Breaking the Wall

Heart of Holladay 5 K

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Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



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.


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 eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
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Went with Sarah, our kids, Ted, his wife Elizabeth, and their kids to the zoo. Got there via a running detour adventure. Ted and I along with our running kids got dropped off at the East Canyon exit on I-80. Then as each child was done with his run, he would get picked up and continue the journey in the car. Julia ran a half mile in 4:33 downhill singing the entire way. Jenny ran the mile, mostly downhill but the last quarter uphill in 8:51. Benjamin and James continued to the 2 mile mark with the last mile being unending uphill, and finished in 18:27.

As we climbed up the Little Mountain hill we saw a snake hiding in the pavement crack. We went about 8:20 pace on the climb, and maintained somewhere between 6:20-6:40 on the downhill in the Emigration Canyon. Picked up a bit on the last mile, ran it in 5:56. It was nice to study DesNews course at a conversational pace with a brain that is getting a full supply of blood sugar, but with the legs actually feeling the terrain. I had never done this before.

Afterwards we saw lots of interesting animals at the zoo. I liked the big turtle and the crocodile that looked like a log.

Ran 2 easy miles in the evening to pad the mileage to the goal. 

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Standard 10 mile tempo today. James had a track meet at 8:00 AM, so Ted and I started our run at 8:50. It was warm by then (around 65), and it kept getting warmer (70+). We jogged 1.9 and then I started the tempo.

First 2.5 in 14:26, felt easy. HR at 150. Turned around, came back in 14:30. This one felt harder, possibly due to warmer temperatures. 28:56 at 5 miles. Consciously decided to pick it up a bit on the third 2.5, ran it in 14:21. Felt like I had to work a lot harder, but the heart rate was very reasonable for the conditions - hovering between 153 and 155.

On the last 2.5 shifted gears into the threshold pace. The goal was to go under 14:00. My first quarter after the 180 turn was 1:25. After than, the slower quarter was 1:24.5. Last mile in 5:32, last 600 in 2:01, last 2.5 in 13:55, last 5 in 28:16, and the total time of 57:12, fastest time this year so far.

Interesting experience on the last 2.5. I felt like the pain of the pace was sustaining the neural drive to keep it. That happens to me only when I start getting into really good shape. It is instinctive, you cannot consciously make it happen, you have to train a certain way for this instinct to develop.

Immediately after I finished, Ted took me for a brisk cool down. He announced he was 1:15 ahead of the 7:00 mile guy, and he planned to run another 5.3 miles and stay ahead of him. So we almost immediately started running sub-7:00 pace. Not a relaxing cool down at all, especially with the temperatures approaching 80.

Got home finally, Ted stayed ahead of the 7:00 mile guy, I ended up beating the 6:20 guy for 17.25 miles with the average pace of 6:18. As soon as I walked in, Julia wanted me to take her for a run. I told her I needed to get some water in first. Then took her for her standard 0.5 mile run.

Ran with Benjamin and Jenny in the afternoon.

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Easy run with Ted in the morning. 10.04 in 1:09:33. Started out at 7:30 pace, and eventually sped up to 6:20 on the last couple of miles. Then ran with Benjamin and Jenny. A little later with Julia.

Ran to the water park and back in the evening. We played at the water park. 

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Ran the warm-up with Ted from my house. Lots of runners on the trail today and yesterday, a lot more than usual. Thanks to the blog I have an idea why - it is the start of the 18 week training program for St. George. It is my hope that we can do enough education and motivation through the blog that there will not be a significant increase in the number of runners at that particular time period in the near future. One's training patterns should not have to drastically change just because a marathon is 18 weeks a way. I find the mentality of cram training particularly annoying. I often get asked which race I am training for when people find out about how I train. I have been perplexed about that question for a while. I think only now am I beginning to realize the significance of the question. It comes from the mentality of not training most of the time and then taking a plan out of a popular running magazine a few weeks before a race and trying to follow it.

This is like creating a farming plan that begins shortly before the harvest time. Weeds is about all you can harvest that way. Can that mentality ever be broken? Rather than training one magic race we should train to be fit, and when we are, find a race to prove it.

After the warm-up 5x400 on the Provo River Trail with 200 very slow recovery alternating directions at the standard location (1 mile marker of the standard tempo run, which starts at Geneva Road and goes towards the Utah Lake). 74.1 - 73.3 - 71.8 - 72.3 - 69.5. Had a hard time getting started, but felt strong on the last one. Actually was not trying to run it in 69. Again, the splits show that the direction towards the Lake is about 0.5 faster.

Jogged a mile back to Geneva road, and ran the 3 mile tempo. I had two conflicting goals - to run faster with every mile, and to keep the last two miles under 5:30. The conflict was that on that road the second mile under 5:30 would make the third one under 5:30 a challenge for me. Splits by quarter - 1:23 - 1:23 - 1:21 - 1:21 (5:28) - 1:21 - 1:20 - 1:21 - 1:22 (5:24) - 1:22 - 1:22 (13:36 at the turnaround) - 1:23 (from a 180 turn) - 1:18 (5:25), total time 16:17.6. Third mile was hard, but I managed to hold on.

Jogged another mile back to the standard location and did the same 5x400 again. 73.3 - 73.8 - 72.0 - 72.7 - 68.4. Pushed hard on the last one.

Then ran the cool down with Ted. It was not much of a cool down. Ted was chasing the 6:30 guy. I decided not to ruin the party. We averaged 6:24 pace for the last 2.36 miles, and finished the quarter in 1:30.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 


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Ran at 4:45 AM with Ted. His foot was hurting bad, he turned around after going about 0.6 with me. I was sleepy as usual, but not record sleepy. The punishment of a handwritten dictation has been helping me get to bed on time. Without Ted's help I managed 7:40 pace in the first 4 miles. It was raining, and the rain was cold. That finally woke me up enough to where I wanted the run to be over more than I wanted the comfort and relaxation of a slow pace. So I started speeding up and hit the turnaround (5.02 miles) in 37:38. I've considered catching the 1:10:00 guy, but that would have meant 6:24 average on the way back, and I did not want to go that fast. Then it started hailing. This made me pick it up a bit. I realized that I was going 6:24 pace anyway and decided to keep it. HR at first hovered around 131, then got up to 134. Towards the end I picked it up a bit more to make sure I got the 1:10:00 guy and hit the headwind, this brought HR up to 139. Finished the run (10.04) in 1:09:50. The pace felt quite easy, it was a nice compromise between a recovery run and getting out of the cold fast.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon and a little bit more on my own to reach the goal of 15 total for the day. Benjamin impressed me on his run. We ran the first mile in 8:20. Then he sped up to a bit sub-8:00. With 0.4 to go he told me the pace felt like a jog. I gave him a challenge to catch the 8:00 mile guy. He had 20 seconds to close. His last two quarters were 1:48 and 1:43 with the last mile in 7:31, and the total time of 15:51.

Ate a lot at dinner - three full plates of buckwheat. It felt like the food was being digested the moment I swallowed it. Last time I remember eating like that was back in 1985 when I was 12 at the Znamenskiye track school summer camp in Vyazniki about 200 miles east of Moscow. It was not uncommon for us to train three times a day, and I would go with Oleg Kuleshov who was 16 at that time on his morning runs. We would go about 7.5 miles, and one time we clocked a kilometer on the highway, it was 3:57. So come breakfast time, I was hungry. The cooks called me "the boy that eats a lot".

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Ted was still taking it easy for his foot injury this morning. So I ran alone. Felt sluggish in the warm-up. Ran the first quarter in 2:10 and it felt just right. After 2.4 warm-up ran the progression tempo on the standard 5 mile tempo course. The goal was to start at marathon pace and keep speeding up every mile.

The first quarter did not go so well - 1:29. I figured the body was asleep and pressed harder. Next one in 1:26. I kept the pressure steady and hit 1:24 and 1:23 on the next two. First mile in 5:42. I must have awoken in the last two quarters, I figured, and now needed to ease off a bit on the pressure to keep the pace correct. Did 1:24 - 1:25 - 1:24 - 1:24 for 5:37 on the second mile. Did another quarter in 1:24, then hit some headwind and also used a bit of caution prior to the 180 turn at 2.5. This gave me a 1:26 quarter with 14:09 at the turnaround.

Pressed harder immediately after 180 turn to get into the rhythm quickly. Next two quarters 1:24 and 1:22, 16:55 at 3 miles, third mile in 5:36, still on target for increasing the speed with every mile, even with the 180 turn. Eased off a bit on the pressure, 1:22 was too fast. Next mile consisted of 1:23 - 1:24 - 1:24 - 1:22, total of 5:33. I think the wind played a factor, hurting on the 1:24s and helping on the 1:22.

Now I felt I had the goal in the bag. 5:33 felt hard, but still easy enough to where I could pull off a faster mile even with the uphill. The uphill quarter in 1:24, followed by a 1:23. With half a mile to go I started pressing. Possibly hit some small headwind, next quarter was only 1:23, and it should have been faster. Either that or I was just warn out from the earlier effort. Seeing that, I pressed even harder on the last quarter, and this time watched the pace carefully every 100 meters to make sure I was not slacking. Hit every 100 in 20 seconds, last quarter in 1:20, last mile in 5:30, got my goal, and as a bonus, broke 28:00 with 27:58, and set a new season record for the 2.5 stretch coming back - 13:49.

Cooled down for the total of 10.15 for the run. Ran 0.5 with Julia in the afternoon. She is getting faster on her aerobic runs, we did 5:28 this time.

Ran with Benjamin and Jenny right before dinner. Benjamin is tapering for Heart of Holladay 5 K, so we went only 1.5 and ran it in 13:51 (Benjamin took off on the last quarter and ran 13:42). Afterwards ran another 3.5 with Jacob in the stroller in 24:45 on the trail to Macey's and back. On the way up was going 7:15, on the way back 6:40 with only a slightly higher effort just from getting into the rhythm as the run progressed. The difference between 0.5% grade up and 0.5% down is greatly increased when pushing the stroller.

Untapering for the Heart of Holladay. This will be the most untapered 5 K I have ever run, but this time I have different goals.

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Ted is still nursing his foot. So I ran alone today. Ended up going a bit longer than planned in the morning. There was some police investigation on the Provo River Trail, and a portion of it was blocked. So I had to take a detour that added a mile. Maintained a slightly sub-7:00 pace. HR was very good - hovered between 122 and 125, and reached 126-128 on the uphill sections. The pace felt like true recovery, did not have to mentally strain to do it. Ran a mile at the end fast, around 6:00 pace, HR hit 142.

Did a lot of miscellaneous  running during the day which included the kids run. Reached my goal of 15 total. Heart of Holladay tomorrow. The goal is to run the second mile faster than the first, and the third one which has an uphill within 20 seconds of the second.

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Race: Heart of Holladay 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:42, Place overall: 7
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Heart of Holladay 5 K, 16:42, 7th place.

By the time I reached the starting line I already had 81 miles on the odometer for the week with no day less than 15 since Monday. I was feeling good, but definitely not tuned to run a fast 5 K. The plan was to make it more of a tempo run than an all-out 5 K. Knowing that I would not be able to make a good workout of just one 5 K, I decided to run the course twice. First time, at about a 10 K effort in the first two miles, followed by a hard last mile if I could squeeze anything out of myself at that point. Second time around at a true threshold.

First time around - in the race. The gun went off, and everybody just blasted out of the blocks like there is no tomorrow. I found myself in about 25th place. It took me a good 200 meters to pass Carre Joyce and Bill Cobler. By the mile I worked my way through the pack into 7th place. Teren Jameson was way ahead of everyone, Dennis was in second, and then there was a pack with Nate Hornok, Matt Harmer, Steve Ashbaker, and Josh Steffen. I considered surging to run with the pack, but figured it would destroy the workout possibly without improving the eventual finishing position in the race. First mile in 5:15. The pack was 5:10.

Tried to pick it up on the second mile but still be in control, the pack opened up another 7 seconds on me, I did the next mile in 5:18. Slower than I hoped, but I felt right. Tried to push hard on the last mile. It has a solid hill for the first half, so it is a slow mile. Did OK, although no miracles - 5:33. Did not catch anybody from the pack, in fact all of them pulled away from me except Josh. Tried to kick, there was not much of a kick - 35 seconds for 0.107.

Teren won with 15:00, then Dennis 15:52, Nate 16:02 (breakthrough race), Matt 16:12 - he wants to hit the Qualifier again this year, Steve 16:24, and Josh 16:29.

Walked through the chute to get my tag torn off, and got out as quickly as I could and ran back to find Benjamin. Found him in the middle of a hot race against Alexander Barry. They were in contention for the win in the 11 and under division. Benjamin ended up 4 seconds behind him with a new PR of 22:29. He ran a very smart race all by himself, and took his own splits with a $6 Walmart watch. First mile in 7:05, then 7:11, the uphill mile in 7:31, and the kick in 41 seconds . Add one more second for the standard USATF round-off. This is the average of 7:15 per mile, and an improvement of 2:42 from the last year.

After the finish, found somebody to keep an eye on Benjamin while I was gone, and headed for the second repetition on the course. Started it 30 minutes from the start of the first 5 K. Felt a bit sluggish and some lactic acid leftovers in the first mile - hit it in 5:40. After that, felt better, second mile in 5:28. At first I set a goal for myself to just not get chicked. I apparently overestimated Carre's winning time - I thought she ran around 17:40, while in fact she ran 17:53. Then I saw Cody cooling down around mile 2, and decided to raise the bar - beat his time instead. Fortunately Cody joined me and I had a chance to ask him what his time was - 17:36 (officially 17:37 with the USATF round-off). Felt very strong on the hill and afterwards. Cody helped me with the pace on the half-mile up the hill. Did the uphill mile in 5:40, only 7 seconds slower than in the race. Kicked in 36 seconds to finish in 17:24.8. I suppose the kick was slightly longer as I veered to the side to avoid going through the finish shoot - some walkers were still finishing.

Did some more distance during the award ceremony. Ran with Jenny and Julia when I got home, and added some more. Total of 16 for the day and 95 for the week.

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Ted is alive again. Ran with him this morning on our standard 10.04 course. We covered the first half in 34:34 chatting, telling stories, discussing current events. On the way back I felt like doing a short light tempo on the standard 2.5 stretch. Made a pit stop, Ted kept going. Started out a bit sluggish, thought I was perhaps going slower than 6:00, but I was not - first 300 in 1:06 with each 100 in 22. After than I sped up to a fairly steady 5:40 pace on the flat, then pushed harder on the hill (or more accurately the rise) to keep the pace steady, and then on the last quarter there were two things that encouraged me to go faster - I was 2 seconds behind the 5:40 guy, and there was a family out for a bike ride within reach. My greyhound reflex kicked in, and I ran the last quarter in 1:21 to finish in 14:08. HR stayed below 153 on the first 1.5, climbed to 156 on the rise, and reached 158 during the pickup on the last quarter. 5:40 felt very relaxing on the flat. When I passed Ted, who was going around 6:10 pace, he also decided to do a mini-tempo, and seeing how slowly he was coming to me, I invited him to join me in more words than I normally do at 5:40 pace. On the last mile, the pace felt harder, more like a surge during the marathon. The last 0.25 felt like a threshold pace. So the slow pace is starting to feel quite a bit easier, now the trick is to stretch the range of that slow easy pace upwards, and first get 5:30 into it, and then maybe even 5:20.

Ended up doing about 10.1 for the whole run, the extra distance from coming back to Ted after the finish of the tempo. Total time for the run was 1:06:27.

Ran 0.5 with Julia in the morning, and then 2.14 with Benjamin and Jenny ( Jenny rode the last 0.57 in the stroller) + 2.5 in 16:59 to reach the goal of no less than 15 for the day.

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Warmed up with Ted. His foot is still hurting. Then did my usual Tuesday workout.

First, 5x400 with 200 recovery, very slow jog, alternating directions on the quarter from 1 mile mark o the standard Provo River Trail tempo run to 1.25.  73.0 - 73.3 - 72.8 - 71. 8 - 71.0 - a bit slower than a week ago but felt fresher afterwards.

Then jogged back to the start of the tempo. The goal again was to run each mile faster. This time I watched the pace more carefully, adjusting it with every 200 in the first 1.5 miles. Splits by the quarter: 1:22 - 1:23 - 1:22 - 1:22 (5:29) - 1:22.5 - 1:22.5 - 1:21 - 1:21.5 (5:27.5, 1:56) - 1:21 - 1:22 (eased off before 180, 13:39 at the turnaround) - 1:22 (recovering from 180) - 1:17 - total time 16:18.5, last mile in 5:22 - reached my goal. One second slower than last week, though, but a stronger finish.

Jogged to the start of the final part of the workout, same as the opener, exact same place, 5x400. 72.7 - 73.3 - 71.6 - 73.0 - 67.5. This part was faster than last week, and I felt a lot fresher on the last one. Last week on the last interval the limiting factor seemed to be heavy legs, this time it appeared to be more the lack of ability to turn on explosive power full blast.

Cooled down, total of 14.75 for the workout.

Ran with the kids in the evening, this brought me to 17.25 for the day.

My current pace profile is getting to be rather odd: 5:40 - relaxing, 5:30 - comfortable, 5:20 - very hard, 5:10 - near death experience. High mileage, at least initially seems to make the paces up to 5:30 more relaxing, but does not do much for paces faster than 5:30 to bring them into the comfort zone. I need to figure out a way to bring 5:20 into the comfort zone.

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 Update: Today I am officially starting a blog campaign to encourage Devine Racing to pay the prize money due top runners. I have so far found out that Steve Ashbaker (5th in the SLC marathon), and Nick McCoombs (4th in the SLC marathon) have not been paid. I'll try to reach Hobbie Call (2nd place in the SLC marathon today) and see if he got anything. According to Nick, last year he and Hobbie got paid after and with the encouragement from some TV coverage.

Easy run at 4:55 AM, Ted was not there, his foot was still hurting, he took it easy. Started out at 9:00 pace, and it felt brisk. I think I set a record for the low HR in the summer after 0.4 miles of running - it was 99. Nothing compared to Lasse Viren, though, who could hold 84 at 8:00 pace. Gradually kept waking up throughout the run. Hit the first half (5.02) in 37:57. On the way back, eventually worked my way up to sub-6:40. Sped up to about 5:50 pace on the last 0.5, total time 1:11:26.

Why do I always make a big deal about how hard 9:00 pace feels at the start of my run? Because I see many runners go out on a supposedly bad day, not feel good in the first mile or two, and cut their run short. I believe this habit costs them good 10-20 minutes in the marathon or possibly more from all the runs they've cut short, or even worse, not started at all, instead of plodding along through the distance. Today I did not start feeling really good until I've run 8(!) miles. I was not having a bad day, my body was just taking its time to wake up. That is what happens when you start getting in shape - the body learns to sleep while you run, or while you live in general, that is how it becomes stronger.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon, then took Benjamin to the Team Provo practice. Jogged a bit around the track, then ran a calibration/break the boredom 600 in 2:02. Had a hard time getting going, I think 90 degree heat contributed to it. Then did 10x100 strides with 100 meter jog back in between. In the first 7, all were in the range of 16.1-17.3. Then on the 8th I saw some kids doing an interval. I let them build a bit of a lead, and then started my 100 with a goal to catch them. Passed one, saw that the other was faster, sped up to try to catch him before the line, almost made it. The time was 15.2. I did not think it would be that fast, maybe 15.7 at the most. Did the next one in 16.8, and then on the last one decided to test my speed. Felt tense, and all I could do was 15.2. It felt all-out this time. Very odd.

So for an experiment I invited Darren (the coach, decathlete, 11.8 100 m PR) to "race" me. He was wearing street clothes, and he was not going to sprint all the way out, just fast enough to make me think I was racing him. With his help I was able to run 14.5!

So here is the odd stuff. In the winter of 2005 I did an experiment to see how much raw speed I could build. I did 10x60 uphill twice a week close to all out, and 6x400 in 63 each with full rest, or 8x200 in under 30 with full rest for the third speed workout. Kept the mileage at 60-70. After a couple of months of that training I was able to run 13.9 100 with tail wind, competition, and a slight running start. Now I do 90+ miles a week, no sprint work aside from quarters at mile race pace, and I run 14.5 with a standing start - not much speed loss at all, or speed gain from the speed training on the other hand.

Cooled down some more afterwards, reached the goal of 15+ for the day.

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Let's start with the blog campaign message for Devine Racing - pay your runners! Any ideas of the most effective way to get the money out of them? I find this feet dragging on the pay check particularly upsetting. It is not just a matter of a few hundred or a thousand dollars to feed the starving runner ( neither Nick, nor Steve, or Hobbie are rolling in dough), it is a matter of respect. We talk about The Zone referring to the last 6 miles of a marathon. Those guys quietly put themselves in The Zone every day to run as well as they do except there is no marching band to cheer them up or volunteers handing out drinks. They come home, they are still in The Zone and they have to do what everybody else does. The pay check for this is very minimal, losing the kick cuts it in half, hitting the wall with a mile to go can mean no paycheck that day after all the work. Sometimes it is 5 really good runners, the money goes 3 deep, and someone will have to go home empty handed. So when it comes, it is a hard earned treasure. I personally value the paycheck a lot more than a trophy. If I want a trophy, all I have to do is find a race that is sufficiently non-competitive. With the paycheck, there is no cheating - you have to be good to get it. And you bring something home, it helps pay the bills. I cannot quite put it in words, but I feel there is something morally wrong in intentionally taking your time to pay the runners while the money earns interest in the bank for you instead of your runners.

As for the training, Ted is alive again, and we able to lure Nick McCoombs into coming to run with us. Ted ran easy, Nick and I did 6x1 mile on the trail alternating directions with 200 meter recovery in between - very slow jog, about 1:40 or so. The target pace was 5:20. I got the inspiration for this from analyzing the training of Chris Rogers. I noticed that while not being fit to do so, he would run at 6:29 pace on a hard course, and call it easy. I wondered why, then realized this is probably how fast he ran in college on on his easy runs, and the memory of that was driving him. In this case, it was doing him harm, but I was inspired by the idea of building a muscle memory to trick the body into thinking 5:20 is threshold.

We did 5:16.7 - 5:17.1 - 5:17.9 - 5:19.2 - 5:21.2 - 5:19.2. The pace kept getting more and more uncomfortable for me, Nick was fine. After 4, I decided to run the 5th one a bit easier. We hit the half in 2:42. I felt so much better. Then I was able to push in on the second half in 2:39. On the last one, I decided to follow the same approach. We hit the first quarter in 1:22, then 1:21, that felt so much more comfortable. Then the final 0.5 hard. Steady pace - 1:18, 1:18. That felt like a near death experience (as opposed to just very hard). Afterwards, I told Nick and Ted the workout  overall was comfortably painful. Nick remarked than only an endurance athlete would know what that  means.

Ran with the kids in the evening + another 1.5 with the double stroller. Benjamin went through all 18 gears of a semi truck starting out at 9:30 pace and finishing at 6:40. His last mile was 7:16, and his last 0.5 was 3:25.

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Easy run with Ted and Nick in the morning. 10.04 in 1:11:55. Picked it up on the last quarter to beat the 1:12:00 guy, ran it in 1:26.

Ran with the kids in the evening and added more to make it 5 miles. Provo River 10 miler tomorrow. 

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Race: Provo Riverwoods 10 Miler (10 Miles) 00:54:13, Place overall: 1
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Ran the Provo Riverwoods 10 miler. 54:13, 1st place. 1:08 slower than last year. I wondered why, since I did not feel any worse - both times running with tired legs, but this year not anymore than last year. Checked the weather reports - this year the last 5 miles were done with the temperatures of 75-77 while last year it was only 60. That probably explains the slowdown. I was 16:46 at 3.23 mark this year, which was about 20 seconds faster than last year, and is only 18 seconds slower than my record for that stretch done with Steve's help. Afterwards, I felt strong, but lazy, probably from the heat as well as from the fatigue of high mileage. Managed to keep my head above water, though - kept most mile splits under 5:30, hit the standard 3 mile tempo stretch from Nunn's to the mouth of the Canyon in 16:27. HR was at 159.

After the finish, fixed the consequences of the power outage with the timing system, and then hurried back to finish with the Fast Running Mommy. She reached her goal of breaking 1:30 with the time of 1:29:45. 

James and Lybi stayed at our house. James ran 1:08:31, this is starting to smell like he can get a BQ in St. George.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

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Standard 10.04 + untimed bathroom detour in the morning. Ran a bit faster than 7:00, threw in a tempo on the standard 2.5 stretch coming back. On the tempo felt sluggish, the pace did not feel strenuous, but I did not feel like going faster than 5:45 on the first mile. Then something got into me and I started getting excited, after the first mile in 5:45, I did a quarter in 1:25, followed by a 1:23. Decided to break 5:30 on the last mile figuring I was almost going the right pace already. Next uphill quarter in 1:23, followed by another partially uphill in 1:23. With 0.5 to go saw that I had a remote shot of catching the 14:00 guy. Next quarter in 1:22. Then saw that with a 1:19 quarter I could catch him. The legs responded to the challenge, ran a 1:17, got 13:58, and 5:25 for the last mile. For me this is very significant, I often cannot kick more than a second or two above pace.

I was particularly happy about the last 100 in 18 seconds, I think that is the best tempo run kick time this year so far. I felt I was able to power through the foot-stuck-to-the-ground phase better. I have been struggling with this problem since my teenage years - the foot lingers on the ground probably an extra 0.05 of a second, and it seems like there is nothing I can do about it. This is probably why my sprint falls short of my ten-fold jump by so much.

Finished the run in 1:06:16. Ran with the kids as soon as I got home. Then in the evening for our Monday night Family Home Evening activity we threw a tennis ball. Julia did 4 meters, Jenny 6 meters, Benjamin 14 meters, same as his softball throw, that answered my question about how the two compare for an 8 year old kid, Sarah threw 19 meters, and I did 29. Now here is the odd part:

At the age of 11 I could only throw 20 meters. My male classmates threw 30 on average, and the best of them threw 40. It bothered me that I was so far behind. During the summer I went to our school's stadium and practiced time and again, but with no improvement, stuck at 20 meters. Then something happened a couple of months later. With no practice I was throwing 30. My 60 meter sprint improved from 11.3 to 9.7. My fighting ability improved, which at least at that time in a Soviet school was a very important skill for a boy. And I won the school 500 meter race in 1:45, which gave me the encouragement to sign up at the Znamenskiye track school.

So figuring that now I that I was bigger, I should be able to throw a bit better than what I did at 12, I was expecting it to be 35-40 meters. After a number of tries, and finally getting a reasonably decent technique, which a thrower would probably laugh at, but I doubt was any worse than my 12 year old one, I was right there at my 12 year old result.

Ran about 0.3 chasing Benjamin home, and then went for a very leisurely 3 mile run, about 7:50 pace. Met another runner. His name is Jeff McMclallan. He is planning to join me on Thursday.

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Ran Provo River 5 Mile Tempo with Nick McCombs. The plan was to go out at marathon pace, and if we (mostly I) felt good, speed up to my threshold. Splits by 0.5 - 2:52 - 2:47 (5:39) - 2:50 - 2:49 (5:39) - 2:50 (14:08) - 2:42 (5:32) - 2:47 - 2:46 (5:32) - 2:44 (0.5% grade up on the first 0.3) - 2:41 (1:22,1:19) (5:25) - total time 27:47, last 2.5 in 13:39, this is a repeat of the best time of the season, except it was done earlier at threshold effort all the way with the splits of 13:50 - 13:57.

Afterwards, 4x200 with 200 recovery. We picked a bad stretch, the second half of it had a noticeable rise, about 0.3%, maybe even 0.5%. 34.9 - 33.3 - around 33 - missed the mark - 32.6.

Total of 10.7 for the run. 5:39 felt relaxing, 5:32 felt comfortably hard, 5:28 uphill and afterwards felt uncomfortably hard, and 5:16 on the last quarter felt closer to a near death experience but not quite there yet.

Ran with the kids in the evening, and added some more. VanGoGo has been fussy getting started, so I took it to Computune to make sure it does not let the team down at the Wasatch Back Relay.

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New training partner this morning. Yes, I managed to talk somebody into running with me at 4:45 AM. His name is Brent Larsen. He is returning to running after a long break. So we took it very easy, 5.03 in 43:36. Then I added another 4.99 and ended up with 10.02 in 1:19:44. Felt glycogen depleted, afterwards was eating honey sandwiches like crazy. No signs of the simple sugar roller coaster with that much honey. I take this as an indicator of very low glycogen levels.

Ran again in the evening. First 0.5 with Julia, then 2 mile with Jenny and Benjamin, Jenny ran the first mile, and then rode back in the stroller. Found Nick McCombs on the trail, he joined us. Benjamin decided to show off his speed, and ran the last mile in 7:07 to catch the 8:00 guy progressively increasing the pace. His last two quarters were 1:45 and 1:40. I counted his turnover at 7:00 pace - only 200! You would think a little kid would have to turn over a lot quicker to run this pace, but his stride is very wide at high speeds.

Then followed Nick almost all the way to BYU, and came back. Tomorrow I am officially starting my one day training program for Wasatch Back Relay! 

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First day of my special one day program to prepare for the Wasatch Back Relay. For those without sense of humor or understanding of the context. I am trying to poke fun at the popular trend to follow cram-style training plans to prepare for races. Aside from the fact that preparation for a long race cannot happen within a short period of time, the magic plan is not what does the job. If you are currently running 20 miles a week or less, if you can threw those plans a way, and just gradually increased the mileage based on how you feel week after week training as frequently as possible (ideally 6 days a week if the time allows) at a comfortable pace, you would get much better results. However, one-sentence plans are not marketable, therefore they are not given in popular running publications.

Ran with Nick McCombs and Jeff McClellan. We did a very leisurely warm-up, and then 6x400 with 400 recovery on the standard 400 meter stretch going towards the lake, which is a faster direction. Either direction is slower than the track because whichever way you go, there are small rises and drops, probably 1 seconds slower than the track towards the lake, and 1.5 slower the other way.

Splits - 72.4 - 68.9 - 69.1 - 68.9 - 67.4 - 64.0. The first one felt hard. The second felt harder. The third felt more relaxed, the fourth more like the third. The fifth felt just like the fourth even though it was faster. And the last one felt the best. Since Nick and Jeff have more speed, I let them do the work and drafted behind them. Then with 200 to go I wanted to pick it up, but there was not enough room on the trail and I was too lazy to do maneuvers to pass them, so I just told them to speed up. I did not feel like I was pushing the limits of my speed until the last 100, and I did not feel the lactic bear attack at all, rather I felt limited by my ability to turnover period when I did feel the limit.

Something magic happened to me from running with Nick and Jeff. At first, I was feeling slow, having them around almost did not make a difference. But then as the workout progressed I felt like I started to learn how to pull my foot off the ground quicker, and all of a sudden the fast pace started feeling a lot more bearable. I remembered a workout I did back in 2001 with the BYU track team. After a 1600 in 4:51, then 800 in 2:23, and 400 in 66 - all with full rest, I tucked myself into a pack to run the last 400 repetition. To my surprise, I ran a PR of 60 seconds, and it did not feel like a 100% all out 400, it felt more like just another repeat! It seems almost like the faster guys set the rhythm, and under the right conditions (not always by all means, this happens under special conditions) I can respond to it and somehow temporarily override my neurological issues with the foot stuck to the ground. This gives me an idea - if I could just keep those fast guys around me for long enough, and get them to cooperate to do the right type of workouts with me, that may fix the problem altogether.

Total of 7.7 for the workout.

Ran with the kids in the evening, total of 2.64. Wasatch Back Relay tomorrow. Nick and I will be on opposing teams - I am on MarathonGIS, and he is on the BYU team. I am running leg 1, he is on leg 10, gets the privilege of Ragnar. He will be racing Clyde on our team.

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Race: Rangar Wasatch Back Relay (177 Miles) 18:29:29, Place overall: 3
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Day one of Wasatch Back Relay. Ran 5 easy miles with Nick and Brent in the morning.

At the start in Logan it was hot. Our team name was MarathonGIS (Paul's business), and we had a 5:00 pm start with BYU, Weber, Runner's Corner, and 26.2 Running Company. Runner's Corner had Mike Vick, BYU had Derek Taylor, Weber had an 8:38 steeplechaser, and 26.2 Running Company had somebody fast I had no background on. It was hot - 95 degrees. I tried to hang on with them for 0.75, after that they dropped me. They were doing 5:20 pace in spite of the heat and the hills. Some of them were not fit enough to hold it, as it turnout out later. By 2.5, the trailing part of the pack was 53 seconds ahead of me. I was just trying to keep my head above water with a sub-6:00 pace when I was not going uphill. On the uphills I was down to 6:15 pace.

Then everybody expect me took a wrong turn. Mike Vick and the Weber steeplechaser were quick enough to turn around, and by the time we started going uphill from mile 21 of TOU course towards mile 20, they were with me. They were too fast for me to run with, but they were not moving away from me as fast as they were earlier - probably about 20 seconds a mile or so. Derek Taylor (BYU) and the 26.2 guy never caught up, and in fact, according to Cody, I actually increased the gap them on that 1.5 mile stretch. My split for the 5.14 was 30:07, 1:13 slower than the schedule, but adding about 1:40 adjustment for the heat from the Tinman chart,I was actually quite a bit ahead. My stomach felt sick from running hard in the heat, and I raced to the porter potty as soon as I finished, but otherwise I was fine.

On the second leg Jared Rohatinsky (BYU, the brother of Josh, I guess that makes Josh the brother of Jared, some humor for those familiar with the Book of Mormon) passed Dustin, then Dustin passed Joe Bendoski (Runner's Corner, out of shape due to a long break from injuries), then Jared took a wrong turn on a perfectly straight stretch of road, and Dustin being a bit delirious from the heat and the effort just followed him. I've done something like this myself, when you start to hurt the straight road just bugs you, you are looking for any excuse to turn. I did that in TOU 2002. So Dustin ended up running extra 0.9 in the heat which cost us about 6 minutes on this leg, plus some more on his other legs from the extra fatigue. Corbin (Weber) ran great on this leg, and put on a good gap on everybody. Joe Bendoski did not take a wrong turn, so that put him ahead.

Chris Rogers passed the Runner's Corner girl, and the BYU runner who was not feeling well and put on a good 3 minute lead on BYU. We were able to hold BYU off up until leg 8. After that they passed us and were gone.

I discovered that my shorts got ripped up pretty bad, even to the point where I would consider them beyond usability, which has to be very far. I borrowed a spare pair from Dustin. He really saved my rear end, literally!

I got the baton at 11:13 PM at the Snow Basin ski resort near Huntsville. Paul remarked later that when you are starting your night leg your thoughts might be: Why am I running at this late hour, and not in bed with my wife? Those were exactly my thoughts.

I was supposed to average 5:02 pace on this leg. However, this was too aggressive of a prediction. 5:02 on a smooth 4% grade would have been just right. But this leg was full of little break-ups that went uphill for a quarter, and portions that were only 1% followed by steeper parts to make up. You do not go much faster on 7% than you do on 4%. However, you do go much slower on 1% than you do on 4%, and very much slower at 6000+ elevation up a grade even if it is very small. To make things worse, the bread I brought to snack on in between legs had a very hard crust, and I was feeling it. Combined with the dark this made it difficult for me to concentrate and push hard. I ended up doing only 5:24 average on this leg (41:40 for 7.7). I did not feel like I was working very hard, but just could not put it all together and really go. Mike Vick ran this leg a good 4 minutes faster. He should have been no more than 2:30 faster based on the first leg and recent race history. I was only 2 minutes faster than Nate Pollard on it, and this also indicates that I should have run this leg about 1:00-1:30 faster. I noticed I was getting a lot stronger towards the end. I wondered why, then look at the elevation profile - the early miles were at 6500 feet while the later ones were near 5000.

End of Day 1.

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Race: Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay (177 Miles) 18:29:29, Place overall: 3
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Day 2 of Wasatch Back. Got the baton on leg 25, from Jordanelle Reservoir to Oakley. I expected the leg to be a challenge, I just did not realize how much. Got the baton from James and went for it mumbling BINGO under my breath to get the legs going. First mile was OK, was going at a good sub-6:00 pace. The lack of sleep must have altered my perception. I could have sworn the first mile was downhill, but the elevation profile shows it was a slight up. I could not understand why I was so hard to run so slow. But I was passing people at a good rate. Then I saw a runner that was coming to me at a rate that was slower than average. When I got closer, I realized it was Ron Greenwood. I was a bit surprised, he should not have been coming to me that fast. Then I realized that there was perhaps something about this leg I did not know. I was supposed to run it at 5:56 pace. I was running at 5:56 pace, but there was a big hill coming up, and even without it, I was working pretty hard already. Later I realized that the WBR calculator is way off when there is an uphill of any kind at over 6000 feet. You can run downhill almost the same at a higher altitude, but uphill slows you down a lot more, especially if you do not live at that altitude.

The grade gradually increased, but I did not notice it at first, except the pace started getting slower. I was second guessing myself. What is happening? Why are my legs not moving? Did I overtrain? Am I hitting the wall? I am not feeling like I am out of gas, and I should not be out of gas. What is going on? And why is Ron not passing me back? The pace gradually digressed to 6:20, then 6:40, then 7:00 and then 7:20. At 7:20 the climb now became very obvious, but still did not look bad enough to be running that slow. What I did not take into account is the elevation gain and being at a higher altitude. We started at a tiny bit over 6000 feet and gradually made our way to 6500. Finally by mile 5 the climb was over, and I was going again - hit a downhill quarter in 1:25, followed by another in 1:20, and I felt a lot better.

Finished the 5.57 in 35:28, 2:14 off schedule. After looking at how other runners did on it, it was actually not that bad. Ron was about 2 minutes slower, while Nate Pollard was 3 minutes slower.

Handed off to Dustin, and we continued chugging a lot trying to not get beat too bad by BYU and Weber. Did some more running pacing Cody at the end of his leg, and then ran Steve Olsen's leg (30)
with Paul for his cool down. 

We ended up third after BYU and Weber. We managed a 6:16 average, which I consider to be very good on this course. Last year's version was faster - you started at the Blacksmith Fork Canyon instead of downtown Logan, and  you ran a much nicer version of the Trapper's Loop. That, and the course being 7 miles longer. Even then, with that pace we would have beaten Weber last year. But they learned their lessons and brought a better team. So did BYU. If only BYU learned how to follow the course and plan for their runners arriving on time, they would have done a lot better, though. I think they lost a good total of 30 minutes to logistics. On the bright side of things, Nate Pollard observed a BYU hand-off when one runner finished his leg and the other was not ready for him. The one who finished yelled: Where are you? Nate commented that he was waiting for him to swear, but he did not. I do not know who that runner was, but I am very glad he practiced what he believed at in this frustrating situation. You have not slept much, you've been running hard, you are trying to catch a competitor, you've given it all you've got to do your part, and now your effort is being just wasted. You stand there and just watch it go. If swearing is a part of your vocabulary at all, this would be the time for it to come out. If it does not, this says a lot about your character. Weber may have gotten to the finish line first, but on that particular exchange BYU won in a special way.

Ran a little bit more with Jenny riding a bike in the evening. Felt OK afterward, just tired from the lack of sleep. Legs feel fine.

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Easy run in the morning. No training partners. Did the usual 10.04. Threw in a control 2.5 tempo run on the way back to evaluate the recovery from Wasatch Back Relay. Felt OK, although the legs were a bit stale. First mile in 5:43, then 0.5 in 2:49, and the last mile in 5:29. HR got up to 163 on the last mile. Total time 14:01 - barely missed the 14:00 guy. It was a bit warm - 68 degrees. Last week it was 57 when I ran 13:58 for the same run. Using Tinman adjustment, the same effort today would have been 5 seconds per mile slower than last week. Total time for 10.04 - 1:07:55.

Ran to with the kids to the fire station, we had a nice tour. Then I ran back, while Sarah and the kids played and then walked back. Added a bit more to make the total of 15 for the day.

Got an inversion table for my Father's Day present. Have been trying it out. No miracles after two days, but I like the feeling I get when I run so far. I wonder if it is just my imagination or a real change. When  I run 100 meters in under 13.5 or Draper Days 5K in under 15:15, or hit the Trials Qualifier in St. George I'll call it effective.

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Ran the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo with Jeff McLellan this morning. The plan was to go out at 5:45 pace and keep picking up if feeling good. Felt no problems at first - 2:52 half, then 2:49 (5:41), 2:49, 2:48 (5:37,11:18),2:49 (14:07 at the turnaround), then started gradually picking it up after recovering from a 180, recovery quarter in 1:25, then 1:23, the next one in 1:24 and it felt a bit hard. The next one was still 1:24, and it felt harder. And then comes the familiar symptom of neural fatigue, good old friend, or rather bad old foe  - next quarter in 1:29. I could not believe it, I thought I did my math wrong. Thought it was a fluke, tried to push harder, next quarter in 1:27. Jeff took off with a mile to go. I ran the uphill quarter in 1:27 putting in mentally about a good 1:22 effort although not breathing very hard, and then 1:28, and 1:27. Recovered a bit by the last one, was able to pick it up a bit, and it did not feel so bad - 1:24, total time 28:25, last mile in 5:46. Jeff ran the last mile in 5:33 finishing in 28:12.

I expected a measure of neural fatigue from WBR, but not that much. It is a weird feeling - legs are not sore, breathing is fine, HR is normal for the pace, overall you are feeling fine, except you just cannot go any faster. The only way you know that something is wrong is from your splits, your heart rate being too low for the mental effort, and seeing your training partner move away as if you were standing still.

In the past, I treated neural fatigue by cutting mileage. This time I'll try something different - just train normally, and try to find a way to control it without cutting the mileage. Today I tried Powerade, honey on bread and whole wheat animal crackers, and a nap.

Ran to Computune to pick up Zhu in the morning (1.7), then a bit later ran with Julia (0.5), and also ran with the kids in the evening and added some more (5.8). Felt good in the evening.

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Had a good morning run alone at 5:00 AM. Had a rough time getting started as usual, but after two miles was going around 7:10 pace with a natural effort. Got to the turnaround (5.02) in 37:32. On the way back gradually eased into a steady 6:50 pace. HR was good - stayed around 126 at 6:50 during the later part of the run. Felt a rush of energy with 0.6 to go, shifted gears, went 5:40 pace to the end. Got 1:10:59 for 10.04. The legs felt responsive. Unlike last week, there were no low fuel signals.

I am testing the theory that what I call neural fatigue (the state of not being able to go faster than about marathon race pace even for a mile) can be cured by maintaining normal blood sugar level throughout the day. So I've been taking Powerade and/or honey every time I felt like my brain stopped working during the day. So far I've seen good signs on easy runs and the mind has been more alert. However, the true test will come tomorrow - I'll try the same 5 mile tempo and see how responsive the legs will be over the distance.

Dropped VanGoGo off at the body shop and ran 1.5 miles home in 95 degree heat, but felt OK. Ran with the kids in the evening and added some more.

On another subject - I am looking for a PT or chiropractor that would meet the following requirements:

  • Has practice in the Utah County
  • Has his head straight on his shoulders
  • Individual approach - will not rush you through his standard routine 
  • Can think out of the box
  • Likes challenges
  • Familiar with sports medicine and running in particular
  • Does not think that if nothing hurts and there are no injuries the work is done.
  • Does not easily give up - will not be satisfied until success is reached
Any recommendations?

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Ran the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo again this morning with Nick. It went much better than on Tuesday. Felt a bit stale, but no major neural fatigue disaster.

Splits by 0.5 - 2:52 - 2:48 (5:40) - 2:48 - 2:50 (11:18, 5:38) - 2:47 (14:05 at the turnaround) - 2:47 (16:52, 5:34) - 2:46 - 2:45 (22:23, 5:31) - then by quarter 1:25 (uphill), 1:24, 1:23, 1:19, last mile in 5:30, total time 27:53, last 2.5 in 13:48. HR hit 161 on the last mile before the kick, did not feel lucid enough to check during, and too lazy to get it out of Garmin history.

Then did 4x200 with 200 recovery on a section that was about 1 second slower that the track - partially uphill - 32.8 - 33.5 - 33.2 - 30.7. I was happy about the last one, even though I died on the last 50 meters.

Ran to the body shop - forgot to give them the VanGoGo key  shortly after the morning run - this added another 3 miles. Ran with Julia little later - 0.5 miles.

In the evening ran with Benjamin and Jenny and added some more to make it 4 miles. Felt good, no high mileage fuzzy head.  Consumed a lot of honey and Powerade today. Seems like my body is just sucking the glucose in like a breath of fresh air. Looks like my constant blood sugar replenishment experiment is working.

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Easy 10 miles in the morning with Brett and Jeff. Brett ran the first 5 with us. We moved along at 8:00 pace with no ambitions to go faster. 8:00 felt fast enough for me. Then with 2 miles to go I noticed we were going 7:12. I was curious about the cause of not wanting to run faster than 8:00, so I proposed running the last mile in 5:45 to see how it would feel. Jeff agreed. We were still too chatty on the first quarter and ran it in 1:30. Then we stopped talking and focused. This resulted in a sequence of 1:25 - 1:24 - 1:25 quarters, and 5:44 for the mile.

Later in the morning ran 1.5 to the body shop to pick up VanGoGo. First 0.5 with Julia pushing an empty stroller, then the rest with Julia in the stroller.

Ran with Benjamin and Jenny in the evening and then added a mile to make it 4 for the run. Looks like I am on schedule for a 100+ week. This was not intentional. I felt really good after my new carbo-reloading routine, and my instinct told me I could get away with a few extra miles. Now that Benjamin and Jenny can keep up with me riding a bike, when I need extra miles I can put Jacob and Joseph in the stroller, and have Benjamin and Jenny ride along - that leaves Sarah only with Julia.

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Before I forget - Kris Erickson wanted me to tell everybody that there is no day of race registration for Draper Days 5 K. So everybody who would like to run, register in advance. You can register at SportsNuts  or download the registration form. I recommend everyone to run this race. It is a fast course, but not so fast that your PR crosses the boundaries of what I consider legitimate. I estimate it to be about 10 seconds faster than a perfectly flat 5 K in Salt Lake City. You get very good competition, and I have run this race enough times to where I can tell you what is going on with your training and fitness by studying your Draper Days splits.

Jeff and I drove to Vivian Park from my house. We left his car there. Warmed up 3.26 to the start of the Provo River 10 miler at 7:56 pace average up 3% grade. I originally wanted to run a 10 mile tempo, and the rest easy, then on the way up I changed my mind to make it 12, then 13.1, then decided to make it 15. My body was telling me I was fit enough to benefit from a 15 mile tempo at marathon race pace. Another reason for making it 15 is that it would avoid running at threshold for a good portion of the tempo thinking it was marathon pace. The longer tempo would have a humbling effect with a better inclination to face reality. It would also be a better test of marathon fitness - in most of my marathons I have been able to predict my finish time with a minute accuracy from my splits up to 15 and analyzing how I felt.

The tempo had a total drop of 1160 feet starting at 5675 ft, then dropping to 5200 ft in the first 3.23 miles (3%), then a more gradual drop to 4800 in the next 6 miles (1%), then a drop to 4700 in the next 2.5 (about 0.5%), after that a rolling drop to 4535 at the finish (less than 0.5%).

We were a bit sluggish getting started, but then eventually worked into a nice 5:30 rhythm. Hit the 3.23 mark (wheel-measured) in 17:38, then the 5 mile mark on the course, which agreed with the GPS in 27:31. Dropped Jeff off at 6 miles, he ran back to the car. Hit the standard 3 mile tempo stretch from Nunns to the mouth of the canyon in 16:42. 55:45 at around what I thought was the finish of the Provo River 10 miler. The GPS showed 10.10. I was checking it against the trusted marks and it was accurate everywhere expect about a mile stretch on mile 2 of the standard 3 mile tempo. I think the Provo River 10 miler is really 10.05 - when it was certified, there was no bridge detour. Then Curt put in the detour but did not adjust the start or the finish for it. The detour is about 0.05 long. My 10th mile was around 5:40 - it flattened out by then, and the sun started to come out. I did not worry about the pace, and focused on maintaining the same effort with the realization that now it was going to be slower.

11th mile was 5:48 (by the dots). Then I needed to go to the bathroom. So I made a stop at Wills (11.2 into the tempo). Although I was feeling good, I wanted to stay as far away from running on empty as possible. So I bought a quart of Powerade. Ideally I would have gotten a smaller container, but that was the smallest they had. I drank about half of it. Not wanting to waste the substance, I decided to run with the bottle and empty it as I went along. It turned out to be quite a nuisance. I actually ended up not using it until I was done with the tempo. Had a rough start after getting out of Wills, 1:34 quarter, then figured out a good way to carry the bottle and got into a nice rhythm - 5:40-5:45 pace on a slight down, 5:50-5:55 on the up. The trail got back to the river, and now I was going under bridges and making a lot of turns - this slowed me down to a couple of 1:30-1:32 quarters, but then I shifted gears and started handling the disruptions of rhythm better - 1:28-1:29 quarters. Hit the half marathon around 1:13:50 - going by the GPS and adding 0.05 for the error in the Provo Canyon.

Felt strong all the way to 15, finished it in 1:25:00, exactly 5:40 pace average on the dot. It was very tempting to try to run another 11 just as hard to see what I could get for the marathon. However, I was running out of time, and also there a bit of wisdom that I learned from years of running - Just because you can, does not mean you should!

Stopped, and finished the Powerade. Now I was glad I had it with me. Had a nice recovery jog to get to the total of 20 eventually easing into a 7:00 pace, which felt very nice. Total time for 20 miles was 2:02:50.

Afterwards, ate breakfast and went the children's parade. Ran 0.6 with James (Ted's son) there to fetch the van after the parade was over.

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