Breaking the Wall

USATF Cross-Country Open Race

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15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!

Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

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

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

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

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

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

Long-Term Running Goals:

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

Personal:

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

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

Favorite Quote:

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

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 162.86 Year: 2872.42
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 903.91
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
281.3519.0030.2513.61344.21
Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 8.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 340.00Saucony Type A Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 222.00Nap Time: 6.00Total Sleep Time: 228.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Sarah did an 800 meter time trial in 3:33 at Orem High - splits of 51, 53, 57, and 52. I wanted her to do that so she would feel that she is not that far away from being able to attack her mile PR of 6:52 set 10 years and 6 kids ago. Joseph and Jacob assisted with pacing.

In anticipation of the cross-country meet tomorrow the mileages were shorter. Benjamin did 6, Jenny and Julia 2, Jacob 1.5, Joseph 2, William 1. William was a little feisty and ran 9:07 on the "big boy" course.

I did some tempo running. First 1.5 in 8:20 from the magic spot near the mouth of the canyon to the magic spot near the finish of the Provo River Half Marathon on the other side of the river. Jogged 0.5 in 3:45, and then ran 0.51 uphill in 2:46.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Race: USATF Cross-Country Open Race (3.107 Miles) 00:18:02, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.902.000.003.1117.01

A.M. Went to the USATF Junior Cross-Country Utah State Championship to watch the kids run and race 5 K myself. Then added some distance afterwards totaling 17 miles for the day.

Joseph, Jacob, and William raced first in the 2 K in the 8 and under division. Joseph got second place with 8:54 behind McKay Wells who ran 8:29. I assume McKay was adopted from Ethiopia - his appearance and stride at least looked Ethiopian. Jacob was 4th with 9:20. William did not have a good day - it was cold, and it put him in a bad mood, but he did finish the race in 13:35.

Julia got 9th place in the 3 K in the 11-12 division with 14:20, which is actually her cross-county 3 K PR. Benjamin was taught humility today racing a competition that outclassed him. He finished 3rd with 14:10 in the 4 K in the 13-14 age division. Brodey Hasty won with 13:40, Jody Benson Jr was second with 13:48. He stayed with them for about a mile, then Brodey put on a major surge that broke both Jody and Benjamin, but Benjamin suffered from it more and fell further back. Nevertheless he ran a very solid 4 K time for cross-country.  Grant finished 4th with 14:58, which gives us some indicator of the quality of the top three times. This year Benjamin has been beating Grant by 10 seconds or so.

Jenny struggled today finishing the 4 K in 20:56.

Then Chad and I raced the young men in the 5 K. They announced that the meet was open to adults, but it was rather informal - you just take the number without paying a fee, write your name on it and race. Chad and I were the only adults that did it. Not many young men were there - I think there were three. I ran with Chris Rushing and Dakota Cobler for most of the race sitting behind them and counting myself lucky that I could keep up. With a mile to go they surged and dropped me. I somehow recovered and caught back up. They dropped me again on the hill with about 1200 to go. I again recovered and caught up to them on the downhill. Then Chris made another surge and that dropped Dakota. I tried to stay with Chris, but he was gapping me a little at a time. He ended up 4 seconds ahead of me with 17:58. I came in second with 18:02. Dakota was somewhere around 18:15, I think - official time reported is 18:34, while Chris's is 17:45 - both are wrong, definitely Chris's. Chad finished in 19:15.

I was quite happy with both the time and how I ran the race. When I got dropped, I felt hopeless and wanted to give up, but I told myself to keep fighting and was rewarded by being able to regain contact. This is significant for me because I am very well aware that it is easier to maintain contact than to regain it and as a rule I fight to the very end before I drop back. So if I get dropped, I rarely recover. It takes me some deeper digging to be able to pull it off, and it felt good to be able to find it - after the race that is, not during :-)

After the race I ran 5 miles with Benjamin pushing Matthew in the stroller with Jacob (all of it) and Joseph (just a mile) on bikes. Then I ran 8 more with 2 miles down the canyon in the middle in 11:29. At the end of the run I weighed 141.3 lb - serious glycogen depletion, no wonder that 2 mile tempo was so difficult.

 

Saucony Type A Miles: 4.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was a Fast Sunday. In the evening we watched a movie Stand Strong. This is not your typical entertainment movie. The plot centers around a family that borrowed more money than they could pay back and ran into trouble. Not the kind of movie that most people would want to watch, but we like it. It gives us a chance to teach our children some important principles that are key to happiness as an adult. William asked why their car was being taken away. This created an educational opportunity, the kind that it is much better to experience when you are 5 than when you are 25.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12, most with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Did a pickup for 1.5 in 8:32. Struggled - probably low on fuel.

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
10.000.001.001.0012.00

A.M. Did a tempo run with Benjamin. Well, more precisely, he dropped me after the first 0.6 and I watched him move further and further away after that. He ran 2 miles down the Provo Canyon with the splits of 2:31, 2:35 (5:06), 2:37, 2:31 (5:08) - 10:14 total. His first quarter in 73 did me in. I hung on to about 1 K mark, then started losing it. Got 5:10 at the mile, then really lost it and ran the last mile in 5:35 finishing in 10:45. The start was fast, but it should not have killed me that bad - probably still low on fuel from Saturday and fasting on Sunday.

Benjamin's performance was quite encouraging. I am figuring right now on a good day he should be able to run somewhere in the range of 15:20 for the 3 mile tempo course. I think it is reasonable to expect that he will be running it under 15:00 by June, which I think will translate into 1:08 performance in the Utah Valley Half. Using direct ratios, he ran 15:54 in the 3 mile tempo, then 1:15:21 in the actual race, so improving the tempo run to 14:54 gives him 1:10:36 assuming the same endurance, but even now he has quite a bit more endurance than he did back then. In May in all of his workouts he was good up to 3 miles and then experienced an abrupt drop. Lately he has been powering along as far as 6 and feeling like he could do more. I am expecting the endurance to improve even more in the next 7 months, so I think he can find 2 minutes over the half in the endurance department.

Assuming he can go through with this and actually run 1:08, and assuming that UVM half is equivalent in quality to an OTQ eligible course at sea-level, that will give him 3 minutes to shave off over the course of about a little less than a year and a half with the age changing from 15 years and 4 months to 16 years and about 8 months or maybe a little more depending on when the window closes. At least on paper it all looks doable, but we will have to see if we can actually pull it off. But regardless, it is worth a try.

I did total of 12, Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Julia 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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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2, Julia 3, William 1. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 1.5 in 8:32 on a slower section of the course and it felt easier than on Monday - probably the fuel supply is gradually coming back.

Green Crocs 6 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
9.600.001.500.9012.00

A.M. Did a workout with Benjamin. His workout was 4x400 in the canyon with the target of 64 with 400 recovery jog. I did what I could. In the first one he ran 64.0. I ran 300 in 49.7 as I felt needed some warmup. Then he ran 64.8 - I got 66.8, followed by 64.5 for him and 66.7 for me. In the last one he had an extra gear while I lost one - 62.6 for him, 68.1 for me. His workout went very well, exactly as planned. In the meantime I am realized that something has happened to me over the last 3 years - I've lost the little speed that I had. The question is if it is from the loss of coordination, loss of power, or spinal deterioration. Loss of coordination/loss of power can be addressed, spinal deterioration is more hopeless. In any case, what I think I need to do is switch to 200s when doing workouts with Benjamin and try to learn to run them relaxed while not getting dropped. Once I can run those relaxed I can move to longer distances.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did another 1.5 total of pickups at around 5:40 pace. Total of 12 for me.

William announced that he wanted to do a time trial, so we did it on his "little boy" course - an out and back mile with markers every quarter that I measured with a wheel - a small grade up in the first half, and then returning on an equivalent grade down. His splits were 2:09, 2:10, 2:07, and 1:59 - total time 8:25.2, new PR by 8 seconds. Now we can say that in our family if your mile PR is slower than 8:30 you have to wear a diaper. Stephen will ruin that when he potty-trains, though, but not for long we hope.

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
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a total of 3 miles pickups at around 5:40-5:45 pace including 1.5 with Benjamin in 8:37. 

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
10.0010.000.000.0020.00

A.M. 20 mile run with Chad. Did a warmup 10 miles up the canyon, then ran back down at tempo pace - usual course. On the way back Chad had a goal of running with me to failure. He made it a little less than 3 miles. I ran 58:19 for 10 at a fairly even pace. The last mile which is uphill was 5:57. I was quite happy about it. Weight after the run was 143.4, so apparently I did have some glycogen, although I felt flat from the start. But I was holding the pace. Probably the reason I struggled was the cold temperatures.

It is interesting, though, that at 5:50 pace Chad had only 3 miles in him. I think the factor is the long "warmup". He probably dumps a good measure of his glycogen just running up the canyon even though we are running barely sub-8:00. But going up and into a headwind sub-8:00 does use up some carb fuel. This in a way validates the workout - yes, this is only 10 miles of tempo, but because you run 10 first you run the last 10 in the state of moderate glycogen depletion which makes it a perfect preparation of the marathon.

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

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

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. A return missionary spoke in the Sacrament Meeting. He shared some of his experienced and talked about the miracle of conversion. I fell asleep in Sunday School class - not that the teacher was boring, I actually listened with interest, but was too tired. Spent some time chasing Matthew around during the Elder's Quorum. Took a nap when I got home.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.002.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2, William 1. Joseph said he was feeling energetic and decided he wanted to do a 400 meter time trial on the track. So we  ran to Orem High and he did it there. Benjamin helped me with the pacing. Joseph opened with 18.5, followed by 19.0. Benjamin and I both thought to ourselves until we saw the 100 split - "wow, this feels harder than it should, did I get out of shape or what?". Then Joseph slowed down some, but still was fast enough to get a good PR - 21.5, 21.4 with the total time of 81.4 - a new PR by 2 seconds.

I am quite excited about this PR because Joseph has been struggling this year some with top speed. His endurance has been good - he ran 6:14 mile. I was concerned if maybe there was something wrong. But this run relieved my concerns - his speed development is just fine, he improved his 400 time by 5 seconds from last year, and I suppose now that we know what he is capable of with better pacing we can shave off another 2 seconds to bring him under 80.

He was also feeling academically ambitious today and asked to take a practice ACT. I had him take the math section. He actually had the attention span to sit for an hour and solve math problems. His score was only 13, but I think we can get it up to 20 in a month, which is higher than the average Utah highschool graduate. There were at least 5 problems that he knew how to solve, but he fell into a trap of forgetting important details - check the second graph, pay attention to the sign, etc - not uncommon for an 8 year old.

I did some pickups - 1.5 in 8:24, and 0.75 in 4:16.

 

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
9.250.000.752.0012.00

A.M. Benjamin got back his ACT scores from Oct 26th test. He made an improvement from 33 to 35. The breakdown was English - 36, Math - 35, Reading - 36, Science - 34. According to ACT report for 2013 there were only 90 students out of 34,514 that took the test that scored either 35 or 36 (76 for 35, 14 for 36) in the state of Utah. So this puts him in the top 0.26%. 

Given that the subject of education is on a lot of people's minds nowadays, I would like to write a paragraph or two on how he got there. I believe in terms of natural aptitude he maybe is in the top 26%, but not in the top of 0.26%. When he was 9 or 10 he failed an IQ test for a special school for gifted kids. We laughed about it when he got 4 on Calculus BC at the age of 13, we laughed harder when he came back with 5 on Calculus BC and 4s on the other three AP tests, and now we are laughing even harder. So how does he do it. Some principles:

  • Learning is centered in the home.
  • Physical exercise with a challenge to overcome is a constant factor in his life.
  • Spiritual education is important - he prays and studies the scriptures every day.
  • Remove what I call "dumb stuff" - video games, low-IQ movies and TV shows, unintelligent texting and social media interactions, etc.
  • He spends only 3 hours a day or so studying but he studies what is essential with the idea that he is to remember this for life as opposed to memorizing a set of disconnected facts and practicing mostly irrelevant skills to be quickly forgotten immediately after the test.
  • We do not believe in artificial limits. 5 year old can be introduced to trigonometry. 8 years old is not too young to learn about differentiation and integration.
  • Challenge and result based approach as opposed to process-based approach. The idea is that you throw a reasonable challenge that cannot be met without some possessing some fundamental knowledge. You let the student experience the frustration of trying to meet the challenge without posessing the necessary skills and knowledge. Then you teach him the skills and knowledge.
  • Self-reliance. I do not know how many times I have told my kids to look it up online. Make the kid struggle and figure it out for at least 15 minutes before you tell him how to do it.

I believe the above principles properly implemented have the ability to mass-produce Benjamin's results. But enough educational philosophy and on to the workout.

The plan was to run our 3 mile tempo course from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the Provo Canyon. Benjamin was quite excited from his score report, so I knew that a sub-5:00 opening mile was in the cards. I warned him against it, but nevertheless still managed to see sub-5;00 pace in the wrong spot. That did not prevent Benjamin from running a decent time, though.

The plan was for him to run 3 miles in 15:30, and for me to make it to 2 miles. Benjamin perfectly executed the first mile running it in 5:07 - that mile should be done a little faster because it has more downhill than the other two. I was still in contact and even contemplating running all 3 with him, or at least making it to 2.5 in contact until he starts his grind. However, my plans were out of the window after the next 300 meters which he did in 54 - 4:48 pace. He knew he needed to up the effort in the second mile to keep the pace, but overdid it lacking the experience with his new level of fitness.

I was quite happy that I was still in contact. He eased off a little after that for the next 300 meters running it in 58 then turned up the heat again hitting an uphill 200 in 38. We ended up with 2:30 for the next 0.5 - 5:00 average done unevenly with some uphill involved. I was able to hang on for another 200 meters before losing contact. Benjamin hit a split of 10:13 at 2 miles (5:06 in mile 2), I finished in 10:16.8, briskly jogged a quarter to recover without stopping my watch, and then started running around 5:30 pace to the 3 mile mark finishing in 16:08.  Benjamin paid for his surges in the second mile with a 5:12 last mile, but that still gave him 15:25 for 3 - a new PR for that course by 17 seconds, and a 29 second improvement since pre-Utah-Valley-Half period this year.

So using a direct pro-rated projection, his UVM half fitness assuming the same endurace as earlier this year comes out to 1:13:03. In reality, adjusting for an increase in endurance judging by his ability to hold pace and be comfortable at the end of longer tempo runs - probably around 1:11:30. I'd say on track for 1:08 next summer.

I ran total of 12, Benjamin 10.6, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. William asked me this morning for some violin music. I found a 50 minute YouTube video of a Bach violin concerto. He watched all of it sitting still the entire time completely glued to the monitor. He might have some musical inclinations. He really likes the slow-motion video of Gebreselassie racing Tergat in the Olympic 10000 meter race in 2000 with violin music in the background. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(7)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.002.000.0013.00

A.M. Total of 13 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2. I did 2 miles total of tempo pickups.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.100.001.500.6011.20

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin and I did a workout. Benjamin's workout was 4x400 with 400 recovery in the Provo Canyon. We increased the recovery to 800 before the last interval - I sensed that he needed it to hit the right speed. His times were 61.8, 63.7, 63.0, and 61.1. I did 200s on all except the third hitting the times of 31.8, 31.6, 47.8, and 31.2.

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
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Did 2 miles of tempo running. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2.5, William 1. Sarah ran an 800 time trial in 3:31.4 at Orem High with the splits of 52, 55, 54, and 50. She had some adductor pain, so she was cautious starting out and in the middle, but then she had a kick.

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
18.000.000.000.0018.00

A.M. Went to the BYU Math club for high school students with Benjamin.

P.M.  Did my long run. Benjamin did the first 12 miles. It was raining and snowing hard and we soaked and froze. We originally were planning on doing a 6 mile tempo, but had to cancel the plans. I saw that we were not even breaking 6:00 but I could not go any faster. Having learned from my experience last year I knew I was on the verge of hypothermia. I figured the tempo was not going to do us any good, and we needed to conserve the energy. I also had a suspicion that the additional cooling from the extra headwind created by a faster pace could push me past the red line. So we slowed down and ran to the heated bathroom in the Canyon View Park. We warmed up there for a few minutes, then continued with the next target being Subway at Riverwoods. I learned that running in Crocs requires an active foot. Around mile 10 of the run my right foot was sufficiently frozen to not be able to keep the Croc on. Fortunately Subway was only a mile a way and the rain/snow also stopped which made things nicer.

We warmed up there some, and then ran the last mile to the house. I warmed up there some, and then ran another total of 6 with the kids. Joseph did 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 18.00
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: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.001.0013.00

A.M. Total of 13 miles. Started with 2 miles with Joseph and Jacob, then did a workout with Benjamin in the canyon. We did our usual 3 mile tempo from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. I told Benjamin I wanted him to start slower than last time, but finish the last mile as close to 5:00 as possible. My goal was to be in contact at 2 miles and finish the whole 3 in some decent time.

Today was a little colder, and I felt it from the start. Benjamin, being younger, did not notice much but possibly that messed with his sense of pace. In any case we went through the first mile in 5:09, then he eased off to 5:16, but I still could not keep up and he gapped me by 5 seconds by 2 miles. His split was 10:25, I got 10:30. Then he ran the last mile in 5:05 finishing in 15:30 - I could only manage 5:27 finishing in 15:57.7.

Joseph did 3, Jenny 1, Jacob 2, Julia 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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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I read on the news this morning that the United Nations declared November 19 the World Toilet Day. I think runners like me appreciate it in particular as I there have been very few runs in my 29-year running history when I did not need one. Seriously, though, toilet is probably one of the most underappreciated inventions - probably because our idealism makes us want to think of higher matters, but the reality of our existence brings us back to earth on a daily basis.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin in the Provo Canyon. I did 4x200, he did 4x400. My splits were 31.7, 31.5, 31.4, 31.5. He got 63.0 in the first, 400 recovery, then 63.4. I sensed he was affraid to push it and thought a longer recovery would help overcome the fear. So I had him jog 600 meters before the next one and told him to start out aggressively. It worked. He ran 60.4. I figured this took quite a bit out of him, and had him do an even longer recovery - 1200 meters with the expectation that anything under 62 would be good. He was able to do another one in 60.4.

Now I think we are running into a problem. Benjamin's official 200 PR is still only 29.1 from last year. While I know he CAN do it faster, he still has not done it. So while he can run two 60 second quarters back to back he still has no experience moving at a pace that will give him under 58. This makes it very difficult to run relaxed at 60 seconds per quarter/4:00 mile pace even if the power and the endurance are there to support it.

So the plan of attack is push the 200 PR up and get some practice running 200 under 28. The challenge is you need to do it on a warm day, and it is getting colder. But we still have good days, even in January and February when it is warm enough and dry enough to sprint. So I am thinking given that his workout performance today is about as good as it can get without a sub-28 200 experience we will revisit the 200s until he learns to run it fast enough.

Jenny did 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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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.004.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a 4 mile tempo run on my least favorite out and back hilly course in 23:49. It was raining.

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
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, 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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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.004.000.000.0018.00

A.M. Total of 18. Ran with Chad for the first 10, then with Benjamin for the next 8. Benjamin and I did a tempo run for the last 4 with the first 2 down the canyon, and the remainder a hilly roll home in 23:15. It was very windy. Interestingly enough the gusts of wind did not seem to help much - I timed our 100 meter stretches with and without gusts and there was maybe a difference of 1 second on average. This surprised me. I thought gusts like that would make us fly, but they did not.

Afterwards we went to a convert baptism in our ward. Our friend and neighbor Lou finally got baptized after going to church for about 13 years or so. The closing hymn was Count Your Blessings. Afterwards we realized we were missing a blessing - in a rush we left Jacob home. At least he was at home and not at some gas station. Jacob is quite a blessing, though - never gets in trouble, does what we ask him to do without talking back, holds the distinction of having run 6:55 mile before turning 7 and before losing his firth baby tooth, and currently has a mile PR of 6:36 and 800 PR of 3:08.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. Lou got confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The we had talks on gratitude. We talked about revelation in Sunday School, and I missed most of the Elder's Quorum because first William decided to throw a fit, and would not calm down - it took me some time to figure out how to threaten him just the right way - a secret that you will never learn by just reading child psychology books without actually being a parent is what one mother called "The Art of Threatening". I must add that perhaps the reason we have so many young adults that are floating through life without a purpose is due to our society in general losing this art of threatening and other parenting techniques that have proven effective over the centuries that for some reason have grown out of style today - like teaching your kids to work, teaching choice and consequences, teaching what happens when the job does not get done, etc.

Then I spent the rest of the time putting Matthew to sleep. By then the meetings were over.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Jacob and Joseph 2, William 1. I did a 2 mile tempo on my hilly course from the 800 N bridge to the house in 11:37.

Benjamin got accepted to BYU as a concurrent enrollment student after some negotiations with BYU. They did not want to take him as a full-time student because he was too young. This is actually OK for him - his status allows him to challenge classes, which is all he really needs in the first year. He is finishing up Psychology 111 via independent study, and his next goal is to challenge Biology 100, American Heritage, Math 290 and Math 313.

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
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 1. I did a 2 mile tempo on an odd course starting an 1.5 mark from the house to 2 mile (800 N bridge) then back towards the house 1.5 miles. The time was 11:27.

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
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 2, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 1. Benjamin and I did a tune-up 0.5 on the second half of William's little boy course in 2:33. I told Benjamin to run the pace he felt he could keep for 4 miles. He said after the interval that he felt he could at least start like this then maybe fade some, but it did not feel too bad.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Race: Earn Your Turkey 4 miler (4 Miles) 00:21:59, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.500.500.004.0012.00

A.M. Earn Your Turkey 4 miler, 21:59, 12th overall, 1st master, got the turkey. However, this was the first time that I was not the first Pachev across the finish line. It appears that it will not be the last. This was also the record year for the number of Pachevs in both the 4 miler race (4) and in all races (10). That we also anticipate to increase, although not immediately - Sarah is not yet pregnant, and our kids are too young to marry. But not too young to kick Dad's trash - Benjamin finished 9th overall with 21:09 winning the 14 year old division with a new unofficial division course record. 50 second gap on Dad who in turn won the master by a gap of more than a minute!

I told Benjamin to tuck into the tail end of the lead pack and try to stay there for as long as possible. Well, it took a 4:55 mile according to the marker which I believe was accurate, if short, then no mor than 5 seconds, but he found the speed for that. I watched him from behind as I hit the same marker in 5:16 with Karl Siebach and a couple of other runners - probably high schoolers. 

Karl pulled away from me some in the second mile. My split was 10:53. Benjamin got 10:26. This gives me 5:37 for the second mile. I am inclined to believe that the first mile was 5 seconds short, and the second 5 seconds long. With this adjustment this makes the splits 5:21/5:32 for me and 5:00/5:26 for Benjamin, which I am more willing to accept.

In the third mile Karl started to fade. We also passed another high school runner. I saw Caleb Scoville in front, but we could never close on him. Benjamin gradually disappeared from view. The headwind made this mile difficult. Mile marker 3 turned out to be too far out, but not so far out to make the split unbelievable - I got 16:38, which gives a 5:45 third mile. Assuming the prior mile of 5:37 I could definitely believe 5:45. So I started feeling a little discouraged thinking that I would be lucky to run 22:10, but I decided to try my hardest regardless, and was rewarded. The last mile turned out a little short, and I finished barely under 22:00. In reality the third mile was probably more like 5:40, and the last mile more like 5:26. 

Benjamin hit the 3 mile split in 16:00, making a 5 second adjustment really in 15:55, so 5:29 mile, and then finished in 21:09 which with the adjustement gives him 5:14 last mile.

He has made a breakthrough since June-July, but this was the first race where he had a chance to prove it. And he sure did. 5:17 average over 4 flat miles at 4700 feet. That is 16:26 5 K pace or converting to 5 K equivalent - 16:11, compared to his 17:01 in Draper Days in July.  He went through the first 3K in 9:43 at altitude compared to his 3000 9:35 performance in Oregon, and then still had a 10:43 2 miler afterwards.

As soon as I finished, Benjamin and I headed back to pace Jenny and Sarah. He ran with Jenny while I ran with Sarah. Jenny finished in 32:06 taking 3rd in the 12-14 age division. She has had some growth-related struggles with endurance, and it showed today. Nevertheless, she still managed a little over 8:00 average. We will work on fixing that. 

Sarah finished in 32:56 taking 4th in the 35-39 age division. Probably 1st in the Mom of Eight with a younger than one baby division. She was only a minute off her life time PR. Quite a bit of progress in the last two months. She averaged 8:14 pace for 4 miles today, while about two months ago she ran 8:12 in an all out mile on the track.

Then it was the time for little kids races. First, Matthew ("Mo-Mo") - 100 meters in the 0-2 age division. He is only 11 months old and has not quite mastered the art of walking, but can walk leaning on a toy, so we brought his favorite car. He pushed it falling down on his knees a few times, and made it through the race in 3:18 without crying at all. This is quite an accomplishment. He won the youngest participant award, which was a turkey. Joseph did this 8 years ago, except he cried all the way, but in his defense the weather was colder then.

Stephen ran in the 400 meter race and finished in 2:19 splitting 1:05/1:14 with no attitude issues which was good for 3rd. He exceeded my expectations. I would have been happy with 2:40 and some crying. The reason I was not expecting much is that Stephen is only 3 years and 3 months old and has not yet done much training. But he set our family record for a kid wearing diaper. He did quite a bit better than Benjamin's DNS at that age. We named him Stephen after Steve Cram, Steve Ovett and Steve Jones among other reasons, so maybe he is living up to his name after all.

Then William, Jacob, and Joseph raced in the same 800 race. I ran with Joseph, Benjamin paced William. Joseph won the 7-8 division repeating Benjamin's course record of 3:00 splitting 1:29/1:31, but his first 200 was 40. Jacob was second in the same division after his bully brother with 3:14. William in spite of being only 5 years and 1 month old won the 5-6 division in 4:00. I was hoping for something like 3:45, which I know he is capable of, but William is William and will run only as fast as he feels inclined. Thinking two years ahead when Jacob will be 9 and Joseph will be 10 and they have to race each other in the mile thus diminishing our turkey earning potential, I thought of a plan - send the slower of them to race the 4 miler in the 11 and under division - anything sub-30:00 will usually win it hands down, while the faster of them can deal with the competition in the 1 mile race.

Then Julia raced the mile. I paced her while Benjamin volunteered to do the rabbit duties for the whole race which ended up requiring a 5:47 mile. Julia ran 6:36 winning the girls 11-12 division, and being only two boys away from chicking the field.

We also won the largest immediate family award with 10 participants - which was not just a turkey but also a few extras. So the turkey count was 7 (immediate family, youngest participant, Benjamin, myself, William, Joseph, and Julia).

I ran some extra distance after the race to make the total 12 miles.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

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
15.502.500.000.0018.00

A.M. Total of 18. Did a 2.5 tempo towards the end down the Provo Canyon in 14:15. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
281.3519.0030.2513.61344.21
Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 8.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 340.00Saucony Type A Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 222.00Nap Time: 6.00Total Sleep Time: 228.00
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