Breaking the Wall

St. George Marathon

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


Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  


Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.


I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie


Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 188.26 Year: 188.26
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Felt a lot better yesterday morning, the chest constriction was gone. However, still did not feel 100%, but good enough to go to church and stay there for all meetings. Came home, then remembered that I had forgotten to make an announcement in the Spanish branch Sunday school, so ran back (about 200 meters) to make it there before they would start. Turned out I really did not need to hurry, because being Latinos they really took their time getting out of the Sacrament meeting. However, during the brief run I got pain feedback from a paired organ right under the the lungs, I am not that good with the 3-D human anatomy, but I think the most likely organ would be the kidneys. That would make sense, because I was doing transmission fluid flush (repeated drink-leak cycle every 30 minutes) pretty much non-stop since Saturday morning. Otherwise, felt a lot stronger than the day before, but still not 100% there. I was not too worried about it because with it being Sunday I did not need to run anyway, and I made a very rapid improvement in 24 hours.

This morning things were a lot better. The resting heart rate in the sitting position dropped down to 50 from 63 yesterday. 50 is about normal for me. Ran with Ted at 6:30 AM. Well, we planned to leave at 6:30, but then I could not find my shorts. So we ended up leaving around 6:45, and Adam missed us thinking we had already left. I had a dream the night before that Ted and I ran the first quarter of our run in 1:58. The reality turned out better than the dream - 1:51. My legs were really rested from not doing much in the last two days. I was getting feedback from the kidneys (I think) at first, and then that I went away and turned into a pain from mostly likely a nerve in the middle of the chest. However, aside from a minor annoyance, this did not inhibit me, and did not get worse as the pace increased. We eventually progressed to a 7:02 pace, which felt like a nice easy conversational pace, then turned around at 4 miles (28:46), and headed back. Caught up to a stray runner, his named turned out to be Justin, he agreed to join us, we backed off a bit. Then we started on the strides. Did 6 100 meter strides with 200 meter jog. The strides for me started at 19 then gradually progressed all the way to 16 on the last. Felt very strong in the strides. I actually started feeling less chest pain with each stride, which is a good sign.

Finished 8 miles in 59:47. Two things worth mentioning. The bishop said in the blessing: "all of the symptoms of the illness will be gone within 2-3 days according to your faith". Interestingly enough, it had been 43 hours since the blessing at the time of the run, and the symptoms were pretty much on their way out. Also, Friday night I took Julia on a birthday present shopping trip (it was her birthday). As I was walking through a parking lot, there was a party going on, a band playing, and it was dark. It naturally reminded me of the start of the St. George Marathon. My legs were giving me very very positive feedback, and I know very well from many experience in the past that if they are talking to me like that I am going to run great. They do not have to, I've been able to run very well on occasion without that feeling, but I've never run below my expectations with that kind of leg feedback. This time is was perhaps the strongest ever signal in my entire life. I started feeling confident, like I had the Trial's Qualifier in the bag. I tried to caution myself, and remind myself to remain humble. That night in my prayer I thanked the Lord for blessing me with the fitness and the confidence in my fitness, and then asked Him to help me be humble. The moment I said it, I realized what I had just done. That was quite a slip of the spiritual tongue, it was done in faith, I knew I had done it in faith, I knew the Lord's way of humbling people, and I also knew that of all the prayers the Lord answers this kind the quickest. He is quick to give us what we really need especially when we ask for it. Well, my prayer was answered in 4 hours - Saturday morning at 2 AM I woke up feeling sick.

P.M. Ran 1.65 with Benjamin and Jenny to the body shop to pick up VanGoGo in 15:51. Also ran 1 mile with Julia in 10:28. Felt almost 100%, little pain in the nerves around the chest migrating from place to place, only a very very minor annoyance. However, had an odd incident tonight. I had been playing chess on the floor looking at a very small board with Benjamin and Jenny for around 40 minutes in a rather odd position. Then I needed to go the bathroom, and when I do it is usually urgent fairly quick. So I got up really fast, did my business, and then started feeling like I was going to pass out. I breathed in deeply a few times, then laid down for a couple of minute, then everything was normal, HR at 54.

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

A.M. Big group this morning again at 5:15. Ted, Jeff, and Adam joined me. We did a fairly brisk warm-up putting more than a minute lead on the 8:00 mile guy in 3.62 miles. Then it was time for the 2 mile tempo at marathon pace. I was still feeling mild chest pain when breathing deep, so this would be a good almost non-invasive test of true health (the one on Saturday will be rather invasive). It was dark, this made it difficult to feel the pace, or check the splits. I managed to get some, though. First mile was 5:29, second 5:30 (with the uphill), total time 10:59.

The chest pain interfered with the sense of rhythm and perception of effort. I could not tell if this was my true marathon pace or not. I did feel the heart rate rise a bit too high towards the end, like as if it got hotter. This may have had something to do with being slightly overdressed, or may still be the lingering effects of the illness. Legs felt a little flaky, not necessarily weak, but when I tell them to run marathon pace, they are talking to me saying, what is marathon pace, and how long exactly is the marathon?

Cooled down to make the total 7 for the run.

P.M. 2 miles with the kids. First with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia running, and the empty double stroller in 10:54. Then put Julia in the stroller. 15:15 at 1.5, put Jenny in the stroller, chased Benjamin down, was not easy, he was going 6:40 pace. Last 0.5 in 3:20 for Benjamin, probably around 3:15 for me, total time 18:35.

Attacked the remnants of the chest pain with cheyenne pepper, horseradish, and garlic. Sucked garlic all day long like candy. Preliminary results appear good.

Benjamin played his final soccer game. His team won again 4-0. 

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

A.M. Easy run with Ted at 5:00 AM. Picked it up on the last 1000 - ran 3:22 with the first quarter in 42 (up 0.5%), then the last 0.5 in 2:40, which had 5 90 degree turns. Total time for 6 miles was 43:46.

The run felt good at both slow and fast paces. The chest pain was still noticeable when running, but reduced a lot and did not mess with the sense of pace and rhythm as much if at all. It was completely gone just on breathing deep or jumping up and down. The BINGO song was on. The killer instinct started coming back.

P.M. Ran 2 miles with the kids. Had the double stroller with Jacob and Joseph the entire time.  First a mile with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia in 10:32. Then 0.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 4:18, this put us at 14:50 at 1.5. Finished the last 0.5 with Benjamin in 3:25, total time 18:15. The chest pain has been reduced to a feeling like there might be a dust particle in my respiratory tract. Legs are feeling good, the form feels efficient, the killer instinct is increased. Still sucking on garlic as a precaution. It has a soothing influence as a positive side effect, making me get more out of my sleep.

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

A.M. Ran with Jeff at 6:00 AM. I asked my body what it thought about the crazy Australian carbo-load technique when you run all out for 3 minutes a day or two before the race. It said it would at least not be harmful. I also had a positive experience at TOU running anaerobically for a portion of my VO2 max test 16 hours before the race, and then carbo-loading right away. So I decided to give it a shot. Jeff decided to go along with me.

We warmed up 2 miles, and then went for it on a slight rolling up section of the trail from 0.625 mark of the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo to the start (probably a second longer than a true 1000). The plan was to run somewhere around 3:00, a little faster OK, a little slower OK too as long as it hurt enough, a lot faster OK as well if the speed was there, but that would have been an unexpected bonus for me - my focus has been the marathon, and it has been a while since I ran a sub-1:15 quarter on something flat, much less rolling.

It was dark, so we did not get all of our splits. First quarter was 1:10, and I felt it. I backed off a bit, Jeff kept the pace to the end. I was 1:46 at 600 (really 0.375), and finished in 3:02.8. Jeff got 2:55. It did not hurt as bad as an all out 1000 should, but I just could not go any faster. Once the anaerobic bear attacked me, I had no anaerobic defense. My body said, let's go slower and longer. That is good, I'll need to go slower and longer on Saturday.

Cooled down to my house, started carbo-loading right away.

P.M. Ran 2 miles with the kids. First one with all three running in 11:43, then put Julia in the double stroller, 15:56 at 1.5, put Jenny in the stroller, caught up to Benjamin, we finished 2 miles in 19:39. 

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

A.M. Took VanGoGo for an oil change, ran back 2.25 with 1000 in 3:20, then took the kids, we ran back to get VanGoGo, first mile with all three in 10:47, then Julia in the stroller, 14:56 at 1.5, Jenny in the stroller, finished 2.25 in 20:06 with Benjamin reeling in the 9:00 mile guy with a long burst of speed. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Race: St. George Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:23:57, Place overall: 11
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

This report is work in progress - the note will be removed when it is complete.

St. George Marathon - 2:23:57, 11th place, PR, qualified for a bummer. Explanation - 2:22:00 or faster, you qualify for the Trials, 2:24:00 or slower, just a PR. But once you are within 2:00 of the qualifier, it is a bummer if you do not get it. So today I qualified for a bummer, it is an accomplishment, not exactly the kind I hoped for, but it breaks a 4 year drought of marathon PRs.

Ran my best race, gave it all. Felt like I was sprinting from the start to 23. Red-lining near the anaerobic threshold the entire time with complete oblivion of how dangerous this can be in a marathon. First 22 miles went by very fast. At 22, I said to myself, was that 20? Wait a minute, that was 22. That was the first time in my life that I ever wished it was only 20 when I was at 22. I did not care about pain or discomfort, or even a PR, I only cared about hitting the qualifier. But today was not the day for reasons not fully known to me, yet one thing is clear - there are more lessons I need to learn before God will give me the blessing of meeting the standard. After that, raise the bar, and try again. Indeed, as our motto says, Run, Blog, Improve, Repeat.

First half 1:12:12 at the official clock, I think it was positioned 2 seconds too far based on where the 13 mile mark was, which is more reliable, I think. Second half 1:11:45, again, based on the official position of the first half.

Some words in defense of the term bummer. The popular culture teaches positive mental attitude (PMA) and attempts to sell it as a substitute for true faith. True faith cannot happen without the ability and willingness to face the grim reality, appreciate it, feel its depth in full measure, and only then defy it with a real as opposed to a merely imagined power. Additionally, perhaps from being soaked in the PMA environment, we are at times too quick to give ourselves and others a pat on the back that is so hard that it makes it hurt for a less than a spectacular effort. While positive encouragement is not only helpful but necessary, one needs a chance to feel in depth that he shot for the stars, missed it, and be on his way to figure out what he is going to do next to reach the stars in the future. This thought process would not be sufficiently acute to produce desired results if the post-race attitude is the one of celebration. There needs to be some form of pain to prevent one from becoming complacent. Thus, while I am very happy with the fact that I broke a 4 year old PR at the age of 34 in my probably 45th (I lost count) marathon (I wonder what Tim Noakes would have to say about that), I am also happy that I have the nerve to say that I qualified for a bummer. 9 years ago I ran the same course in 2:39:48 after putting in a lot of training. I was happy that I had broken 2:40, yet the Trial's Qualifier looked so impossible, and at the same time it was calling me to reach into the depths of my soul and find a way to run faster. Had I been content to merely celebrate my sub-2:40 then, I would have never gotten anywhere close to what I did today.

From the start we formed a nice pack. The pace varied depending on the terrain. We let the A guys pull ahead, but then Steve Ashbaker led us in a surge to catch up, which was OK with me. So we were all together for a while. Hit 5 miles in 26:52. Steve pressed a bit, that made the pack go a bit faster, we hit the next two miles at somewhere around 5:05 pace, but it was a decent downhill.

At mile 7 the aid station handed me the bottle of Chris Rogers. I gave it back to them and told them what to do with it. In the mean time, I ended up getting nothing in the confusion, and lost contact with the pack. I caught up, then we started the climb. The A guys had more speed and power, and pulled away. Mike Kirk fell back a bit, then caught up. From then on we worked together more or less. Hit 10 miles in 54:32. Nick McCombs caught up, I tried to run with him, but 5:30 pace up Dameron was too fast for me, I felt 5:40-5:45 was what I needed.

Hit the half in 1:12:12. For a negative splitter, this would have been just perfect. For me this looked promising but dangerous, even though I was feeling good. I had plenty of opportunities to latch on to somebody and run faster. Yet, my body was telling me this was the fastest I could hit the first half without having negative consequences on my overall finish time. This was not a good feedback, nevertheless I promised to myself that I would rather die trying to qualify than be merely content to run a PR. So from then on, I erred on the aggressive side and did my best to override the system feedback.

Hit 15 in 1:22:12. That is 57 seconds behind the 5:25 guy. There is still hope, we are closing. A little mishap at 15, do not think it cost me the qualifier, maybe 20-30 seconds max. My bottle with Hornet Juice was not there. I was counting on it. I stopped and tried to find it. After about 5 seconds I realized it was hopeless, and just kept going. I ended up getting nothing at all 15. Lesson learned - I will not do bottles any more unless I am running in a race that makes you do it. I get plenty of fuel just from the regular drinks, and the bottles only add extra stress and confusion. The confusion cost me broken rhythm and loss of contact with Mike Kirk, Mike Vick, and Steve Macintire. However, I do not think it cost me as much as 1:57.

The "Heart-Break" hill felt like a minor rise. Good sign, except it broke the rhythm again, and set me back in the chase of the 5:25 guy. Logan Fielding went by. He moved so fast I could not latch on. I thought barring a severe disaster he was going to get the qualifier. I felt like saying to him, Logan, go get it for the Blog for me, if I cannot today. Hit 20 miles in 1:49:09. The OTQ guy is now only 49 seconds ahead. There is one problem though - he does not slow down on flat or uphill, and he does not slow down after 24, while I do. It was very clear from the split, and how I felt, that barring a disaster, I had a PR in the bag, and barring a serious but still remotely doable miracle, the OTQ was out of range. Nevertheless, I told myself that it is better to risk missing a PR while trying to get the qualifier, than just give up. I floored it on the next downhill mile hoping to gain momentum, ran 5:03, this gave me hope, next one 5:38 with less downhill and more uphill, still a glimmer of hope remaining, then 5:22 instead of 5:00 on a downhill mile, followed by a 5:48, then it became painfully clear that the trials qualifier guy had hopelessly run away.

Iain Hunter came by. I was a relative zombie by then, could not latch on. Ran another mile in 5:48. Heard steps behind me. I said to myself, if this is Clyde, I am going to strangle him. Not for beating me, but for being in shape to qualify, and not trying by starting on pace. It was Kelly Mortenson. He was not as lively as Iain, so I was able to latch on for a bit. But then I could not go. Mental note for trying to run in The Zone next time - one minute on one minute off. I think the limit can very well be at least partially neurological, and the nervous system actually might be able to deal with the surges better than even pace at that stage.

2:16:48 at 25. The clock at supposedly 25.2 was in the wrong place, too far away from the finish. Why put up a clock at a random location in the race to confuse the already confused runners? Stumbled my way through the next mile in 5:57, then saw I could beat the 2:24:00 guy, kicked, managed 1:12 for the last 385 yards thus qualifying for a bummer (within 2:00 of the standard)!

The bloggers did great. To start with, Paul got standard A with 2:18:08, and Logan standard B with 2:21:45. I have particularly fond feelings about Logan getting it. I feel he got it for the Blog for me. He mentioned in his blog that he feels he does not deserve it. Nevertheless, there is a reason, and whatever it might be, I am very happy we will have two people from the Blog at the Trials.

There were three more bloggers who cracked 2:30 setting PRs - Steve Ashbaker (2:25:18), Clyde (2:25:50) - after reading his report I do not feel like strangling him, he really ran his best, and Dave Holt - 2:26:54. We captured 10 spots in the top 25 in the race. We had numerous "impossible" PRs. Over the course of the next week I will visit each blog individually and leave my thoughts.

It boggles my mind what we have accomplished. Consider Paul - he ran for Calvin, a division III college. His best 5 K was 14:47. He could not even crack 30:30 in a 10 K. He was a good college runner, but by far not a stand-out, just one of many point scoring workhorses. After college is he is falling through the cracks. Not much is happening in his career. He is getting beat in local 5 Ks and 10 Ks, tries marathons, gets beat up and left in the dust in any race of significance. Finally he gets injured, and cannot even run for a year. Looks like a typical case of a post-collegiate failure, he is headed for the runners junk yard or meat factory, depending on which metaphor you like better. Wrong! He joins the blog, finds a support network, recovers from his injuries, discovers better ways to train, and in a year goes from the butcher's knife candidate to qualifying for the Trials with standard A with room to spare!

Look at Logan. We have a guy that ran 2:41 in St. George last year, followed by 2:55 crash-and-burn in Ogden this year. He never ran for anybody, in fact he started running at all only 3 years ago. He is not "cool", he has not been through the ranks of high school and collegiate running at all. But he does not care. He joins the blog. He sees guys training twice a day running 100+ miles a week. He says, I want to give it a shot, is this a good idea? We tell him, yes, go ahead, give it a shot. In 6 months, he runs a Trial's Qualifier.

Look at Clyde, Dave Holt, and Steve Ashbaker. They have similar stories. I cannot help but think of a scripture in Luke 3:8. The arrogant Jews approached Christ saying that they were "cool", because they were the children of Abraham. Christ responded with this:

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

How can God raise children unto Abraham out of the stones? He gives us blessings based upon our faith and how that faith is manifested through our works, not just based upon the gifts we've been given, or our past accomplishments that may have had to do more with our talent than our diligence.

Applying this to running - nobody needs to feel that because they are not "cool" (high-school star, All-American in college, etc), they cannot accomplish something noteworthy. You may feel like a stone, but out of that stone through faith and hard work on your part God can raise a great runner.

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

A.M. Easy 10, first 8 with Ted, in 1:18:48. Started out at slower than 10:00, then eased into 7:00 at the end with Ted, and then around 6:40 when running by myself. Legs felt a bit sore, but nothing exceptionally painful. Otherwise felt strong.

P.M. Ran with the kids, total of 4.55 miles. First 2 with Benjamin in 16:29. Then 1.5 with Jenny in 14:22. Then 1.05 with Julia in 10:40. 

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

A.M. 6.05 with Adam and Ted in 52:25 at 5:20 AM, Ted was really hurting and so was Adam. Ted had two reasons to hurt, the marathon and the accident, and he decided to share with Adam, I guess, so Adam somehow ended up in pain as well. Picked it up to around 6:50 pace after dropping them off, ran another 4 in 27:18, total time for 10.05 was 1:19:43. Then ran 1.05 with Julia in 10:47.

Odd how I feel very little pain, and yet I felt could not run any faster in the race even though I had every reason to. Kory and I are in the same boat this way, except he has a hard time in the first half, while I do in the second. However, one ray of hope for me - after running high mileage, and running hard after running easy for a long time on numerous occasions I held my own on the second half better than ever, and was able to negative split for the first time in my life. Of course, true negative split in St. George is when your second half is at least 3 minutes faster than your first. But in the past I could not even do as little as negative split it period even with the second half being naturally much faster than the first. So perhaps I am just a slow learner - many people can negative split in an optimal race off as little as 70 miles a week, while I may need to sustain 120+ for a while with lots of marathon bonk simulation runs before this starts happening for me.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:33, then 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:48. Still some residual soreness all over the legs, evenly spread, but not too bad, can start out at 7:00 pace without problems, can walk down the stairs, can run 10 miles at once and not feel like I've run at all. The virtual particle of dust that was there in my chest a week ago I guess never left, I think I just subconsciously ignored it to keep it from affecting the mental aspect of my race. I could feel it today and yesterday. Gave it some garlic treatment just in case. At 7:00 pace it is no more than an annoyance, at 5:20 pace I cannot feel it because there are a lot of other feelings that overshadow it, but it probably does make things harder by inhibiting the force of the air intake. Kind of like running at a higher elevation - you do not necessarily feel anything right away, but it is harder to run at the same pace. I would say 4.46 seconds per mile that the qualifier guy got me by could be exactly the size of that particle. Talk about Paul and his thorn in the flesh (see 2 Cor. 12:7).

I guess all I need to do in three years is show up in St. George in no worse shape than this but without the virtual particle. Better yet, just come in better shape, so I can still run the qualifier even if I am not 100%.

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

A.M. Easy run, total of 10. First 6 with Jeff and Adam in 47:55. Dropped them off, another 4 in 27:02. Total of 1:14:57 for 10 miles.

P.M. 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:27, 1.05 with Julia in 10:58, and 1.5 with Jenny in 13:42. Considering jumping into St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, TN on December 1 - this would be a nice get-away trip for Sarah and I. Figured if we are going to do one, we may just as well try to get as much of it paid for by somebody. Wrote an e-mail to the race director to see what kind of perks they can give a 2:23 US guy.  

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

A.M. Ran 8 miles with Ted, James, Jeff, and Adam in 1:00:03. Their time was about 35 seconds slower because of my VPB stop. Ran 1:24 quarter to catch up, felt good. James pushed the pace today. I told him, now stick out your hand and tell your dad to give you five. James ran the last mile in 6:38 with the last quarter in 1:30. Afterwards, ran 2 more miles alone in 13:16, total time for 10 was 1:13:19.

P.M. 1.05 with Julia in 10:56, then 2 miles with Benjamin and Jenny, Jenny ran 1.5 in 13:47, then Benjamin and I finished 2 miles in 17:53.

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

A.M. 7 miles with James, Adam, and Ted in 54:12. Had a VPB stop, caught up with a 1:24 quarter. Also, we kicked a bit at the end, got 1:28 for the last quarter. Then ran 1.5 in 10:35, turned around and ran a mini-tempo back, 1.5 in 8:39. This was coming back from Geneva Road to the house, it is a slight net uphill, and a lot of going under bridges and back up, and a lot of turns as well. Nevertheless, the effort was too much for the pace, the legs felt flat. Probably the consequence of running a marathon on Saturday and getting a minor stomach flu yesterday - I did not eat dinner, was not hungry for it, and I do not think my lunch digested very well. Could also be the consequence of a two week taper + sickness. However, 1:24 quarter earlier felt good, I did not want to stop. On the 1.5 run, first quarter in 1:28 did not feel that good, another indicator of carbo-depletion, lower blood sugar towards the end of the run, so the brain is refusing to let the muscles go. Will do a control tempo 5 miler at marathon pace effort tomorrow to figure out how to train next week.

P.M. 1.05 with Julia in 10:50. HR afterwards was 108. Yesterday we hiked to the Timpanogos Cave. I was carrying Joseph in a kid carrying backpack, and at the very end of the climb HR was 96. This goes to show the difference between walking and running for aerobic development. Even with the extra 35lb on my back, and walking up a 12% grade I could not get anywhere close to the effort of running a mile at 10:18 pace. Also ran 1.5 with Jenny in 14:21, and then took Benjamin and Jared (Ted's son) for a run. I told Jared if Benjamin dropped him without breaking 8:00, Jared would have to run 2 miles instead of 1. The drop was defined as the failure to give Benjamin a five in 10 seconds from the invitation. Jared did a great job on the fives closing significant gaps almost immediately. I think he has a decent amount of fast-twitch fibers. Either that, or he really did not want to run 2 miles. They ran one mile together in 8:47. Afterwards, I put Jared in the stroller, and Benjamin let his horses loose closing with the last mile in 7:12, the last quarter in 1:37, and nailing the 8:00 mile guy at the very end with 15:59 for 2 miles.

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

A.M. Steve Ashbaker (the Dark Horse) joined me this morning. For some reason I woke up at around 3 AM, and just felt too excited about life to sleep. So I read the scriptures, then still could not fall asleep, so I worked some. Then I was able to fall asleep. Got up at 8, Steve was running a bit late, which was nice because I had slept in. During our warm-up we literally ran into the Domestic Violence Awareness 5 K - the crowd at the start of the race was blocking our path. They told us it was going to start in 2 minutes, Tom Lee was there, we decided to pace him. We went out at around 6:10 pace. After the first mile, the leaders looked temptingly close although they must have had about 40 seconds on us. The temptation was more than Steve could bear. He went after them like a young stallion released from a corral and running through a wide field. I figured I could finish pacing Tom, this would give him a faster time, and leave me more energy for our planned tempo run later. Tom did OK until around 3 K mark, then he started running out of steam. Probably a neurological issue, I've experienced the symptoms myself many times. He hung on to finish in a respectable 19:40 for this course which had a significant amount of turns and uphill, and no elevation drop. This gave him first place in the masters. Steve almost got the winner, but ran out of road finishing in 17:42, 12 seconds behind. He also ended up running some extra distance because of missing a 180 turn over by DI.

Then we jogged to the start of the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo. The plan was to go at whatever pace, based on how we felt, somewhere in the area of marathon pace. For me, this would be a test of recovery from the marathon, and general fitness and health. If I could run sub-28:00 without busting my gut or a bit slower feeling like it is a jog, that would be good, I can start training more or less normally next week with 3 tempo days. If breaking 28:00 required a heroic effort, or I could not do it at all, then something is seriously wrong and I need to take it easy another week, get more sleep, eat more carbs, and more garlic.

We went through the first mile in 5:38 trading quarters. Steve was feeling the effects of his stallion run in the 5 K earlier, on top of the fatigue of the marathon. He wanted to back off. I said, let's at least try to keep the 5:40 guy in check. We did the next mile in 5:40. Steve started to drop back a bit. Got 14:06 at 2.5, the pace felt very comfortable, good sign. Watching the 28:00/5:36 guy from behind like a vulture getting ready to strike. Steve stopped at 2.5, not feeling too good, but then he decided he did not want to run the remaining 2.5 slow as it started raining harder, so he just coasted through it at a milder tempo pace. Next quarter after the 180 turn was 1:26, oops, my lunch (the 28:00 guy) is running away, got to get him. Kicked into gear, decided to do the remainder of the run at threshold pace. Next quarter in 1:21, 5:35 mile. Next mile was 5:30, but the quarters gradually digressed to 1:22, and then down to 1:23. Not sure if this was fatigue from the marathon, the left over from the mini stomach flu on Thursday, or just the shoes getting heavier, the legs getting colder, and the puddles getting deeper from the rain. Now one second ahead of my lunch, but I do not get to eat it if he passes me back. Next uphill quarter in 1:25. Not good, the lunch has caught up. Next two quarters in 1:24, just trying to keep my lunch at bay, staying right with him. Picked it up on the last one, ran 1:20, 4 seconds ahead of lunch, total time 27:56, last mile 5:33. I think I passed the health/fitness test, OK to train with tempos next week.

Ran 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:45. Jared ran the first one with us in 9:14. Then 1.05 with Julia in 10:01. Jenny ran with Sarah.

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

A.M. Lots of training partners this morning. Ran with Ted and James the first 7 miles in 54:17. Then 3 more just with Ted in 21:01. Joined James in his kick, and caught Ted after a VPB stop, that gave me some marathon pace running. Ran some more afterwards. Was originally planning on adding 3.11 so I would be at half-marathon distance for my morning run, but then I saw my old friend and training partner Matt Anderson, and added a bit with him. Matt and I have run a lot of miles together. He has been out and about getting a lot of education, and now is back, teaching math at BYU, 400 and 500 level classes. He is 31, and still single. He has been running the entire time, though, and looks like a teenager. I teased him that if he showed up at a high school dance, he could have some success as the girls would have no idea about his age. Maybe that's the problem - the girls that are old enough to marry think that he is too young to date them.

When I told Matt that I ran 2:23 in St. George, he responded correctly to it right away without being prompted - bummer! I guess reaching any goal is similar to writing a program. At first it does not compile with a lot of error message. Then you fix some and try again. Get even more error messages. Then you finally fix them all, it compiles. You are ready to celebrate, but you know better if you are a programmer with experience. You try to run it, it dumps core on a trivial test. You fix that. Then it produces terribly incorrect output on a trivial test case. Fix that. Then incorrect output on a less trivial test case. Then it finally works correctly on all of your test cases. Then you give it to the users. They start reporting bugs. Finally you think you've fixed them all. Then a month later you get an ugly bug report. So on and so forth. It is incremental progress with frequent failures, but you are becoming better and better one step at a time.

We ran to my house, finished 13.3 in 1:38:20. Then Matt gave Benjamin some math problems, Benjamin solved all of them except this one - what is the limit of sin(1/x) as x approaches 0? This one challenged me as well, although it should not have, but I was too lazy to think and asked Matt the answer. This turned out to be a trick question - the limit does not exist, the sine function diverges as the argument approaches infinity. I also asked Matt about the equation on my shirt. I understand the front part, which says, "and God said", then Maxwell's electromagnetic equations, then "and there was light". The back part says, What part of - some ugly looking partial differential equation - do you not understand? Turned out to be something from the quantum mechanics, which is what I thought it was. The discussion, however, stirred up Benjamin's interest in math, which is very good.

I'll keep bugging Matt about Fast Running Blog until he joins.

P.M. 1.05 with Julia in 10:33 in the early afternoon. Later, 2 miles with Benjamin, Jenny ran the first 1.5, then rode in the stroller. Jenny's time was 14:14. Benjamin finished 2 miles in 17:47. He put some hot pepper on my plate with the last quarter in 1:38. With Jenny in the stroller I had to move my legs to keep up, this was almost marathon race pace effort. Ran 2 miles afterwards with Jacob and Joseph in the stroller in 14:38.

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

A.M. Big Workout. Ran with Ted and Jeff at 5:00 AM. Warmed up a bit over 6 miles. Made two VPB stops, catching up gave me a mile of marathon pace running. Good warm up for the tempo.

Then ran 7.5 tempo. Did not have a time goal, just went by feel. Did not check my splits as often as I normally do, at times going for as long as 1.5 without checking a split, that is not normal for me. I get bored when I cannot check my splits often, and lose concentration. I think for some people it is a good idea to run watchless and splitless. For me it is not, my mind starts to wonder and I lose concentration. Even with the splits every quarter I still cannot push myself hard enough in a marathon to make me sore afterwards, which I take as a sign that the muscles have more to give, but the nervous system quits early. Without the splits I go into a complete slack off mode, especially in the dark. First 2.5 (slight net up) was 14:23. On the second one, which is a slight net down, I fell asleep, and ran 14:30, 28:53 at 5 miles. Woke up a bit on the last 2.5 and ran it in 14:21. Total time for 7.5 was 43:14, average of 5:45.87.

Cooled down to the house, total time for 15.1 was 1:39:40, 6:36.03 average (computed precisely using the new feature in the calculator on the Add Entry page).

Does anybody have ideas on what to do when the nervous system lags behind the rest of the body? I found that sleep, lack of stress, and frequent carbo-rich meals are helpful. Any other ideas?

Sarah did a 2 mile tempo run in 15:51. This is a good time for her. However Benjamin was quick to give a very humble response - this is still far away from my 13:57!

P.M. 1.05 with Julia in 9:14. This converts to an 8:48 mile en-route, new mile PR for her. Benjamin and Jenny could not crack 9:00 until they were almost 5.5. Julia is not even a month over 5, and mentally she is much younger than Benjamin and Jenny were at her age - both were reading by that age, Julia is still probably at least couple of months from being able to read. Which means, from what I have observed in my kids, that she would have a harder time getting what her true fitness would give her. She has shown the most talent out of our running kids so far.

Then ran 0.99 to pick up Jenny from her tumbling class in 7:45. Took a scenic route with Jenny, 1.74 in 14:57, 8:34 average pace. Then it was Benjamin's turn. I told him he had to beat Mommy's tempo run time of 15:51 for 2 miles to validate his bragging rights. He warmed up the first 0.5 in 4:13, then cranked it up a bit and hit the mile in 8:05 vs 7:55 Mommy split. However, he passed Mommy on the next quarter hitting it in 1:50. This was followed by 1:47, and 1:50. Now his bragging rights were secure, except I told him he could not close slower than Mommy (1:52). So he ran the last quarter in 1:46, finishing 2 miles in 15:19 with the last mile in 7:14.

Pushed Jacob in the single stroller throughout the entire evening run adventure. Total of 5.78 miles.

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

A.M. Early morning run with Ted (5 AM). Started slow as usual, then gradually eased into 7:10 - 7:20 pace. With about 0.3 to go Ted's horses began to neigh and he let them loose. So we ended up going through all the gears of the semi, and finished at my 5 K race pace, or maybe even faster. Last quarter was 1:19, total time for 10.1 was 1:12:50, average of 7:12.67.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:20, 2 with Benjamin in 16:10, 1.05 with Julia in 10:24, then 2.5 in 17:23 by myself. No stroller. 

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

A.M. Moderate workout. 6:30 AM by myself. Temperature around freezing. Warmed up 4.12 in 29:43 to the trail gate by the Utah Lake. Then ran Provo River 5 Mile Tempo except started at the other end of the stretch. Figured it would work better for teaching me to negative split since that makes the first half a slight up, and the second slight down. It worked quite well. I hit the first mile in 5:40. It was still dark. The pace felt just right. I adjusted for the cold, leaves on the road, post-marathon residual fatigue, and a recent increase in mileage. So although it was slow, I was expecting to hit slower splits with more effort. Started to get into a good rhythm on the next 0.5, ran it in 2:47. Then hit the uphill section, and it took the wind out of my sails. Dragged myself through the next mile in 5:40 with 14:07 at 2.5. My legs felt like they were stuck in a low gear. The way things were going, it looked I was headed for about 28:05. I began to wonder if the marathon, and the sickness before it perhaps took more out of me than I thought, or maybe I was just underestimating the effect of the cold weather and the leaves on the road creating slippage. Next quarter was 1:27 recovering from 180 turn, followed by 1:24, a bit of an encouragement. This gave me 16:58 at 3 miles.

Then the sun came up, it started getting warmer, and I hit the downhill section. This kicked me into gear. Next mile in 5:28, and the last one in 5:26 with the last quarter in 1:19. Total time 27:52, last 2.5 in 13:45. While the time was not particularly fast, nor were any of the splits in the middle, I was happy with being able to find myself not feeling that great half way through, yet still be able to run a 22 second actual negative split, which translates into a 15 second effective negative split adjusting for the profile of the course.

Then ran 3.88 in 26:51 back to the house. This gave me 1:24:26 for 13 miles, 6:29.69 average.

P.M. 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:11. Tested his sense of pace - did not give him any splits until we were done, and had him estimate every quarter. He was fairly consistently off by 5-10 seconds guessing a slower pace that he was actually running. Then 1.05 with Jenny and Julia in 10:29, and another 0.5 with Jenny in 4:32. Then 1.5 by myself in 10:24. No stroller today.

The good news is that while in the late morning and early afternoon I was feeling like I had done something, by tonight I started to feel like a slacker. Not bad at all after 74 miles in 4 days.

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

A.M. Easy 13.11 with Ted at 6:30 AM. Ran from my house to the Sasha House 10 Miler turnaround, then back, added extra miles on the trail. Did 8x100 strides, all around 18-19 seconds. Felt good. Total time for 13.11 was 1:35:31. Pace varied from slower than 8:00 in the early miles to 6:40-6:50 towards the end.

The morning it just hit me that I remember way too much for feeling like a teenager, and have way too many kids for feeling that way for sure. Just to think that when Jeff was born, I had already run 3000 in 10:08, and a 10 K on the roads in 37:38, and now Jeff is running with me, and he does not look any different than me. Yet I am almost old enough to be his dad. That is odd for sure. But have no complaints about faster times on all distances, and faster recoveries than back in the teenage years.

P.M. Started with a double stroller and two kids in it - Jacob, and Leland, our bishop's little daughter. We were babysitting for him and his wife tonight. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:32, then 2 with Benjamin in 16:59. Then changed to a single stroller and a bigger kid in it - Ashton, and ran 0.5 in 3:48. Then another mile without a stroller in 7:01.

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

A.M. Long run. Started at 6:10 AM. Ran with Matt Anderson and Jeff McClellan. Matt is a king of nerds. If I am a nerd, then he is nerd2 or even better, enerd - check out his web page. It is very interesting to discuss math or physics with him, he speaks Spanish, and he can ran a 1:13 half on top of it. What a guy!

We started at my house and ran on the trail towards the Provo Canyon and on to Bridal Veil Falls. The plan was 10 out easy, 10 back hard. Jeff was going to go just 7 out/7 back - he still has a post-marathon cold, and on top of that he got hit on the head yesterday playing flag football.

The course starts at the elevation of 4545 feet, rolls up 240 feet in the first 5 miles, then steadily climbs another 310 feet to the turnaround, and then the same thing backwards - steady down drop of 310 feet for 5 miles, then a rolling drop of 240 feet in the last 5.

It was dark. We warmed up/plodded along through the first 5 miles in 37:06. Then I announced a chase of the 7:00 mile guy with a goal to be within a minute of him by 10 miles. Sub 6:40 pace felt way too easy up the canyon, and there was no headwind, so I suspected we must have had some tailwind. We ran the next 5 miles in 33:13 hitting 10 in 1:10:19. Jeff turned around at 7. Matt said he did not want to run fast downhill on the way back. So after the turnaround I was alone.

My plan was to go by feel and experience the closing miles of a marathon as closely as possible. Interestingly enough, at least for me, at the end of a high mileage week, and after running 10 at an easy pace, when I try to run fast I feel like I am somewhere between 15 and 20 in a marathon race. So this was just perfect - start the tempo at that point in a marathon without having to run hard to get there.

When I turned around, I realized that I was right about the direction of the wind. I could definitely feel some headwind, although it was not a killer. I started out with a few quarters around 6:00 pace, and then finally warmed up into a 5:40-5:45 rhythm. Coming out of the canyon I slowed down to a few 1:28 quarters, and began to wonder if I was about to hit the wall in a few miles. But I was able to refocus and get back into 5:40-5:45 zone. Hit the next 5 miles in 28:49.

Now the hardest 5 miles of the whole run. It is at the end, less elevation drop, and it is a rolling drop with lots of turns and going under bridges and through dark narrow tunnels on the trail. Lots of rhythm breakers. Decided to focus on challenging the energy into moving forward rather than making the standard Sasha-in-pain face. Hobie looks like he is smiling even when he is running at his limit. I wondered how he manages that and if there is anything I could learn from it. I think I did today.

Held a fairly steady pace, managed 28:51 for the last 5 miles, closed with a 5:40 mile. This gave me 2:07:59 for 20 miles, and 57:40 for the last 10. Relived the last 2 miles of St. George in a positive way. Visualized Kelly Mortenson passing me with 1.5 miles to go. In the race I tried to go with him, but then I just could not. It was odd - I felt no pain, but my mind was just too tired to go. On the last mile I practiced overcoming this mental "I am too tired to go". It is hard to describe exactly what I did, but the closest I can get is saying that I worked on fully believing that my limit was neurological, that the body had more to give even though I was feeling a bit fuzzy, and then channeling all of my mental energy into going forward, going faster, and believing that I could hold it to the finish at the same time.

P.M. Ran with the kids around the block. 1.05 with Julia in 11:05, 1.75 with Jenny in 16:53, and then 2.1 with Benjamin in 15:54.

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

A.M. Ran alone at 6:10 AM. Easy 13.11 on the trail in 1:31:16, 6:57.7 average. Did 8 strides in the middle that were supposed to be 100 meters, but a few of them ended up being longer as I missed the mark. Started out at 8:00 pace, then eventually warmed into 6:50. Temperatures were around freezing. Ran fully clothed - tights, jacket, gloves, ready-to-rob-the-bank hood. Took off the hood and the gloves after 2 miles. Felt good, although no neighing horses.

Also, had a dream about going for a run with Sarah (the Fast Running Mommy), Logan, and some guy he was coaching. We were doing a tempo run for the guy he was coaching, and ran 3 miles at 5:50 pace. It felt just like 5:50 pace in real life - brisk, but very sustainable. I thought Sarah would be OK because she'd be riding a bike. At the end of the run I realized that there was no bike after all and she managed to stay with us on foot, and did not seem to be particularly worn out from the effort. I was so excited about her breakthrough, but then I woke up and realized it was just a dream.

P.M. 1.75 with Jenny in 15:32, then 2 with Benjamin in 17:09, then 1.05 with Julia in 10:48, then 0.5 by myself in 3:42.

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

A.M. Big workout. It was fairly cold, probably below freezing. Cold enough for me to wear a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, and tights. Ran at 6:10 AM with Jeff. He is still not 100% so he went only 10 easy. Started at 9:00 pace, fairly quickly progressed to around 7:00. Went to the end of Sasha House 10 Miler, then came back to the Provo River Trail gate by the lake (6.22 in 45:25, 7:18.1 avg).

Then started the 7.5 tempo. Felt unmotivated - it was dark and cold, I had a lot of clothes on, and there were leaves on the ground. Decided to be a slacker and run 5:50-6:00 pace. Hit the first mile in 5:46, 14:25 at 2.5. Turned around, the sun came up, I started to pick up the pace. Noticed that my face began to develop its usual grimace. Focused on redirecting the grimace energy into the legs. It worked very well. Ran the next 2.5 (slight down) in 14:07, and closed with 2.5 in 14:09 (slight up), last mile in 5:36, hard but without excessive strain. Total time for 7.5 was 42:41, 5:41.47 avg.

Cooled down to the house, 1.38 in 10:06, 7:19.13 avg. Total time for 15.1 was 1:38:12, 6:30.2 avg.

P.M. Busy afternoon. Got my run in, though. Drove Zhu to Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed. Ran from there 0.8 in 5:20 (6:40 pace) to Jenny's tumbling recital. Afterwards ran 1.74 to the house with Jenny in 15:32. Then took a single stroller, Julia and Benjamin to retrieve Zhu. Julia ran just the first mile in 10:14. Benjamin ran all the way. He said after the first quarter that he had one horse neighing. Then in the next quarter mile his number of neighing horses gradually increased from 1 to 7. I told him to hold his horses until Julia was in the stroller. Once she was done, Benjamin let his horses loose gradually increasing the pace from 8:00 to around 6:40 at the end. Total time for 2.25 was 19:24.

Afterwards we drove to Murdock Travel where I tried in vain to redeem my gift certificates from St. George. I was not particularly impressed with the agents ability to find the best price on a flight. After I had told him I was interested in the best price, he found a flight for $485 SLC to Memphis and back. I had already done my homework, and knew this was not the best price even adding the travel agency overhead into the sum, and I also knew which airline did. I gave him some tips. He was able to find a flight for $385. However, they could not redeem the certificates right away because they were too old, so they were going to wait to call St. George City to see if they would still pay for them. This is something I do not understand. Murdock Travel is a sponsor of the race. Why should St. George City be paying for the certificates? Do they mean to say that they get the publicity without paying a buck, and then attempt to make a profit off the top finishers on top of it?

Added another 0.3 running errands between the church and home. 

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

A.M. Easy 10.1 at 5:10 AM alone. Dark the whole run. Started out at 9:00 pace. Quickly progressed to a bit sub-7:00. With 1 K to go decided to catch the 1:10:00 guy. Let one horse out of the barn, that got me up to 6:25 pace. With a quarter to go let another horse out, that got me going at 5:50 pace. Total time was 1:09:53.

Battled with Murdock Travel about the certificates. The root of the problem is that I am trying to defeat their scheme to profit off top runners. They gave me $50 certificate in 2004, $100 in 2005, and $100 in 2006. I lost the one from 2003, now I do not miss it as much, and I got booted out of top 10 this year just barely, so nothing from this year. They give you those token certificates that are in essence worth nothing if used one at a time. You can beat their price by more than the value of any one certificate by shopping on the Internet. I am fairly certain they did not intend those certificates to be used this way. So they are saying that normally those certificates are valid for only a year. But mine did not have an expiration date, so I was piling them up until I could use them all at once.

You think getting a reward for running fast is just a matter of running fast. No way! You have to call people and bug them. Almost like the Salt Lake Marathon.

Yes, and if I ever win St. George, instead of a trip to Japan I'll ask for a trip to Springfield, Missouri or Huntsville, Alabama.

It really bothers me when I place in a race, open the award package, and find a discount coupon, or some other deal that requires you to spend money. It is not so much that I want that product for free, a lot of times I do not want that product at all, even if they paid me to use it. Here is what bothers me - you've worked hard, you've trained, you've pushed yourself in that race, you've sacrificed to reach a certain level of performance only to find out that the best that business could do to recongize your work is to try to make a little bit less profit off you that they would off their regular customer.  

P.M. 1.75 with Jenny in 17:11. Then 2 with Benjamin in 16:47. Then 1.05 with Julia and Jacob in the single stroller in 10:30. Then 3.6 without running kids, but with Jacob in the stroller in 28:22 (7:53 avg). The pace varied depending on who I was running with. First I caught up to a guy named Brian. He was going about 9:00 pace, but I did not mind, figured I'd run with him for a bit and chat. Turns out he likes the trail so much he comes down all the way from Alpine to run here. Then I turned around at Geneva Road, and headed back. Ran about 0.05 and saw Daniel Allen, our new blogger. Turned around and figured I'd add a little bit with him. We were going around 7:20-7:30 pace. Then with 0.5 to go I turned to go home, and he continued on the trail. Total of 8.4 for the run.

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

A.M. Ran with Jeff at 6:40 AM. Medium workout. Warmed up 4.12 in 30:40 (7:27 pace). Then 5 mile tempo. The goals were to work on the threshold, not grimacing when the pace feels hard, and the ability to negative split. I believe the last two are related.

The weather was warmer. Still close to freezing, but a bit warmer, maybe 40-45 degrees. The leaves were mostly gone from the ground, and there was more light as we ran a bit later. I warmed up in shorts, long-sleeved shirt, and a jacket. Then it was warm enough to take off the jacket for the tempo run.

Jeff is still recovering from injuries, and just ran easy today.

Started at the Utah Lake gate so the first half would be uphill. Ran the first mile cautiously in 5:37. Not much meaningful feedback from the body, felt like just about anything could happen. Felt stronger on the second mile, did not slow down on the uphill section, got 5:35. At that point I knew I'd be able to run at least a few seconds faster than last week. However, I did not particularly care about the time, I was more focused on the negative split practice and teaching myself not to grimace.

Next 0.5 in 2:49 - this is a rough section, I think it is disguised uphill, it is always slow. Made a 180 turn, 14:01 for the first 2.5. Next quarter was 1:26 (recovering from 180), followed by 1:23. This gave me 5:38 for the next mile, and 16:50 for 3. Then with the help of small downhill for about a quarter mile got going. Next mile in 5:25, followed by 5:19 with the last two quarters in 1:19, and 1:18. Total time was 27:34, last 0.5 in 13:33, actual negative split of 28 seconds, profile adjusted negative split of 21 seconds. Avg pace was 5:30.8.

Cooled down with Jeff - 3.88 in 27:16, 7:01.65 avg. Total time for 13 miles was 1:25:30, avg. pace of 6:34.62

P.M. Good news - Murdock Travel called me and said they would accept the certificates. So I got a ticket to Memphis and back for $139 after applying $250 worth of certificates. I did learn my lesson though, and had the right flight picked out. The moral of the story - if you are ever given fixed value certificate that you have to use via a travel agent, go on the Internet, find the best flight, then go to the agent and tell him you want to use that flight.

Ted stopped by my house in the middle of his run to tell me about James' 5:31 mile - new course record for his age. Then we took Benjamin on foot and Jenny in the stroller and ran on the trail to Ted's car. 2.52 in 19:43, 7:49.44 average. Then back with Jenny running 1.5 of it, and Benjamin in the stroller all the time. Jenny's time was 13:24. Some guy passed us on Jenny's last quarter. She was going a bit sub-8:00, and that guy moved away from us pretty quick. I thought I could possibly catch him once Jenny was in the stroller. She took too long to get in, but I tried nevertheless. So I hit a quarter in 1:31 with a double stroller and Benjamin and Jenny in it (over 100 lb kid weight total) down 1% grade. I was entertained by how the kids discussed the pace from the stroller:

Jenny: I think we are going 7:00.

Benjamin: No, if it was 7:00 I'd be able to keep this for a while. This looks like I might be able to hang in for a quarter, but no more than that.

I was able to close a bit, but ran out of road - the guy must have been going around 6:40. It was time to turn. Once it flattened out, I slowed down to a 1:36 quarter. This felt like marathon race pace, maybe like 1:24 - 1:25 quarter without the stroller. Total time for 2.52 on the way back was 19:47, 7:51.03 avg.

Then ran 1.05 with Julia around the block in 10:58, 10:26.67 avg.

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

A.M. Ran with Ted at around 6:20 AM. We did an easy half (13.11) in 1:36:58, avg. 7:23.78. 8 100 meter strides in the middle, all around 18 seconds. With 0.3 decided to measure Ted's HR at faster speeds. Ran the last quarter in 1:18. Ted's HR got up to 176. This felt odd. On one hand I felt like I was working, but on the other hand I felt relaxed. Hard to tell in a third of a mile what kind of effort it was.

P.M. Adventure run of sorts. First, our entire family headed out. Benjamin on a bike, Jacob and Joseph in the stroller, everybody else on foot. 300 meters out stopped at our neighbor's house and dropped Jenny and Julia off to play with their friend. Continued on to 1.5 mark which we reached in 15:17. This was the end of Sarah's warm-up. Then I hid the bike in the bushes, and he and I paced Sarah through her 2 mile tempo run in 15:46, 7:49 out on a slight down, and then 7:57 back up. Afterwards, retrieved the bike from the bushes and we continued - Sarah running, Benjamin on a bike. After about 200 meters Sarah remembered that were supposed to get Jenny and Julia at 6:00 pm, and it was already past that. So Benjamin and I picked up the pace. Got Jenny and Julia, and ran with them. Julia finished 1.07 in 10:50 (10:07.48 pace). Jenny added another 0.5 in 4:29, which gave her a total of 1.57 in 15:19.

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

A.M. 20 mile run from my house up to Bridal Veil and back on the trail. Same as last week. Ran with Ted and Jeff. Jeff went only 16 turning around at 8. We started out with a leisurely warm up, then moved into the area of brisk (sub-7:00 and occasionally sub-6:40) after about 3 miles. There was a headwind in the canyon. Nevertheless, 6:40 uphill and into the wind felt relaxing once I warmed into it. I think the wind was gusty. Gusty winds feel bad, but do not slow you down much. Our first 10 miles was 1:10:12.

On the way back we picked it up. I wanted to slack off and go barely sub-6:00. But Ted would not let me. He did one of his quarters in 1:24. Then I was wound up, and did not want to go any slower. So I was doing my quarters in 1:22-1:24 as well. I offered Ted to sit on me, but he was smarter than that knowing that he would not see a quarter slower than 1:24 for a while in that case. So we traded quarters. Next 5 miles in 27:55. Ted started getting tired, and we did the next mile in 5:42. Then on the next mile we ran a slow quarter uphill in 1:30. I started getting concerned that the 5:40 guy might catch us, and picked it up a bit, but Ted did not respond. I was feeling good, and wound up enough to not want to run slower. So I figured I'd just run the last 3 miles alone. Next mile was 5:45, after that, 5:37, 5:35, and 5:30. Last 5 in 28:12, last 10 in 56:07,  5:36.7 average, total time 2:06:19, 6:18.95 avg. No quarters slower than 1:26. I was very happy with that since the last 5 miles have a lot of turns and going down under the bridges and through dark tunnels. Ted held on very well and finished about a minute behind me. In my estimate this shows if he were to start his taper today, he would run St. George somewhere between 2:25 and 2:27.

Felt very strong at the end, much better than a week ago. Afterwards, the legs felt fresh, and there was no serious fatigue. If I did not have the memory of running 20, you could have tricked me into thinking I've just run easy 10. I should be very thankful for this. It has not always been this way. I remember coming home from a 20 miler many times and feeling completely dead. But eventually God has blessed me with the ability and knowledge of what I need to do to recover fast. I've had nothing to complain about in this respect in the last couple of years, but I feel things have progressed beyond that in the last couple of weeks, and especially today. I still do not quite know exactly what I did to make it happen. I am suspecting my latest garlic adventures might have had something to do with it. I have been concerned about the possibility of getting sick, so I have been religiously sucking on garlic like candy a couple times a day in an attempt to kill any hiding germs. I am so glad that Sarah has gotten used to the smell of garlic over 10 years of our marriage.

Went to Benjamin's cross-country meet at Kiwani's park afterwards. He ran 3 K in 14:02 winning pre-Bantums, only 1 second off his PR for that course. Not bad for cold weather and not being tapered. James ran 11:17, a new PR for him.

P.M. Ran 1.05 with Jenny and Julia in 11:05, Julia had a side ache and was struggling. I need to make sure she gets to drink enough during the day. Then 0.5 with Jenny in 4:27. Pushed the double stroller with Jacob. Then 3.5 by myself with Jacob in the single stroller in 26:54 (7:41:14 pace) . Caught up to 3 guys during the last stage of the run on the trail and ran with them for about a mile. As usual (for Provo), discovered a high degree of foreign language fluency. One was fluent in Spanish, another in Portuguese, and the other in Thai - all from serving LDS missions. Speaking of which, we have a lot of language fluency here on the blog, native as well as acquired. I am aware of the following: Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and German. Any others?

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

A.M. The Uneventful Half-Marathon. I think that is what I am going to call this run. It is supposed to be as uneventful as possible to avoid overtraining. Ted joined me. Lots of leaves on the ground. Ran a fairly steady pace from the start. Did 8x100 strides in the middle. Total time was 1:34:41, 7:13:33 avg.

P.M. Ran with the kids. Adam joined me as well. 1.05 with Julia in 10:17, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:52, 2 with Benjamin in 15:49, and then another 0.5 without a running kid in 3:55. Pushed Jacob in the single stroller the entire time.

I just had a thought. Maybe I should invite more people to participate in the Uneventful Half-Marathon. I do it every Monday and Friday at 6:30 AM. 339 N 1120 W, Provo, UT. RSVP so we won't start it without you. Anybody who feels like running a half somewhere in the 1:30-1:37 range is welcome to join. Good chance for a flat honest Sasha-certified course PR. Free entry. Pacers provided. If you bribe the Fast Running Mommy, maybe even a special breakfast will be served at the end. 

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

A.M. Eventful Big Workout. Big Workouts are always eventful. Ran at 5:05 AM with Ted. Warmed up 6.22 in 45:12, 7:16.01 avg. Lots of leaves on the ground between the 1.5 and 2.5 marks of the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo. Dark the entire way, but warm, around 50 degrees. Wore shorts and a long-sleeved shirt.

Then ran 7.5 tempo. Traded quarters with Ted for the first 2.5. This made it go by fast. The split was 14:18. Afterwards Ted had some hip and general fatigue issues and backed off to a brisk jog. On the way back first took my time to get going after the turnaround (5:46 mile) , then did OK on the 0.5 without the leaves (5:36 pace), then slowed down on the leaves (5:42). This gave me 14:16 for the next 2.5.

Another 180, and back at the leaves. Hard to get going on them and in the dark. Next mile in 5:46. Then the leaves were gone, and I was able to pick it up. 5:38 pace for the next 0.5, and then ran the last uphill mile in 5:29 with the last quarter in 1:20. This gave me 14:04 for the last 2.5, and 42:38 for 7.5, 5:41.07 avg.

Cooled down 1.38 in 10:40, 7:43.77 avg. Total time for 15.1 was 1:38:30, 6:31.39 avg.

Have been reading the transcripts of the General Conference in the last few days. There were a couple of talks that had some great messages for runners:

Raising the Bar

One evening as I returned home from work, I found Lee practicing his jumping. I asked, “How high is the bar?”

He said, “Five feet, eight inches.”

“Why that height?”

He answered, “You must clear that height to qualify for the state track meet.”

“How are you doing?” I asked.

“I can clear it every time. I haven’t missed.”

My reply: “Let’s raise the bar and see how well you do then.”

He replied, “Then I might miss.”

I queried, “If you don’t raise the bar, how will you ever know your potential?”

I heard that talk right after getting back from St. George. It really spoke to me particularly at that time. I missed the bar, but was comforted with the thought that raising the bar high enough to find out your potential means you might do your best and still miss it.

Do It Now

Many of us want the simple way—the process that will not require serious work and sacrifice. Well, I once thought I found it. Driving in the back of a verdant valley above the city of Honolulu, I looked up, and there it was—Easy Street! As I was dreaming of the life-changing benefits of my discovery, I took out my camera to record the blissful moment. As I looked through the viewfinder, however, my focus literally and figuratively became clear. A large yellow sign returned me to reality—Easy Street was a dead end!

P.M. Easy 6.05. First 1.05 with Julia in 10:11. Then 1.5 with Jenny in 14:04. Then 0.5 with Benjamin in 5:07. His feet were hurting, so we cut the run short. Sounds scary, like the symptoms of PF, but I think he has actually had this before when his feet were growing and outgrew his shoes. Then added another 3 miles in 20:27. 

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

A.M. Easy 10.1 with Ted and Jeff at 5:00 AM. Started out slow, and it felt right. Then I woke up at 2.5 and one horse neighed. Ted and Jeff were still asleep, so the horse went to the barn. Then at at 4.2 two horses neighed. Went back to the barn. Then three horses at 8, back to the barn again. Total time 1:15:43, 7:29.8 avg. This felt too slow for that long, I can handle as slow as 12:00 for a mile or two, but once the distance increases my slow pace tolerance starts to decrease. Slow is OK, though - high mileage, better err on the slow side that on the fast, and we had a good conversation. Discussed cross country races, airplane guidance systems, airline pilot work schedule and pay structure, career choices and then cross country races again.

P.M. A mile with Benjamin in 8:33. We found a new bigger size pair of shoes for him that was hiding somewhere in the house, and his feet felt better. Then 1.05 with Julia in 9:07. That is a new record for her, and converts to 8:41 mile. She also did it with a progressively negative split with the 0.35 laps around the block in 3:12, 3:04, and 2:55. This indicates that she could be in contention for the win in the Thanksgiving race 800 meters in the 5-6 age division. She has her work cut out being barely 5 and racing girls who could potentially be almost 7. Last year Jenny won with 3:51, and Rachael Blackburn was second with 4:21. Rachael, however, was only 5. Julia on a good day could possibly go sub-4, which might be enough to win. She does know very well that she needs to run focused, or the turkey will run away.

Ran another 1.5 with Jenny in 13:51. Then another 4.5 by myself in 31:19, 6:57.56 avg. Pushed Jacob in the single stroller on all the segments of the evening run except the one with Benjamin.

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

Featured Announcements
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):