Breaking the Wall

Provo River Half Marathon

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15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!

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: 166.57 Year: 2238.03
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 606.85
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Camouflage Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 938.88
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 111.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
63.750.2515.700.8080.50
Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 26.60Green Crocs 6 Miles: 80.50Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 53.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 56.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a fast and testimony meeting. Jacob, Julia, and Benjamin bore their testimonies. There were a lot of people lining up - so many that I did not get to bear mine which is OK because I get to do it frequently. This is unusual, though. 

When we got home I was very tired - probably still tired from the marathon followed by the trip. I took a long nap. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.350.250.100.3012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Took Jacob and Jenny to the track for a time trial. First Jacob ran 400 meters. Joseph, Jenny, and Benjamin assisted with pacing. Jacob ran a new PR of 87.5 with the splits of 21.0, 21.4, 23.6, and 21.5. This was the first time he dipped under 90. He is 7 years and two weeks old. Comparative times are - Benjamin ran 96.2 at the age of 7 years and  5 months, and Joseph did 86 at the age of 7 years and 6 months.

Then Jenny ran 100 in 16.2. She felt that she could do it faster, and tried again hitting 16.5. Then Jacob ran 19.5 - new record.

Here is what is interesting - Benjamin could do a 200 in 40.7 at the same time he ran 400 in 96.2. I do not think that Jacob would be much faster than 40.7 in the 200 now. I think Benjamin just had the fear of the 400 and it kept him from going fast. Jacob has the gift of not second guessing - you tell him to go fast and he just does it. 

I then ran more with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.002.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Took Logan to the track to do a 3200 meter time trial. I wanted to see the exact measurement of his improvement since he started training with us a little less than two months ago. He raced 3200 on the track in 12:01 in May. It was clear from his performance on Friday that he improved, but now was very curious by how much. So Benjamin and I paced him through a time trial. I was in charge of the pace and calling out splits, Benjamin was in charge of cheering. The target was 86 seconds per lap. Logan ran 11:27.8 with the following splits:

86, 86, 85, 88 (5:45), 86, 88, 87, 81 (5:42)

On the fourth lap I sensed that Logan needed a break after my mispaced 85. The sixth lap was slow because Logan was struggling. But he had a kick, so we ended up dipping by 0.2 under 86 seconds per lap average.

Logan is 14 years old. His training over the last year prior to the start of the summer consisted of average of about 3 miles a day with a lot of high intensity running. Prior to starting to train with us he reduced his training for a couple of weeks drastically and hardly ran at all for two weeks due to the stress of studying for the final exams, and it showed. Immediately after he raced 2 miles in our ward 2 miler in 12:55 which was probably worth around 12:30 on the track for 3200 meters. His training consisted of 4 miles a day of easy running for the first week, then he upped to to 5 miles a day and held it steady. Just a few days ago he moved ti to 6 miles a day. Most of the volume was easy, but on average once a week we did one-time test efforts for distances between 800 and 1200 meters to measure his fitness. 

We ran some more. Andrew ended up doing 6.5 miles, Logan 7, Benjamin 8, Joseph 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

I did a pickup for 0.51 uphill in 3:00.

This experience with Logan was rather revealing to me. I had never tried to work with a typical high school/junior high runner during a summer break. I have always sensed that removing a typical school runner from the traditional high intensity program and working primarily on his aerobic base would cause a 3200 meter breakthrough with less magnificent but still solid improvements in 1600, but I never previously had anything to quantify the intuition.

 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Pushed the stroller for 9. Had both Stephen and Matthew in it for 6, then just Matthew. Benjamin did 9, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny was at the girls camp, I assume she did her run.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 9.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.000.000.4012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 9, Jenny ran at the girls camp, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Pushed the stroller for 6 miles with Matthew and Stephen. Did 2x100 strides with Benjamin in 16.9 and 16.2. I also did a pickup for 500 in the slow direction on my course in 1:36.2.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.900.000.000.1012.00

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 9, Jenny ran at girls camp, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Did 2x100 with Benjamin in 15.8 and 16.2.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Race: Provo River Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:14:43, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.400.0013.100.0020.50

Provo River Half-Marathon, 1:14:43, 2nd overall, 1st master.

Curt was having a hard time this year with a number of things, including bibs and buses. So our van was the bus and an old Fast Running Blog 5 miler bib was Dave Holt's bib. Dave came to my house, we drove to the finish of the race, put 13 more people in the van, and drove to the start. There was only one port-a-potty, and there was a long line. Since we had time I decided to offer a special unique type of service - Bathroom Express. We took another load of runners down a mile to a nice bathroom in a park, and then brought them back.

Dave was warming up in the first half mile or so, so I went with him. But then he hit the gas, and was going out of my range in my current shape, so I just let him go. First mile was 5:08. Dave was already ahead by 10 seconds or so.

Then I saw a treasure - a bunch of runners - I think I saw Dan there, then Tony, Matt Poulsen and Mike Nelson, and Dave Taylor - doing what appeared to be a tempo run. So I worked my way up to them. They were spreading out each running his own pace. Matt and Mike appeared to have been running the right pace for me, and I knew they could handle it comfortably, so I asked them to pull me. I was able to stay with them until a little after mile 6, which was very helpful.

Curt's marks have improved - he adjusted them so that all of the splits were reasonable. Mile 2 was 5:15 (10:23), then 5:18 (15:41), 5:32 (21:13) - this one may have been a little long, 5:13 (26:26) - this one was definitely short, then 5:43 (32:09). 6 mile marker I think was right on.

In the 7th and 8th mile there is a nasty uphill with headwind. I do not remember the splits there by Curt's marks. However, I timed my split at the S mark which was 35:00, then the uphill mile from that was 6:48 - ouch, and that same mile back was 5:44. That hill really took a lot of out of me. However, something special happened. Shortly after the turnaround at the top of the hill I saw Tony. Somehow he knew that I was struggling and could use some help. So he modified his tempo run to do the last part of it with me.

I had a Tongan companion on my mission, and I know a little bit about the Tongan secret. They have a special gift. They know when you are struggling and they have a sense of what to do to help. I experienced the benefits of that gift today. Tony seemed to know the right pace for my condition even though I suspect that right pace was not easy for him either. He stayed with me for about 2 miles.

My split at the official 10 mile mark was 56:22. I think finally Curt got the 10 mile location right - last year it was actually long. My 3 mile tempo course split was 17:41. I was just coasting along a little bit under 6:00 per mile, but I could not go any faster. Not a surprise, though - I have not done enough training to endure the full measure of the half-marathon grind.

I was happy to finish in 1:14:43 beating my last year's time (even though in a sub-par race) by 5 seconds. This is my master's PR. Dave won with 1:13:04. He struggled at the end as well with a hamstring injury.

Afterwards I jogged home and then ran with the kids and Sarah. Julia did 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. William had a breakthrough run. We've been trying to talk him into breaking 10:00 without holding the hand or stopping. He has resisted the idea so far. But today something happened. He asked me if I would get him walkie-talkies, and I of course agreed on the condition that he break 10:00 in the mile following the above mentioned rules.

We did the time trial on the course that I measured earlier with the wheel for the ward 2 miler - 0.5 out up a small grade, and then the same way back. The biggest concern, of course, was not his physical fitness, but avoiding mental breakdown - common for 4 year olds in general, but particularly the cause of concern for William. His first quarter was 2:22. Shortly after he said he did not want the prize. Somehow I managed to convince him that the prize was worth the effort. Then he saw a moving truck and decided to get scared of it. I assured him that it would not hit him. He argued with me, but I miraculously was able to prevail without losing much speed. Our next quarter was 2:26. 

On the way back William sped up an ran the next quarter in 2:22. We were 20 seconds ahead of our target pace now but the cat was not in the bag yet. I knew very well that one spectacular fit could throw the record out of the window. So I made sure that we kept the pace under control not allowing it to get too fast knowing from experience the difficulty of the effort could result an emotional breakdown. William saw his favorite piece of plastic on the road that he thinks is a snake, and starting complaining that he did not want the snake to get him. I really did not want the "snake" to kill the record, so I led him as far away from it as I could. Once we passed it he forgot about the "snake". His next concern was that he might throw up when he finished. I told him since we were well on pace, he could slow down a little and that would prevent throwing up. He slowed down for 5 seconds just a little,then forgot about it and sped back up. His last quarter was 2:19 and he got the goal finishing with 9:29.4 which is our new family record in the 4 and under age division.

This was a nice prize for me at the end of 20.5 miles for the day getting up at 4:30 AM and racing 13.1 of them.

Benjamin ran 6 at the camp-out. Jenny ran around 2.5 at girls camp. 

 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.50Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 2.60Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
63.750.2515.700.8080.50
Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 26.60Green Crocs 6 Miles: 80.50Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 53.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 56.00
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