Later we drove to Goblin Valley. Kids had a lot of fun playing on the dirt "goblins". Matthew liked the passing lane on highway 6 because when we got there I would speed up to pass whatever was in front of us. Hitting the bumps in the road at a higher speed helped rock Matthew to sleep. 

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. Total of 12. All with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3.5, Joseph and Jacob 2, William did 1 mile in 8:47 holding Benjamin's hand, but still even with a held hand we've never had a 4 year old go under 9:00. Pushed Matthew and Stephen in the stroller for 3 miles.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 0.5 on the 2 mile race course to get a sense of the pace in 2:35.8. This was a slight downhill.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
303.6540.9023.853.15371.55
Green Crocs 5 Miles: 344.05Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 23.00
Night Sleep Time: 210.00Nap Time: 8.50Total Sleep Time: 218.50
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