Breaking the Wall

Week starting May 24, 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: 83.04 Year: 3760.81
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: 987.95
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
69.158.254.000.2081.60
Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 30.10Bare Feet Miles: 18.50Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 47.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 48.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Taught a lesson in the Elder's Quorum on temples.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.001.500.000.0013.50

A.M. Ran with Ted, Colby, and Tyler. Did about 0.5 of post-VPB tempo, had a double. Dropped Ted and Colby off at 6, Tyler turned around at 7, then I caught up to Sarah, ran 0.5 with her, and then she turned around. I ran another 0.5 out and turned around. Ran a fat mile in 5:48 with some steeple chase stuff under the bridge.

P.M. Went to Cove Fort in the afternoon. My thoughts coming back were that Brigham Young would have loved to go from Cove Fort to Provo in 2 hours. And then it occured to me that he knew by revelation a day would come when such trips would be possible. With that perspective I felt very thankful to drive our Fast Running Van.

Ran with the kids barefoot when we got back. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:02, 1.5 with Julia in 14:31.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.651.750.000.1013.50

A.M. Ran with Tyler and Daniel. Did explosions. Dropped them off at 8, ran another 2, most of it fast. First a fat mile in 6:00, then turned around, jogged a quarter, and ran another 0.75 in 4:15. Got into very good rhythm in the last quarter, felt very smooth. Ran in in 83. HR got up to 156, but I did not feel strained. That is perhaps a good sign. I do, however, reserve my optimism until I can run that pace for 4 miles equally smooth, then get HR to 165 and run a 5:10 mile at the end.

Then 2 miles barefoot with Benjamin in 17:02.

P.M. 2 miles with Jenny barefoot in 19:28. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:41.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.400.002.000.1013.50

A.M. 6 miles with Ted and Colby, then 4 more alone. Did two miles that were supposed to be fat. But for one reason or another I was feeling feisty, so they ended up too aggressive for that. I realized that half way through the first and decided instead of backing off, which would by now be futile as I had by now woken up the carb burning beast, just cruise along at the same effort and see what happens. The first mile was from the Riverside Park to the DI bridge, a slight up with 800 N bridge to dip under. Still difficult in Five Fingers. I can handle 2-3% grade OK, but anything steeper I still cannot do at full speed. The uphill mile was 5:42 with the quarters of 86,86 (under the bridge) ,84,84. HR got up to 157. I felt an interesting feeling in my quads. The blood was flowing, something was different about the way it was flowing, and I cannot quite tell what that means, if it is a good thing or a bad thing. Another mile or two at the same effort would have told me, but for a number of reasons it did not fit into my plans, probably reason number one being the nature of the trail ahead with all the bridges and turns which would make it difficult to understand the splits.

Then I jogged another mile and did the same mile backwards. The total time was 5:32 with the splits of 85, 83, 84 (under the bridge), and 80. HR got up to 158. The form felt smooth.

Total time for 10 miles was 1:12:39.

Then it was time to run with the kids barefoot. First quarter is always very hard, then I get used to the asphalt. 1.5 with Julia in 14:39, then 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:14.

When I run barefoot I think of a story that I once heard in church. An Indian boy comes to a wise man and asks him for advice. The wise man says there are two wolves fighting in you, the good one and the bad one. The boy asks which one is going to win. The old man answers whichever one you feed.

So I feel there are two wolves fighting in me, the Good Form Wolf and the Bad Form Wolf. The Good Form Wolf gets fed the best when I run barefoot on asphalt, and reasonably close with Five Fingers. The Bad Form Wolf gets fed in regular shoes. I decided to stop feeding the Bad Form Wolf even if it means having to run slower, and feeling some discomfort from the process of developing calloused feet.  Five running days so far, last Thursday was the last time I fed the Bad Form Wolf.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.501.002.000.0013.50

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Forgot to reset the alarm, so it woke me up earlier than usual. Did The Interval tempo.  Started with 5:42 mile, had Jeff and Daniel with me. Then they stopped, Jeff did not go further because he was tired from driving yesterday. The next mile was 5:20, and I started struggling towards the end of it. I tried to relax, but my legs were feeling fatigued. So I ran the next three quarters in 81, 82, and 83. I was not happy with it. HR was 161. In the last quarter I pushed harder, in the first 200 in 40 seconds HR was 164, then the last 200 was 38 for 78 quarter, and HR hit 167. This gave me 5:25 for the last mile, and 16:27.7 for 3.

Then finished the run with Jeff and Daniel. Daniel ran 9, Jeff and I 10.

In the afternoon I had plans to do some work on the blog - fix the bugs in the queue and rework the comments and the hot discussions. However, a client called me with a problem - his site was down. The problem was nasty and required a trip to the hosting provider. So I spent most of the day in a noisy server room recovering a server from root filesystem superblock corruption. It was a day of bad luck - my repair CD was damaged, a few ones we tried that the support team had did not have the right tools, then finally we figured out a way to get the tools, then salvage the file system, then reload the OS, re-install the web application, deal with issues, etc. The good news is that it was all paid time, so I made some money to pay the bills.

P.M. Ran barefoot. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:44, 1.5 with Julia in 13:23. Julia ran all the way barefoot, and this is her PR for 1.5. Her last mile was 8:48. She said her feet never hurt afterwards. Mine did better as well. I was handling small rocks and other forms  of roughness a whole lot better than a couple of days ago. This reminded me of the time when I was about 9 and  visited my cousins in a village near Sukhumi in Abkhazia. They were running barefoot on a rocky dirt road at full speed. I was wearing flip flops and could not run very fast. So I tried taking them off, and the surface was so rough I could not take one step.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.000.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:14:47. Did two fat miles. First one in 5:52, second in 5:45. Felt better on those than expected in spite of the lack of sleep and a stressful day yesterday. Noticing that when running fast in Five Fingers I struggle with stability on the right foot, but I am fighting for it, and feel like I could run very smooth if I figured out how to support myself. In shoes I just give up and run clumsy. 

P.M.  Ran barefoot. 2 with Benjamin in 17:33.  2 with Jenny in 18:34. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:00. Julia ran barefoot. Jenny did 1.5 barefoot and then she wanted shoes. I suppose Julia's feet are tougher.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.602.000.000.0013.60

A.M. Short run today due to the chess tournament. Benjamin wanted to play in one, and I thought since I'd have to be there with him anyway I may play as well to find out what my rating is.

Ran 10.1 with Jeff in 1:13:53 with two fat miles. First one in 5:52, second in 5:59. 

The chess tournament was an interesting experience. Very different from running. They put you in a class based on your rating. Since I did not have a rating, they put me in a class of 1000-1199 plus unrated adults. Benjamin was not rated either, so they put him in 600-799 plus unrated 4th-6th graders. Benjamin won two games and lost two. I won three and lost one. I tied with three others for the division win, which gave me a cash prize of $12. I was happy to win cash in my first tournament and in something other than running.

So I suppose our official ratings now will be around 600 for Benjamin and 1100 for me. One thing that is different about chess. Mistakes are absolutely unforgiveble. You can be better than your opponent in all areas but one, and if he happens to get you on that one mistake early in the game, you are done. In running, if you are better, you can start out too fast, you can surge, you can even stop for a VPB, and you will still be ahead of a weaker opponent.

P.M. 1.5 with Julia in 14:00. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 19:20.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
69.158.254.000.2081.60
Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 30.10Bare Feet Miles: 18.50Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 47.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 48.75
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