Breaking the Wall

Provo River Half Marathon

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

Sasha House 10 miler this morning at 5:20 AM. Because of the early hour felt sleepy and sluggish. Did a couple of tempo pickups to freshen up. Ran a mile in 5:33 ( the last one of the standard 5 mile tempo), and then ran the last 0.65 at about 5:40 pace. Total time for the run was 1:11:00. The form did not feel good even though I did 5 minutes of hanging upside down on the inversion table before the run. I think that position was not effective because I tense up while trying to maintain it.

Tried a different position in the afternoon, not quite a 90 degree angle between my body and the horizontal plane, maybe only 80 degrees, but I could maintain that position relaxed - 10 minutes. The form felt much better in the evening run. Ran 0.5 with Julia, then 0.4 while the kids played, then Sarah came back from her run, and I took Benjamin and Jenny. Jenny ran her mile in 8:56. She picked it up to 8:00 pace at the end to catch the 9:00 girl, and Benjamin started complaining. I told him his little sister was going to beat him if he kept complaining, that woke him up. On the way back he maintained the 8:00 pace, then saw two dogs, shifted gears, and started going 7:12 pace. With Jenny now in the stroller this gave me a good workout. His last quarter was 1:46, and total time for 2 miles was 16:30. His health is returning, he is starting to act normal.

Dropped Benjamin and Jenny off at the park with Sarah, and continued the run. Saw a potential running partner, ran with him. His name is Roman. Then after about a mile it was time for me to turn around. There was another guy going in the opposite direction. I jogged a bit at around 7:00 pace, he was not coming to me very fast, then figured I wanted to run with a partner for any considerable amount of time, I needed to pick it up. So I sped up to 5:20, and it is amazing how much faster somebody running 7:30 is coming to you at 5:20 vs 7:00 - took me only about 0.2 miles to catch him. Chatted with him a bit, his name was John, then it was time for me to go home. Ended up with a total of 5.5 for the evening run.

Afterwards, picked up a hula hoop and after  a couple of tries was able to spin it for about 15-20 seconds. I have never been able to do that before.

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Tempo 5 miles with Nick McCombs on the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo.  This was going to be a test of recovery. A year ago I ran it in 28:26 with a positive split, dying off as I went. 

Splits by 0.5 - 2:49 - 2:47 (5:36) - 2:47 - 2:49 (11:12, 5:36) - 2:48 (14:00) - 2:47 (16:47, 5:35) - 2:49 - 2:48 (22:24, 5:37) - 2:48 (uphill) - 2:42 (quarters of 1:23 and 1:19) - last mile in 5:30, last 2.5 in 13:54 - 6 second negative split - total time 27:54.0.

The pace did not feel super-easy at first, but it just did not get any harder. I kept waiting for a crash to happen, but it never did. This is very encouraging - being able to run 32 seconds faster that last year around the same time away from the marathon with a negative split, which means I had more juice left. 

Nick was being nice to me, did not push the pace, and kept asking me if I was doing OK sympathetic to the post-marathon recovery syndrome.

Total of 10.8 for the run with the warm-up and cool down.

Ran easy 5 miles in the evening, including 2.5 with the kids. Got soaked in the rain.

Went to a church meeting in the evening. In a group of about 10 people there were several Spanish speakers and one Russian. This is actually typical for Provo, even though we are in a small town in the Western United States.


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Sasha House 10 Miler in the morning with Jeff and Nick. Started out really slow, first quarter in 2:25 - that is 9:40 pace! Jeff told us about being caught in a flash flood while hiking at Zion's Park this week. After about 4 miles we finally started breaking 7:00. Then gradually increased the pace to around 6:30. Finished the last 0.3 at 5:40. Total time for 10.04 was 1:10:59. It was very humid.

In the evening ran with Julia (0.5), then with Benjamin and Jenny to the swing - they brought a bike and took turns (3.5), and then added a mile in 6:58.

Abs started hurting a bit. They are naturally weak probably because I do not use them much while running. I always hope it is because the form is changing for the better when they start to hurt.

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Felt since I was still not 100% recovered from the marathon, I needed to do something mild today. Decided to try Tinman 1 mile easy/1 mile marathon pace long run. I absolutely cannot stand a 20 mile run at an easy pace. It takes forever, and I feel more tired afterwards than if I run at least half of it at marathon pace. And I have not had good results with those slow runs in the past.

Started with Ted and Jeff from the finish of the Provo River 10 miler (Riverwoods), and ran up to the start and back. Forgot The Toy, so decided to do the mile pickups by the Hawk's marks when they were there, otherwise just go roughly by time. Started out with a jog, took about half a mile before we started breaking 8:00. Ran the first tempo mile up 0.5% grade into a headwind in 5:58. Before the start of the second, Jeff and I had to make a pit stop. Ted went ahead at an easy pace. It took us a bit too long, and we fell further behind than could be covered with one tempo mile. We did the first tempo mile into a headwind and up about 1.5% grade in 6:06.

After that, there was still no sight of Ted, so we kept going at the same effort further up. After about another mile, we still could not even see Ted. So we eased off thinking that perhaps we might have missed him somehow. Then a couple of minutes later we passed some runners and asked them if Ted had passed them. They told us he was about 200 yards ahead, so we picked up again. It took us about 0.8 at about 6:00 pace to finally catch him. Ran with him until his turnaround - 7 miles, and then started the tempo. By that time we were going up South Fork. Jeff had to be to work early, so he turned around at 7.5. I figured a tempo effort up that grade would be about 7:00 mile, so I decide to go for 7 minutes. However, after the 7 minutes were up I did not feel like losing the momentum, and decided to go another 2 minutes to make the total tempo mileage on the odometer around 5 before the turnaround.

Hit the turnaround in 1:09:17 - not bad for 800 feet of climb with only half done at a tempo effort. On the way back, decided to make my tempos a bit longer to get the whole run over with quicker. Figured I'd do the stretch from the start to Vivian Park (3.23) and the standard 3 mile tempo from Nuns to the mouth of the canyon. Felt sluggish starting out, but after two miles got into a good rhythm. Finished the 3.23 stretch in 18:16, which is around 5:40 average.

Jogged from Vivian Park to Nuns at around 6:40 pace. Then started the second tempo. First two miles were sluggish again - both in 5:44. I felt a bit low on fuel. However, when I reached a little deeper, I was able to find more. The third mile was 5:37, giving me 17:05 for the 3 mile stretch. Then I could not bear the thought of dragging along for another mile at 6:40 pace. It would have felt like hitting a construction zone at the end of a 15 hour drive. So I decided to keep the tempo effort to the end. It was actually a bit more than a mile, but I timed a mile stretch on the trail in 5:34. Total time for the whole thing was 2:09:11, ran the Provo River 10 miler coming back in 59:54.

Ran 2.5 in the afternoon by myself in 18:14, then 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:07 (Jenny ran the first in 9:11, then rode in the stroller along with Jacob). Another 0.5 with Julia in 5:42.


Felt good, on the second run could not really tell I had done the first.

Benjamin looked great on the last 0.5. At 7:30 pace he looked like he was out for a stroll - very relaxed stride.


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Ran with Ted in the morning. His son James joined us for the first 3 miles. Had a very sluggish start, and I was the initiator of it - I was actually dragging behind Ted and James on the first quarter which we did in 2:25. Took us a while before we started breaking 8:00. Got to the turnaround (5.02) in 39:13. Eventually sped up to 7:15, and then 6:40 at the end. Finished 10.04 in 1:14:47. Dropped Ted off, then added another 2 miles, first in 6:42, second in 6:32. Total time for 12.04 was 1:28:01.

Ran 2.5 by myself in the evening in 17:59. Then ran with the kids. 2 miles with Benjamin, Jenny, and Jacob in the stroller. Put Jenny in the stroller at 1.5. Finished 2 miles in 16:28. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:25. Total of 5 miles. 

 During our Family Home Evening we read a funny scripture in Acts 19:13-16:

 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

 On a day like this I noticed I consume about 300 grams of honey in addition to regular meals.

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The Big Workout in the morning. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Ted's son James. Started slow as usual, then gradually warmed up. James turned around at 3 miles. We gradually picked it up to about 7:00 pace. Hit the turnaround point (5.02) in 38:32. Started the tempo run at the 2.5 turnaround of the standard 5 mile tempo (about 6.2 into the run, 46:38 time wise). The plan was to go 7.5 and hold 5:40 pace, faster if possible, slower if not feeling good.

Splits: 5:38 - 5:37 (11:15) - turnaround (2.5) in 14:05 (2:50) - 5:42 (16:57, 2:52) - 5:33 (22:30, dropped Jeff off at 4) - 5:37 (28:07, 2.5 in 14:02) - 5:37 ( 33:44, Jeff rejoined for the last 2 miles) - 5:36 (39:20) - last 0.5 in 2:42, total time 42:02, last 2.5 in 13:55, last 5 in 27:57, last 2 miles in 11:03, last mile in 5:30, last quarter in 1:18, and last 200 in 37. Incidentally, the last 10 K was 34:49 (from calculations, there was no mark), which is the fastest non-downhill 10 K I've run this year so far anywhere, in training or a race.

The pace felt easy at first, and then become a bit harder later on, after about 1.5. Then it did not become any harder. Having Jeff around certainly helped. I particularly enjoyed his company on the last 200 meters, if one can use the term enjoyable in reference to running anaerobically at the end of a 7.5 mile tempo and with over 13.5 miles on the odometer already. But it felt so good to just finally be able to tuck behind him and kind of coast. Before that, we ran mostly side by side.

Finished the 15.04 with the total time of 1:39:48.

Overall, the workout shows that I am recovering from the marathon through/in spite of the high mileage. On Thursday I did the 5 mile tempo only 3 seconds faster than the last 5 miles of this run, and that was with only a 2.5 warm up. On this run I was also alone for 1.5 miles, and even when running with Jeff, because the pace is hard on him as well, I cannot tuck in behind him for too long when I need a break. With Nick I get more drafting.

In the evening, started with 1.25 in 9:50 pushing a stroller with Jacob, Joseph, and some misc items for playing at the park, and Benjamin and Jenny alongside on their bikes. Got to the park, a little bit of badminton with Sarah, then took Julia for 0.5 in 5:22. Then took Benjamin and Jenny. We ran the first mile in 8:33, dropped Jenny off, then Benjamin went for a chase of the 8:00 guy. He got him - 7:22 last mile, 15:55 for two miles. On the way back, ran 1.25 with the stroller loaded the same way, and Benjamin and Jenny alongside on their bikes. Total of 5 miles with Benjamin's help averaging sub-8:00.

Afterwards, was very hungry, eating everything in sight for a while.

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Early morning run with Ted at 5:00 am - 10.04 in 1:14:33. James joined us for the first three miles. We got him through his 2 mile tempo at sub-7:00 pace using the locomotive sandwich method - Ted was the pace setter locomotive, and I ran behind creating the threat of a trailing locomotive that will run you over if you slow down. Few 12 year old boys will get up that early to run period, and even fewer would be able to run sub-7:00 for two miles. We also barely missed a skunk.

In the evening first ran 1.52 with Jenny running, Benjamin on a bike, and Jacob and Joseph in the stroller to the swing in 13:40. Then met Sarah and Julia at the swing, left Benjamin and Jenny with them, and ran 3.5 in 25:00 with Jacob and Joseph in the stroller. Then ran 2.02 in 16:19 with Benjamin running, and Jacob and Julia in the stroller. Julia ran 0.5 with Sarah earlier, then rode in the stroller the rest of the way to the swing. Total of 7.04 in 54:59, with more than half done with the kids, and all of it with the double stroller.

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Another Big Workout. I wonder now if 20x400 can be effective because time-wise it is a Big Workout, with the warm-up and cool-down it lasts forever. That is not what I did this morning, though.

A big group today - Ted, Nick, Jeff, James, and Breanna. Ran the first quarter in 2:08, and I knew that I was going to have a good workout. Now this may sound rather humorous. Most runners in my bracket, and even as far as a minute per mile slower at threshold, would not think so from such a measurement. But this week I have been hitting 2:25 on the first quarter without fail, and it felt hard. Now 2:08 felt easy. Of course, this has nothing to do with the aerobic fitness - my HRM has not been working, but I am fairly certain my HR was at 100 or below. It is all about the neural drive, and for some reason my body has been chosing to inhibit it to the extreme during the warm-up stage. So I was excited to see the change.

We quickly progressed into about 7:10 pace. I was very happy to see that Breanna was still conversational. Just in June she was racing Heart of Holladay 5 K at that pace. Looks like she is getting over whatever it was that inhibited her endurance. Breanna and James turned around at 3 miles. We ran to the turnaround (5.02), hit it in 37:08, and then got back to the start of the tempo workout (2.5 mark/turnaround of the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo , about 6.2 into the run) in 45:14.

The workout was 3 - 2 -1 with 0.5 brisk jog in between to make it more of a fartlek that repetitions. Ted paced us through the first quarter of the 3 in 1:20, and continued to run easy after that. We took turns every quarter, and the pace was all over - the fastest quarter in the middle was 1:18 while the slowest was 1:25, and I believe we hit everything in between at least once. This made it lean away from the steady tempo towards a fartlek within a fartlek. First mile was 5:26, then 5:23, and the last was 5:27 for the total time of 16:16. There was a 180 turn at 2.5 which cost us probably around 3 seconds total.

Nick was running out of time, so he ran to his car after the end of the 3. Jeff and I jogged the next 0.5 in 3:57 (first 100 in 35), and then started the 2 mile tempo. Jeff took the lead on the first quarter and did it in 1:22, then I took then next 0.5 a little faster, then it was Jeff's turn, but he was struggling, so I moved up again after 200. Hit the mile in 5:27. At the point my face started developing a grimace, but I could still hold the pace even being up front. Jeff fell back maybe a second, but then pulled up with 0.5 to go, and helped with the pace quite a bit. We had a 180 turn at 1.5 mark. Finished the repetition in 10:51, last mile in 5:24.

Jogged the next 0.5 in 4:00 (first 100 in 36). I had to make a pit stop in the middle, so this made the recovery a bit longer than 4 minutes. Then went for the mile. Did it in 5:15 with the quarters of 79 - 80 - 80 - 76. Last 200 was 36. The third quarter was uphill (0.5%), the last one rolling. Jeff did well on this one, although he was hurting quite a bit after the first quarter. I think he is starting to get into really good shape for the marathon if he can be so lively with 12 miles on the odometer, 5 of them being a fairly brutal tempo.

Ran to the house, 1:39:12 for 15.04.

In the evening it was hot - 90 degrees. Had to run earlier to make it to some Church meetings/activities during the nicer part of the evening. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:36, then 2.5 in 19:47. Found a friend on the trail - his name is Ken Montgomery. He ran with me after 1.25. Then ran with Benjamin and Jenny. First mile in 8:40, then put Jenny in the stroller, Benjamin ran the next mile in 7:38, total for 2 was 16:18.

Noticed an increase in the neural drive. Feeling more energetic, more interested in pushing the pace, the legs feel snappier. 

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Ran with Ted, James, and Breanna in the morning on Sasha House 10 Miler. Breanna and James turned around at 3.5. Our pace gradually progressed to 7:10 in the middle, and then 6:40 towards the end to catch the 1:15 guy. Finished 10.04 in 1:14:50.  Checked on the state of affairs at home to see Sarah needed me to take anybody for the remaining 2 mile, she did not, so I ran 2 more miles by myself, the first in 6:29, the second in 6:11. Felt very good, at 6:11 pace the stride felt sprinty, but the effort was still very much in the easy range. I knew that it meant something, just was not quite sure what. Definitely an improvement in the neural drive, the race the next day would show if it also meant an actual increase in fitness.

It was hot in the evening, probably around 85-90 (St. George runners would call this nice and cool). Felt properly motivated for the conditions, but otherwise I would call this lazy. Ran 2.5 in 18:26 by myself, then took Benjamin, Jenny, and the stroller, a mile with both in 9:00, then put Jenny in the stroller, and did the last mile with Benjamin in 8:08 (17:08 for 2 miles). Then ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:09.  Total of 5 miles for the run.

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Race: Provo River Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:09:38, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Provo River Half Marathon - 1:09:38, 2nd place.

This race race was supposed to be just a glorified tempo run. I had run 91 miles in the 5 days prior with no day less than 17 miles total, and two Big Workouts. However, I ended up with a non-Hobblecreek trusted length half-marathon PR, as well as the course PR, even faster than any time I've run it from 2003-2005 when it was about 40 seconds to 1 minute shorter. I did run the Provo River Half in 2002 in 1:09:45 on a course that somehow lost about 0.5 mile and did not have the uphill section on the old highway, and I was still able to beat that time today. So in short, I've never run a half marathon faster than my time today on any course I would consider being of the accurate length except Hobblecreek, which is an entirely different animal.

At the start I found Dave Holt and asked him if he would trade leads with me every quarter. I figured he was in shape to run about 1:12 on a good day, and 1:13 on a not so good day, but he has been starting out a bit faster in his races and he would not mind doing it today especially if he gets to draft half the time, so hopefully if we bring him alive to the old highway hill, then I would not be alone on that tough section. After that, if he cannot go, then I could just press really hard and maybe catch the 1:11 guy by the finish.

But, as it often happens, things do not quite turn out as you expected in a race. Early on, I noticed that I was feeling better than I expected and was going faster, which would have been bad news for the old Dave, but we had a different Dave today. He was doing the pace I wanted to go during his lead shifts of his own free will. To make things more interesting, Mike Dudley happened to be in the race, and caught up to us around 2 miles. I asked him if he wanted to participate in sharing the lead, and he agreed. So we went like that taking turns every quarter for most of the race from that point.

We hit the 3.23 mark at Vivian in 16:23, 5:04 average . This is actually my PR for that section by 5 seconds, with the earlier being set in a workout where Steve Ashbaker and I did it trading leads and 3.23 was all we were doing, not a half marathon.

From Vivian to the bridge at Nuns (around 5.5) we were a bit slower than 5:20 on the flat section, and then around 5:10-5:15 on the downhill. Then on the uphill on the old highway we ran a bit under 6:00 (going by the GPS), and then around 5:10 pace on the way down.

Hit the official 10 mile mark of the race around 52:30, which I believe was accurate. This is very good - I raced the Provo River 10 miler in June in 54:13 which is identical to this 10 miler with the exception that you have and out and back on the old highway (with about a mile uphill into a headwind, and then back down) in the half marathon instead of a nice gradual 0.5% down 2 mile stretch in the 10 miler, and the 10 miler has an additional 15 second stretch across the bridge. So probably this 10 mile split is about 30 seconds slower than the 10 miler race.

We were going about 5:20 pace down my standard stretch from Nuns to the mouth of the canyon early on. At about 10.5 Mike cranked up the gears, Dave fell back, I tried to hang in there with Mike. He dropped me shortly before 11. I hit 15:55 for my standard 3 mile tempo.

Held 5:20 pace for a bit longer, up to the press building ( 11.7), then we turned, instead of a gentle 0.5% down we now started hitting minor rises and no elevation drop, so slowed down to around 5:30-5:35 going off my GPS. Mike won with 1:09:03, I got 1:09:38, Dave got 1:10:06 - 39 seconds faster than his Bryce Canyon time!

Then ran back with Dave to find the Fast Running Mommy. Dave turned around after a couple of miles. I found Sarah at around 9.8 mark, and then ran back with her. She finished in 2:08:21, but she took a couple of long bathroom stops (I told her I'd teach her how to make them fast, but she said no thanks) which she estimates cost her about 6 minutes. With the warm-up, total of 20.25 for the whole run.

In the evening ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:15, then the run to the swing with Benjamin and Jenny trading places on the bike, and Jacob and Joseph in the double stroller - Jenny 1.52 in 13:53, then Benjamin 2.02 in 15:48. Afterwards, a mile in 7:08 without the stroller or kids. I am happy to have the need to specify that mile was without the kids. Benjamin could have kept up with me for sure, and Jenny possibly could too with some extra motivation.

Life time record for the mileage in a week. Previous high was 111.92 earlier this year. I do not think of 116 as high any more. With my recovery routine this feels like routine training, like I am not running the mileage just to prove a point. Based on the feedback from my body I feel this is the optimum healthy training volume for where I am at. I do not feel tired, in fact without the memory and the record of everything I did this week I would not be able to tell. Legs are not sore at all, and I am not feeling any unusual fatigue, in fact, rather energized compared to normal.

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course {Sasha House 10 Miler} with Ted in the morning. James joined us for the first 3, then ran back.  I made a bathroom stop, and then caught up, so my time was faster than Ted's - 1:12:32. Then added another 2 miles in 13:00, making the total time 1:25:32.

Ran at 8 pm in the evening. First 2.5 in 17:11, then 0.5 with Julia in 5:23, then 1.5 with Jenny and Benjamin running, and Jacob in the double stroller in 13:19. Jenny almost spoiled somebody's date. There was a young couple in front of us, he was running and she was riding a bike. Jenny was gradually pulling up to them, he apparently heard us and made a surge, but it did not last. The fire breathing dragon Jenny started to close again, and almost passed them, but ran out of road - her run was over. Then put Jenny in the stroller, and ran the remaining 0.5 with Benjamin in 3:56 which gave us 17:15 total for the 2 miles.

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A.M: Big Workout. Warmed up with Ted and James (James turned around at 3). 38:57 at 5.02, 47:29 at the standard start of the Big Workout (2.5 turnaround of Provo River 5 Mile Tempo). After a good race at the Provo River Half I did some calculations and realized my chance of winning prize money at Great Salt Lake is sufficiently greater than 0 to merit a mini-taper. Plus a faster time could act as a confidence booster going into St. George, and a back-off week is a nice pre-caution against overtraining. So the plan was to do something mild of the Big Workout, skip one altogether on Thursday replacing it with an easy 10 in the morning, and then easy 10 Friday + only 2.5 with the kids in the evening.

I thought 8x1000 at 5:20 pace with 400 recovery at 8:00 pace + a short tempo to the house at the end would do the job, so that is what I did. 1000s were actually 5/8 of a mile, which is about 5 meters longer, and 400s were actually quarters, which is about 2 meters longer. The workout is outlined in the chart below:

Interval time
Recovery time after (first 100)
Recovery time after (quarter)
Missed 1000 mark, and went to 0.75

Had 180 turn right after the intverval, lost 3 seconds.


Ran 0.5 to use the credit from 0.75 first interval since I would have had to do 180 in the middle of the interval otherwise. First 100 was slow in the recovery because I had to do a 180 immediately after the interval.
Ran 0.75 because there was no mark at 1000.
Ran 0.5 to use the credit from 0.75 earlier. Launched into the final tempo immediately after the standard recovery.

Then ran 1.83 tempo home in 10:56 which is 5:58 pace average. I was actually going steady 5:52 on the good sections of the trail, but I had to cross Geneva Road, go under a couple of bridges, run uphill (0.5%) for a quarter mile, and deal with a few standard minor annoyances. This gave me 44:07 en route for 7.5 (5:53 average), which I consider a decent time for a fartlek, and a total time of 1:39:36 for 15.04.

A little bit of bragging - I have filled out the chart above entirely by memory. I actually never use the split function of Garmin, only look at it, then calculate and remember the split. I can do it because a running time to me is more than just a number. It has a life, maybe even some color, feelings to go with it, maybe I remember somebody who ran that time on some distance, etc.

P.M. 95 degrees. Ran to Benjamin's soccer practice. First mile, Benjamin and Jenny running, Julia in the double stroller, 9:18. Then ran with Jenny and Julia in the stroller and Benjamin on foot to Grandview, this gave him a total of 2.07 in 19:15. Then ran with Julia, 0.5 in 6:09 on grass, watched the rest of Benjamin's practice, Sarah came for the kids, and I ran 2.56 on the way home in 19:02.

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

Sasha House 10 Miler at 5:00 AM with Ted in 1:18:52. Ted was tired, so we took it very easy.

P.M. 1.25 in 9:38 to the park with a stroller, Jacob and Joseph in it, and Benjamin and Jenny on their bikes. A little bit of badminton with Sarah. Then 2 miles on my own in 13:39. Then 0.5 with Julia in 4:57. Then a mile with Benjamin and Jenny in 8:41, dropped Jenny off, one more mile with Benjamin in 7:38 (16:19 for two miles). Then 1.25 back home with Jacob in the double stroller, and Benjamin and Jenny on their bikes in 8:14, last quarter in 1:24 to catch Jenny who was leaving me in the dust while I was running easy. There was no hope of catching Benjamin, at least not with the double stroller and Jacob in it.

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

Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted in the morning. James joined us for the first 3. Started out slow as usual, but fairly quickly eased into 7:20-7:30 pace. At 4 miles I asked Ted if he wanted to chase down the 7:00 mile guy, and about a mile later he tacitly consented as I picked up the pace. We hit the turnaround in 37:02. On the way back, I felt some turbo engine power in my legs, but to keep it on the easy side for the race on Saturday, and to keep Ted alive I tried to not exceed 6:25.  Running your training partners into the ground should be done only in moderation. We ended up with 1:09:34, 32:32 for the last 5.02.

In the afternoon, ran with Benjamin and Julia in the single stroller to Benjamin's soccer practice (2.07 in 17:45), then helped the coach there, on the way back ran 1.5 with Jenny in 13:07, then put her in the stroller, and we beat Benjamin's time for that stretch , which The Toy measured now at 2.10, quite possible as I did not start from the same place - the time was 17:36. Then added another mile in 7:30.

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

Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted in the morning in 1:15:34. James joined us for the first 3. I made two pitstops, caught up at around 6:40-7:00 pace the first time, and ran a 600 to catch up the second time in 1:57 with the splits of 41,38,38 (by 200). The good news is that the 38s (5:04 pace) felt like threshold. We'll see what that means tomorrow in the Great Salt Lake half.

In the evening, just ran with the kids. 0.5 with Julia in 5:10, a mile with Benjamin and Jenny running, and Jacob in the double stroller in 9:08, and then one more with Jenny and Jacob in the stroller and Benjamin running in 7:58, this gave Benjamin 17:06 for 2 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Great Salt Lake Half Marathon (13.11 Miles) 01:14:10, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Great Salt Lake Half Marathon, 1:14:10, 6th place.

The race was very competitive - Teren Jameson, Patrick Smyth, Paul Petersen, Joe Wilson, Dennis Simonaitis, and Nate Hornok were the big trouble makers. Teren and Patrick took off from the start at sub-5:00 pace, and Paul followed them. I ran with Joe and Dennis. We had Bob Hintze with us for the first mile and a quarter. Joe asked if we thought there would be any road kill. After identifying Pat, I told him extremely unlikely, near impossible.

We went out at a steady, a tiny bit slower than 5:20 pace. The mile markers were the most reliable this year that this race has ever had, and it even started where it was supposed to. This is a big improvement over the last two years. Hit the official 5 mile mark in 27:01, the GPS showed 26:51. I drafted behind Dennis and Joe, that helped a lot. I managed another mile with them. After 6, the pace started to feel a lot harder. It is possible that Dennis picked up the effort trying to hold the pace as we started to get the cross wind. After another quarter mile, I could not hold it, and backed off.

I slowed down to 5:40 pace at first, felt pretty good, like I could rest a couple of quarters, then pick it up to 5:30, but then something strange started happening. I felt I was running strong, but the pace kept getting slower and slower. I started seeing 1:27 quarters, then 1:28, then 1:29. Joe and Dennis opened up a 43 second gap in 2 miles.

Then I began to realize what was happening. We were getting a gradually increasing cross/head wind. It did not feel too bad, but I guess it was having more effect than I thought it would. I slowed down to a 6:01 mile, then 6:06. Then I noticed that Joe and Dennis were not moving away any more. Odd. Then I noticed that Dennis dropped Joe, but I actually started gaining on them a bit. For a while, I started to hope that if I ran strong I might catch up, but they were not that weak, and too far away.

Just like Paul, I now looked forward to going up the hill, an odd feeling in that race. Better uphill than into the wind. Felt really good on the first hill. The second hill was bad, as it was into the wind again - slowed down to a 1:44 quarter. Finished in 1:14:08 (official time) . Joe outleaned Dennis at the end, 1:13:23 for Joe, 1:13:24 for Dennis. Teren was in 1:07:41, Pat was second in 1:08:51, Paul finished third in 1:10:22, and Nate Hornok was 7th with 1:16:59.

Not sure what to think of the results. Being able to run low 5:20s for six flat miles and feel in control is good. Only 45 seconds behind Joe and Dennis is good unless both of them underperformed today. 3:46 behind Paul is bad, unless he over-performed. Based on Draper Days he should have been 3:11 ahead. 6:27 behind Teren is bad unless he did something really amazing, worth a 1:02 on a good sea-level course. Paul should have been 2:55 behind Teren based on Deseret News instead of actual 2:41, so he is actually within range. Dennis, on the other hand, should have been only 51 seconds behind Paul (based on DesNews 10 K) instead of 3:02, and only 3:46 behind Teren instead of actual 5:43. 77% humidity + the wind may have become a separating factor. Some people handled it better than others.

Around 1:23 into the race started a cool-down with Bill Cobler and Paul. At first we were going slower than 8:00. Then Paul turned around. Bill suggested the idea of running all the way back to the start. That would give us a marathon + a quarter or so to the car from the start of the race. I was a bit low on blood sugar, and was not thinking straight, and also feeling adventurous, so I said, yes, let's do it. We sped up to around 7:20-7:30 pace and coasted. Quite a bit of cross-wind. With 4 miles to go, Bill said he'd better back off. I was getting excited about a few things - wanted to qualify for Boston in this odd manner with a 9 minute break after the first half (and including it in the time), wanted to break the time of my first marathon (3:05:51), and just wanted to have the run over with. So I continued alone at about the same pace. Hit the marathon mark in 3:04:07 from the gun of the half marathon (BQ by 6 minutes!), which gives me around 2:55 of actual running time, then continued on to the car.

Interesting observation - at 7:20 pace, it seemed like I was not dipping into blood sugar. The level of lucidness remained the same as the miles progressed, and I did not feel a typical sense of weakness associated with hitting the wall. But I knew I would if I tried to go much faster. And was getting progressively hungrier for food.

Ran with the kids in the evening - 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:22, then another 0.5 with Benjamin and pushing Jenny in the stroller in 3:47, this gave Benjamin 17:09 for 2 miles, and then 0.5 with Julia in 5:14.

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

A.M. Easy run with Ted in the morning. Had a new running partner - his name is Ken. He joined us for the first three. I stopped to go to the bathroom, then did 4x100 strides, two in 18, and two in 17 to catch up. Felt good, speedy, the form felt good, slowed down to 7:12 pace in between for recovery. Saw Sarah (the Fast Running Mommy) on the way back. Got to the house, and ran back with Ted to meet Sarah, but she went another way. So we ended up doing 13.05, I got 1:37:08, Ted was about a minute slower due to my bathroom break.

No ill effects felt from the Saturday adventure. Lydiard said you could run a marathon once a week if you did it slow enough. I suppose he was right after all. Not that it is necessary to do it to train for a marathon, but if a crazy urge strikes you one week, and you slow down sufficiently, it can work.

P.M. Paul was driving through town, so I went for run with him. It was hot, but not as hot as it used to be - only 90. We started at Jiffy Lube where he was getting his oil changed. Ran on the Provo River Trail, crossed Geneva Road, then turned around and came back to my house. This was 5.75 in 42:37. Took Benjamin and Jenny with us, hit the next mile in 8:47, then Paul went on to Jiffy Lube, while we turned around and ran back. Jenny ran the next half mile in 3:49, which gave her 12:36 for 1.5. Put her in the stroller, Benjamin hit the next 0.5 in 3:23, which gave him 15:59 for the 2 miles. Then ran 0.5 with Julia. She hit the first quarter in 2:22, on pace for a PR, so I told her she would get a special prize if she would keep the pace. She picked it up, and hit 2:07 on the next quarter, which gave her 4:29 for 0.5. Afterwards we went to Reams and got her a toy pony, a chess set, and some balloons. She was very happy. Interestingly enough, she did it wearing Crocs - she actually rans better in Crocs than in regular running shoes.

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

A.M. Big Workout. Ran a warm-up of 5.02 with Ted in 37:19. Legs felt snappy. Wondered if this was just the nervous system being a bit wired, or really a sign of fitness. Made the pessimistic assumption. After the warm-up started the 10.02 tempo back to the house with the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo detour. Going off the pessimistic assumption did not have any goals, just run comfortably hard, starting out at a conservative marathon pace, then picking it if feeling good and coasting otherwise.

Got to the tempo turnaround gate in 6:44, this was around 5:45 pace. Ran the next 2.5 in 14:22, then 180 turn, next 2.5 in 14:00, then another 180 turn, next 2.5 in 13:58. This gave me 42:20 for 7.5 en route, with the last 5 of it in 27:58. Kept going past the end of the standard tempo start at Geneva Road to the house. Ran 7:38 for the last 1.33, with the last quarter in 1:22. Total time for 10.02 was 56:42, a slightly under 5:40 average. I was very pleased with the results - I usually run this tempo in a different flavor (faster and shorter course, only 10.00, not 10.02, no running under the bridges, and not net uphill), and my PR on that course is 56:42. This was done with a furious drive on the last 2.5 in 13:32, and with a shorter warm-up. Today I was just coasting, no shift to threshold at the end except maybe on the last 100 meters when I saw a garbage truck and realized I had not put my garbage out.

Total time for 15.04 was 1:34:01.

Interesting events during the run: around 6.75 into the tempo a dog tried to attack me. It was too big to kick (I think it was a shepherd) so I stopped and invited it for a boxing match. It backed off, I advanced, it backed off again, but the moment I would turn and try to run, it would back to its old tricks. So I just waited for the owner to get it. And, I passed a guy on a bike that looked like a farmer. He had a dog on a leash. I wonder if the dog's name is BINGO. The dog did show some interest in me, so I had to swing out wide enough to avoid trouble. We actually see him out almost every day. That dog really likes Nick, always tries to get him.

A little later ran 0.5 with Julia. She liked the stuff she got for her record yesterday and wanted to set another record today. So she ran 4:16 with the splits of 2:09 and 2:07. This is the family record in the 4 and under division. Her run yesterday was the family record as well, but prior to that Jenny held it (4:31).

P.M. Ran 1.53 to the car shop to pick up VanGoGo with Jenny in 13:07, then 2.05 with Benjamin to the soccer game in 16:33, then back (2.06) in 14:00. Benjamin's team won 7:1.

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

A.M. Easy run with Ted on Sasha House 10 Miler at 5:00 AM. The run was pretty much an extension of my sleep, especially the first 3 miles on which we averaged 8:20 with the record slow first quarter in 2:27. Then we woke up a bit on the second half, but not much - 7:30 pace. Total time was 1:18:29. I told Ted I could tell my legs were feeling snappy yesterday when I hit the first quarter in 2:05.

P.M Ran with Julia in the early afternoon. She wanted to set another record. I told her she needed a recovery day after two records in a row. She ran 0.5 in 4:50. Later in the evening ran with Benjamin and Jenny. First mile in 8:34 with Jacob in the double stroller. On the way back, put Jenny in the stroller (took 7 seconds) and went after Benjamin. I usually catch him pretty quickly, but this time it was different - it took me a whole quarter of decent effort. No wonder, he ran it in 1:51, so that made mine 1:44 which is not slow with a loaded double stroller and having to go under the bridge and up by 800 North in Provo. I timed a couple of his 100s, and gave him a challenge to break 7:00 on the last mile. He hit the next quarter in 1:41, followed by 1:39, and another 1:39. His last mile was 6:50, only 2 seconds off his PR set on a track in a race, and this gave him 15:24 for 2 miles. Incidentally, this became my fastest mile of the day up to that point. Afterwards, went for another 4.54, Benjamin went with me on a bike. His bike riding skills have improved greatly, he was very conversational at 6:40 pace. Total time for 4.57 was 30:14. Benjamin pulled away from me on the last quarter. At first I hesitated and coasted, but then with 0.15 to go decided to pick it up. Tried to keep it at no faster than threshold effort. This gave me 1:23 for the last quarter.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Big Workout. Ran the warm-up with Ted, Adam, and Jeff. Stopped at 3.5 to visit a bush, Ted and Adam went on, as Ted was on a tight schedule and they were not doing the workout anyway. Jeff and I did our standard 6.2 warm-up, and started the workout at the end of the official Provo River Trail gate as we usually do. The workout was Ted's idea. I asked him yesterday if he had any suggestions on something that would not run Jeff into the ground. He came up with something that had the potential of running me into the ground as well - 2 miles in 10:40, 3x1 in 5:10, then 2 miles faster than the first time around. I modified it a bit - made it only 2x1 instead, and made a bit of a leeway on pace. Also, if 5:20 pace did not feel right on the 2 mile interval, back off to 5:25 or even slower.

Jeff had had only 3 hours of sleep, so to make things easier for him, we made the 0.5/0.25 lead trade off on the first 2 miler. Ran it with a slight net uphill, mostly from 1.5 to 1.75 (0.5% grade). Nearly perfect pacing - never more than 1 second ahead or behind at any of the checkpoints. This is with me cheating and checking the split every 200 meters (0.125 to be more exact). Got 10:40.0.

Jogged 0.5 untimed, very slow, then ran the mile. The target was 5:15. Jeff took the first and the last quarter, I handled the 0.5 in the middle. Started out right on target, 1:19 for the quarter, then I pushed it a bit during my turn, and Jeff kept the pace during his - we ended up with 5:09.4. This section had a 0.5% down grade from 0.75 to 1, but it also has places that slightly roll, which would make it still slower than perfectly flat.

Jogged 0.25, slow, untimed. Another mile the same way. This time we ran more even and a bit slower, got 5:12.2.

Jogged 0.25, slow, untimed. Jeff was getting tired, so I suggested he should run just the first mile instead and pull me through it. He did a good job, we hit it in 5:18, and I thoroughly enjoyed drafting behind him, it was almost relaxing, as much one could possibly relax that late in the workout and at that effort. Then he was done, and I was left alone. Being alone made the pace a lot harder. I hit the next 0.5 in 2:41. Now try not to lose ground on the uphill quarter. Managed 1:21, now the 5:20 guy caught up to me. To hold him off, I picked up the effort, and ran the last quarter in 1:19. This gave me 10:39.2 for 2 miles.

Cooled down to make the total 15.04.

Interesting events: passed our favorite farmer with the dog named BINGO again, twice. Some background for those not familiar with this inside joke. My kids used to listen to a tape with BINGO on it, so the song got firmly ingrained in my head (being raised in Russia, I did not grow up with it). One time during a tempo run it came into my head, and that seemed to do a nice job keeping the neural drive going and helped me sustain the pace. Then this year during the Del Sol relay my teammates asked me if I wanted them to do anything for me during the night leg. I asked them to sing BINGO around mile 2. So around 2 AM somewhere on a country road near Scottsdale, AZ Paul, Jon, Clyde, Dan, and Dave Nelson got out of VanGoGo and did the gig. Since then, the song kept popping up in various contexts. Paul told me during the 30 K in Ogden he had BINGO in his head. I knew I was in trouble. Now every time I do my Big Workout, often trying to get my brain to fire with BINGO, I pass that farmer-looking guy riding a bike with his dog.

Then on the last 0.5 of the workout I saw the Fast Running Mommy again. She looked like a blur by that point, but I nevertheless recognized her and waved. She ran 5 miles in 48:10.

P.M. Ran with Julia in the early afternoon. She was supposed to do an easy 0.5 run, but after a quarter in 2:40 she said she wanted to do a mile. So she hit the next quarter in 2:13, followed by 2:10, and 2:12. This gave her the time of 9:15 for the mile, a 42 second PR, and the family record in the 4 and under age division. The previous record of 9:32 was being held by Jenny. I was very pleased with Julia's initiative on going the distance, picking up the pace, and exhibiting a degree of mental toughness above her age. She was breathing pretty hard the entire time once she picked up the pace after the first quarter, but was maintaining a good rhythm nevertheless like a mature elite runner.

I dream about being 90 years old, looking at the IAAF top rankings in the distance races and seeing the name Pachev all over. Today when runners see the last name of Rono, Ndereba, or Bekele on the start list, they become seriously concerned even when they are not recognizing the first name. When I am 90, I want them to feel the same way when they see my last name. Not so much that I want the glory, but I want to demonstrate the power of one, how much can be accomplished by being consistently productive, challenging the false dogmas without questioning God-given laws, and reaching out with faith for the seemingly impossible. Today we got one step closer.

Ran with Benjamin in the afternoon to the soccer practice (2.12 in 17:53 for him, I was about 40 seconds faster due to a bathroom stop in the middle), then back with Jenny, she got 12:37 for 1.5 then rode in the stroller the rest of the way, I got 17:06 for 2.08, then I was running late to a church meeting, and ran 0.12, actually made it before the meeting started. It is amazing how much difference relaxed running makes over relaxed walking for me even over such a short distance.

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

A.M. Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted and Jeff in 1:14:10. Hit the first half in 38:41, then woke up a bit. 2 more miles after that alone, first in 6:45, second in 6:25, this gave me 1:27:20 for 12.04. Started asleep as usual, felt progressively better as I went. Interesting events: saw a skunk, he did not spray us, then discussed skunks for a while. I learned that dogs gets sprayed a lot by skunks. Also, saw a pit bull, no owner, no leash. Ted yelled at him to go home while I pointed the way. That seemed to work. He kept running ahead and looking back, checking his lead I suppose. Finally he got off the trail, and headed into the trailer court.

P.M. Flooding in Michigan apparently affected the Fast Running Blog. Our ISP Sectorlink was apparently struggling with the power outage, so we were down for a few hours. Fortunately it lasted less than the worse possible case that I anticipated, and we are back in business. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 4:42, then a mile with Benjamin and Jenny in 8:39 (Benjamin was a bit a head with 8:38), and then 3.54 in 27:21 by myself. Park City Half tomorrow.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Park City Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:14:18, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Park City Half Marathon, 1:14:18, first place. Today was Jenny's 7th birthday. Winning the race has a historical significance. I won Hobblecreek in 2000 about 10 hours after she was born. I do not always get to celebrate her birthday by winning a race, but I try.

Drove up with Ted and Jeff. Warmed up 2.3 miles.

Saw Bob Thompson. Bob is recovering from a calf injury, but knowing his previous fitness level, it was a possibility that he could cause some trouble, and definitely be able to run with us at least for a while. So I invited Bob and Jeff to share the lead every quarter. We went like that for two miles at about 5:45-5:50 pace. The course is a beast - starts at 6400 feet (Kimball Junction), climbs to 6900 at the half-mark (somewhere in the middle of Park City residential area), then back down the same way. About half of the way on gravel/dirt. Lots of 90 degree turns, and the narrowness of the trail makes them a true 90 - no room to swing out. To make things worse, the climb is uneven - some places flat, some near flat, some even slightly down, and some steeper, reaching perhaps a 3-4% grade, which really hurts at altitude anywhere, and on this course those parts are towards the end of the climb - a higher elevation for the steep parts, double trouble. So on that climb anything sub-6:00 is really good.

That pace was too much for Bob after two miles. I suppose he would have done relatively better at a lower elevation - the gaps in the aerobic conditioning from a forced break would have had less effect. Jeff and I went on trading quarters. Jeff was very strong and was making me suffer. By around 3.5 I knew that the only thing that would save me would be the distance to soften him up, and I hoped 13.1 would be long enough. Nevertheless, I was taking my turns every other quarter according to the plan. Our slowest quarter (off Garmin) during the entire climb was 1:34. At first I rarely saw anything slower than 1:30, but as the grade became steeper, I started seeing 1:31s and 1:32s more often. We would occasionally hit a 1:27-1:28 when it flattened out for a brief moment, or when Jeff would really turn up the heat on me.

We reached the turnaround in 38:56, and my Garmin 305 showed a reasonable distance, good sign. Most of the mile markers agreed with Garmin as well, another good sign. On the way down both of us press hard on our turns. I started seeing sub-1:20 quarters quite frequently. Saw Chris Rogers in third, he passed Bob, then Bob not too far behind, then a while later a group of runners and Ted. By around 8 we were in the thick of things - lots of runners going the other way.

I kept waiting for the distance to soften Jeff up, but it was not happening. I began to realize that I was dealing with a different Jeff. That is good news for his upcoming marathon in St. George. Today with no taper he could have definitely made it to 16 in one piece if not further, then it is only 10 to go. Additionally, St. George is a much more fuel efficient course. I've felt pretty bad on it around 13-15 and was still able to finish decent, without a forced premature cool-down. If I am feeling that bad at the same point in Ogden or Top of Utah, things do not look good, the cool-down is bound to happen.

With a mile to go, it was apparent that the race would be decided with a kick. We were still trading leads on quarters, but now it was more tactical and ferocious. Jeff is not a kicker, so he was trying to drop me with a fast pace. I am not a kicker in a 5 K, and I will not kick well off a faster pace, but in a threshold race (15 K to half-marathon) it is a different story. If the pace softens up to as little as 5 seconds per mile slower than my threshold, I will have a good kick. At 12.75 it was my turn to lead, but I figured waiting another 200 meters to take my lead would be fair game that late in the race. Jeff had soften up just a tad, and it was enough for me to have a kick. So I waited until I thought we had 300 meters to go, and then went for it. Jeff did not expect me to start the kick that early, so I was able to open up a small gap. I eased off a bit, then once we hit the grass, I realized I was in trouble - Jeff was closing, and he has done a lot more cross-country running than me. So I pushed as hard as I could, and ended up beating him by a second. The time on my watch said 1:14:20, the official time was 1:14:18. Jeff had 1:14:19. Chris was third with 1:16:59, and Bob fourth with 1:17:37 (I think). Ted was 6th with 1:23:37 (I think).

After the finish the announcer did not have us on his list, so he asked me my name. That 300 meter anaerobic interval at the end put me on the edge of losing my breakfast had I eaten one in the morning, but fortunately I did not, so there was nothing to lose, but I was still not able to talk. So I waved to him, and he said he would get to the business later.

One great thing about this race was the food. I think this race had the best food selection I've ever seen in a race. Lots of natural, organic stuff. I ate a lot.

Ran a 3 mile cool-down with Ted and Jeff. Then stayed for long enough for the awards ceremony, and watch the finish of the marathon. Dave Spence made a come back and won with a high 2:49. Steve Olsen was second with 2:53, Bill Cobler third with 2:57.

P.M. Ran 0.5 with Julia running and Joseph in the single stroller in 4:49, then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny, plus Joseph in the single stroller in 13:27, then 3.04 in 21:30 with Benjamin riding along on a bike. Hit a bit over 120 miles this week, highest ever.

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

A.M. Ran Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted, Jeff, and Adam. Saw the Fast Running Mommy, came then came back to her with Ted after we were done. She was going pretty fast, ended up doing 44:43 for 5 miles. I did not even recognize her form from a distance. Then Ted wanted to run a bit more for a round number, so we did. Ended up with 13 miles in 1:38:12.

P.M. 0.5 with Julia in 4:45, then 1.5 with Jenny and Benjamin running, and Jacob in the double stroller in 13:26, then put Jenny in the stroller as well, and ran 3:25 (actually a bit faster, but Benjamin did run that time) for the last 0.5. This gave Benjamin 16:51 for 2 miles. Then ran 2.5 by myself and without the stroller in 16:31. Legs felt snappy and energetic. 

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

A.M. The Big Workout (threshold version). Warmed up with Ted and Adam. Had a bush stop, then caught up. Hit a 1:27 quarter, and that felt like more like brisk easy rather than marathon pace. The warm-up was the standard 6.2, and the time was 46:38.

The workout consisted of 2.5 - 2 and 1.5 tempo intervals with full recovery (slow 0.5 jog). Two reasons for odd distances - to try something new, and to avoid 180 turns. The plan was to try to manage 5:20 pace on all of them, or as close as possible.

Ran the first 2.5 from the lake to Geneva road in 13:21.4. Fairly even splits, hit a couple of 1:21 quarters on the uphill section, and one more 1:21 after that, I think that one is still slightly uphill, because it is always slow. Kicked at the finish a bit to make up, did 1:19. Otherwise a fairly steady set of 1:20 quarters. The last mile of it was tough, but no surprise. I ran it in 5:22, and effort-wise this is about 5:15 flat.

The 2 miler was from the 0.5 mark of the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo to the turnaround.
The slight steady downhill on the second quarter got me into a nice rhythm and I was able to run relaxed all the way through. Got 10:37.6. Fairly even splits, a little faster on the first mile (5:18) because of the nice downhill quarter. When I say relaxed, it was not a jog, but I was able to relax while running hard, so that made the pace sustainable. This reminds me of the class on how to handle labor that Sarah and I attended before Benjamin was born (after that, she did not need a class). Turns out, the same principle applies during labor as when running hard - learn to relax while in pain. I think it applies to any form of pain.

The 1.5 interval was from the 2/3 mile mark of the tempo course to 0.5/4.5. The first mile of it was essentially flat, and the last 0.5 was a slight uphill, steady in the first quarter, and rolling in the second. That same nice downhill that helped me relax would now be a nice uphill at the end of the last interval. Nice! Hit the first mile in 5:20, again with the focus on relaxing while running hard. Then slipped up a bit on the next quarter even though I increase the effort in advance in hopes of avoiding it - 1:21. Saw The Fast Running Mommy. I knew she wanted a kiss, but all I could manage was the Brezhnev-style hand-wave. Picked it up on the next quarter to catch the 5:20 guy. Ran the last quarter in 1:16, this gave me 7:57.1 for the interval.

Ran back to the Fast Running Mommy, gave her a full-blown kiss, and finished the run with her. Total of 16 miles.

P.M Ran 2.05 in 16:55 with Benjamin to his soccer game. Pushed Jacob and Joseph in the stroller. Added 0.5 in 3:59 during the game. Benjamin's team won 3-0. Ran 1.5 back with Jenny pushing Julia in the double stroller in 12:48, and then finished the remainder of the distance with both of them in the stroller. Got 17:58 for 2.18. Then ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:12.

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

A.M. Ran with Ted on Sasha House 10 Miler at 5:00 AM. 10.04 in 1:15:54. Felt fresh and energetic for the 5:00 AM run, but Ted could not be tricked into going faster. I felt I had horses neighing in my head, but I figured I'd let them neigh tomorrow. Looks like I am headed for over 500 miles this month, a life time high, but I am starting to feel undertrained. Better than overtrained, plus, it would be difficult to find the time for more miles without undermining the recovery routine, which, I learned from experience, is something you absolutely do not mess with once you are over 90/week so I'll stay at 120/week for now.

P.M. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:09. Then did a relay game of sorts with Benjamin and Jenny. First Jenny ran 1.52 in 13:21 while Benjamin rode a bike, and I pushed  an empty single stroller. Then Jenny rode the  bike, while Benjamin  and I ran, again with me pushing the empty stroller.  Our goal was to beat the 8:00 mile guy, and I guess Benjamin was determined to  do it in such a way that I would not have to go sub-8:00 on my leg. He hit the first mile in 7:14, and the next quarter in 1:43. I figured he was on pace to break his mile PR of 6:48 on the last mile and it was well with his capability, so I challenged him to do it. He hit the next two quarters in 1:42, then made a 180 turn and kicked in 1:36. This gave him a new mile PR of 6:43 at the end of a 2 mile run which was also a new PR - 13:57. Then we put Jenny in the stroller, and Benjamin on a bike and ran 3.02 miles home. The total time was 49:29 and we left the 8:00 guy in the dust.

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

A.M. The Big Workout. I had planned it just for Jeff figuring if I make the whole run and the tempo long enough, do some intimidation talk about how miserable the last few miles of a marathon feel, and then invite him to set the pace, he'll make it slow enough for me to relax and enjoy it and I'll have an excuse to run a bit slower. Additionally, for some reason I did not feel like taking a nap yesterday, and also developed a bit of a respiratory irritation that frequently happens to me. It starts from the right eye (the only one I see well out of) getting overworked, then somehow translates into some irritation in the throat, and sometimes I get a full-blown cold out of it. So I wanted to take it easy. However, it turned out that Jeff had to work this morning.

So I ran the warm-up with Ted and Adam. To the 2.5 tempo course turnaround, and then back a mile to the 1.5 mark - 4.83 in 39:14. Turned around again and started the 12.21 tempo run. Felt lazy and conservative on the first mile - 5:56. Then from there 6:53 to the Sasha House 10 Miler turnaround (1.19). Back in 6:53. Next 2.5 in 14:19. Still feeling conservative, but the horses are starting to neigh. Turned around, 2.5 in 14:03, another turnaround, next 2.5 in 14:07. Beat the 5:40 guy for the 7.5 stretch by 1 second. Saw the Fast Running Mommy three times with all the turnarounds, did my best job of waving. I think I do it better at 5:40 pace than at 5:20. Then ran the remaining 1.33 in 7:48, lost steam a bit on the rolling hills and the turns, then picked it back up once I hit the flat part. This gave me the total for the 12.21 tempo of 1:09:59, 57:10 for the last 10.02, and 1:49:13 for 17.04. This comes out to 5:44 average for the tempo, and 6:25 average for the whole run.

Took a long nap afterwards to recover.

P.M. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 4:56, then 2.05 with Benjamin to soccer practice and Jenny in the single stroller in 17:55, then 1.5 with Jenny in 12:24 and added some more to make the total 2.65 in 20:52. Jenny is in really good shape right now, I think if she puts her   mind to it she can crack 25:00 in the Onion Days 5 K. Benjamin should be able to do a low 21:00 and make Alexander Berry work. We are still short of one pacer for them, will try to recruit Jeff or Adam tomorrow.

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

A.M. Easy run with Ted and Jeff in the morning. We ran the Sasha House 10 Miler with a small variation - on the way back we went through the new tunnel at Geneva, which added 0.04 or so. I made three bathroom stops and then caught up. No sickness, just a lot of traffic. Jeff and Ted were going a bit faster than 8:00, so I did not even bother to shift gears into a tempo pace to catch up and just coasted at 6:40 pace the first two times. The third time I had to pick it up to 6:20 as they were going a bit faster. Then we dropped Ted off at my house, and added another 3.12. So that gave me 1:36:27 for 13.2.

P.M. Steve Ashbaker came down for a run. We first ran 0.5 with Julia in 4:42. Then 1.5 with Jenny running, Benjamin on a bike and Jacob and Joseph in the stroller in 13:03. Then 2 with Benjamin running this time and Jenny on a bike in 16:30. Steve took the stroller with 0.75 to get a feel for it, and Benjamin picked it up to 7:00 pace with 0.5 to go. So Steve experienced the joy of running 7:00 pace with a loaded double stroller with 4 90 degree turns. Then Steve and I went for another 2 miles. Our total time was 14:32, and we did a mini-tempo pickup in the middle running 600 in 2:07 up about 0.5% grade.

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