A.M. Almost uneventful 10.1 in 1:16:31. The events were that we ran at 5:00 AM, it was warmer (36 degrees), and it rained the entire time. We discussed why Ryan Hall beats me at the rate of about 45 seconds a mile on every distance from 400 m to the marathon. The fact that the gap does not change shows that we have equal propensity to distance running. We are about the same height and weight - I am 5'10 and weigh 145. His height and weight have been reported as both 5'10 and 140lb, and 6'0 and 142 lb. We train about the same, aside from the fact that he might be putting in another 20-30 miles a week, and would run everything 45 seconds a mile faster. The differences in training, if there are any of significance should not account for more than 5 seconds a mile difference.
My guess as the most probable cause - the difference is in some very difficult to change anatomical structure. I do feel like I stumble every time I land on my right foot, and never really feel or look like I am running smooth. He looks like a rolling wheel.
I do have the guts to propose that it is normal for a light boned male with a good heart, a propensity to distance running (slow-twitch dominance), no structural flaws, no health disorders, and proper training to run 2:12 marathon or faster. We think 2:12 is a big deal, but as a percentage of the world record, this is only like 10.37 in 100 meters. OTQ standard "B" is 10.28, which is equivalent to 2:10:56 marathon as a percentage of the world record. The standard is designed to gather a field of 32 participants. The reason we do not have 32 people sub-2:11 in the US is that while it is common to find light boned slow-twitch people with a good heart, it is more difficult to find such people that would also be free from running-impairing structural flaws. And out of those, we need to find those who are willing to consistently run 120 miles a week for several years. Thus sub-2:11 becomes a very big deal.
So the marathon, due to its demands on the training discipline, reduces the level of competition, and thus allows people with structural flaws to gain some status. Somebody who would have been stuck at 11.35 100 meters had he been a sprinter of equivalent "natural ability" (again using world record percentage for comparison), can run 2:25:00 ideal record-eligible marathon equivalent and make a local newspaper a couple of times a year, and even win some cash. I know that, it is great, or at least better than nothing, but I do not want to stop there. My interest is now in correcting the structural flaws. What structural flaws create an impairment in running? Which ones of them can be corrected, and how?
Why am I so interested in it? Marathon is one of the most honest sports - compared to others, your success is greatly a function of how hard you are willing to work. But not greatly enough. I want to make it more honest, make it so that work means more. If we can find a way to correct at least some of the currently "incurable" structural flaws that make you a slow runner, we would make it harder for the guys with talent but less than optimal work ethics to win. We will see better role models in the winners. It will be very good for us.
P.M. Jenny and Julia ran with Sarah. I ran 1.05 with Joseph in the stroller in 8:21, then 2 with Benjamin in 16:27 pushing Joseph, then 4 by myself in 27:57. At 9:00 PM Benjamin started doing entering his data in the blog, and Jared, who came for a sleepover, remembered that he had not yet run. So I took him out for 1.05 in 9:41.