Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jun 10, 2012

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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
73.350.004.400.1077.85
Green Crocs 3 Miles: 78.85
Night Sleep Time: 51.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 51.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. The talks in the Sacrament meeting were on Priesthood. Then I went to the investigator/new member class where we had a lesson on Heavenly Father, and I learned some more Korean. Then the lesson in the Elder's Quorum was on prophets and revelation. I liked President George Albert Smith's story about the plane being guided by a radio beam.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.750.000.750.008.50

A.M. Ran 6 with Jeremy. Had a VPB, then ran 0.5 down the canyon in 2:37. Legs felt good, only very small residual soreness. Then ran with the kids. Joseph and Jacob did a time trial in 200 and 100. I paced Joseph, Benjamin paced Jacob. Joseph did 200 in 41.5, Jacob could not quite figure out how to sprint and did 49.0. Then we did 2x100. Joseph did 19.9 and 19.7. Jacob did 22.5 and 21.5, finally figuring it out. Those were their personal bests. Total of 8.2 miles for me. Benjamin did 4, Jenny and Julia 2.

P.M. 0.3 with William, Joseph, and Jacob. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 8.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.200.000.000.1012.30

A.M. Ran 8 with Gary and Jeremy. Gary asked me why he could not run 52 in a quarter anymore like he did in high school so we did some tests. We ran 100 meters all out twice. First time Gary got 13 something, I got 15.4. The second time Gary got 13.6, I got 14.9. Jeremy did this one as well and ended up about half a step in front of me.

Then I did a total of 3 with Julia, which included a mile time trial on the track. It was a historic time trial. She has struggled for the last 3 years. Her best time of 7:47 dated back a few years. Finally she was mentally and physically ready for the mile time trial. I gave her a modest goal - to break her record of 7:47. She did 1:47, 1:54, 1:55, 3 rounded seconds for 9.34 meters, and then the last lap in 1:43, last 100 in 21. Total time 7:22.9, new mile PR, and a huge mental block that has plagued her for the last 3 years now severely dented. Now we need to that with Jenny.

Then I also ran 1 mile with Jacob. Benjamin did 6, Jenny and Joseph 2. 

Total of 12 miles for me. 

P.M. 0.3 with William, Joseph, and Jacob. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Ran with Ariel. We did 6 miles. Then with the kids. Benjamin did 6, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.3. Total of 12.5.

P.M. 0.5 for transportation purposes. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.750.000.250.0013.00

A.M. Ran with Ariel. Did a post-VPB quarter in 79 catching up. Then ran some more alone, and with the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph, Jenny, and Julia did 2. Total of 12.2.

PM1. 0.5 transportation run.

PM2.  0.3 with William.

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.650.000.400.0013.05

A.M. Ran with Ariel. Did a 600 post-VPB in 1:58. Then took Joseph and Jacob to the Orem track for the mile time trial. It was Jacob's time trial. I knew he was fit to break 8:00. Joseph had already broken 7:00, and I also did not have a pacer for him if I was pacing Jacob. Benjamin is gone on the wilderness survival trip, and there is nobody else in the family that can pace Joseph - he is too fast for everybody else. On the second thought, I should have just run with each one separately, but I did not think of that. So anyway, I paced Jacob while Joseph in his Joseph style overconfidence tried to run 6:50 alone.

Jacob's target was 1:58 laps, which would have given him around 7:55 accounting for the extra 9.34 meters after 4 laps. He did 1:52, 1:50, 1:55, 1:52 laps + about 3 seconds for 9.34 meters. His time was 7:32.7. He is still 6 days away from being 5 years and 11 months old. Benjamin ran 7:58.7 on that same track when he was almost that same age. Needless to say, I was quite impressed. I knew Jacob would do well, but this was quite a pleasant surprise. I suppose the best Father's Day present he could have given me.

Joseph did better than I expected, especially considering his erratic pacing. I did not get his exact splits, nor does he remember what he saw on the watch, but he busted out from the gun probably at around 5:40 pace, which is faster than what he could do for a quarter. He gradually faded until we started closing on him. Seeing us approach gave him extra motivation and he sped up. By some miracle he managed to run 7:05, which is only 6 seconds slower than his Daddy-paced 6:59 PR, and his second fastest mile ever. 

I ran 1 more with Joseph, and 2 with Jenny and Julia. Total of 12.25 for me. 

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph and Jacob, 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 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
15.000.003.000.0018.00

A.M. Started with 10.7 alone with a 3 mile tempo up the Provo Canyon. I decided I am not running another race until that 3 mile tempo is sub-6:00 in every mile at least on some day. The wind changes from day to day, and is usually a headwind, but it is abnormal for me to not be able to crack 6:00 on every mile at least on some days when the wind is relatively mild. I believe the cause of the latest struggles is that overtime my lower spine gradually caved in due to the overload from malformed L-4 and partially lost its resilience. This year I have never been able to run those 3 miles faster than 18:39, and the last mile of 6:30 was about the best I could do. It is more uphill than the first two, and it does have more headwind, but in the past I have been able to run it under 6:00. The downhill performance has been decent - this year I've run under 16:00 several times, which is comparable to the downhill times from the same period when I was frequently running 17:30-17:45 on the uphill with the last mile under 6:00.

So I started doing things to take care of the spinal resilience. Added more calcium to the diet to keep the bones from falling apart, started doing back muscles strengthening exercises to partially compensate where the spine is failing, and started hanging upside down on the inversion table to encourage some spinal regeneration. Once a week (or twice if motivated) I will be running this uphill tempo to measure the progress and get an idea if I am on the right track. No point in racing until the problem is fixed unless for one reason or another I really want to run 2:36 or slower on a Top of Utah like course in good conditions. 

Today I ran 18:29 with the splits of 5:59, 6:15, 6:15. I was happy that I did not slow down in the third mile - every other time I did this run this year I slowed down a lot - at least 20 seconds per mile. About half way through the run I prayed for some hope. I figured I needed to define hope numerically, and said if I can run a low 6:20 in the last mile, we can call that hope. My prayer was answered with a 6:15, for which I am thankful. I am learning that when you pray you need to be accepting of the Lord's timing, and only ask for things that are expedient in the Lord's schedule which you have earned with your faith. Sometimes we may get arrogant and start thinking that we have earned something with our faith which we have not yet. That is perhaps one of the most common causes for prayers not being answered in the way we expect. 

Got home, ran 2 with Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob, then 6 more with Benjamin. Total of 18.7 for the run.

P.M. 0.3 with William during our relay practice on the track. I discovered that Stephen can do 200 in 2:06, and William in 1:14. I did the calculations, and am estimating we can do the wedding relay 5000 in under 18:00 if everybody runs like I am expecting them, and Benjamin and I can do alternating quarters with 72 average.

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 19.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
73.350.004.400.1077.85
Green Crocs 3 Miles: 78.85
Night Sleep Time: 51.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 51.50
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