Breaking the Wall

Week starting Sep 02, 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: 148.02 Year: 3163.85
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: 903.91
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
78.400.000.309.3088.00
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 88.00
Night Sleep Time: 47.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 47.50
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 Fast and Testimony meeting first. Then Sunday School - I went into the new member/investigator class. The lesson was on prophets. Then a lesson on missionary work in the Elder's Quorum from the First Presidency Message.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.200.000.300.0012.50

A.M. Ran with the kids first. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Then I ran another 3 miles with the weights and Julia and Joseph on bikes. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 500 meters in 1:39 to tune up for Benjamin's race tomorrow. 

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.000.003.0012.50

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Did a workout. 12x400 down the Provo Canyon. It has been a while since I've done this workout. The precise reason is that it hurts so much that I always found an excuse to avoid it, and I had plenty. The main one is that by the time I am done running with the kids, I have neither miles nor time left for such workouts. Another one is that since I am a marathoner, I do not need to do such workouts. But I prayed recently for guidance, and felt that I should resume those miserable quarters. And not just 6 or 8, but full 12 with 200 recovery.

I remembered today how much those hurt.  Enough that I remembered the way they get a little kid to eat his food in Russia. A spoon for each family member. One for Mommy, one for Daddy, one for Grandma, one for Grandpa. Maybe one for a brother or a sister if the child is lucky to have one. Then you have to start all over again. I've fed our kids like that, and with the extended family involved I do not think I ever had to repeat the cycle. So I did each one of the first ten for somebody in my house, and I included Matthew who is not yet born. That made it easier. But still, you finish the first two, and you dread the thought of another one, not to even think about ten. You savor your 200 meter recovery jog, and then comes another one.

I thought it would be good if I could average 72, but I was more fit for the pain than I expected. My slowest was the first - 70.2. Second slowest I was the fourth or the fifth I think - 70.0. I had a few under 69. The last one was the fastest - 67.1. Most of them fell around 69.4. Towards the end I figured out a form trick that gave me more stability on the right side, and I started to go sub-69 more consistently without more effort. Well, I did not really have more effort to give. That is the whole point of this workout. You make yourself hurt while trying to maintain the pace. You give yourself short breaks to reset the pile up of whatever it is that limits your speed just enough that you would not slug the next repetition. This forces the brain to find ways to run faster in a fatigued state. Since it cannot come through raw power, it comes through efficiency.  You also develop higher pain tolerance. More specifically, you learn how to avoid panic at the signals of fatigue, which allows you to hold the fast pace a little longer.

The kids ran on their own. Benjamin and Jenny did 3. Julia 2. Joseph and Jacob rested for the cross country meet in the event. 

P.M. Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob ran in the cross country meet at the Kiwani's Park. The distance was 2 K. Benjamin won overall with 7:01 in spite of taking a detour that cost him who knows how much. The facts are that it took Benjamin 2:44 to reach a place where I was standing, while the second place was there in 2:54, which was prior to the wrong turn. At the next checkpoint  it was 6:01/6:07. At the finish it was 7:01/7:11. So I am going to guess he lost at least 5 seconds, possibly more. In any case, 7:01 is still a good result running in front alone for most of the race. I did notice a problem we need to address. Benjamin's leg turnover is too sluggish - ground contact time looks excessive. He compensates with a huge stride, but I think it is out of balance. Well, the huge stride is great. What is out of balance is that he lingers too long on the ground. From the visuals, it makes it harder for him to maintain speed when he is tired. We will work on fixing that.

Joseph had a great performance. His time was 8:45. Not only did he win Sub-Bantams (being only 7 he actually still has another year in Sub-Bantams), he beat the first Bantam boy, and what is impressive is that he had about a 2-3 second lead going into the last 100 meters, and he maintained it even though the older boy tried to kick. When you have a 2 year difference in age, the older boy almost always wins the kick. In fact, I believe this is the first time in our family history of running that with this age difference our younger boy did not lose the kick. Joseph improved his time from last year by 1:36.

Our barely six year old Jacob had a great performance as well. He would have won the Sub-Bantams had it not been for his "bully" older brother. His time was 9:40, which is 41 seconds faster than what Joseph ran last year at the age of 6 years and 9 months. Jacob is only 6 years and 1 month old.

Benjamin wore spikes, but the spikes we ordered for Joseph and Jacob had not yet arrived, so they wore Crocs. Joseph was OK, but Jacob lost his Croc with about 300 meters to go. He just kept on running. 

Later in the evening I ran 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.000.000.000.0017.00

A.M. Ran with the kids. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. I ended up with a total of 12, 2 with the weights. 

P.M. 5 total. 0.5 with William, 4.5 with Julia following me on a bike. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 17.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.000.003.0018.00

A.M. Did another hard workout. 3x1 mile, exact repeat of last week. This one actually does not hurt as bad as 12x400 even though it covers the same distance. Slowing down to 74s from 69s makes a difference even if you have to run them back to back. But it still hurts, which is why I have been excusing myself from doing it for so long. I had an improvement compared to last week - 4:56.0 (vs 5:02.1), 4:57.5 (vs 5:04.8) and 4:55.7 (vs 5:01.2). So all under 5:00. Downhill, but still it was good to move the legs that fast. If we were to take the conversion factor of 11 seconds to Orem High track based on 4:52-5:03 results that Benjamin got in the time trials, this would translate into about 5:06 for the full mile and 5:04 for the 1600. Total of 13 miles.

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin was in charge. He ran 7, Jenny 3, Julia and Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

P.M. Total of 5. 0.5 with William, 4.5 by myself. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.700.000.000.3012.00

A.M. Ran with the little kids, then with Benjamin and Ariel. Benjamin did 7, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1. Benjamin, Ariel, and I did 5x100 pickups at 4:48 pace down the canyon. The purpose was to teach Benjamin faster leg turnover.

P.M. Jenny took William for 0.5 miles. 

Green Crocs 4 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
13.000.000.003.0016.00

A.M. Ran with Chad. Total of 15.5. Chad did 20.5, having run 5 miles before we started together. Given the upcoming Top Of Utah Marathon I did an medium long run with a short fast tempo run instead of the full 20 with the last 10 fast. Chad joined me. To spice things up he started 1:00 ahead of me in our standard 3 mile tempo run from Nunns Park to the mouth of the Provo Canyon. This is the third time we've done it like this. The first two times Chad ended up finishing ahead. Today was finally my day. It did help some that Chad was worn out some from the 5 miles earlier and did not have Benjamin to stir him up. Originally we were planning on having Benjamin around, but he had some signs of a sore throat and we decided to have him run less and slower - 4 easy miles with his siblings instead of his usual 7 with me. I ran 15:32 with the splits of 79 - 76 - 78 - 76 (5:09) - 76 - 78 - 78 - 80 (5:12) - 80 - 79 - 78 - 74 (5:11). I passed Chad almost exactly at 2.5 mark  He finished in 16:51 in spite of the fatigue and opening with a 74 quarter, which is still a decent time for him.

This is my fastest time this year, 1 second faster than the fastest time last year, and only 17 seconds slower than my best time ever. I experienced an interesting feeling in the tempo. I was breathing very hard the entire time, but I could manage it. Earlier when I was running in the 15:50 range when that feeling came I just slowed down because I could not handle it.

Last year I ran 15:33 in this workout, and then  2:34:15 in TOU. I felt that TOU was an off-race that was salvaged by having somebody to run with (James Moore) for 24 miles. We will see what happens this year. I hit pretty much the exact same time as last year in this workout. I suppose if the conditions are good and I feel good, we will find out exactly how much off I was last year, or maybe if it was just a perception. I wrote 2:29:59 on my entry form for the predicted time. I've run the race 13 times and I do not think I ever quite delivered what I hoped for on the form. Maybe this year I will.

P.M. 0.5 with William.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
78.400.000.309.3088.00
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 88.00
Night Sleep Time: 47.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 47.50
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