Breaking the Wall

St. George Marathon

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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: 99.20 Year: 3454.88
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 987.95
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
214.7148.2323.502.11288.55
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.250.003.001.2511.50

Ran the standard tempo 3 miler down the Provo Canyon in 15:35. Mile splits - 5:10 - 5:16 - 5:09. On the positive side, no quarters slower than 1:19, and all 1:19 quarters felt fairly comfortable. On the negative side, 1:18 quarters felt a lot more painful, and the last one in 1:15 did not feel good at all. This predicts about 2:25-2:26 in St. George given good conditions, but I have another week to get my spine into a better shape, which in theory could happen any day. So there is still some hope for a qualifier (2:22:00) in St. George, but if not, the spine will get beat into good shape eventually, I hope, and then the Trials qualifier would not have to be done in St. George. I hope to see the real Sasha come out of hiding in some near future day.

Afterwards, 5x400 down with 200 recovery. 69.3 - 71.2 - 69.4 - 68.9 - 67.5. I knew there was something up with the second one, as it felt too aerobic. Sure enough, the clock testified that it was not because I gained fitness. On the last two, I focused on bringing my hips forwards to avoid the bucket sitting, and my lower back somewhat cooperated. I felt the best on the last one, not counting the 71.2, where my mind was still half way into the tempo run.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Also took Benjamin to the track to check his sprint speed. 19.4 in 100 meters, same as before.

We got an offer on our house tonight, and we accepted. Now we will move on to make an offer on the house we like near the Provo River Trail.

Bench press in the evening - 3x[5x105lb].

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.001.000.000.008.00

Got up at 4:45 am to run with Ted. 4.5 hours of sleep. Last night the offer and our acceptance of it brought way too much excitement into the house. Need to make up on sleep in the upcoming days.

Ran easy sleepy pace for 4 miles. Then decided to chase the 7:30 mile guy. He had only 2 miles to go and we were 1:05 behind. Sped up to 7:00 pace. Then I remembered that I was supposed to run a tempo mile at marathon race pace. That helped with the chase. We ran the mile in 5:40 and finished in 43:47, leaving the 7:30 guy in the dust. He said it was not fair that we went by him so fast, and built such a huge lead in a little over half a mile.

The start felt hard, but then it felt easier and easier as we went on. The whole mile was done at an even pace.

Got a training toy/tool from Wasatch Running using my in-store credit - Garmin 305. Learning to use it.

Ran with the kids. Benjamin pushed my heart rate to 145 as sped up to 6:40 pace, and I was pushing Jenny and Joseph in the stroller.

The blog has picked up some traffic thanks to the increased number of bloggers. We are having days with 1300-1400 page impressions a day. The advertising revenues are going up - still not much to pay me a salary to work on the blog full time ($2-$3 a day), but better than before, and it does add up.

Got some good ideas from Chad and Zack Case on improvements to the blog. My next project is to implement the race reports feature - you will be able to mark an entry as a race report, and it will be published in a special section.

In the mean time - if you want to help the site get more traffic - some ideas - include your blog web address in your e-mail signature, be more prolific in your entries as the time allows, mention people and places by name as much as you can and as is appropriate (this will give us more hits from Google searches), and invite your running partners to blog along with you if they are not doing it already. Soon enough you might end up with a free full-time coach/blog programmer, and maybe even more than one. Our revenues per page will increase dramatically once we hit 1 million a month. Right now we are headed for about 30,000-35,000 a month.

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Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.001.000.000.006.00

Ran with the kids in the afternoon, and the some more afterwards near my house. Tapering for St. George. Tried out The Toy (Garmin 305). Very accurate. At least when properly charged - compared it against my "holy" marks, and it is right on. It showed 2.12 instead of 2.11 for the Slate Canyon Loop, but that course is very bad for a GPS with the hills.

Ran a tempo mile in 5:40 again. Felt good, very relaxed. HR hovered around 147 for most of it, got up to 153 when I pushed it a bit and was probably going around 5:35.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.001.000.000.006.00

Set my alarm clock way to 4:45 on accident. It went off, and surprisingly I could not go back to sleep. So I got up, read the scriptures, did the Pettibon exercises, and then added a new feature to the blog. You can now mark an entry as a race report, and enter some race parameters in separate fields. Will work on making the race report listing next. In the mean time, you can start marking your entries in the past as race reports and filling in the details.

Also, did some infrastructure changes to make it easier to separate the application logic from the HTML (installed and configured the Smarty template engine). Wow, we are getting fancy.

Afterwards, went for an easy run. Warmed up, then ran a tempo mile in 5:37. The Toy (aka Garmin 305) was off by a second, and said it was 5:36. I had it on auto-lap every quarter, and it was getting them very accurately being almost in perfect agreement with my wheel measurements. Very impressive. I think I'll keep that setting in St. George - I would love to get my quarter splits in a marathon.

The Toy showed HR of 153-155 with the max of 158. I am very impressed with the HR reliability of The Toy so far - no bad readings yet. It was warmer today when I ran. Yesterday it rained. I felt very good on the tempo mile.

Ran with Julia in the afternoon, and with the rest of the kids, including our neighbor kids Abby and Hannah in the evening. It rained pretty hard, and I got thoroughly wet. But it was a warm rain, and it felt more like a nice shower.

Got our third donation to the Fast Running Blog fund from PayPal. So far two unnamed donors (in case they want to remain anonymous - do you guys want to be named on the donor page?), and three donations totalling $40. Wow, we are growing. I have restructured my business a bit to be able to have more time to develop FBR, so hopefully we will see more features this month.

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Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.251.000.000.005.25

Easy run this morning. Ran a tempo mile in 5:43. Also ran with the kids, then drove to St. George. The pace was 0:51 per mile, while the heart rate stayed around 65. Not bad.

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Comments(1)
Race: St. George Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:25:32, Place overall: 8, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
2.0026.220.000.0028.22

St. George Marathon - quick update. 2:25:32, 8th place. First half 1:12:40, second 1:12:52. James Lander won with 2:18:24. Steve Frisone second in 2:21:56.

More to follow later.

Now the details. Stayed overnight at Dustin's in-laws cabin in Pine Valley with Dustin, Bill (Wild Bull), and Steve Hooper. Got to the start, warmed up. Lined up at the start.

Wore the Training Toy (Garmin 305) with HRM. Auto-split every quarter. As I predicted, the field was full trouble. Soon a pack of 5 formed - James Lander (2:21:06 PR in Chicago 2005 until today), Steve Frisone (2:24:31 St. George 2004), Dave Danly (debut, 29 minute 10 K runner), and Keven Stover (2:24:32 Austin 2006). We hit a couple of miles a bit under 5:30, and then as we started going downhill the pace picked up to about 5:15. 5 miles in 26:53. The pace felt comfortable, HR was around 153. Approaching Veyo the grade got a bit steeper with the miles in 5:09 and 5:14. 7 miles in 37:16.

Now the fun part starts. Next quarter in 1:19, still down. Then 1:24 slightly up, HR climbs to 159. 1:28 even more up, HR at 163. Dave Danly pushed a bit, and I went with him knowing I needed a bit of a buffer from the other runners as we approached the section with the 7% grade climb. Although my legs are strong, biomechanically I have a disadvantage relative to other runners as the grade gets steeper, while at the same time I approach a more normal running form on a steep downhill grade while other runners start suffering from the pounding.

Now I am feeling strained. HR hits 166. Working too hard. I eased off. Next quarter in 1:46 which gives me 5:57 for the Veyo mile. James and Steve went by, and I did not feel like I could latch on.

Next quarter in 1:39 with HR of 165. We are still not out of the woods. One more in 1:29 HR dropping to 162, now a litte better.

Kevin caught me, and I latched on right behind him. Next mile in 5:48. 10 miles in 54:47 (5:42), not bad for the climb, HR staying around 160, Kevin is pulling me. Another mile in 5:56, followed by 5:36, now the grade eased off. HR dropping to 156. Next mile in 5:26, to get 1:11:45 at 13, HR hovering between 153 and 156. I believe the half mark was in the wrong place. The Toy always beeped no more than 5 seconds away from any mile marker, so I am fairly confident about my 13 mile split. Yet at the half mark the clock said 1:12:40, while it should have been more like 1:12:20-1:12:25. Come to think of it, I actually remember the last year having the same problem - took way too long to get to the half mark from 13 miles.

Next mile in 5:26 going slightly down. And now we are headed for fun. The Snow Canyon downhill dash/ if you havent' practiced downhill running quad bash. Next mile in 5:11 (1:22:22 at 15). HR stays around 154.

Now Charles Wallace has caught us. I latched on behind him and pulled away from Kevin. However, towards the end of the downhill, I was a bit low on fuel, and backed off the pace. Kevin passed me.

As hard as I tried to avoid the bathroom problem, here it comes - all the downhill running shook things up. So I made a very efficient stop hitting a 1:27 quarter without stopping my watch.

Mike Vick passed me as if I were standing. He was having a great race. There goes the prize for first from the Utah County, if they are giving one this year. I still have not gotten mine from the last year, and heard no announcements that they were planning to continue the tradition.

Handled the climb between 18 an 19 OK with the slowest quarter in 1:31, HR at 156. Too low for the climb, shows that I am a bit out of fuel, but not too bad. 19th mile in 5:57, 1:50:25 according to the Toy, and 1:50:29 officially at 20 miles, the 20th mile in 5:31, HR at 152.

PR is still possible, but difficult. I'll need to run a low 34 minute last 10 K.

Next mile in 5:23, downhill. Neal Gassman passed me, and he was doing great. From 21 to 22 in 5:44, mostly down, but about a quarter of up, which made it slow. 23rd mile in 5:30, down, not too bad, HR at 153.

Next mile in 5:37. It was mostly down, but caught a flat portion as we turned the corner on the Diagonal. Next mile in 5:46, a slight down with about a quarter of up. A few turns. I do not like the change in the course. The old way you went down all the way and it did not break your rhythm. Then it was flat for the last mile, which you could also run with good rhythm. Now the turns and the changes in the terrain make you shift gears at the point in the race where you really are not fit to do it.

5:56 from 25 to 26, essentially flat, a couple of turns. 1:15 from 26 to the finish. 2:25:32, 8th place, missed PR by 45 seconds, but happy with the performance. 5th marathon of the year with the slowest 2:35:20 as a training run.

James Lander 2:18:25, Steve Frisone 2:21:55 (congratulations on qualifying), Dave Danly 2:22:04 (good work for a debut, but it sure hurts watching the clock tick for the last 4 seconds), Mike Vick 2:23:24 (exceptional debut), Charles Wallace 2:23:54 (congrats on a PR), Neal Gassman 2:24:01 (what a breakthrough, but it is about time), Kevin Stover 2:24:08 (good effort).

Congratulations to Randy McDermott (2:28:55), Dave Weiler (2:28:59), Clyde (2:36:12), Chad (2:37:52), Jed Burton (2:38:02), Bill Cobler (2:38:32), Dustin (2:46:13), Andy (3:06:00), Steve Hillam (3:10:23, BQ) and Kerry (3:31:49 BQ) on setting their PRs.

Ran with the kids in the evening, over 28 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(11)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.251.500.000.0012.75

Ran on the Provo River Trail. Took our car (Ford Escort Wagon 93 nicknamed Zhu) to Jiffy Lube over by Deseret Industries in Provo, and ran 5 miles out from their towards the Utah Lake and back. Had The Toy (Garmin 305) with me. Started out at 7:00 pace, then sped up to 6:50, then to 6:40. Ran the first 5 miles in 34:20. HR was a bit high, probably due to some residual stiffness from the marathon, which made the economy worse - 130 at 7:00 pace, 133 at 6:50, 135-138 at 6:40. But I felt good nevertheless.

On the way back, decided to run a tempo mile, the last mile of my standard 5 mile tempo, which rolls a bit and gains 25 feet. Got 5:41 with the HR climbing to 159 at the end as I sped up to 5:36 pace. This put me within about 15 seconds of the imaginary 6:40 guy, and I just could not resist the temptation. So I coasted at about 6:40 pace until the last mile, and then gradually sped up to a sub-6:00 paace and went past him with vengence. Total time was 1:06:24, last quarter in 1:28, and HR on the last quarter at 1:50.

Came home and ran with the kids. Benjamin ran ahead while I ran with Jenny and Hannah. He looked great from a distance loping along very relaxed at 8:45 pace.

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Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

Ran 8 miles with Ted early in the morning. After the first 4 miles, 57 seconds behind the 7:00 mile guy. Then we gave him a chase, caught him, then picked up to 6:12 pace on the last 0.75 to rub it it finishing in 55:27. HR at all speeds was just right - 127 at 7:00 pace, 130 at 6:40, and 140 at 6:12. Legs are feeling a little bit stiff but otherwise, aside from the memory of doing it, I cannot tell I ran a marathon on Saturday. No unusual stiffness during the massage at Dr. Jex's office. Muscles were a lot more intact after St. George as well as after the Top of Utah than they were after the Alta Perivian 8 K.

Ran a total of 2 miles in the evening with the kids, total of 10 for the day.

Also lifted weights - bench 3x[5x105lb].

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.360.750.000.0010.11

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Then ran with Ted in the evening from the Kiwani's park to the Provo River Trail, then on the trail towards the Utah Lake until we reached the 4 mile mark, and then back. Did some running while waiting for Ted - 0.4 miles. Including my warm-up, we hit 5 miles in 34:00. Then at 7 miles I saw that the 6:40 guy was only 32 seconds ahead and suggested we catch him. Ted was not super-excited about the idea - he had already 4 miles at sub 6:40 pace earlier in the morning, and he is still getting used to the mileage. But in any case, with 3 quarters in 1:30 (flat), 1:27 (slight down), and 1:28 we got him hitting 53:16 for 8 miles. A little bit more to the car - 8.36 miles in 55:27. Avg. HR 131, max 158 (when doing 1:28 quarter uphill, about 1% grade). HR overall was correct at all paces during the run.

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Comments(8)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.303.400.000.0010.70

Ran very early in the morning with the BYU ROTC Army cadets training for the Ranger Challenge. They were doing a fartlek with the fast pace being a bit faster than 6:00 pace. It was fairly cold, so my HR on those hovered between 135 and 140. That is about 5-10 bpm lower than normal. The Toy (Garmin 305) gave me splits every quarter, and auto-magically turned on the light for me to see it. It was very nice to get those splits in the dark with no fuss.

The lighting during the early hour provided very long shadows to look at, which is great for discovering hidden problems in the form. I observed my form, and compared it do that of Ted and the two faster cadets in our pace group. The cadets looked great. Ted looked better than me but not as good as the cadets. I am still sitting on a bucket. But the cardio endurance, muscle strength, and good glycogen storage saves me against the average Joe with good form. However, if the Joe's last name is Wilson, I am in big trouble unless it is the marathon and he has not been training well.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Benjamin pushed a stroller with Jacob and quite easily covered the mile in 9:50 with the last 100 in 28. This was the first time he was able to push another kid in a stroller at a decent pace for the whole mile. Afterwards, he ran a fast 0.5 in 3:37.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.602.000.000.0011.60

Ran with the kids in the afternoon before going to see Dr. Jex. Then on the way back Sarah dropped me off at the press building by the mouth of the Provo Canyon and I headed back on the trail home taking a long route.

After about 2 miles ran into Mike West. We ran together further on the trail all the way to west Provo, past the house we are buying, then got to 300 N and University intersection, and then went our separate ways. That was a bit after the 7 mile mark. I noticed I was 1:20 behind the 6:40 guy. So I decided to chase him. I knew would have to push it, as it is uphill from their to our house. First quarter was 1:32, including the easy pace for the small part of it. After that, I was hitting between 1:25 and 1:27 while it was flat or 0.5% uphill with the HR of 150. Then the grade got steeper (probably 1%), and I hit a couple of 1:29 quarters with the HR of 158-160. Last quarter (2.3% grade) in 1:31. Blew past the 6:40 with vengenance and told him he was making me work. HR climbed to 163. 59:46 for 9 miles, last 2 miles in 11:46, but I was home yet, another 0.05 to go, 1:00:05 for 9.05.

Then Abby came by and wanted to run. She missed her run earlier in the afternoon. I took her and also pushed Julia and Joseph in the stroller for another easy mile.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.501.503.500.0011.50

Decided to test The Toy(Garmin 305) in the Provo Canyon. Ran from the Canyon View Park to Vivian and back. First 5 miles easy, about 7:00 pace, HR hovering around 130 due to the 1-1.5% grade. The Toy agreed with the Hawk's Holy Marks perfectly. The fun started when the marks ended. When I went under the bridge by the Nunns park, The Toy reported a 1:36 quarter, with no perceivable increase in the effort, or HR. Otherwise, the remaining quarters made perfect sense. Got to 5.00 reading on the Toy at 35:10, turned around, and started a tempo on the way back. The goal was to push HR past 155.

It took a while. Mile splits were 5:49 - 5:32 - 5:31 - 5:25 - 5:27. I had to run 0.04 past the car to hit 10.00 on The Toy. HR hovered at 152 until I started running 5:25 pace. Then it went up to 157. This is down 1-1.5% grade, with the grade being steeper in the earlier miles. The Toy handled the bridge a lot better the second time around - no weird quarters at all.

In the afternoon ran with the kids.

As you may have noticed, I coded up the bare bones of the race reports. It uses my new paging code and Smarty templates. I will soon be converting the blog viewer to use this code to - it is about time, we have 49 public blogs.

I also set up an affiliate with Amazon, and added some code to detect product references in the blog comments and auto-magically hyperlink them to the appropriate product page at Amazon. So far, my product table has only Garmin 305. I will be expanding it gradually. E-mail me, or post in the comments your favorite products to be included in the database.

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Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.004.500.0012.50

Ran in the Provo Canyon. Forgot The Toy (Garmin 305). Warmed up from the Canyon View Park to the Nunns Park, then ran the standard 3 mile tempo downhill in 16:11. Mile splits - 5:25 - 5:22 - 5:24. There was a small headwind, and it was raining.

I also felt the lack of sleep. Jacob and Sarah somehow got stung by a wasp. The commotion woke me up at 4:40 am, and I did not feel like going back to bed especially since I did have a lot of things to do. So by 11 am I felt more like a nap than a tempo run, but more like a tempo run than just an easy run, or I would have taken a nap during the run otherwise. I wish I had brought The Toy to measure the heart rate. Based on the breathing, I think I had a hard time getting the heart to work. I would periodically speed up to a 1:19 - 1:20 quarter, and not have the mental energy to sustain the pace.

Once I was finished with the tempo, I started jogging to make it 10 miles total for the run. After a mile I realized that this would be quite a drag. So I ran a tempo 1.5 uphill in 8:44 passing a runner that was going at a decent pace in the process. Then jogged a bit more and reached the turnaround point between the Canyon Glen and Nunns Parks. On the way back I met with the runner I passed earlier and asked him how far he was going. He had only 0.5 more to go before his turn around, so I decided it would be better to run 3 miles with a friend than 2 alone. The runner's name was Scott. He had just run the St. George Marathon in 3:22. I invited him to join the Fast Running Blog crowd.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. In the evening did bench press 3x[5x105].

Cheston remarked that I already started training hard. Actually, this phase of my training is what I call active recovery - 60-70 miles a week, occasional tempo runs, no long runs, occasional races. This gives me a mental and a physical break to be ready to hit it hard in January or February - 80-90 miles a week, long tempos, hard tempos, interval work, race as often as I can. I believe a race is the best speed workout.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.500.000.0010.00

Easy run with Ted early in the morning. 8 miles in 55:07. Chased the 7:00 guy, got him. Then decided not to get caught by ourselves running a week ago, and picked it up. Last three quarters according to The Toy (Garmin 305) were 1:29, 1:33, 1:32. Heart rate was normal at all speeds. It was cold and rainy.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Also, set up the Fast Running Blog Store through Amazon.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

Ran with the kids. Then 5 miles with Brad Brown in 38:38. Then 3.25 more at about 7:00 pace to make the total 10 for the day.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.750.003.000.0011.75

Provo Canyon with Brad and Ted in the early morning. The great thing about Ted is you can ( he will) get him (you)

Warm-up from Canyon View Park to Nunns Park, then the standard 3 mile tempo downhill. Got more sleep (whole 6.5 hours) than last time, and it showed. Remembered to bring The Toy. Ran in the dark. Quarter mile auto-splits helped, but they were a bit off.

The Toy showed 3.03 for the length of the run which I did in 15:59. I always subtract a second because back a few years ago the trail was slightly changed near the Canyon Glen Park to add about a second. I want the times to be comparable. So according to the protocol, the time was 15:58. According to The Toy, I hit 3 miles in 15:49. Ted's Toy measured it as 3.01. However, around 1.5 I had to swing out to pass two runners that were going about 8:30, which could have added a bit. With the speed difference of about 5 mph, and in the dark, it was not easy, not a lot of time to think.

The pace was even through most of the run, but at the end I wanted to make sure I was under 16:00 and sped up. The Toy said I ran the last quarter in 1:14, but I think it was actually 1:17 - I managed to catch my split with a true quarter to go. HR stayed at around 158-160 after the first mile, and climbed to 168 on the last quarter.

In the afternoon, Benjamin, Jennifer, and Julia ran in the Provo District Cross-Country Championship in the 3rd grade division. There was no home school team, so they ran for Provost. I believe Jenny and Julia ended up being the only girls representing Provost in the 3rd grade division.

Julia (4 years old) ran very well - 5:10 for 0.5 mile, and she managed to pass some 3rd graders. Jennifer (6 years old) ran a decent 3:57 for 12th. Benjamin was not having a good day due to his stomach problems. Sarah, myself, and Benjamin have caught some food digestion bug - Benjamin and Sarah have it pretty bad, and I just do not feel like eating very much. Nevertheless Benjamin did his best under the circumstances and pulled off 13th place out of 52 3rd graders (a year or two older than him) with 3:37.

I ran along with Julia, then with Benjamin, and then with Abby who finished 12th in the 4th grade girls 0.75 mile with 6:39.

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Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.201.000.000.0010.20

Saw Dr. Jex in the morning. He took an X-ray of my neck and did some other tests. He will go through the results on Monday.

On the way back Sarah dropped me off in the park where the Provo River Trails crosses Geneva Road. First took Julia on her 0.25 mile run. Then ran 2.5 miles out to the end of the trail, and then back home. First 5 miles in 33:12. No HR measurements as I forgot The Toy. The some unknown distance to the house we've made an offer on. Assumed I was still on 6:40 pace, passed it at 42:21. It is 3.05 from there to our house. With a mile to go, noticed I was 15 seconds behind the 6:40 guy. The last mile was uphill, but I decided to get him anyway. Ran the last mile in 6:16 for the total of 1:02:32 for 9.40 miles.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Benjamin and Jenny are racing in the Homecoming tomorrow, so only 0.5. Benjamin has not been feeling well - does not have much of an appetite, neither do I, or Sarah. Looks like we all got the same bug.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.703.000.000.0012.70

Provo Canyon with Ted in the morning. Woke up at 2:45 am, and could not sleep because of the stomach nausea feeling. No throwing up, but not much appetite. Stayed awake until it was time to go, read the scriptures, got some work done, did my Pettibon exercises.

Was originally planning on the same tempo run as Thursday, but decided to back off the pace a bit due to the low fuel condition. This might actually have been a good training - you feel like you are at about mile 15 of a marathon energy wise, but your legs are fresh. Stayed with Ted to help him run fast. Actually felt good for the condition.

It was dark. The Toy gave quarter splits, which helped. We started out at 5:25 pace, I was able to see the true two mile split (10:59). Ted was very strong up to about 1.7, and then started losing it a bit. We ran the last mile in 5:38 for the total of 16:37. So Ted improved his time by over a minute in the last two months.

HR stayed around 150-152 for most of the run except for climbing to 158 briefly during the kick at the end. Interestingly enough, that is where I had it during the second half of St. George.

Ted said he would race when he broke 16:30 on our tempo run. He almost made it. I teased him that he slowed down on purpose at the end so he would not have to race. I think he will not be able to get out of it next week. I'll make sure to stay with him all the way to encourage it. Or who knows - the way he's been progressing he might just go ahead and drop me altogether.

Afterwards, went to the BYU Homecoming races. Benjamin and Jenny ran the cross-country half mile. The course was hilly, and the grass was covered with ice. So that made for slow times. Benjamin ran a heroic race. He was still suffering from the stomach flu, so I told him to run it just to finish. His age division was again very tough - 7-9, and he is 7. He managed 3:48 which was good enough for 2nd. Jenny ran a good race finishing in 4:08, 2nd in 5-6.

Afterwards, ran the 5 K pacing Ted's son James, who is 12. Ted could not do it himself because he was in charge of the parade. James ran a good race finishing in 22:59 on a hilly course around campus. Josh McAdams won in 15:02, very good time for that course.

During the race, I did a lot of motivational talking and instruction. With Benjamin, I try to hold back a bit, he is only 7. He actually runs better when I am rather quiet, just there. James is 12, his dad is a tough army guy, so I figured I could do a little more. One girl running by wondered aloud how I could talk so much while racing.

Ran with Julia and Hannah in the evening.

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Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.500.003.000.0011.50

Tempo run in the Provo Canyon. Standard 3 miles downhill from Nunns Park to the mouth of the Provo Canyon. I do those for a dual purpose. To maintain a level of fitness while taking a break, and to monitor the effects of the break as well as the Pettibon spinal correction. Reduced digestion/appetite loss issues were mitigated but still present, so I thought 16:15 would be a good goal. I went through the first 1000 meters in 3:26 feeling unmotivated partially due to the headwind. HR was 150,I was not breathing hard, but felt mentally sluggish. I decided to push hard enough to get the HR past 160 and see what pace that will bring. Hit the mile in 5:24, then 2 miles in 10:44. HR climbed to 162, right where I wanted it to be. With the looming possibility of sub-16:00, I pushed a little harder. Got HR to a steady 166 with the peak of 168 on the last half mile. Last mile was 5:14 with the total time of 15:58. Felt some small improvements in the form. Could be just a natural fluctuation, but my hope is that is more of a step towards a permanent improvement. Cooled down to make the total 10 miles. As expected, HR was elevated by about 5 bpm at any pace during the cooldown. Came home and ran with the kids. Benjamin took a nice spill at the end, took too long to get up feeling sorry for himself, got passed by Jenny, and missed catching her finishing 2 seconds behind. I reminded him to learn from Lasse Viren. Also, recognized our donors on the Fast Running Blog Fund Page. Thanks to them and everybody else for contributing to the growth of the Fast Running Blog!

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Comments(8)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.250.000.000.0010.25

Easy 8 miles with Ted in the morning. Both of us were sleepy. Tried to start chasing the 7:30 guy at 4 miles, but did not gain much on him because we were too sleepy and chatty at the same time - how is that possible? Finally, at 6 miles got serious. Caught him, then went after the 7:25 guy, got him too. 59:11 for 8 miles. HR was normal, even too low perhaps. Stayed under 120 until the chase began, maxed at 140 during the chase going about 6:15.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Put on ankle weights while pushing Jenny in the single stroller. First ran 0.5 with Benjamin in 3:45. Then another 0.5, and of course this time around I had to beat Benjamin's time, and every one of his splits. Ran 3:32.

Went to see Dr. Jex. My neck has made some progress - the curvature angle increased from 16 degrees to 23 ( ideal 45), while the head tilt decreased from 18 mm to 8 mm (ideal 0). However, according to Dr. Jex, the changes in the lower spine do not start happening until the neck curvature angle is at least 27 degrees. And, according to my expectations, there will be no signficant improvements in running until the lower spine starts to re-shape. So there is quite a bit more work left to do before I can say anything about the effectiveness of the Pettibon system in improving running speed and economy.

If anybody reading this is or knows a graduate or PHD exercise physiology student that needs a research topic, here is something I would really like to seriously get researched. The relationship between the shape of the spine, the maximum running speed, and the running economy in aerobically well-developed distance runners with the dominance of slow-twitch fiber types. My hypothesis is that given the same fast-slow twitch ratio, running economy, top speed, and the spinal shape will correlate to a high degree.

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Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.502.360.000.7510.61

Ranger Challenge run early in the morning. The cadets were doing a 5 K tempo on the track. I decided to run with them until there were 3 laps left, and then do a max HR test. Their target was about 6:00 pace. I figured to avoid a mess I'd let Ted do the pacing and hid away in the pack. Stayed on the outside of the first lane, but not quite in the second. We were asleep on the first two laps, surged a bit on the third to make up, then settled into a good pace - 1:28 per lap. The two faster cadets (it is about time for me to learn their names) were handling it well. Once we settled into pace, HR stayed steady around 150. There was a headwind on the home stretch. It was nice to have Ted and a big cadet deal with it. With three and a half laps to go, moved out to get ready for the max HR test. The surge, the anticipation, and the headwind combined brought HR up to 157.

Then the last 3 laps fast trying to push HR to the max. 5 K pace or a bit faster sustained for long enough is sufficient for the task, and in fact will do a better job than an all out push. First two laps in 2:35.4 at about even pace. Messed up on the split after the first fast lap, hit the button about 1 second early (got 1:16.4), but still good enough to take average HR. On the first fast lap average HR was 162, on the second 166. Pushed a bit harder on the last lap, got 1:15.4. HR maxed at 170, and averaged at 169 on the last lap. 3:50.8 for the last 1200, and 17:58.9 for the 5 K.

Did not like the headwind on the home stretch. It messed with my concentration. Also did not like running alone and hard. I liked running easy and in the pack a lot better.

It seems like once HR goes past 160 every extra beat per minute takes me to a whole new level of pain. 160 is comfortable enough to hold for 15 miles. 163 can be sustained for 10 miles. 166 hurts bad enough to be a 10 K pace. And 170 is so painful that I do not think I can sustain it for the entire 5 K. I wonder if practicing sustaining max HR for longer (3x2000 with the goal of maxing it out after 800 and holding it, but avoiding anaerobic running as much as possible) could either push max HR up a bit, or at least make it possible to hold it for the whole 5 K. I do not to expect to gain very much from this, maybe 20 seconds. But that means extra circuit points, plus a few bucks of prize money, which does add up. It could also make surging easier in longer races, and maybe even improve the overall pace a bit too.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.900.000.000.0012.90

Provo Canyon with Ted in the morning. Ted was not feeling well. So we decided to 5 miles up until our toys said to turn around, and then 5 miles back a little bit faster. Ran from the Canyon View Park to the Vivian Park and a little bit past in 37:22 (uphill). HR stayed around 125. On the way back did 31:05 with the HR around 133-135 maxing out at 140 on the last half mile. It was cold, so HR was low. Total time 1:08:27 for 10 miles. My toy (Garmin 305) behaved and showed consistent splits every quarter and the same distance out and back. Ted's toy (Garmin 205) showed 5.00 at the turnaround, but was off (4.94 or 4.97) on the way back. This is rather strange since we were never separated by more than 5 feet the entire way, and both gadgets have the same GPS-receiving hardware and probably identical or at least very similar software. This makes me think the Garmin firmware is at fault, and can bug out at times even when the signal is good. Being a programmer, I can see all kind of potential for odd concurrency bugs that would be very difficult to detect in a device like this.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Participated in the Elder's Quorum clean-up in our ward. For those not familiar, this means we drive around the neighborhood, collect the big-sized trash, and take it to the dumpster that the city places near a church building. I did not feel like riding in the back of the truck with trash all over me, so I ended up running from place to place, and put in about 1.4 miles.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

Ran easy with Ted in the morning for 8 miles. Felt sleepy, but still caught the 7:30 guy at the end - 59:48 for 8 miles.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.800.002.000.1111.91

Helped All One People with their annual 5 K this morning. This time it was in Riverton on the Jordan River Trail. In the past, Karl Jarvis handled measuring the course, so things went smoothly. This year Karl could not do it, and this caused a bit of confusion. I showed up one hour before the race was supposed to start, and the course had not yet been prepared. So I took my wheel and started measuring out the course. Ran 2.5 K out. The trail ended after a bit over a mile, but it was too late to make any changes. So I went into the neighborhood. I had no choice but take that course up a couple of nasty hills. I said to myself: "What are you doing to your 7 year old son?". To make things worse, the connecting plate on the wheel broke, but it was still functional enough to finish course measurement. I double-checked the segment and the mile marks with The Toy, found them in agreement, and called it good. Not ideal, but that was the best I could do in 30 minutes under the circumstances. Set up the laptop to do the timing, recruited a volunteer to run the laptop, recruited another to collect tags at the end, and headed to the start to pace Benjamin. It was a cold morning. Not good for him. Cold air gives him breathing problems at sub-8:15 pace. However, it was a small (30 people), and very non-competitive race. Most of the field had breathing problems at that pace too, though probably for a different reason. Benjamin ran 25:06 finishing 5th. It was the first time in his life he finished that high in an adult race. The winning time was 23:11. I think he would have had a good shot at the overall win with warmer air. I finished timing the race, and then we went home. Still had some miles to do. Warmed up 2 miles, then ran a tempo on the Slate Canyon Loop (2.11). Did not have high expectations - not a lot of sleep this week, and felt more like taking a nap than running before the start. Figured anything sub-12 would be good. Started out with 1:23 quarter , then 1:21, 1:21 (all slightly rolling). HR now got to 159. Up the hill quarter in 1:28. The Toy was off at first, but got auto-fixed by the mile, almost (real mile 5:33, toy 5:34). HR at 162 on the climb (3% grade). Then the next quarter is 5% grade, I do not have a mark, The Toy said 1:35, HR at 165. A little more, and over the hill, now down. HR dropped to 149. It is very hard to shift gears when you are done climbing and start going down. I need to account for this effect when I work on the profile -based predictor. So I trusted the reading and pressed extra hard. With 0.5 to go (9:01) I saw that I could get 11:40 with a decent effort. So I kept a steady pressure. HR back up to 157. Next quarter (real) in 1:13. Then I realized that I had a good shot at my PR for the loop. I needed a 1:18, which is not too big of a deal, except it is up a 2.5% grade. Shifted gears, got HR to 174, got 1:18, and 11:32.8 for the loop, new PR. Also, new record for max HR in the last 3 years. Cooled down 0.5, also ran with Jenny and Julia in the evening. The new HR PR is some food for thought. After all, there is a way I could get my HR above 170, and who knows if 174 is really my true max. Then why is it so hard to run in 163-165 range? Now this actually correlates quite well with my observation that doing 20x400 once a week for a month breaks me out of a 5:40 pace tempo run rut. Seems like pushing the heart to the limit breaks a wall of some kind. Any cardio experts out there to explain what is going on? Another observation. I felt very strong running the hill in both directions, although I have been only running fast downhill in the last two months. Last year, I have been training uphill quite a bit around this time, and was not running well uphill or downhill afterwards.

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Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.100.004.500.0012.60

Provo Canyon. Tempo run - standard 3 miles. Odd thing happened in the warm-up. It was cold, resting HR while driving was 48. However, as soon as I started running it jumped to 130, and I felt like I could run fast right away. Ran uphill at about 7:10 pace for 2.25 miles to the Nunns Park.

The tempo run went rather odd. First 1000 fairly relaxed in 3:22, HR still climbing to where it is supposed to be. Then I felt good and started pushing. Hit the mile in 5:17, which was about 5:09 pace for the next 600. HR climbed to 160. However, on the next mile, instead of climbing to 163 it stalled at 160, even dropped to 159 occasionally, and I felt like if I went any faster the pace would not be sustainable. Next mile in 5:23. On the last mile I managed to shift gears a bit and get back up to 5:20. It was flatter (0.5% grade down), so this required HR of 162. Kicked on the last 300 in 57 to dip under 16:00. HR climbed to 168 during the kick, but then dropped to 167. Total time 15:58.

It is tempting to explain the struggle on the second mile as a consequence of going anaerobic during the second half of the first. Perhaps this is true to a certain extent, but with a twist. A normal anaerobic backlash for me (as observed during and after Veyo in St. George) should see HR climbing to 166 or higher and staying high while I recover at a slower pace, then dropping back to the pace-appropriate HR. In this case, I believe I did go anaerobic, but not so much because of the pace (5:09 down 1.5% grade should not throw me severely anaerobic), but because the heart could not respond quickly enough to the change of pace. So it was anaerobic after all because I ran that fast with the HR only at 160, and I was paying for it later for the rest of the run. The lesson to learn from that is when it is cold, or if the heart is struggling to get going, hold the legs back until the heart is ready.

During the cooldown met a guy named Reed. We chatted a bit. I dropped him off and decided to run another mini-tempo uphill. Started at the mouth of the Provo Canyon and ran 1.5 miles up in 8:28 at a fairly steady pace. HR hovered around 162 once I warmed into the pace, and briefly maxed at 166 on a steeper grade towards the end, then went back to 163. I felt a lot better this time, even thought of going the entire 3 miles, but unfortunately did not have the time.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.002.000.000.0010.00

Ran 8 miles at 5:00 am with Ted. He was fairly fresh, so we started out at a good pace, just a bit behind the 7:00 guy. Ran the last two miles as a mild tempo in 11:54. HR hovered around 125 at 7:00 pace, and 146 at 6:00 pace - normal readings. 54:19 for 8 miles.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Was pleased with Benjamin's form. It is starting to look very good. Also very good pacing. I told him to run 9:20 pace during his warm-up, and he hit 9:16 on his own (I ran behind with Jenny) going off his watch. Then I paced him during his tempo mile. His assignment was to be a bit sub-8:00. He ran 7:39 at a steady pace with the last 100 in 24.

Needed to upgrade a software package on my computer, which happened to have a few dependencies, and that triggered a flood of upgrades. Upgrades = often things are broken for a while, and they were. Finally came out clean.

On the positive side, I finally got around to figuring out how to read the data from The Toy with Linux. The pluses of Linux are that you never have to worry about a virus, the software is usually free, you can customize it if you have the time and knowledge, and you gain a better understanding of how computers work in general because it does not try to hide it from you. The disadvantages are that things often do not work out of the box as hardware and software vendors often do not acknowledge the need to support it. So often things have to be accomplished through a set of creative maneuvers. In any case, while reading the data from The Toy, I got several ideas of how to integrate it with the Fast Running Blog. Now I just need to find the time to code them up.

And finally, a computer joke: "Who is this General Failure, and why is he reading my hard disk?"

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
214.7148.2323.502.11288.55
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