Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jun 24, 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: 192.89 Year: 2260.75
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
75.600.006.002.1083.70
Green Crocs 3 Miles: 64.70Green Crocs 4 Miles: 19.00
Night Sleep Time: 46.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 46.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Was tired, fell asleep during the first Sacrament meeting talk. However, this gave me the energy to understand the second. It was good. What I remembered the most was the quote from President Benson about the importance of personal scripture study. He said many church leaders focus on attendance, number of missionaries, number of baptisms, activation rates, etc, but all those things will take care of themselves if every member of the Church begins to have a high-quality scripture study on a regular basis. I compare this to how runners worry about their stride rate, or if they are heel striking, but consistent mileage and with timely added speed work will take care of that. Just get fit, and all the secondary attributes of fitness will appear automatically.

Afterwards picked my mom at the airport. She will stay with us until the end of August.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.000.0012.70

A.M. 8 with Ariel, then more with the kids. Benjamin did 6, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 2, Jacob 1. I ended up with a total of 12.

P.M. 0.7 with Benjamin.

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.001.5013.00

A.M. Did a time trial in the mile at Orem high track with Benjamin. Ariel joined us for a part of it. We had a modest target of 5:20. It went quite well. I took him through the first three laps in 79, 80, and 81. I sensed a bit of weakness on the third lap and eased off a bit, that's why we got 81. However, I did have to work at that pace myself, so I was not entirely unhappy about having to slow down a bit. In the last lap Benjamin was strong. I sensed that and invited him to pass me with about 270 meters left, and he did. This was for several reasons - psychological benefit of feeling you are outkicking a competitor, also I did not know how strong he was, and did not want to guess what his kick pace should be, especially given that I was sufficiently tired myself to lack pace precision. Benjamin kicked well, our last lap was 75, and the total time, including the 9.34 meters, was 5:17.3. This is his new track PR, and is only 3 seconds slower than his trail aided mile PR of 5:14. We will hopefully be able to take that down in the next attempt.

Ran more miles afterwards, most of it was with the kids.  Total of 12. Benjamin did 6, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 2, Jacob 1.  Total of 12 for me. When I was running the extra miles with Benjamin we saw Jeremy a bit ahead and decided to chase him down. Apparently Benjamin did have some energy left - we ran half a mile in 2:35.

P.M. 0.7 with Benjamin, 0.3 with William.


Green Crocs 3 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.003.000.0013.00

A.M. Did my 3 mile tempo run uphill. Was feeling tired from the start. The splits were 5:59, 6:07, 6:17 - total time 18:23.5. I have had this feeling before. Probably a combination of running really hard on Saturday and accumulation of the lack of sleep. I am suspecting that feeling means high cortisol levels. I can tell my blood pressure, my weight, my pace, and my heart rate by feel fairly accurately, why not cortisol levels with some training? This is actually an interesting idea - if you trained a mathematically minded athlete by measuring various parameters of his body that could have sensory impact and then telling him the values, he might be able to observe patterns that a scientist might not be able to with all the modern equipment, and suggest experiments that could lead to scientific breakthroughs.

Afterwards ran with the kids. Total of 12.7 for me. Benjamin did 6, Jacob 1, Joseph had a sore hip flexor, too sore to run, probably a growing pain, Jenny and Julia ran 2.

P.M. 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
12.400.000.000.6013.00

A.M. Ran 6 with Benjamin and Ariel, then with the smaller kids. Total of 12.  Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 2. Jacob ran 1. Did a pickup for 1000 in 3:12.

P.M. 0.7 with Benjamin. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

A.M. Ran 6 with Benjamin and Ariel. Then more alone and with the other kids. Jenny, Julia, and Joseph ran 2. Jacob did 1. I did a total of 12.

P.M. 0.7 with Benjamin, 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.003.000.0019.00

A.M. I invited Scott Keate to help me qualify for the rights to race again. As I mentioned in earlier entries I decided I would not run another serious race until I am able to run all three miles of my Provo Canyon Uphill Tempo under 6:00. The reasoning was that the failure to do so pointed to a deteriorating spine, which would mean not only terrible uphill and headwind performance, but also reduced ability to hold pace in the second half of the marathon, as if the loss of speed alone was not enough. So I said I am going to do what it takes to reverse the deterioration, and will test it with uphill tempo runs.

Scott did a great job pacing. We went through the first mile in 5:54. I felt good but still apprehensive. I had been able to run it as fast as 5:51 before also feeling good, but then the pace deteriorated quickly. I was taking it a quarter at a time, and was pleased to see the next two quarters both under 90 with 8:51 half way through, and still feeling good. But I was not out of the woods yet, as the hardest part of the course was still ahead. Next two quarters in 2:56, 11:47 at 2 miles, 5:53 mile. Now I just needed to survive for the next half mile. I knew that in the last half mile I could gut it out a little under 3:00, so as long as I did not drop the ball before 2.5 I would make it. The headwind picked up, but Scott upped the effort to compensate, and I felt good enough not to have to ask him to slow down. We did the next 0.5 in 2:55. At this point I knew the last mile would be under 6:00 as well. The pace now felt hard, but I was more in control than I even had been this year so far. To spite the 6:00 guy and to rub it in, Scott upped the pace even more. So much that with about a quarter to go I asked him to back off. In all honesty I could have toughed it out. But I did not have the mental energy to fight another battle at this point as I knew we were smashing the standard already and my mind was already blown away by that. Even with that, our last half mile was 2:50, which gave us 5:45 for the last mile, and 17:32.3 for the 3 miles. 

My reaction to the result can be summarized with the words of a hymn we sing in church "I Stand All Amazed". I cannot believe the Lord was that merciful to me to allow me to have this experience. A progressive negative split on a progressively increasing incline with a progressively increasing headwind. It took a helper that set the pace and blocked the wind. But there is only so much a human helper could do even if he could pull me with a rope. Somehow by some miracle I was able to challenge and kick every stumbling stone. That miracle, I believe, is in the strength work I've been doing on the lower back, and in the increased sleep in the last few days. Although I do have a rational explanation for it, nevertheless I believe the knowledge of what needed to be done came through divine means.

We ran back to the house, picked up Benjamin, ran 6 more with him. After that Scott went home, and I ran 2 more with Jenny, Jacob, and Joseph. Julia had a hurt foot and ran 1 mile. Total of 18.7 for me.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

 

 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 19.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
75.600.006.002.1083.70
Green Crocs 3 Miles: 64.70Green Crocs 4 Miles: 19.00
Night Sleep Time: 46.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 46.00
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