Breaking the Wall

Week starting Feb 26, 2012

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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: 118.81 Year: 3380.28
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
71.700.0014.400.0086.10
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 86.10
Night Sleep Time: 53.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 53.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. The talks in the sacrament meeting were on service. I missed a good portion of the second one because Stephen got fussy and I had to take him out. But I caught the first which discussed the need to serve without delay and without waiting for what appears to be a more convenient opportunity. 

Then we had a good lesson in Sunday school on 2 Nephi 4 which contains the Psalm of Nephi. The teacher played a rendition of that for us by the BYU men's choir to the tune of Be Still My Soul, which has an interesting history. To the Latter-Day Saints it is Be Still My Soul, but the tune comes from a Finnish patriotic hymn that was originally written to protest the Russian oppression of Finland. So I remembered two things during the lesson. One time back during the winter of 2003 when I was struggling to improve my times, hit a seemingly impassable plateau with no apparent hope, was out on another training run, 7.5 miles into a 15 miler and found myself in deep snow. At that point I just wanted to lay down in that snow and not move. I was wondering why I was even trying and ready to give up. Then a hymn came to my mind, and it was Be Still My Soul. By September I made a breakthrough, and won the Top of Utah marathon.

Noting the connection of the tune with Finland, I recalled Lasse Viren's win in the 5000 meters in 1972 Olympics. Many American runners experience that event through the movie Without Limits about Steve Prefontaine in which he finishes 4th in spite of running the last mile in 4:01. Well, Viren is the guy that won that race. In my mind I visualize the last 600 meters of that battle with Finlandia/Be Still My Soul tune playing in the background, and Viren saying: "The coach said take the lead with 600 to go and stay there. I did". The power of quiet peace which gives the strength to persevere. Indeed we would truly run without limits if we could understand that.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.700.000.300.0014.00

A.M. 12 total. 7 with Benjamin and Jeremy. Did a short pickup. 2 more with Jenny. Julia did 1. 3 more alone.

P.M. 2 with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 2. We had the usual bunch of neighbor kids. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.500.000.500.0014.00

A.M. 7 with Jeremy, 5 with Benjamin. Jenny did 2, Julia 1. A couple of pickups.

P.M. PT with Sergio. 2 with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 1, Jenny 1, Julia 1. Usual bunch of kids. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.700.005.600.0014.30

A.M. Ran the warm-up with Benjamin and Jeremy, then did the tempo. 5 miles, 2.5 up the canyon, 2.5 back down. No significant wind that I noticed, it was not bothering me going in either direction. Some snow on the ground, but not enough to cause serious problems with speed. Maybe occasional loss of a second per quarter or so. Splits by half-mile: 2:54, 2:55, 3:01, 2:56, 3:01 (180 turn), 2:52, 2:47, 2:43, 2:47, 2:39.  Half-way split 14:47, second half 13:47. Total time 28:35 which is an improvement over last week by 12 seconds.

Yesterday after PT with Sergio I got a better understanding of what muscles are contracting and when, and how to tell what is contracting. Then I practiced standing on one leg with the other hip and knee flexed and the hand on the piriformis of the leg that is on the ground to check how hard it is contracting with the goal of making it contract less. I figured out what it should feel like when it contracts less and tried it in running. The feeling was rather interesting. When I first started I felt like I had to slack quite a bit to avoid the piriformis contracting feeling, and thought I would hit the quarter in 92, but I decided to take whatever that effort produced without complaining. It ended up being 87, and then it did not get slower until the hill got steeper or I hit some snow, or maybe some headwind sneaked up, but whenever I slowed down I was always able to recover. On the way back at first I thought I would not be able to go very fast, but then I was going 5:30 before I knew it. I felt still that I was slacking some, but  I could not push harder without getting the tight piriformis feeling, so I did not.

In the last quarter I tried to speed up without the tight feeling, and something was out of sync, it felt like some muscles were contracting out of sync, but I still did manage a 79 quarter. 

 Ran some more with Benjamin, including a pickup for 0.6 or so. Benjamin ended up doing 8 miles total. 2 more with Jenny and Julia. Total of 12.3.

P.M. 2 with Joseph, 1 of it with Jacob. Jenny and Julia ran 1. Neighbor kids came as usual. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.30
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. 4 alone, 6 with Benjamin, 2 with Jenny and Julia. Total of 12. We got some snow, and it was slippery.

P.M. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph.  Had our friends as usual.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Lots of snow. Ran with Garry, Jeremy, and Benjamin for 7 miles, then 2 more with Jenny and Julia, and 3 more alone. Total of 12.

P.M. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph.Had the usual company of friends. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.800.008.000.0015.80

A.M. Ran with Sergio. Had to cut the run short to 15.8 because we were going to a funeral of Sister Pauline Pace who taught me the Gospel in Russia with her husband. She died at the age of 92. It was a great privilege to know her and Elder Pace who has now been gone from this life for about 11 years. I am thankful for the sacrifice they were willing to make in their 70s to go on a mission and show me the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through their example. I could feel it, and I knew that it was not just from their personality, but there was some power beyond it that they possessed that came from their faith. I learned from them that service was not something you do when it is convenient, but you do it when the Lord asks. One of the hymns performed at the funeral was Be Still My Soul. It is interesting, perhaps more than just interesting, that this hymn drew my attention a week ago enough to write something about it in my blog.

Saw Mike Ramsdell at the funeral. We knew each other in Moscow. He was a branch presidency councilor in my branch. He asked me about my run this morning and laughed when I told him I had to cut it short to 15.8 miles.

As far as the run went, I did a warm-up with Sergio with a few pickups, then ran the 7.5 tempo with 2.5 down, 2.5 up, and 2.5 down.  The splits by half mile were: 2:46, 2:49, 2:48, 2:50. 2:48 (14:01), 3:02, 3:05, 3:11, 3:07, 3:10 (15:35), 2:49, 2:47, 2:47, 2:43, 2:40 (13:46), total time 43:22, 8 seconds faster than last week.

I felt sluggish in the first 2.5, then felt stuck in the uphill 2.5. There was headwind, maybe it was stronger than it appeared, but regardless I slowed down way too much on that uphill/headwind stretch. The quads are working too hard while all this is happening and I cannot find my rhythm. This slow down is still a concern and needs to be fixed. I should not be seeing 6:20 and slower pace in almost any wind on that grade - it is only 1-2 %. 

Then surprisingly I found another gear in the last 2.5. All of a sudden I started running 5:30 pace and it did not feel hard. 

Cooled down with Sergio, total of 15.8 miles. 

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 6, Joseph and Jacob 1 each, Jenny and Julia 2. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 15.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
71.700.0014.400.0086.10
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 86.10
Night Sleep Time: 53.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 53.00
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