Breaking the Wall

Week starting Feb 28, 2010

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Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

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

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

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

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

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

Long-Term Running Goals:

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

Personal:

I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 238.56 Year: 1577.43
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1909.35
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1119.99
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
80.813.421.500.5086.23
Water Clogs 3 Miles: 86.23
Night Sleep Time: 53.33Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 54.33
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a ward conference. The bishop and the state president spoke on being spiritually prepared. Then we had Sunday school less on prophets, and the Elders Quorum lesson on moral discipline based on Elder Christopherson's talk in the last General Conference.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.950.000.000.0012.95

A.M. Ran with Jeff. 10.2 in 1:17:38. The stomach felt good, but I felt a little weak from Saturday's adventures. Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:50. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 12:44. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:00. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:47.

Water Clogs 3 Miles: 12.95
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.5013.00

A.M. Found Jeff on the trail. 10.25 in 1:20:00. We did 4x200. The plan was 34, but I knew it would be closer to 32 as Jeff is an overachiever, but that was OK with me since I wanted to test the effectiveness of my massage and scraping.

The temperature was 27 degrees, and I was wearing pants and a jacket. The first one did not go so well as it was dark, my pants were falling down, my clogs felt loose, and I was not mentally ready to be going that fast. Jeff did around 30, I ended up with 32.3. 

On the second one I was physically and mentally ready to go hard. I tucked in my jacket into the pants to keep them from falling down, I focused on staying with Jeff, and I was mentally ready to move my feet in a way that would not invite the clogs to fall off. A slight dorsi-flexion  of the foot  through most of the off-the-ground phase does the job. It might even be good for the form as it allows a more explosive plantar-flexion once you hit the ground. Some world-class distance runners run like this during the kick and possibly the whole way, but it becomes more apparent during the kick.

However, on the second one we missed the mark and went too far. Jeff had me gapped by about 3 meters when we realized we had been running for 35 seconds and turned off the engines.  But even with jogging our 300 split was 57 seconds.

The third one went very well. The sun had come up. I was able to stay within 3 meters of Jeff and finished in 29.7. I was very excited about that. But then on the fourth I stayed within a meter and managed 29.5!

For me this is a very significant development. My 200 meter PR is 27.5 on the track in spikes at the age of 17 when I was doing weights, bounding, and form drills. The trail even in perfect conditions is probably at least a good second slower than the track. Pants, jacket, and below freezing temperatures slow you down some as well. I checked the blog and it appears that 29.5 is an all-time PR for the trail. Previous PR was 30.7.

So I am definitely seeing a top-end speed improvement. This is exciting. You can get into better shape by running more miles and run a better 5 K, but you cannot run a better 200 through any form of "cheating". By "cheating" I mean materializing the existing Quality X through some form of training into a better performance vs actually increasing Quality X. You can also "cheat" by sprint-specific training, but I have not done any of that recently except the occasional test efforts themselves, which would not be enough to have any training effect. So I would say this workout provided more evidence that my massage and scraping has been effective.

Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:44. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 12:40. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:36. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:47.

Water Clogs 3 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.050.000.000.0013.05

A.M. 10.3 in 1:18:43. Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:17. Julia ran the first 1.5 in  12:12. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:45. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:14.

Water Clogs 3 Miles: 13.05
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.800.001.000.0015.80

A.M. 10.3 in 1:15:50. Saw Kirk on the trail and ran an 81 quarter to catch him. Ran with him a bit, and then did 0.75 in 3:59.7 to feel 5:20 pace. The right clog developed its first hole at a little over 400 miles.

P.M. 3.25 with Benjamin including 2 miles in 15:17 with the last mile in 6:48. 1.5 with Julia in 12:42. 0.5 with Joseph. 0.25 with Jacob.



Water Clogs 3 Miles: 15.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.750.000.000.0012.75

A.M. 10 in 1:18:43. It was snowing. Met Jeff on the trail. 

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 16:51. Julia ran 1.5 in 12:44 with us. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:33. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:39.

Water Clogs 3 Miles: 12.75
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.763.420.500.0018.68

A.M. 16.18 with Jeff in 1:44:01 (6:25.7 avg). I decided the detour was adding only 0.04 each way instead of 0.05 because we hit 1 mile + detour in 5:57 while consistently hitting 86 quarters in the measured area.

This was a recovery long run, if there is such a thing. Part of the reason was that Benjamin and I were going to the chess camp later today. Part of the reason was to avoid overtraining from the hard 20 in the last 2 weeks, with the one last week done on a sick stomach. So the plan was to maintain about 6:40 average, and then run a bit quicker in the last couple of miles.

We pretty much followed the plan, except we got a little anxious to be done and hit the gas with 3.91 to go covering the distance in 22:31 (5:45.5 average). In the way of Soviet era style 1913 comparison bragging, this was slightly faster than my average race pace in the Thanksgiving 4 miler. The quarters varied from 86 to 89 in the first 1.5 miles (8:48 at 1.5), then they became a steady 86 until we got to the bridges and the uphill afterwards in the last mile. We put in the same effort but it produced only 88 and 89. Then Jeff shifted gears (I responded) and we did 81 and 79 for the last two quarters. Last mile was 5:37.

It was a lot easier to run fast with a properly functioning stomach. 5:56 pace felt like a jog. 5:44 felt comfortable. 5:20 was bearable even with the turns, at least for half a mile. I was happy that Jeff did not drop me in the last mile.

About 7.8 into the run we caught up to Luz. I saw the opportunity to help her break the mental block and challenged her to run with us until she could not. She managed about 0.2 at 6:40 pace. Some of what I consider to be my most significant growing experiences happened when I ran with guys that are much faster than me without them slowing down for me. There is some form of communication that takes place when you do that. You learn something very valuable that is difficult to describe even if that one race ends up slower because you were not fit to run that pace yet and it broke you down.

Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:40. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 12:55. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:29. Jacob had a sore knee and did not run.


Water Clogs 3 Miles: 18.68
Night Sleep Time: 7.83Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.83
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
80.813.421.500.5086.23
Water Clogs 3 Miles: 86.23
Night Sleep Time: 53.33Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 54.33
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