Breaking the Wall

Big Cottonwood Half

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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: 151.56 Year: 1152.47
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: 674.37
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
249.2243.0326.124.00322.37
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 314.35Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 58.50
Night Sleep Time: 207.00Nap Time: 12.50Total Sleep Time: 219.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was a Fast Sunday so we had a testimony meeting, the Sunday School and the Elder's Quorum as usual. After we got home I took a nap.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Ran with Chad, Rob Gardner. and the kids. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 3, Julia 1(piriformis pain), Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.000.001.2512.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 3, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob 1 in ancipation of the cross-country meet later tonight. I did 6x400 with 200 recovery down the Provo Canyon - 72.4, 71.4, 70.6, 70.7, 70.7, 68.8. It was getting a little warmer, and there was an odd smell in the air for some reason -  like something was decaying under heat and moisture.

P.M. The kids ran in the Kiwani's Park Cross-Country Meet. The distance was 2 K. We had six children participate - Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William. I had to fill out and sign six forms. I dislike bureacracy, legal language, and handwriting but in our day of lawsuits the City of Provo has to cover their behind even for something as simple as gather up a bunch of kids and have them race each other. I remembered Alma 11:20: "...they did stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them..."

Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia were not running 100% healthy. Benjamin and Jenny still had remnants of the cold, Julia had an inflamation of piriformis. Not sure where it came from - on Friday it came out of nowhere during her run, and has progressively gotten worse in spite of massage, icying and reduction in training. I took her to a chiropractor today and he did some magic, but she was still having issues. The odd thing is that the only time it hurts is in the running movement. 

Benjamin won the race overall in 6:49 beating Grant by 8 seconds. Jenny was 3rd in the 13-14 division with 9:08. Julia wobbled through her race in 10:22, but nevertheless managed 3rd in the 11-12 age division. Joseph won the 8 and under division with 9:08, Jacob was second after his "bully" older brother in 9:26. William had an impressive race for a 4-year-old finishing in 12:01 in 6th place in the 8 and under division and beating 11 kids all of whom were significantly older than 4.

Mile PR ratios:

Child Age 2K performance Track mile PR or equivalent 2k/mile ratio Comment
Benjamin 14y6m 6:49 4:52 1.40 Mile PR estimated from 4:30.84 1500 performance. 2K performance was relatively weak due to sickness and running alone, however the 1500 performance took place over a month ago and was under less than ideal circumstances as well. So 1.40 ratio is probably right.
Jenny 13y0m 9:08 6:28 1.41 Mile PR is weak, and due for being taken down, but the performance today was relatively weak as well due to the cold last week and not being used to spikes.
Julia 10y11m 10:22 6:47 1.53 Piriformis problem seriously affected the performance.
Joseph 8y8m 9:10 6:26 1.42 Outgrew his spikes, we did not discover in time to get him the new ones, ran in Crocs which is less than ideal on grass.
Jacob 7y1m 9:26 6:55 1.36 Also ran in Crocs, his mile PR is rather weak. When he set it he was bothered by his breathing problems. With 1.40 ratio his mile should be 6:44, which he would have gotten. He did not have any breathing problems he complained about in this race.
William 4y10m 12:01 9:20 1.29 Going into the race his mile PR was 9:20, but three days later he improved it to 9:05 with the second half in 4:22. His mile times also come from the road on an out and back course I measured with a wheel which is slower than the track. Obviously at the age of 4 his performances are going to fluctuate based on his mood. On this day we caught him in a good competitive mood and it showed. Based on the 1.40 ratio his mile should be 8:35, which is actually about what I would have expected on the track and in the right set of mind.

 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00Green 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
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Julia rode her bike, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Julia rode the bike, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a 2 mile tempo run on my uphill course from the bridge to the house with Julia following me on a bike. It was getting warm. I thought it would be difficult to run much faster than 11:30. Decided to start out a little faster. Went through the first mile in 5:22 which is a slight rolling down. The last mile is a nasty rolling up. I managed to hold my own on it with 5:22 - 11:04.5 for 2 miles which is my course record.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 8.00Green 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
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 4, Julia 1, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 1. William ran a new mile PR - no hand, no stopping, loop wheel-measured course in 9:05.3. His splits were 2:23, 2:20, 2:15, 2:07. This is also our family record for the 4 year old age division. Although unmeasureable, I do believe this is also a record for me and Benjamin for getting a stubborn and temperamental child to run. Of all the children we've had William wins the prize for being difficult hands down. So far the order of contention for this questionalble prize of all the children 4 and older is William, Joseph, Benjamin, Julia, Jenny, and Jacob.

I have frequently joked that William and Joseph somehow managed to have been born into a Protestant religion, and we have to teach them that Latter-Day Saints have nothing to protest against since we are the restored church. We have the truth that came by revelation, we establish the doctrine, we do not need to protest.

I do not think I could have this alone without Benjamin's help. Now his former 4-year-old stubbornness comes handy - he is young enough to remember wanting to be difficult, but old enough to think of ways to encourage his brother to overcome it. A witness to myself, who grew up as the only child, that the best place to forge a character is the family.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.006.000.0020.00

A.M. I did 20 miles mostly alone. Kids ran by themselves with Benjamin in charge. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 1, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

I did 2x3 miles down the Provo Canyon. The first one from about 5.3 to 8.3 and the second from 11.3 to 14.3. Both on the same stretch from Nunn's park to the mouth of the canyon. The first one was 16:13.2 (5:20, 5:31, 5:22), second 16:25.9 (5:31, 5:30, 5:24). I felt there was some new strength but at the same time some remaining weakness. After my 11:04 uphill tempo on Thursday I was not expecting a such a plop off 5:20 pace in the first one. In the second, I adjusted the pace according to the knowledge of the weakness, and was able to negative split it in spite of accumulating fatigue.

Not sure where the plop is coming from. One explanation is that because I have reduced the amount of mileage at 7:30 pace and faster I might be experiencing a minor dip in aerobic fitness that is nevertheless sufficient to show at faster speeds. Another explanation is that because I have not run in that zone very much in recent months I may be reluctant to stay in it for a significant amount of time. Regardless, I will try to attack the problem from both angles before the TOU and see if I can make a dent with this micro-assault. 

P.M. We had an adventure with the rain. Our neighbor's basement got flooded and we along with other members of our ward helped clean up.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. We had our Stake Conference. After the meetings I talked with a family from Nigeria - they had five children with them. Turned out they were visiting their son who is a student at UVU. I learned from them some things about Nigeria - it was very educational. It is one thing to learn about countries from textbooks and news media, but it is a different experience when you talk to a native. I did not realize that the population of Nigeria was about half of the United States. Yet if you asked the average American to find Nigeria on the map, he probably would fail. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.590.000.510.0015.10

A.M. Total of 12.1. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 1, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Looks like our aches and pains are beginning to step away. Benjamin felt energetic enough to do an impromtu pickup for the last uphill 0.51 in 2:53. He has struggled with a sore throat for the last two weeks - he still ran a decent race on Tuesday, but he felt weak in the race and in his training runs which he had to cut. Elevated levels of mold were found in his room, sufficent for a sensitive person to experience symptoms, which could be the reason for the problem. Turned out our sprinkler was positioned right next to the foundation, and the water was leaking underneath. We have moved him out of his room as soon as we suspected the problem, but the damage was already done.

Julia also did better today - was able to run the mile in 8:16 with much less pain than before. On Friday she battled through that mile in something like 10:30 and with a lot of pain.

P.M. 3 miles with Matthew in the stroller.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 4.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.250.000.002.0012.25

A.M. Kids ran a little warm-up on their own before the cross-country meet. Benjamin did 3, Jenny 1, Joseph 1. Others rested. I did 12.25 total with 4x800 down the Provo Canyon with 800 recovery. The goal was to run around 2:30 for each. I did better than expected. 2:27.9 (73.1, 74.8), 2:26.3 (72.7, 73.6), 2:26.6 (72.7, 73.9), and 2:22.9 (72.1, 70.8). The splits reflect the nature of the course - the first quarter was a nice steady downhill with a little uphill bump at the end, while the second began with the continuation of the bump, then relatively flat 100 meters or so, then a short abrupt downhill, then more or less flat for 100 meters or so, and then 100 meters of mild uphill.

In the last one I tried to have a visual imagine of Lasse Viren's long kick, his resilience, his quiet confidence that no matter what he would win, and it did help - the legs just moved through the fatigue and I ran quite a bit better than I thought I would. The visual image is relatively easy to bring up, but it is not easy to translate it into speed - it takes some practice. That is why we do intervals and tempo runs. I do not know what went through Viren's mind when he was kicking, but I like to imagine it was the tune of Finlandia/Be Still My Soul. It very well could have been, but even if it was not, it communicates the message very well, and it is the tune I am familiar with from church. When I am able to catch the spirit of it I can find a few extra seconds per mile in me at the end of a hard workout.

P.M. Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William raced in the Kiwani's Park 3 K cross-country meet. Benjamin won overall with 10:56. He says he got confused on the course, because it was new, and added some distance. Second place, Spencer Jarvis finished in 11:38. Grant was not there. Benjamin says he was feeling weak, weaker than in the 2 K. I am not surprised - it is about time to be reaping the fruit of the reduced mileage from his sickness. Unfortunately, this race is not very indicative of how out of commission he was, so we will do a little evaluation run on Thursday to see where he is at.

Joseph had a decent race winning the 8 and under division in 13:53. This is the first time he went under 14:00 in a cross-country 3 K. Jenny was having issues with her back from bending over a lot during the cleanup on Saturday, and ran 14:34 taking 4th place in the 13-14 age division. Jacob was having issues with breathing again, but still managed 14:39 taking second in the age division after Joseph. Julia's piriformis was better, but the reduction in training affected her fitness, and she could only manage 15:09 - good enough for 3rd in the 11-12 age division. William ran a gutsy race - 3K is quite a distance for a 4-year-old - but he was not afraid to jump in and go fast, and was rewarded with a decent time - 18:40 which was good enough for 6th place in the 8 and under age division.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.490.000.510.0017.00

A.M. Total of 12.Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a pickup for 0.51 in 2:50 uphill at the end of everything.

P.M. 5 miles in 36:55 with Joseph and Jacob following me on their bikes.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.50Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.002.000.0017.00

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

Jenny did a little workout. My intuition told me she needed scheduled fast running in the middle of her regular run. She's had a rough couple of years, actually more than a couple, when she hit her growth spurt. Growth spurt is good for boys, but often wreaks havoc for girls, and it did for her. There has not been a day in the last three years when we did not have to solve some kind of a problem - chronically sore muscles, back pain, fatigue, being unusually out of breath at relatively slow speeds, quick dehydration, and others. The side effect of that is that her training has been at a very slow pace - around 8:30 - 9:00. Some of the mileage at her fitness level can be done in that zone, but not all of it. The challenge in getting her to go faster has been her perception that that pace was all she could do. So I had a thought - she needs to spice things up in the middle of her run, and had her run a quicker 0.5 mile stretch from 2 to 2.5 which is a slight downhill with nice tailwind. Even though I knew that she was capable of more, to remove the psychological pressure I told her I only expected 7:30 pace, but hoped to see something slightly quicker. I did see something quite a bit quicker - 3:17 for 0.5, or in other words 6:34 mile pace. Her cooldown after that confirmed my intuition - she was running 8:20 pace and thought she was resting.

After Benjamin's 3 K experience I wanted to know what was up with his fitness. So I had him do our 2 mile uphill course from 800 N bridge to the house. To remove unnecessary psychological pressure I did not give him any specific pace guidelines except that it had to be  faster than 6:00 which was more or less a no-brainer. I also told him that if he did not feel good we were not going to finish the interval. I let him set the pace and just followed trying to be not much of a factor. I divide the course into splits of 0.5, but they are not exact as in wheel-certified, and I know the last one is actually 0.51 from a wheel measurement. His splits were 2:51, 2:45, 2:45, and 2:52 for the uphill one that I know to be 0.51, total of 11:13.9.  He said he felt quite a bit stronger than in the 3 K, and was not sure if he felt stronger or not than in the 2 K. All in all, this is a good indication that his fitness is returning. It was also good to get a reliable fitness measure on a course I trust.

On the positive side of things for me I did not get dropped this time and ran faster (although I probably still would have been dropped had Benjamin been 100%), and actually felt much better than when we did it on Aug 22. So hopefully that means I am in better shape. We'll see in the Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Saturday and in the TOU a week later.

William started the run a little bit faster than normal, so we decided to encourage him to try to break 9:00. He had permission to spank Benjamin (I was pushing the stroller which made it diffucult to approach me), which greatly helped the cause. His first quarter was 2:20, then 2:18, 2:09 and 2:05 - 8:52.9. Again, the same wheeled out-and-back course, no hand holding. So William is now a sub-9:00 miler - first time we've had a kid that went sub-9:00 before turning 5. Now we can say that in our family if you cannot break 9:00 in the mile we make you wear a diaper - the only people that have not done it yet are Stephen (age 3) and Matthew (8.5 months).

Now I suppose the "wear a diaper if you are not sub-9:00" is not that big of a deal if mom and dad are reasonably fit, you have a kid or two that are little, or if they are spread enough apart that they are either wearing diapers or are old enough that sub-9:00 is no big deal for them. But for a family with 8 kids with the oldest being 14 I imagine that is rare.

P.M. 5 miles.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 17.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Joseph and Jacob did a mile time trial on the track. Both got a PR.

Joseph ran 6:22.0 - PR by 4 seconds. His lap splits were 93, 96, 95, 95 with the balance going to rounding error and the extra 9.34 meters that separate the real mile from the four laps around the 400 meter track.  I explained to him that the most important lap was the third, and the second most important was the second. He got that about the third, but was a little fuzzy about the second. He also had a hard time kicking. That concerns me a little - I noticed he does not eat quite as much as I would expect him to, has not yet broken 18 in 100 even though his longer distance performances suggest he should be able to, and has always been relatively small for his age. I am going to see if there is something we can do to boost his appetite. It might be as simple as feeding him the foods that he more easily digests.

Jacob ran 6:46.3 - PR by 9 seconds. I knew he would likely struggle with asthma so we paced it accordingly. First lap a little faster to build a cushion. Then easier on the second two laps when the attack comes while the muscles do rest some. Hopefully by then the attack subsides, and he can kick. It worked out as planned. The splits were 1:35, 1:45, 1:44, 1:39 with the balance goings to the mile tax commission. The attack did come. He ran 7:00 pace through it. It eventually subsided some and he was able to kick with fresher legs. His last 100 was 23, same as Joseph's.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 1.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Race: Big Cottonwood Half (13.109 Miles) 01:08:59, Place overall: 3, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
2.8913.110.000.0016.00

Big Cottonwood Half, 1:08:59, serious downhill course, hopefully this is a decent performance, 3rd overall, 1st master, $50 for overall, not sure if they have master money.

Details:

The race earns my award for bathroom availability. There were no major waits which is remarkable for a race this size. A little unglorified detail that nevertheless if neglected can turn things ugly.

As I mentioned the race is a major downhill - 2800 feet of total drop with hardly any uphill - only a few minor bumps in the last 3 miles. From the start I tried to run with Jon Kotter and Bret Hales, but after about a mile felt that the pace was too fast, and eased off. I quickly got passed by Zach Marx - a visiting runner from Colorado. I did not like that - overall money went three deep, and there was no master's money as far as I could tell from the website. I still care about that - being able to win prize money is a symbol of status even if I do not depend on it to pay the bills. You do not have to race a young hungry and broke recent college graduate for a trophy, but he will be there to race you for cash.

I observed no mile markers until mile three. At mile three my split was 16:02. I was not happy about that - I hoped it would be at least 15:30 with a grade like that. But at the same time I was not sure if it was accurate - there were no painted marks on the road, just a sing that is easy to move or misplace. Painted marks can usually be trusted - somebody likely painted them right when they were measuring the course as opposed to trying to remember where to place them the night before the race in the absolute and complete darkness of the canyon.

Somewhere around the third mile I heard steps behind me. I did not like that either. Fortunately I got into a rhythm and then those steps started to quiet down. With the steeper grade I started seeing 4:45 splits based on the marathon marks and the highway mile posts. I also observed that Zach was not building a gap on me anymore. That was the positive. The negative was that in spite of scoring four stars prior to the race the earily hour and the bowel bouncing of the decent created the need for another star, except this one, according to Paul's categorization, is a negative if it happens during the race.

I noticed the gap with Zach actually started to close. First 26 seconds, then 24, then 11. Around mile 7 or so Chad showed up and joined me. He was able to keep up for about a mile which we did in 5:03 according to the marathon marks. Then he had to drop back. I figured it was a good sign. Chad according to my calculations would stick around at 5:30 pace down the Provo Canyon for more than a mile on a bad day. So that means we were probably doing something that was faster than 5:30 Provo Canyon equivalent.

Around mile 9 I caught up to and passed Zach. He did not offer much resistance. Later I learned that he was suffering from an upset stomach. Now that I was in the money position my spirits were lifted and I decided to try hard to retain it. The official 10 mile split was 51:13. We got out of the canyon and were on the trail which was not as steep anymore, but still going down. I got to 11 mile marker in 56:47 (5:34). Then I heard steps. I did not like it. I was tired. I did not have the energy to fight for my position. But I told myself - fight until the 60 minute mark. So I hit the gas and pretty much went into a long kick mode banking on psychology. For me and for Zach. For me - after 60 minutes I can tell myself there are only maybe 8-9 more minutes of pain left. For Zach - I knew there was a reason I was able to catch him earlier, and that he was not able to hang with me, and that it must have cost him something to get into the audible range now. He must be near his limit. If I could only hang on for long enough he might break for good. Amazing how mean runners can get in a race to each other.

Mile marker 12 - 1:02:25 (5:37). What happened to Zach? I went around a few corners and did not see him at all. I passed a few spectators and heard cheers for myself but not for him. Maybe he took a wrong turn? In any case, got to keep running scared just in case. You never know what kind of action might be developing behind you.

Mile marker 13 - 1:08:14 (5:49). After that kicking hard to be under 1:09. Made the turn onto the finishing stretch and realized that my suspicions were correct - it was more than 0.109 from mile marker 13 to the finish. Dipped barely under 1:09 covering that stretch in 45 seconds and headed straight for the bathroom.

Afterwards cooled down with Chad for 0.5 miles.

Brett Hales won with 1:05:06, Jon Kotter was second with 1:05:47. Zach was 4th with 1:10:29 - he did not take a wrong turn after all, his stomach cramped up a lot.

...

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments(10)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green 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
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran 11 miles total. Benjamin did 4, Jenny and Julia 1, Joseph and Jacob 1 - cross country meet in the evening. Legs did not feel any huge effects from the half-marathon, but some problems showed in the workout, not sure if they were related. I did a 2 mile tempo run down the Provo Canyon. First mile was 5:15 and I felt reasonable enough to think the next will be at least 5:17. But I struggled in the second half and 5:22 was all I had and with a lot of effort. So 10:37.5 for the 2 miles.

I am wondering if when the muscle repairs power returns before the endurance. I have seen similar patterns before recovering after muscle breakdown where the speed was back immediately, but the endurance took some time to return. That goes along with the idea that an untrained muscle has a lot more power relative to endurance. So you would think that when a broken muscle fiber is repaired for a brief period of time it will behave like an untrained muscle.

P.M. Kids ran in the Kiwani's Park cross country meet. The distance was 1 K. Benjamin won overall with 3:06, Jenny was 6th in 13-14 with 4:14,  Julia was 2nd in 11-12 with 4:32, Joseph won the 8 and under in 4:10, Jacob was 2nd in 8 and under with 4:34, and William was 6th in 8 and under with 6:00.

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
8.000.000.000.008.00

A.M. 8 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.500.500.000.006.00

A.M. 6 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin and I did 4x200 in the canyon with 400 recovery on a stretch that actually appeared flat, but had good tailwind. My splits were 32.2, 30.5, 30.4, 30.9. Benjamin got 32.2, 29.8, 29.4, 29.6. I think we are ready to move to 300. Well, he is, but I'll join him and do the best I can to help.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

A.M. 6 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2.5, William 1.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Race: Top of Utah Marathon (26.219 Miles) 02:41:32, Place overall: 6, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.8026.220.000.0027.02

A.M. Top of Utah Marathon - 2:41:32, 6th place, 1st master, this was my slowest time out of the 15 that I've run it, but it was good enough for the masters course record. $500 cash prize - this is Cache (Cash) Valley indeed. 

Now details. Stayed with Steve Anderson. Placed the bottles of EmergenC mixed with dextrose on the course at miles 7, 14, 17 and 21 the night before. Then went to pick up the bib and they told me they were doing bottle service for elite runners this year. Will know better next year.

My goal was to get the master's course record of 2:42:10. It appeared maybe that the goal was too easy, but I knew it was not a given. Lately I have not been as fit for a number of reasons that I am still trying to sort out. The possibilities are the lack of fast running volume with too many miles at 8:30 pace and not enough at 6:00 or faster, or just plain getting old. During the race I knew after 3 miles that the goal would not come easy.

Mile by mile:

1 - 5:43 - felt good

2 - 5:49 (11:32) - felt harder, cause for concern

3 - 5:43 (17:15) - maybe I can get into good rhythm

4 - 5:48 (23:02) - not much of a rhythm

5 - 5:52 (28:54) - trouble ahead

6 - 5:56 (34:50)- yes indeed trouble ahead

7 - 6:05 (40:55) - got the bottle

8 - 5:55 (46:50) - actually was quite happy with the mile since I held the bottle and took sips out of it the entire time

9 - 5:58 (52:48) - still holding the bottle, drinking it slowly. Figuring it is better to run 5 seconds per mile slower now that I want to than lose 10 seconds or more per mile after 20 due to dehydration or low fuel. Learning something about fluid absorption. A little sip goes in well, the next one right after does not go. However, a minute later it goes in just fine. I think that is worth the inconvenience of having to carry the bottle for a couple of miles. With practice in training, maybe, I can learn to lose only 3 seconds per mile instead of 5, and maybe absorb better.

10 - 5:58 (58:46) - Still holding the bottle. The race is not going great, but at least I am running sub-6:00. Let's focus on the positive.

11 - 5:54 (1:04:40) - somewhere around here I decided to drop the bottle. I actually liked running with it - it kept my mind off the fact that I had a long slog ahead of me

12 - 6:06 (1:10:46) - very quick VPB

13 - 5:54 (1:16:40) - still sub-6:00

Half in 1:17:17. Realizing that there is a very good chance that my modest goal of the master's course record may not happen.

14 - 5:52 (1:22:32) - that is the time to get to 15 by, not 14! And 5:52 for that mile is not a good sign at all. But at least I am still at sub-6:00 average, and actually not feeling too terrible - just cannot go fast.

15 - 6:03 (1:28:35) - two events during this mile - grabbed my bottle, and got passed by John Heslop.  Could not latch on, not even a chance, he was actually running.

16 - 6:07 (1:34:42) - not super happy with this, but I have to take what I can get. I am actually not feeling bad, just cannot run fast. Maybe a 17-year-old spirit takes some time to adjust to a 40-year-old body and learn how to drive it? Wasn't there a movie about a mother and daughter switching places?

17 - 6:16 (1:40:58) - can I get to 20 miles under 2:01? If yes, I'll have a shot at the master's record unless I get passed by some mystery master, of course, which can very well happen at this pace. Got the bottle.

18 - 6:22 (1:46:20) - I do not really want to finish the race. But I have to find my way to the finish - with this traffic it would be faster to run than to get a ride. I do not want to run more marathons. I think I've run enough. OK, you are the first master, and you can still get the master's record. There is prize money on the line. Maybe even a course record bonus. But who cares? I do not care about prize money that much anymore, I get enough from my job. I do not care about the course record. Wait, remember what you told the first-time marathoners that you rode with on the bus? "You must have a plan when you get to mile 18. It must be a realistic plan. Speeding up at 18 is a plan that is incomplete. You must plan for disaster. You must plan for getting to mile 18 and not wanting to run anymore. Think of yourself as a soldier that has been captured by an enemy and is being injected drugs to reduce his will power and make him talk. You must make your decisions before you get there, and you must be loyal to those decisions." I remembered that my decision was to keep running at the fastest pace I could manage regardless of how I felt. I also did not want to come home and tell my children that I was headed to win some money but I dropped out of the race because I just did not want to run anymore. So I just kept running.

19 - 6:38 (1:53:58) - this mile actually cheered me up. It was uphill and faster than 7:00. Yes, I remember in 2003 I ran it in something like 5:54. But today was a different day. 6:38 contained a promise of a sub-2:42, and that made it worth running the rest of the race for me.

20 - 6:43 (2:00:39) - I was quite thrilled to be under 2:01 at 20 miles. Now just another 10 K in 41 minutes and I've got my goal. But if it is 42 I do not get it. That is discouraging. 42 minute 10 K is sub-7:00 and I am not sure if I can go signficantly sub-7:00 for the rest of the race. But I just managed a 6:43 uphill, and the next mile is downhill.

21 - 6:27 (2:07:06) - grabbed the bottle during this mile and never parted with it until maybe half a mile to go. For almost 5 miles after this I found solace in the bottle and drank my troubles away. 

22 - 6:42 (2:13:48) - that plus 7x4 gives me 2:41:48 at 26 so around 2:43:00 finish, which would not make me too happy. So I'd better run quite a bit faster than 7:00.

23 -  do not remember the split. James Moore joined me during this mile and it was a huge help mentally to have someone by my side.

24 -  13:25 for 2 miles (2:27:13) . I added 14 minutes and got 2:41:13. That cheered me up. This means about 2:42:30 for the whole thing, and by now I knew that I could find the strength to put a 20 second gap on the 7:00 pace over the last two miles, and then just sprint with all I've got and dip a little under the record. I got passed by Jason Howe which was actually good because I know had a visual target in front of me. I could imagine that he was coming back to me even though quite opposite was true, but it did not matter - any mental or visual trick at this point is good as long as it makes you run faster.

25 - 6:39 (2:33:52). I should be at the finish already. Back in 2003 I would have been at the finish a mile ago. Oh, well, at least now the record is quite tangible althought still not 100% certain. The last mile was uphill. I rarely run mile 26 slower than I do mile 25 even on equal terrain, and here I have downhill helping me.

26 - 6:22 (2:40:14). Gave it everything I had. It was not much, but enough to seal the record.

The longest 385 yards of the day - 1:18 - 5:56 pace - 2:41:32. With spectators cheering, and knowing that when I crossed the line I had the right to collapse and lay there until somebody came to carry me, the right that I should not abuse, but the thought of that privilege can release some speed, I went as fast as I could.

...

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 27.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments(11)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Joseph gave a talk. It was not written out. His assigned topic was service. I suggested he should read Matthew 25:32-40 and then talk about it. Sarah was concerned. The primary presidency told her there was nothing to worry about - kids have said some funny things over the history of primary, and they even had a list. She looked at it and saw that the first entry was connected to Joseph. His talk went fine, though.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.801.200.000.008.00

A.M. Total of 8 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia 3, William 1. William ran a mile PR of 8:50.3 improving by 2 seconds on the same course. His splits were 2:15, 2:18, 2:09, and 2:08. He got excited about going for the record when I told him that his split at the quarter was fast enough to get it. But about 900 into the run he said he did not want the record anymore. That is exactly how I felt at mile 18 on Saturday. I told him he's gone way too far and worked way too hard to just give up and miss the record now. He rebooted his 4-year-old mind, sped up, and got the record.

Analysing my performance on Saturday I realized that there may have been three factors involved:

  • Aging
  • Lack of training at fast paces
  • Fallout from Big Cottonwood half a week earlier

While aging is going to become more and more of a factor in the next few years it does me no good to use it as an excuse, although there may be some things I can do that I have not done already to forestall it. It would do me no good to blame the sub-par performance on the prior half-marathon - not much to do about it except not do it next year. However, lack of fast pace training can be fixed. I made a mid-year resolution to make sure that I always run at least 20 miles a week at paces 6:00 per mile and faster and figured out how I can do it while running with the kids. There is a 500 meter stretch where I can do pickups.

So I followed that resolution today and got about 1.2 miles at around 5:50 - 6:00 pace. Legs felt the impact of the marathon, but could move enough to do the pace without major pain.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.002.000.0010.00

A.M. Did 10 total. Did a workout - 2 mile tempo run down the canyon. Was expecting 11:00, maybe 10:50 at the best due to post marathon fatigue. Ran 10:38.8 with the splits of 5:20,5:18. Felt more endurance than last Tuesday and ran almost the same time without trying as hard. Go figure. 

Benjamin did 4 in ancipation of the cross-country meet. Joseph did 1, Julia 1, and Jenny 1. William ran 1 mile as well since he was not going to race - 4 K is too long for him.

Paced Sarah through a mile time trial on the track. She ran 7:42.7 with the splits of 1:49, 1:59, 2:00, and 1:51. The balance went towards the 9.34 meter tax. Her PR is 6:52 but it is 11 years and 6 kids old. The time today is the fastest she's run the mile in the last 4 years or so. I think we can get 6:52, though - she's been improving by leaps and bounds. The difference this time is that she has been serious about keeping her training pace faster than 10:00 per mile.

P.M. Cross-country meet. 4 K. For some odd reason the times were slow today. Benjamin won with 15:03 by 10 seconds over Grant. He said he was struggling today - did not drop Grant until the last 1000 unlike in the 1 K and 2 K. Mid-race he felt he did not have the strength. However, when he did it was very decisive. Maybe it was all mental after all.

Joseph ran 20:14, Jacob 21:29, Julia 21:49. Jenny had issues with her foot and wobbled through it in 23:30. I am suspecting that either the course was short last year, or long this year, or perhaps there was some weirdness this year like taller grass. I can understand one kid underperforming, but not a whole bunch when they finish in more or less their usual order with more or less usual gaps.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.001.250.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 4x500 pickups at 5:35 pace.

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
8.000.003.250.7512.00

A.M. Did a workout with Benjamin. 4x300 with 600 recovery jog in the canyon on a downwind but relaatively flat stretch. The target was 48. I got 50.7, 48.5, 47.8, and 48.2. Benjamin got 50.7, 48.2, 46.9, and 45.7.

Then we did a quick tempo pickup at the end, and later on I did a 3 mile tempo on my nasty out-and-back course in 17:38.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, 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
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.900.001.100.0012.00

Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin and I did a pickup at 6:00 pace down the canyon for 1.1. I was pushing the stroller.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00Green 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
10.002.004.000.0016.00

A.M. Total of 16. Started by running with William. He set a new mile record of 8:42.7 on his out and back course. His splits were 2:14, 2:16, 2:13, 1:59. Last quarter was actually a PR for the quarter. This was the family record in the 4 and under division. For this effort he earned a new bike. His form is starting to look better. A year ago he looked like a kid. Now he is beginning to look more like an elite runner.

It is probably too early to tell for sure but it seems like the running talent in our boys has been in the inverse birth order so far. Joseph showing more talent than Benjamin, Jacob more than Joseph, and William more than Jacob. Jeff McClellan once offered a hypothesis that this may have to do with Sarah getting more running experience behind her belt over the course of the years. Another theory says that younger children tend to develop more talent because they are constantly chasing their older siblings. Well, if the pattern continues our little Matthew (nicknamed Mo-Mo) might live up to his nickname and be the next Mo Farah.

Benjamin, even though supposedly being the least talented, showed some teeth today. We did a 4 mile tempo run down the canyon. The target was 5:45. We started out at 5:36 pace, I asked Benjamin if he was OK with it, he said no problem. We ran the splits of 5:34, 5:32, 5:33, and 5:16 - total time 21:55. With 1000 to go Benjamin saw that a pace a little under 5:20 would catch the 5:30 guy and went for it making me suffer and wanting to plead for mercy as we ran the last 1000 in 3:13. I was thankful that I was able to survive that. I figured if he ran the UVM half today it would have been around 1:13.

Benjamin did 8.25, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a pickup at the end of 16 down the canyon for 2 miles in 11:43. This gives me around 15.4 miles for this week at 6:00 pace or faster. Short of the goal of 20, but given this was on the week immediately after the marathon this was just perfect, I think.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Learned about the LDS pioneer trek through Wyoming. I finally figured out why they had to go so far north to get to Utah - there was no other way in that was better. This helps me appreciate just how much work they had to do to build I-80 and I-70. Talked to the old timers in our ward that still remember when I-15 did not exist. Now we drive those roads, and take them for granted complaining when we have to slow down to 55 in a traffic jam or when there is construction.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Ran 12 miles total. Did pickups of 0.5 and 1.5 at around 5:45 pace. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

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
249.2243.0326.124.00322.37
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 314.35Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 58.50
Night Sleep Time: 207.00Nap Time: 12.50Total Sleep Time: 219.50
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