Breaking the Wall

Deseret News Marathon

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Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.

Personal:

I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 36.00 Year: 2410.02
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: 268.74
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
249.8056.9715.705.45327.92
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 325.92
Night Sleep Time: 190.00Nap Time: 4.50Total Sleep Time: 194.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was a Fast Sunday, so we had a Fast and Testimony Meeting. Joseph, our seven-year-old, decided to bear his testimony. He went up completely unassisted with a copy of the Book of Mormon in his hands, and to our surprise read out of 2 Nephi 21:1-8, where Nephi is quoting the prophesy of Isaiah about the Second Coming of Christ, which you can also find in Isaiah 11.  Interestingly enough, that is about the part where most people stop reading the Book of Mormon. Yet of all the parts of it that Joseph could have picked for sharing, he for some reason chose that one. We do expect our kids to know the scriptures, but I must admit this was quite a surprise for me.

The unusual events of the day did not stop with Joseph's testimony. In the next hour I taught a class for new members and investigators. There were five people in attendance in addition to myself, and none of them spoke English as a native language. The native languages were Russian, Korean, and Spanish. Fortunately for me the Spanish speakers were fluent in English and did not need the translation. One Korean speaker was assisted by her sister-in-law. I translated for my mother into Russian after saying it in English.

The Elder's Quorum was the only class where nothing too unusual happened. We learned about being in the middle of things from Elder Uchtdorf's message in the Ensign. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.000.0012.70

A.M. First ran 6 with Benjamin and Ariel. Then Jacob wanted to do a time trial. So I took him, Joseph, and William to the track. For the warm-up we did William's 400 m time trial. William is 3 years old, turning 4 in October. He got to 150 meters without me holding his hand, then he said he was scared and took my hand. He needs to learn to run fast without holding my hand to be ready for the Thanksgiving race where in order to win he will likely need to break 2:00 without holding anybody's hand. He ended up running 2:21 which is not a bad time at this point. It will, however, be a challenge to get him ready by Thanksgiving as he is less mature. He just barely got out of diapers, and his ability to talk and understand instructions is still not quite at the racing level. An important aspect of preparation for a little kid. I must say training a little kid to run fast when it matters is very educational for the parent.

On the positive side, William is way ahead of where Benjamin was at his age. Benjamin at the age of about 4 and 8 months ran 400 meters in 2:26 with me holding the hand all the way. He did manage to win the Thanksgiving race that year with 2:37 due to the lack of competition among boys.

Then it was time for Jacob's time trial. We did 800 meters. Our goal was to try to get as close as we could to 3:30. Jacob is 5 years and 11 months old. He will be 6 on Thanksgiving, 6 year old division has never been won with anything faster than 3:28 from what I remember, and it was Joseph last year. So I figure if he can run anywhere close to 3:30 now, barring some prodigy competition or severe race day misfortune he will win. Incidentally, he is the only child in our family that has ever won the 2-year-old 100 meter run, and when he did it was decisive - 35 seconds with a gap of 11 seconds, I believe, on the nearest competitor. I think his secret is that he is naturally very obedient. You tell him to do something, and he just does it if he can at all. So he did his 800 meters with Joseph being a rabbit (per Jacob's request) running about 5 seconds ahead, and me being by his side (also per Jacob's request). His splits were nearly perfect for the time he got - 52, 55 (1:47), 54, 53 (1:47) - 3:34.9 total.

We ran some more to cool down, then I ran another mile with Joseph. So Jacob did 1 mile, and Joseph did 2. Jenny and Julia ran 2 miles. I ran some more to make it 12 total.

P.M. 0.7 with Benjamin. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.550.000.000.7512.30

A.M. Started with an 800 meter time trial with Benjamin on the track. I was concerned about my ability to pace, as Benjamin is fast, and the distance is short. But I did OK. The target was 2:24, and I would have been happy with 2:26, but the plan was to pace him through the first lap in 72 and then see what happens. Benjamin was a bit aggressive in the first 100, which we did in 16. After that I told him to get really behind me and not push the pace from the side, and the pace became more reasonable. We did the next 500 meters hitting each 100 in 18, with 34 at 200, 70 at 400, and 1:46 at 600. Benjamin took the lead at 300 as we had planned. The idea was that if he knew he was supposed to take the lead, he had something to think about for the first 300 to get his mind off the worries about being able to sustain the pace. I took the lead back immediately after 400, and Benjamin took it again at about 540 again as planned. The idea was that this would give him a confidence boost, help practice for competitive racing, and also keep me from second-guessing how fast he wanted to go for the remainder of the run. At this point it felt really good to be behind him. I relaxed and did not try to pass him back on the curve. At 700 I found out why it felt so good - our next 100 was 19. So I moved out to pass him, but not very fast. This reluctance to accelerate came natural to me as I was quite tired, but it was just perfect for Benjamin because it stirred his competitive juices without mentally destroying him, and he picked it up. Our last 100 was 18 with the total time of 2:23.1.

This was very good preparation for the assault on the 5:00 mile barrier. Benjamin proved that he can run a significantly faster pace for half the distance, and that his second lap can be faster than the target pace, not just the first. Our next step is to take a break from the track next Tuesday and show the 6:00 guy who's the boss for 3 miles going down the Provo Canyon, and then the Tuesday after that try 1200 in under 3:45. So far, however, we are on track to break 5:00 before Benjamin turns 14, which is exciting. Now when he turns 15, it is quite likely that I might only be able to pace him for the first 800, and maybe the last lap in his mile time trials. But by then he can just run a competitive track race instead.

We ran some more miles after that, I ran with the younger kids, and some alone. Benjamin ended up with 6 miles, Jenny, Joseph, and Julia did 2, Jacob ran 1. I did a pickup for a quarter down the canyon in 76 chasing another runner. His name was Tony and he was visiting his family from California. We had a good talk.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.050.250.000.0012.30

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Joseph wanted to do a time trial. So I ran 2 with Julia, 4 more alone, then took Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, and Benjamin to the track and we helped Joseph get a good time in 400 meters. It took some persuasion to get Jenny to run fast - her excuse over the last year has been that her muscles are hurting from the growth spurt. That was indeed the case, but with that came also a mental issue of being afraid to run fast. So today I said we've had enough of that and told her she had to at least try. She reluctantly agreed to participate in pacing Joseph, which was of great help. However, Jacob was the key element. Joseph's goal was sub-90.  In the previous attempt he ran the first 200 in 43, followed by 50, which gave him 93. I knew that Jacob could run 200 in 47, he's done it before. I also knew that there is no way in the world that Joseph would let his younger brother Jacob finish ahead if he had even an ounce of strength remaining, and even if he did not. So we had Jacob start 200 meters into Joseph's time trial, and about 1 second in front.

Joseph, Jenny, Benjamin, and I went through the first 100 in 20. I knew the pace was too fast from the start, but I did not want to slow it down, and decided to just watch and see what happens. I wanted in particular to see how Joseph would fare against Jacob after a fast start. There was some easing off in the next 100 which was done in 23, giving us 43 for the 200. It appeared at first that Joseph was headed for a gradual decline. However, the presence of Jacob running in front stirred him to action. The next 100 was in 21 giving us 64 at 300. At that point I knew sub-90 was in the bag for Joseph. Jenny was also excited by the presence of Jacob, and pushed some to pass him. She finished in 85, which is technically her new record, although I believe she should be able to run quite a bit faster, sub-80 for sure, on a good day, if we can just find one. Jacob and Joseph finished together. Joseph's time for 400 was 86, 4 seconds ahead of the goal, and 43 for the second 200. It is quite remarkable that he managed an even split after a jack-rabbit start. Amazing what a younger brother placed at a strategic location can do for you. Jacob did 44 for the 200, which is his new record.

With the proven ability to run sub-3:00 800 pace for half the distance, Joseph is now on track to crack the 3:00 barrier in the 800 in the Thanksgiving race. I believe he may need to do that to win this year. His main competition is Ammon Blackburn who is a year older. Joseph will still be 7, and Ammon will be 8 on the day of the race. Ammon could very well run under 3:00. Benjamin's course record of 3:00 in that division is definitely under threat this year.

Afterward we ran home, and I ran 4 more with Benjamin. So Benjamin did 6, Joseph, Jacob, and Jenny did 2, I ended up with 12. 

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.006.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Benjamin and Ariel. Did a tempo workout - 3 up and 3 down the canyon with a few minutes of rest at the top. Benjamin paced me through the first mile, I ran the rest of the workout alone. The first mile was 5:56, then 5:57, and 5:53 - 17:46.8 for 3 miles. It was good to do sub-6:00 on all of those miles with pacing only on the first as opposed to on all. I think there was some tailwind, because on the way back there was noticeable headwind. I struggled on the second tempo. Part of it was the headwind, part I think being tired from the first one. My splits were 5:33, 5:35, 5:27 - 16:35.4 total.

Got home, ran with the kids. Jenny, and Julia did 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Benjamin did 6.8. I did a total of 13.

P.M. 0.7 with Benjamin, 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.800.000.000.5013.30

A.M. Ran with Benjamin and Ariel, then with the other children. Benjamin did 6, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 3, Jacob 1. I ended up with 13. Did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:36.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 13.30
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.3010.000.000.0020.30

A.M. Started the run with Scott, his friend Reed, Chad, and Matt Poulsen. I had not seen Matt since he graduated from BYU, so it was nice to see him again and running. Matt was a 14:04 5000 meter runner back in the day. The group gradually thinned out as people reached their target turnaround points. By the end of the first 10 it was just me and Scott. We ran a tempo on the way back. It was much nicer to do this run with a partner. This run is one miserable run. It is hard to find somebody who is fit enough, up for the pain that day, and has a schedule that works out, but finally I was in luck. Scott and I traded leads with shifts of about 0.5 miles for the first 7 miles. The pace had been around 5:33 or so on average up to that point. Finally the pace and the heat started to get to me, and I had to draft. With about 2 miles to go we gradually pulled up to Reed, who was doing a tempo run of his own, and he was able to join us for about a mile, which we did in 5:37. The last mile was uphill, and more exposed to the sun. I struggled on it, so it was 6:03. Total time for the last 10 was 55:54, which is my new record in this workout. Total time for 20 was 2:10:01.

Benjamin did 6, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 20.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. The Sacrament meeting talks were on the birth of the United States and its role in the Restoration of the Gospel. One of the hymns was My Country 'Tis of Thee. I remembered some things. 2 Nephi 1:6 "there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord". At the age of 16 while still living in the Soviet Union I had a strong feeling that I needed to learn English fast - my future would depend on it. Over the next three years I would study for 8 hours a day if I could find this much time. I practiced it at every opportunity. The entire time I never felt that I was learning a foreign language, but rather was learning a native language that was technically not native because I never learned it as a child. But it was nevertheless somehow native regardless. Later when I joined the LDS church and started reading the Book of Mormon, I began to understand why it was so. Our country is different in a special way. I wish we understood it better. It is not a reason to be arrogant, rather it is a reason to feel a strong sense of responsibility to keep the commandments of God, and to serve others.

Along with that I remembered my adventures in getting a US Visa. What a mess! And what an eye opener! An African American in the 50s was more privileged and less discriminated than a young man with a dream from a country with less developed economy and unstable political situation applying for a US student visa. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" on the Statue of Liberty  not surprisingly is viewed in a way that is more or less similar to "we all need to eat healthy and exercise". A principle we theoretically admire and are anxious to preach from the pulpit but lack the grit to practice when initiative and sacrifice are required.

I also remembered the feeling of disappointment I experienced when I observed some people getting drunk on the 4th of July. I understand some people will take issue with this, and argue that there is nothing wrong with celebrating the American freedom this way. I used to argue back, including on this blog, but I think I am going to take a different approach. If you feel this way, go to the Lord in prayer and asking to show you why it is wrong, and if you really care to know, He will. If not, well, there is not much else I can say. I will quote a scripture, however - Isaiah 28:7 "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment."

Somebody in my ward asked Sarah if I felt excluded on the 4th of July due to my non-US upbringing. I do not feel excluded. I feel thankful to be in a country that the Lord has prepared and freed for a special purpose. I do feel sad, however, particularly on the 4th of July, when I contemplate the degree of ignorance among Americans to that special purpose.  

 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.500.0012.50

A.M. Ran with Ariel and Benjamin. We did 6. Did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:37. Then more with other kids. Julia did 1, Jenny and Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.501.501.500.0012.50

A.M. Took Benjamin for a time trial of sorts. I wanted to see what he could do on my 3 mile tempo course down the Provo Canyon. The target was something under 6:00 average, but we both knew that he would blow that away, the question was by how much. After a 2 mile warm-up uphill we started the run. I ran alongside for about a quarter to feel how fast he wanted to go, that quarter was 87, which had some uphill, then I moved forward and started setting the pace. We did 82, 82, 82 (5:33), then 83. I knew that those 82s would eventually end, but I figured as long as Benjamin was not complaining or falling back, I would hold it. The nice downhill ended, the next quarter was rolling. Benjamin started to struggle and hit 89. However, he regrouped and sped up to 86, followed by 87, which was not too bad. 11:18 at 2 miles, 5:45 for the second mile. I told him he was 2 seconds ahead of the 5:40 guy. He protested vehemently against the idea of working to stay ahead and insisted he had no juice. I knew that he was wrong, so I told him to be quiet. I knew he would be thankful in a mile. Sometimes you just need to throw away the things they tell you in child education/psychology classes and go with the natural father's instinct. Especially when the pace is 5:45, which I can handle, but I am definitely in no mood to talk going this fast. So I condensed my remarks to one phrase.

It worked quite well. He had two quarters of rebellion in 89 and 90. Then he smelled the barn, repented, and ran 85. At this point I thought all hopes of breaking 17:00 were gone. But Benjamin thought differently. He ran the last quarter in 76, which gave him 5:40 for the last mile, and 16:58.2 for 3 miles.

This was a decent time, given that my best on that course is 15:15. Day after day Benjamin is becoming a more equal workout partner, and pretty soon I am going to hear "Daddy, give me five" as he tries to make me go faster.

I ran 6 more afterwards. Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 2, Jacob ran 1.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.600.000.701.2014.50

A.M. Ran 6 with Benjamin, did a pickup for 0.7 up the canyon at 5:45 pace, then more with the other kids. Jacob and Julia did 1, Jenny, and Joseph ran 2. I ran some more, found Jon Kotter on the trail, ran a couple of fartlek intervals with him. On the first one I was able to stay with him for about 40 seconds, then eased off and finished in 3:39 the distance that he covered in 3:22, which was probably around 0.75 miles. He thought that pace was sustainable for him for a little longer than a mile, but definitely less than 5 K. On the second one, I ran the first minute of his two minute interval. On the last one I stayed with him for the first 50 seconds of a one minute interval, and then finished it out to the minute maybe a couple of seconds behind, except he ran for maybe 65 seconds or so.

So I ended up with about 13 miles total distance. 

Benjamin got back his AP Calculus BC test score. It was 4 out of 5. Not too bad for a 13 year old taking his first official test ever. This gives him credit for Math 112 at BYU. Math 110 as well, but it is irrelevant given that 110 is a prerequisite  for 112. We will try to hit 5 next year with more maturity and test taking experience so we can move Math 113 out of the way as well.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.000.0014.50

A.M. Trip to Zion's Park. In St. George ran with Clyde and Benjamin. Clyde did 8, I did 10, Benjamin did 6. Then I added 2 with Julia and Joseph. Jacob did 1.

P.M.  0.5 with William, 2 with Jenny.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.301.500.500.2012.50

A.M. 6 with Benjamin, we did a pickup for 1.5 at sub-6:00 pace. 2 with Jenny, Julia, and Joseph. 1 with Jacob. A short pickup with Jon Kotter for a minute at about 4:30 pace. Another pickup at 5:44 pace uphill for 0.5. Total of 12 miles.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
2.0016.000.000.0018.00

A.M. Today was the Deseret News Practice Run. I had two purposes. Measure how long it takes to get to the start of the race from my house following the magic route through Heber, Kimball Junction, and Jeremy Ranch road; and to run the first 16 miles of the course to remember what to expect, as I have not done that since 2008. Time flies. So I drove up with Ariel. It took 1 hour and 22 minutes. Then Ariel drove further to do his run, and I ran the 16 miles. 

I started right by the Morgan County/Salt Lake County sign, but I think that was wrong because my first mile was 6:19. I think part of it was starting at the wrong place, but part also was just from running too slow - I started with zero warm-up, and had a hard time kicking into gear. The subsequent miles were more normal, but still slow, considering I was going down 8% grade. 5:43, then 5:29 I think. 29:02 at 5 miles. Still feeling sluggish. To make matters worse, somehow I managed to run the 6th mile in 6:24. It had some uphill, but not that much. It should have been at least 6:10. The next mile up the Little Mountain was 6:58, followed by 6:19 which was about half up and half down. When I saw 48:43 at 8 miles I told myself it was time to wake up and try to start running. I was not sure if I did have that wake up in me, but the next mile showed I had at least some juice - 5:23, followed by 6:01 10th mile which has a detour to the subdivision. It was a bit slower than it should have been because I slowed down looking for the turnaround sign. It was not easily visible I did find it painted on the road, however,  and with that obstacle past me, got going again. The mile split was 6:01 with 1:00:07 at 10 miles. 

It was getting warmer, and I was running without water or fuel. However, the next two miles were good - both in 5:33. It felt too aggressive in the anticipation of the Hogle Zoo monster encounter, so I eased off a bit, and ran the next one in 5:38 - 1:16:51 at 13 miles. 15 mile split was 1:28:21 - the miles were 5:48, 5:42 I think. The last mile had the notorious Hogle Zoo bump that can help you evaluate how much glycogen you and your competitors have left in their legs. If there is a decent amount, it feels like a bump. If not, it feels like an endless climb, which is a bad sign because you still have more than 10 miles left. This mile was 5:54, it felt more like a bump than an endless climb, and I was happy with that. Total time was 1:34:14, with which I was not as happy, but since the last 8 were decent, I can claim that the first 8 were just a warmup.

I was also happy that Ariel showed up in my car and rescued me from the Hogle Zoo monster right as he began chewing on my quads and calves. There was some damage left, though, and I could feel it. It should heal up and get stronger on the day of the race.

The kids ran on their own, all except William and Joseph. Benjamin did 6, Jenny and Julia 2, Jacob 1. 

P.M. 2 miles with Joseph. Julia ran 0.5 with William.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. Was tired, fell asleep during one of the talks. Getting up at 5:00 AM twice last week got me. Caught the other talk, though. It was on unity. Then went to the investigator/new member class where we had a lesson on creation, and then we had the Elders' quorum lesson on missionary work.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. Ran with 6 Benjamin, 2 with Joseph, and 2 myself. Jenny and Julia did 2, Jacob 1. Jacob did a mile time trial. We tried to break 7:30. He started OK, but was having an off day. His laps were 1:50, 1:54, 1:56, 1:57, and the total time was 7:40. We will try again on Friday hopefully with better results. My legs were quite sore from Saturday, mostly quads, but also calves. So I ran only 10 total.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.250.000.2512.50

A.M. Did a 400 meter time trial with Benjamin on the track at Orem High. Took him through the first 200 in 31, then let him take over to see if he could drop me, but he got a bit complacent and did a 17 for the next 100, so we were 48 at 300. After that both of us tried to accelerate, but had a hard time shifting gears. So we ended up with 64.8. Next time we try this, I'll just have him try to outrun me in the last 100. Nevertheless, it was a good result for speed given that we have not worked on this distance at all, and he is only 13 years old.

Then we paced Jenny through an 800 meter time trial. It started with some confusion. I told her to go through the first 400 in 90, and then if she could not keep the pace run the best that she could. She went through the 400 in 90 and then stop because she felt she could not hold 90 anymore. So we clarified the confusion, gave her some time to rest, and made the best of the situation. Now she was too tired to go with the plan A, so we did the plan B. First lap in 95 or so, and then try to hold it. She was too scared and ran 98. Then I told her she could break Joseph's record if she sped up, and she did closing in 94 with the total time of 3:12. This is the first PR in distances 800 or longer that she got in over two years.

Then we ran home and ran with other kids. Julia, and Joseph did 2, Jacob did 1. Benjamin total of 6. I added 6 more after that for the total of 12.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. 6 with Benjamin, 2 with Jenny, Julia, and Joseph, 1 with Jacob, 1 more alone, total of 10. Tapering for Deseret News.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.000.500.0010.00

A.M. 7 with Benjamin. Jenny and Julia ran 2, including 1 with Jacob. I ran 2 more with Joseph, and 1 more alone. Felt like turning the legs over a bit and ran 0.5 uphill by the house at 5:30 pace. 

P.M. Sarah took William for 0.5. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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9.000.001.500.0010.50

A.M. Today was Jacob's last chance to break 7:30 before turning 6. So we did a time trial on the track.We drove to the track so that Jacob would not have to run too much for his warm-up. A little kid needs only maybe a quarter mile jog, no more, before a mile time trial, and he does need to do strides. Joseph, Jenny, and Benjamin were assisting in addition to myself. Aside from bragging rights a personal Palm Pilot was at stake. Yes, I know Palm Pilots are old, but my income, while good and sufficient for our needs, does not yet allow us to provide more expensive devices for a 6 year old even if they earn them. In the meantime, Palm Pilot can be used to read the scriptures, to play chess, and to learn about various mathematical functions on the calculator among other things. Jacob was quite excited about the prospective of owning his first electronic gadget. 

The first lap was 1:52, just as planned. On the second lap I became concerned because we did it in 1:55 with me having to keep asking Jacob to give me a low five.  So Joseph, Benjamin, and I explained to Jacob in no uncertain terms that he needed to speed up. His natural tendency to obey came handy, and he sped up completely on faith believing that even if he thought he could not do it, if Joseph, Benjamin, and I thought that he could, then he could. His third lap was 1:50. This dropped Jenny - she said she was not feeling good. We do need some instruction that when you are helping your little brother in a time trial, even if you do not feel good, you should just push through it and keep the pace. But it was not the time for this type of instruction as we were trying to get Jacob to do another lap in 1:50, which would give him 7:30 for the mile. He hesitated some, hitting the next 200 in 57, so now he needed a 53. Then he got going and hit 26 for the next 100. Now he had it in the bag, more or less, but a 5 year old kid never has it in the bag. He can always panic and slip to some out of character pace, and lose the precious bird that was already in his hand. So in the last 100 I started clapping out the rhythm and saying ta-ta-ta, as Benjamin and Joseph kept cheering. His last 100 was 24, and he finished the full mile (not just 1600!)  in 7:27.8. I ordered the Palm Pilot as soon as I got to the computer.

Jenny, Benjamin, and Joseph ran back to the house (about 1 mile), while I drove Jacob. Afterwards, Joseph and Jenny ran another mile with me, and I ran 2 more with Julia, and 3 more alone with a pickup in the last 1.5 in 8:36 - this gave me the total of 8. Benjamin ran 6.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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7.250.000.750.508.50

A.M. Ran 8 miles with Chad. In the first 2 miles we ran with Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob. Today was Jacob's birthday. He turned 6. 

Then we ran 6 more miles with Benjamin. I thought it would be good for all of us to shake the legs out, so I proposed a 1.25 mile pickup down the Provo Canyon. I gave Benjamin a chance to pick the pace, he said if I let him choose the pace, it would be 8:00 mile. So with this deferral, I said the pace would be 82 seconds per quarter (5:28 per mile), and I would run in front to set it. We did the first quarter in 82 as planned. However, to do that we had to work against a gust of headwind. So applying the same effort the second quarter ended up being 80. I noticed that Benjamin was fine at 80, so I just kept it. But it ended up being too fast for Chad and he dropped back a bit. The next quarter was not marked, however, we did the next half mile in 2:38. I suppose I was getting a bit excited. So we had 5:20 at the mile. Then I realized that if we ran under 76 Benjamin would get a mile record for the last mile of the pickup. So I silently picked up the pace to see if he would respond. He did. Our next 200 was 37. In the last 200 I cranked it up some, and Benjamin kept responding, and even trying to pass me, so we ended up with 33 for the last 200, 70 for the last quarter, 6:30 for 1.25, and 5:08 for the last mile. This is Benjamin's new canyon mile record.

Chad finished .1.25 in 6:46, with the last mile in 5:24.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 8.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Day of rest. Went to church. The Sacrament meeting talks were on the LDS pioneers. Both were good, but for some reason I was too tired during the first, and learned by means of Lehi's dream. Maybe I know that I'll be running the marathon on Tuesday, so my body is proactively regenerating. This rest did, however, give me energy for the second talk and I absorbed it quite well. Then I went to the new member class where the lesson was on Adam and Eve. I ended up teaching the second half of it because the regular teacher got an emergency work call and could teach only the first part. After that we had a lesson in the Elders' Quorum on Elder Halstrom's talk on the difference between activity in the Church and activity in the Gospel. This was one of my favorite General Conference talks. I liked how he emphasized that the purpose of having the Church to begin with is to help us develop an active knowledge and a testimony of Jesus Christ, to make us different people who act according to His teachings instinctively. It is possible to go to church every Sunday, but still make very little progress in achieving that change. Thus it is important to examine yourself regularly and make sure that you are not getting lost in the multitude of routines without developing a testimony of Christ.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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5.000.000.250.756.00

A.M. Total of 6. Took Benjamin for a 1200 meter practice run on the track in preparation for the sub-5:00 mile barrier assault. It was going to double as my pre-marathon glycogen buildup stimulation kick. Benjamin is now fast enough that we can kill two birds with one stone. I took him through the first quarter in 75, exactly as planned. Then I sped up a little bit and did a 74. I could tell Benjamin was struggling, so I eased off. I think I was too anxious to ease off because the pace was hard for me as well. Next 200 in 39 - oops. Tried to pick it back up, last 200 in 37, 3:45.4 for 1200. Benjamin set a PR for 1000 en-route - 3:08. He said for a second he considered running another lap to make it a mile.

Jenny and Julia came with us as well to do their 400 meter time trials. I paced them each individually. Julia ran 96.2. That is her record, but something is wrong with it. Joseph, who is 2 years younger, has run 86, and in the 7-9 age range there should not be much of a difference in speed between a boy and a girl. I think she has a hard time sprinting all out - maybe a mental block from running distance all the time. I am going to do some sprint work with her to fix that. 

Jenny ran 83.5 with an even split. When we got home, Benjamin ran 1 mile with Jacob, then more to make the total 6 miles. I ran 2 with Joseph. Total of 6 miles for me as well. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Deseret News Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:34:09, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.3026.220.000.0026.52

A.M. Deseret News Marathon 2:34:09.8 3rd place, $250. Report is finally finished. Here is the picture of all of our family running to the finish line:

Family Finish 

And here is another:

Family Finish 

Was able to sleep in until 3:00 AM even though I live in Orem thanks to Ariel's help who drove with me to the start of the race and took the car back to the finish.  We bypassed the possible road closures by driving through Heber, I-80, then Jeremy Ranch Road connecting to Hwy 65, then on to the top of the Big Mountain through the back. The whole procedure took 1 hour and 39 minutes, which included a stop to change clothes and go to the bathroom. We saw a deer, three live skunks, and one dead one. 

This race was going to be a test of what my back strengthening exercises have done for me in the context of the marathon, particularly its second half. I already knew my uphill running had improved. My suspicion was that given proper fuel and aerobic capacity uphill performance correlated with the ability to hold speed in the second half. This race to some extent supported this hypothesis. 

Account of the race by mile:

Mile 1 - 5:24 - maneuvered through a group of younger guys that maybe were too excited at the start. I think the pace was right for them if they had been properly trained for the marathon, as they were able to converse at it, but because of the lack of preparation they could not sustain it. I instructed them to do the tangents right. I suppose different people have different levels of geometric intuition, as this idea was not obvious to them. Over the course of Deseret News Marathon being on the wrong side of the road too frequently can easily add half a mile to the distance. I must admit that I had ulterior motives - if they are on the wrong side of the road, I cannot effectively draft behind them as the extra distance cancels out the benefits of drafting. They asked me what I was hoping to run. I told them I would be happy with 2:35, but even happier with 2:30. As it turns out I ended up a bit happier than just happy.

Mile 2 - 5:04 (10:28) Caught up to John  Rosswog (Rossy on the blog). Did not recognize him, but he recognized me. He was going out too fast and he knew it, but his idea was to cover some distance at a good speed before his injuries start limiting him. I was happy to follow him, and he was happy to break the wind for me for the next few miles. He told me that ahead of us we only had Fritz, Alden, and Albert. I was pleased with this mile - 5:04 came with less effort than I expected, even adjusting for the grade.

Mile 3 - 5:05 (15:33) Another fast mile, good downhill. Running with John.

Mile 4: - 5:37  (21:10) The grade leveled out some, plus John took the foot off the gas. Earlier he had it too far down for me, though not so far that I would take the initiative to drop back. Now it felt like it was about 5 seconds per mile off the right effort for me, but I was OK. There are plenty of opportunities to make that up on this course.

Mile 5  - 5:46 (26:56)  There was a little uphill section where I passed John and moved forward. But as soon as I did, I realized I needed to do a VPB. Did a quick one, about 20 seconds or so. John passed me and gapped me by 10 seconds or so, but I quickly closed and passed him back. He was familiar with the term VPB from the blog, and knew it was not a speed workout.

Mile 6 - 6:12 (33:08) Uphill mile. Does not look like a big uphill, but there is enough to justify running slower than 6:00. Was happy with it because in my training run a week and a half ago I did it in 6:24. 

Mile 7 - 6:33 (39:41) Climb up the Little Mountain. Was expecting about 6:50 from the effort. Was very happy to get 6:33. Timed the gap with the leaders - it was about 3 minutes. Saw the photographer. Remembered a Russian song about a soccer goalie and and a photographer. The goalie is very good, rarely gets scored on. That is what attracts the photographer to the goal. He is waiting for that rare moment. He talks to the goalie pleading with him to let the other team score so he can get a good picture. The goalie of course refuses multiple times, but the photographer persists. Finally, there comes a ball that the goalie cannot stop. The photographer takes the picture, which the goalie wants, and gets it in the size of 2x3 meters to hang up at his home as a reminder of what he should not do. The goalie says: "I curse the moment when I played into the hands of the photographer, because now I think when I intercept the ball about the multitude of pictures I have ruined, and I am being tormented with shame."  I find this humorous song very good for teaching Benjamin Russian. I also find myself thinking about it when I am in pursuit in the marathon and am aiming for passing somebody closer to the finish downgrading his position in a demoralizing manner. But that is the nature of racing. When you upgrade your place, you downgrade somebody else's. When somebody upgrades his, he downgrades yours. The wonderful thing about runners is that for the most part they know how to avoid bitter feelings even if getting passed involves losing money.

Mile 8 - 6:03 (45:44). Half of this mile is the continuation of the Little Mountain climb, the other half is going down. Was hoping to hit it under 6:00 after the 6:33 earlier, but missing that by 3 seconds while holding back a bit was OK. 

Mile 9 - 5:46 (51:28). I hoped to run this mile in 5:20-5:25, and I probably did, but there was another VPB in it, this one a bit longer due to some logistical challenges. To maximize VPB efficiency I did not time them, but I estimate the total loss from the two of them to be about 40 seconds.

Mile 10 - 5:57 (57:25). Detour into the subdivision with uphill and a 180. So not a very fast mile. Was happy it was under 6:00. In my training run it was 6:01. Saw Albert, timed the gap, it was around 1:20. Saw Steve Anderson on the way out, estimated the gap as well, I think it was more than a minute. Positive on both ends as I was feeling strong - having done the training run a week and a half ago I also knew that this feeling meant I would be strong for at least two miles after mile 16 - and I knew that both competitors would have reasons to feel weak in the same miles once the Hogle Zoo Monster attacked them.

Mile 11 -  5:38 (1:03:03). Was hoping for 5:33 like in the training run, but I think when I did it then I tried to make for slower start and pushed it too hard. I remembered it feeling to hard back then, and I was able to compare the effort in my mind with this one. This one felt more relaxed, and it also felt right. So I decided to maintain the effort without increasing it. It was difficult to do as I began to see Albert, but I kept telling myself not to overexert myself. Unless he decided to purposefully take a break (why would he?), his pacing suggested that some place around mile 16 he was going to get attacked by the Hogle Zoo monster, and once that monster injects his deadly poison, things are not looking good for the runner that falls prey to that evil creature.

Mile 12 - 5:35 (1:08:38). Adjusting for the observations in the previous mile was going to be happy with anything under 5:40. Got 5 second bonus, said a prayer of thanks. I actually have been working on developing a habit to say a prayer of thanks after every good mile. If it was not what I hoped for, still a prayer of thanks that I am still going, and prayer for direction for the rest of the race.

Mile 13 - 5:39 (1:14:17). About what I expected, but towards the optimistic range. This was a tell-tale mile. A relatively small slowdown in this particular mile is often a precursor of a serious crash. So I ran it crossing my fingers, paying close attention to how I felt, making sure I did not overexert trying to make myself believe I had more juice than I really did while wasting the little bit that I had. 

Half-marathon - 1:14:51. Time to evaluate the race. Technically I am on pace for sub-2:30. Realistically I knew that 1:18 in the second half would be a very good result. First, the second half here is not quite as fast as the first even if we are comparing fresh legs run. Then you have the issues of beat up legs. You could be feeling good otherwise, but trashed legs will quickly stop your progress.  I did some disaster planning as well, and estimated that in case of a bad disaster it could be 2:40, which is bad, but still better than Utah Valley. Knowing that I could crash badly and still improve on the marathon I had run earlier gave me a mental boost. My mental approach to avoiding disaster in the second half is to focus on hitting sub-6:00 for as long as possible, and tell myself that with each sub-6:00 I am quadratically (faster than linearly but slower than exponentially) moving myself away from disaster.

Mile 14 - 5:39 (1:19:56)  Happy with the result. Gradually catching Albert. Telling myself not to hurry. Trying to relax.

Mile 15 - 5:36 (1:25:32). Sub-5:40 was quite a bonus on this mile. Aside from putting me away further from disaster, it also indicated that I still had some juice.

Miles 16 and 17 - 11:29, 5:44.5 avg (1:37:01). Somehow missed the mile marker 16. Caught up to Albert shortly afterwards. He picked it up. I was happy to draft. I asked him how he was feeling, expecting to hear "not that good", then with the plan to invite him to sit back and relax. I do not believe in passing with authority at mile 17, especially when you closed more than a minute in the last 7 miles and are already running the pace you believe to be ideal. A surge is bad for your pace to begin with. However that is not everything. You may want to think that it is good to drop your opponent ASAP leaving him nothing to latch on to, nothing to hope for. The truth of the matter, in a situation like this you need him. You do not want to run alone, you will run slower. Even if he cannot push the pace, he can scare you from behind, and that helps. And if you have closed a minute rather quickly without trying too hard, unless your competitor has been playing some kind of a silly game, he is dead meat already. The question is if you are willing to help him run a minute faster than he otherwise would, while running 30 seconds or so faster yourself. So I wanted Albert to go with me, but I think he was in the wrong state of mind, possibly due to fatigue. He first told me he was feeling fine, and set a good pace while we were going downhill.  Then we were going through a curve, and he was not hugging it as well as he should have. I pointed it out to him, but he said he wanted to run where he did. I moved to the inside of the curve, and naturally started to pass him without much extra effort. Then we started going uphill. Albert is bad on the uphill, and I believe the reason is known. He was born with a heart condition - he is missing a flap in one of his heart valves. In spite of that he found a way to run a sub-2:30 marathon on a non-aided course (Chicago). On the uphill the heart has to pump harder. So when we hit the uphill that weakness combined with the overall fatigue of the race became a factor for Albert and he dropped back. Now I was in third place, where I stayed until the end.

Mile 18 - 6:03 (1:43:04). This mile was uphill. This is the mile that measures the damage from the encounter with the Hogle Zoo Monster. At this point I knew that my pre-race prayers have been answered. I was praying that I would have the strength to fight back when the Hogle Zoo Monster attacked me. Sarah thought it was rather funny, and perhaps maybe not appropriate to pray this way. But I figured that the prophets in the Old Testament have used a lot of imagery in their writings, and I suppose this would have carried over into their prayers as well. So I felt it was OK to reference the Hogle Zoo Monster specifically by name in a prayer. Regardless, I was thankful to have received that strength, and particularly for this mile because it proved that I did. 

Mile 19 - 5:57 (1:49:01). Now going downhill. I cannot get going anymore like I did before my encounter with the Hogle Zoo Monster, but I am in the "zone", and I am still sub-6:00, and that is all that matters. Each mile under 6:00 carries me further away from disaster in quadratic proportion.

Mile 20 - 6:07 (1:55:08). Not bad. This mile was partially down and partially up. Not a great split, but still holding my own and getting further away from disaster.

Mile 21 - 6:29 (2:01:37).  Uphill mile. I was hoping for 6:20. On the positive side I felt strong, in control. Only 5 miles left. Looking ahead at the police lights, hallucinating it is the leaders coming back to me, but every single time as I get closer I realize the car is not moving and is just guarding the intersection. Isaiah 29:8 "It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that against mount Zion". This repeating experience certainly makes me not want to fight against mount Zion.

Mile 22 - 5:48 (2:07:25) Nice downhill mile. Happy to be sub-6:00 again, even if it is just for one mile. 

Mile 23 - 6:19 (2:13:44). This one was mostly downhill but it had a climb on 13th east. I am starting to lose pace, but surviving. During this mile I was greeted by three women. When work hard I block out my peripheral vision. So I had a hard time figuring out who they were. I did recognize the voice of Michelle Lowry, which I thought maybe was a hallucination as I was not expecting to see her in Utah. Per Allie's report, they turned out to be Melody, Josse, and Michelle Lowry indeed.

Mile 24 - 6:07 (2:25:51) . Nice downhill mile. 6:07 is not sub-6:00 but it better than 6:19.

Mile 25 - 6:20 (2:26:11). Downhill start, then flattens out. Rob Murphy appeared with Powerade. I needed it. The thirsty man was drinking, and it was real. Rob gave me an update on Fritz and Alden, and verified that I was safe for third. Thanks Rob for your kindness. 

Mile 26 - 6:45 (2:32:56)  This mile starts with a brief visit to the parade route. I was hoping for some crowd support but instead as soon as I got there I was attacked by the smell of tobacco and grease. I thought - these people do not really care to see the marathon. We do not really care to smell their grease and tobacco at any point in the race, and mile 26 would be the worst possible spot for that. Why send us through the parade route at all? Then I thought - if only one of them decides to change his lifestyle and begins to exercise because he sees the marathon it would be worth it for me to endure the smell of grease and tobacco at mile 26. Past the parade route there was another parade. A parade of construction cones. However, I had something to look forward to. We now have five children that can run a quarter mile at my marathon pace, so our five oldest would be joining me at mile 26.

The part of the marathon that makes it infinitely longer than just 26 miles - 1:16, 5:47 pace  (2:34:12 by my watch, we'll go with that for the purpose of calculating the split). Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob joined me at the mile marker 26. As soon as they did I forgot about the pain of the marathon. This was the best marathon finish I had ever experienced. Feeling this overwhelming family support gave me the extra strength to speed up from 6:40 or so to sub-6:00 without realizing it. Our family finish would have been incomplete without the whole family crossing the line. So Sarah with William and Stephen in a stroller strategically positioned herself to within about 70 meters of the finish, and timed her move as she saw us coming. To my surprise she was moving at a good speed. I was not going to let a pregnant woman pushing a stroller with two kids cross the finish line before me even if she was running for only 70 meters and started ahead, so I kicked to pass her just in time. All of the kids handled that kick fine except our little Jacob - he came in a couple of seconds behind. This is the first time we have ever attempted this logistically challenging task of crossing the finish line together without losing the competitiveness of the finish. Next time we will time his move a little better.

This finish was a great experience for all of us. We decided we will now make it a family tradition for all marathons that the whole family can attend.

Second half was 1:19:22 vs 1:14:51 in the first, so positive split by 4:31, which is not too bad for this course. The only time I recall competitive negative splits here is the Kenyans running the race tactically. Probably Fritz would be the best benchmark of the natural difference of the two halves. This year he ran 1:09/1:13, last year 1:09/1:15. He splits his other races with equal speed quality halves anywhere from even to 3 minutes positive. So I think we would be safe to say the natural split difference on this course is about 3 minutes, which makes my split today only a about a minute and a half effectively positive, which is a big deal for me.

After the race Bob Wood came up to me in disbelief looking at my Crocs and asked me if I really ran the whole way in them. I replied that I did, he said he had never seen this before. He wanted to see the soles. There was quite a bit of other commotion about the Crocs with people taking pictures of my feet and a radio interview. But I have to say that the Crocs did extremely well on this course. They stayed on even on the 8% downhill grade, unlike the years when I ran this course in non-Crocs shoes I had no blisters or bloody toes, and my quads were good enough to run 6 miles without limping, including a quarter in 91 pacing Julia, the next day.

Friz won with 2:21:58, then Alden 2:24:40 in his first marathon (14 mile is the wrong place to surge in this race. In fact, I do not think any place is a good place to surge before mile 23 for sure, but by then it may not be necessary. The right way to run this course is maintain contact with the minimum effort until your competitor is out of juice, then walk away. Let the hills and the distance do the beating of the competitor, no need to try to take it into your own hands). Steve Anderson was 4th with 2:38:17, then Albert with 2:40:37.

P.M. Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 6, Jenny, Joseph and Julia 2, Jacob 1. William ran 0.5 with Sarah. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 26.52
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
Comments(13)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.250.250.000.006.50

A.M. Best recovery ever after DesNews. I've run the race 6 times since they moved the start to the top of the Big Mountain, and the current course variant 4 times. From what I can remember this is the best recovery I ever had. I think the only time that it might have been better in the entire history of me running Deseret News is 2003, but back then you dropped only 1700 feet. I was able to run 6 miles more or less normally, which included Julia's 400 meter time trial in 91.6.

I was rather surprised because I had a not so great recovery after only 16 miles at a slower pace a week and a half ago. So I was expecting quite a bit of misery after this one - more than I wanted to imagine given that this was 26.21 and not just 16. However, something was different. Possible reasons, likely combined:

 

  • Crocs shift some of the burden from the quad to the calf.
  • The 16 mile run a week and a half ago did some conditioning magic possibly with the help of the Crocs
  • There was an increase in the back muscles strength, so they were able to take some of the shock.
  • The increase in the back muscle strength did something to allow  a good conditioning response from the 16 mile training run 

 

Benjamin did 6, Jenny 2, Jacob 1. Julia and Joseph both had a total of 2. Joseph did a quick 400 as well - 89 seconds. 

P.M. 0.5 with William on the track in 5:46. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 6.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.500.000.000.008.50

A.M. 6 with Benjamin - ran into Scott Keete and his friend and joined them for about a mile, 2 with Joseph, Julia, Jenny, and Jacob. Legs feeling better, although some soreness is still present.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.301.000.000.2010.50

A.M. Joseph wanted to run a mile time trial today. Julia helped. We drove to the track, did a warm-up there, and then started. Joseph ran 6:52.9 with the splits of 1:42, 1:45, 1:42, and 1:40. It was probably 1:40 high. The 3 seconds otherwise were lost on the extra 9.34 meters from 1600 to the mile. This is his new PR by 2 seconds. I do think that with competition that would motivate him he could run 6:40.

Part of the problem was that Julia was not in a good mental state to help today. She was supposed to race him in the second half, but she only did a 200 in 49 to which Joseph responded, but then dropped back and coasted to 3:45 finish saying she was not feeling good. I explained to her that a fast 800 meters never feels good. So we are going to do an 800 time trial on Monday hopefully with better results.

Benjamin was at the Youth Conference and ran 3 miles there. Joseph and Julia ended up with 2 miles total. Jenny ran 1 with Jacob, and 1 more alone - 2 total. I ran 8 more. Met another runner on the trail - turns out he just signed up for the blog - his name is Nelson. We did a couple of pickups to measure his conditioning and potential. 100 in 16.8, 200 in 33.5, then a mile in 5:48. I also ran into Neal Ferrin who just got married. He was running, his wife was with him on a bike. Just like Sarah and I 15 years ago. Ran with them for about 0.75 at the end.

Total of 10 miles for today. Legs felt virtually painless today, but I could feel in the 100 and 200 pickups that they lacked the strength. I actually was trying to hit 15.5-15.7 in the 100 and about 32 in the 200, but my sense of pace was way off. 

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.900.002.001.1014.00

A.M. Jeff and Kimia McClellan came over for a visit on their way to Ames, Iowa where Jeff will be doing a PhD program in exercise physiology. Jeff asked me if I would pace him through the 3 mile tempo run on my Provo Canyon course. Jeff has had some health struggles since the end of last year, and got out of shape. However, in the last couple of weeks he resumed more or less normal training, and wanted to test where it got him. I assumed he wanted me to pace him at 5:30 pace or so. However, his plans were to run sub-5:20. Now at that this would be more of a push each other, as the fastest I've run this course this year is 15:49, and I had just run a marathon. 

We started with 2 miles with the kids - Jacob did 1, Joseph, Julia, and Jenny did 2. Then we ran easy for another 5.3 or so to get to the start of the tempo. We ran the first quarter in 80, and it was Jeff's last quarter in 80 or slower. After that it was 77, 75, 75 (5:07). I felt that I did not have the strength to hold this pace for much longer, so I backed off, while Jeff continued. My next quarter was 77, after than I coasted at 5:30 pace more or less to the finish. Second mile was 5:24, and the last one 5:27, total time 15:58.3. Jeff did 15:17. This is not quite his top shape level, of course, but he is getting into shape fast.

We jogged some more to make the total 14 miles. We also did a speed test running 100 meters all out twice. Jeff did 14.2 and around 14.5. I did 15.2 and then 14.7. So my top speed was actually quite good today, but after a 5:07 I felt like I lacked the strength for sub-5:20 pace the rest of the way.

 Benjamin ran 4 miles at the Youth Conference.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 14.00
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 as usual. The Sacrament talks were on the Atonement of Christ. Then we had a lesson on Alma 32, which talks about faith. I have some thoughts about faith. When we teach a child to do something that he struggles to have the initiative to start or finish we may sometimes use a reward. At first the reward has to be immediate. As the child matures, the reward can wait longer and longer. Eventually he does what we've been trying to teach him with no external reward as he recognizes the intrinsic value of what he is doing. That is what God does with us in matters of faith. For example, when we first begin to pay tithing we may receive dramatic blessings such as extra money appearing out of some unexpected source to take care of an urgent problem. I suppose the Lord knows this commandment is difficult, as such blessings seem to continue for a long time after you first begin to pay it. But then as your understanding of the law increases, you no longer need to rely on the external physical reward. You do things that are natural in the Celestial Kingdom naturally as they appear self-evident. You are more confident than ever that something good will come out of it either now or sometime in the future, either in this life or the next, and likely more than one thing, but that is now why you do it - you just do it. The question of "what did I get out of obedience?" becomes irrelevant, in fact rather silly. You realize that it is neither possible nor necessary to scientifically itemize each blessing and tie it to some specific act of obedience. Rather you acknowledge that exercising your faith and obeying always puts you in a strong position  from which you are eventually able to draw a multitude of blessings.
 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Took Jenny, Julia, and Joseph, and Jacob for Julia's 800 meter time trial at Orem High. Jacob was supposed to do his best to hang on, Jenny and Joseph were supposed to sit back until 200 to go, then kick. Things went more or less as planned. We did the first 200 in 50, then 54 (1:44), then 53, which gave us 2:37 at 600. Jenny closed with 46 - 3:23, Joseph - 47 - 3:24, Julia - 49 (3:26), which is her new 800 meter record. Jacob fell back after the first 200 or so, but kept a good pace, and finished in 3:33 which is a 1 second PR. I was quite happy with as he proved that he can be left without supervision and still run well. This is quite an accomplishment for a 6 year old.

Did a cool down, Jenny and Julia ran home, I drove Joseph and Jacob back, then Benjamin and I ran a mile with Joseph, and 5 more by ourselves. So Joseph ended up with 2 mile, Jenny and Julia 2, Jacob - 1. I added some more to make the total 12.

.

P.M. Jenny ran 0.5 with William. 


Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. 2 with Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and 4 lb dumbbells. 7 with Benjamin. Added 3 more miles with the last 1.5 uphill in 8:28. Total of 12 for me. 

P.M. We went to the ultrasound. Jacob told us that he used to think that the Ultrasound was some kind of a holiday. Indeed, throughout his life we've had ultrasounds almost as frequently as his birthday. It turned out to be a boy. We are going to name him Matthew. Everything looked good and we are expecting him around Christmas.

Benjamin ran 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
249.8056.9715.705.45327.92
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 325.92
Night Sleep Time: 190.00Nap Time: 4.50Total Sleep Time: 194.50
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