Breaking the Wall

Week starting Aug 11, 2013

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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 eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. 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: 118.81 Year: 3380.28
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 33.72
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
64.003.2510.550.7078.50
Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 78.50
Night Sleep Time: 53.00Nap Time: 4.00Total Sleep Time: 57.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Heard an interesting story in the Sacrament meeting talk. A missionary in Samara, Russia was interviewing a man and a woman for baptism. The procedure is that someone wishing to be baptized first is taught by one set of missionaries, and then another missionary that does not know him interviews him to provide a second witness that the person is ready to be baptized.

One of the requirements for baptism is that if a couple is co-habiting they need to get married first. Co-habitation is very common in Russia. The missionary asked them if they were married. They told him no. He told them they needed to get married. They asked if they could talk to each other for a moment. In the meantime the missionaries that were the original teachers walked in and asked the interviewer missionary where the couple was. He told them to their shock that they were talking about marriage. It turned out that this was the first time the man and the woman met - they were not living together. The confusion was resolved, but I never heard the rest of the story - if they actually got married after all. 

When I got home I took a long nap again - I have been tired lately and needed long naps on Sunday.  

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3.5, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a tempo run for 2 miles from the canyon bridge to the house in 11:33.0. It started getting warm by then, but did not seem to bother me too much.

P.M. Did the strength work magic on my legs. I've been doing it for a while, but not recording it. In the last 4 months or so I've been doing one-leg vertical leg press 3 times a week with 165 lb  with 3x10 repetitions on each leg. I saw an improvement of about 7 seconds per mile in the tempo runs in the first couple of weeks, and then it plateaued. So I decided to try something different. I stumbled upon an interview with Victor Seluyanov, a Russian exercise physiologist with connection to the Russian national teams in various sports, who proposes that it is possible to cause myofibrillar hypertrophy in a slow-twitch fiber by filling it up with a moderate amount of hydrogen ions. This is not easy to achieve by just running because the moment you relax the muscle the mitochondria will neutralize the hydrogen ions. With a fast-twitch fiber achieving this is much easier because it does not have enough mitochondria to do the cleanup. However, the cleanup cannot happen when the muscle is contracted. So if you do an exercises that never lets the muscle relax, you achieve the effect.

He recommends performing very slow repetitions with a moderate weight never achieving the full range of either flexion or extension until you start experiencing a good amount of discomfort. His term for this type of exercise is "stato-dynamic" - an odd hybrid of static and dynamic in other words.

So I decided to try this - 90 lb on one leg of vertical leg press very slowing going back and forth between the knee angle of maybe 90 degrees and 150 degrees. The angle really does not matter as long as the knee is never fully extended or flexed or close. What matters is that towards the end you experience a certain type of burning pain. I've always associated it with the taste of lemon in the muscle - as if there were a taste receptor inside. For me doing it this way it took 15 repetitions to start feeling a significant amount of pain, and the last 5 require some mental toughness to get through properly. I could, of course, just push faster recruiting the fast twitch fibers and it would make it easier, but it would defeat the purpose of the exercise.

I did 3x20 on each leg. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.500.300.2012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Julia wanted to do an 800 meter time trial on the track at Orem High. Benjamin and I paced her. Her record was 3:10.8 achieved in a time trial. She had run 3:11.8 in a race. She raced multiple times but failed to break her time trial best. I think the main cause was that she is very sensitive to the heat, and all of her races were in the afternoon. In fact, she ran her best race time in Park City when it was a little cooler (although still not ideal), and then could not break it even in Eugene when the temperatures where higher.

I decided to pace her through the first lap in 90 and see what happens optimistically hoping for 95 in  the second lap. To my surprise she held the pace and finished in 3:01.1 - her splits were 44, 90 (46), 2:16(46), and the last 200 in 45. Orem High girls were doing a 400 meter time trial starting at the 300/700 meter mark of our 800. Around the 650 mark Julia caught up to the tail end of pack which was headed for around 1:50-1:55 quarter. There were a lot of girls in that pack - anywhere from 5 to 10. She had to get around them which threw her off some. This may have cost her half a second or so. But at the same time having them as a target did help.

I also did 3x100 with Benjamin in 15.7, 16.2, and 15.7 on the track. At the end of my run I picked up the pace for the last 0.3 to break 37:00 for the last 5 miles. 

P.M. "Stato-dynamic" magic. 

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green 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
9.000.003.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a 3 mile tempo from the canyon to the house in 17:07.5. Felt strong, held the pace well in the last uphill mile - did it in 5:52. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Stato-dynamic magic.

Green 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
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did 4x200 with Benjamin down the canyon. We are working on making a 60 second quarter natural and relaxed. Barring a disaster, this will happen for Benjamin in the next year or so. Short of a miracle, this is will not happen to me. Perhaps the miracle is that families are forever and we are experiencing this eternal connection in a special way through running. But nonetheless I will try to keep the body young for a long time and pray for science to discover how to re-grow a messed up L-4  so I can do my part in the miracle, not leaving all of that up to the posterity.

We started out a little sluggish, then sped up - 33.9, 33.0, 31.9, and 31.0. The last one should have been under 30 - we hit the first 100 in 14.6, but then both of us slowed down as we tried to not miss the triangles mark for the finish which was a little faded.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green 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
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. 10.5 total. Benjamin did 6, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, Julia 3, William 1.

P.M. Drive to Thornton, CO to visit with James and Lybi. We saw them after the Utah Valley Half and they invited us to come for a visit. We made it from Orem in 8:12 going on I-80 and then taking a shortcut on Hwy 287 from Laramie, WY to Fort Collins, CO. Not bad for traveling with 8 children with a nursing baby and two more under the age of 5.

I noticed some interesting traffic patterns on I-25 southbound between Fort Collins and Thornton. Speed limit is 75. The traffic is moving at around 75 with occasional surges to 80-85. The traffic is heavy but it is moving well. Then all of a sudden it slows down to 25. After a couple of miles we see the cause of the slowdown - a trooper parked on the median. Everybody is breaking just in case and with the traffic that heavy the cop-check break is enough to cause a congestion. We pass the trooper and the traffic speeds up to its normal speed.  Then all of a sudden there is another jam. This time the problem turns out to be the sign that says 55 in big letters and "minimum speed limit" in small letters. People who do not know that route initially mistake that for 55 maximum speed and break. Once we are out of that zone - it is not clear why that was necessary - the traffic is moving again at normal speeds. Then after a while another jam. Another trooper, actually it appears he was on the frontage road, so completely out of traffic, but everyone is doing the standard cop-check break, We pass that, and in spite of getting closer and closer to Denver the traffic is moving at normal speeds again.

I find it rather interesting that all of the three jams we encountered was caused by what I would want to call traffic mismanagement. There was enough capacity to handle the traffic, but due to unnatural interference of political nature that capacity was reduced and became inadequate.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.002.755.250.0020.00

A.M. Ran with Paul and Benjamin in Loveland, CO. It was good to visit with Paul after not seeing him for a long time. Paul and I did 20, Benjamin did 10. We warmed up a mile, then did a 4 mile tempo in 22:43 on a slightly rolling terrain. At 5000 feet which is 500 feet higher than what Benjamin and I are used to, and with higher humidity than what we are used to this proved challenging to both of us, but we survived. Then Benjamin jogged back, and Paul and continued. We did another tempo on the way back starting at around 13 into the run. I did the first mile with Paul in 5:48, then another quarter at around 5:35 pace, and then I was done with that zone for the day and ran 6:10-6:15 pace to the finish ending up with 24:18 for 4 miles. Paul sped up quite a bit hitting 5:22 and 5:08 for the last two miles. Total time for 20 miles was around 2:15.

The other children ran at home in Thornton. Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. 

P.M. Benjamin took William for 1 mile.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Comments(25)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
64.003.2510.550.7078.50
Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 6.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 78.50
Night Sleep Time: 53.00Nap Time: 4.00Total Sleep Time: 57.00
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