Breaking the Wall

Orem 6th Ward Fun Run

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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
3469.49265.97282.7661.604079.82
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 96.30Green Crocs 5 Miles: 2043.60Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 206.10Green Crocs 6 Miles: 1798.25Saucony Type A Miles: 7.00Green Crocs 7 Miles: 45.60
Night Sleep Time: 2420.25Nap Time: 74.00Total Sleep Time: 2494.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.300.000.000.0012.30

A.M. Total of 12.3. Most with the kids. Benjamin did 7.3. We ran a little bit with James Tracy, a BYU steeplechaser. We had to catch him. When we I said - there is a 90% chance that you have served an LDS mission. I was basing my estimate on my perception of the Utah County demographic and on his running speed and form. Do not ask me how that works, but over the years running in Utah County to my memory I've never encountered a young man over 21 with good running form moving at a good pace that had not served an LDS mission, and I made sure to ask everybody who I had a chance to talk to for long enough. Although Utah County has a large number of return missionaries, by far not every young man 21 and older had served one. Just among those whose parents are active in the Church the rate is only around 40%. But for one reason or another I only find return missionaries among the ones that are running and can keep up with me.

Turned out he had served a mission - in San Antonio, TX speaking English and Spanish, 2009 to 2011. Then I asked him if he had found his new companion without delay. Sure enough he had - got married last November. November is a good month to get married - that is when Sarah and I did. In fact, I do not think there is a bad month to get married - the best one is always the current or the soonest you can arrange it, I think, if you are not married yet.

 Jenny and Julia did 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Jake K on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 20:02:35 from 67.177.11.154

Man, good thing you haven't been around the days that Fritz and I come down to run in Utah county, or your streak would end! :-)

From Rob Murphy on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 20:38:08 from 24.10.249.165

When I was 21 I was serving my country in the U.S. Army. I attribute my speed and good running form to the fear of a Drill Sergeant putting his boot up my posterior.

I should say what precious little remains of my speed.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 21:34:39 from 69.28.149.29

Jake - I am counting only meeting the people I did not know before or that did not come here for a race. Actually, you and Fritz visiting the Utah County for a training run is more of an anomaly possibly introduced by the blog changing the patterns of "deer traffic". So you are foreign deer that has been introduced through an artificial deer mingling program. Due to the small size of this population so far I have been able to identify the visiting deer and separate it from the local. The law I have observed still holds - the male deer native to the Utah County 21 years and older is a return missionary.

Speaking of identifying deer, one time I identified Joe Bendowski by his footprints on the snow.

From Jake K on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 21:40:32 from 67.177.11.154

Well I do thank you very much for creating such an excellent deer migration system :-)

From Fritz on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 22:00:28 from 67.177.4.64

Nobody said I had good form so Jake might still be one of the few anomalies created by this artificial deer mingling program.

What's odd is that many of my friends served missions and they are really slow.

From Tara on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 22:35:27 from 75.169.140.87

Huh. Not sure what to say...but nice running with your family today, Sasha! That always inspires me.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Usual run with the kids. It was cold. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Total of 12 for me.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
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. It keeps getting colder and colder. 2F at the start of the run today. Ran with the kids as usual. There is a Russian saying - "in this weather a good dog owner will not take his dog out for a walk". So I say that, in Russian for full effect, adding that we are taking the kids out. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Total of 12 for me.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From notoldjustolder on Fri, Jan 04, 2013 at 20:19:16 from 184.167.133.14

2 degrees? Gloopee Shto lee?? Are U Crazy?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Usual run with the kids. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.400.000.600.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Most with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny did not run - had a sore throat,  Julia ran 2 - she also got a sore throat, but hers got better, but we still decided she should run only 2 as a precaution, Joseph did 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Benjamin and I did a couple of pickups.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
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 of rest. Went to church. Sarah stayed home with Matthew, then when I returned with the kids she went to the Sacrament meeting of another ward. The kids were very good. Our schedule changed to 9:00 AM start, and I had a ward council meeting at 7:30 AM, but when I got home at 8:35 or so they were all almost ready, and by a miracle we made it to church on time.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Rob joined us today and ran 4 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, and William 0.5.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran with the kids. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

P.M. With the help of my friend Brock I bought a 4x4 ATV with a snow plow for $1200. I got tired of getting stuck in the snow on the runs and decided to do something about it. Otherwise the purchase is quite a bit out of character for me. I do like to do any of the wild man things such as camping, fishing, hunting, water skiing, shooting, rock/mountain climbing, etc. I had never been on an ATV before even as a passenger and overall have tried to stay away from them as far as I could. So Brock had to teach me how to drive it. I asked him if there was a learning curve. He said at first that there was not if all I wanted to do was plow snow. After watching my first attempts he adjusted that with "Some have more of a learning curve than others".

When I got on the beast my first reaction was - where is the seat belt, and where is the turning signal? I quickly realized that ATVs do not have such safety features, and that gave me some understanding why some car drivers do not wear a seat belt and do not use their turn signal.

Finally I got used to the beast enough to try plowing some snow with Brock's supervision. It was a good experience. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Jake K on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 12:53:32 from 67.177.11.154

That is so awesome, Sasha. You are MVP of the winter, no question about it. Instead of complaining about the running routes being covered in snow, just plow them yourself. I love it! :-)

Just when you think you've heard all the things runners do, you raise the bar!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.500.000.0012.00

A.M. My last pair of Crocs made it to 2147 miles before the strap broke. So I put on a new pair today. Ran total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 0.5.

P.M. Plowed snow. The ATV died and would not start in the middle. I called Brock for support, which ended up being more of an emotional that technical support because it is difficult to troubleshot a vehicle not starting without being there. However, knowing what not to worry about helped me start it eventually and it all ended well. I felt a sense of accomplishment in having subjected a wild man thing such as a 4-wheeler and having done with it something useful. If anything, learning something new at an older age protects you from Alzheimer's disease.  

Also got another gadget, this one is also out of character somewhat but not as much. It is a GPS/Footpod watch. I generally despise common market devices that tell you how far you've gone and how fast you are running because their accuracy is frequently worse than my own sense of pace. So when I am wearing I fluctuate between being frustrated when the numbers are obviously wrong and wondering if they are really correct when they are reasonable. However, this one is different. It is a MotoACTV (8 GB variant). For the average user it appears no different than a multitude of Garmin-like watches. However, for someone with technical skill there is a world of difference. MotoACTV has an ARM v7 processor with Android and an easy way to replace the boot image. So I put it in the Fastboot mode, replaced the boot image with a custom one I found already prepared by a hacker that had ADB daemon, connected to it with ADB, installed the HoneyComb launcher, removed the default one, installed a couple of my own Android apps to see how they would behave, loaded strace, and started researching the running processes. My goal is to write an app that would use GPS, foot pod, and HRM at the same time along with some knowledge about the runner. E.g if GPS says he was going 12:00 mile, but his HR, his leg turnover, and his ground contact time are following the pattern of 8:00 mile, adjust or even throw away the GPS data and just assume that he was going 8:00 for that period. Or if the GPS pace is fluctuating, but the ground contact time, the leg turnover and the HR are steady, do not trust the GPS. I am wondering if we can throw away the GPS altogether assuming we can get good data on leg turnover and ground contact time. Will have to play with it.

The good news is that once it is ready, the app will run on any Android with ANT+. 

 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Scott Sandberg on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 13:39:49 from 71.219.115.180

I have a Motoactv too that I have rooted and put HoneyComb on it. If you do write that app for it could you post a link to it on here? It sounds interesting.

From jeffmc on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 16:18:32 from 65.110.254.156

I have actually had some similar thoughts to the ones you posted. In addition to what you mentioned, I have thought about how the use of accelerometers attached to the torso might increase accuracy. The key with that would be cost as multi-axial accelerometers can get rather pricey.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 07:47:51 from 67.222.225.187

Scott:

I have something for you to try. Go to https://github.com/spachev/fast_running_friend/wiki for instructions.

From Rob on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 07:56:27 from 206.71.84.68

Bad news is it's Android. I'm not a programmer, but I really dislike Android.

I'm holding out for this. http://leikr.com/devices/

From Rob on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 08:22:15 from 206.71.84.68

Sasha, I think you should contact those guys at Leikr, with some of your ideas. Sounds like they are small enough that they would love input and advice.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 10:20:09 from 67.222.225.187

Rob:

I took a look at Leikr. Hardware-wise it has everything I need, with Android it should work fine (hopefully they do not lock it), however the retail price tag of around $500 puts it out of range of what I would like to have.

My ideas are not commercially viable as they target a different type of runner - the one that finishes in the top 1% or about. In order to monetize the operation whoever makes something like this has to do stupid things like automatic workout upload to their website with fancy graphs that show not much more than a pattern GPS elevation errors, interactive maps, music, pretend-to-know-what-he-is-doing "coach", try to sit on all chairs at once by supporting swimming and biking, etc. I do not care about that. I want accurate distance with some honest feedback on how accurate it was, accurate HR with the same type of feedback, stride rate, ground contact time, maybe some form analysis if we can get that from footpod. Maybe even some limited EKG analysis once the HRMs can do it. Maybe as we progress, have the device tell you reliably - I think you are about to overtrain, I think if you were to race a half today on this course it would be 1:13, or tell you after the first mile of the marathon - your fitness today is for 2:37 on this course, let me pace you, and be right. Yes, and I want something I can take with me on a run that does not crash!

So I am quite happy doing my own thing with a rooted MotoACTV at least for now.

From Rob on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 11:06:36 from 206.71.84.68

I thought I read somewhere that it would be $300. I don't think anyone will buy it for $500.

I think your ideas are great, and commercial, go with the Steve Job's philosophy. Don't build something people want, build something people don't even know they want yet.

Seriously, and don't take this the wrong way, if you would have started FastRunningblog with that philosophy (years before facebook, or twitter, or any of the other fitness websites) instead of just making it for the .1% you'd be a multi-millionaire right now. I know that's not what you want, but you have the ideas to do it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Plowed snow before the run. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

P.M. Plowed snow again. Feeling like the ATV was a good investment. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.000.000.0015.00

A.M. Total of 15. Chad joined me. We ran most of it with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Met some runners on the trail and they joined us. Their names were Chad, Caleb, and Steve. Caleb was converted to the true religion immediately and join the blog after he got home from the run.

It was good to run on the self-plowed trail. I felt a sense of accomplishment. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00
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 of rest. Went to church. Sarah stayed home with Matthew, but later decided to come to Relief Society and bring him with her. So I ended up with him during the Elder's Quorum. He was crying. I took him out in the hallway, and he was loud enough for Jenny and her Young Women's class to here him. Jenny was not expecting to hear Matthew, but she recognized him nevertheless and said to her class - this sounds just like my little brother, but he should not be here.  Well, it turned out out that he was nevertheless. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Ran with the kids and Rob, then 1 mile with Sarah. Total of 13. Benjamin did 6 (recovering from the stomach flu), Jenny 2 ( same problem), Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Matthew broke 8 lbs in weight reaching his weight goal. We now have a baby scale. I weigh him several times a day. The girls decided to call him Mo-Mo. I think they picked a good nickname. I do not mind at all if he has Mo Farah's speed when he grows up.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. 12.5 total. Benjamin did 8, Rob 4, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Total of 13. Did 8 with Benjamin and Caleb, then ran with the other kids. Jenny and Julia did 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Then did a mile with Sarah

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.001.500.0014.00

A.M. 13.5 total. 8 with Benjamin. Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 3. Jacob 1. William 0.5. I did some pickups with Benjamin, and ran the last mile hard as well. It is actually a bit more than a mile, hilly, snow covered in most parts (I could only remove so much with my snow plow), and has a 180 turn in the middle. With a pretty hard effort that I would expect to give me something around 5:20-5:30 on a good road without the hills I got 6:09.

P.M. 0.5 with Sarah. She ran 4:57 on the first part of the mile that I earlier ran fast. My split for that part was 3:01. She is starting to slowly work her way into shape after delivering Matthew. The idea is this - we run for as long as we can at the pace 10:00 or faster. Even if it is only half a mile. No more plodding at 12:00 pace. My theory from observing various runners throughout the years is that if you can run 10:00 or faster you should work on increasing the distance up until you can run 8-12 miles at once comfortably on a daily basis, and only then introduce speed work. But if you cannot, you should increase the pace rather than the distance. It is better to run 10:00 pace with frequent walking breaks than to run 12:00 continuously. The basic idea that very slow running is almost walking, and there are a lot of overweight and otherwise competitively unfit people that walk long distances every day but would not be able to run sub-10:00 pace even for half a mile to save their life.

You could, of course, argue that  we might be confusing cause and effect here - some people just cannot run sub-10:00 pace no matter what they do, and that is why they walk or run at near walking pace, while others are more naturally fit and choose sub-10:00 pace from the very beginning. This argument does have some merit, but I would like to forget about it and approach the matter like this - get yourself out of the dead slower than 10:00 per mile zone immediately and to the greatest amount that your body will let you and see if that lifts you out of the mire. The longer your head is above the water, the more oxygen you can get, the higher your chances of not drowning.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church with the whole family. Took a nap in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.500.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. 8 with Benjamin, then ran with the other kids. Jenny and Julia did 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. William was throwing up and did not run. 1 mile with Sarah. She got 4:52 for the first half, then walked/jogged  the second half with the 11:14 total.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 2.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 2.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran with the kids. Did 8 with Benjamin. Jenny and Julia did 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Then added a mile with Sarah. Total distance was 12 miles. Tested the Fast Running Friend . My GPS correction algorithm is very naive - maintain a window of 8 most recent points sampling 2 times a second. For each new point, calculate the average coordinates of the first 4 points and the the second 4 points. Calculate the distance between the two average points, divide the resulting distance by 4 and add it to the total. That was the first thing I thought of that I could code really fast that had some promise of defense against mild GPS randomness.. No attempt is made to judge the validity of individual points which is my next project. No attempt is made to deal with the lost GPS signal. But anyway aside from the bug that lost some distance (about 0.04 miles) at the start due to the GPS signal acquisition delay, and the algorithm deficiency in handling a 180 turn (lost about 0.01 miles) all of my marks were spot on. That is encouraging.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Jason D on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 20:29:20 from 24.1.80.94

I find the project quite intriguing, Sasha. I know nothing about programming, but I think the current offerings of training watches could use some work, even from my limited knowledge and use of these devices over two years. We become so tied to the watch and dismiss other, more accurate measures as you note in the link above. I'm interested to see how this develops.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.001.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Did a mile with Sarah, actually the distance is a little more than a mile, she did it in 10:00, good progress for her. Tested the Fast Running Friend. Found a bug - the back button should be deactivated when the timer is running to avoid accidentally terminating the timer.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Today was the record of slippage on the road. After running with the little kids (Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1), I decided to wait to run with Benjamin and Sarah until later. Working from home permits such luxury. Even then, Benjamin and I took 1:11:06 to run 8 miles. The Fast Running Friend had its first test under cloudy skies and the naivety of its algorithm showed. Near the end of the first mile it spuriously added 0.08 to the distance while the immediate pace went crazy. Then it drifted another extra 0.04 miles over the next 3. On the way back it behaved. Bugs discovered:

 

  • Pausing the timer should not turn off the GPS signal because it takes some time to regain it when the timer is resumed.
  • When the time is paused, the back button should be disabled. Enable it only if the timer has been reset.
  • 00:13:14 pm for the time of day meaning 12:13:14 pm is wrong. Surprise from Java Calendar class.

To do list on the features for this week:

 

  •  Add battery usage information. I want to have a decent idea of how much longer I have left before I run out of battery and not take it to time something critical if I do not have enough.
  • Fix the GPS algorithm to reject the points that create an outlier in direction and speed at the same time. Make an exception for reasonable changes, e.g 180 turn, sudden turn on a windy road, etc. Make an exception for surges. But the idea is that it is very unlikely for a runner to change the direction and speed simultaneously which would happen if you had normal GPS data occasionally disrupted by an error.
  • Deal with lost GPS signal gracefully

For next week:

  • Add time of day synchronization via GPS so it would show correct time of day without the user having to set it.
  • Save the GPS data capture into a file 
  • Fix WiFi config and allow the user to upload the courses they run directly to Fast Running Blog Course Tool.

 

 

 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Got a stomach bug. As an interesting coincidence I happened to read Pres. Bensons talk on missionary work from the 1974 General Conference shortly after getting it. This helped me feel thankful for my afflictions. The missionaries in the early days of the Church would have gladly traded a few months of my stomach bug for their illnesses and other forms of adversity.

Dragged myself through 12.5 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 1, Julia and Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5, Sarah 1. At the end of everything I was running with Benjamin and he heard lots of groans. It was just easier to deal with the pain if I groaned. Have not eaten anything today except an apple, and I am still not hungry, although I am feeling weak.

Coded up the battery usage feature in the Fast Running Friend, made version 1.1 release, and got to test it. Some observations:

  • Battery life of Fast Running Friend on MotoACTV with GPS and Bluetooth on is around 2:30 h. So I would have to do some tricks to make it usable for racing a marathon.
  • When the battery drops to 5% the GPS signal first becomes low quality (I got 1:28 per mile pace at the end)  and then the GPS is shut off by somebody outside of the application control (kernel or firmware, I imagine). With the GPS off the battery life is much longer, and it can go at 5% for some time.
  • The current Fast Running Friend distance algorithm needs fixing to deal with a cloudy day and other bogus GPS data. I do need to gather the data to a file to be able to come up with a good one, though, and I really did not want to do it in Java. So I learned how to use JNI with Android build, and started writing a C implementation of periodically flushing my circular GPS data buffer into a file. 
  • I am very pleased that aside from GPS signal and battery issues the Fast Running Friend has been reliable so far. I have tried a few GPS apps on Android before, and every single one of them ended up freezing my phone after about 4-5 miles. I have not debugged but I have an idea why. My phone is a low-end, the cheapest Android I could find with only 160 MB RAM. An app that is not careful with memory allocation will quickly run it out of memory and bring the whole thing to a grinding halt, and it is easy to be sloppy with memory allocation in Java when storing large amounts of data. Well, there is no such thing as freeing memory in Java except running the garbage collector, and it tempts me to use profanity. MotoACTV has 256 MB RAM, so a little better, but still you need to be careful, you cannot just run any app off the shelf and expect good results.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Scott Sandberg on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 18:21:41 from 71.219.119.13

Sasha: I got a chance to try out your app today during my speed workout on the track and it ended up being only .06 different after 8 miles with my friend's Suunto watch. I noticed 2 things during it though: The pace changed every second so it would be nice to have an average pace option, and when I exited the app it kept the GPS on. I don't know if that was something that I did but I couldn't figure out how to turn the GPS off after it. It looks good so far though! I also was running it in the background while using a different stopwatch app so I could record splits during the run, and it didn't slow the watch down at all.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 20:25:08 from 67.222.225.187

Scott - thanks for trying it out! The GPS not turning off bug has been fixed in version 1.1 which I released this morning. Go ahead and upgrade, the link on the Github page points to the latest version.

Immediate pace is still bogus, just like in any GPS. I will work on fixing that next week. But I need to gather some data first to come up with a good algorithm.

I am glad to hear it performed reasonably on the track as the current algorithm is targeted towards a course that is mostly straight. Do you know what distance you actually ran on the track (from counting laps)? Also, before you started it, did you use the Music button to find the GPS signal?

Split recording is on the TODO list, but not next week - got to make the distance and the immediate pace accurate first when the signal is present and good, and a good guess when it is not.

You appear to be technically minded. Do you program? If not would you be interested in learning? If yes, the Fast Running Friend can be a great opportunity. Not only will you have something that can help you in your running, but participating in an open source project is a fairly sure guarantee of a job that feeds a family quite well in a near future and for a long time.

From Scott Sandberg on Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 00:12:03 from 71.219.119.13

I ran 16 laps on the track but because I had the other stopwatch running I didn't check my mileage until the end of the run. I used the volume down button to start searching for the GPS signal. I have actually looked into programming, but the furthest I've got is creating a HelloWorld program. I would be very interested in learning though, being able to create apps has always sounded interesting to me!

From Rob on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 21:16:59 from 64.79.144.10

That's great and all, but when is Fastrunningblog app version 1.0 coming out? I guarantee every member would pay at least $5 for that.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 05:07:52 from 67.222.225.187

There is version 1.1 already.

From Rob on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 08:33:56 from 72.254.21.233

Not that app, a Smart Phone app that I can use to update my fastrunningblog.com info.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

A.M. Took Benjamin and Joseph to a chess tournament in West Jordan. Benjamin reaped the fruit of his labors winning all 5 games and the top prize along with it in the Junior High division. Joseph on the other hand got a lesson in what chess tournaments are good at teaching - humility. His first game was a draw, he got another point in his second because his opponent did not show up, and he lost the last three. He is now more motivated to practice.

P.M. 8 miles total, all with Benjamin. Sarah did 1, Joseph did 2, Jacob and Jenny ran 1 in the AM, Julia was sick, William did 0.5. I was sick as well with the stomach bug (norovirus?) and did not feel good for the entire run. The highlight of the run was throwing up, it made me feel quite a bit better for the last 2 miles, although still not 100% of course. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a Stake Conference.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Total of 14. Benjamin did 8, Jenny rested (recovering from stomach flu), Julia did 1, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, Sarah 1.5, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Regular 12 mile run. 8 with Benjamin, more with the little kids. Jenny did 1, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

A.M. Today was one adventure run. It snowed, so I decided to plow. The ATV was working well, and my confidence in the vehicle and my ability to drive it increased. Additionally yesterday the portion of the trail that I normally do not plow because others normally plow it did not get plowed in time. So I figured I'd plow all of it. Everything went well for 3.25 miles. Then it stalled. I tried to get it to start for a few minutes, then I was out of tricks, and I ran home. At least I ran on a plowed trail. Got home, ran with the kids. Jacob did 1, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jenny 2. Then I called Brock, and Benjamin and I ran together and met him. Brock could not get it to start either, and with some adventures we loaded the ATV onto Brock's truck and he took it home to repair it. Benjamin ended up with 9 miles for the day, and I ended up with 11.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 11.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

P.M. 0.5 with Sarah. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.700.000.800.0012.50

A.M. Ran with the kids, and Rob. Rob did 4, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, Jenny 2, Julia 3, William 0.5, Benjamin 8. I did a post-VPB pickup for 0.8 miles at 5:21 pace down the canyon. Felt strong. Would have been faster if the road was completely dry, it was OK, but I had to hold back in some spots for safety reasons.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.250.002.000.0015.25

A.M. Finished the Fast Running Friend data collection feature that allows me to gather and analyze the GPS data from it. Tried it out. During the 1 mile with Jacob and Julia it crashed, of course. I neglected to release the JNI references after each flushing operation and it eventually overflowed the 512-entry reference table, plus I also had a bug that was flushing the data wrong. I ran 2 more with Julia, Jenny, and Joseph, and 1 more with Rob. Rob ended up with 4, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, Jenny 2, Julia 3.

Then I fixed the bugs, and tried again. During the 8 mile run with Benjamin and later on everything went well as far as timing is concerned, and the distance also was reported correctly. I did a tempo run for 2 miles down the Provo Canyon. Benjamin joined me for 1 mile. He would have joined me for 2, but his foot has been giving him trouble so we decided to be cautious. We went through the first mile in 5:27, then I did 5:33. Felt like I did not have the top gear. Not surprising - I have not been sleeping well in the last two weeks - Matthew is keeping us up. And with all the snow I have not done anything fast. So all in all I think 11:00 for 2 miles is a good starting point.

After that I ran 0.5 with William and 2.5 myself. Collected more GPS data, analyzed in the afternoon. Discovered a small bug that does not affect anything for the user, only my analysis. Will continue working on finding a good GPS algorithm.

Total of 15.25 miles. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.25
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. Went to church. It was a Fast Sunday. I recall the kids asking when they were younger why it was called Fast Sunday since we did not run on Sunday at all. We had a good lesson on the translation of the Book of Mormon in Sunday school.  I find my life to be quite more simple if I accept the origin of the Book of Mormon to be what Joseph Smith said it was. It solves so many problems that you have to deal with otherwise trying to explain how it got to us. Of course, that has certain issues as well - you have to believe that God is real, that you will have to be accountable for your life when you meet Him, you have to do some things in this life that you may not feel like doing at the time, e.g get 8 kids to church by 9 AM and be there for 3 hours every week, but you find that even those things turn our to be for your benefit long-term in a way that you possibly could not have thought of or imagined. And there are many things that are required that I would do anyway. I find that simplicity inspired, and it witnesses to be of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and everything that follows from that.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.002.000.0013.00

A.M. Ran with Rob - 4 miles. Jacob was the only non-Benjamin kid that was somewhat healthy enough to try running and he did a mile with difficulty. Everybody else was afflicted with a cough. I did 8 with Benjamin afterwards including a short tempo run, which went better than on Saturday. I still did not feel 100% fit, but I was able to do 5:28-5:29 to get 10:57 for 2 miles down the canyon. Benjamin ran the first mile with me. When I got home I ran a mile with Sarah. Total of 13 miles. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Even Benjamin started getting sick, so I had him cut the run down to 4 miles. Jenny did a mile. Everybody else rested. I ended up with a total of 12 miles.

Worked on the Fast Running Friend trying to come up with a good GPS correction algorithm. I tried several variants of bad point elimination using a simulator and plotting the resulting corrected path on the map. Naive approach of "if the angle is too big get rid of the point" kind of worked, but failed to eliminate a detour. This was a good educational experience as I learned a lot about what kind of data you get from a GPS.  Most of the time your position is wrong, but most of the time it is close enough to your route that it will not affect the total distance computed over an interval as short as 0.05 mile. However, there are minority nasty outlier points that take you on abrupt detours, and that is the main source of the annoying GPS watch distance inaccuracy. So my next approach is going to be this - break the route into samples, for each sample compute the mean and the standard deviation of the route bend angles, adjust the outlier points so their angle is within the standard deviation, and recompute the distance and pace. I have hopes for this algorithm. If not, I'll think of something else.

Once I figure out how to correct it, things are going to be very good, I might consider Fast Running Friend to be a true friend indeed when doing speed workouts or racing.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Tara on Wed, Feb 06, 2013 at 13:53:29 from 75.169.141.135

That will be a nice tool to use. I'm excited to see the outcome.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.250.000.750.0012.00

A.M. Everybody still sick. Had to cut the mileage for some, and others had to rest. Benjamin did 3, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob did 0.5, William 0.3. I ran total of 12. Did a pickup for 0.75 in 4:08 (5:30 pace) and could feel the effects of the cough I had picked up as well. Rob ran 5 miles. Sarah did 1.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. A hard day. Matthew got a cough and did not sleep. I got a cough too. So I decided to cut the mileage a bit to survive. Ran total of 10. Benjamin did just 1 mile. William 0.3. Jacob, Joseph, Jenny, and Julia did 0.5. Worked on refining the Fast Running Friend GPS algorithm.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. Another rough day. In survival mode. Ran 10 miles. Benjamin did 2, Jenny and Julia 1, Joseph and Jacob 1 as well. William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.001.500.0010.50

A.M. Plowed snow. Then ran with Chad and the kids. We are still not 100%. So Jacob ran 1, Joseph 2, Benjamin 2, Jenny 2, and Julia 1. Chad and I did a pickup for 1.5 on a surface that started out being good enough for 5:40 pace, but then deteriorated to make 6:40 the best we could do. At first I felt like I was going to choke, but then my throat cleared out and I felt better. Our time for 1.5 was 9:19. 

P.M. 0.5 with Benjamin.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. We are still recovering from the sickness, but I ran 12 miles today. Benjamin did 3, Jenny 2, Julia 1, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Another day of recovering from the cough. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 4, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Finally found a good algorithm for GPS correction in the Fast Running Friend. It worked great in the profiler on my test case which was rather nasty. Started implementing it in the app itself.

 Total of 12 miles today again. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.250.0012.00

A.M. We are slowly recovering. I ran 12 again today. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 1, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a pickup for 0.25 and felt like I was choking in my mostly dry cough, if there is such a thing as choking in dry cough.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.500.0013.00

A.M. We are slowly recovering from the cough. I still have one - it is quite violent after I finish the run, but it is dry. I ran 12 miles this morning.  Benjamin did 6, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Did a pickup for 0.5 uphill in 2:51. Felt like I was going to choke from coughing as I went.

P.M. Finished the main coding of the Fast Running Friend new GPS algorithm and started testing it. I was too lazy to make a testing simulator with pre-loaded GPS data, so my development cycle was fix->build -> go for a jog -> fix ... At first I was getting some interesting results and found myself having traveled the distance to the sun in a matter of seconds. After bug fixes it worked better, correctly reported the distance and pace for 0.25 miles, but then bugged out around 0.3. I ended up doing about a mile of jogging during the testing cycle.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.100.400.000.0013.50

A.M. 12.5 miles total. This morning was the Fast Running Friend test/debug/fix morning. I ran some with the kids and some alone. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 3, Julia 1, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Once the bugs were fixed (it took 5 miles), the Fast Running Friend produced near perfect readings, just about as good as it gets for a GPS-only distance/pace estimator. During the last 4 miles with Benjamin it reported 3.99 miles for the distance that I believe to be 4 miles from my calibrated pace-based estimates, and the immediate pace (sampled over 0.08-0.15 mile segments) never contradicted my intuition. Then I dropped him off and went for 3 more. It reported 2.99 on my course, and again the reported immediate pace  never contradicted my intuitive estimate. I was quite impressed with how it noticed that I slowed down on the uphills and snow-covered parts, and sped up on the downhills.

P.M. Added a time of day sync with the GPS clock, as well as a separate debugging log to the Fast Running Friend, and ran another mile for the final pre-release test. Then made the official release. You can download it from the official Fast Running Friend site (see link on the left in my profile). 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.00
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 of rest. Went to church. It was Benjamin's 14th birthday, so I ordained him to the office of a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. The full-time missionaries spoke in the Sacrament meeting. Interestingly enough, both of them are from Northern California and both grew up on a farm. One comes from a family of 11 children. The other was a convert to the Church, his family joined when he was 12 years old. He told about how his father was an alcoholic and his parents were in the process of divorce when they started meeting with the missionaries. His father was quite stubborn but eventually decided he wanted to know for himself if the Book of Mormon was true. He prayed and received a strong positive answer. They joined the Church, he overcame his addition, and he and his wife are still together.

Then we had a great lesson in Sunday school on revelation, and a continuation of that of sorts in the Elder's Quorum - the topic was the Holy Ghost. The lesson manual mentions how President Lorenzo Snow and other missionaries were thrown off a boat during a storm in Hawaii in 1864 and when they found President Snow he was not breathing. They did what they knew how to do, and he was still not breathing. Then they had a prompting to do what we know as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which was successful. It was interesting to read their account of it - they did not know the word for the procedure and they just described it.

Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
Comments
From Mike Kirk on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 14:21:47 from 69.92.255.188

Happy Birthday to Benjamin! Grafton turns 14 today (Monday). I had no idea that they were one day different.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 14:27:22 from 69.28.149.29

Mike - nice to hear from you. Happy birthday to Grafton! How is your running?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.800.000.200.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. We are feeling better although not 100%. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 3, Julia 0.5, William 0.5, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Tested the Fast Running Friend again with perfect results both on the distance and immediate pace.

I am going to announce a "special offer". If you bring a MotoACTV or any Android-based GPS-capable device that you are willing to run with to my house I will install Fast Running Friend on it. If you bring your laptop, I will configure it so that it has the tools for me to do remote maintenance on your device. If Fast Running Friend bugs out on your device I will investigate and fix the problem. As insurance, if I brick your device and cannot repair it in time, I will buy it from you for a price you consider fair. All services are free of charge. The offer lasts until I am tired of people coming to my house. If you are interested, send me a private message to make the arrangements.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 3, Julia 1, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. We are slowly recovering. I did a little workout to test my health and see how much fitness I've lost. Did a mile up the canyon in 6:08, and after a little rest another mile back down in 5:34. It felt hard, both up and down. Fast Running Friend was perfect with one small exception. Coming out of the canyon it reported pace 5:53, and then 5:57 when the actual pace was around 5:45. Then immediately after it reported 5:18 when the actual pace was around 5:28. However that spot is set up very well for signal distortion with the trail squeezing through a narrow opening between two tall rocks. I have not yet analyzed the data, but I've seen a similar pattern in another test sample and I am suspecting the problem is that we pick up the signal with virtual delay - that is the signal keeps us on the trail, at least the points the Fast Running Friend considers legitimate are on the route, but they are shifted back. So the GPS driver in other words tells the Fast Running Friend that we are now where we were in reality one second ago. If that indeed is the problem, there is absolutely nothing we can do to correct for that short of making the sampling distance too long because in the absence of some other feedback we cannot tell if the runner legitimately slowed down by 10 seconds per mile and then sped back up or if he ran evenly. Such a change of pace is completely legitimate and the erroneous point lies on the course.

I am still working on refining the GPS part of the Fast Running Friend, mostly the usability stuff - configuration file reading and writing, then UI to edit it on the device and via web browser if the device can connect to WiFi, support for splits of various kind, ability to upload workouts to the Fast Running Blog, etc, but I already ordered Garmin Footpod and will start research once it gets here. I have high hopes for the footpod  - I think it will have more accuracy than GPS, and also less power utilization.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 0.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.001.250.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 3, Julia 1, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a pickup down the canyon for 1.25 in 6:46. Felt stronger than the day before. More sleep helped, I think.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 3, Julia 1, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, William 0.5. Worked on adding wireless connectivity to the Fast Running Friend. So far it has been giving me good results distance/pace wise - has not bugged out yet.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Joseph 2, Julia 1, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Discovered a bug in the Fast Running Friend. If you pause, walk over to the new location, and then restart, it adds the displacement to the distance. Will fix it. Finished the configuration file reading/writing code, and worked on the wireless connectivity. The idea is that to configure it the user can just start wireless configuration daemon on the device using a menu function, and then connect to the device through a browser. The only issue is how to get the device to figure out the wireless authentication credentials initially - my plan at this time is that he just presses the "enable mass storage mode" on the device menu, then connects the devices to the desktop/laptop via USB, then puts his SSID and password in the config file, disconnects the device, and Fast Running Friend figures out the rest. One problem, of course, is that some users are too illiterate to open and edit a plain text file :-) If it is Microsoft Word, or PDF, they do not have a problem, but I've had accounting departments return my invoices that I sent as a plain text attachment with .txt extension complaining that they could not figure out how to open the file. Indeed Microsoft does not "delight in plainness", and definitely does not help its users in that cause. So maybe I should make that config file in Microsoft Word format :-)

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.100.000.400.0015.50

A.M. Total of 15.5. Ran with Chad and the kids. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 3, Julia 0.5, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. 

Fast Running Friend had a chance to prove itself against Chad's Garmin 210. The course was of known length with marks. In the first 5.04 miles Fast Running Friend said 5.03, Garmin said 4.99. Garmin got off track on the distance over about a half mile stretch, then maintained the difference. Fast Running Friend was within 0.01 on all intermediate splits. Then over the next 2.04 miles Fast Running Friend added 2.02, while the Garmin added 2.05, so now the Garmin was closer to the truth that it was before. Then Chad accidentally disabled the GPS, so we were testing just the Fast Running Friend. Over the next 4.00 it reported 4.03, then after that it stayed on track until it ran out of battery with the total running time of around 1:53, but we started at 80% battery charge.

Fast Running Friend was without question more accurate on the immediate pace. This one is difficult to verify exactly, but both Chad and I agreed whenever we sampled it that Fast Running Friend was reasonable every single time, while Garmin made sense only 60% of the time or so.

Fast Running Friend also showed some resilience in a situation that I did not explicitly think through in my code. At around 1.4 mark I made a VPB stop and did not press the Stop button. When I was done and started running, the Fast Running Friend extrapolated my distance to be about where Chad was at the time. Then once it noticed that I've gone 0.15 from the last trusted point it corrected the distance moving me backwards, and eliminating the detour because the turn angles in the path were too high and disruptive. By the time I caught up to Chad the Fast Running Friend was showing the correct distance. It is a good sign when your code does the right thing when used in a way that you did not explicitly program for.

I do need to do something about the battery life. From the tests I've done so far, things look ugly. If I tell Android to give me GPS updates at a higher interval, it does give them to me at a higher interval so the accuracy is lost, but the GPS driver (/system/bin/SiRFDrv) is still reading the GPS device (/dev/ttyS0) once a second no matter what and the battery drains just as fast. So I might need to bypass the Android GPS notification system, and read the GPS device myself. This is going to be an adventure, but it has some payback potential - first, improvement in the battery life. Second, quicker acquisition of the GPS signal - I suspect somewhere in the convoluted communication process that takes the signal for the device to the application there is a bug that withholds the legitimate signal. There are times when the app is not getting the signal, the GPS driver logs says it is waiting for signal, yet I catch SiRFDrv red-handed reading the correct GPS coordinate in plain text from /dev/ttyS0. Third, this can give me the flexibility of varying the read interval quickly which could allow better battery life without sacrificing accuracy. I just need to learn more about how the GPS works on a lower level.



Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Tara on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 16:26:14 from 75.169.140.220

It's sounding pretty cool!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Took a long nap when I got home. It was much needed.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 11.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran with Rob and the kids. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 1, Joseph 1, Jacob 1, William 0.5. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.250.000.000.0013.25

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 1, Joseph 1, Jacob 1. Worked on the fix of the pause repositioning bug in the Fast Running Friend, but it was buggy. On the positive side got the wireless connectivity to work.

P.M. 0.5 with William. Fixed the repositioning bug and ran 0.75 testing the fix.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.25
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.400.000.000.6012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Rob and Caleb joined us. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 1, Joseph 1, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Benjamin, Caleb, and I did a pickup for 1 K in 3:14 down the canyon. Caleb had Garmin Forerunner 610, so we had a chance to test it against the Fast Running Friend. Total distance in reality was 8.00 and that is what FR 610 reported. Fast Running Friend said 7.99. However, FR 610 won hands down on immediate pace, which surprised me. It sampled it every second, and every single time got it right on - verified against land marks. Fast Running Friend was OK, but it sampled every 0.08-0.15 miles, so the data came with delay.

Even though we've got David fighting Goliath here - one hacker that rights code in his spare time vs a large business, I am still competitive when it comes to what matters to me - precision. Besides, when David vs Goliath analogy is used it is frequently forgotten that it was David who won. So I started researching. First we tested the position  reported FR 610. When we stood in place it did not change - Fast Running Friend (working through Android and MotoACTV GPS receiver/driver) cannot stay still - it wiggles. To make sure that FR 610 was not playing tricks we moved a few feet. It changed. We went back to where we started. The position went back to what it was originally. So it was apparent that FR 610 had the upper hand on the position itself.

I did some research and discovered that FR 610 uses SiRFstarIV chipset which has a lot of cool features including the ability to neutralize the noise. It was quite an adventure to figure out what GPS chipset was in MotoACTV. I knew it was some SiRF chip, otherwise Motorolla would not have named the driver SiRFDrv., but all of my diagnostic tricks as well as internet searches failed to unearth the info. I got really mad, replaced the driver in /etc/location.cfg with a dummy one to avoid unwanted restart of the real one, killed the driver, then manually turned on the GPS via /dev/gps_standby and dumped /dev/ttyS0. Downloaded the protocol description PDF for SiRFStarIII, and found an message that had an unsupported code. Then I found the manual for SiRFStartIV and sure enough that message was documented. So from this I think we can fairly safely assume that MotoACTV does have SiRFStarIV just like FR 610.

The difference, it appears, is in the quality of the driver. It looks like while Garmin did a thorough job using all of the features of the hardware, Motorolla quickly put something together and threw it out on the market. Thus the difference in the quality of position reporting. This is correctable in Fast Running Friend, though. I can write the driver to match the one used by Garmin. This will be an adventure and a great learning experience.



Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.0011.50

A.M. 11.5 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 1.5, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 1.5, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, William 0.5. Last night I could not sleep so I decided to be productive, and added an HTTP daemon into the Fast Running Friend. The idea is that you enable WiFi, it connects, tells you its URL (something like http://192.168.1.178:8000), then you go to that URL and configure it or view workout history, your routes, or upload the data to the Fast Running Blog. I suppose data upload and limited workout viewing  can be done via local menus as well, but a web browser is much nicer.

The configuration part is not working yet, I just have the daemon than says Hello, World when you go to its URL.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 2.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 2.00
Comments
From Rob on Tue, Mar 05, 2013 at 16:13:39 from 70.102.182.11

Does your app work on an Android Phone too?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 05, 2013 at 21:17:56 from 69.28.149.29

It does. You can download the APK from

http://asksasha.com/moto/FastRunningFriend-1.3.apk

The issue is what buttons to use for start/stop. For lack of anything better, and not wanting to think too long since Android phone was not the primary target, I made VolumeUp/VolumeDown the magic function buttons. If you have a better suggestion I am open to it.

Your mileage will vary (figuratively and literally) depending on the quality of the GPS sensor and the GPS driver. It is possible that it may give perfect results on some super fancy Android phone, and you might be able to set min_d_last_trusted to as low as 0.01 and max_d_last_trusted to 0.02 and get accurate near-instantaneous pace feedback. On MotoACTV with the default GPS driver (I have not written mine yet), I can get immediate pace usually within 5 seconds per mile and near perfect distance accuracy on every quarter mile (with rarely more than 0.5% error for total distance) with the settings of min_d_last_trusted=0.08 and max_d_last_trusted=0.15. The file is in /mnt/sdcard/FastRunningFriend/default.cnf and if you mount it via USB storage it will appear as /FastRunningFriend/default.cnf. The file is created the first time you run the app on the device, then you can edit it, restart the app, and it will read the new config file.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.002.000.0016.50

A.M. Made up on the lack of sleep from the night before. Did the longest run since Matthew was born. Total of 16.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 1.5, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Benjamin and I did a 2 mile tempo down the canyon in 10:55 with the splits of 5:27 and 5:28. The pace was not super fast, but the effort felt healthy.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.50
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a blessing of Matthew. He is now official. A child is not put on the records of the Church until he has been blessed. Then we had a Fast and Testimony meeting. I bore my testimony of tithing. When I first joined the Church I did not understand the principle but I decided to obey it on faith figuring if I promised something to the Lord I'd better do it. After the first year I knew the promises in Malachi 3 of the windows of heaven opening and blessings poured so that there shall not be room enough to receive them were true and I never struggled with the idea since. I have my weaknesses, but I do have a good memory when it comes to matters of importance. I could never forget those blessings.  Over the course of my life I have literally seen the windows of heaven open. We had to move twice because the Lord has blessed us with so many children that there was no room for them. But he also has blessed us with the ability to feed them off one income, no debt, and for a bonus with me working at home and being able to participate in the home schooling. All that through thick and thin of the bad economy. But those are the material blessings to help remember the more important ones which are less tangible.

Then we had Sunday School and the Elder's Quorum. Benjamin played the piano in the opening exercises. This was the first time he ever played the piano in public with others singing along. Amazingly aside from tempo change issues there were no other noticeable problems and we sang all three verses of God Speed the Right. Perfect hymn for running, and some even appear to be singing it while driving as well. Benjamin impressed me, though. He has many talents, but not all. Playing the piano is not one of them. Neither is performing in public - he gets shy. But he has faith and he uses it to reach beyond what appears to be his natural limit.

Got home, took a much needed nap. It filled me with strength. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Sarah ran 1.5 on our hilly course in 14:11, this is significant progress for her with Matthew being only 2 months.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Benjamin was not feeling well today and ran only 2 miles. I did a total of 12 including a 2 mile tempo down the Provo Canyon in 10:51 with the splits of 5:26 and 5:25. Felt like the effort was healthy and would lead to improvement.

Julia did 2, Jenny 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran total of 12. Benjamin did 3.5, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5. I did a pickup in the canyon going down but into headwind for 1 mile in 5:27. It felt too hard, I thought. Not sure if I was just tired from not sleeping or if it was just the headwind. Probably a combination of both.

The Fast Running Friend did the biggest oops in the distance department since I've added the new algorithm. As I was passing the big rock in the Provo Canyon it reported immediate pace of 5:22 while the actual pace was only around 7:30. When I got to 3 miles it reported 3.03 for total distance. On the way back it measured the return distance as 3.07 but most of the displacement happened again in the area of that rock. During the mile pickup, though, it reported the immediate pace reasonably when I looked, but it must have gotten confused when I was not looking.

I probably should investigate the matter, but I am not particularly motivated to dig through the data dump as I have a pretty good idea of what is going on as I already know that the Motorola GPS driver is of less than stellar quality and I need to write my own if I want the GPS part of the Fast Running Friend to be trustworthy.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments
From Tmck on Wed, Mar 06, 2013 at 23:27:30 from 69.20.153.156

Hey Sasha, I saw a kid wearing an elevation training mask and was wondering what you think of them. Of anyone on the blog, I figured you would be the one to ask.

I am wanting to have some higher altitude runs, but right now being at BYUI it really isn't super realistic to drive a long ways just to hit some mountains.

Here is a link. If you could let me know what you think, that would be awesome. Thanks.

http://www.normalbreathing.com/d/training-mask.php#.UTgxCVfex8E

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.001.000.0012.50

A.M. Did 12.5 total. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I repeated yesterday's pickup to see how much of a difference one night of good sleep would make. The difference was 9 seconds per mile - I ran 5:18 instead of 5:27 and it was more of a positive experience - feeling strong all the way as opposed to the struggles in the second half.  There was still about the same headwind coming out of the canyon.

Fixed the HTTP daemon in the Fast Running Friend so that when you go to its URL  you see the configuration menu with the current settings instead of just Hello, world. The next step is to make those settings actually change when the user clicks "Update Configuration". While the technology is not any kind of rocket science, there is something intriguing about interacting with a watch that is not connected to anything and is just sitting on your wrist through a regular web browser without having to install any kind of special communication software.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.006.000.0014.00

A.M. Did a 14 mile run figuring I would not be able to run much on Saturday due to the Utah Elementary Chess Championship. After the first 6 did a 6 mile tempo down the canyon and back to the house.  The time was 35:27, and I felt I could not go any faster. I definitely got out of shape over the winter with all of the adventures. The lack of sleep and speed training showed itself. Will work on correcting the problems.

Benjamin was in charge of running with the kids today. He did 5, Jenny did 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.000.0014.50

A.M. Got up early and ran 10 miles in the dark. Then took the whole family to the Utah Elementary Chess Championship. Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William played. Benjamin helped as a volunteer official. Stephen and Matthew did the best they could to not cause trouble. Sarah and I with the help of Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia did the best we could to keep them out of trouble. 

Jenny got 4 points out 6 placing 24th out of 83 6th graders. I think she was the second highest placing girl. She said she felt bad checkmating the boys - she had not played one single girl. I told her she was doing them a service by teaching them how to win against somebody their level.

Julia got 4.5 points out 6 placing 12th out of 123 4th graders. Again playing no girls. I think she was the highest placing girl.

Joseph got 3 points out of 6 placing 41st out of 99 2nd graders. This was better than his performance in the last tournament, He is a little stubborn and is reluctant to play strong players because he does not like to lose, but he learned his lesson watching his siblings score higher than him. I think he is beginning to understand that when a stronger player beats you he teaches you how to win against your peers. Ironically, if you do not like to lose, you should seek opportunities to lose, and then you will stop losing. Chess is a great way to teach that principle, Benjamin eventually learned it.

Jacob got 4 points out of 6 placing 13th out of 45 kindergartners. In practice he was getting brutally beat up by Joseph on a regular basis, but then what Joseph did to him he did to his opponents when it mattered. I was quite impressed with his performance.

We were not certain if we should sign William up as his knowledge of the chess rules was fuzzy and his attention span rather low, but he wanted to play and we could not say no. Being only four years old he was the youngest participant in the kindergarten division. He lost his first game, then in the second game he found his match - a five year old girl named Sarah that also barely new the rules. The game was fun to watch. Sarah took William's queen illegally with her queen jumping over pieces to capture to which William did not object, then William pushed his pawn two squares forward on the move that was not first for the pawn and she did not object to that either. Then William put Sarah in check, but she could not figure out how to get out of it. The rules of the tournament are that if you cannot figure out how to get out of check, your opponent wins, so that earned William his only point for the tournament. In his third game he got tired and stopped playing which gave his opponent the win. After that we withdrew him from the tournament figuring he's done enough already. But he did manage to come back with no emotional outbreaks and more than zero points, which was about the best we hoped for at his stage of development.

The tournament also had a team competition among schools, but we were allowed to enter as a family. The rules are that your top four players score. We ended up scoring 15.5 points taking 22nd place out of 64 teams. It felt good to outdo more than 2/3 of the field with most of them  being schools. To rub this in, if we spent as much per child on education as does the government, it would have sent our family into bankruptcy a long time ago. Can we have some of our taxes back?

Benjamin told us some interesting stories from observing the games. The most notable one was where the players managed to get out of stalemate (which would require moving the king into check or allowing him to stay in check) three times. He was not allowed to say anything - the player were supposed to figure out on their own if the moves were legal or not, and the volunteer official could say something only if asked.

P.M. I ended up doing 4.5 miles running with the kids. William did 0.5, Jacob and Joseph 1, Jenny and Julia 0.5 - they both were very tired, Benjamin 3.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Comments
From Burt on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 16:33:14 from 71.216.109.214

Interesting stuff. Kinda reminds me of the striders bus with the monkey bars inside of it. Really makes you think.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Benjamin spoke in the Sacrament meeting and gave a good talk on honesty. In Sunday School we talked about the restoration of the Priesthood. The Elder's Quorum lesson was on our relationship with God. It discussed the principle that because we are His children and more than just his creations we have the ability to become like Him just like every child has the ability to become like his father.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Did a workout, then ran with the kids for part of their runs. The workout was 2 miles down the Provo Canyon in 10:48 with the splits of 5:23 and 5:25. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did some pickups. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.250.006.000.0015.25

A.M. I knew I could not do a long run on Saturday due to the Utah Junior High Chess Championship, so I did it today. Warmed up 6 miles, then ran 6 miles hard from Bridal Veil Falls down the Provo Canyon for the first 4.5 miles, then a climb back up to the house for the last 1.5 miles. Same as last week, but I did better today. The time was 34:43- 5:47 average, 7 seconds per mile improvement. I also felt stronger. Then I ran some more with the kids and Sarah. Total of 15.25. Benjamin did 4.5, Jenny 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

A.M. Ran early before the chess tournament - total of 10 miles. Julia ran 2 miles. Then took Benjamin and Jenny to the second day of the Utah Junior High Chess Championship. Benjamin came out of a huge blood bath with 5.5 points out of 7 losing 1 game, drawing 1, and winning 5 which was good enough for second place in 8th grade. Jenny got 3 points out of 7 which was good enough for 3rd place in 6th grade. There were only 5 6 graders, though, so this is not that hot of an achievement. But nevertheless it was good for her to play older kids and beat some of them. We got the 3rd place trophy in the small school division with 8.5 points. I usually do not make a big deal of trophies but I have to about this one. It says our home school is a legitimate small school.

P.M. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 11.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual then again took a much needed nap.One talk from the Sacrament Meeting stuck in my mind. A member of the Church was doing something, I do not remember exactly what, that required attending conferences with all the parties, etc. He did not drink alcohol. One time somebody brought him a drink. He felt uneasy about it and checked its contents to discover that it had 1% alcohol. His friend said to him - what's the big deal, it's only 1%. His answer was that when you are 100% committed, 99% is not good enough. I really like that answer. Many things that we fail to achieve would have been achieved if we properly understood this principle.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. 12.5 total. Most of it was with the kids.  Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, Julia 2.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.002.000.0012.50

A.M. Did a tempo run. 2 miles down the canyon in 10:46.4 - splits 5:22, 5:24. Got home, finished the run with the kids, but Benjamin handled most of it. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Most with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.001.0013.50

A.M. Did total of 13.5. Ran 8 with Benjamin - did 4x400 down the canyon. It was windy, may just as well have been up. First one was 76.5, then 74.5, then 70.5 as the we found a less windy stretch. The last one we did up the hill by our house in 76.5. Jacob did 1, Joseph 2, Jenny 3, Julia 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.500.0015.00

A.M. It snowed today. I ran 2 miles, then plowed the trail, then ran with the kids. By the time I was done I was at 15 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a pickup for 0.5 at 5:40 pace.

My training right now is not optimal. Some of it due to having a new baby at our house. Some due to the kids being at a point where I feel they need more individual attention during their runs which ends up slowing me down for all runs except Benjamin's, having to take more breaks waiting for each kid to get ready, and changing the route which affects the workout. But it is all worth it. I have spent a good amount of time working on my own fitness. Now is the time to work on theirs. Some time in the future there will be a time to work on mine again. Now the goal is to not lose much fitness and do my best to forestall the aging process.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Rob Murphy on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 17:53:12 from 24.10.249.165

This will be good for you Sasha. You have trained hard and raced consistently for many years. If your goal is to be successful and healthy in the coming decades, you have exactly the right attitude.

Very few runners can sustain the same level of intense dedication consistently from their teens or twenties into their forties. There has to be a lull somewhere to allow you to recharge.

From Rob Murphy on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 18:06:23 from 24.10.249.165

Oh, and for what it's worth, My son was born when I was 41and I've found that having young kids when you are in your 40s is a great way to, as you say, forestall the aging process.

From Tara on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 18:17:45 from 75.169.137.208

Good for you Sasha. I always feel selfish focusing on my own fitness rather than helping my kids explore their own. You're a good example.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Got a strength workout rocking Matthew to sleep during the meetings, but was able to participate nevertheless. Again was tired when I got home and took a nap.

Sarah made new friends with a neighbor family  and we had them over for dinner in the evening.  They asked me how I managed the transition from living in Russia to living in the United States. My short answer was that the first 20 years of my life (while in Russia) were a long culture shock even though I had never been outside and did not know any different. When I came to the United States, the shock was over and I gradually recovered.

I suppose the subject deserves a slightly longer explanation. When I was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a realization hit me that I would feel at home with the people that have made the covenant to follow Christ and were serious about it. When I moved from Moscow to Provo I found a higher concentration of such people. We may complain about Utah Mormons, or various shortcomings of BYU students and professors, and perhaps for a good reason - with all the knowledge that we possess we should do better than what we are doing. But the truth of the matter is that it is the "Utah Mormons" that make Utah what it is - a place with the lowest smoking rate, lowest alcohol consumption, a place where you are more likely to be helped by a stranger, a place where people have more reason to trust each other than anywhere else in the United States that I visited. In spite of all the shortcomings of Utah that the natives grumble about, this is where I feel at home. While there are people that are not doing a good job living their faith, and I have had plenty of disappointment with that, we still have more of those who take it seriously here than anywhere in the world, and it shows in a number of ways. It all depends on what you choose to see.

Right now I have the ability to live anywhere in the world. I can move anytime almost anywhere. My employer would not notice much of a difference as long as I had a good internet connection. But I am still in Utah and am refusing to move.

When I travel to other parts of the United States, I do not quite get that feeling. Visiting a big city makes me feel like I have taken a step back in the direction of the Soviet Union. I begin to feel a portion of that oppressive spirit.

So coming to Provo from Moscow was an easy adjustment. If it had been New York I think it would have been different.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.800.000.200.0012.00

A.M. Easy run. Total of 12. Did a little pickup with Benjamin for 0.2. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.700.002.000.0012.70

A.M. Total of 12.7. Did a workout with Benjamin. He was finally healthy enough to try the 2 mile tempo run down the canyon. I did not have any particular goal for him, we decided to start out trading quarters and then see what happens. I took him through the first quarter in 84, then he did his in 83, I did mine in 82, then he was headed for around 85 on his, and I did not like that, so I took the lead early and made it 84 to hit 5:33 for the mile. After that I decided he had the ability to break 11:00 if he drafted, so I told him to just sit on me until he was ready to come out, and I took him through the next two quarters in 81 and 80. He handled it fine, and took the lead around 1.5 mark to pull me for the rest of the tempo. I was very pleased for two reasons - one was that I did not have to lead anymore. The other was that Benjamin was showing he was in good shape. We ran the last 0.5 in 2:33 (5:06 pace) and finished in 10:47.7 - my second fastest time this year. Our last mile was 5:14, which makes it for my most negative split in this workout with the second mile 19 seconds faster than the first. Prior to that I had been consistently 2 seconds slower in the second mile. Benjamin is becoming a great training partner.

It is a lot of fun to run with your 14-year-old. Particularly when somebody we meet on the trail tries to guess the relationship. A few days ago a runner said to us - why aren't you boys in school? I had him guess who we were and what we were up to. His guess was that Benjamin was in high school and I was 23 years old, married, and in college - after he had observed my wedding ring. With Benjamin he was not too far off, but with me he was off by 70% on the age part, and off by 15 years on the college part, but he was correct on being married.

Jenny ran 3, Julia 1, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 4.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. 12.5 total. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia was sick, did not run, Joseph and Jacob did 2, William 0.5. 

P.M. Oil change time. 1.5 miles back from the car shop.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.001.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William and Julia 0.5. Benjamin and I did a workout. 4x400 uphill near our house. The first 130 meters are actually down, starting at maybe 1-2% grade, then maybe a 30 meter segment of about 6-8% down, then about 90 meters up at 6%, 90 meters at 3% up, and the remaining 90 meters at 6% up. The recovery was jogging back. My times were 74.8, 75.8, 74.8, 72.4. Benjamin stayed with me in the first 3, and dropped me in the last one finishing it in around 71.2. All of that came in the last 120 meters. I was very excited about that because it shows he has recovered from his winter issues and is getting into good shape. And this was the first time he gapped me by so much. He has edged me out before, but never really truly gapped me until now.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. 12.5 total. Most with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia was too sick to run, Joseph and Jacob ran 2. Jacob set his course PR of 16:45. This "2" is really around 2.05, and is hilly. I would have to work hard to break 12:00 on it. Jacob's last 800 meters was 3:43 (uphill), which I was very happy about given that his track PR is only 3:24. Joseph took off with 800 to go and ran 16:36, with the last 800 in 3:35. William ran 0.5. Joseph then added 2 more with me, Sarah, and her friend Shelly, and ended up with 4 miles for the day.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.002.002.000.0020.00

A.M. Finally got respectable sleep. First 20 mile run since the Rocket City Marathon. Ran with Chad. Benjamin joined us for 8 miles after we had already done 6. So 4 miles into Benjamin's run and 10 miles into ours we ran a 4 mile tempo from around the magic bridge in the Provo Canyon back to the house. The course is the first 2.25 downhill, the last 1.75 rolling up. The target was 5:50. We went around low 5:40 down the canyon, and hit the 3 mile mark in 17:05. The last mile was 5:52 for me and Benjamin, and we finished in 22:57, which is Benjamin's PR for 4 miles. He did not drop me this time - the distance neutralized his top gear and helped me survive. We slowed the pace down for Chad a little after the first 2 miles for the next 1.5 to help him get a good time, but then in the last 0.5 I wanted to break 23:00, so Benjamin and I went for it. Chad finished in 23:14, which is also a very good time for him.

I felt stronger than I ever have this year. The strength was in the legs, I felt like I had more support, and the form felt smoother. I attribute this to two factors:

  • Tempo runs
  • My new toy - leg press machine. I've been working out in the last couple of weeks three times a week with 165 lb on each leg in 3 sets of 10. This idea came to me during a tempo run. I realized that the best muscle to compensate for my L-4 defect was actually the quad. Which is why my quads are so large from running. The body knows what it is doing. Then the hamstring, the glut, and the calf working together provide some additional support. I used to think big quads were bad because they meant I had a problem and they hog energy without providing much return. I realized that this was not quite correct. I do have a problem, but it cannot be solved by having smaller quads. Precisely because of that problem, until an angel from heaven comes and heals my L-4, I need to have huge quads. So a natural way to hit the quad, the hamstring, the glut, and the calf was a leg press. So I found a machine for $317 on Amazon including shipping, it comes without weights, but I had a total of 165lb already so it was perfect.

Joseph did 2, Jacob 1, Jenny 3, William 0.5, Julia 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. With this being the Easter Sunday we had a lesson on the Atonement. It was a very good lesson. The Sacrament meetings talks were on faith. One of the speakers mentioned a story of healing in Matthew 17 that is one of my favorite stories because it teaches some precious gems about how faith works. The apostles try to cast out an evil spirit, and fail. Then Christ does it. They ask Christ why they could not. He tells them this is a difficult one, and you need to have more faith. Those were the apostles who have succeeded in performing remarkable miracles before, but now they ran into a difficulty because they were not quite as strong as they needed to be. This gives me encouragement. I have had many of my prayers answered. In fact, most of the time I ask the Lord something I eventually get it so I need to be very careful about what I ask. Sometimes it takes a minute, sometimes a  year, sometimes five years. But there are a couple of things that are just too stubborn and too "impossible" that I've been asking that just do not want to come, it seems. Even though it is just a couple of things, at times I feel frustrated, I wonder if the Lord really wants me to persist, and then I remember Matthew 17. "This kind goes out not, but by much prayer and fasting...".

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph and Jacob 2, Julia 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.300.002.200.0013.50

A.M. Total of 13.5. Benjamin did 8. I did a workout with him. We ran 2 miles down the Provo Canyon on our usual course. The target was 10:40 - 5:20 pace. I pulled him for the first 1.5, then he took over for the final push. The splits were 79, 80, 79, 80 (5:18), 79, 81 and then 2:34 for the final 0.5 miles, 5:14 last mile - total time 10:32.9.This is Benjamin's fastest time for the course, and I was very pleased with his performance. He also commented that this was not as miserable as when he ran 10:37 last year. The road was wet from the rain. When we got home our backs were covered with dirt. Jenny asked us if we had had a mud fight. This was partially true - we did what we could to run each other into the ground.

I felt much stronger that a couple of weeks ago. 5:18 felt very comfortable, when it became 5:08 at the end it felt manageable. If Jeff was there, I think I would have had another mile in 5:10 behind him today. So far I am seeing the most remarkable results from any form of weight training that I ever tried throughout the years. In the past I tried leg extensions and curls. Those did help a little bit, but apparently not as much as a one-legged vertical leg press. My guess as to why is that it works out several muscle groups in sequence that is very similar to running. My intuition also tells me that in order for weights to be effective, you need to hit the magic sync between aerobic training and resistance training. I think I've hit it somewhat on accident in the last two weeks.

Jenny did 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.001.0013.50

A.M. 13 total. Benjamin did 8. I did a workout with him. 4x400. First 3 down the canyon with 400 recovery, the last one after a long recovery up the hill by our house. Used this as a chance to test the new split function in the Fast Running Friend. I got the splits, so the test was good. There was a distance recording glitch, which I fixed later. The splits were 71.7, 72.2, then Benjamin ran around 63.8 and I did 64.5 on the last one in the canyon. The very last one up the hill was 70.7 for me and about 70.3 for Benjamin. I think this is my fastest time on that segment, if not the fastest, then one of the fastest. I do know that I never cracked 70, and I am too lazy to look up if I ever cracked 71.

Jenny did 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, Julia 2.

P.M. 0.5 (800 meters) with William on the track. His time was 4:50.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Total of 13. Benjamin did 8, Jenny was sick - 0.5, Julia 2, Jacob and Joseph 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.0010.000.000.0022.00

A.M. For the first time in a long time I did a 20 miler with a 10 mile tempo at the end. I ran the warm-up 10 uphill in 1:16:14. On the way back I ran 58:01. Benjamin ran with me for the last 4. He dropped me in the last 200 meters. His time for the last 4 was 23:17, I got 23:20. Felt strong, but for the life of me could not consistently stay under 5:50, kept slipping. Perhaps a subconscious fear of the distance. Nevertheless I am happy that even though I did not feel super speedy at the start, I was able to maintain the pace throughout the tempo and never really felt too miserable.

Benjamin did 10,  Jenny 3, Julia 2, Jacob 1, Joseph 2. When I got home Sarah had not yet done her run, so I went with her for another 2. So I ended up with 22 miles.

Listened to General Conference. Had a bit of trouble staying awake, but it was not too bad. Was able to understand the talks.

P.M. Took William and Stephen to the track with Benjamin to help me. Asked Benjamin which one of us was more out of commission. He thought it was I. So he ran 0.5 with William while I followed Stephen around.

Listened to General Conference again. Then went to the Priesthood Session with Benjamin in the evening.

Some General Conference highlights. Elder Uchtdorf explaining our relationship with God. He does not set up commandments just so we would fail to keep them and then just sits there and anxiously waits for us to trip up. Rather, He sets them up to show us the way out of trouble. He rejoices at our successes, and when we fail, He helps us recover, just like any good parent would.

Elder Scott - if the young generation reviewed a scripture for every text message they send, they would become great scholars of scripture.

Elder Callister - the idea that young men should accelerate their spiritual development and arrive in the mission field more mature. A few weeks ago in Sunday School we talked about Joseph Smith's vision, and in particular what it was like for his father to have a 14-year old son come to him and announce a vision. Most members of the class found it rather remarkable that the father believed the son right away. The reason given was that a 14-year-old is so immature that anything he says that is unusual would hard to believe. I did not say anything at the time, but I thought about what it would be like if Benjamin came to me and told me he had had a vision. I realized I would not have a problem with that. Yes, just like many young men his age he occasionally experiences a lapse in judgement. But overall he is on top of things. He is spiritually in tune, he knows what the voice of the Lord sounds like, frequently he is able to correctly point out my errors in a mature way. If he told me the Lord had spoken to him, I would not doubt for a second because I know he would not speak of such things lightly.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 22.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Watched General Conference. One talk that stood out to me was by Elder Holland. He talked about a man that said: "I believe, help my unbelief". Elder Holland applied it like this: we should acknowledge our strengths before we deal with our weaknesses. When we acknowledge the strengths, it makes us aware of the tools we have to deal with the weaknesses. But if we do it the other way around, as is frequently the case (at least I see that as a common theme in many blog posts), in worlds of Elder Holland,  it is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak.

I also was impressed by President Monson's talk. He talked about how he was being disobedient as a little boy and started what could have become a forest fire. When I hear him speak, he reminds me of a master chess player that keeps making what appears to be inauspicious  moves. But then the opponent realizes he is faced with a dilemma which piece he would rather give up to stop checkmate and realizes that it is no dilemma at all because it has to be the queen, so he resigns. In the simplicity of President Monson is hidden vast spiritual depth of a prophet. He simplifies and frequently repeats to help the simplest of the simple understand.

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. Total of 12 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.500.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12. Jenny did 4, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a pickup for 0.5 uphill in 2:51.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin. We repeated what we did a week ago - 2 miles down the canyon. It was colder today that last week, so we wore more clothes - pants and jacket instead of shorts. Our time was 10:32.6, 0.3 faster than last week with very similar splits - 5:17 for the first mile (vs 5:18) and then 5:15 for the last mile (vs 5:14). Benjamin said the effort felt harder. For me it felt a little easier.

Jenny did 3, Julia 2, Jacob and Joseph 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 6 in anticipation of the track meet the next day, and also due to bad sleep from upper back tension. He has always had a tendency to develop back tension, and once in a while it pops up and causes problems. So we massaged him, had him hang upside down, and do tennis ball sit-ups. Jenny ran 3, Julia did 3 as well. Joseph did 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

I did a little pickup on my 1.02 or so out-and-back hilly course in 5:49.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 2.5 warm-up for the track meet in the evening. We took Joseph and Jacob to the track at Orem High to do a mile time trial. Benjamin paced Joseph, while I paced Jacob. Jacob ran 7:04.2 with the splits of 1:46, 1:45, 1:47 and 1:43 - the remaining 3 seconds rounded off go to cover 9.34 meters extra.This is Jacob's new PR by 5 seconds. He is headed for being the first child in our family to break 7:00 mile before turning 7. He turns 7 on July 21.

Joseph opened with 1:41, then fell asleep to 1:47, then 1:45 and a kick of sorts in 1:41 finishing in 6:57, 5 seconds off his PR. Benjamin is still learning how to pace a kid,and Joseph is difficult to pace because he has a mind of his own. Jacob is much easier - you tell him to run faster, he just does it. Also Joseph runs to win, not for time. So he stops pushing once he feels is safely ahead of Jacob. So perhaps this year Jacob will just get faster, maybe run 6:40, and this will force Joseph to run 6:30. Or maybe we should just have Jacob race him for the last 800.

Jenny did 4, Julia 2, William 0.5. Joseph and Jacob ended up with 2 total.

P.M. Took Benjamin to a high school track meet at Juab High in Nephi. This was our first experience with the high school track. First for Benjamin period, and first direct experience with the US high school track for me. When I was of high school age I was in Russia, which back then was part of the Soviet Union. I raced, but it was a very different system. Running in the US I heard a lot about US high school track, I read race reports, but I had never actually been to a high school track meet.

So two surprises I ran into. One - I did not realize that in a little town of Nephi you could have such a big deal of a track meet. We struggled finding a place to park. There were as many people around at you would see at the Moscow city-wide youth championship, perhaps even more. Expect in Moscow most people came by public transportation - no cars or school buses.

The second surprise was the spread of abilities, particularly as the distance got longer. In all the meets I ran in Moscow, in 14-15 year old division in 3000 last place would finish in around 11:00 even though there was no official qualifying standard. If you could handle being laughed at for being last, you were in. The winner ran maybe 9:10-9:20 in the city championship. Converting this to 3200, that would be maybe 9:50-10:00 for the winner and 11:45 for last place. At this particular meet in Nephi the first place was 10:08, but the last place was 14:36 and it did not appear to be a statistical fluke - all the gaps were evenly filled. Last place in the "fast" heat was 12:04. That was in spite of the age limit being around 18 years old.

So those two surprises caused us some problems. I did not realize until the day of the meet that there would be 43 people on the starting list, which means two heats, the fast one and the slow. Benjamin did not have an official 3200 meter mark, so I just entered nothing instead of giving some info indicating his abilities. So they put him in the slow heat. I asked the course clerk to change that but he told me it was too late. So we figured we'd make the best of the situation.

3200 was the next to last event. It was difficult to estimate when it would start. The meet director gave me a lower bound of 5:00 pm at the earliest, so we got there at 4:30. Benjamin did not get to run until 7:45 pm. With the slow heat, the delay, and some intimidation factor of being crowded by older boys in his first high school track meet, I was not expecting much and I told him to just go out and enjoy it. However Benjamin outperformed my expectations.

Being without a mark he ranked lower than the boys with any mark, so they put him on the outside in the second row. During the first lap he worked his way out of the pack hitting it in 82.4. I yelled at him to get out, but he did not quite understand what I meant. He passed a couple of guys, and then comfortably settled behind the leaders. After the second lap of 86.4 he finally got the message, pushed his way out, and went for it. From that point on he was completely alone. 80.4 - good. 82.7 - acceptable, but the slowdown is a cause for concern. Is he getting tired maybe, perhaps the stresses of the day are wearing on him? Not wanting to discourage him I told him to just try to hold it. 5:31.8 at the 1600. Second place is 5:57 at that point.

80.6 for the next lap. I guess he is not really tired. Later he told me he was just having a hard time gauging the effort and was afraid to push too hard. 82.7 for the sixth lap. I yelled at him to start his kick. At this point he was passing lapped runners in herds, which provided some encouragement. The spectators started cheering him - "Go Crocks!". This was a rather unusual sight I suppose - a home-schooled 14-year-old wearing a plain looking Fast Running Blog singlet and a pair of Crocks lapping team-uniformed high school boys wearing all kinds of fancy spikes. Maybe it was good that he ended up in the slow heat, it created a chance for a little bit of a show. His next to last lap was 78.9.

And then he started his kick for real. I was pleasantly surprised. He was moving, it was quite a sight to watch. At the start of his lap I yelled at him to try to lap the field. He thought I was kidding. But I knew that if somebody runs 82,86 then 3:09 for the next 800 they are Benjamin-lappable. He blew by the second place right before the finish line with the last lap of 72.2. His official time was 10:46.64. I had 10:46.1 on my watch. 0.25 of the difference goes to automatic timing. The rest probably from me not seeing the finish line at a good angle from where I was. Second place in his heat was 12:12. I know all kinds of things happen in high school track meets, but I suppose lapping somebody  you were with at 800 in a 3200 meter race on a 400 meter track is rather rare. Benjamin ended up finishing 8th overall, and 2nd among freshmen. Fastest freshmen was 10:37, which is a bit of a bummer because Benjamin could have run with him. But he got to Crock-lap the slow heat instead, so I suppose it is all good.

On the way back home Matthew was crying. Without being asked Benjamin moved right next to him and sang songs to him all the way. Sarah pointed out that not many 14 year old boys would volunteer to do that after finishing a hard race.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Jamie on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 15:16:49 from 67.199.174.176

Sasha, I noticed this entry and wondered if you might be willing to answer a question for me...

The Spanish Fork Track Club (for youth) practices at a time that doesn't work for our family. My daughter Alexis is 9 years old and my son Luke will turn 8 yrs. at the end of June. What options do I have for getting them involved? Hawk Harper told me to check out usatf's website, but I've found myself at a loss as to what direction to take. They don't seem to have a club in the Spanish Fork area. Do my kids have to be associated with or part of a club to participate in meets? Any suggestions or information would truly be appreciated! Hope the Pachev's are doing well. Tell Sarah hi for me.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 15:22:32 from 69.28.149.29

Jamie:

They do not have to be part of any club to participate in meets. To run in the USATF youth championship they need to be registered members of USATF, which you can do online, but smaller meets do not require a membership.

The meet schedule can be found here:

http://utah.usatf.org/Sports/Track---Field.aspx

From Jamie on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 16:30:35 from 67.199.174.176

Sasha, will I sign them up for their races when we arrive? Any other advice or things I should know?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 16:47:13 from 69.28.149.29

Most of the time you can sign up the day of. But contact the meet director first to make sure.

Also be aware that track meets have somewhat of an unpredictable schedule - you never know when your event will start exactly. So be prepared for being there longer than you hoped for.

From Jamie on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 17:00:23 from 67.199.174.176

Thanks, Sasha. I really appreciate the info.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.005.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Ran 20 with Chad. We warmed up the first half uphill in 1:17. On the way back we started out on pace for 58 minutes but it was too fast for Chad, so we slowed down to about 6:10-6:20, and then to 6:40-6:50 at the end. Total time for the last 10 was 1:02:55.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was a Fast and Testimony meeting. Benjamin bore his testimony. Public speaking is not one of his talents, but he knows the Gospel is true, and it drives him to overcome his natural fear of public speaking. It was quite a treat to watch it. He progressed a long way from the time he was 12 when he got up one time, his face was pale, he did not say anything, and immediately sat down.

And that is the beauty of the Gospel - when we know it is true our fears do not matter, we are able to find the power over them.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Easy 12 total. Mostly with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Sarah could not sleep, so figuring that since she cannot sleep anyway she may just as well run I suggested a midnight run. We ran 2 miles. It woke me up enough that I did not feel like going to sleep for some time, so I did what I would normally do later in the morning - read the scriptures. Then after some time I finally fell asleep. Then ran 10 more in the morning with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5, William 0.5, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, Jenny 3, Julia 2.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 4.00
Comments
From Matt Schreiber on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 21:14:58 from 66.17.102.185

I've run pretty late at night and gotten up pretty early to do the same, but I've yet to cross the "midnight run" off my bucket list. Nice miles today!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.000.003.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. All with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5. I did a 3 mile tempo run down the canyon with Benjamin on my usual course from Nunns to the mouth of the canyon. It was a historic run. Benjamin gapped me in a tempo run at the end for the first time while I ran well. He also pulled me when I was struggling. I suppose it was time for the son to give back to the father. A special moment.

Our target was 16:00 or 5:20 pace. The plan was for me to pull Benjamin until the last half mile, then he would take the lead and push if he felt good. We opened with 82 quarter on a slow part, then once we hit the nice downhill I pushed a bit to make up the loss, and we hit the mile in 5:16. Then we did 79, 79, 81. Seeing the drop in the pace and not feeling strong enough to fix the problem, I asked Benjamin to help me. He moved forward and I sat on him for the rest of the run. Our next quarter was 82 (he took over in the middle and being caught by surprise was a bit cautious), giving us 10:37 (5:21) at 2 miles. Drafting made things easier for me, so 81 was quite comfortable, but I decided I will not do anything about it until the 5:20 guy catches us. So we did 81, 81, and now the 5:20 guy was just a second behind. So I told Benjamin to hit the gas, which he did and we ran the next to last quarter in 79. Then we pushed at the end. In the last 100 meters Benjamin shifted gears into the range that I found inaccessible. So he ended up finishing in around 15:54.3, while I got 15:55.0.

I was happy with my result, especially given the lack of sleep and the heart skipping beats during the tempo, which I think did contribute to my weakness in the last 1.25 miles. But the legs were strong from the leg press exercises, so they made up for the deficit somewhat. But I was much happier with Benjamin's.  Prior to this I had never been schooled by a 14-year-old over 3 miles in any condition, definitely not in my current condition for sure.

With the good news we got bad one, of course. Just as I was getting excited about Benjamin's abilities, I learned that it was against the rules for him to run in high school meets unless he affiliated himself with a high school team. If I went back to my old Russian habits, I would have had a few special words to say about that, in Russian for strong effect, as Russians are the masters of swearing,  but when I was baptized I made a covenant to avoid this form of expression. So I will try to express my feelings in a more mature way.

People ask me why I would not just sign Benjamin up to run for Orem High or some other eligible school. I have nothing against Orem High or other hard working and not very well compensated high school coaches, some of whom are on this blog. But I do have an issue with the whole system. I believe home schooling is a superior way of education. The key predictor in the future success of a child is parental involvement, which tends to lack when the child spends countless hours away from the parents. Yet for one reason or another home schooling tends to be marginalized in our society. You have to work extra hard to prove that you are legitimate. The UHSAA rules regarding home school athletes is case in point.

Aside from that, I worked hard to make sure that Benjamin got the best chance to develop his running talent. I have sacrificed my own training and my own professional development to make it happen. When he races well, I do not want the average result peruser  to assume that his performance is a result of our high school system. Not because I want the credit, but because I want the truth to be known. I want people to know what it takes to run fast and do it. And that, I believe, starts not with the school, but with the family.

So for now the plan is to stick to road races, USATF events, and next year he should be ready to run respectable collegiate times, and we should be able to put him in collegiate meets which tend to not have affiliation requirements.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Tyler on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 19:34:25 from 140.160.11.143

I'm amazed with how fast he is running at that age. You are clearly doing something right. That's a huge bummer about the HS meets, but keep up the good work. I'm very interested to watch his progress.

From Rob Murphy on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 20:09:20 from 24.10.249.165

I have had several home schooled athletes run for me at Alta High School with no issues or complications.

I think the quality of home schooling is the same as everything else. It varies widely depending on the quality and knowledge of the parent providing the instruction. So saying home schooling is superior is a wild generalization. I've known parents who were fundamentalist Christians who home schooled their children simply because they didn't want their children learning any modern science that might confuse their religious beliefs. The parents were complete idiots and so were their children.

On the other hand, I have a neighbor who home schools his children who is an engineer with a PhD and his kids are awesome. He's humble enough to know what he doesn't know though and he sends his kid to me for history instruction from time to time - especially now with the AP U.S. History exam approaching.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 12:29:24 from 69.28.149.29

Rob:

I am going to argue that home schooling vs public schooling is like training for a marathon at 20 miles per week vs 100 miles per week. Not every 100 miles per week runner will beat every 20 miles per week runner. One exception would be if there is a vast difference in natural ability. Another exception is if 100 miles per week is done in some extreme fashion - all in one day, without a proper build-up, without adequate nutrition and sleep, or extremely slow. Another exception I can think of is if the runner is very fragile and breaks down when the mileage gets high no matter how you space it, how gradually you build up, how much you sleep and how well you eat.

But those are exceptions. I am yet to hear of anybody running faster than 2:15 off 20 miles a week. In fact, the fastest I've ever heard of is 2:42 by Travis Hildrebrand in St. George, who I estimate to have at least a 2:12 potential. So I think it is fair to estimate that your cap off 20 miles a week is around 2:30. On the other hand, many 100 miles per week runners have gone 2:05 or faster.

So with those rather self-evident disclaimers we can safely say that 100 miles a week is superior to 20 miles a week. I maintain that home schooling in a similar manner is a superior method. This is what I would like to see happen to our public school system, so we can educationally be fit to produce 2:05 marathon equivalent:

* Conceptually we center learning in the family, not outside of it.

* We have a set of well-defined standards not just for high school but for college graduation as well. You graduate when you pass the tests. We do not care if you learned it in public school, at home, private school, tutors, or an angel from heaven revealed it to you.

* The testing is done by an entity that is independent of all schools.

* Public education system should be available to all, but those who pass the required tests without burdening the public education system get at least 50% refund of what it would have cost the public for them to participate.

* Public education system should teach the parents along with the children in some way.

* Public education system should do something similar to khanacademy.org and create a network of online resources for learning.

* We should get rid of the huge bureaucracy and hoops to jump through, and instead focus on results. Do not require a bunch of degrees and certifications to allow somebody to teach. Instead let him teach those who do not mind being taught by him, and let him prove himself by how well they do on independent tests.

Regarding the home schooled student running for a public school. My issue here is that the student is being forced to claim affiliation with the school when the school had absolute nothing to do with their success. If we do not acknowledge that their success came from their family, we are sending a message that the school matters more than the family, which is in my opinion fundamentally wrong.

From Rob on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 13:57:33 from 206.71.84.68

I couldn't help but give my perspective here.

I was born to a 17 year old Drug Addict who gave me up for adoption. I never met my biological father and although my adopted parents did the best they could they were never really involved.

I'm sure it comes as little surprise I sucked in school, I barely squeaked by graduating High School, and eventually dropped out of Utah State University after I realized I wasn't going to make it as a professional pool hustler.

How is it then that I have a very good job making well over $100K/year, I live in a ridiculously huge house, and have an amazingly beautiful wife and family?

Because, when I finally dropped out of college an old high school friend took a chance on me, gave me a job, taught me a trade that has turned into a very lucrative career.

My point, from my experience, who you know wins 9 times out of 10 over what you know. There is no way you can home school friendships and relationships that come from public school.

Yes I wish I had a degree, yes I wish my parents would have spent more time running with me, but all and all I would consider myself "successful"

My wife got a job as a teacher this past year not because we needed the huge $30K salary that came along with it, but because she loves children, she loves to teach, and I know for a fact the love and attention she gives those 30 kids is far more than most of them get at home.

I would say "superior" is very relative.

One more point, why on earth would you think or care that someone without a school affiliation should participate in a school activity. Duh! That's kind of the point of school athletics. It wouldn't be fair to all those poor under privileged kids who have been trained by underpaid coaches to have to compete against your superior children.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 14:38:08 from 69.28.149.29

Rob:

I would not be so quick to credit your success to the public school system. Could the person that helped you have been somebody you met at church, road race, fishing or hunting trip, soccer game, and even of all places, a bar! And would he have succeeded in getting you to this point if you were a complete loser yourself?

My point is when it is time to meet somebody who is going to give you a lift to where you need to be, you'll find him. I found such people over the course of my life in rather unlikely places and circumstances, although it was never a bar even before I was a member of the Church. For example, when I met the founder of MySQL I handed him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He asked me if we still practiced polygamy. I told him no, he was disappointed. Then he offered me a job, which served as a critical stepping stone to where I am today professionally. This allows me today to support a family of ten people off one income with no debt, including home mortgage, while working from home and having enough time to teach my children, and to run with them.

I did not quite understand your point about fairness. I will train any child or adult for that matter that wants to be trained free of charge if he will do what I tell him to do (there is a reason I can get away with such an offer, not many people will take it). I do not charge for coaching and am not compensated for it otherwise (unless you count Fast Running Blog advertising revenue), so compared even to the high school coach I am quite underpaid. My kids training is no secret - I write in all of my entries what my kids did. Anybody is welcome to follow it. How is that not fair for them to compete against the "underprivileged"?

From Rob Murphy on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 15:10:47 from 163.248.33.220

All good points all the way around.

Sasha - I think what "sets off" some people, and you can correct me if I'm mistaken on this, is that you seem to have a general hostility to the public school system. Is this based on a personal experience? Many of us have had positive experiences with the public school system.

I am a product of the American public school system and am thankful for it. I had teachers that inspired me in ways my parents never could have. Every day here at Alta High School amazing things happen that would inspire and motivate anyone.

You urge Rob to not be so quick to credit the public school system with his success. Why? Wouldn't he know? I can assure you that many people in this country can attribute at least some portion of their success to a teacher or school.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 15:54:57 from 69.28.149.29

Rob (Murphy):

Rob said the reason he was successful was due to meeting somebody through a public school system. He did not say that the public school system taught him skills that were essential to his job. What I got out of what he said that he had to go to a public school to make the connection, and even if it was the skills it would not have mattered because 9 times of out 10 it is about who you know. If this is indeed true, however, the place did not have to be a school, and thus the public school had little to do with his success - it could have been a bar, and I would definitely be opposed in taxpayer money being used to build bars or the idea that people should be encouraged to visit one based on the argument that somebody met a friend there that got him a dream job. If Rob has a better argument for public school education I will be happy to hear it.

My issue with the public school system is that it promotes an idea that the public is responsible for educating the child, and not the parents. In my comment earlier I wrote what I would like to see from the public school system. I want it to be a servant and not the master. Currently it is an all-consuming monster that controls the life of a child from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to sleep - you have classes for 7 hours a day, then you have after-school activities and homework. That leaves very little time for interacting with the parents and pursuing anything that does not fit into the mold.

Now being educated in a public school system is better than not being educated at all. But being educated at home with parents taking charge and putting their heart into it is much better. Just like 100 miles a week is much better than 20 miles a week for marathon training, although 20 miles a week is better than no training at all.

From Rob on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 16:26:36 from 166.137.119.35

The kinds of relationships you build in school are much stronger than the ones found in bars. I used to hang out in lots of pool halls and none of the people I met there would have given me a job that would turn into a career. I'm assuming you already knew mySQL when you met the founder.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 16:38:23 from 69.28.149.29

Rob:

I knew how to use MySQL, but I knew very little about the source code. I was fresh out of college, and needed a lot of tutoring to get to the level of being able to write something that millions of people would use and try to crash in every imaginable and not so imaginable way.

From Rob on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 18:08:22 from 166.137.119.44

One more story then I'm done forever. A couple of weeks ago I was with my Athiest Co-worker. He wanted to go get stuff for his 5 year olds Easter Basket. I asked him why he needed an Easter Basket if he's Athiest. He got very offended and said "why do I have to believe in Jesus to celebrate Easter?"

From Rob Murphy on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 21:14:48 from 24.10.249.165

Here's a fact for you Sasha. All societies with high rates of literacy and education have thriving, even mandatory, public school systems. Virtually every society that leaves education up to the parents has a high rate of illiteracy, poverty, and general backwardness.

From Fritz on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 23:00:15 from 67.177.4.64

Interesting discussion by all. Speaking from personal experience, I know my parents would not have been good teachers in all subjects and they also didn't have the time to stay home because they had to make money to pay the bills. So for me I know I wouldn't have received a "superior" education being home taught. Even more importantly, I wouldn't have made as many great friends, I wouldn't have great memories of playing football and baseball, and I wouldn't have had the privilege to be mentored by several teachers and coaches. Basically I wouldn't trade my 18 years of public schooling (elementary, junior high, high school, college and grad school) for anything.

Sasha, I respect your opinion and dedication to your kids' schooling and running aspirations. For better or for worse, you and your wife might be great teachers but I don't think the average parent has the time, money and knowledge to provide a comparable education to the education our public schools, especially in Utah, can offer. For some kids who don't have the best parental support it is the teachers and coaches like Rob who inspire and teach them to learn and strive for success.

Case in point that I don't think one way is the only or "superior" way and simply based on personal experience and observation I think the public school system does a great job with what they have. If all parents were like you maybe we would all be better off but that's not reality.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 07:10:00 from 72.250.218.114

Fritz, Rob:

I have much to say, but not the time to do it. So I will summarize it in one sentence. You are vehemently arguing why you cannot run faster than 2:20, but I say you can run 2:05 and will show you how.

From Fritz on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 10:33:35 from 65.116.116.6

Just curious, what does a 2:05 equate to in this convoluted analogy comparing running to academic/career success? And what is your PR for this same metric? I am just wondering how you will rate the success of your home schooling approach after the fact.

From Jake K on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 10:56:33 from 67.177.11.154

I've found this an interesting discussion to follow. I'm not sure if I have anything worthwhile to add, but I'll throw in my two cents anyways.

I think its great when people (like Sasha) don't just settle for the status quo and look for ways to improve - whether its the school system or anything else. Thinking outside the box is good. Since we're using running analogies, the "vibram/barefoot" movement was great for the running industry, because it challenged the shoe companies to actually think hard about the products they were making.

But, that being said, I'm a fan of the public school system too. My parents are the two greatest people I know, my primary role models, and if I could be half the parents they are, that would be pretty good. But they would openly admit they wouldn't have been prepared to teach higher-level classes. They were involved in my education, especially when I was younger, to a high degree (checking / helping with homework, etc). My Dad coached sports, my Mom worked in the school district and was in the PTA, so they were very involved in everything going on. But I would have missed a lot if they were all I had. ?For starters, I would have never been exposed to XC/Track, in fact when I got interested in the sport, my parents were the ones who followed my example, and starting running marathons. My best friend in high school (and still a great friend to this day) was my AP History teacher and XC coach (he's the New York version of Rob Murphy). Like Fritz said, I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. That being said, I recognize that I am lucky... I had a great school experience, and parents who were very involved and supportive of me. That's really the ideal situation in my opinion.

From Rob on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 11:49:11 from 204.15.86.95

I don't get the running analogy at all. Isn't the argument that home schooling takes less time than traditional but it's more "Quality" miles. So home schooling is like running 20 mpw all at marathon pace, but traditional school is like running 100 slow mpw. I'm not sure that makes any more sense but that's what I got out of that analogy.

Yeah, I know I said I was done.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 11:56:43 from 69.28.149.29

Fritz:

Let me just say this if you insist on the specifics. Among other things a 2:05 guy can support a family consisting of a wife and ten kids just off his income without debt and be around enough to teach his kids to be 2:05 guys. I maintain that we can structure our economy and education so that almost everybody is a 2:05 guy.

Looks kike Jake got it, at least somewhat. You cannot fly to the stars if you take Earth gravity as the holy cow not to be challenged. Now, of course, gravity is a good thing, even though runners do wish the g constant was only 6 or so m/s^2 instead of 9.81. In fact, a drastic or perhaps even a minor change in g would trigger a domino effect making life on Earth impossible. So, guys, when you pray at night, thank the Lord that g = 9.81 m/s^2 even though it makes your runs more painful, because otherwise you might not be even alive to run.

So if you fly to the stars, you need some substitute for the Earth's gravity. That is very true. But one thing is for sure - if you fail to think beyond the gravity, you are never going to the stars.

Now our public education system in its current form is like the gravity of the Earth. It gives us some essential benefits, but at the same time it prevents us from reaching the stars. I proposed some ideas earlier of how it could be improved to take us to the stars. See above.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 12:23:38 from 69.28.149.29

Rob:

Home schooling - when done correctly, 100 miles per week results - potentially 2:05 guy runs 2:05

Public school - 20 miles per week results - potentially 2:05 guy capped at 2:20, some capped at slower speeds depending on how they respond to low mileage or how the low mileage is structured

No education - 0 miles per week, potentially 2:05 guy runs 3:20

Since we talked about literacy earlier - here are our results for literacy attainment:

Benjamin 5.0 years old, Jenny 4.5, Julia 7.0, Joseph 6.5, Jacob 6.0. A public school kid that receives no parental support is lucky to get it at 8 at the cost of about $16,000 to the public (Rob Murphy or anybody more familiar with the public education system - feel free to correct me on this if I am wrong). But assuming those numbers hold, why do we not reward each family that did not burden the overload public education system by putting their child in it with $8,000 if their child is reading fluently by 8 years old and otherwise performs on par on tests administered by an independent entity?

From jun on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 12:38:13 from 205.158.160.209

I've sat back and watched discussions like this happen on this site (usually on your blog) for a few years now and have refrained from chiming in. This time I think I can't pass up the opportunity.

My thoughts have nothing to do with home schooling or what's better or how it translates to running (which I can't understand what you're even try to correlate Sasha). This has everything to do with your elitest, holier than thou attitude that infects every aspect of this site. If its not running, it's education, if it's not education, it's religion. You stand on a pedestal and point your finger down at the rest of us with an air of assumed authority that isn't based anything more than your own ego. You talk of training your own kids as 'superior', that home schooling is 'superior', that if you aren't a superior marathoner you aren't really trying. And above all, if you are a trail runner/ultra-marathoner, you are nothing more than a glorified "bush-whacker" (your own words from a couple of years ago). You speak about creating and managing this site like you're doing the rest of us a favor. But if I've learned oen thing from being on here the last few years it's that the real reason for you to have this site is to continue to inflate your own ego.

So thanks for giving me a reason to finally leave Sasha. While I love this site I refuse to support you. For those that will get to read this before you obviously delete it I hope they will continue to stay in touch with me on facebook and elsewhere. Don't worry Sasha, you don't have to ban me, I'll take care of deleting my own account.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 14:10:06 from 69.28.149.29

Jun:

This is my site. The server is sitting at my house in the basement. When it goes down, I make it a priority to fix it. I wrote the software behind it. I think this gives me the right to say whatever I want whether you like it or not. If you do not like it, why are you still here?

I think you've missed the point. I am not trying to show who is better, but rather what is better. I've spent some time and effort to figure it out, and I am happy to share it with anybody who cares to try it.

From jun on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 14:13:50 from 205.158.160.209

Sasha:

Thank you for proving my point. Feel free to delete my account since I can't figure out how to. I have no desire to hang around here any more.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 16:30:33 from 69.28.149.29

I also wonder how this site serves to boost my ego. Before I started it, I could win a marathon in Utah. Since I started it, I have run a PR, but have not won a marathon - and more often than not it is the the Fast Running Bloggers that boot me off the podium. I do not mind at all - I am happy to see people do what it takes to run fast and prove that the reason I beat them before was not that I am inherently better, but because I did something that was better, and when they do it, and especially when they find something that is even better, they can have even more success that I did. And when they do, they can share.

The blog is about sharing the principles of success, and overcoming failure. To some sharing success, sharing a better way, equates to being boastful and promoting your ego. This is rather unfortunate, because that limits their ability to learn from success.

But it is their choice. If they want to stay where they are, they most definitely can. If you want your blog to disappear, you just disable the public view of your blog in the Blog Options. You still can use it to keep track of your workouts, mileage, shoes, courses, etc. If you change your mind, you can make it reappear by re-enabling the option.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 17:13:28 from 69.28.149.29

I just had a bright idea, or at least I think it is bright - this discussion sheds some light on why our top federal tax rate is 39%!

From Jon on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:00:17 from 107.203.52.135

Hey Jun- based on my last race, I'd say the best trail/ultra races really are the bushwhacking kinds. So I take that as a compliment ;)

FWIW, I've had more than my shares of tiffs on FRB over the years, some with Sasha, some with others. Maybe being outside Utah helps now, but I try to avoid getting as worked up and generally just look at a few of my friends' blogs. The whole FRB community has definitely changed many times, but I'll always look back fondly on the good old days (2008 ish)

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:33:31 from 69.28.149.29

DaleG - I do not ban people for expressing a different opinion. Thanks for sharing it in a constructive way.

Now let me ask you - how do I properly communicate that my way is better, when I know 100% that it is? In chess it is easy - you just make the moves, you can even let your opponent take moves back to show him that no matter what he does, after the one bad move he made that he thought was not bad he is going to lose. In running it is not as easy, it takes time, but it is doable - you end up with a hard number - the time you ran with one approach, and the time you ran with the other. But what do you do when somebody begins to defend a less effective approach with "you think you are better than everyone" and is not willing to give your approach an honest shot?

From Tyler on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 18:44:53 from 140.160.12.40

This discussion took an ugly twist, and it bothers me. I guess I missed the "holier-than-thou" tone in Sasha's posts.

From Rob on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 19:05:13 from 166.137.119.33

Chess analogies now? In chess, is there only one way to win or do the moves changes based on the opponent and other factors at play?

There are lots of disturbing things going on here, but the one I know you are 100% wrong is thinking you have a right to participate in a school activity when you fundamentally disagree with the rest of the system. I tend to think from what I know of you that even you understand why this is wrong. Why should people pick and choose which the peices that suit them and disagree with everything else?

From Jon on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 19:15:24 from 107.203.52.135

I know what works for me. Well, kind of. Ok, maybe not even that. And if I don't know what works for me perfectly, I'm not going to preach to others. If what I'm doing looks good to and attracts others, they will naturally follow my example.

In other words, set your shining light on the hill for others to see. No need to fan the flames to show how much brighter you are...

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 20:06:37 from 72.250.218.114

Rob:

In chess there is a concept of a forced move. There are positions where out of 30 or so legal moves only one does not lose. Guess what happens if you fail to see that in a given position a certain move was forced and your opponent does know that that move was forced and why. Happened to me plenty of times...

I've tried to explain several times, but somehow my comment about the superiority of the home schooling was not understood. The arguments that come back are - I do not have the time to run 100 miles a week, I get injured when I run 100 miles a week, I know a guy who tried running 100 miles a week and overtrained or got injured, but I am yet to hear somebody say I know a guy who ran 20 miles a week and got 2:05.

I am not saying that every attempt at home schooling will produce better results against the public school method. I am saying that when properly done, home schooling will win against public school. What exactly is properly done? Some fundamental principles:

- Parents must feel responsible, be committed, and must not hesitate to sacrifice.

- Parents must connect well with the children.

- Proper work ethic must be taught.

- Children are taught by precept and example how overcome limits, how do deal with failure, and how to not only dream about going to the stars but how to actually get there.

- Children must be taught how to be a self-learner that is not afraid to get ahead of the teacher, and how to learn the things the teacher does not know.

- Combination of aptitude, drive to achieve, and self-discipline beats accumulation of facts in the long run. Do not accumulate facts at the cost of developing those three elements of success. A function with the higher fourth derivative will eventually outpace the one with the higher derivatives of the lower order.

- You do not have to be smart to teach all of the above, and you do not have to have a masters degree in education to succeed in home schooling, you just need to do what it takes one step at a time.

From By-run on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 20:07:32 from 50.8.79.137

I like cheese!

From Tyler on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 23:59:00 from 140.160.9.108

I felt like adding a couple more thoughts to the conversation.

I don't think Sasha is saying he or his kids are superior to anybody. I have the benefit of having met and trained with Sasha, so I read his comments in the light of what I know of him as a person.

It seems to me he is stating that, as an ideal, home schooling is superior. Which I agree with in all sense but a social one. As an ideal, a kid can learn better, quicker, and receive more specific attention in the home than in the one-size-fits-all public system we have. The public system attempts to make itself less that way all the time, and I think it's great for what it is. But it is far from ideal. I certainly had a good overall experience. But I also look at it and can see that my development was slowed over what it could have been had I been allowed to progress at my own pace.

For 99% of the population, that ideal isn't possible. There are very few families that have the capacity to do what Sasha is doing with his. However, I look at what Sasha is doing and try to pick out what I may be able to do with my own children when they come along. Like instilling a love of running and learning. I have no desire to patronize Sasha, but I can recognize that his kids are way out of the ordinary in both of those areas, and I hope I can achieve that with my own. And I feel that by sharing his opinions and giving glimpses into what he does with his kids, it allows me to see a few ideas that I may be able to incorporate into my own family. His ideas have, on many occasions, challenged my own view of the world, and I think that's a good thing. even if they sound odd at first.

Just my thoughts. It bothers me to see someone I respect attacked openly.

From DaleG on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 00:49:25 from 152.216.11.5

I deleted my comments. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like a jerk. I let my emotions get the best of me. Bad Dale!

From SlowJoe on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 06:39:57 from 96.61.24.215

Jun - ah, come on man. Don't delete your account. Take the internet for what it is: a giant sounding board. I'm actually taking some of Sasha's advice ON RUNNING and modifying my training this spring. It doesn't mean I'm going to convert my family to LDS and home-school my kids though, even though I read Sasha's blog all the time. I read yours too, and while I don't comment much, I enjoy the tales of bushwhacking (just kidding) and reading about your exploits. I've seen you get hyper-offended on Burt's blog and now here. We all want a little sounding board, and to be heard (that's why you have 2 blogs and probably a facebook account, right?). It doesn't mean you have to become anyone's disciple.

From Rob Murphy on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 13:54:59 from 24.10.249.165

Sasha - The argument that you should get a refund if you don't have children in the public school system is an old one that I've been hearing for years from gay couples,people without children, private school parents, home schoolers, and the elderly.

Here's the deal. We, as a nation, have made the decision that education is a societal responsibility as well as a parental responsibility. We all benefit from public education whether we have children in the system or not. The next time you visit your family doctor who was likely educated in a public school, you can thank the public school system. When you drive on an interstate highway designed by a public school trained engineer... I could go on forever.

What you propose would result in complete chaos. After all, where would you draw the line? Government provides lots of services that not everybody uses but everybody pays for. There are people who never go to a city or county park. Should they get a portion of their property taxes back that goes to fund parks? I have never personally used the Utah State Prison system while there are some families that are "overloading the system" with several family members in prison. Should I get a refund? What if I buy my books from Amazon instead of borrowing them from the Salt Lake library? Should I get a refund?

You see what I'm saying? If the government decided to give you a refund for home schooling your kids, every person who doesn't utilize any other government service as fully as someone else would demand a refund. Public services would become either unsustainable or very expensive for those who use them and would probably disappear.

I realize that the disappearance of all government services save military protection might be a desirable outcome for some fringe conservatives, but for most of us, it would detract from our quality of life and would be unacceptable.

From CollinAnderson on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 15:01:01 from 70.196.198.169

Wow, this thread is crazy. Since everyone is chiming in with "my two cents", here are "my two cents":

First of all, let me say that I work quite a bit as a private tutor. I obviously do it to make some extra money on the side, but honestly, I have students that I would work with for free if they couldn't afford it, because I genuinely love to see kids become passionate and excited about difficult school subjects that they previously "hated".

With that in mind, my belief is that some public schools are genuinely terrible, while some are genuinely fantastic. The majority are obviously somewhere in the middle. Students I work with from some public high schools relay stories to me that are downright shocking and disheartening. I have found, in my interactions with some high school math teachers, that they are unbelievably incompetent and simply do not understand the material they are teaching. However, I have seen some kids who clearly have excellent teachers. The problem that they run into is that they may not naturally excel at math (typically what I tutor in), and need extra help, as their parents don't know the subject at all and can't help. Rob can correct me on this, but my impression of Utah schools in general are that they are "OK". They could use more money and a small percentage of the teachers aren't worth their weight in scrap metal, but, in general, they are at least trying.

I think that some parents might make good home schooling teachers for many subjects. For example, my mother, currently a 5th grade teacher, had my brother in both a 3rd and 5th grade class and he excelled in those years. However, despite the fact that she is by far the most dedicated elementary teacher I have ever encountered (working 70+ hours a week, with a masters in gifted and talented education, a State Teacher of the Year finalist recognition, and countless extra graduate level courses to her name that she has paid for out of pocket to improve her abilities as a teacher), she simply would not be capable of teaching high school level science. She would be more than capable of learning the material and relaying it, but, as someone who has been extremely successful with tutoring clients (brought kids up to 35 on the ACT, turned F students into A students, etc), I recognize that having a genuine intuition for the material is quite important. Perhaps my dad, who works on the business side of chemistry/chemical engineering after having been a chemist for some time, would have been helpful with these subjects, but most families simply don't have well-rounded enough parents to be able to provide full coverage of important material.

However, even with brilliant and excellent parents and other very academically inclined relatives (a Princeton PhD, multiple professors with high-level honorary chairs, a Nobel Prize nomination, etc), that would have been excellent with aiding in my education, I value the education I received. My high school was recently ranked as the top high school in Minnesota, so perhaps that has something to do with it, but, more than anything, I think that the ability to run on XC/track teams, compete on debate/speech teams, and lead the math team to the state tournament as captain (yes, I'm a nerd) were experiences that took a potentially unbalanced kid and turned him into someone that I'm proud to be.

The other extreme negative downside to me being home-schooled would be that my mother would no longer have been able to work full time as an elementary teacher in our district. When she received her nomination as a teacher of the year, she asked if anyone would write her a letter of recommendation. The response was remarkable and she received literally hundreds of beautifully written letters from colleagues, parents of former and current students, and most importantly, former students, who made the claim that my mother directly impacted their lives in ways that no-one else possibly could have, leading them to become lifetime lovers of education (and yes, I read every single letter). If my mother had home-schooled me, literally thousands of students would not have been able to have her influence in their lives.

Even with my mother as a full-time private teacher, I can't imagine that my life would've turned out any better. I gained admission to and was educated at Johns Hopkins, the top university in the world for my field. After that, I gained admission to and am currently working on my PhD in a program and laboratory that are more directly applicable to my career and educational goals than any other. Part of what helped me to gain admission to my undergraduate institution, which led to my graduate admissions at numerous top programs across the country, was my excellent public school education. Beyond this, the extracurricular offerings from my school that I participated in played a large part in my admission to undergrad, and I would've been unable to participate without having attended my public school.

Obviously, schools can improve. If public schooling systems are to improve, funding needs to be greatly increased from both the federal and state levels. Teachers need to be paid more. Personally, I would love to work as a teacher and I know that I would be an excellent educator due to my infectious interest in the material that I tutor as well as my deep passion for seeing the kids I work with excel in both their academic and personal pursuits. However, I will likely never work as an educator at any level below the university level because the pay is simply too low. I don't care that much about money for myself personally, but I wish to be able to send my future children to top level universities and provide them with all of the advantages that I had and I know that this would be impossible on a teacher's salary, as long as my wife isn't working in some sort of six-figure position. Additionally, teachers need to be paid based on merit. Merit can be measured in numerous ways and creating an incentive to really invest themselves in their classrooms will undoubtedly make teachers better at what they do. As a further note, funding should be high enough for classroom materials that kids are provided with up to date and functional materials. One less fighter plane for the military or Congress cutting out their orders of $435 hammers could mean a remarkable increase in educational funding. I know that the budget is a hot issue, but there are numerous ways to add funding to education. I don't care where the money comes from, but education should be one of the highest, if not the single highest, priorities of our government. Personally, I'd be absolutely willing to take an increase in taxes if it was going towards education.

In summary, I believe the following: certain home schooling situations are great, while certain public education situations are great. Which one wins out is absolutely situationally dependent. Sasha, you are obviously extremely dedicated to your kids, and I imagine that what you are doing for them is very good. However, for certain kids like me who were a bit socially awkward growing up, a public education was the best education imaginable, as the social interaction with peers led me to become a more grounded person. When I have kids, I would be in the same position of not allowing them to attend certain high schools in Utah. That said, if I happen to marry a woman who works as a teacher, and who, most importantly, has as much academic abilities as my own mother, I would absolutely not want her to do a disservice to society by focusing only on her own children.

From CollinAnderson on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 15:01:36 from 70.196.198.169

Crap, that was super long. Sorry.

From Matt Poulsen on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 16:13:11 from 98.202.242.213

Interesting discussion. I want to make only a couple brief points. As the popular phrase goes, "There is more than one way to skin a cat." I believe that no one way to educate is 100% superior to another. For some families, home schooling is superior. For other families, public schooling is superior.

Sasha and family are obviously doing a great job with home schooling. I was educated in the public school system, and I had a wonderful experience. I wouldn't have had it any other way. My children are also in the public school system. Sure, some teachers are better than others, and some activities are better than others, but that's the way life is. Learning how to discern between good, better, and worse (as it applies to any subject, activity, or life pursuit) is one of the most important things to be learned during education.

I believe that humility is the key: Having the humility to realize that there are many, equally effective, ways to get the same job done. I believe that true learning cannot be fully achieved without understanding this principle.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 17:04:03 from 72.250.218.114

Tyler - thanks for explaining what I was trying to say in different words.

Rob - my proposal is not to refund everybody who does not have the children in the public school system, but only those who have children, do not put them in the public school system, yet whose children nevertheless achieve at the level of a public school measured on tests administered by an independent entity.

The idea is to make the education field truly competitive. Let the public, private, and home schools compete fairly with the standards clearly defined, and let the best one win. Currently it is not - public school is taxpayer-funded regardless of its performance while private and home is not again regardless of the performance.

From steve ash on Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 23:17:50 from 174.52.100.252

I just want to say in defense of my friend Sasha that you may not agree with his assertions, however I have known him for over a dozen years now. I believe his heart is in the right place and by seeing the results through the years has convinced me of the merits of home schooling. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trashing the public school system by any measure, without it I'm sure our society would not have made the great strides and achievements we have experienced over the course of history. That being said, I do believe that when it comes to education, I think every family should have a choice in order to pass on it's values and belief system. The family is at the core of the success of mankind and without it we would be lost in the darkness. We are already as a nation starting to see the catastrophic results of the decline of our families in being the center of importance in our society.

I could go on but I don't I don't really feel the need to do so. I may not agree with Sasha all the time, but I respect his opinion nonetheless because I've seen the success of his family and most importantly because I know where his heart is.

I guess what I'm trying to say to some of you is not to judge him so harshly.

From seeaprilrun on Wed, May 01, 2013 at 13:55:17 from 68.102.189.33

I don't agree with all of Sasha's opinions. I'm sure he wouldn't agree with all of mine. I do know this, he is not pompous or superior in attitude. I have never met him personally, but in e-mail correspondence several times over the years in search of training advice, I have been approached with nothing but compassion and kindness. His vested interest in his children and strong assertions do not offend me at all. I'm a single mom, not Mormon, and my kids are in public school, and I was not made to feel judged. As far as training advice, I bought totally into Sasha's advice, including lifestyle changes like no caffeine right about 2 years ago, and went from bilateral tibial stress fractures to a sub-3 marathon and 17 minute pr in 5 months--off of 60ish miles a week, since my status as a full time working mother was taken into account with regards recovery opportunity. Obviously he knows what he's talking about and does not recklessly tell people to run 100 miles a week. When I'm recovered from my current injuries(not training related), I will seek out more advice. It's been free of charge, and I am grateful. I started it 3 weeks after starting running, hoping to run a 5k in less than 30 minutes. Sasha randomly commented and told me I could do more.

That's all it took. So there is my two cents.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5. Joseph and Jacob did a mile time trial at Orem High Track with me, Benjamin and Jenny assisting. Learning from the experience last week where Joseph was content to run ahead of Jacob the slowest possible so that he still could feel he was winning we changed the arrangement. Benjamin, Jenny, and Jacob started 20 seconds ahead of me and Joseph.  This produced much better results for Joseph, and still another PR for Jacob.

Splits: Joseph: 1:39, 1:40, 1:40, 1:36 for the last lap total time 6:38.1 - new PR by 14 seconds, the balance goes to the extra 9.34 meters.

Jacob: 1:45, 1:47, 1:45, 1:43 - 7:02 - new PR by 2 seconds, the balance goes to the extra 9.34 meters as well.

Joseph caught Jacob on the last lap and ended up about 4 seconds ahead. Jenny joined Joseph once he caught up and ended up with 6:58 for her mile.

Jacob now holds the family 6 and under record. Joseph technically does not yet hold 8 and under family record, but he is going to get it. Benjamin ran 6:32 shortly before turning 9, and Joseph has 9 months before that happens. Benjamin barely broke 7:00 at Joseph's current age.

I realized that Jacob has another unique family record. Fastest time in the mile while still having all of the baby teeth in place. Benjamin had the misfortune of losing his first baby tooth at the age of 5, so we are looking at around 9:00 - 8:20 level performance. We have not yet figured out exactly when his first baby tooth fell out. Joseph's fell out at the age of early 7 when his mile PR was only 7:53. But Jacob has already run 7:02, and if he can hold on to his baby teeth for another week or so and the weather cooperates, he has a good shot of becoming a sub-7:00 miler with all of his baby teeth still in place!

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.500.0012.00

A.M. Easy run - 12 miles. Most with the kids, but I got 5 on my own at 7:00 pace. Benjamin and Julia were at grandma and grandpa's house. Benjamin ran 8, Julia did 3. Jenny did 4, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a short pickup uphill by the house for 0.51 in 2:49.5, so about 5:30 pace.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.5013.500.000.0020.00

A.M. Today was my last run as a young man. I am turning 40 tomorrow and will become a master. Started the run late today due to the ward cleanup that did not finish until after 10:30 AM. But it was actually good because it was raining earlier, but then it stopped. So I did 3 with Joseph and Jenny, then 1 with Jacob, 2 with Sarah, and 0.5 with William. Benjamin did 8 and Julia did 2 at grandparent's house. After I was done with the slow portion of the run I decided to do something that I have not felt I was ready for in a long time but it seemed to just be falling into my plate given a relatively slow pace in the first 6.5 and the need to finish the run in some reasonable time. Well, the pace was not that slow - Jenny and Joseph averaged under 8:20 on a hilly course , Jacob ran 8:00 pace on the same hilly course, Sarah averaged sub-10:00 and so did William. But it still justified an extra effort in the remaining 13.5 of the long run. So I decided to run 6.75 out from the house into the Provo Canyon, and then back. This not a happy course for a tempo run for sure, and the distance was long. So I said fight for sub-6:00 average, but realize it might not happen and do not get depressed if so.

Fortunately, I somehow managed to dip under 6:00 average finishing the run in 1:20:58. My split for my 3 mile Provo Canyon course going up was 18:02. At the turnaround my time was 40;53. With that I was getting quite encouraged about gapping the 6:00 guy by a minute on the way back, but I forgot about two things. One, it was 1 pm already, and the wind had turned around becoming an odd cross wind which was friendlier when you ran up than  when you ran down. Two, running 6:00 pace up the canyon took some juice out of me. So coming back I was running sub-6:00, but only marginally. The 3 mile stretch down was only 17:41. Nevertheless, it was enough to build enough gap before the final half mile uphill that I did not lose it all, and ended up 2 seconds ahead of my virtual nemesis.

I am quite encouraged by this run. Whenever I can hold sub-6:00 for 13 or longer at the end of a 20 miler even on a flat course with no wind, that is a big positive, but it is particularly positive when there is no net elevation drop, there is a lot of climbing, and we add head wind into the picture. I attribute the success to my recent discovery of vertical leg press which I have been doing faithfully 3 times a week.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Tom on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:22:55 from 160.7.252.221

Welcome to Master-hood!

From Jon on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:29:08 from 107.203.52.135

Happy birthday tomorrow

From Rob Murphy on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:36:30 from 24.10.249.165

I've got nine years of old man running under my belt. It's awesome!

From Dave Taylor on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:37:05 from 174.23.78.66

Uh Oh You will be hard to beat. Oh well, I'll just hit it harder. After all, I get faster while everyone else gets older :)

From Burt on Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 22:51:59 from 68.106.9.193

Well, shoot. I came here to wish you a happy birthday, but it looks like the cat's already out of the bag. Happy birthday anyway.

From steve ash on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 07:27:05 from 174.52.100.252

Happy Birthday Sasha! Welcome to the old boys club:)

From jtshad on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 07:34:59 from 141.221.191.225

Happy birthday and welcome to the Master's circuit. A face and fun group of guys at this age and level.

From Bonnie on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 07:41:53 from 64.119.33.134

Happy birthday, Sasha, welcome to the masters class!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Got a lot of happy birthdays. 40 years old officially.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Kam on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 13:36:05 from 68.66.163.179

Utah Masters runners are quivering now.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 14:15:27 from 69.28.149.29

They have already been quivering since Iain Hunter turned 40 :-) I suppose he only runs St. George, while I run Utah Valley, Deseret News (sometimes), and Top of Utah. Next year I believe Scott Keate will be a master, and I think Matt Poulsen is not that far away from the threshhold.

Really, 40 is not that old. We make it older than it should be through unhealthy lifestyle of stress, lack of exercise, and poor diet which starts taking its toll after some time. I hope to make a contribution with the Fast Running Blog to change that expectation, and to show what should be normal for 40.

From JimmySG on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 14:28:08 from 204.113.19.55

Happy late birthday. I agree the Master's division is going to get some still competition in the next bit.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5. Jacob set a PR for our 2+ mile course- 16:09, an improvement of 36 seconds. His first half was 8:18, second half 7:51.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.290.006.210.0015.50

A.M. Total of 15.5. Did a 10 K time trial with Benjamin. We drove to the Canyon View Park and warmed up 3.25 miles to the start of our 10 K course which was about a quarter mile past Bridal Vail falls. Then we ran to the house from there. The course has an elevation drop of about 380 feet according to Pachev Uneventful 10 K, but it does have uphill in the last mile. Actually the profile I made is not 100% accurate - it completed missed the uphill in the last 0.2. I can understand why - there is one road that goes sharply up, while there is a road right next to it that stays flat, and in between those two there is a steep wild hill part of which is actually on our property. USGS data shows average elevations for squares, and coupled with a possible geo-coding error we have a problem. In any case, the profile is accurate for the first 6 miles of the course, and the Course Tool suggests that we get a speed up of 8 seconds per mile from the downhill not accounting for the final climb. That is within the range of believable.

One thing for sure is that this course is slower than Deseret News 10 K measured correctly with police not taking runners the wrong way. I wanted to see what Benjamin had in him over a longer distances, so the target was to run 5:40 down the canyon until failure, then see what kind of failure we got if any.

From the start Benjamin was tailgating me, so I figured he was full of juice and decided to build a lead on the 5:40 guy while we could. So first mile in 5:29, then 5:32. Around 2.5 Benjamin groaned, and I figured we should ease off. Next mile in 5:37, 16:38 at 3 miles. I am figuring we went through the 5 K in around 17:13. Then Benjamin started to wear out, I am suspecting it was more psychological as he had never run this fast for this long, so I eased off the pace to 6:00 for a quarter or so to let him rest.  I wrote this and observed that it is quite remarkable that I am calling 6:00 pace for a 14-year-old boy in the middle of a 10 K "rest".

I would have been happy if he had just run 6:00 pace all the way home, but he did a bit better. Our next mile was 5:52, followed by 5:54. The closing mile uphill was 5:53, which I was very happy about. Our total time was 35:30.2 which comes out to 5:42.8 average. Closing 5 K on a more difficult part was 18:17 in spite of the crash, which is still quite respectable.

This was a good confidence builder for Benjamin. He's never run more than 4 miles at sub-6:00 average. He learned today that he can go out aggressively, and when he crashes it will still be faster than 6:00. This is a very important mile stone.

Jenny and Julia did 3 on their own. I ran 1 with Jacob earlier before we drove to the park, and then did 3.25 with Joseph back to the car, and then 2 more with Sarah. So I ended up with a medium long run.

And I suppose I should record my own master's PR of 35:30 for a 10 K.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Steve on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 19:28:17 from 66.87.18.20

He's lucky to have a dad that spends that kind of time with him.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Jenny for a mile time trial at Orem High Track.  This was an important step for her. She is 12 years old and has struggled with growth. Her muscles grew faster than the bones, and the bones in turn grew faster than the heart and lungs. Last year was the first time she ran PRs since she was 8. Her training runs have been difficult. Yet she has endured well. That ability has come from knowing that she is a daughter of God, and having a testimony of Christ. The Lord knows I am weak, so He sends me strong children.

Jenny recently started running 4 miles for 3 days of the week alternating it with 3 on other days. This was a step of faith for her, and she wanted to measure the progress.  Her PR was 6:42. With Joseph running 6:38 she also felt motivated to retake the the non-Daddy non-Benjamin family record. Benjamin and I paced her. The target was 1:38 laps, then kick in the last lap hoping for a 94 and 6:30 for the mile.

The plan was executed perfectly which was quite remarkable. I was able to hit three 1:38 laps exactly. I think the reason is that Jenny is a very rhythmic runner. I remember back when she was 6 or 7 she would hit the exact same split on every quarter - this amazed me. Sensing her rhythm helped me run evenly. It did help that she never lost contact and I did not have to worry about asking for a low five. Then she kicked and ran the last lap in 92, which gave her 6:28.2 for the mile - a PR by 14 seconds and a huge mental breakthrough.

Jenny ended up with 3 for the day. Benjamin did 8, Julia 2, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From CollinAnderson on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 22:04:12 from 70.208.0.187

Cool stuff. I'm looking forward to finally meeting up and running with you and Chad on Saturday!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.500.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Today was a significant day in our family history. A child with all of his baby teeth did not break a tooth, and did not break a window (another child did earlier), but he broke something else - 7:00 barrier in the mile. This child was Jacob, which now makes it 7 people out of 10 who have broken 7:00 in the mile, while those who have not are all under the age of 5.  We also now have the distinction of having somebody in the family who broke 7:00 before turning 7. This would not have meant much to me if it was my first child, but with the fifth it means a lot because now I know how impossible it is for a 6 year old to crack 7:00 barrier in the mile.

First, I paced Joseph through a 400 in 86.6. This was not quite what we were hoping for - well, you cannot have success all the time. Joseph for the life of him was afraid to really sprint and it was subconscious - there was nothing he could do about it. But this is normal and is not too hard to fix. All we need to do is have Jacob start ahead of him.

Then Benjamin, Joseph, and I helped Jacob break 7:00 in the mile. Unlike with Jenny, the pacing was less than ideal. I blew it in the first 200 opening in 49. After that Jacob did not trust my pacing, so we had to do a lot of low fives to get him going at the right pace. So our first lap was around 1:45, then 1:47. Things were not looking good for sub-7:00, but then Jacob was able to shift gears and hit the next lap in 1:41. That was quite remarkable. He held his own in that last lap with a high 1:42, which gave him 6:57.8 for the mile, and he got his 800 PR by 1 second as well - 3:23. Jacob runs like no other kid I've ever seen - not just in terms of speed, but in terms of pacing. He looks like he is struggling, like what he is giving is all he's got. Then somewhere mid-distance he can just surge, and then he lives after it.

Then I ran more, most with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5,  Joseph and Jacob 2 total, Jenny 4, Julia 3, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.250.000.001.2515.50

A.M. Total of 15 miles. Benjamin did 9, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Jenny 3, Julia 3. I did a workout with Benjamin. The purpose of it to get an idea of how much speed he really had, and also to rattle the cage and try to help him not be afraid of higher speeds in longer distances. I was looking through the Utah USATF records in the 13-14 year old division and to my surprise realized that Benjamin is seriously threatening Josh Rohatinsky's record of 9:49 in 3000 meters and the 1500 record of 4:29 as well. Benjamin ran 10:46 in 3200, if you subtract his slowest 200 from the time, that yields 10:03. The splits were not ideal for a record - 5:32/5:14 with the last two laps being the fastest, and the last lap 10 seconds faster than the average pace in the first 7, neither was having to run alone and having to pass a large number of lapped people on the outside lane - he lapped everybody in the heat at least once. So I see how even without an increase in fitness he could have found those extra 14 seconds needed for the record.

Now, in all honesty I do not think the record is that strong. I think Conner Mantz, for example, could have taken it down when he was 14 if he tried - but he just never ran in a 3000 meter race in a USATF meet, I suppose - I do not know for sure that he had not, but I am suspecting if he had we would have had a different state record. This reminds me of Porter Rockwell's defense in the murder attempt on the governor of Missouri trial - the governor is still alive, that proves I did not shoot, because if I had he would have been dead. 

But take it or leave it, the record is what it is, and we decided to try to break it this year. We are tentatively planning on going to Eugine to run in the Hayward Field Meet in July. That is cheating, because Josh ran his record in the Summer Games in Cedar City at altitude. But I do want to know what Benjamin can run at sea level when he is not winning (or at least when he is pushed) for a benchmark. We might do the Summer Games as well to have a fair comparison.

So anyway, I wanted Benjamin to psychologically prepare for the assault. So the workout was 800-600-400-200 down the Provo Canyon. Well, more precisely the distances were slightly longer - 0.5, 0.375, 0.25, and 0.125 of a mile, but we were on a net downhill of 1-2%, so this was probably equivalent to running on a windless day on a really good track like BYU for the above mentioned track equivalents.

Benjamin again took me to school. 800 - 2:18.5 for him, 2:18.9 for me.  1000 recovery jog, then 600 - 1:41.5 for him, 1:42.8 for me. 800 recovery, then 400 - 62.3 for him, 64.8 for me. 800 jog, then 200 - 29.4 for him, 31.6 for me. That was better than I was expecting. I thought he would run something like 2:20 - 1:44 - 67 - 31.

One thing I miscalculated is how much this workout was going to take out of him. His gluts and hamstrings were almost post-marathon type sore. I assumed incorrectly that he simply would not have the speed to run himself into the ground. He did. His speed is ahead of his resilience. I knew that, but I just did not realize by how much. Well, now we know what we need to work on. There is really not that much to do except be more moderate with the speed, just keep working on the base, and wait for the muscles to become more resilient as he grows and his conditioning improves. Then we can really work on speed and seriously kick some trash.

P.M. 0.5 with William.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Jake K on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 13:57:24 from 24.2.76.138

That's a impressive workout for him. I'm guessing much faster paces than he usually hits in training.

Does he ever do shorter sprints? I'm wondering if 80-150m efforts at those kinds of paces (with full recovery) would help his muscles (and neuro system) become accustomed to the faster paces, but they would be short enough to not cause too much fatigue and take away from his endurance training.

Although the fact that he can hit those kinds of times off primarily endurance work shows that what he is doing is working... he just might be a little sore afterwards! :-)

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 15:53:18 from 69.28.149.29

Jake:

That is a good thought. Overall we've done a very limited amount of speed training, but we've done some. I have patterned my kids training after the East African experience, which I summarize as "run to school, run back, sprint when you see a hyena" but I still do not fully understand the principles behind it, so this will be a learning experience.

Benjamin just demonstrated to me that speed can be developed by mostly aerobic running, and we are not talking just middle distance speed, this includes top end speed. Maybe not enough to be a world class sprinter, but definitely enough to win the kick in a serious distance race.

One question that arises is if possibly top end speed is just there and does not need to be developed at all. I thought so for some time until a few years ago when I invited some random neighborhood kids to run an all out 100. What I saw was quite revealing - they were about 11-12 years, old, and none of them could crack 17. In fact, all of them except one did not even crack 18. Benjamin at the age of 7 was able to beat all of them except the fastest. That surprised me - I recall from our PE classes in the Soviet Union that 18 for 100 was not a problem for most boys that age, and the fastest random boy out of a reasonably sized crowd would be breaking 15.

So since then I've been thinking about what the difference was caused by. Back then when I was 11-12 it was early 80s. The Soviet TV was extremely boring. A joke is told about a man that turns on channel 1 and sees Brezhnev. He switches to channel 3, and sees Brezhnev again. He switches to channel 11, and sees the same thing. Then he switches to the learning channel, the only remaining one, hoping for a change, and he finds it - he sees a KGB agent shaking a fist at him saying: "If you keep switching channels, you'll be in deep trouble!" That joke was not too far away from reality.

Video games were practically non-existent. A kid had only so much attention span for a book. So he had to find something to do, and he found it outside. It was usually soccer during the summer, and ice-skating/ice hockey or cross-country skiing during the winter. School recess usually involved some kind of a wild running game with younger kids running for their life away from the older kids who have been commissioned by the teachers to keep the young ones from running around, or some kind of fighting among the kids the same age which involved the victim running away from the pursuer, both exercising their top speed. Some disagreements involved post-school-hour resolution. I recall frequently having to run 200 meters all out from the school doors to my apartment to avoid getting beat up. Lenin's teachings of class struggle were clearly being remembered by the younger generation, but it resulted in an overall speed conditioning.

So based on this observation and others, I have developed some suspicions about how speed is developed in a child. If you are sedentary, it is unlikely to develop. But if you run a lot, and only occasionally and in a very unstructured way at top speed, you develop not only endurance but top speed as well. Going along with Lydiard we can say that developing endurance helps developing speed. Why? A kid that has endurance is much more likely to put his engine in top gear and go for it when playing, when he is excited about something, etc. So he gets more practice. He is also more conscious and aware of himself because sprinting does not hurt so bad, so he can a figure out a better sprinting form.

Long story short, if you run a lot of distance at an easy pace, and occasionally sprint, you will have the speed over long and short distances.

From Jake K on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 17:29:54 from 67.177.11.154

Good thoughts, I agree. I like that "run to school, run back, sprint when you see a hyena" philosophy.

Develop the "aerobic house" first. No formal speed training, but touch on it occasionally - whether its a kick at the end of a race/run, a game of tag or some other unstructured activity, etc.

From RAD on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 16:09:14 from 76.27.82.202

What a wonderful week for your birthday your family has provided for you! I love all the accomplishments that were so hard fought. I'm excited to see Benjamin go out and succeed. He has a great coach.

I like the theories that you've discussed. I especially like that a lot of distance with a little sprinting will give you speed over long and short distances. I'm truly putting this to the test this year. Not so successful right now, but maybe the speed will come back...eventually.

I'd still like to push myself and see what I could give in an all out 100!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.003.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Ran with Chad, Collin, and Steve Ashbaker. We started with a 2 mile warm-up taking Joseph for 2 miles. Jenny and Jacob started with us. Jenny did 4, Jacob 1. Julia did 3, Benjamin was at the camp out and ran 4 miles. 

We ran 18 more making it a total of 20. The last 8 miles we did a tempo. The pace started out around 6:10-6:20 range, then we visited 6:05 and maybe even 6:00 range on occasion. Chad was sick and backed off around 4 miles into the tempo. Collin started having problems with about 3 miles to go and told us to go ahead. Steve was a little edgy with 4 and even 3 miles to go, but knowing that he might not be quite in shape on endurance, I gave him some words of caution, so he held back.  Once we pulled ahead, he started having issues with around 1.5 miles to go. So it was good that he held back. Our last 8 miles was 49:45 - 6:13 average. Collin finished about 50 seconds back.

Based on this workout I predicted that Steve's condition was 2:47 in the Top of Utah if he were to taper and run it in two weeks. He will get into better shape, though.

P.M. Jenny did 0.5 with William. Benjamin wanted to run more, but he had some issue with his hip from the combination of yesterday's workout, and sleeping on hard ground during the camp out. We did some stretching, icing, and massage.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Kam on Wed, May 01, 2013 at 13:38:12 from 68.66.163.179

I enjoyed reading all the recent entries about the Pachev children. Great results, great week.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Learned some good things. The lesson in the Elder's Quorum was on the two great commandments - love the Lord, and love thy neighbor as thyself. Was tired when I got home. Took a nap.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.800.000.000.0013.80

A.M. Ran with the kids and Sarah. Total of 13 miles. Benjamin did 7, including a mile with William. He is still recovering from the double hit of the Friday workout and the camp out, but is doing better. We had to stop and stretch/massage him multiple times, but he got through the run. The problem is tight piriformis on the right causing pain at the attachment point to the sacrum in the SI joint area. Tight hamstrings as well contributing to the problem. Not sure if we would be able to do the Uneventful Provo River Half practice on Saturday. But at least he was able to run today - Saturday afternoon after all the massage and stretching he could not even take three running steps.

Jenny did 3, Joseph 3, Julia 3, Jacob 2. William ran a mile with the hand held in 9:57.

P.M. 0.8 for transportation purposes from a car shop to a gas station. Sarah could not find the car shop, and needed to go to the gas station anyway, and I needed a little shakeout run.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 0.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Tara on Wed, May 01, 2013 at 15:34:04 from 75.169.141.91

Oh, I hope he can mend up soon!

From runningafterbabies on Wed, May 01, 2013 at 15:43:45 from 71.195.219.247

If you do go out on Sat will it be during the PCH? I will look for you guys.

From Chad Robinson on Wed, May 01, 2013 at 15:46:10 from 50.73.39.89

Just FYI, you are probably going to have a lot of company if you do the Uneventful Half Saturday. The Provo City Half is pretty much the same course starting at 7:00 am (starts in South Fork).

From Burt on Wed, May 01, 2013 at 15:49:27 from 71.216.109.214

Thanks for the heads up Chad.

From Chad Robinson on Wed, May 01, 2013 at 15:57:19 from 50.73.39.89

Burt, I do my best to keep the people informed.

Sasha - If you postpone it a week to the 11th you could drop me off at mile 3 or so and I could be your slow rabbit.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, including 1 with William in 9:27 holding his hand. Jenny did 4. Her aerobic fitness is starting to finally develop. Finally. It has been a struggle over the last 3 years or so. She grew really fast, her muscles could not keep up with the bones, while the heart and lungs could not keep up with the muscles. But she remained in good spirits, we toughed it out together, and she is beginning to break out of it. Today she ran 4 miles in 32:45 with a reasonable degree of aerobic comfort initiating 7:30 pace mid-run unprovoked. She is still having muscle issues - tension in the neck and lower back today. Julia did 3, Jacob 1, Joseph 2. I did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:48 uphill near the house.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, William 1 in 9:11 holding Benjamin's hand, Jenny 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia 2.25. Jacob and Julia did a time trial on the track. We are focusing on getting Jacob to break 90 in a 400. This is the qualifying standard for the Hayward Field Youth Meet in Eugine. I am not sure if they have the 800 for sub-Bantams, so to get our basis covered we try to get a qualifier in the 400. Plus it is a good goal - sub-90 400 at the age of 6. 

So Jacob raced Julia in the first lap. I thought she would go with him, but she was to scared. He blasted the first 200 in high 42, then faded and finished with 93.1 - a new PR by 3 seconds. Julia still could not catch him and went through the first lap of her 800 in 98. She finished with another 98 and a total time of 3:16.9, which is a repeat of her PR. The conditions were not very good - it was cold and a little windy. We will try again in a couple of days.

I did a couple of pickups. 0.5 from the house going down in 2:45, and then on the way back the same stretch in 2:45 again. It was odd. The stretch looks like it should be much faster going away from the house. But there is a little bump with the grade reaching 9% which just kills the momentum. Also the downhill is hard to get going on - only about 0.15 in length - I need more than that before I find my downhill stride.  Then the bump, then more or less flat, then downhill again about 100 meters of 4%, and 100 meters of 2%. That one is nice, and I start finding my stride there, but the interval end just when I got going. If you go further, it is not nice - a turn, then concrete pavement going uphill. Concrete is not good - bad traction. So anyway, long story short, that 0.5 interval is slow both ways.

One thing I forgot to report is that last week Benjamin broke the 1700 rating barrier in chess for the first time, and his rating now is 1708. He is starting to pull away from me - mine is 1653. 


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.751.001.500.0012.25

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin's piriformis is still not 100%, although it has been slowly recovering. But we decided to postpone the Uneventful Provo River Half until May 18. He also has 4 AP tests coming up - Chemistry, Computer Science, Calculus BC, and Physics C: Mechanics next week. To keep his brain functional, we will run easy next week. We have an ambitious plan to get high scores, then take the ACT hoping the score is good as well, and apply for the winter semester at BYU. If it does not work, we can always try again, we are used to that. However, Benjamin already has a 4 on Calculus BC to his credit from the last year, which is good enough for BYU Math 112, but it would be nice get Math 113 out of the way as well for $89, so he is taking the Calculus BC test again.

He will run in a USATF track meet in Park City on May 11. The goal is to get the qualifying standard in 3000 for the Hayward Field Meet which is very low - 11:30, but it needs to be an official mark. He will try to crack 10:00, but it might be challenging doing it alone and at 6500 or so feet. But we take what we can get.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 1. I did a pickup for 0.5 at around 5:40 pace, then I did a 2 mile tempo coming back to the house from the canyon. The first mile went well - 5:38, which is good for that course, but then I had an odd incident  - my hamstring seized up, and I had to slow down. I still could run the last uphill mile in 6:00 in spite of that, but that was all I could do. So I ended up with 11:38.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.25
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.500.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2.25, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5. Jenny ran 23:58 for 3 miles - her first easy run in a long time that was sub-8:00 average. 

Jacob and Joseph did a time trial on the track at Orem High. Jacob did 400 while Joseph did 800. We started Jacob just a little bit in front of Joseph after Joseph had already run a lap. It was quite interesting. Joseph opened with 43 high 200, then he got a little cautious and slowed down hitting the first 400 in 90.4 or so. With Jacob in front of him he pushed harder in the second lap. But Jacob, being fresh and starting 2 seconds in front, was way too fast and gapped him by a good margin in the first 200. Then Jacob started to wear out, while Joseph maintained the pace and started to close, but he ran out of road.  Jacob ended up with 91.0 400 - new PR by 2 seconds, while Joseph ran 3:00.4 for the 800 - a new PR by 7 seconds.

Benjamin stood and watched to avoid aggravating his injury by fast running, while I paced Joseph. Benjamin commented on Jacob's turnover. Well, he is not even 4 feet tall yet, so to run a 91 quarter you have to turn over like crazy.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.0010.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, William 1. I did a long run - 20 miles. After running the first 5 I realized I really did not want to go any further at any pace.But yet I knew that if I dug deeper I would find another 5 easy miles followed by 10 hard ones. And I did - I ran my first 10 uphill in 1:15:07, and then came back in 58:56. It was a struggle to do alone, but whenever I slipped to 6:00 pace, I always found another gear that took me back up to 5:50 no matter how late into the run it was, and no matter the terrain. That is a good sign.

I did however feel that I need to get more sleep, so I took care of that right after breakfast. It felt good to take a nap.

I realized not too long ago that I could not name a single sub-2:07 marathoner that did not have some kind of religion in his life. I understand why. Up to a certain point of speed you can run the marathon off your natural talent and conditioning. But there comes a time when you cannot progress any further unless you use your faith. I have been there. When I ran my best marathon I approached the start with trepidation because I knew I would be sprinting from the gun. Yes, to some 5:29 pace is a jog, especially on the St. George course, but to me it is very close to sprinting. I have a good excuse - I have only about two-thirds of the L-4 vertebra. Regardless, it was a scary experience, a step into the dark.

Now, there are people you have a healthy spine and other subsystems, and who can condition themselves to be able to go much faster than that without having to visit that zone. But I believe the limit is around 2:10-2:12 for the most talented, well-trained, well-nourished, and well-rested. To go faster, therefore, even the most fit will have to step into the dark, and move their legs by faith. Where does that faith come from? You need to believe that your running has some kind of a higher purpose. You need to more than believe, you need to know. And that knowledge naturally comes when you have faith in God, and God to you is more than a fictional character or concept, but somebody who sent you here, and somebody who will meet you when you are done with this life.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 13:23:10 from 69.28.149.29

Rob:

Lance Armstrong is only a 2:46 guy - drugged. From what I recall, his comment on marathon training was that it was too hard :-) Find a sub-2:07 marathoner that is a declared atheist. The Soviet Union and the East Germany have tried to produce one for years using the level of sophistication that we would consider unthinkable - government sponsored athlete rearing programs, top scientists involved in drug production and testing, anything and everything thrown at winning Olympic gold and setting world records. They have made some progress - the most notable being that Marita Koch's 400 meter record still stands today, and Tatyana Kazankina's 1500 meter record stood for a long time. My coach said only half-jokingly that they should have done a hormone test on her - she would have come out a man after all the drug manipulations. She did manage to have a baby, though, although from what I understand it took a sophisticated team of doctors to make it happen.

But with all those tricks, they never produced a sub-2:07 guy. Ryan Hall has proved, though, that a white guy can go that fast.

I am wondering if the reason is that they never could give the guy something to run for that was sufficiently high to take a step into that zone.

From Rob Murphy on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 13:29:53 from 163.248.33.220

Now I feel bad that I deleted my comment.

From Fritz on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 14:07:15 from 65.116.116.6

I feel bad too.

From Jake K on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 14:24:52 from 67.177.11.154

Why is anyone still talking about Lance? :-)

Somewhat tangential, but this got me thinking "how many athletes have broken 2:07 who aren't from Kenya or Ethiopia?"

The answer... not many!!

This is staggering:

http://www.alltime-athletics.com/mmaraok.htm

From RileyCook on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 14:53:44 from 132.3.45.80

Staggering indeed...wow!

From Fritz on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 14:59:25 from 65.116.116.6

And 2.4% of Kenyans do not have a religion. Uh oh. Maybe it is possible that a non religious person could run a sub 2:07 marathon afterall.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ke.html

Religions:

Christian 82.5% (Protestant 47.4%, Catholic 23.3%, other 11.8%), Muslim 11.1%, Traditionalists 1.6%, other 1.7%, none 2.4%, unspecified 0.7% (2009 census)

From Lulu Walls on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 15:01:00 from 155.100.212.147

Wow! And what is really staggering is that all 225 believe in God! I wonder if they all believe in the same God or if some Gods provide faster legs than other Gods.

From Lulu Walls on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 15:03:10 from 155.100.212.147

Duh Fritz! Those 2.4% of Kenyans without religion are not the 2:07 marathoners, they are more like 4:50 marathoners. Seriously, use your noggin'!

From Bam on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 15:11:57 from 89.126.28.24

Sasha, you strike me as being a decent and genuine man. I suspect that you believe what you've posted to be the truth. And before I make my point, I just want to make it 100% clear that I'm not attacking you, your beliefs, or what you've just posted. But I 'know' you are wrong.

From RileyCook on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 15:26:32 from 132.3.45.79

Speaking of using your noggin, that list is the top marks of all-time, not the top athletes at the distance for all-time, hence there are several duplicates and the actual number is somewhat closer to 125 not 225.

Assuming ethiopians have similar statistics in regards to religion (2.4% w/o religion), odds are that roughly three people on that list are not religious (2.4% of 125).

So, I'd say Sasha found quite the correlation between religion and sub-2:07 marathoners. That can't be denied. The correlation is strongly present. He never stated it had to be in a certain religion, just that they were religious.

But it is up to debate whether the variable of being religious causes the correlation or if it's just happenstance. That can't really be proved without further study. Sasha would argue there is causation and others (I'm guessing you Lulu from your sarcastic replies) would argue otherwise. And each is entitled to their opinion (in my opinion) without being attacked directly or passive-aggressively through sarcasm.

Obviously it's not impossible to run sub-2:07 without being religious and I don't think Sasha was implying that. At least I hope not. I read it as him stating the difficulty of reaching that milestone without being religious (or in other words one who often exercises faith).

From Lulu Walls on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 15:53:26 from 155.98.164.37

You are right he wasn't implying that, I think he was quite clearly stating that.

How else would you interpret this, "To go faster, therefore, even the most fit will have to step into the dark, and move their legs by faith. Where does that faith come from? You need to believe that your running has some kind of a higher purpose. You need to more than believe, you need to know."?

I didn't mean to suggest that there wasn't a correlation between religion and fast marathon times because clearly there is. But correlation does in no way assume causation by definition. Elementary stats.

From RileyCook on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 16:05:42 from 132.3.45.79

Exactly, elementary stats. Which is why I stated exactly that. Did you finish reading my comment? Or do you just automatically go into attack mode? You come off as intolerant of other people's opinions.

In the above quote you copied and pasted of Sasha's the word religious doesn't even show up. So how is that clearly stating that one has to be religious to break 2:07 and it's impossible to otherwise? He used the words faith and higher purpose. Those words can be used to describe things other than religion or God, right? I mean athiests can believe in higher purposes that aren't related to God or religion.

Sasha can clear up his own comments, but I didn't interpret it the same way you did. If he does believe that it's absolutely impossible to break 2:07 without being religious then I disagree with him. If he's saying that it's merely much more difficult, then he has an valid argument and I'd have to ponder more on the issue before deciding if I agree with him or not.

From Fritz on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 16:10:15 from 65.116.116.6

Religion is correlated with everything because most people are religious. So should we blame and/or attribute every good and bad thing in the world to religion? I wouldn't.

From Fritz on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 16:12:32 from 65.116.116.6

Riley-

Sasha said this, "I realized not too long ago that I could not name a single sub-2:07 marathoner that did not have some kind of religion in his life."

Interpret it as you want.

From Lulu Walls on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 16:14:02 from 204.99.164.205

And one more thing Riley/Sasha, I do apologize if my passive agressive comments came off as offensive. My intentions were more of a light hearted disagreement so I am sorry if they came off as attacking.

This blog has been a fun, supportive, happy place for me so I will refrain from getting involved in these converations in the future. I just don't really understand why there have been so many superiority type threads lately, but maybe they have always been here and I haven't noticed. I don't quite underatand what there is to gain from these posts except to attack us non-believers or public school kids...

But hey, at least I apologize if I offend :)

From Bam on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 16:31:31 from 89.126.28.24

I think we have to be careful here not to spill over into a fight where the subtext incites a tear-up about religion v atheism/my God is better than your God and all that clichéd flummery.

Step back and read what Sasha has posted. It’s interesting. Basically, I think he’s saying that if you want to break through the 2:10 barrier, something mystical/spiritual ‘needs’ to transcend the physical. I’m not buying that, but I like it as an interesting starting point for discussion.

So, let’s say I’m gunning for 2:06:30; I’ve chosen myself, not for my talent when it comes to the marathon, rather because I ‘know,’ with the same spirit as any believer, that there is no God in any way shape or form.

If I had the ability to run 2:07 and all the necessary and contingent conditions were ripe for me to run 2:07, would I stand the same chance as a runner who matched me in all aspects except he believed in some sort of God/cause? Yes. Of course. I have the same chance; if not a better chance. We both need to dig deep and find something that transcends the apparent physical conditioning. He goes to his God/beliefs. I go to myself. He is, in fact, disadvantaged.

Why is he disadvataged?

I'm off to bed; see if you can work it out - it's pretty simple...:)

From Ben VanBeekum on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 16:35:20 from 199.190.170.21

Well said Sasha!

From RileyCook on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 16:39:56 from 132.3.45.79

Oh this certainly isn't a forum I would use to promote religion or athiesism (or politics for that matter). Which is why I haven't stated my opinion on this subject in this thread.

I know you likely think I have, but I've merely mentioned that Sasha found a correlation that is up for debate and also how I intrepreted what I read.

I only commented on it because every time Sasha posts something like this without fail people begin attacking his views. You can disagree with someone without being intolerant of their views and I don't think that happens on here (my opinion). Actually Bam did a good job of disagreeing without being intolerant of Sasha's view...nice work.

But apology accepted and also extended on my end.

Fritz: I'll go with the strict, literal interpretation: Unless he can name all 125, which I actually wouldn't put past him, I don't think he was saying one doesn't exist, but rather that he couldn't name one. In fact he wrote "I could not name a single..."

From Jake K on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 16:43:47 from 67.177.11.154

Man that's a lot of comment replys in the old inbox. I can only name like four famous runners off the top of my head anyways. Dean Karnazes, Bill Rodgers, Caballo Blanco, and Fritz. Not sure if any of them have broken 2:07.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 17:43:33 from 69.28.149.29

Riley's explanation of my comments is correct, that is what I meant. While I do not exclude the possibility of a professed atheist going under 2:07, I have not seen it yet, and I do not think it is a mere coincidence. I have not run 2:07, but I have gotten comparably close to my all out mile in the marathon as those guys get to theirs, and I know how scary that is when you know the wall like you know the palm of your hand, but you also know what you are supposed to do to run the time you are fit to run.

Bam - before I became religious or even knew anything about God, I always felt there was some purpose to my running that I could not quite understand. People asked me why I ran, I did not have an answer, but I knew it would be wrong to stop even though it hurt, I was not progressing, and it even stunted my growth when I overtrained at the age of 13. It was that knowledge that there was something beyond me that made it easier for me to believe in God later.

That sense of purpose was increased and clarified to the point where I could actually answer the question of why I ran when I became a believer.

I would recommend that you keep training and get to the point where your marathon feels like a sprint and you are concerned about hitting mile 1 on pace, and if you have not slept enough you will not. You do not have to be a 2:07 guy - this can be experienced at lower speeds. Then perhaps what I said might make sense.

From Fritz on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 18:19:27 from 65.116.116.6

I definitely need to stop commenting on these posts because I am obviously not a good interpreter. This is becoming harder than reading comprehension on the LSAT.

From notoldjustolder on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 19:05:45 from 184.167.133.14

When you "stunted" your growth at age 13, were you running more than your 13 yr old son?

For whatever it is worth, I would say that running fast is 90% genetics. You once commented to me on the blog that with the right training I could be a sub 2:20 guy. For a moment I wanted to believe, but then I woke up to reality. Heck I am not even a sub 3:00 guy....yet...

Anyways, there are more important things to worry about. Right?

Running is an addiction, a habit, a way of life.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 19:10:39 from 69.28.149.29

When my growth was stunned I was running 60 miles a week in doubles, and was doing speed four times a week off poor nutrition. This made me afraid of high mileage for the next ten years or so, and that was part of the reason the progress stopped.

From RileyCook on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 21:00:30 from 65.130.68.80

Fritz: "This is becoming harder than reading comprehension on the LSAT."

Now, that's funny!

From Holt on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 21:13:02 from 67.2.241.133

My favorite comment was Jake's. Nice one! But after his Ironman/Ironboy I have to throw Clyde onto the list of famous runners. And I train with him... so that's something!

From Rob Murphy on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 21:51:11 from 24.10.249.165

This is why I deleted my original comment. I feared if could lead to such a discussion like the home-schooling thread a week ago. Alas, Sasha caught my comment and responded to it within minutes of my posting it.

That being said, I use this blog for a lot of things. Frankly, I get bored just writing about running and I enjoy sharing thoughts about other topics that interest me.It has become a bit like an online journal for me.

I suspect Sasha, who strikes me as a thoughtful person, feels the same way. Although I often disagree with him, his blog is one I check regularly because he often has something interesting to say.

But I never venture into religion because it usually divides people. There are a lot of people on this blog who are of a certain faith that I don't share. Because I value their friendship, I am reluctant to "go there".

We should all think of this blog as something that unites us through our shared passion for running. Because of this blog I actually have a Mormon friend now. I've lived in Utah for eleven years and have enjoyed friendly and cordial relations with most of the LDS people I know, but it always stops just short of true friendship. The great cultural divide here you know? But because of this blog my family has become very close with Steve Anderson and his family and for that I am very grateful.

Our common humanity and our shared obsession can transcend our ideologies.

From steve ash on Mon, May 06, 2013 at 21:58:27 from 174.52.100.252

I couldn't have said it better Rob. The divisive nature of these past strings has made me really sad and disappointed..

From Bam on Tue, May 07, 2013 at 04:50:21 from 89.126.28.24

Sasha, it appears that I too misunderstood the thrust of your point – apologies for that.

The reason I responded to your post had nothing to do with religion and bigotry and fear of you espousing your faith - I don't give two hoots if you believe in the Easter Bunny; I was intrigued by what I (mis)understood to be the thrust of your point. I am now, however, more intrigued with your 'clarification'.

So, if I understand the thrust of your point it’s that sometime ago you ran a marathon that was comparable to the elite guys – not in terms of overall time, but you got comparably close to your all out mile in the marathon as the top end elites – do you mean you ran at a comparable mile pace to elites for 1 mile or from start to finish? This is what intrigues me – I await your clarification…

I think, if I'm not mistaken, you also believe that in order to achieve this ‘step into the ‘dark’, which I take to mean courage to go for it, one needs to call upon faith, in some way shape or form. But you also stated that, ‘While I do not exclude the possibility of a professed atheist going under 2:07, I have not seen it yet, and I do not think it is a mere coincidence.’

So this leaves me confused. Can an atheist go under 2:07 or not? Of course they can and of course they have. So that we can get on with the more interesting aspect of your point, I’ll just end the atheist debate once and for all. Case in point: Sammy Wanjiru was an atheist and he’s arguably the greatest marathon runner of all time.

(Edit) Just so there's no confusion, Sammy Wanjiru did believe in a God but he 'moved away from' his God. He both believed and didn't believe when he ran.

Does this make him a full blown professed athiest - I'm not sure. So, maybe I haven't ended the athiest sub 2:07 debate:)

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, May 07, 2013 at 15:16:46 from 69.28.149.29

Rob:

You made a great point. You cannot become friends with somebody without making at least some effort to understand what makes him tick. Never be afraid to discuss religion with an LDS person. It is against our religion to get offended in any circumstance, and particularly when somebody wants to talk about our religion positively or negatively. Now I admit this is the standard we fall short of, if we did not at the very least our domestic violence and divorce rate would be zero, and it is unfortunately not, but nevertheless it is a standard, and you can expect a committed Latter-Day Saint to take it seriously. So feel free to share your opinions about anything including religion with your LDS friends without any fear. If they get offended, refer them to their doctrine. 3 Nephi 11:29-30, D & C 64:8-10, and numerous talks in General Conference on missionary work.

Bam - my numbers. Best 800 meters on the track 2:12 done with specific middle distance preparation at the age of 18 after 7 years of running experience which included a lot of middle-distance racing. Best marathon on a course like London would need to be estimated. St. George 2:23:57, Top Of Utah 2:27:46, best record-eligible 2:30:32 (St. Jude) but I rarely race at sea-level, and have never run on a really good course that was record-eligible. Doing competitive comparisons I think we can estimate around 2:26-2:27 on a London/Chicago type of course. This gives 0.790 - 0.795 ratio of marathon speed to 800 speed, or in other words, I race the marathon at about 79% of my top 800 speed. For Ryan Hall, best 800 1:51, London best performance of 2:06:17, the same ratio comes out to 0.7726, or in other words he races the marathon at around 77% of his 800 meter speed. So you see why I do not hesitate to tell a 2:05 800 guy that he can crack 2:20 in the marathon.

Did you watch the 2008 Olympic marathon? Do you remember Sammy Wanjiru kneeling down and praying first and only then celebrating? When he ran that gutsy race he was a firm believer or at least he acted like one. I did not realize that he acknowledged that he had moved away from God later, even though his actions obviously indicated it. It is a tragic story that reminds me the fall of King David in the Old Testament.

From Bam on Tue, May 07, 2013 at 15:58:17 from 89.126.28.24

Thanks for that Sasha - very interesting. I was just looking at your Running Accomplishments and noticed your 5k time too.

Most people with your sort of 5k times would be running 2:35(ish) on a London type course - that's taking your 5k pr to be 16(ish) rather than the 15:37. There's no doubting that your marathon pr's are excellent, considering your 5k speed and your 800m speed. To run 7/8 mins(ish) faster than the norm is extraordinary, especially given that the odds are/were stacked against you.

I'm not going to dispute your claims/ideas/reasoning for being able to run what is indubitably, beyond the realms of the norm. Kudos.

On Sammy Boy - Oh yes, I saw him praying and I've seen him praying a good few times but that's a whole other story.

I'll keep an open mind.

I have thought quite a bit today about the whole professed athiest thing. When athletes win sporting competitions they often pray or tell the commentators that they thank God etc. I suppose the athiests should develop some sort of way of giving thanks to nothing:)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. We had a Fast and Testimony meeting, then a lesson in Sunday School about gifts of the Spirit.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.001.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a pickup for a mile. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Benjamin took the AP Chemistry test today at Orem High. This is going to be an interesting benchmark of our educational method. Last year he took Calculus BC test and got a 4, which I thought was a good result for a 13-year-old, but I know calculus well enough to teach the AP test material. I know some chemistry, I successfully challenged BYU Chem 105 19 years ago, I do have a good memory, but it is not perfect, I have not done anything with chemistry since them except occasional curiosity reading, and I found that I did not know enough to teach Benjamin, and I did not have enough time to learn it all either. But I found out that I did not have to. We came up with a study plan, used  KhanAcademy.org, sample tests, Google, and a textbook. He learned what I could not teach him and he taught me some of that in the process as well.  Benjamin came home feeling quite confident in the result, but we will find out how well he learned this when the test scores come out in a month or so.

The concept of an environment where the student exceeds the teacher is something I consider critical for effective education. Not just home school but at any level. When you have a real job, you have to self-learn, you have to figure things out that nobody can teach you. It is a good skill to learn at a young age.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Scott Ensign on Tue, May 07, 2013 at 16:23:41 from 65.130.127.112

Sasha, I have an extensive set of on line chemistry resources for principles of chemistry 1 and 2, equivalent to chem 105 and 106, including all lecture recordings- you and your kids are welcome to use it.

http://biochemistryportal.com/onlinegeneralchemistry.htm

Sometimes the site is password protected (apache), as it is now for chem 2, PM me if you want a username and password.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, May 07, 2013 at 17:14:49 from 69.28.149.29

Scott - thanks. Jenny is our next prospective college student - she still is not quite there yet, but hopefully in a year or so.

From Holt on Tue, May 07, 2013 at 17:31:38 from 204.113.55.41

That is one thing I have found as a struggle as a high school teacher (even as an AP level teacher) - too many students want to be spoon fed rather than be the master of their own learning. For AP US History for example, there is too much information for me to just give them everything. I really try and encourage students to go out and learn on their own and find info and bring it back to class and teach all of us; too often, however, they won't do that. And then it is those that do that excel and the others don't meet the expectations.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 4, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, Julia 3, William 1. Joseph took Stephen for a short run as well. Stephen is still in diapers, so he does not run regularly as a workout.

Benjamin took the AP Computer Science test. Of the four he is taking this year - Chemistry, Computer Science, Calculus BC, and Physics C: Mechanics this might be the easiest for him because he has quite a bit of programming experience. He had to learn Java for this test - most of his experience is in PHP, although he has programmed in Perl and C as well. He felt quite confident after the test, which is a good sign. He also was the only one taking the test. There were about 20 students at Orem High taking the Chemistry exam, but Orem High does not offer Computer Science as a course so Benjamin was it. But they were nice enough to order the test for us and administer it. They only have to proctor, and send it somewhere else to grade, so it is no big deal for them.

I was perhaps naively surprised that nobody else had thought of learning Java on their own and taking the test like Benjamin. If you get even just a 3 (out of 5 graded on a curve) that is a 3 hour credit at BYU for the introductory Computer Science course. Only $89 - compared to around $500 or so worth of tuition - quite a deal. Well, I am posting it here so the cat will be out of the bag.

I did a 3 mile tempo run from the magic spot in the canyon to the house. First mile downhill, then a rolling climb back to the house. Ended up with 17:08. Did not think I'd be running much faster than 6:00 due to the hamstring tension, but it partially went away, and I realized how much had missed my hamstring. But then in the last mile I started to struggle with the pace I think due to not getting good sleep the night before - for some reason I woke up and just lay there from a little before 5 until I finally decided to get up a little after 6. My time was 17:08.

Julia did 800 meter time trial today at the Orem High track. I paced her. She started out a bit too fast going through the first 100 in 21, but I did not hold her back because she had held herself back too much in the past. I also noticed that if I hold my kids back when they are starting out, they get the wrong idea and settle into a pace that is too slow. So I just let them go and follow them. Once they drop below the target pace, I step forward.

Her 200 was 45, then 1:34 at 400 (49), 2:24 at 600 (50), and the last 200 in 46 finishing in 3:10.8 which is a new PR by 6 seconds, and her first PR of the year.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Comments
From allie on Tue, May 07, 2013 at 18:31:50 from 97.117.93.32

wow, benjamin is still quite young, right? (13 or 14?) that is very impressive.

congratulations to julia on her breakthrough.

From Bam on Wed, May 08, 2013 at 14:12:57 from 89.126.28.24

Benjamin seems to be flying both in his studies and his running - that's great.

If you don't mind me asking, how old is Julia?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, May 08, 2013 at 16:33:00 from 69.28.149.29

Allie, Bam - Benjamin is 14 years and 3 months old, Julia is 10 years and 8 months.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.0011.50

A.M. Ran with the kids. Total of 11.5. Jenny did 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob did 2.05 miles on our nasty course in 15;48 with the splits of 8:08 for the first half, and 7:40 for the second. I was quite impressed by that. It all started with me challenging Jacob to catch an adult runner ahead of us. He did it without too much of a problem, I invited the runner to join us but he was too intimidated to run with us even though I told him Jacob was only 6 years old - maybe that had the opposite effect. Once Jacob got going, he was maintaining a decent pace, so I challenged him to break 16:00 and he did with vengeance. William did 0.5.

Benjamin took AP Calculus BC today. It took quite a bit out of him. The stress of a third AP test wore on him, and early on he felt his mind was clouded. But then it cleared up and he felt more and more confident in his answers. So we'll see what he got - the worst thing that can happen is that he did not get a 5 - he already has a 4 to his credit from last year. So he ran only 3 miles today to avoid getting sick as he felt a cold coming on - we do have a little cold going around the house.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 11.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Rob Murphy on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 19:41:36 from 24.10.249.165

The AP U.S. History exam is on Wednesday. All of my students will be meeting me at school at 8 am tomorrow to take a full length ( over 3 hours) practice exam. I tell them that taking an AP exam is a bit like training for a strenuous athletic event. If you've been there before it's less intimidating. It's always interesting how physically drained you feel after such an exam.

The brain burns a huge percentage of the bodies calories and when it's working hard, it burns even more. I always tell my students to fuel up with plenty of protein and carbs before the test.

From Dave Taylor on Sat, May 11, 2013 at 13:04:14 from 174.23.75.125

AP History, tough test. I only got a 2.

Hey Sasha that workout you suggested is having some pretty cool side effects, can't wait to try the full version!

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, May 11, 2013 at 17:52:20 from 72.250.218.114

Rob:

Yes, I think people do not realize the requirements on glucose consumption and other subsystems that are placed by demanding brain activity. I play chess in a small tournament every other week, and I can tell that after two hours I am hungry as if I had just run a few extra miles. I also noticed that chess players, while not as skinny as runners, tend to be less obese than the general population. So the moral of the story is that if you want to lose weight and cannot or are just too lazy to exercise, you can make some headway by playing chess or some other strenuous brain activity.

Dave - I looked at your workout and left a comment. I think you need a pacer.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Today finally was the day when Benjamin did not have an AP test. I finally got to run with him for the first time this week. We took it easy because he felt like he was catching a cold last night. I also was aware of the stress of those tests, so we had to adjust the mileage to make sure it did not push him into the red zone from that. This made be appreciate home schooling. We do not have to worry about external academic stress except when it is time to test. This has academic benefits, but it also has general health benefits which translates into running benefits among other things. We give academic stimulus when we feel the child can take it, and in the amount that we feel is beneficial. In running the timing and the amount of stimulus is critical - if you do it wrong you either overtrain or undertrain. I believe the same is true in schooling.

So Benjamin just ran 4 with me and Jenny today, and then 5 more with William. Then I took Jacob for 1 mile, and then Joseph for 2. I learned something about Joseph today, it just came to me. Again, another benefit of home schooling and home coaching at the same time made possible by having a telecommuting job. There is no way I could do those things if I had to be at an office all day - even if the scheduling worked out, the stress would have made it difficult for me to observe those things. We started the run, and around a quarter into it I challenged Joseph to beat Jacob's time of 15:48 from the day before. Eager to prove that he is faster than his younger brother,  Joseph accepted the challenge. About a mile into it he started slowing down complaining about a side-ache. But I could tell that it was more than that. Yes, the side ache was making it difficult, but he was not dealing with it right. I let him stop and do a few squats to stretch things out but also for a mental reboot. He when he started running, he was still having a bad attitude, and going a slower pace. Then something clicked, and he sped up. By that time he was a good 20 seconds behind Jacob's pace. He shaved off the difference down to 4 seconds by the end, but still ended up behind with 15:52.

Then it just dawned on me - Joseph has a hard time doing things that require effort and need to be taught how to do it in a special way. Not uncommon for an 8-year-old boy, but he struggles with it more than our other children have so far. A famous quote from him a couple of years ago. Jacob was telling him that he (Jacob) was feeling lazy. Joseph's response: "You are not feeling lazy, you are feeling tired. Lazy is when you have the energy to work, but you do not want to work". We all laughed because we knew Joseph was intimately familiar with the matter.

So I thought of a remedy. It was a non-running remedy but I felt it would benefit his running among other things. I told him to read Benjamin's physics textbook. Joseph objected saying that he had tried and it made no sense to him. Then I knew that this was exactly what he needed. I told him: "When you find something that does not make sense, do not just lay the book aside or read past it. Find me or Benjamin, and ask us to explain to you what that means. Spend more time than 5 seconds fighting with it before you declare that something does not make sense."

The next day later I found him reading that textbook on his own initiative at 9:00 pm in the van while we were coming back from Jenny's play.

Julia ran 3 miles. I added 2.05 at the end on the same Joseph-Jacob nasty course in 11:46.9.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.008.000.000.0016.00

A.M. I did my long run today because of the kids' track meet the next day, except I kept it medium long because I had to work immediately afterwards, and I knew I was not going to get adequate recovery if I made it full 20.  So I ran 8 out uphill in about 59 minutes, and then 8 back down in 46:20- 5:47.5 average. I struggled in the last 2 miles, and especially in the last mile. It did not feel like fuel, I think it was the heart. In fact, for the last two weeks I've felt like I've had a hole in my heart. Well, I do not think there is really a hole, otherwise I would be dead, or at least would not be able to run at all. It is probably just the thinning out of the muscle and it is probably very minor, but to me it is not because all of a sudden my pace drops by 10 seconds per mile terrain adjusted in the last two miles of an 8 mile tempo at the end of a long run, so I call it "a hole".

I have actually considered the idea of training runners to recognize what is going on with their heart by performing the tests at the times they felt there was something different. The idea is this - a trained runner with some HRM experience knows his HR without having to measure it. He knows his pace by feel. With some training he could be taught to identify his stride rate. By the same token he could be trained to identify his lactate concentration and blood glucose level by feel. What else? How about the thickness of the heart muscle in different parts of his heart? Probably a good number of important parameters. Why is this important? A runner with some scientific training paying close attention to his body overtime would be able to formulate a hypothesis about some process that a scientist would never think of because the runner has 24x7 access to a multitude of sensors and can processes their input subconsciously - a luxury not available to a scientist even in the best equipped lab. Then the scientist could test it and prove it in a lab.

I wrote to a couple of researchers about it. They agreed with me that it was a good idea, but as far as I know it never progressed beyond the status of a good idea. I suppose if I really wanted to push this beyond it I could get a degree in cardiology, get my hands on the equipment, and start doing it. Or maybe there is a better way - I need to become good friends with a cardiologist that has access to the equipment, is a bit of an unconventional thinker, and is interested in exercise. If you know anybody, give them a reference to this post.

Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Jacob 1, Joseph 2, William 1.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.003.000.0012.50

A.M. Did 12 total with Steve Ashbaker and Chad. We ran out 6, then on the way back did the 3 mile tempo course from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. On the positive side of things, I woke up without the feeling of "the hole" in the heart. One difference between this night and others was that when Matthew woke up Sarah did not wake me up to get him. I have been getting up and bringing him to her to nurse because if she gets out of bed, she has a hard time falling asleep. I have been falling asleep after getting him right away, but I think he has been timing his wakefulness just when my sleep was in the middle of doing heart repair. 

In any case, because I ran hard yesterday, my plan for the tempo was to just keep company to Chad and Steve. I was hoping the pace would not be much faster than 5:40, but I was wrong. We went through the first mile in 5:19. Then I knew that the heart repair was good because this pace felt very manageable in spite of the 16 miler with an 8 mile tempo the day before.  Shortly after 2000 Steve dropped back, but Chad was still pushing it. We hit 1.5 in 7:59. I was sitting behind Chad for two reasons. One is that I was lazy and I did not want the pace to be any faster than it already was. The other was that I felt that if I had approached the run taking responsibility for the pace, I might go too fast for both of us because I was not sure that Chad could hold 5:20 pace all the way. But when Chad's pace started to slip I decided to step forward and help him - I felt that 5:30 was good for my health, and that it would also help Chad get a really good time and a confidence builder for the Ogden marathon. So we ran like that to the end. We hit 2 miles in 10:45 (5:26), 2.5 in 13:31, and then finished in 16:16 (5:31 for the last mile).

Jenny ran 3 miles including 1 with William.

P.M. Took Benjamin, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob to the USATF track meet in Park City at the Park City High track. The reason we were there was to practice competing, and get some official times for the track meet in Eugine on July 13 which requires qualifiers. Jenny could not do it because she was in a play - she would have to get her qualifier in the next meet. The meet qualifying standards are here. So Joseph and Jacob had to run 3:30 for the 800, Julia had to run 3:20 because even though she is still only 10, she counts as a Midget because her birth year is 2002, and Benjamin had to run 11:30 for 3000.

With Benjamin we had several plans - plan A was to break 10:00, plan A+ was to take down Josh Rohatinsky's Youth state record of 9:49, plan A- was to run a little slower than 10:00, and plan C was to hit the qualifier of 11:30 for the Eugine meet.

There were some things against him - the track is located at the altitude of 6770 feet, his race started at 1:30 pm with the sun shining brightly, there were only 3 other runners in the race, which was better than the worst we were afraid of, but none of them could help with the pace even for a lap, Benjamin had done no speed for two weeks - the first week due to the injured piriformis and the second due to the AP tests and a minor cold, and he did take three AP tests this week which took quite a bit out of him. So I held the A+ and the A plans out there, but I knew that it would be difficult to get them. However, trying to get them he would do the best that he could under the circumstances, so I told him to pace for 10:00, and if things were good, go for the record, and if not, hang in there and just do his best.

He ran 10:10.3 with the following splits: 78.9, 79.2, 79.6, 83.0, 84.9, 85.1, 85.1, 34.6. The altitude got to him on the fourth lap. This was a good learning experience and it reveals something we need to work on - aerobic conditioning. Well, his conditioning is OK, but he is aerobically underdeveloped, which is not a surprise - he is in the middle of maturation, which creates an imbalance with the body being too big for the cardiovascular system, but I've seen it worse. In fact, I think because of his training this growth-related aerobic capacity lapse has been mitigated so well that you have to take him to 6700 feet or have him run a fast pace past 3 miles to notice the problem. But it is good to know the problem exists. I was very happy with this performance, and particularly with his ability to muster a 34.6 kick with no competitor in sight unless you count the ones being lapped after struggling with several 85 second laps.

For a comparison, Josh ran 9:49 at 5782 feet when he set his record. So now I think we can say for sure that Benjamin is honestly within 21 seconds of that performance by all counts.

A well-meaning coach suggested that next time Benjamin should run in "real shoes", which Benjamin wisely and politely corrected explaining that he has run all of his PRs in Crocs including a 200 in 29.

Joseph and Jacob were in the same heat and they dominated it. Joseph went through the first lap in 95. I yelled at him to speed up, and he did hitting the next lap in 91 high finishing in 3:06.97. Jacob was second with the first lap in 97 and the second lap in 99 finishing in 3:16.15, which is his new PR. Both qualified for the meet.

Julia ran the first lap in 92, but then on the second lap her low iron came into play at the higher altitude and she struggled. But she still held it together and finished in 3:11.8 (still do not have her official time) in third place in the Midget girls and hitting the meet qualifier of 3:20 with room to spare.

I ended up jogging about 0.5 going back and forth. Joseph and Jacob ran about 1 each total, Julia around 1.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Teena Marie on Sat, May 11, 2013 at 22:38:19 from 67.2.119.204

Just wanted to congratulate your kids today. They did an excellent job. I was able to see all of them race. It was very impressive and quite exciting!

However, you should probably be aware that several people read your blog and may find some of your comments hurtful. For example, it was my boy who took second place in Benjamin's race. You are absolutely correct in that he could not offer Benjamin any sort of competition. He only ran today because his siblings were going to race. This was his first time competing in the 3000 m. In fact, we bought him running shoes this morning at Smith's Marketplace (he usually sticks to basketball and so when he does occasionally run he has done so in high tops). Needless to say, I thought for zero training he did AMAZING! However, I am a bit dissapointed in some of the sportsmanship today. The boy's father who took third place was running along side his boy screaming to him to catch my son stating that my son "was nothing and didn't know how to run" and so forth.

I think it is extremely important to remember that these track meets offer very talented runners, like your son, a chance to do amazing things. They also offer those who aren't "official runners" the chance to experience what a track meet is like, build character, and perhaps spark something inside of them that will lead them to pursue running more seriously.

In short, all of my children had a fantastic time today. Some of them are more polished than the others (for example, my daughter, Sophia, took second in the 800 that she ran with Julia -- she did so after placing first in the 1500 in just over 6 minutes as well as placing first in the 400 today). Regardless, I really hope that these meets will continue to be a postive environment for young runners at all levels.

Congrats again to your kids. They did amazing!

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, May 11, 2013 at 23:33:55 from 72.250.218.114

Teena - thanks. Sophia has quite a kick - especially after running 1500 already, and 400 shortly prior to the 800 at 6700 feet. I thought that kick was really good - she has natural endurance along with speed. Now the key is not to lose it as she matures - this is a big challenge for a girl.

Tell your son it is not the shoe that makes the runner.

Note that it is against USATF rules for a parent or anybody to run alongside the runner even for a few steps. In a serious competition this could result in a DQ. So you need to be very careful to not create any "appearance of evil".

It bodes well for your son to run under 13:00 with no training at this altitude. It would be interesting to see what he can do with training.

It is rather unfortunate, though, that you do not see a lot of competition, or a lot of participation, for that matter in a USATF 3000 in Utah. I told Benjamin before the meet that there was a high chance of him being the only participant. So things turned out not as bad as they could have - at least he had somebody to lap, which helps a little bit as it stimulates the subconscious competitive instinct as you forget somewhat that you are actually ahead.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. The talks and lessons naturally focused around Mother's Day. Afterwards the children put on a mother's day celebration for Sarah. They sent me and her on a date of sorts - they set up a table outside and made us lunch for two.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.250.002.250.0016.50

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 2.5 (easy before AP Physics), William 0.5, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2. I did a pickup for 2.25 in 13:04- 5:48 pace - over the rollers to catch up to Sarah, then ran with her. She did a total of 3. With Benjamin getting a bunch of AP tests at once instead of one every two months or so I remembered a Russian joke back from the Soviet days:

A man dies. He has lived a sinful life and is condemned to hell. However he is offered a choice - the socialist hell or the capitalist hell. He inquires of the difference and is told that in both hells he will have 30 nails pounded into his back every month. The difference is that in the capitalist hell he gets one every day, while in the socialist hell he gets all 30 at the end of the month.

After some thinking I realized also that Benjamin was subjected to a form of cruel and unusual punishment on Saturday having to run 3000 alone on the track in Park City at 6770 feet at 1:30 pm with the sun shining bright and clear above him and the air temperature of 75F - not a lot after 6 PM when sunlight is indirect, but earlier in the day it is not pleasant . Well, I knew that, but I had not quite thought it through and had not felt the depth of it. But it was good, because it pushed him to the limit psychologically, and revealed some things about his aerobic conditioning that would not have been so apparent otherwise. And he did run 10:10 and now has a respectable and official 3000 meter time.

P.M. Benjamin ran 1 back from the AP test. Later in the eventing he and I went for an easy 4.5. Both of us were having stomach problems, but we each had a different mode of issue. He was throwing up small amounts of liquid, while I had diarrhea. He felt worse than I did as my emissions were more effective. We remembered Bob Kempainen in the 96 Olympic Trials. It is rather symbolic that the KemPAINen has PAIN in it. My kids know this story (throwing up while running 4:55 pace at the end of a marathon), as well as the one about Lasse Viren falling but still winning the Olympic 10,000 in 1972 with a world record, as well as they know the one about the wolf and the three little pigs, and others of the kind - and you can guess why.  Sometimes they struggle when they run, and when they are younger, they complain. When they are older, they just recall those stories and draw strength from them.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.600.002.001.0013.60

A.M. Total of 13.6. Ran with Dave Taylor. We did the 3 mile tempo from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. The purpose was to evaluate what's up with Dave's fast starts. So I told him to just start like he would in a half-marathon, and then we'll see what happens. The deal was that if he was going sub-5:00 I would slow him down, but otherwise we'll just let the pace he chose stand. In the first 100 meters the pace was sub-5:00, which resulted in a warning, and a slightly slower pace afterwards. We got to the first mile in 5:09. I tucked behind him hanging on for dear life and wondering what would happen if he kept it all the way. On one hand the prospect of breaking 15:30 sounded exciting. On the other hand, the pain of was was not so. I felt that if I could just find the right spot behind him that minimized air resistance I could perhaps run around 15:30 today, but I would need that magic spot.

At the start of the second mile the pace eased to 5:20, and finally became manageable. After 2000 it dropped off to 5:28, but I was in no hurry to step up and help with the pace because I wanted to rest from that 5:09. Our split at 1.5 was 7:51. That quarter in 82 gave me enough of a break, though, that I felt ready to step up and pull Dave for the rest of the tempo at 5:20 if needed. I made an effort to shift gears and get back to 5:20, but I saw that Dave was dropping back, so I corrected to around 5:30-5:35, which I did not mind too much. We hit 2 miles in 10:37 (5:28), then 13:23 at 2.5, and 16:09.9 at the finish with the last mile in 5:32.

Dave and I had opposite experiences in this run. He felt the first mile was easy and then it got progressively harder. I felt that the first mile was hard, and then it got progressively easier. My partial explanation of that is that he has been running only 40 miles a week so his aerobic conditioning is lacking. So he runs the right pace from the gun, but he just cannot hold it. We will work on fixing that, though. Our next workout will be even 5:20 pace for all three miles. In between, I recommended that Dave should run 8 miles a day at an easy pace.

We ran the cool-down to our house, and then I ran with some of the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Benjamin 8, William 1.

After I ate breakfast and got the kids going on their math practice, my body asked for a nap, and I obliged. Felt much better after a nap.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments
From Dave Taylor on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 16:24:22 from 63.255.191.163

Loved the run, looking forward to next Tues. Maybe I have a kick then :)

From Bam on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 06:12:16 from 89.126.28.24

Dave, I think Sasha has it bang on! If you listen to him, you'll see huge gains.

From Dave Taylor on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 07:24:50 from 174.23.78.194

I have to agree, after the 8 easy this morning I am definitely going to do it again tomorrow. This could be fun!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.503.002.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. Did a workout with Benjamin. The purpose was to evaluate his aerobic conditioning, and to develop it. We did 10 miles from the house into the canyon, and then back alternating fast and slow miles. The target for fast was around 6:00, for slow no slower than 8:00. We started with a slow mile. Our fast mile splits were - 5:59 (up a small grade into headwind), 5:53 (up, less headwind), 5:50 (down), 5:54 (down), 5:50 (up to the house). The slowest recovery mile was 7:45. Total time for 10 was 1:08:13. This workout is difficult psychologically because you think you are resting, but in truth you are not quite resting. The first fast two miles took a lot of out of Benjamin and strained me as well because of the headwind and the uphill. However, I recovered faster - that is one difference between us. He can drop me in a 3 mile tempo, but because of the difference in aerobic development I recover almost instantaneously after a near maximum effort that, as my mother likes to say, makes me "see Paris", while Benjamin is not quite there yet, and needs more recovery even from a very much sub-maximal effort.

So when we finished the second mile repeat he was hurting both physically and emotionally - uphill running into a headwind beats you up in both ways. On the way back he recovered some as we dialed down the effort, and was able to give it a good push in the last uphill mile making me work.

With the better understanding of Benjamin's recovery process we decided it would be better for Benjamin to do a 10 miler at 6:00 pace on my regular 20 miler course on Saturday instead of the Uneventful Provo River Half.

Then I ran 2 with Joseph and Jacob, while Jenny and Julia ran 3. Then I ran 0.5 with William.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.400.100.0015.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Took Jenny to the track and we did 800 meter time trial. The goal was to break 3:00 and retake the non-Benjamin non-Daddy family record in the distance which was currently held by Joseph (3:00.4). We started out a little fast - Jenny was a bit edgy, and I had to run faster to take the position in front of her. This resulted in the first 100 in 19 seconds. I realized my mistake and gently took the foot off the gas, but the damage had already been done. To make things more interesting, there were two ladies with a small dog walking around the track. Jenny is a big girl (5'5'' at 12 years old) but has a strong dislike of little dogs. So she swerved into lane 4 or 5 to avoid the dog. With all the excitement we got to the 200 in 41. At this point I just hoped that she would survive, and also that she would not get tripped up by the little dog on the second lap. Fortunately, things worked out and she was able to get her goal.

We hit 400 in 87(46), and got to 600 in  2:13(46). At this point I emphasized the urgency of a strong kick. Jenny gave a good push. We caught up to the dog. I warned Jenny not to swerve this time. The dog went after Jenny. Jenny kicked harder to outrun the dog and finished in 2:57.1 with the last 200 in 44 and the last 400 in 90. This is a PR by 11 seconds. Now she needs to do something like that in an official meet. She needs to run 3:05 to qualify for the meet in Eugine.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny ran a total of 3, Julia did 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1.

P.M. We got a new stroller from Amazon. It is a Schwin double-stroller. We paid $215 for it. It is very nice - has suspension, the front wheel swivels, and it is very light. Clearly the strollers have made some improvements in the last 10 years or so. So tonight I tried it out with Matthew in it. Of course, after running the first 600 meters I realized that I needed to go to the bathroom really bad - when I start doing doubles I run into this problem - just cannot clear out my stomach properly before the run. Possibly a side effect of my spinal problem. This resulted in a route change and I barely made it to the house. Total of 3 miles.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Little Bad Legs on Tue, May 21, 2013 at 12:03:46 from 107.62.116.172

We've been looking for a double jogger lately. What was the model name of the stroller?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, May 21, 2013 at 12:44:12 from 69.28.149.29

Glenn: It is called Schwinn Turismo Swivel Double-stroller. Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QDMQL0

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1. I enjoyed watching Joseph and Jacob take it easy as they coasted through the run at slightly faster than 9:00 pace, and then with about 500 to go they decided to get down to business and sped up to around 7:00 and just blasted their way up the hill at the end. So they ended up running 17:19 (Joseph), and 17:22 (Jacob). Jenny ran 4 miles in 32:39 which is her fastest training run time on that course. I am happy to see that 8:00 pace is becoming more natural for her again after her growth spurt. During Julia's run I pushed Stephen and Matthew in the stroller.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.0010.000.000.0023.00

A.M. Total of 23 miles in 2:37:39 which is 6:51 average which is on pace for 2:59:43 marathon. Today was a rather unusual run. First, Benjamin and I drove to the park at the start of the Provo City Half Marathon in South Fork, left the car there and ran about 0.5 warm up to the start of my 10 mile tempo course. Then we ran the 10 mile tempo to the house. The purpose of this workout was to help Benjamin remove the fear of running 5:50-6:00 pace for a long time in preparation for the Utah Valley Half. We also wanted to test his capabilities in running long. I was not sure exactly where he stood over such long distances and wanted to see if it would even be wise right now for him to race the half.

Benjamin did better than I expected. He groaned a few times in the early miles as he pondered the reality of running this fast for this long. Then around mile 3 he began to feel more confident and to lose the fear. The pace was quite steady - I tried to hit all quarters in 88. If I saw 89 I sped up, if I saw 87 I took my foot off the gas. Benjamin was keeping the pace up until we hit 9.5. Then the combination of the fatigue from the actual running and the fear of the hills over the last 0.5 leading back to the house ate him alive and he slowed down to 93 going uphill. In the last quarter he rebooted and sped up to 90. We finished in 58:34, 5:51 average. So hopefully he can run around 1:16-1:17 in the Utah Valley Half - we'll see.

Then I ran 3 with Joseph in 26:22. Jenny and Julia did 3, William 1, Jacob 1. I drank some EmergenC mixed with dextrose for energy and headed back to the car. My original plan was to just go a little faster than 8:00, but I felt good and I wanted to be done with the run sooner, so I averaged around 7:10 up the Provo Canyon, and at times was hitting 6:40. I was happy that I felt healthy in the last mile, the heart was working well. That is a good sign for the marathon.

Come to think of it, it is quite remarkable how much easier it is to run a marathon when you slow down even if the pace is ridiculously uneven. On this type of course - no net elevation drop, highest point at 5500 feet, lowest point at 4700 feet or so, I would be quite lucky to break 2:40.  Yet slow me down by 20 minutes, and even though some of that was at 5:51 pace and some at Joseph's pace (8:50) I am quite happy - this is now a normal training run.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 23.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Heard some goods talks in Sacrament. They were on joy. There is temporary joy, and then there is lasting joy. One speaker mentioned that there are only two days that a boat owner is happy - the day he buys it, and the day he sells it. The same speaker mentioned that the oldest user of Facebook is 105 years old, followed by a quote from somebody else that no matter how old you are you can always find a way to waste the little bit you have left.

Took a much needed nap in the afternoon. Then we visited Sarah's parents. Maybe it was just bad luck today, but it appears to me that drivers in West Valley do not like 15-passenger vans or at least do not appreciate what it takes to maneuver one through traffic. I had trouble changing lanes from left to right every single time - I turned on my blinker, let it run for long enough, watched the mirrors waiting for other drivers to make room, then eventually I just had to gradually move over in one case, and another time I lucked out with another car in the right lane in front slowing down to make a turn which blocked the pursuing lane-change obstructor in the right lane and gave us enough room to do it safely.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From Dave Taylor on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 15:44:15 from 70.169.67.66

Like your marathon comments on Riley's blog, the good sleep I have had the last two nights has sure made a difference! You ready for 6:30 tomorrow?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 16:56:31 from 69.28.149.29

Yes, that works, see you then.

From Dave Taylor on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 17:43:30 from 174.23.74.200

I will modify my departure time to arrive at 6:29 +/- 2

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran total of 12 - all with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin is recovering well from the 10 mile tempo on Saturday - the damage appears to be only a little bit of fatigue noticeable in the last 2 miles of the run today and some soreness in the calves. This is perfect, better than I expected. This Saturday he plans to attack the 1500 meter Utah State Youth record (13-14 years age division) in the UVU USATF track meet. The record is 4:29 and belongs to Josh Rohatinsky.  Benjamin ran 5:03.7 in the 1609.34 (full mile) on the track last year in a time trial, which is on pace for 4:43.1 1500, and Mt. Sac Relay conversion chart gives 4:41.3 1500 for that performance. This year I can tell from workouts and races that his speed is better, but will this be enough to improve by 12 seconds in who knows what kind of conditions - the UVU track tends to be windy? We'll see.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From RAD on Tue, May 21, 2013 at 14:34:08 from 76.27.82.202

can't wait to see how Benjamin does Saturday! Good luck, not that he will need it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.003.000.0014.60

A.M. Total of 14.6. Ran 10.6 with Dave Taylor. We repeated our workout from last week except this time the goal was to hold an even 5:20 pace for the whole thing, and I was setting the pace. Matthew is teething, so he did not go to sleep right a way, and woke up in the middle of the night more than usual - I recall getting him twice. So during the warm-up I felt a little sluggish and reluctant to run anything faster than 8:00, and was concerned about my ability to even just run 5:20 even being paced, much less pace it myself, but it turned out OK.

Dave came wearing a shirt from a fundraiser 5 K for a bathroom in a Kenyan village. In honor of his shirt I went to the bathroom twice before the run, and three times during our 5.3 mile warm-up. This is not an upset stomach for me - upset stomach will make me stop every mile. This was just slightly higher than normal. Paul would have called this a five star performance.

We opened with 81 quarter which was actually OK because that quarter is a little slower due to a nasty rhythm-breaking uphill bump half way through it. But I hit the gas to make up, and overdid it a little with 77 on a nice downhill quarter. Then I eased off a little and we did 79, and 79 high, which gave us 5:16 high for the first mile. I proceeded with caution and we did 80 high, 81, 80, and 81, which brought us to 2 miles in 10:39 (5:23 for the mile). Dave was quite edgy in the first mile, but towards the end of the second seemed to struggle some. At the start of the third mile he got right on my shoulder and I figured he was ready for a good push, so I hit 78 in the next quarter. But then I sensed that he was struggling and eased off to 81. He struggled more - I did my best to keep the pace fast enough to hold off the 5:20 guy, but slow enough to keep Dave in contact. It was difficult because it was close enough to my limit that I did not have the granularity of pacing, yet I could not just go for misery and give it a good push because it would have been too fast. However, having a mark every 330 feet really helped. Next quarter was 82. In the last quarter Dave gave a push, and managed an 80, which was exactly what we needed to hit our goal.  The total time was 16:00.4 with the last mile in 5:21. I suppose now that I am a master I should record this as my master's record for this course.

During the cool down Dave started pushing the pace immediately. Then I realized that he has a problem controlling his adrenal glands - he has a hard time turning them off when they should be turned off, and revving them up when they should be revved up. So I think the next workout he should do is the same 3 mile tempo run, except with the splits of 5:30, 5:23, and 5:15. 

When I got home I ran 1 mile with William. Benjamin ran with Joseph and Jacob and then 4 more miles alone, total of 8. Joseph did 3, while Jacob did 1. I ran 3 more with Julia, and the stroller which had Matthew and Elsie - Sarah's training partner's daughter. Total kid weight in the stroller was 46 lb. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.60Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Dave Taylor on Tue, May 21, 2013 at 15:43:25 from 63.255.191.163

I will admit to a little Abba running though my head on the way down, but I wasn't going to say it :)

Super Pooper I don't wanna catch you

sitting on the pot

Giving all you got

OK the next line is just far too disgusting I'll stop here :)

From Jake K on Thu, May 23, 2013 at 14:06:58 from 67.177.11.154

The tempo run was good, but I don't know... pushing a 46 lb stroller might be the performance of the day!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.500.000.000.0015.50

A.M. Ran with the kids for most of the run. Total of 12.5. Benjamin did 8, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1.

Decided to study more about Einstein's mass-energy formula (E = m*C^2). Found what I needed, then followed a few links, studied alpha decay, then found a list of incidents of radioactive poisoning. On that list there was the case of Nicholay Khokhlov with the date of 1957. Read more about it. He was KGB agent that defected after refusing to carry out an assassination order. In retaliation the KGB attempted to poison him with a radioactive element claimed to be thalium, but according to some KGB sources it was actually polonium-210, the same substance used in a more recent radioactive poisoning case of another KGB agent that defected (Litvinenko). But Khokhlov miraculously survived, and lived another 50 years after that. In 1957 he wrote a book in Russian, which was later translated into English. This is quite a story - he talks about how he was recruited by NKVD in 1941, his training in secret methods, his mission as a supposed German officer implanted in the midst of a German army, other activities, and how overtime he realizes that the Communist system is fundamentally corrupt. Great read if you know Russian - this was one time I was very thankful to have it as my native language.

P.M. 3 with Jenny and Matthew in the stroller. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.750.002.000.2512.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. I did a pickup with Benjamin for a quarter uphill in 80.5, the way Benjamin felt gave us a concern that he might have forgotten how to run middle distances, so we are going to do a little reminder tomorrow. I did our 2.05 or so course in 11:45 at the end. 4 miles with the stroller and Matthew and Stephen in it. I realized starting the run with Jacob that it was going to get interesting and was quite concerned about Jacob's tendency to pick it up to 6:40 when we reach the 6% uphill grade at the end. This was exactly what he did - barely survived it, it felt like 5:00 - %6 uphill grade with the stroller weighing around 50 lb takes a lot out of me. We ended up doing 7:52 for this slightly longer than the mile course.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.000.000.4012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a middle distance running reminder with Benjamin to be ready for the 1500 tomorrow - 600 pickup down the canyon in 1:46.9. Benjamin did a total of 5. Jenny and Julia did 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1. 4 miles with the stroller and Matthew and Stephen in it.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.507.000.000.0016.50

A.M. Did a short version of the long run before the track meet today. Ran into Jeff Gagen, and he joined me. I paced him through an 8 mile tempo run on the way back in 48:28, around 6:03.5 average. About half way through I told him about Lasse Viren, Be Still My Soul/Finlandia, the Finnish word "sisu", Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon, and then combining all of the above persuaded him to run all of the 8 miles to my house at that pace. He found some "sisu" and made it.

Late A.M/Ealry P.M: Track meet at UVU. Benjamin ran the 1500 in 4:35.0 with the splits of 72.7, 74.1, 75.1, and 52.7 for the last 300, which is 70.3 400 pace. No state record today, missed it by 5.6 seconds. Combination of wind and running alone. Nevertheless, he got an official 1500 meter PR and won the race by more than a minute. I am happy that he won the race, but I am not happy that again he had nobody to run with for any duration of the race. That is the nature of racing in his age group at least in Utah. Kids start running for a high school or a junior high and stop coming to USATF track meets. Unfortunate, but not unfortunate enough for us to just surrender to the system. There is competition at the national level in such meets, and there are adults to race in road races. And once in a while we fight windmills by trying to set a record in what ends up essentially being a time trial under adverse conditions. This is a good way to learn mental toughness, and if we actually get the record, there will be an extra bonus.

Benjamin's performance today, however, gives me hope that given some oxygen and somebody to follow in Eugine he could tuck in behind the guys that are running a low-9:00 in 3000 and make it to 2000 or so. Then if he could just hold on and run something respectable like a 3:20 for the last 1000, and finish in 9:30 low or even a little under, I would be quite happy. And it would be an official Utah State Youth record, although Josh recalls running 9:20 at the age of 13 in Florida in the national USATF championship, but for some reason that performance was not registered as the Utah record and I cannot find anything official online.

Joseph ran 3:05 with the splits of 89 - 96. He was running well until a Bantam boy in the same heat passed him. Then I think he mentally just could not deal with it. Jacob opened courageously in 94, but it might have been too fast - he faded and finished in 3:16. Julia and Jenny I think were both affected by the heat - the temperature got to 82 degrees. Julia could not get going and opened with a 98. She held the pace, finishing in 97 for the second lap with 3:15.8. Jenny started ok - 44 seconds, but then I think she was just not handling the heat and the competition emotionally and slowed down to 51 with 95 for the first lap. Then she sped up a little with 48, and finished with a 45 200 - 3:08.9, and missed the qualifying mark which I though she had pretty much in the bag after her 2:57 time trial. Well, she'll try again.

I jogged around 0.5 warming up with Joseph and Jacob. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Dave Taylor on Mon, May 27, 2013 at 20:39:54 from 174.23.79.57

How's Ben feeling for tomorrow at 6:30?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a dual missionary home coming. One just got back from Romania, the other from Minnesota. The one that returned from Minnesota was actually originally from Ghana. He came to study at BYU, joined the Church, then decided to go on a mission. But he did not have a home ward, so our ward "adopted" him. His situation was quite similar to mine in some way. I got "adopted" by a ward in West Valley half-way through my mission, and my "home coming" was in that ward.     

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran 14 with Chad. Some of it was with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.600.002.001.0013.60

A.M. Total of 13.6. Did a workout with Benjamin and Dave Taylor. The plan was the same 3 mile tempo with the splits of 5:30 - 5:23 - 5:15. We did the usual warm-up of 5.3 miles, which perhaps was too long for Benjamin, but I figured it would be good for him since he'll be running a half marathon.

Benjamin and I ran in front for the first two miles, while Dave sat back. Our first quarter was too slow - 86, but that was OK for this run since its purpose is to turn up the heat gradually. Then we did 80, 83, and 80 - a bit unsteady, my fault, arriving at the mile in 5:29. Then 82, 81, 81, 80 - 5:24 for the next mile, and 10:53 at 2 miles. Benjamin groaned in a whiny manner at around 1.75. I know very well what that groan means, and I told him to man up. But apparently he was caught by surprise by the gradual pace increase, and it mentally fried him like the proverbial frog frequently mentioned in church lessons on temptation - if you turn up the heat quickly the frog jumps, but if you turn it up slowly it does not know when to jump. So when Dave turned up the heat even more after 2 miles, that delivered the final punch - Benjamin completely lost confidence and stopped. I followed Dave, but he was too fast for me - my quarter was 77, his was more like 75-76. However, over the next quarter he slowed down and I was holding even, and then I started to gradually creep up on him, but was not closing much. But in the last quarter he was out of juice, so I was able to catch him and pass him with 200 to go. My total time was 16:04, last mile in 5:11, he got 16:05, last mile in 5:12.

Benjamin stood for about 20-30 seconds, regained his senses, and started running again. He actually still managed 16:56 even with that mental breakdown stop. Such mental breakdowns do happen at an age that is much older than 14, and in races at a very high level. Gordon Pirie got broken like this in the epic duel against Vladimir Kutz in the 10,000 meter race in the 1956 Olympics. This is the very well known part. The less known part is that the Soviet officials asked Kutz after the race what he would have done had Pirie remained with him in the final surge. His answer was as honest as it gets, and is quite shocking given the circumstance - "I would have dropped out." Kutz was running at his physical and psychological limit as well.

I enjoy the moments when my children run well, but the moments when they experience trouble are in some way particularly special. I appreciate the chance to be with them to teach them resilience when things do not go well. Long-term those moments are more important for their development than when everything goes as planned. Because in life things often do not go as planned, and you need to deal with unexpected problems. So Benjamin and I had a good talk. He wanted to know why he broke down like this. I explained to him that there were several factors. Physically there was some fatigue from the 1500 meter race on Saturday. There was still perhaps some fatigue from the 10 mile run a week ago. On top of that, there was a 5.3 mile warm-up which was about 2/3 of his usual daily mileage. But there was also a psychological aspect. He started the run expecting 5:30 pace to be easy. After running 5 miles uphill at a slow pace it was not. As he thought about having to speed up from that he began to panic. As the fatigue increased and the pace increased he panicked even more. On top of that Dave had more juice that he was expecting. Finally it all came together, and broke him mentally. I explained to him that things like that have happened to Ryan Hall, and are actually quite common among world-class athletes. We developed a plan to move to a new level of psychological strength where he would have resilience against this turn of events. Part of the plan is to repeat the workout next Tuesday.

With Dave everything was perfect except that he started his kick one quarter too soon, and also perhaps too hard. I would have thought that two slower, but still quite fast miles would even out his adrenal throttle control, but he still managed to repeat the microcosm of his usual half-marathon pacing in the last mile of the tempo. Next time we will repeat this with kick starting with 0.75 to go.

When we got back I did 1 with William, and 2 with Joseph and Jacob. Jenny and Julia ran 2 on their own.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. All with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. Julia set an unexpected PR on our 3 mile course. She started out a bit quicker than normal hitting the first half in 12:09. When she turned around I challenged her to break 24:00, and maybe even her record of 23:42. She outdid my expectations and ran 11:03 for the second half, so her time was 23:12. it has been a while since she wanted to push in a longer run, so this came as a surprise to me. She has struggled with low iron over the last couple of years which affected her endurance and competitive drive. As I mentioned in my post on Tuesday, I am happy when my children succeed, but I am also thankful that I can be there to help them when they struggle, and I am thankful there are struggles and problems to solve because that is when the real growth comes - for them and for me.

Last night I finished Nikholay Khokhlov's book about his life as a KGB agent, and subsequent defection. There were some valuable lessons in that book. This would be the next book that I will read with Benjamin in Russian. We have been reading "The Story of a Real Man" about a Russian pilot in the Second World War that gets shot down behind the enemy lines, shatters his feet, manages to survive for two weeks crawling through a forest during early spring, then is discovered by Russian villagers that are hiding from the Germans in that forest, eventually recovers, and flies again in combat. The story is based on actual events - the pilot survived the war, actually managed to live past 80 years old and died in 2001. We are progressing through it at snails pace, only a few paragraphs a day, but it has been a great learning experience for Benjamin - his Russian has been improving. He learned some things that I have always taken for granted - for example, that there is a verb in Russian that means "to carry out insurgent operations against occupying enemy force" with all kinds of freely used derivatives that are still found in day-to-day speech even though the war ended almost 70 years ago.

Later we drove to Goblin Valley. Kids had a lot of fun playing on the dirt "goblins". Matthew liked the passing lane on highway 6 because when we got there I would speed up to pass whatever was in front of us. Hitting the bumps in the road at a higher speed helped rock Matthew to sleep. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. All with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny and Julia 3.5, Joseph and Jacob 2, William did 1 mile in 8:47 holding Benjamin's hand, but still even with a held hand we've never had a 4 year old go under 9:00. Pushed Matthew and Stephen in the stroller for 3 miles.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 0.5 on the 2 mile race course to get a sense of the pace in 2:35.8. This was a slight downhill.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Race: Orem 6th Ward Fun Run (2 Miles) 00:10:55, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.200.500.002.0015.70

Our family ran in the Orem 6th Ward Fun Run today. The course was 2 miles. I was in charge of measuring the course, so I can vouch for its accuracy. It was also marked every quarter mile. The course had certain restrictions - it needed to start and finish at a particular location, and we needed to keep away from major traffic, so with those limitations I could not make it fast - it had some serious hills with grades reaching 6% for stretches 100 meters and longer, and one nasty bump with a 9% grade fortunately only 30 meters long, but quite a rhythm breaker.

We had a family goal to average under 15:00 minutes among me, Sarah, Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob. So a 40 year old father, 37 year old mother of eight with a 5 month old baby, a 14 year old boy, 12 year old girl, 10 year old girl, 8 year old boy, and a 6 year old boy trying to average 7:30 per mile pace over 2 miles. For each individual category you can find a runner that can go much faster than the target pace, but the challenge is to have them be in the same immediate family. There are some challenges - by the time all the children have been born and grown enough to run 2 miles at a good pace, can you preserve the father and the mother sufficiently that they will not kill the average? That is what made the challenge fun.

Benjamin and I worked together trading quarters. There was another 14 year old boy named Logan in our ward that followed us, but he made it to about 600 meters. After that we were alone. Our splits were 77 (down), 81 (down), 76 (down with the bump), 80 (down, but feeling that 76 with the bump now) - this brought us to the mile in 5:14. Then after 180, 85 (up, recovering from the broken rhythm of the 180), 88 (this one had 100 meters of 3% grade and 200 of 6% climb), then 84 on a slight up. At this point I was struggling, while Benjamin maintained the pressure. With a quarter to go he dropped me and ran the last quarter on a slight uphill in 78 finishing in 10:49, last mile in 5:35. I had no kick and could only manage another 84 finishing second in 10:55. Logan was third in around 12:55 or so.

Then we ran back to finish with the younger children. Joseph finished 4th overall in 14:33. Jenny was the first woman and 5th overall in 14:45. Then Jacob, 6th overall, 14:51, and Julia 7th overall and the second woman in 14:55.

Then we ran back and found Sarah. She ran with her friend Shelly. Shelly kicked and finished in 17:30. Sarah got 17:35. So this gave us the average of 14:03 - almost a minute faster than our goal!

Then we realized that our 4-year-old William was gone. He was not supposed to start the race, but he saw everybody run, so he just started running. So Benjamin, Jenny, and I went on the course to find him. We did. He was picked up by Jenny's friend Anna, and was walking/running with her and stopping for a drink or to mess around whenever he felt like. We joined them. He ended up covering two miles in 33 minutes. 

Then Benjamin and I ran a cool down, and then I added some more miles throwing in a pickup for 0.5 at 5:55 pace just to test the level of fatigue and made it 15.7 total. 

So Benjamin ended up with a total of 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2.5, Jacob 2.5, Joseph 2.5, and William who knows, but at least 1.5 of running I would guess. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.70Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 1.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Dave Taylor on Mon, Jun 03, 2013 at 22:16:53 from 174.23.76.164

That's so great about William! I bet he had a blast. See you tomorrow!

From Tara on Tue, Jun 04, 2013 at 17:39:26 from 75.169.139.155

What a great example of hard work paying off, even in a church run. A family that runs together, stays together;)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was a Fast Sunday, so we bore testimonies. Then we had Sunday School and the Elder's Quorum. In the Elder's Quorum they asked me if I really could not beat Benjamin in the 2 mile run. I told them yes, he was for real, I gave it all I had and it was not enough. They also asked me if my legs were sore. I told them I lacked the neural drive to make them sore over 2 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Most with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 1 (sore throat, probably allergies), Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. Our neighbor Logan joined us for 4 miles.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.600.002.001.0013.60

A.M. Not a whole lot of sleep. Last night as Sarah was going to bed she got stung by some poison-injecting creature. We got rather concerned because we could not find the creature. We wondered if it could have been a scorpion. Eventually the mystery was solved when we found a wasp.

Dave joined us today for the run. Logan joined us for the first 2 miles, then ran back. We repeated our workout from last week. I debated if it would be a good idea for Benjamin to run this long and this hard in the middle only 4 days prior to the half marathon. From the point of view of physiology it was less optimal. But he needed it psychologically after his adventures a week ago even though he had had a good race on Saturday. He needed a second witness of his ability. I knew that his performance in the half would be determined more by psychology than by physiology, so we went ahead with the workout.

We warmed up 5.3 as usual, then started the 3 mile tempo from Bridal Veil Falls. I paced the first two miles. We did the quarters of 84, 82, 81, 83 (5:30), 81, 80, 81, 80 (5:22), then I led for one more quarter in 78. Then Dave had the permission to take over and run as fast as he wanted, and he ran a 77. Benjamin passed me as well and sat on Dave's tail. I was hanging on for dear life during that 77 quarter. But then Dave slowed down to 79, and all of a sudden it became almost enjoyable. In the last quarter I gave it a little push moving closer to the front, and that got Benjamin going. With 200 to go we dropped Dave, and with 100 to go Benjamin dropped me. Our last quarter was 75 for Benjamin, 76 for me, 79 for Dave. The times were 16:01, 16:02, and 16:05 respectively.

So it was total of 10.6 for Benjamin and Dave. I ran another 3 to make the total 13.6. 2 of it was with Joseph and Jacob, and 1 with William. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.60
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments
From Scott Davidson on Fri, Jun 07, 2013 at 11:06:27 from 65.130.154.165

Hey Sasha. Thanks for talking to taking the time to talk to me at Dellory's house last Sunday (I'm Iris's son if you don't remember.) I have my blog set up. scottd.fastrunningblog.com

Check it out if you want to and have time. Any more wisdom/feedback from you would be greatly appreciated.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

A.M. Did 4 with Benjamin, Logan, and Andrew. Jenny did 2, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. Total of 8 miles for me. A respiratory sickness of some kind has hit our family, and I saw in the last couple of days in Jacob, so I had him run with William today. But he made William run 9:13.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

A.M. 6 miles total. 4 with Benjamin, Andrew, and Logan. Jenny and Julia did 2. William was sick - high fever and congestion. I made Joseph and Jacob rest as a precaution.as they did have a little bit of cough and fever as well. At the end of the day made the decision to switch to the half-marathon instead of the full. Several reasons combining together, but the main one was I realized that it was important for me to be with Benjamin in his first half-marathon.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.500.000.500.009.00

A.M. William is still sick. Sarah got sick as well. I ran 4 miles with Benjamin and Logan, 1 with Joseph and Jacob, 2 with Jenny and 2 with Julia. Pushed the stroller for 2 miles with Mathew in it. Did a few pickups. Total of 9 miles. Considered going more, given that I do not have the marathon, but decided to play it safe. I was having a bit of a cough and a snotty nose, and decided that I needed to be at the starting line of the half in good pacing shape given that I was expecting to be leading at 5:50 for at least a good portion of the half. Pacing is not the same as sitting in a pack, which I would normally do in a race - you have to take the wind, you have to talk occasionally, and you have to focus on the runner you are pacing, so you cannot be in pain.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 9.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Race: Utah Valley Half-Marathon - pacing (13.11 Miles) 01:15:21, Place overall: 11, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
1.9013.110.000.0015.01

Utah Valley Half-Marathon pacing Benjamin - 1:15:21, 11th overall, 1st master, $150. Yes, Benjamin ran fast enough today to allow me to win the masters while staying with him the entire race. This was my first race as a master if you do not count the ward "fun run" a week ago.

I was originally planning to run the marathon, but two days ago felt that I should run the half with my 14-year-old son Benjamin. I see now that this was an inspired decision. I know he needed me there. The Lord also gave me a sign of sorts - the stars aligned and with the help of my advanced chronological but not yet quite as advanced biological age, a generous prize structure, and the absence of Iain Hunter, I was able to win $150. Even though we are quite well-off financially nowadays, cash prizes still excite me. It is rare that a cash prize goes unclaimed by a decent competitor. So it does feel good to be the competitor that claimed the prize.

Race account mile by mile.

1 - 5:39 - Downhill. Lots of runners still around, I am recognizing Steve Anderson and Steve Ashbaker. Benjamin is faithfully on my tail with the absolute minimal gap, just like I have taught him. I listened to him, his breathing sounded good. The split was 11 seconds faster than planned, but I sensed that Benjamin's effort was maybe slightly higher that ideal, but not 11 seconds. So I eased the effort maybe by 2 seconds per mile, and continued.

2 - 11:18 (5:39) - Lesser downhill. Steve Anderson pulled ahead, Steve Ashbaker is with us. I was surprised that we repeated 5:39 with what felt like an easier effort and what looked like a lesser downhill. Probed Benjamin's breathing - it sounded like he was handling the pace fine, so I maintained the effort.

3 - 17:11 (5:53) The Heartbreak Hill of the UVM. Was pleased with the split on the climb and Benjamin's response to it. We dropped Steve Ashbaker and passed Steve Anderson. After that we were in no man's land the rest of the race, but that was what it took to run 1:15 today. Had I gone for the marathon and left Benjamin to fend for himself, he probably would not have had the confidence to break away at this point. Contrary to what I had supposed, there would have been nobody to run with him.

4 - 22:57 (5:46) The end of the UVM Heartbreak Hill followed by a steep decent. Benjamin groaned a couple of times, but it sounded positive - meaning "I am mentally struggling, I have the fear of having to run another 9 miles like this now that I've run 4 and I am quite tired but I am in control of it, I now what it takes to win against it". We passed a water station, and I established the ritual that I would repeat at all water stations later on grabbing a cup, turning around and dumping it all on Benjamin. 

5 - 28:30 (5:33) We hit some nice downhill. Benjamin is still doing well.

6 - 34:10 (5:40) Flatter, also I may have eased off a little sensing that Benjamin might be about to start struggling. I am figuring our 10 K split was around 35:20, which is a PR for Benjamin, and is actually my masters PR as well.

7 - 39:50 (5:40). Nice slight downhill grade. I observed that we had 39:12 split at the 20 mile mark of the the UVM, which means about 10 K to go.

8 - missed the split. Benjamin is hanging in there, groaning more, but maintaining contact.

9  -  51:14 - 11:24 for two miles, 5:42 average. Dave Taylor joined us here for a 4 mile tempo at the end of his 16 mile run.

10 - 57:07 (5:53) - 10 mile PR for Benjamin. We did the last 5 K in 17:55. Benjamin is now in the unchartered territory. He's never run more than 10 miles hard. He worried about being there. I did not as much - I know if someone is holding pace through the first 10 he does not crash too bad in the last 3 in the half. If you are going to crash after 10, there is usually some pace bleeding after 6.

11 - 1:03:08 (6:01) - uphill mile. Benjamin survived it with our encouragement. Now the time to shift gears in the last two miles and see what we can get.

12 - 1:07:57 (5:49) - gentle decent to the finish. I shifted gears mildly to recover from the uphill mile, and Benjamin responded.  

13 - 1:14:44 (5:47) - Benjamin took the initiative and gave it a courageous push in the first half of this mile and I thought I was going to get dropped in the last quarter for a minute or two. But then he ran out of juice and I was in control of the pace again. 

13.1 - 1:15:20 on my watch, 1:15:21 officially. The kick in 36 seconds - 5:30 pace. We finished together side by side, but the official timing was messed up - Benjamin ended up with something really odd - 1:15:26 chip time, 1:15:29 gun time - it should have been 1:15:21/1:15:21 - I wrote to the timing company about it and hopefully they will fix it.

In the afternoon Joseph, Jacob, and Jenny ran in the track meet. I managed to look up the start time in the wrong place, and we got there late. Nevertheless, the meet officials were nice enough to organize a special 800 meter heat  just for us at the end of the meet. Jenny won the battle against the 86F heat and the wind and qualified for the meet in Eugene with 3:01.66. Joseph and Jacob were still feeling the effects of the bug they picked up and struggled - Joseph ran 3:18, Jacob 3:25. Jenny's splits by 200 were 41, 47, 47, 46. I was happy with that - she courageously pushed from the gun and then kept pushing all the way. Now all of our children 6 years and older (Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob) have the qualifying mark. Benjamin will run 3000 with the goal of setting the Utah state record in the 13-14 year old division, everybody else is running 800 trying to break 3:00 (Jenny, Julia, Joseph) or get to is as close as possible (Jacob).

 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments
From Chad Robinson on Sat, Jun 08, 2013 at 22:30:31 from 65.130.112.173

What a phenomenal performance for Benjamin. You definitely made the right call and $150 to boot. Benjamin is certainly a good student of following close (I have had my heels kicked by him several times). Congratulations!

From Russ on Sat, Jun 08, 2013 at 22:32:14 from 24.72.221.129

Congrats on the Masters win, and even more for coaching your son to a fantastic debut in the Half. Congrats to your son for a great race.

From Holt on Sun, Jun 09, 2013 at 07:11:51 from 67.2.237.75

Congrats to both of you - what a neat memory this will be!

From Steve on Sun, Jun 09, 2013 at 07:26:05 from 66.87.153.218

Good race Sasha. That's a lucky kid to have you with him

From steve ash on Sun, Jun 09, 2013 at 07:34:17 from 64.134.236.144

Congrats to both you and Benjamin. I see some great things and some good times in your future. Thanks for the ride and the company. I had great time yesterday visiting with you and your family.

From Jake K on Sun, Jun 09, 2013 at 07:49:44 from 67.177.11.154

Great run for Benjamin, and excellent pacing by you. A great example of how consistency and smart running pays off. Cool that so many of the kids will run in Eugene... That will be quite an experience!

From Dave Taylor on Sun, Jun 09, 2013 at 08:26:41 from 174.23.73.231

Thanks again for the great workout, looks like there's a new force to be reckoned with in the HM scene!

From allie on Sun, Jun 09, 2013 at 08:56:59 from 97.117.95.48

congratulations to both of you! that's a great debut for benjamin.

From bdase on Sun, Jun 09, 2013 at 12:05:45 from 70.208.31.166

Sasha I had the opportunity of watching the finish of the half and I have to share with you; as a father it was a very special and inspiring sight to see you and Benjamin kicking in together side by side. Well done to you both.

From RileyCook on Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 10:14:51 from 132.3.57.79

Awesome job Sasha. That's awesome for you to pace your 14-year old to a 1:15 debut half! And congrats on the master's victory.

From Superfly on Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 13:55:43 from 74.211.21.81

Good job to Benny! That's awesome. We were all excited down here last week to see how he'd run- and he did great. Congrats!

From Tara on Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 18:52:57 from 75.169.137.46

Very impressive, Sasha. How exciting for Benjamin to see he could do more than 10 quality miles and to walk away with a couple PR's. A Master's PR while pacing is an added bonus too:)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had another missionary farewell. The elder is going to Mexico this time. Then in Sunday school we discussed Doctrine and Covenants 76 which talks about the three degrees of glory. For me this doctrine has a special significance. When the missionaries first taught me, my reaction was more or less - that's nice, let's move on. However, a year later while translating a missionary discussion for my friends it hit me that Christ really loves all of us and wants to give us the absolute best that we will take. Even the worst sinners eventually get the telestial kingdom, which is much better than the best we can get on the earth. I suppose I can mark that point when I really accepted Christ as my Savior. Prior to that I obeyed out of fear - I could not deny that Joseph Smith had seen the Father and the Son, therefore I knew there was some power above me that had certain expectation that I better follow, but I did not understand the love of Christ. When I realized that there is a kingdom of glory prepared for all of us, I saw things in a new light.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From seeaprilrun on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 17:41:28 from 68.102.189.33

I can attest, it is only in experiencing that mercy that I begin to believe.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5. About half of it with the kids. Benjamin and Andrew did 4. Joseph and William did 0.5. Jenny and Julia did 2.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. Benjamin was out on a hike with the scouts. I ran total of 12. Jenny did 2, Andrew 4, Joseph and Jacob 1. I did a 3 mile tempo run from the Provo Canyon to the house in 17:29. Felt sluggish. Could not tell if it was because it was warm, or because I was just feeling sluggish.

P.M. Benjamin called from the hike - he had a sore throat and possibly a fever as well. He probably could have toughed it out, but neither of us thought it was a good idea. The scouts were doing their "tough thing" for the year - 37 mile hike in 2 days, but as far as I am concerned, Benjamin has done his "tough thing" already - 13.11 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes and 21 seconds. So I drove all the way to Cedar City to pick him up.  I had three cars to choose from - GMC Savana Van 2011, Dodge RAM Van 1996 - CNG, or Ford Escort Wagon 1993. For the sake of the quickest trip time I chose the Savana, and it did not disappoint me - I was impressed with its ability to do the Scipio hill all the way at 85 with the pedal not floored. Benjamin's condition was not as bad as I thought it could have been, but I did not want him to be out in the heat and away from adequate opportunities to eat and drink with it anymore.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.250.253.000.0013.50

A.M. Total of 13. Benjamin and Jenny did 3, Joseph and Jacob 1, William 1, Julia 2. I noticed that Julia had had a hard time getting her feet off the ground, and decided it was time to address it. So we did 2x200 in the middle of her run, first down about 3% grade, second mostly flat. Her times were 44.3 and 42.9. I repeated the same 3 mile tempo run as the day before, except I did it earlier before it got warm. Not surprisingly it went better - I did not feel slugging and ran it in 17:03.

P.M. Pushed Stephen and Matthew to the church and back in the stroller - total of 0.5 miles.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.50Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 0.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.000.0016.00

A.M. 13 miles total. Andrew and Benjamin did 4, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 1, William 1.

P.M. 3 miles with Matthew in the stroller. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.251.2516.00

A.M. Total of 13. Did a workout. Started with a 400 up the canyon in 84.6 - got blown off by the wind, also was a little sluggish at the start, I suppose. Then on the second 400, also up the canyon got 76.3 - better, less wind. Then turned around, and did 400 72.1. Then my mark was too faded and it was too sunny, so I decided to do 300 - 500 instead of 400-400. I did 300 in 54.3, and 500 in 1:30.8. Then ran with the kids. Benjamin and Andrew did 4, Jenny 3, Joseph and Jacob 1, William 0.5, Julia 3. Julia and I did 2x200 - downhill in 40.7, rolling in 42.9.

P.M. 3 miles with Matthew in the stroller. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.504.500.000.0020.00

A.M. Ran 20 miles with Chad in 2:29:38. We jogged most of the time, but did a few pickups in the middle. The idea was to do something that puts the body to sleep so it is running primarily off fats, then speed up just enough so it is some kind of a race pace but not so fast that we wake up the carbohydrate energy supply too quickly and thus the body is hopefully tricked into running off fats. I am pretty sure this trick works although I do not have a lab to prove it. There is unique sluggishness in those intervals that would be characteristic of the body being reluctant to release carbs, and therefore having to pull the energy out of the fats.

So about 2.5 miles into it we ran a mile uphill into a headwind in 6:14.3. Then about 6.5 miles into the run we did a mile uphill without much headwind in 6:06.7. Then about 12.5 miles into the run we did 5:55.4 going down, and about 16.5 miles into the run we did 1 mile going down in 5:59.1. Then we ran the last 0.5 uphill in 3:14.

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 4.5, Andrew did 4, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Stephen was sick, so Sarah and I took turns staying home. I made it to the second half of Sunday school where the discussion was on the Word of Wisdom, and the entire Elder's Quorum lesson which talked about tithing.

With it being the Father's Day I thought about what I wanted for my children as a father. Here is what I came up with - I want them to have the business aptitude of an American, analytic ability of a Russian, running speed of a Kenyan, and faith of a Tongan. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.750.000.000.5015.25

A.M. Andrew did a 400 meter time trial. Benjamin and Logan had the following assignment - sense Andrew's starting pace for the first 50-70 meters, then move in front and hold that pace to 200 meters. Then continue at that pace to the finish regardless of whether Andrew could do it or not. So we ended up doing 38 for the first 200, then Benjamin and Logan sped up, I stayed back with Andrew for 100 meters, then surged and caught up to Benjamin and Logan. So we ended up with around 74.5 for 400, Andrew got 77.8. This gives us a starting point for his speed to work from. Andrew and Logan ended up running 5.25 miles total. Benjamin added another mile with William which gave him 6.25 for the day.

Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, and Julia did a workout as well. 2x200 in the middle of 2 miles. First one downhill all the way, second mostly flat but with a downhill in the last 30 meters or so. On the first one we had: Jenny 35.7, Julia and Joseph 42.3, Jacob 45.9. On the second - Jenny 40.7, Joseph 44.3, Julia 45.0, Jacob 47.0. Afterwards Jenny and Julia ran one more mile to make it 3 for them. I pushed the stroller on this part with Matthew and Stephen, and stayed with Jenny. 

I ended up with the total of 12.25 miles. 

P.M. 3 miles with Stephen and Matthew in the stroller. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.002.700.3018.00

A.M. Total of 15 miles. Did a workout with Dave Taylor. The same 3 mile tempo run course down the Provo Canyon except we changed it making it 5:30 all the way except for the last 500 meters, which we did as fast as possible with the target of 1:30. First mile was 5:29, then 5:28, the last mile was 5:15. Last 500 in 1:29.5, total time 16:12.2. Dave handled it very well and was strong in the kick.

Then I ran with the kids. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 1.

P.M. 3 with Matthew in the stroller. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Dave Taylor on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 18:32:29 from 174.23.73.215

Hey thanks again for the great run - I am doing one next Tues to get ready for Big Springs that you might want in on. It's 12 miles, 5 or so on the BST, easy on the first bit, crush the uphills on the second bit, moderate to severe 800s on the last bit (BST is middle)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.500.5015.00

A.M. Did a workout with Benjamin, Jenny, Andrew and Logan. The purpose of the workout was to awaken Benjamin's speed in preparation for the USATF regional championship this Saturday, and for others to test their speed and experience the misery of 2:06:35 marathon pace. For me it did not really have a purpose except observe as a coach, but the best place for a coach to observe, I believe, is right there in the middle of the workout. Good thoughts come when you sense pace variations and feel the pain.

So Benjamin's target was to run 1:48 evenly paced for the first 600, then run the last 200 in 34 or faster. Logan's assignment was to make it to the first 600. Andrew's and Jenny's assignment was to run the pace until they got dropped, then be done. Benjamin did 36 - 72 - 1:49 and finished in 2:23.5. I stayed with him until about 70 meters to go and finished in 2:24.9. Logan made it to about 530 meters, then coasted in to finish the 800 in 2:38.5. Jenny made it to 200, Andrew made it to 250. Benjamin led all the way, which was part of the plan - we want to be prepared to run a good time if he has to do it on Saturday.

I felt that the pace felt more aerobic than I would have expected, but at the same time I did not feel I could go faster which is why I got dropped at the end. I suppose I should expect it from the recent increase in mileage.

Then I ran more with the kids. Joseph and Jacob did their own workout - 2x200 on the road on the standard stretches.  Joseph did 37.6/43.4, Jacob 39.2/45.4.

Benjamin ran 8 miles, Logan 5.5, Andrew a little over 5, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2, William 1. Julia did the 2x200 workout as well - 42.2/42.7. 

P.M. 3 miles with Matthew in the stroller. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Andrew 5, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 1, Jenny 3, Julia 3. I did a pickup uphill over 1.02 miles in 5:56.

P.M. Went to the chess tournament with Benjamin. He's been on a roll lately in chess - has not lost a game since February I think - it's been a while since he lost. Of course, we only have the time for two games, and play every other Thursday. But those are tough players - rated as high at 1900+ and rarely below 1400. In any case, he won both games, and his rating now is 1764 - another 36 points and he will move into class A. After that we've got 2000 - expert, 2200 - national master, 2400 (plus tournament performance) - international master, 2500 (plus tournament performance) - grandmaster. The way he is progressing makes it look like he will quite likely be expert as an adult, and possibly national master.

I had one draw and one win, and recovered some of the points I lost recently - I am now at 1643. It is interesting that Benjamin is pulling away from me in chess and in running at around the same time. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.000.000.4012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Benjamin, Logan, and Jenny to the track. Looking at Benjamin's 800 on Wednesday, splits and how he felt, there were two possibilities - his was either asleep, or still not recovered from the half-marathon and the cold afterwards. It was no use analyzing the latter, so we assumed the former. We did a mini-workout to try to wake him up. 600 meters roughly targeting 1:45. Logan joined us for the first 400, Jenny for the last 100. So I paced him through the first 200 in 35, then he took over and I almost ran into him. Then he sped up as I tried to pass him on the home stretch, and we made it to 400 in 71 - Logan stayed with us. Then he fell asleep on the curve and we were 1:30 at 500, but with Jenny's help he was able to shift gears and hit a 16 - total 1:46.4. Jenny stayed with him which pleased me - she has more speed than I realized. They both dropped me - I got 1:47.9. In the last two workouts I felt reasonable at speeds 72 per lap and slower, but as soon as it got faster I just could not find that extra gear.

Benjamin did total of 5, Logan 5 as well. Joseph and Jacob did 1, Jenny 2, Julia 2, William 1. Julia did 300 pickup in 1:09.4. I did total of 12. While running with Julia the stroller broke - the swivel brace got bent and the front wheel fell off. 

 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.250.004.000.0016.25

A.M. Ran 12 miles with Chad. Had to cut it short due to Benjamin's 1500 meter race in the USATF regional championship. We did a mini-workout. First 1 mile up the Provo Canyon starting from the little bridge over the Provo River at the mouth near the power plant. The goal was to break 6:00. We did it in 5:47.7. Then on the way back our favorite 3 mile tempo run with the target of 5:40 - 5:33 - 5:25. We ended up with 5:39 - 5:32 - 5:30 - 16:41. Chad struggled in the last mile. I think the fact that it was late into the run on top of running a hard mile uphill earlier played a factor. 

Then Chad ran 8 more while I got dressed and took Benjamin to his race. Chad showed up later as well to watch. We hoped Benjamin would run under 4:29.36 taking the state record in the 13-14 age division, but he did not have it in him. He apparently was still suffering the effects of post-half marathon fatigue and the cold. 

The conditions were as good as they could be. Hardly any wind (by UVU track standards that is), not too warm. Still early in the day - sunlight not too direct. Good competition - they put all youth 13 and older in one heat. Benjamin went through the first lap in 72.2. By the end of it he moved into second place in the heat with the first being a boy in an older age division. He stayed in that position for the rest of the race. His second lap was slow - 74.0, and I knew something was not right. I told Benjamin to do his best to run 2:23 for the first 800. I could tell he was trying, but just did not have it. His next lap was 78, and his last 300 was 56 - official finish time 4:41.23. He still won his age division by 11 seconds - second place was his friend Grant Gardner who ran 4:52. I do not think it would be too bold to assume that this is the first time a USATF Regional race was won in Crocs.

It is good to have races like that. This is a chance to learn resilience. It also allowed us to document the pattern of how Benjamin runs in workouts when his adrenal glands are worn out. He will have another chance at the state record - Utah Summer Games in a week. I do not know if we have enough time to rebuild before then but we will do our best. 

More races to follow this afternoon - Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob are running the 800.

P.M. 800 meter race for the younger kids in the USATF regionals. Jenny ran a PR of 2:55.23 - her splits were 86/89. Julia ran a decent race as well - 3:12.04 - not quite a PR, but close. Joseph won the 8 and under division with 3:08.99 - this more than 8 seconds off his time trial PR, and 3 seconds off his official race PR, but it not only won, but set a regional meet record. His splits were 92/96. He said he felt like his legs were not moving. Probably still some leftovers from the sickness.

We discovered that Jacob has a mild form of exercise-induced asthma. He has had some trouble breathing in workouts before, but never to the extent that he did after this race. He was wheezing for about 7 minutes after he finished and we were seriously concerned. Our blogger Teena was there and ran to get her inhaler, but he recovered before she got back . He still managed to run 3:21.00 which was good enough for 4th, and was less than 5 seconds off his PR. Apparently the try air in combination with the dust coming off I-15 was too much when combined with race effort - and Jacob can push himself very hard. We are going to take him to the doctor and get an inhaler just in case for things like this.

Later I ran 4.25 with Benjamin. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Comments
From steve ash on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 18:49:00 from 174.52.100.252

Very nice! And congratulations to Benjamin. A great time to place and especially at his age.

From Rob Murphy on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 18:59:41 from 75.134.145.181

Have you ever contacted Croc's for a sponsorship? Seriously.

From Matt Schreiber on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 19:53:51 from 66.17.102.185

I think Rob's onto something.. Congrats to Benjamin.

From Dave Taylor on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 21:07:30 from 174.23.77.96

So how did the 800s go? 4:41 is still plenty fast :)

From jeffmc on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 12:57:09 from 65.110.254.156

A word of caution for Jacob from my experience. Don't use the inhaler too frequently as it is possible to develop a resistance to it (I was using mine every day and that is what happened). My suggestion would be to only use the inhaler before hard efforts when you suspect that problems could arise (air is dry, lots of particulate matter in the air, etc.). Obviously the Dr. will know better than I do, but that is what I would suggest.

There are also some research papers out there that have looked into different types of warm ups to avoid problems. Running a bunch of short sprints prior to the main exercise has been shown to help some, but I can't remember specifically what was done. Keeping the airways moist could provide some benefit as well. If you do a search for some articles on pubmed or google scholar you should be able to find out more specifics.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 14:11:57 from 69.28.149.29

Jeff - thanks for the suggestions. I was about to e-mail you and ask for your advice given your experience with this problem, but you beat me to the punch. My thoughts as well on the frequency. He only gets the symptoms when running at top effort even if the air is unfriendly. So I am thinking give it to him before races and time trials just in case.

Another thought I had - and we actually started on it - is just increase the mileage from alternating 2-1 pattern to 2 every day. My intuition is telling me that higher aerobic capacity can overpower the asthma, or at least alleviate the symptoms. As a proof of concept of sorts Benjamin and I did an experiment yesterday. While running at about 8:15 pace we sang the first four lines of the Star Spangled Banner each taking a turn - figuring this would be a good simulation of a mild asthma attack while running. Benjamin right now is competitive against me in races up to 5 K, then I start to pull away - the difference being in me having much higher aerobic fitness to compensate for my lack of power/efficiency.

I was able to get through the verse sneaking in just one breath more or less naturally. Benjamin had to pause for breath on every third word or so.

I also have some anecdotal evidence from another source. I recall Steve Wilson's account of running in the Austin marathon in 2001 (may be a little off on the year). He ran 2:18. He is a high mileage runner and does suffer from exercise-induced asthma. He reported having an asthma attack around mile 20 and being forced to slow down to 5:40 pace. Once it was over, he sped up to 5:05. I am suspecting that due to his high aerobic base he was able to control the damage and lose only about 20 seconds per mile to his average, and 35 to surging speed as opposed to being reduced to a jog, or having to stop altogether.

Which actually leads to another interesting point. We put emphasis on VO2, but we talk very little about O2 extraction ratio - O2 in vs O2 out. I took a look at my VO2 max test from 2007 the day before TOU to learn more about this. The columns of interest are FEO2 (fraction of O2 in the expired air) and FECO2 (fraction of expired air that is CO2). At the most miserable moment, my expired air was only 4.7% CO2 and O2 as high as 16.17% - you could probably still use this for mouth-to-mouth CPR. At rest I had FEO2 17.63% and FECO2 3.49%. Inhaled air is about 0.03% CO2 and 20.93% O2. So roughly I was using about only 1/5 of the oxygen that I inhaled.

I am going to imagine that a runner with a higher aerobic capacity is better at extracting oxygen from the inhaled air and thus needs less volume going in and out. So should there be an obstruction of some kind, he has more wiggle room to deal with it. Also, since he is taking in less volume, he would be less likely to trigger an asthma attack at the same effort because his breathing pathways will experience less irritation.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 14:20:12 from 69.28.149.29

Rob - I've contacted Crocs for a sponsorship and received a reply that they did not have any sponsorship vacancies left. I also am aware that their CEO has seen the picture of me winning the Provo River Half in Crocs. However, there was no follow-up. I can only speculate as to the cause. There are two possibilities - one is that with Crocs being a big company they have a problem of the left hand not knowing what the right hand does, and the ball got dropped. The other possibility is that they may just not see me as a good commercial vehicle. I run in a product that costs only $20 and make a big deal about it. I tend to speak my mind regardless of the possible fallout. They probably want somebody that will promote something more expensive and will not share opinions that could stir trouble.

Regardless, I do not miss this sponsorship that much. At this point in my life I can easily afford a $20 shoe twice a year for myself, and once a year for each child.

From jeffmc on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 14:40:29 from 65.110.254.156

Sasha, mentioning Crocs, I actually had a chance to chat with a researcher that has a contract with the company. I asked if the company had any plans to develop a running shoe, and her reply was that the company had thought about it because they knew of people that ran in Crocs (probably you) but ultimately they decided that they wanted to focus on promoting and designing shoes for leisure rather than running/competition. It is likely that the different focus and goals the company has was part of the reasoning behind the rejection.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had our regular set of meetings. Then in the evening there was a special missionary fireside. The leaders of the Church announced that will be some changes in the way we do missionary work with missionaries doing tours of meeting houses, and using social media to reach out to those who may be interested.

I think there are two major obstacles that we as Latter-Day Saints need to overcome if we are going to be effective missionaries:

  • People do not really know us. They might see us, they might even occasionally associate with us, they may think they know us but they do not really understand what makes us tick.
  • We at times do not live our religion as well as we should which is perhaps because we do not understand it as well as we should. Over the course of the years I have been privileged to have spent time with people that understood Mosiah 2-4, Alma 34, Moroni 7, and other powerful parts of the Book of Mormon. What a difference that made! Unfortunately in the majority of wards such people are found in minority. The average active member is a nice guy - he just does not understand some things, and because of that is not able to exert the power of the Gospel in his life in sufficient measure. The outsider looks at him as says - well, I am a nice guy too, why do I have to change anything?

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Lily on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 17:13:33 from 67.199.178.95

Amen to this.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.5012.50

A.M. Did 12 miles total.  Benjamin did 8. Jenny and Julia did 3. Joseph  did 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 1.5 miles to the house uphill in 8:33.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.500.000.000.5015.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin and I paced Logan on the track to an 800 PR of 2:29.7. Benjamin and Logan did 5.5, Andrew did 5.25. Jenny did 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

P.M. 3 miles.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.000.000.0015.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin and I did a 200 pickup in 34.3. Benjamin did total of 7. Jenny did 4, Julia did not run - she sliced her foot in an accident, and will be out of commission for a couple of days. Joseph did 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5, Andrew and Logan 5.

P.M. I had a thought to ask our friend Lou who is a professional car mechanic to fix our stroller. My faith in car mechanic's ability to fix mechanical things of other nature was confirmed. Lou figured out how to bend the swivel brace back into shape and I was able to run 3 miles with Matthew in the stroller.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.700.000.000.3012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 7, Logan and Andrew 5, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 1. Benjamin and I did a couple of pickups to help him feel race pace - 300 in 53.3, and 200 in 34.6.

P.M. Took Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph and Jacob to chess instruction by GM Rashad Babaev. This was the first time any of us have met a grandmaster. It was an educational experience. We were studying a position where there was only one right move. We had 10 minutes to find it. Benjamin did. I asked GM Babaev how long it takes a GM to see something like this. His response that he sees it right away, it feels good, and because it does he starts calculating what would happen if he made it.

The difference between a class A player or even an expert and myself (class B) is that they see tactical traps more consistently. However a GM sees more than that - he sees long-term positional weaknesses that can actually be exploited, and he sees the path to make it happen. He also intuitively knows if he can deal with various tactical issues that may arise on his way to exploiting the weakness - there are many lower skill players that can observe the weakness, but unlike a GM they only observe - they cannot do much about it.


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.500.000.000.0015.50

A.M. Total of 10.5. Benjamin did 3, Andrew and Logan 5, Jenny 4, William 0.5, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. Drove to Cedar City with Benjamin for the Utah Summer Games.

P.M. Benjamin ran 800 in the Utah Summer Games in 2:16.25 missing the official Utah State Youth record by 1.74 seconds. The official record belongs to Eli Oftedal and is 2:14.51. However, the Utah Summer Games record is listed as 2:11.00 by Sam Hoyal in 1993. I contacted USATF about the discrepancy, and what we were able to figure out is that in 1993 Utah Summer Games was not sanctioned by USATF, thus the record was not official.

Regardless, I was happy with Benjamin's performance. The temperature was 100 F. When we got out of the van I told Benjamin he would gain an appreciation for J. Golden Kimball's "If I had a choice to go to St. George or to hell, I'd go to hell". We did a trick though. We brought the vehicle with the best A/C system of the ones we own. So Benjamin sat in the van until it was time to warm up. He jogged for 5 minutes, then did 2 strides. Back in the van to cool off for 5 minutes, and out to the start of his race.

They combined the Youth division with everybody younger, and the other heat had everybody older. This was unfortunate because that resulted in Benjamin running alone.

His opening lap was 65.5, and he closed with 70.6 on my watch - 2.16.1 total. Official time was slower likely due to automatic timing which is always a little slower than hand timing. Ironically, our blogger Eric Lambert who is 15 and with whose family we are staying ran the race as well in the other heat and finished in 2:16.29 with the opening lap of 62. Had they been in the same heat we might have seen Eli's record go down with them duking it out in the last 200.

The good news is that they are scheduled to run in the same heat tomorrow.

Later in the evening I ran 5 miles with Eric.

 

 

 


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.890.003.110.0016.00

A.M. Ran 16 miles in Cedar Cit. First 6.6 with Eric Lambert's father Adam. Then 2 with Benjamin for his morning shakeout. Then I wanted to find a place that was flat. The only flat place was the track. To help time pass quicker I decided to do a 5 K tempo run. Figured at 5700 feet and with the sun coming up 18:00 would take work, and I was not mistaken. I started out with 86 laps, but once I got to 3K all of a sudden the same effort started giving me 89 laps. At this point I understood why distances over 3K receive a much higher altitude adjustment. I decided to maintain the effort instead of forcing the pace. Then in the last lap I ran 81 and finished the 5 K in 18:04.2. I could really feel the lack of oxygen. Then I ran some more to make the total 16 miles.

Then I watched Benjamin and Eric races the 1500. The race started at around 11:20 AM, and the temperature was 88 F. Eric took the lead and hit the first 300 in 55.3. Benjamin heard that and took over. Their next lap was 71.8. Eric took over at the 600 mark. Then he heat got to both of them and their next lap was 74.0. I yelled at Benjamin to floor it, and they shifted gears. Their last lap was 70.2. Benjamin got 4:31.58 - Eric outleaned him by 0.08 with 4:31.50. For Benjamin this is a new PR. He missed Josh's record set in the same race 17 years ago by 2.22 seconds.

I was quite happy with Benjamin's performance. This is on pace for 2:07:19 marathon. Now he officially advanced his ability to run that pace to the 1.5 K point. Another 40 K to go. Maybe less - this was in 88 F and at 5700 feet. He would last longer at that pace at sea level in ideal conditions.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Dave Taylor on Sat, Jun 29, 2013 at 12:58:05 from 174.23.75.67

Amazing performance, that's great! The heat makes it so much harder. Question - would Mon or Tues be better for speedwork if I am trying to do well in a Thurs 5K?

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jun 29, 2013 at 17:02:29 from 72.250.218.114

Dave: I would say either way could work. Monday gives you more rest, Tuesday on the other hand may end up being the magic hit to give a boost that will materialize on Thursday.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Lots of missionaries going out now with the recent age change announcement. We had another departing missionary speak. 

Took a long much needed nap in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.000.400.0012.00

A.M. Did 12 total. Benjamin did 8.5, William 0.5, Andrew 5, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia was finally able to run after her foot-slicing accident and did 2 miles. Did 5 miles with Matthew in the stroller, and also did a pickup for about 0.4 uphill at around 5:45 pace.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.400.000.000.6015.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Benjamin, Logan and Andrew to the track. Benjamin and I paced Logan to a 1000 PR of 3:07.6. Andrew ran a 300 with us in 55. I am thankful I can still pace a 1000 in 3:07. Then we ran some more. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Logan 5.5, Andrew 5.25, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

P.M. 3 with Matthew in the stroller. Julia did 1. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 0.5, Andrew 5. I ran two miles with Matthew in the stroller.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Race: Murray Fun Days 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:34, Place overall: 6, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.890.000.003.1112.00

A.M. Ran Murray Fun Days 5 K in 17:34, 6th overall, first master, $100. They are nice to masters - one of the few races that pays masters as much as it does overall. 

I decided to do this race for two reasons. After UVM half I realized that with a few extra races I could earn some cash in the master's USATF circuit. I used to race the circuit, but as the number of children has increased, my ability to win prize money has decreased, and our financial situation has improved, I could not anymore justify spending that much time on Saturdays going to races. However, this year with me turning 40 I realized that a couple of 5 Ks and maybe a TOU half would be all I would need to do in addition to UVM, Desnews, and TOU marathon to place in the money. So this was one of the 5 Ks. The other will be Draper Days.

The other reason was I wanted to see what Benjamin could do in a 5 K against your regular USATF circuit competition on a course that I knew. I would highly recommend anybody to run a circuit race if you want to run a 5 K in particular. Unlike many 5 Ks out there, a USATF circuit race has an accurate length (unless the police car takes a wrong turn, which has happened before, but this is a rarity), usually accurate mile markers, a pool of consistent competitors, and a long history of performances. If you run that 5 K in a certain time with certain splits, you have a pretty good idea where you stand and what you need to do to improve. If you run one of the multitude of fundraisers/fun runs/etc the quality of the information is just not the same.

Since we were going to be in competition the plan was that Benjamin was going to follow me, and if I felt I wanted him to lead I would motion to him to do so. Nevertheless, this race was not supposed to be me pacing Benjamin like in the Utah Valley. He has outkicked me before in a 3 mile tempo run, and he has beat me in a 2 mile race, so this was going to be a race over the last mile. I also wanted to win the masters, and I knew that Steve Anderson and/or Dennis Simonaitis (51 years old but still going strong), and/or Mr. X could give me problems.

The temperature at the start was 67 F, with the dew point of 63 F which gives you the relative humidity of 88%. This turned out to be a problem for me, but more for Benjamin. Our first mile was 5:32. We made our way through the crowd. After the turnaround I did not see Dennis either ahead or behind. I was quite perplexed by that. I learned later that somebody stepped on his foot and he felt the injury was bad enough that he could not race. I swear I did not bribe that guy :-) 

I could tell that Benjamin was struggling, so I did not quite press on the gas pedal as hard as I would have otherwise in the second mile, and I even said a few words of encouragement to him. This made the second mile slow even though it was downhill. Well, even though the first mile is uphill, it does not have a 180 turn. Also, it is hard to get going on the downhill after running uphill. So that mile ends up being not as fast as you would hope. This time it was 5:43 bringing us to 2 miles in 11:15.

At this point I realized I needed to start running my own race, and let Benjamin tough out his - he had been telling me to go for some time now, but I wanted to make sure he really did not have another gear before I took off. So I gave it a push and caught up to Garret Jones. This took quite a bit out of me - I could not pass him - maybe he sped up as well - and I sat on him all the way until it was time to kick. I thought he was going to outkick me. He surged with about 400 to go and I thought I was dead, but I found a little bit of energy to stay with him. Apparently that in combination with the hill that preceded the final 200 meters was too much for him. When we got to the 3 mile mark which I think was about 3-4 seconds off on the far side (making the kick time faster than what it should have been), I saw 17:05 and not realizing the mark was off, got really mad about all the effort that I had put into the third mile to get only 5:50. So I kicked, and to my surprise Garret did not respond. I kept running scared of his speed, but there was no reason to fear - I gapped him by 4 seconds. Benjamin finished not too far behind in 17:47.

So the finish order was Teren 15:18, Josh McCabe 15:42, Jake 15:44, a high school runner (forgot the name) 16:29, then Albert 17:21, then me with 17:34, then Garret  17:38, Benjamin 17:47, another runner in 17:58, and Steve Anderson in 18:06.

We ran some extra miles with Steve Ashbaker, Jake and Sandy. I ran another 3.5 miles when I got home. Benjamin ended up with 8.5 miles, I got 12.

Not sure what to think of this race. The time was slow. I probably lost 15 seconds or so on pulling Benjamin for the first two miles at a conservative effort instead of being more aggressive and catching up to Albert quickly, but I do not regret it. He is my son and I want to be with him when he struggles. Also, as a coach being there and sensing how he responds to changes in pace is very valuable. Not sure how much of a factor was humidity. Last time I raced in humidity (Rocket City) I struggled a lot. I could definitely feel bothered by the humid air coming in. I suppose we will see in Draper Days in two weeks.

For Benjamin, humidity is going to be a serious concern - he has two track races coming up that will likely be in conditions that are more humid than what he is used to. He told me when he tried to push it in the third mile he felt like he was going to choke. When he finished, he said his legs were not tired. So in other words he could not bring in enough oxygen to make them work. We need to do something about it. So I looked around and found a humidity mask (Humidiflier) that recirculates the moisture in the air you breathe and make it more humid. I ordered two - one for me and one for Benjamin. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Rob Murphy on Thu, Jul 04, 2013 at 15:28:49 from 24.10.249.165

Nice job on the masters win Sasha.

As one who struggled with the humidity this morning and who frequently travels to places like Minnesota in the summer to race, I can say that I firmly believe high humidity can be as much of a performance limiter as altitude.

From Josh E on Thu, Jul 04, 2013 at 16:45:19 from 75.162.222.114

Nice meeting you briefly, Sasha. Sorry I lost you guys for the cool down. I am the 17:58 runner:) Since Teren always runs this race, perhaps his pace is some data. Though he races less, he is not slowing down that much recently. In 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 he went 15:06, 15:08, 15:15 and 15:19. So a slight uptick this year making me think it is a pretty usual year unless he was feeling extraordinarily good today.

I was thankful for the rain because it cooled it off maybe 10 degrees. So even if I was sweating more, I didn't feel like I was overheating. I feel like there are those who struggle with the elements and those who are more or less impervious to them, though obviously different elements may affect people physically in different ways...

From MarkP on Fri, Jul 05, 2013 at 09:31:22 from 75.169.8.9

Nice job! Hopefully, later in the year I can keep you in site.

From allie on Fri, Jul 05, 2013 at 11:39:56 from 97.126.209.84

nice job, sasha. congrats on the masters win.

From Bill on Fri, Jul 05, 2013 at 13:13:02 from 71.32.203.45

Good job! Sasha, it was nice to see you and your son racing today. Running is such a great family event. I think of the many families there for the 4th. A tradition that many have done for years now. It is a sport that is family friendly that we can do together young and old. Hope to see you again at Draper and have a chance to talk a little. Tell Ben great job finishing strong.

From Dave Taylor on Sat, Jul 06, 2013 at 13:04:33 from 174.23.77.225

Hey, maybe I come and Mr X you on the next one eh ?:) I used your workout this morning, it is awesome, thanks!

From RAD on Sun, Jul 07, 2013 at 22:22:41 from 76.27.82.202

Congrats on a win and I'm always impressed with Benjamin's tenacity to stick to the race despite conditions.

From Jake K on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 12:34:42 from 67.177.11.154

Good run Sasha. Enjoyed chatting with you on the run afterwards as well.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.200.000.000.8014.00

A.M. Total of 12 with 0.8 pickups at around 5:20 pace. I decided to start doing pickups on easy days to stimulate the metabolism given that I am getting older, and should start experiencing problems with it soon if I have not already. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Julia running, and Matthew in the stroller. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.0010.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Ran with Steve and Chad. I did 20, Chad and Steve turned around at mile marker 9 and joined me later in the tempo at different spots. Steve did the last 7, Chad did the last 2. I did the warmup 10 miles uphill in 1:17:15 if you can call that a warm-up, but I supposed you can because the remaining 10 was a lot faster even adjusting for the grade - 58:34. It was humid and started to get warm. I felt I was struggling with the humidity, but decided to just be bold, give it a good push and deal with the consequences. It hurt, but I was not slowing down. It did help to have Steve around - he kept pressure on me and once in a while would take the lead which provided relief. Then Chad chimed in with 2 miles to go and was helpful as well. Steve started running out of juice with about 0.9 to go, Chad made it to the 0.5 to go mark.

I was happy that I made some inroads against humidity. Hopefully when I run the Rocket City Marathon this year it would not be a bomb like in the last two years. I need to win two battles - against fall-winter germs and against humidity. Also a third one - against getting older. 

With turning 40 I gained a new appreciation for the gospel of Jesus Christ and particularly for His gift of resurrection. Without it the life of a runner is rather sad. It is sad even when he is 20, but the full reality of that misfortune does not come until he is older. Without Christ's resurrection a runner has nothing to look forward to as he ages. He will just keep getting slower and slower likely hitting a few years of not being able to run at all before he dies. And he is going nowhere. With the resurrection of Christ he can look forward to a body that does not need to run because it has a superior mode of transportation - although the closest we can get to it in this life without external mechanisms is running. So he is looking forward to discovering a better way to run once this life is over and once a few things happened on the other side that are necessary before the resurrection.

Relatively few people realize that resurrection is actually a gift to all regardless of their choices here. The path to it is less painful for those that make good choices, and the place they get to go also improves with the choices, but everybody who is here on earth will be able to move in a perfect resurrected body with the VO2 capacity becoming irrelevant due to having a superior source of energy. 

Benjamin did 8 including 2x500 pickups on the road - one downhill, one uphill. Down in 1:32, up in 1:38. Julia did 2, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, William 0.5, Jacob 2. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a Fast and Testimony meeting. William decided to bear his testimony, and he actually managed to do it on his own, sort of. He started on his own, then lost track of his thoughts, and Sarah helped him finish it.

In the afternoon I took an hour nap. Then I used Street View to familiarize myself with Eugene. Then we had the missionaries over for dinner. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. First 5 with the stroller and Matthew in it. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Jacob 2, Joseph 3. The air felt warm and humid. I started the run at 147.0 lb and finished at 142.0 lb.  I should start a new weight loss program - lose 5 pounds in one run!

Benjamin got his AP scores today. 5 on Calculus BC, 4 on Computer Science, 4 on Chemistry, and 4 on Physics C: Mechanics. This gives him credit for Math 112, Math 113, Computer Science 142, Chemistry 105, and Physics 121 at BYU. So we are going to apply for the winter semester.

I was particularly happy with his score in Chemistry. For me this is a vindication of our home schooling approach. The big question is - can a child student being only 14 years old exceed the parent teacher? He did not have to exceed my knowledge to get good scores in other subjects. But in Chemistry he did and he succeeded. This proves to me that you can successfully home school in subjects you do not have the expert knowledge of. The key is teaching the child how to learn - instead of teaching the facts you need to teach initiative, confidence, proactive problem solving, and other good qualities in that department. If the learner quality X has been developed, he will learn the necessary facts and techniques on his own.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Superfly on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 13:18:30 from 74.211.21.81

Great scores. Good job to Benny!

From Tanner on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 13:35:34 from 67.2.55.17

I got my AP Human Geography score back yesterday and I also got a 5. I'm very impressed with Benjamin's running ability, but also that he is a great student as well. I enjoy hearing about well-rounded people that work hard in all aspects of their life. Congratulations to Ben!

From Dave Taylor on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 15:52:31 from 63.255.191.163

Awesome scores!

From Jake K on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 16:01:08 from 67.177.11.154

Impressive scores... and weight loss program :-)

From Cam on Sat, Jul 13, 2013 at 15:21:28 from 166.147.72.47

I want in on that weight loss program. In four runs ill be at racing weight !

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.250.500.001.2515.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with the kids. First Benjamin and I ran 2000. Logan joined us for the last 1200. The purpose was to practice the pace for the Eugene track meet this Saturday. I paced Benjamin through the first two laps in 76 and 77. Then he took over and settled into 80s. I was happy that he did not settle into something slower. Then in the last 100 he and Logan kicked, but I could not respond. So Benjamin got 6:31.6, I got 6:33.1. Based on that I predicted 9:40-9:45 in Oregon if he runs alone, 9:30-9:35 if he has a pack to run with.

Then we did what was supposed to be 800 for Andrew, and 500 for Joseph and Jacob. It ended up being 800 for Joseph because he did not realize he was supposed to stop at the 800. So Andrew ran 800 in 2:58.1 even splitting, Joseph in 3:05.8 with the first lap in 89, Jacob did 500 in 2:00. 

Pushed Mathew in the stroller for 5 miles.

P.M. 3 miles. 


Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.001.000.0014.00

A.M. Took Jenny to the track. We did 300 in 59.1. Benjamin, Logan and Andrew joined us. Andrew fell back a little not realizing he was going only 300. Total of 12 miles. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 2,  Jacob 2, William 0.5. I did a pickup down the canyon for 1300 meters in 4:14.

P.M. 2 miles with Joseph. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.200.000.800.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a pickup for 1300 meters down the canyon in 4:13.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.750.000.000.258.00

Drove to Eugene from Orem. Went through Winnemucca, NV. Took us 14.5 hours with all the stops. Got in some running on the road, and the rest once we got to Eugene. Total of 8 miles. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 1, Joseph 1, Jacob 1, William 0.3. Once in Eugene I found a track and decided to calibrate my sense of pace. My natural mind-drifting pace was around 6:40. I did a pickup for a quarter in 74. It felt like the Provo Canyon going down.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

The kids ran in the Track City Classic youth track meet in Eugene, OR. First Benjamin ran the 3000 meters. Benjamin came with a goal of breaking Josh Rohatinsky's record in the 13-14 year old division of 9:49.10 set in Cedar City in 1996. Now this is the official record. Josh remembers running 9:21 in Florida at some point, but I could not find any official record of that, nor could anybody in the Utah USATF. Does not matter that much anyway - 9:49 could have been easily taken down by Conner Mantz and a few others. It is just that fast 14 year old kids in Utah for one reason or another do not race in the USATF-sanctioned meets. In any case, a relatively weak record was handed to us, and we jumped at the chance to break it. With the help of oxygen, cooler temperatures, and national-level competition Benjamin succeeded this time with some measure of vengeance running 9:35.32.

I stood at the finish, so I got his 200 split and then every lap after that. I timed his first 200 at 33.7 but it was more like 34.3 because of my delayed reaction and the time delay for the sound to travel around 140 or so meters from the 3000 start to where I was standing. The gun did not emit visible smoke - I perfer the smoking guns for such starts because you can start your watch when you see the smoke avoiding the sound delay.Then his laps were 77.1, 76.8, 80.5, 79.3, 78.8, 76.6, and 72.0 for the kick.

He lost contact with the lead pack after the first 200, but that was good - they were pushing it too fast. The announcer called out the leader split of 70 for the first lap. Benjamin saw 73 on his watch. After 600 I told him to regain the contact. Fortunately he trusted me. Before the race he was having a little bit of a confidence issue. Last year the race was won in 9:07. This instilled some holy fear into him and he kept asking me what they would open in and what he should do. I told him to expect the opening lap of 70 followed by some settling into pace at around 73-74 if we had the runners capable of 9:07 - 70 too fast, but then once they settle, make contact with the back of the pack that is going for 9:07 if there is one and sit on them till the "standard bearer fainteth". However, this time it was different - at 600 I knew there was no 9:07 pack. Benjamin easily regained the contact over the next lap and reached 1000 in 3:08.2. However, I was not paying attention to the overall split very much - I just knew that if he kept his laps under 80 the fast start and the kick combined would bring him under the record.

The announcer called out the 1200 split at 3:48. When he passed me at 1400 I saw 80.5 and I was not happy with this lap. I told Benjamin to start putting pressure on the leaders to go faster. We did not come all the way to Eugene to play tactical games - we want a fast time, we want the record! At this point what he should have done is hit the gas for 30 meters, take the lead, settle into 77-78 per lap pace and cruise as close to the inside as possible. Instead he applied mild, rather indecisive pressure from behind. This could work in a road race at faster speeds but this was the track, and the speed was too slow. So he ended up running quite a bit on the outside. Nevertheless the pressure worked and the lead pack was knocked out of their comfort zone. Two black coaches standing next to me nodded in approval and commented that it was a very good idea to take the competition out of their comfort zone.

At this point I should say something about the ethnic make up of the youth track crowd. In the sprints you see a lot of blacks - even in Utah. In the distances it is the Latinos. In fact, after this lap the lead pack was cut down to three Latino kids - Gabriel Fendel, Miguel De La Melena, Melecio Gonzales, and Benjamin. The national 14 year old boys record in 3000 of 8:56 is held by Phillip Rocha, who is a Latino as well.  

With two laps to go Benjamin was looking strong. I realized that he could win the race, and I knew what he needed to do. He needed the Lasse Viren kick. He has one. He cannot accelerate in the last 100, but he can put some serious pressure over the last 600-800 meters. He showed that ability as early as 5 years old in his first 5 K. I experienced it myself first hand in the Ward two mile race a few weeks ago when he started grinding me with 800 to go and eventually succeeded. So I yelled at him to show the Lasse Viren. The black coaches laughed and wondered if he knew who Lasse Viren was - after all the young generation might not remember him. I assured them - yes he does - he grew up on bedtime stories about Lasse Viren. In our house this is one name the children hear often. That and Bob Kempainen. Every time they complain during a run they hear a story either about Viren falling down, getting up, and winning the Olympic 10,000 with a world record, or Kempainen doing 4:55 miles at the end of a marathon while throwing up.

Unfortunately Benjamin could not hear me well as the noise of the spectators exceeded my voice volume. So he was a little indecisive in making the move. Part of the problem was the lack of experience in racing on the track against competition. However, by the time they reached the last lap the race was down to him and Gabriel Fundel. The last lap was quick, but not quick enough to neutralize Gabriel's 100 meter kick. He ended up winning with 9:33.83. Benjamin finished second 1.49 seconds behind in 9:35.32. Miguel was third in 9:40.09 - a new PR for him. Six boys went under 10:00.

After the race Benjamin's Crocs became a hot item of discussion. Here is the video of the race:

 

Then we went home, and returned in the afternoon for the rest of the children to run in the 800. By that time it got warmer, and the wind picked up. Additionally there were more participants in the sprints than the meet directors anticipated, so the 800 start got delayed by about three hours. Joseph ran 3:01.37 finishing 5th. The winner, Miles Jones ran 2:42.61. This was amazing to watch - a 7 year old can actually move that fast! He was not big either. Third place was 2:56.62, and I think that was reachable - Joseph just needs more mental preparation when racing against competition. Jacob who is only 6 held his own against kids of the older age and finished 10th in 3:18.83 out of 11 boys.

Julia ran 3:13.32 finishing 26th out of 28 girls. She does have the disadvantage of having to race in essentially an upper age division this year - she is not yet 11, but they go by the birth year so she is racing against girls that are 11-12 years old. The winner in her division, Kara Smith, ran 2:25.31.

Jenny ran 2:59.39 finishing 24th out of 29 girls. She also has the same birth year issue as Julia. The winner in her division, Lauren Paven ran 2:27.22.

Nobody set 800 PRs today due to the conditions and the start delays, but everyone was close enough that we got a family 4x800 PR for this quartet (Jenny,Julia,Joseph,Jacob) of 12:32.91.

Then we went to the beach in Florence, OR. I joked that if we had Utah and Oregon drivers try their skills in the country (not state) of Georgia where we went on vacations back when I was a little kid, even though both places have mountains and roads going through them the Oregoneans would do better because they get a lot of practice on similar roads. Oregon highways are very narrow and windy. I was surprised that a route from a relatively big city to the nearest beach would be a narrow windy highway where you are lucky to go 55, or at least I did not feel comfortable at much faster than 45 in most places in our big van. The Oregon drivers seemed to be just fine and handled the curves very well. I checked the Oregon highway fatality rate and discovered that it was actually low - 0.8 deaths per 100 million miles driven. Utah is 1.1. Nevada is something around 2.3 even though most of their roads go through the desert and are as straight and open as it gets.

I managed to get in 10 miles of running in between the events. 

 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Teena Marie on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 09:15:56 from 65.130.20.158

A HUGE congrats to Benjamin and all your kids. I absolutely LOVE the family 800 PR. :) :) :)

At the All County Meet at Kearns High School that my kids did on Saturday I recruited as many of the kids there as I could to begin racing at the USATF meets. :)

Congrats again.

From Jake K on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 15:55:11 from 67.177.11.154

Quite a cheering section that Benjamin had there!

Great run by him.

That 7 yr old running 2:42 sort of blows my mind. Takes a lot of concentration to keeping moving that quick at that age.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. We went to church in Eugene. It was only 3.5 miles away from the house. The ward was surprised to find a family of 10 walk in that nobody knew. We met a couple of runners there. One was a 4:22 miler back in 1948 in high school, and back then they ran the real mile, not 1600. The other was 35 years old, still running, personal best of 9:45 in 3200 in high school. Stevie did not want to stay in nursery, so I ended up taking him to the Elder's Quorum.

Friday night Jenny asked me a question about how to deal with the pre-race anxiety. I struggled with that question in my teenage years. It was a big deal. I wondered how in the world an Olympic athlete is able to deal with the pre-race pressure. After I came home from a mission I did not struggle with it as much anymore, the answer seemed to be intuitive, but I never had to explain it to somebody else. Challenged, I gave it some thought and tried to put into words what I knew. Then a few ideas came to me, and I saw them plainly. So here they are.

I recall a study done of performances by Kenyan distance runners vs US/European runners in high stakes competitions such as world championships and the Olympics. There was a pattern - Kenyans frequently ran PRs while the Westerners frequently bombed. The author of the study tried to find an explanation and reached for such odd things as the Kenyan tradition of boys being circumcised in their teenage years without a pain killer and with an expectation of showing no signs of pain. The answer is actually quite simple, I believe.

The key is Alma 5:27-28, and the key phrases there are "stripped of pride" and "sufficiently humble". Also, Doctrine and Covenants 88:6 with the key phrase being "descended below all things". One major driver of pre-race anxiety is the perceived pressure to perform and the worry of what others will think of you if you fail. Someone who grew up in the Kenyan-type poverty is vaccinated against that. He knows that there is no way that anybody will think of him below what he has already experienced so he is not too worried about that. The other key driver is the worry about the pain and your ability to push through it. Through my own racing and through pacing others I gained some understanding of this matter. This is how I prefer to describe it - at some critical point in the race you start to think that you are too good for the pain. Somehow in your subconscious mind you think that it is below the dignity of a human being to experience so much of it. So you slow down. Again, the root of the problem is the wrong kind of pride. You are not willing to descend below the pain. 

Through those experienced I gained an appreciation of the idea of Christ descending below all things - a frequently forgotten part of his Atonement. We often think about a mortal not being able to rise above - to travel at the speed of light, to command the mountains to move, etc, but we forget the limitation we have on descending below. No matter how hard we try our humility is limited - there is only so much beating we are willing to take before we call it quits. But Christ showed us perfection in this regard and challenged us to reach it. Running is a great tool for the purpose. 

To clarify we need to say that we are talking about true humility. Telling everyone around you how unprepared or unfit you are is actually a manifestation of disguised pride. True humility gives you the power to align yourself with the way things are which enables you to see clearly and follow the path to making them better. It gives you the strength to forget about the irrelevant and only focus on the fundamentals that matter. It gives you the power to succeed.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From josse on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 18:27:21 from 174.239.69.84

I like that, I have found that when I stopped worrying about all the superficial things and really listened to my body I preformed much better. It's hard to do though.

Are you running des news marathon this year?

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 17:08:06 from 72.250.218.114

Josse - I am running the marathon.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

Drove back from Eugene to Orem. The route through Portland was quite a bit longer not only in distance but also in time - 15.5 hours as opposed to 14.5 through Winnemucca, NV. Got some running on the road and a little bit after we got home. Total of 11 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 1.5, Joseph 2, Jacob 2, William 0.5. It was nice to be able to pump my own gas once we got to Idaho. The question I have is if Oregon and New Jersey can get away with keeping people from pumping their own gas, why do we worry about what others think of our alcohol laws here in Utah? 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 9.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments
From Josh E on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 17:30:04 from 166.147.72.23

You are a funny guy. At least you can now sympathize with the oppression I often feel.

From Rob Murphy on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 13:39:06 from 24.10.249.165

Because nobody really cares whether they pump their own gas or not. In fact, having somebody do it for you is sort of nice.

Not many Utahan's worry that much about what others think about our alcohol laws. To the extent that they do, it's usually do to the fact that it costs the state money in lost tourism revenue and convention business. Conservatives in Utah are really conflicted on this because they are enthusiastically pro-business but also enthusiastically anti-alcohol.

For me, it would just be nice to pick up a bottle of wine in the supermarket and not go to a state owned store. If I could just do that I'd be happy.

From Rob Murphy on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 15:00:32 from 24.10.249.165

Bur I would complain if I had to pay more $ for them to pump my gas.

From Jake K on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 15:09:52 from 67.177.11.154

It actually drives me nuts when they pump the gas for you. I like the get out of the car and stretch, so its just sort of awkward... I'm standing next to the guy when he is doing a job I could easily do my moving one step over. Only thing I don't like about Oregon :-)

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 15:31:11 from 69.28.149.29

Rob:

In Oregon there is a $500 fine if you try to pump your gas. If anything would keep me from going to a place, that would be towards the top of the list. Having someone pump your gas for you is nice - however that being by force is not. I suspect I am not alone. But Oregon does not seem to worry about lost tourism.

In all honesty, if I am going to a place I have strong reasons to go. The chance for my son to set a state record wins over the little annoyances like narrow highways and having to remember that I cannot pump my own gas.

In Oregon they have strong feelings about providing employment. In Utah we have strong feelings about alcohol. My point is that we are not going to lose good tourism even if we restrict alcohol even more. How many people come to Utah with the primary purpose to drink? Out of those, how many do we want around? Those who come here for some other purpose even if they drink will still come if the benefits outweigh the costs.

Closing a certain type of tourism often opens room for a different, better kind. For example, if Nevada banned gambling and prostitution it might actually get some tourism from our family.

I am personally pro-business, but not at any cost. When you sacrifice your core values in the name of getting business, ironically you often end up losing the business as well. But even if this did not hold, I'd rather struggle to find enough to get by but be true to what I believe than the other way around.

I think the real problem with Latter-Day Saints in Utah is that we as a whole do not really believe what we say we believe. When an opportunity to make a buck arises, we forget our values and rationalize exceptions. We are willing to proclaim our beliefs in public forums, but when the time comes to sacrifice to prove we really believe it we lack the backbone. Then people like you look at us and find our proclamations comic - for a good reason.

From Rob Murphy on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 16:02:29 from 24.10.249.165

Well, nobody comes to Utah primarily to drink. However, for most people, a beer or a glass of wine after a hard day mountain biking in Moab of skiing the Wasatch is part of a good life. If they couldn't do that here then they would spend their money in Colorado.

I agree with you 100% when it comes to Nevada and I feel the same way.

I am actually not very bothered by Utah's alcohol laws. I've lived in other places (South Carolina) that were more restrictive. I don't see anything wrong with laws that discourage irresponsible drinking.

Not sure what you mean about finding your proclamations comic?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.400.000.000.6013.00

A.M. Ran with the kids. Total of 13 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5. I did two pickups of 500 meters on a hilly stretch. 1:36.1 on the part that looked down, 1:37.9 the other way. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 12.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.000.001.2512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin to give him practice for track racing. We ran 1200 passing each other every 50 meters. I hoped to keep 75 seconds per lap, but it proved more hectic than I thought. We only managed 3:54.1. Benjamin's Croc fell off in the middle as well and we had to stop to put it on. This was also rhythm breaking. This is the first time this happened to him in a workout. Need to evaluate why. Crocs definitely have a lot of advantages. Aside from the cost and the shocking effect on the observer, and the convenience of no shoe laces is critical for training little kids, the main driver for Benjamin is the lack of forced traction that would be caused by spikes. Going around a curve in spikes is not good for young legs. So I estimate the chances of Crocs falling off in a 1500 meter track race are somewhere around 1%. That is OK. A possible little comedy, and even a DNF in a "critical" youth race - in quotes because I do not believe any youth races are really that critical - is a small price to pay for healthy feet, legs, hips, and lower back in maturity. Also for the shock effect of achieving a spike-quality performance the 99% of the time when they stay on.

After that we jogged 200 meters and I wanted to test Benjamin's sense of pace in absence of the surges as well as the ability to lead, so I had him lead a quarter at the effort that felt the same as the the 1200 interval. We ended up with a 78.9 400. Odd - I thought we would see something like 75-76. Then we jogged maybe 100 meters, and I did not want to end the workout without ever running Benjamin's target pace for 1500 meters. So I paced a 400 in 72.2.

Then we ran with other kids. Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5. 

 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.340.000.0612.00

A.M. Jacob's 7th birthday is on Sunday. We have a tradition of sorts if the weather is good and suitable for the mile record and if the child is young enough for me to be able to pace it (Benjamin has already graduated from that) to try to set one while the integer part of his age is still one year less. So Jacob did a mile time trial today at the Orem High track with Joseph being a front running helper.

I wanted to see how he would handle 6:40 pace. I botched it a little with a 1:38 first lap, but he responded cheerfully and followed me. In the second lap I sensed that he was starting to have a small difficulty breathing. I gave him his inhaler before the start of the run, but I think the dust from the small particles evaporating from the hot track was perhaps too much for him. It was even bothering me some. I eased off the pace to 1:43 for the next lap and we hit 800 in 3:21. Then Jacob's breathing problem got worse and I eased off the pace even more - next lap in 1:46. He was able to hold it together for the last lap repeating 1:46 and finishing the mile in a new PR of 6:55.1 improving his time by 2.7 seconds. The balance of 2 seconds went towards the 9.34 meters extra on top of the 4 laps. Joseph ran 6:53 and felt quite comfortable.

Even though this was only a small improvement, I was quite happy. Based on how Jacob handled the opening lap I knew that he had at least 6:45 in him if he could control his breathing. Also, from the trivia perspective - while still officially 6 and with all of the baby teeth still in place (although one of them is currently loose), he is now a 6:55 miler. After watching the race in Eugine and studying results of the USATF regionals I realized that sub-7:00 mile at the age of 6 is perhaps not exceptionally unique. But it is unique in our family. Jacob so far has shown most talent of all of our children. The key is to properly guide him through the development so he will not lose it.

Then I ran with the other children. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5.  I did some pickups including a 100 uphill at 6% grade in 18.8.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.150.000.250.6012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5, Andrew 5. Julia wanted to do a time trial. So we did 400 meters at the Orem High Track. She ran 85.7 opening with 20 then 21, 22, and 22. This is a new PR by 6 seconds, and it is good to know she has some quarter speed. Then after jogging a little bit I wanted to see what she could do in 100. She did 19.3. So her 100 ratios for the 400 and 800 are 4.44 and 9.89. For a comparison, I have 59.5/13.9 = 4.28 and  2:12/13.9=9.50.  Valery Abramov, the current Russian record holder in the 5000 (13:11) had 48.8/11.2 = 4.35 and 1:46/11.2 = 9.46. So her ratios are actually not too bad for a 10-year-old girl, but we do need to work on speed endurance.

I also did some pickups. 500 on my hilly course in the faster direction in 1:34.8 and 400 uphill in 75.1. 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Race: Draper Days 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:14, Place overall: 17, Place in age division: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.890.000.003.1112.00

Ran the Draper Days 5 K in 17:14, 17th place overall and 3rd master, $25. There is something special about a 5 K road race at 4500 feet on a certified loop course with some hills where breaking 15:00 is not enough to win, breaking 15:10 is not enough to be in the open money, and breaking 17:00 does not get you into the top 10 while there are only a little over 200 finishers. This is Fast Running Blog officially the most competitive road 5 K in Utah - at least I do not know of others. This our Carlsbad 5 K minus the mass participation. 

I brought Benjamin with me to the race. We warmed up about a mile together along with Steve Ashbaker, and then the race started. 

Everybody started very fast. Then some younger runners slowed down creating a roadblock of sorts. Benjamin and I worked our way through the crowd and about half a mile into the race caught up to Steve Ashbaker and Steve Anderson. Once we did, either they joined us or we joined them - it was probably mutual - we slowed down some and they sped up some. We worked together for some time. The mile at the official marker which I believe was accurate was 5:22. The first mile appears to be a slight uphill. I felt just right. In the second mile my legs started to feel more tired. Ben Van Beekum passed us. I tried to hang with him, but I could feel that my legs lacked the strength. I missed the mile 2 split, but Benjamin remembers the split being 10:43 which would have given us 5:21 for the downhill mile. In the meantime we were gradually closing the gap on Walter who was maybe 15 seconds ahead at the mile. He being the master was a target for me and Steve.

In the third mile, which is a slight uphill, my legs started to give out more as the competition including Steve Ashbaker began to pull away. I signaled to Benjamin to pass me and go after them. He took off quite energetically. Walter won the masters with 17:03, Steve was second in 17:10 with me third with 17:14. Benjamin, however, was ahead of both of them finishing in 17:01. I thought - how funny - the people I could not beat I sent my son to beat :-) 

I was not unhappy about my time - this is an improvement compared to Murray Fun Days, but I was much happier about Benjamin's. 17:01 in a road 5 K on an honest course at altitude is quite solid for a 14 year old boy.

Josh McGabe won overall with 14:53, then Teren 14:59, Riley 15:04, Jake 15:09, and Scott Keate 15:25 for the top 5.

I ran total of 12. Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5, Benjamin 8. 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Steve on Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:13:16 from 66.87.6.192

Good run Sasha. Must be fun to be out there with your son

From Jake K on Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 07:56:00 from 67.177.11.154

Good race Sasha. Benjamin has got you in the 5K now :-) But its great that you two can work together for the first 2/3rds of the race - your experience with pacing and his finishing speed is a good combination.

From MarkP on Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 10:45:08 from 65.130.116.119

Nice race! There is a lot of enjoyment watching your kids succeed. Way to win some $!

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 dealing with adversity. One speaker mentioned his struggles trying to sleep-train his kids. He explained that this helped him understand why God leaves us alone to solve our problems. Raising children definitely has helped me understand this at a new level. It is no surprise to me that I hear "If God was really there he would not let us struggle" mostly from people who do not yet have children.

Another speaker mentioned an experience after the General Conference. A request was made for someone speaking Mandarin Chinese. He volunteered and got to talk to a woman from mainland China. She was impressed by Elder Holland's talk and wanted to be baptized. He helped make the arrangements for her to meet with the missionaries and she did get baptized. Later I talked to our local missionaries and they told me a missionary from mainland China will soon be serving in the Provo Mission. The Chinese are coming! 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.500.2512.50

A.M. 12.5 miles total. Rather unplanned, but I realized that I did not have enough miles for all of the children too late and figured I rather have a less than perfect taper than have Julia run alone.

Jenny did a 400 meter time trial at the Orem High track. Her time was 77.3, an improvement of 6 seconds over her PR from last year. Her splits were 18.5, 19.3 (37.7), 20.3 (58.0), and 19.3. I was quite happy about that. Now with proper endurance we will soon be seeing 2:40 in the 800 and sub-6:00 in the mile, and the endurance should be on its way - we finally figured out how to run 4 miles daily. She ended up with 4 miles total.

Julia did 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5, Benjamin 8. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 0.5 at what I thought would be my marathon pace aiming for something like 5:45, but it ended up being 5:30 on a non-aided stretch. I was happy about that as well.

In the evening I showed Benjamin the video of Steve Cram setting the world record of 3:29.67 in the 1500 meters while racing Said Aouita. The reason I wanted him to see it was Cram's 400 meter kick. He never reaches the blazing speed of Aouita and almost gets caught on the home stretch, but his height and leg length prove advantageous in leaning so he ends up winning by 0.04 s. Benjamin has a similar strength - the ability to power through a long kick.

It is also interesting to compare the age progression - Cram was born in October of 1960. He ran 4:31.5 in 1973 , then 4:22.3 in 1974, 4:13.9 in 1975, 4:07.2 in 1976, then 3:47.7 in 1977. I do not have the exact date for the times, but it would reasonable to assume they were reached some time in late spring or early summer. Benjamin so far has 4:31.58 at 5700 feet of altitude in 88 F heat at the age of 14.4 which we should probably compare with Cram's 4.13.9 at the age of maybe 14.7. So about 18 seconds minus heat/altitude adjustment behind pace for 3:29 lifetime 1500, but hopefully he can close that this Thursday in Greensboro, NC.  He really does not need 3:30 1500 for a good marathon, 3:40 will be sufficient. But a low 3:30 will sure be nice. So I told him to stay within 10 seconds of Cram throughout his life up until he is 25 - let's see if he can do it.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.000.000.000.005.00

A.M. 5 miles total. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Deseret News Marathon (26.219 Miles) 02:37:57, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.3026.220.000.0026.52

Deseret News Marathon, 2:37:55, 2nd overall, 1st master. With the double-dip this would be $750, without $500, with the modern socialist "everyone is a winner" "it is not fair that masters with all their experience rob younger runners of the money they deserve" it goes down to $250 - the official policy is not stated on the website and I have not yet received my money, so I suppose I'll find out later.

The time was not very fast, but it was fast enough to be the fastest master time for this version of the course. I get extra perks for being old, I suppose.

James and Allie were nice enough to let me stay with them the night before. James gave me a differential equation problem to solve before I went to bed which I worked on in my mind while trying to fall asleep. Once I solved it I fell asleep immediately completely forgetting about the race or anything else. I highly recommend this method. I recall a study a while ago that recorded the highest number of yawns per student during a lecture among a number of technical courses in the one on differential equations.

The race went like this. In the first 4 miles which are a very steep downhill I ran with Jon Kotter and John Rosswog. The splits were 5:13, 5:10 (10:23), 4:59 (15:22), and 5:33 (20:55). Around 4 miles Jon pulled ahead while John fell back. It stayed that way all the way to the finish with each gap increasing by about the same amount with just one exception. I stopped for a VPB shortly after mile 5. So mile 5 was 5:27 (26:22), then the VPB mile had some uphill on top of the standard time loss, so it was 6:18 (32:40).

Then the climb up the Little Mountain started. I thought I was going to get 6:30 on the next mile, but the perception of strength apparently was deceptive. My split was 6:44 (39:24 at 7 miles). Then I knew that 2:36 would be really good, but things could go as bad as slower than 2:40. To keep it from being slower than 2:40 I adjusted the effort listening carefully to my legs and my heart. I feel that this early pace adjustment was critical for being able to hold it together reasonably well and running under 2:38. 

Next mile which starts up but then changes to down demonstrated that 6:44 was not just from being cautious on the climb - 6:19 (46:43) - that mile should be under 6:00. Do not recall my split at 9 miles, but at 10 I was 57:35, which gives me 11:52 for the next 2 miles. So I am finding some kind of a rhythm, but still lack the power - both in the legs and in the heart to move like I did last year.

From 10 to the half I moved at a fairly steady pace and hit the half split in 1:15:35 - so 18:00 for the 5 K. Not stellar, but still sub-6:00. Then somewhere around 15 I needed to go to the bathroom again. 5:30 AM start leaves me helpless - I went three times before the start, and still could not get all of it out - it is just too early. Knowing that I was fairly safe in second place and first master I considered using the official one due to the heavy presence of the half-marathoners, mostly ladies, but when I ran past it it was hopeless. There was a line of about 5 people. So I did not have a choice - failure to VPB would have had tragic results. I quickly realized that it would be better to be seen squatting by one lady runner that will try hard not to look in your direction anyway than to have all of the spectators on the course and at the finish see the consequences of your failure to squat at the right time. I was able to find a decent spot and resolve the problem quickly enough to have 6:18 split for that mile.

 Around mile 16 I saw Steve Ashbaker running towards me. He ran with me from that point to the finish. It was very helpful to have him around and meant a lot to me. As expected the Hogle Zoo Monster attacked me when I ran past the zoo and things became difficult from that point. I made it to mile 20 in 1:58:33. From that point I set a goal not to bleed too much off 6:00 pace. My next uphill mile was 6:38 (2:05:11). I was quite happy with it. Then I ran 5:56 for the downhill mile (2:11:07). I was quite happy that I put a gap on the 6:00 pace, but I knew this was going to be the last sub-6:00. 4 more to go. Plus 385 yards, just like the sales tax. Always remember to add the sales tax, commissions, and fees into the advertised price or you may find yourself not having enough money to pay for the purchase.

Next mile was 6:16 (2:17:23). It was mostly downhill had some minor uphill - you bust through it as it if it were nothing in the third mile of the 10 K, but in the marathon that uphill hurts. I was happy about it. One more mile - 6:06 (2:23:29). Two more to go, plus the sales tax. Calculating the marathon sales tax this turns out to be only 0.84%. I think if we could get enough people in Utah to run we could reduce our sales tax to 0.84%. A runner could just run, maybe literally, for office, win the elections and then push it through. We would also be able to afford it economically - it is my belief that as people remove physical fat from their bodies they also remove mental fat from their thinking. Thinking lean they will figure out how to run the government better than we do now off less money.

Mile 25 - 6:16 (2:29:45). Not too bad, but there is the last mile which is a subtle and steady uphill. We all know that mile.

Mile 26 was as miserable as it is always. After running it one more miserable time I think I have an idea of how to deal with it. I need to verify prior to the race that the blocks are indeed  exactly 1/7th of a mile as advertised. Then I need to have a clear idea where the boundaries are and run from block boundary to boundary targeting 55 seconds (or maybe faster or slower depending on what condition I find myself in) for each block. When you are hurting having the accurate immediate feedback and a very immediate challenging but attainable goal is absolutely critical to achieving top performance. When you push and it hurts a lot, if you can feel that this brings dividends you will dig deep and find that extra strength.

At the end of it I met my family. Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob, along with Stephen and Matthew in the stroller were awaiting me. They joined me but unfortunately the front wheel on the stroller did not get properly attached and fell off as Benjamin was running with it. So he stopped to fix it and we continued without them. Sarah and William were running ahead of us. Seeing a target in front I instinctively accelerated and passed them shortly before the finish line - this got me to dip a little below 2:38, which was nice. Even though we had that stroller accident, I felt happy to have my family with me at the finish. 

So it took me 8:12 to run the last 1.219 miles. That is 6:43 pace. This can be improved. I think with the intermediate block-to-block approach I can improve it by 15 seconds prorated for fitness next year (so compare it to the mile before it in other words).

Afterwards I took Benjamin to Greensboro, NC for the national USATF Junior Olympics meet. We almost did not make it. When we got to the SLC airport, United told us that our connecting flight to Denver was cancelled. Their proposed alternative arrangement would get us to Greensboro after the start of his race. So we started scrambling for alternatives which included visits to the Frontier and Southwest ticket counters which we had to do ourselves because United does not have a deal with them. If only Frontier flew to Greensboro every day we would not have even been dealing with United - Frontier can fly to Greensboro and back for $459 one way for two people in two legs vs $786 (cheapest alternative) by United in three legs. Finally United figured out a way to put us on a Delta flight to to Denver and the problem was solved except we had to hustle to make it and I had to run, or, rather, speed-limp, through the airport on severely damaged marathon legs.

This was Benjamin's first flight since he was 1.5 years old, and he really enjoyed it. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 26.52
Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 4.00
Comments
From Holt on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 17:32:54 from 67.2.240.115

Good job Sasha. Hope you find the $750 waiting for you when you get home. Good luck to Benjamin.

From Red Leader on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 17:36:58 from 74.211.21.36

Nice Race! Also my blog doesn't have a mileage board on my calendar. So could you fix that for me? Thanks.

From Britta on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 18:07:19 from 99.113.167.240

Great race! The picture of you crossing the finish with your family in the background was priceless.

From Teena Marie on Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 09:39:40 from 67.2.101.225

Congrats!!! Very nicely done. :)

I also appreciated your comment about making very short term challenging goals that allow for immediate feedback. I am definitely going to use that on my own and with my patients in the clinic when they struggle. Wonderful advice.

Congrats again.

From jeffmc on Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 11:26:22 from 65.110.254.156

That seems to be a solid result for you considering you have publicly stated that your focus is now more on your children rather than on your own accomplishments and your training has demonstrated as much (fewer miles run, fewer workouts, running marathon specific workouts and long tempo runs less frequently).

How do you feel about Benjamin's race on Thursday (I cheated and looked up the results)? I am sure you will mention specifics when you write it up, but it seems that despite starting in almost dead last for 300 (50.644) he still went out too fast, and his 300-700 split suffered accordingly (1:15.577). However, based on your comments regarding his lack of top end speed I wonder if his last 400 would have been no faster even if he started off slower? It makes me think that on this particular day even with perfect pacing he would have run no faster than 4:29 low or 4:28 high. Either way, it was a solid result (even if he was not happy about it) as he was the final time qualifier for the finals (that I am sure he is not running) on Sunday. I am sure that running with so many people around takes some adjustment as well, with the additional trouble of having to pass many of them in lane 2 as they die off.

From allie on Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 15:51:00 from 97.126.223.134

sasha - i almost fell asleep at the wheel when you were solving that problem on the way to the bus. :)

congratulations on second overall, first masters, and yet another solid showing at des news. interesting thoughts on how to approach that horrendous final mile. i've never been able to get my body to respond on 800 south, despite plenty of incentives in the form of both time and placement. i like the idea of breaking it up into smaller goals for immediate feedback. i'm always focused on the not-yet-visible finish line, with nothing in between but the thoughts of how much pain i am in. makes for a very long mile.

i'm glad you and benjamin were able to arrange a flight in time, and i'm sorry you had to speed-limp on des news legs.

you are always welcome to stay with us for des news or any other SLC race. your family, too. we don't have eight extra beds, but there is plenty of floor and couch space. :)

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 21:40:29 from 72.250.218.114

Jeff - I feel pretty good about Benjamin's race. He obviously is capable of more given that he's run 4:31.58 in 88 F at 5700 feet, but given a long trip, humidity, some wind, and bad pacing, 4:30.84 is decent. His second lap was a matter of self-confidence. Everybody slowed down, the fast start threw off his sense of pace, and he miscounted the number of people he should have passed in it. Because we rarely visit the 1500 meter speed zone in workouts he has a tendency to settle for a 3000-5000 pace if he does not focus. Once he heard the split, he sped up. But having to accelerate was a punch two on top of the fast start, so his kick was not as sharp.

From Jake K on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 12:06:39 from 67.177.11.154

Nice race Sasha. Like Jeff said, I'm impressed by the run considering you've shifted your focus a bit this year. Congrats on the double dip (assuming they pay up!).

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
2.000.000.000.002.00

Benjamin ran the 1500 qualifier heat at the USATF Junior Olympics Nationals in Greensboro, NC. Our plan was to just run the heat regardless of whether he qualified for the final or not because the final is on Sunday. We just wanted a shot at the Utah state record in his age division which is 4:29.36. He ended up qualifying with 4:30.84 setting a new PR and missing the record by 1.48. There were 12 qualifiers for the final, and he was the last one.

We learned something at that race. There is a youth racing pattern of a jack-rabbit start, slump in the middle, then a fast kick. We were aware of that, but what we did not realize is that it persists at all levels rather than apply just to the slower runners. The reason perhaps is that most youth train at low mileage and a lot of speed work which primarily consists of intervals 400 meters and shorter. At least I cannot think of a better explanation.

The lack of awareness of that pattern killed the record attempt. Adjusting for the impatience of youth but at the same time hoping for some level of sanity among the best of them I told Benjamin to start out towards the end through the first 200 meters, then make his way into mid-pack by the 400 mark hitting 68, then pass 3 runners or so in the second lap which I estimated would yield around 71-72, a few more in the third yielding around 72-73  and then kick as fast as he could in the last 300 which would hopefully bring something in the range of 4:22-4:28 for the whole thing.

Well, after the first 100 Benjamin was in the last place, and after the first 300 in 50.644 he was third from the end. That is while on pace for a 67 quarter. His split was the slowest among all the final qualifiers.  The new technology now provides the splits every lap with the 0.001 precision for all runners - I love it. If it was available a year ago and I had a chance to look at the splits we would have gotten the record in this race.

In the second lap everybody in his heat slowed down a lot. Benjamin learned an important lesson - you must have standards of your own and you cannot just follow your peers. He does know that at a higher level, but in absence of tangible metrics and in the heat of the race he digressed to the standard teenager thought pattern of following the peers. He passed a few, but it was not enough. His split from 300 to 700 was 75.577 - third slowest among the qualifiers. He was thinking that the leaders in his heat were running around 70 (instead of 73-74 in reality), so he was not focused on them, but instead on the midpack guys who were running around 77 instead of what he thought would be 74.

I yelled the split out to him and he started moving. My split was more drastic - 76.0 due to the visual inaccuracy, so he pushed it. His lap from 700 to 1100 was 72.841 which now was the second fastest among all the qualifiers. In the last lap he started moving well from 1100 to 1300 but in the last 200 lost steam - probably the combination of fatigue from travelling, high humidity (73%), quick start, and having to surge in the third lap, got to him. Nevertheless he still had a decent finish in 71.774 which still was the second slowest of all the qualifiers.

Afterwards we went for a jog. Half way through we realized we did not know where our car was. So we spent the rest of the distance locating the car. To be more exact Benjamin was the one who jogged. I speed-limped on my marathon legs.

We flew back the same day and got home shortly after midnight. 

Night Sleep Time: 5.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.000.000.000.005.00

A.M. Speed-limped 5 miles in 45:29 with the kids. Had to ask them to slow down. Joseph did 3, Jacob 2, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Benjamin 7, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.50
Comments
From Rob Murphy on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 22:09:43 from 24.10.249.165

Congrats to Benjamin. Whether he wins or not, the variety of racing experiences he's getting under his belt will serve him well.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.200.000.000.0010.20

A.M. Last night made some tea out of maral root extract and drank it. This morning the soreness was considerably less - could walk down the stairs without pain. Running was still painful, but I progressed quite a bit beyond speed-limping. Ran a total of 6 miles with the kids averaging around 8:30. Benjamin did 5.5, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. Jenny and I ran the last 1.5 miles at sub-8:00 pace. This was my first sub-8:00 experience since the marathon.

P.M. Adventures. We went to Sarah's niece's baptism in Brigham City. On the way back around 7 miles south of the Brigham City exit the serpentine belt of our old van (we have two now) decided to break. I learned what happens when serpentine belt breaks - the engine is still going but gets hot fast, the power steering is gone, and GEN light comes on indicating a problem with the alternator. We got rescued by Sarah's family - it took two cars - a mini-van and a suburban, and they got to Sarah's sister's house in Taylorsville. The van got towed to Ogden. I got on the Front Runner with Jenny and we rode to the Orem station from which I ran all the way to the house, which was 4.2 miles. I considered calling somebody for a ride, but decided I was not going to take 30 minutes of someone's time to save 20 minutes of mine.

Jenny ran about a mile with me, then walked the rest of the way until I came back and picked her up. Fortunately a couple of months ago I bought the right kind of church shoe - I say church shoe because the last time I got dressed up for something that was not a church function was a job interview in 16 years ago. Once my technical skills improved I did not need to dress up to get a job anymore. Those shoes cost me only $25, I bought them at PayLess, they way 13 oz each, which puts them in the category of a heavy trainer, but they have a flexible sole, much more flexible actually than your typical heavy trainer. So they are quite comfortable for running. Legs felt good but it was hot. Fortunately Benjamin happened to have a spare T-shirt which I put on instead of my white shirt. This made the run less miserable. 

Then I dropped Jenny off at her party and drove to Taylorsville to get Sarah and the rest of the kids. Benjamin and Julia ran 2 miles 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. During the Sacrament meeting my attention was drawn to the hymn we sang - Oh, Ye Mountains High. I read and re-read the words. I noticed it was written by Charles Penrose, so when I came home I studied some about him. This hymn made me feel a special connection to the early LDS pioneers. The times are different but the principles are the same, and I can feel it. 

Felt very tired in the afternoon, took a 3 hour nap. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5. William asked me if he could get a paint set. I told him he had to break 10:00 in the mile without holding somebody's hand and without stopping. He agreed to try. In his first attempted he ran the first 400 in 2:08, very well ahead of pace, but at around 500 decided he was too tired to run further. Then he wanted to try again. This time we slowed him down but he was still going sub-9:00 pace. But shortly before the 400 mark he decided to stop. It will take him some time to learn to focus - he is only 4. Benjamin was worse at that age.

I did 1.5 miles on my nasty course from the Provo River bridge to the house in 8:42.9. It was warm, and I struggled. But at least I could finally run normally for the first time after the marathon. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.750.000.000.2515.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Joseph did a mile time trial on the track. The reason was that he broke his Android tablet and I told him that if he broke 6:30 in the mile I'd get him a replacement. So it went like this. 

First lap was 96, then 97, then 95. He kicked in 95 and got 6:26.0. Benjamin and Logan helped with the pacing. Andrew ran with the assignment to stay with Joseph and kick at the end. He ended up kicking in 42 for the last 200 and finishing in 6:21, which is his official mile PR - if you can call our time trials official that is. While not officially recognized, they are at least more official than the majority of the fun runs because in ours the distance is accurate and so is the time - no chip malfunction and other problems. 

I am quite happy about this time. Benjamin's fastest time at the age of 8 was 6:43 and he did not break 6:20 until he was 9.5. Joseph it seems will be going under 6:20 this year.

Did some strides with Benjamin. 

P.M. Rode the Front Runner to Ogden, and then ran to Midas, which is about 3 miles from the station to get our van. Then drove it back to Orem. Timed both ways. With Sarah taking me to the Orem station and the train leaving on time and arriving 1 minute early my time was 2:40 on the way out. On the way back in spite of quite a bit of a congestion going through Salt Lake I made it in 1:33. I have to say that while Front Runner is great for people that do not have a car, I am thankful to be able to drive one. And I am also thankful I do not have to commute.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Dave Taylor on Fri, Aug 02, 2013 at 18:35:53 from 174.23.76.127

Amen to the commute!

Love the Android motivation :)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.300.001.500.2012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia 3, William 1. Benjamin and I paced Logan through 1.5 miles on my nasty course from the bridge to the house. The target was to break 9:00. We hit the first mark which I call the mile in 5:37, and the next uphill quarter in 85. Then Logan started to fade. We slowed down trying to encourage him, but he was not responsive. So Benjamin wanted to run ahead and I said, let's go. So we went, and Benjamin dropped me over the last 100 meters. He finished the whole thing in 8:30, I got 8:33, Logan got 8:42.9. Then Benjamin and I did some strides.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.380.000.250.3712.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Joseph and Andrew did a 400 meter and 100 meter time trial. Joseph got 19.0 in his first 100 meter attempt, then 18.6 in the second. Andrew ran 16.6. In the 400 Joseph ran 83.4 with the splits of 20.0, 21.0, 20.9, and 20.5. I was quite impressed by the negative split while running fast. He has even split before while bumming it, and when he ran fast he crashed in the second half. 

Andrew also did a fairly even split - 18.8, 18.9, 19.3, 18.7  with the total of 75.7 - new record for him.

Logan and Benjamin helped with the pacing. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.202.001.500.3012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin and I paced Logan through a confidence building time trial on my nasty 2 mile course from the 800 N bridge at the mouth of the canyon to the house. Logan's track 3200 PR is 12:01. So we wanted him to see that he could break that on a course that is significantly slower than the track. He ran 11:54.8. He did OK in the first mile which we hit in 5:44. Then he started struggling. So I eased off the pace to 94 in the next quarter followed by 95 (a slow quarter) and a 93 (another naturally slow one). Logan kicked at the end in 84 for the quarter, and 88 to actually make it to the house. My course actually may be a little more than 2 miles - I need to measure all of it with the wheel - I've measured only parts.

Logan now moved to 6 miles a day. Benjamin did 9, Jenny  4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Towards the end of my run I did a pickup for 500 in the fast direction in 1:39 - legs felt strong but I felt sluggish at the same time. Then I also ran the nasty 1.5 in 8:34 feeling the same way. It got warmer, that may have been the cause of the sluggishness.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
20.000.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Total of 20 miles in 2:39:55. Benjamin is working on his Eagle Scout. He had a requirement for his hiking merit badge to do several hikes of 10 miles and one 20 mile hike. He read the rules and discovered that there was no restriction on the terrain, and the only stipulations were that the distance is covered on foot and that the breaks are short. So we figured that running counted. He used two of his 10 mile training runs, and the half-marathon race to cover three 10 mile hikes, then he had enough actual 10 mile hikes for the balance, and now he had to do a 20 mile hike. We took care of that today.

Now a 20 mile run did not exactly fit into his training plan, but we did some things to minimize the negative. First, we kept the effort low. I finally got around to getting him an HRM and he wore it today. Last night I was quite surprised to discover that his resting HR is 52, almost as low as mine (48). Maybe it should not be so surprising - for my level of aerobic fitness (I can run 6:00 pace at 4500 feet on flat ground at around 145 and 5:00 pace at 170 - the only problem is that I cannot hit 180 and run 4:30) my resting HR is abnormally high. Through trial and error in the early miles I determined that his optimal HR was around 140. So I made sure that it was there in the first 14 miles of the run. We stopped at 7 miles for him to drink the magic mix of EmergenC and dextrose, and again at around 9 - he also needed to go to the bathroom.

At 14 miles we returned home to run with the other children. He drank more of the magic mix while they were getting ready. Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob  2, William 1.

Our last 3 miles were again without the other children. His HR climbed to 150 at the end, and in the last 200 meters which is uphill it hit as high as 174. His total running time was 2:39:35 because he ran ahead of me with the faster child when I stayed back with the slower child during the little kid runs. The real time including all of the logistical breaks for 20 miles was 3 hours and 10 minutes. I think that qualifies as having short breaks.

He handled it quite well - he said it was much easier than racing a half marathon. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a fast and testimony meeting. Jacob, Julia, and Benjamin bore their testimonies. There were a lot of people lining up - so many that I did not get to bear mine which is OK because I get to do it frequently. This is unusual, though. 

When we got home I was very tired - probably still tired from the marathon followed by the trip. I took a long nap. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.350.250.100.3012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Took Jacob and Jenny to the track for a time trial. First Jacob ran 400 meters. Joseph, Jenny, and Benjamin assisted with pacing. Jacob ran a new PR of 87.5 with the splits of 21.0, 21.4, 23.6, and 21.5. This was the first time he dipped under 90. He is 7 years and two weeks old. Comparative times are - Benjamin ran 96.2 at the age of 7 years and  5 months, and Joseph did 86 at the age of 7 years and 6 months.

Then Jenny ran 100 in 16.2. She felt that she could do it faster, and tried again hitting 16.5. Then Jacob ran 19.5 - new record.

Here is what is interesting - Benjamin could do a 200 in 40.7 at the same time he ran 400 in 96.2. I do not think that Jacob would be much faster than 40.7 in the 200 now. I think Benjamin just had the fear of the 400 and it kept him from going fast. Jacob has the gift of not second guessing - you tell him to go fast and he just does it. 

I then ran more with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.002.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Logan to the track to do a 3200 meter time trial. I wanted to see the exact measurement of his improvement since he started training with us a little less than two months ago. He raced 3200 on the track in 12:01 in May. It was clear from his performance on Friday that he improved, but now was very curious by how much. So Benjamin and I paced him through a time trial. I was in charge of the pace and calling out splits, Benjamin was in charge of cheering. The target was 86 seconds per lap. Logan ran 11:27.8 with the following splits:

86, 86, 85, 88 (5:45), 86, 88, 87, 81 (5:42)

On the fourth lap I sensed that Logan needed a break after my mispaced 85. The sixth lap was slow because Logan was struggling. But he had a kick, so we ended up dipping by 0.2 under 86 seconds per lap average.

Logan is 14 years old. His training over the last year prior to the start of the summer consisted of average of about 3 miles a day with a lot of high intensity running. Prior to starting to train with us he reduced his training for a couple of weeks drastically and hardly ran at all for two weeks due to the stress of studying for the final exams, and it showed. Immediately after he raced 2 miles in our ward 2 miler in 12:55 which was probably worth around 12:30 on the track for 3200 meters. His training consisted of 4 miles a day of easy running for the first week, then he upped to to 5 miles a day and held it steady. Just a few days ago he moved ti to 6 miles a day. Most of the volume was easy, but on average once a week we did one-time test efforts for distances between 800 and 1200 meters to measure his fitness. 

We ran some more. Andrew ended up doing 6.5 miles, Logan 7, Benjamin 8, Joseph 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

I did a pickup for 0.51 uphill in 3:00.

This experience with Logan was rather revealing to me. I had never tried to work with a typical high school/junior high runner during a summer break. I have always sensed that removing a typical school runner from the traditional high intensity program and working primarily on his aerobic base would cause a 3200 meter breakthrough with less magnificent but still solid improvements in 1600, but I never previously had anything to quantify the intuition.

 

 

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

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Pushed the stroller for 9. Had both Stephen and Matthew in it for 6, then just Matthew. Benjamin did 9, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny was at the girls camp, I assume she did her run.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 9.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.000.000.4012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 9, Jenny ran at the girls camp, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Pushed the stroller for 6 miles with Matthew and Stephen. Did 2x100 strides with Benjamin in 16.9 and 16.2. I also did a pickup for 500 in the slow direction on my course in 1:36.2.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.900.000.000.1012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 9, Jenny ran at girls camp, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Did 2x100 with Benjamin in 15.8 and 16.2.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Race: Provo River Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:14:43, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.400.0013.100.0020.50

Provo River Half-Marathon, 1:14:43, 2nd overall, 1st master.

Curt was having a hard time this year with a number of things, including bibs and buses. So our van was the bus and an old Fast Running Blog 5 miler bib was Dave Holt's bib. Dave came to my house, we drove to the finish of the race, put 13 more people in the van, and drove to the start. There was only one port-a-potty, and there was a long line. Since we had time I decided to offer a special unique type of service - Bathroom Express. We took another load of runners down a mile to a nice bathroom in a park, and then brought them back.

Dave was warming up in the first half mile or so, so I went with him. But then he hit the gas, and was going out of my range in my current shape, so I just let him go. First mile was 5:08. Dave was already ahead by 10 seconds or so.

Then I saw a treasure - a bunch of runners - I think I saw Dan there, then Tony, Matt Poulsen and Mike Nelson, and Dave Taylor - doing what appeared to be a tempo run. So I worked my way up to them. They were spreading out each running his own pace. Matt and Mike appeared to have been running the right pace for me, and I knew they could handle it comfortably, so I asked them to pull me. I was able to stay with them until a little after mile 6, which was very helpful.

Curt's marks have improved - he adjusted them so that all of the splits were reasonable. Mile 2 was 5:15 (10:23), then 5:18 (15:41), 5:32 (21:13) - this one may have been a little long, 5:13 (26:26) - this one was definitely short, then 5:43 (32:09). 6 mile marker I think was right on.

In the 7th and 8th mile there is a nasty uphill with headwind. I do not remember the splits there by Curt's marks. However, I timed my split at the S mark which was 35:00, then the uphill mile from that was 6:48 - ouch, and that same mile back was 5:44. That hill really took a lot of out of me. However, something special happened. Shortly after the turnaround at the top of the hill I saw Tony. Somehow he knew that I was struggling and could use some help. So he modified his tempo run to do the last part of it with me.

I had a Tongan companion on my mission, and I know a little bit about the Tongan secret. They have a special gift. They know when you are struggling and they have a sense of what to do to help. I experienced the benefits of that gift today. Tony seemed to know the right pace for my condition even though I suspect that right pace was not easy for him either. He stayed with me for about 2 miles.

My split at the official 10 mile mark was 56:22. I think finally Curt got the 10 mile location right - last year it was actually long. My 3 mile tempo course split was 17:41. I was just coasting along a little bit under 6:00 per mile, but I could not go any faster. Not a surprise, though - I have not done enough training to endure the full measure of the half-marathon grind.

I was happy to finish in 1:14:43 beating my last year's time (even though in a sub-par race) by 5 seconds. This is my master's PR. Dave won with 1:13:04. He struggled at the end as well with a hamstring injury.

Afterwards I jogged home and then ran with the kids and Sarah. Julia did 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. William had a breakthrough run. We've been trying to talk him into breaking 10:00 without holding the hand or stopping. He has resisted the idea so far. But today something happened. He asked me if I would get him walkie-talkies, and I of course agreed on the condition that he break 10:00 in the mile following the above mentioned rules.

We did the time trial on the course that I measured earlier with the wheel for the ward 2 miler - 0.5 out up a small grade, and then the same way back. The biggest concern, of course, was not his physical fitness, but avoiding mental breakdown - common for 4 year olds in general, but particularly the cause of concern for William. His first quarter was 2:22. Shortly after he said he did not want the prize. Somehow I managed to convince him that the prize was worth the effort. Then he saw a moving truck and decided to get scared of it. I assured him that it would not hit him. He argued with me, but I miraculously was able to prevail without losing much speed. Our next quarter was 2:26. 

On the way back William sped up an ran the next quarter in 2:22. We were 20 seconds ahead of our target pace now but the cat was not in the bag yet. I knew very well that one spectacular fit could throw the record out of the window. So I made sure that we kept the pace under control not allowing it to get too fast knowing from experience the difficulty of the effort could result an emotional breakdown. William saw his favorite piece of plastic on the road that he thinks is a snake, and starting complaining that he did not want the snake to get him. I really did not want the "snake" to kill the record, so I led him as far away from it as I could. Once we passed it he forgot about the "snake". His next concern was that he might throw up when he finished. I told him since we were well on pace, he could slow down a little and that would prevent throwing up. He slowed down for 5 seconds just a little,then forgot about it and sped back up. His last quarter was 2:19 and he got the goal finishing with 9:29.4 which is our new family record in the 4 and under age division.

This was a nice prize for me at the end of 20.5 miles for the day getting up at 4:30 AM and racing 13.1 of them.

Benjamin ran 6 at the camp-out. Jenny ran around 2.5 at girls camp. 

 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.50Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.60Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Matt Poulsen on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 14:28:41 from 98.202.242.213

Nicely done, Sasha! It was great to run with you during the race! Strong work.

From SpencerSimpson on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 14:35:56 from 63.82.19.2

cool report. Toni is rad. Great guy to run with...

From Dave Taylor on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 15:09:42 from 63.255.191.163

All right William! Great story. I don't know about you though - you seemed pretty zippy to me! I could not keep all of you in sight by 1 mile after Vivian Park. Hey I did the 20 without carbs like you said too, it was really hard after 18 but I really liked the depletion practice. Lots of chances for calf cramping but it never happened. Not going to try 22 that way though :) And yes, Toni seriously rocks.

From Holt on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 19:56:25 from 67.2.240.235

It was great to catch up with you Sasha. We really should go old school and bring some sort of fastrunningblog reunion at a race or something with everyone from the first few years.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Heard an interesting story in the Sacrament meeting talk. A missionary in Samara, Russia was interviewing a man and a woman for baptism. The procedure is that someone wishing to be baptized first is taught by one set of missionaries, and then another missionary that does not know him interviews him to provide a second witness that the person is ready to be baptized.

One of the requirements for baptism is that if a couple is co-habiting they need to get married first. Co-habitation is very common in Russia. The missionary asked them if they were married. They told him no. He told them they needed to get married. They asked if they could talk to each other for a moment. In the meantime the missionaries that were the original teachers walked in and asked the interviewer missionary where the couple was. He told them to their shock that they were talking about marriage. It turned out that this was the first time the man and the woman met - they were not living together. The confusion was resolved, but I never heard the rest of the story - if they actually got married after all. 

When I got home I took a long nap again - I have been tired lately and needed long naps on Sunday.  

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3.5, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a tempo run for 2 miles from the canyon bridge to the house in 11:33.0. It started getting warm by then, but did not seem to bother me too much.

P.M. Did the strength work magic on my legs. I've been doing it for a while, but not recording it. In the last 4 months or so I've been doing one-leg vertical leg press 3 times a week with 165 lb  with 3x10 repetitions on each leg. I saw an improvement of about 7 seconds per mile in the tempo runs in the first couple of weeks, and then it plateaued. So I decided to try something different. I stumbled upon an interview with Victor Seluyanov, a Russian exercise physiologist with connection to the Russian national teams in various sports, who proposes that it is possible to cause myofibrillar hypertrophy in a slow-twitch fiber by filling it up with a moderate amount of hydrogen ions. This is not easy to achieve by just running because the moment you relax the muscle the mitochondria will neutralize the hydrogen ions. With a fast-twitch fiber achieving this is much easier because it does not have enough mitochondria to do the cleanup. However, the cleanup cannot happen when the muscle is contracted. So if you do an exercises that never lets the muscle relax, you achieve the effect.

He recommends performing very slow repetitions with a moderate weight never achieving the full range of either flexion or extension until you start experiencing a good amount of discomfort. His term for this type of exercise is "stato-dynamic" - an odd hybrid of static and dynamic in other words.

So I decided to try this - 90 lb on one leg of vertical leg press very slowing going back and forth between the knee angle of maybe 90 degrees and 150 degrees. The angle really does not matter as long as the knee is never fully extended or flexed or close. What matters is that towards the end you experience a certain type of burning pain. I've always associated it with the taste of lemon in the muscle - as if there were a taste receptor inside. For me doing it this way it took 15 repetitions to start feeling a significant amount of pain, and the last 5 require some mental toughness to get through properly. I could, of course, just push faster recruiting the fast twitch fibers and it would make it easier, but it would defeat the purpose of the exercise.

I did 3x20 on each leg. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Bob on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 20:22:51 from 67.176.195.62

I use to do these all the time, but moved to the standard half squat instead because I needed to hit the groin and hams more, but one leg squats are great for the quads. Feel the burn they say!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.500.300.2012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Julia wanted to do an 800 meter time trial on the track at Orem High. Benjamin and I paced her. Her record was 3:10.8 achieved in a time trial. She had run 3:11.8 in a race. She raced multiple times but failed to break her time trial best. I think the main cause was that she is very sensitive to the heat, and all of her races were in the afternoon. In fact, she ran her best race time in Park City when it was a little cooler (although still not ideal), and then could not break it even in Eugene when the temperatures where higher.

I decided to pace her through the first lap in 90 and see what happens optimistically hoping for 95 in  the second lap. To my surprise she held the pace and finished in 3:01.1 - her splits were 44, 90 (46), 2:16(46), and the last 200 in 45. Orem High girls were doing a 400 meter time trial starting at the 300/700 meter mark of our 800. Around the 650 mark Julia caught up to the tail end of pack which was headed for around 1:50-1:55 quarter. There were a lot of girls in that pack - anywhere from 5 to 10. She had to get around them which threw her off some. This may have cost her half a second or so. But at the same time having them as a target did help.

I also did 3x100 with Benjamin in 15.7, 16.2, and 15.7 on the track. At the end of my run I picked up the pace for the last 0.3 to break 37:00 for the last 5 miles. 

P.M. "Stato-dynamic" magic. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a 3 mile tempo from the canyon to the house in 17:07.5. Felt strong, held the pace well in the last uphill mile - did it in 5:52. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did 4x200 with Benjamin down the canyon. We are working on making a 60 second quarter natural and relaxed. Barring a disaster, this will happen for Benjamin in the next year or so. Short of a miracle, this is will not happen to me. Perhaps the miracle is that families are forever and we are experiencing this eternal connection in a special way through running. But nonetheless I will try to keep the body young for a long time and pray for science to discover how to re-grow a messed up L-4  so I can do my part in the miracle, not leaving all of that up to the posterity.

We started out a little sluggish, then sped up - 33.9, 33.0, 31.9, and 31.0. The last one should have been under 30 - we hit the first 100 in 14.6, but then both of us slowed down as we tried to not miss the triangles mark for the finish which was a little faded.

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. 10.5 total. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia 3, William 1.

P.M. Drive to Thornton, CO to visit with James and Lybi. We saw them after the Utah Valley Half and they invited us to come for a visit. We made it from Orem in 8:12 going on I-80 and then taking a shortcut on Hwy 287 from Laramie, WY to Fort Collins, CO. Not bad for traveling with 8 children with a nursing baby and two more under the age of 5.

I noticed some interesting traffic patterns on I-25 southbound between Fort Collins and Thornton. Speed limit is 75. The traffic is moving at around 75 with occasional surges to 80-85. The traffic is heavy but it is moving well. Then all of a sudden it slows down to 25. After a couple of miles we see the cause of the slowdown - a trooper parked on the median. Everybody is breaking just in case and with the traffic that heavy the cop-check break is enough to cause a congestion. We pass the trooper and the traffic speeds up to its normal speed.  Then all of a sudden there is another jam. This time the problem turns out to be the sign that says 55 in big letters and "minimum speed limit" in small letters. People who do not know that route initially mistake that for 55 maximum speed and break. Once we are out of that zone - it is not clear why that was necessary - the traffic is moving again at normal speeds. Then after a while another jam. Another trooper, actually it appears he was on the frontage road, so completely out of traffic, but everyone is doing the standard cop-check break, We pass that, and in spite of getting closer and closer to Denver the traffic is moving at normal speeds again.

I find it rather interesting that all of the three jams we encountered was caused by what I would want to call traffic mismanagement. There was enough capacity to handle the traffic, but due to unnatural interference of political nature that capacity was reduced and became inadequate.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments
From Rob Murphy on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 21:30:21 from 24.10.249.165

I drove the EXACT same route three weeks ago on my way to Boulder and noticed the EXACT same phenomena. Very infuriating!

From Jon on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 03:55:49 from 107.203.52.135

I drove that route many times. It happens even with no cops.

So how come every post has a LinkedIn button all of a sudden? I can't imagine sharing my runs with LinkedIn friends.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.755.250.0020.00

A.M. Ran with Paul and Benjamin in Loveland, CO. It was good to visit with Paul after not seeing him for a long time. Paul and I did 20, Benjamin did 10. We warmed up a mile, then did a 4 mile tempo in 22:43 on a slightly rolling terrain. At 5000 feet which is 500 feet higher than what Benjamin and I are used to, and with higher humidity than what we are used to this proved challenging to both of us, but we survived. Then Benjamin jogged back, and Paul and continued. We did another tempo on the way back starting at around 13 into the run. I did the first mile with Paul in 5:48, then another quarter at around 5:35 pace, and then I was done with that zone for the day and ran 6:10-6:15 pace to the finish ending up with 24:18 for 4 miles. Paul sped up quite a bit hitting 5:22 and 5:08 for the last two miles. Total time for 20 miles was around 2:15.

The other children ran at home in Thornton. Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. 

P.M. Benjamin took William for 1 mile.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From josse on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 15:43:40 from 70.208.7.139

What is up with this new "in share" link that is on everyone blog?

From Superfly on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 16:30:52 from 74.211.21.81

awesome you got to see Paul.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 17:35:59 from 69.28.149.129

Josse:

I wanted to add some kind of a "like" feature, the first thing I thought of was Facebook "like", so I set up a Facebook account and added what I needed to the code, then while testing it I got completely disgusted with Facebook - it was in my face with suggestions for half naked friends, half-naked movie covers, and half-naked celebrity blogs - I do not know how so many people can handle it. There must be a way around it since our missionaries are now starting to use it, but it was not obvious to me, and I did not like the feeling of digging inside the toilet for any longer than I already have. So the next thing I thought was LinkedIn share. I liked that better since I work for LinkedIn. When I find a moment I will add Google Plus, and maybe even Twitter - I assuming I can tolerate the testing. I might even finish the Facebook integration if I could find the magic option in the profile that turns off all suggestions - I do not want to see any content unless I specifically searched for it.

From Jon on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 20:32:30 from 107.203.52.135

Sasha- can you somehow make the Share feature an option we can choose in our profile to have or not have? Because I really don't want it, and it looks pretty tacky and takes up lots of screen space.

I think most runners would agree that we would be far more likely to share runs with social friends (facebook, twitter) than professional acquaintances (LinkedIn). But I really like the old FRB with the low-key, not tied in format. If there is any way to make it optional, we would really appreciate if you would do it. Or just delete it. I don't want business recruiters seeing how much I run, I want them thinking how technically competent I am. I want to be the Engineer, not the Crazy-Runner-Guy.

From Fritz on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 20:55:19 from 67.177.4.64

I think facebook and FRB are better aligned than Linkedin and FRB. There are 1.15 billion active users on facebook partly because you can choose to see and share as much or as little as you want. Just search "Privacy Settings" in the facebook search to see how to do it. Just my two cents.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 21:21:46 from 69.28.149.129

Jon:

If you never share anything using your LinkedIn login, even if somebody else shares your runs on their LinkedIn profile, the recruiters will not associate your Fast Running Blog profile with your professional profile unless they match the pictures.

That said, I was just talking to Paul and he said they recent hired an elite triathlete as a GIS professional. His athletic profile was looked at during the decision making process and played a positive role. I personally mention my running and have a link to my blog in my professional profile. I consider it a part of myself that the recruiters better be at peace with. I have not had a shortage of recruiters approaching me, currently have a telecommuting job with a nice salary and stock options living in Orem while the company is in Silicon Valley, and have been offered similar deals by other well-known Silicon Valley companies. Maybe some recruiters look at a runner and have second thoughts, but you cannot make everyone happy, and there are enough of them out there that at least respect runners if they do not run themselves.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 21:23:13 from 69.28.149.129

Fritz:

I thought that too at first, but then I got a positive comment today about the LinkedIn share feature. Different people like different things. I'll give Facebook another try when I have a moment. For now, we have LinkedIn and Google Plus.

From Josh E on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 21:41:08 from 71.213.12.84

I am with Jon. A simple like that is contained within the FRB universe is a nice idea. This, however, is visually unappealing clutter with the undesired consequence of linking with social sites. Some want to share more of their running life than others and those who don't mind sharing still don't want to inundate others with their daily activities.

From DaleG on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 22:14:05 from 152.216.11.5

I like Jon's idea of making it an option. I don't know how difficult it would be, but it'd be great to have a choice.

Regardless, thanks for creating this blog.

From josse on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 08:56:24 from 70.208.6.159

I also like the idea of opting out. I like this blog for its simplicity of not have all the bells and whistle you find on all the social media sites.

From RileyCook on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 09:23:13 from 132.3.57.78

+1 here on making it an option.

From Amiee on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 11:59:40 from 155.98.164.38

Thanks for all that you do Sasha!

But make that +1 more on making it an option.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 12:57:11 from 69.28.149.129

First, let me explain where I stand when the blog is concerned. I have a certain set of values and ideas that I believe to be of benefit to everyone. I want to share those ideas. To the extent that the blog is accomplishing it, I am willing to invest the time and the effort to keep it running regardless of the revenue it generates for me. When something is not exactly aligned with those ideas, but at least is not directly contrary to them, I am willing to put in some work to support it if their is at least partial compensation for the work.

Social media links help in two ways by increasing the number of unique visitors. More unique visitors means more people are learning the principles that have helped a good number of people on this site run their PRs, but more than that - learn that what they thought was impossible was actually possible and thus experience what faith feels like.

Unique visitors also drive the revenue. I make enough from my full-time job and side jobs that I do not really care that much about increasing the blog revenue. However, doing work on the blog means using the time and the programming energy that could have been used for jobs that have immediate financial payback which I would be delaying. In the past this was a hypothetical thing - I was younger, had fewer kids, ran my own consulting business, and had plenty of time and energy for side projects like the blog. Now the time and energy are more difficult to find and there is a very real opportunity cost so I need to budget my resources.

To make the social media share optional requires work. Not a terrible amount, but it is nevertheless work, and I will only do it if I see how this aligns with the goals I stated above. I am not satisfied with the blog traffic primarily consisting of visits by 400 or so active bloggers. Implementing the feature as I see it right now is work with no payback - either visionary or financial.

So here is what I am proposing to make things fair. I will add a paying member option. For $50 a year you will have the option to view the site ad-free (including no ads on your blog) and (separate option) social-media link free - I can even make it an individual option for each social media site. I could even make it so that your blog is visible only by the people on your favorite blog list if you select that option.

So in other words what I am asking if the +1's I am hearing are strong enough to want to pay for it. If yes, I will do the work.

From Josh E on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 14:00:38 from 205.235.104.4

Thanks Sasha. That is a fair proposition. I think we would all vote for the viability of the blog with whatever it takes to get there. And I didn't personally mean to sound ungrateful. I could care less about the ads but I would pay to avoid the social media aspect.

From Superfly on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 14:17:31 from 74.211.21.81

I was going to comment this morning but didn't get a chance. So I don't want to act like after Sasha's comments then I took a voice. But seriously I don't care. The ad's, social media whatever... I don't care. Is it really that big of deal? I didn't eve notice until the above comments started to roll in. It's Sasha's blog. I've been an active member since early 2006 and love it and will continue to use it under any format.

Thanks Sasha.

just my 2 cents

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 14:25:41 from 69.28.149.129

OK, let's draw the line - if five people are willing to pay $50 a year to have the options proposed in my earlier post I'll get to work, or maybe even put Benjamin to it - he wants to be self-sufficient when he goes to college and it will get done faster. We have one so far.

From Amiee on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 14:35:36 from 155.98.164.38

Why not just pilot the social media add-ons to see if it increases traffic the way you would like before doing the work and having people pay 50 bucks? I am curious if and how people will use the new social media tools and if it will result in increased traffic and revenue to your site. Reason I am suggesting that is because I don't use LinkedIn or Google Plus and I don't know why I would share posts to these sites, but I may be in the minority.

From Jon on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 18:42:32 from 107.203.52.135

I like Amiee's idea of seeing if you actually get more traffic from it.

That being said, I still think LinkedIn is the least relevant of all social sites (I don't consider it social- it's professional), and I think Google Plus is pretty much dead. If you do social tie ins, I'd have to believe Facebook and Twitter are the most used. By far.

From Jake K on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 18:59:26 from 174.237.130.137

Just an idea on aesthetics - maybe instead of the networking options being placed within the body of each blog post, they could be placed in the smaller "Add Comment" section. Most of these networks have small, sleek icons / buttons that would fit inside that box. Probably 5-8 of them would fit, the file sizes are small so they take no time to load and from an interaction perspective - they're exactly where you'd expect them to be. I'm all for you doing whatever you want with this blog, I'll keep posting as long as I don't have to enter my social security number :-) but I do like the idea of a somewhat sleek interface with these buttons. I think in terms of expanding the traffic to and use of the blog, that would be a good move.

From Jon on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 19:24:19 from 107.203.52.135

Jake- if you won't divulge your SSN, how about just your credit card number? And don't forget the expiration date and that little code on the back ;)

From Jake K on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 08:55:41 from 67.177.11.154

Here's a visual of what I was suggesting - I'm not a graphics guy, but something along these lines is what I had in mind:

http://goo.gl/3ZOfOQ

Not sure what others would think of something like that.

The icon sets can be downloaded in pretty much any color / style scheme. I'd be happy to help in anyway possible... I'm good at plugging things into photoshop, not so much w/ the actual programming :-)

From josse on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 08:59:07 from 70.208.1.13

I like that jake it looks good

From Eric Day on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 09:13:56 from 187.247.64.228

Like it too, Jake. Nice idea.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 11:30:58 from 69.28.149.129

Jake - great idea, thanks for the contribution. Will code it up.

From Jake K on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 11:40:33 from 67.177.11.154

I'm more than happy to help you create the icons if needed. Just e-mail me.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church with Lybi and James in Henderson, CO. Their Gospel Principles class was rather big and active. In the Elder's Quorum I sat down next to a guy named Mark. It turned out he had served a mission in Russia and was still fluent after 16 years - he had kept it up through daily reading.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.501.000.000.0014.50

A.M. Total of 14.5. Started the run with James and his friend Greg. I wanted to see what Greg could do a mile in. We did a mile time trial on the track. Greg started out with a lap in 1:42, followed by 1:43. All of a sudden he started feeling like he was going to faint. He made it to 1000 meters in 4:22 and stopped. However, he could handle 9:20 pace jogging just fine and he has trained more or less consistently for about a year. I had never seen something like this before. I am suspecting some kind of a heart condition. We did a total of 5.5 miles.

Then I ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Lybi and Sarah joined us for part of the run. Benjamin decided to turn his legs over in the last mile and ran it in around 5:50. 

P.M. Drive home with Benjamin. Everybody else flew. Not that it was easier, the kids wanted to fly because they had never flown before. Benjamin and I made it in 7:31 to our house taking I-25, then Hwy 287 from Fort Collins, then I-80 and Hwy 40/Hwy 89 with only one stop in Rawlins, WY for gas. Google says the distance is 521 miles, but the odometer showed 528. I can understand extra half a mile from the gas detour, but where did the extra 7 miles come from? Bad tangents, I suppose - but do they measure the highway on tangents? Maybe the tires were slightly under-inflated throwing off the odometer. Benjamin did a lot of Russian reading on the way. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Paul on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 13:18:00 from 207.224.39.118

Google would be measuring using highway centerlines in a simple routing program. However, the questionable thing about Google is that they use Web Mercator as their tile projection -- this is what turns a round earth into a flat map. Web Mercator has become popular lately because it makes for efficient tile caching for web map display...however it distorts distances and areas rather badly. The question is whether Google is using web mercator as the coordinate system for all their underlying data, or just for their tiles. I'm hoping it's just for their tiles, and they have a more accurate coordinate system running in the background so that their measurements are accurate.

Fun reading here:

http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2010/03/05/measuring-distances-and-areas-when-your-map-uses-the-mercator-projection/

That said, your odometer is probably off too. Most cars are.

From Holt on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 13:23:12 from 204.113.55.41

Only a map guy would know all that Paul!

From Paul on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 13:26:39 from 65.114.209.66

True, but Sasha likes to do math in his head, and coordinate systems & projections are 100% math.

But it's a pretty simple idea: The earth is round. Maps are flat. Flatten to the earth to a map, and something has to break. Distortion is introduced to make it work.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin. 4x200 down the canyon. My splits were 31.3, 32.6, 30.5, 30.4. Benjamin got 31.0, 32.6, 30.3, and the last one was under 30 but he missed the split. Andrew ran 6 with us and did 4x100 in around 17 seconds.

Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob ran 2 miles in Thornton, CO.

The good news is that Benjamin's legs did not hurt from this workout. I think we'll do one more of those, and the move to 4x300 starting in 48 and finishing in 45.

P.M. Picked up the rest of the family at the airport. Jenny, Julia, Joseph and William ran one more mile. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.000.2512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a pickup for a quarter uphill in 79.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a 2 mile tempo run with Benjamin from the bridge to the house - uphill. As planned I set the pace in the first 0.5 to let him know how fast I wanted to run, then he pulled me until there was a quarter left, then he kicked and dropped me. His time was 11:08. I got 11:16. Our splits were 2:50, 5:37 (2:47), 8:23 (2:46), and the uphill 0.51 was 2:45 for him, 2:53 for me. Joseph did 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. 10.5 total. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Top of Utah Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:14:49, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.900.0013.100.0020.00

A.M. Top of Utah Half - 1:14:49, 12th overall, 2nd master, $75. 

Stayed with Steve Anderson the night before.

Warmed up a little over 2 with Jake. At the start there were a lot fast runners - money went 5 deep and there were two people that broke 1:10 and went home empty-handed. Fortunately the race had a charity fund for the senior citizens of which I ended up a beneficiary along with Walter and Rob Murphy.

My goal was to go under 1:14. I thought a performance similar to what I ran in the Provo River Half would be sufficient. So either I ran worse, or the course is not quite as fast as I thought it was. In any case, report mile by mile to the best of my memory:

1 - 5:31 - ended up alone a little ahead of Ben VanBeekum and Jon Heslup but quite a bit behind Walter who opened in around 5:08. In retrospect, I should have just sat behind Ben and Jon and saved energy.

2 - 5:31 (11:02) - Ben and Jon caught up to me and I got on their tail. Walter had 10:42.

3 - 5:40 (16:42) - Ben and Jon pulled ahead, I felt the pace was too fast for me.  They did 5:27, Walter was 16:11 at 3 miles - 5:29.

4 - 5:44 (22:26) - Ben, Jon, and Walter gapped me by a little more.

5 - 5:27 (27:53) - here comes the famous Blacksmith Fork Canyon tailwind. Around this time Ben passed Walter, so I ran most of the remainder of the race watching Walter and Jon from behind.

6 - 5:30 (33:23) - more of that tailwind

7 - 5:30 (38:53) - tailwind helps keep the momentum

8 - 5:43 (44:36) - end of tailwind, fatigue, lack of serious traning and possibly old age are beginning to show

9 -  5:45 (50:21) - hanging on

10 - 5:52 (56:13) - not good, but at least sub-6:00

12 - 12:33 for 2 uphill miles (1:08:36) - oops - there goes sub-1:14, now sub-1:15 is in jeoprady. How did this happen? Maybe missing the split at 11 was part of the problem. I was not feeling great, but was not feeling too bad either. Could have pushed this a little harder maybe. Or maybe not, who knows.

13 - 1:14:18 (5:42) - Saw Walter coming to me, but he was too far ahead to catch. I tried, though.

last 0.1 - 31 seconds

Walter finished 36 seconds ahead, which was less than ideal - in the ideal world that number would be negative. However, I did have concerns around mile 10 that the gap might be as bad as over a full minute which did not materialize.

Riley won in a breakthrough race with 1:05:16. Jake was a close second with 1:05:38. Then John Coyle with 1:06:10 - I talked to him afterwards, he said he lost some time on a VPB. Then Bryant Jensen 1:06:55, Jason Holt 1:09:05, Scott Keate 1:09:22, Jacob Howell 1:09:55, Ben VanBeekum 1:10:58, Jesse Dunn 1:12:57, John Heslop 1:13:12, and Walter 1:14:13.

Ran a cooldown to make the total 20 miles running back on the course. Headed back on the course, experienced a bathroom emergency. Saw some people outside of their house, asked them to use their restroom. Afterwards made it to mile marker 11 and a little past going the other way, then ran back. By then I was with people headed maybe for 2:07-2:08. Nobody wanted to run with me until I had passed the 2:05 pacer. For some reason they had a hard time believing that a) they could run faster at least for a little bit and b) I would slow down to the best they could do. In the last half mile I found some people to pace.

During the race my legs felt strong but not quick. 5:30 was about my limit and that required fresh legs and nice downhill. I need to do something to fix it. Probably tempo runs down the canyon - I have not been doing those lately.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From RileyCook on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 09:51:44 from 132.3.57.82

Nice race Sasha. Congrats on the 2nd place master's finish.

From jtshad on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 12:23:31 from 141.221.191.225

Congrats on a strong race.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. The Sacrament meeting talks were on faith and as I listened I felt I needed to approach my running with more faith. Lately I've been feeling like I had an excuse to not train as well because the focus has been on the children. The children have been doing well, Benjamin has even been beating me, so I felt it was all good - anything I achieve now myself is a bonus. But as I listened to the talks I felt that while the focus on the children and making their running a priority was correct, I could do better in my own training and recovery. So I resolved to do that.

During Sunday School lesson, which was on eternal marriage, somebody made a comment that nowadays it is not realistic to expect a woman to stay home with the children due to the ecomonic challenges of supporting a family off one income. Several people including Sarah and myself, raised an objection to that. Interestingly enough, Saran and I were the only ones under 60 in that group. It is also interesting that there was nobody in that group that had fewer than five children.

I have some thoughts on that subject that I would like to share. It is very challenging to support a family off one income, but with faith it is possible, and I can testify to that. Sarah and I started out in our marriage with a vision - we would have children, a lot if the health permitted, she would stay home to take care of them, and I would do whatever it took to make this possible. In my mind I was ready to work three jobs if that is what it took. The Lord was merciful to us - I never had to. Quite the oppositive - along with Sarah I got to stay home as well. Last time I had to report to an office for a job on a regular basis was December of 1999. Ever since I worked from home.

Even though I have always made more money than the average neighbor, perhaps even a dual-income neighbor, we have always lived what others would have considered below our means. We still do. We have never bought a car much less a toy on credit. For quite some time this meant driving cars that were old enough to date, then vote, then go on a mission. We have lived in small homes and did everything we could to pay them off as fast as possible. We learned how to feed a large family nutritiously at a low cost. We have hardly ever eaten out. We now do this a little more, but still not as much as our average neighbor, and it is always a health-food restaurant. 

Some might say we have been lucky, but I believe it is more than luck. Luck is random - sometimes it is in your favor, sometimes it is bad luck, intergrating luck over a large interval you get a quantity that approaches zero. I believe the reason we managed to pull this off the way we did was having a vision and being consistently true to it no matter what kind of luck we got. The vision came from the Lord. We cheated - we did what someone much wiser than us has has revealed to us through his prophets. Thus we had the advantage of being 90-year-old wise in our 20s, and we are talking 90-year-old that is familiar with the realities of the 21st century and still has his mind intact. We played the chess game with a grandmaser wispering us the moves.

So long story short, I believe you can support a family off one income just fine, but you must have the vision, and you must have the faith to stay true to it. Your faith will be tried. Possibly it will be tried more than ours. But it is all worth it. All of those sacrifices pay off.

When I came home I took a much-needed long nap.

 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Comments
From Jon on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 20:31:52 from 107.203.52.135

Well said, Sasha. Thanks for your thoughts and hard work.

From Steve on Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 09:41:47 from 98.103.187.42

Our entire society right now tells us this won't work. Keep it up!

From jeffmc on Mon, Sep 02, 2013 at 18:00:50 from 65.110.254.158

Sasha, agreed. I wish that more members of the church would make this type of commitment and have the faith to stick with it.

It is also interesting to hear viewpoints from those who are not members of the church. I had a chat with a classmate who mentioned that society is becoming dumber because the educated are having fewer and fewer children, while the uneducated are still having a fair number of kids.

I said (slightly tongue in cheek because this student has publicly stated that he never wants children) that the educated should focus on having more kids to ensure that the scales do not tip too far to one side. The response that followed surprised me (not the conclusion, just the logic). My classmate said that it would never happen because the educated were too smart to have lots of children because they wanted to prevent overpopulation, and depletion of the planets resources.

I think that these types of viewpoints that saturate public opinion outside of the church can slowly infiltrate the viewpoints of our members. I got the impression that my classmate was simply trying to provide reasoning based upon a credence that made his desires seem logical, rather than using demonstrable facts to do so. The belief that both parents must work to support a family is another similar form or reasoning, and some people (obviously I can not speak for everyone as situations can vary wildly) use the belief as a crutch to continue doing what is convenient, or what they desire to do, rather than what is right in many instances.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin had a sore throat, did only three. I am beginning to suspect that his room might have mold - he's been catching those colds a lot. So I called a mold testing guy to do the test. Jenny also had a sore throat and did only 3. Jacob did 2, Joseph 3, William 1, Julia 3. I did a 3 mile tempo run from the house to the small bridge and back - slow course - in 17:25. Splits were 5:42, 5:51, 5:53. Last mile is uphill. I thoroughly dislike that course for tempo runs, but by the time I was done running with the kids I only had the time for that course.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.000.000.4012.00

A.M. 12 miles. Benjamin did 3, Jenny 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. Pushed the stroller for 3 miles. William did the mile in 9:20.3 on our out and back course without holding the hand. This is a new record for him by 9 seconds. His splits were 2:28, 2:24, 2:19 and 2:09. His attitude also seemed to keep improving as he went along. He started with a loud whine which resulted in a slow opening split. Then he decided on the prize he wanted, and as his belief that the prize would actually something he could get increased, his complaining and excuses reduced and his pace increased. William is our fastest child at this age so far, but he is also one of the most difficult with the exception maybe of Joseph. Well, Benjamin was not easy either - when he was 5 he would start his runs insisting that there was no way in the world he could run faster than 12:00 per mile. Half way through he would realize that there was some kind of a special privillege connected to breaking 10:00 and he would speed up and do it. William is turning 5 in October. Regardless, I suppose speed comes at a cost - although with Jacob we got a free ride - good speed, no complaining at all, perfect child.

Julia did a total of 3.23 with a mile time trial. We discovered a problem. She said she was feeling tired when we got to the track but I thought that with the 3:01 800 PR she would be able to smash her 6:52 record. Not so. She did 1:40, 1:42, 1:49, 1:44 finishing in 6:57.4. We decided to try again the next day.

I did a 600 pickup uphill in 2:00.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.001.500.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did 1.5 mile tempo uphill in 8:19.6, and some time later 800 uphill in 2:41. Benjamin did 4, Jenny 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1, Julia 3. Julia did another mile time trial. This time she was able to take down her record, but not by as much as she should have - only 5 seconds. She ran 6:47.7 on the track with the splits of 1:38, 1:44, 1:43, and 1:39. I am suspecting a return of the low iron - she has had it diagnosed before, took the iron supplement for a while, her iron normalized, and she stopped taking the supplement.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 1.50Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.001.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did an 800 time trial with Jacob. Joseph assisted. Jacob started out very fast - 20 for the first 100. Then I slowed him down, and he shortly also had a second round slowing down himself. First 200 in 44, then 93 (49) at 400. Then he sped up a little - 2:21(48) at 600, and kicked in 47 finishing in 3:08.7 - new PR by 9.5 seconds and reaching the goal of sub-3:10. Joseph finished a little bit ahead with 3:06.

Now of all the kids only William, Stephen, and Matthew  have not yet broken 3:10 in the 800. For the oldest five the approximate average age is 10.8 (rounding the age of each child to 0.5 year precision), their average 800 PR is 2:52.38, and their average mile PR is 6:17.90. For the three oldest boys, the average age is 10.0,  the average mile PR is 6:04.53, and the average 800 PR is 2:48.45. For the girls, the average age is 12, the average mile PR is 6:38.00, and the average 800 PR is 2:58.27.

Benjamin was still not feeling quite well from his sore throat, so he ran only 3 miles. Jenny did 3 as well, as so did Julia and Joseph.  William did a mile without the hand or stopping in 9:40 - not a record, but decent - with some resistance he is developing a habit of sub-10:00 training pace.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.000.001.2512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 4, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a workout. First 2x500 on my hilly course in the faster but still slow direction - 1:36.7 and 1:31.8. Then 400 and 600 down the Provo Canyon in 70.3 and 1:45.1 respectively. Starting to feel some power in the legs.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Uneventful Provo River Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:15:04, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.900.0013.110.0021.01

A.M. Ran with Chad and George - total of 21 miles. Chad and I did the Provo River Half course uneventfully, meaning we raced it while there was no official race organized. Well, Chad raced it all out from the gun. I ran the first 4 miles with him, then raced it after that. My time was 1:15:04, he got 1:17:55 - a new half PR for him. I was expecting around 1:16, but Chad opened quicker than I expected, which helped with the overall time.

We warmed up 1 mile with George, and then started the Uneventful.

Splits by Curt's mile markers along with some other points of signficance - 5:21, 5:31 (10:52), 5:51 (16:41), 5:41 (22:22). At about 4.1 I had to stop to go to the bathroom, while Chad continued. If this was a real race I would have done a VPB without stopping the watch, but since this was Uneventful I just stopped my watch. Afterwards I continued at a true race effort. Next mile was 5:39 (28:01), do not remember mile marker splits after that point, but the pace was around 5:40 until the start of the climb. 36:28 at the letter S (start of the climb on the old highway). At this point I observed that I was 1:28 behind my Provo River Half split, and decided to try to make as much ground as I could. Uphill mile in 6:26 - 42:52 at the end of it - I passed Chad half way through it gaining 21 seconds on my Provo River Half time. At this point I thought that I might be able to actually beat the race time, but I ended up not quite having as much downhill speed. Next mile was 5:33 - 49:39 at the bottom by the letter S, then 50:47 at the start of the three mile tempo course at Nunn's Park. The 3 mile stretch in 17:05 with the splits of 5:37, 5:46, 5:42 - 1:07:52 at the end of it. 1:12:01 at the little bridge that is 1.5 miles away from my house, 1:14:32 at the official 13 mile marker.

Afterwards, Chad and I had a death march cooldown of 7 miles up the Provo Canyon to my car which was parked at the Vivian Park. I learned something. I noticed that 8:00 pace was awfully hard. Doing the math I also realized that we had one mile longer to the car than I hoped for. In desparation I stopped at the water fountain and drank some water. I never do that normally. I did not think it would help much because I believed the problem was fuel, but as it turned out there must have been quite a bit of dehydration. The water made quite a bit of a difference - 8:00 pace still felt harder than what it should, but at least I wanted to go faster. However, 8:00 on less steep grade, and 8:30 on steeper grade was all that Chad could do, so that is what we did.

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 21.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was a Fast Sunday so we had a testimony meeting, the Sunday School and the Elder's Quorum as usual. After we got home I took a nap.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Ran with Chad, Rob Gardner. and the kids. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 3, Julia 1(piriformis pain), Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.000.001.2512.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 3, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob 1 in ancipation of the cross-country meet later tonight. I did 6x400 with 200 recovery down the Provo Canyon - 72.4, 71.4, 70.6, 70.7, 70.7, 68.8. It was getting a little warmer, and there was an odd smell in the air for some reason -  like something was decaying under heat and moisture.

P.M. The kids ran in the Kiwani's Park Cross-Country Meet. The distance was 2 K. We had six children participate - Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William. I had to fill out and sign six forms. I dislike bureacracy, legal language, and handwriting but in our day of lawsuits the City of Provo has to cover their behind even for something as simple as gather up a bunch of kids and have them race each other. I remembered Alma 11:20: "...they did stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them..."

Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia were not running 100% healthy. Benjamin and Jenny still had remnants of the cold, Julia had an inflamation of piriformis. Not sure where it came from - on Friday it came out of nowhere during her run, and has progressively gotten worse in spite of massage, icying and reduction in training. I took her to a chiropractor today and he did some magic, but she was still having issues. The odd thing is that the only time it hurts is in the running movement. 

Benjamin won the race overall in 6:49 beating Grant by 8 seconds. Jenny was 3rd in the 13-14 division with 9:08. Julia wobbled through her race in 10:22, but nevertheless managed 3rd in the 11-12 age division. Joseph won the 8 and under division with 9:08, Jacob was second after his "bully" older brother in 9:26. William had an impressive race for a 4-year-old finishing in 12:01 in 6th place in the 8 and under division and beating 11 kids all of whom were significantly older than 4.

Mile PR ratios:

Child Age 2K performance Track mile PR or equivalent 2k/mile ratio Comment
Benjamin 14y6m 6:49 4:52 1.40 Mile PR estimated from 4:30.84 1500 performance. 2K performance was relatively weak due to sickness and running alone, however the 1500 performance took place over a month ago and was under less than ideal circumstances as well. So 1.40 ratio is probably right.
Jenny 13y0m 9:08 6:28 1.41 Mile PR is weak, and due for being taken down, but the performance today was relatively weak as well due to the cold last week and not being used to spikes.
Julia 10y11m 10:22 6:47 1.53 Piriformis problem seriously affected the performance.
Joseph 8y8m 9:10 6:26 1.42 Outgrew his spikes, we did not discover in time to get him the new ones, ran in Crocs which is less than ideal on grass.
Jacob 7y1m 9:26 6:55 1.36 Also ran in Crocs, his mile PR is rather weak. When he set it he was bothered by his breathing problems. With 1.40 ratio his mile should be 6:44, which he would have gotten. He did not have any breathing problems he complained about in this race.
William 4y10m 12:01 9:20 1.29 Going into the race his mile PR was 9:20, but three days later he improved it to 9:05 with the second half in 4:22. His mile times also come from the road on an out and back course I measured with a wheel which is slower than the track. Obviously at the age of 4 his performances are going to fluctuate based on his mood. On this day we caught him in a good competitive mood and it showed. Based on the 1.40 ratio his mile should be 8:35, which is actually about what I would have expected on the track and in the right set of mind.

 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
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. 12 miles total. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Julia rode her bike, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Julia rode the bike, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a 2 mile tempo run on my uphill course from the bridge to the house with Julia following me on a bike. It was getting warm. I thought it would be difficult to run much faster than 11:30. Decided to start out a little faster. Went through the first mile in 5:22 which is a slight rolling down. The last mile is a nasty rolling up. I managed to hold my own on it with 5:22 - 11:04.5 for 2 miles which is my course record.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 8.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 4, Julia 1, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 1. William ran a new mile PR - no hand, no stopping, loop wheel-measured course in 9:05.3. His splits were 2:23, 2:20, 2:15, 2:07. This is also our family record for the 4 year old age division. Although unmeasureable, I do believe this is also a record for me and Benjamin for getting a stubborn and temperamental child to run. Of all the children we've had William wins the prize for being difficult hands down. So far the order of contention for this questionalble prize of all the children 4 and older is William, Joseph, Benjamin, Julia, Jenny, and Jacob.

I have frequently joked that William and Joseph somehow managed to have been born into a Protestant religion, and we have to teach them that Latter-Day Saints have nothing to protest against since we are the restored church. We have the truth that came by revelation, we establish the doctrine, we do not need to protest.

I do not think I could have this alone without Benjamin's help. Now his former 4-year-old stubbornness comes handy - he is young enough to remember wanting to be difficult, but old enough to think of ways to encourage his brother to overcome it. A witness to myself, who grew up as the only child, that the best place to forge a character is the family.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.006.000.0020.00

A.M. I did 20 miles mostly alone. Kids ran by themselves with Benjamin in charge. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 1, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

I did 2x3 miles down the Provo Canyon. The first one from about 5.3 to 8.3 and the second from 11.3 to 14.3. Both on the same stretch from Nunn's park to the mouth of the canyon. The first one was 16:13.2 (5:20, 5:31, 5:22), second 16:25.9 (5:31, 5:30, 5:24). I felt there was some new strength but at the same time some remaining weakness. After my 11:04 uphill tempo on Thursday I was not expecting a such a plop off 5:20 pace in the first one. In the second, I adjusted the pace according to the knowledge of the weakness, and was able to negative split it in spite of accumulating fatigue.

Not sure where the plop is coming from. One explanation is that because I have reduced the amount of mileage at 7:30 pace and faster I might be experiencing a minor dip in aerobic fitness that is nevertheless sufficient to show at faster speeds. Another explanation is that because I have not run in that zone very much in recent months I may be reluctant to stay in it for a significant amount of time. Regardless, I will try to attack the problem from both angles before the TOU and see if I can make a dent with this micro-assault. 

P.M. We had an adventure with the rain. Our neighbor's basement got flooded and we along with other members of our ward helped clean up.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
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. We had our Stake Conference. After the meetings I talked with a family from Nigeria - they had five children with them. Turned out they were visiting their son who is a student at UVU. I learned from them some things about Nigeria - it was very educational. It is one thing to learn about countries from textbooks and news media, but it is a different experience when you talk to a native. I did not realize that the population of Nigeria was about half of the United States. Yet if you asked the average American to find Nigeria on the map, he probably would fail. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.590.000.510.0015.10

A.M. Total of 12.1. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 1, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Looks like our aches and pains are beginning to step away. Benjamin felt energetic enough to do an impromtu pickup for the last uphill 0.51 in 2:53. He has struggled with a sore throat for the last two weeks - he still ran a decent race on Tuesday, but he felt weak in the race and in his training runs which he had to cut. Elevated levels of mold were found in his room, sufficent for a sensitive person to experience symptoms, which could be the reason for the problem. Turned out our sprinkler was positioned right next to the foundation, and the water was leaking underneath. We have moved him out of his room as soon as we suspected the problem, but the damage was already done.

Julia also did better today - was able to run the mile in 8:16 with much less pain than before. On Friday she battled through that mile in something like 10:30 and with a lot of pain.

P.M. 3 miles with Matthew in the stroller.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 4.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.250.000.002.0012.25

A.M. Kids ran a little warm-up on their own before the cross-country meet. Benjamin did 3, Jenny 1, Joseph 1. Others rested. I did 12.25 total with 4x800 down the Provo Canyon with 800 recovery. The goal was to run around 2:30 for each. I did better than expected. 2:27.9 (73.1, 74.8), 2:26.3 (72.7, 73.6), 2:26.6 (72.7, 73.9), and 2:22.9 (72.1, 70.8). The splits reflect the nature of the course - the first quarter was a nice steady downhill with a little uphill bump at the end, while the second began with the continuation of the bump, then relatively flat 100 meters or so, then a short abrupt downhill, then more or less flat for 100 meters or so, and then 100 meters of mild uphill.

In the last one I tried to have a visual imagine of Lasse Viren's long kick, his resilience, his quiet confidence that no matter what he would win, and it did help - the legs just moved through the fatigue and I ran quite a bit better than I thought I would. The visual image is relatively easy to bring up, but it is not easy to translate it into speed - it takes some practice. That is why we do intervals and tempo runs. I do not know what went through Viren's mind when he was kicking, but I like to imagine it was the tune of Finlandia/Be Still My Soul. It very well could have been, but even if it was not, it communicates the message very well, and it is the tune I am familiar with from church. When I am able to catch the spirit of it I can find a few extra seconds per mile in me at the end of a hard workout.

P.M. Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William raced in the Kiwani's Park 3 K cross-country meet. Benjamin won overall with 10:56. He says he got confused on the course, because it was new, and added some distance. Second place, Spencer Jarvis finished in 11:38. Grant was not there. Benjamin says he was feeling weak, weaker than in the 2 K. I am not surprised - it is about time to be reaping the fruit of the reduced mileage from his sickness. Unfortunately, this race is not very indicative of how out of commission he was, so we will do a little evaluation run on Thursday to see where he is at.

Joseph had a decent race winning the 8 and under division in 13:53. This is the first time he went under 14:00 in a cross-country 3 K. Jenny was having issues with her back from bending over a lot during the cleanup on Saturday, and ran 14:34 taking 4th place in the 13-14 age division. Jacob was having issues with breathing again, but still managed 14:39 taking second in the age division after Joseph. Julia's piriformis was better, but the reduction in training affected her fitness, and she could only manage 15:09 - good enough for 3rd in the 11-12 age division. William ran a gutsy race - 3K is quite a distance for a 4-year-old - but he was not afraid to jump in and go fast, and was rewarded with a decent time - 18:40 which was good enough for 6th place in the 8 and under age division.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.490.000.510.0017.00

A.M. Total of 12.Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a pickup for 0.51 in 2:50 uphill at the end of everything.

P.M. 5 miles in 36:55 with Joseph and Jacob following me on their bikes.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.50Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.002.000.0017.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 1. 

Jenny did a little workout. My intuition told me she needed scheduled fast running in the middle of her regular run. She's had a rough couple of years, actually more than a couple, when she hit her growth spurt. Growth spurt is good for boys, but often wreaks havoc for girls, and it did for her. There has not been a day in the last three years when we did not have to solve some kind of a problem - chronically sore muscles, back pain, fatigue, being unusually out of breath at relatively slow speeds, quick dehydration, and others. The side effect of that is that her training has been at a very slow pace - around 8:30 - 9:00. Some of the mileage at her fitness level can be done in that zone, but not all of it. The challenge in getting her to go faster has been her perception that that pace was all she could do. So I had a thought - she needs to spice things up in the middle of her run, and had her run a quicker 0.5 mile stretch from 2 to 2.5 which is a slight downhill with nice tailwind. Even though I knew that she was capable of more, to remove the psychological pressure I told her I only expected 7:30 pace, but hoped to see something slightly quicker. I did see something quite a bit quicker - 3:17 for 0.5, or in other words 6:34 mile pace. Her cooldown after that confirmed my intuition - she was running 8:20 pace and thought she was resting.

After Benjamin's 3 K experience I wanted to know what was up with his fitness. So I had him do our 2 mile uphill course from 800 N bridge to the house. To remove unnecessary psychological pressure I did not give him any specific pace guidelines except that it had to be  faster than 6:00 which was more or less a no-brainer. I also told him that if he did not feel good we were not going to finish the interval. I let him set the pace and just followed trying to be not much of a factor. I divide the course into splits of 0.5, but they are not exact as in wheel-certified, and I know the last one is actually 0.51 from a wheel measurement. His splits were 2:51, 2:45, 2:45, and 2:52 for the uphill one that I know to be 0.51, total of 11:13.9.  He said he felt quite a bit stronger than in the 3 K, and was not sure if he felt stronger or not than in the 2 K. All in all, this is a good indication that his fitness is returning. It was also good to get a reliable fitness measure on a course I trust.

On the positive side of things for me I did not get dropped this time and ran faster (although I probably still would have been dropped had Benjamin been 100%), and actually felt much better than when we did it on Aug 22. So hopefully that means I am in better shape. We'll see in the Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Saturday and in the TOU a week later.

William started the run a little bit faster than normal, so we decided to encourage him to try to break 9:00. He had permission to spank Benjamin (I was pushing the stroller which made it diffucult to approach me), which greatly helped the cause. His first quarter was 2:20, then 2:18, 2:09 and 2:05 - 8:52.9. Again, the same wheeled out-and-back course, no hand holding. So William is now a sub-9:00 miler - first time we've had a kid that went sub-9:00 before turning 5. Now we can say that in our family if you cannot break 9:00 in the mile we make you wear a diaper - the only people that have not done it yet are Stephen (age 3) and Matthew (8.5 months).

Now I suppose the "wear a diaper if you are not sub-9:00" is not that big of a deal if mom and dad are reasonably fit, you have a kid or two that are little, or if they are spread enough apart that they are either wearing diapers or are old enough that sub-9:00 is no big deal for them. But for a family with 8 kids with the oldest being 14 I imagine that is rare.

P.M. 5 miles.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 17.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Joseph and Jacob did a mile time trial on the track. Both got a PR.

Joseph ran 6:22.0 - PR by 4 seconds. His lap splits were 93, 96, 95, 95 with the balance going to rounding error and the extra 9.34 meters that separate the real mile from the four laps around the 400 meter track.  I explained to him that the most important lap was the third, and the second most important was the second. He got that about the third, but was a little fuzzy about the second. He also had a hard time kicking. That concerns me a little - I noticed he does not eat quite as much as I would expect him to, has not yet broken 18 in 100 even though his longer distance performances suggest he should be able to, and has always been relatively small for his age. I am going to see if there is something we can do to boost his appetite. It might be as simple as feeding him the foods that he more easily digests.

Jacob ran 6:46.3 - PR by 9 seconds. I knew he would likely struggle with asthma so we paced it accordingly. First lap a little faster to build a cushion. Then easier on the second two laps when the attack comes while the muscles do rest some. Hopefully by then the attack subsides, and he can kick. It worked out as planned. The splits were 1:35, 1:45, 1:44, 1:39 with the balance goings to the mile tax commission. The attack did come. He ran 7:00 pace through it. It eventually subsided some and he was able to kick with fresher legs. His last 100 was 23, same as Joseph's.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 1.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Big Cottonwood Half (13.109 Miles) 01:08:59, Place overall: 3, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
2.8913.110.000.0016.00

Big Cottonwood Half, 1:08:59, serious downhill course, hopefully this is a decent performance, 3rd overall, 1st master, $50 for overall, not sure if they have master money.

Details:

The race earns my award for bathroom availability. There were no major waits which is remarkable for a race this size. A little unglorified detail that nevertheless if neglected can turn things ugly.

As I mentioned the race is a major downhill - 2800 feet of total drop with hardly any uphill - only a few minor bumps in the last 3 miles. From the start I tried to run with Jon Kotter and Bret Hales, but after about a mile felt that the pace was too fast, and eased off. I quickly got passed by Zach Marx - a visiting runner from Colorado. I did not like that - overall money went three deep, and there was no master's money as far as I could tell from the website. I still care about that - being able to win prize money is a symbol of status even if I do not depend on it to pay the bills. You do not have to race a young hungry and broke recent college graduate for a trophy, but he will be there to race you for cash.

I observed no mile markers until mile three. At mile three my split was 16:02. I was not happy about that - I hoped it would be at least 15:30 with a grade like that. But at the same time I was not sure if it was accurate - there were no painted marks on the road, just a sing that is easy to move or misplace. Painted marks can usually be trusted - somebody likely painted them right when they were measuring the course as opposed to trying to remember where to place them the night before the race in the absolute and complete darkness of the canyon.

Somewhere around the third mile I heard steps behind me. I did not like that either. Fortunately I got into a rhythm and then those steps started to quiet down. With the steeper grade I started seeing 4:45 splits based on the marathon marks and the highway mile posts. I also observed that Zach was not building a gap on me anymore. That was the positive. The negative was that in spite of scoring four stars prior to the race the earily hour and the bowel bouncing of the decent created the need for another star, except this one, according to Paul's categorization, is a negative if it happens during the race.

I noticed the gap with Zach actually started to close. First 26 seconds, then 24, then 11. Around mile 7 or so Chad showed up and joined me. He was able to keep up for about a mile which we did in 5:03 according to the marathon marks. Then he had to drop back. I figured it was a good sign. Chad according to my calculations would stick around at 5:30 pace down the Provo Canyon for more than a mile on a bad day. So that means we were probably doing something that was faster than 5:30 Provo Canyon equivalent.

Around mile 9 I caught up to and passed Zach. He did not offer much resistance. Later I learned that he was suffering from an upset stomach. Now that I was in the money position my spirits were lifted and I decided to try hard to retain it. The official 10 mile split was 51:13. We got out of the canyon and were on the trail which was not as steep anymore, but still going down. I got to 11 mile marker in 56:47 (5:34). Then I heard steps. I did not like it. I was tired. I did not have the energy to fight for my position. But I told myself - fight until the 60 minute mark. So I hit the gas and pretty much went into a long kick mode banking on psychology. For me and for Zach. For me - after 60 minutes I can tell myself there are only maybe 8-9 more minutes of pain left. For Zach - I knew there was a reason I was able to catch him earlier, and that he was not able to hang with me, and that it must have cost him something to get into the audible range now. He must be near his limit. If I could only hang on for long enough he might break for good. Amazing how mean runners can get in a race to each other.

Mile marker 12 - 1:02:25 (5:37). What happened to Zach? I went around a few corners and did not see him at all. I passed a few spectators and heard cheers for myself but not for him. Maybe he took a wrong turn? In any case, got to keep running scared just in case. You never know what kind of action might be developing behind you.

Mile marker 13 - 1:08:14 (5:49). After that kicking hard to be under 1:09. Made the turn onto the finishing stretch and realized that my suspicions were correct - it was more than 0.109 from mile marker 13 to the finish. Dipped barely under 1:09 covering that stretch in 45 seconds and headed straight for the bathroom.

Afterwards cooled down with Chad for 0.5 miles.

Brett Hales won with 1:05:06, Jon Kotter was second with 1:05:47. Zach was 4th with 1:10:29 - he did not take a wrong turn after all, his stomach cramped up a lot.

...

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments
From Yasir on Sat, Sep 14, 2013 at 13:54:19 from 99.20.241.125

wow congratulation sir 7 minutes short from the American half marathon record.

From Jenruns on Sat, Sep 14, 2013 at 14:38:52 from 98.202.196.31

Nice job! I saw you at mile 13 and cheered for you!

From Burt on Sat, Sep 14, 2013 at 19:40:59 from 174.26.216.3

Solid half marathon time as always.

From Steve Hooper on Sat, Sep 14, 2013 at 21:18:32 from 71.213.7.98

Great chatting with you at the race! Fantastic race time as well!

From crhudman on Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 15:57:30 from 174.27.61.157

Great race. Nice meeting you. Thanks for all the work you do with the blog it's helped me out a ton!

From Tara on Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 19:50:44 from 75.169.139.210

Congrats Sasha!

From Jake K on Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 19:12:43 from 67.177.11.154

Nice job mixing it up w/ the young bucks, Sasha. This might have been the fastest masters half marathon of the weekend... but then Haile Geb had to go and run sub 61 and ruin it for you :-)

From RileyCook on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 09:33:20 from 132.3.57.80

Downhill or not, that's still a great run! Is that a PR for you Sasha (aided obviously)?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 11:36:15 from 69.28.149.129

Riley:

I ran 1:07:03 in Hobblecreek in 2001. There exists a rumor that the course was short, but Hawk swears it was certified, and I vaguely recall seeing a certification document somewhere. In 2003 they changed it to go on the trail which I think made it slower, but I've run three more 1:07:xx performances since then. My non-Hobblecreek PR is 1:09:40 in the Provo River Half 2007, which is more legitimate. The Big Cottonwood performance is the fastest time since 2005 with the disclaimer that 2005 was the last time I ran Hobblecreek. I suppose we will find out what my Big Cottonwood performance was worth in two days at the TOU.

From RileyCook on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 12:41:01 from 132.3.57.82

I haven't run Hobblecreek, so I can't really speak much to its length or speed, but it certainly seems faster than it should be given the elevation profile.

Have a good run at TOU!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

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

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Ran 11 miles total. Benjamin did 4, Jenny and Julia 1, Joseph and Jacob 1 - cross country meet in the evening. Legs did not feel any huge effects from the half-marathon, but some problems showed in the workout, not sure if they were related. I did a 2 mile tempo run down the Provo Canyon. First mile was 5:15 and I felt reasonable enough to think the next will be at least 5:17. But I struggled in the second half and 5:22 was all I had and with a lot of effort. So 10:37.5 for the 2 miles.

I am wondering if when the muscle repairs power returns before the endurance. I have seen similar patterns before recovering after muscle breakdown where the speed was back immediately, but the endurance took some time to return. That goes along with the idea that an untrained muscle has a lot more power relative to endurance. So you would think that when a broken muscle fiber is repaired for a brief period of time it will behave like an untrained muscle.

P.M. Kids ran in the Kiwani's Park cross country meet. The distance was 1 K. Benjamin won overall with 3:06, Jenny was 6th in 13-14 with 4:14,  Julia was 2nd in 11-12 with 4:32, Joseph won the 8 and under in 4:10, Jacob was 2nd in 8 and under with 4:34, and William was 6th in 8 and under with 6:00.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

A.M. 8 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.500.500.000.006.00

A.M. 6 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin and I did 4x200 in the canyon with 400 recovery on a stretch that actually appeared flat, but had good tailwind. My splits were 32.2, 30.5, 30.4, 30.9. Benjamin got 32.2, 29.8, 29.4, 29.6. I think we are ready to move to 300. Well, he is, but I'll join him and do the best I can to help.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

A.M. 6 miles total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2.5, William 1.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Race: Top of Utah Marathon (26.219 Miles) 02:41:32, Place overall: 6, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.8026.220.000.0027.02

A.M. Top of Utah Marathon - 2:41:32, 6th place, 1st master, this was my slowest time out of the 15 that I've run it, but it was good enough for the masters course record. $500 cash prize - this is Cache (Cash) Valley indeed. 

Now details. Stayed with Steve Anderson. Placed the bottles of EmergenC mixed with dextrose on the course at miles 7, 14, 17 and 21 the night before. Then went to pick up the bib and they told me they were doing bottle service for elite runners this year. Will know better next year.

My goal was to get the master's course record of 2:42:10. It appeared maybe that the goal was too easy, but I knew it was not a given. Lately I have not been as fit for a number of reasons that I am still trying to sort out. The possibilities are the lack of fast running volume with too many miles at 8:30 pace and not enough at 6:00 or faster, or just plain getting old. During the race I knew after 3 miles that the goal would not come easy.

Mile by mile:

1 - 5:43 - felt good

2 - 5:49 (11:32) - felt harder, cause for concern

3 - 5:43 (17:15) - maybe I can get into good rhythm

4 - 5:48 (23:02) - not much of a rhythm

5 - 5:52 (28:54) - trouble ahead

6 - 5:56 (34:50)- yes indeed trouble ahead

7 - 6:05 (40:55) - got the bottle

8 - 5:55 (46:50) - actually was quite happy with the mile since I held the bottle and took sips out of it the entire time

9 - 5:58 (52:48) - still holding the bottle, drinking it slowly. Figuring it is better to run 5 seconds per mile slower now that I want to than lose 10 seconds or more per mile after 20 due to dehydration or low fuel. Learning something about fluid absorption. A little sip goes in well, the next one right after does not go. However, a minute later it goes in just fine. I think that is worth the inconvenience of having to carry the bottle for a couple of miles. With practice in training, maybe, I can learn to lose only 3 seconds per mile instead of 5, and maybe absorb better.

10 - 5:58 (58:46) - Still holding the bottle. The race is not going great, but at least I am running sub-6:00. Let's focus on the positive.

11 - 5:54 (1:04:40) - somewhere around here I decided to drop the bottle. I actually liked running with it - it kept my mind off the fact that I had a long slog ahead of me

12 - 6:06 (1:10:46) - very quick VPB

13 - 5:54 (1:16:40) - still sub-6:00

Half in 1:17:17. Realizing that there is a very good chance that my modest goal of the master's course record may not happen.

14 - 5:52 (1:22:32) - that is the time to get to 15 by, not 14! And 5:52 for that mile is not a good sign at all. But at least I am still at sub-6:00 average, and actually not feeling too terrible - just cannot go fast.

15 - 6:03 (1:28:35) - two events during this mile - grabbed my bottle, and got passed by John Heslop.  Could not latch on, not even a chance, he was actually running.

16 - 6:07 (1:34:42) - not super happy with this, but I have to take what I can get. I am actually not feeling bad, just cannot run fast. Maybe a 17-year-old spirit takes some time to adjust to a 40-year-old body and learn how to drive it? Wasn't there a movie about a mother and daughter switching places?

17 - 6:16 (1:40:58) - can I get to 20 miles under 2:01? If yes, I'll have a shot at the master's record unless I get passed by some mystery master, of course, which can very well happen at this pace. Got the bottle.

18 - 6:22 (1:46:20) - I do not really want to finish the race. But I have to find my way to the finish - with this traffic it would be faster to run than to get a ride. I do not want to run more marathons. I think I've run enough. OK, you are the first master, and you can still get the master's record. There is prize money on the line. Maybe even a course record bonus. But who cares? I do not care about prize money that much anymore, I get enough from my job. I do not care about the course record. Wait, remember what you told the first-time marathoners that you rode with on the bus? "You must have a plan when you get to mile 18. It must be a realistic plan. Speeding up at 18 is a plan that is incomplete. You must plan for disaster. You must plan for getting to mile 18 and not wanting to run anymore. Think of yourself as a soldier that has been captured by an enemy and is being injected drugs to reduce his will power and make him talk. You must make your decisions before you get there, and you must be loyal to those decisions." I remembered that my decision was to keep running at the fastest pace I could manage regardless of how I felt. I also did not want to come home and tell my children that I was headed to win some money but I dropped out of the race because I just did not want to run anymore. So I just kept running.

19 - 6:38 (1:53:58) - this mile actually cheered me up. It was uphill and faster than 7:00. Yes, I remember in 2003 I ran it in something like 5:54. But today was a different day. 6:38 contained a promise of a sub-2:42, and that made it worth running the rest of the race for me.

20 - 6:43 (2:00:39) - I was quite thrilled to be under 2:01 at 20 miles. Now just another 10 K in 41 minutes and I've got my goal. But if it is 42 I do not get it. That is discouraging. 42 minute 10 K is sub-7:00 and I am not sure if I can go signficantly sub-7:00 for the rest of the race. But I just managed a 6:43 uphill, and the next mile is downhill.

21 - 6:27 (2:07:06) - grabbed the bottle during this mile and never parted with it until maybe half a mile to go. For almost 5 miles after this I found solace in the bottle and drank my troubles away. 

22 - 6:42 (2:13:48) - that plus 7x4 gives me 2:41:48 at 26 so around 2:43:00 finish, which would not make me too happy. So I'd better run quite a bit faster than 7:00.

23 -  do not remember the split. James Moore joined me during this mile and it was a huge help mentally to have someone by my side.

24 -  13:25 for 2 miles (2:27:13) . I added 14 minutes and got 2:41:13. That cheered me up. This means about 2:42:30 for the whole thing, and by now I knew that I could find the strength to put a 20 second gap on the 7:00 pace over the last two miles, and then just sprint with all I've got and dip a little under the record. I got passed by Jason Howe which was actually good because I know had a visual target in front of me. I could imagine that he was coming back to me even though quite opposite was true, but it did not matter - any mental or visual trick at this point is good as long as it makes you run faster.

25 - 6:39 (2:33:52). I should be at the finish already. Back in 2003 I would have been at the finish a mile ago. Oh, well, at least now the record is quite tangible althought still not 100% certain. The last mile was uphill. I rarely run mile 26 slower than I do mile 25 even on equal terrain, and here I have downhill helping me.

26 - 6:22 (2:40:14). Gave it everything I had. It was not much, but enough to seal the record.

The longest 385 yards of the day - 1:18 - 5:56 pace - 2:41:32. With spectators cheering, and knowing that when I crossed the line I had the right to collapse and lay there until somebody came to carry me, the right that I should not abuse, but the thought of that privilege can release some speed, I went as fast as I could.

...

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 27.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments
From Matt Poulsen on Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 18:03:13 from 98.202.242.213

Nice work, Sasha!! Great job! Congrats on the win and the course record.

From Kendall on Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 18:10:47 from 71.219.18.247

Way to pick the Masters win and CR...you'll destroy it next year.

From Jake K on Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 10:22:00 from 67.177.11.154

Congrats on the masters CR Sasha. I was looking at your history at this race - so impressive. The consistency of high finishes over the years is really awesome.

From jeffmc on Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 19:59:47 from 65.110.254.158

My first thought seeing the slow time (sorry I call it as I see it, no sugar coating here) was that the half marathon last Saturday probably took enough out of you that it cost you a few minutes in this race as your recovery was not complete.

Remaining honest, I do wish that I could race a marathon as slow as you right now. I probably couldn't even run that pace for a half with my current fitness. Fast or slow will always be relative, and you inspire people (including myself) with your consistency and desire to always do and be your best no matter what.

From Rob Murphy on Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 20:17:41 from 24.10.249.165

That's because "masters" is a code word for "slow". :-)

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 18:17:23 from 69.28.149.129

Jeff - I was thinking about that too. I did not feel much pain on Monday, and was completely pain-free on Tuesday but my Tuesday tune-up workout was sub-par. I noticed that I lacked the endurance even in a distance as short as 2 miles. What I noticed, though, that if I hold the pace I start at in a 2 mile tempo run, I can hold it in any distance. If I am not holding it, I will have similar pattern of deterioration. So this performance was no surprise to me.

However, speed-wise things were not too bad, at least not as bad as the endurance. I hit the early miles under 5:50, and it was not until about 5 that 5:50 started to feel out of range. In my workout, I hit the first mile in 5:15 and it felt manageable.

So this is what I am wondering about. If you do not know the answer yourself maybe you can ask somebody you work with. You break a muscle fiber down, and now it starts to repair/regrow. What grows faster and reaches the pre-tear capacity first - myofibrils or mitochondria? I have a suspicion that myofibrils grow faster, but could not find any information about it online.

From seeaprilrun on Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 21:11:40 from 205.172.12.210

Great read on the race report, and congrats on the cash and master's record. I like the part about having a plan for mile 18.

From Dave Taylor on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 19:17:12 from 174.23.76.202

OK that was a great story. I tried 8 hard today and was a little slower than last year but it might have been the super super leg workout from Monday, who cares, we will all go have fun at St George no matter what. And I will beat you :)

From Steve on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:26:47 from 65.127.208.182

Good race Sasha. You pretty much own the TOU. It's a goal of mine to give you some competition next year on it.

From Amiee on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 13:10:57 from 155.98.164.38

Nice work Sasha! That is one great report. It is neat to know what goes on in someone's head during a marathon so I really appreciated you honesty during mile 18 :)

From jeffmc on Sun, Oct 06, 2013 at 17:42:26 from 65.110.254.158

Sasha, I have not had the chance to ask any of our exercise physiologist which of myofibrils or mitochondira regenerate more rapidly.

I did have the chance to look up a few research papers, and from what I read I do not think you will be able to get a good answer to your question because of inter-individual differences.

What I did find is that: Training will affect how rapidly regeneration occurs. The grade of the terrain will affect muscle breakdown as well, with running economy being affected negatively following downhill running (I think due to added eccentric contraction, but I should note that this was only shown to affect runners for about 5 days). Bio-markers of inflammation show that there is more going on than simply regenerating myofibrils and mitochondria. Trained marathon runners (study done in the 80's, so fewer poorly trained marathoners back then) will still generally show myofibril and mitochondrial damage a week after a marathon and potentially up to 3-4 weeks following the race.

My general take on this is that you have a long history of running lots of speedwork/races downhill, and even recently you have run half of your tempo runs uphill, and subsequently run the second half downhill (in essence all I am saying is that you are used to running downhill). This may lead to quicker recovery following hard downhill efforts since your legs are used to the pounding and less tearing has occurred (thus the 5:15 mile a few days after the half), but may not mitigate all of the damage as it may take longer for inflammation, etc to drop to pre-half marathon levels. On Monday I can email you some of the articles that I found if you are interested in reading them.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Joseph gave a talk. It was not written out. His assigned topic was service. I suggested he should read Matthew 25:32-40 and then talk about it. Sarah was concerned. The primary presidency told her there was nothing to worry about - kids have said some funny things over the history of primary, and they even had a list. She looked at it and saw that the first entry was connected to Joseph. His talk went fine, though.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.801.200.000.008.00

A.M. Total of 8 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia 3, William 1. William ran a mile PR of 8:50.3 improving by 2 seconds on the same course. His splits were 2:15, 2:18, 2:09, and 2:08. He got excited about going for the record when I told him that his split at the quarter was fast enough to get it. But about 900 into the run he said he did not want the record anymore. That is exactly how I felt at mile 18 on Saturday. I told him he's gone way too far and worked way too hard to just give up and miss the record now. He rebooted his 4-year-old mind, sped up, and got the record.

Analysing my performance on Saturday I realized that there may have been three factors involved:

  • Aging
  • Lack of training at fast paces
  • Fallout from Big Cottonwood half a week earlier

While aging is going to become more and more of a factor in the next few years it does me no good to use it as an excuse, although there may be some things I can do that I have not done already to forestall it. It would do me no good to blame the sub-par performance on the prior half-marathon - not much to do about it except not do it next year. However, lack of fast pace training can be fixed. I made a mid-year resolution to make sure that I always run at least 20 miles a week at paces 6:00 per mile and faster and figured out how I can do it while running with the kids. There is a 500 meter stretch where I can do pickups.

So I followed that resolution today and got about 1.2 miles at around 5:50 - 6:00 pace. Legs felt the impact of the marathon, but could move enough to do the pace without major pain.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From RileyCook on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:42:57 from 132.3.57.78

Sasha, I feel quite confident that the Big Cottonwood Half last week hurt your marathon. Even when we don't necessarily feel sore after a downhill screamer, there's still residual fatigue in the legs. To me, this is the main culprit.

I don't think age played a huge role, I mean you just ran a 1:08:59! You still have speed at your age and that half shows it.

But I like your plan of running more miles under 6:00. I keep track of how many miles I run under 6:00 pace each week. I have 700 miles this year at or under 6:00 pace, which is like 18 miles or so a week. I think it's beneficial to have a decent quantity at that pace or faster. I also keep track of sub 5:30 miles (I have 522 of those) and sub 5:00 miles (I have 134 of those).

I'm confident you will run faster next year at TOU and break your own, new Master's PR, as long as you don't do a crazy downhill half the week before.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.002.000.0010.00

A.M. Did 10 total. Did a workout - 2 mile tempo run down the canyon. Was expecting 11:00, maybe 10:50 at the best due to post marathon fatigue. Ran 10:38.8 with the splits of 5:20,5:18. Felt more endurance than last Tuesday and ran almost the same time without trying as hard. Go figure. 

Benjamin did 4 in ancipation of the cross-country meet. Joseph did 1, Julia 1, and Jenny 1. William ran 1 mile as well since he was not going to race - 4 K is too long for him.

Paced Sarah through a mile time trial on the track. She ran 7:42.7 with the splits of 1:49, 1:59, 2:00, and 1:51. The balance went towards the 9.34 meter tax. Her PR is 6:52 but it is 11 years and 6 kids old. The time today is the fastest she's run the mile in the last 4 years or so. I think we can get 6:52, though - she's been improving by leaps and bounds. The difference this time is that she has been serious about keeping her training pace faster than 10:00 per mile.

P.M. Cross-country meet. 4 K. For some odd reason the times were slow today. Benjamin won with 15:03 by 10 seconds over Grant. He said he was struggling today - did not drop Grant until the last 1000 unlike in the 1 K and 2 K. Mid-race he felt he did not have the strength. However, when he did it was very decisive. Maybe it was all mental after all.

Joseph ran 20:14, Jacob 21:29, Julia 21:49. Jenny had issues with her foot and wobbled through it in 23:30. I am suspecting that either the course was short last year, or long this year, or perhaps there was some weirdness this year like taller grass. I can understand one kid underperforming, but not a whole bunch when they finish in more or less their usual order with more or less usual gaps.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.750.001.250.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 Benjamin did 8, Jenny 2, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 4x500 pickups at 5:35 pace.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.003.250.7512.00

A.M. Did a workout with Benjamin. 4x300 with 600 recovery jog in the canyon on a downwind but relaatively flat stretch. The target was 48. I got 50.7, 48.5, 47.8, and 48.2. Benjamin got 50.7, 48.2, 46.9, and 45.7.

Then we did a quick tempo pickup at the end, and later on I did a 3 mile tempo on my nasty out-and-back course in 17:38.

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.900.001.100.0012.00

Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin and I did a pickup at 6:00 pace down the canyon for 1.1. I was pushing the stroller.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.002.004.000.0016.00

A.M. Total of 16. Started by running with William. He set a new mile record of 8:42.7 on his out and back course. His splits were 2:14, 2:16, 2:13, 1:59. Last quarter was actually a PR for the quarter. This was the family record in the 4 and under division. For this effort he earned a new bike. His form is starting to look better. A year ago he looked like a kid. Now he is beginning to look more like an elite runner.

It is probably too early to tell for sure but it seems like the running talent in our boys has been in the inverse birth order so far. Joseph showing more talent than Benjamin, Jacob more than Joseph, and William more than Jacob. Jeff McClellan once offered a hypothesis that this may have to do with Sarah getting more running experience behind her belt over the course of the years. Another theory says that younger children tend to develop more talent because they are constantly chasing their older siblings. Well, if the pattern continues our little Matthew (nicknamed Mo-Mo) might live up to his nickname and be the next Mo Farah.

Benjamin, even though supposedly being the least talented, showed some teeth today. We did a 4 mile tempo run down the canyon. The target was 5:45. We started out at 5:36 pace, I asked Benjamin if he was OK with it, he said no problem. We ran the splits of 5:34, 5:32, 5:33, and 5:16 - total time 21:55. With 1000 to go Benjamin saw that a pace a little under 5:20 would catch the 5:30 guy and went for it making me suffer and wanting to plead for mercy as we ran the last 1000 in 3:13. I was thankful that I was able to survive that. I figured if he ran the UVM half today it would have been around 1:13.

Benjamin did 8.25, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a pickup at the end of 16 down the canyon for 2 miles in 11:43. This gives me around 15.4 miles for this week at 6:00 pace or faster. Short of the goal of 20, but given this was on the week immediately after the marathon this was just perfect, I think.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 16.00
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. Learned about the LDS pioneer trek through Wyoming. I finally figured out why they had to go so far north to get to Utah - there was no other way in that was better. This helps me appreciate just how much work they had to do to build I-80 and I-70. Talked to the old timers in our ward that still remember when I-15 did not exist. Now we drive those roads, and take them for granted complaining when we have to slow down to 55 in a traffic jam or when there is construction.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Ran 12 miles total. Did pickups of 0.5 and 1.5 at around 5:45 pace. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.005.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout. First ran the 3 mile tempo from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. The splits were 5:24, 5:28, 5:20 - total time 16:12.8. The first two miles were comfortably hard, the last mile required some grit. Then I jogged three quarters of a mile and ran a cool-down tempo of sorts to build the sub-6:00 pace mileage - 2 miles down the canyon in 11:28.

Kids ran a little warm-up in anticipation of the cross-country race later tonight. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 1. William and Jacob rested.

P.M. Benjamin won the 3 K in 11:07, Jenny ran 15:27, Julia won her division in 15:12, Joseph won his in 13:57, Jacob ran 15:00 and got second in his division, and William outperformed my expectations running 17:48 which was good enough for 5th place in the 8 and under division. I think something was up with the course again - everybody ran slower that I expected, not just our kids but their regular competitors.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Joseph and Jacob had some zip in their legs in spite of racing last night ran their fastest times on our nasty 2.04 mile course - 15:18 for Joseph, and 15:27 for Jacob.

Benjamin and I did a pickup for 1.5 down the canyon at 5:50 pace. I was pushing the stroller. This puts me at 8 sub-6:00 miles for the week so far.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.002.250.000.7512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin - 4x300 with 500 recovery jog in the canyon on the same stetch as last week - flat, but downwind. My times were 48.5, 48.1, 47.6, 47.5. Benjamin got 48.2, 46.9, 44.9, and 44.0. The last one was on pace for a sub-59 quarter. His speed is starting to break through.

Afterwards I did some tempo pickups at 5:50 pace - 2.25 total of those to hit 3 miles of sub-6:00 pace for the day.

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

P.M. Benjamin and I went to the chess tournament and came back with new rating PRs - 1777 for him, and 1669 for me. He is so far on pace for achieving the National Master standard as an adult (rating 2200). Then maybe if my brain can stay healthy I have hopes that he will pull me up to the expert level (rating 2000).

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.002.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Jenny and Joseph to the track for a time trial. Joseph did 800 in 3:03.2 missing his goal by 3.2 seconds. We were trying to break 3:00, but it was too cold and too wet. He opened in 88, then lost steam and his legs were not responding. Jenny was doing the mile. She ran the first 400 in 92, then decided she did not have the mental strength to run hard for another 3 laps and stopped even though she was ahead of pace by 2 seconds. We'll try next week.

Jacob did 2, Joseph 3, Benjamin 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, William 1. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 0.51 in 2:51 and then for a mile in 5:51.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Race: Uneventful Provo Canyon 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:34:42, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.790.007.210.0019.00

A.M. Benjamin, Chad and I raced the Unenvtful Provo Canyon 10 K. Benjamin won with 34:41, I was second with 34:42, and Chad third with 35:23. For those unfamiliar with the term "Uneventful" it means we ran a time trial. The origin of the term comes from the idea that a rather unventful training run for a faster runner could happen at race pace for somebody else, so if they got together the faster runner could help the slower one run a fast time. Except in our case we did not have a faster pacing runner - I am too slow now to be Benjamin's pacer, but he is not yet fast enough to be mine. So we just raced.

We warmed up about 2.7 miles to the start a little bit past Bridal Veil Falls. The course went from the magic mark there to our house. First 4 miles down the canyon, then another mile that looks flat but has a small net drop, and the last mile a very unpleasant uphill.  Net elevation drop is 380 feet or about 1.1%. So roughly your Top of Utah Marathon compressed into a 10 K.

Our splits were 5:32, 5:35, 5:34, 5:30, 5:34, 5:48 for Benjamin, 5:49 for me. Chad stayed with us up to the 3 mile mark then started to slowly drop back. I was surprised to see how strong he was - I was expecting him to fall off around 2 miles at this pace. Benjamin and I ran side by side for the first 2 miles or so, then I tucked behind him and hung on for dear life. I set a goal to not be gapped by more than 10 seconds at the finish which meant I needed to make it to the quarter to go. Benjamin made it a little easier for me by periodically taking his foot off the gas and running the uphill at the end a little slower. Our goal was sub-35:00, so I think both of us stopped really pushing it once we saw we had it securely in the bag. I must admit I had an small desire to kick with 200 to go, but there were two things that held me back - 6% uphill grade and knowing that if I challenged Benjamin and he unleashed his kick 100% he would gap me by 3 seconds instead of just 1.

Benjamin improved his time from Apr 23 this year on the same course by 49 seconds. We should probably add into consideration the fact that back then I pulled him the entire way, while now he had to take the lead. For him this is a huge factor - he responds to competition. I still cannot tell if he honestly ran his guts out, or just barely fast enough to make Dad miserable. Also the temperature was 28F today and it was dark which made us a little sluggish at the start. No big deal if he did not run his guts out - at the tender age of 14 caution is good.

We dropped Benjamin off at the house and took the other children for their runs. Benjamin ended up doing 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, and Jacob 2. Chad and I did a mile down the canyon at the end in 5:26 with 18 miles total for the run. This is a very good sign for Chad - in the past he would be lucky to break 6:00 at the end of an 18 miler especially if there was some hard running early on. I was also happy that I could do that 5:26 mile. I reached my goal of 20 miles at sub-6:00 pace this week.

Then Chad went home and we listened to the General Conference together as a family. I really liked Elder Uchtdorf's talk. One thing that stood out to me in particular was - "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith". This is very profound. It takes somebody who understands faith to put it in those words.

P.M. Took William for a run in between the General Conference sessions. He wanted to go to the track and run a mile time trial. This was signficant - he does not usually volunteer for that. Track running is tedious for a 4-year-old kid. Especially the one with William's personality. But somehow he got the idea, so this was an opportunity not to be missed. He went through the first lap in 2:02. So far so good. Slowed down a little on the second, but that was expected. Then comes the unexpected - his Croc came off. He could not find his and wore Jacob's. I had seen him run in those before, and did not recall them causing any problems, lazy as I am I allowed him to run in Jacob's Crocs. I told him to keep going without a Croc, and he did. Soon after the other one came off as well. Good thing we are on the track. Second lap in 2:11, followed by a respectable third lap in 2:07. He reached the 300 meters to go mark in 6:54 and then his 4-year-old lack of maturity showed - he stopped and said he did not want to run anymore. I told him he only had to run less than a lap to get his record and a prize with it, so he started going again losing a few seconds there, probably about 7. He reached the 200 to go mark in 7:33 and the 100 to go in 8:04. Then for some odd reason he stopped right at the 1600 meter mark with the time being 8:30. It took me some time to explain to him that he was not done, but he still managed to finish the full mile in 8:40.0 which is his new record by 2.7 seconds. I think I am going to call this "William's Beer Mile". But this does show that with a little bit of purely mental training and with the Crocs that are the right size he is capable of around 8:20 and very soon will be breaking 8:00. Then we'll be able to say - "In our family if you cannot break 8:00 in the mile we put you in a diaper!"

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 19.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments
From Tara on Tue, Oct 08, 2013 at 10:20:03 from 75.169.138.192

Nice work! I love William's track story. Hahaha:)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Second day of General Conference. A runner of course will not forget Elder Maynes talk:

I would like to share an experience that illustrates the effort required to endure physically and then compare it to the effort required to endure spiritually. Upon returning from my mission, I had the opportunity to play basketball for a well-respected coach and author at a college in California. This coach was very serious about his players being in shape before the start of the basketball season. One of his training prerequisites before any of us could touch a basketball on the practice court was to run a cross-country course in the hills near the school in a specific and very aggressive time. I remember my very first attempt at running this cross-country course immediately upon my return from the mission field: I thought I was going to die.

It took weeks of serious training in order to finally beat the time that the coach set as a goal. It was a great feeling to not only be able to run the course but also to accelerate down the stretch to the finish line.

To play basketball successfully, you need to get into good shape. Being in good physical condition comes at a price, and that price is dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline. Spiritual endurance also comes at a price. It is the same price: dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline.

A testimony, like your body, needs to be in shape if you want it to endure. So how do we keep our testimonies in shape? We cannot get our bodies into good basketball shape by simply watching basketball on television. Similarly, we won’t be able to get our testimonies in shape by simply watching general conference on television. We need to study and learn the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then we must do our very best to live them. That is how we become disciples of Jesus Christ, and that is how we build an enduring testimony.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments
From Kam on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 18:06:16 from 68.66.163.179

Nice.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 2 miles worth of pickups at 5:45-5:50 pace.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 4.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Kiwani Park Cross-Country 1500 (0.932 Miles) 00:05:13, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.001.004.001.0015.00

A.M. Did a tempo run. Since I was planning to run the cross-country race in the evening did it a little easier, but still worked pretty hard. First 3 miles down the Provo Canyon in 16:34.9 with the splits of 5:39, 5:35, and 5:20. 5:39 felt hard, 5:35 felt harder, but somehow I found a 5:20 at the end. Then jogged 0.75 and ran another 2 down the canyon at a tempo pace to build the sub-6:00 mileage in 11:30 with the splits of 5:50 and 5:40. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, Joseph and Jacob 1. I did a total of 12.

P.M. Cross-country race. They wanted to have more people and invited the parents to participate. I was one of the few who took up the offer. Ran 1500 in 5:13 and learned why the kids have been hitting such slow times this year. The course had 9 narrow 90 degree turns. They may have just as well been 180. On every turn Benjamin kept gapping me by 2 seconds or so by the time I recovered from it and could accelerate to pace. He ended up with 4:53.  Joseph ran 6:36 winning his division, Jenny was 5th in hers with 6:38, Julia won hers in 6:42, Jacob was second in his after his bully brother with 6:48 and William was 5th in his pushed back by his two bully brothers with 8:54. We'll see if I do better in the 3000 next week.

Saucony Type A Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Jake K on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 18:02:53 from 67.177.11.154

You're the only marathoner ever to run a 1500m XC race 2.5 weeks later!

We're toying around with the idea of putting the USATF-Utah Association XC Champs on the circuit next year. Try to increase open participation.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 1.5 miles of pickups at around 5:45 pace.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.001.250.7512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin and I did a workout - 4x300 in the canyon. The wind was blowing into the canyon, which made our regular direction slower. I did 49.5, 49.4, 48.9 (direction changed), 49.3 (original direction). Benjamin struggled today - I could not tell if it was just the wind or maybe he was tired from the race and a little cold he picked up. But he was still faster than me - 48.7, 46.0, 46.9, 46.7. The I did a tempo pace pickup for 1.25 on my nasty course in 7:10 and I was quite happy with it - it felt easier than it used to.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.500.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny and Joseph did a time trial. Jenny ran the mile in 6:24.5 - a new PR. She opened with 92, then started losing it - 96 followed by 98. She was able to kick in 95, though. We will try again next week to see if she can break 6:20. 

Joseph ran 800 meters in 2:58.9 - new PR and breaking 3:00 for the first time. His splits were 43, 46, 45, 44. I was very happy to see those splits.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments
From Toby on Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 22:41:06 from 74.81.235.5

Great to see you on the trail today (Saturday). I shouted a hello as you flew by!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.0010.000.000.0020.00

A.M. Did my 20 mile long run. 10 miles up the canyon in 1:15:09, then back in 57:40. Total time 2:12:49. My goal was to average sub-6:00 for the last 10 miles. When I started the tempo I felt sluggish at first and very reluctant to his the pace. But then I warmed into it, and 5:50 felt good. Then Benjamin met me with about 4.7 miles into it and pulled me through the remaining 5.3. Now that I've raised a fast running 14-year-old son I get the privilege of having my own bottle carrying pacer for the hardest part of this kind of workout. Makes all the work worth it.

The purpose of the bottle was to learn how to drink on the go. It had a mix of EmergencyC and dextrose. I drank a couple of sips when I met Benjamin, and then a couple more a mile later. After that I did not feel like drinking anymore because he turned up the heat on the pace. We did the 3 mile magic tempo stretch in 17:06 with the splits of 5:42, 5:44, 5:40. That would have been good enough for a sub-1:14 Provo River Half. Then I kept telling him to back off, but he kept serving me 84 second quarters. So finally I thought of a trick to make life easier for myself - two birds with one stone. I gave Benjamin my jacket. This slowed the pace down some, and also kept me cooler.

Neverthless the next mile was still 5:42. With about 0.4 to go Benjamin was finally fed up with having to carry the bottle and the jacket and wanted to throw them down. I took the jacket back from him and carried it in my hand. We ran the last uphill mile in 5:53.

I was very happy with the time. It was my fastest time for this course this year and suggests around 2:36 fitness on the TOU course.

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

P.M. Went to Jose's baptism. It had the best church activity food I've ever had and was prepared by Jose himself. He is into healthy food and life style, so it had no junk - I could eat everything. We met Jose when he was walking by our house a few weeks ago. Then last Monday he told us he was getting baptized. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a lesson in the elders quorum on missionary work. A question was asked - what are the reasons missionaries go on missions. I thought about the reasons I went on a mission. Then I realized something. There are times in my life when I just know I ought to do something, and I feel it is not only unnecessary but even counterproductive to ask why. Counterproductive because it takes away from the focus. Deciding to go on a mission was one of those times for me.

I can remember a few other decisions that were like that. Deciding to be baptised, deciding to get married to Sarah, and deciding to run. Even though I am inclined towards logical reasoning, I often insist on logical explanations, I work in an area where correct logical reasoning is critical to success, there are times when I am perfectly willing to cast man's logic aside recognizing that it is inferior to something higher that is guiding me.

I have had people call me "lucky" because of my ability to make a decision that yields good results without being able to explain why I made that decision at the time I made it. That would not be quite correct. Let us consider the following mathematical model. We will model luck with a function of time that has random values in the range from -1 to 1, -1 being really bad luck, the worst you can get, and 1 being really good luck, the best you can get. The luck component of life success from time t1 to time t2 thus will be the integral of our luck function from t1 to t2. It is reasonable to expect luck to be random over the duration of a sufficiently long interval of time - for every instance of good luck there should be an instance of bad luck of equal magnitude. Thus the luck component integral will be zero. I argue that if your "luck" function consistently produces integrals with the absolute value significantly above zero, you are dealing with something other than luck.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.502.500.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Did 2.5 miles of pickups at around 5:50 range. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Kiwani Park Cross-Country 3000 (2 Miles) 00:11:34, Place overall: 3, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.502.003.002.0015.50

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout. 3 miles down the Provo Canyon in 16:09.6 (5:30, 5:25, 5:14), then 2 more just for tempo mileage in 11:35. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 1. William and Jacob rested.

P.M. Raced in the Kiwani Cross-Country meet. Matt Pouslen decided to join the gang, so we had a fast race. He won with 10:20. Benjamin was second with 10:56. I was third with 11:34. Matt's GPS showed the course as 2.02 miles which makes sense. Joseph got 14:27, Jacob 14:34, Julia 14:52, Jenny 15:18, and William 19:48. I asked Matt what he thought he would have run 2 miles on the track off this effort - he said 9:40. Going off this conversion this gives Benjamin 10:13 and me 10:49 which I am willing to believe. So that would give 13:31 for Joseph, 13:37 for Jacob, 13:54 for Julia, and 14:18 for Jenny. If this is correct, Jacob and Julia are ready for a mile breakthrough. They still need to break 6:40 - we'll try on Friday.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Matt Poulsen on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 21:12:18 from 174.52.216.185

Nice race for the Pachev's! It was great to see you guys!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph and Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a mile pickup in 5:40.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.100.000.000.9012.00

A.M. Did a workout with Benjamin. I decided we needed to start ending our Provo Canyon speed workouts with a "graduation" on the track as a validation to make sure our canyon intervals are comparable. So we did 5x300 with 500 recovery. We were planning on doing only 4, but Benjamin had a plop of sorts on the last one. I did not want him to end the workout on a bad note and I knew that he could end it on a good note, so I talked him into doing one more. This, of course, meant I had to do one more myself.

Splits - me - 49.1, 48.4, 49.1, 49.3, 49.7, Benjamin - 46.0, 44.6, 45.4, 48.1, 46.1. So the splits were comparable to what we have been doing in the canyon, which has been my experience in the past for sprints - anything up to 400 when done with full rest. However, over longer intervals the canyon is about 10 seconds per mile faster than the Orem High track.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin had the total of 8, I got the total of 12.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Today was the day of time mile trials. We went to the Orem High track. I paced Joseph and Jenny with the target of 6:20, while Benjamin paced Julia and Jacob with the target of 6:40. I hit the first quarter in 92 high. Then around 450 meters Jenny said she did not feel strong and stopped. This is the second time she has done it, but we've been through this before with Benjamin at the 6:00 barrier about three years ago. At least with three tries recently she had two DNFs and one PR. With Benjamin we had a streak of 15 or so of either non-PR or DNF runs. Joseph ran the second lap in a low 95 hitting 3:08 at the 800. Then he remembered what I taught him a few weeks ago - the most important lap in the mile is the third. So he gave it a good push ending up with 94 - 4:42 at 1200, and 4:44 with a lap to go. Then I knew he had 6:20 mostly in the bag, but I also knew that an 8 year old could easily lose concentration - almost as easily as he could drop a piece in an almost won chess game. So I encouraged him to keep the heat and he responded with a 92 last lap finishing in 6:16.1 - new PR by 6 seconds. Quite exciting - he saw the virtual 6:00 guy finish, and sub-6:20 before turning 9 is something that has not happened in our family until now.

Jacob opened with 95, then Benjamin slowed him down to 1:43 which was too much. If a quarter time takes three digits to write, then I use minutes and seconds :-) Then he sped up to 98 and kicked in 97 finishing in 6:36.3 - new PR by 10 seconds. Looks like he is starting to get over his asthma - he only had small problems in the third lap, much better than last time. Sub-6:40 at a low 7 years of age is also a new boundary for us - well the fastest that Joseph ran before turning 8 is 6:52, and at low 7 he ran only 7:09.

Julia was not having a good day - lost contact with Jacob and Benjamin 300 meters into the run and finished in 6:53.8. Jenny and Julia will try again on Monday.

William was not scheduled to do a time trial. Well, with a 4 year old like William you cannot really schedule it, but he decided to do it today from the very start of his road out and back mile course. First half was uphill, around 1% grade. He ran the first quarter in 2:09, then 2:15,  2:09 and 2:04 finishing in 8:33.8 - a new PR improving his "beer mile" on the track from two weeks ago by 6.2 seconds.

Benjamin and I did a mile pickup uphill in 5:43. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 3, William 1.

Benjamin got his ACT scores back - composite score of 33, math - 33, reading - 35, English - 34, science - 28. We have applied to BYU for the winter semester. He plans to major in applied math with computational emphasis.

A couple of days ago I experienced a bold thought. Benjamin could qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials if he ran a really good half at the end of 2015. He would be around 16.7 and by then will likely have the maturity in terms of power to pull off a sub-1:05 half. And I think we can swindle the endurance part. I do not know if they ever had a 17 year old in the marathon trials - if they have not, though, it would be because 17-year-olds do not train for the half. We have plenty of talent to pull this off - even on our blog (Conner Mantz).

I shared this thought with Benjamin and he did not think I was crazy and actually believed me that he had a shot. I was very happy about that.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Jake K on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 19:33:42 from 67.177.11.154

I think Sage Canaday might have been the youngest to qualify (21 yrs old). Before him it was Josh Cox, and he was just out of college. With the half standard now in place, there are probably a bunch of 18-20 year old college runners who could conceivably qualify.

On the women's side, Alana Hadley is probably the youngest making a push towards 2016. She is 16 or 17 now, and running the Indy Monumental Marathon in 2 weeks.

From Rob Murphy on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 19:42:22 from 24.10.249.165

Beth Farmer from the University of Florida ran the 1984 trials at age 18. Finished 18th in 2:36.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.003.005.000.0020.00

A.M. 20 miles total. Started by taking William, Joseph, Julia, and Jacob for their runs. Joseph and Julia did 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny ran 4 miles on her own. Then I took Benjamin for 10. We ran the last 5 miles at a tempo pace starting a little bit away from Nunn's Park and finishing at the house - so 3 miles of gentle downhill, another more or less flat mile, and last mile uphill . At the start I was at 8 miles for the run, and Benjamin was at 5. I told him I would be happy with anything under 6:00.  He decided 5:40 was a good target. I sat on him the entire time. It felt good for the first 4 miles. Then I told him I wanted to make sure we would get under 28:20 for 5 miles, and he cranked it up. Our last nasty uphill mile was 5:38 and we finished in 28:11. Benjamin said the pace was easy for him, his legs were just moving, the last mile was harder but not at his limit, he could have gone further.

I dropped him off and continued the run. 3.5 miles later I found out that the earlier tempo had nearly run me out of glycogen. I did a 3 mile tempo from 16.5 to 19.5 and was struggling to stay sub-6:00 - ran it in 17:53.

After the run I weighed 141.8 lb - so it looks like there was some glycogen depletion.

Green Crocs 6 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 of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.002.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Most of it with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3.5, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny and Julia did the mile time trial. Jenny was not having a good day again mentally. She started with a quarter in 89, which was great, then suddenly at around 550 mark decided she did not want to go further even though her 509.34 split was 1:56 - still on pace for the 6:20 target. I told her she had to try again. This time she made it to the quarter in 97 and just stopped. I told her she had to try one more time. She went through the quarter in 93, then did 97 (3:10 at 800) and just stopped. Benjamin was helping me - he learned what it was like to deal with this behavior as a pacer now - about 3 years ago he was the misbehaving pacee when he was trying to break the 6:00 mile.

Julia's time trial went much better. She opened with 95, then did 97. Plopped a little on the third lap (1:43), but then recovered and kicked in 97 finishing in 6:34.1 - a new PR by 13 seconds.  Now all of our children that are 7 and older have broken 6:40, and their average mile PR time is 6:08.

I did 1.5 tempo on hills near the house in 8:47.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.004.500.5013.00

A.M. Total of 13. Benjamin and I did a workout. We ran to Nunn's Park and did my favorite 3 mile tempo down the Provo Canyon. The target was 5:20 with the understanding that with 0.5 to go Benjamin had free reign and could go faster if he felt good to get his course PR of 15:54. My goal B was to survive up to that point, goal A was to partially survive his pattented long kick, and  goal A+ was to survive all of it. Unlike last time when we did it in the spring when I pulled Benjamin for about 1.8, this time I sat on him the entire time. We opened with 5:16 at a fairly even effort, but the first quarter was a bit slower (81) due to a rhyhm-breaking bump. The second mile had some pace variation. After seeing 5:16 Benjamin, I suppose wanting to be nice to his aging dad, eased off to 5:30 pace for 300 meters. His aging dad told him to pick it up. Then he picked it up to something like 5:10 before settling into 5:20 pace. The mile was 5:19. The next two quarters were 79 and 80, and then the grind began. He fed me a 75 quarter, but I managed to survive it. Not for long. With 300 to go he shifted gears and dropped me. His closing quarter was 73, I could only manage 78. So he ended up with 15:42, last mile in 5:07, I got 15:47, last mile in 5:12. For Benjamin this was a course PR, but I still have him by 27 seconds over lifetime. I did get my master's course PR though. 

Afterwards Benjamin went home and ended up with 10.6 miles for the day. I turned around, jogged 0.75 and ran a 2 mile "cool-down" tempo in 11:16 down the canyon. Ran another mile with William, Jenny, and Joseph when I got home.

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

Over the last year somehow I managed to gain about 3-4 lb. I did not realize it for some time because my weight fluctuates a lot and I have a hard time telling if I just ate or drank too much, or if it is real weight. But a few weeks ago I realized it was just extra weight. Upping the mileage at 6:00 pace did not get rid of it. However, recuding the animal fats in the diet on top of the training made it go away, which resulted in a faster time today that in the previous weeks.

So one take from that is that with aging my ability to process animal fats has diminished. I can eat carbs to satiation, and it is all good - I use a lot of carbs. However, fats are a different story, particularly animal fats. They just go and sit there as dead weight for some time, and are very reluctant to burn.

Another take is that my spinal defect (spina bifida occulta) is perhaps extremely weight sensitive. That is perhaps the reason I was able to run 1000 in 3:03.8 at the age of 12.9 but the fastest I ever ran the distance is 2:49 achieved at the age of around 17.9 - 5 years later. I believe what happened was as I began to mature I started growing muscle, but that came at a  high cost - the spine could not properly support it. At 12 when I ran I felt like antelope. At 17 I felt like an elephant, and have felt like that ever since. This might have an implication for those with real spina bifida (manifesta as opposed to occulta), perhaps even a greater one - keeping the weight just a few pounds lower with the same muscle mass, or maybe even with lesser muscle mass as long as you stay away from the extremes, in some cases could make a difference between being able to walk and being bed-ridden.
 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments
From Jason D on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 23:39:30 from 24.1.80.94

I don't have any hard evidence, but since I stopped eating meat (primarily) I feel like when I do it as you say, "sits there for some time as dead weight." Plant-based food do not (for obvious reasons it would seem). I think time of year matters for weight, but recently I have found I am lighter in the winter, which is against expectations.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.501.500.000.0012.00

A.M. 12 miles total. Did 1.5 of tempo pickups. Joseph wanted to do a time trial, so Benjamin and I paced him in the mile at Orem High. His first lap was 91, followed by 94, and another 94. Then he kicked in 92 finishing in 6:14.0 - a new PR by two seconds. This was a real mile - 1609.34 meters, so we have a left-over of 3 seconds relative to the some of the rounded splits. His Crocs are now pretty old, he had stretched out the strap, so they do not stay on very well. About half way through he lost both of them and finished wearing just socks. He probably lost 2 seconds on that. I ordered him a new pair of Crocs.

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.001.500.000.5012.00

A.M. 12 miles total for me. Benjamin did an 800 time trial. A year ago I could pace him in that. Now even if I was in my best ever 800 shape the only way I could participate over the entire distance would have been by drafting, and my 800 speed is not quite what it used to be. So we decided he would run the first 300 by himself, then I would pull him for 200 and then step aside so he can pass over the next 100, then I would provide a competitive challenge from behind over the last 200. The plan was to open in 64 and see what happens. We did the time trial at Orem High track.

It pretty much went as planned, except I was not too competitive in the last 200. He got to 300 in a high 48, I pulled him through 400 in a high 64, then 1:21 at 500, then I stepped aside and he passed me with 1:38 split at 600, then I hung on for dear life for the next 100 with 1:55 split at 700. Then Benjamin finished in 2:12.3 and I finished 1.4 behind. Benjamin got a 4 second PR and was only 0.3 off my best time ever. 

So here is the plan for Benjamin's OTQ 2016: 800 - 2:00, 1500 - 4:00, 5000 - 14:30, 10000 - 29:45, and that should hopefuly be enough for a little under 1:05:00 half on an eligible course. In all honesty, my main concern is the 800 meters. That is where we have relatively little control. The longer distances will come with training if the speed is there - his endurace has developed quite well off just 50 miles a week already, so I am quite confident that once the mileage goes into the 80-100 range there will be no problems with the endurance.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 1. William ran 0.5 in 4:04, a new record for him. I did 1.5 of tempo running.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did 1.5 of tempo pickups. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Helped Benjamin with his Eagle Scout project. He marked 4 miles of the Murdock Canal Trail with the Provo River Trail style triangles - cycles of 1,2,3,4 with each mark separated by 330 feet (1/16th of a mile) and each cycle making up a quarter mile.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.258.250.500.0020.00

A.M. 20 miles total. Benjamin was retaking the ACT in the hopes of hitting something higher than 33 which he got a month ago on his first try. I ran the first 8.5 miles with Chad. We did a 2 mile tempo down the canyon. In spite of having raced a marathon only a week earlier Chad was feisty and made me run the first 0.5 in 2:39. Then he started fading but I did not mind since I did not really want to run 5:20 pace anyway. We finished it in 10:58. This tempo provided some more evidence for my theory that a damaged muscle fiber when repaired regains power before it regains endurance. We jogged about 0.75 and ran another tempo mile in 5:47 on a rolling section. Then I ran with the kids - Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a tempo pickup for 0.75, and then a 2 mile tempo up the canyon in 12:15 (6:11,6:04) - headwind was bad in the first mile, but calmed down in the second, then jogged a little and ran the same stretch on the way back in 11:10 (5:33,5:37), and then jogged some and did one more mile uphill back to the house in 5:57.

P.M. Benjamin did 8 including 7 on the Murdock Canal Trail to check if the marks were good. I rode the bike alongside.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. In Sunday school a scripture was shared that caught my attention (Doctrine and Covenants 56:16-18):

Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance to the poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved!

Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!

But blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance; for the fatness of the earth shall be theirs.

Perhaps it is not very well known outside of the LDS church to what extent it is concerned with the matter of poverty. In a properly functioning ward, should a member - active or inactive, or maybe not even a member at all but someone known to the ward - lose his job it will be discussed in the next ward council meeting and you will see people trying to come up with ideas of how that person could find employment. If someone experiences some kind of emergency that has the potential to cause financial ruin, this will also be discussed as well and some kind of plan will be worked out to alleviate the burden to the extent possible.

One thing that perhaps makes our church stand out from many others is the way we address poverty. We will give to the poor to keep them afloat when needed, but we put a greater emphasis on lifting them out of poverty - education, help in job search, teaching how to present yourself, ideas for starting your own business, skills of self-reliance, learning to live within your means and save for a rainy day, productive use of time, etc.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.001.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did total of 2 miles of tempo running.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.361.500.000.4412.30

A.M. Total of 12.7. Benjamin did another 800 meter time trial. We hoped to do it at the BYU track, but the inside lanes were blocked with barriers. So we went to Orem High instead. It rained earlier so the track was a little wet. However, to my surprise the BYU track was more wet than the Orem High. So perhaps it was good that we went to Orem High after all - even though normally the BYU track is faster - at least I have gotten faster times on it.

We pretty much repeated what we did last time - me starting 300 meters into it - except this time I gave myself a bit of a head start because last time I could accelerate quickly enough and it took me good 50 meters before I started doing my pacing job. However, this time I overshot the other way starting too early. This frustrated Benjamin and he yelled at me telling me he could not catch me. In spite of that mishap he made it to the 400 mark in around 63.7 or so.

I was concerned that this frustration with being behind might have ruined Benjamin's chances for a PR, but he demonstrated resilience. He mentally regrouped, caught up to me and started pushing the pace from behind. I did my best to stay ahead and provided him with a wind shield up to about 550 mark. Then I stepped aside, he passed me, but I tried to stay as much as I could on the side to provide partial wind block and competitive pressure. His 600 split was 1:37.9 or so. I am too paranoid to press buttons to get a split mid-run, but the Fast Running Friend solves the problem for me by displaying the tenths of a second in a font that is large enough to get an idea of what the the split was with that precision. Of course, the big question is the delay between the time you register that you are at the mark, and the time you register the running time, but I think this is accurate to about 0.3 or so.

The 700 split was around 1:54.9. I was able to stay with him up to 30 meters to go or about, and then fell back by a little - maybe 0.5 or so when he turned up the heat in the final surge. He finished in 2:11.4. This is the first overall all-time family record taken by Benjamin. My all-time 800 meter PR is 2:12.0. I suppose we can say that today we had a historic moment in our family - the 14-year-old son ran faster than the dad ever has in his life. 

Another signficant detail is that a year ago his 800 PR was 2:23. When I was 13 I was somewhere in that range - at the age of 12.9 I hit a 2:25 split indoors in a 1000 meter race. However, over the last year he made more improvement than I did in my entire life. I do have an explanation for that - see the X-rays at the links in my profile. I could manage my L-4 defect when stars aligned - I was very light and somehow developed a workaround that allowed me to be somewhat competitive. However, when I hit puberity, that workaround did not work anymore - I was just too heavy to pull it off.

Now our next goal is to get Benjamin to do 4x400 with 400 meter jog first in 64, then 63, 62, 61, and 60. Then we will have a graduation party - another 800 meter time trial. 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From jtshad on Mon, Nov 04, 2013 at 13:27:14 from 141.221.191.225

Congrats to Benjamin, those are big shoes to step into or past. He is developing into a very superior athlete. I hope that I can bring Justin along as well using you two as an example of parent/child partnership. Great job, coach.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 06, 2013 at 12:42:31 from 69.28.149.129

Jeff - thanks for your kind words.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 1.5 of tempo running.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.300.005.000.0012.30

A.M. Did a workout. Warmed up 5 miles up into the canyon, then ran back at a tempo pace in 28:45. Felt low on fuel - the weight at the end of the run confirmed it - 143.0 lb. Total of 12.3 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Benjamin upped his chess rating at our regular tournament to 1802 moving into Class A. Next class after that is Expert, then National Master, International Master, and Grandmaster.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Saucony Type A Miles: 4.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From Dakota Cobler on Sat, Nov 09, 2013 at 20:35:05 from 208.54.4.199

Sasha, Chris and I raced the race after yours and those were our accurate times but we just ran it as tempo for our workout for the day

From Glory in the long run on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 01:36:56 from 174.23.130.168

Don't listen to them Sasha, you pushed hard. Pain is always rewarded ;-)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

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

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

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.001.001.0012.00

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

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

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

I did total of 12, Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.600.001.500.9012.00

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

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

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.003.000.0012.00

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.0010.000.000.0020.00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.250.000.752.0012.00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments
From jtshad on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 18:24:33 from 209.254.60.62

Congratulations to Benjamin. He is quite the young man, athlete, scholar, etc. You should be very proud of him.

From Superfly on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 19:25:01 from 74.211.21.81

Congrats to Benjamin. That's very good!

From Jake K on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 19:52:32 from 67.177.11.154

Very impressive... both the test scores, and how Benjamin is kicking your butt on time trials now! :-)

I like a lot of your bullet points, especially about using studying time wisely / focused.

From Holt on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 20:12:50 from 204.113.55.41

Wow... You should have heard my runner's responses to their various test scores - some excited, some sad (but nothing near Benjamin's score). They could all use a little practice in your educational thoughts.

By the way... I have been trying to incorporate some of those ideas (and those we talked about this summer) a bit more this year. It is met with mixed success/struggles as is often the case when you push against the established norm.

From seeaprilrun on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 21:46:58 from 68.102.189.33

Wow. Incredible. Awesome ACT scores. Good for you and Good for him! I also like the part about focusing on essential things and not extraneous busy work. Texting and social media are...a bad word I'm not gonna use on this blog. I 100% believe the challenge of overcoming obstacles on his own has a massive part to do with it, and a lot of that comes from an inner drive. He clearly has an internal motivation, something we all wish to see in our children. As parents we walk that fine line, knowing when to step back and let our kids make mistakes and when to intervene. Genetics verus environment, the age old debate. I stumbled in hungover to my ACT, scored a 31, not something I am particularly proud of or promote by any means, but I had one vested parent who thought I could do anything and made me believe that, and one parent who could care less. Two is preferable for sure, but even one parent or role model can make all the difference in any kid, your solid home environment is showing pretty amazing results, and shows the power of loving parents that are vested in their children. Stories like this inspire me to keep focused and true to my child, and work to find that line where they can be inspired but disciplined, and motivated from the inside out. Well done Benjamin! I hope you are swelling with pride!

From allie on Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 20:13:37 from 97.126.219.219

very impressive results for benjamin -- congratulations to him. clearly your approach is working for him.

another +1 for your point about studying with purpose and focusing on learning something for life.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 08:49:20 from 72.250.218.114

Thanks, guys. April - I think ACT preparation is much simpler than what they make it out to be. Just get your kids a book with ACT sample tests and have them try it out. Then go through the concepts they did not understand. Repeat the process several times. They will eventually get it. The key is to approach the matter with faith. To quote our blogger Dave Taylor, "a human can do it, I am a human, therefore I can do it!"

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.002.000.0013.00

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

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

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.000.000.000.0018.00

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

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

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.001.0013.00

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

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

Joseph did 3, Jenny 1, Jacob 2, Julia 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.001.000.0012.00

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments
From Kam on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 18:02:15 from 68.66.163.179

Toilets are great. Toilet paper is even better.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

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

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

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

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

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.004.000.00