Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jan 18, 2009

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Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.

Personal:

I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of 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: 0.00 Year: 3555.51
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 33.72
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
77.2010.600.200.6088.60
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 73.60
Night Sleep Time: 56.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 56.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

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

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

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

Total time - 1:16:06.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.900.000.000.2013.10

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

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

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

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

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

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.1013.10

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

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

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

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

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

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.1010.100.000.0023.20

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

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

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

Total time for 20.2 was 1:14:36.

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

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

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


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
77.2010.600.200.6088.60
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 73.60
Night Sleep Time: 56.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 56.00
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