Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jun 19, 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: 148.02 Year: 3163.85
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: 903.91
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
74.750.000.756.0081.50
Green Crocs 1 Miles: 78.50
Night Sleep Time: 55.00Nap Time: 4.50Total Sleep Time: 59.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. The Sunday school lesson was on the law of the Sabbath, then a lesson on families in the Elder's Quorum,. The sacrament meeting talks were on the role of fathers. Then a short nap, followed by a meeting, and missionary visits.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.750.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5 including kids runs. Benjamin ran 4, Jenny 2, Julia ran 4 with Sarah, Joseph ran 1.5 in 12:42. I did a pickup for 0.75 in 4:13.7.

P.M. Nap.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.000.7512.50

A.M. Did a warm-up, 2x100 strides, then ran 1000 on the trail in 3:01.6. Was running steady to 600 (1:46), then a bear jumped on me. That is actually good. The idea was to fight the bear for a little bit so I would want to take a nap in the afternoon.

Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 1.5. Joseph set a record for 1.5 with 12:06 and the last mile in 7:58.

P.M. Nap.

Some thoughts. I have been assuming for years that the biggest hangup that keeps me from running better is biomechanics. But perhaps I was wrong after all. I am starting to think that the hang up is the lack of muscle power relative to body weight. In other words, the problem is that the muscle needs to be this big to produce only so little power, and when it does get this big, then we are in a vicious cycle because now that it has more power it has to carry its increased weight. It manifests itself in bad biomechanics, and poor speed at the same time. The supporting evidence for this explanation is this - I have observed that the average 120 lb male that does not do weight training can lift more weight than me even if I do lift weights. My weight is 145 lb. Now, of course, this is just arm strength, so there are flaws in the argument. But this does point to a problem of some kind that could very well apply to the legs. Another argument to go with it is that my quads are quite large for a guy that struggles to run 100 in under 14.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.001.0012.50

A.M. Ran some my myself and some with the kids. Benjamin did 4, Jenny 3, Julia 1.5, and Joseph 1.25. I did a mile pickup in 5:13.8. On the positive side I volunteered it. On the negative side I felt like I was carrying a bear after the first quarter or so. On the positive side again I did not seem to mind carrying the bear and in spite of the bear I did not slow down - the splits were 78, 78, 80 (bridge), 77. I am wondering if the path to improvement involves some interaction with the 800 meter - 1 mile race bear. After all, how do you make your slow twitch fibers strong enough to run sub-5:00 without a lot of help from the fast twitch? Not by running 5:40 tempo runs for sure. You may build the aerobic plumbing for sub-5;00 by running 5:40, in fact, by running 7:00 - 7:30 for a lot of miles, and that is a necessary step, but you will still lack the power. But the power will not come from sprinting because the fast twitch fibers steal the show. So the idea is that we disable them first by running for a couple of minutes at a good speed, we know they are dead when the bear jumps on the back, and then we run as fast as possible for some more. This should give the slow twitch fibers maximum recruitment which will hopefully give them a kick to become stronger. To actually make them stronger in response to the stimulus we need a solid recovery - the right foods, maybe some magic herbs, and of course a nap.

P.M. Nap.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.750.000.000.7512.50

A.M. Did 2x100 strides, then 1000 in 3:00.9. The splits were 35, 1:47 (72), then a high 73. Almost there at the target. The plan is to get it to the point where it is under 3:00 with the last quarter no slower than 72, then extend it to 1200. The bear did not feel as heavy as he used to, and he jumped with about 200 to go instead of 400.

Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia and Joseph did 1.5. Total of 12.5.

P.M. Nap.


Green Crocs 1 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.5012.50

A.M. Total of 12.5 . Benjamin and Jenny were spending the night at the grandparent's house, and ran on their own - Benjamin did 4, Jenny 3. I did 1.5 with Joseph and Julia. Sarah also rode with me on a bike for 5 miles. I did a 0.5 pickup in 2:29 and felt very strong.

P.M. Nap.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.003.0019.00

A.M. Total of 15. The demon of reduced muscle strength is visiting me again. I tried my routine 2 mile time trial and did 78, 79, 80, 81, 83 - after that I felt it was not necessary to continue as it was apparent that something was wrong, so I stopped and jogged for the rest of the run. Towards the end I was curious, and did another pickup for 0.75 to catch up to another runner who I've run with a few times - his name is Ryan. I did 78, 80, and then 85, but it had a 100 in 24 while I was getting through the puddle under the bridge, so it was more like 82. Exact same pattern, and same feeling. After about half a mile all of a sudden I feel a loss of strength.  Did 1.5 with Joseph and Julia as part of the run.

P.M. Benjamin and Jenny came home and still needed to do their run. Jenny did 3 by herself, while I ran 4 with Benjamin. I wanted to understand the reduced strength demon problem better, and decided to do my 2 mile time trial again with the idea that I go only for as long as needed  and only finish it if 80s feel comfortable after the mile. Benjamin joined me for the first 500 meters or so. It went like this this time: 77, 79, 80, 83 (5:19 for the mile). After that it was again apparent was was going on so I discontinued the tempo. OK, so at least it is not worse at the end of the day after running 15 miles in the morning. So it appears that I enter this odd state of fatigue from where it just does not get any worse, I suppose. I would compare this to being perpetually in the second half of a better than embarrassing marathon.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
74.750.000.756.0081.50
Green Crocs 1 Miles: 78.50
Night Sleep Time: 55.00Nap Time: 4.50Total Sleep Time: 59.50
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