A.M. Started with 10.7 alone with a 3 mile tempo up the Provo Canyon. I decided I am not running another race until that 3 mile tempo is sub-6:00 in every mile at least on some day. The wind changes from day to day, and is usually a headwind, but it is abnormal for me to not be able to crack 6:00 on every mile at least on some days when the wind is relatively mild. I believe the cause of the latest struggles is that overtime my lower spine gradually caved in due to the overload from malformed L-4 and partially lost its resilience. This year I have never been able to run those 3 miles faster than 18:39, and the last mile of 6:30 was about the best I could do. It is more uphill than the first two, and it does have more headwind, but in the past I have been able to run it under 6:00. The downhill performance has been decent - this year I've run under 16:00 several times, which is comparable to the downhill times from the same period when I was frequently running 17:30-17:45 on the uphill with the last mile under 6:00.
So I started doing things to take care of the spinal resilience. Added more calcium to the diet to keep the bones from falling apart, started doing back muscles strengthening exercises to partially compensate where the spine is failing, and started hanging upside down on the inversion table to encourage some spinal regeneration. Once a week (or twice if motivated) I will be running this uphill tempo to measure the progress and get an idea if I am on the right track. No point in racing until the problem is fixed unless for one reason or another I really want to run 2:36 or slower on a Top of Utah like course in good conditions.
Today I ran 18:29 with the splits of 5:59, 6:15, 6:15. I was happy that I did not slow down in the third mile - every other time I did this run this year I slowed down a lot - at least 20 seconds per mile. About half way through the run I prayed for some hope. I figured I needed to define hope numerically, and said if I can run a low 6:20 in the last mile, we can call that hope. My prayer was answered with a 6:15, for which I am thankful. I am learning that when you pray you need to be accepting of the Lord's timing, and only ask for things that are expedient in the Lord's schedule which you have earned with your faith. Sometimes we may get arrogant and start thinking that we have earned something with our faith which we have not yet. That is perhaps one of the most common causes for prayers not being answered in the way we expect.
Got home, ran 2 with Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob, then 6 more with Benjamin. Total of 18.7 for the run.
P.M. 0.3 with William during our relay practice on the track. I discovered that Stephen can do 200 in 2:06, and William in 1:14. I did the calculations, and am estimating we can do the wedding relay 5000 in under 18:00 if everybody runs like I am expecting them, and Benjamin and I can do alternating quarters with 72 average.