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: 12.00 Month: 155.37 Year: 2223.23
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1909.35
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1317.07
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
290.3041.0911.473.75346.61
Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 46.25Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 50.73
Night Sleep Time: 231.25Nap Time: 11.00Total Sleep Time: 242.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.840.500.000.009.34

A.M. Relaxing 6 with Jeff early in the morning in 53:59. We beat the 9:00 girl by 1 second! I think if you go slower than 8:30 your virtual competitor is not a guy anymore. We were not trying to go slow, it just happened - it was dark, early, and we were deeply engaged in a conversation about Jeff's Spanish test at BYU to get credit for some classes. My three most recent training partners (Jeff, Tyler, and Derek) are fluent in Spanish, and are also young enough to where I can say : "I ran a 10 K at 6:00 pace before you learned to walk". Anybody who learned to walk after the end of September of 1985 fits into the category. But at the same time today somebody called me an Elder at the temple again, which would imply he thought I looked like a 19-year-old missionary.

P.M. 0.34 with Joseph, Jenny, and Julia running, and Jacob in the stroller in 3:57. 1 mile with Jenny and Julia in 10:56 pushing Jacob. Jenny got hurt on the playground, so she ran less and slower today. Jacob then did 2x100 - 1:02, and 1:06. He is the best focused 2 year old we've ever had. He just runs - does not get distracted at all. He put a pair of running shoes on Sleeping Beauty this morning and said something to the effect that she should go for a run.  2 with Benjamin in 15:56. He did a fast 0.5 in the middle in 2:57, splits of 90 and 87. That is his new record for 0.5,and a PR for 0.25 as well.

Five Fingers - 1431.01 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.720.620.000.009.34

A.M. 6 alone in 44:39. Started out slow as usual, the 8:00 guy had 32 seconds on me at 1.25. Then I was cruising along at a little bit faster than 7:30 pace. I was wondering if I was going to catch the 7:30 guy today. With about 1 K to go I remembered a Russian joke. A bus driver was watching an old lady run towards the bus. He kept wondering if she'd make it. Finally he said to himself, no she won't, closed the doors and drove away. So it was just like this joke, except I decided the old lady was going to make the 7:30 guy bus. With 1 K to go I sped up to about 5:50 pace, ran it in 3:38, and she made it.

P.M.  1 with Julia in 9:56, 2 with Benjamin in 16:52, Jenny did 1.5 with us in 13:07. 0.34 with Joseph in 3:52. Jacob did 2x100 in 55 and 57.

Five Fingers - 1437.01 miles

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.440.001.000.006.44

A.M. Ran 3.1 with Kory in Provo in 22:29. Did a mile pickup in 5:25. 1 with Julia in 10:56, 2 with Benjamin in 17:35, Jenny did 1.5 in 13:07. 0.34 with Joseph in 3:46. Jacob did 2x100.

P.M. Drive to St. George.

 Five Fingers - 1443.45 miles

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Race: St. George Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:34:43, Place overall: 10
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
1.0026.220.000.0027.22

Quick report. St. George Marathon, 2:34:43, 10th place. Bad weather. Rain all the way, headwind. The times were probably around 6 minutes slower for the same effort. Feet got soaked, misjudged my fuel levels, and did skipped too many aid stations. Ran out of fuel, hit the wall, increased the fuel intake, was able to recover some, but still the last 10 K in 39:48. Live and learn.

Interesting that many others were having similar problems. Blog did well - we captured 5 out of the top 10 spots. $100 cash for being first from Utah County + $150 for winning the age division last year and finishing this year + $100 travel certificate. Not bad for a mediocre performance, makes up for getting nothing (except the come-back travel stipend) last year for a 2:23. Sometimes you have to come back next year to collect for the unfairness of the prior year.

Details:

The start was wet, but it did not look too bad at first. However, after the first mile in 5:56 I knew that something serious was up. Even though I hid myself in the pack the best I could it felt hard. I would have normally blamed this on my fitness, but the pack with the exception of a couple of rabbits was in no hurry to speed up. Even after that mile when Nick and Clyde tried to pick up the pace, the next mile was 5:49, and it did not feel like a jog at all. On the third mile Dave Holt tried to pick up the pace. Knowing Dave I knew what he was thinking. "I do not care about the rain and the headwind, if I just believe in myself I can get my goal time!" But the laws of nature cannot be ignored.This would have been bad for him and every blogger in the pack. I warned him to not even think of racing for time and not to break the pack that early. Ideally I wanted to see everybody together at 20 even if that meant that some would have to run a bit faster, and others would have to hold back.

My feet were wet from the start, and I was running very tense. We made it to 5 miles in around 28:15. I started to feel a bit better. The pack was composed mostly of bloggers, but there were some dark horses in it. Too many dark horses for my taste - I wanted to see 1-10 blogger sweep with no gaps. One of them looked particularly troublesome. He had a perfect collegiate runner form. This could be both good and bad. If he is a typical collegiate runner, no worries, he'll blow up after 20. But if he's done his homework, he could be full of trouble. I learned his first name at the bottom of Veyo from the cheering. It was Mark. I wondered about his last name for the rest of the race, but he had taken off, so I could not ask.

I learned his last name at the finish. It was Currell. Indeed he was a recent college grad. He ran for SUU. His collegiate times were good enough to run for college but nothing exceptional. 4:25 mile, 3:59 1500, 14:31 5000, and 30:51 10000. However, he had run a remarkable race after college winning Seafair 8 K in 24:30, ahead of Mike Sayenko (24:39), and our Sean Sundwall (25:03). Seafair is not a fast course. Mike ran 2:18 at the 2008 Trials, and was fifth at TCM with 2:19 in tough conditions this year. Sean around that time ran 2:22 alone on an honest course. Anybody who can beat Mike and put a 30+ second gap on Sean over an 8 K can rock in the marathon when properly trained.

And Mark sure did. Once Veyo started he literally disappeared into horizon. Jeff commented - "If he is going to come back, he would have to crash pretty hard. Otherwise, he is not coming back."

I did better than I expected going up Veyo. First Dave Danley and Nick got an little antsy and tried to go after Mark. I got concerned, and tried to go with them in fear of losing contact. But then I realized I needed to ease off. Jeff McClellan and Dave Holt passed me and gapped me, but then I worked my way back to them. Soon we had a pack again - Nick, Dave Holt, Jeff, and myself. Dave Danley was about 20 seconds ahead, and we maintained the distance. We lost Clyde and the rest of the dark horses.

We plodded along at around 6:00 pace up the Dameron Valley. Got to the half in 1:15:22. Reeled in Dave Danley, and he joined us briefly. At around 14 Dave Holt's horses started to neigh, he pushed and broke the pack. Jeff went after him, Nick stayed with me, and Dave Danley fell back.

The cold weather messed with my senses. I felt I had plenty of fuel, and being as wet as I was I did not feel like either drinking or (side effect) spilling Gatorade on myself. So I was missing a lot of aid stations, and not getting very much in me when I actually bothered to grab a cup. As it turned out I would pay for it later.

Had it been dry and warmer the chills would not have obscured the readings of the fuel gauge. But I was clearly unprepared for the conditions. I had not factored in the altered perception effect. I had also underestimated that my body would be heating up the air for 26 miles, and had not dressed properly, nor was I taking in the extra fuel for warming up the environment. You would think that in over 45 marathons I would have learned better. Some people are just slow learners.

Nick made a move, and dropped me as if I were standing still. It was almost like he was a lead vehicle cop that accidentally hit the accelerator. I was running alone, but feeling fairly strong as we went up a small hill. But then there was Winchester. Based on how I felt at Veyo and on that small hill maybe half a mile before Winchester I thought I'd scale it no problem. But once we got there the head wind picked up and I started to lose steam. I never regained for the rest of the race.

Nick stopped to tie his shoe, and I passed him.

Clyde, Nick, and Pepi Petersen went by me as if I was standing still. I then caught up to Jeff, and he told me he was not feeling good. I told him to tough it out. I began to realize that I was running out of fuel. Unfortunately my hands were shaking and I was spilling half of the Gatorade into my eyes. The eye contact with lemon acid (I think) in combination with the already low blood sugar was causing a fuzzy vision. This was annoying, but provided food for thought. Lemon acid drop in the eye could possibly act as a blood sugar test on the run.

20 miles in 1:54:55, but who cares about the time. Running just to finish and hopefully stay in the top 10. Josh Steffen went by me as if I were standing still around mile 21. Jon Allen would be next, I thought, of the people I knew.

Fortunately I understood the nature of the problem, and started slowing down at the aid stations, taking double dozes of Gatorade, and making sure all of it went in. But it would take another couple of miles for it to start working, and during that time I would have to jog.

I began to experience a loss of will power, typical when blood sugar goes down. I did not care about the race, and did not even want to finish. There were several motivators that kept me going, though. The first one I thought of was that the quickest and the warmest way to get to the finish was to run as fast as I could. The thought of having to wait for the DNF bus for a couple of hours in the cold was absolutely terrifying. I also thought that I needed to set a good example for the blog. I was still in the top 10, and needed to stay there. I wanted to see as many bloggers in the top 10 as possible. But the more noble reasons were an afterthought. I thought of comfort first. Mosiah 3:19:

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Got passed by Chan Yee Woo from Iowa as if I were standing still. Hit the Diagonal. Barely passed some girls that were out for a jog. Saw Lybi with a huge banner cheering for the bloggers. Around mile 25 heard another runner approaching. Thought for sure it would be Jon and got ready to congratulate him on a great race. But it was not Jon, it was Motoharu Fukunaga from Japan. Negative advertisement for the blog, but it worked. He asked for an FRB card afterwards. He quickly put 20 seconds on me.

With about 0.8 to go the Gatorade kicked in, and a portion of my strength returned. I picked up the pace, started to feel some power in my legs, and my racing mindset returned. Motoharu started coming back, but the gap was already too big.

I did not know what place I was in, and was relieved to find out that I finished 10th.

Had an interesting fuel economy learning and faith building experience on the way back. The pressure at the CNG station in St. George was low, so we were able to fill up the Fast Running Van only half way. Cedar City was even worse. So we left Cedar City, and as far as I knew we were going to run out of gas 30 miles or so away from Fillmore, and then have to call for a tow truck. That did not sound exciting. I said a silent prayer. At first I asked the Lord to help the van make it. Then I thought I needed to be more specific and pro-active. I asked the Lord to show me what I needed to do so the van would make it. I was already driving 55 mph and getting passed by trucks. I had considered drafting, but the trucks seemed to me to have been going too fast to make it worth it. The moment I finished the prayer another truck passed us, but not as fast as the other trucks. I thought, try drafting. The truck was going 62 mph. I asked Kory and Jeff what they thought about that. They both agreed that drafting at 62 mph will give you better fuel economy than 55 mph alone. So I drafted behind the truck the whole way, and we made it with 1/8 of a tank left. The pressure in Fillmore was low again, and again I was able to fill up only half way. But this time I knew what to do, and we made it to Provo with a little bit less than 1/4 of a tank left.

T4 Racer - 684.27 miles

Night Sleep Time: 6.25Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.25
Comments(20)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Listened to General Conference. Legs still sore from the marathon. All in the quads. This one has beat me up pretty bad, almost as bad as a regular DesNews. May have something to do with the combination of downhill running and the cold muscles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.340.000.000.009.34

A.M. 6 miles alone in 44:38. Quads still sore,  but runnable without a limp. 1 with Julia in 10:56. 0.34 with Joseph in 3:53. Jacob did his baby speed workout - 2x100 - 1:07, and 1:03.

Joseph calls my Five Fingers "The Running Feet".

P.M.  2 with Benjamin in 16:39. Jenny joined us for 1.5 in 12:56.

Five Fingers - 1450.79 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.340.000.000.0011.34

A.M. Slept in and was lazy. Sarah had to take Joseph to the dentist at 7:00 AM, and I did not feel like finishing my run before then in the dark. So figuring I since I was in the time-off phase I decided to get more sleep and run when it was warmer.

P.M. 8 miles alone in 57:10, 1 with Julia in 10:56, 2 with Benjamin in 17:16, Jenny joined us for 1.5 in 12:55, 0.34 with Joseph in 3:57, and 2x100 with Jacob - 55, and 54.

Five Fingers - 1462.13 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

A.M. Was going to run with Jeff, but he was still sore. But I had already gotten up when I found out. So I ran at 5:30 AM alone. It was dark and cold. It took me until the end of the run to kind of get going, but that's OK. I'm taking time off. 8 miles in 1:06:46. Then 1 mile with Julia to Reams and back to get toilet paper in 9:37.

P.M.2 with Benjamin in 17:29, Jenny joined us for 1.5 in 13:12. 

Five Fingers - 1470.13 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.340.000.000.0011.34

A.M. 8 with Derek in 1:01:38. Talked about steeple chase in the middle, and US economy towards the end. We both found it rather odd that in our economy significantly more people market, sell, advertise, write legal contracts, sue, manage money, etc, than engineer or manufacture products. So perhaps what we are experiencing is a natural consequence of the imbalance, and it is just things going back to where they should have been in the first place.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:56, 0.34 with Joseph in 3:46, 2 with Benjamin in 17:15, first 1.5 with Jenny in 13:14. Jacob did 2x100.

Five Fingers - 1478.13 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(8)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.340.000.000.0011.34

A.M. Ran early in the morning. Cold and dark. Jeff and I were asleep. I ran the first 4 with him. Then not much faster afterwards. 1:07:40 for 8 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:00. 0.34 with Joseph in 4:17. Jacob ran 200 in 2:02. 2 with Benjamin in 16:53 with the first 1.5 with Jenny in 13:15.

Five Fingers - 1486.13 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.342.000.000.0013.34

A.M. Ran 6 with Jeff in 47:54. At least we beat the 8:00 guy today, that is progress.

A.M-2. Paced little James in the Cougar Run 5 K in 18:58. His goal was to break 19:00. The course was accurate, but had no mile marks, I forgot to bring my Garmin, so I paced him by feel. I estimated speed-wise he was capable of a low 18:00 and tried to not undershoot figuring if he dies he dies. Undershooting was a concern because it was cold, I was wearing a jacket and tights, I had just eaten breakfast, and I was in the mood to jog. James was making me work in the first 1 mile, a little less in the second, and the last mile I was just yelling at him the entire time, so he must have slowed down. Mike West, who recently joined the blog helped me in the effort, and Adam R was out for a run and joined us in the last half mile as well. Derek Taylor won in 15:34.

When I came back, I ran with Jacob (200 in 2:03, not counting towards mileage), and a mile with Julia in 9:57.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:24, had Jenny with us for the first 1.5 in 13:18. 0.34 with Joseph in 3:36. 

Five Fingers - 1492.13 miles.

T4 Racer - 689.27 miles

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest.

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.340.000.000.0012.34

A.M. Ran with Derek. Total of 8 miles in 1:00:29. Ran into a couple on the trail and they joined us. Their names were Stephanie and Tim, a brother and a sister from Burley, Idaho. Both BYU students. They ran with us most of the way. We also briefly ran with a lady from New Zealand, I think her name was Debbie if I heard it right.

A.M -2. Julia got busted for sucking her thumb in a sneaky way when she thought I was not looking. We do not tolerate this type of behavior - when a child knowingly does something wrong thinking he can get away with it because nobody can see him. Her punishment was a multitude of jobs around the house, but she could always cancel the remainder of the list with a sub-10:00 mile including the very first job. She cleaned the living room, then cleaned two toilets. After that she decided to go for a sub-10:00 mile, and we ran 9:21. I pushed Joseph in the stroller.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:51. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:05. We saw a girl running ahead of us. I challenged Jenny to catch her before we got off the trail. She hesitated, then said she'd do it for a carob bar. I agreed, she picked up to about 6:00 pace for 0.1 mile and accomplished the task. 0.34 with Joseph in 4:07. Jacob ran 200 meters in 1:58.

Five Fingers - 1503.97 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.840.002.500.0013.34

A.M. Ran with Derek. Jogged 4.125, ran 2.5 tempo (second half of my standard 5 mile tempo on the Provo River Trail) in 13:51, then back to Derek, then back to the house with him, then some more to make it 10. Not sure what to think about the tempo. I was holding 5:30 pace on flat parts, a little slower on the mini-rollers, felt like I could sustain it for some time, maybe if I slowed down a bit, but definitely could not go any faster because I tried and nothing happened. It was cold. I was wearing Five Fingers, and I ran alone. One thing for sure, no spectacular results. But at the same time it could be and it has been worse.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:53. 2 with Benjamin in 17:12. Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 12:53. 0.34 with Joseph in 3:52. Jacob did 200 in 2:12.

Five Fingers - 1513.97 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.340.000.000.0013.34

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Michelle. Total of 10 miles in 1:22:27. It was dark and cold.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:30. 0.34 with Joseph in 4:07. Jacob ran 200 in 2:08. 2 with Benjamin in 17:35, Jenny did 1.5 with us in 13:24.

Five Fingers - 1523.97 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.340.000.001.0011.34

A.M. 8 miles with Jeff. Did 4x400 with 200 recovery in the middle. 74.4 - 73.4 - 74.9 - 72.2. Did not feel the power and had a hard time pushing myself into the zone where I have to breathe very hard. But it will come in a few weeks.

I observed about a year and a half ago that "lactic intolerance" for me has a negative effect on the "threshold pace". I put those terms in quotes. After studying and pondering the issue, I realize now there is no such thing as "lactic intolerance" or "anaerobic threshold". Lactate is fuel, the more of it in and of itself will not slow you down. They say acidity of the muscle can slow you down, but there is some evidence that in and of itself it does not. I saw a study where they demonstrated a muscle immersed in acid could actually contract better when activated with an electric stimulus. Threshold pace defined as the pace when lactate levels stabilize does not exist - there is always a gradual drift. There was a study where a group of Kenyan runners pushed their lactate levels very high to where the conventional wisdom would indicate they should not have been able to continue to run like this for long, but they kept going and were comfortable.

To say the runner slowed down because he had too much lactic acid is like to say he slowed down because he was breathing too hard, or because his VO2 went up too high, or because his RER stayed above 1 for too long, or, the plainest of all but equally meaningful explanation - because he was running too fast. All of the above happens when you start running really fast, but what really is the driving cause rather than an accompanying phenonemon? And is there really just one cause? I suspect it is not as simple as we would like it to be.

Nevertheless, there exists a reality that when a trained runner starts pushing much harder than his half marathon race pace, he cannot sustain it for long, and the harder he pushes, the harder he begins to breathe, and the less he can sustain the pace for. When we say "too much lactic acid", even if we are wrong, it could still be useful for practical purposes. There is some inhibitor X, and regardless what substance we believe it to be, and even whether it is just one substance, or maybe just a certain perception of fatigue that results from a combination of substances, does not really matter. The purpose of training is to overcome the inhibitor X.

So my theory goes like this. When you run at your half-marathon race pace, the inhibitor X levels constantly fluctuate. When they reach a critical level during that fluctuation you will slow down. The faster the pace, the higher the peak of inhibitor X. When you do fast quarters you have higher levels of inhibitor X. If you do them fairly regularly, you learn to fight inhibitor X for a minute or so. But that minute is critical when trying to sustain a slower pace if the inhibitor X peak at that pace spikes once in a while too high. Then using the ability to deal with the spike you developed during quarters you can go through it without slowing down and then it drops, and thus you maintain a faster pace.

However, this is only applicable if you have a solid aerobic base. Otherwise, inhibitor X cannot go down if you keep running the same speed for too long. The peak will last longer than a minute and you will slow down with out of breath and "I want to puke" symptoms.

 

T4 Racer - 697.27 miles

P.M. Helped Jeff pace his wife Kimia through her first 5 K time trial in 55:47. She did it essentially untrained, off a sedentary life style, and with zero athletic background or mindset. So it was quite a challenge for her - mostly mental. Both Jeff and I agreed that if a trained runner's brain were driving her body, she would have run under 40:00. After some thought, now I believe as fast as 33:00. The problem was that she was afraid to throw up, while an experienced runner even completely out of shape will push to throw up so he can relieve himself and keep going feeling better.

0.34 with Joseph in 4:17. Jacob ran 200 in 2:25 - slower today because it was getting dark. 1 with Julia in 10:45. 2 with Benjamin in 17:16, Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 13:16.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.840.000.000.0013.84

A.M. Started the run with Jeff and Derek. Ran with them for 8 miles. Then was planning to run 2 more, but ran into Brandon Ashcroft, and he was going a little further, so I ran with him. We went to Geneva road and then came back to my house. He stopped briefly to meet my family. I joked that I went for a run and found a Russian-speaking souvenir - Brandon served a mission in the Ukraine (Donetsk), and interestingly enough had served near my birth place. I was born in a little town Rubezhnoye near Lugansk, but did not stay there long. Three months later my mom brought me to Moscow where I lived until I was 20.

I think this is about fifth time in the last two years that I ran into somebody during a run that was a Russian speaker.

Total time for the run was 1:20:50 - 10.5 miles.

Five Fingers - 1547.47 miles.

P.M. Jacob ran 200 in 2:08. 0.34 with Joseph in 4:08. 1 with Julia in 11:03. 2 with Benjamin in 17:32. Jenny ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:11.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.349.750.250.0017.34

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Tyler, and Brandon. We did a 2.62 warm-up, then a tempo run. I went 10, Jeff and Brandon did 5, and Tyler did 3 because he was concerned about the shin. The plan was to go not slower than 6:00 but not much faster. I put the not-much-faster clause in it because I knew from how I felt this week that much faster would be difficult.

The course was the standard 5 mile tempo twice, so the same 2.5 mile stretch 4 times, 3 180 turns.

Total time: 58:59.7

Splits by the mile: 5:56 - 6:00 - 5:46 - 5:54 - 5:57 - 6:01 - 5:49 - 5:56 - 5:57 - 5:47

Splits by 2.5 - 14:49 - 14:44 - 14:47 - 14:38.

I felt OK, though not great in the first 5 miles. When Jeff pushed the pace a bit, it felt harder, but not miserable. When Brandon started struggling I was able to cheer him in Russian. Russian is better suited for getting somebody to go faster when he is in pain. There is a rich variety of powerful two-word phrases that can motivate a struggling runner. To communicate the same idea in English you would need four or five words, and your sentences are at least twice as long. Most of those phrases start with the word nado which is often translated as "you must" or "you need", but the original word has no "you" in it. It just means there exists an abstract need or requirement that is above you or anybody else. You are not a part of it, it is above you, and you'd better meet it or else...

Felt OK for another 2 miles, about the same as earlier, but then all of a sudden 88 quarters started feeling very difficult. I was not breathing very hard, but I felt like I had a tongue in my quads and it was tasting concentrated lemon juice the entire time. That feeling is not there when everything is normal until I start hitting 82 second quarters. So 5:55 felt like 5:30, except for the breathing.

At 5 miles I thought that going under 59:00 would be easy. At 7.5 I thought it would be difficult but doable. With a mile to go I was not so sure. With a quarter to go I thought it would be a miracle. So I gave it all I had. My mom used to say "I see Paris" when she tasted something very sour. Well, the last quarter was only 82, but I still saw Paris. The "Paris" effort got me a little bit under 59:00, so a small victory.

Ran 1.38 cool down, got home and took the kids to do the trail cleanup. I noticed that the most common type of trash was cigarette butts.

Then ran with Jacob and Joseph. Jacob ran 200 in 1:54. Joseph did his 0.34 loop in 4:08.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 10:48. 2 with Benjamin in 17:20. Jenny ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:20.

T4 Racer - 711.27 miles

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 10.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.630.000.000.5013.13

A.M. 10.1 alone in 1:16:43. Did 8x100 around 18-19 seconds in the middle. Felt fresher, but this could be deceptive as I never went long enough fast enough to really test. But today was not the day to test, the day is tomorrow when I am going to run 2.5 tempo.

Five Fingers holes on the right shoe are slightly bigger, I think, but my skin over the holes is getting rougher as well. Last week, I felt blister pain in the hole area after the runs. Today it was just a minor irritation. The left shoe is still intact, although the sole is getting thinner. So far no performance improvements from running in Five Fingers. But I like the feel of it. And it helps preserve the socks. Training in Five Fingers - the Ultimate Blister Protection!

P.M. Jacob did 200 in 2:01. 1 mile with Julia in 8:49. She did a progressive negative split: 2:30, 2:15, 2:09 and 1:55. 2.03 with Benjamin and Jenny to the library via scenic route in 18:03. 

Five Fingers - 1557.57 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.190.002.500.0013.69

A.M. 10.1 alone. Did a 2.5 mile tempo after 6.2 miles of easy running. Again had a hard time running 5:30 pace. First quarter was 83, and it felt hard. Bad hard, not "I am going to warm into it", but rather, "I do not know if I can maintain it". Pretty much exact duplicate of last week's tempo with splits differing by no more than a second at every point, and the total time being 0.7 slower.

Total time - 13:51.9. Splits by 0.5: 2:45, 2:46, 2:46, 2:48, 2:46.

Tried to kick in the last quarter, but there was zero kick. Could not speed up above pace. Legs felt sour. Could not make myself breath energetically no matter how hard I tried.

Afterwards took Jacob for 200 in 1:51.

P.M. Fast Running Van had a problem with the brakes. Took it to Computune. Ran back with Benjamin , and Jenny - 2.25 in 19:58. 1 with Julia in 10:03. Decided to give my body a chance to take a nap, and it did. Felt very good after the nap. 0.34 with Joseph in 4:18.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.380.000.620.0013.00

A.M. Ran 8 with Jeff, then added 2 to finish off 10. Total time was 1:14:28. Was feeling energetic, especially for the dark conditions. Decided to test the effects of yesterday's nap. The plan was to run a tempo 0.5. We got to 0.5 and I was concerned about being able to see the mark, so we went further to 1 K. Felt very good. The time was 3:20. The stride felt good - wide, relaxed, powerful. Felt like I could run like this for a while. A positive change from yesterday.

A.M - 2: Took Jacob for 200 in 1:48. 1 with Julia in 9:43. 2 with Benjamin in 15:06. Pushed Jacob in the stroller. Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 11:46.

P.M. Took another nap.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.590.001.001.0013.59

A.M. Ran with Derek. He went 7, I did 10. Did 4x400 in the middle with 200 rest. 75.1, 73.5, 73.2, 72.6. The last one was uphill (1% grade). Felt much better than a week ago, but the times did not reflect it. I was not sure if this was due to colder temperatures and leaves on the ground, or due to no change in fitness. I wondered for a few miles, then was tired of wondering and decided to run a tempo mile from DI bridge to where I get off the trail. It has a slight net downhill, but it does roll enough to make it fair. Did the splits of 84, 82, 82, and 78 for the total of 5:26. First quarter was up, second was flat, third was net down, but you had to go under 800 N bridge and the last one was a steady 0.5% down. Felt strong, did not want to stop.

A.M -2 : Took the Fast Running Van to Computune to investigate the ABS light. Ran back with Benjamin and Jenny. 2.25 miles in 19:50. Ran into a girl that had served a mission in Rostov-na-Donu in Russia.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:54, 0.34 with Joseph in 4:09. Jacob woke up from a nap and was crying and being difficult. I asked him if he wanted to go for a run. He calmed down, and went. He ran 2:00 for 200. Got points for this from Sarah.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.890.000.000.0010.89

A.M. Sarah woke up with contractions around 2:00 AM. We figured it was real labor, called the midwife, called Luz, she came and got the kids, and filled the inflatable pool. After some work on Sarah's part, William Alexander Pachev was born at 4:34 AM this morning. Birth weight - 8 lb 8 oz, height 19 inches.

Jeff got a special privilege from being my running partner this morning. He was the first non-family/non-midwife person to see William. That's his PR for the youngest person he's ever seen. Then we went for a run with a stop at Luz's house to drop off the soy milk for the kids' breakfast. Jacob is allergic to cow's milk. Then Sarah called me on the cell phone and said she was bleeding. So we ran back. Checked on her, she said she was still not feeling good, so we went around the block with the plan to check on her once a mile. She called again after a mile, and this time she had a strong contraction, passed out a couple of large clots, stood up too fast and nearly passed out, and got really scared. So I stayed with her. Her midwife came, gave her some medicine, she is now taking a nap, and William is taking one as well right next to me.

Pictures:

William

P.M. Jacob ran 200 in 2:17, ran 0.34 with Joseph in 4:19, 1 with Julia in 9:34, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:17, 2 with Benjamin in 17:52. The blog now has the long awaited shoe manager. 



Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 6.05
Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments(32)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.340.000.000.0013.34

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did a total of 10 miles in 1:14:26 with a couple of breaks in the middle to check on Sarah and to change Jacob's diaper. Then 1 with Julia in 8:42.

A.M-2.  200 with Jacob in 1:51 (not counting towards mileage), 0.34 with Joseph in 3:56, 2 with Benjamin in 17:32 with Jenny running the last 1.5 in 13:07.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Managed to get the kids ready for church. Not without accidents - got some shampoo into the eyes of Joseph and Jacob at the same time, so they screamed in unison. But we got to church on time. The kids were very good in church. The biggest behavior problem I had to deal with was Joseph flipping pages of the Book of Mormon reader during a prayer.

The highlight of the day was the dinner that Josse and her sister Erica brought us. Whole wheat pasta with sauce, chicken, salad, it was great.

At night Joseph has been getting stories the Daddy Way (TM). I ask him what he wants to see, and then we find it on YouTube. Usually it is some kind of a big machine - dump truck, fire truck, tractor, freight train, garbage truck, etc. I've been learning a lot. For example, I learned what they do to get a tractor out of the mud - attach special poles to the side of the wheels so the tractor in a way walks out of the mud. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.340.001.100.0013.44

A.M. 10.1 alone in 1:09:56. Did a mile pickup in the middle in 5:30 from the fishing parking lot in the direction of Geneva road. This has a slight uphill in the last quarter. Did not feel the greatest, but did not feel too bad either.

Afterwards took Jacob for 200 in 1:55, and Joseph for 0.34 in 3:43, which is his record.

Ate leftovers from the dinner Josse made for us last night for lunch. Sarah was having a hard time with William and finally was convinced to try Daddy's (TM) method - alternate 15 minutes off, 5 minutes on if needed, and it worked. He was happy after the first round.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:45, 2 with Benjamin in 16:40. His time was 16:42. He started singing BINGO towards the end, and I asked him he would be willing to try daddy BINGO pace for the last 0.1 miles. He was OK for the most of the pickup, but fell back a bit at the end. Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 13:13 with us.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.170.002.500.0013.67

A.M. Ran with Derek. After 4.12 warm-up ran the standard 2.5 tempo in 13:49.6. The first mile felt very easy, the stride was wide and relaxed, and I did not feel like I was pushing. Got 5:26 vs a very strained 5:31 last week. However, after that I started struggling and slowed down to 5:36 pace. There was a slight uphill in the last mile.

Not sure what was happening. I was slightly overdressed because I was afraid of catching a cold, which would be bad at this time. Derek thinks the jacket was acting like a sail and slowing me down. I also got warm. But at the same time, those things could really be non-issues, and the fatigue might have been natural, or in other words the slow-down would have happened regardless.

Assuming the worst, I would have to conclude that the neurological power is coming back, but the acidic resistance (the term I just made up for the ability of the brain to push the muscle in spite of increased muscle acidity) is still lacking. Which is actually encouraging. Acidic resistance can be improved with anaerobic work (quarters), but improving the power is more difficult. So I'd rather lack the acid resistance.

Nevertheless, I was happy that the overall time was 2 seconds faster than last week. I'll take any improvement I can get.

Derek ran 8, I ran some extra and got 10.13.

P.M. 200 with Jacob 1:50, 1 with Julia in 9:35.

P.M -2: 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:14 with Jenny running the last 1.5 in 11:56. Jenny actually was not planning on getting her Lunch With Daddy qualifier for the week, but then she started feeling good half way and picked up the pace to sub-8:00. She had 8:29 at the mile, and then with 600 to go she asked if she had a shot for  LWDQ. I told her if she floored it she'd have a chance, so she did. Her last two quarters were 1:46, and 1:41, and she made it with 4 seconds to spare.

Took Joseph for a run to set up my home teaching appointment. 0.27 out, 0.27 back with a short break to chat in between - total time 6:50. Following a very established tradition in our church set it for 8:00 PM on the last day of the month. This reminded me of a joke:

Two elders are discussing the subject of home teaching. One says - "We take our responsibility very seriously and always go the first day of the month." The other responds: "We do even better than that - we go one day  before you do!"

 


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.13
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.102.000.000.0013.10

A.M. 10.1 alone in 1:09:48. Did a 2 mile pickup from 7.1 to 9.1 in 11:55. Considered running all 3 at that pace, but decided to remain on the side of caution. Noticed that at 6:00 pace I am barely breathing, but it does not feel easy because of the muscular strain and the need for focus.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:23 with Jenny running the first 1.5 in 13:17. 1 with Julia in 9:28. 

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. 10 miles in 1:17:04, first 8 with Jeff. It was dark.

Contemplated the matter of who to vote for in the presidential elections. I have always voted Republican. Not so much because I like the Republican party but I did not feel it was right to vote for a candidate that supports abortion. In 2004, I liked the Republican presidential candidate for other reasons. This year I do not like either one. The two major party are giving me a choice between a guy that supports gay marriage and abortion, and a guy that has an number of extra-marital affairs on his record and left his wife to marry his lover. Both candidates are engaged in bad mouthing each other. I am sick and tired of this farce. What kind of choice is that? This is almost like the Soviet Union where you had only one candidate.

Fortunately, in the US we can do a little better than that. So I looked at others. I like Chuck Baldwin the best. Clean record in the extra-marital affair department, rarity nowadays. Firmly against abortion and gay marriage. Also rarity nowadays. Interestingly enough, up until 1980 he was a Democrat. Then he became a Republican. In 2000 he left the Republican party. I do not believe his positions have changed much since he was a Democrat. He did not move, the major political parties did. This does tell us something about the times. One major plus - he is the only politician I've heard of that suggested some form of compensation for home schooling families. I have written about the subject to a local Republican state senator, but received no response. I read in a DesNews article a few years ago that public education costs the government at least $8K per year per child. Three of my children are school age. We make some significant sacrifices to home school. This currently saves the government $24K a year. In 5 years when William becomes school age it will be $48K a year. We do not even get a note of thanks from anybody, much less a financial incentive.

So while I do not 100% agree with all of his views, and realistically he cannot win this time, I'll cast my vote for him anyway at the very least to send a message to the two major parties that I want a real candidate, not a TV show character. I did not become an American citizen to vote like you did in the Soviet Union.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:52, 2 with Benjamin in 17:16, Jenny ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:06. Julia for the first time was able to ride her bike for a short distance - about 100 meters or so. She still cannot ride straight, but give her a week and she'll be bike-fluent. This is big help because once she can I'll be able to take as many as 5 kids on a run - three on bikes, and two in the stroller.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(44)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.930.000.001.2514.18

A.M. Ran alone. Did a warmup of 3.62 miles, 5x400 with 200 recovery, then a long cool down to make the total of 10.5.

The quarters went better than last week. I did them on the standard stretch this time alternating directions. 75.1 - 72.1 - 72.3 - 70.0 - 69.8.

All of them felt rather odd. On one hand I felt like I was slacking off, on the other hand I felt like I could not go any faster. However towards the end I was able to force my way through the sour feeling in the quads and get myself to breathe harder.

During the cool down ran with John Borget, the brother of Rich Borget, and his friend Dixon Holmes.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:25, 2 with Benjamin in 17:26, Jenny ran the first 1.5 with us in 12:54. 0.34 with Joseph in 4:09. Took Jacob on the same loop as well, he did it in 5:51.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
290.3041.0911.473.75346.61
Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 46.25Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 50.73
Night Sleep Time: 231.25Nap Time: 11.00Total Sleep Time: 242.25
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