Breaking the Wall

December 2009

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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
327.5514.606.509.75358.40
Airwalk Clogs Miles: 286.65Saucony Type A Miles: 12.50Water Clogs Miles: 30.75
Night Sleep Time: 252.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 254.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.700.750.500.0014.95

A.M. 10.2 with Jeff. Had some stomach issues. Did not feel good. Had a short health evaluation tempo planned, so decided to go ahead with it anyway just in case I felt better. After half a mile in 2:53 I realized I was not, so we stopped. Towards the end Jeff was late for work so we ran the last half mile in 3:08. Total time 1:11:42.

This morning I was passing the thoracic flexibility test again. However, the form felt different in a bad way. I did not feel in control of my legs. I felt like the stomach discomfort was distracting me and kept me from running smooth. This experience is making me wonder to what extent the form is controlled by the mechanics of the body (muscular balance, flexibility, etc) and to what extent by the nervous system. I am wondering if it is something like 75% nervous system and only 25% the mechanics. If so that would explain why you could stretch and strengthen on and on, and still run just the same. The brain has to be taught to run smooth. So the question is - can a bear be taught to sing?

2 more with Benjamin in 17:34. We were going to do 800 + 400, but after the first quarter in 91 I stopped him because he was struggling with the pace.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:57. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:29. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:13. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:50.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.20
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.850.002.500.0014.35

A.M. Jeff slept in, so I ran alone. Did 8.1 in 1:02:18 with health evaluation pickups. Started with a quarter in 86, then 0.5 in 2:52, 0.75 in 4:19, and ran the last quarter in 86. Felt best in the last one, the form started to get more relaxed.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin. We did 800+400 in the middle of the 2 miler. It went a whole lot better than yesterday. Total time was 15:22. Warm-up mile in 8:40. The 800 was 2:55 (87,88) and the 400 was 88. I was pleased.

2 more with Jenny in 16:32. Same workout, except slower speeds for her. Warm-up mile in 8:48. Her target pace was 6:40, and she started losing it, so I stopped her after 600 in 2:32. Then we jogged, and ran the last quarter in 1:41.

1.5 with Julia in 13:30. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:53. 0.25 with Jacob and Benjamin in 2:55.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 14.35
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.700.253.500.0012.45

A.M. 10.2 with Jeff in 1:12:01.The temperature was 14 F.

The plan was to run hard (86 quarter, 5:44 mile) pace in the middle at time until I felt stale, then a refreshing jog, then repeat. However, I ended up feeling better today than I thought I would. So I did not start feeling stale until we were almost at the end of the marked segment (2 miles into the run), and even then I was not feeling too bad, so we went the whole 2.5 in 14:08 (5:39 average). The quarter splits varied from 88 to 83, and there was only one in 88, next to last one. I was able to pick it up to 83 in the last quarter.

Then we jogged some, and on the way back I felt like a quick mile. The first quarter felt easy. Too easy. For a good reason too, as we did it  in 89. Oops. Jeff hit the gas pedal, and I was able to follow OK. We ran the next 0.75 in 4:04 to give us 5:33 for the mile. That felt hard, but at the same time not stale. I was able to relax and coast.

As usual, due to several VPBs and Jeff getting to my house a bit late, he was running late for work. So we picked it up a bit at the end. Our last quarter was 90.

It felt good to be half way back to being myself. In fact, remove the darkness, warm up the air (I vote for the global warming to come to Provo!), take off some clothes, and that 2.5 will be around 13:40 with the same effort. Now heal up the foot ( I am still feeling it, in fact I cannot run at all if I lean against a wall and try to push it because of the pain in the left heel), and that 13:40 will be 13:20. Which is more long the lines of healthy me.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:27. Joseph ran the first 0.5 with us in 5:10. Julia ran the last 1.5 in 13:17. 0.25 with Jacob in around 3:00.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.45
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.700.750.000.0014.45

A.M. Jeff slept in. I ran 10.2 in 1:13:25. Jenny ran 2 miles with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:37 with 800+400 in the middle. Warm-up mile in 8:45, 800 in 2:58, 400 in 90. 1.5 with Julia in 13:14. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:45. We could not find his jacket so he wore a lion costume instead. That kept him excited. 0.25 with Jacob in 3:00.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 14.45
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.002.5016.50

A.M. 12.2 with Jeff in 1:35:59. Did 3x800 with 400 recovery on the way out, and 2x800 on the way back. The target was 2:45 with the idea that it could get faster. We did them in 2:41, 2:35, 2:41, 2:39, and 2:37. Originally I wanted to do 6, but after the 5th one in 2:37 I felt that I was on the verge of the red line and decided not to cross it. We ran with a guy named Brian Jessop for about 2 miles on the way back.

When we got to my house we had to solve the problem of Jeff and Kimia locked out of their car. We have a guy in our ward that manages apartments and has a locksmith kit. So we ran to his house to see if he could help us, and then ran back. That gave us about 0.3 miles. Turned out his tools could not open Jeff's car lock, but he was pretty good with a screwdriver and a coat hanger, and was able to do the job in five minutes.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 16:53. Warm-up mile in 9:12. We did 600 in 2:32 and 400 in 1:43. 1.5 with Benjamin and Julia in 13:25, last quarter in 1:58. 0.5 with Joseph and Benjamin in 4:30, thus 17:55 for 2 miles. Benjamin wanted to break 18:00 for 2 miles, so we motivated Joseph by encouraging him to spank Benjamin's if he could get close. Benjamin made sure Joseph could not get close unless he ran the right pace.

Saucony Type A Miles: 12.50Airwalk Clogs Miles: 4.00
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.

What impressed me the most was the sacrament hymn - Reverently And Meekly Now. Whenever I hear it I remember the times I've been at my limit. When I find myself at my limit that hymn often comes to mind bringing a sense of peace, a reminder of the eternal perspective, and sure knowledge that even though I cannot see it with my eyes, the Lord is watching. Somehow it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to get to know the Lord without hitting certain limits. Not the limits of the law or the bounds He has set to protect us and to test our faith, but the limits of strength and natural human frailty. It is when you've hit that limit, when you've seen it with your eyes, touched it with your hands, smelled with your nose, heard with your ears, tasted with your tongue, and experienced it with every other sense of the human body and mind, when you know it inside and out, when you know how impossible it is to cross it that you experience a special feeling and you come one step closer to knowing the One Who Has Overcome All Limits, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Also had a thought on the passage in 2 Nephi 32:2: "Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? "

The tongue of angels is a difficult tongue to learn for a mortal. It is not something that comes naturally. Think about learning a foreign language. Big entry level barrier, need patience to plow through. Then you think you've learned something, you speak with a native that expects you to be fluent and gives you no breaks, and you realize you are not as fluent as you thought you were.

Then you spend some time with natives, and now you think you've got it. You can say what you need to say and you think you understand the conversations around you. But the truth of the matter is that you are still an artist that paints in black and white, and your vision is no different. You see black, white, and shades of gray. You have no color vision.

Then if you do not practice the language, you easily lose it.

A price must be paid to achieve and maintain fluency. Appearance of fluency is a lot easier to achieve than true fluency. I can trick people into thinking I am fluent in Spanish. But oh, how I struggle when a natural flow of speech is being thrown at me! I remember those struggles with English, and the fight to move up a notch in comprehension and ability to express myself.

Learning to receive truth from heaven and understand it is very similar. On paper it sounds pretty simple - say a prayer, ask a question, see how you feel. Reminds me of a quote from Bach: "It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. " No, there is more work involved. Sometimes answers are quick and plain, but that happens only when the price had already been paid. There is never an answer without adequate preparation.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.000.000.0013.50

A.M. 11 miles, most of it with Jeff, in 1:30:55. Lots of snow. Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.

P.M. More snow. 1 with Benjamin and Julia in 10:33, then 1 more with Benjamin in 9:08. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:18. Jacob's shoes were slipping a lot, so all he could do for 0.25 was 3:52. He needs new shoes.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.200.600.000.0012.80

A.M. Jeff slept in. Ran 10.3 in around 1:23 I believe. The trail was not too bad, but it was cold. Jenny ran 2 miles with Sarah, and Julia ran 1.5.

P.M. Took Benjamin to the indoor track at BYU. We ran a warm-up mile in 9:06, then did the next two laps (0.2 each) in 1:11 and 1:16 (2:27 for 0.4). Benjamin was falling off 6:00 pace, so I stopped him after two laps and had him jog two laps, then we went fast again in the last lap and did it in 1:09 (5:45 pace). That gave us 16:24 for 2 miles.

We are not going to the indoor track again. The air is too dusty. Plus I am really suspicious of the curves. Maybe too suspicious, but better safe than sorry. The suspicion is that the curves run too frequently are particularly harmful to a growing youth causing structural imbalances and messing up the form. So we'll just run at whatever speed the roads permit us when we have a lot of snow.

0.5 with Joseph in 5:11. 0.25 with Jacob in 4:15. He really needs different shoes.


Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.800.000.000.0012.80

A.M. Ran with Jeff, met him on the trail. After we split ways ran into Sarah, and ran about 2 miles with her. Then another 1.5. Total of 10.3 in 1:24:54. Jenny ran 2 with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:49. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:59. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:08. Jacob ran with Sarah.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.800.000.000.0010.80

A.M. 10.3 alone in 1:16:43. Still cold, but I am starting to get used to it. Glad to see that my Clogs can handle the snow. Benjamin, Julia, and Jenny ran with Sarah.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:15. 0.25 with Jacob in 3:25. He ran in Crocs this time. They had better traction than his other shoes.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Met Jeff on the trail. 10 miles in 1:19:45. Noticed a few things in the last couple of days. It appears that my body needed less sleep. Usually if I get up early I need a nap in the afternoon, and I have been able to do without one. I've been getting out of bed with less struggle. Another sign of change to go along with it - I volunteer a faster starting pace. Today I opened with a 1:54 quarter which is very unusual for me for 6:00 AM, 7.5 hours of sleep, snow covered road, and 0F temperature. The rest of the run was slower because Jeff and I were engaged in a discussion of how to prevent underage tobacco use and other sources of poverty. We agreed that a kid that gets caught should be put in small room and not let out until he's written a paper on the harmful effects of the drug and then presented it to his peers without giggles and other funny noises showing his disdain for the subject. I also think he should work on the paper until it not only contains the facts but is also solid in the aspect of English. This would make the ACT/SAT average scores shoot through the roof!

On the note of change, thoracic flexibility has improved a lot. However, the shoulders are still tense. At least they look tense to Jeff. They do not feel tense to me, which is part of the problem, because I do not know what to do about it. If I could run a mile in 4:20 I would not care that they are tense, but I cannot, and I do suspect this tension to be one of the culprits. Or at least, maybe not the tension itself, but the underlying cause of the tension.

Sarah also has been telling me last night about an ancient martial art that is based on a principle of relaxation. It originated from somebody who observed that no animal is ever tense in its motion. Now think about that. Have you ever seen an animal run like the average participant in a non-elite road race? Every animal I've ever seen has been smooth and natural. Almost every human that I've seen, with the exception of very few, is tense and unnatural. Why is that? Maybe some kind of mental baggage that we accumulate throughout the years that animals cannot? If so, how do you get rid of that baggage?

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:11. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:26. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:11. 0.25 with Jacob in 3:08. Jenny ran with Sarah in the morning.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.700.000.000.0014.70

A.M. 12.2 with Jeff plodding through snow. Glorious time of 1:46:24, which is 8:43 average. My clogs handled it OK.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:16. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:28. Jenny ran the whole 2, but fell back in the last quarter when Benjamin really went for it. I stayed with Jenny some, then decided to chase Benjamin down. It was not easy. A little kid takes turns really fast on a slippery road. I finally caught up with 30 meters to go. Jenny finished in 18:48. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:35. 0.25 with Jacob in 3:26.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 14.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was my turn to teach in the Elder's Quorum. The lesson was on the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. A few thoughts came to me as I was preparing to teach.

I heard about Joseph Smith for the first time in the fall of 1991 from an exchange student from Idaho named Eric Anderson. We had a trade - he helped me with English in exchange for me helping him with Russian. One day I asked him to tell me about the Mormons, and he explained that the religion originated from Joseph Smith. From his account I knew that in 1820 at the age of 14 Joseph Smith saw God The Father and Jesus Christ in answer to his prayer to know which church he should join, that he was told not to join any because the true one was not on the earth, and that he was killed by a mob in 1844. At that point, I did not know much else about his life, but what I had heard was enough. 

Even though I was raised to be very skeptical of any religious claim of that nature, somehow this one was different. I had a special feeling that dispelled the natural doubts I normally experienced when I heard of such claims. Somehow those two facts, the vision and the death, were sufficient for me.

Now 18 years later I know a lot more facts. I also have a lot more life experience that helps put those facts into perspective. And I can say with that perspective that the extra facts I know are just the details. The account I had heard the first time had presented the essence. Those two events testify sufficiently of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith when the light of truth is permitted to shine with a reasonable degree of brightness and the spiritual vision is not terribly impaired.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.000.0012.70

A.M. 10.2 with Jeff in a glorious 1:25:51. The road was very slippery. Jenny ran 2 with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:41. Julia ran the last 1.5 with us in 14:12. Benjamin opened with the first 0.5 in 3:29. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:00. 0.25 with Jacob in 3:36.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.902.000.001.5012.40

A.M. 10.4 alone in 1:18:40. Kimia was having heart-burn problems so Jeff did not get out in time for his morning run, and I ended up running alone. Did some short pickups on dry sections of the trail, some at 5:45-5:50 pace, and some at 5:20 pace. Jenny ran with Sarah.

P.M.  Ran with Benjamin. 2 miles in 15:47. He did 2x400 in the middle, 87 and 80. Julia was throwing up, so she did not run. We suspected that Joseph and Jacob might have a problem as well, so they did not run either.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.40
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.300.000.001.2512.55

A.M. 10.3 in 1:18:41. Did 0.5 in 2:39, and 0.75 in 3:58. Felt better than I expected in the pickups, even considered going longer in the 0.75, but decided to hold back a bit to avoid the overload.

Today is Sarah's birthday. She turned an age that is older than she looks.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:25. Julia felt a bit better and ran 0.5 with Joseph and Sarah. I ran 0.25 with Jacob in 2:52.

Water Clogs Miles: 0.25Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.400.000.000.2512.65

A.M. 10.3 in 1:20:54. Met Jeff on the trail. He was tired, so we ran slow. Did a quarter in 80 to check for the changes in the form. Jeff noticed a slight improvement.

Jenny ran with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin pushing William in  the stroller in 17:01. Joseph ran 0.5 with Sarah, Julia ran 1. I ran with Jacob - 0.25 in 2:57.

Water Clogs Miles: 0.25Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.40
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.850.000.000.7513.60

A.M. Met Jeff on the trail. 10.1 in 1:18:23. Did a stride, about 200 meters long, to check the form. Jeff noticed fluctuations from better to worse, but he said the bad was better than it used to be. Then once Jeff headed home I ran a quarter in 81, and then 200 meters later 600 in 1:58. Felt good.

Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.

Later in the AM ran 2 with Benjamin. It was not supposed to be a run, but we were helping somebody move, and we got lost trying to find his house. So by the time we got to the house we had run about 0.8 miles. So once we were done with the move we decided to just run another 1.2 and be done with the run. 

P.M. A trip to the trail for the kids to see the construction crane. Did a run there as well. 1.5 with Julia in 13:51. Joseph ran the last 0.5 in 4:52. Sarah ran 0.25 with Jacob.

Water Clogs Miles: 3.50Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.451.500.000.0012.95

A.M. 10.2 on the trail in 1:08:55. Did a pickup for 1.5 in the middle in 8:42. Originally wanted to go a mile, but at 0.75 felt relaxed and decided to do 1.5. However, around 1 mile the quads started feeling more tense. But I still could keep the pace with just a little bit more effort. Considered going 2.5, but decided against it to avoid aggravating the foot.

Some interesting observations. When Jeff speeds up from 5:20 to 5:00, or even 4:50, he still looks the same to me. I cannot tell he is going faster unless I am either running with him or timing him. However, when I speed up from 5:40 to 5:20, I do not look the same to him. He sees a whole lot more tension.

Another observation. At 6:40 I feel like I am barely breathing. At 5:50 I still feel like I am barely breathing. However, 5:50 feels a whole lot harder - I have to concentrate a whole lot more.

I wonder if my problem is similar to that of an inexperienced piano player that is trying to play a piece too fast for his level of ability. At a certain critical point he begins losing control of the instrument.

P.M. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:54. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:51. 2 with Benjamin in 17:41. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:58. Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah in the morning.

Water Clogs Miles: 2.75Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

The theme of the lessons was naturally Christmas. I liked the lesson in the Elder's Quorum. The teacher told a story about a boy that worked very hard to earn a Christmas present - a new bike. Then he told a story about two boys from a poor family that were given a small budget to buy presents. They got shoes for his dad so he would have something to wear to work, a few presents for the rest of the family, and nothing for themselves.

Night Sleep Time: 10.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.950.750.000.2512.95

A.M. Sick stomach. But I was still able to run. Ran with Sarah for about 0.6, then alone the rest of the way. Did a quarter pickup in 78. Muscles felt good, breathing felt good, the stomach did not like it. At the turnaround I felt like I did not want to run anymore, but I was 5 miles away from the house. I noticed that in spite of the stomach I still could run sub-7:00 pace comfortably. So I did. One mile at a time. With each mile my spirits were lifted because I was one mile closer to home and would have to walk one less mile if the stomach really went south. With 0.75 left I realized that if I ran a quick pace I would break 1:14, and also that if the stomach did not get any worse in over 4 miles since the turnaround it would not be likely for it to get worse before I got home. And I wanted to get home quickly. So I picked up the pace and ran 4:31 for the last 0.75 (6:01 pace). Total time for 10.2 was 1:13:41.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jared in 17:21. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:26. Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah in the morning. 0.5 with Joseph and Jordan in 4:52. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:58.

Water Clogs Miles: 2.75Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(8)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.200.000.001.5012.70

A.M. 10.2 in 1:15:01. Did a couple of pickups. A mile in 5:20, and 2x400 with full rest in 75 and 74. Was happy to be able to run a 5:20 mile alone wearing pants and a jacket with nearly dead even splits, but was not as happy with how it felt. But I told myself - run 5:20 - at the start and I did. Same for the quarters, hit my goals dead on. Focused on running relaxed, but still felt rather clumsy.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:06. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:51. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:55. 0.25 with Jacob in 3:10, do not count that towards mileage - pace slower than 12:00. He ran slower because we got some snow, and he does not run well on snow. Joseph did not seem to care.

Water Clogs Miles: 2.50Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.950.000.000.0012.95

A.M. 10.2 in 1:15:57. We got some snow, but it was not too bad. Still enough traction to run 7:30 pace. Pondered a philosophical question. Asked myself half way through the run if my experience was any different than laying in bed. Realized there was not a whole lot of difference. From that point on kept telling myself that I was laying in bed. At 7:30 pace I am able to relax enough to where I just put one foot in front of the other without having to think much, and the breathing is very controlled. But not at 6:30 pace. Even though I still do not breathe a whole lot, I have to strain mentally to maintain it. The faster it gets, the less of a bed experience it becomes. Now the key to running fast for a long time is being able to relax as if you were laying in bed while running that pace.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:09. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:21. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:20. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:54. 

Water Clogs Miles: 2.75Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.950.000.000.0012.95

A.M. We are having a white Christmas. Lots of ice on the trail. Ran 10.2 in 1:24:54. Jenny ran with Sarah.

P.M.  2 with Benjamin in 17:09. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:29. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:38. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:38.

Water Clogs Miles: 2.75Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.200.750.001.0012.95

Merry Christmas to all. We have a Christmas announcement. Sarah and I are expecting our seventh child. Due date is August 20th.

Sarah talked to a friend of hers who has 13 and got the following advice: "Seven was hard, but ten was easy." 

The most notable present in my opinion was the one that Benjamin gave Jenny. He made a math book of problems for her, 824 of them. Of course, a couple of days before Christmas he realized there was no way in the world he could solve 824 problems that fast to make the answer sheet. So we took care of it with the help of our good old friend Perl. 

A.M. 10.2 in 1:13:30. The trail was much better. Did pickups about 0.1 in lengths at about 5:00 pace on dry sections. Also ran the last 0.75 in 4:28. 

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 19:22. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:53. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:57. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:52. During the run he fell, got up, and kept going. Tough kid. When I was three, or even five or six, when I fell I performed a concert with weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Of course, Jacob and our other children have heard the story of Lasse Viren winning the Olympics in spite of the fall time and again. I am happy to see that it is getting implanted deep enough into their minds that it is more than a story to them.

 

Water Clogs Miles: 2.75Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.206.500.000.0015.70

A.M. Decided to go longer to see if the foot would fuss. Ran 13.2 in 1:28:33. Did a couple of tempo pickups. First, about 1.4 into the run did 2.5 (half of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler course) in 14:46. The trail was mostly covered with snow with some dry patches. However, the snow had very good traction. But it was still snow. On the dry patches I was running about 10-15 seconds per mile faster than on snow with the same effort.

Jogged a little over two miles, and then ran the same stretch again backwards in 14:54. Then jogged until I had 1.5 left and ran the last 1.5 in 8:57. That stretch was mostly dry, but it did have issues. Had to slow down a lot under the bridges because of ice. Also had to jump over a pile of snow.

Was generally pleased with the run except for tensing up in the last quarter and running it in 1:32 while thinking it was going to be 1:28.

Shortly after, 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:07. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:12. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:00. Sarah ran 0.25 with Jacob. 

Have been studying anatomy of the thigh lately. I do this on and off in an attempt to figure out the cause of my form problems. I believe the best way to solve such problems is to know as much about how the body works as you can. A specialist may know a lot, but he is greatly handicapped. His brain is not connected to your muscles, but yours is.

So I've been messing around feeling different muscles that felt like a problem while looking at GetBodySmart.Com. It is a great site, has good pictures, interactive mode that allows you to see the muscle in different contexts, and if you are confused about terms like flexion, extension, adduction, and abduction, you can click on a guy and he will do the motion described by the term in question.

I pressed on a groin muscle in the crotch area on the right that has felt funny for the last 23 years. In the past I have never been able to figure out what it was. But with the help of a better chart I had a decent idea - pectineus! So I did a search for "tight pectineus", and found a reference to Myofascial Release Manual which had some very useful info on page 261.

"Pectineus is easily injured by overstretching, and the most common injury happens when the foot is planted and the body is rotated." Ah-ha! That is exactly what happens when you go through a sharp curve at a fast speed. Prior to developing this funny sensation I ran through a sharp curve for a year at least four times a week at speeds that could be around 5:50 per mile in a 6-8 K tempo run, or 4:20 per mile in a 10x200 workout, or something in between. In any case, large volume, high speed, sharp curve (180 degree turn in 25 meters for 25% of the running distance). All of that at the age of 13.

"The gain deviation due to chronic Pectineus strain is very subtle and is hard to differentiate from a normal gait variation, particularly when the injury is bilateral."  In my case, it is unilateral, but there is a subtle gait deviation. Jeff calls it "funny form". Paul calls it "you can tell it is Sasha from half a mile". So for an elite marathoner this gait deviation is perhaps not so subtle. But put me in the company of properly trained 2:45-2:50 guys, and my gait fits right in.

"With weight-bearing and during ambulation (fancy word for walking) the tight Pectineus holds the femur in slight adduction, and causes subtle thigh external rotation...The compensating toe-out gait stresses the knee joint and causes the knee pain..."  I do have a toe-out on the right, and I have had problems with knee pain. They have been the worst when running around the track a lot, and they have always been relieved by a month or two of not running on the track.

So my accusing finger is pointing at pectineus right now. Some more info on it. The "funny" feeling there most resembles being pierced with a knife. It is not very acute, but the nature of the feeling is knife-like. A stretch that would abduct the hip makes that feeling sharper. Hip abduction range with the knee extended is about the same on the left and on the right, but with the knee flexed, the right hip abduction range is smaller than the left. 

It's been like this for 23 years. Can it be fixed? 

 

Water Clogs Miles: 2.50Airwalk Clogs Miles: 13.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
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Day of rest. Went to church.

The talks in the sacrament meeting focused on the meaning of Christmas. One talk addressed what we could give Christ as a gift. Really only one thing - obedience to his commandments. Otherwise we have nothing that we can give Him. Everything we have, except our agency, is His already.

The lesson in the Elder's Quorum was on Elder Holland's talk in the last General Conference in which he testified of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. He related his great-grandfather's reaction after reading the Book of Mormon: "No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so". 

When I heard that part I recalled that I had very similar feelings when I read the Book of Mormon for the first time. A wicked man cannot write it. A good man will not write it and claim it was divine revelation unless it really was. How interesting. Two people from very different backgrounds living an ocean and a century apart have essentially exact same reaction. I take it as an additional witness that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be. 

 

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.950.750.000.2512.95

A.M. 10.2 in 1:09:28. Did a quarter in 72, felt good. At the end of the run picked it up and ran 0.75 in 4:22. Jenny ran with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:54.  Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:38. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:40. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:59.

Water Clogs Miles: 2.75Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.200.000.000.5012.70

A.M. 10.2 in 1:12:47. Ran 0.5 in 2:31. Splits by 200: 38 - 37 - 37 - 39. The first 200 had a little bit of snow, the second and third almost 100% clear, the last had the most snow. So I figure without snow it would have been around 2:27. Felt a small bear jump on me after 600, but otherwise good.

P.M. We got some snow, but it was more or less runnable. 2 with Benjamin in 18:36. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:40. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:47. 0.25 with Jacob in 3:24. Not counting Jacob's run towards mileage due to slow pace. 

Water Clogs Miles: 2.50Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.950.000.000.0012.95

A.M. Glorious 10.2 in 1:26:46. The time speaks for itself. There was a lot of snow. After the first mile I thought it would take me 1:38 to finish the run as I was barely breaking 10:00 pace. But then the snow quality improved and I was able to hit 8:00 pace and even 7:30 with a bit of effort on some segments, which allowed me to average  8:30 for the run.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:51. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:38. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:57. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:59. 

Water Clogs Miles: 2.75Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.950.000.000.0012.95

A.M. 10.2 in 1:14:57. I thought maybe a little under 1:20 after the first couple of miles as the road was very slippery, and 7:20 was I could do on good parts. However, I got used to it after a while and was able to go sub-7:00 on good parts, and still hold it sub-8:00 on bad parts. What is funny is that while most of the route is on the Provo River Trail the worst part of it is our street. They plow the trail more often than they plow our street. But I have nothing to complain about. I much rather have them plow the trail than our street. Not so sure about my neighbors, though.

Jenny ran with Sarah.

P.M.  2 with Benjamin in 17:36. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:44. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:45. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:57.

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
327.5514.606.509.75358.40
Airwalk Clogs Miles: 286.65Saucony Type A Miles: 12.50Water Clogs Miles: 30.75
Night Sleep Time: 252.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 254.50
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