Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jul 01, 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: 24.00 Month: 167.37 Year: 2235.23
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
67.4010.256.001.2584.90
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 84.90
Night Sleep Time: 54.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 55.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. It was a Fast Sunday, so we had a Fast and Testimony Meeting. Joseph, our seven-year-old, decided to bear his testimony. He went up completely unassisted with a copy of the Book of Mormon in his hands, and to our surprise read out of 2 Nephi 21:1-8, where Nephi is quoting the prophesy of Isaiah about the Second Coming of Christ, which you can also find in Isaiah 11.  Interestingly enough, that is about the part where most people stop reading the Book of Mormon. Yet of all the parts of it that Joseph could have picked for sharing, he for some reason chose that one. We do expect our kids to know the scriptures, but I must admit this was quite a surprise for me.

The unusual events of the day did not stop with Joseph's testimony. In the next hour I taught a class for new members and investigators. There were five people in attendance in addition to myself, and none of them spoke English as a native language. The native languages were Russian, Korean, and Spanish. Fortunately for me the Spanish speakers were fluent in English and did not need the translation. One Korean speaker was assisted by her sister-in-law. I translated for my mother into Russian after saying it in English.

The Elder's Quorum was the only class where nothing too unusual happened. We learned about being in the middle of things from Elder Uchtdorf's message in the Ensign. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.700.000.000.0012.70

A.M. First ran 6 with Benjamin and Ariel. Then Jacob wanted to do a time trial. So I took him, Joseph, and William to the track. For the warm-up we did William's 400 m time trial. William is 3 years old, turning 4 in October. He got to 150 meters without me holding his hand, then he said he was scared and took my hand. He needs to learn to run fast without holding my hand to be ready for the Thanksgiving race where in order to win he will likely need to break 2:00 without holding anybody's hand. He ended up running 2:21 which is not a bad time at this point. It will, however, be a challenge to get him ready by Thanksgiving as he is less mature. He just barely got out of diapers, and his ability to talk and understand instructions is still not quite at the racing level. An important aspect of preparation for a little kid. I must say training a little kid to run fast when it matters is very educational for the parent.

On the positive side, William is way ahead of where Benjamin was at his age. Benjamin at the age of about 4 and 8 months ran 400 meters in 2:26 with me holding the hand all the way. He did manage to win the Thanksgiving race that year with 2:37 due to the lack of competition among boys.

Then it was time for Jacob's time trial. We did 800 meters. Our goal was to try to get as close as we could to 3:30. Jacob is 5 years and 11 months old. He will be 6 on Thanksgiving, 6 year old division has never been won with anything faster than 3:28 from what I remember, and it was Joseph last year. So I figure if he can run anywhere close to 3:30 now, barring some prodigy competition or severe race day misfortune he will win. Incidentally, he is the only child in our family that has ever won the 2-year-old 100 meter run, and when he did it was decisive - 35 seconds with a gap of 11 seconds, I believe, on the nearest competitor. I think his secret is that he is naturally very obedient. You tell him to do something, and he just does it if he can at all. So he did his 800 meters with Joseph being a rabbit (per Jacob's request) running about 5 seconds ahead, and me being by his side (also per Jacob's request). His splits were nearly perfect for the time he got - 52, 55 (1:47), 54, 53 (1:47) - 3:34.9 total.

We ran some more to cool down, then I ran another mile with Joseph. So Jacob did 1 mile, and Joseph did 2. Jenny and Julia ran 2 miles. I ran some more to make it 12 total.

P.M. 0.7 with Benjamin. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.550.000.000.7512.30

A.M. Started with an 800 meter time trial with Benjamin on the track. I was concerned about my ability to pace, as Benjamin is fast, and the distance is short. But I did OK. The target was 2:24, and I would have been happy with 2:26, but the plan was to pace him through the first lap in 72 and then see what happens. Benjamin was a bit aggressive in the first 100, which we did in 16. After that I told him to get really behind me and not push the pace from the side, and the pace became more reasonable. We did the next 500 meters hitting each 100 in 18, with 34 at 200, 70 at 400, and 1:46 at 600. Benjamin took the lead at 300 as we had planned. The idea was that if he knew he was supposed to take the lead, he had something to think about for the first 300 to get his mind off the worries about being able to sustain the pace. I took the lead back immediately after 400, and Benjamin took it again at about 540 again as planned. The idea was that this would give him a confidence boost, help practice for competitive racing, and also keep me from second-guessing how fast he wanted to go for the remainder of the run. At this point it felt really good to be behind him. I relaxed and did not try to pass him back on the curve. At 700 I found out why it felt so good - our next 100 was 19. So I moved out to pass him, but not very fast. This reluctance to accelerate came natural to me as I was quite tired, but it was just perfect for Benjamin because it stirred his competitive juices without mentally destroying him, and he picked it up. Our last 100 was 18 with the total time of 2:23.1.

This was very good preparation for the assault on the 5:00 mile barrier. Benjamin proved that he can run a significantly faster pace for half the distance, and that his second lap can be faster than the target pace, not just the first. Our next step is to take a break from the track next Tuesday and show the 6:00 guy who's the boss for 3 miles going down the Provo Canyon, and then the Tuesday after that try 1200 in under 3:45. So far, however, we are on track to break 5:00 before Benjamin turns 14, which is exciting. Now when he turns 15, it is quite likely that I might only be able to pace him for the first 800, and maybe the last lap in his mile time trials. But by then he can just run a competitive track race instead.

We ran some more miles after that, I ran with the younger kids, and some alone. Benjamin ended up with 6 miles, Jenny, Joseph, and Julia did 2, Jacob ran 1. I did a pickup for a quarter down the canyon in 76 chasing another runner. His name was Tony and he was visiting his family from California. We had a good talk.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.050.250.000.0012.30

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Joseph wanted to do a time trial. So I ran 2 with Julia, 4 more alone, then took Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, and Benjamin to the track and we helped Joseph get a good time in 400 meters. It took some persuasion to get Jenny to run fast - her excuse over the last year has been that her muscles are hurting from the growth spurt. That was indeed the case, but with that came also a mental issue of being afraid to run fast. So today I said we've had enough of that and told her she had to at least try. She reluctantly agreed to participate in pacing Joseph, which was of great help. However, Jacob was the key element. Joseph's goal was sub-90.  In the previous attempt he ran the first 200 in 43, followed by 50, which gave him 93. I knew that Jacob could run 200 in 47, he's done it before. I also knew that there is no way in the world that Joseph would let his younger brother Jacob finish ahead if he had even an ounce of strength remaining, and even if he did not. So we had Jacob start 200 meters into Joseph's time trial, and about 1 second in front.

Joseph, Jenny, Benjamin, and I went through the first 100 in 20. I knew the pace was too fast from the start, but I did not want to slow it down, and decided to just watch and see what happens. I wanted in particular to see how Joseph would fare against Jacob after a fast start. There was some easing off in the next 100 which was done in 23, giving us 43 for the 200. It appeared at first that Joseph was headed for a gradual decline. However, the presence of Jacob running in front stirred him to action. The next 100 was in 21 giving us 64 at 300. At that point I knew sub-90 was in the bag for Joseph. Jenny was also excited by the presence of Jacob, and pushed some to pass him. She finished in 85, which is technically her new record, although I believe she should be able to run quite a bit faster, sub-80 for sure, on a good day, if we can just find one. Jacob and Joseph finished together. Joseph's time for 400 was 86, 4 seconds ahead of the goal, and 43 for the second 200. It is quite remarkable that he managed an even split after a jack-rabbit start. Amazing what a younger brother placed at a strategic location can do for you. Jacob did 44 for the 200, which is his new record.

With the proven ability to run sub-3:00 800 pace for half the distance, Joseph is now on track to crack the 3:00 barrier in the 800 in the Thanksgiving race. I believe he may need to do that to win this year. His main competition is Ammon Blackburn who is a year older. Joseph will still be 7, and Ammon will be 8 on the day of the race. Ammon could very well run under 3:00. Benjamin's course record of 3:00 in that division is definitely under threat this year.

Afterward we ran home, and I ran 4 more with Benjamin. So Benjamin did 6, Joseph, Jacob, and Jenny did 2, I ended up with 12. 

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 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
8.000.006.000.0014.00

A.M. Ran with Benjamin and Ariel. Did a tempo workout - 3 up and 3 down the canyon with a few minutes of rest at the top. Benjamin paced me through the first mile, I ran the rest of the workout alone. The first mile was 5:56, then 5:57, and 5:53 - 17:46.8 for 3 miles. It was good to do sub-6:00 on all of those miles with pacing only on the first as opposed to on all. I think there was some tailwind, because on the way back there was noticeable headwind. I struggled on the second tempo. Part of it was the headwind, part I think being tired from the first one. My splits were 5:33, 5:35, 5:27 - 16:35.4 total.

Got home, ran with the kids. Jenny, and Julia did 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Benjamin did 6.8. I did a total of 13.

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

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.800.000.000.5013.30

A.M. Ran with Benjamin and Ariel, then with the other children. Benjamin did 6, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 3, Jacob 1. I ended up with 13. Did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:36.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 13.30
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.3010.000.000.0020.30

A.M. Started the run with Scott, his friend Reed, Chad, and Matt Poulsen. I had not seen Matt since he graduated from BYU, so it was nice to see him again and running. Matt was a 14:04 5000 meter runner back in the day. The group gradually thinned out as people reached their target turnaround points. By the end of the first 10 it was just me and Scott. We ran a tempo on the way back. It was much nicer to do this run with a partner. This run is one miserable run. It is hard to find somebody who is fit enough, up for the pain that day, and has a schedule that works out, but finally I was in luck. Scott and I traded leads with shifts of about 0.5 miles for the first 7 miles. The pace had been around 5:33 or so on average up to that point. Finally the pace and the heat started to get to me, and I had to draft. With about 2 miles to go we gradually pulled up to Reed, who was doing a tempo run of his own, and he was able to join us for about a mile, which we did in 5:37. The last mile was uphill, and more exposed to the sun. I struggled on it, so it was 6:03. Total time for the last 10 was 55:54, which is my new record in this workout. Total time for 20 was 2:10:01.

Benjamin did 6, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 20.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
67.4010.256.001.2584.90
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 84.90
Night Sleep Time: 54.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 55.00
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