Breaking the Wall

Provo River Half 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: 207.91 Year: 2917.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 903.91
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
291.737.5060.715.07365.01
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 365.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 37.10Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 212.00Nap Time: 14.50Total Sleep Time: 226.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.380.000.250.3712.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Joseph and Andrew did a 400 meter and 100 meter time trial. Joseph got 19.0 in his first 100 meter attempt, then 18.6 in the second. Andrew ran 16.6. In the 400 Joseph ran 83.4 with the splits of 20.0, 21.0, 20.9, and 20.5. I was quite impressed by the negative split while running fast. He has even split before while bumming it, and when he ran fast he crashed in the second half. 

Andrew also did a fairly even split - 18.8, 18.9, 19.3, 18.7  with the total of 75.7 - new record for him.

Logan and Benjamin helped with the pacing. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.202.001.500.3012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin and I paced Logan through a confidence building time trial on my nasty 2 mile course from the 800 N bridge at the mouth of the canyon to the house. Logan's track 3200 PR is 12:01. So we wanted him to see that he could break that on a course that is significantly slower than the track. He ran 11:54.8. He did OK in the first mile which we hit in 5:44. Then he started struggling. So I eased off the pace to 94 in the next quarter followed by 95 (a slow quarter) and a 93 (another naturally slow one). Logan kicked at the end in 84 for the quarter, and 88 to actually make it to the house. My course actually may be a little more than 2 miles - I need to measure all of it with the wheel - I've measured only parts.

Logan now moved to 6 miles a day. Benjamin did 9, Jenny  4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Towards the end of my run I did a pickup for 500 in the fast direction in 1:39 - legs felt strong but I felt sluggish at the same time. Then I also ran the nasty 1.5 in 8:34 feeling the same way. It got warmer, that may have been the cause of the sluggishness.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.000.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Total of 20 miles in 2:39:55. Benjamin is working on his Eagle Scout. He had a requirement for his hiking merit badge to do several hikes of 10 miles and one 20 mile hike. He read the rules and discovered that there was no restriction on the terrain, and the only stipulations were that the distance is covered on foot and that the breaks are short. So we figured that running counted. He used two of his 10 mile training runs, and the half-marathon race to cover three 10 mile hikes, then he had enough actual 10 mile hikes for the balance, and now he had to do a 20 mile hike. We took care of that today.

Now a 20 mile run did not exactly fit into his training plan, but we did some things to minimize the negative. First, we kept the effort low. I finally got around to getting him an HRM and he wore it today. Last night I was quite surprised to discover that his resting HR is 52, almost as low as mine (48). Maybe it should not be so surprising - for my level of aerobic fitness (I can run 6:00 pace at 4500 feet on flat ground at around 145 and 5:00 pace at 170 - the only problem is that I cannot hit 180 and run 4:30) my resting HR is abnormally high. Through trial and error in the early miles I determined that his optimal HR was around 140. So I made sure that it was there in the first 14 miles of the run. We stopped at 7 miles for him to drink the magic mix of EmergenC and dextrose, and again at around 9 - he also needed to go to the bathroom.

At 14 miles we returned home to run with the other children. He drank more of the magic mix while they were getting ready. Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob  2, William 1.

Our last 3 miles were again without the other children. His HR climbed to 150 at the end, and in the last 200 meters which is uphill it hit as high as 174. His total running time was 2:39:35 because he ran ahead of me with the faster child when I stayed back with the slower child during the little kid runs. The real time including all of the logistical breaks for 20 miles was 3 hours and 10 minutes. I think that qualifies as having short breaks.

He handled it quite well - he said it was much easier than racing a half marathon. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a fast and testimony meeting. Jacob, Julia, and Benjamin bore their testimonies. There were a lot of people lining up - so many that I did not get to bear mine which is OK because I get to do it frequently. This is unusual, though. 

When we got home I was very tired - probably still tired from the marathon followed by the trip. I took a long nap. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.350.250.100.3012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Took Jacob and Jenny to the track for a time trial. First Jacob ran 400 meters. Joseph, Jenny, and Benjamin assisted with pacing. Jacob ran a new PR of 87.5 with the splits of 21.0, 21.4, 23.6, and 21.5. This was the first time he dipped under 90. He is 7 years and two weeks old. Comparative times are - Benjamin ran 96.2 at the age of 7 years and  5 months, and Joseph did 86 at the age of 7 years and 6 months.

Then Jenny ran 100 in 16.2. She felt that she could do it faster, and tried again hitting 16.5. Then Jacob ran 19.5 - new record.

Here is what is interesting - Benjamin could do a 200 in 40.7 at the same time he ran 400 in 96.2. I do not think that Jacob would be much faster than 40.7 in the 200 now. I think Benjamin just had the fear of the 400 and it kept him from going fast. Jacob has the gift of not second guessing - you tell him to go fast and he just does it. 

I then ran more with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.002.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Logan to the track to do a 3200 meter time trial. I wanted to see the exact measurement of his improvement since he started training with us a little less than two months ago. He raced 3200 on the track in 12:01 in May. It was clear from his performance on Friday that he improved, but now was very curious by how much. So Benjamin and I paced him through a time trial. I was in charge of the pace and calling out splits, Benjamin was in charge of cheering. The target was 86 seconds per lap. Logan ran 11:27.8 with the following splits:

86, 86, 85, 88 (5:45), 86, 88, 87, 81 (5:42)

On the fourth lap I sensed that Logan needed a break after my mispaced 85. The sixth lap was slow because Logan was struggling. But he had a kick, so we ended up dipping by 0.2 under 86 seconds per lap average.

Logan is 14 years old. His training over the last year prior to the start of the summer consisted of average of about 3 miles a day with a lot of high intensity running. Prior to starting to train with us he reduced his training for a couple of weeks drastically and hardly ran at all for two weeks due to the stress of studying for the final exams, and it showed. Immediately after he raced 2 miles in our ward 2 miler in 12:55 which was probably worth around 12:30 on the track for 3200 meters. His training consisted of 4 miles a day of easy running for the first week, then he upped to to 5 miles a day and held it steady. Just a few days ago he moved ti to 6 miles a day. Most of the volume was easy, but on average once a week we did one-time test efforts for distances between 800 and 1200 meters to measure his fitness. 

We ran some more. Andrew ended up doing 6.5 miles, Logan 7, Benjamin 8, Joseph 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

I did a pickup for 0.51 uphill in 3:00.

This experience with Logan was rather revealing to me. I had never tried to work with a typical high school/junior high runner during a summer break. I have always sensed that removing a typical school runner from the traditional high intensity program and working primarily on his aerobic base would cause a 3200 meter breakthrough with less magnificent but still solid improvements in 1600, but I never previously had anything to quantify the intuition.

 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Pushed the stroller for 9. Had both Stephen and Matthew in it for 6, then just Matthew. Benjamin did 9, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny was at the girls camp, I assume she did her run.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 9.00Green Crocs 6 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
11.600.000.000.4012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 9, Jenny ran at the girls camp, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Pushed the stroller for 6 miles with Matthew and Stephen. Did 2x100 strides with Benjamin in 16.9 and 16.2. I also did a pickup for 500 in the slow direction on my course in 1:36.2.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 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
11.900.000.000.1012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 9, Jenny ran at girls camp, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Did 2x100 with Benjamin in 15.8 and 16.2.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Race: Provo River Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:14:43, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.400.0013.100.0020.50

Provo River Half-Marathon, 1:14:43, 2nd overall, 1st master.

Curt was having a hard time this year with a number of things, including bibs and buses. So our van was the bus and an old Fast Running Blog 5 miler bib was Dave Holt's bib. Dave came to my house, we drove to the finish of the race, put 13 more people in the van, and drove to the start. There was only one port-a-potty, and there was a long line. Since we had time I decided to offer a special unique type of service - Bathroom Express. We took another load of runners down a mile to a nice bathroom in a park, and then brought them back.

Dave was warming up in the first half mile or so, so I went with him. But then he hit the gas, and was going out of my range in my current shape, so I just let him go. First mile was 5:08. Dave was already ahead by 10 seconds or so.

Then I saw a treasure - a bunch of runners - I think I saw Dan there, then Tony, Matt Poulsen and Mike Nelson, and Dave Taylor - doing what appeared to be a tempo run. So I worked my way up to them. They were spreading out each running his own pace. Matt and Mike appeared to have been running the right pace for me, and I knew they could handle it comfortably, so I asked them to pull me. I was able to stay with them until a little after mile 6, which was very helpful.

Curt's marks have improved - he adjusted them so that all of the splits were reasonable. Mile 2 was 5:15 (10:23), then 5:18 (15:41), 5:32 (21:13) - this one may have been a little long, 5:13 (26:26) - this one was definitely short, then 5:43 (32:09). 6 mile marker I think was right on.

In the 7th and 8th mile there is a nasty uphill with headwind. I do not remember the splits there by Curt's marks. However, I timed my split at the S mark which was 35:00, then the uphill mile from that was 6:48 - ouch, and that same mile back was 5:44. That hill really took a lot of out of me. However, something special happened. Shortly after the turnaround at the top of the hill I saw Tony. Somehow he knew that I was struggling and could use some help. So he modified his tempo run to do the last part of it with me.

I had a Tongan companion on my mission, and I know a little bit about the Tongan secret. They have a special gift. They know when you are struggling and they have a sense of what to do to help. I experienced the benefits of that gift today. Tony seemed to know the right pace for my condition even though I suspect that right pace was not easy for him either. He stayed with me for about 2 miles.

My split at the official 10 mile mark was 56:22. I think finally Curt got the 10 mile location right - last year it was actually long. My 3 mile tempo course split was 17:41. I was just coasting along a little bit under 6:00 per mile, but I could not go any faster. Not a surprise, though - I have not done enough training to endure the full measure of the half-marathon grind.

I was happy to finish in 1:14:43 beating my last year's time (even though in a sub-par race) by 5 seconds. This is my master's PR. Dave won with 1:13:04. He struggled at the end as well with a hamstring injury.

Afterwards I jogged home and then ran with the kids and Sarah. Julia did 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. William had a breakthrough run. We've been trying to talk him into breaking 10:00 without holding the hand or stopping. He has resisted the idea so far. But today something happened. He asked me if I would get him walkie-talkies, and I of course agreed on the condition that he break 10:00 in the mile following the above mentioned rules.

We did the time trial on the course that I measured earlier with the wheel for the ward 2 miler - 0.5 out up a small grade, and then the same way back. The biggest concern, of course, was not his physical fitness, but avoiding mental breakdown - common for 4 year olds in general, but particularly the cause of concern for William. His first quarter was 2:22. Shortly after he said he did not want the prize. Somehow I managed to convince him that the prize was worth the effort. Then he saw a moving truck and decided to get scared of it. I assured him that it would not hit him. He argued with me, but I miraculously was able to prevail without losing much speed. Our next quarter was 2:26. 

On the way back William sped up an ran the next quarter in 2:22. We were 20 seconds ahead of our target pace now but the cat was not in the bag yet. I knew very well that one spectacular fit could throw the record out of the window. So I made sure that we kept the pace under control not allowing it to get too fast knowing from experience the difficulty of the effort could result an emotional breakdown. William saw his favorite piece of plastic on the road that he thinks is a snake, and starting complaining that he did not want the snake to get him. I really did not want the "snake" to kill the record, so I led him as far away from it as I could. Once we passed it he forgot about the "snake". His next concern was that he might throw up when he finished. I told him since we were well on pace, he could slow down a little and that would prevent throwing up. He slowed down for 5 seconds just a little,then forgot about it and sped back up. His last quarter was 2:19 and he got the goal finishing with 9:29.4 which is our new family record in the 4 and under age division.

This was a nice prize for me at the end of 20.5 miles for the day getting up at 4:30 AM and racing 13.1 of them.

Benjamin ran 6 at the camp-out. Jenny ran around 2.5 at girls camp. 

 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.50Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.60Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Heard an interesting story in the Sacrament meeting talk. A missionary in Samara, Russia was interviewing a man and a woman for baptism. The procedure is that someone wishing to be baptized first is taught by one set of missionaries, and then another missionary that does not know him interviews him to provide a second witness that the person is ready to be baptized.

One of the requirements for baptism is that if a couple is co-habiting they need to get married first. Co-habitation is very common in Russia. The missionary asked them if they were married. They told him no. He told them they needed to get married. They asked if they could talk to each other for a moment. In the meantime the missionaries that were the original teachers walked in and asked the interviewer missionary where the couple was. He told them to their shock that they were talking about marriage. It turned out that this was the first time the man and the woman met - they were not living together. The confusion was resolved, but I never heard the rest of the story - if they actually got married after all. 

When I got home I took a long nap again - I have been tired lately and needed long naps on Sunday.  

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3.5, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a tempo run for 2 miles from the canyon bridge to the house in 11:33.0. It started getting warm by then, but did not seem to bother me too much.

P.M. Did the strength work magic on my legs. I've been doing it for a while, but not recording it. In the last 4 months or so I've been doing one-leg vertical leg press 3 times a week with 165 lb  with 3x10 repetitions on each leg. I saw an improvement of about 7 seconds per mile in the tempo runs in the first couple of weeks, and then it plateaued. So I decided to try something different. I stumbled upon an interview with Victor Seluyanov, a Russian exercise physiologist with connection to the Russian national teams in various sports, who proposes that it is possible to cause myofibrillar hypertrophy in a slow-twitch fiber by filling it up with a moderate amount of hydrogen ions. This is not easy to achieve by just running because the moment you relax the muscle the mitochondria will neutralize the hydrogen ions. With a fast-twitch fiber achieving this is much easier because it does not have enough mitochondria to do the cleanup. However, the cleanup cannot happen when the muscle is contracted. So if you do an exercises that never lets the muscle relax, you achieve the effect.

He recommends performing very slow repetitions with a moderate weight never achieving the full range of either flexion or extension until you start experiencing a good amount of discomfort. His term for this type of exercise is "stato-dynamic" - an odd hybrid of static and dynamic in other words.

So I decided to try this - 90 lb on one leg of vertical leg press very slowing going back and forth between the knee angle of maybe 90 degrees and 150 degrees. The angle really does not matter as long as the knee is never fully extended or flexed or close. What matters is that towards the end you experience a certain type of burning pain. I've always associated it with the taste of lemon in the muscle - as if there were a taste receptor inside. For me doing it this way it took 15 repetitions to start feeling a significant amount of pain, and the last 5 require some mental toughness to get through properly. I could, of course, just push faster recruiting the fast twitch fibers and it would make it easier, but it would defeat the purpose of the exercise.

I did 3x20 on each leg. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.500.300.2012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Julia wanted to do an 800 meter time trial on the track at Orem High. Benjamin and I paced her. Her record was 3:10.8 achieved in a time trial. She had run 3:11.8 in a race. She raced multiple times but failed to break her time trial best. I think the main cause was that she is very sensitive to the heat, and all of her races were in the afternoon. In fact, she ran her best race time in Park City when it was a little cooler (although still not ideal), and then could not break it even in Eugene when the temperatures where higher.

I decided to pace her through the first lap in 90 and see what happens optimistically hoping for 95 in  the second lap. To my surprise she held the pace and finished in 3:01.1 - her splits were 44, 90 (46), 2:16(46), and the last 200 in 45. Orem High girls were doing a 400 meter time trial starting at the 300/700 meter mark of our 800. Around the 650 mark Julia caught up to the tail end of pack which was headed for around 1:50-1:55 quarter. There were a lot of girls in that pack - anywhere from 5 to 10. She had to get around them which threw her off some. This may have cost her half a second or so. But at the same time having them as a target did help.

I also did 3x100 with Benjamin in 15.7, 16.2, and 15.7 on the track. At the end of my run I picked up the pace for the last 0.3 to break 37:00 for the last 5 miles. 

P.M. "Stato-dynamic" magic. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 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
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a 3 mile tempo from the canyon to the house in 17:07.5. Felt strong, held the pace well in the last uphill mile - did it in 5:52. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Green Crocs 6 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
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did 4x200 with Benjamin down the canyon. We are working on making a 60 second quarter natural and relaxed. Barring a disaster, this will happen for Benjamin in the next year or so. Short of a miracle, this is will not happen to me. Perhaps the miracle is that families are forever and we are experiencing this eternal connection in a special way through running. But nonetheless I will try to keep the body young for a long time and pray for science to discover how to re-grow a messed up L-4  so I can do my part in the miracle, not leaving all of that up to the posterity.

We started out a little sluggish, then sped up - 33.9, 33.0, 31.9, and 31.0. The last one should have been under 30 - we hit the first 100 in 14.6, but then both of us slowed down as we tried to not miss the triangles mark for the finish which was a little faded.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 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
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. 10.5 total. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia 3, William 1.

P.M. Drive to Thornton, CO to visit with James and Lybi. We saw them after the Utah Valley Half and they invited us to come for a visit. We made it from Orem in 8:12 going on I-80 and then taking a shortcut on Hwy 287 from Laramie, WY to Fort Collins, CO. Not bad for traveling with 8 children with a nursing baby and two more under the age of 5.

I noticed some interesting traffic patterns on I-25 southbound between Fort Collins and Thornton. Speed limit is 75. The traffic is moving at around 75 with occasional surges to 80-85. The traffic is heavy but it is moving well. Then all of a sudden it slows down to 25. After a couple of miles we see the cause of the slowdown - a trooper parked on the median. Everybody is breaking just in case and with the traffic that heavy the cop-check break is enough to cause a congestion. We pass the trooper and the traffic speeds up to its normal speed.  Then all of a sudden there is another jam. This time the problem turns out to be the sign that says 55 in big letters and "minimum speed limit" in small letters. People who do not know that route initially mistake that for 55 maximum speed and break. Once we are out of that zone - it is not clear why that was necessary - the traffic is moving again at normal speeds. Then after a while another jam. Another trooper, actually it appears he was on the frontage road, so completely out of traffic, but everyone is doing the standard cop-check break, We pass that, and in spite of getting closer and closer to Denver the traffic is moving at normal speeds again.

I find it rather interesting that all of the three jams we encountered was caused by what I would want to call traffic mismanagement. There was enough capacity to handle the traffic, but due to unnatural interference of political nature that capacity was reduced and became inadequate.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.755.250.0020.00

A.M. Ran with Paul and Benjamin in Loveland, CO. It was good to visit with Paul after not seeing him for a long time. Paul and I did 20, Benjamin did 10. We warmed up a mile, then did a 4 mile tempo in 22:43 on a slightly rolling terrain. At 5000 feet which is 500 feet higher than what Benjamin and I are used to, and with higher humidity than what we are used to this proved challenging to both of us, but we survived. Then Benjamin jogged back, and Paul and continued. We did another tempo on the way back starting at around 13 into the run. I did the first mile with Paul in 5:48, then another quarter at around 5:35 pace, and then I was done with that zone for the day and ran 6:10-6:15 pace to the finish ending up with 24:18 for 4 miles. Paul sped up quite a bit hitting 5:22 and 5:08 for the last two miles. Total time for 20 miles was around 2:15.

The other children ran at home in Thornton. Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. 

P.M. Benjamin took William for 1 mile.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(25)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church with Lybi and James in Henderson, CO. Their Gospel Principles class was rather big and active. In the Elder's Quorum I sat down next to a guy named Mark. It turned out he had served a mission in Russia and was still fluent after 16 years - he had kept it up through daily reading.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.501.000.000.0014.50

A.M. Total of 14.5. Started the run with James and his friend Greg. I wanted to see what Greg could do a mile in. We did a mile time trial on the track. Greg started out with a lap in 1:42, followed by 1:43. All of a sudden he started feeling like he was going to faint. He made it to 1000 meters in 4:22 and stopped. However, he could handle 9:20 pace jogging just fine and he has trained more or less consistently for about a year. I had never seen something like this before. I am suspecting some kind of a heart condition. We did a total of 5.5 miles.

Then I ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Lybi and Sarah joined us for part of the run. Benjamin decided to turn his legs over in the last mile and ran it in around 5:50. 

P.M. Drive home with Benjamin. Everybody else flew. Not that it was easier, the kids wanted to fly because they had never flown before. Benjamin and I made it in 7:31 to our house taking I-25, then Hwy 287 from Fort Collins, then I-80 and Hwy 40/Hwy 89 with only one stop in Rawlins, WY for gas. Google says the distance is 521 miles, but the odometer showed 528. I can understand extra half a mile from the gas detour, but where did the extra 7 miles come from? Bad tangents, I suppose - but do they measure the highway on tangents? Maybe the tires were slightly under-inflated throwing off the odometer. Benjamin did a lot of Russian reading on the way. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin. 4x200 down the canyon. My splits were 31.3, 32.6, 30.5, 30.4. Benjamin got 31.0, 32.6, 30.3, and the last one was under 30 but he missed the split. Andrew ran 6 with us and did 4x100 in around 17 seconds.

Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob ran 2 miles in Thornton, CO.

The good news is that Benjamin's legs did not hurt from this workout. I think we'll do one more of those, and the move to 4x300 starting in 48 and finishing in 45.

P.M. Picked up the rest of the family at the airport. Jenny, Julia, Joseph and William ran one more mile. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.000.2512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a pickup for a quarter uphill in 79.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a 2 mile tempo run with Benjamin from the bridge to the house - uphill. As planned I set the pace in the first 0.5 to let him know how fast I wanted to run, then he pulled me until there was a quarter left, then he kicked and dropped me. His time was 11:08. I got 11:16. Our splits were 2:50, 5:37 (2:47), 8:23 (2:46), and the uphill 0.51 was 2:45 for him, 2:53 for me. Joseph did 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Green Crocs 6 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
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. 10.5 total. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Race: Top of Utah Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:14:49, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.900.0013.100.0020.00

A.M. Top of Utah Half - 1:14:49, 12th overall, 2nd master, $75. 

Stayed with Steve Anderson the night before.

Warmed up a little over 2 with Jake. At the start there were a lot fast runners - money went 5 deep and there were two people that broke 1:10 and went home empty-handed. Fortunately the race had a charity fund for the senior citizens of which I ended up a beneficiary along with Walter and Rob Murphy.

My goal was to go under 1:14. I thought a performance similar to what I ran in the Provo River Half would be sufficient. So either I ran worse, or the course is not quite as fast as I thought it was. In any case, report mile by mile to the best of my memory:

1 - 5:31 - ended up alone a little ahead of Ben VanBeekum and Jon Heslup but quite a bit behind Walter who opened in around 5:08. In retrospect, I should have just sat behind Ben and Jon and saved energy.

2 - 5:31 (11:02) - Ben and Jon caught up to me and I got on their tail. Walter had 10:42.

3 - 5:40 (16:42) - Ben and Jon pulled ahead, I felt the pace was too fast for me.  They did 5:27, Walter was 16:11 at 3 miles - 5:29.

4 - 5:44 (22:26) - Ben, Jon, and Walter gapped me by a little more.

5 - 5:27 (27:53) - here comes the famous Blacksmith Fork Canyon tailwind. Around this time Ben passed Walter, so I ran most of the remainder of the race watching Walter and Jon from behind.

6 - 5:30 (33:23) - more of that tailwind

7 - 5:30 (38:53) - tailwind helps keep the momentum

8 - 5:43 (44:36) - end of tailwind, fatigue, lack of serious traning and possibly old age are beginning to show

9 -  5:45 (50:21) - hanging on

10 - 5:52 (56:13) - not good, but at least sub-6:00

12 - 12:33 for 2 uphill miles (1:08:36) - oops - there goes sub-1:14, now sub-1:15 is in jeoprady. How did this happen? Maybe missing the split at 11 was part of the problem. I was not feeling great, but was not feeling too bad either. Could have pushed this a little harder maybe. Or maybe not, who knows.

13 - 1:14:18 (5:42) - Saw Walter coming to me, but he was too far ahead to catch. I tried, though.

last 0.1 - 31 seconds

Walter finished 36 seconds ahead, which was less than ideal - in the ideal world that number would be negative. However, I did have concerns around mile 10 that the gap might be as bad as over a full minute which did not materialize.

Riley won in a breakthrough race with 1:05:16. Jake was a close second with 1:05:38. Then John Coyle with 1:06:10 - I talked to him afterwards, he said he lost some time on a VPB. Then Bryant Jensen 1:06:55, Jason Holt 1:09:05, Scott Keate 1:09:22, Jacob Howell 1:09:55, Ben VanBeekum 1:10:58, Jesse Dunn 1:12:57, John Heslop 1:13:12, and Walter 1:14:13.

Ran a cooldown to make the total 20 miles running back on the course. Headed back on the course, experienced a bathroom emergency. Saw some people outside of their house, asked them to use their restroom. Afterwards made it to mile marker 11 and a little past going the other way, then ran back. By then I was with people headed maybe for 2:07-2:08. Nobody wanted to run with me until I had passed the 2:05 pacer. For some reason they had a hard time believing that a) they could run faster at least for a little bit and b) I would slow down to the best they could do. In the last half mile I found some people to pace.

During the race my legs felt strong but not quick. 5:30 was about my limit and that required fresh legs and nice downhill. I need to do something to fix it. Probably tempo runs down the canyon - I have not been doing those lately.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. The Sacrament meeting talks were on faith and as I listened I felt I needed to approach my running with more faith. Lately I've been feeling like I had an excuse to not train as well because the focus has been on the children. The children have been doing well, Benjamin has even been beating me, so I felt it was all good - anything I achieve now myself is a bonus. But as I listened to the talks I felt that while the focus on the children and making their running a priority was correct, I could do better in my own training and recovery. So I resolved to do that.

During Sunday School lesson, which was on eternal marriage, somebody made a comment that nowadays it is not realistic to expect a woman to stay home with the children due to the ecomonic challenges of supporting a family off one income. Several people including Sarah and myself, raised an objection to that. Interestingly enough, Saran and I were the only ones under 60 in that group. It is also interesting that there was nobody in that group that had fewer than five children.

I have some thoughts on that subject that I would like to share. It is very challenging to support a family off one income, but with faith it is possible, and I can testify to that. Sarah and I started out in our marriage with a vision - we would have children, a lot if the health permitted, she would stay home to take care of them, and I would do whatever it took to make this possible. In my mind I was ready to work three jobs if that is what it took. The Lord was merciful to us - I never had to. Quite the oppositive - along with Sarah I got to stay home as well. Last time I had to report to an office for a job on a regular basis was December of 1999. Ever since I worked from home.

Even though I have always made more money than the average neighbor, perhaps even a dual-income neighbor, we have always lived what others would have considered below our means. We still do. We have never bought a car much less a toy on credit. For quite some time this meant driving cars that were old enough to date, then vote, then go on a mission. We have lived in small homes and did everything we could to pay them off as fast as possible. We learned how to feed a large family nutritiously at a low cost. We have hardly ever eaten out. We now do this a little more, but still not as much as our average neighbor, and it is always a health-food restaurant. 

Some might say we have been lucky, but I believe it is more than luck. Luck is random - sometimes it is in your favor, sometimes it is bad luck, intergrating luck over a large interval you get a quantity that approaches zero. I believe the reason we managed to pull this off the way we did was having a vision and being consistently true to it no matter what kind of luck we got. The vision came from the Lord. We cheated - we did what someone much wiser than us has has revealed to us through his prophets. Thus we had the advantage of being 90-year-old wise in our 20s, and we are talking 90-year-old that is familiar with the realities of the 21st century and still has his mind intact. We played the chess game with a grandmaser wispering us the moves.

So long story short, I believe you can support a family off one income just fine, but you must have the vision, and you must have the faith to stay true to it. Your faith will be tried. Possibly it will be tried more than ours. But it is all worth it. All of those sacrifices pay off.

When I came home I took a much-needed long nap.

 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin had a sore throat, did only three. I am beginning to suspect that his room might have mold - he's been catching those colds a lot. So I called a mold testing guy to do the test. Jenny also had a sore throat and did only 3. Jacob did 2, Joseph 3, William 1, Julia 3. I did a 3 mile tempo run from the house to the small bridge and back - slow course - in 17:25. Splits were 5:42, 5:51, 5:53. Last mile is uphill. I thoroughly dislike that course for tempo runs, but by the time I was done running with the kids I only had the time for that course.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.000.000.4012.00

A.M. 12 miles. Benjamin did 3, Jenny 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. Pushed the stroller for 3 miles. William did the mile in 9:20.3 on our out and back course without holding the hand. This is a new record for him by 9 seconds. His splits were 2:28, 2:24, 2:19 and 2:09. His attitude also seemed to keep improving as he went along. He started with a loud whine which resulted in a slow opening split. Then he decided on the prize he wanted, and as his belief that the prize would actually something he could get increased, his complaining and excuses reduced and his pace increased. William is our fastest child at this age so far, but he is also one of the most difficult with the exception maybe of Joseph. Well, Benjamin was not easy either - when he was 5 he would start his runs insisting that there was no way in the world he could run faster than 12:00 per mile. Half way through he would realize that there was some kind of a special privillege connected to breaking 10:00 and he would speed up and do it. William is turning 5 in October. Regardless, I suppose speed comes at a cost - although with Jacob we got a free ride - good speed, no complaining at all, perfect child.

Julia did a total of 3.23 with a mile time trial. We discovered a problem. She said she was feeling tired when we got to the track but I thought that with the 3:01 800 PR she would be able to smash her 6:52 record. Not so. She did 1:40, 1:42, 1:49, 1:44 finishing in 6:57.4. We decided to try again the next day.

I did a 600 pickup uphill in 2:00.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.001.500.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did 1.5 mile tempo uphill in 8:19.6, and some time later 800 uphill in 2:41. Benjamin did 4, Jenny 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1, Julia 3. Julia did another mile time trial. This time she was able to take down her record, but not by as much as she should have - only 5 seconds. She ran 6:47.7 on the track with the splits of 1:38, 1:44, 1:43, and 1:39. I am suspecting a return of the low iron - she has had it diagnosed before, took the iron supplement for a while, her iron normalized, and she stopped taking the supplement.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 1.50Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.001.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did an 800 time trial with Jacob. Joseph assisted. Jacob started out very fast - 20 for the first 100. Then I slowed him down, and he shortly also had a second round slowing down himself. First 200 in 44, then 93 (49) at 400. Then he sped up a little - 2:21(48) at 600, and kicked in 47 finishing in 3:08.7 - new PR by 9.5 seconds and reaching the goal of sub-3:10. Joseph finished a little bit ahead with 3:06.

Now of all the kids only William, Stephen, and Matthew  have not yet broken 3:10 in the 800. For the oldest five the approximate average age is 10.8 (rounding the age of each child to 0.5 year precision), their average 800 PR is 2:52.38, and their average mile PR is 6:17.90. For the three oldest boys, the average age is 10.0,  the average mile PR is 6:04.53, and the average 800 PR is 2:48.45. For the girls, the average age is 12, the average mile PR is 6:38.00, and the average 800 PR is 2:58.27.

Benjamin was still not feeling quite well from his sore throat, so he ran only 3 miles. Jenny did 3 as well, as so did Julia and Joseph.  William did a mile without the hand or stopping in 9:40 - not a record, but decent - with some resistance he is developing a habit of sub-10:00 training pace.

Green Crocs 6 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
10.750.000.001.2512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 4, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a workout. First 2x500 on my hilly course in the faster but still slow direction - 1:36.7 and 1:31.8. Then 400 and 600 down the Provo Canyon in 70.3 and 1:45.1 respectively. Starting to feel some power in the legs.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Race: Uneventful Provo River Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:15:04, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.900.0013.110.0021.01

A.M. Ran with Chad and George - total of 21 miles. Chad and I did the Provo River Half course uneventfully, meaning we raced it while there was no official race organized. Well, Chad raced it all out from the gun. I ran the first 4 miles with him, then raced it after that. My time was 1:15:04, he got 1:17:55 - a new half PR for him. I was expecting around 1:16, but Chad opened quicker than I expected, which helped with the overall time.

We warmed up 1 mile with George, and then started the Uneventful.

Splits by Curt's mile markers along with some other points of signficance - 5:21, 5:31 (10:52), 5:51 (16:41), 5:41 (22:22). At about 4.1 I had to stop to go to the bathroom, while Chad continued. If this was a real race I would have done a VPB without stopping the watch, but since this was Uneventful I just stopped my watch. Afterwards I continued at a true race effort. Next mile was 5:39 (28:01), do not remember mile marker splits after that point, but the pace was around 5:40 until the start of the climb. 36:28 at the letter S (start of the climb on the old highway). At this point I observed that I was 1:28 behind my Provo River Half split, and decided to try to make as much ground as I could. Uphill mile in 6:26 - 42:52 at the end of it - I passed Chad half way through it gaining 21 seconds on my Provo River Half time. At this point I thought that I might be able to actually beat the race time, but I ended up not quite having as much downhill speed. Next mile was 5:33 - 49:39 at the bottom by the letter S, then 50:47 at the start of the three mile tempo course at Nunn's Park. The 3 mile stretch in 17:05 with the splits of 5:37, 5:46, 5:42 - 1:07:52 at the end of it. 1:12:01 at the little bridge that is 1.5 miles away from my house, 1:14:32 at the official 13 mile marker.

Afterwards, Chad and I had a death march cooldown of 7 miles up the Provo Canyon to my car which was parked at the Vivian Park. I learned something. I noticed that 8:00 pace was awfully hard. Doing the math I also realized that we had one mile longer to the car than I hoped for. In desparation I stopped at the water fountain and drank some water. I never do that normally. I did not think it would help much because I believed the problem was fuel, but as it turned out there must have been quite a bit of dehydration. The water made quite a bit of a difference - 8:00 pace still felt harder than what it should, but at least I wanted to go faster. However, 8:00 on less steep grade, and 8:30 on steeper grade was all that Chad could do, so that is what we did.

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 21.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
291.737.5060.715.07365.01
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 365.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 37.10Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 212.00Nap Time: 14.50Total Sleep Time: 226.50
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