Breaking the Wall

Top of Utah Half Marathon

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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: 0.00 Year: 3555.51
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
64.151.0015.100.7581.00
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 81.00
Night Sleep Time: 45.00Nap Time: 4.00Total Sleep Time: 49.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church with Lybi and James in Henderson, CO. Their Gospel Principles class was rather big and active. In the Elder's Quorum I sat down next to a guy named Mark. It turned out he had served a mission in Russia and was still fluent after 16 years - he had kept it up through daily reading.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.501.000.000.0014.50

A.M. Total of 14.5. Started the run with James and his friend Greg. I wanted to see what Greg could do a mile in. We did a mile time trial on the track. Greg started out with a lap in 1:42, followed by 1:43. All of a sudden he started feeling like he was going to faint. He made it to 1000 meters in 4:22 and stopped. However, he could handle 9:20 pace jogging just fine and he has trained more or less consistently for about a year. I had never seen something like this before. I am suspecting some kind of a heart condition. We did a total of 5.5 miles.

Then I ran with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Lybi and Sarah joined us for part of the run. Benjamin decided to turn his legs over in the last mile and ran it in around 5:50. 

P.M. Drive home with Benjamin. Everybody else flew. Not that it was easier, the kids wanted to fly because they had never flown before. Benjamin and I made it in 7:31 to our house taking I-25, then Hwy 287 from Fort Collins, then I-80 and Hwy 40/Hwy 89 with only one stop in Rawlins, WY for gas. Google says the distance is 521 miles, but the odometer showed 528. I can understand extra half a mile from the gas detour, but where did the extra 7 miles come from? Bad tangents, I suppose - but do they measure the highway on tangents? Maybe the tires were slightly under-inflated throwing off the odometer. Benjamin did a lot of Russian reading on the way. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.000.000.5012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout with Benjamin. 4x200 down the canyon. My splits were 31.3, 32.6, 30.5, 30.4. Benjamin got 31.0, 32.6, 30.3, and the last one was under 30 but he missed the split. Andrew ran 6 with us and did 4x100 in around 17 seconds.

Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob ran 2 miles in Thornton, CO.

The good news is that Benjamin's legs did not hurt from this workout. I think we'll do one more of those, and the move to 4x300 starting in 48 and finishing in 45.

P.M. Picked up the rest of the family at the airport. Jenny, Julia, Joseph and William ran one more mile. 

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
11.750.000.000.2512.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a pickup for a quarter uphill in 79.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did a 2 mile tempo run with Benjamin from the bridge to the house - uphill. As planned I set the pace in the first 0.5 to let him know how fast I wanted to run, then he pulled me until there was a quarter left, then he kicked and dropped me. His time was 11:08. I got 11:16. Our splits were 2:50, 5:37 (2:47), 8:23 (2:46), and the uphill 0.51 was 2:45 for him, 2:53 for me. Joseph did 3, Jenny 4, Julia 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
10.500.000.000.0010.50

A.M. 10.5 total. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, Joseph 3, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Race: Top of Utah Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:14:49, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.900.0013.100.0020.00

A.M. Top of Utah Half - 1:14:49, 12th overall, 2nd master, $75. 

Stayed with Steve Anderson the night before.

Warmed up a little over 2 with Jake. At the start there were a lot fast runners - money went 5 deep and there were two people that broke 1:10 and went home empty-handed. Fortunately the race had a charity fund for the senior citizens of which I ended up a beneficiary along with Walter and Rob Murphy.

My goal was to go under 1:14. I thought a performance similar to what I ran in the Provo River Half would be sufficient. So either I ran worse, or the course is not quite as fast as I thought it was. In any case, report mile by mile to the best of my memory:

1 - 5:31 - ended up alone a little ahead of Ben VanBeekum and Jon Heslup but quite a bit behind Walter who opened in around 5:08. In retrospect, I should have just sat behind Ben and Jon and saved energy.

2 - 5:31 (11:02) - Ben and Jon caught up to me and I got on their tail. Walter had 10:42.

3 - 5:40 (16:42) - Ben and Jon pulled ahead, I felt the pace was too fast for me.  They did 5:27, Walter was 16:11 at 3 miles - 5:29.

4 - 5:44 (22:26) - Ben, Jon, and Walter gapped me by a little more.

5 - 5:27 (27:53) - here comes the famous Blacksmith Fork Canyon tailwind. Around this time Ben passed Walter, so I ran most of the remainder of the race watching Walter and Jon from behind.

6 - 5:30 (33:23) - more of that tailwind

7 - 5:30 (38:53) - tailwind helps keep the momentum

8 - 5:43 (44:36) - end of tailwind, fatigue, lack of serious traning and possibly old age are beginning to show

9 -  5:45 (50:21) - hanging on

10 - 5:52 (56:13) - not good, but at least sub-6:00

12 - 12:33 for 2 uphill miles (1:08:36) - oops - there goes sub-1:14, now sub-1:15 is in jeoprady. How did this happen? Maybe missing the split at 11 was part of the problem. I was not feeling great, but was not feeling too bad either. Could have pushed this a little harder maybe. Or maybe not, who knows.

13 - 1:14:18 (5:42) - Saw Walter coming to me, but he was too far ahead to catch. I tried, though.

last 0.1 - 31 seconds

Walter finished 36 seconds ahead, which was less than ideal - in the ideal world that number would be negative. However, I did have concerns around mile 10 that the gap might be as bad as over a full minute which did not materialize.

Riley won in a breakthrough race with 1:05:16. Jake was a close second with 1:05:38. Then John Coyle with 1:06:10 - I talked to him afterwards, he said he lost some time on a VPB. Then Bryant Jensen 1:06:55, Jason Holt 1:09:05, Scott Keate 1:09:22, Jacob Howell 1:09:55, Ben VanBeekum 1:10:58, Jesse Dunn 1:12:57, John Heslop 1:13:12, and Walter 1:14:13.

Ran a cooldown to make the total 20 miles running back on the course. Headed back on the course, experienced a bathroom emergency. Saw some people outside of their house, asked them to use their restroom. Afterwards made it to mile marker 11 and a little past going the other way, then ran back. By then I was with people headed maybe for 2:07-2:08. Nobody wanted to run with me until I had passed the 2:05 pacer. For some reason they had a hard time believing that a) they could run faster at least for a little bit and b) I would slow down to the best they could do. In the last half mile I found some people to pace.

During the race my legs felt strong but not quick. 5:30 was about my limit and that required fresh legs and nice downhill. I need to do something to fix it. Probably tempo runs down the canyon - I have not been doing those lately.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
64.151.0015.100.7581.00
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 81.00
Night Sleep Time: 45.00Nap Time: 4.00Total Sleep Time: 49.00
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