Breaking the Wall

Week starting Apr 05, 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 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: 103.81 Year: 1820.96
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
77.6311.322.903.1595.00
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 63.65Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 56.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 57.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Watched General Conference. Really liked the talk by President Uchtdorf.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.3514.35

A.M. Easy run with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. 10.1 in 1:20:52. Did explosions.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:36, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:21. 2 with Benjamin in 16:43. Then later during the family home evening played freeze tag with the kids, and chased Benjamin in a 200 as well. It was supposed to be a 100, so I gave him 1 second head start because I wanted to be there to time his PR if he got one. But the mark at the 100 was missing, so we went to 200. He did it in 38.8.

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
9.951.750.901.6014.20

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Mary Ann, Jeff, and Ben Crozier. Jeff slept in, so we met him on the trail. Ben was doing a goofy workout from Runner's World, and was too stubborn be talked into doing something more appropriate for his current condition. The workout was 9 quarters targeting a mysterious HR of 180 (how in the world do you hit any target HR in a quarter when it keeps climbing from start to finish?). I figured I'd keep him company to show where quarters start and end, take his splits, and gather up material for further discussion on the need for solid aerobic base before doing speed work. In the mean time, I could  shake out my legs a bit.

Ben did the quarters ranging from 85 to 93 depending on the terrain and his focus. I had to hold him back in the first 100, and then he faded in most of them in the last 100, except for the one when he really focused and hit an 85. So some clear indicators that quarters would be the wrong workout to do, leg power is way ahead of aerobic support, aerobic support development is primarily a function of the mileage, and is very little affected by how fast you are going once you reach a reasonable level of intensity (around 60%-70% of max HR). I just talked to him on the phone, his stubborness now has decreased.

Then Jeff and I ran The Interval. The plan today was for Jeff, 1.25 at 5:20, then 73 quarters to failure or to 2.5 total distance. For me, same, except once 73 quarter pace failure occurred, keep best pace to 2.5. Why? I feel something special happening to the muscles if I keep running hard after the pace failure.

We made it to 1.25 on schedule as usual, although a bit more erratically than normal - at one point we were 2 seconds ahead, and in a few spots 1 second behind. 5:20 pace felt hard at first, but then easier. Part of it was probably from erratic pacing, and I can really feel the difference between 5:12 and 5:20. Then I made it with Jeff through 600 in 1:50, and backed off. The failure was caused by legs caving as usual, except I was able to make it further than before. My 200 splits after that were 43, 43, 42, 42, 42, 40, 40. Total time for 2.5 was 13:22.7.

Towards the end I felt I was at the limit of my leg power, but was still going strong. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I thought for sure I'd slow down to slower than 6:00 for at least a quarter to recover, but I only needed an 86 (5:44 pace), and then I started to get progressively stronger.

Jeff did 72.5, 72.5, 76, 78, called that the final failure, then once I caught up to him he finished 2.5 with me. At first I thought this was residual fatigue from the half, which did not quite add up with how he was feeling right after the half. Then after some discussion we realized there was a bigger problem. Kimia's sister and her family has been visiting with them and that added some extra running around and threw off his sleeping schedule. Again we go back to the wisdom of classical Kenyan recovery - rest in bed, do not move if you do not have to, when you have to get milk  walk to the store at zombie pace. Shut your body down as much as you can. Strive for zombie status to the extent your circumstances permit. One reason Kenyans are fast is that they know how to be lazy.

Afterwards ran the cool down with Mary Ann, total distance was 10.2.

 

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.1014.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann in 1:20:50. Did explosive sprints. Wore Five Fingers. Set a PR - no blister afterwards in spite of a fairly sizable hole. Five Fingers are great for anti-blister training. With proper approach it is possible to develop callouses such that you will never get another blister wearing racing flats. I think I am already there.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:38, 2 with Jenny in 19:21, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:36.

Vibram Five Fingers 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
13.750.250.000.1014.10

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:17:37.  Daniel slept in and ran later. Explosive sprints. Nature-forced 0.25 tempo pickup in 88 to catch up as well. Raining today, and Jeff was in a hurry to get to work. We were thinking about a 2 mile tempo at Jeff's marathon race pace, but decided to do it tomorrow.

I have good news and even better news. The good news is that I am done with my taxes. The better news is that I am getting a fairly big refund.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:41, Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:31. 2 with Benjamin in 16:51.

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
12.200.002.001.0015.20

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Jeff and I did a bit of speed. Jeff ran only 2 miles at his marathon pace. I ran a little longer - 2.5. We went through the first mile in 5:29 followed by 5:30. Then I made an effort to pick it up, but not much happened. I did a quarter in 78 and my legs felt tired. I slowed down to 80 on the next one. 13:37.7 for 2.5. I felt like a couple of fast diagnostic/nervous system rebooting quarters. Did them in 73.4 and 72.8. In both I was slowing down a lot in the last 100 even though I did not feel I was breathing too hard. Some food for thought. Symptoms of insufficient sleep (good possibility, I did not feel like getting out of bed this morning, which indicates my body wanted for one reason or another more sleep than I was giving it), and/or low glycogen/blood sugar. When it is low, there is a negative feedback system that if it kicks in it can make you feel it even in a quarter repeat.

Total distance for the run was 10.2.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:50, 2 with Jenny in 18:41. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:09. 1 mile setting up the race course.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.739.320.000.0023.05

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Warmed up 1.3. Then paced Mary Ann through a long tempo on the 10 K race course. 6:20 pace to failure or to 30 K. Splits by 5 K:

20:03 - (slow start, we gave her an easy warm-up mile) - 19:47 (lost some time on the bottle pickup) - 19:53 (lost some time on the bottle, Mary Ann still does not know how to drink while running fast, also towards the end she started slowing down to 6:30, so I told her to stop at 15 K and jog back). Afterwards, I picked up the pace. 18:47 (that was all I could do) - 18:38 (figured out how to relax better) - 19:11 (fuel shortage/neural fatigue coming out).

Total time of 1:56:19 for 30 K,  6:14 average.

A couple of observatons. A whole lot of difference in the perceived muscular effort between 6:00 pace and anything faster between 15 K and 25 K. In the last 5 K that threshold moved to around 6:10. That threshold kept fluctuating, and did not always change in the slower direction as the run progressed. It had a lot to do with the art of relaxing.

Also, my first 15 K was done in 59:43, while the second in 56:36. I could not have gone any faster in the second. But I am very certain that if I had run the first one in 56:36, my second one would have been quite a bit faster than 59:43. Very possibly another 56:36.

So from that some ideas. We take a runner and have him race an all out marathon. Give enough time for recovery ,  and while in the same shape, he run a half 5-10 minutes slower than one half of his marathon time, and then a half all out. We call that "tired half" PR. Now Sasha Science Marathon Pacing theory. A marathon is properly paced when the first half is run at the fastest possible pace that still allows you to be within one minute of the tired half PR in the second half. Of course we assume equal terrain and condition for both halves which is never the case in any Utah marathon except maybe Ogden on a cool day.

This does can often mean a positive split depending on the runner. I suspect for a properly trained athlete the range is from 1 minute negative split to 5 minute positive split. For a less fit runner it could be as much as 10-15 minute positive split.

Afterwards paced Benjamin through a 5 K in 21:31. He took thrid place overall. Jenny won the mile with 8:00, Julia was second in 8:23. Jacob ran the 200 race in 1:34. Joseph did it in 1:22.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 23.05
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
77.6311.322.903.1595.00
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 63.65Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 56.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 57.75
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