Breaking the Wall

Week starting May 15, 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 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: 0.00 Year: 2339.68
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 268.74
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
73.3510.000.756.6090.70
Green Crocs 1 Miles: 90.70
Night Sleep Time: 38.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 39.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church as usual. Taught a lesson on repentance in Sunday school. Being a ward mission leader I get turns teaching the class for new members and investigators. Then we had a lesson on developing talents in the Elder's Quorum. I remember thinking back before I was a believer that if there was a God and if he had His church that church would not just sing and pray all the time, that it would encourage a healthy life style and a development of talents - athletic, musical, scientific, etc. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints passed that test quite well for me when I got introduced to it. What is even better is that this encouragement to develop talents is more than just "hey, it is cool to be able to do things, so why not?" - there is a strong doctrinal foundation behind it. It naturally flows from the core doctrines of the Church. Without that encouragement and foundation I would have reduced myself to jogging 5 miles a day about 10 years ago if not earlier.

Then we had a Sacrament meeting. The talks were on reaching out to your neighbors. I liked the musical number. We are blessed to have a talented singer in our ward who attended the BYU on a vocal scholarship and still sings in competitions. He sang A Poor Wayfaring Man Of Grief, all 7 verses. This is my favorite hymn. When I hear it, the knowledge of who Joseph Smith was is plain before me. That was the hymn he wanted to hear when he was in jail a few hours before he was shot by a mob. Some people hear that hymn and say, so what? Others know plainly that somebody who lived a lie would not want to hear that hymn before his death. That would make him who he claim to be - a prophet of God in our day similar to Moses, Peter, or Paul to restore the truths that were lost through many years of apostasy, and therefore, the choice is simple. You must be baptized by proper authority if you have not been already, and join the action of being part of the Lord's church in the last days. I remember possessing that knowledge, knowing the right course of action, and still hesitating some back in 1992 in Moscow. Then a vision opened in my mind - I felt like I was standing in the doorway and blocking it while some people wanted to come through. By now I know that there were at least seven of them. I decided to act on faith, and make a step forward so that the progress of those unknown  people would not be blocked. I lack the words to describe the blessings this decision has brought into my life.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.250.000.001.2512.50

A.M. First ran with the kids - 4 with Benjamin, 1 of it with Joseph, then 2 with Jenny and Julia. Then 6.5 more myself. Did two pickups - 1200 in 3:59 and 800 in 2:37. 

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.001.7513.50

A.M.  First ran with the kids - 4 with Benjamin (1 of it with Joseph),  2 with Jenny and Julia. Did 2x1000 down 3:16.1 - up 3:22.7 with 200 recovery, then realized I needed something different. First, the legs were not moving today. Second, I have done this workout for the last couple of weeks without much improvement. So I concluded that it was probably creating a poor stimulus. I did a few 200 meter pickups. Those revealed a problem that perhaps explains why I have had such a hard time in the 5:20 range. Running it in as slow as 36 felt tense, like I was almost sprinting all out. Well, if 4:50 feels that tense, relaxation at 5:20 is not happening, and you'll be lucky to make it through the 5 K at that pace. So the solution is to do something that will make me run in the sub-5:20 range while forcing me to relax. In other words, I need to set myself up to run faster than 5:20 while fatigued so I cannot just sprint my way through it.

P.M. Since I really do not have the time for doubles anymore, I decided to resurrect my poor man's doubles idea - "always on the run". So I just jogged a mile in the afternoon.


Green Crocs 1 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.350.000.752.6015.70

A.M. In the line of my yesterday's reasoning I decided to try a ladder to see how it would feel. Did it on the flat portion of the trail with 200 recovery. The idea was that if I knew the next interval would be shorter, I would not be afraid to give the current one a push. At the same time, 200 recovery is not very much, and the length of the intervals stayed decent for a while, so I would not be able to just power my way through the intervals, and would have to relax some to be able to sustain the pace. I am pleased to report that it worked quite well. I hit the following splits:

1200 - 3:58.7, 1000 - 3:16.9, 800 - 2:37.7, 600 - 1:56.9, 400 - 73.3, 200 - 34.3.

So I hit sub-5:20 pace on all of the intervals without slippage all the way to the dark side, and was even able to run a 73 quarter followed by a 34 200 while quite fatigued from the earlier intervals. So the trick of gradually shortening the interval did work in helping me break out of the rut a bit. What I liked even better is that I dealt with fatigue by relaxing instead of just slowing down.

Then I ran 4.6 with Benjamin (1 of it with Joseph). We did 400 in 83, and then 800 in 2:47. Then 2 with Jenny and Julia.

P.M. Did an "always on the run" mile.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 15.70
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Pouring rain. Did a total of 12.5, including kids runs. 4 with Benjamin (1 with Joseph), 2 with Jenny and Julia. That was quite a soaking experience.

Green Crocs 1 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
12.500.000.001.0013.50

A.M. Ran with the kids. 4 with Benjamin, including 1 with Joseph. Benjamin did a time trial for half a mile on the trail in 2:37 with the splits of 79 and 78. That is his new record. Jenny and Julia ran 2 miles. I went for 6.5 more to finish 12.5 and did 0.5 worth of accelerations at about 4:50 pace.

P.M. "Always on the run" mile.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.0010.000.000.0023.00

A.M. Did the Bridal Veil 20 miler. First 10 uphill in 1:09:29, then tempo back down. Started out at 5:40 pace, but then got a side ache and had to slow down to 6:00. Sarah brought me water to the 14 mile mark. It was not as warm as two weeks ago, but it was still nice to have water. There was some headwind. After 7 miles of tempo I faded to 6:08 on the part of the trail with the turns and the bridges, but that served as a wake up call. I toughened up to deal with the side ache, and was able to speed back up to slightly sub-6:00. Last mile was 5:56. Total time for the tempo was 58:39, 5:52 average. Total time for 20 miles was 2:08:08. Now if only it was the full marathon...

Not sure about the cause of the side ache.  I have gotten them before in the marathon when low on fuel sometimes (possibly the liver does not like to be empty?), after eating dry food, and sometimes odd breathing patterns kick the diaphragm.

On the positive side of things, unlike two weeks ago I felt some zip in the legs for the entire duration of the tempo. And the time was respectable. My best time in this setup is a little under 56:00, but that was trading miles with Ted for the first 7 miles, and a bit of tailwind, so overall better conditions. I would say with the same setup I would have been a minute faster. So in other words, I am out of shape by about 10 seconds a mile right now.

Benjamin ran a mile with Joseph. Jenny and Julia ran 2.

P.M.  3 with Benjamin.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 23.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
73.3510.000.756.6090.70
Green Crocs 1 Miles: 90.70
Night Sleep Time: 38.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 39.00
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