Breaking the Wall

Week starting Mar 20, 2011

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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: 123.22 Year: 3048.88
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
67.156.006.004.2583.40
Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 83.40
Night Sleep Time: 41.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 41.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Had good lessons. The Sunday School lesson was on the Priesthood. The lesson in the Elder's Quorum was on service. Then we had the Sacrament meeting most of which was taken up by the change in the bishopric - we now have a new bishop and councilors.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.5012.50

A.M. 12.5 miles. Ran with the kids. Benjamin - 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 at the end - 73.2 rolling and 70.5 down. Carried the Android and tried to not make it vibrate. 

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.003.000.5013.50

A.M. In my latest experiments with  my Android form coach I began to wonder if perhaps the increased lateral acceleration component was inevitable when running fast because I had a hard time running sub-4:50 pace without making it signal that the acceleration vector was too far out of the correct plane. So today I decided to see what would happen in the 3 mile tempo run. I decided to not worry about the pace, and just do whatever it would take to not make the trigger go off.

The tempo run actually surprised me. Based on what I was seeing in the quarters, I was expecting that I would be lucky to run 17:15 this way. I actually ended up with 16:45 with the splits of 5:36 - 5:35 - 5:34. At first the pace felt easy but I could not go any faster without the alarm going off. Then I realized something - I have tested the threshold setting while standing, and it allows quite a bit of freedom for the arms to move sideways. Thus, it is not the lateral arm swing that triggers the alarm, but probably the hip rotation. So instead of worrying about the arms, I focused on keeping the hips straight, and was able to speed up without the alarm. The entire tempo run felt much easier than the ones before, and I felt strong all the way to the end.

Later in the run I did 2x400 - 74.2 rolling and 72.7 down. Benjamin ran the last one with me. Again, the focus was not speed, but to keep the alarm silent.

Those results make me suspect that the reason I have a hard time maintaining the pace is that somehow I learned to associate running faster with rotating my hips harder, which is sustainable for a short distance, but eventually is not sustainable. Regardless, I was happy that my Android experiments produced some form of a positive result.

The total distance was 13.5 miles.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.5012.50

A.M. Ran 12.5 files. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Did 2x400 - 74.3 rolling and 72.7 down.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.450.000.002.2512.70

A. M. 12.7 total. Did 6x600 - 1:50.3 - 1:50.7 - 1:51.3 - 1:53.0 (wind) - 1:51.7 (wind) - 1:51.3 9 (wind). Benjamin ran 3 miles and did the windiest one in 2:00. Jenny and Julia ran 2, Jacob did 0.5, and Joseph ran 1.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12, did 2x400 in 72.6 (rolling), and 70.0 (down). Got an armband for the Android, so that changes the alarm dynamics some, as you cannot steady the phone as well artificially when it is in the armband as when holding it in the hand. So when it starts buzzing, better straighten out the hips, it is more difficult to cheat. At the same time wiggling the hands does not trigger a false alarm. 

Benjamin ran 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.206.003.000.0020.20

A.M. Started the run with a warmup and a 5 mile tempo on the Fast Running Blog course. It was a new experience because I wore my form correction buzzer on the armband for the first time in a tempo. The first mile was good - 5:40, then I held the pace to 1.5 and all of a sudden started fading - the legs felt dead. The buzzer was going off once every few steps, so the form was not perfect, but it never is. I normally would focus on just pushing when I feel like this, but this time I decided to focus on keeping the buzzer quiet. It was an odd experience as I was not running any slower than I normally would when feeling like this, except it was rather easy. I just could not figure out how to speed up. So my second mile was 5:44, then 5:53, and 5:52. In the last 0.5 I finally figured out how to speed up without tripping the buzzer, and ran the last two quarters in 86 and 81, which gave me 5:43 for the last mile and 28:51 for the tempo. It was an odd experience because I finished quite fresh in spite of losing the pace and being unable to go faster. 

I originally planned to cut the long run short if there were problems in the tempo, but I felt that I should go full 20, and run a short tempo at the end of it to see what would happening. So I came home, did the kids runs - 3 with Benjamin, 1 with Joseph, 0.5 with Jacob and 2 with Jenny and Julia, and then ran a 4 mile tempo to finish the 20. The course was not the best, especially the first 2 miles because they are a slight uphill with turns and tunnels. When you run those downhill, the downhill still does not quite make up for the mess, so when you run them uphill you get a double hit. So I did 6:02, 6:08, then turned around and stepped on the gas a little because I now did not have any fear of crashing on fuel. The last two miles were 5:52 and 5:50, and felt quite easy, but I could not go faster without tripping the buzzer.

I guess the buzzer shows that I am like an old car. When it goes 55 you cannot tell it is old. But when you get it up to 75, it starts rattling. I suppose today the magic pace was 5:50 - I could coast just fine at 5:50 forever, but trying to go faster resulted in bad form, so it was not sustainable.

Gold Crocs 2 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
67.156.006.004.2583.40
Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 83.40
Night Sleep Time: 41.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 41.00
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