Breaking the Wall

Week starting Sep 04, 2011

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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: 172.56 Year: 2584.45
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: 372.32
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
76.200.902.504.4084.00
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 84.00
Night Sleep Time: 55.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 55.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a lesson in Sunday School on Romans 8-10 which talks about salvation from sin through the redemption of Christ. In the Elder's Quorum we had a lesson on on temple worship. The Sacrament meeting did not have talks, but a fast and testimony meeting instead as it was the first Sunday of the month.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.600.900.000.0012.50

A.M. Did 5 with Benjamin, of it with Joseph. 1.5 with Julia and Jenny. 0.5 with Jacob. 5 without the kids. Saw another runner before my turnaround and decided to chase him down. Took me about 0.9 at about 5:50 pace. At first I was feeling sluggish, but gained strength as the chase progressed. The runner's name was Jeff. He is a freshman at BYU from Riffle, CO.  My training partners keep getting younger than me. This was my new PR for the age difference with a running partner my height - he is 20 years younger than me. I am still in the mindset that it is not possible to be 20 years younger than me and be already born.

P.M. For our Family Home Evening activity we went to the intersection of 40 N parallel and 112 W meridian. It turned out to be a spot in the field near Elberta, UT. We could not quite get to the sweet spot due to the presence of a fence with barbed wire. But we got as close as we could. I really enjoyed the fresh air. We meandered far enough away from the car as we tried to get to the magic spot that I had to do some running to get the car. Ended up running about 0.5 miles.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.002.500.0014.00

A.M. Ran 5 with Benjamin, Jeff joined us for a portion of it, then 0.5 with Jacob, 1.5 with Joseph, Juila, and Jenny, and 5 more myself. Ran the last 2.5 in 13:56. Felt strong. 

P.M. 2 miles.

Green Crocs 2 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
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. 10 miles at 5:15 AM before going to the temple. Thought I would feel sluggish, but was more awake than I excepted. Total time was 1:12:53. Met a Russian language mission-bound missionary at the temple - saw the word Elder in Russian on his name tag and decided to give him some practice. Even though he was as green as it gets in the MTC we managed to have a conversation without a single word of English. I found out that he is from Arkansas, has a younger brother and sister, was baptized at the age of  8, and is headed to a Russian-speaking mission in Moldova.

P.M. 2 miles pushing Steven with Sarah on a bike.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.001.0014.00

A.M. Did 5 with Benjamin, 1.5 with Julia, Joseph and Jenny, 0.5 with Jacob, and 5 alone. Did 2x800 in 2:32.5 and 2:30.8 with 100 meter jog recovery. The reason to even bother with the recovery is that now with the flooding under the bridge I have one good 800 meter stretch, followed by another 100 meters later. Otherwise I would have just run the whole mile. Total of 12.

P.M. 2 miles.

Green Crocs 2 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
14.100.000.000.4014.50

A.M. Did 5.5 with Benjamin. We paced Sarah through a 7:37.9 mile, her new PR since Stephen was born. Then I did 0.5 with Jacob, 1.5 with Jenny, Julia, and Joseph, and 5 more alone including hill sprints - 10 x about 60 meters from magic spot to magic spot. Fastest time was 10.0. Total of 12.5.

P.M. 2 miles pushing Stephen in the stroller.

 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.003.0017.00

A.M. Ran 5 with Benjamin, 1.5 with Jenny and Julia, 1.5 with Joseph, and 0.5 with Jacob. That gave me the total of 8.5 warmup. Then I took Sarah with me to the Provo Canyon. She rode the bike along side with me during my tempo run. I wanted to test myself on my standard 3 mile course to see if the improvement I noticed last week was from the long distance endurance, or if it was all across the board. I also wanted to get another point of reference.

However, the workout had another purpose. When pacing Sarah yesterday it occurred to me that she did not know how to properly respond emotionally to the high intensity effort, and it had cost her up to 20 seconds. So I figured it would be good for her to observe a more experienced runner deal with the fatigue while riding alongside on a bike.  I would recommend this to everybody who has not run competitively for very long - ride a bike alongside somebody who has when he is running at a high effort and pay close attention. The speed does not matter so much, although those who have more competitive experience tend to be faster.

So I ran up a bit over 2 miles, and then ran the tempo on my 3 mile course from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the Provo Canyon. The first mile was 5:07, and felt reasonable, so I maintained the effort. The second mile was 5:12, and I was happy with it as well. On the third mile I started to struggle some for a number of reasons - fatigue from the first two, more areas of the trail exposed to the sun, and more people on the trail, so I had to do maneuvers to avoid an accident which breaks the rhythm. I also was getting complacent because I knew I was going to smash all of my times from this year with comfortable effort. Nevertheless I managed to run the next 0.75 in 3:59, and then Sarah started singing the fourth verse of Come, Come Ye Saints: "And should we die before our journey's through, happy day all is well. We then our free from toil and sorrow too, with the just with shall dwell." I thought that when I finished I would be free from toil and sorrow, and wanted to accelerate the arrival of that glorious moment, so I pressed harder and ran the last quarter in 75. This gave me 5:14 for the last mile, and 15:33.5 for the 3 mile tempo.

My efforts this year on that course have produced very consistent results with the times ranging from 15:55 to 16:06. So 15:33 was definitely an improvement beyond accidental. I changed two things in my training in the last month - added hill sprints, and a second 2 mile run in the evening. I am suspecting the second run is responsible for most of the magic. My hill sprinting times have not improved. I would imagine if the hill sprinting was responsible for the improvement I would at least see some improvement in those times. On the other hand, I do feel a difference from a month ago in the way I breathe. When things get hard, I feel like the oxygen I breathe in is going somewhere, like there is some infrastructure underneath to absorb it and it is not just the muscle contracting harder.

So that gives me some food for thought. I had tried running fast earlier this year with an HRM and observed that I was unable to get the HR beyond 167, and it dropped as I was unable to maintain the pace. That points to a neuromuscular problem. At the same time, adding a second run gave an improvement in performance. That points to some kind of aerobic improvement which should not have helped if it was a purely neuromuscular problem. I suppose the interaction between aerobic and neuromuscular is more complex than I realized. Live and learn.

P.M. 2 miles.


Green Crocs 2 Miles: 17.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
76.200.902.504.4084.00
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 84.00
Night Sleep Time: 55.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 55.50
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