Breaking the Wall

Top of Utah Marathon

Previous MonthRecent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek View
Graph View
Next Month
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
198619871988198919901991199219931994199519961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!

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: 103.81 Year: 1820.96
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1909.35
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1119.99
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
277.5035.2221.309.80343.82
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 343.12
Night Sleep Time: 219.00Nap Time: 4.00Total Sleep Time: 223.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.507.003.000.0020.50

A.M. Ran with a big group. We had Chad, Scott, Matt Poulsen, Dan, Brandon, and Brodie. First 10 miles easy pace up the Provo Canyon to the start of the 10 mile tempo in South Fork. Did that in 1:12:06. This was actually quite brisk, about 3 minutes faster than what I normally would do in this workout. But it is OK to push the first 10 a little bit outside of the very easy range as it helps dump glycogen to make the last 10 feel more like you are at the end of the marathon. I am estimating that in this workout if you count the fact that you are not tapered, this is like running the real marathon from 7 to 17 or maybe from 10 to 20, depending on how fast you run the first 10 and how drained you are at the end of the week. Regardless, it is a good marathon preparation workout - you avoid the real "zone", but you are close enough to it to prepare physiologically and psychologically without doing damage to the body.

Brodie turned around early. Matt ran back at an easy pace. Brandon ran at about 6:00 pace. Dan ran with him for the first 6 miles. Chad tried 6:30 pace, but ran out of juice. I ran with Scott for the first 3.5, then eased off to what I could sustain. My time was 55:58, which is a record for this course by 12 seconds. In the middle I timed a mile in 5:18 on the Provo City Marathon course (1st mile), then another in 5:23 on the triangles right after Vivian Park. Once I eased off I was going around 5:40-5:45 pace. The 3 mile tempo course was 5:37, 5:44, 5:40 (17:01). My last mile, which is uphill, was 5:58.  Scott got 54:28.

Overall this was a good result, and I was happy that I was able to survive the aggressive pace in the first 3 miles, and survive afterwards. The pace actually did not feel too bad in principle, in some ways it felt like a jog, but my CO2 exhaust pipe was not ready for it. I think I should be able to hold that pace for the whole 10 in this workout if I get the CO2 exhaust pipe in shape.

P.M. 0.5 with William, Joseph, and Jacob at Orem High including 100 meter time trial. William ran it in 27.6. I think he has 25 in him, but he still has not figured out the idea of sprinting. We need to do some practice. But even without it, I am not too unhappy with the result as William is still only 3 years and 10 months old. However, in order to win the Thanksgiving 400 he will need to improve his 100 to 25 by the time of the race.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was a Fast Sunday. So Fast and Testimony meeting first. Then Sunday School - I went into the new member/investigator class. The lesson was on prophets. Then a lesson on missionary work in the Elder's Quorum from the First Presidency Message.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.200.000.300.0012.50

A.M. Ran with the kids first. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Then I ran another 3 miles with the weights and Julia and Joseph on bikes. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 500 meters in 1:39 to tune up for Benjamin's race tomorrow. 

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.000.003.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Did a workout. 12x400 down the Provo Canyon. It has been a while since I've done this workout. The precise reason is that it hurts so much that I always found an excuse to avoid it, and I had plenty. The main one is that by the time I am done running with the kids, I have neither miles nor time left for such workouts. Another one is that since I am a marathoner, I do not need to do such workouts. But I prayed recently for guidance, and felt that I should resume those miserable quarters. And not just 6 or 8, but full 12 with 200 recovery.

I remembered today how much those hurt.  Enough that I remembered the way they get a little kid to eat his food in Russia. A spoon for each family member. One for Mommy, one for Daddy, one for Grandma, one for Grandpa. Maybe one for a brother or a sister if the child is lucky to have one. Then you have to start all over again. I've fed our kids like that, and with the extended family involved I do not think I ever had to repeat the cycle. So I did each one of the first ten for somebody in my house, and I included Matthew who is not yet born. That made it easier. But still, you finish the first two, and you dread the thought of another one, not to even think about ten. You savor your 200 meter recovery jog, and then comes another one.

I thought it would be good if I could average 72, but I was more fit for the pain than I expected. My slowest was the first - 70.2. Second slowest I was the fourth or the fifth I think - 70.0. I had a few under 69. The last one was the fastest - 67.1. Most of them fell around 69.4. Towards the end I figured out a form trick that gave me more stability on the right side, and I started to go sub-69 more consistently without more effort. Well, I did not really have more effort to give. That is the whole point of this workout. You make yourself hurt while trying to maintain the pace. You give yourself short breaks to reset the pile up of whatever it is that limits your speed just enough that you would not slug the next repetition. This forces the brain to find ways to run faster in a fatigued state. Since it cannot come through raw power, it comes through efficiency.  You also develop higher pain tolerance. More specifically, you learn how to avoid panic at the signals of fatigue, which allows you to hold the fast pace a little longer.

The kids ran on their own. Benjamin and Jenny did 3. Julia 2. Joseph and Jacob rested for the cross country meet in the event. 

P.M. Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob ran in the cross country meet at the Kiwani's Park. The distance was 2 K. Benjamin won overall with 7:01 in spite of taking a detour that cost him who knows how much. The facts are that it took Benjamin 2:44 to reach a place where I was standing, while the second place was there in 2:54, which was prior to the wrong turn. At the next checkpoint  it was 6:01/6:07. At the finish it was 7:01/7:11. So I am going to guess he lost at least 5 seconds, possibly more. In any case, 7:01 is still a good result running in front alone for most of the race. I did notice a problem we need to address. Benjamin's leg turnover is too sluggish - ground contact time looks excessive. He compensates with a huge stride, but I think it is out of balance. Well, the huge stride is great. What is out of balance is that he lingers too long on the ground. From the visuals, it makes it harder for him to maintain speed when he is tired. We will work on fixing that.

Joseph had a great performance. His time was 8:45. Not only did he win Sub-Bantams (being only 7 he actually still has another year in Sub-Bantams), he beat the first Bantam boy, and what is impressive is that he had about a 2-3 second lead going into the last 100 meters, and he maintained it even though the older boy tried to kick. When you have a 2 year difference in age, the older boy almost always wins the kick. In fact, I believe this is the first time in our family history of running that with this age difference our younger boy did not lose the kick. Joseph improved his time from last year by 1:36.

Our barely six year old Jacob had a great performance as well. He would have won the Sub-Bantams had it not been for his "bully" older brother. His time was 9:40, which is 41 seconds faster than what Joseph ran last year at the age of 6 years and 9 months. Jacob is only 6 years and 1 month old.

Benjamin wore spikes, but the spikes we ordered for Joseph and Jacob had not yet arrived, so they wore Crocs. Joseph was OK, but Jacob lost his Croc with about 300 meters to go. He just kept on running. 

Later in the evening I ran 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.000.000.000.0017.00

A.M. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. I ended up with a total of 12, 2 with the weights. 

P.M. 5 total. 0.5 with William, 4.5 with Julia following me on a bike. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 17.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.000.003.0018.00

A.M. Did another hard workout. 3x1 mile, exact repeat of last week. This one actually does not hurt as bad as 12x400 even though it covers the same distance. Slowing down to 74s from 69s makes a difference even if you have to run them back to back. But it still hurts, which is why I have been excusing myself from doing it for so long. I had an improvement compared to last week - 4:56.0 (vs 5:02.1), 4:57.5 (vs 5:04.8) and 4:55.7 (vs 5:01.2). So all under 5:00. Downhill, but still it was good to move the legs that fast. If we were to take the conversion factor of 11 seconds to Orem High track based on 4:52-5:03 results that Benjamin got in the time trials, this would translate into about 5:06 for the full mile and 5:04 for the 1600. Total of 13 miles.

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin was in charge. He ran 7, Jenny 3, Julia and Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

P.M. Total of 5. 0.5 with William, 4.5 by myself. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.700.000.000.3012.00

A.M. Ran with the little kids, then with Benjamin and Ariel. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Benjamin, Ariel, and I did 5x100 pickups at 4:48 pace down the canyon. The purpose was to teach Benjamin faster leg turnover.

P.M. Jenny took William for 0.5 miles. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.003.0016.00

A.M. Ran with Chad. Total of 15.5. Chad did 20.5, having run 5 miles before we started together. Given the upcoming Top Of Utah Marathon I did an medium long run with a short fast tempo run instead of the full 20 with the last 10 fast. Chad joined me. To spice things up he started 1:00 ahead of me in our standard 3 mile tempo run from Nunns Park to the mouth of the Provo Canyon. This is the third time we've done it like this. The first two times Chad ended up finishing ahead. Today was finally my day. It did help some that Chad was worn out some from the 5 miles earlier and did not have Benjamin to stir him up. Originally we were planning on having Benjamin around, but he had some signs of a sore throat and we decided to have him run less and slower - 4 easy miles with his siblings instead of his usual 7 with me. I ran 15:32 with the splits of 79 - 76 - 78 - 76 (5:09) - 76 - 78 - 78 - 80 (5:12) - 80 - 79 - 78 - 74 (5:11). I passed Chad almost exactly at 2.5 mark  He finished in 16:51 in spite of the fatigue and opening with a 74 quarter, which is still a decent time for him.

This is my fastest time this year, 1 second faster than the fastest time last year, and only 17 seconds slower than my best time ever. I experienced an interesting feeling in the tempo. I was breathing very hard the entire time, but I could manage it. Earlier when I was running in the 15:50 range when that feeling came I just slowed down because I could not handle it.

Last year I ran 15:33 in this workout, and then  2:34:15 in TOU. I felt that TOU was an off-race that was salvaged by having somebody to run with (James Moore) for 24 miles. We will see what happens this year. I hit pretty much the exact same time as last year in this workout. I suppose if the conditions are good and I feel good, we will find out exactly how much off I was last year, or maybe if it was just a perception. I wrote 2:29:59 on my entry form for the predicted time. I've run the race 13 times and I do not think I ever quite delivered what I hoped for on the form. Maybe this year I will.

P.M. 0.5 with William.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a Primary program - the children sang. Everybody except for Benjamin  and Stephen participated from our family. Jenny and Julia sang as duet "I feel my Savior's Love". Then we had a lesson on Helaman 6-10 in the Book of Mormon. I really like the verse at the end of chapter 9 when the converted unbelievers are impressed by the power of Nephi because "he has told us things". Then we had a lesson in the Elder's Quorum on faith from the teachings of George Albert Smith manual.

Some people find it boring to be taught from the manual, and some teachers even find it boring to teach from the manual and attempt to "spice up" the lesson by teaching their own thing instead. I recognize that this may be the case for some manuals written with little thought or foresight. But the ones we have in the Church have been received by revelation. On many occasions I have found that the issue I am struggling with can be solved by applying a principle that I just read in the manual that morning. I can testify that those manuals have answers for all of our problems. Yes, all. It takes faith to extract them, without faith the manual appears like a bunch of tedious text that you think you've heard before, for some difficult questions you may lack the faith to extract the answer, but amazing things happen when you begin to read those manuals with faith. Indeed, like they say on some technology forums, Read The Fine Manual, or at least that is how a good Latter-Day Saint interprets RTFM.

 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Our kids have been afflicted with injuries. Nothing super serious, but keeps them from running at 100%. But at least they can still run. Benjamin had a cold and he also sprained his wrist playing tag. Jenny's bones are growing faster than the Achilles tendons, so that makes her ankles hurt.  Julia's stomach was giving her problems. Only Joseph, Jacob, and William were healthy today among the runners. Even Sarah had contractions and had to stop a few times during her run. And, fortunately, I am still healthy. Better be healthy, the marathon is coming up. Just knowing that you could catch a cold right before the marathon is a great teacher of humility. Three months of work can go down the toilet from one accidental exposure to an infection your body fails to find a good response to. That is why Paula Radcliffe once surprised a reporter when he asked her for tips on how to prepare for a marathon - she said: "Wash your hands!" But you can wash them only so much. There are more infections out there than you can possibly kill. The day is 86400 seconds long. In one of those seconds, the infection comes, and you miss it. You can do a multitude of things to keep yourself from getting sick, but you need to realize that ultimately you are at the Lord's mercy.  So you get a lesson in faith and humility. I decided to never take for granted the ability to show up healthy at the start of a race. That moment, before the gun goes off, a prayer of thanks is in order.

So today I ran 12. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, and Jacob 1.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.500.002.000.0010.50

A.M. Ran with the kids. 3 with Jenny. 2 with Joseph. 1 with Jacob. The rest myself. Carried weights for 2 miles. Did a pickup for 1.5 in 8:07, and then one more for 0.5 at the end. Total of 10. Benjamin did 3.

P.M. Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, and Julia ran in the 3 K cross country race at the Kiwani's Park. Benjamin was still having problems from the cold, and his wrist was still hurting. So I told him to just go out with the leader, if he felt the pace was way too slow, just go ahead, but otherwise sit and wait for the kick. With how he was feeling, I was not sure he'd be able to do even that, and neither was Benjamin, but I told him to try his faith. If it was the Lord's will for him to win, he would, but he would not know unless he was willing to give the Lord a chance.  He did as he was instructed. His competition was Garth Gardner - they dropped everybody else almost immediately. With 600 to go Benjamin was able to shift gears and win with 10:54. Garth got 11:04. 

Joseph won the sub-Bantam division in 14:12. Jacob was third with 15:36. Julia was a bit hesitant to run hard because of a stomach ache, so I told her to just go and run with Jacob. She did, and finished in 15:37 in 4th place in the Bantam Girls - it was only 22 seconds slower than the winning time. I told her next time just to go hard and win the Bantam Girls. Also, to try to not get beat by Joseph. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.500.008.50

A.M. Ran with the kids. 3 with Jenny and Julia, 2 with Joseph, 1 with Jacob, 2 more with Julia on a bike. Benjamin did 5. I did a pickup for 0.5 uphill in 2:40. Carried weights with me for 3 miles. 

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 8.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

A.M. Total of 8. Jenny did 3, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob 2. Benjamin did 7.5 including 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.500.000.500.006.00

A.M. Total of 6, some with the kids. Did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:40 uphill. Joseph did 2, Jacob 1, Jenny and Julia 3. William 0.5. Benjamin 7.5.

P.M. Travel to Logan with the family. Stopped at Brigham City, went to the Temple Open House.  Stayed with Steve Anderson.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Race: Top of Utah Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:34:48, Place overall: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.8026.220.000.0027.02

A.M. Top of Utah Marathon, 2:34:48, 5th place, $250. 

Our family stayed at Steve's house. It was very nice as he had room for all of us, and there are many of us now, more exactly 9.6. Steve and I drove together to the bus, then rode it to the start. At the start I had several visits to the city of Oz (secret bathroom available only to runners that would think of a warm-up before the marathon), but that later proved inadequate.

There was enough trouble at the start for me to be wearing bib #10. I figured that was OK, I did not have to finish above 10th, so no pressure.

I came with the goal to run 2:29:59. That did not happen, but at least I had a respectable race, and I got some ideas on what went well in my preparation, and what needed to be fixed. And I got $250 so that is a plus. Not as big of a deal as it used to be. As the years went by my job pay has progressed, and my runners pay has digressed. 

The digression is due to two main reason - the competition is tougher, and I have been running slower. Not that much slower - my time today still would have won had I run it in 2003 or 2004. But runners in Utah have gotten faster. So today it was only good for 5th, which is OK. I do have an interest in people getting faster, enough that I maintain the Fast Running Blog. So it is good that they are actually getting faster.

All in all, even if I could have won with the course record, I would still not be as excited about the pay as I used to be as far as the amount is concerned. However, cash represents my ability to stick my head into the fray, compete against runners who usually have a normal spine and come back not empty handed. So in that sense I still value winning cash. A race that offers just a big trophy brings a lion that has eaten, but a race that offers cash brings a multitude of lions that have not. 

Mile by mile report:

1 - 5:30 - Jake, Jon Kotter, Jason Holt, and Steve Shepherd went ahead. I was with Jimmy Grant, Albert, and Devin Lang. I guessed by the effort 5:21. At least that is what it would have had to be for me to run under 2:30. When I saw 5:30 I was not happy, but I still had hopes that maybe it was just warm-up sluggishness.

2 - 5:37 (11:07) - I knew at this point that 5:30 earlier was not warm-up sluggishness and that barring a miracle 2:30 was not happening today. In the past I would not have known that, which perhaps would have made it a more interesting race. But I knew at this point that I was headed for something in the 2:34-2:36 range, maybe if things went really well in the second half 2:32 high, but not 2:30 or under. In that sense, the races have become more challenging for me. I have enough experience to know early what time I am headed for. But I still have 24 or slightly less miles to go. So there is 20+ miles of work ahead when I already know what time I am going to get. I know where it is going to hurt and how bad. I know the pain, and I know the result, and I still have to do it. This is a challenge for me to have the faith to take the result - not the result I want, but what the natural laws have given me - and be thankful for it.

3 - 5:35 (16:42) - No surprises, the pack is still together.

4 - 5:37 (22:19) - Again no surprises. I think somewhere around here Albert dropped back.

5 - 5:33 (27:52) - Devin and Grant turned up the heat a little and I started feeling it. No surprise, I was expecting to feel the heat at 5:33 based on the earlier miles. Also, no surprise that they would try to rev it up a little. They told me earlier they wanted to run under 2:30, and I told them that they needed to hit the half in 1:12, 1:13 low at the slowest unless they trusted their ability to run a huge negative split. On this course, even split is in effect a huge negative split.

6 - 5:38 (33:30) - Shortly before the end of this mile I took my foot off the gas and dropped back. 5:33 felt out of range, and I know how punishing it gets after mile 18 on this course. You do need to bank some time in the early miles for the fallout, but you need to do it with an effort that is less than what I have been putting in in the last two miles. 

7 - 5:46 (39:16) - At least it is 5:46, not too bad for running alone and recovering from an earlier surge. This is a lonely moment. It is not fun to get dropped. That is one reason I hang on when people go out of my range for some time in hopes that maybe they will slow down or I will get used to it. I really do not like to run alone. 

8 - 5:44 (45:00) - Glen Tucker (The Little Bad Legs) caught up to me and we started running together. That was very nice.

9 - 10 - 11:10 (56:10) - Working together with Glen.

11 - 5:37 - (1:02:47) - Working together with Glen, actually more like me sitting on him.

12 - 13 - 11:45 (1:13:32) - The ball got dropped here. Part of the problem is that I stopped for a VPB. But it was very fast, only 5 seconds. Probably a bigger part was that Glen started getting a cramp and slowed down. I was happy to rest after a post VPB surge to catch up. Too happy. I eventually realized I needed to move on, but it was too late as we lost a lot of time.

 Half - 1:14:09 - manageable, and not feeling terrible. But we have another half marathon left, and a lot can happen.

14 - 5:38 (1:19:10) - Hoped it would be faster with the tailwind carrying me, but it was not.

15 - 5:53 (1:25:03) - Cause for concern. It should have been faster. But at least it is still under 6:00, and I have had years when that mile was over 6:00. Glen recovered from his cramp temporarily and caught up. Following him. 

16 - 5:57 (1:31:00) - concern reduced, but not gone. Still running with Glen.

17 - 5:57 (1:36:57) - concern reduced, but still present. Still running with Glen.

18 - 5:54 (1:42:51) - Glen heard the spectators cheer and surged. I sensed that he surged too hard, it was not good for me to go with him, and also that he would come back. So I responded only in part. But I could respond. If I am responding to surges at 18, it means I have some hope. Towards the end of this mile Glen ran out of juice and I passed him. From that point on to mile 23 I ran alone.

19 - 6:12 (1:49:03) - The first installment of the Providence Heartbreak Hill. To my surprise I am feeling strong. Starting to hope for maybe 2:33 high, or even 2:33 low, or even under 2:33. I can be optimistic. 

20 - 6:12 (1:55:15) - The second installment of the Providence Heartbreak Hill. So far so good.

21 - 6:03 (2:01:18) - This mile was eventful. It goes downhill. A good split on it is around 5:45 for me. Half way through it I saw Steve Shepherd calling on a cell phone apparently for a ride. So that puts me in 6th place. One more pass or DNF, and I am in the money. The good old hunt for a ram to sacrifice begins. I've done it so many times. A few times I was the ram as well, the most notable being Ogden 2005 when Paul ended up playing the role of Abraham with a knife. In spite of the ram hunting position advance to cheer me on, I am starting to feel a bit like a ram myself. That strength I had just a mile earlier is gone. Thus 6:03 instead of 5:55. 

22 - 6:24 (2:07:42) - One tough mile. Has a small climb and a lot of turns. Very difficult psychologically. In the past races I often thought during that mile why I even bother running TOU or any marathon. I knew I would have these thoughts, so I prepared for it. Just told myself no matter what, even it is slower than 7:00, just keep plodding along. Come come, ye saints, no toil no labor fear. It was actually not too terrible.

23 - 6:28 (2:14:10) - Last mile before Benjamin came to the rescue. He started running with me at the 23 mile marker. I was looking forward to seeing him. This mile is also difficult - very similar to 22, but it is 23, so it is easier mentally a bit because you are closer to the finish.

24 - 6:26 (2:20:36) - During the mile as Benjamin cheered me on I moved into 5th place after passing Devin. It was his first marathon. He is a Utah State runner used to running shorter distances and he is just about to go on a mission. So either barely or almost 19 years old. Marathons are merciless beasts. 

25 - 6:29 (2:27:05) - We see Jason Holt ahead, and Benjamin is just going wild. He wants me to catch him. I've trained a 13-year-old monster. He is completely conversational at sub-6:30 pace on rolling hills at 4200 feet altitude. And he is now remembering all the things I've done to him to make him go faster, and he is doing them to me to the best of his memory. He is remembering them in the most annoying way. Keeps telling me to give him five when I am still in contact. Keeps telling me to run faster every 5 seconds. But I am thankful to have my son with me at the end of a marathon. It is a very special moment for me and it is a learning experience for him. He is watching the wall, he is learning about the tough realities of "the zone".

26 - 6:25 (2:33:30) - Closing the gap on Jason but not fast enough. With each step we are closer to the finish, and in proportion to the decrease of the distance, Benjamin keeps getting more and more urgent in his pleas for me to go faster. But I do not have another gear. I've felt this feeling before. I could not understand it. It did not feel like fuel. Legs do not feel weak, the mind is still there. But when you try to run faster you feel like you are not able to use the air that you are trying to breathe in. The heart does not want to respond. On the HRM you would see a relatively low HR - for me something like 145-147 instead of 154. I used to think it was the loss of the neural drive. But after pondering the experience from today and other marathons, I am beginning to wonder if this is just the heart itself being tired. It is not deathly tired - it can still pump enough for you to go 6:20-6:30, but it is too tired for anything faster.

The last 385 yards - 1:18 (2:34:48). Jacob, Joseph, Julia, and Jenny joined me at this point starting a little bit ahead just in case. Sarah tried to join us with a stroller with William and Stephen, but she started too late and when the announcer said something about only runners being on the course she got shy and did not go through the finish line. I told her next time to never mind the announcer and if anybody says anything tell them she is my wife. My official time was 2:34:43, but I am quite sure it is wrong. There was a mat for the 5 K that I crossed about 5 seconds before I crossed the finish line with the clock which also had a mat. My watch said 2:34:48, there is a picture of me approaching the finish line as the clock says 2:34:46. Not too big of a deal, but when it comes down to time, I like to keep the record straight.

Jake won with the official 2:22:12, then Jimmy Grant 2:29:35, Jon Kotter 2:31:05, Jason Holt (not Dave's brother) 2:34:26. In 6th place Joe Furse 2:39:37, then Devin Lang 2:40:06. 

P.M. Kids did their own runs. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 3, Julia and Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Sarah and I went to the adult session of the stake conference. The talks were good. I liked the one about the room in the inn which was in reference to the birth of Christ, and the inn keepers saying to Mary and Joseph that there was no room in the inn. How easy it is to fill your schedule with stuff and/or your budget with expenses and leave no room for Christ, or in other words, the things that He would have you do. So when an opportunity arises to do something good that is rather inconvenient and requires some stretching, yet deep down you know it is the course the Lord would have you take, a good question to ask is if there is room in the inn today. 

... 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 27.02
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments(13)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

We had a Stake Conference today instead of regular church meetings. This was actually more of an area conference - it was broadcast from the Marriott Center to local stake centers. We heard talks on a variety of subjects. Elder Oaks spoke at the end. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. Ran with the kids. Total of 10 miles. Jenny and Julia did 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Felt good, no fatigue from the marathon in any way that I could feel, but probably some in subtle ways. Taking it cautiously, so ran only 10 miles. Did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:40 down the canyon.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.000.0012.70

A.M. 12.7 miles total.Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 1. Benjamin did 3. Cross-country race in the evening. I ran into Cliff Reed, a 56-year-old runner with a 3:07 life time marathon PR, and most recent best 3:42. We ran together, and I talked him into doing a 3 mile tempo run on my standard course - Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. He was planning Yasso 800s the next day. I told him most likely he did not need to do that, but as a cut off to see if there was any chance that he did (he is 56 years old after all), I set a target time of 23:00 for the 3 mile tempo assuming his goal in the marathon was 3:35 in St. George. He smashed it while remaining conversational in the first 2 miles. The splits were 7:11 - 7:11 - 6:51  with 21:13 total time. I told him he had enough speed to run his life time best, but he needed more marathon-specific endurance, which comes mostly from mileage.

P.M. Cross-country race at Kiwani's park. We had all the kids except Stephen participate as it was only 1 K.

Benjamin won overall with 3:07 with a 19 second margin over second place. He looked great. His stride had some turnover today, not just the stride length and he looked like a professional runner - very smooth and gracious. That's the best I've seen him look ever.

Jenny made her come back to racing with the third place in the Midget girls division and the time of  4:05. The winning time was 3:34 - Madison Malmgren. Based on 800 meter PR (3:08) relative to Benjamin (2:23) we should have seen exactly the time she ran.

Joseph won the Sub-Bantam's with 4:28. However, something was wrong with him. He ran faster in the 2 K. I was expecting to see at least 4:10, and possibly under 4:00 based on intuition. Mathematically, prorating off Benjamin and 800 meter track PR (3:07), he should have run 4:04. His time in the 3 K was also rather slow relative to his 2 K, but at least it was decent and you could write it off as struggles from the lack of experience racing 3 K. But he does know how to race for distances 1 mile and shorter - we do time trials frequently, and he successfully raced in the 2 K. I am suspecting something is wrong with his spikes. His best race so far was in Crocs, which I find rather odd - I thought spike would win hands down over Crocs on cross-country. But I suppose little kids have a hard time using the spikes. Benjamin ran great in spikes, though.

Julia won the Bantam girls with 4:29 finishing right behind Joseph. I was expecting her to win, and I was expecting around this time intuitively more or less. Prorating off Benjamin and 800 track PR (3:16) she should have run 4:16, but I was not expecting that because she does not know how to run fast in a race and she has a wide fluctuation in performance from day to day. However, this win should give her a nice confidence booster.

Jacob struggled more than anybody today. His time was 5:07 and his form did not look good - he looked like he was limping. His time should have been at least 4:40 based on the 2 K. Pro-rated off 800 m track PR (3:25) and Benjamin's performance, we get 4:28, but again 4:40 would have been more reasonable as he still does not quite know how to race - he just barely turned 6. But not 5:07. I am suspecting very strongly the problem is in the spikes. This still gave him 4th place in Sub-bantams which is 8 years and younger.

Even though Benjamin's performance was very good, William impressed me the most of everybody. He asked if he could run the race the day before. I was hesitant - he would have had to run around the field unsupervised. He is at the age where he might decide to just wonder off the course, and then good luck finding him. But I prayed and I felt that we should let him run and he would be fine. So we signed him up. He hesitated at the start not quite knowing what to do. Then he started running only to fall down 50 meters into the race. He lay on the grass for 5 seconds or so, then got up without expressing any negative emotions, which was quite remarkable for a child 3 years and 10 months old, and resumed running. He actually ended up beating a 6 year old girl, and finished with the time of 6:28, which is 10:24 per mile pace.  That is actually what I was expecting under the assumption that he would run all the way without stopping or getting lost, which was a very optimistic assumption. But he did it!

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. A passerby asked me if I was the dad or the kid. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 3, Julia and Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, and Jacob 1. I was not planning on doing anything fast, but my legs were itching to go a little fast, and I had 7.4 miles left when I started the run with Benjamin, and I did not want run the extra 0.4 after I was done with him. So a natural solution was to run a short tempo starting about a mile before the turnaround, go a little further, then turn around and catch up. So I ran 1.25 up and 0.75 down. Benjamin ran the last 500 meters with me after I had caught up - I wanted to stop at some even number and I was already past 1.5 mark when I caught him. So I had these splits: uphill 88, 85, 87, 88 (5:48), 88, then turned around and went downhill - 82, 79, 76 (5:25, 11:13 for 2 miles). During the easy part of the run we had a physics lesson and talked about various forms of energy. If only our collision with the ground when running was perfectly elastic we could run forever with a very minimal effort and very little risk of injury. Instead our bones, muscles, and joints absorb the energy of the impact which could have been converted back into the energy of the movement. So a good portion of our hard work goes into pounding our body instead of moving forward. The harder you run, the greater fraction of the energy you lose. Reminds me of taxes.

P.M.  William did 2x400 on the track by himself. I was originally going to run with him, but he insisted on doing it by himself. So he did the first one in 2:18, and the second in 2:34. Jacob did 1:39. Joseph did 1:27.

Green Crocs 4 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
18.602.000.000.0020.60

A.M. Ran with Chad, Rachael (RAD), and George. Total of 20 miles. Rachael did the first 8 with us, then ran back. George stayed with us for the first 9, then fell back and ran slower. Our first half was 1:20:23, a bit slower than 8:00 average, which is actually not too slow for the uphill. On the way back we ran faster. I figured a good target would be to start around 7:00 pace, and gradually increase it.  So we gradually worked up to 6:40 pace, coasted there, then we did 6:06, 6:16, 6:10 for the 3 mile tempo. Chad survived another mile and a half or so at 6:20 pace, and then struggled on the hills slowing down to 7:00. Our total time was 2:25:28 with the last 10 in 1:05:05.

P.M. 0.6 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 20.60
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. No regular church today again, we had the Brigham City Temple dedication broadcast. Then I took the little kids to the Provo Temple grounds later in the evening so they could have some temple experience as well.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.5012.50

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. I did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:34.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.500.006.000.0012.50

A.M. Kids did not run in anticipation of the cross-country race tonight except Benjamin who ran 3 miles. I did a 6 mile tempo run out and back on my usual Provo Canyon course. I felt like I usually do in such workouts, but I think finally have found the right words to describe it. I felt like a captive bird that has never been free but yet somehow knows freedom and yearns for it. More than that. It is more than just I wish I could be free. The bird knows that it does belong in that cage. I would compare it to a feeling I had while living in the Soviet Union. I had never been free, but somehow I knew the leash was too short and I should not have been on it. Most of my friends did not seem to be aware of the leash, and if they were they did not seem to mind. At least perhaps they thought that it was not practical to think about breaking away from the leash because it was next to impossible.

Now it seems I am going through this theme again trying to break away or break through what is impossible to break through - defective vertebrae. With every step it screams at me. No, there is no physical pain. But it is like a broken musical instrument. If I could just believe this instrument is not a musical instrument and was never supposed to be one I would treat it like the noise of a car engine - it is OK that it is not musical because it was never supposed to be. But something deep inside is telling me I am not dealing with some odd noisy mechanism, but a musical instrument of fine work that is out of tune due to a relatively small but difficult to fix problem.

So I spent 34 minutes 29.4 seconds fighting the trap today. Better said, shaking my fist at it and keeping the body and the spirit from giving up the fight. Mile splits: first three uphill 5:49, 5:58, 6:09 (17:55), then turnaround and then downhill 5:37, 5:34, 5:23 (16:34). 

P.M. Cross-country race for kids at Kiwani's park. The distance was 4 K. Benjamin won in 14:54 with his patented long kick. The race turned tactical. Benjamin was running with Casey Clinger, Grant Gardner, and another kid, I think his name was Madison,  at a pedestrian pace for the first 1.5 miles which they covered in around 9:22. Then Benjamin and Casey turned up the heat, which dropped Madison. With more heat Grant dropped back. And once Benjamin turned it on he was left alone and ended up beating Casey by 5 seconds. After the 6:15 pedestrian jog for the first 1.5 his last mile was 5:32.

Joseph ran a solid race winning the Sub-Bantams in 19:01. Jacob was second in the Sub-Bantams with 20:35. Both of them did better than in the last two races. We took the spikes off Joseph's shoes, and Jacob ran in Crocs. For Jacob I think it was a very solid time. This is 8:17 per mile average on grass with hills over the longest distance he's ever run, and he just recently turned 6. 

Jenny struggled today and finished 4th in the Midget girls with 21:08. Julia also struggled with 21:44, but other Bantam girls struggled more so she ended up winning her division.

I ran 0.5 with William later in the evening. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 7, Jenny, Joseph and Julia 2, Jacob 1. 

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.001.000.0012.50

A.M. Benjamin and Julia were at gradma's house and ran 7 and 3 miles respectively. I ran 3 with Jenny, 2 of which were with Joseph, and 1 with Jacob. Then I ran 9 more - total of 12. About 3.3 miles into it I saw a guy in military uniform, and I knew that ROTC was doing a 2 mile time trial. I did not know how far the cadets were. All of a sudden I had a compelling thought that I should run faster, so I sped up to sub-6:00 pace. I did a mile in 5:56 and was past my turnaround and still had not met anybody. I jogged a bit further, and then saw the cadets. I paced the first one for the last 1.5 miles. His name was Tyler. He told me his goal was under 13:00, but he was able to run much better - 11:38.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.006.000.0020.00

A.M. 20 miles total. 8 mile warm-up, then did 3x2 with 1 mile recovery jog down the Provo Canyon. The first one was from Vivian Park to the waterfall. This was was the hardest because the first half of it is flat and it is at 5200 feet. The split was 10:41 or close - the marker was actually missing, but I saw the split with 300 to go and am estimating. Then I jogged a mile backwards and ran from the middle of the woods to a little bit past  Nunn's park in 10:33.3. The last one was from the waterfall to a little bit past the tunnel, and it was the fastest because I increased the effort knowing there was nothing left except the jog back home. I was also being spurred by the runners in some race (5 K I assume) that provided a constant stream of nice easy to reach goals. The time was 10:31.7. It was the hardest interval, though, not just because it was the last and the fastest, but also because it started getting warmer.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. We had a missionary farewell. One of the speakers gave a very memorable talk on obedience that involved a colored up version of the interactions between Nephi, Laman and Lemuel. It was completely based on scripture aside from the dialogues that may or may not have happened, but somebody who had not read the account in its entirety or has been spacing out as he read it might have wondered - where are you getting this from? As I get older, I appreciate more and more the value of that story. It was the discussion of Laman and Lemuel that helped Benjamin break 6:00 mile for the first time and never look back. He was a different person after that. I've used that story many times on many occasions in our home when a kid lacked the motivation to do something that I knew was good for him and murmured. That does wonders. They know the story very well, and none of them want to be like Laman and Lemuel.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
277.5035.2221.309.80343.82
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 343.12
Night Sleep Time: 219.00Nap Time: 4.00Total Sleep Time: 223.00
Debt Reduction Calculator


Featured Announcements
Google
Web fastrunningblog.com