Breaking the Wall

January Fast Running Blog Series 10 K

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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 eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
3573.89472.08165.3285.134296.42
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 778.36Saucony Type A Miles: 539.81Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 274.67Five Fingers 2 Miles: 934.68Bare Feet Miles: 432.62Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 61.03Water Clogs Miles: 117.40Airwalk Clogs Miles: 653.97
Night Sleep Time: 2653.23Nap Time: 101.90Total Sleep Time: 2755.13
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.5013.50

A.M. 5 with Daniel and Mary Ann in 40:06, 2 with Benjamin in 17:45, and 4 alone in 30:54. Did sprints on dry sections, about 0.5 total.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:43, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:12.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 11.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.700.000.000.3012.00

A.M. 5 with Daniel, Mary Ann, and little James (Ted's son), then on the second loop we picked up Angela Wagner about 0.3 into it, and James turned around at 5.5. So I finished the 10 with Mary Ann and Angela. Total time for 10 was 1:23:11. Did quick bursts of speed (30 meters or so) throughout the run on dry stretches.

Decided to try an experiment. Some background. From my training and performances I am suspecting that my limiting factor is the failure of the brain to recruit an adequate percentage of the muscle fibers. Some evidence for that - strong evidence: improvements in 400 and 200 workouts  coincide with improvements in the 10+ mile tempo runs, frequent failure to increase speed above pace at the end of a tempo run for as little as 50 meters,  esoteric workouts required to get muscle soreness in any degree, no soreness or fatigue after a perceived all-out race effort. Weaker evidence - poor performance in sprints - best 100 meters 13.9. A frequent argument I hear about my poor performance in sprints is that it is because of the lack of the slow twitch fibers. That is correct, and it does explain the failure to run 11.0 in 100 meters. But it does not explain the failure to break 13.0. Numerous examples of world class and even collegiate distance runners suggest that when the fibers recruit properly, a slow-twitch dominant male should be able to run 100 meters under 13.0.

 As a side note, I wish we had more published science dedicated to the matter above. We tell a guy - you are slow in a sprint because you are slow-twitch, that's OK, you can be good in the marathon, because that's where you need slow-twitch. So he starts running mega-mileage hoping to be good in a marathon. And he is OK, he runs 2:40, 2:30, maybe even 2:20. But he is still not that good. He cannot even break the womens world record. Why? Because we forgot to tell him that slow-twitch fibers are no good in any race unless you can recruit them. And in all honesty we do not have a clue how to improve recruitment by more than a small margin. But not many people care to find out because few people appreciate the significance of muscle fiber recruitment in a long race.

So in this search of better fiber recruitment the goal is to find something I can do daily to advance the cause. What the science does know is that exercises that recruit the maximum percentage of fibers can help improve the ability of the brain to recruit the fibers. I have tried some of that before. The challenge is what I've tried before cannot be done daily. I know that doing 4x100 all out two days in a row gives me neural fatigue. So here is a thought. Perhaps 15 seconds at maximum effort is too much for my weak brain. What about 3-5 seconds instead? Random sprints of 20-30 meters focusing on maximum acceleration during daily runs. Good time to do it because now it is about the only kind of speed you can do on the trail. We'll see what happens.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:49, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:22. Julia was sick, did not run.


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From tarzan on Fri, Jan 02, 2009 at 15:34:49

Is this that concept you were talking about when I was at your house that one day? Good luck in your experimentation. Hope you get the results you want.

From Phoenix on Sat, Jan 03, 2009 at 15:37:21

You can't do it (top end work) everyday in any format and expect to benefit from it. For any sustainable period of time, once a week at maximum, for most people once every other week. Read the literature on periodization with weight training. The basic principles are transferable. Apparently the Russian research is the best if you can find it--if anyone around here can it would be you.

I think you might do better with more light speedwork (ala Frank Shorter)and less tempo runs. You are as consistent and resilient as anyone I know. You have years of big mileage in your body. Accordingly, I really don't think a steady diet of tempo runs is going to do much for you. Tempo runs have their place but they are very, very overated except in specific training phases, the same goes for the long run. I know that stating so is anathema to some.

I was very fortunate to talk for quite a while with Paul Cummings before he passed away in a boating accident (who, as I'm sure you know, set the world best in the half marathon running 1:01:xx). He essentially told me that by his experience, ideal training is to run twice a day for 40-60 minutes, with 3 speed workouts per week, 2 light and 1 hard, and no long run except for the 2 months before a marathon. I have my own take on this, but I think he generally he has it right on. Since speaking with him I've seen the same principles in hundreds of training logs of top runners.

From Cheryl on Sat, Jan 03, 2009 at 15:50:21

Phoenix: I like Cummings' ideas. Could you clarify a little: if you run 40 to 60 minutes twice a day, where do the speed workouts come in? Do they replace one of those 40-60 minute runs? Should you only run 40-60 minutes twice a day on the days you aren't doing speed? What kind of speed workouts should you do (training for a marathon)? Short, fast stuff or longer and somewhat slower workouts? Thanks.

From Phoenix on Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 20:29:39

Cheryl,

The speed workouts replace a 40-60 minute run. Paul advocated a 3-2-1 system. Monday was 3 miles of interval work at 70% effort (could be 3 x 1 mile, could be 25 x 200), Wednesday was 2 miles at 80% effort, and Friday was 1 mile at 90% effort (optional in his opinion for those training exclusively for a marathon). On the week of a race, the 90% workout would be dropped.

With his system you should aim for a high frequency of training sessions but none of them so extreme they wipe you out. He was very succesful as a coach. Debbie Hansen started running with him as a masters athlete and got the OTQ in the marathon at age 43ish running ~2:38. I coached her son for a while.

As another example of the high frequency but in control system, look at the university of Oregon track team under Bill Dellinger in the 70s and 80s. They were absolutely dominant, having up to 8 sub-four minute milers at the same time. Here is the summary statistics of Alberto Salazar's training for the 1978 cross country season. Keep in mind that easy for him was 6 minute pace, so an 8 mile run would be 50 minutes or less:

Summary:

70 days, 130 sessions

60 doubles

10 singles

21.5% = percentage of individual runs 10 miles or longer (28 out of 130 efforts averaging 11.85 miles, range 10-15 miles)

14.2 miles = avg daily mileage

2.7 miles = stdev

15 miles = mode (28x), 14(11x), 16(7x), 13(5x), 12(5x), 18(4x)

69 = number of AM runs (including Sunday long run)

7.1 miles = avg AM run

6.2 miles = avg AM run (not including long run)

61 = number of PM runs

8.3 miles = avg PM run

9 long runs (13,11,13,14,14,13,15,12,12)

13.0 miles = avg long run

15 miles = longest run. One occurrence.

Long runs = 91% of the avg daily mileage

Long runs = 13.1% of the avg weekly mileage.

If you saw the workouts those guys were doing you could easily make the mistake of thinking that they were hammering them. (People run into all kinds of problem when they copy others workouts. Learn a system and run by feel). The were generally easy for runners of their caliber except for 1/week that was a little harder. Very similar to Cumming's sytem.

The longer I run the more I think the basic principle of his system are right. As backround, I've been running for 20 years and coaching on and off for the last 15. I've completed a PhD and postdoctoral training in two of the best exercise biochemistry labs in the country. This is only relevant here because when I say I think he was right, I'm not just shooting off the cuff. In the end I think running is a skill sport, ultimately limited by the nervous system. The nervous system is best stimulated to adapt by variation and high frequency of practice. It becomes hard of hearing when it hears the same thing all the time and hears it too long.

From Cheryl on Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 20:50:43

Thanks, Phoenix, that was interesting. I hope I understand you correctly. Is it better to run lots but keep it easy and somewhat short, and avoid too many long runs because they are taxing on the nervous system? Also, it's best to vary the pace of the runs? Is that a basic summary of what you are saying?

From Phoenix on Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 21:46:24

Your summary is more or less right. Having a high frequency of workouts is important, but they can't be too short. If you are going to run, I'd make it at least 30 minutes--30 minutes is great for an easier run on a day when the primary run was 50-60 minutes. Don't set specific paces for your easy runs, just make sure they feel easy. Generally start them a little slower and finish them just a little faster. Cumming's said they should be at a 50% effort (which is different than 50% max heart rate etc--its about perception). Just run at pace that is not strenuous for you. If most of your easy runs are near the same pace, that's fine because your variation comes with the 3 speed workouts/week.

The long run won't help your 5k-half marathon IF your overall mileage is high enough. It is essential for the marathon, but wait until about 2 months out to start and keep the pace easier. Some half marathon races in the build-up are great too. Debbie Hansen ran ~70 miles per week most of the year but then would jump it up to 100 6-8 weeks out from the marathon.

The overall goal for this type of system is to settle into a great day-in and day-out training rhythm where you generally feel pretty good all the time. This system is set up to allow high mileage and to make it work optimally you need to run 2x/day at least 3 times/week, 4-5 would probably be optimal.

From Cheryl on Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 23:47:59

Thanks for that. It's always been my basic intuition that long runs year round aren't necessary. They always seem to wear me down, not build me up. I like the way you say you should feel pretty good all the time. That makes a lot of sense to me.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.003.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff, James, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Angela. Ran to the Boat Harbor 5 K course. Paced Angela and Mary Ann. The road was very slippery, but there was enough traction to go at a reasonable pace - maybe 20 seconds per mile slower than normal. Angela was doing a 15 minute tempo. Mary Ann was running the 5 K. Mary Ann fell back after about 0.3, Jeff and I stayed with Angela. Her first mile was 5:58. On the second mile the head wind picked up. Jeff and I did what we could to block it, but we are only that big. Second mile was 6:06. 15:00 into the tempo we stopped, briefly talked with Angela, and then ran back to meet Mary Ann and paced her to the end of the 5 K. Her time was 20:20.

I told Jeff if we lived in Ethiopia we could get paid for pacing fast women in their workouts. Of course, the supply and demand would make it difficult. There are only that many fast women that are fast enough to be able to pay, and there are a lot of capable and willing men.

Ran back to the house with the girls, then added another 11.5 with Jeff. The trail was very slippery at first, then got a bit better as the sun came out. Total time for 20 miles was 2:43:24. That was a very long run time-wise, but I started feeling energized towards the end.

P.M. Mary Ann came to our house, and ran with the kids while I worked on her computer. Julia ran a mile in 12:00, Benjamin did 2 in 17:54.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day off. Went to church. Spent a good portion of the day reading President Kimball's biography.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.150.000.500.2014.85

A.M. 7F at the start. I think the global warming is like Santa - it happens for you if you believe it.

Ran with Daniel, Jeff, and Mary Ann. Daniel turned around at 3 miles. The rest of us ran full 10.1. My time was 1:19:46, Jeff and Mary Ann were a bit slower due to my VPB. Additionally we did short burts of speed on dry sections.

Afterwards took VanGoGo to Computune and ran back. Turns out my little detour into a snow drift a couple of weeks ago damaged VanGoGo's power steering pump.

Felt very good on the way from Computune. Did some pickups when it was dry. There was even a dry section that was long enough to run a 200, which I did in 39 with a tempo effort. Then I found an even longer section - 300 which I ran in 58 putting in a tempo effort. This was about 0.5-1% downhill, though. However, the temperature was 14F. I was not expecting sub-5:20 pace to feel so easy, natural, and enjoyable. This gives me the confidence that as crazy as my idea of daily micro-bursts of speed may sound, there may be something to it.

P.M. We got some serious snow. 1 with Benjamin and Julia in 13:30. 1.5 with Jenny in 16:37. About 0.4 into the run Jenny said - I bet you and I will be the only ones on the trail. About a minute later we saw Tyler and he joined us for about a mile.

I told Tyler - if dedication played a bigger role in being selected for the BYU team than your 3000 meter speed, you'd be on the team for sure. Unfortunately 3000 meters is short enough for natural Quality X to have quite a bit of the upper hand on dedication.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 14.85
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Phoenix on Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 20:49:04

Sasha,

Lest my comment on the other post be misunderstood. I think little accelerations and pick-ups on a frequent basis are great. Where you will run into trouble is maximal, all-out accerations done several times weekly. Initially you'll see improvement and feel good, but then the bottom will drop out and you'll go flat. Good luck with your experiment.

From Lybi W. on Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 14:16:01

Here's an interesting article on global warming: http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/article/1078

Santa is an interesting one. My children brought him up in our family home evening on faith (Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and Santa Claus) and I had to grit my teeth. Being a parent is tricky!

Yikes! And good job getting out in the artic temps! Not that I doubted you...

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:05:35

Lybi:

Thanks for the article. I enjoyed reading it. I am surprised how often people take results of computer modeling at face value as the absolute truth. I want to tell them - why don't you spent a week or two watching a computer programmer - you'll know better than that then.

In fact - after hearing on numerous occasions how runners question the distance of a certified course when their Garmin shows different I feel very tempted to add "believing the Garmin" to the top list of training mistakes. Garmin measurement is in essence a computer model of the distance traveled. And our education systems would sure benefit if they taught more actual science and less faith in science.

Eric - I have an intuitive justification of why random 3-5 second sprints at maximum effort could be effective for Quality X. Take your average speedy runner (let's define it as a sub-13.0 100 meters) and ask him what he did growing up as a child. I am fairly certain the answer would be lots of games that involve running such as basketball, soccer, and tag. In those games you hardly ever run all out for 10 seconds or more. Usually 3-5 seconds, but it is all out. And you do it frequently during the game. You also do not wait several days for your creatine-phosphate stores to replenish and your nervous system to rest from the overload before you play again. This type of activity allows the development of speed without overtraining. Why? I think the key is the frequency of top-end speed bursts and their length are naturally controlled.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.350.000.000.0013.35

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:35:30, 9:27 average. I think that is a PR for me for how slow I've run for that long. And it was not that we were lazy - we actually put in a solid 7:00-7:20 effort most of the way, but the snow was deep, rough, and slippery. However, I remarked to Jeff that the pioneers would have loved to travel in those conditions (balmy 28 F), and especially at our speed. 6+ mph through the snow-covered plains of Nebraska and Wyoming would have been a dream for them.

A.M-2: Ran with Benjamin and Jenny to Computune to pick up VanGoGo. 2.25 miles in 23:21.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 13:05. The time speaks for itself - we did quite a bit of treading through the snow and slipping on ice.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From JulieC on Wed, Jan 07, 2009 at 14:04:05

You must have went early am. I went out at 945am and didn't have it as bad as I have lately. The new snowpack actually helped me out this time but some pretty deep areas for a few minutes. But really I was wanting to ask you how in these condition our pace is affected with the sloshing around, the lifting higher of the legs at times and careful footing? Hoping this is making us stronger and faster (which you don't really need, of course) in the long run.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:39:28

Julie:

The pace varies unpredictably. Sometimes a snow cover looks terrible, but it only slows you down only 10-15 seconds a mile. Other times it may look very manageable, but it may slow you down by 2 minutes a mile or more. I've had days when I go one way at 7:30 pace, then turn around and coming back slow down to 9:00 pace in the same spots in spite of a decent effort to maintain the speed. Nothing appears to have changed from the visual point of view. But something, perhaps temperature or humidity, changed enough to make anything faster than 8:30 impossible in a period as short as 40 minutes.

From JulieC on Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:02:46

Thanks Sasha. Happy Snow/Ice/Slosh running!!! Sorry your putting in all time slow PRs but it isn't about numbers in this weather it is about actually getting out there and running in it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

A.M. Early morning run with Daniel and Mary Ann (they ran first 6). Both of them made it for the 5:15 AM start. I thought the roads would be better after a warmer night with some snow melting. However, that seemed to make things worse increasing the slippage. 8 miles at a blistering 9:43 pace in 1:17:47. Found Tyler on the trail with a mile to go, he ran with me.

Joke of the day, a follow-up to Mary Ann telling us how she met a guy with long hair at Walmart.

Teenage son: Dad, can I get a car?
Dad: Well, you need to cut your hair first.
Son: But Jesus and his apostles had long hair!
Dad: And on foot they went!

P.M. Honked at two runners - Thatcher and his training partner, possibly Neal. Maybe I should count this towards mileage. 1 with Julia in 11:26, 2 with Benjamin in 18:09, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:45. Road conditions have improved, but still a lot of slippage.

 

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Lucia on Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 09:41:31

I love the joke! So great that your kids run with you - do they often whine, or do they mostly like it?

Sasha, I'm using the triathlon template for my blog now - on Monday when I logged 2 miles of running and some miles of biking, the running miles didn't add up for the weekly total... do you know why that would be? Thank you!

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:31:07

Lucia:

Kids usually do not whine. Benjamin never whines. He used to whine a lot, but stopped when he understood that whining and winning do not mix. Jenny used to whine on every run, but now whines only sometimes, usually when Benjamin is too anxious about increasing the pace and she has not yet warmed up. Julia is the whiniest, whines when she has a bad day, maybe twice a week or so. So in summary - if you start them on running daily at 4 or 5 years old kids grow out of whining around when they turn 7 or 8 years old.

Regarding the template - triathlete template does not have the hooks to participate in the mileage board.

From Thatcher on Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 16:40:07

Yep that was me and Neal.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.1013.70

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Jeff, and Mary Ann. Daniel went 3 with us then turned around. The rest of us ran 10.1 in 1:19:39. The trail was a lot better today as evidenced by the pace. Did some mini-sprints in the middle when the traction allowed.

A.M-2: Literally ran an errand - 0.6 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:32. 2 with Benjamin in 17:30, Jenny ran 1.5 in 13:24.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.600.000.000.0016.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:22:58. Daniel ran the first 3 with us. 2 more with Benjamin in 17:48. The trail was more slippery than yesterday, but not as bad as on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Our neighbor managed to get stuck on our street in spite of having 4x4. We were able to dig/push her out though. 

P.M-1. 2 miles cross-country skiing.

P.M-2. The roads and the trail cleared up some. 1 with Julia in 10:57. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:21.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Amber on Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 18:31:25

Hi Sasha,

My name is Amber and i just have a question for you about 'the blog'. I am wondering if their is a way I can print out my entries in some sort of form that shows my mileage and entries. I've printed the RSS Feed which just shows my journaling, but no miles, etc. Help! I just like to keep a hard copy of my running and want to blog also, , , but don't want to do both! Thanks, hope you can help. I'm donw here in St.George and Steve asked me to be on the race team so I'm really excited. Tell your wife thanks for all the recipe posts, , , that is so helpful and I'm looking forward to trying them out.

Thanks,

Amber

From JulieC on Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 19:33:05

I also have a question (again). When will the race calendar be updated? I am just wondering so I can plan my 2009. Thanks Sasha for a great blog, and I love the course tool and is saving me big time on gas. No garmin yet.

Race: January Fast Running Blog Series 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:36:30, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.902.003.211.1017.21

A.M. Ran 7.2 miles with Jeff and some of it with Daniel setting up the course for Mary Ann's race. We reached an agreement so now the Fast Running Blog is the title sponsor of her races. Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann also got a strength workout hammering at the ice under the 800 N bridge. Jeff and I did an acceleration to determine the position of the 2 mile marker in the 5 K. We had 100 meter mark from the mile marker, but 2 mile marker is supposed to be  172 meters. So we figured if we got a split at 100 meters and then prorated the time we would place it within 3 meters, which is a reasonable accuracy considering that over 2 miles you could take a variety of tangents. So we ran pretty hard hitting 100 in 17 seconds and then continued at the same effort to 30 seconds.

Also met Nick during the run and invited him to the race.

A.M-2 Ran the race. Warmed up with Benjamin and Jenny - 1.4 miles. Jeff ran the 5 K, Nick ran the 10 K. I talked him into it saying - just run a nice marathon pace tempo at around 5:50 pace. Jeff wanted to run hard. Nick saw Jeff run hard and also decided to run hard. I saw Nick and Jeff run hard and decided to run with them for a mile thinking they would hit maybe 5:10-5:15, no faster. Good luck. First quarter in 73, minor snow/ice cover. Second quarter - fairly serious snow/ice cover, but 77 nevertheless. Third quarter - I was glad we cleared off under the bridge, at least we did not have to walk. But we did have to slow down still. Nevertheless, we managed 80. Third quarter - still some snow and ice, but mostly dry. 76 seconds. This gave us 5:06 for the mile. I did not know I could run a 5:06 mile on that type of surface with all the clothes, so I was pleasantly surprised. But it became necessary to back off so I did.

Next quarter was 87 seconds, moderate snow/ice cover, and I was pleased with that because I felt it was a nice recovery pace. However, the ice cover became fairly solid in the next mile, and I was afraid to run fast. Plus, the nervous stress from running a near all out first mile reduced my ability to focus. So I slowed down to 97 quarters for the next three. 2.5 K in 8:35, 2 miles in 11:23.

After that the snow/ice cover became lighter and I was able to speed up to sub-6:00 pace. 3 miles in 17:16. I was pleased with that. 5 K turnaround in 17:54 (2.5 in 9:19). Acceptable for the conditions.

On the way back I improved my ice cover handing and was able to speed up a bit. Next 2.5 K in 9:14. However, then I slowed down a lot in the next 500 meters on ice under the bridges. Last 1.25 was 7:13 with the splits by quarter of 87, 86, 90 (under the bridge), 88 (slippage), and 82.

The first/last mile had about 1% grade favorite the outgoing direction. However, with the dip under the bridge I think the downhill direction is about equivalent to flat and no dip.

Total time of 36:30 for the 10 K. Nick ran 33:18 with the splits of 16:28 and 16:50. Jeff ran the 5 K in 16:36. Daniel ran 19:24 in the 5 K.

Benjamin won the mens mile in 7:05. Jenny was the first woman in 8:05.

Jeff, Benjamin, Jenny and I ran back to the house for a cool down. Then I ran a mile with Julia in 10:55.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 17.21
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.1013.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:17:33. Much better traction. Did short explosive sprints.

A.M-2 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:28.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:34.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 13.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.500.000.1013.10

A.M. 10.1 with Mary Ann and Jeff in 1:16:29. Did explosive sprints.  Ran 0.5 in 2:54 to measure Mary Ann's HR. It was 176. 5:48 pace felt very good, almost conversationally easy.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:02. Benjamin ate something bad and threw up. Nevertheless he managed to run 2 miles in 17:53. Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:26. 

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.75
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.800.000.350.1013.25

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:15:53. Had a post-VPB tempo- 5/16 of a mile in 1:37, that is 5:10 pace. Felt very strong, it felt tempo, not 5 K pace. Experiences like this make me wonder if I am just one loose wire away from being able to race a half at 5:10 pace on a flat course at 4500 feet. But where is that loose wire and how do you connect it?

Did explosive sprints.

A.M-2. Went to Iain's lab to do force plate tests. Benjamin and I ran from the car and back, total of about 0.65. Jeff and Mary Ann did the tests as well.

P.M. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:00. 1 with Julia in 9:41.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.75
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Burt on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 16:01:30

Just out of curiosity, what is your fastest mile time ever? What do you think you could do it in now? I have a friend that runs 7 minute miles for everything from a 5k to a marathon.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 16:15:42

Burt:

I've run a slightly aided (1% downhill grade) but with headwind mile alone in 2005 in 4:42. I've run a non-aided mile in a group in 4:46 in 2007. In 2005 I was primed for the mile. In 2007 I had not been training for the mile as much, but I had done some quarters for about 2-3 months up to one month from the time I ran that mile. Last year I ran a non-aided mile in 4:55 once in a workout. I also ran a 5:04 at the end of a 10 K. On Saturday I went through the first mile of a 10 K in 5:06 just for fun, but adjusted for the road conditions it was probably worth 4:55. I imagine I could run 4:52 right now, maybe faster on a good day and in good company. At least the first quarter in 73 in the 10 K on Saturday felt very manageable thinking of it in terms of racing the mile.

From Burt on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 17:08:49

Here is why I ask. In high school I ran a 4:59 mile. I also ran the two in 11:10. That's 35 sec/mile slower. I'm not sure what my fastest 5k was, but it was probably around 18 min. (another 30 sec/mile slower.) It just made sense to me that the further you run, the slower you get. Then I met my friend who has only trained for one speed, and he runs that same speed no matter if runs a 5k or a marathon. So when you mentioned the loose wire, it made me think maybe there are some people who only know how to run a certain speed. My hunch is that my friend needs to connect that wire. He just doesn't know how.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.900.000.000.1013.00

A.M. Big group today. Chauncy, Mary Ann, Jeff, and Daniel. First 6 with everybody, then Chauncy and Daniel were done, and the rest of us ran 4 more. 10 miles in 1:19:58. Did explosive sprints.

Did some standing broad jumps and vertical jumps yesterday, and in the process observed something and had an idea. I noticed that how far or how high I was able to jump did not quite correlate with perceived exertion. The best jumps happened not when I tried the hardest, but when somehow I was able to properly channel my force.  That led me to an idea for Quality X. The hypothesis is that a good portion of Quality X comes in how well the firing of individual motor units is synchronized. So with that assumption we want to train this ability in hopes that it will improve the performance of a runner in all distances at the same time.

So here is a rough idea. We start with a standing broad jump. Any jump that provides immediate and precise feedback on the amount of power generated will work. But broad jump is the easiest in terms of practicality - you just need a solid surface to land on, and a measuring tape. Keep jumping for maximum distance. Pay attention to how you felt when you jumped further. Try to duplicate the feeling and measure the success by the length of the jump it produces.

Once you know the feeling, in the ideal world, find timing gates, and do 10 meter sprints from a running start. Try to duplicate the feeling that produced the best jumps. Perfect that feeling in the context of running. Again, measure the success by how fast you are able to run.

Next step. 200-400 meter repetitions. Again we try to experience the same feeling of smooth and focused power, but now over a longer distance. We measure the success by the interval times. Solid aerobic base will help prevent aerobic fatigue from being a factor in the interval performance thus allowing the interval times to become an accurate measure of how we are doing on Quality X.

Next step - take it to 800 meter - 1 mile repeats and try to experience the feeling. Solid aerobic base becomes even more important.

Finally, we take it to the tempo run. Now the aerobic base is even more important, so let's hope it's there. Once we can do it in a tempo run, we are ready to race better.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:00, 1 with Julia in 9:41.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From dave holt on Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 14:52:15

I believe what you are talking about is very similar to what Yoda put Luke through.

Luke: "What's in there?"

Yoda: "Only what you take with you.”

From tarzan on Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 22:24:31

I was listening to some similar concepts in Mind Body Mastery today. The author posed the suggestion that sometimes we put too much effort into things and they become unnatural. We need to work on the idea of becoming more childlike or animal like.

For instance, William can grab your finger very tightly with his hand, but keep his body totally relaxed at the same time. Or trying to pick up a toddler when they don't want to be picked up - they have the ability to channel their force such that they can make themselves dead weight.

Looking at an animal example - a cat can jump vertically or take off explosively without having to gather its forces - it just naturally relaxes into the force.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.300.000.400.3013.00

A.M. 4 with Daniel, Jeff, and Mary Ann. Dropped Mary Ann off, another mile with Daniel, he then turned around. Another 5 with Jeff. We did explosive sprints and a 1 K pickup in 3:15 with 200 splits off 40,41,39,38,38. 5:20 pace felt sustainable, 5:04 felt manageable but not sustainable. Total time was 1:17:35.

A little later 2 with Benjamin in 17:23 - Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:07. 1 with Julia in 9:37.

P.M. Drive to St. George.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: St. George Half Marathon (13.11 Miles) 01:14:26, Place overall: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.600.0013.110.0018.71

A.M. St. George Half Marathon. 1:14:26 officially, 1:14:29 on my watch. 5th place.

The course was great. It was measured properly for the first time in the history of the race since I can remember. The race director sent an email out saying it was certified. It was marked like a certified course as well - every mile and every 5 K, and every one of my splits made sense. From that I learned exactly how short the course was last year, and now everything falls into place. I thought it was rather odd that people ran so fast on the last year's course with as much as it rolls. I figure it was about 2:30 shorter last year, not 55 seconds we assumed from GPS readings. GPS consensus is not a substitute for course certification.

The race was a good opportunity to do a hard long tempo run in warmer weather on dry roads (although Hayden managed to take a spill on the icy bridge).

Splits by the mile according to the race mile markers except the first, which I got off Dave's GPS because we were on the wrong side of the road at mile 1:

5:40, 5:35, 5:20, 5:20, 5:44, 5:34,5:41,5:37,5:55,5:41,5:55,5:57, 6:30 for the last 1.11, 5:51 pace.

By 5 K: 17:10, 17:14, 17:51,18:16, last 1.0975 K in 3:58, on pace for 18:04 5 K.

By 10 K: 34:24, 36:07

Warmed up with Jeff.

Good group at the start. Pretty soon the group dwindled to Jeff, Dave, Hayden, Paul, Kyle Moffet, and a guy I did not recongize. Jeff controlled the pace start to finish, the rest of us hoped for mercy. We got lots in the first mile, less in the second, even less with each subsequent mile, and none after 8.

Interestingly enough, the contact with Jeff was being lost in the reverse order of placing with the exception of Hayden who lost it for reasons not related to fitness. And he fixed the order quickly, in less than a mile. Which was another confirmation of my hypothesis - for distances up to the half marathon if runner A and runner B have equal aerobic conditioning and both are racing anywhere close to 100%, both are running without a pack, and if runner A gaps runner B as early as 30% of the race distance, runner A will beat runner B. This might be true for the marathon as well if both runners are fit to run 2:09 or faster.

Or in other words, at a high level of aerobic fitness it becomes physically next to impossible to run the first 30% of your race too fast.

I lost contact with the pack around 4.5 on an uphill. But I was happy about my 5 K split, and a mid-race 2 miler in 10:40. I was also happy about 5 miles in 27:39, and 10 K in 34:24 on rolling hills. I did pay for it later with neural fatigue. Not very severe at first, but it kept getting worse, and the Bloomington loop set the seal on it to the point that I ran a 5:57 mile honestly trying.

I saw that Dave Holt was struggling and tried to reel him it. The problem was I was struggling just as much. His stride looked like he and I had the exact same problem - loss of zip in the legs. Which I explain as the brain being weaker than the lungs and heart. Not to be confused with the lack of willpower.

I made it to the finish saved by the chute from Kyle's powerful kick. Final times (official): Jeff 1:10:59, Paul 1:11:31, Hayden 1:12:41, Kyle 1:14:34 (I think).

Found Jeff, and we went to pace Mary Ann. She surprised me. I was expecting 1:24 at the very best. She ended up with 1:20:41 - a 3 minute PR with the last PR being from Hobble Creek. This is more like an 8 minute PR for her. Living up to her last name she showered her competition with a load of hammers. I think she is beginning to realize that 2:34 marathon for her is not as crazy as it sounds. Another confirmation of my hypothesis - a runner with initial world-class Quality X, even aerobically underdeveloped, is much more easily shaped into a world-class marathoner than a runner without initial world-class Quality X.

Then took Benjamin and Jenny and ran a mile out with them in the opposite direction of the racing skipping the final loop of the course. Found a runner named Jill from Spanish Fork, and pace her to the finish including the loop. Benjamin and Jenny were having so much fun with pacing that they agreed to run the loop even though it was beyond their call-of-duty mileage. Jill finished in 1:53:04.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 10:08.

Saucony Type A Miles: 17.71
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From tarzan on Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 22:43:58

Good job, Sasha. I think I'm in shock that you actually got new shoes. :-)

From Burt on Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 23:28:18

Great job. James W and I went on a run this morning and talked about what a solid runner you are.

From snoqualmie on Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 10:58:39

Congratulations on your race! I think it must be so nice to know the people around you, good for competition and good for the social benefit. Not that you guys were chatting much, I'm sure. lol I enjoyed your report. :)

From Kelli on Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 17:36:59

We will take credit for Mary Ann's win! We made sure she got a nap on the way down, then we fed her well and let her talk and laugh to her hearts content, we shoved her in a closet to sleep, and woke her up and made sure she got to the race on time! She is an amazing runner and will do great things!

Awesome job on your race, it was fun to see all of you speedy guys (and gals) fly past us. I have always wanted to watch the winners of a race come in, so that was cool to see.

From JulieC on Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 17:38:58

Great job, once again. I didn't run the race so I was wondering where the results are posted as I tried my usual places thru the computer and coming up short. Awesome run Sasha!!! You run like the wind, FAST!!!

From Brent on Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 19:15:05

Sasha, your race reports are always a great read. I don't buy that you ever have a weak mind in a race. Your tough as nails.

Stay Kool, B of BS Rools out

From Christi on Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 23:36:11

Hi Sasha! Great job at Painter's! I saw you on the course and again at the finish. Both times I was too winded to talk- so sorry for not chatting! Good to see the blog is still going strong with good representation at the race.

From dave holt on Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 16:19:11

If all that meant that I am just not in race shape then you're right on!

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 13:32:37

Thanks Sasha for the wonderful comments on my race!! That makes me feel marvelous! Kelli, thanks so much for taking such great care of me on the trip and listening to me babble and feeding me! I do owe my PR in part to you guys. Well, if you hadn't taken me, I might not have been able to go at all so you might be completely responsible! Good job to both of you in the race!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Did not miss the 7 AM Stake Priesthood Meeting like I did the last few times, and was blessed for it - good talks.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.800.000.200.1013.10

A.M. 10.1 miles. Started with Chauncy, Daniel, Mary Ann and Jeff. Daniel and Chauncy ran 3 then turned around. Mary Ann and Jeff ran the whole 10.1. Did explosive sprints, felt a new sense of smoothness. However, did not feel the same smoothness during the post-VPB pickup. Possibly because of the cold air - it was hard to breathe. Felt it again when sprinting.

Total time - 1:16:06.

Hypothesis - for a distance runner a standing broad jump could be a fairly accurate measure of Quality X. Reasoning behind the madness - he does not have much fast twitch fiber volume, so the contribution of slow-twitch fibers will be significant. Thus broad jump performance will highly correlate to the ability to recruit slow twitch fibers. Which, given enough fuel and oxygen support, directly determines the performances in longer distances including the marathon.

The nice thing about the broad jump vs all out sprint is that it is non-invasive. You can do 5-10 jumps every day with no harm. So anyway, I decided to start testing myself on a broad jump regularly. 80 inches today.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:40, 2 with Benjamin in 17:20, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:28.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.1013.10

A.M. 10.1 miles in 1:17:07. Daniel went 3 and turned around. Jeff and Mary Ann ran full distance. Did explosive sprints.

We also did a stair sprint test before the run. The goal is to run up the stairs from our basement as fast as possible but stepping on every step. This is supposed to measure how well the brain coordinates the contract/relax muscle cycles or whatever that is really called in physiology. Results: Jeff - 2.9, Mary Ann - 3.1, Daniel and I got both 3.6.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:28, 2 with Benjamin in 16:54, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:00.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From air darkhorse on Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 15:32:18

I don't think this is a neurological issue Sasha. You outsprinted me in all but one race at the winter series last year and you had a faster cadence. Yet I have a quick but normal cadence of 90-96 cycles per minute at 5:30/mile pace.

Could this just be a simple age factor coming into play combined with years of hard racing? A similar phenomenon has occured to almost every top level elite runner at the masters level. Many of the top masters runners are those who were of the Johnnie come lately variety and with fresh legs and a fresh perspective on running. Simple seasonal layoff or dramatic cutback in volume I am confident would restore some zip back into your running. One more reason why I am not really mising the high mileage right now. Yet I am in still pretty close ton top condition.

Just a thought on this issue, Take it or leave it I suppose. Steve.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.900.000.000.2013.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:17:05. Daniel ran the first 3 with us, then turned around. Did explosive sprints, felt smooth.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:23, 2 with Benjamin in 16:42, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:03. Standing broad jump - 83 inches. Improvement from Monday.

I have a "crazy" idea. I love shocking ideas that challenge stereotypes, and make the crowd want to mock them. The reason I do is often when the crowds gets too worked up in the mockery they are proved wrong and you experience the exhilaration of a bull fighter that just stepped out of the way of a speeding bull to see the irate beast slam into a fence with full force.

So here is the "crazy" idea. If you run 90 miles a week, and marathon is your best distance, standing broad jump can very accurately predict your performance on every distance up to half-marathon, and barring fuel disasters can predict your marathon as well. In case of a fuel disaster add 10 minutes to the marathon time. But up to the half I expect the margin of error to be no more than 3%. Again, in case somebody missed it - this applies to athletes whose best event is the marathon and who run 90 miles a week or more. We are not predicting a 1:55 marathon for a thrower or power-lifter that jumps 10 feet, nor are we predicting a 2:05 marathon for a 20 miles a week high school runner that jumps 9 feet. But we might predict a sub-4:00 mile for the high schooler, though.

If the above is true, there are some interesting implications. Once you get to 90 miles a week, you should continue to run the miles, but otherwise focus on whatever it takes to improve your jump. You might have to do weights, hill sprints, intervals, or just get whipped with a twig, but the way to tell if it is effective is if it improves your jump under those conditions.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Cheryl on Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 20:05:13

A lot of times in running magazines they suggest doing broad jumps to become a stronger and/or more powerful runner. Even if you don't run 90 miles a week, do you think working on jumping would improve your running?

From crockett on Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 12:06:18

I'm skeptical because age isn't being factored in. With age, jumping is greatly reduced, and certainly speed is too, but endurance fades more slowly. At 50, I often have 90 miles per week but I can't jump with beans. In my 20s I could dunk, but now jumping as high as phone book is a challenge. But climbing hills, I'm up there with the best.

From air darkhorse on Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 14:40:49

It's not about jumping per say.. It's about muscle force contraction in a given pattern of movement. As you age, muscle mass decreases as well as recruitment. Very specific motion related training is better I believe. Lots and lots of rolling hill training over the course of a training macrocycle. Resistance while in motion, hills come closer to that thyan any other form of strength training.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 17:45:57

Davy - a world-class marathoner will run 90 miles a week AND will be a decent jumper. I am fairly certain that if they added a requirement to have a standing broad jump over 7 feet and 5 inches to the marathon OTQ standard it would produce no exclusions.

You may feel you are OK relative to the competition on hills in spite of a poor jump, but think about who you are racing. Mostly aerobically underdeveloped people. Those are aberrant creatures - they mess up the curve and disguise the truth from plain view. They make aerobically developed but neurologically deficient runners look too good. Aerobically developed slow-switch fiber dominant runners that outjump you are far ahead, you never get a chance to compare yourself with them.

Cheryl - I do not know how much broad-jumping improves the broad jump. But I am fairly certain that assuming a perfected broad-jumping technique, and assuming maximized aerobic and fuel storage development, it is not possible to improve your marathon without improving your broad jump, and it is not possible to improve your broad jump without improving the marathon.

Broad jump is an easy and fairly reliable home test of leg power. For a fast-twitch dominant person it does not mean much as far as long distance running is concerned. For a slow-twitch dominant but aerobically underdeveloped runner it means mostly potential. But for a slow-twitch aerobically developed runner with no fuel problems it means everything - it should predict his marathon.

There is a reason Russian coaches use it in fitness evaluation of distance runners.

From kelsey on Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 14:58:49

This would be a great thesis for an exercise science major. I wish I knew one here to pass it along to!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.1013.10

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Mary Ann, and Jeff. Daniel turned around at 3 miles as usual. Our time was 1:16:45. Did explosive sprints. Did not feel smooth today.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:15. Then ran with Benjamin and Jenny. We had an accident. Benjamin fell down and hurt his knee. We stood for a while trying to ice/massage it, but he still could not run on it. So Jenny and I finished 1.5 in 12:58 going back and forth on the trail, and then ran back to meet Benjamin. I ran about 200 meters carrying him on my shoulders, but he did not like all the shaking. Then we walked about a quarter, and Benjamin decided to try running. He limped a quarter in 2:12. Hopefully nothing serious with his knee.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 13.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.400.500.000.1013.00

A.M. 10 miles with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:19:59. Chauncy and Daniel joined us for the first 6. We had a singing contest. Daniel was the judge. At 6:00 pace on the first verse of Come Come Ye Saints the scores were: Jeff 8, Chauncy 6.5, myself 4.5, Mary Ann 4.5. At 8:00 pace on the first verse of There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today: Jeff 9, Chauncy 9, myself 5, Mary Ann scored 4 because she could not stop  laughing. I suppose she got too much sunshine in the soul. Which was helpful on a day like this - it rained the entire way and I earned the title of mokraya kuritsa (wet chicken) when I got home.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:23, 2 with Benjamin in 17:16, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:00.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Burt on Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 13:26:16

Singing hymns while running?? Only in Utah.

From Dallen on Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 22:16:43

Actually Sasha is capable of belting out a quality rendition of the Soviet national anthem at almost any pace. Much more entertaining than hymns.

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 13:38:34

Thanks for the cover up but really I was out of breath by the time it was my turn, and my voice is only good at rare occasions depending on my asthma. Sasha is a fun group leader! Such a funny memory!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.1010.100.000.0023.20

A.M. Ran with  Jeff, Daniel, Mary Ann, and Matt Anderson. Daniel turned around after 3, Mary Ann and Matt ran the first 10.1. Matt had run to the house from BYU and then ran back. With Matt around I took advantage of the opportunity to share my collection of math jokes. We did the first 10.1 in 1:15:22. The trail was mostly in tempo runnable condition so Jeff and I did a tempo for the remainder of the run. We just repeated our first half, except faster. The target was 1:00:00 for 10.1. Jeff acted like he had more ambitious plans, and I went along with them to the best of my ability. Our miles splits were:

 5:48, 5:52, 5:42, 5:55, 6:23 for the next 1.05 (6:05 pace, hit some serious snow), turnaround split of 29:40, then coming back 1.05 in 6:09 (5:51 pace), 5:43, 5:45, 5:52, 6:05, second half in 29:04, a slight negative split in spite of loosing steam in the last mile.

Total time for 10.1 was 59:14, 5:51.88 average. Jeff took off with 0.75 to go and finished 32 seconds faster. My legs started caving in at that point. I could still go 6:00 pace when it was flat and I did not have to worry about the footing, but uphill, bridges, snow or puddles that would not have phased me in the early section of the tempo turned out to be too much. Jeff on the other hand handled it a lot better.

Total time for 20.2 was 1:14:36.

I was curious to get some more insight on this feeling of legs caving it and I fell for the temptation to do some power tests after the run. Fortunately I did not get injured. Unfortunately I waited too long to do them, or maybe not so unfortunately. I did them about 30-40 minutes after finishing the run. With Benjamin's help I got into a chess game right after the run and did not eat anything. I normally do not do that. But I figured it was perhaps good that I did not for the scientific research purposes. Any recovery that would have happened after the run would not have been from increases in available glycogen or blood sugar. So the results:

Upstairs sprint - 3.4. That is normal, actually near record. The record is 3.3. Standing broad jump was 75 inches. The record on that surface is 83 inches. I felt most of the explosive power was back, although some was missing. I definitely was not there in the last 100 meters of the tempo. Not sure what to think of it.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:30, 2 with Benjamin in 16:43, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 12:35.


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Got some solid sleep. Went to church. Joseph had a lesson on choice and consequences. On the way to church he stepped into every puddle of water he could find. Then his feet were wet. He did not like that. Sarah went home and got him a pair of dry socks. I explained to him why his socks got wet emphasizing that you cannot choose to play in the puddles and to have dry socks at the same time. On the way back his socks stayed dry.

In the evening he read some short words - cat, bat, rat, mat, fat. Looks like he is going to be an early reader.


Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From tarzan on Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 16:13:01

maybe you should have taught him drat and brat after his earlier experiences. :)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Big group today. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, Chauncy, and Matt Anderson. The trail was slippery, so we did not go very fast. We went to Daniel and Chauncy's turnaround (3 miles), then back, then Daniel and Chauncy got off the trail with 0.46 to go, and the rest of us continued. Matt turned off to BYU about a half mile later. Jeff and Mary Ann finished 10 miles with me in 1:21:58.   Then ran with Benjamin and Jenny. Benjamin and I ran 2 miles in 19:49, Jenny ran the first 1.5 with us in 15:42.

Benjamin and I started trigonometry. We are currently working on having him pass the pre-test for BYU Math 112. During breakfast I reminded him about the factorial function, had him play around with the calculator to appreciate how fast it grows, then explained the series for the sine, cosine, and the exponential function. He was excited about the pattern. Then I decided the most natural way to teach him the derivation of the sine and cosine of the sum would be by using the Euler's formula exp(i*x) = cos(x)+i*sin(x), so we went through that decorating the white board in the play room with geek writing.

Afterwards I contemplated how nicely everything happens to work out in the world of numbers. It is not just pretty. Even though math comes from an imagination of man, there appears to be some underlying internal beauty that goes beyond man's ability to create it. How odd. Man invents a set of simple and fairly obvious rules that roughly model the world around him, and then it turns out that  those simple and obvious rules define a  beautiful world with numerous laws of its own that manage to exist in perfect harmony with each other. A mathematician begins to discover those laws rather than create them even though he starts in a world of his own imagination. The fact that this is even possible to me is plain evidence that God created our world. If He had not, math would not work. The patterns would not be there to begin with. And if we were not His children, we would not have been able to spot and abstract those patterns.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 10:23.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Amber on Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 10:31:08

Interesting ideas about math, , ,never, never, thought about it that way. Neat that all things really testify there is a God!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.280.620.000.1013.00

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Matt, Jeff, and Mary Ann. Took Daniel to 3.5 turnaround, then ran back with him until it was time to get off the trail. Matt went further with us, then turned to BYU with a mile to go.  The rest of us finished 10 miles in 1:15:02. Paced Mary Ann through 1 K in 3:37. Did explosive sprints.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:30. Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:26. 1 with Julia in 9:36.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.900.500.500.1013.00

A.M. Same group as yesterday, and same course - 10 miles. A little bit faster. 1:13:01. Did a VPB tempo alternating between 5:20 pace on clear sections and 6:00 on snow/ice. Then Mary Ann was a bit feisty and I suggested we should take the sting out of her. So we ran .5 in 2:47. Did some explosive sprinting.

Afterwards 2 with Benjamin in 17:40, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:24. 1 with Julia in 9:38.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.980.000.000.6213.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Daniel picked a bad day to not show up. He and his home teaching companion are coming over tonight. He'd better get his run done before then.

We ran 10.1 in 1:13:28. Did a fast 1 K in the middle. I wanted Jeff to run 3:05, but figured in order for that to happen I needed to tell him 3:10. We did the first quarter in 75 and that felt good. Then Jeff picked it up - 1:52 at 600. To make the matters worse, there were a couple of snow drifts in the last quarter and one of them had the nerve to cover the 800 mark. Going through the snow drifts I lost contact with Jeff, but he did not get too far away. Jeff got a high 3:03, I finished in 3:05.8. I was happy with that - it felt hard, but not too miserable, and the conditions were far from ideal - 18 F, lots of clothes, and the snow drifts. Probably worth a good 2:58 in shorts in 60 F on a clear road. Mary Ann was not supposed to run fast, but she did anyway - 3:28.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:57. 2 with Benjamin in 16:45. Jenny ran 1.5 in 12:54. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:49.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Daniel on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 15:21:37

Sorry I didn't make it this morning. Symphany was sick and up late last night, and I didn't get much sleep. I did get a run in a little later in the morning though.

From Darren232323 on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 19:06:31

Hi Sasha! Thanks for the greeting on my blog page and the marathon advice. Sounds like the weather isn't too great where you're living as well if you're jumping through snow drifts on your run.

I'm planning on a April/May 1/2 marathon. Any advice on training for a 1:24:00 time?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 12:36:34

Darren:

Drop all speed and increase the mileage to 8 a day six days a week. Easy pace, do not force it. Probably no faster than 7:30 per mile. Err on the slow side. Do it for two weeks, if that feels good, make it 9, two more weeks, then make it 10. After two weeks of 10 if everything is good add a 3 mile tempo run at 6:00 pace.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.400.500.000.1013.00

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Mary Ann, Bryce and Jeff. Daniel went 7, Bryce about 8, the rest of us 10. Total time was 1:18:01.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:50. 2 with Benjamin in 17:00. Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:00.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Salt Lake Track Club 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:21, Place overall: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.005.211.003.1118.32

A.M. Raced SLC Track Club 5 K 16:21.7, 5th place.

Warmed up with Jeff and Mary Ann on the race course at a little bit slower than 8:00 pace. Did the rest of the ritual, then the race started. Today was the debut of the new race singlet.

About 30 degrees, a little bit of a cross wind, but not too bad, clear skies, perfectly dry road. On the scale of 1 to 10 the condtions were at about 9.5 for this time of the year in that location (out in open space in the middle of nowhere about 10 miles west of the Salt Lake Airport).

Lot of trouble at the start, some of it home grown. Recongized immediately - Hobbie, Jeff, Seth, BJ,  Augustus Gray, and Fritz. In addition there were two disguised trouble-makers - Jason Shoenfeld and Andrew Hansen.

 Hobbie decided Jeff needed a new pair of shoes, so he ran the race with a 30 lb weight jacket. Hobbie just loves to be a lab rat. Thanks to him we found out today how much 21% of extra weight can slow you down in a 5 K. For the impatient, the answer is about 13%, or about 2 minutes for somebody who can run around 15 minutes.

BJ, Seth, and Jeff pulled ahead from the start. I sat in a pack with Augustus, Jason, Hobbie, and Andrew. The course was marked to near perfection. First quarter in 75, 2:32 at half mile, 3:11 at 1 K. Around this point we lost Hobbie and Augustus. Both were a surprise, I was expecting both of them to run at least 16:30. I tucked behind Jason. It felt good to be behind him, perhaps too good, but I have learned something over the years of racing. If you are drafting, do not pass until it feels dog slow. The same pace immediately behind another runner would require 5 seconds per mile harder effort upfront. If you are not ready to work 10 seconds per mile harder then better stay put. So I stayed behind Jason faithfully.

5:13 at the mile, 6:31 at 2 K. Still close enough to watch the race for first, in part thanks to a course with great visibility. BJ, Seth, and Jeff hit the mile in 4:59, BJ got dropped somehwere around 2 K, Seth and Jeff hit the turnaround in 7:50, Seth is trying to drop Jeff. 8:12 for Jason and me at the turnaround, Andrew a few steps behind. Met Mary Ann 8:32 into the race, figured she was about 40 seconds behind and would end up about 1:20 behind, but due to the race effort was not quite able to appreciate how fast she was going to run.

Andrew made a surge and passed us. The pace picked up. But soon Andrew ran out of juice and fell back. Jason is now gradually turning up the heat trying to lose me. I really liked it when were running 5:20 pace, but 5:15 feels so much harder. I am sure glad Jason is doing the work.

Too focused on racing, missed the 3 K mark. 10:36 at 2 miles, 5:23. 11:10 with a mile to go, 13:10 at 4 K. Still close enough to watch the race for first. Looks like Jeff survived Seth's surge and with a surge of his own persuaded Seth that he was the one who needed the shoes. That's the nature of racing. Many good runners, but only one pair of shoes.

13:49 with half mile to go. Looks like we will be under 16:30, maybe even under 16:25 with luck. I am wondering if I can outkick Jason, and if BJ is weak enough for us to eat him up. That would be quite a meal, he is about 6-6. Trying to not think about the fact that there is nothing good for third, and trying to also not think about the upcoming post-race tempo, just telling myself to run my guts out regardless. 15:07 with a quarter to go. Still with Jason. 15:50 at 3 miles. He seems to be struggling a bit, maybe a mental trick will work. I attempt to pass him decisively, and it works to a point, looks like he is hesitant to kick. The problem was that the pace was already so fast that I did not have much more acceleration in me. So he was able to respond and outsprint me to the finish. 16:20.6 for Jason, 16:21.7 for me.

Jeff won with 15:35.8, then Seth 15:53.0, and BJ 16:11.8. Andrew finished in 16:32.4, then Augustus 16:55.8, Hobbie 16:56.2, and Fritz 17:09.4.

Mary Ann won the race with 17:50.4, which is only 15 seconds slower than her sea-level track PR. Second place was last years St. George winner Christina Gingras with 18:34.8. Women's field was fairly strong today with the top ten under 20:00.

Jeff and I waited for Mary Ann to finish, and then 30 seconds later (18:20 into the race) started a post-race 10 K tempo. There is a saying in Russian that you are not supposed to swing your fists after the brawl is over. Well, we did anyway. Since we were not sure if the 10 K course marks from the last year would still be visible we ran the 5 K race course twice. Jason joined us.

At first we were mentally warn out from the race, and we also wanted to get to know Jason better, so we were chatting a lot. That gave us a rather odd pace - 3:57 for the first 1 K, 6:19 for the first mile, 6:14 for the second mile. After that I said in order to call it a tempo we need to pick it up, so we did. 19:03 at the 5 K (37:23 10 K from the start of the race), and then Jeff really got into it and started pushing the pace. We did the next mile in 5:47, and the 2.5 K stretch in 8:58. Then I realized it would be bad to get chicked by Mary Ann in the last 5 K and started supporting Jeff more in the pace effort. The second mile of the "don't get chicked" 5 K was 5:42. Jeff asked me how I was feeling, I told him in a manageable level of pain. He took it as a cue to speed up even more and rewarded me with a 5:34 mile. Towards the end the pace became 5:20. Jason fell back a bit in the last quarter. Total time for the "don't get chicked" 5 K was 17:37, our male dignity saved by 13 seconds. Total time for the 10 K tempo was 36:40. 55:00 from the start of the 5 K race to the finish of the tempo. Excluding the 1:59 stop that gives me 53:01 15 K.

Jogged 2 miles with Jeff while Mary Ann was getting her prize shoes at the Salt Lake Running Company.

In the evening ran with the kids. 1 mile with Julia in 9:50. 2 with Benjamin in 17:08. Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:08. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:45. 200 with Jacob in 1:59.


Saucony Type A Miles: 15.32
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Burt on Mon, Feb 02, 2009 at 12:39:56

Great race. Let's see a picture of them new shirts.

From Andrew Hansen on Mon, Feb 02, 2009 at 15:24:29

Nice website Sasha. Its fun to see your perspective on the race. I agree with your comment about drafting. I shouldn't have tried the surge. I may have been able to stick with you guys longer had I not tried that. Live and learn.

From huans32 on Mon, Feb 02, 2009 at 18:16:24

Was good to see you running at the race. I remember seeing you pass me on the loop back and cheered you guys a bit. Great report.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Had Stake Conference today. Got a new Stake President, the old one is going on a mission. Had a member of the Quorum of the Seventy Elder Mask. He happens to be a grandson of Andres Gonzalez who was the first LDS missionary from Mexico back in 1910. Elder Mask told us about how his grandfather got called to go on a mission soon after he got married. He had to walk 24 days to get to the mission field. During the mission he and his companion were about to be executed by a firing squad, but they managed to talk their way out of it by bearing their testimony and telling the soldiers they had an important message for the new president of the federal government. They got to see the president, and they got along with him well enough to be able to ensure the safety of the missionaries in Mexico.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.900.000.000.1013.00

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Matt, and Mary Ann. Jeff slept in, will run in the afternoon. We ran 7 together, then dropped off Daniel, ran another mile and then Matt needed to turn towards BYU. So I stayed on the trail, and Matt and Mary Ann ran towards BYU with the expectation to flirt. Total of 10 miles in 1:16:39. Interestingly enough, add another hour and you get Hobbie's marathon PR.

Did explosive sprints. I think they have done some magic in the last month. On December 31 I raced a 5 K in 17:03 on a course and under the conditions very similar to the one last Saturday. The only  difference I would consider material is that I ran the first one alone and the one last Saturday drafting. But I do not think I could draft up 42 seconds. Maybe 20. The other 20 I think are a legitimate improvement in fitness.

The feeling in the 5 K on Saturday was also very different compared to the 5 K a month ago and the half-marathon two weeks ago. I felt some power in the legs, they were not caving. That is why I think I was able to negative split the race. I have never been able to negative split a 5 K before, the race is just so fast that my legs get too tired to run the last mile any faster than the average pace.

That gets me thinking. In 2005 I worked a lot on explosive power. Then I did an 800 meter time trial (in 2:14), and I was able to even split it. Makes me wonder if the explosive power for a distance runner correlates with the ability to finish strong, and I am not talking about the kick, but the entire second half of the race.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:44. Then ran with Benjamin and Jenny. We did a warm-up of 0.5 in 4:22, then ran fast. Jenny went the first quarter with us, Benjamin and I ran 0.5 hard then jogged and waited for Jenny. Then we jogged to the finish of Jenny's 1.5 - her time was 12:58. Benjamin and I finished his 2 miles, his total time was 15:57. Jenny's quarter was around 1:41, Benjamin's half mile was 3:11.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From paul on Mon, Feb 02, 2009 at 15:44:37

Wouldn't "explosive power" correlate well to anaerobic and V02Max conditioning? Seems like those would be need to close well in a 5K or 10K, perhaps half marathon too.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Feb 02, 2009 at 16:42:09

There are a number of aspects involved in being able to close strong. The muscle fiber needs to be structurally intact, there has to be enough fuel, and the nervous system has to cooperate. I believe the explosive power training improves the nervous system aspect, which is critical for a runner who is aerobically developed. He can bring in plenty of oxygen to run aerobically at very high intensities, but the nervous system may get tired of firing so hard for so long.

The way explosive training can overcome it - when high force production is required even for a very brief period of time, the fibers have to learn to fire more in sync, they cannot slouch around anymore, they become more obedient. Even though we think of explosive training in terms of fast twitch fibers and anaerobic energy mechanism, if 80% of your muscle is made of slow-twitch fibers, and you are trying to produce maximum force you will learn how to recruit your slow twitch fibers efficiently because they will due to their sheer number have to contribute a lion's share of the force. Since it is more of a matter of skill than fitness, you need to do it for a very short period of time, as soon as you stop doing it right you need to stop, and try again when you are ready.

There is also a fitness aspect involved. When a fiber is hypertrophied each contraction produces more power. Thus to run the same pace you need to hit fewer motor units per second. If the nervous system is getting fatigued, this could be helpful.

From the above, it sounds like the solution is simple - weight training or hills. But it is not that simple. Improper weight training can cause a motor unit firing coordination discord, so you become very good at one particular weight lifting exercise but not any better at running. To get an idea of this discord - try running sub-5:00 pace immediately after riding a bike for 5 miles up hill. Running uphill can overload the nervous system so the number of motor units per second it can fire goes down. So your individual fibers get stronger, but you are running slower.

It is a tricky balance game. All I can say after struggling to understand this for the last 24 years is that God made this all and man has no chance of figuring out how to use it unless he humbles himself and asks of God.

From paul on Mon, Feb 02, 2009 at 17:10:40

I don't have the attention span to read all that, so I'll just assume that you agree with me.

From seeaprilrun on Mon, Feb 02, 2009 at 21:29:04

I have read some articles in the most recent version of Running Times as well as some online articles about "explosive" training for distance runners and pylometrics. The drills that have been described are similar to what you are doing and they had some interesting scientific evidence to support it. It sounds like you are really on to something.

From Leandra on Tue, Feb 03, 2009 at 12:06:29

Thanks for the welcome on my blog. I'm very impressed with your running abilities. Good luck with your goals as well!

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 13:22:22

Hope this doesn't scare off any other guys! I'm embarrassed :) I just didn't want to run alone. You're funny Sasha!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.650.250.000.1013.00

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Jeff, and Mary Ann. 10 miles in 1:14:31. Did explosions, and picked it up a bit in the last quarter to 5:50 pace. We dropped off Daniel at 6.5. Soon after we ran into Tommy Gruenewald, a BYU runner. He joined us for about a mile. He was wearing sweat pants and a ski jacket, and did not look like a guy that could run 8:21 3000 at all judging by his clothes. I love it when fast runners dress down. One time Bill Rogers hammered out a 20 mile race at around 5:00 per mile wearing jeans and tennis shoes, I think. It was back in the day when sponsorships were hard to find, and he was too poor to afford more traditional running apparel.

This also reminds me of an experience of my own. On July 24th, 2003 I was headed to the start of the Deseret News Marathon. Half way through I realized that I had left my racing flats at the house. The only shoes I had were a 13 oz pair that I got from a gift certificate to the Riverwoods Mall won in the 10 miler two years earlier. Those were the closest to running shoes you could find at that store. I tried running in them, but pretty soon they were relegated to the walking shoe status due to their heavy weight and general awkwardness. I was not even thinking of running a race in them as a possibility.  So I tried to call a couple of friends to see if I could borrow their racing flats, but nobody was awake at that early hour. I said a silent prayer, and in response heard a gentle answer:

Run in the shoes you have, it is not the shoe that makes the runner.

So I did. I ended up with 2:34:48, which was a course PR by 2:27, and the second fastest marathon I had run to that point. It was a PR equivalent considering the nature of the course.

I learned something. What matters the most in running is the fitness. Fitness, unlike beauty, is not skin-deep. It is in the muscles, the heart, the lungs, the bones, the nerves, the brain, the liver, the glands, and other numerous organs, most of which are internal. It cannot be bought, it has to be earned.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:09. 2 with Benjamin in 17:14. Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:24.


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From air darkhorse on Wed, Feb 04, 2009 at 15:26:11

Good thoughts, Yes, true fitness is paid for with hard sweat for currency.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.000.000.1013.60

A.M. Ran early with Jeff. 10.1 in  1:22:09. Did the explosions. Talked about computers. It was a surreal feeling - I felt like I was sitting down at a desk explaining something. Well given a slower than 8:00 average on a course with near perfect traction my perception was perhaps not too far away from reality.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:44 including 0.5 in 3:04. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:11. Julia ran a mile with us in 9:13.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.100.000.300.1013.50

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Dropped off Daniel and Mary Ann around 6.5. Mary Ann ran less today because she wanted to run a race at UVU later. Jeff and I finished 10 in 1:17:56. We did explosions, and I also did a 0.3 post VPB tempo at 5:30 pace.

Jeff and I discussed the importance of maximum leg power in the ability to negative split. My theory. Suppose you have two runners one named Powerhouse and the other Aerobic Animal. The Powerhouse is so strong he can run the same pace as the Aerobic Animal applying only 70% of his maximum force while the Aerobic Animal has to apply 80% of his maximum force. Both run at the same VO2 at that pace. The Powerhouse cannot go faster aerobically because he cannot bring in more oxygen. The Aerobic Animal cannot go faster aerobically because of neuro-muscular issues.

My prediction is that during the first half of a long race (5 K or longer), the Powerhouse and the Aerobic Animal will run alongside with equal degree of comfort. Then the Powerhouse will gradually pull away in the second half. Why? The Aerobic Animal will get tired for running at 80% of his maximum force for neuro-muscular reasons, and would have to slow down.  The Powerhouse was running only at 70%, he might not have any more oxygen, but he can keep the pace, and then even increase it in the last 2 minutes since he can afford to go into oxygen debt at that point, and his muscles can use that debt.

Ran 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:27 after finishing with Jeff.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:07. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 9:09.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From air darkhorse on Fri, Feb 06, 2009 at 12:34:00

That kind of ability is one of the reasons why women of similar VO2 max values do not run as fast as men generally. A prime example is Joan Benoit Samuelson with a VO2 max similar to Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers. Another example would be Paula Radcliffe. The overall strength just isn't there quite as much.

Generally speaking those who are predominant red aerobic fibers don't have the ability to produce as much force as those who are white fiber dominated such as sprinters. However, many milers and a number of East African distance runners have a preponderance of type 2a fiber which is a form of fiber that gets the best of both worlds. I could be wrong on the specific type though. Needless to say however it does exist and is a prime example of what you may call the powerhouse animal. Just my two cents..

From Cheryl on Fri, Feb 06, 2009 at 14:20:01

OK, how do you get this "maximum leg power?" Any exercises we can do that help develop it?

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Feb 07, 2009 at 12:18:38

That is a big mystery. Sometimes hill running, sprints, jumps, weights, etc, can work. Sometimes they do not. The trick is to find the type of exercise, the exact frequency and duration that is right for the individual. A distance runner can easily overdo in this department because he never gets the usual distance running signals of fatigue when his nervous system is worn out.

From air darkhorse on Sat, Feb 07, 2009 at 15:43:31

I'm intrigued by Hobie's weight vest.. Maybe training with it as a form of resistance? But then again why not just run faster up and down hills?

From Steve P on Sat, Feb 07, 2009 at 15:45:38

I've gotten stronger (and heavier) since my peak running days, so maybe I can use that to my advantage afterall...but of course that will require some good conditioning and less body fat.

From air darkhorse on Sat, Feb 07, 2009 at 15:49:11

Cheryl-Unfortunately, You can only improve what God has given you to work with. So much is genetically determined in my opinion. NO amount of training will ever make me run like Haile Gebriselassie unfortunately. But I feel blessed to have what I was given and will make the most of it anyway I can.

From air darkhorse on Sat, Feb 07, 2009 at 15:52:51

Yes, you can most definitely. Just don't deny body what it needs to get to that level of body fat. I have seen a few good runners go out of whack hormonally because they starve themselves in the process.

From Steve P on Sun, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:14:17

Thanks. Trust me, I'm in no danger of starving myself. I like food too much for that. Hopefully as I add miles over the course of months, I will become more lean in a healthy way.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Feb 09, 2009 at 19:22:05

Steve - do not be too quick to say never. I would agree that no amount of currently practiced training methodologies could get you to run a sub 59:00 half. But there might be something we do not know about. You might be connecting two wires away from a sub-59:00 half. An argument for that - Sarah looked at a picture of Ryan Hall finishing 59:43 half and said - is that Steve? Runners of your build have run world-class times.

The fundamental problem for this type of runner is somewhere in the internal wiring. It is a matter of knowing where those wires are and how to connect them. But we know so little about those wires.

From Cheryl on Mon, Feb 09, 2009 at 22:07:42

Yes, Steve, you are a lot closer to Haile than I am to Paula Radcliffe.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.400.1013.50

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Matt, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Usual route and drop off points. Did a 0.4 post-VPB tempo at 5:20 pace. Did explosions. It rained, I was soaked when I came home. Total time for 10 miles was 1:16:11.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:27. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:26. Julia ran 1 mile with us in 9:20. 

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Fast Running Blog February 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:34:55, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.892.002.611.5024.00

A.M. Ran 10.1 with Jeff in 1:22:39. Daniel ran the first 2 miles with us, then turned around. Helped Mary Ann set up the race course. The trail was very slippery, but then the ice melted when we were coming back. 2 more with Sarah at home in 21:25. Then ran to the start of the race, about 1.2 miles. 

In the 10 K I hoped to relax and coast through it in about 36:00 or a little under if I felt like closing strong. However, the 5 K started at a faster pace than I anticipated, and I did not want to get dropped by the 5 K runners. So I figured, let's have some fun. After the half in 2:39 we still had a pack. Then it was just Bryce. I figured I'd run 5:20 to the 5 K turnaround, then take it easy. Bryce fell back. I hit 1.5 miles in 8:00, 8:18 at 2.5 K, and took my foot off the gas pedal immediately.

Then I noticed that Bryce did not turn around and was in the 10 K. So I realized I would have to run pretty hard the whole way. I did a couple of 87 quarters to rest, then sped up to 86. That felt hard, but doable. Ran like that pretty much the rest of the race, sped up a little bit in the last mile to dip under 35:00. The first 5 K was 17:13 (8:55), then 26:11 at 7.5 K (8:58), and 8:44 for the last 2.5 K. Second 5 K in 17:42. Bryce finished in 36:45.

Ran back to the house with Daniel.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:25. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:40. Julia ran a mile with us in 9:39.


Saucony Type A Miles: 20.60
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From MichelleL on Mon, Feb 09, 2009 at 18:17:35

Nice job, especially with not as much competition and not so great conditions.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Feb 09, 2009 at 19:10:03

Michelle:

Cannot complain about conditions too much other than it was a little windy. The trail traction was perfect by the time of the race. However, I'll take the complement since I was running this from mile 13 to mile 19 for the day.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.1013.10

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Matt, and Mary Ann. Usual deal, except Daniel is now up to 8 miles. And he ran a 17:44 5 K earlier thanks to the increase in mileage. That is his 5 K PR since I've known him.

After Daniel got off the trail I ran some more with Matt and Mary Ann. Then Matt and Mary Ann ran in the direction of BYU, and I stayed on the trail. Due to the extra mile on Daniel's part I miscalculated the turnaround and went about 0.1 further, which is OK. 

Did explosions as usual. Finished with 1:18:53 for 10.1.

Then added 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:38. Did an explosive game with him as well. He was the antelope and I was the cheetah. Once in a while I'd give him a 2-3 second warning to run away from the cheetah. Then I'd sprint until I caught him.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:57. Jenny ran 2 miles with Sarah in 19:26.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From kelsey on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 16:41:13

Hey Sasha- I was watching Oprah today and they were talking about a pill that's coming out to increase the mitochondria in people so they can lose weight. The doctor on the show didn't recommend the pill because it is in it's early stages and has so far only shown improvements in mice, not humans. But he explained the science behind it and it was pretty interesting and I thought you would like it. So I found this article on the importance of mitochondria for athletes and how they can improve their amounts (specifically focusing on cyclists). Basically I think it says you have to push past your VO2 max level during some workouts in order to increase mitochondria, and increasing them increases your endurance and ability to hold a faster pace for a longer time.

I guess it's kind of the same idea behind most training programs- you push harder you get better- but I thought the science was neat and thought you might agree!

http://www.biketechreview.com/performance/mitochondria.htm

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.400.000.000.0013.40

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Pretty much the same run as yesterday except it was too slippery for the explosions. 10 miles in 1:18:30. Afterwards a mile with Julia in 10:27.

P.M. 2.4 with Benjamin and Jenny. Benjamin actually ran only 2. Jenny ran the whole 2.4.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 11.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From RivertonPaul on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 20:42:19

Odgen Marathon says it is sold out. That is a bummer for many of us.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 20:48:05

This is definitely not a bummer for Hyrum. Come run his marathon - Utah Valley.

From RivertonPaul on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 20:51:44

I as going to run Utah Valley as part of the Slam, but now there will be little incentive for other people to sign up for Utah Valley as part of the Slam since they are already precluded from completing it competitively, so it actually may hurt Utah Valley. Just a FYI. Appreciate your blog.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.900.000.000.1014.00

A.M. Big group today. Chauncy, Mary Ann, Jeff, Daniel, and Matt. Our usual route. Total of 10 miles in 1:18:30. Did explosions. Then 2 with Benjamin in 17:20.

P.M.  2 with Jenny in 19:30. Julia ran a mile with us in 9:14. Jenny was not feeling well, so Julia actually dropped Jenny, and then I waited for Jenny at the mile.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.150.000.000.0013.15

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Jeff is learning Linux so we had an on-the-run computer class. 10.15 miles in 1:20:40. Later ran 2 with Benjamin in 15:52. Too slippery to do explosions, but Benjamin managed to run the last mile in 7:21 anyway.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:42. Jenny ran 2 miles with Sarah.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Nevels on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:48:18

Linux, huh...I'm working with a modeling software in Linux that keeps spitting out error(174) SIGSEGV, and contrary to what I initially thought, it is not due to a lack of memory. Any ideas?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:28:16

SIGSEGV is segmentation fault. It means the program tried to write do an unallocated address. E.g code like this:

char* p; *p = 0; will segfault.

You can actually get that from being low on memory because Linux kernel overcommits. When you allocate a buffer, but do not initialize it, it will not actually allocate any pages until you access them. So if you you allocate a large buffer, and then wait for some time to use it, you could very well get a SEGFAULT when you actually access the memory, the kernel tried to give you a physical page, but there are no free pages.

You can also get it if you hit a stack overflow - excessively deep recursion or local functions having very large local variables, or allocating large chucks with alloca().

But very often SIGSEGV comes from just an honest bug.

You can try loading it in gdb to see where it segfaults. You can also try strace to see if there is any pattern of system calls. Note that in strace you will see memory allocated with pbrk(), which is an obscure syscall that is called from under malloc(). strace can also help you track down the files that your program is trying to open. Sometimes programs crash when they cannot find a certain config file in the right place.

From Nevels on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:35:09

Cool.

That is actually a much better explanation than any I've found online, so thanks. I'll try locating where it segfaults in the model. I got a version of the model to run, but it appears to be much larger than it should be, so I'll have to investigate that further as well. Again, thanks for the advice.

-Nevels

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran 10 miles with the usual crowd in 1:20:40. Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:26.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:09. Julia had a fever, did not run.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: SLC Track Club 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:37:46, Place overall: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.400.006.210.0011.61

A.M. Ran the SLC Track Club 10 K. 37:46, 5th place. I've run in training in worse conditions (for speed), but never in a race. The entire course was covered with snow. On the way out I could run more or less normal pace. But then on the way back we got a strong headwind, and on top of that, the road became more slippery.

I  also  had a cold, but no fever. Not sure how much it affected me. Probably 20-30 seconds.

Went through the first mile in 5:27 in a pack with Jeff, Seth, Brian Summers, and James Moore from the blog. At that point we did have some traction as evidenced by the time. Then around 1.25 the pace felt too fast, and I decided to back off. In restrospect this was a mistake. The lack of traction eventually became my number one limiting factor. So the right way to run would have been to run my guts out from the start, and then do my best once the slippage became the main problem. This would have been effective because the fatigue from the early aggressive pace would not have been sufficient to make it impossible to run the fastest the friction would permit.

Unfortunately today I became painfully aware of the formula F = k*P, where F is the maximum achievable friction force, P is the ground contact force, and k is the friction coefficient that is dependent only on the properties of the surfaces in contact. With that in mind my strength became my weakness. A runner needs to put a decent amount of P into the ground to get a forward propulsion force. Over the years I happen to have learned how to get a decent amount of forward propulsion  with a very low value of P. This is very good. It helps me do well in long races and not get injured. However, today was a bad day for low values of P. k started out small and kept getting smaller. Eventually the forward propulsion force began to be limited by friction.

My second mile was 5:39, and I was actually quite happy. The pack was about 10 seconds away. 5:48 for the third mile, not stellar, but respectable for the conditions. 17:34 at the 5 K, 17:06 for the leaders, they are still together.

And then the surprise came. Quite a headwind. However, I would have taken double that any day if only I could have decent traction. My next mile was 6:32. I would have normally blamed this on the misplaced mile markers. But I knew they were in the right place because I had checked them going the other way. So I doublechecked the math instead. I never make time calculation mistakes during a race, calculating a split is second nature to me, as easy as noticing the color of the shirt of my competors. But the split was so off the wall today that I had to double check, and sure enough it was right.

Mile 5 - a glorious split of 6:34. Beautiful. Minus the cold, I am feeling great, though. OK, last mile, lets see if I can reel somebody it. Not with a 6:28 mile, though. I do not know how Jeff and Seth maganged to run it in 5:35. Their values of P must be quite a bit higher than mine, that makes sense given Seth's great performance on Ragnar.

Glorious closing 5 K of 20:12. After opening in 17:34 that did not hurt too bad I never thought I'd be closing that slow in the most pessimistic analysis. Live and Learn.

Seth won with 35:12, then Jeff 35:14, James 35:35 (I think), and Brian 36:30.

Mary Ann ran a very solid 38:53 going through the 5 K in 18:36. Second 5 K was rather bogus for everybody due to the traction and the headwind. But the first one shows she is capable of sub-36:00 on that course in good conditions.

Cooled down 2 miles.

P.M. Just to be cautions and not make the cold worse I did not run. The kids ran with Sarah.




Saucony Type A Miles: 11.61
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Burt on Sat, Feb 14, 2009 at 19:00:02

Throw down on the Physics 101! Nice race. Heard about the surprise headwind.

From huans32 on Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 00:44:06

Great report Sasha. Was nice to chat with you for a few moments after there race. I enjoy all the details of your race. I got to get one of the blog singlets. They will be nice in the summer for sure.

From Dallen on Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 14:57:01

My guess is that you could have benefitted from some different shoes. I assume you ran with the T4's or the Five fingers and neither of those have any traction.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 12:38:41

Dallen:

I ran in Saucony Type A with less than 80 miles on them at the start of the race.

Mark - are you going to be at the 15 K? If yes, I can bring the shirt for you.

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 13:16:26

Thanks for the nice comments about my race Sasha!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Our family has been hit with a cold. Stayed in bed most of the day. Made it to the sacrament meeting in another ward, so that I could stay home with the sick kids during our block while Sarah went to church. She felt good enough to go.

Started feeling better in the evening after some salt water gargling, garlic chewing, and horseradish sniffing and swallowing. Remembered a Russian saying that horseradish is no sweeter than radish. I'll tell you that for sure.

Benjamin is growing up to be my son. I convinced him to try my horseradish treatment before he went to bed. His immediate comment was that there would be no way in the world he would do it again, but then in the next instant he opened the fridge, pulled out a piece of garlic and started sucking on it. I suppose garlic tastes like candy after horseradish.

Night Sleep Time: 10.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 12.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.004.00

A.M. Felt better this morning, but still not 100%. Thought 4 miles would be a good idea. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Felt better than I expected, but decided to err on the side of caution anyway. Total time was 34:33. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From tarzan on Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 14:21:24

Sorry to hear you are all sick. I'm impressed - I never thought you took it 'easy'.

From susan on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 12:01:07

Maybe this will be a good time for me to go running with your guys. Your worst run would be my best (yeah right in my dreams). I did want to see if you guys were meeting tomorrow and if it would be ok if I tagged along. I may not talk much (out of breath) but I will try to keep up. 7:30 am right? your house? address?. I know it is somewhere on this blog but I am now sure where. I just wanted to double check otherwise I will get up and do an early one. I will probably have to go at the drop off point that way you guys can cruise without me plus I don't want to over do it.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 16:39:37

Susan:

339 N 1120 W in Provo, 7:00 AM Mon-Sat. Call 801-788-4608 if you need directions. Just about any day is good. We hardly ever have a day when we do not run slow for at least 5 miles, and we do not care how slow to a point. If it is faster than 8:30 that is good enough. Sometimes faster than 9:00 is good enough. Tomorrow will be an exception - we will warm-up a mile and then see how far Mary Ann can run at 6:20 pace.

From Susan on Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 22:55:42

Alright it looks like I am set for tomorrow (Saturday) for a long run but I will try you guys again here soon. I will let you know before hand when I am coming. I would love to do the 6:20 thing even if I only lasted 2 miles but that is my goal time for my 5ks so maybe one of these days...I will join you for something like that too. Thanks see you guys soon.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
3.500.000.000.003.50

In the morning the fever was still around 100, so I rested. It dropped to 98.9, and I felt like I wanted jog a little bit to breathe some fresh air. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:07, and then 3 alone in 21:29.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

Felt solid in the morning even though an earache kept me up most of the night. Had the blood coming out of my nose, there was some kind of bleeding going on as well. Felt thirsty all night, had to get up to go to the bathroom, but then was so thirsty I had to drink, but then that would lead to another bathroom trip. Why can't the body just use the water I give it, or at least not dump it so fast?

Figured since there was some serious dehyrdation going on I'd better take a bottle with me on a run. Was not sure if I was going 2 miles or more. Surprisingly felt good the whole way. Used the bottle only once. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, Chauncy and Mary Ann.

Felt good after the run too, and got too excited. Did too many things, and the fever was back by the evening. So the kids had to run by themselves around the block. Benjamin and Julia ran 1.05 in 12:13.


Saucony Type A Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 2.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 2.00
Comments
From TylerS on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 21:37:07

I hope that you and the rest of the family gets feeling better. When I was growing up, if we got sore throats my mom would get garlic and put it in hot water and make us gargle it. It seemed to help, but I hated smelling like garlic all day.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
3.000.000.000.003.00

The first part of the night was rough. Kept going to the bathroom, felt thirsty, drank, the cycle repeats. Fortunately the earache subsided and I was able to sleep in between bathroom trips. Decided to start the day easy, sleep in, and not run in the morning.

Felt better in the evening, not 100%, but good enough to run the kid's pace for a little bit. And I had been inside for long enough to want some fresh air. So I ran a mile with Julia in 10:07, another with Jenny in 10:29, and one more with Benjamin in 9:07.

Night Sleep Time: 10.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 12.00
Comments
From Marion on Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 15:35:01

Glad you are feeling better. Be careful, there seems to be a fine line between enough exercise and too much when ill. Luz and I are doing the Provo River trail on Saturday, 10 min to mile failure. I am hoping to make at least 7 miles at that pace. Having Luz there should help with that. Maybe we'll see you on the trail :) HEy- I owe you $8 for a FRB tank top. I went to my car to get the $$ at the race and got distracted and forgot. :( I'll bring it by sat or pop it in the mail if I forget.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.800.300.000.0010.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Matt, and Mary Ann. The night before was the best I've had this week. I was able to sleep through the ear infection pain since it is reduced, and did not get up to go to the bathroom as much. Did not talk much during the run because talking made me cough. Ran with a bottle just in case but did not use. Noticed an increase in aerobic capacity compared to Wednesday. On Wednesday I was huffing and puffing at 6:20 pace during the post-VPB tempo. Today I averaged 5:52 pace for 600 meters, around 5:40 towards the end, and I did not feel as challenged in the way of breathing. Probably has something to do with all the bleeding on Wednesday that has mostly stopped by now.

10.1 miles total in 1:14:23.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From air darkhorse on Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 17:14:34

Boy Sasha, You sure get some nasty bugs at times!

From Burt on Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 01:27:07

Your last week's worth of reports does not sound fun.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.006.250.000.0011.25

A.M. The ear infection has subsided some, but is still there. Decided to just go ahead and run through it. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. The plan was to pace Mary Ann through a long tempo at 6:20 pace until failure or until 20 miles was reached. This is a solid pace for a girl - 2:46:03 marathon, an OTQ. And we are also doing it at altitude on an out-and-back course.

To avoid overstressing the body I went only 6.25 with them. Daniel stopped at the same place as well. Our split was  39:13, which is 6:16 average. Then Daniel and I ran back to the house.

Mary Ann made it to 15 miles on pace with one stop at 10 to eat some snow. We will work on better hydration techiniques.

P.M. 1 mile with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia in 9:58.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Ear infection still there. Attacking it with garlic in the ear. This seems to relieve the pain enough to be able to function. The pressure is also gradually reducing.

Went to church. Taught a lesson on adversity in the Elder's Quorum. No, it was not planned that way by the leadership - the lesson schedule was prepared a long time in advance.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Lucia on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:42:32

I'm curious about this lesson on adversity... can it be summarized in a paragraph or two? Is it going to help me figure out why I get injuries and accidents so much? :)

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:00:03

Lucia:

Short summary: Keep your faith in God strong even when things do not go right.

Full text of the lesson:

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=da135f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&&sourceId=7148b00367c45110VgnVCM100000176f620a____

From Dallen on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 19:00:04 from 76.200.65.22

You're seriously putting garlic in your ear. I've never heard of that one. I suppose it can't hurt, and might help, although I assume that the infection is on the inside of your eardrum and the garlic is on the outside.

Next time you should probably just get some real antibiotics. A lot less suffering and less effect on the training.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.600.000.600.0011.20

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Matt, and Mary Ann. Still have the ear infection, although it is slowly improving. At least I can run through it. 10.1 miles in 1:14:13. Did some post-VPB tempos. A quarter in 82, and another quarter in 86. Those felt hard. The body produced a lot of mucus during the run. When I finished, my last words were: "7 tomorrow, Jeff, Hello world" and I went off to cough. In  full sentences, "We'll meet again at 7:00 AM tomorrow, and Jeff, remember your programming assignment to write  the Hello World  in several different languages."

P.M. 1 mile with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia in 9:41. Actually Benjamin, Jenny, and I turned around a bit later and then caught Julia, so we went about 1.1 in that amount of time.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 4.00
Comments
From Lybi on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 23:01:08 from 70.190.199.29

Oh man, I'm so sorry you've been so sick! How do you get garlic in your ear? Sounds like something my little boys would do.

I've had good luck with ear infections putting a little bit of an antibiotic essential oil--like clove oil or oregano oil in olive oil and putting a drop of that mixture in the ear canal. Jeez, add a little tomato, and with the garlic you'd smell like a pizza! Could be worse, I guess. Hope you feel all the way better soon!

And nice run!

From The Howling Commando on Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:05:29 from 72.224.24.41

Hey Sasha Hope you're feeling better than last week!! Just wondering if anyone else has had problems accessing comments. It seems to not show comments on blogs so you don't know you have a comment unless you hit "Add Comment"

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 13:04:23 from 69.169.154.6

Benn:

Thanks for spotting the problem. I have fixed it.

From paul on Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 13:10:06 from 65.103.252.214

I like the addition of IP address to the blog comments. Now I can find my computer if I lose it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.300.1013.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. 10.1 in 1:12:57. Daniel turned around at 4. Still have the ear infection, but felt better. Ran 1:43 for 500 during the post VPB tempo. Did explosions for the first time since getting sick.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:50. 1 with Jenny and Julia in 9:52.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.400.000.300.1013.80

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Daniel turned around at 4. Did a post-VPB tempo - 500 in 1:43. That is an improvement. Did explosive sprints. 10.1 in 1:17:16.

P.M-1. About 0.5 from parking the car.

P.M-2. 2 with Benjamin in 15:32. 1 with Jenny and Julia in 9:42. 0.2 with Joseph.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 11:39:21 from 71.219.82.165

Hey Sasha! Guess what! On my long run last Sat I think my 5K was about 19:26, and my 10K was about 38:54! That means it was the same as my recent PR! And it wasn't even all out!! Then my 15K was about 58:28. I wasn't going all out and was dehydrated, so I'm excited about this weekend. Maybe I should keep my pace even like on that long run, since it's such a long race? Anyways, I'm excited and hope there is good weather!!!

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 13:13:26 from 71.219.82.165

Oh, actually, I was just thinking and thought I should calculate my 10K and 15K splits from the 1/2 marathon and discovered that I actually have P.R.s for both from that race! 10K was about 37:11, and 15K was about 56:33!! Of course it was lower elevation, but it was only part way through a race!

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 13:55:24 from 71.219.82.165

Oh, and is the name of the gal we ran with today Susan Chapman?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.300.1013.10

A.M. Same run as yesterday, same partners. Again, could not do it without a VPB. Ran 500 in 1:38 (5:13 pace) to catch up. Felt better, although still not 100%. Did explosions. 10.1 miles in 1:16:47.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From paul on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 16:15:12 from 65.103.252.214

the phrases "VPB" and "did explosions" should not be so close together.

From Lybi on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 14:50:45 from 70.190.199.29

Bwahaha! I was thinking the same thing, Paul.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.600.000.000.5013.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann and Susan. 10.1 miles in 1:21:47. Post-VPB tempo - 600 meters in 1:57, 5:12 pace. Felt better than yesterday. I've been getting stronger every day. However, I am still not that certain what is going to happen in the 15 K. There is a big difference between feeling good at 5:12 pace for 600 meters and feeling good at 5:25 pace for 9 miles. I guess we'll see.

Did explosions.

P.M. Had a funny indicent. This lady with odd colored hair in running apparel shows up by our house right when Benjamin and I are getting ready for a run. She acts like I am supposed to know her. I am thinking she is in our ward, but I cannot think of anybody in our ward that looks like that. Then she asks me if she could use our bathroom, and this finally helps me connect the dots and figure out that this is Michelle. I have forgotten that she dyed her hair.

She ran a bit less than a mile with us and then turned off to her car. Benjamin and I finished 2 miles in 14:45. Then I ran another mile with Jenny and Julia in 9:15.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: SLC Track Club 15 K (9.321 Miles) 00:54:39, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.749.320.100.0016.16

A.M. Ran the SLC Track Club 15 K in 54:39. Did not realize how much the ear infection had knocked me out. Was also surprised by the pattern of slowdown.Life is full of surprises, I suppose.

Warmed up with Jeff and Steve for about 3.4. Did one stride for 0.1, and then the race started.

We had a nice group in the first mile - in addition to myself Jeff, James Moore (Fiddy), Seth, Steve, Fritz, and Bryce. First mile was 5:35 and it interesting. Definitely sustainable, but with a twist. Perhaps the twist was what made it unsustainable. The breathing made my ear feel like it was being hosed down with water. This is not necessarily an unpleasant feeling, but it is distracting when you are trying to run hard. I managed to run the next mile in 5:33. By that time the pack split and Bryce and I got dropped.

I got behind Bryce and felt good. I thought I'd be able to stay behind him for a while, and then pull away. We made it to 3 miles in 16:52. Now that was interesting - 5:44 mile and it did not feel any slower than the second mile. I had started to feel the legs caving a bit. 17:29 at the 5 K. Pretty soon even that slow pace was not sustainable. I slowed down to 6:00 mile for mile 4, 22:52 at 4 miles. At this point I began to have second thoughts about entering the race and the effect of running so hard on my health. But by that point I was almost exactly half way out and the only way to get back was to run. I considered slowing down and waiting for Mary Ann to catch up, but then I was not sure with the way the things were going if I'd even be able to keep up.

26:53 at the turnaround, 28:56 at 5 miles, 6:04. My fears of the worst started to leave. I knew that my health was good enough to keep running, and I began to feel the strength in the body telling me that if I kept running to the finish my health would not be damaged. Next mile in 5:55, 36:07 at the 10 K. My spirits cheered up a bit. 5 K in 18:38 at a fairly even pace. I knew I could run around 6:00 pace to the finish. Normally this would be little consolation. But after experiencing the fear that I might not make it to the finish at all, I was thankful for this measure of strength.

I was happy about hitting a 10 K in 36:07 en route in this condition. With that, however, I realized that had the race been only 10 K I would not have run it much faster. For some odd reason I was stuck in 6:00 gear and could not go any faster. I could not understand why, either. Nothing really hurt. I was not breathing very hard anymore. Perhaps the body decided to control the breathing to avoid the ear discomfort.

So I coasted at that pace to the finish. Last 5 K in 18:32. Jeff met me with about a quarter to go, and I actually was conversational enough to ask him who had won. My last quarter was 1:29. I tried to kick but could not.  Yet I felt I could have gone further. Odd. Do not know how to explain it. Maybe some governor in the ear. Could a minor irritation or compression of the vestibular nerve act as this kind of governor? Is it possible to have vestibular nerve irritation with no obvious balance function disruptions?

So this race was definitely a learning experience.

Seth won with 49:04, then Jeff 49:12, Fritz a high 51, great performance, then Steve 52:10, James 52:26. Bryce was not officially in the race. His time was 53:00. Mary Ann ran 55:42 well ahead of the competition.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:40, 1 with Jenny and Julia in 10:16, 0.34 with Joseph in 3:48.

Saucony Type A Miles: 12.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Jon on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 19:08:18 from 75.169.139.171

Sasha- your race description is exactly how I felt last week at the Striders 10k, after being very sick the week before. Even after we are mostly recovered from the illness, I think our bodies are much weaker than we realize. We can run at a moderate pace and it doesn't feel excessively hard, but we just cannot go any faster. Afterwards, though, we feel like we could have kept going at the same pace. Kind of frustrating, but not much we can do. I don't think it's related to any nerves in your ear, just to being sick in general.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 20:03:30 from 69.169.154.6

Jon - makes sense. On Dec 16, 2005 I had a 102 degree fever. Then on Dec 22 I did a tempo run, only went 2.5 miles, but after 2 I was getting stuck in the 6:00 pace gear, which is why I decided to stop early. Interestingly enough, the day before I was able to run a 5:12 mile down 1% grade fairly comfortably, so I thought I was recovering well.

I am still curious as to the mechanism of the slowdown. If I could understand it and control it, I could get a major performance gain. My hypothesis that the "stuck in a pace" when supposedly healthy happens for the exact same reasons as when recovering from an illness. In other words, without realizing it you could have something lacking health-wise, and it will only show when you are racing. It might show on a lab test, but you need to know what to look for. And you need to have the ability to run lots of lab tests which most of us don't. But still if you could somehow figure out this "health issue", you could get some major improvements.

From Tarzan/Maurine on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 23:49:51 from 97.117.61.26

I am impressed that you pushed so hard as sick as you have been. Great job, Sasha.

From Lucia on Sun, Mar 01, 2009 at 12:05:37 from 98.204.55.168

You fast guys don't cease to amaze me... better than 6 minute miles, with an ear infection and all! Nice job! Very impressive!

From Burt on Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 17:30:18 from 68.76.197.194

Great job. I've had the same thoughts of slowing down and running with people I know behind me, but then not knowing if I'd be able to stick with them. Best just to keep going.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. 10.1 in 1:14:00. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Matt. Did explosions. Also ran 200 in 39 and a quarter in 79 catching up.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:16, 2 with Jenny in 18:33. Julia ran the first mile with Jenny in 8:56.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.350.000.000.7514.10

A.M. Warm day. Ran in shorts and Five Fingers. Usual company - Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. In light of Jeff's difficulty in going under 5:10 we introduced a mild injection of speed. We do have to be careful - Jeff gets injured very easily. However, on the positive side of things, since he's done very little speed work lately, even a very mild injection of speed would serve as a stimulus. 

So he did 5x400 with full rest in 70. I was not sure if I was healthy enough for that (yes, that's pretty bad, but you have to live with the reality), so I decided to do 200s with him. Mary Ann and Daniel skipped the speed due to the fear of being injured. My 200s were 34, 35, 35, 36. On the last one I felt good and decided to go the full 400 about 100 into the interval. I was happy that I was able to run 71 and it felt good. Total time for 10.1 was 1:19:51.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:23, 2 with Jenny in 17:58, Julia ran the first mile in 9:11.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Phoenix on Thu, Mar 05, 2009 at 11:15:56 from 155.101.197.35

I hope you return to full strength quickly.

Here is something you'll find interesting:

http://www.flotrack.org/blogs/blogger/natejenkins/6293-thrilled-by-failure-usatf-indoor-championships-and-my-winter

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.100.000.000.0014.10

A.M. Ran early with Jeff and Mary Ann. Instructed Jeff on PHP programming for most of the run. 1:22:44 for 10.1.

P.M. Pushed William in the single stroller. 2 with Benjamin in  16:52. 2 with Jenny in 17:22. Julia ran the first mile with us in 8:57.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Maurine/Tarzan on Wed, Mar 04, 2009 at 19:08:44 from 97.117.61.26

Yikes - that reminds me - I'd better start learning PHP. Sorry for being a slacker.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. Ran with the usual group. Continued the micro-injection of speed experiment. Jeff's assignment was 1 mile in 5:00. Due to poor health I ran only the first half (2:28). It felt hard, but I was thankful that I could run sub-5:00 pace for at least half a mile and live. So I must not be doing too bad. Jeff finished the mile in 4:58. Mary Ann skipped the speed due to a tender achilles. Total time for 10.1 was 1:18:15.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:53. 2 with Jenny in 19:00. Julia threw up last night and felt tired today so she ran only 0.5 with us (5:10).

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 13:41:05 from 71.219.98.30

I just realized that it is an extra hour of added travel time if you go through Cedar City on the way to Cannonville, making it 4:45, rather than 3:43, so it may be better to find a different place to stay who goes to Bryce Canyon. Maybe everyone should get cheap motels in Panguitch.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 13:48:22 from 64.81.245.109

Do not worry about. Missing a circuit race, going that far for a slim chance to win $500, and putting a downhill half into my legs a few days before DesNews is not worth it to me.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.340.000.000.1014.44

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Matt. Usual sequence of events. Did explosions. The total time for 10.1 was 1:19:22. Ear still congested. I have considered using an antibiotic, but decided against it. Let the illness run its course, let the body learn how to fight it. I have read a number of posts on health forums of people having much worse symptoms for months in spite of using antibiotics and their doctor having no clue how to make it better. In my case I can run, I can work, and aside from feeling like my left ear is underwater all the time and running a bit slower, yes a bit slower, 15 K in 54:39 vs 50:43 is only a bit slower, it could have been 1:15 or worse, I can still average 5:51 for 15 K, aside from those two there are no other symptoms. So I'll keep on treating it with natural remedies, and just be patient.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:58, 2 with Jenny in 18:51. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:02. 0.34 with Joseph in 3:45. Jacob also wanted to run today. I took him for 200 meters in 1:43.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From kelsey on Sat, Mar 07, 2009 at 19:12:15 from 98.230.3.218

Hi Sasha,

I was just wondering if you could quickly explain "explosions" whenever you get a chance. I've seen you and Mary Ann mention them, so i was just wondering what they are (how you do them/how many/amount of effort), and maybe what you expect to get out of it.

Thanks and I hope the ear gets better sooner than later.

Kelsey

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:00:53 from 69.169.154.6

Kelsey:

What I call an "explosion" is a maximum sprinting effort for about 3-5 seconds. I got the idea from thinking about how kids develop speed. Your typical speed demon kid spends a good portion of his time playing various kinds of games that involve very short bursts of speed. You hardly ever would see him go all out even for as little as 10 seconds. But quite often for 3-5. And he does it every day often for hours. So I decided to try to imitate that in my training to see what happens. I got good results so far. I was able to negative split a non-tactical truly all out 5 K for the first time in my life a month ago.

From azdesertmonsoon on Sat, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:20:40 from 63.226.55.53

I read an article about how kids have an accelerated training opportunity to develop alactic power between the ages of 6-8. They act like if you don't develop this capacity to the fullest it is very hard maybe even impossible to reach your genetic potential later in life. Interesting stuff. They encourage kids to play lots of tag and similiar games with the 3-5 second burts of maximum speed. They also talked about non-directional speed which I don't completely follow, but I assume means changing directions while going very fast. My daughter loves chasing boys, so at least some good may come of it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Had to get my run done early because Sarah was going to Salt Lake for Benjamin's singing concert and for a home schooling conference. Ran alone at 5:00 AM. It was dark. I thought I'd be dragging. But my legs were actually quite energetic. I started at 8:00 pace, then sped up to 7:20, then 7:00, then I decided to go after the 7:00 guy and sped up to 6:40. Did explosions in the middle. Then decided to run the last 2 miles at 6:00 pace. Once I sped up the legs felt not too weak, but I had a hard time at faster speeds because the increased breathing was bothering my ear. I did manage to hit the last 2 miles in exactly 12:00, although I did have to run the last quarter in 85. On the positive side of things, I could run a quarter in 85 at the end once I focused in spite of the darkness. Last week my last quarter of the 15 K was 89 in broad daylight. Total time for 10.1 was 1:09:05.

Had some struggles with the new Fast Running Blog/St. George Running Center server. I am planning to host it at my house again to save money and to avoid being dependent on a data center in Michigan. Solved the problems and in the process discovered a New Definition of Happiness.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:40, 2 with Jenny in 18:05. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:12. 200 with Jacob in 1:31. Almost fast enough to count towards mileage.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
Comments
From Jon on Mon, Mar 09, 2009 at 10:29:22 from 138.64.2.78

http://fastrunningblog.com/forum/index.php/topic,925.0.html

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Kids are getting older, becoming more self-sufficient.

Had an interesting moment in the Elder's Quorum. A discussion started of which one of us was the oldest. Two elders were trying to figure out which one of them was older, and both were around 31. Then I asked if anybody could beat 35. I got a few surprised looks, and nobody confessed to be older than that.

Also, somehow I lost weight, don't know if it is good or bad. In the morning before breakfast and without going on a run I weighed 140 lb. By the evening I was at 148 lb, yes I do eat a lot. Then Monday morning I was down to 144 and after the run was again back to 140 lb. So that is a loss of about 5 lb on average compared to three months ago. Not sure what happened and not sure if it is good or bad.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Comments
From JeffC on Mon, Mar 09, 2009 at 15:36:52 from 167.207.128.101

Man my weight fluctuates around like that too from day to day.

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 13:18:46 from 71.219.98.30

I moved my fun run from July 18 to July 11. Now it doesn't conflict with the LDR Circuit Draper Days 5k. But I think I'm going to do the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon instead anyways because it has $500, $400, $300, $200, $100 for the top 5 men & women. Last year the top women ran 1:24:57, 1:28, 1:30, 1:32, 1:33 (slow). Looks like the men's side is quite competitive, so I don't blame you for not wanting to go. Top 5 men were 1:07-1:10. If you do want to go though, I'm sure my coach at SUU in Cedar City will let you sleep at his house and I have friends in town where I could stay. He has cats, so I don't think I could stay at his house. He has let others stay at his house many times.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Matt. 10.1 in 1:21:27. Mary Ann was having what appeared to be blood sugar problems, so we ran a bit slower. Did explosions.

P.M. We got some surprise snow. Ran 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:28, then 2 with Jenny in 20:19, Julia ran the first mile with us in 10:13.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 20:27:01 from 71.219.98.30

Would you be interested in doing a long run on Friday before I leave town so I am sure to get it in? Then I could go easy again Sat. Are you guys going to go your own pace? If so, I could just follow behind in my pace, but having you guys out there would help me. I don't know if I'll be able to drive to I.F. and don't know if jtshad will be able to find a babysitter or do the same workout as me. He suggested doing a killer hill workout with killer uphills and downhills. We can probably work something out, but incase not, just seeing what my options are.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.280.000.620.1014.00

A.M. Jeff slept in. Ran first 8 with Daniel and Mary Ann, then the remaining 2 alone. It was very slippery. Mary Ann and I tried doing quarters, but after the first one in 82 decided it was too slippery to get anything out of it, and postponed speed until tomorrow. Was able to do explosions. Did a pickup of 600 meters on a dryer section of the trail in 2:04. Felt a lot stronger than on Saturday. No ear pain from harder breathing, and the will to win, or "the killer instinct" as Mike Kirk calls it, is returning. The ear is still congested, though.

Running without the will to win is hard. I learned something in the last race, I should say I learned it better, because I already knew. The will to win is 90% if not more physical. Spiritually you could be willing to die to win, but if the physical will to win is not there, you will coast through the race, finish not so tired, but for the life of you would not be able to go faster. On the other hand, you can come to a race wanting to just jog it, but if your body is brimming with the physical will to win, you will run yourself into the ground against your spiritual will, and you will run a good time.

On another subject, the infamous Reset Button was recently mentioned in the news. It was given by Hillary Clinton to the Russian foreign minister to symbolize a fresh start in the relationships between Russia and the US. The button had the word Reset written in Russian and in English In the true spirit of American Superficiality (TM) the State Department made two grave errors. One - the Russian word was written with the Latin alphabet. Bad move. Russians are every protective about their alphabet and their language in general. I remember learning a poem as kid in reference to the Second World War: Our people will not allow our sweet-scented Russian bread to be called by a German word brot. The thought of that alone would have been enough to give millions of Russians the strength and the courage to fight the fiercest battles.

As if that were not enough they got the word for Reset wrong by leaving out an important suffix. That changed the meaning of the word signficantly. Instead of Reset, it became Overload. Based on that description I would expect the button to trip the circuit and shut everything down in case of a dire overload emergency. When a Russian kid makes a serious spelling or language error, the teacher or his parents often sarcastically award him the title of a grammar scholar. I remember receiving that title from my mom on numerous occasions. One Russian newspaper very rightfully so called the creators of the infamous button American Grammar Scholars.

The embarrassment could have been easily avoided had the button design been previously shown to one native Russian. But apparently that was too much work for the State Department.

I find the incident symbolic of a lot of things, too many to mention. It reflects a general level of not being on the ball, out of touch with reality, looking for a quick fix, and failing to slow down and understand how something really works. The current recession is a fallout from that mentality. I expect it to last as long as the mentality itself, which will be longer than a couple of years.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:58. 2 with Jenny in 19:00, Julia ran the first mile in 9:44 with us.


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From James on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 14:18:41 from 163.248.212.67

How do you run in the Five Fingers when it is cold? Do you wear toe socks?

From Burt on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 16:20:55 from 68.76.197.194

I call it, "The Eye of the Tiger."

Got to love our State Department.

From azdesertmonsoon on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 16:32:08 from 204.17.31.126

Style over substance.

When we were kids when we did something stupid we would get the sunshine award for being so bright.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 16:38:24 from 64.81.245.109

James - when it gets too cold for Five Fingers I just wear the T4 Racer, which I did today. I do not have the special socks for Five Fingers.

From Andrew on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 16:35:57 from 209.218.107.140

Your comments about the faux pas with Russia and the economy is spot on.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.501.000.500.1014.10

A.M. Ran with the usual gang. We had a late start, and I needed to be back early enough because we were headed to the Draper Temple Open House. So we just ran 10.1 brisk, more of a tempo pace for Mary Ann. We started with a 7:30 mile, then progressed to about 6:30-6:40 pace with occasional bursts to 6:25. Then I took a VPB and caught up hitting a quarter in 81. I was happy about that. Mary Ann started struggling with about 2 miles to go. With 1.5 left she decided to back off and jog in, and Jeff and I went ahead. We picked it up to 6:00 pace, and then did 87 and 80 for the last two quarters, which gave us 5:47 for the last mile. I was happy I was able to do it because I could not do it last Saturday.

Total time for 10.1 was 1:05:56.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:06 including explosions. His explosions were my explosions as well because I was pushing William in a stroller. He ran the last mile quick as well - 6:44. So that made it a brisk day for me. Then 2 with Jenny in 18:30, Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:20.

Analysed recent Mary Ann's crashes, and then it dawned on me - no fuel, she has not been eating enough. Asked her in detail about what she's been eating, sure enough, I was right. So we had her over for dinner and I used the opportunity to teach her how to eat. I loaded her plate with a large serving of mashed potatoes and told her to eat all of it. She did after some encouragement. Then I realized why girls get injured so much when they try high mileage. At 30 mpw a girl can survive off a mouse/bird diet. At 70 mpw she is going to have all kinds of problems if she does not start eating more - persistent fuel shortage, sore muscles, stress fractures, and who knows what else. Girls are often hesitant to eat like pigs, especially in our culture of slim models and the fear of being called fat, so often they do not even though they very much should.

For a guy it is a bit different. His base metabolism is high enough so he is already eating OK even if he runs only 30 mpw. He can up it to 70 with a lot fewer problems without a change in eating habits. Although, of course, he still should start eating more, it is just not as drastic of a change as it is for a girl. Plus the culture does not tell him he needs to eat less, so there is no pressure that way.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Robert on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 16:55:14 from 206.195.193.254

I agree with you on the runner's diet. Seems like injury issues have their foundation in sleep and/or nutrition. I'm learning that the body can withstand a lot if those things are in order.

From Sue on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:37:00 from 75.169.89.157

So can I start chowing down yet at 50 mpw? :)

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:04:53 from 64.81.245.109

Susan:

You should be eating an abundance of healthy foods at any mileage. As the mileage increases, though, this becomes more and more critical. Some people, especially girls, say they cannot run more than 30 mpw or they get injured. And to a certain extent it is true. A junk food diet coupled with poor sleep can take you only that far. More resilient runners can go as far as 90 mpw, usually guys in their early 20s, not many girls though. A skinny girl with naturally frail bones often does not make it past 30 mpw. The limit can be pushed up a lot further with proper diet and sleep, though.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.750.8514.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, Mary Ann, and Steve Ashbaker. We did our speed micro-injection. Jeff did 5x400. Mary Ann's assignment was 5:20 pace until failure. Steve and I paced her. She did OK for the first 0.5 (2:41), then fell off pace, and we stopped at 1000. I missed the mark, so we do not have the time. But it was probably 3:23 for myself and Steve, and about 3:25 for Mary Ann. Then I did 3 quarters with Jeff in 67, 68, and 71. 67 was hard, 68 not so hard, and 71 almost enjoyable. I felt a lot stronger than last week. I was happy that I could run 67 in winter clothes and not feel I was putting my body over the edge.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:20. Julia ran the first mile in 9:50. Then 2 with Benjamin in 17:17. We did a couple of explosions when he'd get a head start and I'd chase him, and then ran 100 in 19.6.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.900.000.000.2014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Matt, and Mary Ann. Jeff was in a hurry, so we made sure the pace stayed faster than 7:30. Spent most of the time discussing the merge sort algorithm with Jeff. It was an adjustment for me to focus on the pace so it does not slip to 8:00 while in the middle of deep thoughts. Did explosions. Total time for 10.1 was 1:14:11.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:42. Did explosion chases with him. Then 2 more with Jenny in 17:59. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:27.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From britta on Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 12:32:41 from 72.130.122.244

Have you ever run the LA Marathon? I am signed up for it and just wondering about the course. I can't find an elevation chart or something that would be helpful to tell me if it is hilly. I have heard that it is. I really don't have many hills to run close to home. I have been doing a bit of running on the sand hoping that it will compensate for not running too many hills. Your thoughts please?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:21:06 from 64.81.245.109

Britta:

I have considered running the LA marathon this year but decided not to due to the cost of travel, time away from the family, and a very low probability of finishing in the money. With this year being the first year they are doing it on a non-Sunday I have never run it before.

At this point I would not worry too much about the hills, but more about the overall fitness for the marathon. When racing marathons I noticed a stark contrast between hitting an uphill when your legs still have glycogen and when they do not. A hill that did not affect my pace by more than 5 seconds a mile relative to flat at mile 7 could easily slow me down by as much as 30 seconds a mile relative to flat at 23 if I had hit the wall. To clarify, e.g at 7 I am running 5:30 pace on a flat section. I hit a hill, and I slow down to 5:35. Then at 23 I am approaching the same hill, but now I am running 6:20 pace flat. I am not slowing down to 6:25 on the hill, I am slowing down to 6:50!

Hill-specific training can give you leg power. But in the marathon that power will not help you if there is no fuel to back it up. I would focus on getting out 6 days a week, keeping your mileage high, and running hard (target marathon race pace) for significant parts of your long run, especially towards the end.

From britta on Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:29:12 from 72.130.122.244

Thanks for you input.

I am not sure I will be as prepared for this marathon as I would like to be but for the same reason you considered running it..... It is on a Monday. I want to have the chance to run it and I fear it will change back to Sun. so I jumped at the chance.

What do I need to consider when adding mileage on and trying to avoid injury?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.608.501.500.0024.60

A.M. Long run with Jeff. First long run since Feb 7th, and first since getting sick. Was not sure how I was going to handle it. Was not sure if it would be healthy to go full 20. Was not sure how much of it should be tempo. For Jeff it was supposed to be a relaxing long run if there is such a thing. With those constraints we decided to do a short warm-up, then a 10 mile tempo, if I finished the tempo, then jog the rest of the long run, otherwise, Jeff would jog with me home, and then run the balance of the tempo at the end afterwards.

I did OK during the tempo. I made it through 10 miles. Total time was 57:48. Splits:

miles: 5:47, 5:49, 5:49, 5:50, 5:53, 5:49,5:47,5:48,5:39,5:37

2.5 segments: 14:31,14:37,14:31,14:09

5 mile segments: 29:08 - 28:40

Did not think we'd break 58:00 until about 3 miles to go. Then thought maybe. Then Jeff hit a half mile in 2:47 from 8.5 to 9 and I knew it was a done deal, although done with quite a bit of pain. My legs held better than I thought they would, but in the last quarter 5:20 pace followed by a little bit of an uphill turned out to be too much, they caved, and I slowed down to 5:52 pace in the last 200 meters. In spite of that failure, I still credit leg strength from the explosions and speed micro-injections for surviving this tempo.

I was happy about the progress. I calculated my last 15 K of the tempo was 53:53 compared to 54:39 in a race two weeks ago. Also, last week running 10 miles at an easy pace I had a hard time running 12:00 for the last two miles. This week my last two miles were 11:16 off a tempo pace. Ear still congested, but it was not bothering me nearly as much as it was last week at tempo speeds.

Then we ran the balance of the 20 miler, which was a bit less than 9 miles. We started at a bit slower than 8:00 to rest from the tempo, then picked it up to about 7:20-7:30. At around 16 miles total I started feeling hungry, and also uncertain about my ability to make it to the finish. Low blood sugar sometimes causes panic, and I was feeling a bit of it. I calmed myself down by thinking about how running in the zone is similar to fasting and could be good for cancer prevention. We also picked up the pace to about 7:05. My reasoning was run brisk while you can, you'll be closer to home when you bonk. Then at 18 I noticed that I was not feeling any worse than I was at 16, and decided to pick it up even more. So we speed up to about 6:40, and I did not feel any worse. I told Jeff I wanted to run the last half at 6:00 to prove a point to myself. We ran it at 5:50 pace.

This gave me 2:12:05 for 20.1 for this run, 6:34 average.

P.M. Pushed William in the stroller. 2 with Benjamin in 16:37. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:40. 2 with Jenny in 18:39. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:30.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. 

Started the day at 143 lb, ended at 150 lb. Did not feel bloated at the end of the day, in fact felt like I could have eaten more. I should create a Fast Running Blog Weight Gain Special program to compete with Weight Watchers.

Night Sleep Time: 17.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 17.00
Comments
From wheakory on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 01:06:18 from 24.116.159.75

What did you eat to gain so much weight and why?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 13:56:38 from 64.81.245.109

Kory:

Nothing special. My regular meals to satiation. The biggest factor in the weight gain was that I started low due to the long run the day before, and that I did not run.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.400.000.000.7014.10

A.M. Ran 10.1 in 1:15:07 with Jeff, Mary Ann, and Matt. Had a couple of VPB tempos, probably associated with yesterday's weight gain. Felt good, ran 500 in 1:37, and a quarter in 78. 5:12 pace. Also did explosive sprints. 

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:24, 2 with Jenny in 18:41. Julia ran the first mile in 9:37.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.800.000.001.4014.20

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Did the speed micro-injection workout. For Jeff, the target was 4:40 pace until failure or the mile. For Mary Ann, 5:20 until failure or the mile. I decided to be a bum and pace Mary Ann, but nevertheless still finish the mile on pace if she did not make it. Jeff fell asleep in the second quarter (72) but otherwise hit perfect 70s and ended up with a 4:42 mile. Mary Ann made it to 1000. My split was 3:21, she was about 1 second behind. Afterwards I did not worry about her and got back up to pace, and a bit faster to make up for the slow down. Last quarter in 78, mile time was 5:19. Incidentally the fastest mile since I got sick. The last quarter felt a bit hard, legs started to feel heavier than I thought they would based on the VPB pickups yesterday. Mary Ann slowed down to a bit sub-6:00 and finished the mile in 5:35.

A few miles later Mary Ann began to wonder if the reason she was struggling was that it was the first interval, and she was not quite in the groove. I did not think it was the case, and suggested a test to prove it. 5:20 pace again until failure. We made it to 600 meters, I hit it right on (2:00), she was about a second or two behind. Then we got down to the root of the problem - asthma. Understanding the problem in this case is a lot easier than fixing it, though.

Total time for 10.1 was 1:22:11.

I like those workouts when you maintain your target pace until failure or reaching a reasonable overload protection distance. They provide more insight into why you cannot run the time you want to run than either racing, regular interval workouts, or tempo runs. They also teach you to run your target pace vs a slower pace, thus you can override a mental block.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:11. 2 with Jenny in 17:53. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:27. 200 with Jacob in 1:26 - new record. This is now fast enough to count for mileage for me.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.300.000.000.7014.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, Mary Ann, and her friend Elana. Elana ran 4 miles with us then we ran 6 more. Daniel turned around 2 miles into it. I did two post-VPB quarters, each in 79. Also, explosive sprints. Total time for 10 miles was 1:22:57.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:02. Did explosive sprints with him. They are sprints for me as well because I let him go and then catch him, so I have to run full speed. Besides that, he probably could run a low 17 in an all-out 100 anyway, so if I just stayed with him with no chase it would still be fast for me. Then 2 with Jenny in 18:48, Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:49. Ran into Matt K, he joined us for a half a mile.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.600.000.001.5014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Again, speed micro-injection. Jeff repeated his 4:42 mile with the exact same splits as on Tuesday, but did not feel inclined to go to 1.25. I paced Mary Ann again through the 5:20 until failure or to 1.25. Mary Ann fell back a bit around 0.75, then closed the gap with a kick by around 0.9, then she wanted to kick to the end, but I told her to go to 1.25 instead. She went through the mile in 5:19, and fell back after that. I wasted the second she gained on yelling at her to close the gap, then got back to pace and finished 1.25 in 6:40, 5:20 pace on the dot. She coasted through the last quarter in 87 and finished in 6:46. That is significant progress, though, compared to the last three attempts. Eventual goal is for Jeff to hold even 4:40 pace for 2 miles, and for Mary Ann 5:20 pace for the same distance. 

My thoughts on 5 K training. Once you can run 12 quarters with 90 second rest significantly faster than your dream target 5 K race pace, the traditional VO2 Max training (12x400, 6x800, 3x1600) is not very productive. The only exception would be 3x1600 with 1 minute rest at dream pace. The interval should be at least 2000. Otherwise, you learn to run the first mile of the 5 K at dream pace, but you fade in the second. You can cheat in the first mile by running anaerobically. You cannot cheat the same way in the second. Once you can run a mile at 5 K dream pace and live (400, 800, 1200, and 1600 get you there), the next step is to work on the second mile. So you need to learn to run 2000 at dream pace and live, then 2400, then 2800, then 2 miles. Once you can run 2 miles at dream pace in training and live, the race day magic can carry you to the end of the 5 K on race day at that pace.

It is very important to keep the pace even on those long survival intervals, not die in the last quarter, not buy yourself a cushion in the first, and not rely on the kick to catch up to pace in the last quarter after fading in the one before it. The reason is we need to maximize aerobic involvement and minimize anaerobic cheating, because we cannot use much anaerobic power after the first mile.

On the way back I ran a post-VPB 79 second quarter. Total time for 10.1 was 1:19:37.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:02. 2 with Jenny in 17:58. Julia ran the first mile in 9:27.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From huans32 on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 15:00:18 from 138.64.2.76

Hmm very interesting Sasha. I had to read over what you were saying about the 5k training. I will have to try that out. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

From Phoenix on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 15:11:39 from 155.101.197.50

Its an interesting idea but physiologically you are doing the opposite of what of you propose.

The involvment of the anaerobic system is far higher during the second half of the interval than the first half--lactate/proton production at faster than threshold paces over time is curvilinear. Accordingly, most top coaches, Daniels included, limit VO2max type intervals to 5 minutes are less because the lactate burden becomes too high thereafter. Of course time-trial/race-simulation efforts are execepted.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 18:17:04 from 64.81.245.109

Eric:

I think the difference between the 5 minute interval theory and mine is that the former tries to maximize VO2 values, while I am trying to maximize the 5 K performance. It may very well maximize VO2, but not necessarily the 5 K speed due to numerous other factors some of which are understood and others are not.

I've seen time and again how theoretically VO2 Max trained collegiate runners during a 5000 meter race crash at the exact same spot - between 1600 and 2000. Plain common sense explains why - the longest interval they run in training is 1600. They do not know what to do when they have to go further at a fast pace.

Incidentally, the same thing happened to me off traditional VO2 Max training. Tempo runs could not fix it. I would settle into the tempo run pace once I went a little bit past the mile mark and hold it to the finish. Extending the interval past the mile or dramatically reducing the rest in between the mile intervals (200 meter jog at about 12:00 pace) made a difference, though.

From Phoenix on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 19:11:42 from 155.101.197.50

Sasha,

Three questions (for now, I think this could potentially be an interesting discussion):

1) How often would you do these extended race-pace workouts?

2) And the key question, what benefit will they confer that racing every other week will not (I have some ideas here)?

3) What specific breakthrough did this training bring about for you and how quickly did it occur?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 13:36:34 from 64.81.245.109

Eric:

1) Ideal frequency is to be determined. I am leaning towards 1-2 times a week in addition to regular racing (twice a month).

2) Controlled environment. You can take your splits every 200 meters, pick your course, have a pacer, run very even, will not slow down earlier than you should to save the race and get a faster finish time. Plus you do not have to drive to the race and can do it whenever you feel up to it.

Not sure about the benefit of shorter follow-up intervals. There might be some.

Year 2001. Workouts were 3x2000 starting at a tempo pace in the first 800 and gradually winding up to dream 5 K pace. 400 recovery. Did it for about 2 months. PR'ed in Draper Days by 4 seconds, the PR was 2 years old. What was special about that race, though, was not the PR but the fact that I was able to put in a half mile surge from the mile to 1.5 and catch Dennis Simonaitis and Craig Lawson. They ended up with around 15:10. So I died pretty bad from that surge, but I could do it, something I could never do in the past.

2004, the key workout was 3x1 mile with 200 recovery. Did it for about 2 months. Broke my 2001 PR by 18 seconds in Draper Days. This is the hardest 5 K I'd ever run in my life. I was in pain after the first mile, but I was not slowing down much adjusted for the terrain. Since then I've been in better 10 K shape, but never quite the same 5 K shape. In 2004 I labored at 5:30 pace in tempo runs (flat surface). In 2007 the same effort produced 5:20 pace. I thought I was going to shatter my 5 K PR to pieces in Draper Days. But I ran only 16:04 (the PR is 15:37). It was hot, though, but even with the adjustment I think I still fall short.

I felt a lot fresher in 2007 than in 2004. In 2007 I felt I had just run a tempo. In 2004 I felt I had just run an all out mile except it was 3.107 times longer.

Also, in 2007 the last 2 miles were weak. In 2007 I focused on 400 repeats and tempos. I could coast through a quarter in 63, ran 4:46 flat mile in a time trial, so the mile speed was OK as well, as least as good as 2004. But the connecting element of the 5 K pain tolerance was not there.

Another interesting detail. At the end of 2004 my VO2 Max was 75.9 with RER of 1.00 reached around VO2 of 67. In 2007 I arranged the test, but I could only do it the day before Top of Utah. So I did not push myself into the utter misery and stopped the test probably a minute early. I got up to 68 with RER of 1.00 reached at 64. I felt maybe I could have pushed it a little bit past 70. Also, when the pace/grade increased, compared to 2004 in 2007 I went from marathon pace comfortable to "I cannot do this for more than a couple of minutes" a lot faster. My RER was only 1.04. In 2007 I pushed it to 1.06.

I did, however, run faster marathons in 2007.

From air darkhorse on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 17:49:00 from 65.100.192.2

Pretty similar workout that I did with only 30 seconds rest was 3x1 mile. Downhill for increased speed and turnover, and a total of almost 15 minutes at dream goal pace. Overall would this not be as good if not better for both increasing economy, speed and VO2 max? I'm open for some analysis from both of you.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 18:53:06 from 192.168.1.1

Actually in 2004 my 3x1 miles workout was downhill - about 1-1.5 % grade.

What is important to remember. The building blocks must be there for this to work. The aerobic base needs to be solid. The leg power needs to be solid. Then you use this workout as glue. Aerobic base is obvious - if you've been consistent with the mileage in the last 9 months, it is most likely there. Leg power test - several variations are possible. For the 5 K focus, I propose the following: 12x400 with 2 minute jogging rest. Should be able to average at least 5 seconds per quarter faster than the dream 5 K pace.

On the second thought, the above leg power test is really testing the condition of the fibers that can potentially be utilized in a 5 K.

From Phoenix on Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:27:58 from 98.202.94.115

Re: Sasha first response:

So from your experience the extended race pace intervals gave you more staying power at 5k pace, rather than making you faster per se, which would result in a faster time at the same effort?

How many of these sessions did you do in the 2 months preceding Draper?

--------------------

Re: Steve:

I think the 3 x 1 mile down hill with 30 seconds rest can be better for improving speed and economy, with its value somewhat depending upon its context into the overall training pattern. Clearly there will be faster leg turnover and higher impact forces which can both increase economy.

Its probably inferior for VO2max work because 1) glutes and hamstrings are not recruited as much, and calf range of motion is less uphill so their relative oxygen demand will be less, and 2)30 seconds recovery between miles is not enough unless the workout turns into an all-out race effort. Truly reaching VO2max is hard, hard work, which is why most stick with the 3-5 minute with equal recovery rule. Most people claiming to do VO2max workouts aren't actually reaching the right intensity level, which is signficantly faster than 5k pace.

I am not saying its an inferior workout for improving performance. Just that if you take the reductionist approach to training, and isolate VO2max as a single component to stress, then you need to stay in the 3-5 minute range.

----------------------

Re: Sasha second response:

I strongly agree with your statement that the building blocks need to be there. ***The goodness are badness of almost any workout is context dependent.*** When some says I ran 6 x 800 in 2:30 with a 45 second recover, is this a good workout, you need other information to answer the question. What is their fitness level, what are they training for, what has their training been the last 3 months, when is the key target race, what workouts will be coming next?

Its the overall training pattern that matters most, which is why continued cycling and periodizing is essential for long-term improvement and having your A game ready for you key race(s). I think is important to stay in touch with foundational systems year round, and that certain phases, especially in the preseason, should be dedicated to building those foundational systems.

Functional leg power is a foundational system and I think is best functionally tested by measuring top-end speed. It doesn't matter how much someone can squat, how far they can jump or bound, etc., if it doesn't correlate with how fast they can sprint, which is the fundamental quality that matters. (Sasha did you ever reach the blog from Nate Jenkins I posted the link to? He has worse top-end speed than you but runs faster than you at every distance from 800 meters and up). I agree with your point on functional speed--short squatty guy who runs a 100m in 10.8 will probably struggle to break 20 minutes in a 5k.

------------------------

Overall, I think the extended race pace intervals can be a key component in a well-thought out training system. In my opinion, 2x/week year-round will be complete overkill and rapidly lead to staleness and frustration. These are very demanding mentally and physically and need to come at the right time in a training phase to most effective and to be tolerated.

I've commented several times on what I learned from my foray into serious weight lifting where the periodization research is much better. Probably the most important thing I learned (which I had been told before but did not truly understand) is that although extremely high intensity workouts are extremely potent for stimulating adaptation and essential for peak performance, they exact a heavy cost on the nervous system and CANNOT be tolerated year-round by a drug-free athlete.

Physiologically, thats what these extended race-pace intervals are--there is a progressive recruitement of faster, less oxidative fibers, as the preferred fibers fail. This places considerable stress on the nervous system and muscle cells go into deeper acidosis--remember lactate production overtime as paces like these is curvilinear.

I'll probably incorporate some of these workouts at the right time, because in my mind, the end goal of all training, is to maximize functional muscle mass.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 18:59:28 from 64.81.245.109

Eric:

You can look up the details at http://sasha.fastrunningblog.com/blog-06-2004.html

and

http://sasha.fastrunningblog.com/blog-07-2004.html

Executive summary: There were 3 workouts 3x1 mile with 200 jog recovery, one 2000 meter run at hard effort, 3 "tempos" connecting all the 3 miles (same miles down the Provo Canyon) only 20-30 seconds slower than the sum of 3x1 mile and the last mile in the range of the last repeat of 3x1 mile, one 5 K race, three 10 K races, three 10 K tempos in the middle of a medium long run that were essentially race effort, one 10 mile race, and two Squaw Peak tempo sessions (4 miles up the Squaw Peak road all out, then a couple of minutes of rest, and 4 miles back down with the pedal down to the floor). Also, I did fair amount of 10x(10 seconds all out + 50 seconds rest) for a week as an experiment.

My 10 K races followed a pattern of essentially racing the first 5 K all out, and then using the aerobic base/tempo training to run a decent pace to the end. So all in all, there was quite a bit of this staying power type of workouts, also I think I hit the right combination of uphill vs downhill running for me. Definitely I felt that the staying power and not speed was what improved. Compared to Heart of Holladay on June 12th, Draper Days on Jul 17th was pure torture, especially the last mile, because finally I was able to race it rather than just tempo in. Sarah's comment about my Draper Days finish was "You looked like if you were a lion you would roar".

Heart of Holladay performance quality was around 15:55 in Draper Days due to the course difference. So the improvement was about 18 seconds.

Another interesting detail. On July 4th I ran the 10 K. Prize money went 3 deep, but there were three collegiate runners: Chandler Goodwin, Brad Parker, and Jesson Baugmgartner. Chandler was gone, but I was able to hang with Brad and Jesson. I was determined to run with them until I die. I made it to 4 miles at about 5:15 pace. Then I slowed down, but about a mile later my quad cramped up and I wondered if I'd be able to finish. Slowing down to 6:00 for a bit fixed the problem, and I was able to kick, but nevertheless, I had never in my life been able to run so hard that I'd get a cramp.

From Phoenix on Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:38:35 from 155.101.197.50

Related to our whole discussion is the phenomenon called the "VO2 slow component."

The slow component is elicited at speeds between the LT and VO2max. If someone begins a continuous run at the half way point, initially VO2 will increase rapidly to meet the acute energy demand. This is the fast component.

The slow component is a small but continued rise in VO2 despite the constant work load. The exact mechanism responsible for the slow component has not bene demonstrated. I think that it is a change in muscle fiber recuitment patterns whereby more FT fibers are included in the rotational mix. There is great controversy in this area with many claiming that progressive recruitment of FT fibers is not the cause. They base this of EMG data, which can be less than reliable when trying to detect subtle changes in recruitment patterns. Its also possible that it is a compensation for greater blood flow to the skin because of increased core tempurature. I think this likely plays a role. Interestingly, the slow component is less pronounced in highly trained athletes.

I think that the extended race pace intervals may operate on an analagous principle--they engage and therefore functionally train FT fibers that are less active for more traditional intervals of 5 minutes or less. However, as I emphasized before, I don't think this is a "magic workout." Optimal training is orchestral. One note doesn't make a masterpiece. How they are arrange relative to each other is the difference between noise and a masterpiece.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=DetailsSearch&term=vo2+slow+component&log$=activity

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 17:17:25 from 64.81.245.109

I did some reading about the VO2 slow component at http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/slow-component-vo2-understand-it-go-faster-39797

Some thoughts. When I am in good shape, I have a bigger HR drift during a 5 mile tempo. I can also keep my HR at its max for longer. When I am just aerobically fit, the drift is smaller. I reach the peak HR about 1.75 miles into the tempo, and then it might even drop some, along with the pace. I can only push it to 164 in the last 400 meters, the pace being still only a tempo pace. When I am racing well, HR will keep climbing throughout the entire tempo, holding steady at 164 in the last 2 miles. I will be able to speed up considerably in the last 400 and drive HR to 168-170.

The two different conditions can happen not only from month to month as the fitness changes, but from day to day. I could have a random bad day when HR is stuck at 158, and the pace is stuck at 5:40 or slower after the first 2 miles.

Note that by racing well I mean I do well in all distances 5 K to the marathon. I've never been able to run a good marathon when I was consistently seeing the absence of HR drift in the tempos.

So, my thinking is - given a good aerobic base, you actually want to increase the VO2 slow component. This improves performance in all distances.

And as a side note - whenever I read a scientific article about running I cannot help but think of a guy that is trying to figure out how to do something in his spreadsheet program by using a dissassembler.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. Easy run with Jeff, Matt, and Mary Ann. 10.1 in 1:15:47.Did explosive sprints. Also ran my unplanned tempo - 600 meters in 2:00.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:53. 2 with Jenny in 17:58. Julia ran with Sarah.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.709.000.000.0022.70

A.M. Long run with Jeff. He was not feeling fully recovered, so we did a mild version of the workout. Well, mild for him, not so mild for me, especially still not being 100% recovered from the ear infection.

We ran our 10.1 course twice. Started with a short warm-up that quickly progressed into the brisk pace (6:25). We kept winding it up but were careful not to break 6:10 by much, and sub-6:00 was the forbidden zone for a while. It was still conversational, at least Jeff was trying to carry a conversation, and I provided two sentence answers when motivated. Our first 10.1 was 1:03:54, 6:19.6 average. Then we ran the next mile in 6:07, followed by 6:02, and I said, let's just run 6:00 to the end. Jeff is an overachiever, so I knew it ment we'd be doing some 5:50s, but I felt good enough, and I wanted to test the trouble waters anyway. I tucked behind him and tried to relax.

We cruised at around 5:53-5:58 pace up until mile 16, and then Jeff pushed it to 5:47. That felt like it was too much, even though we had only 3 miles left. My legs started caving a bit. So we took it easy in the next 3 quarters (90,91,91) and it did not feel easy at all. I started wondering how much more I was going to slow down. Then Jeff saw a biker in front of us and got excited about passing her. That gave us an 88 quarter up a slight grade, and I survived it. This gave me confidence that I could do 90s to the end, at least on flat quarters. The exhilaration of passing somebody on a bike that did not seem to be totally out of shape or loafing gave me some energy.

From that point we were doing 89 second quarters, and I felt thankful for every one of them. Then with a mile to go with hit some rollers under the bridges, and that was too much. I told Jeff to go ahead. Nevertheless, I made it through the next two quarters without an exceptional embarrassment - 93, and a 92. That is about what I did a couple of months ago before I got sick in a similar run, except we loafed through the first half in 1:15, and then ran a bit faster in the second half than today. Then once it flattened out I was able to pick it up to 90, and saw that an 86 would give me 2:04:00 for 20.2, and an 85 would give me 6:00 for the last mile, which will be 6 seconds faster than 2 months ago, and will allow me to say that I stayed true to the 6:00 or faster split goal for the last 8 miles. So I worked as hard as I could, and managed to squeeze an 85 quarter out of my tired legs.

Total time for 20.2 was 2:03:59, 6:08 average. Last 10.1 was 1:00:05,  5:57 average.

A.M-2. Set up Mary Ann's course, did about 0.6 of running with Benjamin, and then paced Jenny through the mile in 7:30. Julia ran 8:23. Benjamin missed the start of his 5 K and threw a fit. We put him in the mile, but he was still upset after the quarter and threw another fit, and refused to run further. He will be doing some attitude adjustment work for the next while. Thanks to Benjamin Jenny ended up chicking the field. Small field, but it still feels good.

P.M. Benjamin's attitude adjustment run. After his fit he was in major trouble. He lost his friend's playing privileges and had to gradually earn them back. Step one was to run 1 mile hard without fits, complaining, or any other form of negative talk. He ran splits of 1:46, 1:41, 1:39, 1:38 for the total of 6:44. No complaining, good attitude. This earned most of his privileges back, but not playing with Jared, his most wanted privilege. I felt he needed an experience that would teach him the consequences of bad decisions last longer than a day.


Saucony Type A Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From TylerS on Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 00:16:23 from 68.29.136.23

I would like to know your attitude adjustment! I have a few boys that could use one every now and again! Good job on the long run!

From Jon on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 00:48:55 from 75.169.138.168

http://fastrunningblog.com/forum/index.php/topic,948.0.html

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 19:01:53 from 64.81.245.109

Tyler:

Take away the most wanted privileges, and have them earn those back by good behavior and some positive action. Do not cave to pressure.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Watched the Draper Temple Dedication.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From wheakory on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 17:02:50 from 134.50.89.55

Come on Sasha keep up with your blog. I can't tell how your doing if you don't. :-)

I emailed Hyrum Oaks and he will let me in the Utah Valley Marathon for $45.00. If my setback lets me start running again than I will go ahead and do it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.000.000.5014.00

A.M. Ran with Matt, Michelle, Mary Ann, Jeff, and Carolyn from Colorado. Did explosive sprints, and a quarter in 78 as well for standard reasons. Carolyn was conversational at a slightly slower than 8 pace. Very interesting. She just raced a half averaging a slower pace. With half mile to go I wanted to test Carolyn's speed and level of freshness and told her to run fast. She did two quarters of 1:39 and 1:43, 3:22 for the last half mile. With proper training I think she could run a 20:00 5 K.

Then we added 2 more miles. My total time for 10 was 1:19:06.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:36. Julia ran 1 mile with us in 9:46. Then Benjamin wanted to gain his Jared playing privileges back. I told him he needed to run 2 miles under 14:00 or finish his 2 mile run with a sub-6:40 mile. He chose to go for under 14:00. Good attitude rules apply, no negative talk. He did great in spite of the wind. Quarter splits of 1:42, 1:44, 1:42, 1:46 (6:54), 1:40, 1:41, 1:40, 1:37, total time of 13:32, new PR. Incidentally, he also broke 6:40 with his last mile in 6:38. That got him all of his privileges back. 


Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Carolyn in Colorado on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 21:55:22 from 76.27.89.110

Thanks for your help, Sasha.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.850.001.250.2515.35

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Josse and Carolyn came as well, but they ran without us because Jeff slept in and was late. Mary Ann and I waited for Jeff.

Did a new variation of our workout. Wanted to see how Jeff handles 4:40 pace off tempoing at 5:20 for a bit over a mile. Also, wanted to experience some pain trying to hold 4:40 pace myself in those circumstances.

So we paced Mary Ann at 5:20 pace to failure. She started falling back after 0.75. I yelled at her, this slowed us down to an 83 quarter, so we were 5:23 at the mile, she was a second or so behind. Then Jeff and I sped up to 5:20 pace, while Mary Ann finished 1.25 in 6:47. Our split at 1.25 was 6:43. Then was the moment of ultimate pain for me. I felt I reached the limit of my leg strength. I stayed with Jeff for about 300 meters, and stopped at 1.5 with the quarter split of 71, and total time of 7:54. Jeff had a hard time with 4:40 pace himself, and slowed down to 75s finishing 2 miles in 10:23. That is interesting. I am thinking neuromuscular failure. Aerobic would have produced 70, 73, 77, not 70, 75, 75. A high end failure, not many people would think of slowing down to 5:00 at altitude in winter clothes as a failure, but for our goals it is a failure nevertheless.

Then we ran into some horses on the trail. They had escaped from the farm. Police was trying to round them up. On the way back the police was gone, so I assume everything went well.

Total distance was 11.35 miles.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:47, Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:12. 2 with Benjamin in 17:15.

Saucony Type A Miles: 11.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Jon on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 09:52:29 from 138.64.2.76

Sasha- I will be in Provo Sat morning and would like to do a long run with a group. Do you know when/where any groups will meet?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 13:14:45 from 192.168.1.1

Jon:

We might be going for a long run, if we are it is going to be at 7:00 AM at my house - 339 N 1120 W. We are torn between Running with Leopards and a long run in Provo. A 5 K would be nice for speed test, and we could run the rest of the long run in the Emigration Canyon. At the same time, I already have a good idea of everybody's speed, the course is downhill, so the test is not going to be that good, Mary Ann really needs a solid long tempo, and Jeff and I could use one as well. You cannot do those well in conjunction with a 5 K. Plus travel time, wait for the race to start time, etc. So if Jeff gets a comp, we will go, otherwise we'll stay in Provo and do the long run.

I will let you know either way.

From Jon on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 13:29:02 from 138.64.2.76

Ok, I'll wait to hear from you. If you do the 5k, do you know of anyone else in Provo who will be doing a 20 miler?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Matt, and Mary Ann. Carolyn and Josse came, but started ahead of us not waiting for Mary Ann since they were going to run a little slower anyway. Did explosive sprints. Also ran my catch-up tempo 600 in 1:59.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:49. Julia ran 1.5 in 14:22 with us. 2 with Benjamin in 15:18.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Michele on Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 21:32:57 from 74.181.254.51

Hi. I have been increasing my mileage to 80 miles a week for the past 4-6 months. I have been running on for 15 years and have always run at least 40 miles a week. Do you have any advice as to the best way to prevent injury when one decides to run at least 80 miles a week regularly. I try to take at least one day off a week.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:02:21 from 192.168.1.1

Michelle:

For a woman, number one focus should be letting your appetite loose while eating very healthy. You must eat like a pig. Do not skip meals, eat a balanced diet, fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, moderate amounts of light meat, no junk, no fast food, no soda pop, no exceptions, no excuses. In our culture of self-destructive eating Nancy Regan's "Just say no" applies very well.

Focus number two - sleep. If you are chronically not sleeping enough, do not attempt higher mileage until you start sleeping. Otherwise injuries, sickness, and overtraining are knocking at your door.

Focus number three - be consistent with focuses number one and two. Many people try, few actually do it. That's why we have a myth that high mileage causes injuries and overtraining, and that's why Runner's World and its likes get anywhere with their run 3 days a week program. Do not try, do it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.600.000.000.5014.10

A.M. Ran 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:21:26. It was colder and snowing at times.We tried a couple of quarters. I did 67 and 72. Jeff did 66 and 65. Decided it was too cold and windy for more.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:48. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:45. 2 with Benjamin in 16:32.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.500.000.000.1018.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Matt, and Carolyn. Jeff slept in, so we met him near DI. Carolyn was going to drive back tomorrow so she wanted to do a long run. We warmed up 1.5 to DI at around 9:00 pace, then I wanted to see how Carolyn would handle 8:00 pace. After a mile in 7:57 she picked it up to around 7:40-7:45 range. She was breathing hard but was maintaining the pace. I figured 8 miles would be good, with a surprise to follow. So she finished 8 miles 1:02:13, average of  7:46.6. Then she jogged a mile in 9:12 and a little more at about 9:00 pace. As soon as the 8:00 girl caught us I told Carolyn to go after her and PR in the half. She ended up running 1:45:20 for the half, a 4 minute PR on a slower course beating her Moab time 6 days ago.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in  15:36. 2 with Jenny in 18:00. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:42.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 14.60
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From jun on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 16:28:16 from 66.239.250.209

Sounds like you guys had an amazing morning. I'm so impressed with your ability to push and inspire Carolyn (or anyone for that matter) after only running with her a couple of times. You are a natural coach and motivator. Nice job today.

From Carolyn in Colorado on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 16:44:30 from 198.241.217.15

Thanks for your help, Sasha. I really enjoyed meeting you and your family. I'm not sure I "enjoyed" running with you, but it was really good for me. You have motivated me to work harder and set my sights higher.

From Camille on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 16:49:09 from 71.223.67.112

Wow! Way to go Carolyn! That's amazing!

From Jon on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 19:21:19 from 98.202.189.152

Did you guys decide if you are doing the 5k tomorrow, or a long run?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 19:26:53 from 192.168.1.1

Jon:

We are not going to the 5 K. So if you come you will have company. 7:00 AM, 339 N 1120 W. We are planning a hard 20 miler in some form. I am thinking Jeff will do 5:40 pace for 17 then all out for the last 3 if he feels good, otherwise something milder. I will run with him until failure then the rest based on how I feel, probably finish 20 at 6:00-6:10 pace. We will be doing this on the 5 mile tempo course, so you can do repeats of your choice with us if you are not up to tempoing at 5:40.

From Jon on Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 00:12:27 from 98.202.189.152

Supposing I didn't run the last 2 days due to sickness, there is no way I'm going to try a 20 mile tempo at that pace. Maybe I'll see you on the trail, though.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.6817.720.000.3023.70

A.M. Long run with Jeff. He had diarrhea since Tuesday. That was perhaps good. Otherwise, he would have to run 5:40 pace for 20 miles to cause glycogen depletion. So you could not do the depletion without the muscle tightness. This way, there was no tightness, and we could study how he runs without much glycogen, learn what to do when you bonk, and build some confidence that we would not see a repeat of St. George even in a bad case scenario.

So we warmed up a mile in 6:39, and then I suggested we run 6:00 pace until something bad happens. Jeff thought it was interesting that I was so sure something bad was going to happen. Towards the end of 10.1 Jeff was not feeling good - fuzzy head, using more effort than normal for the pace. We got to 10.1 which happened to be at the house in 1:01:03, 6:02.7 average. He was just about done with running fast, but I suggested we get some fuel in, and see how much longer he could go after that. For the fuel we used a drink made of evaporated cane juice with EmergenC for flavor and electrolytes. I fueled myself just in case the drink would work on Jeff better than I thought, because it could have meant 5:40 pace for the last 6 miles.

Then figuring it would take a couple of miles for it to kick in we decided to go another 3 miles at 6:00 pace and decide what to next after that. Like magic, 2 miles into it the pace picked up to 5:50 and Jeff asked me about the possibility of planting bottles in the Salt Lake marathon. That was a good sign. Then 3.5 miles into the tempo Jeff says, this stuff does not last long. I told him that's why they have aid stations every two miles. He also asked me about how long you could go off ingested carbs once you hit the wall. My answer was that you could go for a long time, but not very fast. I've been able to speed up to 6:25 after slowing down to 7:10 in TOU 2005. This does not work, though, if the body is not healthy enough at the moment to ingest carbs while running.

Jeff said he wanted to turnaround at the 4 mile mark, but keep tempoing, so we did. Then 15.1 into the run he thought he was done. I suggested we go another 0.5, he agreed, he is a very easy going guy when it comes to matters of pain. Then I suggested we go another 0.5 so our total tempo mileage would go over 15, and he fell for it. "...and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever" (2 Nephi 26:22).

So 16.1 into the whole run we eased off to a little sub-7:00. With 1 K to go I suggested  we speed up again, and we did running it in 3:47. Jeff was done, I turned around and ran another 2 tempo miles to finish the 20.1. First one was a slight uphill in 6:05. Then coming back I ran 5:47. Total time for 20.1 was 2:02:07, 6:04 average. The tempo 15.1 was 1:30:18, 5:58.8 average.

P.M. Jenny's mile time trial. Benjamin helped too. We warmed up 600 in 3:27. Then I set the pace, and Jenny broke 7:00 with the splits of 1:42, 1:42, 1:44, and 1:44 - 6:52 total time, and became the fourth sub-7:00 miler in the family. For her effort she earned a bike and a Palm Pilot. Then we cooled down 1000. Benjamin was itching to go after about 550 so I let him. Then I realized I wanted to time him, so  at about 680 I went after him and ran the last 300 in 58. Could not catch him, it was too late, and he was going too fast, but his time for 1000 was 4:44, mine 4:46. Jenny finished the cooldown in 5:22. Hard to believe this is now her cooldown pace. The later ran 1.5 with Julia in 15:05.


Saucony Type A Miles: 20.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From rockness18 on Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 21:41:35 from 75.16.162.226

Thanks for sharing this Sasha...both interesting and insightful!

From tarzan on Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 19:23:53 from 97.117.61.64

Wow - I'm speechless and jealous of your kids speed.

From Burt on Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 19:30:20 from 68.76.197.194

Sounds like you were trying to study how he runs with the runs.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Spoke in the Sacrament meeting on missionary work. This gave me a chance to notice that  speaking at the pulpit is a lot easier than taking care of the kids. 6:00 pace feels like a break after 5:00.

Ate a lot of mashed potatoes for dinner. Have noticed in the past that I feel an infux of energy from mashed potatoes when training hard. Makes sense. Starch is very easy to absorb, and it is not sweet, so it is easy to eat a lot of it.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Wed, Apr 01, 2009 at 10:48:11 from 71.219.100.96

Potatoes are higher on the glycemic index, getting into your blood stream quickly. For someone who wants to lose weight, I wouldn't suggest eating too many of them, although they are great for everyone else, particularly serious runners.

From Burt on Fri, Apr 03, 2009 at 14:56:24 from 68.76.197.194

"speaking at the pulpit is a lot easier than taking care of the kids." Ha! I miss the days of sitting on the pulpit every Sunday. but not too much.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Mary Ann, and Jeff. It was slippery, so we ran slow. 1:22:17 for 10.1. There were a couple of dry stretches, did explosions there.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:41. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 15:03. 2 miles in 16:39 with Benjamin.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.051.750.001.5515.35

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. We did our usual Tuesday magic, except with a new twist. An interval of unknown length. For the first 1.25 Jeff and I act as Mary Ann's treadmill trying to hit 5:20 pace on the dot. If she falls behind, she is off the treadmill. Then this time Jeff's target was 4:48 pace to failure after that instead of 4:40. For me, try to stay with Jeff to failure.

We did 1.25 in 6:40 with near perfect pacing. The only quarter split that was off was 0.5, we were 1 second ahead. Otherwise, I checked the split at every 1/16th mark and we never varied by more than 1 second. Mary Ann fell off the treadmill at 0.75, but still finished 1.25 in 6:46.

Then Jeff was my treadmill. We did the next quarter in 73, and I fell off 100 meters later finishing 1.5625 miles in 8:12. Jeff, being the fastest, did not have a virtual pacing treadmill. He did  three 74 quarters after that. Amazing. He can hold 78s at the end of a 20 miler for 3 miles, but cannot hold 73s even for a mile after running 5:20 pace for as little as 1.25. Yet he can hold 70s for 1 mile without a 1.25 tempo prior to it. Next thing we'll try is 5:20 pace for 1.25 then 0.5 all out.

Then Mary Ann caught up to me, and we could not find Jeff for a while. When we finally did, I quoted a scripture out of the Book of Mormon: "..so speedy was the flight of Kishkumen that no man could overtake him" (Helaman 1:10).

Then Mary Ann said she felt she wanted to run fast. So we paced her through a mile in 5:57, and then later she still was not done, so we ran the last 0.75 in 4:29.

Total distance was 11.35.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:48, Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:26, last 0.5 in 3:55, almost half mile PR for her. Then 2 with Benjamin in 17:28.


Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.1014.10

A.M. 10.1 alone easy early in the morning in 1:19:39. Did explosions.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:41. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:11. Then 2 with Benjamin in 15:48.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.250.000.001.6216.87

A.M. Ran a little later in the morning because Jeff and Kimia went to the temple on an early assignment. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Benjamin and Jenny joined us on bikes for a part of it. Sarah was supposed to pick them up fairly early, but due to a miscommunication  they ended up staying with us longer, and we also ended up running longer, total of 12.75.

We warmed up 2.62, then Jeff and I did The Interval. I think I'll call it that for lack of a better name. I am starting to think that perhaps doing several aerobically targed intervals is a waste of distance. I will argue that the aerobic system is not fully engaged for about the first 5 minutes of the interval if the rest is more than a 200 meter jog. Here is why. I will use an example for simplicity of illustration. Suppose I am to run a mile interval in 5:10 at a steady pace. At the start my HR is around 100. After the first quarter it is maybe 150. At half mile it will climb to 160. Then close to the end of the interval it may get up to 165. If I keep going it will stabilize around 168.

So my aerobic requirements to sustain 5:10 pace require an HR of 168. It means, in other words, that in order to run 5:10 I need at least as much energy as my heart can give at that rate. So if I run 5:10 pace at a lower heart rate, then I need to make up for the balance of energy that is not coming from the heart. By definition that is anaerobic energy. I could actually care less if it is aerobic or anaerobic after all. I should be using different terms. Sustainable and unsustainable. For the first five minutes of any interval I will be practicing using unsustainable energy.

So I need to keep it longer. And if I stop, then I will have to waste another 5 minutes of the next interval in the unsustainable energy development zone. That is 5 minutes of high intensity running that stresses out the nervous system without developing long race specific sustainable energy adaptations. So then just run all of it at once.

So we did The Interval. A little different today. I wanted to measure how fast Jeff could run half a mile off 5:20 pace. We did 1.25 in 6:40 evenly paced, no more than 1 second off at any point. Having a mark every 100 meters really helps. Benjamin rode along with us for that part. Then Jeff just floored it and I tried to hang on. I fell back a bit before the quarter and finished it in 66 seconds, 7:46 for 1.5. I was happy with that. Jeff finished the last half mile in 2:10. I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely some food for thought.

I jogged until Benjamin caught up to me, then I felt very good after 200 meters of jogging, so to reduce Jeff's wait I picked up in the next 200 and ran it in 41 seconds. We ran a long and adventurous cool down, ran into Adam in the process, borrowed his cell phone, eventually reached Sarah, and she picked up Benjamin and Jenny, then we ran home.

More thoughts on The Interval. The original purpose was to teach Jeff to run his dream 5 K pace starting immediately with a high HR. But I think it has a pleasant side effect. You are running 5:20 pace thinking all the time that it is going to get faster. So subconsciously you try to conserve. But the triangle marks on the trail force you to keep the pace regardless. So you have only one choice - learn to run it more economically. I wonder if that is what happened to us, now 5:20 pace is easy enough for Jeff to run a half mile in 2:10, and for me to run a quarter in 66 after 1.25. If so, this idea deserves quite a bit of attention. The number one reason to do tempo runs is to learn to run economically at race pace. We do not do those for aerobic development. They are too short. The focus is neurological adaptations.

So maybe something like this for a tempo run. A mile and a quarter half-marathon pace, then a quarter really fast, then a quarter at marathon pace to recover, then back to half marathon pace for a mile, another quarter hard, then a quarter at marathon pace to recover, then keep repeating the cycle until you cannot do the hard quarter more than 5 seconds faster than the half-marathon pace. This way you learn to be economical at long race paces, get some speed in the legs, learn to surge, and learn to kick. It needs to be continuous, though. Jogging in between is good for a top-end leg power workout, but not for building long race stamina.

A 200 meter jog in between long intervals in essence is a lip service to the gods of interval training,  or another words an attempt to sit on two chairs at once. It will work for building 5 K and longer race stamina better than a longer jog, but the most effective is to do one long interval with strategically varying pace, the pace never being slower than marathon race pace.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:46, Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:14. 2 with Benjamin in 17:41.

Saucony Type A Miles: 12.75
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From wheakory on Fri, Apr 03, 2009 at 17:45:26 from 134.50.89.33

How did you feel after you completely floored it. Did you need to relax back down to an easier aerobic pace. Did you do another anaerobic interval.

Would this almost be the samething as doing 800 or 1000 repeats?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 03, 2009 at 18:51:18 from 64.81.245.109

Kory:

I ran only one interval, 1.5 miles in 7:46, 1.25 at 5:20 pace, then a quarter in 66. When I floored it I did not feel good, but good enough to make it to the quarter. As soon as I floored it, I felt like I was half way through an all out 800.

Running 800 or 1000 intervals is a waste in my opinion. The nervous system is better trained with explosive sprints, 200s and quarters. The sustainably energy mode is better trained with a continuous run. 800-1600 range is a waste for sustainable energy training because you run most of the interval in the unsustainable mode. It is also a waste for the nervous system training because the pace is too slow to challenge it like you would in a shorter interval.

From wheakory on Fri, Apr 03, 2009 at 19:14:39 from 134.50.89.33

I agree 800's or 1000's is a waste of time if your running marathon and maybe even so Half Marathons. Tempo runs better suit this type of race.

It makes my wonder then why are these training sessions in so many Marathon training programs? What do you think about hill repeats for marathon training?

But 800's and 1000's are definitely important techniques for 5k's and 10k's. You would then get some benefit out of that.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 03, 2009 at 22:37:38 from 192.168.1.1

No, 800 and 1000s are important for the mile, and then you should do them fast with very long recoveries. They are not very helpful for a 5 K unless the recovery is ridiculously short, in which case you may just as well have no recovery. However, a certain level of 5 K fitness is important for the marathon. You cannot run the marathon faster than you run the 5 K.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.750.250.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Matt, and Ben Crozier. Needless to say we had live entertainment the entire run. Matt went his own way at around 6.25, dropped Ben and Mary Ann off at 7.75, then Jeff and I finished 10. With a quarter to go I saw that 6:00 would give me 1:20:00, so we ran that and finished in 1:20:00.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:54, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:18, then 2 with Benjamin in 17:12.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Provo City Half (13.11 Miles) 01:15:29, Place overall: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.6010.600.002.5017.70

A.M. Provo City Half, 1:15:29, 5th place.

Warmed up 3.3 to the race, some of it with Seth Wold. He was running the 5 K, but that did not make things much easier in the half.

Coming into the race I expected to have very minimal chances for prize money. On one hand I am still not 100% recovered from the ear infection. On the other hand the economic decline is pushing more runners to race for money, so the races are more competitive.

Some race directors use the phrase "a chance to win" in reference to prize money. I just have to take a jab at that, too tempting to pass it by. Read my lips, there is no chance unless you are very very fit. And once you are, it is not a chance, it is a certainty. The race is 95% decided before it starts. This should be obvious, but many people still do not quite get it.

When a runner is perpetually out of shape, he once in a while experiences "miraculous" breakthroughs, gets 10-20 minute PRs, and beats people that he could never beat. Because of those experiences he thinks he might have a chance. But a consistent runner knows better, or at least should know better. If you've seen no signs of better fitness in training, it is very unlikely that they will magically appear in a race. If they do, usually no miracle happened. The runner or his coach just do not quite know how to read the training.

I say "usually" because I believe Moroni 7:35 "...has the day of miracles ceased?" Miracles do happen today. I have seen a few. But they do not happen on a whim. God has to have a purpose to make it happen. We have to have the faith to back up the purpose. We have to understand the purpose and be sufficiently humble in asking for it. When it comes to running, it would serve us well to understand the natural laws behind running fast and follow them first before asking for a miracle that will allow us to run faster than what we have currently earned through training. Even when the result fits with His plan, God rarely intervenes with His powers until we have exhausted our abilities.

So at the start we had Jeff, Nick, and Shin, plus there was a rumor of Mike Vick, so I was not wrong in my expectations. They say there is more than one way to skin a cat. Today I was going to be the cat to be skinned, and I had a choice on the method. I could run evenly paced, run 1:14, and get nothing. Or I could go out hard until failure, then coast in, run 1:15, and still get nothing. I chose the latter because I wanted a better view of the leaders.

The weather was not great, but could have been worse. My slowest mile was 6:02 into a headwind. Not sure how this compares with last year. Headwind is very deceptive. Hard gusts are fairly harmless compared to a fairly mild but steady blowing. Direct headwind is much worse than cross-wind, but it is hard to tell which one you are getting and when. The only way to judge the conditions is empirically by comparing performances, but we do have a curve ball there. Jeff is in better shape and ran tactically, Nick has not run a long race in a while, Shin ran a marathon 2 weeks ago, Mike has not run a long race in a while, and started late in this race, who knows what kind of shape I am in, and Mary Ann is in better shape.  The only thing I can say that the conditions did not make the race faster.

Iain Hunter came to be a volunteer rabbit for the first few miles. The first mile marker came in 5:00, and the consensus was that it was short. Iain's GPS said 5:09, Mary Ann's GPS said the mile marker was 7 seconds too short. I can believe 5:07-5:09 based on the effort. 2 miles came in 10:22, and the marker was painted on the road, so I believe it. At that point, we had Iain pacing, then Nick, Jeff, and Shin. I thought the finish order would be Jeff, Nick, Shin, and me. I was not aware that Mike was actually in the race.

12:00 into the race my legs started getting tired even though my breathing was fine, the realization of the misery of running hard 10 miles after racing a 5 K began to enter my mind, and I decided 10:22 for 2 miles was good for today. So I backed off. So did Iain. I asked him to pace me, and he did. 3 miles in 15:59, 15:53 for the leaders. They backed off as well as the headwind began to pick up.

At this point I was done with the speed portion of my workout and now I had three purposes of running further: a) flash the blog shirt at the finish b) get in a long tempo and c) retrieve my clothes that were in Seth's car.

Iain bailed out at 4 miles (22:41), then I coasted through a mile in 5:59 into a headwind, 27:40 at 4. Then 5.5 the rumor of Mike materialized. Turned out he had started late. I decided one more interval would be good to do my legs in. So I followed him. He was going about 5:20 into a headwind. I made it with him to 6 miles in 33:21 and my legs said, no, time for a break. So I slowed down to 6:00. Mike just kept going. At this point I knew the correct finish order: Jeff, Nick, Mike, Shin, then me. Poor Shin, I thought, hard race, no money. But he is OK, he owns a company in Orem, he can handle that.

The rest of the race was rather uneventful. I did a 6:02 mile into a strong headwind, and after that ran slightly sub-6:00. Tried to pick up at the end, but the legs were tired from the "intervals" earlier.

Jeff gave Nick a surprise in the last mile. Surprise for Nick, that is, but we already knew that Jeff had that surprise in him from his training. 5:03 turning it on only about a quarter into it. 20 second gap in less than one mile. Jeff, as humble as he is, asked me if that mile was maybe short. I told him, no, the marks were painted, I ran it in 5:51, Nick ran it around 5:20, it was correct.

1:10:38 for Jeff, new course record, $350 cash plus a watch of supposedly high value, but in practice difficult to sell, maybe that is why it is being given as a prize, the jewelry store gets some advertising in exchange for unwanted merchandise. Plus a dinner for two for the course record, an impromptu bonus from the race director. Not bad for running the race tactically as proven in the last mile. Then Nick 1:10:58 ($100), Mike 1:12:04($50) gun time, who knows what would have happened had he started on time, but starting on time is part of the race rules. Then Shin 1:13:00 ($0), and me 1:15:29 ($0).

1:19:51 for Mary Ann, new course record by almost 2 minutes, she lived up to her last name again pouring a shower of hammers on her competition and winning the race by almost 12 minutes.

Both Jeff and Mary Ann PR'ed in the cash department winning more than they ever have in one race, and both needed that PR in this economy.

Even though I got outclassed from the money, I feel happy because Jeff and Mary Ann did so well. This year I am learning how to be equally happy about the success of my training partners as if it were my own.

We hurried to get Jeff's award, then found Seth, got my clothes out of his car, then cooled down 1.3 to my house barely in time for the General Conference.

P.M. Busy afternoon and evening, went to the Conference Center to do the backup for the Russian translation. Then Priesthood session in the evening. So kids ran around the block, Benjamin 2.1 in 15:42, Jenny ran 2 miles with Sarah,  Julia 1.05 miles.

Saucony Type A Miles: 17.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From maurine/tarzan on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 15:20:05 from 63.255.172.2

Enjoyed the race write-up Sasha! Question for you - you run so hard every day during the week. Do you ever taper for races such as these?

From TylerS on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 15:44:18 from 66.29.160.130

Nice race report Sasha! Sounds like you are coaching some winners! I use to go and help translate for General Conference in Icelandic but I think they found some newer missionaries to take over! Good job on the race. Was Mike late for the start or was he hanging back trying not to be seen?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 15:46:52 from 64.81.245.109

Maurine:

Half-marathons are not worth tapering for. Tapering will give me maybe 30 seconds in the half, but overtime will cost me a couple of minutes in the marathons. 30 seconds rarely saves the day in the half, but 2 minutes in the marathon often make a differences of a few hundred dollars. For somebody faster, the difference is even bigger. Two minutes in the marathon could be worth several thousand dollars.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 18:10:02 from 64.81.245.109

He miscalculated and was not ready to start when the gun went off. No runner in his right mind would hang back on a windy day.

From air darkhorse on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 18:11:12 from 65.100.192.2

Sasha, You are to say the least a bit outspoken on this entry. Yes, you are are correct in most of your assumptions. But guess what? I race because I want to race. Running is a joy, not just a bunch of training over time conducted on the same route and same time every day applied with cold rigid formulas and methods all the time. In response to your other assertion, I don't expect miracles either but on the other hand if they come it's because God has shown his favor and grace. And we don't earn grace, it is given to us freely as a gift. By the way, I have never beaten someone who I could not achieve victory over again. I understand that you are not happy about the decision I chose on Saturday. But I love the sport too much to walk away from it in order to prove a point just because I can't get a comp.

If the comp issue was so important to you why did you still choose to race? Answer that..

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 23:14:39 from 64.81.245.109

Steve - I had a comp, the race was next to my house, and I was planning a long run anyway. If I did not have a comp I would not have run. I love the sport, but I can race the guys I know for free, all it takes a couple of phone calls to get together. And I do not have the Las Vegas mindset to pay for a chance to win money. I do not pay for a chance.

From adamr on Tue, Apr 07, 2009 at 16:22:11 from 76.23.39.102

Mike and a few other runners, including myself, were still warming up when the cannon fired. There were more than a few of us that missed the start and were wondering what was happening. I definitely thought it was weird when Mike passed me around the 1 mile marker (meaning his first mile was probably high 5:50s-6min clock time...I don't remember if he passed me right before or after the marker...though probably more like 5:15-20 or faster running).

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 07, 2009 at 16:36:35 from 64.81.245.109

Adam:

Thanks for the info. That makes sense.

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 01:09:21 from 71.219.82.200

Instead of impromptu dinner for two I took a whole box of fruit home and Denny came to my fun run the next week and took pictures for 2 hours for me in the rain just to be nice! What great race directors for Run13.com!

That's nice Sasha that you are enjoying our success, unselfishly! Thanks for your nice compliments!

Steve, You probably don't need this advice, but I feel like telling you some as if I were giving myself advice on this. Don't feel pressured by anyone's suggestions. You do what you feel is right and what will make you happy. It's okay to disagree and it doesn't matter if someone or even everyone thinks your actions are immoral or unethical or whatever if you feel that your actions are right for you. I understand how you feel though, how it bothers you to be pressured and judged. I feel the same way in these circumstances. Seeing your response helped me see more clearly how I should react in the same situations. Don't worry about the arm of flesh or what people who aren't prophets tell you. We're all equals, no one is better than each other, we don't have to answer to anyone except our bosses at work, if we have them, our church leaders, and our spouses if we have them, and even then, the Lord has the final say. We're really all just kids on this planet without the immediate supervision of a parent. Have confidence that your opinion and feelings are just as valid and important as anyone else's, no matter how educated, prestigious, famous, powerful or intimidating they may seem.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Watched General Conference. Really liked the talk by President Uchtdorf.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.3514.35

A.M. Easy run with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. 10.1 in 1:20:52. Did explosions.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:36, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:21. 2 with Benjamin in 16:43. Then later during the family home evening played freeze tag with the kids, and chased Benjamin in a 200 as well. It was supposed to be a 100, so I gave him 1 second head start because I wanted to be there to time his PR if he got one. But the mark at the 100 was missing, so we went to 200. He did it in 38.8.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.951.750.901.6014.20

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Mary Ann, Jeff, and Ben Crozier. Jeff slept in, so we met him on the trail. Ben was doing a goofy workout from Runner's World, and was too stubborn be talked into doing something more appropriate for his current condition. The workout was 9 quarters targeting a mysterious HR of 180 (how in the world do you hit any target HR in a quarter when it keeps climbing from start to finish?). I figured I'd keep him company to show where quarters start and end, take his splits, and gather up material for further discussion on the need for solid aerobic base before doing speed work. In the mean time, I could  shake out my legs a bit.

Ben did the quarters ranging from 85 to 93 depending on the terrain and his focus. I had to hold him back in the first 100, and then he faded in most of them in the last 100, except for the one when he really focused and hit an 85. So some clear indicators that quarters would be the wrong workout to do, leg power is way ahead of aerobic support, aerobic support development is primarily a function of the mileage, and is very little affected by how fast you are going once you reach a reasonable level of intensity (around 60%-70% of max HR). I just talked to him on the phone, his stubborness now has decreased.

Then Jeff and I ran The Interval. The plan today was for Jeff, 1.25 at 5:20, then 73 quarters to failure or to 2.5 total distance. For me, same, except once 73 quarter pace failure occurred, keep best pace to 2.5. Why? I feel something special happening to the muscles if I keep running hard after the pace failure.

We made it to 1.25 on schedule as usual, although a bit more erratically than normal - at one point we were 2 seconds ahead, and in a few spots 1 second behind. 5:20 pace felt hard at first, but then easier. Part of it was probably from erratic pacing, and I can really feel the difference between 5:12 and 5:20. Then I made it with Jeff through 600 in 1:50, and backed off. The failure was caused by legs caving as usual, except I was able to make it further than before. My 200 splits after that were 43, 43, 42, 42, 42, 40, 40. Total time for 2.5 was 13:22.7.

Towards the end I felt I was at the limit of my leg power, but was still going strong. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I thought for sure I'd slow down to slower than 6:00 for at least a quarter to recover, but I only needed an 86 (5:44 pace), and then I started to get progressively stronger.

Jeff did 72.5, 72.5, 76, 78, called that the final failure, then once I caught up to him he finished 2.5 with me. At first I thought this was residual fatigue from the half, which did not quite add up with how he was feeling right after the half. Then after some discussion we realized there was a bigger problem. Kimia's sister and her family has been visiting with them and that added some extra running around and threw off his sleeping schedule. Again we go back to the wisdom of classical Kenyan recovery - rest in bed, do not move if you do not have to, when you have to get milk  walk to the store at zombie pace. Shut your body down as much as you can. Strive for zombie status to the extent your circumstances permit. One reason Kenyans are fast is that they know how to be lazy.

Afterwards ran the cool down with Mary Ann, total distance was 10.2.

 

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From air darkhorse on Thu, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:45:44 from 75.145.57.150

In other words if you want to be World Class, go on unemployment and food stamps right?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 09, 2009 at 12:48:00 from 192.168.1.1

It is unfortunate that a) we have the option of food stamps with no requirement to work for them and b) there are so few opportunities for somebody who is very good at running to support himself using his primary talent to the point that it may become tempting to think of option a).

However, supporting yourself was not an issue in this particular case. In our culture we are not sensitive to health. We grow up learning to sacrifice health for fun. You are implicitly expected in many different ways to sacrifice health for fun. Then we learn that having no health is no fun, but by the time it is too late.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.1014.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann in 1:20:50. Did explosive sprints. Wore Five Fingers. Set a PR - no blister afterwards in spite of a fairly sizable hole. Five Fingers are great for anti-blister training. With proper approach it is possible to develop callouses such that you will never get another blister wearing racing flats. I think I am already there.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:38, 2 with Jenny in 19:21, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:36.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.750.250.000.1014.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:17:37.  Daniel slept in and ran later. Explosive sprints. Nature-forced 0.25 tempo pickup in 88 to catch up as well. Raining today, and Jeff was in a hurry to get to work. We were thinking about a 2 mile tempo at Jeff's marathon race pace, but decided to do it tomorrow.

I have good news and even better news. The good news is that I am done with my taxes. The better news is that I am getting a fairly big refund.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:41, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:31. 2 with Benjamin in 16:51.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From paul on Thu, Apr 09, 2009 at 18:49:37 from 65.103.252.214

The bad news is that it looks like your quarterlies were off. ;-)

From ryan on Thu, Apr 09, 2009 at 20:41:31 from 71.213.75.222

Is it a real refund or a redistribution of wealth payment. the last few years it seems like i pay in a lot of taxes and my younger siblings that are making very little get it back in there tax return. these days any refund is welcome but i often think that it would be a lot easier if paying taxes was as easy and simple as paying tithing. later.

From TylerS on Thu, Apr 09, 2009 at 21:16:49 from 173.117.194.251

Sasha is there something wrong with the discussion forum? It says that there is an error and that I have been banned from it? I can't log in? Is there something that I am doing wrong?

From tarzan on Thu, Apr 09, 2009 at 21:19:46 from 97.117.61.168

Tyler - what did you say to get banned? LOL - I've been trying to get banned from a different forum for years and they like me too much to let me go.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 09, 2009 at 22:47:09 from 192.168.1.1

Tyler - I need more details. What exactly did you do to log in?

I have disabled signups of new users to avoid spam. The only way in if you do not have an account already is to log in to the blog, and then click on the Discussion Forum link.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.200.002.001.0015.20

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Jeff and I did a bit of speed. Jeff ran only 2 miles at his marathon pace. I ran a little longer - 2.5. We went through the first mile in 5:29 followed by 5:30. Then I made an effort to pick it up, but not much happened. I did a quarter in 78 and my legs felt tired. I slowed down to 80 on the next one. 13:37.7 for 2.5. I felt like a couple of fast diagnostic/nervous system rebooting quarters. Did them in 73.4 and 72.8. In both I was slowing down a lot in the last 100 even though I did not feel I was breathing too hard. Some food for thought. Symptoms of insufficient sleep (good possibility, I did not feel like getting out of bed this morning, which indicates my body wanted for one reason or another more sleep than I was giving it), and/or low glycogen/blood sugar. When it is low, there is a negative feedback system that if it kicks in it can make you feel it even in a quarter repeat.

Total distance for the run was 10.2.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:50, 2 with Jenny in 18:41. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:09. 1 mile setting up the race course.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.739.320.000.0023.05

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Warmed up 1.3. Then paced Mary Ann through a long tempo on the 10 K race course. 6:20 pace to failure or to 30 K. Splits by 5 K:

20:03 - (slow start, we gave her an easy warm-up mile) - 19:47 (lost some time on the bottle pickup) - 19:53 (lost some time on the bottle, Mary Ann still does not know how to drink while running fast, also towards the end she started slowing down to 6:30, so I told her to stop at 15 K and jog back). Afterwards, I picked up the pace. 18:47 (that was all I could do) - 18:38 (figured out how to relax better) - 19:11 (fuel shortage/neural fatigue coming out).

Total time of 1:56:19 for 30 K,  6:14 average.

A couple of observatons. A whole lot of difference in the perceived muscular effort between 6:00 pace and anything faster between 15 K and 25 K. In the last 5 K that threshold moved to around 6:10. That threshold kept fluctuating, and did not always change in the slower direction as the run progressed. It had a lot to do with the art of relaxing.

Also, my first 15 K was done in 59:43, while the second in 56:36. I could not have gone any faster in the second. But I am very certain that if I had run the first one in 56:36, my second one would have been quite a bit faster than 59:43. Very possibly another 56:36.

So from that some ideas. We take a runner and have him race an all out marathon. Give enough time for recovery ,  and while in the same shape, he run a half 5-10 minutes slower than one half of his marathon time, and then a half all out. We call that "tired half" PR. Now Sasha Science Marathon Pacing theory. A marathon is properly paced when the first half is run at the fastest possible pace that still allows you to be within one minute of the tired half PR in the second half. Of course we assume equal terrain and condition for both halves which is never the case in any Utah marathon except maybe Ogden on a cool day.

This does can often mean a positive split depending on the runner. I suspect for a properly trained athlete the range is from 1 minute negative split to 5 minute positive split. For a less fit runner it could be as much as 10-15 minute positive split.

Afterwards paced Benjamin through a 5 K in 21:31. He took thrid place overall. Jenny won the mile with 8:00, Julia was second in 8:23. Jacob ran the 200 race in 1:34. Joseph did it in 1:22.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 23.05
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.100.001.000.0014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Today was the VPB day of the year. It began with a dream I had about running with a large group and trying to find a good VPB spot. Then about 0.8 miles into the run I had to stop. Again half a mile later. While catching the group I had to stop again. This reminded me of a misconfigured Apache web server error message when you go to a non-existent URL.  "Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request." It tries to find the file, does not find it, then it tries to serve the error page but it cannot find the error page either.

So finally I got going, ran 0.75 in 4:05 and caught the group. Only to stop 200 meters later. This time I decided to be smarter and run fast in increments to avoid shaking things up. Caught the group in about half a mile,  and then stopped a quarter later, finally for the last time.

Then it was Jeff's turn. He found a geo-cache during his stop. No need for a GPS, VPB does it. Now, combining the two acronyms and geocaching, true story, one time I lost a cell phone during a VPB and used a GPS to find it.

Total time for 10.1 was 1:16:50.

And, of course, we could not do without a picture. A few days ago we ran out of toilet paper, so Benjamin and I ran to get it with Jacob in the stroller:

 

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:47. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:06. 2 with Benjamin in 16:41.


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Jon on Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 16:38:59 from 138.64.2.76

You might have to buy another jumbo pack of toilet paper after all your vpb's today.

From wheakory on Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 18:44:40 from 134.50.89.33

Wow Sasha! It must have been Easter Sunday dinner. Did you actually eat something different from your routine?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:05:19 from 64.81.245.109

The culprits are: I overdosed on peppermint flavor while experimenting making a fuel drink the night before. I also was hungry in the morning and ate three coconut oil and honey sandwiches. The combination was not good. Live and learn.

From paul on Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 19:28:16 from 65.103.252.214

Coconut oil...do you spread it like butter? I use coconut oil in substitution for butter for most baking (bought a gallon on amazon.com for cheap), but found it does not spread well.

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 00:35:29 from 71.219.82.200

Ha ha ha!! This is the most hilarious picture ever!!! Reminds me of when I used to push a child stroller around to do my shopping. I'd pretend I had kids in there, but secretly was trying to get my miles in and save gas at the same time, til I got too embarrassed to do it anymore and gave the stroller to my sister. If only everyone were runners then everyone would do it without worrying about what anyone thinks! I wish I was humble enough to run through town with toilet paper visable to everyone. I guess if you have 2 kids with you then everyone thinks it's ok. Parents can get away with all sorts of public behavior!

From JeffC on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 12:56:53 from 167.207.128.101

I know what VPB means but what are the actual words for the acronym? I've been meaning to ask this question for over a year.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 13:09:36 from 64.81.245.109

Jeff:

VPB stands for Virtual Private Bathroom. A hybrid of VIP (very important person) and VPN (virtual private network). I like to make fun of both. VIPs think their network is secure because they have a VPN. A VIP asks for a special bathroom at the start of a marathon. An experienced runner just finds a bush.

Paul - sorry for possibly ruining your appetite. Coconut oil spreads quite nicely for me. We got a huge bucket for $165 from a magic special order place. Sarah knows more details. Ask her if you are interested. Otherwise, we get a lot of stuff from AzureStandard.Com.

From paul on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 13:16:18 from 65.103.252.214

Sasha - no you certainly didn't ruin my appetite. Coconut oil is good, although I wouldn't put it on a sandwich...plus I don't eat sandwiches anymore.

We bought a gallon bucket for $38. Seemed like a good deal. It's not virgin, so doesn't have much taste, but we only use it for cooking.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KA7B0W

From wheakory on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 13:25:05 from 134.50.89.33

Sasha - What is the benefit for eating or spreading coconut oil.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 15:10:48 from 64.81.245.109

Kory:

Good reading at

http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

Paul:

We got 5 gallons of organic pure virgin coconut oil for $165. Probably that is why it spreads well. It is a combined order, meaning several people pool together and get a really good price. And a 5 gallon bucket is the smallest you can get.

From paul on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 15:22:16 from 65.103.252.214

I am laughing at the thought of a 5-gallon bucket of coconut oil. It is good stuff though. Reminds of when I order almonds, I order 25 lbs at a time. It's the only way to get a good price, but then I have a freezer full of almonds.

Sasha, since I'm feeling generous, I'll share my homemade power bar recipe with you. (I actually stole it from a website). It will bring you much success in the running through the power of coconut oil, almonds, and flax. None of that filthy wheat or peanuts either.

http://www.elanaspantry.com/power-bars/

You can sub the chocolate with carob, and the agave and stevia with honey. I make these every week, and they serve as a quick snack. I think they are right up your alley.

From Lybi on Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 02:44:57 from 70.190.199.29

Isn't coconut oil a natural laxative?

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/coconut-oil-constipation.html

From Lybi on Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 02:48:55 from 70.190.199.29

Bad news for the bushes in your area...

From Kelli on Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 23:33:16 from 71.219.84.84

Just checking for your race report and came across this post. FUNNY---running toilet paper man. Good for you for not hopping in the car to do it!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.850.000.001.2514.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, Mary Ann, and her friend Cindy. Cindy ran 2 miles with us and turned around. Jeff and I ran a mild version of The Interval. He got it easy because he is tapering for the marathon. I figured I should take it easy as well because of yesterday's stomach problems, and a feeling in the body that too much stress would not be good for it. But I felt I could handle a little bit. Mary Ann was excused from The Interval altogether due to leg tightness and the residual fatigue from Saturday.

The plan was  to run 1.25 starting  at 80 per quarter and gradually speeding up after 1000. That is, for Jeff. For me, try to hang on with him to failure, then finish with a measure of dignity. So we did 80 - 78 - 77 - then on this quarter I lost contact with Jeff but still did 73, and then struggled through the last one in 78, but was still happy with the result - 6:26.0.  Jeff finished in 6:16.

We jogged back a bit to Daniel and Mary Ann, joined them, then chased down a girl ahead of us, and she joined us. Her name was Kristy. She ran with us for a few miles. I like tests, and meeting a new person provided an opportunity for one. So I asked her how old she thought I was and how many children she thought I had. At first she was surprised that I had children, but even with that hint, she gave the correct age of 28 and the correct number of children (2) for year 2001. Then we recounted Jeff's incident of being asked to home coming by a high school girl. Running can help you stay young.

Dropped Jeff off at 8.1 miles then ran 2 more with Daniel and Mary Ann. Total distance was 10.1.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:16. Julia ran the first 1.5 miles in 13:45. 2 with Benjamin in 15:27. He ran the last mile in 6:36.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From jtshad on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 14:31:32 from 204.134.132.225

Runners must look young! I was asked on my trip last week by a nice elderly lady next to me on the plane if I was attending the University in the city we were going to...I've been out of school for 17 years! She must not have seen my gray hairs LOL!

From Burt on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 14:43:38 from 68.76.197.194

She got it right....for the year 2001!!!! That's funny stuff. Now the real answer I want to hear: Did Jeff say yes to the girl?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 15:00:48 from 64.81.245.109

Burt:

Jeff said he already had a date for the homecoming but he probably was not going because his wife would not be interested. The girl was very embarrassed and left. She was asking guys in the group one at time in their standing order. What is funny is that the guy that stood behind Jeff did not have a date, and wanted to be asked, but Jeff ruined it for him.

From Burt on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 17:24:13 from 68.76.197.194

Oh no! The story gets better and better.

From Kristy on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 18:34:56 from 15.203.233.75

Hey, I made your blog! It was nice to meet your group today and to run with you for a few miles. I plan to run again tomorrow, maybe I will see you again!

From Burt on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 18:38:40 from 68.76.197.194

Whew! Had to take another quick peek at your entry to make sure Kristy was the girl you guys met on your run and not the high school prom girl...

From Burt on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 18:39:25 from 68.76.197.194

Feel free to join the blog Kristy.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 19:32:52 from 64.81.245.109

Kristy:

339 N 1120 W. Look for the house with a 15-passenger van in the driveway. 7:00 AM.

From lysa on Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 12:27:20 from 76.23.52.240

wow, you are an inspiration

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.650.000.250.1016.00

A.M. What an eventful week! Monday was the VPB day. Tuesday was the Meet New People day. Today was the Police Day. Ben Crozier called at 6:48 AM to report that he got pulled over by a state trooper and he was not sure if he was going to be able to make it to run with us. I called him back half an hour later and he did not answer his cell phone. We assumed he got arrested and so we went without him.

Ran with Cindy, Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Matt. Cindy turned around at 2 miles. Then we all turned around at 3 because Jeff was gonig only 6. I did a quarter in 82  post-VPB. Dropped Jeff off at 6 and called Ben again because I wanted to know how big his ticket was. Turned out his car got impounded for expired registration, and the trooper left him on the road in the rain in shorts. So he ran to the Provo City Office building and tried to plead his case. Needless to say unsuccessfully. So we told him to run from there to our house while Daniel, Mary Ann and I went for another 2 miles. I did explosive sprints.

Then we came back, dropped off Daniel, and picked up Ben. Ben warmed up 0.5, ran a 3 mile tempo in 22:00, then cooled down 0.5. I ran with him. Mary Ann turned around a mile into it to make it 10. I ended up with 12 for the run. Afterwards I gave Ben a ride home.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:27. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:42. 2 with Benjamin in 16:55.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From jtshad on Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 16:39:13 from 204.134.132.225

"We assumed he got arrested and so we went without him." LOL! That is hillarious!

From luzylew on Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 14:18:38 from 208.187.197.42

You sure are running with a rough croud these days, fugitives of justice and everything :) That reminds me, I think I need to register my car....

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.000.0014.50

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Jeff, and Mary Ann. We got some snow. The trail had a few fallen branches and trees. Jeff did only 4 because he is running the marathon. Daniel and Mary Ann did 8. I ran 10. Total time was 1:25:41.

P.M. Went to SLC with the family to pick up the race packet, go to the Church Art and History Musium, and visit the NPS store. Ran about 0.5 retrieving the car from a remote parking spot. Later ran 2 with Benjamin in 16:41, and 2 with Jenny in 18:41. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:30.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 8 with Daniel in 1:05:03, then 2 more with Benjamin in 15:31.

P.M. 2 with Jenny, Julia ran the first 1.5. Do not remember the times, but it was around 9:30 pace average.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 15:36:17 from 71.219.89.124

Great job in the SLC 1/2!! I didn't realize you got a 1:11! Last year you got a 1:13 right? That's a big improvement! I'm so glad you ran well!

Here are the two news stories. The first one shows you running quite a long time at the start.

http://www.kutv.com/default.aspx

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=6200664

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 22:18:00 from 71.219.89.124

The ksl one has Jeff's interview.

Here's one where they wrote down my comments and mentioned the fastrunningblog and my fast running partners!:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705298240,00.html?pg=1

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 22:44:56 from 71.219.89.124

Here's a news video from the night before the race. They show you running last year's 1/2 marathon.

http://www.fox13now.com/news/kstu-utah-runners-to-participate-in-salt-lake-city,0,1734326.story

From wheakory on Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 19:19:36 from 134.50.89.33

Sasha: I have a question about shoes. I know you have a pair of Brooks T4 Racer that you run in.

I have a chance to buy a pair of Brooks T5 Racer for really really cheap the only problem is it's a full size larger than what I normally wear. I usually go up half a size in running shoes so it would be a 1/2 bigger.

On your Brooks racers did you get them a half or full size bigger?

Race: Salt Lake City Half (13.11 Miles) 01:11:23, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.400.0013.110.0022.51

A.M. SLC Half, 1:11:23, 6th place.

Ran a warm-up with Jeff. Ran into Julie Thomas. Found out she has 6 kids now. So that raises the fertility rate of the top 3 in St. George last year to 3 children per woman (assuming Christina does not have children),  which is 1.1 higher than the national rate, and 0.8 higher than the Utah rate. To make Julie's accomplishment more remarkable, she raced St. George with her baby being only 6 months old. 150 years ago tough women crossed the plains while bearing children. 150 years later their equally tough descendants run fast marathons in between bearing children.

The plan was to hang out with Jeff, Seth, and the Kenyans regardless of the pace, and then do the best I could once the marathon and the half split. So I was up for a surprise. I could be running a survival race, or a negative split race, or anything in between. And in all honesty I did not care, when there is no chance for prize money I am happy to be a participating spectator and do not mind running a minute slower by running somebody else's race.

Today, however, being a participating spectator helped me run better. Details to follow, mile by mile:

Mile 1: 5:21. Teren and Alexander Thomas in the lead of the half far ahead, Nate Hornok trying to hang on with them, James Moore (Fiddy) out there between them and us. I am with the lead pack of marathoners which includes Jeff, Seth, evenutal winner Joseph Mutinda (2:13:19 PR on March 1, 2009), Moses Kororia (28:05 10 K, 1:01:49 half in Nairobi, 2:12:04 PR in Dallas in 2006, since then not so hot in the marathon (2:15-2:17), which I suppose why he was here instead of Country Music), and Ezekiel Ruto, the Top of Utah winner of last year. BJ Cristenson, who was supposedly out of shape (is he ever really in shape?) and told us he was going to run 1:15, and Jason Shoenfield. I believe we saw Fritz there for a little bit as well. Others in the pack I did not recongize.

This mile was downhill, but even still it felt so easy that even with the downhill adjustment I questioned its length. However, there was a red mark on the road, and Seth's Garmin beeped right there. So I was willing to believe it was right.

Mile 2 - 5:33 (10:54). A little down and about the same amount up. Felt harder, believable, but still not straining myself.

Mile 3 - 5:23 (16:17). Downhill. Felt too easy, like I was slacking. Started feeling antsy to go, but decided to stay true to the original plan.

Mile 4 - 5:15 (21:32). Downhill. This was the most educational mile of the race. I pulled alongside Moses and a thought occurred to me to try to follow his rhythm stride for stride. I tried and succeeded, it felt right, and the pace started to feel a lot easier. I have had those experiences before, and consider them significant. They do not happen very often. It is possible to borrow somebody's better rhythm. You need to be going the right pace, and you need to have the right rhythm instructor. Two requirements - he needs to have a good rhythm period, and that rhythm also must be within the optimal range for your body type. Chances of it happening are very rare, but I've raced enough to have it happen. So far the following runners in addition to Moses have been able to feed me the rhythm: Craig Lawson, Nick McCombs, and  Hobbie Call. Now that I am thinking of this I could possibly add Mike Dudley and Lewis Jones. There may have been more cases when I was not aware. I'll discuss the concept of rhythm on the forum later.

Mile 5 - 5:32 (27:04). Slight uphill. During this mile the half and the full split. I ended up with BJ and Jason. Jason and I contended for the coveted spot right behind BJ. If you've ever seen BJ you would know why. 6'6 tall and a solid frame to support the height. Felt a lot harder. I tried to remember the rhythm I had borrowed from Moses earlier.

Mile 6 - 5:15 (32:19). Appeared flat. Even though BJ pushed the pace, and the mark was painted on the road, I was quite sure the mile was short. I was expecting the next one to be long. Around this time we caught James.

Mile 7 - 5:11 (37:30). Slight downhill. Also painted on the road. I suppose mile 6 was not short after all. That cheered me up quite a bit, which I needed because BJ kept pressing the pace, and I was hanging on for dear life.

Mile 8 - 5:16 (42:46). Slight downhill. Eventful mile. First Jason fell back as BJ kept pressing the pace. I stayed with BJ but quickly got miserable enough to drop back as well. Jason caught me but I was able to latch on. A little bit of downhill relieved my leg strain and I was able to relax and find a good rhythm again.

Mile 9 - 5:21 (48:07). Very slight down if any. Still with Jason, and BJ is not moving away from us. In fact, maybe we even closed a second or two. Feeling a good rhythm.

Mile 10 -  5:34 (53:41). Flat. Jason surged and dropped me. Lost the rhythm, trying to survive. Legs are starting to cave.

Mile 11 - 5:37 (59:18). Slight down. Trying to find the rhythm, legs caving, but still strong in the 5:40 range.

Miles 12 and 13: 11:35, probably around 6:00 for 12 (uphill), and 5:35 for 13 (up for about 0.1 then down). I am basing the breakdown off James' split of 5:59 for mile 12 along with him saying he was keeping the distance neither gaining or falling back. When I realized how far uphill we had to go, I started doing disaster calculations of what time 19:00 for the last 5 K would give me. 1:12:41, still respectable. Fortunately it was not that bad, last 5 K was 17:42, almost as fast as I was racing flat 5 Ks at the beginning of the year, at least in the same minutes. Felt stronger on the uphill than I anticipated I would when I saw it at mile 11. There was a surprise of a different kind. There was a wall of 5 K walkers, that was expected. What I did not expect is a wall of slow moving bikers from the bike tour. Then on the downhill the bikers started passing me back.

Kick: 30 seconds. Was surprised that I had some kick in me.

Finish: Alexander Thomas 1:06:22, Teren  1:07:09, Nate 1:09:15, BJ 1:10:38, Jason 1:10:43, me 1:11:23, James 1:11:37.

Afterwards ran with James back to Jeff. Did not quite make it to Liberty Park before we saw Joseph Mutinda. We stopped immediately and timed him at the spot a little after mile 23. 2:01:23. I figured he was headed for around 2:17 and commented that the economy must be really bad if $2500 with a possibility of not being paid for a year produces 2:17 on this course. Moses Kororia 2:03:05, Seth 2:07:23, Ezekiel Ruto 2:07:55. Finally Jeff 2:13:05. We ran with him back to the end. He was out of fuel badly. He does not run well on fats. So only about 7:30 pace on fats, that is what kills him. When he runs 5:30, there is pleny of leg power, and there is plenty of aerobic support, but he is burning carbs like a semi because his fat base pace is only 7:30. One advantage of bonking in the marathon is that you find out your fat base pace. For a comparison, mine is 7:00. On the positive side, in St. George his fat base pace was 8:15, so there is a substantial improvement.

So Jeff finished in 5th with 2:35:07, $100, first marathon prize money (not counting St. George age division appearance fees), first W-9, first running-related media experience. His interview was hillarious - he showed KSL his check which he said he was in a hurry to cash.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:50, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:35.

Saucony Type A Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
Comments
From Matt on Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 14:36:18 from 206.205.188.163

Congrats on a great race. You inspire me.

From jun on Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 16:45:51 from 66.239.250.209

Great race report and it sounds like you had a lot of fun. It was a great day.

From Eric Day on Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 17:20:33 from 189.192.248.169

Where is the rest? Don't leave us in the middle of the race!!??

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 17:22:10 from 64.81.245.109

Eric - hold your horses, I do have to work some time.

From MichelleL on Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:51:04 from 71.35.250.102

Great job on the race Sasha! Very speedy. So perhaps getting in the rhythm early is a key to a great race?

From Eric Day on Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 13:42:51 from 200.52.199.152

Finally, the last 5 miles.

Guess they felt longer to you than to me.

Good race, I agree on the take it as it comes side, sometimes its good to do it that way.

From britta on Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 16:29:00 from 66.74.232.169

Does Julie Thomas have a fast running blog? I would really like to check it out. 6 kids and as fast as she is, truly an inspiration.

From seth on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 14:25:48 from 71.213.32.213

Good job Sasha. I was interesting watching you force the Kenyans to run the tangents.

PS.

BJ is out of shape compared to his running ability his performance is not great. He has the ability to run with Teren and Aleksandar, but he has to split his training time between 3 events to get ready for the Ironman Tris. So I wouldn't get on his case when he says that he is out of shape running wise. He knows what it feels like to run up front and maintain those faster paces.

From Burt on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 14:35:48 from 68.76.197.194

Ha-ay! You finally finished. Good report.

You know, it's been said that Paul Peterson is probably the best marathon runner on the blog, and I would tend to agree with that. Of course with Seth coming on, that could change. Now when it comes to the half marathon, who would you say is the best? Criteria: PR and consistency. I think I could show the stats to prove that you would rank higher than Paul on the list.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 16:30:30 from 64.81.245.109

Britta:

Julie does not have a Fast Running Blog. At least yet.

Burt:

Paul in his best shape will beat me in my best shape by a lot in the half and in the full. Speaking of right now, Jeff will beat both of us in the half. So will Sean Sundwall or Seth. Sean, Seth and Jeff will be a race, not sure who will win.

From paul on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 17:04:06 from 65.103.252.214

Nice job on Saturday Sasha. It's a nice improvement after your winter health issues. Keep the momentum going.

Sean, Seth, and Jeff in a half would be a good race. I will have the pleasure of being in the same race as Sean in just over a week in Indianapolis. Note that I phrased it "being in the same race," not "racing against". ;-) Sean will be going for 1:07:30, and I'm just hoping for something under 1:10:00. But anyone else else is welcome to join us for a nice, flat, sea-level half marathon challenge.

From Burt on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 17:36:38 from 68.76.197.194

I've been crunching numbers. Maybe I should post it on the Discussion Forum so that someone with better statistics knowledge than I can analyze it. As far as I can tell, Seth has no prior HM times. Also I'm going off times alone. I am not converting the times into flat sea-level courses. So far I see that Sasha has the fastest half marathon time and Jeff has the fastest average. Of course I only have a sample data of 3 races for both Jeff and Sean. Jeff also is the most consistent with a standard deviation of 1 min. 6 sec. What's impressive is Sasha's standard deviation of 2:38 over 19 races. That's consistency. I wonder what would happen if I took out Paul's early 4 first halves. That could change things.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 19:17:19 from 64.81.245.109

Burt:

Seth has run 1:09 split in Twin Cities on a windy rainy day. Forget the standard deviation. When it is time to get skinned by a faster runner, he just skins you, the standard deviation is not of any help. He is going to run a couple of minutes faster than your average time minus the standard deviation, and you will most definitely fall within your standard deviation from your average time.

Also you absolutely cannot compare times from different courses without proper adjustment. Some halves are just plain short. Others are downhill. Yet others are certified, loop, have hills and have headwind. With that I could run 1:14 on one course, and then run 1:07 a week later on another. Which I have actually done before.

From Burt on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 01:13:53 from 98.167.151.26

I appreciate your modesty Sasha. But let's go back to the original question: who's the best? Not the fastest and not who currently would win a race. First we would have to define what the "best" means. That is subject to interpretation. There have been many debates on who is the greatest athlete of all time. I saw a list last year that included Michael Phelps, Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Carl Lewis, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods (what a joke), Haile Gebrselassie, Dan O'Brien, Jim Brown, etc. How can you possibly compare athletes of different sports? Often you can't even compare athletic ability of athletes in the same sport because there are different positions. So for pure athletic ability I might lean towards the decathlete or a marathon runner. But there would be arguments that individual greatness or talent outweighs athleticism.

In that light I can understand not comparing individual races without proper adjustment. There are so many factors to weigh in: weather, elevation, elevation change, true length, competition, etc. It's apples to oranges. Do I think there is a way to quantify all of these factors? Of course. But as nerdy as I am, I'm not going to attempt it.

So how do we define best half marathoner? Is it PR? Is it fastest average? Is it most consistent? Is it frecuency of racing? Is it longevity? Again, I'll leave that to individual opinion. But I would say that frecuency and longevity would weigh heavy in my determination of "best". That would eliminate Jeff, Seth, and Sean. Now the only people left are Sasha and Paul. There may be others on the blog that have run enough halves to qualify (Walter Brown or Jeff Shadley?), but speed wise, the two of you are a step ahead of them. So they are eliminated. My numbers included 18 HMs for Sasha over the last 9 years and 10 HMs for Paul over the last 6 years. I think that's a big enough sample to have a high enough confidence level that some of those races compare evenly enough. So now we're no longer dealing with apples and oranges. If I were to eliminate Paul's first 4 HMs, the numbers would sway towards Paul being the best. But four are enough to not be considered outliers considering the sample size and using longevity in the equation. So the numbers sway back to Sasha being the "better" half marathoner.

A race between Seth, Jeff, and Sean would be awesome, but would it crown one of them best? Nope. Now race them several times against each other, and we can get a better idea. No doubt they are the fastest right now, but give them some more HMs under their belt before they can be considered best.

Now I'm off to the publisher to publish this book I just wrote.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 14:23:40 from 64.81.245.109

Burt - if I am best at anything it would be performances and dollars of prize money earned overtime per unit of Quality X. Which makes me wonder what would happen if somebody with a higher amount of Quality X did the same things I did overtime. Two approaches to pursue this - do something to increase my Quality X (very difficult, next to impossible, but must not give up, otherwise may just as well quit racing because it is not interesting any more ), or find a willing lab rat. Jeff so far has been a very good one. I am excited to watch him progress.

From Burt on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 14:34:56 from 68.76.197.194

Me too. I love to be able to rub shoulders with what I consider elite athletes on a forum like this. Unfortunately Seth has set his blog to private or something, but at least I can say that I have had some interaction with the guy who came in right behind the Kenyans in the SLCM.

From Matt on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 14:56:51 from 65.121.71.253

Your earlier post about best all time athlete is probably the most arguable sports topic of all time. While even limiting it to decathletes and Marathon runners I doubt either would excel at the other events.

I have a buddy who says he wants to sponsor a post race event at the St. George Marathon. First one to cross the finish line and bench press 300 Lbs wins a $1,000.00 dollars. If he lowers the competition to 250 lbs I might consider training but regardless they are two drastically different competitions as are most sports.

I think most great athletes do share a couple common factors, desire to win, focus, and dedication. I believe although Sasha is extremely modest he possesses all of these. However his most admirable athletic trait may be his durability. At this I feel he is definitely tops on the blogs. He is the most consistent running, training and racing. He is the Cal Ripken of local running. I am sure there are races he could duck out of but he is our energizer bunny. That is extremely impressive.

From britta on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 16:09:16 from 66.74.232.169

At risk of sounding errogant.. My husband could win the 1,000 dollars for crossing the finish line fastest and benching 300 lbs. He has never ran a full marathon but his fastest 1/2 was 1:23 last year and he ran that on only about 25 miles a week. At the races he has participated in someone has always stopped him to ask how he is so fast for being a big man. He is 6 ft and 175-180 lbs. He is in great shape. His first love is lifting weights so he spends most of his exercise time doing that. He can bench 300-320 so maybe I will try to talk him into participating in a competition like that.

It's okay to brag about your spouse.. Right?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 16:23:08 from 64.81.245.109

Matt:

Encourage your friend to go through with his idea.

Britta:

Encourage your husband to run the most miles that would still allow him to bench 300 lb after finishing a marathon. I suppose he would need to be able to have his max around 350 because right after you finish you will be quite off your max.

Is anybody willing to sponsor the marathon + 10 step long jump immediately afterwards event? I have a feeling I would have a much better shot at it than just the marathon alone. Although I would probably lose to Michael Wardian unless I can make up on the jump what I lose in the run.

From britta on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 16:29:01 from 66.74.232.169

Yes, Matt encourage your friend to follow through. I have been trying to get my husband to run a marathon and this might be just the kind of competition that would get him to do so.

Sasha, I think that is probably true. He will need to work up to more running and more lbs. in the bench.

I am gettin all excited I hope this turns into a reality!

From Burt on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 16:36:41 from 68.76.197.194

Britta - I would get done and bench press your husband while he bench presses his 300 lbs.

From britta on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 17:09:48 from 66.74.232.169

Burt, You are too funny. I will be sure to bring the camera along!

From Burt on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 17:20:42 from 68.76.197.194

I haven't bench pressed since high school. And I could only do 165 back then. I think I have a little more upper body strength now, but who knows? In high school I did have the distinction of being the only person who could clean more than he could bench. Did you know that glory days will pass you by in the wink of a young girl's eye?

From Matt on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 17:43:11 from 65.121.71.253

I rembember doing something similiar sophmore year bench 175 clean and jerk 185. Not as uncommon as you might think usually the body type is a realitvely good sprinter (fast twitch) with less upper body strength or longer arms. Power clean is a great full body lift that can hide chest strength.

The longer people lift the less often this tends to happen. Chest strength improves and speed becomes less of a factor on your ability to jerk the more you lift.

I think I might pursue this idea more with my buddy though. I guess all prize money is good prize money and having two vastly different events tied toghter would be interesting.

From Burt on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 18:00:16 from 68.76.197.194

I noticed that all the real high jumpers could power clean just as much if not more than the real buff kids, and I had some mad hops in HS.

When I was a freshmen, the fastest sprinter in the school was also one of the strongest bench pressers. My theory was that he had so much upper body strength that he could get his arms pumping so fast that it would translate into leg motion.

From seth on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 13:33:32 from 216.160.236.39

I have you all beat. My max bench press was 135 in high school, and I have never power cleaned anything.

Seroiusly speaking I think it would be tons of fun if races had specific little events you had to do along the way, like a fitness amazing race.

From paul on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 13:39:31 from 65.103.252.214

How about having to bench your body weight 20 times, or something like that, rather than a set weight? Once upon a time I could do that.

Or how about this: the Big Sur Mud Run.

http://www.bigsurmudrun.org/site8.aspx

You have to do drills, pushups, and stuff like that during the race, plus climb over barriers. I think it is 5M.

From Burt on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 16:12:20 from 68.76.197.194

I've heard those aren't worth the money because they don't put the mud pit until right at the end. Who wants to jump in a mud pit right before you finish 5 miles?

By the way, maybe we could add David Holt, Logan Fielding, and Clyde Behunin into the mix of half marathoners. I haven't crunched any numbers on them yet, but Holt is looking good.

From seth on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 14:02:14 from 216.160.236.39

Yeah, Logan, Dave and Clyde are all great runners. Definitely some of the best on the Blog. Keep up the great work guys!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Ted, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Ted ran 6. Daniel ran 8. Mary Ann ran 10, but only the first mile with us. Total time 1:12:57.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:55. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:37.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.250.003.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Daniel. They ran easy. I did The Interval. Decided 2 miles would be good with the first 1.25 in 6:40 and then try to keep a faster pace. Cut it short if not feeling good, was not expecting to feel that good today. However, I ended up feeling better than I thought. So I ran the first 1.25 on target, then 77, 79, 78. 10:34.2 for 2 miles, last mile in 5:14. Then I started jogging back. Did not see them. Figured they had turned around, decided to try to catch them. Ran a mile in 5:21, my legs were getting tired, and they were still not in sight. Figured they turned around early. So just jogged back to the house. Found them, turned out they just ran faster than I expected them. Ran the last 3.25 with Daniel.

Was not completely unhappy with how 5:20 pace felt today, was happy with the intensity of breathing and the heart involvement, this means the nervous system did well.  But I was not quite satisfied. Too tense, hard to find the rhythm. Maybe what I should do is practice running a slower pace and learn a good rhythm. Then try to speed up to 5:20 without losing the rhythm. Then if I feel it is going away, slow down and try to regain it. That's an idea for Thursday workout - good rhythm tempo run. No time goals, 6:00 pace is good if it is the fastest pace that can be done with good rhythm.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:07. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:44. Then Jenny ran the last 0.5 in 3:23. 2 with Benjamin in 16:45 with a 1:25 quarter in the middle.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.700.000.000.0015.70

A.M. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Daniel. Towards the end of 6 miles ran into Ben Crozier. Ran more with him and Daniel. Ben did 2x1 mile first on a slight uphill in 6:53, then coming back after some rest in 6:30. Then ran the cooldown with Ben to his car and back. Total distance was 11.1, time 1:27:36.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:15, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:45. 2 with Benjamin in 16:11. 200 with Jacob in 1:29. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:37.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 11.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.504.001.000.0014.50

A.M. Warmed up with Ted and Jeff, then ran on my own. Did The Good Rhythm Tempo. The idea is to run relaxed, focus on the rhythm and feeling smooth, observe the pace, but not try to hit any particular targets. If running sub-6:00 creates a strain, then we run 6:00 and no faster.

Distance: 5 miles on my standard course. Splits: 5:45, 5:43, 5:44 (14:19 at 2.5), 5:44, 5:28. Total time 28:24.6.

Subjective/Descriptive: Felt relaxed at 5:44 pace, barely breathing, but felt that going faster would create a muscular strain that would make it difficult to practice efficient rhythm. In the last mile decided to press harder. Thought that as much as my legs fought going faster than 5:44 that I should expect about 5:35 out of the last mile given that it is 5-7 seconds slower than flat. I was surprised with a 5:28. Was breathing a lot harder and had to focus a lot more, but at least I had the ability. Felt that after practicing good rhythm for 4 miles at a slower pace/lower muscular effort the faster pace/higher muscular effort was not breaking my rhythm too bad. In fact, I felt that I owed that 7 second gain to the rhythm.

Thoughts: I have said before that I felt the lactate level is as much of a red herring as the intensity of breathing. To say you slowed down because the lactate levels were too high makes as much sense as to say you slowed down because you were breathing too hard, or even more plainly - because you reached the pace that you could not sustain. Which in essence says nothing - could not run fast because could not run fast. Rhythm is a different story. I am willing to believe that a runner could slow down a lot because he lost his rhythm. In other words, he started working against himself expending more effort while running slower.

Once the aerobic capacity is present, the focus should be on rhythm. You need to do whatever it takes to learn a good rhythm, know the best rhythm for your body and the race you are running, be able to kick into it from the gun, be able to find it quickly after a surge, a water stop, or a hill. Have an uphill rhythm, a downhill rhythm, a flat rhythm, a headwind rhythm, a tailwind rhythm, and a roller rhythm at your fingertips. Good rhythm means the muscles that should relax do relax when they should, and the ones that should contract contract when they should. It is all about timing. Ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta. It gives maximum forward thrust with minimum energy expenditure. In a marathon good rhythm could make a quite a difference - pushing the wall away by 3 miles can easily produce a 5 minute improvement or more. Rhythm is critical.

Afterwards ran 2 with Jenny in 17:47, 1.5 with Julia in 15:26, and 2 with Benjamin in 16:59.

Saucony Type A Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Cheryl on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 19:17:04 from 76.27.66.153

I absolutely agree with you. I've recently been working on changing my form so that I run more relaxed and more with the rhythm you're talking about, and my times are faster on less effort. It's a great way to get faster without doing any speedwork or anything like that--just get the running form more correct.

From Jon on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 16:46:49 from 75.169.153.20

Not sure how the Lone Faithfuls works on the blog. Mary Ann is on there right now, although her most recent post from this week has 4 comments. And her one from last weekend has almost 100.

From air darkhorse on Sat, Apr 25, 2009 at 22:16:50 from 76.27.0.45

I was doing some reading on running being a learned skill not unlike so many other sports. I started to have a memory of the time I ran a 4:42 mile some years ago. It wasn't because of the time so much as it was the the way it felt. I had experienced a powerful, almost bouncing like forward stride. You might be on to something. I'm just not sure where to begin uncovering this notion. Good luck with this.

From air darkhorse on Sat, Apr 25, 2009 at 22:20:06 from 76.27.0.45

Efficient stretch reflex maybe?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.400.000.000.1014.50

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Ted, and Daniel. Jeff and Ted stopped at 6. Daniel and I did 9 in 1:06:something. Then 2 with Jenny in 18:40, 1.5 with Julia in 14:25, and 2 with Benjamin in 15:50. Benjamin ran the last 0.75 in 4:54. Pushed William during the kids' runs.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.0018.200.000.0022.20

A.M. Started with Jeff, Daniel, Ted, and his son James. He used to be little James, but he is getting bigger. Ran the first 2 in 15:06 then started my very long tempo. The plan was to run the 10.1 course twice for the whole run tempoing the last 18.2 of it. No pace goal again, focus on running in a nice relaxed rhythm. I am quickly converting into the good rhythm goal/no pace goal religion. Pace goals are meaningless. You can run exact same pace in a workout and get very different results. If you force your way through it you learn to run tense. That is not what we want, we want to learn to run relaxed, and we cannot know in advance what pace will create the best educational experience on a given day at a given point in the run. Most definitely it will vary not only from day to day but from spot to spot in the run. It has to be by feel, we take the splits only for observation.

So at first I was running 6:00 pace, occasionally a little faster, and it felt just right, as fast as I could go without excessive muscle strain. I was concerned about that. 6:00 should have felt dog slow this early in the run, and it did not. I was expecting very miserable 6:10 later on if not worse. 33:11 total time at 5.05, then came back in 30:12 (1:03:23). At this point Jeff joined me on a bike and he had my magic bottle containing a special drink of evaporated cane juice from Costco diluted in water. 700 ml of water, about 10 teaspoons of cane juice. Keep it simple. I have a feeling that Powerade and Gatorade to meeting energy needs are what expensive brand name shoes are to injury prevention. There has to be something very simple and basic not associated with any brand name that will do a much better job. So I created my own mix in search of that and was trying it out today.

The arrival of Jeff created two positives. Having him around produced some excitement. So I had more adrenaline and the pace started to feel easier. Also, the sweetness of the drink produced a nervous system reboot to help that cause, followed up by the actual energy arriving 10-15 minutes later. I found myself hitting 84 second quarters from time to time and they did not feel miserable at all. At one point managed an 87 while drinking from the bottle. Jeff gave me the bottle at 10.5, and then every two miles. Got to 15.15 in 1:32:33 (29:11 for 5.05).

Felt strong in the next couple of miles, but then started to feel stale. So I started asking for the bottle more often, every half mile or so. That did the trick. I would lose a second during the bottle quarter, but then get back to pace. At that point I was going around 5:55 pace and felt I could make it home. With 0.5 to go Jeff started yelling at me, and I pushed harder. Did an 87 quarter followed by 83. Was surprised that a) I could do 83 at this point and b) even though I was running as hard as I could I felt relaxed.

So 2:02:09 for 20.2 miles, 6:02.8 average. Excluding the warmup, 1:47:03 for 18.2, 5:52.9 average. Last 10.1 in 58:46, 5:49.1 average. Do not recall my split at 7.1 exactly, but the last half marathon of the run would have been around 1:16:45.

I will give my new magic drink an A rating based on this experience.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin, Jenny, James, and Jared in 17:58. Julia ran 3 miles earlier with Sarah.


Saucony Type A Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From tarzan on Sat, Apr 25, 2009 at 17:04:44 from 63.255.172.2

Great run, Sasha! I've enjoyed reading about your changes in process this week.

From desi on Sat, Apr 25, 2009 at 18:55:13 from 160.7.242.143

thanks for the welcome. Glad you had a good run before the rain started to come down hard.

Chocolate Turtle

From Mary Ann Schauerhame on Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 01:19:43 from 71.219.72.152

Happy birthday!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Daniel spoke in the Sacrament meeting. He told a story of one stake president interviewing one of the brothers in his stake. "Suppose you were asked to give up the deed to your house, would you do that?" "No problem"." What about all of your stocks, bonds, and saving?" "No problem." "What about the expensive things that your wife cherishes?" "No problem." "What about your horse?" "No, I would not give up my horse!" "Why?" "Because I actually do have a horse!"

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From RivertonPaul on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 18:12:33 from 67.42.27.114

Lovely story. I will have to pilfer that sometime.

From luzylew on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 00:33:30 from 69.169.165.206

Almost as good as the "let's talk a little more about that bridge".

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.400.750.500.3514.00

A.M. Ran with Ted and Jeff. Had a post VPB tempo - 0.5 in 2:50.  Dropped Ted off after 6, then ran 2.5 more with Jeff. We ran the last mile fast. The idea was to fall asleep burning fats during the run, then speed up without waking up the carb-burning beast. Well, this time we blew it big time with two quarters in 83, and then 77. That was like putting rooster right next to the beast's ear. After that Jeff kept going, while I eased off a bit. He did 76,77 for a 5:13 mile, I did 82,85 for 5:27. Then 2 more with Benjamin in 15:48. Did explosions during Benjamin's run.

P.M. 1.5 with Julia in 14:44, faster than the policeman. We have a friend that is trying to get a job as a policeman and he needs to be able to run 1.5 miles in 15:00. So any time Julia breaks 15:00 I tell her she ran fast enough to be a police officer. 2 with Jenny in 17:59.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments
From wheakory on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 16:27:51 from 134.50.89.55

Okay Sasha you have to explain this statement

"The idea was to fall asleep burning fats during the run, then speed up without waking up the carb-burning beast."

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 12:24:34 from 192.168.1.1

Kory:

When you run slow you primarily burn fats. As you speed up you switch to carbs. If you could learn to burn fats instead of carbs while running the same pace, your fuel situation improves. When you run slow and then start gradually speeding up the transition to carbs is not immediate, there is a delay. This will give your body maybe a 2-3 minute window of practicing fat metabolism at a quick pace. The pace must not get too quick, this would wake up the carb metabolism and defeat the purpose of the pickup.

You can actually feel it. When you are burning more fats you feel sluggish at a relatively slow pace. Once the carbs kick in all of a sudden the pace feels a lot easier. A good time for this exercise is at the very end of your easy run, about the last mile or so. Make sure the easy run pace is around 7:30, any faster might put you in the carb zone too far. Then in the last mile, very important, do not get worked up about anything, pace, work stress, last night's football game, nothing, you must be absolutely calm, or else the adrenaline will release the carbs and you will not be relying on fats sufficiently. Start speeding up to marathon race pace, or a little slower in a leisurely manner, absolutely do not force it. If it feels too easy, you are probably not doing it right. You must feel like there is a wall that keeps you from going faster. Then in the last quarter if you want to test if the wall was metabolic, not a result of general fatigue/bad day, push a little harder. If everything happened like it is supposed to you'll be able to pick up quite significantly, and it will not feel hard. Once you've learned the feeling, it should not be necessary to do those tests in the last quarter, use it to practice burning fat instead.

From Nevels on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 12:37:11 from 131.204.15.93

This is an interesting concept that has made a splash in the ultra world, as well, when mid-run fueling becomes more and more of a limiting issue. Many ultra runners rely heavily on specially made ultra products that tend to be glorified mixtures of sugars (fast burning carbs), and slightly more complex (slower burning) carbs. I have found (and have been backed up by several more experienced ultra runners) that if I consume a little less food during a run and start just slightly more conservatively, I have much more even energy levels throughout the day. On the other hand, toward the end of the run, if I want a quick boost, I can grab something with a high sugar content to get a quick rush and hope that I finish the race before the ensuing crash.

In any case, I think you are correct regarding starting slow and trying to increase the pace at which you can maintain almost pure fat metabolism as opposed to carbohydrate metabolism, but it can be frustratingly slow at times, and I am the king of going out too fast and flying through training runs under the premise of "train fast, race fast."

From wheakory on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 12:53:06 from 134.50.89.55

I've actually done this on my 20 miler last week. I started out with no food before hand or during the run (no water or sports drink either). I started slow and was very sluggish then towards the end of the run I started pushing the pace and it was hard. But the last little push when I went faster was better.

If we can rely on burning fats in a marathon definitely is an advantage to not lose all the glycogen.

Also running a long run slow is good just to keep your feet out there for along time to build endurance and not really worry about the pace.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.251.001.001.0015.25

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did a brisk warmup (by our standards) at 7:30 pace for 2.12 miles. Then we ran The Interval. The Interval has been modified to include a mile warmup to get into the rhythm. So we started at 0.5 mark of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler Course and ran towards the start, then did a 180 and ran to the 2.5 mark. First mile was 5:45, then 5:19, and then 5:12 with the quarters of 79,79,78,76. Total time was 16:16.8. Felt very strong, very much in control of the pace even when it got fast. It felt good to blow by the 5:30 guy in the last mile and put 14 seconds on him after being 15 seconds behind one mile into it.

After the lion stopped roaring, ran a nice cool-down to make 10 miles total. Then added 2 mile with Benjamin in 17:34.

P.M. 2.25 from Computune with Jenny and Julia in 22:42.

Saucony Type A Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.901.000.000.1014.00

A.M.  Ran with Jeff and Ted. Dropped Ted off at 6, then did 4 more. The river overflowed and there was quite a bit of water under some bridges. Five Fingers dry out a lot quicker than regular shoes with socks. Did the Fat Mile at the end in 6:00. Fat Mile is a new term I've just invented. You lull your body into burning fats by running a slow pace first for a while, and then you speed up hoping you are still burning fats and can teach your body to rely on fats at a faster pace.Total time was 1:13:36.

Afterwards, 2 more with Benjamin in 17:36.

P.M. 2  with Jenny in 19:04. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:34, faster than the policeman again.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.67Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.67
Comments
From air darkhorse on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 21:17:07 from 76.27.0.45

How do you think this can be accomplished biologically? The ratio of carbs to fats has been proven to be a function of oxygen uptake and utilization. Basically, less oxygen available means more sugar converted to oxygen and lactate for energy production. Is it a running economy adaptation through more efficient use of biomechanics or is it something else?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 16:42:07 from 64.81.245.109

I think the improvement will happen from both the economy and a metabolic change. There is definitely a metabolic component when you do it right, I can feel it. The pace feels unusually hard for a while in a weird way, to the point that you could start asking yourself what in the world has happened to me. Yet if you are willing to get excited and press, you can get out of that gear no problem and start running a lot faster without feeling like you are working too hard. I know that feeling well enough, I just have not quite understood until recently what it meant. What happens is if you suppress adrenaline production, the glycogen is not being released, so the body starts to look for other sources of energy and turns to fat. If you get excited, all of a sudden the glycogen begins to be used, and the pace feels a lot easier. The key is to increase the pace without getting excited about it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.102.003.750.2514.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Adam joined us for a little bit on the trail as well. Did The Good Rhythm Tempo on the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Frugality And Against Obesity course.

5 Miles in 27:57.5. Splits: 5:42, 5:33, 5:39 (14:04 half way), 5:34, 5:29. First mile was a warm-up, second pushed it, in the third started feeling tense, so figured I had pushed too hard, eased off, found a relaxed rhythm again, then pushed in the last `1.5 with the quarters of 83,81,84(up), 83, 85, 77. In the next two last quarter I had to get around a couple with two strollers. I figured there would be no way they'd figure out how to get out of the way in time, so I went around the best way I could, which was not great. So I lost the rhythm and concentration at that point. However, this was compensated by Adam appearing out of nowhere to pace me in the last quarter. So bad luck was compensated by good luck. That is usually the case, overtime luck is neutral, however, effort is not.

Jogged back to Jeff, we jogged some more, then ran the Fat Mile in 6:00. His was probably fatter than mine since I had just finished a hard tempo and had my carb-burning beast alive and ready for more. A new application of the scripture from 2 Nephi 9 "Let your soul delight in fatness".

From the experience today I am beginning to wonder if my "neural fatigue" is really adrenal glands underperforming. Is there such a thing as "adrenal wall" - wearing out the adrenal glands from 15 miles of hard running and then slowing down not on fuel but on the lack of adrenaline to use the fuel?

P.M. 2.25 with Benjamin and Jenny to Computune in 21:34. 1.5 with Julia in 15:49.

 



Saucony Type A Miles: 10.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From sarah on Fri, May 01, 2009 at 10:46:59 from 192.168.1.1

Hey honey!! What about adrenal fatigue?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.001.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:18:34. Did explosions. Also, did a fat 0.5 in 3:01 in the middle, and another fat mile in 6:14 at the end. Had a hard time getting the fat feeling probably due to the explosions earlier. So I learned that the fat pick-up does not work in combination with explosions. Of course, it does not. Explosions stir up the adrenal glands, you will have a hard time forcing yourself to run on fat after that. So I need to choose whether to do explosions or the fat pickups. I think I'll still keep doing the explosions and do fat pickups just to keep Jeff company.

Later 2 with Benjamin in  17:34

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:34. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 15:12.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From RivertonPaul on Fri, May 01, 2009 at 14:27:09 from 67.42.27.114

Nice changes to the blog, thanks.

Race: Law Day 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:23, Place overall: 7
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.400.000.003.1112.51

A.M. Ran the Law Day 5 K, 17:23.6 officially, 7th place. 17:21 on my watch. Everybody had about a 2 second difference between the watch and the official time, so I assume the time was started a little early. Not surprising because nobody could hear the "Go" command and we just assumed that it happened and started running.

The course is a beast, first half uphill, second half downhill back to the start, but with a whole lot of sharp turns. To make things worse, it rained almost like in the days of Noah, not a good day to race on the hills, either up or down, and especially to try to turn at high speeds.

Three years ago this was still a race easily winnable in 17:42 with the second place not in sight. But the times have changed, and I think they have changed for the better. Some law firms are really interested in winning this race as a team, and every year things have been getting progressively competitive. So this year Chad recruited Jeff and I to run for his team to help him keep his job. I said earlier on the forum that the reason the Kenyans beat Americans is this. A Kenyan boy is doomed to poverty if he does not get serious about his running. An American boy is doomed to poverty if he does. I would say if at least ten law firms in every city the size of Salt Lake viewed competitive racing seriously enough to put together a team to represent them in a competition, I would take back the second half of my original statement, and the Kenyans would not be beating us anymore. So far there have been only two, and only in Salt Lake, but let's reward them with a link to boost their Google rankings:  Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar and Olson Shaner.

So the teams were:

Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar : Jeff McClellan, Josh Steffen, me, Emily Bates (winner of Moab Half in 1:22, 17:22 5 K at sea level), and Aimee Larkin (2:46 St. George marathoner).

Olson Shaner : Teren Jameson,  Thatcher Olsen, lost sheep Neal Ferrin, Sue Nielsen (she almost chicked me in Draper Days 2003 running 16:20 vs mine 16:06), and Emily Jameson.

I did not feel the greatest going into the race, and ran accordingly. Nevertheless, our bacon was saved with great performances by Jeff, Josh, and our Emily, and a couple of relative underperformances by Olson Shaner. We ended up winning cumulatively by 3 seconds. One nice thing about a team race is that when you have a bummer your teammates can pick up the slack.

I got dropped by everybody pretty much from the gun and ran in fear of being chicked hoping not to let the team down too much. First mile was uphill, and I ran it in 5:43. I still could see Jeff trying to hang on to Teren, and wondering if today may be the day he would beat him. This would be a stretch, though, as Jeff had only two weeks from his marathon, and he does not recover that fast yet.

At the start of the second mile I saw  Teren gap Jeff, but Jeff was still fighting. I wished I was not having as much of a bummer so I could be a little bit closer to watch. I like the story of Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament in 2 Kings :

And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

The way I apply this to running. Once you begin to see a faster runner finish that you could not see before, you are making progress. That is the first step to receiving his power, and maybe even a double portion of it.

2 K split was 7:28. Ouch. Talk about running slow up that hill. Trying to stay positive and reel in Andrew Hansen. Maybe Thatcher and Neal after that. Timed the gaps at the turn shortly before 3 K - 9:43 for Thatcher and Neal, 9:49 for Andrew, 9:59 for me. Telling myself to use Andrew as a magnet to get the fastest possible time.

3 K in 10:58, 2 miles in 11:36. One of those would have had to be off, there was a turn in between those marks, and not a whole lot of downhill.

4 K in 14:06. Downhill. Starting to feel better. Thinking the race is not going as much down to pot as I originally imagined after that first mile.

3 miles in 16:47. Trying to stay in touch with Andrew, but just too wet, and too many turns.

Finish: Teren 15:53, Jeff 16:09, Josh 16:32, Thatcher 16:50, Neal 17:06, Andrew 17:08. Full results at Milliseconds Website.

Afterwards ran a cool-down with Jeff, and then went to Benjamin's chess tournament right there at the University of Utah, very convenient. Because I was going to be out of the home for a long time I did not want to run full 20 miles. So I ended up with 10.5 miles for this run.

I found out that kid chess in Utah is a whole lot more competitive than running. In the state cross country championship they had only about 25-30 runners in the entire Bantum division. In chess they had 70 players in just the 4th grade. Most of them rated, which means they had played in tournaments before. Benjamin was one of the few non-rated players. He played very well winning 3 games, drawing once,and losing twice. I was impressed that over several hours of playing he never lost a piece in a blunder. Both times he lost the opponent had to earn it winning on pawns at the end.  The ethnic diversity was also interesting. A whole lot of Oriental kids, also a lot of Latinos. Both times he lost he played Orientals. He ended up taking 20th place out 70 players. For a comparison, in Cross Country he took 6th racing kids a year older and taking a wrong turn.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:58. Jenny and Julia ran their usual distances with Sarah.


Saucony Type A Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Andrew Hansen on Mon, May 04, 2009 at 19:24:36 from 209.218.107.140

What a great race between the two teams! Congrats on your 3 second win.

I agree that there needs to be more money in running, which is why I had my firm (Workman Nydegger) sponsor the prize money. Of course, I added a new category of "fastest lawyer" to give me something to run for. he he he. I had a feeling that the ringers would show up again this year.

The distribution of the prize money got kind of screwed up. I think for next year I'll ask "And Justic For All" to do M/F of $100, $75, and $25 for top three and $75 for fastest lawyer. Also, do you think I should demand that they start the race on time as a condition for donating the prize money? I'm also thinking of donating a start gun. =)

The prize money aside, the best thing that the Law Day run has going for it is the competitiveness that running on a team provides. I think other local 5k events would do well to have a competitive team event and a prize for winning. Many mistake running as less competitive than other sports. I think this misguided trend makes the sport less exciting for everyone, including those who really aren't competitive.

And finally, I don't know what it would take, but I wish we could change the course. I mapped out a 3.1 mile run using Google Earth that turns on the central campus drive instead of going all the way to the top. It has 180 feet of climbing instead of 230 and the downhill is more gradual. I'll have to run it to see if it is practical.

-Andrew

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From Michele on Tue, May 05, 2009 at 18:34:36 from 71.91.44.158

Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I have not been as many 800 meters and i need to. i don't have a track close by but i'll try to measure it as you suggested.

I would like to lower my time a little bit more in the next few weeks to give me some breathing room.

You are absolutely right about the sleep thing. Gotta make sure I don't train tired.

Your training and running time are amazing.

I'll keep you in mind as my inspiration!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.500.500.000.2017.20

A.M. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Ben Crozier. Paced Ben through The Uneventful Half-Marathon in 1:40:40. Ted turned around after 4.5 miles so he would get 6, Jeff turned around 2 miles later to get 10. I had 4 VPBs and did not stop my watch on those, so my time was probably about 2 minutes faster. I did about 0.5 of marathon pace running catching up.

If anybody ever wants to be paced in the Uneventful Half let me know. Great way to find out what you can do in the half without paying $40 for it or more. And you get a personal pacer/bottle carrier as a bonus as well. Although if you are running 1:15 I probably would not volunteer to carry your bottle, but then you won't need it. Anything between 1:50 and 1:15 is good, I can find a way to make it fit into my training schedule. The course is a loop starting at my house but most of it is on the Provo River Trail. Not super fast, but not terribly slow either. Appears flat, but there are a lot of bridges, and there is a very gradual grade. You are following a river after all, if there was no grade it would not flow.

Tested Jeff's wife Kimia's top end speed. At first she ran 101.5 meters on the road in 19.9, but 100 was too long to be a fair measurement of her speed.  I noticed that she was a lot faster in the first 30 meters, in fact, so fast that it took me a while to catch up. So we did it one more time, this time she was going to run 30 meters and then I was going to hold pace to the finish of the 101.5. I ended up with 17.7.

Added 2 more with Benjamin in 15:36. Did explosions. He ran his last mile in 6:52.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:20. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:43.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 15.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Mark on Thu, May 07, 2009 at 08:29:09 from 97.96.155.154

I'd definitely take you up on this offer if I ever get a chance. It's a very generous offer, your dedication to the blog and the blog runners continues to inspire me.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.501.500.000.1014.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:18:10. Did a couple of explosions, fat 0.5 in 2:59, and the last fat mile in 6:03. Discussed computers and then later the role of adrenal glands in a long race. The hypothesis is that you can slow down at the end of a long race due to adrenal fatigue, and that perhaps my "neural fatigue" is more precisely adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are not strong enough to sustain 5:30 pace for 2+ hours.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:01. 2 with Jenny in 19:20. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:43.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments
From Mike Kirk on Tue, May 05, 2009 at 15:13:02 from 76.127.31.38

Hi Sasha. I won't be updating my blog until I'm ready to race again. I'm running 50-60 mpw but not racing. I'm recovering from tendinitis in my left knee that has been bothering me since January.

Tennessee has a much weaker racing scene. I probably won't race seriously again until the fall and then travel to a marathon. I've done one road race since moving here; a half marathon.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran with Ted and Jeff. Dropped Ted off at 6. Total time for 10 miles was 1:16:38.

P.M. Julia ran 1.5 with Sarah. 2 with Jenny in 17:56. Benjamin was sick, did not run.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.501.500.000.1013.10

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Accidentally met up with Ted and two ROTC cadets, ran with them for a couple of miles. Did explosions. Did two fat miles. The first one was around 6 miles into the run, and we did it in 5:58. It was perfectly flat. The second one was the last mile of the run, so bridges and slight uphill. We ran it in 6:14. Counted breathing rate in the last quarter, which was done in 1:30 (6:00 pace). Jeff breathed 35 times a minute, while I did 44 times a minute. Clearly he is breathing a whole lot less frequently than I do. Wonder what that means aside from the obvious and true conclusion that 6:00 pace is easier for him than it is for me.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 20:24. Julia ran 1.5 in 15:24. 1 with Benjamin in 9:38.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Mike Warren on Sat, May 09, 2009 at 18:34:42 from 74.211.7.227

According to Sasha science, what am I looking at for Ogden? Also, your best guess on what it would take to get in the top 5 for clydesdale? Ya, not the most ambitious thing in the world, but you gotta start somewhere.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 11, 2009 at 13:00:00 from 64.81.245.109

Mike:

You should aim for around 3:30-3:35, but I am not very certain due to the lack of recent racing, and also the fact that it is the marathon and you have missed 4.5 months, and only trained for less than 2.

Last year 5th place Clydesdale was 3:40, so you should have a shot.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.751.000.250.1013.10

A.M. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Colby. Did a pickup for a quarter at 5:20 pace and counted my breathing rate. 51 breaths per minute. What is interesting is that it takes me the same number of breaths to cover the same distance at 6:00 as it does at 5:20 pace, except I do it faster because it takes less time to run the distance. 32 breaths per minute at 7:20 pace.  Ted and Colby turned around at 3 miles, Jeff and I went on and marked the race course as we went. I did explosions early in the run, and then we ran a fat mile in 5:58 at the end of 10.1. Total time was 1:18:36.

P.M. Technical feat - got Microvision Flic Barcode Scanner ($99 online) to worth with Nokia 770 Internet Tablet over Bluetooth, so now the scanner can be used wirelessly for the race tomorrow. This is officially not supported, so I had to get my hands dirty. If anybody is interested, there are two tricks. One, to get them to pair you need to put a line

scanner_addr 0000

into /var/lib/bluetooth/nokia_addr/pincodes.  Replace scanner_addr and nokia_addr with the actual bluetooth hardware adresses of the devices.This secret was discovered with the help of strace. Good old strace has saved my rear end many times. Trick number  two was to reverse engineer the data transfer protocol, but fortunately Brendan Johan Lee had already done it for me. So I ported his driver to run on Nokia 770 and log the barcodes to a file along with a time stamp.  My hack is available for those who needed it.

Ran 1 with Benjamin in 8:22, and 2 with Jenny in 18:52. Julia was not feeling well and did not run.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Frugality And Against Obesity (5 Miles) 00:27:11, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.9013.103.002.0024.00

A.M. Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Frugality And Against Obesity, 27:11, 2nd pace.

Results at  http://fastrunningblog.com/reg/show_results.php?race_id=138

This was an interesting experience. This was the first race I have ever directed. I figured if somebody wanted (more) cash I'd make him work for it, so I jumped in the race myself too. After all, this was a race for frugality, so I figured it would be a good idea to make the Fast Running Blog investment count to the highest extend.

Sarah, the kids, Ted, Kimia, and a few others helped with the race logistics, which made it a lot more manageable. We got organized, and got the race started.

Jeff and I quickly pulled away from the competition. First mile in 5:14. Felt easy. Jeff had already run 15 miles at around 6:20 prior to the start to simulate running on low fuel. So he said to me he wanted to go faster to run out of fuel. I asked him to hold back for one more mile. Two reasons. One, I did not want to run 4 miles alone. Two, I did not want Jeff to run out of fuel prematurely. So he agreed and backed off. A bit too much. Second mile in 5:24. That started to feel way too easy.

Then Jeff picked it up. I went with him, but after a 200 in 38 I realized it was not a good idea, too fast. So I eased off to 5:20 pace. Hit the turnaround in 13:17, on pace for course PR, that is exactly what I got in August 2007. Incidentally Jeff was with me. Except back then he was not as fast, so he could not drop me even fresh, much less after running a brisk 15. So he stayed with me until one quarter to go, and then I dropped him and we got 26:48 vs 26:50.

However, as soon as I made 180, my adrenaline was gone. Not surprising, directing even a low-profile race does carry a measure of stress, so when racing at PR level you are going to feel it. At least that is what I think happened. I have noticed that some days I recover from a 180 or a hill just fine. However, other days, a hill or a 180 breaks me badly. Textbook exercise physiology says, well you have work harder to get back up to speed (or run harder up a hill), so you build up too much lactic acid, and then cannot recover. There is something not quite right with this explanation. Try as I might I cannot push my RER past 1.06 even when I am doing quarters every week. With no interval work it stalls at 1.04. That is in a 5-10 minute V02 test, not in a 5 mile race or tempo run. For a comparison, a middle distance runner can get up to 1.15. While RER is not a direct measurement of lactate levels, it should correlate pretty closely. RER is the ratio carbon dioxide out to oxygen in. If it is greater than 1, you are into oxygen debt. So in short, the measurements have shown I do not have a whole lot of ability to go into oxygen debt.

I have previously thought that this difficulty of handling changes of pace might have something to do with the nervous system not being able to go into overdrive. Recently, though, I am leaning towards the adrenal failure theory. It takes quite a bit of adrenaline to run 5:20 pace. You can be aerobically and muscularly fit, but if the adrenaline is not there, the heart would not beat fast enough, you would not breathe hard enough, and the glycogen in the muscles will not be made available fast enough. The symptoms seem to match. HR drops to the right level for the pace, but for the life of me cannot go up any higher even for 50 meters. The breathing slows down. The legs do not hurt, they just cannot go any faster for no apparent reason.

So to make the long story short, I slowed down. 16:04 at 3 miles (5:26, but the last 0.5 at 5:34 pace), 21:38 at 4 (5:34), and the last mile in 5:33.

I was happy with the performance, though. I missed my course PR by 23 seconds, but I could run the first half on pace, and it felt easy. And I did not die too badly.

Jeff won with 26:35, Steve Cutitta was 3rd with 28:18. Mary Ann won the womens with 29:45, and chicked everybody else.

When I finished I made sure the finish chute was being handled, and ran back to Benjamin. He ran 39:10. He was still not fully recovered from getting sick a couple of days ago, so I was not expecting a whole lot. But at least he could run 7:50 pace.

Finished timing everybody, ran 1.5 to the house with Julia in 16:37, then ate a snack (two bananas and evaporated cane juice magic drink), and then went for more punishment/conditioning. Decided I would run the Uneventful Half in 1:20 for a challenge.

Ran the first mile in 6:13, second about the same, no mark due to altered course (due to flooding under the bridge), then eased into 6:00, then a little under, and coasted hoping I would not crash too badly. Kept it under 6:00 for a while until I started hitting the uphill and the bridge tunnels. Slowed down to 6:08, felt embarrassed, an odd feeling, I was still passing runners on the trail pretty fast, including bikers, but I still felt embarrassed because it felt slow and I could not go faster.

Then turned around past Maceys, and started heading downhill. A welcome relief, now 5:52-5:56 pace again, but that's all I've got. With 100 meters to go my prayers were answered. When I hit the desperate plateau I started praying for help to get out of it. Finally the Lord sent me help. It was a little feisty dog. It started barking at me and chasing me. I knew what I was supposed to do - get angry at it and run faster. But I had a very hard time. Finished with 1:18:47, a little slower than 6:00 average.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:41. Hiked the Y with Sarah for a date as well. It took us 24:36 to walk from the start of the trail to the bottom of the Y.

...

Saucony Type A Miles: 22.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Burt on Sun, May 10, 2009 at 00:00:35 from 98.167.151.26

It's nice to know that I don't write the longest race reports. Good job on the run today and on directing your first race.

From josse on Sun, May 10, 2009 at 01:57:41 from 70.193.182.169

Thanks for a great time!

From JulieC on Mon, May 11, 2009 at 09:05:10 from 71.32.226.164

Yes thanks Sasha!! And I would like to add that the Adrenaline theory you question is probably right on. As I told you about night shifts (two in a row) before a race I am purely running on adrenaline fumes...the adrenal fatigue can only be restored by genuine sleep. My brain could not make my body wake up no matter what. Muscles unresponsive to increased demands especially after mile 3 like you. The days I run after sleeping two nights then watching let's say this years Boston Marathon (Elite runners) for two hours, I go out and run 9 miles at avg 6:50 pace without a problem due to the adrenaline rush of excitement.

From Snoqualmie on Mon, May 11, 2009 at 13:00:00 from 67.171.56.164

Congratulations, and thank you for all your contributions to the running community.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Actually twice. First time to the Spanish branch, then to my ward afterwards. Took a nap in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Comments
From jefferey on Mon, May 11, 2009 at 20:39:40 from 71.37.20.138

Sasha,

Are you a HC?

From sue on Tue, May 12, 2009 at 11:54:34 from 75.169.71.121

Hey Sasha I wanted some advice. I am running Ogden on Saturday. My first racing marathon (racing myself of course) I am nervous and almost sick about it. I need a strategy in my head that I can try for to calm the nerves a little. Any suggestions? My average pace was 7:13 at Provo half. I wanted to try to map out what pace I wanted and where on the course. I am injured (darn shin splints) but I think I will pull through. Would you suggest wearing a wrap on my shin in the marathon? It seems to help a little. Anyways sorry for so many questions just wanted your opinions if you have any on this marathon.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, May 12, 2009 at 13:08:52 from 192.168.1.1

Jeffrey - I am a ward missionary.

Sue - my thoughts are that you are not quite ready for a good marathon. By good I mean being able to fully utilize your current 5 K speed, so around 3:05. The challenge with marathons is that when you are not ready for a good one it is hard to tell what you are ready for. Sometimes you might be able to run only 5-10 minutes slower. Other times, the bottom is very deep. So I would approach this one as a training run, a time trial of sorts. Do not taper, just train through it. You will actually bring more glycogen to the start this way because whatever you would have stored from running less would otherwise be wasted on being pre-race nervous.

There are several things you can do in this time trial, and I think any one of them is good since we are not trying to run any particular time, just developing some marathon experience. You can try to run a quicker pace, let's say 7:20 to failure, and then just not care and jog to the finish, being satisfied that you could run 7:20s let's say to 16 miles, and call that good. Or you can try running slower, let's say pace Carolyn through the first half in about 1:45-1:47, and then try to pick it up. But do expect, in that case, that you might not necessarily find the juice to pick it up, and be ready to deal with it. Or some other alternative with some form of varied pace.

I would caution against setting any particular time goals or expectations. It is very very challenging in the second half of the marathon to maintain putting in your best effort when you have set your mind on a certain pace, and then for one reason or another that pace is not happening. And more often than not, that pace does not happen. Marathons statistically produce one miracle for K average performances and N disasters. The values of K and M depend on the preparation, and the experience, but even with the best preparation and experience they are still high. Thus, in order to be a good marathoner, step one is to learn disaster management.

Be prepared to completely bomb, be thankful when you don't. I find it helpful to say a brief prayer of thanks after every mile. Do not be afraid of blowing up. Blow up a few times, learn from it, and eventually a good marathon will come.

From Sue on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 11:53:32 from 75.169.71.121

This is wall hanging advice! Thank you! I had to reread it today.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.502.000.000.1014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Ted, Colby, and Daniel. Ted, Colby and Daniel turned around 3 miles into it. Did explosive sprints. Also, two fat miles, not continuously. First one in 5:59, second (the last one of the run) in 6:06. Total time for 10.1 was 1:17:48. Felt sluggish as expected. According to my adrenal failure theory today was a good time to do those fat miles. Low adrenaline from a hard Saturday, so when you push two days later you are using more fat. Not too hard, though, because when you push, you push the adrenal glands as well, so you do not want to push them too much.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:22, Julia ran first 1.5 with us in 14:41. 2 with Benjamin in 17:26. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:52.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.502.000.000.1013.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Daniel turned around at 3 miles. We had a sluggish start. Had some interesting discussions. Different ways to measure the height of a building with the help of a barometer. The most entertaining is to commit a crime inside the building using the barometer and then request during trial that the height of the building be read. Then discussed the role of overstimulated adrenal glands on the immune system, and moved on to computers.

I did explosive sprints. Then we did two fat miles. First one in 5:59, and second (uphill and with the bridges) in 6:09. Total time for 10.1 was 1:17:41.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:50. 1.5 with Jenny and Julia in 15:05.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From redrooster on Tue, May 12, 2009 at 13:35:44 from 71.219.149.110

I still remember my calculus teacher telling us the story of the student asked to measure the height of the building with the barometer my first semester at BYU in fall 1979. His name was Dr. Gee. Don't know if he is still there, probably not as he was middle aged then and that was almost 30 years ago. I thought it was a funny story, though I imagine it is fictitous. And now my daughter will be starting at BYU this fall on a President Monson scholarship!

From Jon on Wed, May 13, 2009 at 22:48:05 from 75.169.157.230

I hear you called me, but I was out running. Were you able to find the place? All the info I was sent by my work running club said it was at Roy High School, like I put on the discussion forum.

http://ut.milesplit.us/articles/23178

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.502.000.000.1013.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Ted, and Colby. Ted and Colby turned around at 3. Jeff and I ran 10.1 in 1:18:12. Did two fat miles. First in 6:08, and second in 5:59. Also did explosions. Also 2 with Benjamin in 15:53. He closed with a 1:33 quarter.

A.M-2: 1.5 with Jenny and Julia in 14:38.

P.M. Went to the Ogden Treehouse Musium, and then on to Roy Highschool to see Billy Mills. Had some adventures. Our tire ripped about a mile away from the Ogden exit. However, the Lord was with us and we did not have an accident. Not only that, it ripped, but did not pop. So we were able to drive to the Treehouse and then I took the van to Firestone to get a new tire. Checkmated the Palm Pilot while waiting for the tire to be replaced, came back in time, picked them up, and we drove to Roy Elementary instead of Roy High. Somehow I got this wrong. Did not find Billy Mills at the elementary, so then eventually figured out we needed to go to Roy High. My report on his presentation is at

 http://fastrunningblog.com/forum/index.php/topic,1033.0.html


 

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Ran 10.1 with Jeff in 1:17:03. Did explosions. Then we did two fat miles. The first one started dipping into carbs quite a bit. We started with a 91 quarter, then ran 87, 84, and 83. 84 and 83 were definitely not that fat. But it felt good, I felt the stride was nice and relaxed, felt full of energy, did not want to stop. So that gave us a 5:45 mile. We did the second mile in 5:57.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:54, 2 with Jenny in 20:12. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 15:20.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.000.000.1014.10

A.M. Started with Ted, Colby, and Jeff. Ted and Colby turned around 3 miles into it. Did explosions. Two fat miles. First in 5:56, second in 6:05. A change in the respiratory rate at 6:00 pace. Down to 15 from 17 breaths for 100 meters. Total time was 1:17:03 for 10.1.

Took HR a couple of minutes after finishing the run. The last two quarters were 89 and 88, so around 5:55 pace. Interesting difference vs Jeff. My HR went down to 78, while Jeff's was still at 111. I was at 1.62 of my resting HR, while he was still at 2.05 of his resting HR. We estimated that mine dropped by 48% in the same amount of time that his dropped by only 36%. His HR at that pace was about 20 bpm higher than mine, even though the pace was easier for him in almost every regard - percentage of max HR, respiratory rate, muscular effort, willingness/ability to talk, ability to accelerate off that pace, etc. The only questionable aspect is sustainability. I might be able to sustain that pace for longer due to larger fuel reserves. But fuel aspect aside, the pace was easier for Jeff in every way. Nevertheless, I was recovering a whole lot faster.

Shortly afterwards 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:33, and 2 with Jenny in 18:58. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:23.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 14.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.30Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.30
Race: Ogden Half Marathon (13.11 Miles) 01:12:08, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.700.0013.110.0024.81

A.M. Ogden Half, 1:12:08, 2nd place.

With the help of the Booth family (Chad is on the blog),   was able to conduct the Eden sleep-in operation. I placed my getaway car at the Union station in Ogden, had Chad and his wife Kelli pick me up taking with me the minimum I needed for the night that could be shipped back by the warm-up clothes shipping service, stayed with them overnight, then woke up at 5:45 AM, got dressed, stuffed my possesions in to the drop-off bag, and jogged to the start. Happily missed the 5:00 AM bus.

Warmed up, looked for trouble. There was not much - Alexander Thomas and Albert. Well, Alexander is a whole lot of trouble, but that is just one outclassing runner. No Hobbie, no Teren, no Seth, no Jeff, no Nick, no Mike Vick, no Paul, no Shin, no Nate Hornok, and no out of state guests or collegiate runners in the outclassing division. Of course, no Kenyans. In the beatable class no  BJ,  no Jason, no James (Fiddy), no Fritz, and no Steve. Just Alexander and Albert. So in short, not much trouble, and no wonder. You get what you pay for. LOL, what does that then say about me if I came to run? :-)

Spotted a most peculiar sight. A porta-potty with a sign "V.I.P." on it. You had to pay $300 to get in. And no, unlike St. George, somebody who made top ten the year before, or had the potential to make top ten this year was not welcome to use it. In fact, he was not super-welcome in the race to begin with either. This, of course, led my train of thought to the origin of the term VPB, which was created  for the specific purpose to ridicule the concept of VIP bathrooms at big races. Even though St. George has elite runner bathrooms, and Salt Lake has a secret bathroom that is not advertised to the general public, Ogden was the first marathon in Utah to introduce the concept of VIP!  I immediately visualized a bush with a sign above it, in big letters - V.P.B.!

From the gun I ran without thinking for the first quarter which was a mistake. I followed Albert who followed Alexander, and it felt hard because it was too fast. Then I told myself to be humble and stop having a mental block about letting Albert get ahead.  From that point on I had my head engaged. I let both of them go, and largely ignored them trying to find my own rhythm. I started find it towards the end of the first mile.

5:30 at mile 1. Rolling. 5:13 for Alexander, 5:25 for Albert.

Mile 2 - 6:10 (11:40).  Uphill. I felt good on the hill, started getting a little excited, passed Albert, he latched on, but I did not care. Was surprised how slow that split was, it did not feel that slow. Based on that began to think that perhaps a low 1:13 would be a good goal for today.

Mile 3 - 5:27 (17:07). Slight down.That felt good, although not too good. Upgraded my goal to 1:12:40. Albert is on my tail. Telling myself to relax, think pace him, do not think drop him. Do not worry about dropping him, if he is not fit, he will fall off on his own, if he is fit, he will show it later, when he starts showing signs of strength, ease off, let him pass, and sit on him, have him help me get a faster time. But he sounds like he will not be around after 8.

Mile 4 - 5:24 (22:21) . Slight down. Life is getting better with every mile, and the 5:30 guy is starting to come to me. Albert still around, but struggling.

Mile 5 - 5:20 (27:41). Down. Albert fell back.

Mile 6 - 5:23 (33:04). Down. The pace is starting to feel hard.

Mile 7 - 5:33 (38:37). Less down. Felt hard. The goal is now around 1:12:30.

Mile 8 - 5:20 (42:57). Down. Celebrated catching the 5:30 guy. Wondering if sub-1:12 can happen. Encouraged by the memory of having run 5:23 in the 23rd mile of the marathon in 2006, which would be the 10th mile of the half. Which means there is enough downhill in it to do it.

Mile 9 - 5:25 (48:22). Down. Hoped to put more gap on the 5:30 guy, because I will need it once we hit the trail with all the turns, bumps, and flatting out.

Mile 10 - 5:15 (54:37). Down. Exactly what I was expecting. 23 seconds ahead of the 5:30 guy, can I hold on to that? Goal upgraded to sub 1:12.

Mile 11 - 5:32 (59:09). Less down, turns, bumps, aka micro-hills. Happy I lost only 2 seconds to the 5:30 guy.

Mile 12 - 5:43 (1:04:52). Flat,  turns. During this mile I was confused. For a while I wondered if I was still on the course. There were a couple of opportunities to turn, but there was no mark telling which way to go. I decided to follow the simple rule of if there is no indication to turn, do not turn, go straight. It worked, I stayed on the course. However, the confusion resulted in a loss of focus, and easing off on the pace a bit. Towards the end of this mile I almost ran into two policemen riding their bikes. I overheard one of them say to the other not to "run into joggers". I was happy that he said that, I needed something that would elicit a strong emotional response. I tried to get angry about it, but could not. I thought to myself, I just went past him going 5:30, and he calls that jogging? Well, maybe if he were Ryan Hall or Haile he would have the right to say that, but how can he call this pace jogging if he himself would struggle to keep it for a quarter? But those were just thoughts, there was no emotional response that I hoped for. 12 miles of hard effort had left my adrenal glands in a mellow condition.

Mile 13 - 5:38 (1:11:30). Flat, turns.    Trying to squeeze something out of myself, but nothing comes out.

Kick - 38 seconds (1:12:08). Most likely either mile 13 mark was in the wrong spot, or the finish line was 5-10 meters off. It should have been at least 36. I did speed up, or at least kept the pace. No emotional response to the crowd cheers, though. The 5:30 guy beat me by 2 seconds.

Alexander Thomas won in 1:10:19, I was expecting him to run 1:06-1:07, at least 1:08, but apparently he decided to jog today. Albert was third with 1:13:26.

A humorous moment at the finish. My official name is Alexander as well. Sasha is a well-recognized Russian nickname for Alexander. So after he and I finished the announcer says - here comes the third place finisher. I bet his name is not Alexander. Hmm, I thought, he is going to have some fun when he finds out it is Albert. He did. The race was won by three Slavic Als. Alexander is from Yugoslavia (I think Serbia or Croatia), and Albert is from the Ukraine.

Afterwards jogged back, paced Jen Jones from Florida who I met at the starting line for a little bit. She told me her best 5 K was 19:50, best marathon 3:12, she ran 90 miles a week, and could race a marathon at 92% of her max HR. An interesting case. I believe it means she is just not able to push her max HR very high for reasons not related to the cardiovascular system itself. Similar to what I have. If I could run a 4:20 mile, I'd be able to hit my true max HR. She ended up with 1:31:32, officially second, but I saw a girl right ahead of her that for some reason was not in the results that should have been second.

Then jogged back to the aid station between miles 21 and 22 of the marathon. On the way up saw Seth, he ended up with a new course records of 2:22:51. He is finally starting to run somewhat near his marathon potential, which I believe to be 2:13 on the Ogden course, and 2:10 in Dubai, assuming his collegiate mile speed is still accessible. Then saw Nick - he ran a decent race as well beating the old course record with 2:26:02. But I think his true potential on that course is around 2:16. Again assuming that the collegiate mile speed has not been permanently lost. No Hobbie in the marathon either. Thinking out loud, if we could find a nice sponsor for Utah Valley, we could have quite a show with the top three under 2:20, and top ten under 2:30, and that without the Kenyans. With the Kenyans, even faster. Ogden has plenty of money to do it, but they choose to spend it on things like a 10 page full color glossy paper pamphlet explaining the pre-race routine times 7000+.

Saw Fritz and Walter before getting to the station as well. Fritz finished in 2:37, Walter in 2:41.

Did some work at the aid station. Tried to spot runners that were visibly out of fuel, and fed them double dozes of Powerade. Was originally going to pace Mike Warren, but he told me not to wait for him if somebody who needed it more asked for it first. Melanie Burnam ran by and asked to be paced, so I went with her. She was running strong and passing a lot of people. I liked that for a couple of reasons. First, I like the people I am pacing to do well. And, I started to get tired, and appreciated that she was getting me to the finish quickly. She ended up finishing fifth with 3:07:36, a new PR, and only 2 minutes out of money. Not bad for a mom with 5 kids and a young baby.

After the race I could feel an odd form of fatigue. I called Sarah, and told her that I finished second in 1:12 in a tone of voice that was more appropriate for reporting 20th place with 1:25. Then in the same tone I told of a number of PRs from the bloggers. So when I got home we decided it would be better if she followed the kids on a bike for their runs. They ran their usual distances.

Saucony Type A Miles: 24.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From edrickt on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 19:53:50 from 64.2.220.135

Nice job, Sasha! Thanks for sharing.

From cgbooth23 on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 21:28:58 from 207.155.176.18

GReat job Sasha, you were a celebrity around these parts, after people heard you were staying at our place, I had a dozen or more people asking how you did, including my kids who watched you fly by at the aid station at the Oaks! it was good to meet you!

From Brent on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 21:58:55 from 168.178.30.75

Sasha, always enjoy reading the detail of your race reports. You always look so focused, strong and determined. 500 commando points.

Stay Kool, Great Day for a Race, B of Bs Rools out

From Snoqualmie on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 22:08:27 from 67.171.56.164

Congratulations on your race!

From wheakory on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 23:01:07 from 134.50.223.250

Did you think that the fast start and mental block maybe could have hampered you the last few miles and caused you to miss 1:11?

When your mind wanders or losses focus it's so easy to get off pace and stride. I wouldn't think though that this would have caused you any problems though (just asking), because for some a fast start really doesn't hinder them if you run the rest of the race in balance.

Did you have any negative miles that you felt you could have improved on? I think your time is awesome and a very nice job of getting second place Sasha. You truly are a wonderful runner.

From Amber on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 23:49:38 from 64.255.88.143

Nice job and nice meeting you! Thanks for all the advice!

From Mike Warren on Sun, May 17, 2009 at 00:02:24 from 74.211.7.227

Sasha, great race! When I look at any sport and compare great athletes, I always look at consistency and longevity. If your not winning a race, your always lurking somewhere near. My hats off to you for many great years of this type of running. NOT EASY!

From Lucia on Sun, May 17, 2009 at 14:45:33 from 74.9.147.114

Congratulations Sasha, you are simply amazing!

From Jon on Sun, May 17, 2009 at 15:42:40 from 75.169.140.132

Good job, Sasha.

From Mark on Sun, May 17, 2009 at 17:04:31 from 173.168.88.68

Excellent race Sasha, well done!

As for the "jogging" comment it is weird. I have caught myself watching at a 5K and seeing the leader go by at a 5ish pace but for some reason it doesn't look as fast as it would look from the 1st person perspective.

From Barry on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 12:19:41 from 67.61.234.251

Great race on Saturday! Will you do me a favor and read my report for my race on Saturday and tell me what you think i should do to help me improve? Thanks Barry

From jtshad on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 18:26:57 from 204.134.132.225

Great race...way to run smart and run your race and not someone else's.

Utah Valley should be fun! See you there.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 18:54:07 from 64.81.245.109

Barry:

My thoughts. First, your performance was comparable in quality to Salt Lake. I am not sure if Ogden course is faster than SLC. It should be from the elevation profile, but I have never seen super fast times on it. Maybe it is the hill at the start, another suspect is the way they run the course is not the way it was certified - according to Bill Cobler who certified the course it is certified on the tangents with both lanes made available to runners in the canyon, while in reality they give you only one lane. So that would add about 0.1 of a mile. Possibly difficult to follow correct tangents due to the high number of turns on the course. But regardless, in reality the course is not as fast as it is on paper. So your performance was maybe a little worse than SLC, but not much worse.

One thing I noticed about your training is that you backed off the mileage significantly in April. So perhaps you were suffering a bit from that as well. In the future you may want to train through races for the next two years. Sure, tapering can help you run faster in one race, but it will hurt you in the next. I believe there is no reason to do that unless you are so tired from your training that you feel it is time for a break, or unless you are planning on running a life time super-PR. But you cannot do that frequently, or else you will lose your conditioning.

Another thing I would recommend is weekly time trials on the same course. Measure out a course approximately 3 miles long. You do not even have to know how long that course is exactly. If it takes you about 20 minutes to run it at a hard pace, that's good enough. Run it at a hard effort, maybe 10 K race pace plus or minus once a week. Do not taper for it, run it with tired legs. Do not quite leave everything on the road either. Run the hardest you can without disrupting your normal training routine. This will help you see what works for you in your training/recovery routine and what does not.

From Burt on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 21:08:22 from 68.76.197.194

Another awesome half for you. Time to update my data and see how much you shrunk that standard deviation.

From JulieC on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 12:50:55 from 65.103.255.113

Sasha You are so awesome to perform so well and help Melanie!!! (but I am a little disappointed you didn't run back a second time to save me at mile 24 where I lost pace significantly :))) ). I just couldn't speed up after mile 17. Could the water have something to do with it? It was really gross water and I kept missing the powerade from then on too. I just cramped up after mile 23. The Wall as I put it. Dang!!! I was hoping to look stronger at the finish!! Any advice would be welcomed. I really feel I have it in me to perform better. Let me know!! And once again Great Run For You!!!

From Matt on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 13:27:26 from 65.121.71.253

Thanks agin for another great report. My BP raised just reading it. Congrats again on a great race.

From barry on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 21:27:56 from 75.174.1.135

Thank you for the advice, that really helps a lot!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Had a lesson on adversity in the Elders Quorum. That is a familiar topic. I remember teaching a lesson on the subject a couple of months ago. Two funny incidents happened during the lesson. First, the teacher rewarded every student that brought the lesson manual with a treat. Knowing my dietary preferences he brought radishes from his garden for me. Then to illustrate various levels of challenge/adversity he wrote two math problems on the board. The first one was 1+1, and the answer to it was 2. The second was to integrate sqrt(x) from 0 to 1, it was harder, but still doable without having to write, and the answer to it was 2/3. Then William started crying, so I missed the rest of the lesson.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.900.000.000.1014.00

A.M. Ran with Ted and Colby. 6 miles in 45:27. Jeff slept in. After 6 miles ran 4 with Sarah in 41:38. Then 2 with Benjamin in 16:59, and 2 with Jenny in 20:07. Julia ran the last 1.5 with us in 15:02.

Steve sent me a Timex HRM and a new pair of Five Fingers. Tried them out today.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.502.501.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Tyler Cannon. Jeff and I thought we felt good enough for a tempo run. So we attempted one after a warm up. First mile was supposed to be a good rhythm mile, then 5:20, then fast. From the get go it felt hard. The first mile was 5:46 and I felt like I did not want to go any faster. Then we sped up reluctantly to an 81 quarter, followed by 78, then I backed off and let Jeff go, 80, 81 for a 5:20 mile. HR was 162-163 at 5:20 pace, but I felt like I could not push it any higher or go any faster. Assumed adrenal failure, decided it would be counterproductive to try to run through it in training since I already do that in races. So at that point I eased off. Jeff ran 5:19 - 5:08 for the last two miles. At 5:04 pace Jeff's HR was 184. Then we jogged back. Did a fat mile in 5:58. Measured the respiratory rate of 17 breaths per 100 meters. 

Then I proposed that perhaps there is a pattern (for me) of 15 breaths per 100 meters on a good day, and 17 on a bad day. Jeff suggested that there is too much room for error in this test. I wanted to know how much, so we decided to run half a mile at around 6:00 pace counting breaths in the second quarter with the goal of breathing as little as possible. Our half mile time was 3:01 with the last quarter in 1:29. Jeff took 20 breaths over the last quarter. I took 49.  10 in the first 100 meters. It was really odd to breathe this way, and I think eventually I would have had to revert to the natural breathing pattern if we were to continue.

From that I developed a working theory. There is a certain optimal air volume per breath, and it is fairly consistent on any given day. It is possible to breathe in more than that, but the faster the pace, and the longer you go at it the harder it is to do it. That optimal air volume, however, on a good day will be higher than on a bad day. It is not related to the heart performance. In fact, for the same runner, it is possible to have a lower HR at the same pace with that optimal volume reduced at the same time, so he is breathing harder even though HR is lower! Another illustration of how unrelated this is to HR is comparing me and Jeff - Jeff's optimal respiratory rate at 6:00 pace is 13 breaths per 100 meters. Mine on a good day is 15, and 17 on a bad day. Good day and bad day HR for me would be about the same. Yet his HR at any pace is 15 bpm higher than mine.

So in short, for me: good day - can sustain HR at 165, natural respiratory rate 15 times for 100 meters at 6:00 pace; bad day - HR cannot be sustained above 162 for signficant periods of time, natural respiratory rate 17 times per 100 meters at 6:00 pace. The HR has been tested for a while already, so I am quite sure about that. Respiratory rate needs more testing. But what I like about it is that if it proves reliable, 0.5 miles of 6:00 pace could tell me what's up, and that is a very non-invasive test.

P.M. Decided to try the new shoe. Well, I had that shoe ever since I was born, but had not used it much. It is completely free and available to all, and is called Bare Feet. Sarah said being a city boy I would not be able to handle it on asphalt. I ran 2 miles with Jenny in 18:44 (Julia ran the last 1.5 in 14:10), and 2 more with Benjamin in 16:29. It hurt a little bit, but once the run was over, the only negative result was minor blisters on the tips of the big toes. Noticed that even compared to Five Fingers, Bare Feet form was different, noticed my right hip flexor working harder. Will probably need another 3 months before I can do all of my easy miles barefoot.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Jason McK on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 12:56:34 from 63.255.173.99

I see that you use the Vibram 5-Fingers and you obviously have a lot of miles in them. Do you recommend them for anything specific, or do you just have the 'right feet' for them?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 15:46:38 from 64.81.245.109

Jason - I am using them to prepare for the full barefoot transition. An interesting fact - to my knowledge every single runner that broke 27:00 in a 10 K grew up running barefoot. There has been a handful of shod-in-childhood sub 2:07 marathoners, but most of those did grow up running barefoot as well. I do not know if an old dog (as in 36 years old) can be taught new tricks, but it is worth a try.

If anything, it would be cool for a non-African to run a sub-2:30 marathon with no shoes. Right now the biggest obstacle for me is the toughness of the soles.

From Jason McK on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 17:29:04 from 63.255.173.99

So the motivation is speed? Do you still have a standard running posture or is your posture more like the CHI runners?

From rattletrap on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 18:02:33 from 75.216.201.103

Interesting stuff Sasha. I'm curious how your breathing correlates to your stride. I've never thought about number of breaths in a certain distance, but I have recently started keeping my breathing in sync with my steps and it seems to have helped improve my average pace.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 16:40:46 from 64.81.245.109

Jason:

After some experimentation in the past I concluded that one should not mess with his running form. The most magic running form for you is the one you end up with after many miles, a good portion done at a faster pace. There is no magic form for everyone, so the idea of teaching some pre-packaged running form method is fundamentally flawed.

I have also done some testing with an HRM. The goal was to reduce HR at the same pace, or to run faster at the same HR by trying tricks. There was only one trick that worked, and it was to focus on powering hard on ground contact and then relaxing ASAP as soon as you were off the ground. If you succeed you have the form you often see in a sub-2:07 marathoner - smooth effortless lope at sub-5:00 pace. It is not easy to do due to what I would call neuromuscular inertia but I believe this ability is naturally developed to some extent when you are forced to run fast for a long time when tired.

So perhaps the Quality X is 70% or so in the low "neuromuscular inertia".

Rattletrap - I have never worried about it. However, I am fairly certain that my leg turnover does not change very much at the same pace from day to day, definitely not by 12%. The natural breathing rate does. So some days I am either not running in sync with my breathing or at the very least am running with a different steps per breath ratio.

From rattletrap on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 18:59:40 from 70.192.165.122

I never used to worry about my breathing pattern. In fact, I always thought if I was even thinking about it I must be doing it wrong. Recently I tried keeping my breathing in sync with my steps to cure a side ache and after a while decided that keeping everything in rhythm like that made running easier for me. I guess it could be like you said about form...one size does not necessarily fit all. I'm getting good results for now, but I just hope I'm not developing a habit that I'll need to break later. Thanks for sharing this kind of stuff on your blog. It really is fascinating.

From Jason McK on Fri, May 22, 2009 at 11:55:59 from 63.255.173.99

Thanks for the info. I just bought a less structured shoe (NB MR790) and plan to move to the Vibram 5-fingers. I guess that I'll just slowly work in more miles until my feet are strong, then let my form develop itself.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran 6 with Jeff, Ted, Colby, and Tyler. Matt Knold joined us for a few miles mid-run as well. Did a fat mile in 5:51. Respiratory rate was 17 breaths per 100 meters. Then ran 4 more with Jeff, Tyler joined us for a mile then turned around. Jeff and I ran another fat mile in 5:58. Total time for 10 miles was 1:13:07. Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:16, and 2 more with Jenny in 18:45. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:42.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.004.503.000.0017.50

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Tyler. We warmed up 3.87 miles together with a fat mile in 5:58. Respiratory rate was 14 per 100 meters. Passed an odd looking/acting guy that would prove to be a source of entertainment/annoyance during the tempo.

Then Jeff and I did the Good Rhythm Tempo, while Daniel and Tyler finished their uneventful 8. We started at the turnaround of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler and ran the course in the opposite direction.

Mile splits: 5:43 - 5:42 - 5:44 (with 180 half way) - 5:27 - 5:25. Total time 28:01.1. Half splits were 14:19 - 13:42.

First mile was uneventful. I felt a slight difficulty breathing and a bit of sluggishness. The Nutty Clown greeted us at the start of the second mile and pretended to attack us. We had to swerve to get around him. HR was at 150 at the end of the first mile, then progressed to 156 and stayed there. On the uphill quarter of the second mile HR dropped to 154, and we slowed down to 87 from 85. Thus 5:42 instead of 5:40. The pre-180 quarter in the third mile was also slow - 88, thus a slow mile split.

Then towards the end of the third mile The Nutty Clown was waiting for us in the bushes, and jumped out to spook us. We had to swerve again. I was spooked, and felt it. Decided to try to use the adrenaline and pushed the pace a bit. It worked somewhat. From that point to the end the quarters were 83, 80, 82, 82, 84, 82, 81, 78. HR got up to 163 for 82, dropped to 161 on 84, climbed to 166 on 81, and to 168 on 78. For the first 10 seconds after finishing felt a bit puky. Jeff's HR maxed out at 183.

On the way back we realized we had to pick it up to get home in time. So we started going around 6:40 pace with 3 miles to go. My HR was hovering around 135, Jeff's at 160. So we reasoned that perhaps Jeff was more dehydrated than me. Normally our difference is no more than 20 beats a minute. Then I wondered what would happen if I got my HR up to 150. Jeff thought his would be 170, and he was dead on. It took about 5:55 pace and a long time too, about 2 minutes, I felt I really had to focus, and once HR got up to 150 it would not go above it, and kept slipping to 149.

 So to revisit the low respiratory rate theory. Today was an interesting data point. It predicted strong neural drive. In reality, the neural drive was not bad, but not exceptional either, and it took some playing around to activate it. Need more data points to refine the theory.

P.M. Wore my oldest shoes (Bare Feet). 2 miles with Benjamin, Jenny, Alan and Lars in 16:32. Jenny was not feeling good and jogged in the last .25 to finish in 17:02. Then 1.5 with Julia in 13:50. Getting used to my new/old shoes.


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 14.00Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Carolyn in Colorado on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 14:55:32 from 198.241.217.15

As interested as I am in the finer points of your low respiratory rate theory, what I really want to ask about is The Nutty Clown. Was this someone you've seen before or some drunk guy or what?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 15:47:53 from 64.81.245.109

The Nutty Clown was a guy in his 30s wearing shorts without a shirt with short dark hair out for a run. Definitely fat for a runner, but possibly on the skinny side for the average American. First time we passed him he was running at around 9:30 pace. He acted strange - turned around, ran backwards facing us for a few steps as we approached, then pretended to attack us, then gave us a friendly pat on the back. On the way back the first time we passed him, he was walking, and the second time he jumped out of the bushes. He did not smell like alcohol. Also, he was able to run along a straight line, and even backwards, so if he was drunk, it would have been minor intoxication. We have never seen him before. Definitely the oddest thing I've seen on the Provo River Trail in the 12 years I've run on it.

From tyler on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 17:01:15 from 128.187.0.164

Tell you what, in your next marathon I'll hide at a random point on the course and jump out at you. Then we can test the Nutty Clown Adrenaline-boost Hypothesis. Could produce interesting results, especially if costumes are involved.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.901.000.000.1014.00

A.M. Ran with Ted, Jeff, Tyler, Colby, and Vern. Did explosions. After 6 miles it was just Jeff and I. We ran a fat mile in 6:00. Total time for 10 was 1:15:40. Then put on my Bare Feet shoes and ran 2 with Benjamin in 17:23, and 2 with Jenny in 19:42. Julia joined us for the first 1.5 in 14:43.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.506.000.000.0023.50

A.M. Ran a recovery 20 miler with Jeff if there is such a thing. I ran pretty hard long runs for the last several weeks, and Jeff was going to drive to Mesa afterwards, so we decided to take it easy. I decided to stop being a chicken and finally wear Five Fingers on a long run. I figured if I only run easy in them I keep learning barefoot form only at slow paces. If my fast miles happen in shoes, I will just keep unlearning what I learned in Five Fingers.

The warm-up was uneventful - 10 miles uphill from my house to Bridal Veil Falls in 1:14:41.On the way back we ran a mild 5 mile tempo down the Provo Canyon (first 3.2 miles) and then following the trail along the University Avenue for the remainder. We followed the magic triangle marks for distance. The mile splits were 6:01 - 5:52 - 5:43 - 5:40 - 5:26.  Total time 28:42, 5:44 average. HR was 137 at 5:50 pace, 147 at 5:40 pace, and 153 at 5:25 pace. Early on we had more downhill and tailwind. This goes to show how much downhill and tailwind help on the economy end. Jeff was consistently 15 or so beats higher than me. What is interesting is that the last mile felt quick, like I was working.

Shortly after we finished the tempo we saw a group of bikers. Jeff reported there were 21 of them. Of all things somebody could be thinking in the 16th mile of a 20 mile run counting people was not something I would have expected. He told me counting people in a group was his hobby. I was very impressed with this talent. Later I asked him how many people attended his Elder's Quorum in church last Sunday. He knew the exact number, he said it varied from 19 to 21 as people kept coming and going. With this talent he is going to make a great ward clerk, and he actually has been one. Also, when he and Kimia have 10 children he will never accidentally leave one of them at a gas station on a trip.

Around mile 16 we were done with the post-tempo jogging and picked up the pace to get the run over with to around 6:40. My feet started to burn a bit. With a mile to go Jeff asked me if I wanted to run the fat mile. I did not feel like it at first, but then the thought of finishing the run 40 seconds sooner was more temptation than I could handle, so I agreed. So we ran our last mile in 5:58. Towards the end my HR was 155 at 5:50 pace and it was also warmer than 8 miles ago. Total time for 20 was 2:17:09, 6:51 average, last 10 in 1:02:28, 6:14 average.

The feet did OK, there are minor blisters on the balls of both feet that will hopefully turn into nice callouses.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny. Timed only the last 1.5 in 13:06. 1.5 with Julia in 14:30. Happy to be able to run barefoot at the end of a long day.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Taught a lesson in the Elder's Quorum on temples.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.001.500.000.0013.50

A.M. Ran with Ted, Colby, and Tyler. Did about 0.5 of post-VPB tempo, had a double. Dropped Ted and Colby off at 6, Tyler turned around at 7, then I caught up to Sarah, ran 0.5 with her, and then she turned around. I ran another 0.5 out and turned around. Ran a fat mile in 5:48 with some steeple chase stuff under the bridge.

P.M. Went to Cove Fort in the afternoon. My thoughts coming back were that Brigham Young would have loved to go from Cove Fort to Provo in 2 hours. And then it occured to me that he knew by revelation a day would come when such trips would be possible. With that perspective I felt very thankful to drive our Fast Running Van.

Ran with the kids barefoot when we got back. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:02, 1.5 with Julia in 14:31.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.651.750.000.1013.50

A.M. Ran with Tyler and Daniel. Did explosions. Dropped them off at 8, ran another 2, most of it fast. First a fat mile in 6:00, then turned around, jogged a quarter, and ran another 0.75 in 4:15. Got into very good rhythm in the last quarter, felt very smooth. Ran in in 83. HR got up to 156, but I did not feel strained. That is perhaps a good sign. I do, however, reserve my optimism until I can run that pace for 4 miles equally smooth, then get HR to 165 and run a 5:10 mile at the end.

Then 2 miles barefoot with Benjamin in 17:02.

P.M. 2 miles with Jenny barefoot in 19:28. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:41.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.400.002.000.1013.50

A.M. 6 miles with Ted and Colby, then 4 more alone. Did two miles that were supposed to be fat. But for one reason or another I was feeling feisty, so they ended up too aggressive for that. I realized that half way through the first and decided instead of backing off, which would by now be futile as I had by now woken up the carb burning beast, just cruise along at the same effort and see what happens. The first mile was from the Riverside Park to the DI bridge, a slight up with 800 N bridge to dip under. Still difficult in Five Fingers. I can handle 2-3% grade OK, but anything steeper I still cannot do at full speed. The uphill mile was 5:42 with the quarters of 86,86 (under the bridge) ,84,84. HR got up to 157. I felt an interesting feeling in my quads. The blood was flowing, something was different about the way it was flowing, and I cannot quite tell what that means, if it is a good thing or a bad thing. Another mile or two at the same effort would have told me, but for a number of reasons it did not fit into my plans, probably reason number one being the nature of the trail ahead with all the bridges and turns which would make it difficult to understand the splits.

Then I jogged another mile and did the same mile backwards. The total time was 5:32 with the splits of 85, 83, 84 (under the bridge), and 80. HR got up to 158. The form felt smooth.

Total time for 10 miles was 1:12:39.

Then it was time to run with the kids barefoot. First quarter is always very hard, then I get used to the asphalt. 1.5 with Julia in 14:39, then 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:14.

When I run barefoot I think of a story that I once heard in church. An Indian boy comes to a wise man and asks him for advice. The wise man says there are two wolves fighting in you, the good one and the bad one. The boy asks which one is going to win. The old man answers whichever one you feed.

So I feel there are two wolves fighting in me, the Good Form Wolf and the Bad Form Wolf. The Good Form Wolf gets fed the best when I run barefoot on asphalt, and reasonably close with Five Fingers. The Bad Form Wolf gets fed in regular shoes. I decided to stop feeding the Bad Form Wolf even if it means having to run slower, and feeling some discomfort from the process of developing calloused feet.  Five running days so far, last Thursday was the last time I fed the Bad Form Wolf.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.501.002.000.0013.50

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Forgot to reset the alarm, so it woke me up earlier than usual. Did The Interval tempo.  Started with 5:42 mile, had Jeff and Daniel with me. Then they stopped, Jeff did not go further because he was tired from driving yesterday. The next mile was 5:20, and I started struggling towards the end of it. I tried to relax, but my legs were feeling fatigued. So I ran the next three quarters in 81, 82, and 83. I was not happy with it. HR was 161. In the last quarter I pushed harder, in the first 200 in 40 seconds HR was 164, then the last 200 was 38 for 78 quarter, and HR hit 167. This gave me 5:25 for the last mile, and 16:27.7 for 3.

Then finished the run with Jeff and Daniel. Daniel ran 9, Jeff and I 10.

In the afternoon I had plans to do some work on the blog - fix the bugs in the queue and rework the comments and the hot discussions. However, a client called me with a problem - his site was down. The problem was nasty and required a trip to the hosting provider. So I spent most of the day in a noisy server room recovering a server from root filesystem superblock corruption. It was a day of bad luck - my repair CD was damaged, a few ones we tried that the support team had did not have the right tools, then finally we figured out a way to get the tools, then salvage the file system, then reload the OS, re-install the web application, deal with issues, etc. The good news is that it was all paid time, so I made some money to pay the bills.

P.M. Ran barefoot. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:44, 1.5 with Julia in 13:23. Julia ran all the way barefoot, and this is her PR for 1.5. Her last mile was 8:48. She said her feet never hurt afterwards. Mine did better as well. I was handling small rocks and other forms  of roughness a whole lot better than a couple of days ago. This reminded me of the time when I was about 9 and  visited my cousins in a village near Sukhumi in Abkhazia. They were running barefoot on a rocky dirt road at full speed. I was wearing flip flops and could not run very fast. So I tried taking them off, and the surface was so rough I could not take one step.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From wheakory on Sat, May 30, 2009 at 01:52:11 from 24.116.159.75

Did you use a linux rescue disk and do a fsck repair (which linux flavor). If none of the superblocks can repair the filesystem that can be stressful. Are the systems backed up at all.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:14:47. Did two fat miles. First one in 5:52, second in 5:45. Felt better on those than expected in spite of the lack of sleep and a stressful day yesterday. Noticing that when running fast in Five Fingers I struggle with stability on the right foot, but I am fighting for it, and feel like I could run very smooth if I figured out how to support myself. In shoes I just give up and run clumsy. 

P.M.  Ran barefoot. 2 with Benjamin in 17:33.  2 with Jenny in 18:34. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:00. Julia ran barefoot. Jenny did 1.5 barefoot and then she wanted shoes. I suppose Julia's feet are tougher.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Vern on Sat, May 30, 2009 at 01:51:19 from 208.186.134.102

Hey thanks for the invite Sasha. I have some training i have to get to tomorrow for ROTC but i was wondering if i could run on tuesday and thursday. Col Leblow and Park will be gone. Could i run with you guys?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 02, 2009 at 12:47:04 from 64.81.245.109

Vern:

We are meeting Wednesday at 5:15 AM at my house and Thursday at 7:00 AM. 339 N 1120 W in Provo. You are welcome to join us. Sorry about not getting back to you in time for today, I realized when I got up this morning that I forgot to send you a message.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.602.000.000.0013.60

A.M. Short run today due to the chess tournament. Benjamin wanted to play in one, and I thought since I'd have to be there with him anyway I may play as well to find out what my rating is.

Ran 10.1 with Jeff in 1:13:53 with two fat miles. First one in 5:52, second in 5:59. 

The chess tournament was an interesting experience. Very different from running. They put you in a class based on your rating. Since I did not have a rating, they put me in a class of 1000-1199 plus unrated adults. Benjamin was not rated either, so they put him in 600-799 plus unrated 4th-6th graders. Benjamin won two games and lost two. I won three and lost one. I tied with three others for the division win, which gave me a cash prize of $12. I was happy to win cash in my first tournament and in something other than running.

So I suppose our official ratings now will be around 600 for Benjamin and 1100 for me. One thing that is different about chess. Mistakes are absolutely unforgiveble. You can be better than your opponent in all areas but one, and if he happens to get you on that one mistake early in the game, you are done. In running, if you are better, you can start out too fast, you can surge, you can even stop for a VPB, and you will still be ahead of a weaker opponent.

P.M. 1.5 with Julia in 14:00. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 19:20.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From wheakory on Sun, May 31, 2009 at 12:41:04 from 134.50.223.250

I love chess. I'm playing in a chess tournament at work. Right now I lost my first match. Any Tips?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 01, 2009 at 12:38:02 from 192.168.1.1

Kory:

If you have a Palm, put OpenChess on it, and play it in the opening trainer mode, as well as in the normal mode. When you lose a piece, take a move back and ask for a hint for a better move. If you still end up losing a piece, keep taking moves back and asking for hints until you are out of the woods. Learn from the hints.

You can also go to http://365chess.com/ and follow games from tournaments. You can learn to tell a good move from a bad move because it tells you how many times a game was won when a certain move was made. Another way to tell a move is good is if a 2500+ rated player made it.

Pay particular attention to positions where in every game in that position the same move was made, and try to understand why other moves would have been losing moves.

Eventually you will develop a positional feel of your own that will allow you to tell which moves are good and which are not.

Also, learn your endings. Know how to win a game if you have a queen or a rook and your opponent has nothing except his king. Learn how to push a pawn through and queen it. Know how to checkmate with two bishops against a lone king. Know how to win with a queen against a rook. An easy way to learn that is Edit Board in OpenChess, set up a certain position, and watch the computer mate you. Or, take hints, and mate the computer. Then once you got it figured it do it without hints.

From wheakory on Mon, Jun 01, 2009 at 13:05:39 from 134.50.89.33

Thanks Sasha! I used to play a lot in High School. I have a really nice glass set of Chess.

I don't want to lose again in our department tournament or I'll be out. Will see you in Provo at the marathon and hopefully I won't embarrass myself with my finish time.

From RivertonPaul on Mon, Jun 01, 2009 at 16:55:36 from 67.42.27.114

Well done. Does this mean chesstrainingblog.com is on the way? :)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.602.000.000.0013.60

A.M. Ran with Tyler, Daniel, and Jeff. Tyler and Daniel ran the first 4 with us then turned around. Jeff and I ran 10.1. Did 2 fat miles - first in 5:55, second in 5:57. Total time was 1:15:45.

P.M. 1.5 with Julia in 13:51, 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:57, last mile in 7:57.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Lybi on Mon, Jun 01, 2009 at 18:12:45 from 70.190.199.29

You're running barefoot! How fun! I hope you see all kinds of form improvement. You are quite the scientist--always trying new things.

From The Howling Commando on Tue, Jun 02, 2009 at 04:38:07 from 72.224.24.41

Hey, Sasha. Hope all is well. Was wondering if you knew how to help Emma change her blog template. I can't find the Change Blog Template option that used to be on the left side. Or am I just blind? Thanks!

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 02, 2009 at 12:42:44 from 64.81.245.109

Benn:

Template changing is not supported right now. Just have her start a different blog.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.471.002.000.0015.47

A.M. Ran with Daniel and Jeff. After the warm-up Jeff joined me for a portion of The Interval Tempo, while Daniel went on at an easy pace. I was still tired from the chess tournament on Saturday, so I adjusted the target pace accordingly. The plan was to warm up in 5:45, then 5:30 in the next mile, then hard in the last. Overall the tempo went better than I expected, but not quite according to plan.

Jeff went only 2 miles to be cautious as his calfs were feeling tight. First 0.5 was 2:55, then Jeff pushed it and we hit the mile in 5:41 (84, 82 quarters). Then we ran the next mile in 5:23 (80.5, 80.5, 81,81). That was faster than planned, but it did not feel too bad. However, without Jeff I knew it would be hard to speed up or even maintain in the third mile.

Third mile was difficult. 82,83,81,79 - 5:25, total time 5:25. In the first half HR was 162, then hit 166 in the third quarter, and all the way up to 169 in the last quarter. Slightly higher than normal at all paces, probably due to warmer weather.

Cooled down with Jeff, got to 11.47 miles. Then we picked up Benjamin and ran 2 more miles in 15:28 with the last mile in 6:47. I ran that portion barefoot. Noticed that my HR was matching Jeff's when running barefoot. Normally mine is 15-20 bpm lower. Now I am remembering that Jack Daniels noticed the same things in his studies - barefoot economy is not very good. At least for runners with tender feet. In Five Fingers I hit normal HR for the pace. So my suspect is that when running barefoot you have to reduce friction forces until your feet get tough. And those friction forces are probably an important component of running economy. Again, for runners that are used to shoes. Long-time barefoot runners might not be relying on the friction as much.

Another piece on info in the friction forces department. I noticed I have a very hard time running barefoot up a steep grade (going north under the 800 North bridge), and the problem is the friction becomes more than I can handle.

Changing subjects, I found out that my performance in the chess tournament earned me a rating of 1288. Thanks to the emphasis on sports in the Russian culture there is a fairly decent way to compare performances in different sports. They have a system of rankings in each sport, including chess and running. So my chess performance is equivalent to about an 18 minute 5 K.

P.M. 2 barefoot with Jenny in 17:48. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:31.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 11.47Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From Maurine/Tarzan on Wed, Jun 03, 2009 at 17:36:23 from 63.255.172.2

Chess is a sport?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jun 03, 2009 at 17:42:43 from 64.81.245.109

In Russia it is considered a sport. Which perhaps is why you find a lot of Russian names in the world's top player lists.

From Phoenix on Sun, Jul 05, 2009 at 18:35:48 from 67.182.210.10

That was me that passed you and Jeff heading the other way on the bike trail yesterday.

Nice job in the tournement. My boys and I almost played in that one, but I had a grant deadline that demanded all my mental firepower and extra time. The tournements are great. We have enjoyed them and it has made me realize why I like chess to so much and start to re-sharpen my game.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 07, 2009 at 13:46:32 from 192.168.1.1

Eric:

It was nice to see you on the trail. I did recognize you in spite of the mustache. I did read your report about Michael's 53:00 10 K. That is very good for a natural sprinter, and show that he might be like Iain Hunter when he grows up - very good in the 800, but enough endurance for a respectable marathon as well. If you are ever in town, bring him to play chess.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.432.000.000.0014.43

A.M.  10.1 with Jeff in 1:14:33. Did two fat miles, first in 5:55, second in 6:03. Noticed that our HR gap was decreased - his HR was only 9-10 bpm higher than mine.  My HR was normal for the pace, though.

Tried a new invention today. My new Five Fingers have been rubbing my heels. So I made myself Five Finger compatible socks by cutting out the front part. It worked quite well.

P.M. Ran barefoot. 2 with Benjamin in 18:03, 2 with Jenny in 18:44, Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:57. 0.33 with Joseph in 4:05.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.10Bare Feet Miles: 4.33
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From auntieem on Thu, Jun 04, 2009 at 12:03:13 from 67.182.145.8

Thanks for the welcome! I see you have the five fingers shoes. I've been interested in those for some time. Do you love them?

From allie on Thu, Jun 04, 2009 at 16:20:58 from 208.110.151.113

Sasha - how long did it take for you to get used to wearing Five Fingers? Or did you just naturally adapt to them without any problems? I bought a pair last fall, so I only had a chance to use them a few times before the snow. I found I could only go 4-5 miles before the bottoms of my feet really started to feel trashed.

Also, would you ever consider a full marathon in the Five Fingers?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 04, 2009 at 16:53:02 from 64.81.245.109

auntieem - I like my Five Fingers. I wear them in hopes of naturally correcting some imbalances in the body so I can run with better form. As far as I know nobody went under 27:00 in a 10 K that did not grow up running barefoot. So there must be something that develops overtime when you run barefoot at a young age. I am trying to see if it will develop at least to some extent at an older age.

Allie - I grew up running in thin soled basketball shoes (Keds), and have done 60 mile weeks at the age of 12 wearing Keds for the easy miles, and thin soles spikes for the hard miles. Since then I have been able to put 2000+ miles on a pair of shoes regularly with no consequences other than holes in the shoes. To prepare for the Five Fingers I ran 500 miles in a pair of Walmart Crocs. Crocs were like racing flats, no problems other than minor blistering, and poor durability - a nice set of holes after only 500 miles.

When I first started in Five Fingers I was afraid to go fast, but in about 2 months I lost that fear. Feet were OK. I did experience some tension in the calves, though. I did all of my mileage on pavement.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 04, 2009 at 16:54:12 from 64.81.245.109

I am considering running Utah Valley in Five Fingers. I've already done a 20 miler in them, and I have not run in regular shoes in two weeks.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.003.501.500.0015.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Vern. Did a 4.7 warmup with everybody, then Jeff and I ran the 5 mile tempo. The plan was to run about 5:40-5:45 pace focusing on good form and good rhythm, and practice improving stability on the right foot. We ran the course in the normal direction starting from Geneva.

Total time: 28:13.5 (5:38.7 average)

Splits by mile: 5:46, 5:43, 5:41, 5:37, 5:26.

Splits by half: 14:22, 13:51.

HR: Around 150 in the first mile, around 154-155 in the second and third. 162 in the fourth. The last mile had the quarters of 83, 81, 81, and 81. HR made its way to 164 in the first half, and then all the way up to 170, and back down to 167 once I ran out of juice. Jeff dropped me with about 500 to go, and gapped me by 11(!) seconds while I was still running 5:24 pace. His last quarter was 71.

Jeff's HR stayed around 8 bpm above mine most of the time. Yes, the pace was easy enough for him to be able to report it frequently. Interesting observation - right after the 180 turn we surged to get back up to pace. My HR stayed steady, while Jeff's spiked then dropped back down once the effort was back to normal. And it goes without saying that in comparison to me he felt a lot more comfortable. That sheds some light on a few things, assuming this is a pattern and not just one occurrence. If you push and HR does not respond, you will have oxygen debt, so you can only push that far. That would explain why I really really do not like mid-race surges, get knocked out by hills, sharp turns, etc.

Total mileage for the run was 11.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:03, 2 with Jenny in 18:44, Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:51.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 11.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.392.000.000.0014.39

A.M. 10.06 with Jeff in 1:16:20. Ran a couple of miles with Luz. Did two fat miles. First in 5:55, second in 6:00.

P.M. Ran barefoot. 2 with Benjamin in 19:47, 2 with Jenny in 19:20. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:20. 0.33 with Joseph in 3:52.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.06Bare Feet Miles: 4.33
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.562.500.000.0012.06

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did 12.06 in 1:29:27. Ran into Seth, he joined us for a little bit. He is running the Utah Valley Marathon as well and was exploring the course. So it looks like it will be faster than Ogden. So far we have two Kenyans (William Tete and Ezekiel Ruto), Seth, Jeff McClellan, me, Kory, and Jeff Shadley.

Did 2.5 in 14:38 for a sort of marathon dress rehearsal and practiced trading leads.

Later took Benjamin to a track meet. He ran 6:04 in the 1500. It was windy, but still this shows we need to figure out what is going on. His splits were 1:30, 1:40, 1:39, last 300 in 1:15. So in essence he ran a good first lap and then was just stuck in 6:40 pace gear. He said he did not feel tired afterwards. That is not surprising since we do not run 6:00 pace in training very much. Maybe we should once a week or so, I do not want him to do it too much as he is still growing. He did win the Bantum division, although there were only two people in it. But he was competitive against older boys, all were in the same heat.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:07. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:12.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 14.06
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments
From jtshad on Mon, Jun 08, 2009 at 14:58:05 from 204.134.132.225

It will be good to run with you again at UVM...Walter is running it too! Could be quite a group (or groups) up front!

From jtshad on Mon, Jun 08, 2009 at 14:58:54 from 204.134.132.225

You also forgot to mention that Shin Nozaki is running it as well.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 08, 2009 at 17:51:58 from 64.81.245.109

Just checked, found him in the start list. 4th place will very likely be under 2:30. Possibly 5th as well. We will need a miracle for the 6th. I am getting no money unless there is a massive blow up in front (very unlikely), but I am excited. One of the best marathons will happen in my home town.

From jtshad on Mon, Jun 08, 2009 at 18:06:13 from 204.134.132.225

Yep, it is going to be fast...Shin, Ezekiel, William, Seth, Jeff and you will be a fast lead group. Walter, Kory and I will do our best to keep you all in sight!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.562.500.000.0014.06

A.M. Ran with Jeff. 10.06 in 1:13:04. Sarah ran the first quarter with us in 2:29. We did 2.5 to remember marathon pace better in 14:24. Felt very good.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:39, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:53. 2 with Benjamin in 16:28.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 14.06
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.250.001.0012.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Easy 8 with one fast mile. Jeff wanted to do it in 5:20, and he managed to hold the pace for 100 meters. After that it was 5:00 pace. We ended up with 5:03.4. HR got up only to 165. This makes me wonder about the standard max HR testing protocol of running 0.75 at 5 K race pace, and then the last 400 all out. Better, 2.5 at 10 K race pace, then the last 800 all out. Perhaps the more you are developed aerobically, the longer you need to go before you go all out, and the longer you need to go all out for.

The mile felt good, I was happy about that. A bit of a burn in the legs, but I could deal with it. I think with some training I can learn to run through it. That's how I ran 15:37 5 K in Draper Days in 2004. What is interesting is that last August/September I could never get that burn, something else would fail before I could get to it. Which confirms my suspicion that the burn is a mere consequence of running fast, it does not stop you in and of itself. Something else stops you, and at times it can stop you before you reach the burn.

Then added 2 with Benjamin. We tried 6:00 pace to failure, but he was not feeling good and made it only to the quarter in 91. Total time for 2 miles was 18:00.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:31. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:36.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.751.500.000.008.25

A.M. An odd dream. Dreamed that President Obama was a chess piece, either a black knight or a bishop, positioned on c4, and protected by a pawn on d5. With the white king castled on the queen side the Obama piece  was causing a lot of trouble for the opponent controlling a lot of critical squares. The white could not chase him out with pawns. Then the white moved the pawn to  e4 attacking the Obama protector, the protector took the pawn and was not protecting anymore. Then a heavy piece, either a rook or a queen chased Obama out.  

Ran with Jeff. We were planning on going 6, but ended up adding 0.25 to go to the bathroom. We were in a critical spot and a critical situation, and too far away from virtual opportunities, so after a quick cost-to-benefit analysis we decided to take a detour. Ran a fat mile in 5:48.

2 more with Benjamin in 17:19. We practiced 6:00 again, it went better this time. I mis-paced Benjamin in the first quarter with a 94, but then we made up in the second in 88, total time for 0.5 was 3:02.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:27. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:05. Julia was feeling not quite well at the start, or at least she claimed she did. So we told her she did not have to run, but if she was too sick to run, she was too sick to go swimming later in the evening. So she said she'd try running to see how she felt. About half a mile into it she said she did not feel good enough to keep going. I told her fine, you can stop now but then you cannot go swimming. She stopped anyway, stood for a few seconds, then changed her mind, caught up to us and finished the run without problems.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Burt on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 12:42:48 from 68.76.197.194

Maybe the heavy piece was Jon Voight.

From Kory on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 17:00:10 from 134.50.89.33

Can you explain your Fat mile training. To me its a mile depleted by carbs, and running on the inter-fat muscle.

From Neil on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 18:00:38 from 164.165.24.5

If the "heavy piece" was a Rook then I'm going with Limbaugh; and I'm tempted to go with Barney Frank (currently harassing the President over the release of the detainee photos) if it was a Queen.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 15:15:03 from 64.81.245.109

Kory:

I believe the decision of which fuel you are going to use and in which proportion is ultimately controlled by the current hormonal state of the body. Thus by altering that state it is possible to use more fats even though plenty of carbs are available, and the other way around - keep on burning carbs even though you are running out of them. From this comes an idea - learn to control the hormonal state of the body with the mind while running at speeds close marathon race pace.

So you could be going, let's say 5:50-6:00 pace. If you are all worked up and excited, you will be burning carbs more. If you can almost fall asleep, that will shift the metabolism to fats. So we run easy for a while to fall sound asleep. Then we run fast while still asleep, and try not to wake up. The hope is that doing it every day for a mile or two will help remember the feeling and reproduce it in a race.

From Kory on Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:10:17 from 134.50.223.250

Sasha that is an excellent training idea. Because there are times where I can fall asleep and run that speed with no problem. I did this yesterday on my pre-race mp miles.

Thanks for the explanation and good training tip.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.500.500.000.008.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Benjamin joined us for the first 2 miles in 16:28. Jeff and I finished the run in 47:24 with a fat 0.5 in 2:54. Julia ran 1 mile with Sarah. I think I am getting pretty good at feeling that 87 quarter pace, we'll see how well I can do it on Saturday.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:27. Julia ran the first 0.5 in 4:52.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments
From Mike Warren on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 01:45:28 from 208.117.124.133

Good luck this weekend!

From Nan Kennard on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 11:15:46 from 67.165.238.15

Sasha,

Thanks for the analysis. I would be amazed with myself if I ever train hard enough to run sub 2:40 in the marathon. I know I have the potential, but my 1st priority is my family, so running takes back seat to that often. My best times in track are 2:09 in the 800M, 4:30 in the 1500M, 9:59 in the 3,000M Steeplechase, I think around 9:30 in the 3,000M, (oh and I ran a 57 second 400M in high school). Anyway, I know I have the speed, but like you said, its a matter of staying healthy, doing solid base mileage (which I'd love to hear your opinion of what that is for an elite marathon runner?), and doing race pace long runs. I would love to join a running group, but haven't been able to find one here in Westminster, CO that does long runs on Saturdays instead of Sunday (Sunday is my rest day) at the pace I want to run. There are many in Boulder, but that is a 20 minute drive for me and I can't rationalize paying child care for my kids for something that is currently just a hobby for me. So I run in the mornings alone before my husband starts work. Anyway, long story short, I'd love advice on marathon training and appreciate what you've set up here as a virtual training group where I can get encouragement and input from others.

Thanks!

-Nan

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 13:19:45 from 64.81.245.109

Nan:

Optimal weekly mileage depends on the runner. But I would say for men it varies from 90 to 180 and for women from 70 to 150. Some ideas for your situation.

- Figure out a way how to get a run in while you are with the kids. E.g go to a park and loop around while they play. Or put the younger ones in the double stroller, and have the third one ride a bike or even jog. This will solve the kid stress to a point, enough to run 70 miles a week with occasional doubles.

- Figure out a way to take a nap while you are with the kids. Something like a family nap time. The top safe volume and intensity of your training is determined to a great extent by how much you sleep. Lydiard used to say that miles make champions, but it requires clarification. It is the beds that make champions, miles just get them ready for bed.

- Healthy diet. Fruits, vegetables, and grains in abundance, meat in moderation, no junk. Junk food reduces the top safe volume and intensity, and is particularly dangerous when consumed on a whim and the training is not adjusted to account for it.

- Ease off on your base mileage runs. Do not run faster than 7:30 most of the time, but when you do, make it count, and do not run slower than 6:20. For you this would be particularly important because you cannot afford to wear down your nervous system and adrenal glands day after day while building base mileage since your opportunities for recovery are uncertain. Thus a base mileage run needs to become a nervous system builder rather than consumer. When the pace is slow enough, you build, when you start speeding you begin to consume, so if you are consuming anyway you should run at race pace, otherwise the resource is wasted.

- Once every two weeks run either a race or a time trial tempo run to see if your current training routine is doing you any good. E.g you run 3 miles, the first one in 6:20, second in 6:00, and the last all out always on the same course, going off landmarks, not Garmin.

- Run a good portion of your long run at race pace, do not just jog it. Renato Canova once said that you can go and run for 3 hours, and you will be no good for the marathon, and I firmly believe that from personal experience. To be competitive in the marathon you need to run for 10+ miles at race pace frequently.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.700.300.000.006.00

A.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:56, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:27. 2 with Benjamin in 17:12, last 0.3 at 6:00 pace. 2 alone in 15:42.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From seeaprilrun on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 14:44:09 from 68.102.144.140

Good luck on your race tomorrow. I hope you achieve the results you are looking for!

From Eric Day on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 18:10:42 from 189.192.166.38

Ditto on April comment. Wish you the best. Give them a hard time!

Race: Utah Valley Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:35:45, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
1.0026.220.000.0027.22

A.M. Utah Valley Marathon, 2:35:42, 6th place.

Quick update. Ahead of me: Seth (2:26:22), Shin (2:27:02), Peter Vail (2:30:00), William Tete (2:30:02), and Jeff McClellan (2:30:47). No Ezekiel, but Peter Vail in decent shape instead, less trouble, but still trouble.  Steve Ashbaker was with us at 10, but then fell back, and then dropped out due to a tight hamstring. Kory was 7th with 2:40:51, Jeff Shadley 8th with 2:41:41.

Ran the race in Five Fingers.  This caused some problems with the chip, hopefully they will not affect the accuracy of the timing. Sarah sewed the chip to my socks the night before, but it started to come off in the 16th mile, so to avoid problems I just ripped it off and carried it in my hand the rest of the way. Aside from the chip problem, the only other side effect was some blistering and a little bit of blood, but I've had that in regular shoes. And they were really stinky afterwards, to quote a scripture from Isaiah 3:24, "instead of a sweet smell there shall be stink".

Now run down mile by mile:

Mile 1 - 5:57. Rolling. A warm up. Seth, William, Shin, Peter, Jeff McClellan, and I all still together.

Mile 2 - 5:33 (11:30). Downhill. Seth, William, Shin and Peter picked it up and pulled away. I timed their mile as 5:04.

Miles 3 and 4 - 11:38 (23:08), 5:49 average. Rolling downward. Steve Ashbaker caught up to us and joined us. We are trading leads. The leaders are gone by by as we have expected. Mile marker 3 was in the wrong place, if we are to believe it, the splits would have been 5:18/6:20, which they were not.

Mile 5 - 6:02 (29:10), uphill, even with the 5:50 guy. Still the same group. HR in the first 5 miles hovered around 150, climbed to 154 on the hill.

Mile 6 - 5:33 (34:43), downhill. Steve was feeling a little edgy, told him to ease off.

Mile 7 - 5:25 (40:08), downhill. Jeff's mile.

Mile 8 - 5:34 (45:42), downhill, I think it was mine.

Mile 9 - 5:36 (51:18), downhill.

Mile 10 - 5:40 (57:00), flatter, but still a slight down. Saw Benjamin and Kimia. Got an update on the leaders, we were about 3:20 behind Shin. Got my cane sugar drink (0.5 liters water with 60 grams of cane sugar and 1.5 grams of sea salt), and took two Gotu Kola pills. I already knew from training that cane sugar works well, but the Gotu Kola pills were an experiment. Gotu Kola is a non-caffeinated herb that energizes the nervous system. I was not sure if I'd be able to swallow those pills at race pace but I did fine. HR hovered around 149-153 in those miles.

Mile 11 - 5:52 (1:02:52). Mild uphill, turns. Steve fell back. HR around 156. Jeff is pressing it a bit. His HR was also higher.

Mile 12 - 5:50 (1:08:42). Mild uphill. Finally finished my bottle. HR around 154-156.

Mile 13 - 5:54 (1:14:36). Mild uphill.

Mile 14 - 5:31 (1:20:07). Partially downhill, but really good downhill, many turns. Half in 1:15:04. Saw Ted at the half. He said Shin was 1:12:04, but I think it was wrong, because Shin would have put a gap on us from 10, but also Shin later told Jeff it was a low 1:11. HR hitting 157-159. Asked the Jeff to back off and bring me alive to 15, then I'd pull him for a mile, then send him off to chase the leaders.

Mile 15 - 5:42 (1:25:49). Technically a slight downhill, but you cannot tell, now on the Provo River Trail, bridges, turns. HR 157. In miles 14 and 15 I killed my race, but I did not care. I knew from the start I would be hopelessly out of money anyway, and figured it would make sense to sacrifice a minute or two, and possibly a place to slightly increase Jeff's chances of being in the money.

Mile 16 - 5:52 (1:31:41). Similar to 15. Took the lead for the last time to give Jeff a small break. There was a mishap during that mile. My chip started to fall off. It was sewed to the sock, but got loose. I stopped for a second to rip it off so I could carry it in my hand then quickly caught up and resumed the lead.

Mile 17 - 5:53 (1:37:34). Similar to 15. Stayed with Jeff in the first quarter, then grabbed the bottle from Benjamin, and eased off to drink it. Took Gotu Kola pills. Jeff pulled away fast. In hindsight, this is where we made a $250 mistake. Jeff should have stayed with me for another 2 miles. But we did not know Jeff's level of fitness with this much precision, and we also did not know that both Peter and William would blow up that bad. Live and learn.

Mile 18 - 5:59 (1:43:33). Flat, turns, went under the bridge. Drinking my bottle slowly. Saw Ted, he offered to take the bottle then give it to me later, but I needed my bottle desperately, so I said no.

Mile 19 - 5:58 (1:49:31). Mild rolling down on the trail. My tempo run course. Anticipating trouble. Finished the bottle.

Mile 20 - 6:19 (1:55:50). Flat, maybe now a slight up. With 6:19 the trouble has come. How much worse is it going to get? Saw Benjamin and Kimia. Got another bottle. Drinking it slowly and carefully to salvage the race.

Mile 21 - 6:32 (2:02:22). Slight up. Not good, still 5 miles to go. HR drops to 144-147 range.

Mile 22 - 6:07 (2:08:29). Slight up, maybe flat. HR climbs to 151-152. So the Gotu Kola is good for something maybe.

Mile 23 - 6:28 (2:14:57). Same as 22. HR drops to 148-149. Not enough Gotu Kola. I was taking two 450 mg pills. Need to try it in power form and mixing it into the drink in higher concentration next time.

Mile 24 - 6:29 (2:22:26). Same as 22. HR occasionally hits 150 but cannot stay there, keeps dropping to 147-148.

Mile 25 - 6:30 (2:28:56). Same as 22. Very similar to 24 in every way. Running off blood sugar, glad I have plenty.

Last 1.218 - that is when things get fuzzy because I am not quite sure of my finish time. I do not not remember my exact finish time. I do remember seeing 2:35:42 on the watch after I finished. I do remember throwing the chip on the mat and then seeing 2:35:47 on my watch. My official time is 2:35:45. So I probably got clocked by the time the chip hit the ground. I need to figure something out for the chip next time, maybe make a strap around the ankle that will hold it securely. I was able to squat down, pick up the chip, and hand it to the volunteer after I finished, so that is good. But if we go with a conservative estimate of 2:35:42, my last 1.218 is 7:46,   6:22 pace. Met Ted with about 0.5 to go and he got me going. Once I got going I felt I could have held it longer. So maybe if he had showed up at 23 or if a competitor showed up at 23, I would have run 30 seconds faster, but who cares anyway.

Post race damage. Some blood on the feet, stinky Five Fingers, a couple of blisters, more than normal quad soreness, but not DesNews kind.

Not sure how much I lost from Five Fingers. I definitely still do not know how to run in them as well as I do in shoes. But I need to keep running in them exclusively until I've learned a better form very very well. Then I can run in racing flats again and use their extra capacity for pounding. So from now on I will not race a race unless I feel it is safe to race it in Five Fingers. Abebe Bikila ran 2:15 in Rome in 1960 barefoot. But he grew up running barefoot. I did not. So maybe 2:35 in Five Fingers while somewhat wimpy is not that embarrassing after all, qualifies me for an African wannabe.

On another note, I failed on muscle glycogen miserably. The race would have been a complete disaster without those magic bottles, the blood sugar saved me. This could still be a leftover from the ear infection in February. Or it could be something else, all those chess tournament trips with missed long tempos. In any case, to address that I will start adding mid-week 8-10 mile tempos in addition to the regular ones on Saturday.

P.M. The children ran with Sarah, Benjamin and Jenny ahead. Benjamin ran 2 miles in 17:24, Jenny around 18:30. Julia ran 1.5 around 15:40.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 27.22
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Lysa on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 14:31:37 from 76.23.52.240

NICE TIME!! GOOD JOB!

From Burt on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:00:44 from 98.167.151.26

Stinky feet? I know what that scripture references, so...

Great job. I said to my wife, "I wonder who won the race." She said, "Probably a blogger." It looks like she was right, albeit an inactive blogger.

From RAD on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:02:51 from 67.166.99.8

Nice work Sasha! You make us all proud to be your bloggers!!

From Sam Dean-howard on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:03:56 from 90.212.41.56

excellent running and racing well done :-)

From allie on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:26:51 from 208.110.151.113

Great race, Sasha. I loved seeing you in the fiver fingers. Just curious, would you race in them again?

From Kelli on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:18:07 from 71.219.76.64

It was great to actually see a marathon finish and to see all of the speedy guys come in! Nice work, sorry about the feet. Air out those five fingers!!!!

From Maurine/Tarzan on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:18:43 from 97.117.76.29

Well done, Sasha. I look forward to reading more about the race.

From Carolyn in Colorado on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:43:00 from 71.229.164.25

Great job, Sasha. That's an interesting situation with the chip. I can smell your feet from here. Just kidding.

From Brent on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:59:13 from 168.178.30.75

Sasha, not sure if this was a key race for you, your like the postman, always delivers, your consistency is like no other runner.

Stay Kool, B of BS Rools out

From jtshad on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:49:14 from 12.187.226.152

Well run race in the five fingers. You are such a strong runner it is impressive to see you run. I talked with Sarah for a bit after the race, sorry I missed you.

Hope your feet are alright! Great job once again.

From Snoqualmie on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 11:13:58 from 67.171.56.164

I had no idea one could run that far in the VFF's! Congratulations, Mr. Strong Feet!! :D

From Mike Warren on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 17:16:29 from 208.117.124.133

Sounds like just another day at the office for you. Impressive as usual, Nice job!

From Barry on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 21:02:01 from 75.174.16.168

Great job! You are a very strong runner!

From mattk on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 23:29:14 from 69.169.164.230

Nice race virtually barefoot. When I saw you before the race I thought you had some regular shoes on, but then I saw the improvised socks cut off before the shoes/feet (whatever you call them). How did your special drink workout?

From TylerS on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 08:53:02 from 66.119.143.249

I think that this is pretty much his office! Good job Sasha. Did you win any money? You told me at Ogden that you should pace at least 4th? Was there more competition than what you had expected? Or was it that you raced in five fingers? Awesome job!

From Kory on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 12:18:31 from 134.50.89.55

Nice work Sasha on five fingers. That definitely would not be an easy task. I hope the blisters heal. It was nice to see you and talk to you.

From seeaprilrun on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 12:48:54 from 68.102.144.140

Wow. Quite a captivating race report. Great job on the race. Bloody feet my goodness maybe I don't want to run a marathon....

From Jason McK on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 12:49:38 from 63.255.173.99

Nice VFF race! When is your first barefoot marathon?

From Burt on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 12:56:03 from 68.76.197.194

You have just given me a great idea of how to out-chip someone.

Okay, after reading a bunch of the race reports, this marathon sounded tough. Not terribly tough, but not as fast as some of the other races out there. Still, you, Jeff, Seth, Mary Ann, etc. all had great times. How do you think you would have done on a better course?

From Maurine/Tarzan on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 13:11:23 from 63.255.172.2

I couldn't believe it when I saw you planning to do the marathon in FiveFingers. I think my longest run in mine has been 8 miles and I know my feet need a lot more strengthening/work before I can handle more than that without injury. Kudos to you on accomplishing your plan and learning from it.

From Eric Day on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 14:00:59 from 189.192.15.77

Five-fingers or not, still awesome Sasha.

Congrats!

From argentinerocket on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 14:23:44 from 74.9.147.114

Congratulatioons on yet another impressive race!

From Ashbaker on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 17:18:57 from 98.98.27.230

Maybe not what you wanted, but definitely a well thought out and executed race from what I could tell running with you guys. Sorry I blew up so soon. I hope that can change with some better training and recovery in the future.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 15:22:56 from 64.81.245.109

Everybody, thanks for the encouragement.

Allie - I decided I will not run anything in shoes until I learn how to run. So, yes, my next race will be in Five Fingers.

Matt - the drink saved me from a disaster. It did a good job keeping the blood sugar up. Gotu Kola gave me a slight neural drive boost as a bonus, but there was not enough, I think. I ordered 5lb of Gotu Kola powder, will test it in training and other races.

Jason - I am long ways away from being able to race barefoot. I can barely run 4 miles. My skin is still too tender.

Burt - hard to tell. For some reason this course is awfully slow, and I cannot quite figure out why. And I cannot quite figure out how much slower it is. I need more data. But I think it is reasonable to say I would have run Ogden in 2:33. Also, I think it is reasonable to say that it is no less than 5 minutes slower than Fukuoka. Shin ran Fukuoka in 2:20:16 in December last year, and 2:27:02 here, and he is fairly consistent.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Quads are sore.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

A.M. Was a bum, slept it in, and did nothing. Figured quads could wait until the evening.

P.M. 2 alone in 15:01, 2 with Jenny in 17:52 (Julia 1.5 in 13:46), 2 with Benjamin in 15:01. Sub-8:00 average in spite of running 2/3 of the run with the kids. And I did not have to push too hard on the solo part to make it sub-8:00. The left quad was almost 100% recovered but the right quad was very sore. This was very revealing. With Five Fingers, there was more pounding on the quads. So it exposed form weaknesses more clearly. It appears that I use the right quad for support a whole lot more than the left one. This makes sense because my right glut always feels unused, and somewhat incapable of being used. So the quad then picks up the slack. But why is the right glut being weird? That is a big question.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From Kory on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 16:01:40 from 134.50.223.250

Maybe it was the route where you were leaning more on the right side with all the turns. What type of soreness are you feeling? My right quad as well is more sore than the left.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 16:24:56 from 64.81.245.109

Kory - No, it is not the route. It is a deep rooted problem I have had for years. Something is structurally out of balance. I've had chiropractors and PTs look at it, but they were like a chess player that sees he can get a rook for a knight, but does not see a mate in three. Human anatomy is complex enough when your stationary, and is exponentially more complex when you start to move. It takes an experienced and inspired eye to diagnose a problem, and after a few tries I realized I do not have the time and the money to look for that inspired eye on my own. If it is God's will for it to be fixed, He will provide a way.

From neumannator on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 20:44:34 from 71.213.56.223

nice job on you marathon. The Glut is being weird because it is being a butt.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. 6 with Jeff in 49:08. 2 with Benjamin in 17:21. Quads feel better, but still not 100%.

P.M. 2 miles with Jenny in 18:10 (Julia ran 1.5 in 14:06).

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.750.500.000.0010.25

A.M. 6 miles with Jeff in 48:01. We tried to catch the 8:00 guy at the end, but were not motivated to start chasing him early enough and hard enough, so we lost the battle. However, Benjamin helped bring my average for the run to sub-8:00 by running 2 miles in 15:56 with 0.5 in the middle in 2:59 with the splits of 1:31 and 1:28.

A little later took the Fast Running Van to Computune to get the AC fixed and ran 2.25 back with Jenny and Julia in 21:38.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.25
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments
From Huans32 on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:39:51 from 138.64.2.76

Hey Sasha. Was wondering if you were doing the WBR again this year. And what the team name is. I know last year the blog put on a couple really tough teams. And was hoping to see how you guys fair this year. Good Luck!!

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:47:55 from 192.168.1.1

No team this year. WBR guys were not too anxious to have us (not enough reply to my e-mails, I even offered to do some website work for them twice, no result). And then I thought and I realized the toll this puts on the nervous system combined with a prize that is not worth a whole lot makes those races not worth it anyway. So I'll be happy to sleep in my own bed.

So if you guys have a last minute emergency in your team, feel free to approach our team members to cover it.

From Huans32 on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 16:51:44 from 138.64.2.76

Oh my team isnt a competitive one. Just was going to keep a eye out for you guys is all. Sorry to hear that you guys are passing it up. It is definitely a different kind of race and training goes into it. Rest well.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.250.000.000.0012.25

A.M. 6 with Jeff, then 2 more alone, 1:01:59 at 8 miles, then some time later 2.25 with Benjamin to Computune to get the Fast Running Van in 18:55.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:20, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:11.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.25
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.200.1014.30

A.M. 8 with Jeff then 2 more alone, total for 10 was 1:13:35, did explosions and a brief pickup at 5:30 for 0.2 for fun. I saw a guy ahead of me going about 9:00 and said, there is no way I can catch him before it is time to get off the trail, he appeared to be too far away. Then I said, never say never, try 5:30 instead of 6:40, and caught him with room to spare. What I found interesting is that in one way I had to work harder, but in another way I did not. 6:40 and 5:30 are very similar in some ways, 5:30 just takes more concentration. 

then 2 with Benjamin in 17:33. We are building an addition to our house. The Lord has poured out so many blessings, there is not enough room to receive them. The builders are laying a foundation. Our kids have been watching the process, and sometimes singing How Firm A Foundation. Then they are walking around the house and still singing it. I love that hymn, it is full of the steady sustainable energy, exactly what a runner needs. It got me through many lonely runs in Russia on a cold winter morning with thoughts of an uncertain future.

P.M. 2.3 with Jenny to Jamba Juice in 20:54. Julia got picked up after 1.52 in 14:16.

 

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 14.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.504.500.400.1015.50

A.M. 10 with Jeff in 1:09:56. Did a recovery 5 mile tempo in the middle in 29:25 progressively increasing the pace. The splits were 6:00, 5:59, 5:57, 5:56, 5:33. Last mile had the quarters of 87, 86, 85, 75. Last 200 was in 34. HR was around 146-148 in the early miles, then made its way to 150-151, and in the last mile was around 157-158. During the kick it hit 172. Last 200 was hard but manageable. It was nice to feel the speed. Jeff acted like he was struggling a bit during the run, said it felt harder than 6:00 usually does, but the 34 200 kick at the end was his initiative, so that's a good sign.

2 with Benjamin in 16:48. Jenny learned than Benjamin was being taken out to lunch for his 0.5 at sub-6:00 pace earlier this week, so she wanted to earn it as well. I told her 2 miles under 16:00. She ran 15:33. Then Julia also wanted to earn the privilege. I was not sure about her fitness level exactly, and I did not want to set a standard that was either too high or too low, so I told her follow me and respond when I pick up the pace. She did not know the word "respond". So I explained that it meant if I speed up, you speed up, do not fall behind. Now I can just imagine her coming to Primary, the teacher says: "And Samuel responded to the Lord's call to serve", then asking the children if they knew the meaning of "respond", then Julia raising her little hand and giving the running explanation.

After the instruction we ran 1.5 in 11:57 with the last mile in 7:55 which is Julia's PR and her first time under 8:00. High school runners could learn from her quarter splits: 2:03, 1:59, 1:58, 1:57, 2:02, 1:58. Whenever a child breaks a minute barrier in the mile, we give him a special prize. So Julia got a book and a couple of toys at Barnes and Noble.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Eric Day on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 13:40:53 from 189.192.129.41

As a bookseller, I love hearing parents give books to their children as prizes. Can't think of a better prize!

Congrats on your children's accomplishments!

From Maurine/Tarzan on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 14:04:40 from 63.255.172.2

Nice motivation on the children's PR's!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Taught a class in the Elder's Quorum on Wentworth Letter where Joseph Smith recounts his vision, receiving the Golden Plates and translating the Book of Mormon, the history of the Church, and then gives the Thirteen Articles of Faith.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.960.000.000.5014.46

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Daniel went with us to 3 then turned around. We did 10.06 in 1:13:27. A little slower for Jeff due to my VPB. I did explosive sprints. Towards the end I suggested if we ran the last half mile at 6:30 pace we would be under 1:14 for the whole run. Jeff said he needed to run 6:00 pace due to my VPB. So we decided to go fast. We started with about 0.4 to go. The quarters were 85, and 77. HR got up to 164 then dropped to 162. Jeff's was steady at 174.

A few days ago I discovered that if I pressed on my pelvic bone on the right side a certain way I was able to feel more control over my right glut. I am able to find the correct angle because when I press a certain way my right pinky toe starts to twitch, so I press it until it is twitching the hardest. Then once I find the magic angle I contract and relax the glut. So I messed around with it a bit, and felt different during the run today, more stability on the right foot, more power coming off the right leg, especially at faster speeds.

2 more with Benjamin in 15:49.

P.M. About 0.4 with Benjamin to get home after helping a neighbor move in Crocs, then 2 barefoot with Jenny in 17:59. Julia ran 1.5 in 13:46. Feet are tougher, felt a whole lot better running barefoot.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.06Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.844.220.000.0014.06

A.M. Ran with Jeff. He had a job interview, so we had to run early - 5:00 AM. We also had to be done quick, so we had to hurry through the run a bit. We started out slow as usual, first 0.5 at 9:00 pace, but then feeling the urgency of being done in time picked it up a bit and eventually were going a bit over 6:40. Hit the turnaround (5.03) in 36:14 and then started the mini-tempo. We ran an odd distance - 3.67 because that was the distance from the turnaround to where we had to cross Geneva (the bridge is still flooded). Our time was 21:35 (5:52.8 average). We started out around 6:00 pace, then with 2 miles to go sped up to 5:50,  and ran the last mile in 5:43. Due to the early hour I felt sluggish. At 6:00 I felt like I was pressing against a hard wall. Then as we sped up the wall advanced 10 seconds, and was now at 5:50. And towards the end it advanced to 5:40. Total time for 10.06 was 1:08:15 which is fast for us, Jeff and I are a couple of lazy bums, we rarely break 1:10. In fact, had we not run the tempo we would not have broken 1:10 even with the mid-run briskness. Of course, we could run 1:04 every day, but then Jeff would be injured and I would be neurally fatigued.

Then 2 more with Benjamin. We did 0.5 in 2:59 (89,90) plus a little bit more, about 0.05 at that pace to help him mentally extend himself.

P.M. Ran barefoot. 1.5 with Julia in 13:16. She was conversational even though the pace was sub-9:00. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:45. Jenny had a cut on her foot, could not run.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.06Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments
From Kory on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:56:13 from 134.50.89.55

Sasha - how much is the route you run every morning actually part of the Provo Marathon course? I know I ran the marathon a couple weeks ago, but I don't remember how much of what you run every morning is on the course.

What I found about running the course is you really need to practice on your turning speed. Next year I plan to run some courses in training that have a lot of turns so your pace isn't broken up so much. Now a 2:40 isn't bad to what I thought my fitness level was at. But I can see adjustments to make to get better at running the course.

If you won't have ran in your five fingers what do you think you could have done on this course, time wise? I really thought you were going to tear this course apart.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:41:32 from 64.81.245.109

Kory - I enter the course 0.46 miles into my run at around 16.25 and follow it to about 19.8. Same on the way back.

from about 17.2 (the bridge with a pump) to about 19.3 (last gate on the trail, start of the parking lot) is the course of my 5 mile tempo, also the course of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler.

I run that 5 Miler all the time, and for some odd reason it is slow. My PR on it is 26:48, and I did it trading quarters with Jeff the entire time. I have raced a flat 10 K working with Steve the entire time in 32:59 while having a comparable level of fitness, or possibly less since the fastest I could go in the 5 mile tempo around that time was 27:16. So 5 miles at 5:21 average vs 10 K at 5:18. You can say it is a race vs. time trial, but I do not buy it. I did not taper for either, and I when I raced Steve it was essentially a time trial comparable to running with Jeff. BJ and Alexander Thomas were gone, and Adam was too far behind to be a threat.

I do have a few ideas why it is slow, but not 100% sure. It is on the bank of a river, and banks tend to be uneven. The tree cover makes it hard to see the undulations, so you think it is flatter than it really is. Either that or SLC Track Club has a miscalibrated wheel, I certainly hope not.

Hard to tell how much I lost because of Five Fingers. I think I lost something because I am still not used to running in them. Jeff thinks about 2 minutes. He might be right.

Note that next year the Utah Valley Marathon course could very well be different.

From Kory on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:57:56 from 134.50.89.55

Interesting, what I found that really broke my pace was going down the tunnels and then coming up again at various times. Then you would turn on some of them. I really don't think I was ready for that or expected it. I could see how it could break a tempo pace with not a consist stretch of road.

Also with the turning and twisting I would assume it would be more difficult with the less cushioning you had to deal with. Make a point tomorrow when your turning on the course in the five fingers to diagnose how it feels with less cushioning vs shoes.

Your right about being uneven it did feel that way. It felt like a incline at times, but all the turn too could have made that an illusion.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:06:27 from 64.81.245.109

Kory - I do not feel anything particularly special aside from a minor burn when turning, but I am sure it adds up over 26 miles.

A bigger problem, though, would be excessive right foot rotation - this gave me a bloody blister near the big toe.

From Kory on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 18:46:32 from 134.50.89.55

Now the blister could have altered your stride during the race and slowed you down. Also causing you to be more dominant on the other leg while running.

I don't know just my thoughts. I was predicting you to be closer to a 2:30.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 18:51:45 from 64.81.245.109

Not on that course, and not with this level of fitness. I was expecting around 2:33. However, Top of Utah will be interesting (I am sitting out DesNews, do not feel ready for it).

From Kory on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 22:06:36 from 134.50.223.250

Sasha - you have the ability to do well in Des News, but if you don't feel it than it must be from God. Your an amazing runner and experimenter on your feet. I've noticed you sort have cut back your training this year. If you've noticed most of the elite runner's on the blog have cutback from last year (well it seems the one's on the relay team, a lot of injuries).

Curious, why didn't you run the marathons in SLC and Ogden this year?

From Mike Warren on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 00:03:42 from 208.117.124.133

Sasha, I have noticed the same thing with your cutback. Do you have some naggy injuries? Also, I signed up for DesNews. The problem, several people suggested I don't run it. I have never ran it and do not know the course. I have been told it beats the tar out of you. With my past history of stress fracture, maybe best to sit it out.

From Kory on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 01:03:35 from 134.50.223.250

Mike Warren - The steep downhill is what can get you if you start out too fast. I've ran it once and it didn't beat me up. In fact it was the first course I qualified for Boston on. You just have to stay patient on the downhill and save some for the second half of the course.

From AmberG on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 02:03:52 from 64.255.88.143

Sasha- just wanted to say Thank You for your advice on my 'cleanse'. You are one smart whipper-snapper!!!!

I am only doing it for 3 days and plan to really focus on healthy eating afterwards.

Thanks again for your comments!

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 14:45:22 from 192.168.1.1

Kory, Mike:

No injuries. Extra miles means time away from the family or work. I gave 120 week long enough of a try and only saw gradually degrading performance in all distances. Even if I could make it work with time, the benefits are going to be marginal. I do not really care to run mega miles to run a marathon one minute faster.

I am already hitting world-class marathon to 5 K ratios, which indicates failure to improve from increased mileage should not be a surprise. To make a substantial improvement I need a Quality X breakthrough. As I mentioned numerous times, there is no Quality X improvement science, this is an uncharted territory. So I am trying various odd things such as running in Five Fingers and explosive sprints.

Regarding DesNews - I decided if I do not feel safe running a race in Five Fingers I will not run it at all until I feel confident that my form experienced permanent positive corrections. I do not feel confident running down 8% grade for 3 miles, and then 23 more with some serious decent involved in Five Fingers.

SLC - was not fit to run the marathon due to the ear infection in February. Ogden - was not fit to run the marathon when I made the decision. However, if I could have changed the day of the race, I still would have stayed with the half to save the legs for Utah Valley. I'd much rather use my legs to give a fast time to the race director that cares to have a fast time.

From Jon on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 14:52:25 from 138.64.2.76

It will be interesting to see if running fewer marathons this year results in better performance in the fall. Are you doing TOU and SGM?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 15:23:59 from 64.81.245.109

I am thinking TOU seriously, as seriously as you can in Five Fingers that is, SGM to keep Jeff company until I die, then hang on to stay in top 10 so I can come back next year.

From Mike Warren on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 18:12:13 from 207.50.149.221

Great point Jon. I always wondered if Sasha would of hit the OTQ without running TOU before STG. I believe that was 2007? I have never met anyone that can run back to back to back marathons like Sasha. All world class times, but man seems like it had to take something out of you? Any thoughts on that Sasha?

From Kory on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 18:26:35 from 134.50.89.55

Sasha - Great points. I fully agree. Why run a marathon just to run it. There's so many runners that just want to see how many they can run. I find it more of a benefit to see how fast you can run them when you feel you've reached a peak or high fitness level. Versus seeing how many medals you can pile in your closet.

I really hope the experiment your trying works because your an determined individual and deserve a breakthrough.

Also (on a side note). Thanks for getting me a comp entry into the Utah Valley Marathon. I don't feel I disappointed him with a 2:40 time.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 19:35:16 from 64.81.245.109

Mike:

If I could run sub-2:22 in St. George fresh (I am not saying OTQ because with the new standard 2:22 in St. George is a far cry from OTQ), I would have run at least 2:26 in TOU fresh. I did not. In a way, I am glad that the St. George loophole got closed, and that the standard is now 2:19. Let's face it, 2:22 even on a flat course is no world-class. In fact, 2:19 is not either. 2:22 in St. George is definitely not world-class. A great time for a local runner, maybe good enough to make top 100 in the nation, so maybe entry-level national class, but no world class by any means. World class for men has to begin at the very least above the women's world record (2:15). If you have any claims towards being world class you should not be getting chicked.

Not a pleasant reality for somebody who runs 15 miles a day for years and cannot even run 2:22 in St. George, but nevertheless a reality that needs to be faced. The cheerleader fairy tale says if you just believe it and work hard you can do it. Heck, no. You need Quality X to be world-class, and it is just as about as difficult to improve Quality X as it is to make a pig fly without wings, a propeller or a jet engine. You have to invent some kind of pig anti-gravity. I am not saying impossible, but very very difficult, takes a lot of faith. And that faith will not come until you at the very least appreciate what kind of faith it takes, not something that can happen until you've tried hard, hit that limit hard, and are fully aware of it.

From Mike Warren on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 20:57:33 from 208.117.124.133

Ok, I will agree with you on the World class classification. You have worked your tail end off trying to get there. So a simple question. You sound like you have I won't say given-up, but have serious doubts you can reach that level. With that said is running for fun enough for you? After all, you have won several races, set numerous PR's, possibly ran to your max potential?

If you have reached your max, you should be very proud. Even though I don't always agree with you. I must say, you have helped me and countless others reach or attempt to reach there max. So in the end, in my humble opinion thats worth more than reaching the OTQ. You never know, one day Pigs may fly.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 23:13:51 from 192.168.1.1

If I just wanted to run for fun I would jog seven miles a day and never race. No, I have not given up. I just know better than get excited about pursuing known dead ends.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.000.1014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Had to make it relatively brisk because we started late and Jeff had to get to work. So we ran 1:11:13 for 10.1. Did explosive sprints. Jeff said I looked more relaxed. We'll see if there any substance to that tomorrow in the 6x400. 

2 more with Benjamin in 17:26.

P.M. Ran barefoot. 0.5 with Joseph in 6:05. Julia ran with us for about 0.3 then took off, the pace was too slow for her. Then 2 with Jenny in 18:31, Julia ran 1.5 in 13:53.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.101.000.001.5014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. I did the quarters. He did two fat miles just to be safe. I did his last fat mile, although it was not so fat for me as the quarters put me in the carb burning mode. Total mileage for the run was 10.1.

I did 5 quarters with 200 recovery, then ran out of road, and did not want to go backwards as not to delay Jeff as he needed to get to work on time. So I decided to take a longer break, about 2.5 miles or so until we got back to the trail marks. The longer break did not matter since I could not do the quarters fast enough to benefit from more than 200 recovery.

The quarters went like this: pressed the stop button too early on the first, with the adjustment the time was around 73, on the second one the watch did not start because I am still getting used to the idea of starting the timer with one button and stopping it with another. After than I finally got the hang of those buttons: 71.4, 72.0 (lost concentration looking for the marker as it was covered with fluff), 71.2, 71.5.

The feeling was interesting. In some ways I felt smooth. But in other ways I felt weak and awkward. In restrospect I said no wonder many people run this pace for a 10 K, it is not that fast, does not take a whole lot of power to sustain it if you can run smooth. But it does take a whole lot of Quality X to be sufficiently smooth to run this pace off low power. And for fairness, we need to say that a sub-28:00 sea-level track Kenyan would not break 29:00 on the Provo River trail. I raced a few of them in 2005 in Wasatch Run The Front, the winner was around 29:20, he had a sub-28:00 track 10 K to his credit, and he was racing 4 other guys his caliber. I ran 34:10, and, interestingly enough, my 10 K PR on the Provo River Trail was 34:09, so we can say the courses were comparable. So perhaps 71 quarters there are not that slow after all.

And since I remembered Wasatch Run the Front. It was a great race, but unfortunately not well appreciated by the community. We had some of the best runners the world, a good number, and I mean really the best, sub-28:00 10 K runners in men, Constantina Dita, the Beijing Olympics Marathon Champion in the women's race, and she did not win easy, there was a Kenyan lady that gave her a run for her money. The good news is that I got to watch it. The bad news is that I got to watch it from far behind. I ran a decent race and got triple (!) chicked.  We did not have to go anywhere to race them, they came to us. They were all right there, no special coral or anything. You could warm-up, cool down, and chat with a bunch of world-class runners. And guess how many people showed up? Only 300. Well, that was the end of Wasatch Run The Front.

2 with Benjamin afterwards in 17:41.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:11. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:51. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:55.

 

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From jtshad on Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:43:50 from 204.134.132.225

Sounds like that race in 2005 would have been a great one to watch! A question though...how well did the RD/organization advertise to the community that there would be this caliber of folks running? If they don't advertise, most folks (runner/non-runners) won't have a clue.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 16:33:59 from 64.81.245.109

They advertised very well. However, I do have an idea for what the problem might be. I'll run a little a test poll on the forum.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.252.250.000.1014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. After the first half mile we met a guy named Tyler. He joined us for about 3.5 miles. In less than a mile we discovered he had served a Spanish speaking mission in New Jersey. Jeff and I speaking Spanish to each other is rather odd for some reason, but with another person it happens more naturally. So we spoke Spanish for almost 3 miles.

On the way back we ran a fat mile in 5:59, and then another fat 1.25 in 7:26.

We have a reason to celebrate. The tunnel under Geneva Road is finally dry. Learning to be thankful for small blessings.

Afterwards 2 more with Benjamin in 15:54. It would have been slower, but he decided to practice his race pace in the last 0.4.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:47. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:26. Then 0.5 with Joseph, Jeff, and Kimia. Joseph and I finished in 5:21, which is Joseph's record, Jeff and Kimia pulled ahead in the second quarter and finished in 5:14.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.005.005.000.0017.00

A.M. Eventful morning. Started with a tempo run with Jeff. We warmed up 3.62, then started our 10 mile tempo. Fast Running Blog 5 Miler course twice. While I am at it, I'll put a plug for the race on July 11th. This is a great opportunity to accurately test your fitness. I know that course very very well. With the race still small I can afford to offer every blogger that comes to run it an analysis of his performance. I hope this means more to you than purchasing a shirt, some food and a chance to win an age division award, which we unlike other races do not offer. Take that back, we actually do offer the option of purchasing a shirt for $8, but it is still an option, shirt purchase is not required to enter the race.  And in case somebody still does not know, there is no charge to enter the race.

The plan was to go out at around 5:50 pace, and then speed up by feel. My splits: 5:49 - 5:48 - 5:46 - 5:43 - 5:43 - 5:40 - 5:35 -  5:32 - 5:32 - 5:38.  We tried to do quarters, but eventually the pace got fast enough to where I was not very helpful at the front. With 1.5 to go Jeff sped up to an 81 quarter, I survived it, but was done for the rest of the run and lost contact. My quarters after that were 83, 85, 85, 84, 84. The last mile is a slight uphill, so the effort was worth a flat 5:32-5:34. Total time was 56:46. Jeff finished with 56:34. Splits by 2.5: 14:33 - 14:16 - 14:03 - 13:54. By 5: 28:49 - 27:57. I was happy to break 28:00 in the second half.

First 5 miles felt sluggish, I was even wondering if I could hold that pace at all, much less speed up. Then we sped up to 5:40 and I found a good rhythm.

I felt very good during mile 7. HR was 154. I do not think I ever had it that low going 5:35 that late in a tempo or a race. I found a good rhythm during that mile. Then I lost it during a 180 and the pace felt painful, but then I found the rhythm again. However, 81 was too much for my nervous system. I still had good rhythm in the last mile, but Jeff was gone, and my neural drive was in overload. So 5:38 was all I could do.

Cooled down to make the total of 15.

The took Benjamin and Jenny to the Utah Track State Championship. They both ran 1500 meters in the Bantam division. This was Jenny's first track race, so naturally she made some mistakes. She spent a good portion of the race in the second or third lanes while there was no competitor around her. This ended up costing her the win. Her time was 6:40.00, while the Olivia Tait ran 6:39.64.  Olivia was on pace for about 6:20, but then with about 170 meters to go she started throwing up. So she stopped, then started running, stopped again, pushed as hard as she could, and ended up holding off Jenny at the end. Jenny's splits were 1:41, 1:52, 1:50, and 1:17 for the last 300. She advanced to the regionals, an since they are going to be held here at BYU she is going to run in them. Not a bad showing, though, given that she is 8 and she was racing girls 10 and under.  But we need to work on holding a steady pace all the way through, and on staying in the first lane.

If somebody had told me that Benjamin would not advance to the regionals with a 5:43 I would have said impossible. Last year he won with 6:06. But it did happen. Bantum Boys ended up being the deepest race in all age categories. Benjamin ran a 22 second PR, and still missed top 3 getting outkicked by Jakob Bates in the last 200. He would have advanced with his time in every other age division. Sometimes life pretends to be not fair. But it always is. There is no such thing as unfair. Luck is random, preparation is not.

Amadeus Peterson won with 5:21.91, then Aiden Troutner 5:25.80, Jakob 5:41.44, and Benjamin 5;43.77.

Benjamin's splits were 1:26 (quarter PR), 1:34, 1:36, and 1:07 for the last 300. I was happy with how he ran the race. He did slow down after the first lap, but he was able to maintain a respectable pace in spite of running a very aggressive first quarter. Our 6:00 pace to failure training did have some positive results. 5:46 pace in the first lap did not completely kill him, his kick was respectable, and his average pace for the whole run was 6:08.8.  We will continue to work on making 6:00 pace comfortable enough to make it to the mile.

P.M. Ran barefoot. 1.5 with Julia in 14:38, 0.5 with Joseph in 5:55.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 15.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments
From Mike Warren on Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 00:08:07 from 208.117.124.133

Pretty impressive run, nice job and awesome effort!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Read an interesting article in the Ensign about a woman that prayed to have a pioneer experience. Her prayer was answered. Her car broke down and she had to bike everywhere. This reminded me that I need to be thankful for everyday life conveniences.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From Metcalf Running on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:19:27 from 207.225.192.66

Amen to that!

From Metcalf Running on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:20:09 from 207.225.192.66

The being thankful part... not the pioneer experience.

From Kory on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:30:16 from 134.50.89.55

Good lesson. Were too spoil as it is. We need to ask God what he wants us to have not ask what we want.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.000.000.1014.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:15:31. Did explosions. Discussed the importance of big O in computer algorithms. Ran two fat miles. First in 5:56, second in 5:50. Interesting feeling in the second mile. In the second quarter felt very smooth, and ran 86 uphill, but it did not feel that fast. In the third quarter I thought we were going to get 85 for the effort, but it was only 87.  Possibly because of the turns. Then in the last quarter felt smooth again and ran 84.

2 more with Benjamin in 17:33.

P.M. Ran barefoot. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:45. 1.5 with Jenny and Julia in 14:59. They both were not feeling well, so we ran slower and cut Jenny's run short.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Merri on Wed, Jul 01, 2009 at 00:51:22 from 207.88.76.69

just curious...what are your fat miles? and what are your explosive sprints?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 01, 2009 at 15:30:42 from 64.81.245.109

Merri:

I posted the explanations on the forum:

http://fastrunningblog.com/forum/index.php/topic,1121.0.html

http://fastrunningblog.com/forum/index.php/topic,1120.0.html

From Merri on Wed, Jul 01, 2009 at 15:50:39 from 207.88.76.69

K thanks!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.905.600.000.0014.50

A.M. Jeff and I were planning on a 10 mile tempo run. However, Jeff ate something bad and was having serious stomach issues. But we decided to give it a try anyway. Jeff threw up before the start of the tempo, first time in 14 years. Jeff is quite a scientist. Most people would just get away from the vomit as fast as they could, but he studied it in detail and then reported one item at a time what came out.

Then we started with a tentative goal to run 6:00 pace until we had to call 911 for Jeff. We started out sluggishly. 6:06 for the first mile. During the second mile Jeff stopped to throw up again. Then we could not get back to pace, and then we stopped for Jeff's VPB, so we ended up with 6:09.  Not much faster in the third - 6:02. An old lady, about 70 years old or so, was riding a bike in front of us. She was a nimble old lady. Her bike looked pretty heavy, yet she was maintaining sub-6:00 pace. She must have been Ben Crozier's grandma. Back when we trained together whenever I told Ben I ran a good time, he always said his grandma ran that same race on that same course 5 seconds faster.

With the grandma ahead of us to chase the pace quickened. We ran the next mile in 5:53. But the grandma was not coming to us. I thought for sure we'd catch her on the uphill. But we did not. Then finally Jeff decided he wanted to catch the grandma even if it meant more vomit. So we sped up to an 84 quarter, followed by an 81. The grandma did not have that gear, we caught up, and she admitted that she tried hard to stay ahead of us. I was surprised that Jeff was able to go that fast without losing anything on either end of the pipe. Once we passed the grandma, the competitive urge was over and we coasted the last quarter in 85 to finish 5 miles in 29:50, last mile in 5:40. Jeff felt that was good enough, and I did not want to run 5 more alone bad enough to actually do it. So I stopped with him and we jogged in to get 10 miles total.

Then I picked up Benjamin and ran 2 miles with him in 15:45. We did  6:00 pace to failure after the warm-up mile in 9:00. He made it to about 0.6 this time, the longest so far. I think he could have gone 0.75, but was not mentally ready. To help him prepare I challenged him to run a hard quarter from 1.75 to the finish, which he did in 1:37. His last mile was 6:45 which included a jog from 0.6 to 0.75.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:48. 2 with Jenny in 19:34. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:52.

 

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Comments
From Glory in the long run on Wed, Jul 01, 2009 at 14:35:43 from 67.177.39.243

Teren ran 15:35, he always seems to run about that except when it's a bigger race, I don't know if he was guaging himself for Murray cuz I think he's run 14:50 there. I think he did 5 minute high tempo pace.

From TylerS on Wed, Jul 01, 2009 at 17:25:54 from 66.29.160.130

I liked the Grandma story! That is a "run/Vomit" you guys will always remember!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.502.000.000.1014.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:10:31.  We started a bit late because I had a hard time finding my magic socks for Five Fingers (actually regular socks with the front cut out) so we had to hurry a bit. Did explosive sprints. Then we ran fat miles. The first one in 5:52, second in 5:42. HR was 156 at the end, and that quarter was 85. 

Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:36.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:29. 2 with Jenny, Julia ran 1.5. We were a bit sub-10:00 pace.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.100.000.001.5014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did 6x400 in the middle of our regular 10.1. 5 on the way out with 200 recovery, 1 on the way back after longer recovery. The times were 74.6, 70.4, 69.7, 70.2, 70.6, and 69.3. The recoveries were fairly quick, 1:12 so around 9:30 pace. We ran faster in the recoveries for no particular reason other than to finish the whole run in time for Jeff to get to work. Felt smooth.

Afterwards 2 with Benjamin in 17:36, and 2 with Jenny in 19:13. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:30.

P.M. 2 with Joseph in 5:28.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.752.750.000.1014.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:14:13. Did explosions, and also two fat miles. First in 5:43, second in 5:52. We did speed up to 84-83 quarters at the end of both miles and those felt good - very smooth.

Later 2 miles with Benjamin in 15:33 with a 0.75 in 4:32 in the middle.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:56. 2 with Jenny in 18:24. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:24.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.0010.000.000.0022.00

A.M. Long run with Jeff. 20 miles in 2:11:21. First 10 easy pace from my house to Bridal Veil Falls, then back hard. About 800 or so feet of gain going out, so net downhill on the way back, but not exceptionally fast due to uneven drop and turns/bridges in the last 3 miles. 1:14:24 on the way out. Came back in 56:57. First mile of the tempo was 6:00, then we got down to business and started running sub-5:40. With two miles to go, I was struggling on the turns (we were around mile 15 of the Utah Valley Marathon) as well as with warmer temperatures, and I could tell Jeff's horses were neighing, so I told him to go. He ran the last two miles in 10:29, average of 5:14.5. I slowed down a bit to 5:48 pace, but then was able to pick it back up to 5:40 at the end, so I did that stretch in 11:31, average of 5:45.5. The average pace for the last 10 was 5:41.7.

Jenny and Julia ran 2 miles with Sarah in the morning. Joseph ran 0.5 as well.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:58.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Came home. Ate dinner. Sat down on the couch and wondered how in the world I could run even 1 mile at 10:00 pace. If somebody erased my memory and told me I could not run a mile I would have believed him. No way I would have even bothered to set an alarm to run  Monday morning without the memory and consequently knowing the potential. Thus the importance of knowing the potential.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.502.000.000.1014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Woke up with the same feeling from the day before that I could not break 10:00 in a mile. After the first quarter I said maybe I can break 9:30. After the second quarter I believed I could break 9:00. Our mile split was 8:35. After that 8:00 pace felt good. Then 2.5 miles into the run we got caught by a girl. Her name was Lori. She is a former basketball player, has 3 children, and her half PR is 1:31. She was going 6:45.  We used politics and other forms of cunning art to talk her down to 7:30 and reluctantly increased the pace to keep up. She ran with us for another 3 miles. Then we did a fat mile in 5:50. The first quarter of it felt hard, but then towards the end of I felt smooth. A short while later we did another fat mile in 5:54. The start was slow due to the turns, bridges, and Jeff's playing the guessing game of the results of the Provo Freedom Run ( I had looked at them, but he had not). Towards the end we sped up and I started feeling smooth again. We ran the last two quarters in 84 and 83. So much for not being able to break 10:00. Total time was 1:14:52.

Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:36.

P.M. 0.5 with Jenny and Joseph in 5:34. 2 more with Jenny in 17:12. Joseph hit the Julia in the head with a door the day before, and she had a minor concussion. She was still not feeling that great so she did not run.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.759.001.000.0014.75

A.M. Tempo run with Jeff. Warmed up 1.38 to the start of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler. Ran the course twice. There were posted speed limits. Minimum speed limit 6:00 mile or 90 second quarter. Maximum speed limit 87 quarter (5:48) in the first 5 miles, and 85 (5:40) in the second. I told Jeff those were the limits, not necessarily the targets to reach or exceed.

The first half went mostly according to the law, no speeding tickets issued. In fact, the trooper was eyeing us in the first 3 quarters and thinking about citing us for going too slow - we were 4:35 at 0.75, but then we saw him, and speed up to an 88 quarter to hit 6:03 at the mile. After that 2.5 split was 14:53, 5 miles in 29:41, no laws broken.

Then Jeff hit an 84 quarter to accelerate after the turnaround. The trooper started following us again, Jeff saw that and slowed down to 85-86. Next 2.5 in 14:23, 44:04 at 7.5. After the turnaround we were still legal for a mile with the exception of one 84 quarter after the turnaround. Then Jeff pulled out his led foot and did 83 and an 84. The trooper was just about to flash his lights, but Jeff quickly backed off to an 87. Then with 0.75 to go the trooper was called to deal with an accident. Jeff saw that and sped up to 84, 82, and 80 to finish 10 miles in 58:05.9 and a very illegal 14:01 last 2.5. Another trooper came out from the bushes and was going to give us a $300 fine for major speeding. We were able to talk our way out of the ticket by showing our Utah Valley Marathon finisher medals.

The pace felt good. In the beginning I felt awkward. But once the pace increased and it started to hurt I rememebred to make a concsious effort to activate the right glut. That seemed to help, I started feeling smoother and was able to handle sub-5:30 pace at the end without feeling I was out of my limits.

Cooled down, then ran 2 with Benjamin in 17:12.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 14.75
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Comments
From Maurine/Tarzan on Tue, Jul 07, 2009 at 15:17:25 from 63.255.172.2

See- those medals come in handy.....

You could have cooled down with my awesome coffee mug I got for finishing a 28 mile race.

From Brooke13 on Tue, Jul 07, 2009 at 22:38:44 from 173.48.43.8

Thanks! I was wondering if it would be possible for me to run a sub 5 min mile with training? I just started running (I played another sport at a very high level for most of my pre college years), and have not timed myself going all out for any distance yet. Any advice? I am very willing to train, I love both long runs and speed workouts, and am discovering how rewarding running because it is what I love to do is. Any advice or thoughts from a knowledgeable and very fast runner like yourself would be greatly appreciated!

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 07, 2009 at 22:58:52 from 64.81.245.109

Brooke13:

Go to the track and time yourself over 100 and 400, as fast as you can. This will you an idea if you have natural speed for sub-5:00 mile with training.

Other than that, start running 6 days a week, easy pace, as far as you have time for and can handle without injuries or overtraining.

From Brooke13 on Tue, Jul 07, 2009 at 23:09:19 from 173.48.43.8

Thanks! I will do that tomorrow and comment back.. what kind of times do you need to run sub 5 min miles?

From Sue on Wed, Jul 08, 2009 at 13:54:52 from 75.169.87.252

Sasha,

Sorry to post this on your blog but I knew you would see it. My older brother died a few days ago. He was 44 and had 6 children. It was sudden. I am putting on a 5k for his little family. I wanted to see if we could announce it on the fast running blog. I have been trying to follow your guidelines for races that you endorce. The top finishers will receive gym memberships but I will need to get a fancy thing to measure the course to make sure it is exact. The website is www.rememberingmarkthegreat.blogspot.com

all proceeds go to his family. I would appreciate your support in this in any way possible. Thanks so much!

Here is more info

Mark the Great 5k Fun Run

A 5K fun run/walk and kids race will be held in Mark's honor on:

Saturday, August 1st at the Benjamin Park, 7300 South 3200 West, Spanish Fork. At 8:00 am.

Participants can register online at www.runnercard.com starting July 6th-July 30th or they can send a registration form from the website and check made out to Mark the Great Foundation to 677 N 650 E Springville, UT 84663. www.rememberingmarkthegreat.blogspot.com

Registration Fees:

Early registration-$15 July 6th-July 27th

Preregistration- $18 July 28th-July 30th

Race Day Registration-$20 (shirt not guaranteed)

Kids Fun run (ages 3-9) finisher prizes, No shirt for kids: $10

Thanks,

Susan Chapman

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 08, 2009 at 16:15:29 from 64.81.245.109

Sue - I can measure the course, and set up the promotion for the race on the blog. I can also do the timing if you need it, and provide a clock. Will call you to figure out the details.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 08, 2009 at 16:47:13 from 64.81.245.109

Brooke13:

I believe 15.0 in 100 is the slowest you can be if you have the ability to run sub-5:00 mile. In some exceptional cases maybe 16.0 might make it. Anything slower would be tough because you need to do 18.7 16+ times back to back, some speed reserve is necessary, and speed is difficult to improve. The quarter would need to be at least a 65, but without specific training it is hard to run your best quarter, you could be quite a bit off your potentially best quarter on first try. There is a bear that lives in the steeplechase water pit about 270 meters into the lap, he jumps out and rides on your back when you run past it, and if you are not used to it, your quarter can suffer a lot.

You will probably be off your true best 100 by a good second, maybe second and a half due to the lack of practice and competition. But if you can run 15.0 or faster, and your quarter is under 70 on first try, I'd say running sub-5:00 mile is a matter of training the endurance. In the quarter take your 200 meter split.

Make sure to go a good warm-up especially before 100 - you can pull a muscle otherwise.

Also - post your results, questions, training review requests, etc on the forum on the Training Review request board rather than as comments on individual blogs. This keeps things more organized.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.402.000.000.1014.50

A.M. Ran first 3 miles alone because Jeff was late, the rest with Jeff. We did 2 fat miles. First in 5:56, second 6:00. Also did the explosions. Total time for 10 was 1:14:33.

P.M.  2 with Benjamin in 17:34, 2 with Jenny in 19:31, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:37. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:45.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.100.000.001.5014.60

A.M. Jeff was not feeling well, said he'd run in the evening. So I ran alone. Did 6x400 in the middle of 10.1 mile run. 72.6, 69.7, 70.4, 70.7, 69.9, 69.5. The recovery was a very slow 200 meter jog except for the last one. Jogged 2+ miles before the last one. Was happy with how I was able to close the last repeat - fell asleep at the start, first 200 in 36, then was able to shift gears and get going.

Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:44.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:04. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:30. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:56.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.30Total Sleep Time: 8.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.751.500.750.1014.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:14:35. Matt Knold joined us for a couple of miles. I did explosions. Then we ran a fat mile in 5:48, and with 1.25 to go we realized Jeff was late for work. So it was a quick 1.25, and the last 0.75 not fat at all with the quarters of 86, 88, 83, 82, and 80 - total time 6:59. 83 was uphill, 82 had two turns, one of them sharp. 80 had two turns as well, but those are not too bad. The pace felt good.

Did a test. 64 feet on one leg as fast as possible. Results, in sequence: right 7.0, left 7.8, right 6.4, left 7.2, right 6.0, left 6.4. The right felt snappy, the left felt like it was bumming it. Those are interesting results. I struggle with stability on the right leg, and have an odd feeling in the right glut. So I was expecting to hop faster on the left leg than on the right. But it was the other way around.

So my tentative explanation. One leg hop (and possibly hopping/bounding in general) is not affected by stability issues as much as running. In running, though, stability is a bigger factor. However, balance and rhythm is a factor as well. So suppose one leg for some reason is more capable than the other. If both legs were to engage equally then the effort of the more capable leg would be getting wasted by the breaking created by the less capable leg. So it is more economical to put top effort into the weak leg, and then match the performance with lesser effort in the more capable leg to equalize the stride length from each leg. 

I say "more capable" rather than "stronger" because it may actually be weaker or of equal muscular strength, but more efficient.

So because of that principle of balance my left leg never fully engages when running because it never has to. When it is time to hop, the right leg is no longer hampered by the stability problem, and its full power begins to shine. The left one on the other hand demonstrates its lack of development.

Assuming this is correct, an idea would be to try hopping on each leg to develop each to its full capacity, and hopefully this will cause a system reboot. But in order for this to work the boot scripts need to be functioning properly, otherwise you keep rebooting into error. But hopping on one leg here and there does not take a whole lot of time, so worth a shot. It would be really cool if the increased strength of the left push-off  rebooted the stability driver on the right so it would start working.


P.M. Spent most of the day preparing for the race. Mostly refining my timing software. Now I have a solution that is completely contained on one system - I do not need separate computers/PDAs to do the timing and the barcode scanning. Flic scanner scans the barcodes, while Nokia 770 Tablet is running the timer and reading the scans in a separate thread. As a bonus I learned threaded programming in Python as well as GTK for the user interface. Next step is to be able to work with the user database on the device rather than just reading the times, scanning the bibs, and then taking it home to post-process and publish. Dreaming along, code up a registration web daemon, bring my wireless router with an EVDO card, and set up a field WLAN so that volunteers could register people through Wi-Fi devices on the spot, and so we could have the results online immediately.

Had a little adventure with the printer for the bibs and the signs, but fairly quickly worked around it with a hack. However, I do need to figure out why it stopped working normally fairly soon.

Ran 1.5 with Jenny and Julia while setting up the course in 13:02. Another 0.5 with Joseph in 5:53.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Race: Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Strong Families (5 Miles) 00:27:25, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.302.505.000.0019.80

A.M. Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Strong Families, 27:25, 2nd place. Did not run great, but at least set a Five Finger PR for the distance. I am learning that a few extra things I decided to do organizing this race while not appearing too stressful can increase the load on the nervous system and can cause it to fail mid-race.

Set up the start, including the cool new clock from Microframe, nice 5.5 LED digits, remote control, battery power option, available to be used free of charge for races within reasonable distance of Provo that comply with the Promotion Rules. Executive summary of the rules is that you need to have an accurate course, give elite comps, generously (according to your abilities) reward quality performance, and your top raffle prize cannot exceed the lowest performance or accomplishment prize. E.g. if your winner gets only $50, but you are raffling away a treadmill that is not cool. But if you give a cancer survivor that finished the race a treadmill while giving the winner only $50 that is cool.

We had 10 people in the race, 7 pre-registered, 3 showed up day off. Jeff paced me through the first half very evenly with 5:20 and 5:21, then 13:21 at the turnaround. I knew it would be a stretch to hold 5:20 the whole way, but I wanted to know where I would fail and how. At first 5:20 felt very reasonable, half-marathon like. But after the turnaround I could only hold it for another quarter.  Then my legs gave out, and told Jeff to go. I did an 84 quarter, and then it was 86, 85, 86, 85. Legs felt weak. Well, it was not the legs, legs were just fine. The neural drive was not there due to the organizational stress. But I was thankful anyway that it was at least 86 and not 88.

Mile 3 was 5:25, then 5:42 in the 4th. I gave myself a cheer that even though I was dragging at slower than 5:40, at least I hit 4 miles in 21:48, which is a decent time on that course. With half a mile to go I found a droplet of a kick and was able to speed up to 84-83 quarters and finish with 5:37 mile and 27:25 for the whole distance. Jeff closed with a 5:19, 5:17, 5:06, 4:50 pace the last half, and finished with 26:22, new course record, and $50 richer. Not a lot, but better than nothing.

Then I jogged back and ran with Sarah. Found her at around 4.1 into the race. She pushed herself hard and finished with 45:54, a great time, it's been a while since she's been able to run that pace, before the start she was not even sure if she'd be able to break 50:00. She said afterwards that the pain of the effort was greater than in William's labor, but less than in others.

Afterwards drove to the Youth Regional Track Meet at BYU. Jenny ran 1500 in 6:31.22. Benjamin was registered as well, since one of the runners that beat him in State did not run. But he got cold feet and refused to run. He is still a kid, but he needs to learn to deal with those kinds of fears and moods, you need to learn it right at a young age, or your adult life will not be happy. We had a conversation afterwards and he agreed to do a redemption mile time trial on Monday.

Ran 1.5 with Benjamin and Julia to pick up the signs and cones from the race course in 13:40. One of the signs got damaged when somebody apparently rammed into it on a bike or a scateboard. Lesson learned - make sturdier signs.

Will run another 10 with Sarah on a bike tonight.

P.M. Ran 10.1 in 1:09:36 as Sarah followed me on a bike. It was nice to have her around and it's been a while since we've had the opportunity. About 3 miles into the run I told her in Russian that we were following the 7:00 guy with the intent to strike and pass him at some point. Except it was not quite what I said:  Мы пасём семиминутного товарища. Which literally translated is - We are shepherding the seven minute comrade. Sometimes my mouth produces interesting Russian phrases that sound completely normal to a non-English speaking Russian but nevertheless surprise me because I think about how the difficulty of properly translating them into English, and the amusing value of the literal translation. How about this one - "The car was operated by a citizen in a  non-sober condition."

We did the last 2.5 of the race course fast - 14:24, 5:45.6 average. Sarah sang me BINGO the entire time to get me going.  Not surprisingly, the pace felt very hard at the end of the day, but I was surprised at how low the heart rate was - even in the last mile it was 152, and briefly hit 155 at the end when I sped up to 5:36. I think it was a PR for pain at this heart rate with the conditions as warm as they were and the low level of hydration. I never thought I would have to work so hard on a warm July evening after running for 45 minutes to get that low of an HR.

My Five Fingers developed a hole. It is in the right shoe. Less than 500 miles. The other pair took 1000 miles. I suppose that is the difference between doing speed work and tempos and just jogging.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 18.40Bare Feet Miles: 1.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From The Howling Commando on Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 18:26:09 from 72.224.24.41

Sasha I measured my hamstring circumference and my left leg (the one with the sore knee) is nearly 2 " less developed than my right leg! I have started doing the quad tightening exercises to try and build it up, but I can't do lunges and squats as my knees bow out (I'm pretty bowlegged) and it hurts. What do you suggest would be a good way to build up muscle in the left leg?

Great race. You do so much science regarding running. It's fascinating. You would be a great coach!

From cheryl on Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 18:46:37 from 76.27.66.153

Thanks, Sasha. It was fun today. Tough but fun.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 19:06:54 from 64.81.245.109

Ben:

I do not know. I am not an expert on muscle group strengthening. My intuition tells me a good approach is to do an overall strengthening in the general area of the problem and hope you get it right. You cannot usually go wrong with being overall stronger. It may not solve the problem, but it will not hurt. Other than time it takes away from specific training, but when you are injured it is usually not an issue.

So maybe something like riding a bike up a hill, or maybe even some leg extensions. Find something you can do that is difficult and do it.

From auntieem on Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 17:19:24 from 67.182.145.8

Wow! I am very impressed with your performance in the 5-fingers. I have not been able to buy any because my toes are just too long for the shoe! My husband got a pair yesterday, and I am hopeful that he will run in them with me!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. I kept reminding myself the entire week not to miss the Stake Priesthood Meeting at 7:00 AM. And sure enough I completely forgot about it. I woke up at 7:55, and then remembered. So I got dressed ASAP and was able to catch the last 30 minutes of it.

Night Sleep Time: 9.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.701.500.400.2014.80

A.M. Ran 10.1 with Jeff in around 1:16:45 or so if I remember right. Did explosions. We were supposed to do a fat mile. But right before it we were talking about the track races in Europe, Bekele, and how he can run 63 second laps back to back in a 10 K. So both of us were a bit too excited for the fat mile, and only the first half of it has a semblance of fat. The quarters were 87, 84, 82, and 77 for the total time of 5:30. Seeing we've blown the fat aspect already Jeff decided to sprint the last 100 to catch the 5:30 guy, and I joined him. So we ended up with the last 100 in 17. But I have to say that 82 quarter felt very good. I was focusing on engaging the right glut and it seemed to help.

The we took Benjamin for his Regionals DNS redemption one mile time trial on the Provo River Trail.  He did well. I guess the right pace would be 6:08, or 23 per 1/16, and it ended up being a good guess. He ran 6:07.7 - a new PR by 7 seconds. Splits: 91, 92, 94, 90. His last 1/16 was 21 seconds. He is on the verge of breaking 6:00. I told Benjamin he reached a significant point in his improvement because he is now fast enough for me to count his mile time trial as marathon pace. One day we will be laughing about him counting my mile time trial as his marathon pace, I hope, and not because I get slower. I can just see that day - Dad, good job, give me five, come on, you can do it, get right there and slap my hand...

I do not get too excited about success at 10 years of age, though, except with the perspective of progression. Now is the time to lay a solid foundation of health, work ethic, and mental toughness for success in adulthood.

P.M. Went to the Provo Canyon. 0.7 with Joseph, 0.5 of it in 5:49. 2 with Jenny and Julia in 19:14.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From LuzyLew on Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 18:28:00 from 208.187.197.42

It's so true what you say about Benjamin. He's so talented, and learning to run does teach so many things about work ethic, mental toughness, endurance,succeeding, and finishing. I hope later in life he'll cherish these memories with his dad. It was hard for me to run with my Dad...but now, after he's died, running down all the same dirt roads we ran together while I was growing up, bring me some of my fondest memories of being together.

From Snoqualmie Ridge Runner on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 11:12:50 from 67.185.148.81

Wow! That kid is fast- Just don't do a Todd Marinovich on him - -

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.757.000.000.5014.25

A.M. Tempo run with Jeff. Warmed up 1.37, then started. The plan was normal tempo for the first 6.5 then Jeff runs the last mile as fast as he can while I try to hang on as long as I can, then once I cannot keep contact, tempo in to the finish.

Our first quarter was sluggish, 93, after that we got into a good rhythm. We ran 1.25 out then back, then the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler course. First 2.5 in 14:52, 29:23 at 5 miles. First 5 miles my HR was very low - did not crack 145. Normally I would expect it to be visiting the 150 range at that point. Then the pace got a little quicker, and I also started getting nervous about the last mile. That seemed to help. HR climbed first to 148 and then crossed over 150, and the pace felt easier and easier even though it was gradually getting faster. Our next mile was 5:46, and then we did a half in 2:51, 5:42 pace with the last 100 in 20 (5:20 pace). 

And then Jeff hit the gas. Fortunately not too hard. He was nice enough to do the first 200 in 37. This bought me some distance. Next 200 not so nice, 36, so 73 at the quarter. Not bad for the uphill, and I am still alive. At 500 it started to hurt. I made it to 600 hanging on to dear life, and 680 meters into the pickup I lost contact. Made it to 700 (or 7/16th, more accurately) in 2:09, and then eased off. Legs felt like I had just been carrying a car on my shoulders. Ran the next 100 in 23, so 2:32 at the half. Not bad. Next quarter felt a little better, ran 88, then another 200 in 44, and was able to pick it up to 41 in the last 200. So 5:25 for the last mile, 43:25.0 for 7.5. 2:29 for the 0.5 from 100 before mile to go, not bad, sub-5:00 average for 0.5 mile. Happy to run 5:25 with this kind of pacing at the end of a tempo. HR maxed out at 166.

Jeff closed with a 4:59 mile to finish the tempo in 42:59. We ran a cool down, and then I ran another 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:23.

HR maxing out at 166 instead of 172 combined with the "I have a car on my shoulders" feeling combined with a relative ease of breathing tell me the limiting factor is leg power. One more argument for one leg hops.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny and Julia in 13:38. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:58.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Comments
From Brooke13 on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 22:43:01 from 173.48.43.8

I agree with you that leg hops can give you I find the most effective resistance training is not done on machines at the gym (this is just my feeling but I am not arrogant enough to apply it to the entire population). I also ran the two time trials you suggested to see if it would be possible to run a 5 minute mile after my workout today. I timed myself with my watch so who knows how accurate these are, but my 100 was 13.12 and my 400 was 1:10.

From Brooke13 on Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 22:36:02 from 173.48.43.8

Thank you for your advice. I will start adding miles to build the base. I will also keep doing some of the speed workouts because I enjoy them alot. WIth nutrition I am trying to eat less processed foods, but do you have any advice about what to eat when I am running like this? I have never run this much or had nutritional advice given and want to eat to stay healthy. Sorry for all these questions, I feel like I am pestering you a little bit but it is because you seem like a very reliable source of running information.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 14:49:56 from 64.81.245.109

Brooke:

Nutrition - eat lots of unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and grains. A little bit of light meat, like chicken or fish. No alcohol, caffeine, unnatural sweets, or junk food.

Speed workouts. Do not do them yet. They take a lot of time, wear out the body, and do not give you a whole lot of benefit. The main concern is that it will affect your ability to increase the mileage without injuries or overtraining. Instead, do pickups during your base mileage runs when you get bored. E.g. run 8:00 pace, then pick it up to 6:00 for a mile, then ease off back to 8:00. Or sprint for 10-15 seconds. But make those informal. Do not go to the track. However, make sure to race every three weeks or so to monitor your progress.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.502.000.000.1014.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:14:25. Did explosions and two fat miles - first in 5:45, second in 5:40. Caught up to Mark Robison, BYU head track coach, and ran with him for a little bit before starting our last fat mile. He was going a decent pace for his age - a bit sub-8:00.

P.M.  Of all things, did something that may sound a bit out of character for me. I spent the afternoon messing around with Wii Remote. But it was in character. I did not all of a sudden turn into a videogame bum. In fact, I only needed the remote, that's all. The reason for my interest was that I found out it had a hackable built-in Bluetooth-capable accelerometer. The hacking was a success - I got it to talk to Nokia 770 and was able to gather some acceleration data while running holding both. The cool thing about it that if you found a way to attach it to the foot, or even to the body is a stationary position where it would not bounce, tilt, or slide around too much, you could pick up ground contact time, air time, and stride frequency. From which you can extrapolate running pace as well after calibration. Then the next step is to get a PDA Watch with Bluetooth, hack it so it will run Linux, and you've got your own magic running watch that could potentially tell you all kinds of stuff about your form. Wii Remote is a bit too clumsy, and too expensive (I borrowed this one from a friend),  especially if you wanted to have two of them, one on each foot. So I ordered a Wireless Playchuck from Amazon for $25 (including shipping) for more experiments. Maybe in a year or two we will have more cheap Bluetooth accelerometers small enough to be attached to the foot. But for now, I'll have to setting for this.

In theory, of course, I could just run with Nokia 770, but it has two problems. One, it is too big. And two, the screen is not designed for outdoor use. So I am eying M600 wrist cell phone  for the watch unless I can find something cheaper. I do need to figure out how to put Linux on it. But I do not need to worry about it yet, as Benjamin's Nokia 770 is good enough for development purposes.

Ran 2 with Jenny in 19:08. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:15. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:53.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.100.000.001.5014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Decided to modify our quarters workout by stringing most of them together and running them a little slower. In other words, 74 second pace to failure or to 1.25.  Based on how I felt on Tuesday I thought I could break my Five Finger PR in the mile (4:58) without too much blood. Plus I wanted to have the confidence of being able to run a sub-5:00 flat mile, something I have not done in a while. And for a bonus I wanted to go through the mile sub-5:00 and then keep going at a respectable pace for a little bit, even if it was just for a quarter.

So Jeff paced me. I told him to be nice. He is learning. It is a benefit to him. Because if he learns to be nice to me over a short distance, he will also learn to be nice to himself over a distance three times as long. Jeff was exceptionally nice and paced it near perfect. 74 - 73.5 - 74.5 - 74 - 75. The last one was not Jeff's fault, I was struggling with the pace. So I reached my goals - 4:56 mile split (new Five Finger PR), and then another quarter in 75 past that. New flat 1.25 PR of 6:11.5, Five Fingers or not. HR maxed out at 170, but dropped to 168 near the end. Another indicator of muscular strength problem. But better than before.

It felt good to go through the mile in 4:56 and not quite feel like I was racing the mile. In fact, I was comfortable enough to think that if I pushed the right buttons, I could hold this pace for a while, maybe even as long as a 10 K. Which still does not break 30:00, but it does break 31:00. Of course, there is a big difference between thinking that at the mile, and thinking that further along. I was not thinking that anymore 300 meters later, that is how fast you go downhill when leg power fails. But cardio was OK, surprise, surprise. The good news I can run 5:00 pace at HR of 168. The bad news I cannot hold HR of 168 for very long.

We jogged another couple of miles and then to give me more misery for the day ran a quarter in 68.4. I was happy with it because I felt strong and it was evenly split. In spite of the hard 1.25 interval earlier I was not fading in the last 100. Jeff suggested more misery for me - another quarter 200 meters later, but I declined using the excuse that we needed to hurry to get him to work, and another fast quarter would require a whole lot of recovery.

We cooled down averaging around 7:00 in the last 3 miles. Total of 10.1. Then I ran 2 more miles with Benjamin pushing William in 17:25.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:45. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:50. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:49.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Comments
From Mike Warren on Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 15:49:02 from 207.50.149.221

Nice job on the Five Finger PR!

From Sue on Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 23:56:13 from 75.169.60.74

Alright. Sorry Sasha, I do need more help then I thought. 26.2 may not be able to do our timing. I may need your expertise on that after all. I thought I heard someone say at one time that you have a scanner, is that right? Also I have ran into a bit of a problem with the insurance. I was going through a company in Salt Lake but it is super expensive, higher than they originally quoted. I am trying to figure out how USTAF insurance works. Also does fastrunningblog have a logo? Could you email that to me and I will put it on the shirt. japomani@hotmail.com Thanks!

From Sue on Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 23:56:38 from 75.169.60.74

Oh the Mark the Great announcement looks good. Thanks for doing that!

From Jon on Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 16:15:54 from 128.217.221.145

You may want to consider trimming the "Featured Announcements" box at the top right of this page- it's getting rather long, plus UVM is done.

From sam Dean-Howard on Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 17:38:08 from 90.201.147.157

Sasha the mileage board seems to be playing up, sorry but it's annoying me saying that Ive done less than I have ???

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.502.000.000.1014.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:12:18. Dragging the first 5 miles. Saw ROTC cadets, they ran with us a bit. Then a little faster because Jeff was late for work. Still dragging. But the body responded when called upon. Did 2 fat miles - 5:43, and 5:44. Also did explosions.

Did one-leg hops on the 64 ft stretch as fast as possible. right: 6.1, left: 6.8, right: 6.0, left:6.8, right: 5.9, left: 6.6. 

Then  2 miles with Benjamin in 15:55. Sarah ran a quarter with us in the middle when we caught her in 2:09. Then we sped up, and she kept sub-9:00 pace for the last 0.5 to the finish.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:51. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:06. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:53.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.509.002.000.0022.50

A.M. 20 miles with Jeff. The original plan was 10 easy out to Bridal Veil Falls, then hard back. However, when I saw and felt all the rocks on the University Avenue stretch from Wyview to Wills, I suggested a change of plans. Start at the Will's and run hard for 10 miles, then jog, then maybe run hard at the end if feeling good. That would give us about 5.8 uphill and into a headwind out, and 4.2 downhill with a tailwind back.

So we started out sluggish. The uphill was not too bad, and there was no headwind yet, but we slugged along through the first mile in 6:05, and it did not feel like a jog, not a good sign. The next mile we picked up the effort, but we ran into some obstactles. First, the trail was dug up at the intercection with the Orem Center street, so we had to take a detour that probably cost us 4 seconds, and then the head wind picked up. So that mile was 6:05 as well. Jeff stepped on the gas and I tucked behind as we battled more headwind. With the increased effort the pace became a little under 6:00.

Then as we entered the Provo Canyon the head wind eased off for just a quarter and we were able to see what our effort was worth. We did a quarter in 85, 5:40 pace. Jeff was surprised, I was not. Then we had a mile at around 6:00 average, and then the headwind picked up and the uphill got steeper and we started to see 1:32 quarters. HR was 154. 30:13 at 5 miles.  Right after that the headwind increased more. We ran a 1:39 quarter and passed a couple of nicely equipped bikers as if they were standing still. Finally we reached the turnaround. On the way back we were going first 5:50, then 5:45, then 5:40, and my HR was not breaking 145. We were gradually closing on the 6:00 guy. At 7.5 we were 2 seconds behind (45:02). Then I told Jeff the pace was easy enough for me that he could pick it up. Earlier on the uphill I had to tell him to ease off. So we did the next 0.5 in 2:53, not a whole lot of pick up. Then I said I wanted to break 59:00, so we would have to hit 84 quarters, and then kick. Our next mile was 5:28, followed by the closing mile in 5:14. Those were down 1% grade with tailwind. Total time for 10 was 58:37. HR maxed out at 159.

It was an interesting experience to hit the gas pedal hard when you still have 6 miles to go. Very good for mental conditioning.

When we started jogging I thought I was done with fast running for the day. Then 2 miles later I asked Jeff if he wanted to run the last 2.5 at 6:00 pace. He said just the last mile. So we jogged eventually speeding up to sub-7:00 pace, and then ran the last mile in 5:54. HR got up to only 152 even thought it started to get warm and I had no water or anything for that matter during the whole run. Total time for 20 was 2:14:39.

Even thought I felt decent in the last mile and could have gone longer, when I got into the house I was mentally done. I asked Sarah for some cherries in Russian using diminitive words. Then I remembered that Russians start using diminitives when they are very tired. Diminitives do not exist in English, but for a rough idea, instead of say "cherry" you'd say "cute little cherry". One time I took my friend who was out of shape for a 12.5 mile run. He was a tough guy. When in half decent shape he could take me out for a tempo and make me speak in diminitives afterwards. 11.3 100, 1:57 800, 4:10 1500, and 16:08 5000. He did not train very consistently, thus much faster in shorter distances. His father was from Ghana, but his mother was Russian. Being the only black kid among the Russians he dealt with the challenge by never showing any signs of weakness. His fists were connected to very well coordinated explosive muscle fibers, so nobody dared insult him to his face. Needless to say, he did not use a whole lot of diminitives in his speech. However, after that run he was literally a different person. He was not talking like himself. I had never heard that many diminitives come out of his mouth.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:53. Julia ran the first 0.5 with us in 4:46. She ran a mile in the morning with Sarah.

 

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments
From Matt on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 14:51:21 from 65.121.71.253

Sasha,

I missed you at the Draper Days 5k running any races soon.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 15:02:07 from 192.168.1.1

Matt - I am running DesNews 10 K.

From Matt on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 15:12:31 from 65.121.71.253

Good to know. That may be all the encouragement I need to sign up the registration has been sitting on my desk.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.001.000.1014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We ran into a few BYU guys who were warming up for a tempo, ran with them for a bit less than a mile. They helped us catch the 8:00 guy. Then we bummed the rest of the way at a bit faster than 8:00. I did explosions. Jeff was concerned about his knee and did not want to do the fat miles. Then some bikers passed us, and I was able to talk Jeff into doing one fat mile. The excitement of the bikers was too much for him, and we opened with a 38 200 AFTER I had warned him that the pace was too fast. We still ended up with a 5:16 mile, HR got up to 162, not a fat mile at all. We were rewarded for our speeding by passing an old guy on a tricicle. The ladies gapped us. A lesson in humility. Do not mess with bikers.

Finished 10.1 in 1:15:21. Then 2 more with Benjamin in 16:26. Then 64 foot one leg sprints: right - 6.4, left - 7.1, right - 6.2, left 6.5, right 5.9, left 6.4.

P.M. Ran 2 with Jenny in 19:08. Julia did the first 1.5 in 14:22. Then 0.5 with Joseph in 5:33.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From AmberG on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 22:41:57 from 64.255.88.143

Thanks for your input on the race and the healthy eating!

From The Howling Commando on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 10:11:10 from 72.224.24.41

Hey Sasha - Re: your Five Fingers. Do you run in the classic ones? I have done some research and I am thinking about getting a pair of KSO Five Fingers to see if maybe incorporating barefoot running will help with my foot pain while at work. What do you think? When walking I have flat feet, but I think that incorporating the vibrams might help strengthen muscles that have atrophied with the use of orthotics over the years?

From Andrew_Boston_2010 on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 10:16:13 from 170.49.217.216

Hi Sasha -

I just wanted to say thanks for the comment/welcome note you left me a few weeks back..I appreciate the support. I read your piece on Boston Marathon qualifying and have been working to get there. I am still struggling to quit smoking, but have gotten my weekly mileage up to where I'd like. I've set a hard deadline for myself of July 31st to quit smoking, along with alcohol, red meat, caffeine. We'll see how that goes, mainly boils down to will power I think. I am confident that giving up mu 'party' lifestyle on the weekends will allow me to realize my full potential as a runner.

I wanted to ask your advice though, considering the Chicago Marathon is only about 12 weeks away, can you give me an idea of where I should be in terms of long runs? I'm to a point where I can run 8 miles at the 7:15/mile qualfying pace 6x a week, and realize I need to start increasing the distance of my long runs. Any tips you could provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks again and glad to have found the blog!

-Andrew

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 13:33:37 from 192.168.1.1

Benn:

Yes, mine are classic. Sprint are more expensive but might be better in the sense of heel rubbing, but I am not sure since I've never worn them. Give it a very cautious try, see what happens. I believe a lot of foot problems are a consequence of growing up with shoes, and forcing the body to work with the shoe rather than allowing it to develop adaptations for its natural weaknesses. The big question is if your body will be able to learn at this point in your life.

Andrew - do not stress about the pace. Just run, and be consistent, 6 days a week, no skipping, no excuses. Put 100% of your mental focus into fixing your health. It goes like this. Imagine a pyramid. Health first at the very bottom. Then above it aerobic base. Then specific training, that's when you worry about hitting target paces. If the underlying component is failing, your work on the component above it is not very productive - it is like trying to get out of debt or save up some money by working extra hours at your job, but because of the extra stress you end up spending all of the extra money on eating out, daycare for the children, buying more expensive items because you have no time to find deals or to ponder and realize you do not need them, etc. A good scripture from the Old Testament - Haggai 1:6:

"Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. "

So focus number one is to make sure your fitness bag does not have holes.

I do think you have a potential to run in the 2:30, possibly 2:20 range once everything is in order and stays in order for long enough.

From The Howling Commando on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 14:42:12 from 96.240.211.166

Hey Sasha I got the KSOs because they had more protection from sand and such getting into your shoe. I wore them for a 1 mile cool down and they felt good, but the only problem is I stubbed my toe and I have a pea sized hole in the right big toe just behind where the rubber ends in about the middle of the toe nail. Any ideas on what I should do? Should I leave it alone and see what happens before trying to super glue something to it? I told Emma I'm lucky she puts up with my shananigans. We'll see how I feel tomorrow!

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 15:43:32 from 64.81.245.109

Benn:

I have two huge holes on both shoes in the exact same spot. I enjoy them, they give my feet a chance to breathe. I'd say don't worry about it, just run in them the way they are.

From The Howling Commando on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 16:51:02 from 96.240.211.166

Okay, thanks Sasha! My brother said return them but the more I look at it the more I am starting to like the little hole. Maybe it will be a good conversation starter. As it is I already had one lady comment on them and a couple people look at me like I had 4 eyes. They feel so natural though. I definitely felt my footstrike change too. No more heel-toe when I'm in the Vibrams. It switches to land on the midfoot first. I can see why you run in yours so much!

From Andrew_Boston_2010 on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 11:00:11 from 170.49.217.216

Sasha -

Thank you for the advice - great stuff. The pyramid ananlogy definitely makes sense to me. I kept putting off my commitment to a reformed, healthier lifestyle but have finally started to get things in place. As you said, 100% metal focus on maintaining good health -it's a work in progress but I'm moving in the right direction. This upcoming Sunday is the Chicago 1/2 marathon - I'm hoping to post a 1:35 or better to be at Boston pace, and to get some additional racing experience under my belt. Also hope this will give me an idea of where I am fitness-wise. Any tips of how I should approach this race, and analysis afterwards? Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.

- Andrew

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 13:34:38 from 64.81.245.109

Andrew:

Just go out at 7:00 pace. Run that until it either does not feel good, or you feel confident you can make it to the finish at a faster pace. Hopefully you can crack 1:30.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.253.251.001.0014.50

A.M.  Progression tempo run with Jeff. I like the Russian word for it - в раскрутку, or literally with a spin. The plan was 90-89-88-88 (5:55)-87-87-87-87 (5:48) -86-86-86-86 (5:44) -85-85-84-84 (5:38)-77-77-77-77 (5:08) - 28:13. Yes, I got nerdy enough to plan every quarter of it. The purpose was to get some marathon pace running, help Jeff feel his 10 K pace, and see how long I could run 5:08 pace at the end of it up a small grade.

It went fairly close to the plan. 90 - 89 - 87 - 88 (5:54) - 87 - 87 - 86 - 88 (5:48, 11:42) - 86 - 86 (14:34) - 86 - 84 (5:42, 17:24) - 86 - 83 - 84 - 83 (5:36, 23:00) - 78 - 77 - 80 - 81 (5:16) - 28:16.2. Yes, I am nerdy enough to remember every quarter split without the use of the split button. Because every one of those quarters has a special meaning that extends beyond the number. Jeff's last two quarters were 78 and 76 with the mile in 5:09. The first quarter of the last mile was just perfect. Then we lost the momentum a bit, and Jeff pushed to regain it. Pacing on that stretch is difficult. This little surge was too much for me. After the first half mile I started losing it and around 1 K into the mile told Jeff to go. I still managed to stay at a little slower than 5:20, but did not have the leg strength to run faster. Was happy to have edged out the 5:30 guy for the last 2.5 by three seconds (13:42).

Here is what's interesting. HR maxed out at 167, but dropped to 164 after I had slowed down to 81 second quarter pace. More evidence against lactic acid being the performance inhibitor as if we needed it. I believe the fatigue mechanism is the same as when you drop a book after holding it with your arm straight for a couple of minutes. At least that's what it feels like.

Jogged back to the house, then I ran 2 with Benjamin in 17:33 and a quarter in 85.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:52. Julia ran 1.5 in 13:24. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:32.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Comments
From Nan Kennard on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 18:08:26 from 67.165.238.15

Sasha, you're training looks like it is going well! When you have a minute, I would like your input on a couple of things. I mentioned earlier that I have not done a lot of weekly mileage for the past 5 years because of pregnancies and what not. I am now sustaining around 50 miles a week and will probably hit 60 a couple of times before TOU, but I think that is as high as I dare go for this marathon. I would like to do another marathon next spring, and work up to 60-70 miles a week, but I gotta be honest, I am really nervous about going more than that for fear of injury. Any thoughts on this?

Also, I am researching the best races to do to get me to that OTQ time. I think I would love to do Grandma's, Boston, and Hartford (to avoid racing on Sunday as much as possible). Have you done Hartford? It looks pretty fast. My thought is to do either Grandma's or Boston in the spring of 2010 and Hartford in the fall of 2010. Then do the other out of Grandma's or Boston in the Spring of 2011 and I'm not sure after that. Do you think it matters whether I do Grandma's or Boston in the spring of 2010? My hope is that after running Grandma's, Hartford, and Boston, I will have my OTQ time and I can just race a marathon once or twice more before the Olympic Trials and maybe win some prize money in the meantime.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 19:41:23 from 64.81.245.109

Nan:

For the mileage. If you ease off on the pace, the high mileage is very tolerable. 8:00 pace is just fine for aerobic development. Also, do what you can to boost your recovery. Early to bed, naps, healthy diet. In your situation I would choose an hour of sleep over an hour at the gym. Sleep is a critical part of the training regimen. Running is when the check is earned, eating is when it is printed and signed, but sleep is when it is cashed.

I have not run Hartford, but it looks fast on paper. I have run St. Jude. It looks fast on paper, but it is full of micro-rollers, some people just roll through them, some do not. I think Rocket City is faster than St. Jude. I have run that one. Not very well, because I did it a week after another marathon, but I was able to hit the first half in 1:13 in spite of not feeling that great, and even kept the pace to 18 (then blew up and jogged in in 2:37 in time to make my flight home - set a PR of 3:02 from the start of the race to being dressed and driving).

Do not have an experience-based opinion of Boston or Grandma, never run those. From observations, though - Grandma can be fast, but it is easy to have bad luck with weather. Boston is a slow course, it is easy to have bad luck with weather, and unless you already have an OTQ you will not get either a comp or a hotel. They can be pretty snobby - I am aware of them denying elite entry status to a 2:27 female marathoner from Poland (She went to SLC instead, ran 2:30, and collected $25K for the win plus extra for the course record). I imagine they would be nicer to Americans, but only if you have some form of status. A smaller race like St. Jude, Richmond, or Rocket City will give you a comp and a hotel if you are a sub-3:00 woman.

With the marathons I would take this approach. Race them fairly often. Go out at OTQ pace to failure. After you've run two consecutive miles off pace while honestly trying, ease off, jog in, re-evaluate, then try again when you think you have a realistic shot. Unless of course there is cash on the line, and you are willing to wait longer to try again - in that case fight for the cash. Hopefully you will not have to do it too many times.

From Ashbaker on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 11:30:57 from 98.97.211.102

I think you simply reached the limit of your aerobic/anaerobic systems ability to produce oxygen. The nonlinear relationship of heart rate vs pace indicates this.

From Ashbaker on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 11:31:51 from 98.97.211.102

In reference to yesterday's entry of course.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.000.1014.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:12:59. Did explosions. No fat miles, resting for DesNews 10 K.Started out slower than 9:00 in the first mile, then sped up to 8:00, then ran sub-7:00 the rest of the way because Jeff needed to get to work. HR was around 132 at 6:40 pace, 126 at 7:00. Discussed a training idea - one week of 5 mile tempos at 6:00 pace every day followed by two normal weeks.  I  tried three weeks like this in 2006 aggravated by Wasatch Back Ultra in the middle, and it gave me neural fatigue at the end. However, a week later I ran a PR for the 3 mile downhill Provo Canyon tempo (15:15), had a decent performance in Draper Days (16:00 on the old course), and did not totally lose it in DesNews (2:31:47). After DesNews I had severe neural fatigue for a while, but then recovered to run St. George in 2:25. So a milder version of this, backing off timely, might actually work.

The theory behind it is to make the slow twitch fibers work very very hard to cause  myofibrillar hypertrophy. That is the type of hypertrophy that gives the muscle the strength without the volume, exactly what a runner would need. Nobody quite knows how to do it yet. I think the consensus is that you cannot do it. Fast twitch is easy  - weight training, 90-100% of the max reps. Slow twitch does not do it. But maybe it can. You just have to pick the right volume, frequency, and intensity. Possibly you need to have enough aerobic support in the muscle itself and in the cardiovascular system, and be healthy otherwise to even be able to train at that load without getting injured. Which would make it next to impossible to scientifically prove unless you really really know what you are doing.  

Ran 2 with Benjamin immediately after in 17:19.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:06. Julia ran  1.5 with us in 13:33. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:10.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Comments
From Huans32 on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 14:40:13 from 138.64.2.76

Good to hear your doing the DesNews 10k. I will have to look for you at the starting line. Got any goals going into this race??

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 15:44:47 from 64.81.245.109

Mark:

My goal is to run better than embarrassing :-) How about that for a goal? I would define "embarrassing" on that course as slower than 33:00. But I will take whatever God gives me.

From Mike Warren on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 16:32:54 from 207.50.149.221

Sasha, have you ever had an embarrassing race? If so lets hear it. I have seen nothing but great times from you. Do you know someone more consistent than you?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 16:53:55 from 64.81.245.109

Mike - I've had lots. Too many to mention. One time I got triple-chicked in a 10 K in Provo. Another time I got double-chicked in a marathon, and almost triple-chicked barely outkicking a 44 year old lady. Another time I got passed by a high school runner at mile 8 of a half and lost to him by 1:45. All without leaving Utah!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.800.000.000.3014.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:12:31. Did a quarter that was supposed to be Jeff's 10 K pace, but ended up a little faster - 74. Then 2 with Benjamin in 16:42, last 100 in 19, and 2 with Jenny in 19:04, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:24.

 

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Huans32 on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 18:16:04 from 138.64.2.76

Sounds like you had a great run with the kids. Do they all have your fast genes??

Race: Desert News 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:32:31, Place overall: 30
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.790.000.006.2121.00

A.M. Deseret News 10 K, 32:31.7,  30th place. Yes, 30th, and triple-chicked! Last year I would have been safe. So I thought sub-33:00 will preserve me from the embarrassment. But this year we had two Kenyan ladies - Hyvon Ngetich and Caroline Rotich, and then Lindsay Anderson and Lindsay Dunkley had break through races as well. I barely beat the slower Lindsay, so 4th place among women. I suppose I can use running Five Fingers as an excuse, but in all honesty if it did make a difference at all it may have saved me the disgrace of local chicking (32:22), but Ngetich would have still chicked me with this effort. My only defense is that I did not get chicked from behind - the speedy ladies just took off and I could not catch them all.

The reason I ran the 10 K this year was that I did not want to run in shoes, and did not feel confident I could handle the marathon course in Five Fingers. Plus I did not want a marathon in my legs at this point in my training.

Running in Five Fingers presented a problem with the chip. Sarah solved it for me by sewing a special ankle velcro strap with a velcro-locked pocket. It worked out perfectly. Did not bother me at all, the chip never was under any threat of falling out, the strap stayed on. We did have to call Kurt Black to find out the exact dimensions of the chip to get it right, though.

At the start everybody took of like a bat out of a hot place for sinners. Maybe because it was rather warn - temperatures in the high 70s. I found myself in mid-pack of sorts through about a quarter mile. That is not too abnormal. However, one mile into it I was still into heavy mid-pack in spite of running 4:51. Downhill, but with the adjustment it was probably worth about a flat 5:15. In a 10 K! And then I did not pass a whole lot of people in the second mile in spite of running it in 4:52 (probably 5:15 flat equivalent). 9:43 at 2 miles.

Then I could not believe my eyes. After that effort I see what looks like a girl about 100 meters ahead of me. It was really a girl, not just some weird high school runner with a ponytail that is trying to send some sort of a weird message. She turned out to be Lindsay Dunkley. I did not recognize her. Now that is embarrassing. Not only are you getting chicked, you do not know who you are getting chicked by!  Putting things in perspective - a mom of three kids just put a 100 meter gap on me in the first 2 miles of a 10 K while I had just run an equivalent of a flat 10:30 2 miles!

Third mile had a net down with some significant up. I ran it in in 5:24, 15:07 at 3 miles. Probably worth around flat 5:30 . Made zero dent in the gap with the group ahead of me. However, some high school runners have been falling off the pace and I was passing them here and there. However, there have been a couple of smarter ones that have started a bit slower and were now passing me.

5:17 in 4th mile, 20:24 at 4 miles. Probably worth a flat 5:30 again. Gradual downhill, no up. Happy that I found another mile at sub-5:20 in me. Reduced the gap in about half. Not looking forward to the next two miles fearing that I would slow down a lot. Trying to relax and not go into neural red zone. I know very well what happens when I do. When you are limited by oxygen, you go into the red zone, then you ease off for a minute or two, catch your breath, and you get back to pace. If you go into the red zone neuromuscularly for as little as 40 seconds, you never get back to pace, and you have absolutely no kick. This took some self-control, as breathing wise I feel like I am bumming it, and when racing I prefer to breathe on the verge of vomit.

In the fifth mile I came up on the group I was chasing, which by now had caught Albert Wint. A small consolation - I might get chicked, but at least I will beat Albert today. No split, missed the mark. In the last mile I ran with Brad Perry - a Box Elder High runner, and Lindsay Dunkley. I saw a Kenyan woman - Caroline Rotich - fall off pace and start coming back to us. And further ahead there was another white woman - turned out to be Lindsay Anderson. I did not realize the woman's leader was a good minute ahead and was hoping to unchick myself completely.

So I pushed as hard as I could, but so did everybody else around me. Alexander Thomas appeared out of nowhere, and passed us slowly. That was odd. He must not have been having a good day, he should have been about 2 minutes ahead.

A couple of high school runners came from behind and demonstrated with their kick that they could with some training run this course under 30:00. Ben Van Beekum passed me, but then I was able to gain on him and almost outkick him, but he edged me out at the finish. Caroline kicked pretty hard knowing that if she got passed she'd be going home empty-handed, and was able to stay in 3rd. That kick was also good enough to keep me from reducing my chick count.

Hyvon Ngetich got 31:30, then Lindsay Anderson 32:22, Caroline Rotich 32:28, and Lindsay Dunkley 32:37, a major breakthrough. It is odd that I am reporting on the women's race today, but, hey, I report first on the one I watched!

In the men's we saw 27:46 from an Ethiopian runner Alene Reta. To give you an idea of the depth of the field, Teren Jameson finished 8th with 29:24 (or maybe 29:22 depending on which version of race results you believe). Jeff McClellan set the blog record for the course with 30:13, but that was good enough only for 12th, and 6th Utahn after Seth Pilkington (29:07), Kyle Perry (29:20), Teren, Brad Osguthorpe (29:39), and Jon Kotter (30:07). Previous record was held by Paul (30:27).

Afterwards Jeff and I watched the marathon backwards, and then I paced Mike Warren from about mile 20 to the finish. Then ran back to my car at the start of the 10 K.

Had an interesting incident. I felt thirsty so I decided to try some grape juice. Drank to much of it. Started feeling sick. Threw all of it up, it even went through the nose. Then I felt a whole lot better.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:55. Julia ran with Sarah (1.5 in 14:42). Jenny and Benjamin ran ahead and did their usual 2 miles. Benjamin 17:41, Jenny 17:50. Ran 0.5 with Sarah in 4:55.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00Bare Feet Miles: 1.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Comments
From jeffc on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 16:03:19 from 167.207.128.101

I don't know how you run so much in five fingers, you are one tough dude. You are an incredible runner. Getting chicked is common place for me but I can understand your distress since it's probably been a while since it's happened for you. Despite all of that, congratulations on a great race and time!

From James on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 16:16:03 from 76.27.11.191

Good race in the five fingers, chicked or not.

From Bec on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 16:33:11 from 67.177.35.60

It was nice meeting you today. Great race in Five fingers, wow! This blog has helped me improve so much this last year, thank you!

From RAD on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 16:36:17 from 67.166.99.8

Nice race! Good to meet you today, I couldn't believe you'd been chicked...however, as one I do have to smile a bit :) You are one strong runner and I'm impressed with all you do and how fast you run.

From paul on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 16:58:00 from 76.27.122.123

Good job. That must be some sort of 5-fingers record. I love how deep the Des News 10K is. It's truly the most competitive race in Utah, and holds it's own against the best in the U.S., especially for only $1500 in prize money.

From Matt on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 17:21:39 from 65.121.71.253

Sasha,

Nice to meet you in person. Congrats on the race and you could also mention that you took first in our Age Group. So not only did you get chicked so did our whole Age Group. Some day I hope to see a long straight finish and maybe I will be close enough to see you finish.

From JulieC on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 17:55:07 from 65.100.212.206

Wow Sasha, Awesome report for an Awesome Race. Felt like I was there somehow, certainly like any reader reading the pages of a book wishing we were in fact there. Great job!!! Sorry you got chicked X 3 : D

From Kelli on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 17:59:54 from 71.219.89.21

Nice 5 finger race, Sasha.

From Mike Warren on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 18:45:35 from 75.148.98.78

Sasha, good job today! Hey, thank you very much for bringing me in. Even tough I did not hit my BQ, it was a PR on a darn hard course and 1st in my division. Without you I may of started walking, was completly spent. Anyway, thanks again, I really appreciate you!!

From Eric Day on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 18:47:45 from 200.77.33.69

Great story & race Sasha. 32:31 and 29th, wow! That was a fast race!

From redrooster on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 22:29:03 from 71.219.140.125

Nice job Sasha, what an incredible time, you really can run fast in those five fingers! it was great to finally meet you at the starting line. Maybe we can go for a run together when I drop by daughter at BYU towards end of August? Scott

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 23:35:58 from 64.81.245.109

Scott/red rooster - it would be great to run together. Send me a private message when you are in town.

Matt - I "forgot" to mention the age division win on purpose. I do not believe in age divisions until you are 45. Up until then you are racing in the open division. Although I will take master's cash, or age division consolation $50 at TOU when I get booted out of the awards.

From Superfly on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 00:54:04 from 208.117.127.110

Good job man. I still can't get over you racing in five fingers.

From Jon on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 15:00:34 from 75.169.150.167

Nice job, Sasha. Good to see you yesterday.

From RivertonPaul on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 15:03:31 from 75.169.33.125

Very nice report, as usual.

From Adam RW on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 17:11:15 from 155.101.152.103

Great race Sasha. It was good to talk on Thur and a little yesterday.

From Maurine/Tarzan on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 17:21:21 from 97.117.65.44

Great job, Sasha. Do you feel any difference in the FiveFingers on hotter days? That sounds like a tough course and a deep field. Great write-up too.

Kudos to Sarah for solving your chip problem.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 18:41:30 from 192.168.1.1

Maurine:

Five Fingers feel miserable when it is below 35 degrees. The warmer it gets the more pleasant it is to run in them.

Paul:

It might be a record of some sort for a while guy that did not grow up running barefoot. However, it greatly pales in comparison with Abebe Bikila's 2:15 marathon barefoot in the Rome 1960 Olympics. They said afterwards that it took a million Italian soldiers to conquer Ethiopia, but it took one Ethiopian warrior to conquer Rome.

From Snoqualmie on Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 13:44:46 from 67.171.56.164

Congratulations, Sasha. Great report. I always learn so much from you.

I've been trying to start a transition to minimal footwear and I will probably get some VFFs very soon. Your experience in them has been very inspiring.

I hear that a new VFF, more comfortable for winter, will have a debut in September. It is called the Trek and has a suede upper. Did you hear about that? Very pricey, but my birthday comes in the fall. :D (http://birthdayshoes.com/index.php/two-new-five-fingers-models-the-glove-and-trek-listed-on-voycontigo-de)

From argentinerocket on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 15:40:00 from 74.9.147.114

It's good to know even the best runners get chicked sometimes :)

Do you have any thoughts on why the grape juice made you sick? I often feel a queezy stomach feeling when I eat fruit before running...

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 15:58:03 from 64.81.245.109

Snowy - no I have not see those Five Fingers yet. But I think $200 for essentially nothing that develops a hole after 500 miles is a highway robbery. In fact, $60 for something that our ancestors could weave from straw is a highway robbery as well. In all honesty, if I had to buy shoes with my own money, I would just use $5 Walmart Crocs instead. Possibly with some alterations to help them stay on better and not rub during turns at fast speeds. Or see if Sarah could make some cover for the bare feet so I could run 20 miles at once. Or maybe just run barefooted for long enough so I would develop a natural cover.

Lucia - no clue about grape juice. Maybe I drank too much too fast because I was thirsty, and grape juice is not something that is good for your body to drink really fast when you are thirsty.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 16:00:58 from 64.81.245.109

And, Lucia, best runners do not get chicked. The ones that are kind of good do, though.

From Snoqualmie on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 20:31:27 from 67.171.56.164

Crocs seem way too thick, but have you considered good old "Indian" moccasins? Sarah and I could put our heads together and design/market runners' mocs. :)

From Snoqualmie on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 20:32:33 from 67.171.56.164

p.s.Have you successfully patched holes in your VFFs?? If so, what did you use? That's a lot of miles you've got on them!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 23:38:21 from 192.168.1.1

No - I just run with holes in them. That does slow me down on certain surfaces. I wonder if it was a factor in the race. But I have considered patching. Just need to figure out how - then I could take them to 3000 miles or more.

From Maurine/Tarzan on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 08:59:11 from 63.255.172.2

I'm going to have to disagree with the Five Fingers being pleasant on really hot days. I agree about them being uncomfortable below 35 - it takes several miles to get my feet numb enough that they didn't hurt. Yesterday I ran in them in the late afternoon and I could feel the heat of the pavement baking my feet through them, so think that above 90 or so they start getting uncomfortable a different way.

From Superfly on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 11:14:40 from 208.117.127.110

Try using bike tube patches... just stick them on the inside. If you were careful you could get a pretty good patch job. Maybe even double them up for twice the thickness.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 17:00:12 from 64.81.245.109

Clyde - thanks for the suggestion. Will give it a shot.

Snowy - I talked to Sarah about Running Mocs. She thought it was an interesting idea.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.351.500.250.0017.10

A.M. Ran the Uneventful Half with Jeff in 1:40:14. We were really dragging today. Both of us were tired from yesterday's race. First mile was 9:05, then it took us another 3 before we even started running faster than 8:00. After about 6 we started hitting 7:20s, and then both of us felt a whole lot better around 10. So we decided to run the last 1.5 at 6:00 pace and did it in 8:55, a little quicker. I felt good at 6:00, HR was 143, but felt very reluctant to go any faster, it felt like a magic spell. Then we did 2 more with Benjamin in 16:44 including a quarter in 82, which is Benjamin's PR. Then 0.5 with Joseph in 5:05, which is his PR as well.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny and Julia in 14:24.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 15.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.300.800.000.5014.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:17:40. We actually did not start out too slow, and caught the 8:00 guy within 2 miles. But then we did not go any faster except for my explosions and the mile that was supposed to be fat. Only half of it was. Jeff with bikers is like a dog with cats. He has the instinct, he absolutely cannot control it. So we start out our fat mile like we were supposed too, maybe a little quick, but acceptable - 85, 86 nicely on pace for 5:41. And then up ahead just like last week we see that same guy on a tricycle. So Jeff's horses start neighing and we do a 200 in 41. Then they start neighing louder and we run the next 200 in 37 and blow by the tricycle. And then Jeff cannot slow down, so we run the next quarter in 77 - 5:26 for the mile. Very nice, 5:04 pace for the last 600.  I think I heard Jeff barking - ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff as we chased the guy :-)

Then we ran 2 more with Benjamin in 15:58. I gave him a challenge to catch the 8:00 guy in the last quarter with about 350 to go, and he successfully met it in spite of grumbing for about 50 meters - last quarter in 93. So we got some more running at marathon race pace.

Then did one leg sprints. 64 feet. right - 6.2, left 6.5, right - 6.1, left 6.4, right - 5.9, left 6.3. Good to see the gap is reducing.

Then 2 with Jenny in 19:36, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:50.

On the positive side of things my left Five Finger is starting to develop a hole in the sole. That is a good sign because it is not as far behind the right hole as it was in the other pair. So it appears the stride is becoming more balanced, even though I still wear out the right one quicker than the left.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:22.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Eric Day on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 10:48:51 from 189.169.249.204

Sasha, finally did the test run you suggested, please take a look at results in today posting in my blog. Thanks ! Looking forward to your comments.

From Jon on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 15:27:38 from 138.64.2.76

I think you are the only person I know who thinks getting holes in shoes is good so you can analyze your stride based on it... :)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.252.501.501.2514.50

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did a 3.62 warm-up, and I needed it to be that long since we had a early start (5:30 AM) due to Jeff being called into work early. The warm-up was also brisk. After dragging through the first mile in 8:20 (which is actually moving by our standards), we sped up to sub-7:00. We needed to do this because yesterday was a laundry day, and I had a hard time finding my clothes in the morning.

The workout was originally planned to be alternating quarters of 83 and 77 until I felt it was too hard, then jog and repeat trying to get as much mileage in as possible in this manner with as few stops as possible. However, due to the lack of time we altered it. 83/77 until I felt it was too hard, then tempo to the finish with accelerating by feel. My feel, that is, not Jeff's. 

So we did 83.5 - 77.5 - 82 - 76 (5:19) - 84 - 76 - 84.5 - 74.5 (5:19, 10:38). At this point I was tired, so we started the recovery. I was amazed at how slow we went and how hard it felt after a 74.5 quarter. We did 96-94 and it felt like we were going maybe 87. 13:48 at the turnaround, wow, half a mile ago we were ahead of the 5:20 guy, now we are behind the 5:30! Then 91 - 89 (6:09,16:47) - 89 - 89 - 87 - 87  (5:52,22:39) - 86 - 82 - 85 - 76 (5:29). Total time was 28:08.4, 5:37.7 average.

HR maxed out at 167. However during the last quarter it was only 163. During recovery it quickly dropped to 145 between 2 and 2.5 (6:20 pace), then rose to 152 when the pace got up to 5:56. Normally it would be 135 at 6:20 pace, and 147 at 5:56. I interpret this as follows. There was some anaerobic build-up from the first 2 miles, most of it got cleaned up between 2 and 2.5, and all of it was gone before the last quarter. At least the heart was not being asked to work harder than normal for the pace.

I started breathing with thirst for air about 1.5 into the workout, so I interpret that as VO2 being higher, but the failure did not happen until the muscles felt tense in the 74.5 quarter.  They were also tense after the workout for a while.

We jogged briskly to the finish of 10 miles, total time was 1:05:32. Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:16. A quarter in 82 in the middle, plus last 100 in 19.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:26. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:30. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:54. That is a record for him. He is getting into shape fast.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.501.000.000.1014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Not that Jeff is boring to run with, but we could use more company than just each other.We did have some today. Rich Borget joined us about 6 miles into our run until the finish. I did explosions. Then we ran the fat mile in 5:48. No tricycle guy today. Rich was about a second back.  Total time for 10.1 was 1:17:40. Two more with Benjamin in 17:16, I think.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:51. Julia ran 1.5 in 14:20 with us. Then 0.5 with Joseph and Benjamin in 5:06.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.351.000.001.2514.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff. He was taking it easy, I did quarters. First one was around 74, I messed up and did not start the watch until 200 into it. But the last 200 was 37. Then 71.0, 70.0, 71.5, 71.7. 200 meter jog in between. Did not feel quite right in the last two quarters, legs were heavy, the effort was hard in the last 100, HR got up to 166 instead of 163. Possibly the jog in between was too brisk - I was trying to make sure Jeff would get to work on time. Also the footing on those stretching was rather rough, too many twigs and other stuff that has fallen off the trees, so I may have not been as efficient due to Five Finger holes. Then 2 miles later did the last quarter in 68.5. Jeff paced me this time, that helped. But also HR was only 163 and I felt more like myself. The footing was better.

Then after jogging for 0.75 we ran a "fat" mile, after the quarters it was not fat at all, but we ran it anyway in 5:43.6. Again no tricycle to get Jeff excited. But I had to tell him to hit the brakes after the first 100 at 5:20 pace. The pace varied, but HR was normal for the pace. Then we jogged briskly to the finish, total time 1:12:13, Jeff made it to work on time.

2 with Benjamin in 15:57.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:22. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:56. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:10.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Comments
From richborget on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 23:00:02 from 71.199.12.164

Hey if you would be around and okay with me tagging along in the morning I think I would come again. I signed up for the 5k Saturday like you suggested. We'll see how I do.

From AmberG on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 23:35:43 from 64.255.89.25

Thanks for your comments after the Bryce Canyon 1/2. I am amazed that you think I have the potential for a possible OTQ! I've honestly never even considered that in my lifetime! Your suggestions on training are very helpful!! Just wanted to say THANK YOU!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.501.000.000.1014.60

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Rich Borget. 10.1 in 1:13:32, I think. Did explosions. Ran a fat mile in 5:50. Rich was with us, but fell behind in the last quarter and finished in 5:56. Then 2 more with Benjamin in 16:45.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:24. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:30. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:22.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.70Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.70
Race: Remebering Mark The Great (3.107 Miles) 00:17:00, Place overall: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.400.000.003.1114.51

A.M. Timed Remembering Mark The Great 5 K Race. Ran it as well. 17:00, 4th place.

Susan asked me to put up the race on the featured section on the blog, and agreed to comply with the rules. I volunteered to measure and mark the course. Then she found out 26.2 was not going to time the race, nor would anybody else, so I volunteered to time it as well. There was a problem, though, as my little hack I made for my race could not handle day of race registration. But I figured I wanted it to do it at some point anyway, so why not now for a good cause? So I spent most of my spare time in the last two weeks hacking away, and by last night had a timing system that could do on the spot registrations through a web browser via WiFi LAN, scan barcodes using my Flic Microvision scanner via Bluetooth,  edit the timing and the scans on the spot, and display live results through a web brower via WiFi LAN as well.

Nice system, but a couple of problems. With the coding finished only yesterday it had quirks. Fortunately not too many, and with a programmer on hand to deal with them it was usuable. Unfortunately Susan put a good chunk of data into RunnerCard program, and it crashed on her last night right before it was time to import the data into my hack. Fortunately Susan's husband Jared and I were able to recover that data and import it right before the race started. Unfortunately this left me no time for warmup before the race. So I had a glorious 0.3 or so mile warmup. But that was not that big of a deal because I learned that with a stress-sensitive nervous system when I am in charge of timing, my race goes down the toilet anyway, so it was going to be a practice of surviving neural fatigue.

At the start I told myself to be conservative, but still was not thinking straight and went through the mile in 5:11. That was idiotic! Would have been perfect off 8 hours of sleep, no stress, and a 3 mile warmup. Under the actual circumstances the right pace should have been 5:22, but I was too confused to find it. So I had an idea of what was going to happen next, and I was not surprised.

Leg power failure/neural fatigue. Here it comes. Now this is getting interesting. Jeff and Spencer Hansen were way ahead, I was still picking off high schoolers that were falling off Holden Adams and Garth Hatch (I think) pack, but I was not gaining on the pack. So I am essentially running with high schoolers and would like a high schooler to the finish as well. But for a very different reason. Neural fatigue in many ways behaves like a lack of aerobic fitness. You start out at a certain pace that you think you can maintain, and then you fade. The difference is that with neural fatigue you cannot surge at all and you have no kick. If the problem is aerobic you can make surges up to a minute, and you have a kick. And the HR patterns are different as well - in the neural cause HR peaks around 1.2 miles into the 5 K race and then drops some. In the aerobic case, it keeps drifting upward all the way to the finish until you start to vomit or dry heave.

So at the beginning of the second mile I moved into 5th place. 1.5 in 7:58 (2:47). Not good, but expected. Not as bad as it could have been. At least I am still doing 5:35 pace. 2 miles in 10:46 (2:48, 5:35). Expected. Caught up to Garth (I think that's who it was, tall guy with an interesting looking back kick, kind of Mike Evans style). He picked it up, and pulled me until I almost caught up to Holden. Then Holden heard us coming and hit the gas, as Garth dropped back very quickly. That's what I am talking about when I say neural fatigue/vs not enough oxygen. You can surge. I was actually expecting him to surge pretty hard, or at least have the ability, and he did not disappoint me.

Now when aerobically unconditioned, surging comes at a high price. Oxygen debt makes you vomit/dry heave, and Holden started doing that about a minute into his surge to prove my point. So I was able to gain on him and get within a second. However, slowing down allowed him to pay some of his debt off, and now he was able to run fast enough to hold me off. 16:25 at 3 miles (5:39), and 35 seconds (5:27 pace) for the "kick".

So I would have called this a textbook race at least for myself and the runners around me. Nothing out of the ordinary happened that did not have a good explanation.  Jeff ran a great race, though. End of 90 mile week, 10 mile warm-up, 16 miles the day before, and he runs 4:57 - 4:58 - 5:02 - 0:29 most of it alone on a loop course.

Handled the race timing afterwards, discovered a couple of system bugs, of course, worked around them. The most annoying part was that wireless reading from the scanner was dog slow. I was not noticing it with 20 bibs, but it got very painful with 400. At first I thought it was the interference from all the gadgets, but now I am inclined to think it is a bug. Need to investigate. Also a process glitch, not computer system related - did not account for the fact that some of the barcodes may not be scannable. So that created a bit of a mess, but we eventually worked around it. I have thought of a great solution for this for the future. Use Nokia 770 Tablet along with the scanner, and have it transmit everything to the laptop over WiFi, then you can enter unscannable barcodes manually without having to touch the keyboard on the laptop that is being used for timing. This also eliminates the need for the laptop to talk to the scanner at all, so you can be scanning further away from it.

Afterwards ran the course twice with Jeff in 46:58, and then ran some more to make the total of 10.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:30, 2 with Jenny in 18:11. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:06. Then 0.5 with Joseph in 5:13.

...


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Comments
From Snoqualmie on Sun, Aug 09, 2009 at 15:27:58 from 24.18.192.33

Very interesting/educational race report. Thanks again for all you do, and congratulations on your race!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.300.500.500.3014.60

A.M.  10.1 with Jeff in 1:17:39. Did a new version of explosions. Instead of going all out from the start for 40 meters or so, I did 100 with the last 40 or so all out, and the first part just a nice coast to find a good form before starting to sprint. I liked it better this way, the all out part felt like I was going faster. The first explosion was a regular one, and then I got the idea. I timed the 100s. They were 16.8, 17.2, and 17.5. Not very meaningful, because who knows how fast I was going at the coast speed and how long, but at least it tells me once I started sprinting I was significantly faster than 4:40 pace. But I was still wondering how fast I was really going in the explosion part. So I decided to run an all out 100 after the fat mile.

We ran the fat mile in 5:37. No tricycle guy to chase today, but Jeff must have been thinking about him because our last two quarters were 83 and 80. Out of fat range. But the first two were OK. That 80 second quarter felt like I could race a half at that pace if only the muscles and the neural drive cooperated. HR was 157. Then we ran my all out 100. I had never done it in Five Fingers before. So I set my Five Fingers PR of 15.4. I think I can go faster - just need to not be afraid that they are going to fall off. My normal PR is 13.9, but that was on the track and after a couple months of hill sprints and 800 meter specific workouts. My shod PR on the trail is around 14.6. But it was good to know that I could hit a decent (by my standards) sprint speed mid-run in Five Fingers.

2 more with Benjamin afterwards barefoot in 15:56. Had a little accident about a mile into it. Stubbed my big toe on asphalt. That actually does not hurt any more than having your finger pricked for a blood test, but it sure is messy. My right foot was covered in blood almost entirelly, and the left one was sprinkled. Made me think of animal sacrifice in ancient Israel. At first I was concerned, thought maybe I should cover it with a leaf to avoid blood loss, but then once we stopped and I got a good look, I figured it would be fine. So we ran back, Benjamin caught the 8:00 guy with the last mile in 7:31.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:01. 2 with Jenny in 19:30. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:34.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.10Bare Feet Miles: 4.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Brooke13 on Mon, Aug 03, 2009 at 22:28:30 from 71.174.55.16

Hi Sasha,

I have been building up my mileage like you advised. I would be interested in running a race in the next two weeks. I was thinking maybe a 5k or a 5 mile? Also, would it be possible for me to run a half marathon or marathon this October. Thanks! I also was wondering about your training partners? Are they neighbors/ family?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Aug 04, 2009 at 14:04:39 from 64.81.245.109

Brooke - 5 K or 5 miler would be good, whatever you can find in your area that pays the best after you subtract the cost of getting there for around 18:00 5 K or 29:30 5 miler. You could run a half fairly soon as well for the experience. I would recommend holding off on the marathon for about 8 months. You can always jog one, but it is better to do it when you are ready to race for at least the first 18 miles, and then if you have to jog it, you are able to do it at a respectable pace.

From Brooke13 on Tue, Aug 04, 2009 at 16:47:07 from 71.174.55.16

I did find a 5 miler or 2.5 mile next Saturday, August 15th. That was really the only race I could find that was semi close. I will let you know how I do. And I agree with you about waiting to run a marathon. I would only want to run in a race if I was prepared and ready to run hard. Jogging a marathon kind of defeats the purpose haha

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.151.001.552.8014.50

A.M. Did some sort of a redemption run after the Saturdays fiasco. Yes, I know I had every reason not to run well on Saturday, but I wanted to make sure it was a true neural fatigue no-warm up cocktail bummer rather than an indication of a more serious problem. So I told Jeff to pace me at 79 per quarter (5:16 pace) to failure, do not try to make up with a 78 if he accidentally hit an 80, do not hit any 78s. Jeff has to be given explicit instructions just like the Lamanites in Alma 23:2 regarding Nephite missionaries: "he sent a decree among them, that they should not lay their hands on them to bind them, or to cast them into prison; neither should they spit upon them, nor smite them, nor cast them out of their synagogues, nor scourge them; neither should they cast stones at them" - everything that he could be tempted to do to run me into the ground needs to be spelled out to him or else I am in deep trouble. But once he receives the instructions he follows them with the exactness of the sons of Helaman.

After failure the plan was to run my best to the finish and still try to get Five Fingers PR for the 5 mile tempo of 27:25.

So it went like this (yes I am a geek and I remember every quarter): 79, 81, 79, 78.5 (5:18.5), 78.5, 79, 79, 80 (5:16.5, 10:35), 79, 83 (13:17), 84, 84 (5:30,16:05), 86, 88, 85, 83.5 (5:42.5), 83.5, 83, 82, 80 (5:29). Total time 27:16.7, new Five Finger PR for the course, and only 28 seconds slower than shod best. 5K split around 16:41, 19 seconds faster than in Saturday race. Average HR 161, max 169 reached in the last quarter. After prior to 79 pace failure it was 165. Then it dropped to 162 as I slowed down to 84s. Did not see what it was at 88, but once we were doing 83s it got up to around 164. Around 3 miles legs started caving badly However, 86/88 quarter combination was enough to allow me to regroup and pick it back up to a respectable pace.

This workout eliminated some creeping doubts about getting old and worn down, etc. Nevertheless, the sensitivity of the nervous system to stress is still a concern. I really did not do that much before the race to stress it, most people would have handled that type of "stress" just fine. Part of the problem is that just about the only symptom of stress is that I run badly. So I just have to say - I know this is stress - I do not really feel it otherwise until I start to run hard.

Finished 10 miles with Jeff, and then added 2 more with Benjamin in 16:. He ran a quarter PR in 81 with the splits of 22 - 21 - 19 - 19. Due to the fatigue from the tempo I mispaced him again, but he recovered with a strong kick.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:23. Julia was not feeling well today, so we put her in the stroller after the first mile in 9:48. Jenny at that point was 8 seconds ahead with Jeff. Jeff ran with us to 1.5, helped me push the stroller, then went on grass for 2 miles and ran to our house. Jenny's closing mile was 7:43, she wanted to earn a prize. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:17.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.25
Comments
From paul on Tue, Aug 04, 2009 at 19:47:14 from 76.27.122.123

People tell me that when you get old, the nervous system is the first thing to go.

From Nevels on Wed, Aug 05, 2009 at 14:36:10 from 131.204.15.93

Solid workout.

I've done similar workouts after bad races/bad workouts to eliminate the possibility of any underlying problems before they rear their ugly heads in the form of injuries.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.601.000.000.0014.60

A.M. Early morning run (5:15 AM) because I went to the temple this morning. Due to the early hour both Jeff and I were dragging. Did not catch the 8:00 guy until the fat mile about 6.5 into the run. The fat mile started out sluggish as well with two 91 second quarters, but then we woke up and ran 85 and 84 to finish in 5:51. Total time for 10.1 was 1:17:45.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:57, 2 with Jenny in 18:51. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:03. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:03.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.10Bare Feet Miles: 4.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Matt on Thu, Aug 06, 2009 at 16:04:01 from 65.121.71.253

Sasha,

I have a question for you. Two guys John and Dan like to run. They train togther and race against each other alot. When they race John always beats Dan in a 100 meter, 200 meter and usually in a 400 meter, but Dan beats John everytime at an 800 and 1600 and a usually in a 5K. Sounds normal enough so far. But when John and Dan race the longer distances 10K, half marathon, and marathon John always beats Dan and the distance, and the mph only seems to get bigger. Both train about equal amounts of time and close to the same mileage. Any good explantion for what would cause that?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Aug 06, 2009 at 16:38:12 from 64.81.245.109

Several things are here at play. First, it illustrates that the traditional fast-twitch you are sprinter/slow-twitch you are distance runner model is oversimplified. There are a lot of factors that determine your ability to sprint, and there are also a lot of factors that determine your ability to hold the speed as the distance increases. Those factors change as the distances increase.

For example, when the race is over 10 K fuel issues become significant. So John might be deficient on aerobic support, excellent with fuel and peak muscle power, but also not necessarily good at sustaining the muscle power even if the aerobic support is adequate. Dan, on the other hand could be deficient on the peak muscle power but good at sustaining what he has, strong aerobically, but very bad with fuel.

It is commonly assumed that the ability to sustain muscle power is primarily an aerobic function. It is true that if the aerobic component fails the power will not be sustained for a long time. But the reverse is not true - given the adequate aerobic support there could be limiting factors on non-aerobic nature. For simplicity I call that nervous system failure even though it could involve a whole lot more. In other words, aerobic endurance does not equal power endurance.

We must also note that same training for two different athletes does not always produce the same results. While it is safe to say that solid aerobic conditioning is a must for everyone, past that training must address the existing weaknesses in a way that the athlete responds best to. In this example, John should train for 800 meters and the mile, and Dan should do a lot of 10-15 mile tempo runs to fix his fuel issues.

This is, of course, assuming that both have been running at least 70 miles a week year round for the last three years. If not, they should build their aerobic base first so they will know what is really going on. Lack of aerobic base can distort the picture quite a bit.

From Matt on Sat, Aug 08, 2009 at 18:21:37 from 71.32.236.231

Thanks for the insight on this it is great help.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.651.2514.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:13:58. Did quarters in the middle. Due to the lack of time decided to slow down the quarters and speed up the recovery. So the target was 72 on the repeat, 60 on the 200 recovery (8:00 pace). I timed the recoveries. It went like this:

73.3 - 52.1 -  70.9 - 55.9 - 72.1 - 57.8 - 73.1 - 57.1 - 73.4. It was very tough. The recoveries were faster than target by enough to make it hurt. The leaves and twigs on the road did not make it easier for holey Five Fingers in the last two quarters, that was part of the reason they were slower. And of course the brisk recoveries were getting to me by that point. The total time including recoveries was 9:45.7 for 1.75, or in other words 5:34.7 average. What is interesting that this regimen gave near zero chance for HR to recover. It would rise to 165 during the repeat, and then would register a 157 average during the recovery segement. I believe it did drop to around 150 before the start of the next repeat. The max registered at 169, probably during the last repeat.

Then on the way back we did one more "seal the death" quarter in 67.5. Jeff was actually around 66 on that one, he dropped me in the last 100.

Then we somewhat leasurely continued jogging to the house. Lori, who we see frequently on the trail, but usually runs in the opposite direction, got out on the trail just at the perfect time to join us. So we ran with her for about a mile. Then Jeff looked at his watch and realized he was late for work. So we took off and ran the last 0.65 hard. I timed the last 1000 - it was 3:23, about 5:25 pace.

Then 2 more with Benjamin barefoot in 17:30 pushing William in the double stroller.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:16. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:54. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:16.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.10Bare Feet Miles: 4.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.350.001.000.2514.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:09:46. Looks like I picked up a small bug. My eyes have been hurting on Wednesday, and some yesterday. So something was going on, but it did not show until today. To make things worse, I took a long time getting dressed, so we had to hurry through the run to get Jeff to work on time. First I noticed that I was breathing way too hard at pedestrian paces (7:30), but I chalked it off to not being warmed up. Then I tried the explosions, the new version where I run 100 coasting the first 60 meters or so, and then sprinting the rest, and they were not very energetic: 18.8 - 18.3 - 18.2 -17.8. Then we discovered my HR was consistently 3 beats higher than Jeff's, or in other words 10 beats higher than what it should be. This would have been the time to turn around, jog back home at 8:00 pace or slower, and get back in bed.

But I was still operating off inertia and not listening to my body. So we kept on going at around 6:40 pace, and then ran the "fat" mile. First quarter in 81 blew the fat aspect, and also just about killed me. We eased off to 86, and 87, but then ran the last quarter in 82 to finish the mile in 5:36, and that was another moment of truth - legs were caving going that slow for that short. I should have called 911 at this point, but I did not have a cellphone, and I lacked the judgment to slow down and jog in alone at 8:00 pace to contain the damage. So instead I kept going with Jeff at sub-7:00 pace to the end.

Got home, ran another 2 with Benjamin in 17:00. Afterwards legs were shaky. Showered, ate breakfast, read the scriptures, and jumped in bed hoping to repair the damage. On the positive side of things after a 2 hour nap at least the eyes are not hurting. So there is a hope that I might be in race condition tomorrow. Otherwise I'll be smart and pace Ben Crozier instead.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:51. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:06. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:56.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.75
Comments
From redrooster on Fri, Aug 07, 2009 at 14:46:11 from 129.123.3.31

hope you are feeling better soon! what race are you running tomorrow?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 07, 2009 at 16:37:32 from 64.81.245.109

Provo River Half.

Race: Provo River Half Marathon (13.11 Miles) 01:13:34, Place overall: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.0013.100.000.0018.10

Provo River Half Marathon - 1:13:34.7, 4th place.

At the start of the race I was still feeling sick. But not sick enough to pace Ben Crozier. So I decided to start with a moderate effort and try to maintain it if I felt healthy, and jog in otherwise. We did a nice 2.5 mile warm-up, and even found a non-virtual bathroom about a mile away from the start for a bonus.

The night before inspired by Clyde's suggestion to use a tire repair kit for Five Fingers we stopped by at Home Depot and bought some gasket rubber along with superglue. Total cost of $5.98 with tax. Sarah used that to patch the holes in the bottoms, and it worked great. I think with this hack Five Fingers can go to 3000+ miles. I think if all runners were like me Vibram would be selling Five Fingers with a hole repair kit. And McDonalds and Microsoft would go out of business. If I succeed in replicating myself in sufficient numbers the news headlines will say "Sasha Ruins US Economy!"

I told Jeff with my health issues he might not want to run with me for any portion of the race, but he said that given no prize of significance he was in no hurry to start running hard at the end of another long week. So the start was very leisurely. I found my HR at around 146 after about a mile, and not straining myself too hard. Rich Borget went with us for about a mile then dropped back. Then Jeff started stepping on the gas a bit, and I realized for the sake of preserving my health I needed to drop back.

About 2 miles later Justin Park and Eric Harris caught up to me, and we formed a group for a while. We could still see Jeff, so that gives you an idea of how leisurely he was going. At this point we were on the Provo River Trail, and finally I had a chance to access the pace off the quarter marks. I was pleasantly surprised to find it still in the 5:30 range. HR was around 155. Half-way through the hill around mile 7 Justin pushed it, Eric went after him, but I felt it was a bit out of range for me in my current condition, so I held back. Gauged my pace on the uphill off the marks - it was around 6:05, was happy with that considering the day.

Once the uphill ended (about a mile), I had a hard time shifting gears, so I was stuck around 5:40. It went on like this for a while, and then 5:40 began to deteriorate into the 5:50 range. The body began to demand a chance to heal and legs started to cave. HR maxed out at 159 on the uphill, and the stabilized at around 151-152. Once the pace started to slow into the 5:50 range, HR dropped to 149.

Surprisingly Justin and Eric were not moving away from me at a particularly fast rate. I though, if I could just run three normal miles (5:20), I'd get them. But that was of course wishful thinking. If I did have anything close to three normal miles in me I would not have let them drop me in the first place.

On the positive side of things I felt at peace with my body responses. Possibly the first time in my life racing in this condition. I knew what the body was capable of, what was healthy for it, and did not try to make it run faster than it should have been that day. Even though the sickness meant getting beat by people that normally would not have much of a chance. I think it works both ways when a faster runner who is sick gets beat by a slower runner or maybe is still ahead but close enough to stir the appetite. The faster one gets a lesson in humility. The slower one gets a confidence boost. I remember being really excited to be closing on Craig Lawson at the end of 5 K and getting beat by only 8 seconds one time when he had an ear infection.

Another positive aspect was the form. I felt the Five Fingers were finally starting to make a headway in fixing the form. It felt smooth. Not a lot of power due to sickness, but there was efficiency. Which I feel had kept me from going over 1:15 today.

Throughout the race due to the lack of accurate mile markers I had only an approximate idea about what time I was headed for, but I did not care that much. I just wanted to get to the finish. I was happy to see that it was a somewhat respectable time. As a bonus, a Five Finger PR. I had never raced a half in Five Fingers, but I did hit 1:15:04 split in the Utah Valley Marathon. So now I have an official Five Finger PR for the half.

Jeff did very well. In spite of his jogging in the first 4 miles, and in spite of not having anybody to push him, once he started pushing himself he was hitting solid 5:00 pace down the Provo Canyon, and ended up with 1:07:53. I think with a little bit of work he can hit the Trial Qualifier through the half. That would be cool. Hey, wimps run the full marathon to qualify. Real men run the half. Supermen run the 10,000!

Eric ended up second with 1:12:32, and Justin 3rd with 1:12:37.

Met a lot of bloggers at the finish.  They had some solid performances. Dustin managed a 1:18 in spite of his belly. When I saw him at the turnaround, and got an idea of how fast he was going I said wow, he has some serious Quality X to run so fast with this kind of belly and so little training. Rich ran 1:21, a new PR.

Jeff and I ran a cool down. I went only 2.5, Jeff ran 6.

Kids ran with Sarah in the evening as a precaution for me not to get more sick. Benjamin, and Julia ran 1.5, Jenny ran 2, Joseph ran 0.5. Benjamin was also not feeling well, he and I might have picked up the same thing.

Then Tim and Lindsey Dunkley came over for a visit with their kids. We had a good chat.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 18.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Dustin on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 14:39:12 from 204.113.48.77

Thanks for the encouragement Sasha. The belly is formally know as "the Little Buddha" I'm sure with more training and better diet it would probably come off, that is the challenge I face.

From Jed on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 14:59:42 from 207.173.78.2

You showed a lot of discipline in holding back and still put together a solid race in spite of being sick. I will be watching anxiously for the Sasha headline--thanks for the laugh. Hope you recover quickly from this bug.

From Lindsey Dunkley on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 16:47:18 from 68.165.133.44

Good race Sasha, especially with the sickness. Also just wanted to say thank you to you and Sarah for having us over and for sharing some of your running wisdom. You gave me a lot to think about. You both are very generous and have a great family...thanks again!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to Church. Had a good experience in the Spanish branch. I love hearing testimonies in Spanish. You get to see a special new dimension, a new perspective. Even though it is a little blurry to me still due to my deficiency with the language. Then went to the English ward with the family. Then a missionary correlation meeting. Toward the end of the meeting I had a special prompting of the Spirit. It said - if you do not close your eyes now and get some rest you will be doing missionary work in the spirit world without a physical body until the resurrection. So I obeyed the prompting and really enjoyed it.

Took another nap in the afternoon to try to heal the body from the sickness. Talked to Ben Crozier. He told me his weight was not coming down very fast. I asked him if he was eating the Good Conscience Diet, which is "if you know it is not good, do not eat it". He admited he could do better. I told him that was the key to his improvement. He said he fully believed. I told him he needed to do more than fully believe, and referred him to an imaginary General Authority - a hybrid of Spencer W. Kimball and J. Golden Kimball. Spencer W. Kimball used to say "Do It!". J. Golden Kimball was known for adding emphasis with a strong word on occasion. I told him he needed to follow the advice of the hybrid Elder Kimball.

Night Sleep Time: 10.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 12.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. Decided to take a bum day to let the body heal. Slept in. Ran 4 with Sarah. She did it in 38:29. I had a 44 second VPB and then caught up, so 37:45. Then 2 with Benjamin in 17:31. Feeling better, but still there is lingering weakness that I do not want to aggravate.

P.M. Felt better. Ran 2 with Jenny in 17:53, 1.5 with Julia in 13:28, and 0.5 with Joseph in 4:54. He repeated his record.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 6.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.102.500.000.0014.60

A.M. Slept it in again to speed up the healing. The plan today was 2x2.5 mile tempo at around 6:00 pace in the middle of my regular 10.1. So 1.37 into the run I started the tempo. Ran at a fairly steady pace and finished 2.5 in 14:43 (5:53 average).  On the positive side HR behaved - was never above 152, and even dropped to 149 in the last half mile. This is almost normal, maybe even just plain normal if we account for the warm temperatures. However, I could feel a mild side ache on the right. I know what that means. The body says it is still healing from the illness. Also, while I did not mind the pace I did not feel exceptionally energetic and anxious to run fast. So I decided to forgo the second tempo, and just jog to the finish. Total of 10.1 in 1:14:32.

Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:22.

Kept thinking about the plantar flexion thrust. That's when you flex your calf while on the ground, it raises you up on your toes, and also propels you forward. Haile seems to be running off that thrust quite a bit. I am interested in it because my quads fatigue quickly, but my calves are always fresh, which means they are bumming it. If I could learn how to use them properly for forward propulsion, this could make quite a bit of a difference. I have the oxygen, plenty of it, some could go to the quad, and some could go to the calf. Maybe I could even learn to push my HR to 178 with this calf recruitment.

In the past I felt I could not do it well because of landing crooked. Now after a couple of months of no shod running the landing crookedness is becoming less problematic. But I am still struggling with the thrust. Now the problem is the ankle joint. It feels too weak for full power calf action, I am afraid to injure it. It is good that I have enough neurologically subconscious common sense to know better than go wild with the plantar flexion. But it is bad that the ankle join is weak. It is probably a matter of time before it gets stronger. Maybe 4 months, maybe a year, maybe even two years. I need to be patient.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:52. Julia ran 1.5 in 13:54. Then 0.5 with Joseph in 4:36. He smashed his record of 4:54. So much for the Jo-Jo little leg shuffle. Julia ran the first quarter with us, then picked it up and finished in 4:24. So her total time for 2 miles ended up being 18:18, faster than Jenny's.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From seeaprilrun on Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 18:05:52 from 205.172.12.229

You are very patient. Many of us could learn a lesson from that, including myself. That is probably why you have dealt with so little injury.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.255.000.000.0014.25

A.M. Started with 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:50 pushing William in the stroller. Then Sarah was all worked up because the kids were awake and took Joseph for a run with her while she pushed William and Jacob before I realized what was up. Sometimes women do not think straight. Once I did realized that Sarah was planning on pushing more weight than she could handle for 2 miles I jogged to rescue her from the streak of wild thinking and found her about 0.1 away from the house already coming back from Joseph's run. I took the stroller and Joseph, and ran back to the house while she did the rest of her run.

Then I went on my regular run. It was nice and cool when I ran with Benjamin, but by the time I started it got warmer. So I mentally adjusted my HR expectations for what was healthy, and was actually curious what it would hit in warmer temperatures at faster speeds. What I have noticed in the past is that when it is warmer or I am dehydrated the HR is signficantly higher at slower speeds, but only a little bit higher once I speed up.

The plan was again 2x2.5 at a brisk pace. I am trying an experiment this week (and will probably do it every other week or so). I need to find an effective neuromuscular stimulus. Obviously the faster you run, the longer you do it for, and the more frequently you do it, the more stimulus you get. The question is how much is too much. The answer is not easy.  I cannot push the heart to its true limit. My muscles are never sore. My bones never hurt. The limit is more subtle. It is somewhere in the nervous system, or maybe neuroendocrinal system, or in other words either the nerves or the glands or both are the limiting factor. How in the world do you train a gland? Especially if you do not know what that gland is. And glands are funny things. They do not hurt like muscles. You push a muscle too hard and it immediately starts whining at you. The gland  has a tendency towards passive-aggressive behavior, it will remember everything you've done wrong at some random time in the future and get you for it when you least expect it.

But going off intuition I decided to try something like this. 2x2.5 at a bit sub-6:00 pace daily for a week. Alternate with week of normal hard/easy sequence. Adjust by feel as necessary. Adjust by feel here is the key. It is like solving an equation using a numerical method. Where you start does not matter that much as long as it is somewhere close to reasonable. What is important is that you evaluate correctly after every iteration where you should go next to approach the solution.

So I warmed up and then ran 2.5 in 14:37. The pace fluctuated some. I would get excited and speed up to 5:45. Then I would space out and slow down to 5:55. HR at the end climbed to 155 with the last two quarters in 86 (5:44 pace). Some mucus but no side ache. Felt more energetic than yesterday. Took it as a sign that the body was healed enough to run one more of those. So I did it on the way back, same stretch. This time I felt more motivated to push, so I did. I had a song going through my head. It was a sacrament hymn. I was not driven by its rhythm, but rather by the depth of the message. I ended up with 14:32. The pace was more steady, but again there were surges and lapses. HR got up to 156 in the last mile, and went up as high as 160 in the last quarter done in 86. That quarter is uphill, though, and usually produces higher heart rates for the same pace.

Jogged home and finished 10.1 in 1:09:48.

P.M. 2 with Jenny pushing William in the stroller in 17:50. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13;58 with us.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.25Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.852.500.000.2514.60

A.M. Had an odd night. For some reason had a problem going into deep sleep. Could be several reasons. Congested nose from the cold, warmer temperatures in the house, late nap the day before, or the effects of running fast two days in a row. Nevertheless, I woke up on my own. Come to think of it I was feeling very similar to the morning of St. Jude Marathon in 2007. So maybe 2:30:32 was a bummer race after all. If so, it would be quite encouraging.

Decided to run just one 2.5 tempo today to let the body heal better. Felt odd. Rather sluggish in the warmup. Then once I started running fast I liked it. But I did not like the gas mask suffocation feeling that came from the congestion once I started going fast. It was cooler in the morning, but that gas mask I think drove my HR up a bit. Ended up doing 14:34 with the peak HR of 157. Towards the end it was fairly stable at 156 at 5:48 pace. This is about 4 bpm higher than normal, I'll blame it on the congestion.

There was also a feeling of mild fatigue from the leftovers of the cold. When I finished the tempo I was very unmotivated to run. The loss of drive seemed to be coming from the nose congestion. So I dragged at almost 9:00 pace for a while. About 5 miles into the run I just felt like I wanted to lay down on the ground and take a nap.  I would have done it except I knew of the abundance of insects in that area,  and also that I needed to get home in a timely manner to start the day. But then as I went along the motivation began to return so I gradually sped up to around 7:10 in the last couple of miles. Total time for 10.1 was 1:14:47.

Then ran 2 more with Benjamin in 16:15. Paced him through a quarter in 76 mid-run, that is 5:04 pace, mind you. I had to work, especially with a congested nose and giving splits every 100 meters. Which were: 18 - 19.5 - 19.5 - 19. I am excited about this. He is only 10.5. I ran 500 in 1:45 at 11.5, and then 300 in 58. In the last year his quarter speed just took off. A year ago he was barely breaking 90. I have a feeling 3 years down the road he'd be doing "Daddy, give me five" during my mile time trial.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:23. 2 with Jenny in 19:05. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:14.

 


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.001.000.0011.00

A.M. Decided to have another bum day to give the body a chance to deal a fatal blow to the illness. Slept in. Ran 5 miles pushing William in the double stroller. Some of it with Sarah. Felt good, but still decided to continue to bum it for the most part. For a quick evaluation and also to catch up to Sarah ran a mile (the last one of the Fast Running Blog 5 miler course, so mild uphill) in 5:58. HR at that pace climbed to 157 starting out at 134. I was going around 7:00 to get it to 134. Normally without the stroller I would need to go around 6:30 to get 134, and maybe 5:30 to have 157 by the end of the mile. 5:30 would eventually take me to 161. So I figure the stroller was worth maybe 25-30 seconds a mile. William did like sub-6:00 pace enough to fall asleep. The stroller starts making a humming nose when you go faster, nice for putting babies to sleep. Total time for 5 miles was 39:47.

Then 2 more with Benjamin in 16:53.

P.M. 1.5 with Julia and Jared in 13:28. Jenny was sick, did not run. 0.5 with Joseph and Benjamin in 5:15 (William in the stroller). 2 more with William in the stroller and nobody else in 15:41.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 7.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.5610.000.000.0023.56

A.M. Had some doubts about whether it would be good for my health to run my planned 20 miler, but a prayer removed the doubts. I noticed HR was a little high, but at the same time I was willing to move quicker than slow dragging death from the start, which was a good sign. Forgot to have a drink before the start, but then stopped at Walgreens 1.55 into the run to go to the bathroom and got some water out of the fountain. That did not seem to do much for the elevated HR. But I was feeling decent otherwise and I know that I do have a few heart beats to spare so I was not worried about it.

First mile was 7:54, which is quick for me for the first mile. Then a bit slower than 7:00 the rest of the way. The route was from the house to Bridal Veil Falls and back. Uphill going out, downhill coming back. HR was 134 at 7:12, 139 at 6:40 up 1-1.5% grade. Yes, I am a geek and I was taking splits every 100 meters during the easy part of a 20 mile run. I know this is high for me, just not sure exactly how high because I do not run that route often enough.

The trail was full of runners and bikers. That made the run more interesting during the easy part, but the hard part was a mix. On one hand it was nice to get occasional cheers and have targets to catch. On the other hand at times I felt like I was driving an ambulance in heavy traffic.

Reached the first 10 miles in 1:12:24, and then started running hard. For some reason I had a very hard time finding the rhythm and maintaining it. Did a mile in 5:59, then 5:45, 5:50, and then lost concentration and started going around 6:00. I even thought maybe this was a sign of a problem, and perhaps I should abandon the tempo, but then I thought - 20 miles is 20 miles, it is going to be hard regardless, and the choice is between another 40 minutes of running vs another 50 minutes of running. I decided to choose 40 minutes.

For some reason rocks, twigs, bumps, and turns were really throwing me off. Yes, stepping on a twig is a distraction when wearing Five Fingers. Maybe I am just spoiled by running with Jeff all the time. With him I do not have a choice - find your rhythm after a setback or get dropped. So I am expecting that when he is not around.

The encouraging sign was that HR was dropping to 147 from a more normal 151-152 when I lost concentration and slowed down to slower than 6:00. I interpreted it as that my health was fine and it was OK to push, or at least maintain the effort.

Then I really lost the rhythm around 16 miles into the run. There were some rocks on the road, not as bad as the last time Jeff and I ran that route (4th of July), but still enough to contribute to the confusion. The headwind did not help either along with some uphill. So I ended up slowing down to around 6:20 and then had a hard time shifting gears. The turns and the bridges later on did not help the cause. The 6:00 guy caught me and left me in the dust.

Finally with 1.5 to go I said I've had enough of this 6:20 jogging and gave it a more serious push. After about half a mile I was able to get up to 6:00. And then the momentum carried me and I was going 5:40 before I knew it. So I ended up running the last 0.75 in 4:16 (85,86,85 - 5:41 average).  Almost got the 6:00 guy for the last 10, but ran out of road - 1:00:07, total time for 20 was 2:12:31.

Afterwards I was coughing a lot. When the respiratory system is not 100% it might still do OK when you are going, but it really freaks out when you stop.

P.M. 1.53 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia to Walgreens to buy Benjamin Crocs. 14:16. Sarah picked up Jenny and Julia. Jenny did not run more because she was recovering from her stomach  troubles yesterday. The Crocs were not wide enough, so Benjamin and I ran back empty-handed in 11:39. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:13.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00Bare Feet Miles: 3.56
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. The Sacrament meeting talks were on covenants. The lesson in Sunday school was on eternal marriage.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.350.000.000.1514.50

A.M. Started with Jeff, his brother Andrew, and his dad Don. Stopped at Walgreens to go to the bathroom, Jeff and Andrew stopped with me, Don went ahead because he was going to turn around pretty soon anyway. We ran about 4.2 to the hill on 800 South in Orem and did some hill sprints. The hill is officially (according to the Course Tool) 12% grade, but for some reason it did not look like it. We eyeballed the distance, did a timed gauging stride, and decided to go from one wooden pole to the next. I do not care about the distance to be exact such as 200 feet or 60 meters, I am perfectly happy running 64 or 56 meter intervals or even 20*PI meter intervals. But it does need to be the same distance, and I should be able to run that exact same distance on that same hill when I come back a week later to monitor my progress.

We jogged some unknown distance in between until we were ready to go again and it kept changing as the workout progressed. My times were 10.7 - 10.5 - 10.0 - 10.1 - 9.9 - 9.9.  Jeff and Andrew got up to around 8.3.

Then we ran a cool down to make the total of around 10. I added 2 more with Benjamin in 16:34.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:55. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:14. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:13. Pushed William in the stroller.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.001.000.0014.50

A.M.  Jeff had early work, and I felt like I needed some rest. Plus we picked up my mother at the airport late last night. So I slept in and then went for a run. The plan was 2x2 miles in 11:00 each. During the warm-up I ran into Josh Peavler who just finished running for Timpview High and we ran together until it was time for me to start the workout. I ran the first 1000 with the splits of 81, 82, and 42, and could tell something was not right. I was choking in mucus again. I had not been seeing very much of it at slower speeds, but at 5:30 the congestion was a problem. The pace did not feel like it should either, so there was something going on. HR got up to 159 by 0.5, that is about 5 beats too high as well. Did not feel motivated to run faster or in control of the pace, even though the pace should have been very manageable. Decided to scrap the workout and just jog. Ran most of the rest of the run with Josh - total of 10 miles.

Then added 2 more with Benjamin with a fast 500 in the middle. He did it pretty much exactly according to plan - 20 - 21 - 19 - 20 - 20 - total of 1:40, 5:20 pace average. Then we also did a small pickup at the end of the run. Total time was 15:27 with the last mile in 7:05, which included the recovery from the 500 pickup. I think he is ready for a sub-6:00 mile attempt.

Incidentally, what gave me the push to join a running team in 1984 in Moscow was winning a school 500 meter race in 1:45 at the age of 11.5. Now Benjamin has that time beat by 5 seconds being a year younger.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:59. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:58. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:43. Pushed William in the stroller for the Jenny/Julia run. Jenny gave me a surprise in the last quarter - 1:43. She dropped me during a 180 turn and picked up the pace. With combination of the stroller, running barefoot on asphalt, dodging a couple of cars, and a fairly quick pace it took me a good 0.1 to catch her.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Kory on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 18:44:04 from 134.50.89.55

Sasha, it amazes me how you can remember numbers of your times and pace every day including the past.

Good luck at TOU this year. I won't be there. In fact after the the Pocatello Marathon I'm cutting my running way back. I need to get some priorities straight, and work is becoming so much more of a conflict.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.003.000.0014.50

A.M. Ran with Jeff and his brother Andrew. Tried 2x2 miles again to get a workout and to test the health. It went better this time. Andrew ran the warmup and the first mile of the first repeat. First repeat was 11:00.1 as planned with the splits of 5:33 and 5:27. HR maxed out at 165 when I briefly surged to sub-5:20 around 1.7 into the repeat, but then quickly dropped to 161-162 and stayed there for the last quarter which was covered in 82. Quarter splits were 83 - 85 (Jeff was talking to Andrew teaching him how to relax) - 82 - 83 - 81 - 82 - 82 - 82. I noticed that while HR was OK, and legs felt reasonable, the respiratory rate was high, I was huffing and puffing as if we were running 5:15. I attributed that to reduced lung capacity from the illness.

Normally in the past at this point I would have said - great, let's do another repeat. However, I am trying a change of attitude. I realized that I have been running harder than optimal in my workouts. It is easy for me to do. My legs hardly ever hurt. My cardio is always up to task. The limiting factor is the nervous system. So the natural tendency is to max out the nervous system in an attempt to give the muscles and the cardio a challenge. Also to hit a faster time.

But the nervous system is a funny beast. It is not easy to tell you are taxining it. And the plenalty is high. It really does not like to be red-lined. It works like a photocop. You do not notice anything, no flashing lights behind you. And then a week later you get a ticket in the mail. Except this kind of ticket comes with no explanatory note. It says says - pay $200 or else and does not tell you what you did wrong.

So I asked myself an honest question. How much further do you think you could have gone at that pace today without slowing down? And an honest answer was - no more than 3.5. So based on that I said, next repeat - just a mile. So we jogged  0.5 and then ran 5:28.4 with the splits of 81 - 83 - 83 - 81. I felt decent, even considered going to 2000, but said to myself - Discipline! Do not get too excited. The pace feels harder than it should, something is still not quite right.

Then we jogged to the house to make it 10 total for the run. The total time was 1:12:20.

Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:24.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:48. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:37. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:15.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.601.000.000.0014.60

A.M. Started with Jeff, his brother Andrew and his father Don. Dragged through the first mile in 9:20. Then sped up to 7:30 as Jeff needed to get to work. Don stayed with us up to almost 2 miles, then fell back. It was his sea-level 5 K race pace, and we were at 4500 feet. Andrew turned around at 3. We picked it up some more. It took a long time to catch the 8:00 guy, we passed him around 3.5. Then we kept the pace quick as we needed to finish 10.1 in 1:14. The fat mile helped the cause, we ran it in 5:46. Even though we did not do it quite right to be fat - opened with an 84 quarter, then got back to our senses. HR maxed out at 155, but was fairly stable around 152, which is normal. I felt decent. I even considered suggesting to Jeff that we just keep going at that pace all the way home, but decided to err on the side of caution. It was very tempting, though, to think that we'd be done with our run 3 minutes earlier.

Then in the last couple of miles I must have been getting dehydrated as HR climbed into 132 range at 7:00 pace, and then in the last quarter it was as high as 135 even though we were only going 6:48 pace. So in other words 5 beats too high. But other than the measurement I could not tell anything was different. Earlier in the run HR was normal at those speeds.Total time for 10.1 was 1:12:58.

Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:19.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:12. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:23. 0.5 with Joseph in 0.5.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.601.000.000.0014.60

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Andrew in 1:12:47. Don ran the first 0.8 with us until we sped up. Fat mile in 5:45.

Then 2 more with Benjamin in 16:50.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 16:36 pushing William. First mile was 9:19, second 7:17. Julia rode a mile on her bike. She had a blister on her foot that she said was hurting too much to run. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:29.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.10Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.615.500.000.0020.11

A.M. Jeff and I paced Ben Crozier through the Uneventful Half in 1:32:45. At first we were going sub-7:00, then Ben started to fade, so we gradually slowed down all the way to 7:40 pace on the uphill section. Then in the last mile he recovered and sped up to 6:40.

Then we turned around and started the tempo. I did notice something wrong during the Uneventful Half. For some reason HR was too high. I thought I was dehydrated. Due to the cardio power to muscle power discrepancy (the cardio is much stronger), I can be lightly dehydrated and not notice it other than HR being a bit high. 

Then there was another sign of trouble. I was not feeling bad, legs actually felt strong, the fuel seemed OK, the head was working, so no blood sugar problems, but for some odd reason 6:00 pace was barely manageable. It took me 5.5 miles into the tempo to understand what was wrong. Last Monday after the hill sprints in Five Fingers on aslphalt the top of my right foot was irritated. Since then I felt uncomfortable in the first mile or so of my runs, but then the increased circulation would remove most of the discomort. Most, but not all. There was a problem. I was dealing with it by slightly altering the form, which was killing the economy.

Around 4.4 into the tempo Jeff was neighing to go after the bikers, and he could no longer control himself, and just went. I coasted at a bit slower than 6:00, then finally at 5.5 I understood the problem and took measures slowing down to a jog. 5.5 time was 33:00, exactly 6:00 pace.

During the cool down I noticed that I felt a whole lot more comfortable on grass than I did on aslphat. Bad sign. Total time for 20.11 miles was 2:18:36.

So from now on I need to take some measures. No more Five Fingers or barefoot on asphalt. Yes, I can, but I need to practice what I preach: "Just because you can does not mean you should!" I do not want to go back to a whole lot of shod running, though, so I am going to measure out a big grass loop and do a good portion of my mileage there. Need to figure out what to do for the shoes on the road - how to get the right amount of cushioning without messing up the form. So far Crocs sound promising, but they last only 500 miles, and they do have issues on turns. Maybe with some clever modifications they could be OK.

P.M. The foot was still sore, so I decided to ride the bike for the kids' run.  Benjamin ran 2 in 15:55, Julia 1.5 in 14:52, Jenny 2 in 18:18. Joseph ran 0.5 with Sarah in 5:02.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.11
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments
From Kory on Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 23:33:54 from 24.116.159.75

Sasha, why don't you just try the lightest racing flats you can find or afford and use them on the road. You've proven that you can handle anything real light for a long period of time.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 23:38:57 from 192.168.1.1

Kiry:

The problem is that light racing flats get ripped up very fast. Maybe 1500 miles to a hole, sometimes less. Crocs are 500 miles to a hole. Actually Five Fingers have the same problem - with speed work, they are 500 miles to a hole as well. So the only difference is less cushioning and the price. Crocs are $5 at Walmart.

From josse on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 15:50:38 from 75.216.129.165

What is wrong with the foot? Maybe I can help?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 18:00:14 from 64.81.245.109

Josse:

There is some pain at top of the right foot in the metatarsal area when I put weight on it. There is also some minor swelling. It started after hill sprints in Five Fingers on Monday. I believe the cause is hard impact at unusual angle combined with the imbalance on the right side. My right foot does quite a bit of sideways rolling to deal with the lack of stability.

It goes away to a great extent but not entirely once I warm up. Which is why I have not done anything about it for a week. I've had it before. In fact, when I finish a marathon, I do experience some minor soreness in that area, but it goes away by Monday. This time it got aggravated beyond normal due to running in Five Fingers on pavement on top of the hill sprints. I guess I experimentally discovered the fine line between hard and retard :-)

Running on grass barefoot felt good today, but I could still feel some soreness on pavement in Crocs.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.280.000.000.0012.28

A.M. Ran 2.04 to Grandview in Crocs, then 5.7 with Jeff on grass barefoot, then 2.04 back. Total distance was 9.78, total time 1:18:31. The foot really liked the grass. 

On the way back the foot was feeling tender, so I decided to ride the bike again for Benjamin's run. He ran 2 miles in 16:53.

P.M. Josse came and scraped my foot. It was very effective. The foot really likes the increased blood flow.

Ran 0.5 with Joseph in 5:27, and about 2 with Jenny and Julia in 19:58. 0.5 to the grass field, then 10 minutes around the field, then 0.5 back. Ran barefoot when on grass, in Crocs on pavement.

Bare Feet Miles: 6.70Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 5.58
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.770.000.0012.37

A.M. Largely a repeat of yesterday. Ran 2.04 to the grass field at Grandview in Crocs, then 5.78 barefoot, including 0.77 in 4:48 (6:12 pace). The foot again liked the grass.  Then 2.04 back. Total time was 1:19:58 for 10.02.

2 miles on a bike with Benjamin running. He did 2 miles in 16:16.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in Crocs in 5:26. 2 with Jenny on grass at Grandview in 19:27. Julia ran 1.56 with us in 15:18.

Bare Feet Miles: 7.94Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 4.58
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.562.252.000.0012.81

A.M. Decided to try a normal shoe for the non-grass running. The foot felt slightly better in it than in a Croc, but it did not seem to make a whole lot of difference.  Ran 2.04 to Grandview, saw Ted and his cadets on the way.  Took the shoes off, Jeff had his on.

Did another lap around the field with Jeff at an easy pace(0.386 miles), and then we started a tempo. We had no definite plan how fast or how long, just stay on the safe side of the hard-retard line. We did the first lap in 2:21 (6:05 pace), then sped up to around 2:15 per lap (5:49 pace), and then started seeing 2:12 laps (5:41 pace). After 10 laps I said one more, which we did in by my watch 2:05 (5:23 pace), 2:07 by Jeff's (5:28) - a matter of looking at it at a different time.

Total time for 11 laps (4.248 miles) was  24:34, 5:47 average. I think this is the fastest I've ever run on grass barefoot for that long.

HR was 154 at 5:50 pace, 157 at 5:40. What's odd is that it did not spike once we sped up to under 5:30 at the end, it was only 158. So I suspect we are dealing with something very interesting. I felt that the faster we went the more efficient I got. I really liked the last lap. It felt very smooth. The form felt perfect, the right glut was engaging like in my best races, and possibly even better. I believe that is why I was able to run so much faster without a significant increase in HR.

Jogged 3 more laps barefoot, put shoes on, and jogged back home. Total distance was 10.26, time 1:14:57.

Then to avoid crossing the notorious hard-retard line rode the bike while Benjamin ran. He did 2 miles in 16:04 with the last 0.75 in 4:48.

Noticed positive symptoms of increased testosterone in the last few days. Increased appetite, muscles feel snappier, etc. Not sure where this came from.

P.M. Ran 2.05 with Jenny in 21:10 at Amelia Earhart's Elementary field during Benjamin's soccer practice. Julia ran 1.54 with us in 16:03. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:18.

Bare Feet Miles: 8.22
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.20Total Sleep Time: 8.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.880.000.000.0012.88

A.M. Ran 2.04 to Grandview in shoes, then 6.3 there barefoot, part of it with Jeff, then back 2.04 in shoes. The foot liked the cold grass and was feeling progressively better. It also felt decent on the way back on pavement, best ever since the start of the week.I was able to speed up to 6:49 in the last mile, which is super-sonic speed for pavement for this week.Total time for 10.38 was 1:21:46.

Nevertheless, I decided to stay on the side of caution and ride the bike for Benjamin's run. He ran 2 miles in 17:34.

P.M. 20 minutes with Jenny on grass during Benjamin's soccer game. Julia ran the first 15 minutes with us. Will approximate this as 2 miles. The game ended in a draw - 2-2. Later 0.5 with Joseph in 5:16.

Bare Feet Miles: 8.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments
From seeaprilrun on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 15:52:54 from 68.103.250.39

Glad your foot is better. Where exactly is it having trouble? I am in a sitation now where as long as I am on grass or dirt everything is fine but if I dare venture onto asphalt, concrete, or even a rubberized track my foot starts to hurt. I can still train--just not on a hard surface. This is frustrating because it makes me afraid racing will leave me too injured to run.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 16:20:48 from 64.81.245.109

Top of the foot in the metatarsal area hurts on impact. Josse looked at it, thought it was some ligament or tendon irritation.

I actually see the whole business as a positive. I think the entire time I have been working around the problem by putting less force into the foot strike which allowed me to run, but was limiting my speed. It is nice for this problem to finally start demanding attention.

I think the root of it is that because the right glut for some odd reason likes to be a lazy bum (does not fully activate when it should) the right foot has to twist in odd ways to deal with the lack of stability. When this flared up I discovered that after about 3 miles of running barefoot on grass my form gets very smooth, the right glut starts activating perfectly. In the past I rarely had the patience to run that long on the grass.

From seeaprilrun on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 16:42:35 from 68.103.250.39

Well, hopefully this leads to making you an overall faster runner which leads to an OTQ. Your PR is not far off, fitness is not an issue, so this may be the magic bullet. Happy grass running!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.580.000.000.0012.58

A.M. 2.04 to Grandview, 6 miles on grass barefoot, 2.04 back. Jeff must have slept in, he was not there. To my dismay they aerated the field, every single bit of it. So it took me a while to get used to it. I started out at 10:00 pace, then finally figured out how to maneuver past the little pieces of dirt, and was able to speed up to 7:00. On the way back wearing shoes on pavement felt better than yesterday. Ran the last mile in 6:41. Total time for 10.08 was 1:20:51.

Then rode 2 miles alongside Benjamin to avoid unnecessary risks. He ran 17:34, exact same time as yesterday.

P.M. Ran 0.5 with Jenny then Julia joined us for the next 1.5. Julia's time for 1.5 was 13:28. Jenny pulled ahead a bit at the end and finished 2 miles in 17:56. I stayed with Julia. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:20.

Bare Feet Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.60Total Sleep Time: 8.35
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.601.501.590.0014.69

A.M. Ran 2.04 to Grandview, met Jeff there. We ran 21 laps around the field (8.11 miles). Last 8 laps (3.09) fast - 18:24 for me (5:57 average), 17;49 for Jeff. Then jogged back to the house. Total time for 12.19 was 1:32:46. For some reason the pace felt harder than on Wednesday. Possibly because I had a hard time with the aerated chunks of dirt in the way that were not there Wednesday.

The foot did not like the fast pace. Running home on pavement did not feel good afterwards.

P.M. Still had some energy left from the short run in the morning, and also felt the legs were getting a bit flabby. So decided to give them a non-impact workout. Rode the bike about 3 miles to our old house at 551 S 1350 E. Averaged around 15 mph through traffic including stops. Then did 6 loops about 670 meters (0.42 miles) long. The first half of the loop was a 5% climb, and the rest of it 5% drop. There was a yield sign and a turn at the bottom of the hill, so you had to brake before you got going again. I did this loop the following way: 20 seconds or so maximum effort up the hill. Then honest but not maximum effort to make it to the top of this hill without slowing down to a crawl and falling off the bike. Then pedal a little bit on the downhill until pedalling did no good, which did not require a whole lot of pedalling since my bike cannot shift into the higher gears. Then brake at the yield sign, turn, moderately try to gain some momentum before the hill, turn, and go full power up the hill again.

So it took me 10:01 to do 6 of those loops this way, which averages about 15 mph. The bike weights 30 lb, the gears do not shift well. In fact I would not dare shift them at any point on the loop. Now, I am quite clueless when it comes to biking, so I do not know what that effort was worth exactly. But I have a feeling it was respectable and this is making me wonder if perhaps Ted is right when he says I could be a better biker than a runner if I focused on biking.

Then 3 miles back to the house.

Ran 2 with Jenny in 18:40. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:01. Benjamin ran 2 going ahead and then trying to catch us in 15:31. Added 0.5 more with Joseph in 5:18. The foot was almost 100% - for the first time since last week I felt it was not affecting the form on pavement.

Bare Feet Miles: 8.11
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Comments
From jtshad on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 15:43:29 from 204.134.132.225

Sounds like it is time for a new bike (or at least a tune up at a bike store!).

Hope the foot gets feeling better.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.230.002.470.0012.70

A.M. Did an odd workout. On Saturday during Benjamin's soccer game I noticed that the Foot Printers Field was not aerated. So that gave me an idea to run there. Jeff, Benjamin, and I drove out there. Then we measured a loop. On the first measurement it was 1626 feet. On the second measurement after the run, when we followed the path that we actually ran, it was 1633 feet. So I'll go with 1633 feet.

Benjamin ran the first 2.5 laps with us, then we sped up. He ended up doing 7 laps (2.15 miles) in 18:50 (8:42 average). We gradually kept speeding up until I saw my HR was 145 and our laps were in the 2:05 range (6:45 pace). I figured it was time for a mini-tempo, so I conservatively told Jeff to get my HR to 152 knowing that he has an overachiever tendencies. We ran the next 8 laps (2.47 miles) in 14:42 (5:56 pace). It felt hard. HR quickly made its way to 158, then spent a good portion of the second half of the tempo at 161, and hit 164 in the last lap, which we did in 1:46 (5:43 pace). Jeff's HR was also high - 176 when mine was 161, and 181 when mine was 164. 

So something was odd today. I asked Jeff how hard he was working, he thought about 5:20-5:25 effort. Slower pace also felt noticeably harder, and the HR showed. So either both of us got out of shape fast, or there is something about that grass that we do not quite understand.

Ran the cool down. Total of 33 laps (10.2) in 1:14:14.

P.M. Wore Crocs. 2 with Jenny in 17:59. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:21. Then 0.5 with Joseph in 5:01. The foot felt good enough to try running 10 miles on pavement.

Bare Feet Miles: 10.20Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.010.003.000.0016.01

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Gave the foot and the fitness a mild test. Wore racing flats. We warmed up 3.62 which took us to the start of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler course. The plan was to run comfortably hard (for me) until I felt we've run enough, but no more than 5 miles. I told Jeff to start at 5:50 - 5:55 pace.He  ended up going a whole lot faster from the gun, but I did not mind as I wanted to have a good fitness test and I was feeling good. About 2 miles into the tempo I felt like I could keep the pace all the way to 5, but wanted to avoid unnecessary stress on the foot and on the nervous system, so I made the decision to go to 3. So we ended up with the following quarter splits:

85 - 84 - 83 - 84 (5:36) - 83.5 - 84.5 - 85.5 - 83.5 (5:37, 11:13) - 83 - 86 (180 turn) - 81 - 79 (5:29, 16:42.7).

Total time for 3 was 16:42.7, 5:34 average.

The form felt good with the exception that the right foot was not allowing me to power quite as hard as I wanted. There was also some minor soreness at the insertion point of the achilles tendon on the left foot. In the past I would not have even mentioned this, but I am trying a new approach. The idea is to attack those minor aches to allow me to pound the ground as hard as I want rather than adjust the form to work around the aches. So I am going to continue to ice those spots and run some of the mileage on grass until I can put full force into the steps at any good form running angle.

I was also pleased with the leg power response. No trouble picking up the pace to 5:20 in the last 0.5, legs felt snappy. HR was 156 at 5:36 pace, and maxed out at 162 at the end at 5:20 pace. Compared to yesterday, the effort perception was also very much in line with HR patterns. Jeff's HR also behaved normally. So I suppose we did not get out of shape after all, something was indeed really odd about the Footprinter's field. Which is what I suspected.

Finished 10, then drove to a nearby grass field with Benjamin (It was not far but I did not want to run with the wheel), measured out a 1260 foot loop (0.238), and ran 9 of them with him barefoot in 18:52. That is 2.15 at 8:47 pace.

After all the adventures the foot felt the same as it did before the start. This is encouraging.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:34. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:23. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:01. Measure a part of the course for the Spring Creek Elementary 5 K with Sarah. Then it got late, so I ran 1.357 to the car in 11:35. Thanks to the wheel I knew exactly how far it was.


Saucony Type A Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.15Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 3.86
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.100.000.000.0012.10

A.M. Temple day - so ran in the early morning run with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:18:43 in Crocs on the usual course. The right foot felt almost 100%. The achilles irritation on the left was OK as well.

Stopped by at the BYU Bookstore. They thought I was young enough and skinny enough to be a starving student and tried to sell me the Starving Student Card for $30. I looked at it and decided that I had an idea why those students were starving. Eating according to the card will produce very little nutritional value per dollar spent even with all the discounts. Plus you have to pay $30 for the card. So I said no, I have better food at home.

P.M.  Wore Crocs. 1.5 with Julia pushing William and Jacob in 14:06. Jenny and Benjamin ran ahead and did 2 in 17:30. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:20.

Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From redrooster on Thu, Sep 03, 2009 at 15:23:33 from 129.123.3.31

I was at the cougareat last week and was amazed at all the junk food stands in there. When I was a student there was no food court and I think the food was marginally better anyway. I hope my daughter is eating better than that in Heritage halls.

From Nan Kennard on Fri, Sep 04, 2009 at 14:44:54 from 174.51.250.151

Haha. That is great. You do look like a starving student! Better than looking like an overweight aged man.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.650.004.000.0014.65

A.M. Ran with Jeff in racing flats. Felt good. Neural drive was there, even though it did not quite shine in the warm-up - 8:00 pace felt fast. The feet felt decent, both the achilles on the left and the top on the right. So decided 2x2 miles at 5:30 pace would be good. In the past I would have said 3x2 miles at 5:25 pace. But I am suspecting that the training effect is better if you take what you can do all out and cut it some. The effectiveness of the stimulus is not in how much it brings you down, but in the net difference between the loss of fitness from the stress and the gain of fitness in the recovery. And I am suspecting that this effectiveness is maximized at a respectable distance away from the start of the red zone.

So we warmed up our usual 3.62. I gave Jeff the instructions. 10:58 is good, but 10:57 is bad - too fast. If you hit 81 do not slow down to 84 to make up, make it 83. The first one (first 2 miles of the FRB 5 Miler) went like this:

81.5 - 85.5 - 82 - 83 (5:32) - 79 - 83 - 82 - 82 (5:26, 10:58.2).

Now you can say with 10:58 that Jeff was a sly fox and got everyout out of me that I was willing to give, but the truth of the matter is that I did pull alongside him in the last 0.5 to communicate that I did not want the pace to drop. The fifth quarter was interesting. I said - wow, I wonder why 5:30 feels like miles 6-8 of this years SLC half when I was trying to hang on to BJ. Then I saw the split - the pace was 5:16, not 5:30, no wonder it felt so hard. HR was 156 after the first mile, then 158 after the fifth quarter, and then it gradually drifted to 160 maxing out at 162.

We jogged 0.5 with a VPB in the middle, and then started the next one from the turnaround of the FRB 5 Miler. It went like this:

81 - 82 - 83 - 82 (5:28) - 82 - 81 - 83 - 79 (5:25, 10:53.8).

I felt strong and communicated by pulling alonside Jeff in a few places that I wanted the fast pace to stay fast. So it was a bit faster than the 10:58 too fast cut off, but I felt a little faster was OK on the second one. The last two quarters were up a small grade and are usually about 1-2 second slower than the others with the same effort in our tempo runs. HR was at 160 by 1.5, got to 162 with a quarter to go, and then peaked at 167 in the last quarter.

Cooled down to 10 miles. Total time was around 1:10:43 if I remember right.

Then 2.15 with Benjamin barefoot at Footprinter's field in 18:48. To my disappointment it got aerated.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:29. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:32. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:12. Wore Crocs.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.15Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.260.000.000.0016.26

A.M. Had interesting dreams. In one I was discussing the Book of Mormon with Paul on the blog. I told him I knew it was true, but he said he did not believe it was true. In the other dream a guy from Magadan (very cold and very remote part of Russian north-east) survived the Second World War eating very small amounts of food. After the war he did not increase his food intake by much and was eating only beets. In spite of that he was in perfect health. I wondered how it was possible to maintain good health with a diet that was so out of balance. But my questions were not answered - the alarm went off and it was time to run.

I ran 2.04 to Grandview, 6.18 there, most of it with Jeff, and then 2.04 back. Total time was 1:19:14. Noticed that HR was consistently lower, about 5 bpm, at the same places and speeds as a week ago. Also noticed that I was very sluggish starting out, more sluggish than normal, but then got into good rhythm faster than normal in spite of the early sluggishness.

Then 2 more with Benjamin at Grandview in 16:44.

P.M. Finished measuring the Spring Creek Elementary 5 K course. Ended up running 1.5 while measuring. Then 2 with Jenny in 17:42. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:30. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:57.

Bare Feet Miles: 8.18Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 8.08
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.0015.000.000.0022.00

A.M. Started with Ted and Jeff. The plan was 20 miles with the last 15 hard. Ran to Bridal Veil and back. We met a guy named Tyler and he joined us from 3 to 5. Ted ran the first 5 then turned around.

The first 5 were slow (39:11), HR was not getting up, and the pace felt fast. I told Jeff to keep my HR at 152 no matter how slow of a pace this produced. It ended up not producing that slow of a pace after all. But it was hard. I think the problem was that I was out of fuel. Maybe those guys at the BYU that were selling Starving Student cards noticed something real after all.

So we did the first 5 of the tempo up the Provo Canyon (from about Orem Center street to about  Bridal Veil) in 31:03 (1:10:14 at the turnaround). I had to tell Jeff my HR was 154-155 a few times, but he was pretty good at pacing otherwise. It did help that he had his HRM on as well. It felt hard.

Then we turned around, and discovered that for my HR to hit 152 we needed to go 5:36-5:40 pace on the downhill. So we did. This was for some reason harder than maintaining the same HR uphill. What is interesting is that both Jeff and I felt the same way about the effort. Next 5 miles in 28:04.

Then it was time for Jeff to run fast. Yes, I know, he had just run 5 miles at 5:37 average with 15 on the odometer, and I am saying it was time for him to run fast. But he has progressed a lot in the last two years and 5:37 down Provo Canyon in a long run is not fast for him any more. So he took off and averaged 5:20 pace for the last 5. I was starting to feel the fuel issues and all I could manage was 6:00 pace. I could tell in particular during the turns - had a hard time accelerating when I lost the momentum. Legs were feeling shaky. So normal pace was a bit faster than 6:00, but I was losing more than normal on the turns. HR was often at 151 and I had to focus to bring it up to 152. However, in the last mile I was able to focus and bring it to as high as 160 in the last quarter. Last mile was 5:51.

So I ended up with 2:08:17 for 20 miles, 6:24.85 average, last 15 in 1:29:06, 5:56.4 average. I was happy to average sub-6:00 for 15 with the Provo Canyon uphill. Last 10 in 58:03, 5:48.3 average. Was happy about that as well - three weeks ago I could not break 1 hour on the same stretch even though I did not tempo for 5 miles uphill prior.

P.M. 1.5 with Julia in 14:00. Benjamin and Jenny ran 2 miles ahead of us in 17:16. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:12. Wore Crocs.

Saucony Type A Miles: 20.00Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Comments
From Jeff L on Sun, Sep 06, 2009 at 11:39:39 from 97.117.10.107

Hey Sasha. I'm amazed at how fast you and Jeff run for such long runs. You guys passed me coming down the canyon and I decided I would try and stick with you for as long as possible. I lasted about a mile, but it ended up being the fastest mile I ran. I would love any suggestions/feedback you have to help me develop some more speed for the marathon. Is it just a matter of continuing to put the mileage in and the speed eventually comes? Thanks.

From Brooke13 on Mon, Sep 07, 2009 at 21:44:55 from 128.36.151.116

Hi Sasha,

That is a fantastic run! Provo Canyon sounds like a beautiful place to run. I have been going out and running about 5 days a week without doing any track workouts or stuff. I have been feeling great and definitely been feeling a lot faster! Thanks for your advice on dropping the track workouts because although I do miss them, just running for long distances has made a definite increase in my speed.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Sep 07, 2009 at 22:28:54 from 192.168.1.1

Jeff:

Sorry about not talking to you. The pace was too fast for me to introduce myself.

When I saw you as we were headed up (I did not know who you were) I said to myself this guy has a smooth form and has some potential (under 2:40 or maybe even under 2:30). And you were able to demonstrate it by running a mile in 5:36 in the middle of an 18 miler on a whim.

My thoughts are you need to keep building your mileage and do it in a way that does not result in injuries. I believe in getting up to 60-70 miles a week fairly quickly, and then holding it for a year or two until your times stop improving. Then up it to 90 and beyond if you have time and interest.

One way to cheat in the injury department is to eat a 100% clean diet without lapses and to have a strict bedtime curfew. And, of course, nap whenever you have a chance.

If you are ever running in Provo, send me a message if you want to join us.

Brooke - very good progress. Keep it up. See if you can get into a race to test your improvements. Maybe even a collegiate cross-country race if you cannot find a good road race.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.390.001.150.0012.54

A.M. 10.04 around Grandview with Jeff in 1:14:49 - grass, barefoot. Benjamin ran the first 2 miles with us in 16:48. After that we did not speed up by much until maybe around 7 miles into the run. Then we ran the last 3 laps (total of 1.158) fast. I told Jeff 2:20 - 2:15 - 2:10. He took me through the first lap in 2:07 instead. Then 2:09, and then he sped up to 1:59 for the last one, but I did not go with him because I did not want to visit the red zone and ran that lap in 2:06. Pace conversion:  2:09 - 5:34, 2:07 - 5:29, 2:06 - 5:26, 1:59 - 5:08. So I averaged 5:29.7 in the last 3 laps.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:22. Julia ran the last 1.5 with us in 13:28. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:46.

Bare Feet Miles: 10.04Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.004.000.0014.50

A.M. 4x1 mile with Jeff. Wore racing flats. Ran a warmup a little over 3 miles. Then did the repeats on the mile stretch between 1 and 2 of the FRB 5 Miler. The target was 5:20. For Jeff, last half of the last repeat hard so he would get a bit of a workout.

So we did it like this: 5:18.5 (the watch said 5:18.9, but it was dark and I stopped it a bit late, max HR 161) - 5:17.6 (Max HR 163) - 5:17.4 (165) - 5:17.8 (168). The recovery was a very slow 200 meter jog. There was a VPB after the first one, which unintentionally increased the recovery time, but what can you do?

Jeff sped up on the last one half way through and closed with 72 and 67 quarters finishing the repeat in 4:57.

My feet fussed a bit in their usual spots. The left one in the heel  and the right one in the metatarsal area. Not enough to cancel the workout, but I could tell the fuss was making the form sub-optimal. Although obviously not too bad since I could hit sub-5:20 miles 4 times with a short recovery and without a red zone visit. Or, we should say, not worse than usual.  I have been suspecting that I've had this fuss all along, and just got used to dealing with it by running sub-optimally.

Finished the run in around 1:10:50 (total of 10 miles). Then took Benjamin to Grandview and we ran 2 miles on grass (I ran barefoot, Benjamin wore Crocs) in 16:53.

P.M. Ran barefoot at Grandview. 2 with Jenny in 19:14. Julia ran 1.53 with us in 14:44. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:18.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.70Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.20
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.140.000.400.0012.54

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Benjamin at Grandview. Benjamin ran the first 2 miles with us in 16:36. Then we gradually sped up. Jeff ran home after 16 laps (17 for him due to my bathroom stop). I did 26 laps (10.04 miles) in 1:13:59. Ran the last lap and a little bit before it quicker. Last lap was 2:11- 5:39 pace.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in Crocs in 5:00. 2 with Jenny at Grandview in 18:01. Julia ran the first 1.53 with us in 14:09.

Bare Feet Miles: 12.04Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 0.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.67Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.17
Comments
From Burt on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 13:58:29 from 68.76.197.194

What? You run in Crocs?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 15:25:39 from 192.168.1.1

Yes, $5 pair of Crocs from Walmart makes a great running shoe. About 500 miles to the first hole for my weight and training pace.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.805.200.000.0012.00

A.M. Tempo run with Jeff. Wore racing flats. The warm-up was sluggish as usual - felt reluctant to run 8:00 although we eventually got up to that pace. The foot fussed a bit, I considered not running the tempo for a moment. But then figured the minus of losing the fitness was greater than the plus of giving the foot additional rest. It was not any worse off than it was at the start of the 15 mile tempo on Saturday, and I was able to get to the end of a hilly course 15 in 1:29 at 5:56 average. So I figured if I was OK after a hard 15 at the end of 20 it would be OK for 5 at the same pace in the middle of 10.

The plan was to maintain my HR as close to 152 as possible and see what pace that would produce. Jeff predicted that we will be a little bit under 29:00. He ended up being dead right. Our final time was 28:54.1.

I made sure to wet the contacts of the HRM to avoid malfunction. An error as little as 5 bpm would render the device useless. In fact any error would render it useless. Fortunately, HRMs tend to err either a lot or not at all.

The first mile was sluggish. We opened with a quarter in a glorious 94. Then sped up to a normal pace - 87, then fell asleep (90), and kept on sleeping until the 1400 meter mark, and then all of a sudden woke up and sped up to 5:20. Needless to say with this kind of pacing, and with it being the first mile I completely ignored the HR for the purpose of deciding if the pace was too fast or too slow. HR was slowly climbing, but was still below 145 until the surge. First mile was 5:58.

I figured I would not be maintaining 5:20 or even 5:30 at the HR of 152, but decided to just keep going for a bit without fuss to let the HR climb to the target. After a quarter in 83 HR was 154, so I alerted Jeff accordingly. Interestingly enough I was able to run 84-85 quarters to the end of the second mile without sending more alerts. Our second mile was 5:38.

Even though my HRM has the alert option, we still use verbal alerts. It would be very annoying if the HRM started to malfunction half way through. Or perhaps if it got a little warmer and the HR range would need to be adjusted. Or if for some reason we decided half way through that the target HR was wrong.

It would be nice if the HRMs had a lock/unlock low HR button and lock/unlock high HR button for alerts. You look at it, see a certain HR, decide you do not want to be below or above it, and lock it with one button press! Then the HRM bugs out or it gets hot, or you decide you want to work a bit harder, and you do not want to be beeped at, so you unlock it.  With no dumb "Are you sure?" confirmation screens! Some of those gadgets, like Garmin 305, have a delusion of grandeur. They think the information they are collecting is so important that we can absolutely not train without it. So when losing a signal, for example, it of course needs to flash a huge error message screen that covers everything else until you confirm that you've noticed it!

Things settled down by the third mile. I used the following alert rule. 151 - pull alongside Jeff and push the pace a bit. This did not happen often. 153 - no fuss. 154 - see if it is going to drop to 153 or rise to 155. If stable for too long, verbal alert. 155 - immediate verbal alert. This is one reason I would like to have an HRM with an open development platform. With a development kit I could program it to do the lock/unlock magic as well as the fuzzy alerts myself.

With that our third mile was 5:44, and the fourth 5:45. At the end of the fourth mile the HRM did a trick. I noticed that HR fairly quickly climbed from 152 to 157 with no increase in perceived effort or pace. Then it quickly dropped to 152. I did not issue alerts figuring either the HRM was probably malfunctioning for a second, or possibly we hit a packet of warm air, or something weird like that.

No alerts on the uphill quarter even though HR hit 155. But once we were done and Jeff tried to maintain the effort and I saw HR staying at 155 I gave an alert. So the rest of the last mile was at 152, and the time was 5:49.

The right foot fussed during the tempo and I could tell it was interfering with the economy. It was difficult to relax, although not unbearably difficult. I'll do most of my miles before TOU on grass with hopes of a more complete healing. But I am not getting my hopes too high. I feel confident that in good conditions I can get to 15 in 1:25 or faster, but what is going to happen after that I have no clue.

Cooled down to 10, then took Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia to Grandview. Jenny and Benjamin ran ahead, I stayed with Julia. She took me to 1.53 in 14:14, then I picked it up and chased down the older kids. Passed Jenny, went after Benjamin. The chase lap was 2:18 (5:57 pace), but I caught Benjamin a little bit before the end, so the actual fast pace was a bit faster. They know better than to try to run away from Dad when they are in trouble!  Finished 2 with Benjamin in 17:14. Jenny finished 2 in 17:41.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.70Nap Time: 1.30Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.260.000.000.0012.26

A.M. Ran to 2.04 to Grandview in Crocs, then 6.18 barefoot on grass, and 2.04 back. Total of 10.26 in 1:16:59. Jeff saw me from a distance and at first did not recognize my form. I take that as a compliment. Picked it up a bit in the last 1.5 in Crocs and ran the last mile in 6:34. The foot almost did not fuss.

P.M. Took the kids to Grandview. Ran 2 miles with Jenny in 17:41. Julia ran 1.53 in 14:01. Benjamin ran 2 in 16:33.

Bare Feet Miles: 8.18Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 4.08
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.793.081.150.0010.02

A.M. Green grass. Remembering a popular Russian song from the time I was a teenager about the astronauts that dream of green grass by their house instead of the rumbling noise of the space center or the icy cold of the blue colors of the outer space.

10.04 miles on grass today.  Barefoot as usual. 26 laps around Grandview. Some of it with Jeff. Ran a tempo for 11 laps (4.248).  First 8 laps (3.089) kept HR under control around 152. Except this time I did not have to send verbal alerts to Jeff at all. And a few times I did have to pull alongside to push the pace when HR dropped to 149. First 8 laps in 18:13 - 5:53.8 average.

Then I told Jeff I wanted to pick it up. He asked how much. I said 2:12 per lap. I really wanted  2:10, but Jeff is an overachiever so you have to tell him a bit slower. We did the last 3 laps in 6:27 (2:10 - 2:10 - 2:07), 5:34 average, and that felt good. HR was 157-158 at 2:10 (5:36 pace), and 161 at 2:07 (5:29). The good news is that it did not feel unbearable - I felt like if I were in a race I would have a while at that effort before getting dropped, or even might not get dropped at all.

Total time for 11 laps was 24:40, 5:48 average. Total time for 26 laps (10.04) was 1:07:21. I was happy that I was able to get this time without working too hard. It was only 6 seconds slower than a couple of weeks ago but it took a whole lot less effort. I was really enjoying it for the first 8 laps,and then it was comfortably hard when we picked it up.

P.M. Sarah and I went to the temple while Kimia (Jeff's wife) watched our kids. They did their runs on the trail under Benjamin's supervision. Benjamin ran 2 in 16:45. Jenny ran 2 around 18:00. Julia got confused and ended up with only 0.4. Joseph ran 0.5 in 5:11.

Bare Feet Miles: 10.04
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.420.001.930.0013.35

A.M. 21 laps around Grandview barefoot with Jeff in 57:11. The distance is 8.11. Last 5 laps (1.93) at a tempo pace in 11:13 (5:48.55 average). HR was a little high (156, last lap 164 at 5:31 pace). Felt sluggish. But it was warm, and it is Monday, and I am usually a bit sluggish on Mondays.

Then drove Zhu to Computune to fix the breaks. Zhu is a 93 Ford Escort Wagon. Today I realized that it was old enough to drive and go out on dates. In two years it will be old enough to vote. I also realized that all of our cars are now teenagers.

Ran back with Benjamin from Computune.Timed 2.25 miles in 17:52, but we did make a detour of about 0.25 to buy Benjamin a watch at Big Lots.

P.M. Ran with Jenny and Julia to fetch Zhu from Computune. 2.25 in 20:43. It was raining. Then later 0.5 with  Joseph in 5:08. It was still raining and it was dark. He did not seem to mind. Our kids actually think it is fun to run in bad weather.

Bare Feet Miles: 8.11Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 5.25
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00