Breaking the Wall

Uneventful Provo Canyon 10 K

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Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

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

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

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

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

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

Long-Term Running Goals:

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

Personal:

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

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

Favorite Quote:

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

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 151.56 Year: 1152.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1909.35
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 674.37
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
270.8039.0046.466.84363.10
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 352.50Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Saucony Type A Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 206.00Nap Time: 3.50Total Sleep Time: 209.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.005.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout. First ran the 3 mile tempo from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. The splits were 5:24, 5:28, 5:20 - total time 16:12.8. The first two miles were comfortably hard, the last mile required some grit. Then I jogged three quarters of a mile and ran a cool-down tempo of sorts to build the sub-6:00 pace mileage - 2 miles down the canyon in 11:28.

Kids ran a little warm-up in anticipation of the cross-country race later tonight. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 1. William and Jacob rested.

P.M. Benjamin won the 3 K in 11:07, Jenny ran 15:27, Julia won her division in 15:12, Joseph won his in 13:57, Jacob ran 15:00 and got second in his division, and William outperformed my expectations running 17:48 which was good enough for 5th place in the 8 and under division. I think something was up with the course again - everybody ran slower that I expected, not just our kids but their regular competitors.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Joseph and Jacob had some zip in their legs in spite of racing last night ran their fastest times on our nasty 2.04 mile course - 15:18 for Joseph, and 15:27 for Jacob.

Benjamin and I did a pickup for 1.5 down the canyon at 5:50 pace. I was pushing the stroller. This puts me at 8 sub-6:00 miles for the week so far.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.002.250.000.7512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin - 4x300 with 500 recovery jog in the canyon on the same stetch as last week - flat, but downwind. My times were 48.5, 48.1, 47.6, 47.5. Benjamin got 48.2, 46.9, 44.9, and 44.0. The last one was on pace for a sub-59 quarter. His speed is starting to break through.

Afterwards I did some tempo pickups at 5:50 pace - 2.25 total of those to hit 3 miles of sub-6:00 pace for the day.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Benjamin and I went to the chess tournament and came back with new rating PRs - 1777 for him, and 1669 for me. He is so far on pace for achieving the National Master standard as an adult (rating 2200). Then maybe if my brain can stay healthy I have hopes that he will pull me up to the expert level (rating 2000).

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.002.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Jenny and Joseph to the track for a time trial. Joseph did 800 in 3:03.2 missing his goal by 3.2 seconds. We were trying to break 3:00, but it was too cold and too wet. He opened in 88, then lost steam and his legs were not responding. Jenny was doing the mile. She ran the first 400 in 92, then decided she did not have the mental strength to run hard for another 3 laps and stopped even though she was ahead of pace by 2 seconds. We'll try next week.

Jacob did 2, Joseph 3, Benjamin 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, William 1. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 0.51 in 2:51 and then for a mile in 5:51.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Race: Uneventful Provo Canyon 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:34:42, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.790.007.210.0019.00

A.M. Benjamin, Chad and I raced the Unenvtful Provo Canyon 10 K. Benjamin won with 34:41, I was second with 34:42, and Chad third with 35:23. For those unfamiliar with the term "Uneventful" it means we ran a time trial. The origin of the term comes from the idea that a rather unventful training run for a faster runner could happen at race pace for somebody else, so if they got together the faster runner could help the slower one run a fast time. Except in our case we did not have a faster pacing runner - I am too slow now to be Benjamin's pacer, but he is not yet fast enough to be mine. So we just raced.

We warmed up about 2.7 miles to the start a little bit past Bridal Veil Falls. The course went from the magic mark there to our house. First 4 miles down the canyon, then another mile that looks flat but has a small net drop, and the last mile a very unpleasant uphill.  Net elevation drop is 380 feet or about 1.1%. So roughly your Top of Utah Marathon compressed into a 10 K.

Our splits were 5:32, 5:35, 5:34, 5:30, 5:34, 5:48 for Benjamin, 5:49 for me. Chad stayed with us up to the 3 mile mark then started to slowly drop back. I was surprised to see how strong he was - I was expecting him to fall off around 2 miles at this pace. Benjamin and I ran side by side for the first 2 miles or so, then I tucked behind him and hung on for dear life. I set a goal to not be gapped by more than 10 seconds at the finish which meant I needed to make it to the quarter to go. Benjamin made it a little easier for me by periodically taking his foot off the gas and running the uphill at the end a little slower. Our goal was sub-35:00, so I think both of us stopped really pushing it once we saw we had it securely in the bag. I must admit I had an small desire to kick with 200 to go, but there were two things that held me back - 6% uphill grade and knowing that if I challenged Benjamin and he unleashed his kick 100% he would gap me by 3 seconds instead of just 1.

Benjamin improved his time from Apr 23 this year on the same course by 49 seconds. We should probably add into consideration the fact that back then I pulled him the entire way, while now he had to take the lead. For him this is a huge factor - he responds to competition. I still cannot tell if he honestly ran his guts out, or just barely fast enough to make Dad miserable. Also the temperature was 28F today and it was dark which made us a little sluggish at the start. No big deal if he did not run his guts out - at the tender age of 14 caution is good.

We dropped Benjamin off at the house and took the other children for their runs. Benjamin ended up doing 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, and Jacob 2. Chad and I did a mile down the canyon at the end in 5:26 with 18 miles total for the run. This is a very good sign for Chad - in the past he would be lucky to break 6:00 at the end of an 18 miler especially if there was some hard running early on. I was also happy that I could do that 5:26 mile. I reached my goal of 20 miles at sub-6:00 pace this week.

Then Chad went home and we listened to the General Conference together as a family. I really liked Elder Uchtdorf's talk. One thing that stood out to me in particular was - "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith". This is very profound. It takes somebody who understands faith to put it in those words.

P.M. Took William for a run in between the General Conference sessions. He wanted to go to the track and run a mile time trial. This was signficant - he does not usually volunteer for that. Track running is tedious for a 4-year-old kid. Especially the one with William's personality. But somehow he got the idea, so this was an opportunity not to be missed. He went through the first lap in 2:02. So far so good. Slowed down a little on the second, but that was expected. Then comes the unexpected - his Croc came off. He could not find his and wore Jacob's. I had seen him run in those before, and did not recall them causing any problems, lazy as I am I allowed him to run in Jacob's Crocs. I told him to keep going without a Croc, and he did. Soon after the other one came off as well. Good thing we are on the track. Second lap in 2:11, followed by a respectable third lap in 2:07. He reached the 300 meters to go mark in 6:54 and then his 4-year-old lack of maturity showed - he stopped and said he did not want to run anymore. I told him he only had to run less than a lap to get his record and a prize with it, so he started going again losing a few seconds there, probably about 7. He reached the 200 to go mark in 7:33 and the 100 to go in 8:04. Then for some odd reason he stopped right at the 1600 meter mark with the time being 8:30. It took me some time to explain to him that he was not done, but he still managed to finish the full mile in 8:40.0 which is his new record by 2.7 seconds. I think I am going to call this "William's Beer Mile". But this does show that with a little bit of purely mental training and with the Crocs that are the right size he is capable of around 8:20 and very soon will be breaking 8:00. Then we'll be able to say - "In our family if you cannot break 8:00 in the mile we put you in a diaper!"

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 19.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Second day of General Conference. A runner of course will not forget Elder Maynes talk:

I would like to share an experience that illustrates the effort required to endure physically and then compare it to the effort required to endure spiritually. Upon returning from my mission, I had the opportunity to play basketball for a well-respected coach and author at a college in California. This coach was very serious about his players being in shape before the start of the basketball season. One of his training prerequisites before any of us could touch a basketball on the practice court was to run a cross-country course in the hills near the school in a specific and very aggressive time. I remember my very first attempt at running this cross-country course immediately upon my return from the mission field: I thought I was going to die.

It took weeks of serious training in order to finally beat the time that the coach set as a goal. It was a great feeling to not only be able to run the course but also to accelerate down the stretch to the finish line.

To play basketball successfully, you need to get into good shape. Being in good physical condition comes at a price, and that price is dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline. Spiritual endurance also comes at a price. It is the same price: dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline.

A testimony, like your body, needs to be in shape if you want it to endure. So how do we keep our testimonies in shape? We cannot get our bodies into good basketball shape by simply watching basketball on television. Similarly, we won’t be able to get our testimonies in shape by simply watching general conference on television. We need to study and learn the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then we must do our very best to live them. That is how we become disciples of Jesus Christ, and that is how we build an enduring testimony.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 2 miles worth of pickups at 5:45-5:50 pace.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 4.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Kiwani Park Cross-Country 1500 (0.932 Miles) 00:05:13, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.001.004.001.0015.00

A.M. Did a tempo run. Since I was planning to run the cross-country race in the evening did it a little easier, but still worked pretty hard. First 3 miles down the Provo Canyon in 16:34.9 with the splits of 5:39, 5:35, and 5:20. 5:39 felt hard, 5:35 felt harder, but somehow I found a 5:20 at the end. Then jogged 0.75 and ran another 2 down the canyon at a tempo pace to build the sub-6:00 mileage in 11:30 with the splits of 5:50 and 5:40. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, Joseph and Jacob 1. I did a total of 12.

P.M. Cross-country race. They wanted to have more people and invited the parents to participate. I was one of the few who took up the offer. Ran 1500 in 5:13 and learned why the kids have been hitting such slow times this year. The course had 9 narrow 90 degree turns. They may have just as well been 180. On every turn Benjamin kept gapping me by 2 seconds or so by the time I recovered from it and could accelerate to pace. He ended up with 4:53.  Joseph ran 6:36 winning his division, Jenny was 5th in hers with 6:38, Julia won hers in 6:42, Jacob was second in his after his bully brother with 6:48 and William was 5th in his pushed back by his two bully brothers with 8:54. We'll see if I do better in the 3000 next week.

Saucony Type A Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 1.5 miles of pickups at around 5:45 pace.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.001.250.7512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin and I did a workout - 4x300 in the canyon. The wind was blowing into the canyon, which made our regular direction slower. I did 49.5, 49.4, 48.9 (direction changed), 49.3 (original direction). Benjamin struggled today - I could not tell if it was just the wind or maybe he was tired from the race and a little cold he picked up. But he was still faster than me - 48.7, 46.0, 46.9, 46.7. The I did a tempo pace pickup for 1.25 on my nasty course in 7:10 and I was quite happy with it - it felt easier than it used to.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.500.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny and Joseph did a time trial. Jenny ran the mile in 6:24.5 - a new PR. She opened with 92, then started losing it - 96 followed by 98. She was able to kick in 95, though. We will try again next week to see if she can break 6:20. 

Joseph ran 800 meters in 2:58.9 - new PR and breaking 3:00 for the first time. His splits were 43, 46, 45, 44. I was very happy to see those splits.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.0010.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Did my 20 mile long run. 10 miles up the canyon in 1:15:09, then back in 57:40. Total time 2:12:49. My goal was to average sub-6:00 for the last 10 miles. When I started the tempo I felt sluggish at first and very reluctant to his the pace. But then I warmed into it, and 5:50 felt good. Then Benjamin met me with about 4.7 miles into it and pulled me through the remaining 5.3. Now that I've raised a fast running 14-year-old son I get the privilege of having my own bottle carrying pacer for the hardest part of this kind of workout. Makes all the work worth it.

The purpose of the bottle was to learn how to drink on the go. It had a mix of EmergencyC and dextrose. I drank a couple of sips when I met Benjamin, and then a couple more a mile later. After that I did not feel like drinking anymore because he turned up the heat on the pace. We did the 3 mile magic tempo stretch in 17:06 with the splits of 5:42, 5:44, 5:40. That would have been good enough for a sub-1:14 Provo River Half. Then I kept telling him to back off, but he kept serving me 84 second quarters. So finally I thought of a trick to make life easier for myself - two birds with one stone. I gave Benjamin my jacket. This slowed the pace down some, and also kept me cooler.

Neverthless the next mile was still 5:42. With about 0.4 to go Benjamin was finally fed up with having to carry the bottle and the jacket and wanted to throw them down. I took the jacket back from him and carried it in my hand. We ran the last uphill mile in 5:53.

I was very happy with the time. It was my fastest time for this course this year and suggests around 2:36 fitness on the TOU course.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Went to Jose's baptism. It had the best church activity food I've ever had and was prepared by Jose himself. He is into healthy food and life style, so it had no junk - I could eat everything. We met Jose when he was walking by our house a few weeks ago. Then last Monday he told us he was getting baptized. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a lesson in the elders quorum on missionary work. A question was asked - what are the reasons missionaries go on missions. I thought about the reasons I went on a mission. Then I realized something. There are times in my life when I just know I ought to do something, and I feel it is not only unnecessary but even counterproductive to ask why. Counterproductive because it takes away from the focus. Deciding to go on a mission was one of those times for me.

I can remember a few other decisions that were like that. Deciding to be baptised, deciding to get married to Sarah, and deciding to run. Even though I am inclined towards logical reasoning, I often insist on logical explanations, I work in an area where correct logical reasoning is critical to success, there are times when I am perfectly willing to cast man's logic aside recognizing that it is inferior to something higher that is guiding me.

I have had people call me "lucky" because of my ability to make a decision that yields good results without being able to explain why I made that decision at the time I made it. That would not be quite correct. Let us consider the following mathematical model. We will model luck with a function of time that has random values in the range from -1 to 1, -1 being really bad luck, the worst you can get, and 1 being really good luck, the best you can get. The luck component of life success from time t1 to time t2 thus will be the integral of our luck function from t1 to t2. It is reasonable to expect luck to be random over the duration of a sufficiently long interval of time - for every instance of good luck there should be an instance of bad luck of equal magnitude. Thus the luck component integral will be zero. I argue that if your "luck" function consistently produces integrals with the absolute value significantly above zero, you are dealing with something other than luck.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.502.500.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Did 2.5 miles of pickups at around 5:50 range. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Race: Kiwani Park Cross-Country 3000 (2 Miles) 00:11:34, Place overall: 3, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.502.003.002.0015.50

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout. 3 miles down the Provo Canyon in 16:09.6 (5:30, 5:25, 5:14), then 2 more just for tempo mileage in 11:35. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 1. William and Jacob rested.

P.M. Raced in the Kiwani Cross-Country meet. Matt Pouslen decided to join the gang, so we had a fast race. He won with 10:20. Benjamin was second with 10:56. I was third with 11:34. Matt's GPS showed the course as 2.02 miles which makes sense. Joseph got 14:27, Jacob 14:34, Julia 14:52, Jenny 15:18, and William 19:48. I asked Matt what he thought he would have run 2 miles on the track off this effort - he said 9:40. Going off this conversion this gives Benjamin 10:13 and me 10:49 which I am willing to believe. So that would give 13:31 for Joseph, 13:37 for Jacob, 13:54 for Julia, and 14:18 for Jenny. If this is correct, Jacob and Julia are ready for a mile breakthrough. They still need to break 6:40 - we'll try on Friday.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph and Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a mile pickup in 5:40.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.100.000.000.9012.00

A.M. Did a workout with Benjamin. I decided we needed to start ending our Provo Canyon speed workouts with a "graduation" on the track as a validation to make sure our canyon intervals are comparable. So we did 5x300 with 500 recovery. We were planning on doing only 4, but Benjamin had a plop of sorts on the last one. I did not want him to end the workout on a bad note and I knew that he could end it on a good note, so I talked him into doing one more. This, of course, meant I had to do one more myself.

Splits - me - 49.1, 48.4, 49.1, 49.3, 49.7, Benjamin - 46.0, 44.6, 45.4, 48.1, 46.1. So the splits were comparable to what we have been doing in the canyon, which has been my experience in the past for sprints - anything up to 400 when done with full rest. However, over longer intervals the canyon is about 10 seconds per mile faster than the Orem High track.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin had the total of 8, I got the total of 12.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Today was the day of time mile trials. We went to the Orem High track. I paced Joseph and Jenny with the target of 6:20, while Benjamin paced Julia and Jacob with the target of 6:40. I hit the first quarter in 92 high. Then around 450 meters Jenny said she did not feel strong and stopped. This is the second time she has done it, but we've been through this before with Benjamin at the 6:00 barrier about three years ago. At least with three tries recently she had two DNFs and one PR. With Benjamin we had a streak of 15 or so of either non-PR or DNF runs. Joseph ran the second lap in a low 95 hitting 3:08 at the 800. Then he remembered what I taught him a few weeks ago - the most important lap in the mile is the third. So he gave it a good push ending up with 94 - 4:42 at 1200, and 4:44 with a lap to go. Then I knew he had 6:20 mostly in the bag, but I also knew that an 8 year old could easily lose concentration - almost as easily as he could drop a piece in an almost won chess game. So I encouraged him to keep the heat and he responded with a 92 last lap finishing in 6:16.1 - new PR by 6 seconds. Quite exciting - he saw the virtual 6:00 guy finish, and sub-6:20 before turning 9 is something that has not happened in our family until now.

Jacob opened with 95, then Benjamin slowed him down to 1:43 which was too much. If a quarter time takes three digits to write, then I use minutes and seconds :-) Then he sped up to 98 and kicked in 97 finishing in 6:36.3 - new PR by 10 seconds. Looks like he is starting to get over his asthma - he only had small problems in the third lap, much better than last time. Sub-6:40 at a low 7 years of age is also a new boundary for us - well the fastest that Joseph ran before turning 8 is 6:52, and at low 7 he ran only 7:09.

Julia was not having a good day - lost contact with Jacob and Benjamin 300 meters into the run and finished in 6:53.8. Jenny and Julia will try again on Monday.

William was not scheduled to do a time trial. Well, with a 4 year old like William you cannot really schedule it, but he decided to do it today from the very start of his road out and back mile course. First half was uphill, around 1% grade. He ran the first quarter in 2:09, then 2:15,  2:09 and 2:04 finishing in 8:33.8 - a new PR improving his "beer mile" on the track from two weeks ago by 6.2 seconds.

Benjamin and I did a mile pickup uphill in 5:43. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 3, William 1.

Benjamin got his ACT scores back - composite score of 33, math - 33, reading - 35, English - 34, science - 28. We have applied to BYU for the winter semester. He plans to major in applied math with computational emphasis.

A couple of days ago I experienced a bold thought. Benjamin could qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials if he ran a really good half at the end of 2015. He would be around 16.7 and by then will likely have the maturity in terms of power to pull off a sub-1:05 half. And I think we can swindle the endurance part. I do not know if they ever had a 17 year old in the marathon trials - if they have not, though, it would be because 17-year-olds do not train for the half. We have plenty of talent to pull this off - even on our blog (Conner Mantz).

I shared this thought with Benjamin and he did not think I was crazy and actually believed me that he had a shot. I was very happy about that.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.003.005.000.0020.00

A.M. 20 miles total. Started by taking William, Joseph, Julia, and Jacob for their runs. Joseph and Julia did 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny ran 4 miles on her own. Then I took Benjamin for 10. We ran the last 5 miles at a tempo pace starting a little bit away from Nunn's Park and finishing at the house - so 3 miles of gentle downhill, another more or less flat mile, and last mile uphill . At the start I was at 8 miles for the run, and Benjamin was at 5. I told him I would be happy with anything under 6:00.  He decided 5:40 was a good target. I sat on him the entire time. It felt good for the first 4 miles. Then I told him I wanted to make sure we would get under 28:20 for 5 miles, and he cranked it up. Our last nasty uphill mile was 5:38 and we finished in 28:11. Benjamin said the pace was easy for him, his legs were just moving, the last mile was harder but not at his limit, he could have gone further.

I dropped him off and continued the run. 3.5 miles later I found out that the earlier tempo had nearly run me out of glycogen. I did a 3 mile tempo from 16.5 to 19.5 and was struggling to stay sub-6:00 - ran it in 17:53.

After the run I weighed 141.8 lb - so it looks like there was some glycogen depletion.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.002.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Most of it with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny and Julia did the mile time trial. Jenny was not having a good day again mentally. She started with a quarter in 89, which was great, then suddenly at around 550 mark decided she did not want to go further even though her 509.34 split was 1:56 - still on pace for the 6:20 target. I told her she had to try again. This time she made it to the quarter in 97 and just stopped. I told her she had to try one more time. She went through the quarter in 93, then did 97 (3:10 at 800) and just stopped. Benjamin was helping me - he learned what it was like to deal with this behavior as a pacer now - about 3 years ago he was the misbehaving pacee when he was trying to break the 6:00 mile.

Julia's time trial went much better. She opened with 95, then did 97. Plopped a little on the third lap (1:43), but then recovered and kicked in 97 finishing in 6:34.1 - a new PR by 13 seconds.  Now all of our children that are 7 and older have broken 6:40, and their average mile PR time is 6:08.

I did 1.5 tempo on hills near the house in 8:47.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.004.500.5013.00

A.M. Total of 13. Benjamin and I did a workout. We ran to Nunn's Park and did my favorite 3 mile tempo down the Provo Canyon. The target was 5:20 with the understanding that with 0.5 to go Benjamin had free reign and could go faster if he felt good to get his course PR of 15:54. My goal B was to survive up to that point, goal A was to partially survive his pattented long kick, and  goal A+ was to survive all of it. Unlike last time when we did it in the spring when I pulled Benjamin for about 1.8, this time I sat on him the entire time. We opened with 5:16 at a fairly even effort, but the first quarter was a bit slower (81) due to a rhyhm-breaking bump. The second mile had some pace variation. After seeing 5:16 Benjamin, I suppose wanting to be nice to his aging dad, eased off to 5:30 pace for 300 meters. His aging dad told him to pick it up. Then he picked it up to something like 5:10 before settling into 5:20 pace. The mile was 5:19. The next two quarters were 79 and 80, and then the grind began. He fed me a 75 quarter, but I managed to survive it. Not for long. With 300 to go he shifted gears and dropped me. His closing quarter was 73, I could only manage 78. So he ended up with 15:42, last mile in 5:07, I got 15:47, last mile in 5:12. For Benjamin this was a course PR, but I still have him by 27 seconds over lifetime. I did get my master's course PR though. 

Afterwards Benjamin went home and ended up with 10.6 miles for the day. I turned around, jogged 0.75 and ran a 2 mile "cool-down" tempo in 11:16 down the canyon. Ran another mile with William, Jenny, and Joseph when I got home.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Over the last year somehow I managed to gain about 3-4 lb. I did not realize it for some time because my weight fluctuates a lot and I have a hard time telling if I just ate or drank too much, or if it is real weight. But a few weeks ago I realized it was just extra weight. Upping the mileage at 6:00 pace did not get rid of it. However, recuding the animal fats in the diet on top of the training made it go away, which resulted in a faster time today that in the previous weeks.

So one take from that is that with aging my ability to process animal fats has diminished. I can eat carbs to satiation, and it is all good - I use a lot of carbs. However, fats are a different story, particularly animal fats. They just go and sit there as dead weight for some time, and are very reluctant to burn.

Another take is that my spinal defect (spina bifida occulta) is perhaps extremely weight sensitive. That is perhaps the reason I was able to run 1000 in 3:03.8 at the age of 12.9 but the fastest I ever ran the distance is 2:49 achieved at the age of around 17.9 - 5 years later. I believe what happened was as I began to mature I started growing muscle, but that came at a  high cost - the spine could not properly support it. At 12 when I ran I felt like antelope. At 17 I felt like an elephant, and have felt like that ever since. This might have an implication for those with real spina bifida (manifesta as opposed to occulta), perhaps even a greater one - keeping the weight just a few pounds lower with the same muscle mass, or maybe even with lesser muscle mass as long as you stay away from the extremes, in some cases could make a difference between being able to walk and being bed-ridden.
 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.501.500.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Did 1.5 of tempo pickups. Joseph wanted to do a time trial, so Benjamin and I paced him in the mile at Orem High. His first lap was 91, followed by 94, and another 94. Then he kicked in 92 finishing in 6:14.0 - a new PR by two seconds. This was a real mile - 1609.34 meters, so we have a left-over of 3 seconds relative to the some of the rounded splits. His Crocs are now pretty old, he had stretched out the strap, so they do not stay on very well. About half way through he lost both of them and finished wearing just socks. He probably lost 2 seconds on that. I ordered him a new pair of Crocs.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1, Benjamin 8.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.001.500.000.5012.00

A.M. 12 miles total for me. Benjamin did an 800 time trial. A year ago I could pace him in that. Now even if I was in my best ever 800 shape the only way I could participate over the entire distance would have been by drafting, and my 800 speed is not quite what it used to be. So we decided he would run the first 300 by himself, then I would pull him for 200 and then step aside so he can pass over the next 100, then I would provide a competitive challenge from behind over the last 200. The plan was to open in 64 and see what happens. We did the time trial at Orem High track.

It pretty much went as planned, except I was not too competitive in the last 200. He got to 300 in a high 48, I pulled him through 400 in a high 64, then 1:21 at 500, then I stepped aside and he passed me with 1:38 split at 600, then I hung on for dear life for the next 100 with 1:55 split at 700. Then Benjamin finished in 2:12.3 and I finished 1.4 behind. Benjamin got a 4 second PR and was only 0.3 off my best time ever. 

So here is the plan for Benjamin's OTQ 2016: 800 - 2:00, 1500 - 4:00, 5000 - 14:30, 10000 - 29:45, and that should hopefuly be enough for a little under 1:05:00 half on an eligible course. In all honesty, my main concern is the 800 meters. That is where we have relatively little control. The longer distances will come with training if the speed is there - his endurace has developed quite well off just 50 miles a week already, so I am quite confident that once the mileage goes into the 80-100 range there will be no problems with the endurance.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 1. William ran 0.5 in 4:04, a new record for him. I did 1.5 of tempo running.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did 1.5 of tempo pickups. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Helped Benjamin with his Eagle Scout project. He marked 4 miles of the Murdock Canal Trail with the Provo River Trail style triangles - cycles of 1,2,3,4 with each mark separated by 330 feet (1/16th of a mile) and each cycle making up a quarter mile.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.258.250.500.0020.00

A.M. 20 miles total. Benjamin was retaking the ACT in the hopes of hitting something higher than 33 which he got a month ago on his first try. I ran the first 8.5 miles with Chad. We did a 2 mile tempo down the canyon. In spite of having raced a marathon only a week earlier Chad was feisty and made me run the first 0.5 in 2:39. Then he started fading but I did not mind since I did not really want to run 5:20 pace anyway. We finished it in 10:58. This tempo provided some more evidence for my theory that a damaged muscle fiber when repaired regains power before it regains endurance. We jogged about 0.75 and ran another tempo mile in 5:47 on a rolling section. Then I ran with the kids - Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a tempo pickup for 0.75, and then a 2 mile tempo up the canyon in 12:15 (6:11,6:04) - headwind was bad in the first mile, but calmed down in the second, then jogged a little and ran the same stretch on the way back in 11:10 (5:33,5:37), and then jogged some and did one more mile uphill back to the house in 5:57.

P.M. Benjamin did 8 including 7 on the Murdock Canal Trail to check if the marks were good. I rode the bike alongside.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. In Sunday school a scripture was shared that caught my attention (Doctrine and Covenants 56:16-18):

Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance to the poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved!

Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!

But blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance; for the fatness of the earth shall be theirs.

Perhaps it is not very well known outside of the LDS church to what extent it is concerned with the matter of poverty. In a properly functioning ward, should a member - active or inactive, or maybe not even a member at all but someone known to the ward - lose his job it will be discussed in the next ward council meeting and you will see people trying to come up with ideas of how that person could find employment. If someone experiences some kind of emergency that has the potential to cause financial ruin, this will also be discussed as well and some kind of plan will be worked out to alleviate the burden to the extent possible.

One thing that perhaps makes our church stand out from many others is the way we address poverty. We will give to the poor to keep them afloat when needed, but we put a greater emphasis on lifting them out of poverty - education, help in job search, teaching how to present yourself, ideas for starting your own business, skills of self-reliance, learning to live within your means and save for a rainy day, productive use of time, etc.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.001.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did total of 2 miles of tempo running.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.361.500.000.4412.30

A.M. Total of 12.7. Benjamin did another 800 meter time trial. We hoped to do it at the BYU track, but the inside lanes were blocked with barriers. So we went to Orem High instead. It rained earlier so the track was a little wet. However, to my surprise the BYU track was more wet than the Orem High. So perhaps it was good that we went to Orem High after all - even though normally the BYU track is faster - at least I have gotten faster times on it.

We pretty much repeated what we did last time - me starting 300 meters into it - except this time I gave myself a bit of a head start because last time I could accelerate quickly enough and it took me good 50 meters before I started doing my pacing job. However, this time I overshot the other way starting too early. This frustrated Benjamin and he yelled at me telling me he could not catch me. In spite of that mishap he made it to the 400 mark in around 63.7 or so.

I was concerned that this frustration with being behind might have ruined Benjamin's chances for a PR, but he demonstrated resilience. He mentally regrouped, caught up to me and started pushing the pace from behind. I did my best to stay ahead and provided him with a wind shield up to about 550 mark. Then I stepped aside, he passed me, but I tried to stay as much as I could on the side to provide partial wind block and competitive pressure. His 600 split was 1:37.9 or so. I am too paranoid to press buttons to get a split mid-run, but the Fast Running Friend solves the problem for me by displaying the tenths of a second in a font that is large enough to get an idea of what the the split was with that precision. Of course, the big question is the delay between the time you register that you are at the mark, and the time you register the running time, but I think this is accurate to about 0.3 or so.

The 700 split was around 1:54.9. I was able to stay with him up to 30 meters to go or about, and then fell back by a little - maybe 0.5 or so when he turned up the heat in the final surge. He finished in 2:11.4. This is the first overall all-time family record taken by Benjamin. My all-time 800 meter PR is 2:12.0. I suppose we can say that today we had a historic moment in our family - the 14-year-old son ran faster than the dad ever has in his life. 

Another signficant detail is that a year ago his 800 PR was 2:23. When I was 13 I was somewhere in that range - at the age of 12.9 I hit a 2:25 split indoors in a 1000 meter race. However, over the last year he made more improvement than I did in my entire life. I do have an explanation for that - see the X-rays at the links in my profile. I could manage my L-4 defect when stars aligned - I was very light and somehow developed a workaround that allowed me to be somewhat competitive. However, when I hit puberity, that workaround did not work anymore - I was just too heavy to pull it off.

Now our next goal is to get Benjamin to do 4x400 with 400 meter jog first in 64, then 63, 62, 61, and 60. Then we will have a graduation party - another 800 meter time trial. 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 1.5 of tempo running.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.300.005.000.0012.30

A.M. Did a workout. Warmed up 5 miles up into the canyon, then ran back at a tempo pace in 28:45. Felt low on fuel - the weight at the end of the run confirmed it - 143.0 lb. Total of 12.3 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Benjamin upped his chess rating at our regular tournament to 1802 moving into Class A. Next class after that is Expert, then National Master, International Master, and Grandmaster.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
270.8039.0046.466.84363.10
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 352.50Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Saucony Type A Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 206.00Nap Time: 3.50Total Sleep Time: 209.50
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