Breaking the Wall

Earn Your Turkey 4 Miler

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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
274.774.6514.852.40296.67
Airwalk Clogs Miles: 223.22Saucony Type A Miles: 30.05Water Clogs Miles: 16.60
Night Sleep Time: 222.50Nap Time: 12.50Total Sleep Time: 235.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Had a lesson on faith in Sunday school. Had some thoughts.

What exactly is faith? How does it really work? Faith is a very subtle thing. I would compare it to the TH sound in English. To a foreigner that does not have TH in his native language it may sound like T, S or F, but it is not T, nor S, and not even F, it is TH!

I would also compare it to driving on a narrow road in the fog while being pursued by the Russian mafia. You veer to the right and you hear the rumble on your right. That is how you know you went too far to the right. You veer to the left and you hear the rumble on the left. That is how you  know you went too far to the left. You get scared of crashing and you let the foot off the gas, and the pursuers get dangerously close. So you floor the pedal and you listen for the rumble on your left and on your right. You must have no fear, yet you need to have a sense of balance and constantly adjust your course so you will not leave the bounds that the Lord has given.

I would also compare faith with physical endurance. In a Kenyan village the best way to get around for a boy is to run. So he does whether he wants to or not. Thus he develops a gift of endurance. In America the best way to get around  is to drive. So that same boy while getting to places faster does not develop his gift of endurance quite the same. Instead of using the gift of science and technology to increase his fitness he becomes overly dependent on them and allows his fitness to slack. The blessings of scientific progress and resulting prosperity have become a curse because of our lack of gratitude for them.

Very similar with faith. When the necessities of life are no longer a daily certainty you have to rely on faith in order to survive. Thus a culture of faith develops. People grow up knowing what faith is and having a practical experience with it. It is as natural as saying TH to an native English speaker. With science and technology guaranteeing the necessities of life we become spiritually lazy and do not develop our faith quite the same. We could have used those gifts to create a culture of faith, but instead we become overdependent on them and our faith becomes atrophied. We are not able to see God with our spiritual eyes anymore. We want proof. We cannot tell the difference between right and wrong on our own, or are not even able to acknowledge it when taught by those who see. The little that we see by the Spirit we do not trust. The spiritual vision has become 20/800, God is 20 feet away from us but it looks like it is 800.

So what shall we do then? To develop our physical endurance we run. We defy the norm in a good way. Our friends think we are crazy for getting up every morning and running for an hour or more. Especially since we usually end up at the same place we started. Same needs to happen with faith. The mindset needs to change. We need not to be afraid to act on faith. Stop asking for proof. If deep down you know it is right, do it. If deep down you know it is wrong, do not do it. Learn to trust your inner sense of right and wrong, it atrophies otherwise. There will, of course, be missteps, given that we start with a spiritual vision of 20/800 or worse. But faith is developed by doing things that require it, and overtime that vision will become 20/600, 20/400, so on all the way up to 20/20.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. 10 with Jeff in 1:14:59. Benjamin ran the first 2 with us in 15:37. I have transitioned to running on pavement instead of grass. Seems to make no difference for the foot. The dull pain is still there, about the same before or after the run. Day of rest does not do anything for it.

The speed does affect it though. I believe it has to do with the fact that due to more vigorous movement it  becomes difficult to keep the heel from touching the ground hard.  At slower speeds I am able to land on my toes and gently lower the heel later.

Could this be a minor stress fracture?

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.100.000.000.0014.10

A.M. 8 by myself on pavement in 55:38, then 3 more with Benjamin in 23:16.

Contemplated the form. Tried to figure out why it feels/looks weird. Perceived problem - some odd overstriding. I reach out in front with the foot, then start pulling it back, which is good, but it still lands too far out in front. Tried to understand why I do this. Then tried a trick on a whim - more aggressive hamstring action at the end of the stance. That in theory should help relax the quad, and also bring the knee up a little higher, and get rid of my patented backwards leg reach that kicks the competitors that are following too closely.

I liked the feel of it. Did not have an HRM with me to document the energy expenses, but it did seem that I was able to run a faster pace with less effort. The question is why I do not do that hamstring action naturally. I hope that it is just because I learned it wrong early on and never bothered to relearn because I had a workaround that kind of worked. A contributing factor could have been a knee injury at the age of 12, right around those formative years, that made it painful to bend the knee, and then the pattern of working around it became ingrained to the point that when challenged to run better by increased speed/distance I would simply invent a better workaround than address the root of the problem.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:20. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 12:44. Took Joseph with me to vote. We ran there and back. On the way back I got disoriented in the dark and we went the wrong way for a while. So we ended up running some unintentional distance. Joseph thought it was fun, though, but started to get a bit tired towards the end. The whole run took us 11:29. Will call that 1.1.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Jeff got swine flu. But he did not know it until after the run. But he did know something was wrong. So we ran very slowly on purpose. 10.1 in 1:23:59.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:01. Joseph, Julia, and Jenny ran their usual distances with Sarah on a bike.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.001.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:45. Then 8 more in 54:06. Monitored the form. Paid attention to the following: quicker knee flexion after the end of stance phase, relaxation of the quads while in the air, perception of effort, and the actual pace. Picked it up in the last mile and ran it in 6:02 gradually accelerating with the last quarter in 85. Liked the feel of the body at 5:40 pace. Felt the quads were able to relax and let the blood flow through them with less obstruction.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:23. Julia ran 1.5 in 13:54. Joseph ran 0.5 with Benjamin in 5:15.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.001.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran 2 with Benjamin in 16:25, and then 8 more in 52:19. Last mile in 5:55.

P.M. 1.5  with Jenny and Julia in 13:12. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:52.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.250.000.750.0011.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff. He is mostly over the swine flu. He monitored my form and compared it to what he saw in the footage of the Berlin marathon. He was able to see elite men, and the slower group that was running with the women. He noticed that almost every one of the slower men had a stiff looking spine, while none of the elite men did. Then he noticed that not surprisingly I had a stiff back. We spent some time trying to figure out the cause of it.  The only way I could make it look not too bad was to lean forward excessively. Did some experimentation to see how hard it would be to run with that kind of lean at faster paces. So we ran 0.5 in 2:43, and then 0.25 in 81. It was not too bad, but there were no miracles either aside from the top of the quads feeling the strain instead of the lower portion.

10.1 in 1:14:41.

Then took Benjamin and Jenny in to the State Cross Country Championship. Benjamin ran 13:17 finishing fourth behind Aiden Troutner (12:08), Joshua Blackburn (12:47), and Lucas Norman (13:02). During the race Benjamin looked like he did not know how to run fast. His stride was long, but his turnover was very low. This should not have been a surprise as we have not done anything fast in the last couple of months due to my foot problems. More than anything, it was my oversight - I got too busy with other things and forgot to pay attention to make sure we were prepared for the meet. But on the other hand, no big deal, it is just a Bantam championship. Just get out and practice racing, who cares where you place at the age of 10.

Jenny ran a decent race finishing 7th in 14:28. Iain Hunter's daughter (I am pretty sure that's who it was, her last name was Hunter and she almost chicked Benjamin) won with 13:23.

Later in the afternoon I was pondering the forward lean matter, and remembered a detail. Some time ago Iain measured Jeff and I at his lab. One of the measurements was standing on the force plate for 2 seconds to determine the weight. But the force plate is a smart gadget. It does not just measure your weight. It gives you XYZ components of the ground reaction force. And I remembered that my X component was quite a bit bigger than Jeff's. Yes, when you stand upright there is a fluctuating X component in the ground reaction force because it is next to impossible to find such a balance that your center of gravity would be in the perfect position.

So I decided to integrate that component, or more precisely the acceleration from it over time. Turned out that over 2 seconds of standing I generated a velocity change of 0.1 m/s. Jeff did only 0.02 m/s. In other words, I had to work with my legs to pull my body forward quite significantly, or else my center of masses would have gone backwards and I would have landed on my rear at the end of those 2 seconds. Which means that my center of gravity when standing up is shifted towards the back with the feet ending up in front of it. I wondered if anybody has ever written anything about how the natural position of the center of gravity would affect running economy and found this article.

I tried the exercise suggested in it for correcting the Upper Cross Syndrome, and I like the feel of it. I also liked that it is easy to remember and do spontaneously during the day. We'll see what happens in a month or two.

P.M. Julia, Joseph, and Sarah ran 0.5 together, then I ran 1 mile with Julia in 7:52. That is her new mile PR. Her splits were 2:04 - 2:00 - 1:55 - 1:53. She was not planning on setting a record, just started out a little quicker, and I was able to talk her into trying to break it. Her previous record was 7:57.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 11.00
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. We had a Stake Conference. The stake,is a group of several wards (in reference to the stakes of Zion supporting the tent in Isaiah).  When I first heard the term in English I did not have any issues, but when I realized that its official Russian translation was кол I was greatly entertained. Aside from a regular stake that you pound into the ground the word is a slang term for the lowest grade you can get in school - one, because number one looks like a stake. You do not get that great just for not knowing the subject matter, it is usually given for being a bad sport - e.g. if you get caught cheating on a test.

In any case, the word has acquired a new meaning for me since I joined the LDS church, both in English and in Russian. It represents a unit of strength in the Lord, something the Lord depends on to build his kingdom.

At the conference our stake was reorganized. Our ward is now much bigger, almost twice as big. The English population of our area is shrinking, and is being replaced by the Latinos. Most of the Latinos are not LDS. Even though many join our church, and the Latino branch is now big enough to be a ward, it does not make up for the exodus of the English speakers, and even if it did, the English wards would still be getting smaller.

My conclusion from the above is that we need to do two things to prepare for the future. Have children and learn Spanish.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.000.2512.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Benjamin ran the first 2 miles with us in 17:15. We ran 8 more and finished 10 in 1:18:06. Did a quarter in 77 in the middle to test the waters, and it felt good. Jeff made an observation that my back did not look as stiff and that I was leaning forward more. I was not trying to lean forward. I attributed the change to doing my Upper Cross Syndrome correction exercise throughout the weekend.

The foot pain is a whole lot better but still not 100%. With cautious optimism I anticipate to be 100% healthy in that area in two weeks.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:38. Julia ran 1.5 in 13:23. Joseph ran 0.5 with Sarah.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.350.250.000.0014.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:12:25. Then 2 with Benjamin, one mile in 6:35. We attempted to break 6:00 but after the first quarter Benjamin did not have it, but still finished at a respectable pace. Now this sheds more light on what's going on, and shows that what happened at the state meet was not just a bad day. We also measured him and discovered that he had grown an inch and gained a pound since August. However, if the accelerated growth was the problem he would have been out of breath, and he said that was not the problem - he felt he lacked the leg power. He also did not sound like he was out of breath. When James Leblow was having accelerated growth problems he sounded like a steam locomotive.

Just to be sure I told Benjamin to run with Jenny on his easy runs, and really fast (sub-6:00) twice a week. He's been doing a lot of those easy-not-easy runs at 8:00 pace. I let him figuring if he was choosing that pace naturally it was OK, but maybe not.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:56. 2 with Jenny in 17:33. Julia ran 1.5 in 13:10.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.270.450.000.0015.72

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:14:47. Last 0.45 at 5:50 pace. 3.62 with Sarah in 37:51.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 19:24. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:34. We stopped in the middle and Benjamin did a 100 meter speed test. First time 17.5, second 16.8.  That is a new PR. So his speed is OK, actually really good. So maybe he indeed has just been growing too fast. We'll see how he does in the mile after a couple of weeks of slower aerobic runs and race pace running a couple of times a week before reaching any conclusions, though.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 15.72
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.100.003.000.0012.10

P.M. Ran with Jeff. We ran in the afternoon to have some light because we wanted to go a bit faster. Total of 10.1 with 2 + 1 in the middle. The plan was to run 5:40 pace, no faster to avoid aggravating my foot, and also since Jeff was still recovering from swine flu.

During the 2 miler we had a hard time with pacing in the first mile. 89 - 79 - 81 - 86 (5:35). Then much more even and on target - 85 - 85 - 85 - 86 for the total of 11:16. I did not feel great but not to terrible either. I was happy that I survived the 79 - 81.

We jogged to the turnaround and then I felt good enough for another mile at a good pace. By that time it started to get dark, but we were able to run 5:35, and it did not feel terrible.

Got back, ran 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:27, Joseph ran first 0.5 with us in 4:43, Julia last 1.5 in 13:44. Jeff joined us.

Saucony Type A Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.750.000.100.0014.85

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:14:55. Started out slow, then sped up when we realized Jeff was going to be late for work. Last 3 miles at a little under 6:40 pace. Then 2 more Benjamin in 16:47.  We did a mini-speed workout. It was very revealing. I gave Benjamin a target of 6:00 pace for half mile. We did it mid-run without stopping off 9:07 first mile. After a 1:35 first quarter I stopped him, had him jog 200 in 1:12 and then he ran 200 in 41 with the splits of 19 and 22. Then after about 450 meters I had him run 300 to the finish as fast as he could, and he could only do 1:12. I also noticed that he was breathing hard at the end of the quarter.

On Tuesday he could run 1:29 quarter from a standing HR with the idea that he was going the whole mile, but at 9:00 pace after a mile his HR is high enough to not be able to run faster than 1:35 with the idea that he was running only 0.5. This is not normal. Just in August he was able to run 1:16 quarter  in the middle off 9:00 pace.

So that is more evidence for growth-related cardio/aerobic failure. His leg power is fine, more than fine, very good. He can also run 8:00, even 7:30 for a long time without much discomfort. But somewhere around 6:40 is where the problems start. At first I thought it was training related because he did not run a whole lot in the fast range for the last couple of months, but after today's run I am thinking it is more than training. I do not think that it is merely an increase in bone mass without a corresponding increase in heart power. His weight increased by only 4 lb. I think there is something going on the hormonal level, and for reasons we perhaps do not quite understand (if somebody does, I'd like to hear from you) aerobic capacity has to drop quite a bit while the body is growing.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 16:55. Julia ran 1.5 in 12:58. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:29. This is a new PR. He impressed me with the consistency of the splits. 37-38-38-36. This is our family record for the 3 year old division.

Jacob's splits go along with his personality. He is very thorough, balanced, and consistent. When he has a temper tantrum, interestingly enough it is almost always about not being able to fulfill a certain responsibility or perform a certain task that he set his mind on. For example, during our family scripture study he insists on having his scriptures open while he "reads" (really repeating after a reader) his verse.

Ran 0.5 with Joseph in 4:38. Joseph is the goofiest of our kids. He likes pranks and jokes more than others. Unlike Jacob he can be defiant and play power struggles. But he is learning that it is useless and only yields trouble. He seems to have improved a lot in his behavior after he started running consistently. When he runs it is more of a form of play, so we play chasing a guy. 5:00 guy for half a mile, sometimes 4:30.

Later practiced with William. He cannot walk yet, but he can push a walker toy quite well, and seems to like it a lot.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 14.85
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.600.003.000.0013.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did 10.1 with 3x1 mile in the middle with essentially full rest. The target was 5:30, but Jeff overachieved and I mostly did not complain. We ended up with 5:26.4 (79-85-81-81), 5:23.2 (81-83-78-81), and 5:19.0 (81 - 80 - 80 - 78).

Was generally happy with the workout. It was snowing some, there were leaves on the ground, which made me really feel the turns, and we were wearing pants and a jacket. I asked Jeff what he thought it compared to ideal conditions. He thought maybe 5 seconds a mile. I would probably give it 7, which actually goes along well with Jeff's estimate because he is very good with turns and I am not.

The foot mostly behaved but I could still feel it. But definitely better than two weeks ago. The form felt better. I had Jeff visually evaluate it and he did notice a difference as well. I have been doing the magic Upper Cross Correction exercise since last Saturday.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:24. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:57. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:59. 1 mile passing out fliers to our ward members notifying about the boundary and schedule changes.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.10Water Clogs Miles: 2.00Airwalk Clogs Miles: 1.50
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. Our ward was a whole lot bigger now that we have accumulated a good portion of the neighboring ward. However, I still have several callings, so the stars aligned for me to teach in Sunday School (Gospel Principles class) and in the Elder's Quorum as well. I did not mind, in fact I was thankful for the experience. Teaching in the Lord's church is a great blessing. The Lord cares enough for the correct doctrine to be taught that he will show it to you plainly even if you make only a meager effort of your own to receive it. Only one catch - it has to be your honest best effort under the circumstances. Then all you have to do is listen and repeat. So you can learn a lot in the process.

The lesson in Sunday School was on the restoration of Christ's original church in our day. The lesson in the Elder's Quorum  was on the feelings of Joseph Smith about his prophetic calling. What I learned from those lessons is that the Lord really cares about everybody, and I mean everybody. No exceptions. When it says in Matthew 28 to go to all the world and preach the gospel to all nations, there is no kidding,  double talk, or figure of speech involved.

An observant  LDS missionary that served in the US could write a book about socio-economic profile of a trailer court and other not so popular places to live. The one that served in Russia that was thorough in his work would know more about the country than I do. For every area and culture, a good missionary comes back knowing it inside and out. Because he literally would have been to every nook and corner of it. He might like the culture naturally and think it is fun to get immersed, but I highly doubt too many people would ever want to reach this level of immersion just for fun. He immerses himself on that level because he knows the Lord loves those people, and if the Lord does, then the missionary can learn by at the very least coming to their house and talking to them.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.600.000.000.0012.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:13:07. We started out slow as usual, first mile in 8:27. Then sped up to 7:20 pace or so. Discussed mortgage and other forms of fraud, then BYU win at the Mountain Conference in cross-country. Finally we were out of topics, got quiet and sped to 6:40 for the last 3 miles.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:18. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:29. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:55.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.501.200.001.9014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:11:01. After a little over 5 miles of warm-up we did a fartlek. The target was 1:00 at 5:20 pace with 1 minute of jogging. Jeff overachieved again and hit the fast minutes at around 5:00. I almost did not complain and did stay with him.

Then, right as I prepared to relax and enjoy the 2 mile cool-down Jeff informed me that he was late for work and we would have to run 6:00 pace to make it, but he would take it easy on me, run a bit slower and make up for the lost time with a quicker shower/getting dressed. So we went about 6:40 at first, but the pace progressively kept getting quicker as gradually recovered from the fartlek and became more responsive to Jeff's subtle moves to increase the pace. We saw Sarah out on the trail, she was in a good mood, and ran for maybe 20 meters with us just to feel the pace. She thought it was closer to 8:00, and was surprised to hear that it was under 6:40.

Then Jeff poured some more gasoline into the fire and we ran the last 0.625 in 3:46 (6:02 pace).

Took Benjamin for a run shortly after. His assignment was 6:00 to 0.5 or to failure, and then if failure happened before 0.5 something fast at the end. We warmed up with a 9:17 mile, then he ran 600 in 2:16.  Then we jogged a little less than half mile and ran the last 300 in 1:07 (6:00 pace).

It went a whole lot better than Friday's 1:35 quarter. So something works. The suspects are slowing down on easy runs, training at 6:00 pace, and hawthorn berry tea. I do not really care which one of them is the most dominant as long as I know that the combination of three works. We'll keep doing it.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:48. Julia ran 1.5 in 13:41. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:41.

Water Clogs Miles: 14.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.350.000.000.0015.35

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:12:51. 3 with Sarah in 29:35. She did a couple of pickups and in one of them ran a 1:53 quarter.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia in the last 1.5 in 17:39. Julia's time for 1.5 was 13:12. Benjamin and Jenny pulled ahead in the last 100 and finished in 17:35 while I stayed with Julia.  0.5 with Joseph in 4:22.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 15.35
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.850.252.500.0014.60

A.M. Ran 10.1 with Jeff in 1:11:55. From 6.2 ran a 2.5 tempo. The target was 5:50 and we mostly stayed there. Splits by half mile - 2:55 - 2:55 - 2:53 - 2:55 - 2:50 with the last quarter in 83. My legs felt stale. Probably from glycogen depletion from the increased mileage. But I was happy that I was able to speed up to 83 in the last quarter in spite of the staleness.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:08. Last quarter in 1:30. 2 with Jenny in 17:26. Julia ran 1.5 in 13:05 with us. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:38.

 

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 14.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.850.251.000.0012.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:14:08. Did a mile in 5:42 in the middle. Felt a whole lot better in that mile than I did in yesterday's tempo. 2 more with Benjamin in 16:45. Did 0.5 in 3:13 and 0.25 in 1:36. I guess yesterday's 1:30 quarter took more out of him than I thought it would.

P.M. Jenny, Julia, and Joseph ran with Sarah on a bike because I got a fever. 100-101 degrees. I do not handle even this low of a fever well and become overly emotional, confused, and generally helpless. I'd much rather run an all-out marathon than have a fever.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.500.000.000.004.50

A.M. Ted and Jeff came to my house to run with me, but I still did not feel like I should run even though my fever went away through the night. I drank a lot of orange/peach/mango juice and went to the bathroom once an hour. Kept having the same dream about some sort of puzzle that should have been trivial but I could not solve it because of the fever. Towards the end of the night I found a partial solution to the puzzle and was able to sleep better.

When Ted and Jeff got back after 10 miles I felt good enough to try running some with Jeff. We did 4 miles in 31:52. So far the fever has not come back, let's see what happens tonight.

P.M. A long nap, then 0.5 with Joseph and Julia in 4:30. Benjamin and Jenny ran with Sarah in the morning.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 4.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 11.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Felt better. The fever was gone. Sarah questioned if I was healthy enough to go home teaching after church. To prove myself I took my temperature, and it was 97.0 F. To prove myself further I put on an HRM to measure resting heart rate. At first it was showing 75 or so, which would have meant I was sick. But I know what resting HR of 75 feels like, and I was 100% sure it was not 75. So I counted it manually and it was 52! Then I figured the problem was the contacts were too dry. After wetting them sufficiently I started getting readings that were consistent with the manual count and the way I felt. HR fluctuated between 47 and 57, and spent most of the time in 50-52 range. Which is my normal healthy range.

Moral of the story - know when to question your instruments.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.750.250.500.009.50

A.M. Even though I was feeling better, I knew my immune system was still weak. 10 miles is no big deal to me normally, but it does borrow some against the immune system, and if starts out low, it could put it on the verge of bankruptcy, so to speak. So I ran only 6 with Jeff in 44:35. Then when we finished Sarah was getting out for her last mile, and she talked me into running it with her. I talked Jeff into running the first 0.5 before he would speed up to his normal pace. Sarah and Jeff were occupied with a conversation about making carob cakes, and that allowed Jeff to trick her into running the first half in 4:36 instead of the promised 5:15. Then on the way back I bribed Sarah to keep the fast pace with the promise of prompt help with the laundry immediately after. So we ended up with a more normal 9:18 mile instead of the desired 10:30 which I thought was too slow to begin with.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:48. He demonstrated signs of being alive. After the warm-up mile in 8:57 we ran a hard 0.5 in 2:52 with the splits of 85,87. This actually happens to be Benjamin's PR for the half. I was very pleased to see that because lately he's not been able to keep 6:00 for longer than 600 meters on a good day.

Then 350 meters later after getting his description of the effort I wanted to see how much he had left in the tank and told him to run the last quarter as close to 90 as possible with the idea that if he was totally blowing up I'd stop him early. He ran a 91, and I was very pleased with that as well. This gives us hopes for a sub-6:00 mile in the Thanksgiving race, which has a realistic shot of winning. Last year 6:10 won (Jacob Blackburn), but this year if Aiden Troutner shows up and runs a normal race the winning time would be around 5:45, maybe even sub-5:40. Joshua Blackburn would probably run it a little under 6:00, which I think Benjamin could match if he has as good of a day as he did today.

What I find peculiar, though, is the great fluctuations in endurance from day to day. I wonder if it is somehow related to the hormones participating in the maturation process.

0.5 with Julia and Joseph in 4:50.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 9.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.750.000.000.007.75

A.M. Woke up from a dream with the hope it was more than just a dream. In the dream I was told that if I got normal flexibility in my thoracic spine I would run a 2:10 marathon. I was also told the chance of success was 5%. When I heard 5% I remember feeling very happy because 5% is significantly above zero, and even thinking that even if the fix was not quite 100% I could still be in the range of 2:12 which still is 7 minutes faster than the Trial's Qualifier. But the chances would naturally improve now that the fix did not have to be quite so perfect.

There was a reason I had that dream. I have been working on the thoracic flexibility in the last week. Looking back at 2007, I am wondering if the reason I had the breakthrough was not the mileage after all, but the improved thoracic flexibility from the spinal correction treatment/exercises.Back then I undertook a full course of Pettibon treatment, which involved thoracic flexibility work among many other things.

I single out thoracic flexibility at the point for a number of reasons. First, that was the stiffest area of the spine during the Pettibon evaluations and treatment. In fact, the cervical curve did not improve until we were able to loosen the thoracic grip. Second, thoracic stiffness causes the center of gravity to move backwards making running more energy demanding. Third, that is where Jeff sees the stiffness when we run.

So I'll keep working on it and we'll let the time tell if there is any merit to the idea.

Jeff slept in, so I ran alone. 6 miles in 41:57. Passed Sarah with about 0.43 to go, then turned around, ran back to her, ended up with 6.25 miles.Then she took Jenny on a run for 2 miles.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph and Benjamin in 5:11. 1 more with Julia and Benjamin in 9:21.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 7.75
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.100.000.000.007.10

A.M. Ran 6.1 with Jeff in 45:12. Jenny ran 1.5 with Sarah.

P.M. 1 with Benjamin in 8:56. Julia and Joseph did not run as they were both on the verge of getting sick, and we did not want to take any chances before the race tomorrow. Same for me, actually. That is why I've been running only 6 miles + whatever from the kids this week. My health is still not 100%.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 7.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Race: Earn Your Turkey 4 Miler (4 Miles) 00:23:05, Place overall: 17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
3.850.004.000.007.85

A.M. Today was the turkey hunt day for our family.  We all ran in the Earn Your Turkey race. Sarah and I ran 4 miles, Benjamin and Jenny did 1 mile, Julia 800 meters, Joseph and Jacob 400, and William 100.

We use this race to motivate our children to train. It awards turkeys to the top 5 finishers in the 4 miler + age division winners for all races. Thus the children have a chance to bring some turkeys home. There are very few races that allow the children to earn something real rather than just a ribbon or a trophy for their efforts. When we announce that the dinner was earned by a little child he feels very special, but more important, he learns to believe that he has the ability to provide for a family.

Opportunities like that are rather sparse, though. Children are expected to just have fun, which is silently defined as a non-productive entertainment. It cannot be something real or else it is no longer fun.  Is it then a surprise that children do not grow up feeling a responsibility to provide, and we find many 20+ year old adults still living with their parents?

If it was not for the children's experience, to set an example for them, I would not have showed up at the starting line. I've had issues with the foot that made my training less optimal, and then as if that was not enough I got sick at the end of the last week. I knew I was going to run poorly. But I always tell my children to run their best even if the day is bad, and that best appears to be pathetic. Always be humble enough to take what your body is willing to give you regardless of how slow it is.

From the start I tried to run with Ted, and somewhat was able to hang on. First mile was 5:28. It felt like 5:10. I hoped it would be 5:20. Second mile was 5:36. I was pleased with is somewhat, except that it took all of my energy. It did not feel like it would, but fevers have a tendency to literally fry your neural drive for up to three weeks after they are gone. This one, of course, was no different. After 2 miles I had no juice. I hopelessly lost contact with Ted, and death marched my way through a 6:07 mile. Jeff likes to say "Ouch" at this point of a story. In the last mile I tried to pick it up, but there was not much I could do. I managed a 5:53 mile. As if running slower than 23:00 and getting beat by a master recovering from a knee surgery was not embarrassing enough, Amber Andrews went by me in the last 200 meters as if I were standing still (well, "as if" should be removed as I was standing still, 86 second quarter in the kick is standing still). So now I have the dubious honor of not only having been chicked by Cheryl Harper, but also by her daughter.

Nevertheless, there was a reward for the embarrassment. No, they did not give turkeys to the runner who embarrassed himself the most. But it just turned out that every male between 35 and 39 ran even slower than I did, so I ended up with a turkey. I was happy that even in my out of commission state I was able to contribute to the turkey hunt.

Amber finished in 23:02, Ted got 22:45. The race was won in 19:35 by Cameron Levins , with the second place 19:39 by Danny Moody. Our Tyler Cannon was third with 20:46.

After the race was over, Ted and I ran back and met Sarah. We ran with her to the finish. Her time was 34:51 by my watch. Actually my time was 23:04 by my watch, but it is officially 23:05 due to a start confusion. They said there would be a whistle and then the gun. However, some people started with the whistle. I started with the gun.

Then our 13-month-old William marched through 100 meters in 3:38. He cried the entire way. He liked walking in practice, but racing is different. It would have gone better if the race started when he wanted to start, but that is the nature of racing. The race starts when the race director starts it. William will learn this in years to come. For his efforts he earned the youngest participant prize - a turkey. William, the turkey hunting baby!

Then Joseph won the 3-4 year old 400 in 1:44. I paced him through that. They allow you to hold the kids hand in those races but you are not allowed to drag. Dragging is defined as being in front of the kid. Holding a hand for a kid can be a huge advantage if you've practiced it, and we have. So Joseph can fly holding my hand without me being in front of him. I think it is very valuable for kids to train with a fit adult holding their hand until their brain matures enough to hold a steady pace. The hand teaches them rhythm, and also helps them improve their economy because they realize that they can coast at a fraction of an effort if they just do not fight the fast pace, but go with it.

Jacob did not have a very good day. He fell a few times, then walked a few times. Benjamin was pacing him since I was with Joseph, and he was not used to it. He still finished in around 3:25. He will do better next year.

Then it was Julia's turn. I paced her. No holding hands, she is too old for that. She was racing 800 meters in the 7-8 division. Her competition was Rachael Blackburn. Same as two years ago. Rachael is 8, Julia is 7, so that makes it hard for Julia. When Rachael gets a year older, then Julia has free reign in her age division, and Jenny is a year older than Rachael, so we have a double-turkey from Jenny and Julia. Otherwise, Rachael gets the turkey, and her family can use it as they have 10 children.

It was a very exciting race. Everybody started very fast. I held Julia back a bit, but not enough. We went through 200 in 45. But even with this fast of a start there was a group of girls ahead of her. By the quarter the pace slowed considerably. Julia was 1:40 at the turnaround, and she had caught up to the lead pack. She passed them and tried to pull ahead. That dropped everybody except one girl. Then I knew that girl was Rachael.

Around 500 meters Rachael made the patented Blackburn move. I've seen that move before. That is how Rachael's brother Jacob dropped Benjamin in a number of races. Blackburn children do not have a kick, but they make up for it with long surges. Julia lost contact, the gap quickly grew to 4 seconds, and then it pretty much stayed that way to the finish. Rachael got 3:28, Julia 3:33 - a new PR for the distance.

Then it was time for Benjamin and Jenny's race. I asked Tyler to pace Benjamin while I paced Jenny. Benjamin won the 9-10 age division with 6:08, and in fact beat everybody else except one 12 year old boy. Jenny struggled, but still managed 4th place in 9-10 division (girls) with 6:54. She is only 9, though, so she was racing older girls. However, the race was winnable, the winning time was only 6:29, and that could have been within her range. But we have not done enough specific training. Mostly because it is so difficult to convince Jenny to dip into that zone. But after this race, she had a change of perspective, and we made plans to practice running race pace on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

I was particularly happy with Benjamin's win because he has been struggling lately. But apparently our efforts to bring his endurance back were successful.

Then on top of everything we won a dinner (turkey, bag of potatoes, a couple sweet potatoes, and some stuffing) in the largest immediate family content. We were able to do so not so much due to the large size of our family but more so because we were able to get 100% participation.

Additionally, Joseph won a turkey in the raffle. Normally I consider raffles bogus, but this one was different. The prize did not exceed the earned prizes, and with the entry fee of only $6 this was in essence a disguised reward for getting a large family out. It was pretty much guaranteed for a family of 8 due to the laws of probability.  We would have won another turkey as well because they were giving it to the runner who had finished the most marathons, but they said we already had too many turkeys.

Now if they had an award for the most frequently mispelled/misprounounced last name, we would have gotten one. Somehow every one of our children became a Packer instead of Pachev, and the error persisted through all of the announcements in spite of numerous corrections.

Saucony Type A Miles: 7.85
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.100.000.000.0010.10

A.M. 8.1 with Tyler in a glorious 1:08:01. Sarah joined us for the last 0.25 and we slowed down a bit, but not a whole lot. We definitely cannot blame our barely sub 8:30 average on her. During the run I was planning a prank on Sarah. I was going to have Tyler play Who's On The Lord's Side on our electric organ when we got back while she was still waking up. She would definitely have noticed that it was not I, and definitely not one of the kids, but she did not know that Tyler was coming. Well, we met her on the trail, so that took the juice out of the prank, but when I told her I had a prank in mind she still wanted me to do it because I do not do pranks that often. So I had her hide, and Tyler played. She was pleasantly surprised.

P.M. 0.5 with Jenny, Joseph, and Benjamin in 5:11. Another 1.5 with Julia, Benjamin, and Jenny in 14:28, so 19:39 for 2 miles.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.700.000.000.0011.70

A.M. 10.2 with Tyler and Jeff in 1:14:30. Felt more energetic. Discovered that Tyler was failing the thoracic flexibility test (lie on the back, knees bent, arms straight, elbows locked, do not arch the back, try to reach the floor behind the head, failure = wrists cannot touch the floor). However, he was passing Jeff's visual evaluation test while running - Jeff said he looked normal. Interesting.

P.M. 1.5 with Julia in 14:05. Joseph ran the first 0.5 with us in 5:06. Jenny ran with Sarah. Benjamin ran 3 miles with Jared.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 11.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Update. I was in a hurry this morning and did not elaborate on what happened at church thinking nobody would miss it. I was wrong. At least Kory did. So I will correct the omission.

The Sacrament meeting talks focused on the Atonement of Christ. I later read an article in the Ensign on the same subject as well. Here is one great thing about the Atonement. It covers more than the sins. It covers everything that is wrong and makes it right. And you do not have to wait until the Second Coming either. The Atonement through our faith in Christ can fix things that are wrong even now. It is through that power that we can repent from our sins, are healed from illness or injury, or find the ability to forgive those who have wronged us. It is the power that I depend upon to heal my body from the inherent imperfections that keep me from running at the level that I believe God expects of me. Everything we do to fix the wrongs are works that help develop our faith. But once that faith is sufficient the actual miracle of healing happens through the grace of Christ by the power of his Atonement. Even the process of acquiring the faith involves the Atonement. We may want to have the faith, and we may do the works, but to receive the faith we need the gift of God.

I was also asked to teach Benjamin's Primary class because the regular teacher was out of out. The lesson was on the faith of the Pioneers. As I prepared for the lesson, I was again reminded of two concept. First, the faith itself. It is such a powerful principle, but it is so absent in the world today, so foreign to it. At least in the developed countries. We have gotten too comfortable to think we need it. How stupid! With all of the development we still have no cure against death.Even if we did, that would be even more stupid, to be stuck on earth forever in an infinite loop.

So we die having lived a rather easy life, and then we are up for a big surprise. We are in serious trouble. Our spiritual muscles are not trained, and we are being asked to do spiritual work, lots of it. Imagine yourself in the Olympic Trials but being barely fit to run a 5:00 marathon. That would be embarrassing, wouldn't it? Your ancestors are looking at you wondering what's wrong. Because they've lived hard lives, and they had to develop a lot of faith just to make it from day to day. To them faith is rather natural.

The second concept is the faith of the Pioneers that crossed the plains during the early days of the Church. Those people had to know something special. We read about it, but we have a hard time feeling what they felt. We can walk the Pioneer Trail, or run the Deseret News Marathon, but we still do not come any closer than an American tourist does to understanding the reality of Soviet life. Even if he was there for a couple of years, he was in and out. Russians were stuck there for a long time with no end in sight. So they might have eaten the same food (although usually not), and even lived in the same apartment (again usually not), but even so, the Russian was stuck there to live under the oppression of the regime, while the American was free to go home after he got tired of the experience.

The analogy that came to my mind is rather crude, and I must make something clear. While some points are applicable, there is a big difference between the hardship of the elements and the hardship of spiritual oppression. The Pioneers were free in spirit, and thus had the power to endure the oppression of the elements. The Soviet citizens, in the mean time, lived under a burden of spiritual oppression, and lacked the power to deal even with the modest oppression of the elements. It made many of them seek refuge inside the good old bottle of vodka.

But we have digressed. The Pioneers had faith. They knew that the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored to the earth. They saw and acted by the spirit. Thus nothing was an obstacle to them. I hope I can learn from them and use that same power in my life.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.200.000.000.2512.45

A.M. Exciting news. I am now passing the thoracic flexibility test. A whole week of foam roller and no progress at all. Then a day of two tennis balls duct-taped together, and I go from almost no improvement to passing the test. My explanation of it - the lack of flexibility was caused by the muscles, and the muscles responded very well to the tennis ball massage. That is actually quite remarkable. Dr. Jex tried to loosen those muscles with his magic tool and it did not do a whole lot. But there was something about doing crunches while laying on the tennis balls.

So I was cautiously excited, if there is such a thing, to see what would happen when I actually ran. What was different is that I was able to lean forward without it feeling unnatural. Jeff noticed that the legs moved with no problems. However, the shoulders were still very tense and there was still a whole lot of shoulder rotation.

To get a better idea of the form change we ran a quarter in 74.5. I liked the feel of it. 1% of the distance covered at the right pace and not feeling too bad, something to get excited about.

Total time for 10.2 was 1:14:25.

Jenny ran with Sarah.

P.M. 1.5 in 13:34 with Benjamin and Julia. Then 0.5 with Joseph and Benjamin in 4:25. That gave Benjamin 17:59 for 2 miles. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:53.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.45
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
274.774.6514.852.40296.67
Airwalk Clogs Miles: 223.22Saucony Type A Miles: 30.05Water Clogs Miles: 16.60
Night Sleep Time: 222.50Nap Time: 12.50Total Sleep Time: 235.00
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