Breaking the Wall

Rocket City Marathon

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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: 93.66 Year: 93.66
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Camouflage Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 938.88
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1168.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
255.1536.9619.802.20314.11
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 302.10
Night Sleep Time: 211.00Nap Time: 5.00Total Sleep Time: 216.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.750.250.000.0010.00

A.M. Total of 8. Still laying low through this spontaneous "vaccination". Did 0.5 with Jacob and Julia, 1 with Joseph, 1.5 with Benjamin, and 5 myself. Felt good, actually on the 5 mile run and did it in 33:56. Picked it up in the last quarter to 87. But I was still cautious because I have a scratchy throat and a runny nose. When you are like this, you could be feeling good, push it in a workout, and get sick for real.

P.M. 2 miles.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. Total of 10. Benjamin did 2, Jenny,Julia and Jacob 0.5., Joseph 1. Trying not to get sick for real, thankful that I had no fever yet.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.502.500.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Chad. There was some snow on the ground, quite a bit of it, enough to affect the pace. I wanted to run something fast without overdoing it. Decided on pacing Chad through 5 miles at 6:00 pace. We started from the Fast Running Blog 5 miler start. I mispaced the first mile overcorrecting for the snow and the "spontaneous vaccination" state of my health and we got 5:50. I suspected it would perhaps be too much for Chad, as that course is a bit slower than ideal even when you have no snow, and we hit it 10 seconds faster than the target pace on top of it. So it was probably worth a good 5:40 without the snow, and 5:35 on a nice flat road. Nevertheless, Chad lived through another two quarters in 90 each. On the positive side of things, those felt like a jog, and I was happy that my health was still good enough for those to feel that way in spite of the snow. Then we hit an area where I have struggled recently in many of my tempo runs losing about 5 seconds per mile for apparently no reason related to fitness, fatigue, or lack of effort. I think it is because overtime the asphalt got broken up and it is now quite bumpy. Constant tiny bumps take out of you more than you would think. Let us assume for simplicity you land on a surface that is sloped at a 3% incline either up or down on every step. This makes every step like going either up or down on a 3% incline. If you were to go half way at 3% uphill and the other half at 3% downhill according to the Murphy's law of running (adversity when reversed returns only half of what it took), this is equivalent to running uphill all the way on 1.5% incline. On top of that, in the bumpy run scenario you do not get the benefit of a steady rhythm.  In any case, it all added up to Chad slowing down to a 92 followed by 500 meters in 1:57, which is around 93. After seeing a 92 I told Chad we should go only 2.5 but challenged him to not let the 6:00 guy pass him. He took the challenge, made it to 2.25 still 1 second ahead, and then kicked in 86 finishing in 14:55. I figured 2.5 of tempo was good enough for me as well. 

We jogged some more, then ran with the kids - 0.5 with Jenny, Julia, and Jacob, 1 with Joseph and 3 with Benjamin. Benjamin's health was good enough to volunteer 23:17 for 3 miles.

P.M. It was just like in the Russian song about a sentimental boxer who thinks it is rude to hit his opponent. There is a line that says "he is doing the upper cut, he squeezed me in the corner, I barely escaped, now comes the upper cut, I am on the floor, and I am not feeling good". I spent the evening in bed with 102.6 F fever. It was not responding to ibuprofen. Finally we figured out a way to contain it - it did respond to tylenol quite well.  On the positive side of things, in the song the boxer wins the match without hitting his opponent once by wearing him out to the point that he collapses.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Recovering from the fever. It went down, but I was still cautious and stayed home for the first two church meetings. Came for the Sacrament. It was a Fast and Testimony meeting. I did not fast, though, for health reasons. It was our last Fast and Testimony meeting in this ward. We bought a house in Orem at 395 S Palisade and will be moving there on December 17th. So we took advantage of the chance to bear our testimonies for the last time. First I bore mine, then Sarah, then Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia. Joseph seeing the example of his older siblings decided to bear his as well. He confidently marched to the pulpit, located and set up a box to stand on, adjusted the microphone, and then saw the crowd and was overwhelmed. He moved his hands indicating he had trouble. Julia walked up and helped him.

I found some energy after church to do my home teaching. However, after that I felt that I needed to rest. So I lay in bed. The feeling was timely as around 4:30 pm or so my fever came back and registered at around 100.5 F. I knocked it down with Tylenol. My reasoning was this - if my body did not need to fry the germs at all in the morning and early afternoon, why all of a sudden now and to the extent of pushing it over 100 F? I figured it was overreacting to a trigger and did not really need to be hot. I decided to be defiant against the fever. Knock it down, if it goes a way and there are no other symptoms, act cautiously normal. Train more or less normally, with the volume and intensity slightly reduced. This provides a hour of  elevated temperature which could do some germ frying. Additionally, eat a lot of garlic, onions, and vitamin C to make it less comfortable for the germs, and drink a lot of fluids to flush them out.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.850.001.150.0010.00

A.M. This week was supposed to be a taper for the Rocket City Marathon. Now with the illness things are a little different. I need to do the impossible. Allow the body to heal. Avoid losing fitness more than I already have and try to recover what I have lost. At the same time try to build a glycogen store and some freshness in the legs. Do not get a second round of sickness. Be ready to race on Saturday.

I was pondering those issues on Saturday night while I lay there with 102 F fever and considered dropping out of the race. Then I heard a voice in my mind that let me know the Lord wanted me to run the marathon and do my best. I hoped that it was just a voice of delirium from the fever, but I had heard that voice enough to know the difference. Plus the impression remained once the fever was gone.

I have made some progress since Saturday night. I know how to take those fevers down. It returned in the middle of the night and I kicked it waking up with a nice 97.7 F temperature in the morning and feeling ready to run.

I prayed to know how far I should run, and felt that I should run 10 with a 1 mile pickup to access the damage. So I ran with the kids first. Jacob did 0.5, Jenny and Julia 1, Joseph 1, and Benjamin 5. During Benjamin's run I did the pickup. He stayed back as he is still not 100%. I did the mile in 5:37, then turned around and ran back to Benjamin maintaining the same effort. This gave me about 1.15 of tempo running. The pace felt interesting. The legs could handle it, and were not giving in. However, I noticed that the breathing was quite labored. This gave me an idea . The problem could be caused by the drop in the red cell count. I figured it would be difficult to have the best of both worlds - high white cell count, and high red cell count at the same time. So if white go up, the red would go down. So I decided to add some iron supplementation to help the recovery.

After running with Benjamin I added about 2.85 more to make the total 10. What is interesting is that I was volunteering 6:30-6:40 pace without thinking about it, and at that pace I was not bothered by breathing.


Green Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.850.001.150.008.00

A.M. Total of 8. 5 with Benjamin. Jenny and Julia did 1, Joseph 1, Jacob 0.5. Did the same 1.15 pickup as yesterday. It went better. The time for the mile was 5:31 and the breathing was not as labored. Still it was scary to think that I am expecting to average 5:43 for 26 miles when 5:31 does not quite feel as easy as it should. But I've got a few things going for me. Warmer temperatures, shorts,  lower altitude, a pack (hopefully), and a few more days to get healed. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.000.000.000.005.00

A.M. Went to the temple. Did not feel like running in 10 F, worked instead so I can run in the afternoon. The kids ran a little later in the AM. Jenny and Julia did 2, Jacob 0.5, Joseph 1. Benjamin did a total of 5 including 2.5 in the AM, and then 2.5 with me in the PM.

P.M. 5 miles, 2.5 with Benjamin.


 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.500.500.000.007.00

A.M. Total of 7. Decided to take Jacob for the full mile. Jenny and Julia joined us. This was the first time in his life that he's run the full mile. I told him he could run as slow as he wanted. He ended up doing 9:15 with the splits of 2:16, 2:17, 2:20, 2:22. The conditions were not ideal - about 20 F, he was wearing a thick coat. I was quite impressed with that. Benjamin at his age (5 years and 4.5 months) had a PR of 8:47, but it was not done the first time around, not in those conditions, and he was mentally determined to get the record.  I think Jacob is our most talented runner in the family so far. He just needs to work on self-confidence and determination, but that will come with age.

Then I ran 5 with Benjamin. With a mile to go he needed 7:01 to catch 7:30 average, so I challenged him to do that to test his health. He was volunteering 6:24 pace on some stretches. I thought - this pace gives you 2:47 in the marathon, and it feels so easy. If only I could run just that on Saturday it would be so nice. Maybe I should volunteer to pace the ladies for the OTQ, this would give me an honorable excuse to run 2:47 and avoid the possibility of finishing in some embarrassing time like 2:42 after trying to run what I should and running into the limits of my health. No, I should not even think that, but run an honest race, and if I run  into the limits of my health, then let it be so, and let me learn humility.

Benjamin picked it up to 92 after 0.5 left to go, then said he was feeling weak. But that fired up my tempo pace engine, and I did not want to shut it down. So I told him to coast to the finish while I kept going. I ended up doing the last quarter in 86, he did it in 95.

So coming into the Rocket City marathon I have the following hierarchy of goals:

  • Goal 101 - avoid the need for serious medical attention and be able to drive back to the airport at the end of everything.
  • Goal 102 - finish the race.
  • Goal 201 - finish the race under 2:40.
  • Goal 202 - finish the race under 2:37:25 - my time in 2003.
  • Goal 301 - under 2:35:00
  • Goal 302 - under 2:34:15 - TOU time this year
  • Goal 303 - under 2:33:21 - UVM time this year, fastest marathon this year
  • Goal 304 - under 2:31:58 - fastest time in the last two years
  • Goal 401 - under 2:30:32 - honest course PR
  • Goal 402 - under 2:30:00
  • Goal 403 - under 2:29:00
  • Goal 404 - under 2:27:46 - non-St. George PR discounting the short DesNews course in 2004
  • Goal 501 - under 2:25:00
  • Goal 601 - under 2:22:00
  • Goal 701 - under 2:19:00

In setting these goals I decided to start with the basics - goals 101 and 102, then gradually progress upwards. Too many failures, if not most can be attributed to the neglect of some basics. We must pay due respect to the basics.

At the same time while taking care of the basics we must not neglect  shooting for the stars. Thus I put up quite a range of goals that are unlikely to be attained in this race. Nevertheless, if things are going well, I do not ever want to think "I am done, I have no higher goal to shoot towards".


Green Crocs 2 Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
2.000.000.000.002.00

A.M. 2 miles before getting on the plane. It was nice to fly out of Provo. Feels almost like I have my own private jet.  Except the flight left late because of fog problems in Denver, and then I missed my connecting flight. But private jets get delayed too for odd reasons. So I am now having a nice 3+ hour layover in Denver as I am typing this. On the positive side of things, Denver airport has a nice recharging station and free although somewhat buggy WiFi.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(3)
Race: Rocket City Marathon (26.21 Miles) 02:44:58, Place overall: 10
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.8026.210.000.0027.01

Rocket City Marathon, 2:44:58, 10th place.

Stayed with Jon Elmore and his family the night before in Decatur. They have a very nice family. I felt a spirit of peace in their home. It was a privilege to meet them.

I have been schooled by the reality of having to run a marathon after a recent illness. As I mentioned earlier, I was concerned and prayed to know if I should go to the race, and felt that I should.  After the first mile in 5:49 which felt hard, followed by 5:55 which felt OK, but too hard for 5:55 this early in the race, I knew something was up. I prayed for permission to drop out and did not get it. Yes, I somehow I knew that I should not pray for a miraculous healing and a flow of strength.

I was running with Josh Whitehead and Fernando Cabada. Fernando is a 2:12 guy who already qualified for the Trials and was doing a progression workout. Josh was a 2:34 guy but set a PR of 2:31:37 today Fernando invited us to be paced by him for the initial part of his workout.

We did 17:28 (5:44), 23:17 (5:49), and then Fernando went into the next stage of his progression and we did 28:54 (5:37). At this point I had to back off. I continued with the 40:44 (5:55 average for 2 miles), 46:50 (6:04), not a good sign this early even though there was some uphill, but it should not have done that to me if I was anywhere near normal, then I think 52:50 (6:00) and 58:44 (5:54) at 10 miles. OK, at least sub-6:00 for the first 10, so maybe I can get to the finish on my own two feet today.

At this point we were on a long stretch with tailwind, so I was able to keep it sub-6:00 for a little longer.  Hit the half in 1:17:25. OK, at least one half of this mess is over. Well, not quite one half because the second half brings more surprises. Two more miles under 6:00. 1:28:30 at 15. Thankful to have gotten this point so far.  

Now comes the headwind and a 6:30 mile with it. Another 6:30 mile. A runner passes me as if I were standing still. I think that was Scott Fannining. It must be more than just the headwind. OK, how bad can this get?  Another runner comes by - Hirbo Hirbo, and he was struggling enough himself that I was able to latch on. 2:00:56 at 20 miles. This is beginning to look very ugly.

Somehow I managed to run sub-7:00 miles for the next four. I was with Hirbo. George Dewitt who is 53 years old caught up to us and we were able to latch on. Then Zachary Koch went by, no latching, all three of us were too slow and tired.

Then at 24 I found another wall. I began to be concerned about my health. This had not happened to me since perhaps my first marathon. Once I find my wall, I crawl alongside, it is bad, but it does not get worse. But I suppose when your health is off, your marathon gets a couple of miles longer, so anything past 24 is an ultra, or in other words life beyond the grave.

Fortunately I had enough sense to grab two Powerades and empty them out at 25. Half a mile later I found some moderate zip in my legs and passed Hirbo, which put me in 10th place. Thus I was able to find a small consolation in running my slowest marathon in 12 years.

After the race the marathon was not over. I had to get to the airport. Apparently I looked pretty bad as the volunteer kept asking me if I was OK.  I ate some food, and headed to my car. There were two ladies in the parking lot waiting for their friend to come in. I asked them if they could give me a ride to my car, which they happily did.  Somehow I was able to get dressed without taking forever and 3:04:47 after the start of the race I was driving to Nashville. When I got to the airport, great was my surprise when I saw Steve Anderson already there. He finished behind me, how did he get ahead? I suppose a few things helped him - he did not take a wrong turn, which I did, he might have driven faster, although I did maintain good speed throughout, and he did not have to go through as much airport security as I did as he is a pilot. He was there ready to fly me home! It turned out that that flight was piloted by another crew, but Steve flew on that same plane with me to Denver, and then piloted the flight to Salt Lake while I flew in my virtual private jet to Provo.

Provo now has one commercial flight by Frontier. If more people fly on it, there will be more, so I figured I'll help spread the word.

So what lessons did I learn from this marathon and how am I going to use what I learned to get better? Sickness is a double hit. You lose aerobic fitness, with that you lose fuel efficiency. Those 2 hours 44 minutes and 58 seconds have etched this concept in my mind in a way that I will not forget. Aerobic fitness is very closely connected with fuel efficiency. In the first 15 miles I learned what it is like to run with underperforming aerobic system. In the last 11 miles I learned that my underperforming aerobic system not only made me slow but also ate up all of my fuel - how rude!

So the moral of the story is that to run a good marathon you need to have solid aerobic fitness. It is built primarily through mileage, but you need to be careful not to go into diminishing returns. Fitness cannot be developed or used when health is lacking. Thus the three foundational elements of marathon performance are, first health, second aerobic fitness, and only third specific fuel storage/efficiency conditioning.

In spite of a bad race, I decided I am coming back to Huntsville next year and will make it a routine trip in my schedule. It is a place where they shoot for the stars. Both literally (they have a space center) and figuratively. I find it more than just a coincidence that the Huntsville has a concentration of fast runners that is unusual for the South.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 27.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We spoke in the Sacrament meeting on charity. It was our last Sunday in the ward. We are moving on Saturday to our new home in Orem on Palisade Drive.  The Lord has poured out so many blessings we ran out of room to receive them.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.000.007.00

A.M. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph, 5 with Benjamin - total of 7. Jenny and Julia ran 2.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph, 2 with Jenny and Julia, 1 alone, 5 with Benjamin - total of 10.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. 1 with Jacob - he set a new mile record in 9:05. 1 with Joseph. 1 alone. 2 with Julia. Jenny ran 1.5 - she fell down yesterday and got bruised, so she was struggling today. 5 with Benjamin.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.250.501.250.0010.00

A.M. . 1 with Joseph, 1 with Jacob, 2 with Jenny and Julia. 1 more alone with a 0.5 pickup in 2:51, and 5 with Benjamin. We did a couple of pickups. 0.75 in 4:12 down the Provo Canyon, and then 0.5 uphill in 2.57 on Carterville road near our new house. We have not moved yet, but have been doing our runs there since we had to bring a load of boxes anyway.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. Total of 10. Most of it with the kids. Jenny and Julia did 2, Joseph and Jacob 1, Benjamin 5. Jacob is now a sub-9:00 miler. I gave him a little bit of encouragement

at the start to give it a good push and he did running 8:52 with the

splits of 2:07, 2:15, 2:16, 2:14. This makes it 7 sub-9:00 milers at

our household

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.205.000.000.0015.20

A.M. Ran with Chad. This was my last run at our old house. We went to the Fast Running Blog 5 miler course and ran a tempo on it. The goal was to see how far Chad could go at 6:00 pace. This time there was no ice on the road so I could do a better job pacing. We did 5:55, 11:53 (5:58),  14:51 at the turnaround, then Chad started struggling and slowed down to 92 quarters. We hit the next mile from 2.5 to 3.5 in 6:09 (21:00 at 3.5). At that point I needed to do a VPB. I had Chad go ahead. The VPB took 17 seconds. Chad slowed down to about 95 being alone. I thought that I would be able to run 5:40 pace easily to catch up, but it was not so. I could barely manage sub-6:00. My split at 4 miles was 23:56 (subtracting the lost 17 seconds), and shortly after I caught up to Chad. I figured since he had already accomplished the purpose of the workout - find out how long he could hold 6:00 for on that course - I would just go and see how much juice I have in me. It turned out I did not have a whole lot. The last mile was 5:58 which gave me 29:54 for 5 miles. That last mile felt very similar to 5:37 5th mile in the Rocket City Marathon last week when I got dropped. I felt like I was breathing in the air, could not benefit from breathing in more of it, but it could not get to my muscles. It was a very odd feeling. Likely the leftover from the sickness. I've had it before the last couple of times I've been sick. It takes about a month to get over it. Chad finished 5 miles in 30:48. Afterwards we ran some more to make it to 14 miles total. We picked up in the last quarter and did it in 90. For a quarter 90 did not feel too bad even that late in the run. Then I ran another 1.1 to pick up the moving truck. 

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 5, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 1.

P.M. 1.1 with Jenny from the Budget Truck drop-off to our old house to pick up some odds and ends.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 15.20
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

Much needed day of rest after the move. Went to our new ward. The talks in Sacrament were on the life of Christ. The lesson in Sunday school was titled "What think ye of Christ?", and covered the testimonies of the Savior born by ancient and modern prophets and apostles. Then we talked about exaltation in the Elders Quorum. 

We received a warm welcome in our new ward, and had three families visit us after church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. First run officially from our new house. I ran 2 miles with Benjamin, Jenny and Julia first. Benjamin had a sore throat so I had him run with the girls to avoid excessive stress. Then 1 more with Joseph and Jacob. It was nice - no cars to dodge except for one pickup truck on the 260 or so meter stretch of Carterville road before the real trail begins, and that one went around us, we just stayed where we were.  Then I ran 9 more to about 2 miles into the Provo Canyon and back. Did a 2 mile tempo to test the waters on the way back. The road was slippery today being covered with fresh snow, but it was not too bad. I was able to run 7:10 pace uphill without too much effort. In the tempo I put in an effort that I felt was sustainable, but I also had to be careful to not trip so there was a little bit of holding back the throttle that way. I went through the first mile in 5:45, the second mile was 5:51, and I felt the difference. In the first mile I was feeling more or less normal. But in the second that same feeling that kept me back from running much faster than 6:00 on Saturday was with me again. I would consider this to be an aerobic weakness, not a strength issue. Total of 12.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Started with 8 alone. The road was covered with snow, no chance of any decent tempo. That is OK as it was good for me to skip the tempo after yesterday's effort. No big deal, just two miles, but it adds up. So it was good to have a break. I maintained about 7:30 average with about 7:00 effort. Then ran with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1, Jenny and Julia 2, Benjamin 2. Some of the runs were combined. Total of 12.

I like our new neighborhood. The word about our healthy eating habits quickly got out and people have been bringing us fruit instead of candy and cookies.

Green Crocs 2 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
10.500.002.000.0012.50

A.M. Starting with 8 in the Provo Canyon. The road conditions were better today though worse than Monday, but I decided to try a short tempo anyway. Did 2 miles down the canyon in 11:26. Most marks were not visible. However, I caught 2:51 split for the first 0.5. This time I did not feel that fatigue I experienced on Monday in the second mile, and it showed in the pace. Jenny and Julia ran 3 with Sarah. I ran 1 with Jacob,then 1 with Joseph, and 2.5 with Benjamin. He still has a sore throat so he's been taking it easy. Total of 12.5 for me.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.550.002.250.2012.00

A.M. Ran 8 on my own in the Provo Canyon. The road was better, so I decided to do another tempo. Since my 2 mile mark was covered I decided to make it 2.25. First mile went well. I ran it in 5:32. Tailwind helped some. Then I had some headwind in the second mile, and I slowed down to 5:47. The last quarter had minor headwind, but I was apparently tired from the wind battles and the distance, and ran it in 88. This gave me 12:47 for 2.25. I felt, though, that it was more of a problem with rhythm than the actual fitness. Headwind earlier broke by rhythm and I had not yet regained it. In the last 300 right before our house I decided to do a little hill interval. There are marks on the road every 100 meters, I am suspecting Ed Eystone and the BYU team for putting them and they appear accurate - I am always hitting reasonable splits on all of them. So I ran that 300 that had maybe 50 meters of 3-5% downhill, and then 250 of maybe 4-6% uphill in 1:00.

Then ran with the kids. Jenny and Julia did 2. Joseph and Jacob 1. Benjamin 2. I ended up with a total of 12.

 

Green Crocs 2 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
11.750.000.000.2512.00

A.M. Ran with the kids, total of 4. Benjamin did 2, Joseph and Jacob 1, Jenny and Julia 2. Benjamin still had a sore throat so I had him take it easy. Then ran 8 more to the magic spot in the Provo Canyon and back. Did a little interval in the last quarter before the house. It was a slight down in the first 100, then more down in the next 50, then up in the last 250. The time was 78.

P.M. An experience worth sharing. Our garage door broke. Of all things, it had to break on a Friday night before Christmas Eve with Monday being a legal holiday. It broke badly, our van could not get out. So with it in that state we'd be stuck at home for a while. I tried to see if it was something I could fix. I can command an electronic device to obey me, but this was a mechanical problem - an area where I am handicapped. I knew I lacked what it took to fix it, and said a silent prayer. Ten minutes later a man and his wife showed up at our house to meet the new neighbors. Turns out he is good at fixing things. He started looking at the matter, and knew what to do. He went to his house and brought a spare part for that particular garage opener, and fixed the problem. I think that is the best Christmas present I have ever received.

Green Crocs 2 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
13.000.004.000.0017.00

A.M. Total of 17. Started with 5 with the kids. Jenny and Julia did 2, Joseph and Jacob 1, Benjamin 3. He starting to feel better but still not 100%. Then I went for 12 more. Did 2x2 miles down the Provo Canyon. I considered doing 3x2 with the first down, second up, and the last down, but after the first one reconsidered. I felt it was important to learn to run a good pace downhill first before practicing uphill tempo pace. Slow pace teaches bad form, and I was not ready for a fast relaxed pace uphill yet. In the first interval I opened with a 5:26 mile, and the first 0.75 of it felt like a jog. Then it got harder. I put in a little bit more effort, and it produced only 5:35. So I ended up with 11:01.0. In the second one I went through the first mile in 5:31 and it felt harder than 5:26 in the previous repetition. Part of it I think was the lack of endurance from the sickness, but part was also fuel depletion as by that time I was about 14 miles into my run. However, I gave it a push in the second mile and managed to hold off the fading some. With a kick in 79 in the last quarter I actually pulled off another 5:31 mile, which gave me 11:02.7 for the interval.

On the positive side of things, even though struggling to run 5:30s down the Provo Canyon does not excite me too much, being able to do it at all is a marked improvement over the last week, and shows that my fitness is gradually returning.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 17.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a nice Christmas program. Afterwards came home and took a long nap. My body needed it.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.000.2512.00

A.M. Started with the kids. Benjamin did 3, Jenny 2, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob 1. This was total of 5 for me. Then 7 more to make 12 total. Did a fast quarter at the end - uphill - in 76. 

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. Total of 12. Some with the kids. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 2, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 1. I decided it was time to start gradually introducing uphill tempo running. Started with a mile in 5:57.8. Then on the way back ran the 2 mile tempo in 10:44.0. The splits were 5:21 - 5:23. The second mile was helped a lot by the last quarter in 77.5. I started losing steam, but then I kicked which kept the split from being too positive. This is definitely an improvement over the last week.

P.M. Felt oncoming cold symptoms. Took a nap.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Felt some minor cold symptoms. Nevertheless felt strong enough to run full 12. Did some of it with the kids. Benjamin did 5, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 1.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. The original plan was to do something fast, but I felt that I might have a cold coming, so I decided to lay low, and ran easy. Total of 10. Benjamin did 5, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob waited until the afternoon.

P.M. 3 with Todd. 1 of it with Jacob and 1 with Joseph.

 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.000.001.5015.00

A.M. Total of 12. Some with the kids. Jenny and Julia did 2, Benjamin 6. I did 6x400. First 5 were down the Provo Canyon with 200 meter rest. 74.0 - 73.4 - 72.1 - 71.4 - 71.8. Benjamin helped me with the last 100 of the third, first 200 of the fourth, and stayed with me for the fifth. The last one was after jogging a couple of miles and was uphill near my house. Benjamin helped me with the first 150 or so meters. I ended up with 76.6.

P.M. 3 with Todd, Joseph did 1 with us, Jacob 1 as well.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.402.003.000.0017.40

A.M. Ran with Chad. We did the first 12.4 by ourselves, and the rest with the kids. We did some tempo running. First 2 mile tempo down. The wind was strange, kept changing directions. It was not too much of a factor in the first one. We did an even split 11:24. Then we jogged 0.5 miles, and I ran 1 mile uphill alone, while Chad jogged. I call that baby steps in strength work. Start with 1 mile. I was surprised to see the first two quarters in 83 and 85 which felt way too easy for that stretch. Then I slowed down and ran 88 and 89 which gave me 5:45.4. On the way back we found out why that stretch was too easy. Chad stayed with me through about the first 1000 meters. I had 4:19 at 0.75 followed by 5:43 at the mile. Then my next quarter was 85 followed by 89. The wind had picked up and was blowing into the canyon. That 89 quarter felt hard. No wonder I hit 83 easily going the other way. Seeing 89 I pushed harder but got only 86 in the next quarter. That was frustrating. Then all of a sudden the headwind stopped and I felt like somebody had just cut the chain he was holding me with. The last quarter was 80 with more or less the same effort, which gave me 11:23. Chad finished in 11:50. Then we ran to my house and ran with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1, Jenny and Julia 2, Benjamin 3. Total of 17.4 for us.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 17.40
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
255.1536.9619.802.20314.11
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 302.10
Night Sleep Time: 211.00Nap Time: 5.00Total Sleep Time: 216.00
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